Monday, September 29, 2014

Discover the "Hashtag Histories" series!

The Hashtag Histories series, from author Philip Gibson, looks at major world events and poses the question: What if there had been social media at that time? The result is an engaging, thoughtful series of books that will have you looking at iconic historical moments in a fresh way.

The latest book -- #Houston69: Apollo 11 - When Men Walked on the Moon -- is now available, and for a limited time you can get it for just 99 cents. Check it out, as well as the entire Hashtag Histories series!

#Houston69: Apollo 11 - When Men Walked on the Moon (Hashtag Histories), by Philip Gibson

(Review for #Berlin45:)  
"One of the most imaginative e-book singles of the year. #Berlin45 packs a powerful wallop and engages thoroughly, picking up in intensity as the story moves into the final, frantic days of the Third Reich with tweets from a wide assortment of Hitler's inner circle......It's a brilliant history lesson that drives the narrative forward to a tense conclusion......The author based most of his tweets on actual comments made by the main historical figures, and appears to have created a brilliant new franchise! We look forward to his next imaginative history lesson... Can't wait!" -- Howard Polskin, Editor-in-Chief, Thin Reads

(Note: As an introductory offer for a ‘new release’, this book is discounted to $0.99 until 16 October, after which it will revert to its regular price.)

What if there had been social media during the first mission to land a man on the Moon in 1969?

If you were not fortunate enough to be able to witness the entire historic mission as it unfolded, this account will put you believably back inside those eight incredibly tense and dramatic days. The unique social media format of the book allows us to experience all the drama and achievements as if we were following them live, and as if the participants were speaking to us directly in real time. The narrative is based on actual astronaut accounts, NASA transcripts of the fascinating continual communications with the astronauts, broadcasts of the all main TV networks covering the mission and the thoughts of many laypeople observers. The account also includes details that were not publicly available at the time, such as the secret speech to be delivered to the nation by President Nixon should the astronauts fail to return from the Moon. There is an extensive list of major sources at the end of the book.

This is not a book, therefore, written in the usual book format. It is the story of man’s first exploration of Earth’s nearest neighbor, the Moon, told as if in real time in the form of imaginary social media posts by the main participants and observers. By using the fictional (at the time) vehicle of social media, the book is able to give an accurate account of the historic mission, revealing what the people involved in, and those witnessing, the momentous events were thinking, doing and saying at each stage of the mission.

The account covers the entire mission, from the tense build up and countdown to the launch, to the heart-stopping descent to the lunar surface, the first moonwalk, the experiments on the surface, the journey back to Earth, re-entry, recovery and the triumphal reception back in New York.


Get the first book in this series!

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Meet the Author

Several more Hashtag Histories books are in the pipeline. If you would like to receive an email notification of new releases, please go to the website and sign up at: www.hashtaghistories.com

Philip Gibson is a teacher and author of over thirty books on ESL and historical fiction. He has taught and lived in (in order): England, Spain, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Hong Kong, Japan and Laos.

In 1991, he took up a position in Laos, met and married a Lao lady and now lives with his wife and two teenage boys on their small farm on the forested banks of the Nam Ngum River (tributary of the Mekong) about 25 miles from the capital city of Vientiane. Philip is a lover of history, especially modern history.

Here is Philip's description of how the idea for the Hashtag Histories series developed:

"During the Libyan Civil War in 2011, I was following the dramatic unfolding events closely. However, it was difficult to find up to date information on the regular media, so I turned to social media sites such as Twitter where I could receive minute by minute updates on the unfolding conflict. Receiving updates of unfolding events in that format was very much like watching the situation developing in real time reported by the actual warring participants, as well as live posts by journalists on the ground and up to date analysis by commentators and politicians in multiple locations.While a great deal of the social media posts were repetitious or inaccurate, as is often the case with sites like Twitter, it was clear that if all the information could be cross-checked and the dross and repetition edited out, what would remain would be an engaging, accurate and detailed account of the real events. It would be an account with more detail, accuracy and real-time immediacy than any produced by the more conventional media.

So I set about constructing a day-by-day account of the final days of Hitler's Third Reich as if the participants in World War II had been able to post their thoughts and actions through social media sites. The result was an extremely readable and informative account of the main events which was very well received by members of a history discussion site of which I am an active member.

When the day by day account of Hitler's last days was completed, I was encouraged to compile the daily account into book form and publish it under the name #Berlin45:The Final Days of the Third Reich.

The rest, as they say, is ... history."

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