Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Charlie Ellis and the Day Trip to Mars is now on sale

It has only taken me about fifteen years, but I'm pleased to be able to say that my novel, Charlie Ellis and the Day Trip to Mars is now on sale.

The inspiration to writing it came when I was in Poland in 2002 visiting the filmmaker, Marek Piwowski, who features in my first book 'Lindsay Anderson, The Diaries' (published by Methuen). On route to Warsaw to take Marek a copy of my book of the Anderson Diaries, I read in the inflight magazine, the simply wonderful true story of the Polish polar explorer Marek KamiƄski, who had walked to both ends of the Earth with a teenage boy, Jan Mela, who had lost an arm and a leg. I wondered what would happen if a British explorer did something so bold and remarkable. Would the British press, public and politicians over-react in that very British way and destroy them?
And I got reading Jules Verne, and saw that he was attempting to include all of man's knowledge into his books and then to advance on that knowledge. I decided to take a similar approach with Charlie Ellis, to go beyond man's current understanding of Science and to interweave into that a connoisseur's guide to the arts and Pop Culture. So Charlie and his engineer, Steve Atherton, are Elvis Presley fans  (the police are named after Tony Alva and Jay Adams, the famous skateboarders from Dogtown). Charlie and Steve attempt to remake Charles Eames's film Powers of Ten, and they start their every adventure with a playing of their favourite song, Elvis Presley singing 'Life'. When things get rough, they decide to go out like The King himself.
In honour of Kaminski and Mela, the first book of the Charlie Ellis series ends with our adventurers on the ice of the planet of Pluto.

Those good folks at Starburst, Britain's best science fiction magazine, have reviewed the book here.

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