Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Top Trumps: Space

Unleashed on the world tomorrow is a new book I've written - Top Trumps: Space, published by Puffin. Follow the link for example pages and more information.

The wheeze is that you get a pack of Top Trumps cards all about planets, spacecraft and other cosmic stuff and a book of extra facts and activities as a bonus.

It was a joy to work on: the nice editor sent me the images of the cards, and then I had full freedom to fill the book with my favourite bits of space oddness, gleaned from the GCSE in astronomy I studied at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich all those years ago.

It's especially thrilling because me and my younger brother were keen Top Trumps combatants (often mixing up packs, so we'd have majestic battles between dinosaurs and racing cars - which you can make work by comparing "Second category down" and so on).

Here's the book's blurb:
Play and discover with Top Trumps Activity Books!

This awesome fact-filled Top Trumps activity book is packed with amazing info on the wonders of space. Why is Mars called the 'red planet'? What are Saturn's rings made of? And which heavenly body is the biggest? Find out all about our solar system's planets and stars...and find out which is the most awe-inspiring of them all!

With cool activities plus 20 free Top Trumps cards to create your own fun tournament!

Read more cool Top Trumps titles! Top Trumps: Baby Animals, Top Trumps: Deadliest Predators, Creatures of the Deep and Top Trumps: Dinosaurs are also available from Puffin.

Published by Puffin, 1 May 2014. 32pp, ISBN-10: 0141352361, ISBN-13: 978-0141352367.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Feast or famine

Waaah! I have been a bit busy lately, scribbling lots of things all at once (and editing and producing and interviewing and advising and judging). So this poor blog has been even more neglected than usual.

Out in shops now is Doctor Who and the War To End All Wars, the last of the Companion Chronicles to be recorded. As I enthuse on the interview stuck on the end of the CD, I've loved writing the Companion Chronicles, and thanks to David Richardson, Jacqueline Rayner, Lisa Bowerman and all the amazing actors and sound people who've made me sound vaguely adequate.

This one is based on conversations I had with Matthew Sweet while he was making his Radio 3 programme on Alex Comfort - and discovered that Comfort had been interviewed by Doctor Who's script editor Gerry Davis about being a scientific adviser to the show. Matthew recommended Comfort's Authority and Delinquency as a good book of ideas to base a Doctor Who story on, so I did.

Next month, my Blake's 7 play President is out - and of the six Blake's 7s I've written for Big Finish it's the one I'm proudest of. By an odd coincidence to do with scheduling, both this and the Doctor Who one are all about politics - but they were written more than a year apart.

I've a book out next week which I shall try to blog about on 1 May. But now I must go and add a second coat of paint to a ceiling.