Famously edgy illustrated book publisher Taschen is about to release its biggest project since GOAT, the $5,000 homage to Muhammad Ali it published in 2004. Next month, Norman Mailer, MoonFire: The Epic Journey of Apollo 11 will go on sale for $1,000. The 350-page slipcased hardcover will be Mailer’s first posthumously published book, and each book will come with a signed, framed, numbered gelatin photograph of astronaut Buzz Aldrin.
Taschen is printing 1,969 copies of the book to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing in 1969. Numbers 1 through 1,957 will be priced at $1,000, while the final 12 copies (numbered 1,958 through 1,969) will come with a certified fragment of moon meteorite. Taschen has not yet priced the 12 “Lunar Rock” editions, but will base the price according to the meteorite size. Those volumes will come with cases designed by Australian designer Marc Newson, who recently designed aluminum champagne coolers for Dom Pérignon. Public relations manager Creed Poulson said the meteorite editions “will be the most expensive books we have ever done.” Publisher Benedikt Taschen told PW, “We are confident that the 1,969 copies will sell out very quickly.”
Poulson said Taschen stores will carry the book, as will the publisher’s Web site, Barnes & Noble, Borders, Amazon and other retailers nationally and internationally. A B&N spokesperson said customers can special order the title in its stores; it will also be available at bn.com.
Mailer enhanced and extended his Life article on the moon shot in 1969 in the book Of a Fire on the Moon, first published by Little, Brown in 1970. It is excerpted in MoonFire, along with photographs and maps from the archives of NASA, Life and other sources, many previously unpublished.
“As a child in the '60s,” said Benedikt Taschen, “there is not a single memory that stands out more to me than the landing of Apollo 11 on the moon. The visual impact of this particular day in history has stayed with me ever since, and it has been a dream of mine to conceive a book, or rather a tribute, to this memorable achievement.”