ByRob Harris, writer at
Sometimes I play video games.
Rob Harris

Academy Award winning actor Tom Hanks is set to publish a set of short stories he thinks might have been written by his own typewriters...and one of them may contain a cheeky nod to a famous film he starred in!

After appearing in many movie adaptations of famous books, including Cloud Atlas, The Da Vinci Code and The Polar Express, Hanks has decided to switch to the other side of the camera. Although he has previous experience as a screenwriter, having co-wrote Larry Crowne, this new collection of fiction marks his debut as a published author.

Typewriter Mad!

Hanks has long been an avid collector of vintage typewriters, but instead of just remaining relics of the literary past he says they've now inspired some new material:

I’ve been collecting typewriters for no particular reason since 1978 – both manual and portable machines dating from the thirties to the nineties. The stories are not about the typewriters themselves, but rather, the stories are something that might have been written on one of them.

The as yet untitled book will be comprised of 29 odes to 29 different typewriters, the first of which - Alan Bean Plus Four - has been printed in the The New Yorker, along with this dazzling illustration by Daniel Hertzberg.

Illustration by Daniel Hertzberg
Illustration by Daniel Hertzberg

A New (non-toy) Story

The former Toy Story star has written a galactic adventure of his own, as the tale follows a group of four intrepid friends setting off on a mission to the moon.

Steve Wong, who works at Home Depot, Anna, who does "something in Web design," and MDash, who once "won a science-fair Award" in junior high, may seem like ill-equipped cosmonauts, and yet they and the narrator appear to burst out of the earth's atmosphere on sheer enthusiasm alone...along with the help of a few handy iPod apps.

Twenty-four seconds after clearing the tower, our first stage was burning all stops, and the Max-Q app ($0.99) showed us pulling 11.8 times our weight at sea level.

Coincidentally, Hanks has developed an app of his own called Hanx Writer, which - yep, you guessed it - simulates the appearance of an old typewriter.

The story itself is oddly dominated by consumer technology, with Kobo readers, iPhones, a Samsung Galaxy and Bluetooth music players all floating together in zero-g.

Of course, we were all chuffed, as the English say, that we’d made the trek and maxed out the memory on our iPhones with iPhotos. But questions arose about what we were going to do upon our return, apart from making some bitchin’ posts on Instagram.

The group land safely back on earth, but not before watching Breaking Bad, taking selfies in front of the earth and playing zero-g ping pong. Sounds like a pretty awesome flight!

Easter egg Reference to One of His Films?!

Although the narrator of the story remains unnamed, he lets one fact loose that may be a clue to his true identity:

She says I’m always “Apollo 13 this” and “Lunokhod that"

It could be a coincidence but name dropping a film you've starred in is maybe a not so subtle hint from the movie-star-cum-author.

What do you think - is this a tongue-in-cheek easter egg for fans of his films and a suggestion that the narrator is actually Hanks himself?!

Read Alan Bean Plus Four here


Do you think Tom Hanks should pursue a career as an author?


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