Don't Blow Yourself Up: The Further True Adventures and Travails of the Rocket Boy of October Sky

Don't Blow Yourself Up: The Further True Adventures and Travails of the Rocket Boy of October Sky

by Homer Hickam
Don't Blow Yourself Up: The Further True Adventures and Travails of the Rocket Boy of October Sky

Don't Blow Yourself Up: The Further True Adventures and Travails of the Rocket Boy of October Sky

by Homer Hickam


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From Homer Hickam, the author of the #1 bestselling Rocket Boys adapted into the beloved film October Sky, comes this astonishing memoir of high adventure, war, love, NASA, and his struggle for literary success.

Homer Hickam’s memoir Rocket Boys and the movie adaptation October Sky have become one of the most popular stories in the world, inspiring millions to pursue a better life. But what happened to Homer after he was a West Virginia rocket boy? In his latest memoir, Homer recounts his life in college where he built the world's biggest, baddest game cannon, fought through some of the worst battles in Vietnam, became a scuba instructor, discovered sunken U-boats, wrote the definitive account of a World War II naval battle, befriended Tom Clancy, made a desperate attempt to save the passengers of a sunken river boat, trained the first Japanese astronauts, taught David Letterman to scuba dive, helped to fix the Hubble Space Telescope, wrote his number one bestselling Rocket Boys, and was on set during the making of October Sky. Although told with humor and wit, Hickam does not shy away from the pain and hardship endured and the mistakes he made during the tumultuous decades since his life in the town he made famous—Coalwood, West Virginia.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781642938241
Publisher: Post Hill Press
Publication date: 10/26/2021
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 172,371
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.50(d)

About the Author

Homer Hickam is the author of many books including the acclaimed memoir Rocket Boys that was adapted into the film October Sky. His awards for writing are many and include the University of Alabama’s Clarence Cason Award and Shepherd University's Appalachian Heritage Author’s Award. He was raised in the coalfields of West Virginia and graduated from Virginia Tech. He is also a Vietnam veteran, a scuba instructor, a retired NASA engineer, an amateur paleontologist who has discovered numerous dinosaurs, serves on the boards of the United States Space & Rocket Center (Space Camp) and the Museum of the Rockies, and was appointed in 2019 as an advisor to the National Space Council. He also volunteers for feral cat rescue programs.

Homer and his wife share their time between homes in Alabama and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Table of Contents

Introduction xi

Part 1 Everybody's Favorite Cadet 1

To Go to College, You Actually Have to Apply 3

A Rat in Blacksburg 7

You Can't Go Home Again Even When You Do 13

Flash, Everybody's Favorite Cadet 21

Red and Pink Marked the Corridors of Death 27

The Skipper, Part 1 34

The Skipper, Part 2 46

The Skipper, Part 3 54

The Skipper, Part 4 59

Part 2 American Soldier 65

Fort Lost in the Woods 67

The Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves 81

From There to Nowhere 91

Way Down West in the Land of Zion 99

You Don't Belong Here 109

Past the Tea Plantation 125

The Oasis 133

Blackhawk Firebase 141

Tet '68 153

Thunder Run to Kontum 162

Twin Events Still Hard to Understand 166

The Road to Ban Me Thuot 176

People Hanging Like Clothes on the Wire 188

Part 3 The Purposeful Adventurer 197

Puerto Rico 199

Aquaspace 204

Guanaja 210

The U-352 222

Back to Guanaja and Another U-boat 236

A Travelin' Man 244

Part 4 NASA Man 255

Rocket City 257

Death on the Tennessee 264

Challenger 271

The Underwater Astronaut Trainer and David Letterman 278

The U-85 288

An Author at Last 294

Ease Your Bosoms 297

You Are Sensei 308

Of Frogs, Whales, and Cows 314

Coalwood, Japan 327

More Space Stuff and…Olivia! 332

Tiny Bubbles in My Brain 346

Sputnik Again 357

Part 5 That Author Feller 365

The Article That Started It All 367

The Cowboy of Hollywood 370

Writing Rocket Boys 374

Making October Sky 383

Back Home 393

Epilogue 397

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