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Homer Hickam

Homer Hickam is the author of the number one New York Times bestseller October Sky (a.k.a. Rocket Boys) (Delta) which received a National Book Critics Circle nomination and was named a New York Times Notable Book of 1998. He has written several other books, including The Keeper's Son (St. Martin’s), The Ambassador's Son (St. Martin’s), The Far Reaches (St. Martin’s), The Coalwood Way (Island Books), Sky of Stone (Dell), and Red Helmet (Thomas Nelson). He is also a decorated Vietnam combat veteran, retired NASA engineer, an Olympic torchbearer and the holder of Alabama's highest award for heroism. His latest, My Dream of Stars: From Daughter of Iran to Space Pioneer, was co-written with space pioneer Anousheh Ansari and was published by Palgrave Macmillan.

Published in Authors

Crescent (A Helium-3 Novel)

Crescentby Homer Hickam

They said she wasn't human. They were wrong.

A seemingly endless war against the insurgent Crowhoppers keeps the people of Moontown fighting when they’d rather be mining valuable Helium-3. Crater Trueblood’s valiant efforts against the genetically-manipulated beings weighs heavily on his mind. What is he really fighting for?

In the midst of a deadly battle, Crater captures an enemy Crowhopper. But this one he refuses to kill. "It" is genetically more human than not and its gender seems to be female. She calls herself Crescent.

Crater takes her to Moontown as a prisoner of war, but treats her kindly. However, at the hands of Moontown residents Crescent experiences prejudice and even cruelty.

Soon Crescent is imprisoned for a murder she didn't commit. Crater comes to her aid, and the two become fugitives, escaping into the vast expanse of hostile terrain called “the big suck.” For Crater, it turns out the cause most worth fighting for may be right by his side.

Published in Fiction

Paco

Pacoby Homer Hickam

Homer Hickam, author of the memoir Rocket Boys (made into the movie October Sky), recalls his first years as a NASA engineer while also telling the story of his fluffy black and white cat Paco who had the magic ability to make people smile and give them hope. But when Paco was struck down by a disease that left him unable to walk, Hickam was faced with a terrible decision, let his beloved cat live in misery or put him to sleep. Before that decision could be made, the space mission Hickam was working on needed to be rescued and there was only one sure way to save it: Paco's magic meow! This is a true story of the space age that is also a delightful tale of the love between an engineer and his cat.

"Homer Hickam is a national treasure. America's most beloved Rocket Boy tells the touching story of a space-crazy man and his cat. Paco will delight pet-lovers and wanna-be astronauts alike." - Dr. Marty Becker "America's Veterinarian" on Good Morning America, Dr. Oz Show and Vetstreet.com. Author of 20 books on pets.

To watch folks at NASA do their thing during a mission, you'd think they were all "steely-eyed missile men (and women)." But if you've worked there, you know this is only part of the story. In this memoir, Homer gives you a slice of what it's like to join NASA and become part of the family - and how your real family (including 4 legged members) participate as a team. I know. My cat Biner also meowed in space. Read it (preferably) with a cat curled up on your lap. - Keith Cowing, editor of NASAWATCH.com and author of New Moon Rising: The Making of America's New Space Vision and the Remaking of NASA.

"They say in space that no one can hear you meow. But is that true? Homer Hickam's story about his time at NASA - and his cat - hits all the right notes. A little humor, a little history, a few tears, and a lot about yours truly! A wonderful read." - Dr. Wernher von Braun (aka DrvonBraun on Twitter)

Buy now!

Published in Memoirs

Crater

by Homer Hickam

It's the 22nd Century and a tough, pioneering people are mining the moon to produce energy for a desperate, war-torn Earth. Crater, an orphan, loves his life in Moontown, a frontier mining settlement. Not quite sixteen-years-old, he is already a seasoned Helium-3 miner with hopes to be a foreman on the scrapes someday.

But the man who owns the mine has a different plan for Crater and another orphan, a young girl with a violent past named Souza. With Souza and his gillie-a sentient and sometimes insubordinate clump of slime-mold cells-Crater must venture forth on a forbidding river of dust. Together, they'll cross the hostile Lunar terrain before vaulting in to the far reaches of space.

Danger, adventure, and discovery await them as Crater, the gillie, and Souza use their wits and courage to find a mysterious treasure.

Published in Fiction

October Sky

by Homer Hickam

A New York Times #1 bestseller and Universal feature film, now available on DVD and home video!

It was 1957, the year Sputnik raced across the Appalachian sky, and the small town of Coalwood, West Virginia was slowly dying. Faced with an uncertain future, Homer Hickam nurtured a dream: to send rockets into outer space. The introspective son of the mine's superintendent and a mother determined to get him out of Coalwood forever, Homer fell in with a group of misfits who learned not only how to turn scraps of metal into sophisticated rockets, but how to sustain their hope in a town that swallowed its men alive. When the boys began to light up the tarry skies with their flaming projectiles and dreams of glory, Coalwood, and the Hickams, would never the same.

Published in Memoirs

The Dinosaur Hunter

by Homer Hickam

Life on the ranchlands of Montana comes with more than its share of trouble. The unique people who live and work on this untamed stretch of today's American West expect it – and some of them even enjoy it. One of them is Mike Wire, a former homicide detective who once worked the decadent hills and valleys of Hollywood. Having enough of the violence of the big city, Mike has retreated to a far corner of civilization to spend his days running the Square C Ranch and pining for Jeanette Coulter, its spirited and iron-fisted owner.

But Mike is soon to learn terrible things can happen beneath Montana's big skies, too. The badlands are home to more than horses, cattle, cowboys, and laid-back rattlesnakes. Just beneath the surface are the bones of a dinosaur family which could make a fortune for whoever gets to them first. When a paleontologist and his attractive young assistants arrive at the Square C to dig, Mike senses trouble is clinging to them like Montana mud. Once discovered, those bones won’t stay buried, and not everyone hunting for them is doing it in the interest of science.

When a murderer begins to stalk the dinosaur hunting grounds, Mike has to combine the lessons he learned in Los Angeles with those of the Montana prairie to protect the people and the land he has come to love.

Published in Fiction

Torpedo Junction

by Homer Hickam

SLAUGHTER AT SEA - JUST MILES FROM U.S. SOIL!

In 1942 German U-boats turned the shipping lanes off Cape Hatteras into a sea of death. Cruising up and down the U.S. eastern seaboard, they sank 259 ships, littering the waters with cargo and bodies. As astonished civilians witnessed explosions from American beaches, fighting men dubbed the area "Torpedo Junction." And while the U.S. Navy failed to react, a handful of Coast Guard sailors scrambled to the front lines. Outgunned and out-maneuvered, they heroically battled the deadliest fleet of submarines ever launched. Never was Germany closer to winning the war.

In a moving ship-by-ship account of terror and rescue at sea, Homer Hickam chronicles a little-known saga of courage, ingenuity, and triumph in the early years of World War II. From nerve-racking sea duels to the dramatic ordeals of sailors and victims on both sides of the battle, Hickam dramatically captures a war we had to win - because this one hit terrifyingly close to home.

Published in History

Sky of Stone

by Homer Hickam

In the summer of ‘61, Homer “Sonny” Hickam, a year of college behind him, was dreaming of sandy beaches and rocket ships. But before Sonny could reach the seaside fixer-upper where his mother was spending the summer, a telephone call sends him back to the place he thought he had escaped, the gritty coal-mining town of Coalwood, West Virginia. There, Sonny’s father, the mine’s superintendent, has been accused of negligence in a man’s death - and the townspeople are in conflict over the future of the town.

Sonny’s mother, Elsie, has commanded her son to spend the summer in Coalwood to support his father. But within hours, Sonny realizes two things: His father, always cool and distant with his second son, doesn’t want him there ... and his parents’ marriage has begun to unravel. For Sonny, so begins a summer of discovery - of love, betrayal, and most of all, of a brooding mystery that threatens to destroy his father and his town.

Published in Memoirs

We Are Not Afraid

by Homer Hickam

Today, fear affects even the strongest of us. Sometimes it's immediate, caused by a sense of imminent danger-the kind we felt after terrorists destroyed the magnificent World Trade Center, tore a giant wound in the Pentagon and killed thousands of people. But sometimes fear becomes a normal way of life. In his best-selling memoir October Sky (aka Rocket Boys), Hickam introduced us to the rugged town of his youth, Coalwood, West Virginia, and the people who took on the hazardous and often brutal enterprise of coal mining. To survive and prosper, these people relied on an approach to living that would get them through hard times with an almost unnatural resilience. Over a lifetime, they learned to take on these attitudes: We are proud of who we are. We stand up for what we believe. We keep our families together. We trust in God but rely on ourselves. These attitudes are summed up in the Coalwood Assumption: WE ARE NOT AFRAID. Through poignant memories of his youth, best selling author Homer Hickam helps lead you beyond fear to find the courage and strength to live more happily and look toward to future with optimism.

Published in Current Events

The Keeper's Son

by Homer Hickam

In 1941, Killakeet Island of the wind-swept Outer Banks of North Carolina is home to a tiny, peaceful population of fishermen, clam stompers, oyster rakers, and a few lonely sailors of the Coast Guard. Dominating the glorious, raw beauty of the little island is the majestic Killakeet Lighthouse, which for generations has been the responsibility of one family, the Thurlows.

However, Josh Thurlow, the Keeper's son, has forsworn his heritage to become the commander of the Maudie Jane, a small Coast Guard patrol boat operating off Killakeet. Josh is still tortured by guilt, seventeen years after losing his baby brother at sea. Then his life is complicated by the arrival of the beautiful Dosie Crossan, who has journeyed to lonely Killakeet to escape the outside world and perhaps find a purpose in life. While Josh's heart is stirred by the often-vexing Dosie, he continues his search for his brother, even after a wolfpack of German U-boats arrives to soak the island's beaches with blood and oil.

The Keeper's Son is a rousing, romantic tale of the power of the human heart forever searching for redemption.

Published in Fiction
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