Space News
space history and artifacts articles

space history discussion forums

worldwide astronaut appearances

selected space history documents

related space history websites

  collectSPACE: Messages
  Publications & Multimedia
  Carrying the Fire (Michael Collins)

Post New Topic  Post A Reply
profile | register | preferences | faq | search

next newest topic | next oldest topic
Author Topic:   Carrying the Fire (Michael Collins)

Posts: 808
From: Cortlandt Manor, NY
Registered: May 2000

posted 06-08-2001 09:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for WAWalsh   Click Here to Email WAWalsh     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I saw a new paperback edition of Michael Collin's "Carrying the Fire" in Barnes & Noble today (June 8, 2001). This remains my favorite astronaut autobiography (might help that it was the first I read many moons ago) and, certainly, no bookshelf should be without a copy.


Posts: 2319
From: Crest Airpark (S36) Kent, WA
Registered: Jan 2000

posted 06-08-2001 10:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tegwilym   Click Here to Email tegwilym     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I just found that book at Half Price Books a couple weeks ago. I immediately bought it! I think I have read that book about 3 times over the years, one of the best books ever!!


Posts: 1064
From: Lincolnshire IL USA
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 06-10-2001 08:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for DChudwin   Click Here to Email DChudwin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Years ago in Madison, Wisconsin, I found a copy of "Carrying the Fire" in a used bookstore. I opened the front cover and found that the first page was autographed by Michael Collins! I think I paid about $10 for the book. It is one of best books written about space up to that time. Needless to say it is a prized item in my space collection. It is amazing what you can find serendipitously.


Posts: 541
From: Melbourne, Victoria, AUSTRALIA
Registered: Jan 2000

posted 05-08-2004 05:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for hinkler   Click Here to Email hinkler     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Were all of the Adventure Library copies of "Carrying the Fire" signed by Michael Collins or were the signed copies part of a special members edition?

I am sure someone on this forum has the answer. Thanks for your help.


Posts: 1179
From: Carrollton, GA USA
Registered: Jan 2003

posted 05-10-2004 08:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gilbert   Click Here to Email Gilbert     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A book dealer told me that only 110 copies were signed. I have a signed copy but it is not numbered and does not indicate how many were signed. It just says signed edition.


Posts: 1789
From: Fairfax, VA, USA
Registered: Feb 2007

posted 08-20-2008 09:44 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for stsmithva   Click Here to Email stsmithva     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Today's Washington Post children's page features as the KidsPost Summer Book Club choice "Carrying the Fire." The book is introduced by astronaut Don Thomas, who writes what an inspiration Michael Collins was to him as a young boy and mentions that he carried a copy of the book on a Columbia mission in July 1997.

Here's the portion of the article that was online - the Thomas part wasn't.

This book features beautiful writing, honest memories and some very funny astronaut stories. At 544 pages, it's long, but we bet many readers won't be able to put down this real-life adventure story.


Posts: 644
From: South Carolina
Registered: Jul 2006

posted 08-20-2008 07:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ea757grrl   Click Here to Email ea757grrl     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There's a reason "Carrying the Fire" is a classic. It's probably my favorite astronaut book; I first read it when I was 13 or 14, and have loved it ever since. I've found many since that I really enjoyed, but "Carrying the Fire" is the one my heart won't let go. It is a beautiful book.

Of interest to the younger readers, Mike Collins also wrote "Flying To The Moon," which is essentially a condensed "Carrying the Fire." I found a fairly recent paperback copy in a used bookstore a year or so back. (I believe the book is also known as "Flying To The Moon and Other Strange Places.")


Posts: 1418
From: Washington, DC, USA
Registered: Apr 2003

posted 08-20-2008 08:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for micropooz   Click Here to Email micropooz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Carrying the Fire is what brought me back to the space hobby and business.

I was a space fiend growing up in the 60's. But when college rolled around (early 1970's) aerospace was tanking so I decided to go study the (then) burgeoning nuclear power field. One summer day when I was working construction on a nuclear power plant, we got rained out. I went into town to the local bookstore where I found a paperback of Carrying the Fire. I bought it and couldn't put it down. That book convinced me that I really needed to be in the space biz, so I changed majors as soon as I got back to school that fall.

Fortuitous decision - Three Mile Island happened a month before I graduated, and stalled the nuclear power industry for the last 30 years...

Thanks Mike Collins!


Posts: 2319
From: Crest Airpark (S36) Kent, WA
Registered: Jan 2000

posted 08-21-2008 12:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tegwilym   Click Here to Email tegwilym     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Best space book EVER!


Posts: 109
From: San Antonio, TX
Registered: Jan 2006

posted 08-22-2008 07:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Whizzospace   Click Here to Email Whizzospace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You are so right. The spirit, the wit, the genuinely good storytelling, all combine to make this one the gold standard. Even today, in venues like the documentary film "In Shadow of the Moon," General Collins' words and expressiveness really steal the show.


Posts: 953
From: South Bend, IN
Registered: Apr 2002

posted 08-24-2008 08:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceman1953   Click Here to Email spaceman1953     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This was also one of the first "space" books I read in its' entirety... each and every word, which is the only way I read and I thought it was superb then and now.

And you know, I think this was a book, a hard cover, probably a first edition, that I paid absolute full retail price for in a mall near my home. As a broke, college student at the time, that was a lot of money!

Now I am a broke, 55-year old and am always looking for a bargain! Cheers!

You know, a good Apollo 11 40th anniversary project might be to read some of these classics again... and, hey, maybe even do a few "lectures" in the public library/school systems in the area!


Posts: 3144
From: San Diego
Registered: Feb 2002

posted 07-03-2009 02:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I browsed a copy of the 40th anniversary edition of "Carrying the Fire" in a bookstore today, and read the new introduction that Collins has written.

It's a wonderfully wry and eloquent piece by him - reminding us, as if we needed any reminder, of what a great writer he is. He takes us up to date with his life and thoughts in a few succinct words - the few new pages alone are better than many full-length books... I'd recommend browsing it too.


Posts: 1265
From: Denver, CO
Registered: Jun 2004

posted 07-06-2009 10:35 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for GoesTo11   Click Here to Email GoesTo11     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well, a hardcover anniversary edition would have been nice, but I'm not complaining.

I have nothing, really, to add to other posters' praise of General Collins' wonderful memoir. I will say that in my own (sort of) humble opinion, any short list of essential books chronicling the Gemini-Apollo era begins with Chaikin's "A Man on the Moon" and Murray and Cox's "Apollo." "Carrying the Fire" would be my next choice.

I also recall reading it the first time through and thinking on numerous occasions, "There's NO WAY that this wasn't ghost-written." At the time (I couldn't have been more than 12 or 13), I still bought into the stereotype of astronauts as being quite uncomfortable communicators outside of the technical arcana of their profession. General Collins definitely opened my eyes, and mind, on that score.

Robert Pearlman

Posts: 37090
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 02-22-2013 10:30 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Transcript/video to follow later, but Kevin Ford just said from space that "Carrying the Fire" was the first book that inspired him to pursue becoming an astronaut.

On edit: Video time-cued here, and the transcript — 

I actually was inspired to pursue becoming an astronaut because of a book that I read when I was about 13 or 14 years old by an astronaut named Michael Collins, who was part of the Apollo 11 crew. It was called "Carrying the Fire." It was a fantastic account of his early life as a pilot and test pilot and I just really fell in love with that profession because of that book.

And of course, what he did was one of the most magical things that has happened in the course of human history as far as I am concerned, with the trip he took to the moon with Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin.

So that is what inspired me, that particular book. After that, I read lots and lots more that just inspired me further, but that was really the one that set it all off.


Posts: 103
From: Israel
Registered: Nov 2012

posted 08-28-2013 10:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for RobertB   Click Here to Email RobertB     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I've got an old copy of "Carrying the Fire" and I understand that the newer editions have been "updated". Can anyone tell me what the difference is?

Goodreads: Carrying the Fire > Editions

I see that the 1999 edition has 512 pages while the 2001 one has only 478. Is this a simple change in font size?

Editor's note: Threads merged.


Posts: 212
From: Ohio
Registered: Mar 2006

posted 08-31-2013 05:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for canyon42   Click Here to Email canyon42     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
He wrote a new preface, which is 4 pages. I don't think anything else was changed or added in terms of the actual text.


Posts: 92
From: Germany
Registered: Oct 2013

posted 12-21-2014 04:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lightyear69   Click Here to Email Lightyear69     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm looking for the NASA photo numbers of Michael Collins in helmet and the Gemini X title-picture (b/w) of the book "Carrying the Fire." Thanks.

Any help?


Posts: 139
From: Lockport, NY, 14094
Registered: Jun 2011

posted 04-30-2017 10:19 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Chariot412   Click Here to Email Chariot412     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Starting today, the audio version of "Carrying the Fire" is being offered on CD or audiobook:

Carrying the Fire: An Astronaut's Journeys
by Michael Collins, narrated by David Colacci

  • Tantor Audio (April 30, 2017)
  • ISBN-10: 1541452720
  • ISBN-13: 978-1541452725
Looks like there may be delays in some formats depending on the retailer.


Posts: 1649
Registered: Aug 2001

posted 05-04-2017 04:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Wehaveliftoff   Click Here to Email Wehaveliftoff     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Mr. Collaci's voice is so soft and polished.
Of course, would prefer if Mr. Collins narrated it himself, but if you listen to Bruce Springsteen's, it would have been better if Anyone else would have narrated it, so....

Lev M

Posts: 134
From: Canada
Registered: Nov 2012

posted 05-05-2017 08:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lev M   Click Here to Email Lev M     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Somehow I am not exited about the voice but, at least, it gives me an opportunity to "read" the book when I am driving. At home I can revisit my hard copy of it to clarify something if needed.

Update: I have to admit I got used to the voice and now it's ok for me. Even better, sometimes I am enjoying it. Currently, I am going throught the astronauts assignments in Chapter 5.

All times are CT (US)

next newest topic | next oldest topic

Administrative Options: Close Topic | Archive/Move | Delete Topic
Post New Topic  Post A Reply
Hop to:

Contact Us | The Source for Space History & Artifacts

Copyright 2017 All rights reserved.

Ultimate Bulletin Board 5.47a