Posted by Christopher at 7.10pm
On Thursday 2 March 2017 - World Book Day appropriately enough - The Jamie Drake Equation will be published by Nosy Crow, although, as I've heard reports of copies finding their way into shops already, maybe I should just say OUT NOW!
Some fantastic book bloggers, librarians and reviewers are already sharing their first reviews of The Jamie Drake Equation and I'd like to thank them for these kind and thoughtful reviews.
"Reminded me of classics from my own childhood - especially Chocky by John Wyndham and the film E.T." Reading Zone
"This story is a cosmic ray of light that will uplift your soul to the nebulae and back. It will take you on the best journey that the imagination has to offer." Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books
"I have been looking forward to reading this book for so long and it really didn’t disappoint. This stunning sci-fi adventure is out of this world." Miss Cleveland
"One of those great books that offers a humorous, intelligent, warm and gripping read. I can't wait to get it into the hands of children in my class." North Somerset Teacher's Book Award blog
"A funny, brilliant story with a twist." Sue & Pakka's blog
Thank you too to the brilliant Matt Saunders for the amazing cover he's created for The Jamie Drake Equation. And the ace team at Nosy Crow for all their work too.
Just like for The Many Worlds of Albie Bright, I've created a soundtrack for The Jamie Drake Equation which you can listen to on Spotify below. These are the songs that accompany the action or inspired me in some way as I was writing the book. You can read my guide to creating a book soundtrack here, but I'm very excited to say that I'm going to be talking about the soundtrack to The Jamie Drake Equation and why I think every book should have a soundtrack on Chris Hawkins' Early Breakfast Show on BBC 6 Music tomorrow to launch World Book Day week. I should be on just after 6am, so tune in and let Chris know what songs you'd like to soundtrack the books you love.
Update - Click this link to listen to my full interview with Chris Hawkins. Thanks so much Chris, producer Jen and all the team at BBC 6 Music for supporting World Book Day. Reading is the new rock'n'roll!
The Jamie Drake Equation - a chapter-by-chapter tracklisting
1. Wish You Were by Pink Floyd [Chapter 1]
2. D'Yer Wanna Be A Spaceman by Oasis [Chapter 2]
3. Observatory Crest by Mercury Rev [Chapter 4]
4. Pi by Kate Bush [Chapter 8]
5. Out of Space by The Prodigy [Chapter 10]
6. Stars All Seem To Weep by Beth Orton [Chapter 12]
7. Pictures of You by The Cure [Chapter 15]
8. Space Carnival by The Comet is Coming [Chapter 15]
9. New Light of Tomorrow by Husky Rescue [Chapter 16]
10. The Hive by BE [Chapter 16]
11. 1st Man in Space by The All-Seeing Eye [Chapter 18]
12. Lux Aeterna by Clint Mansell [Chapter 20]
13. Space Oddity by David Bowie [Chapter 21]
14. Around by Tim Burgess & Peter Gordon [Chapter 22]
15. Blackstar by David Bowie [Chapter 23]
16. Light & Day/Reach for the Sun by The Polyphonic Spree [Chapter 24]
17. Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space by Spiritualized [Chapter 25]
18. Sky Holds The Sun by The Bees [Chapter 25]
19. All We Have Is Now by The Flaming Lips [Chapter 25]
20. The Moment by Tame Impala [Chapter 26]
The Jamie Drake Equation,
BBC 6 Music
Posted by Christopher at 11.17am
Last week I appeared on BBC Radio 4's You and Yours talking about the popularity of science-based children's fiction and you can listen to the programme again here. My interview starts at the 30 minutes mark.
Both The Many Worlds of Albie Bright and my forthcoming novel The Jamie Drake Equation were inspired by science, but, as I say in the interview, science lessons for me in school were mostly a battle for control of the gas taps between the kids who wanted to blow up the Science block and those of us who wanted to live. Any experiments we did get round to performing involved rolling marbles down slopes or heating salty water to boiling point and usually went wrong anyway as most major scientific laws didn’t seem to apply in Salford in the 1980s. In the real world, the Voyager spacecraft was flying past Saturn whilst the space shuttle zoomed in and out of orbit, but science in school kept my eyes firmly fixed to the blackboard and didn’t spark for me any sense of wonder about the universe.
It was a different story on my paper round. There, at the bottom of a bag bulging with tomorrow’s chip papers, I discovered 2000AD. This weekly comic was filled with stories of space exploration, alien invaders, genetically-engineered super soldiers, and time-travelling paradoxes. In comic strips such as Rogue Trooper, Strontium Dog and Tharg’s Future Shocks, I found stories inspired by theories and discoveries at the cutting edge of science, and used to paint exciting and terrifying pictures of the future. And every week, I’d eagerly flick through the pages of 2000AD as I traipsed round my paper round, my mind whirling with thoughts of alien life and parallel worlds, until the time came to push the rain-spattered copy of the comic through the letterbox of the poor kid who had ordered it.
Unfortunately the interest in science sparked by 2000AD wasn’t enough to prevent me getting a grade D in my GCSE Physics exam, but it did lead me to E.T., The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Back to the Future and Doctor Who. In the world of fiction, I found real scientific ideas sparkling with a sense of wonder that science in school had kept hidden.
On Saturday 11th February, courtesy of prize tickets from Geek Syndicate, I made a pilgrimage with my brother to London’s Hammersmith Novotel for 2000AD’s 40th Anniversary Festival to say thank you to the writers and artists whose imaginations lit up my childhood in the pages of the galaxy’s greatest comic and helped plant the seeds of an interest in science that eventually blossomed into the books that I write. It was a real thrill to meet Pat Mills, the Charles Dickens of British comics, whose vision for 2000AD and timeless creations have helped to inspire generations of readers.
So thanks for the inspiration 2000AD and here’s to the next 40 years!
The Jamie Drake Equation,
The Many Worlds of Albie Bright,
You and Yours,
Posted by Christopher at 12.47pm
Last week the nominations for the CILIP Carnegie & Kate Greenaway Medals 2017 were announced and, thrillingly, The Many Worlds of Albie Bright is nominated for the CILIP Carnegie Medal 2017. At the time of the announcement I was buried under an avalanche of deadlines, so didn't have time to write this blog then, but to say that I was thrilled about this news would be a serious understatement as you'll see if the video ever leaks of the Intergalactic dance moves I busted out when I heard about the nomination.
The CILIP Carnegie & Kate Greenaway Children's Book Awards are described as 'the gold standard in literature and illustration for children and young people' and one of the key reasons for this is because they are chosen by the experts in children's literature and illustration - librarians.
Every writer is a reader and the books that turned me into a writer were the ones I found on the shelves of my local library, as I explained in this blog post from five years ago where I talked about the inspirations that set me on the path to becoming an author.
It wasn’t that I didn’t know about authors; my brain was full to bursting with their names. I was the Incredible Book Eating Boy before Oliver Jeffers had even drawn him, devouring the shelves of my local library. J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Susan Cooper, John Wyndham, Arthur C. Clarke, Robert Cormier, Ursula Le Guin. With every book I took out, a new favourite author could be discovered and I’d then eagerly seek out everything that they had written.
At a time when even the idea of the library seems to under attack like never before, and librarians battle against cuts and closures, I'd like to thank every single librarian for the vital work that they do in inspiring new readers and writers, and the way they still make time to celebrate children's literature with the CILIP Carnegie & Kate Greenaway Medals and help share the amazing worlds that can be found in its pages with young readers everywhere. As I tweeted when I first found out about the Carnegie nomination:
The Many Worlds of Albie Bright,
CILIP Carnegie & Kate Greenaway Medals,
Children's book awards
Posted by Christopher at 11.46am
As the snow falls in April, thoughts inevitably turn towards summertime and festivals!
I'll be at the Hay Festival on Thursday 2 June at 2.30pm, taking part in a fantastic event with Time Travelling with a Hamster author Ross Welford, where we'll be exploring the wonder of science as a way to explain some of the mysteries of the world. Tickets are £6 and you can book these here.
On Monday 25 July at 2.30pm I’ve got an event at Octavia’s Bookshop as part of the Cirencester Children's Book Week festival, talking about quantum physics, parallel universes and The Many Worlds of Albie Bright.
I'm also proud to be a part of the Edinburgh International Book Festival Schools Programme and will be appearing at the Garden Theatre on Tuesday 23 August at 12.30pm, where I’ll be talking about the real-life science behind The Many Worlds of Albie Bright.
As well as these literary extravaganzas, I'll also be representing the world of children's books at some fantastic music festivals this summer.
I'm back at the Wychwood Festival this year, and if you head to the Kids Literature tent at 6.00pm on Friday 3 June, you'll find me explaining exactly how to travel to a parallel universe.
I'm also incredibly excited to have been asked to appear at Tim Peaks Diner at Kendal Calling and Festival No.6. In case you haven't heard about it, Tim Peaks Diner is a festival within a festival, created and curated by Tim Burgess from The Charlatans. In this unique space you'll find amazing bands, book readings, DJ sets, science talks, dance classes, great tea and coffee, and now children's literature! Read this interview with Tim to find out more and if you're at Kendal Calling or Festival No.6, I hope to see you at Tim Peaks Diner.
Since its publication back in January, The Many Worlds of Albie Bright has been receiving some wonderful reviews. As well as being chosen by The Times as their Children’s Book of the Week, The Many Worlds of Albie Bright has been described as “heartwarming” and “a touching story” by The Guardian, "Moving, and exploding with scientific ideas and wonder" by The Herald, and has also received some lovely comments from authors I admire.
"Back to the Future for the Large Hadron Collider generation. Hilarious and full of heart." Piers Torday, author of The Last Wild trilogy
"I'd love this book in all the worlds. Heartbreaking, heartwarming, heartstopping. Amazing." Holly Smale, author of the Geek Girl series
"A beautiful thing. Moving, funny, twisty, wise and deserves to be remembered." A.F. Harrold, author of The Imaginary
"A delightful story to excite children about quantum mechanics - and adults should learn a thing or two as well." Robin Ince, comedian, writer and co-presenter of the BBC Radio 4 comedy and popular science series 'The Infinite Monkey Cage'
“Christopher Edge’s warm-hearted writing sucks you in from the start with a sparkling take on parallel worlds, fuelled by a delightfully fresh understanding of quantum physics and a fearless ability to take on life, loss and dreaming big while never talking down to his readers. Bananas will never be the same again. I have one complaint about this book. I wanted it to be longer.” Samira Ahmed, writer, journalist and broadcaster
You can also read a round-up of the latest reviews of The Many Worlds of Albie Bright on the Toppsta Children's Books website here and I loved taking part in the #KidLitReaders chat about the book which is storified here. I’m so grateful to all the reviewers who have shared their thoughts on The Many Worlds of Albie Bright and if any reviewers felt able to cross-post their review on the websites of online retailers such as Amazon, Waterstones etc. I’d really appreciate this, as sometimes these websites are the places where readers learn about new books for the first time.
Finally, I’m thrilled that The Many Worlds of Albie Bright has been shortlisted for the New Children’s Fiction Awards, run by Teach Primary magazine. It has been shortlisted in the KS2 category alongside some wonderful books and authors, so please keep your fingers crossed for Albie! The winners and runners up will be announced in the June edition of Teach Reading and Writing magazine.
Edinburgh International Book Festival,
Cirencester Children's Book Week,
Tim Peaks Diner,
The Many Worlds of Albie Bright,
New Children's Fiction Awards