WANT TO GO?
Summer Library Club Kickoff with Homer Hickam
Presented by Kanawha County Public Library
WHERE: Civic Center Little Theater
WHEN: 7 p.m. Friday
INFO: 304-343-4646 or www.kanawhalibrary.orgCHARLESTON, W.Va. -- West Virginia author Homer Hickam will speak at the Civic Center Little Theater on Friday as part of the kickoff of the Kanawha County Public Library's summer reading club kickoff. His latest book, is set in a moon colony in the future, which fits with the club's space theme. Homer Hickam believes in the future. It's right there on the moon, where we left it, and when we finally go back, we should maybe bring a shovel.
"I hope we'll go back to the moon some day," the author and former NASA aerospace engineer said. "I hope we'll live there."
The 69-year-old from McDowell County will be talking about living and mining on the moon and his new young adult book, "Crater" at 7 p.m. Friday at the Civic Center Little Theater. The free talk helps kick off the Kanawha County Public Library's space-themed teen and children's summer reading programs.
"Kanawha County Libraries very nicely asked me to come, and I'm glad to do it," he said. "It's an opportunity to talk about 'Crater,' but I'm sure I'll end up talking about 'Rocket Boys' and some of the other books, too."
Hickam has written more than a dozen books, but "Crater" is his first foray into the white-hot young adult market. Hickam, who called himself "a publisher's nightmare" because he tends to bounce from genre to genre, explained that he hadn't given the idea of writing for young adults much thought until his publisher encouraged him. He said that writing the book was about the same as any other novel he's written except that the protagonists are teens.
"The temptation is to write down to the audience," he said. "I decided not to do that."
For "Crater's" sci-fi story, Hickam drew from his background -- both his many years spent working as a NASA aerospace engineer and his impressions of being a naïve boy growing up in a rural coal community.
"Crater" is about a teenage boy living on a lunar mining colony in the 22nd Century. Hickam chuckled and said, "Somebody called it ''Coalwood' on the moon,' and I can't really argue with that."
Unlike "Rocket Boys" and its follow-up "The Coalwood Way," the mining in "Crater" isn't coal, but Helium-3, a real and rare isotope that might be used for nuclear fusion, among other things. Still, Hickam said it's not a bad comparison, and he hopes "Crater" might further the dialogue about actually mining on the moon.