Space Mission Defending an Earth overrun by aliens in your latest multiplayer online game? Check. Visiting the Titanic aboard a Russian mini-submarine? Check. Now Richard Garriott, creator of Tabula Rasa (November 2007), has become the first second-generation astronaut. "As I peer out the porthole looking down on the Earth," he told Fast Company in October from the International Space Station, "I am constantly reminded of my father and his NASA Skylab mission." The tab for living his dream: $30 million.
Hero Dr. Peter Pronovost, whose hospital checklist inspired the Made to Stick column in March, has been awarded a $500,000 "genius grant" by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
Winner We thought Aravind Adiga's The White Tiger was "a fascinating glimpse beneath the surface of India's economic miracle" when we reviewed it (April). We were not alone. In October, Adiga's novel won the prestigious Man Booker prize. What will he do with the 50,000 pounds? "The first thing is to find a safe bank to put it in."
Message Received Charles Fishman visited the Fiji Water plant for his award-winning "Message in a Bottle" (July/August 2007). Now the company reports that it's lessening its carbon footprint by using lighter bottles, shipping cases to the East Coast through the Panama Canal instead of trucking them across the continent, and buying emission offsets.
A version of this article appeared in the December/January 2009 issue of Fast Company magazine.