Tom Hanks publishes short story in The New Yorker and gets panned

Oscar-winning actor Tom Hanks has a short story published in the prestigious The New Yorker magazine this week and the reception has not been good. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Oscar-winning actor Tom Hanks has a short story published in the prestigious The New Yorker magazine this week and the reception has not been good. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

Oscar-winning actor Tom Hanks has a short story published in the prestigious The New Yorker magazine this week and the reception has not been good.

Alan Bean Plus Four tells the story of a group of friends who go off on a trip around the moon.

In an interview with the magazine, Hanks, who starred in Ron Howard's Apollo 13, said he has always been fascinated by space. He told the magazine that he built plastic models of rockets when he was a child and watched live broadcasts of space missions back in the 1960s.

Alan Bean was part of the Apollo 12 mission and the fourth person to walk on the moon.

Hanks, 58, cited noted American writer Chaim Potok and bestselling author of spy novels Alan Furst as among his literary heroes. He said he was inspired to pick up the pen because he has been surrounded by great storytellers all his life and wanted to tell some stories of his own.

But Katy Waldman, writing for online news and culture magazine The Slate, was not impressed by Hanks' writing skills. She called the actor's ideas about technology "shopworn" and said the story would not have made the cut if it had not been written by a movie star.

"The world is full of rich, interesting, funny, moving fiction by people we've never heard of. It's a shame to see the high-profile New Yorker fiction perch occupied by a mediocre story that breezed past the bodyguards because of its Hollywood pedigree," she wrote.