Back to the Moon

Homer H. Hickam, Author Delacorte Press $23.95 (464p) ISBN 978-0-385-33422-8
From the informed imagination of the author of Rocket Boys: A Memoir (finalist for an NBCC Award; made into the movie October Sky), Hickham's fanciful debut novel reads like an Indiana Jones adventure-in-space. It's 2002 on Cedar Key, Fla., and former NASA engineer Jack Medaris's high-tech company makes plans to send a rocket to the moon. The mission is to bring back a quantity of the rare isotope helium-3 to power a reactor that will supply the earth with clean fusion energy for centuries to come. When the space vehicle is destroyed by shadowy conspirators, Jack decides to ""legally"" hijack the space shuttle Columbia. Just before Columbia takes off on its meticulously planned orbit mission, the renegade astronauts attempt to displace the scheduled crew, an unlikely all-female bunch Hickam has rendered ridiculous by portraying them as catfighting shrews. In the fracas, Jack's veteran shuttle pilot is fatally wounded and the Native American prima donna Penny High Eagle--a gorgeous celebrity biologist, bestselling author and the object of contempt from the original female crew--winds up in space with Jack. With romance blossoming in zero gravity, international forces collide as a sinister fossil-fuel consortium conspires to destroy the shuttle. Onetime NASA-engineer Hickam packs his narrative with complicated space-program minutiae, risking his readers' comprehension of the wild plot. Riddled with space jargon acronyms (LEM, EVA, etc.), the cosmic romp both enthralls and numbs. But as Hickam's tale heats up, the reader's tenacity pays off, and the rocket ride achieves high velocity. Major ad/promo; author tour. (June)
Reviewed on: 05/31/1999
Release date: 06/01/1999
Genre: Fiction
Analog Audio Cassette - 4 pages - 978-0-671-04640-8
Prebound-Other - 494 pages - 978-0-613-27720-4
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-7435-4183-1
Prebound-Other - 978-0-606-25293-5
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