Tuesday 22 August 2017

Intergalactic Travel Bureau Vacation Guide to the Solar System by Olivia Koski, Jana Grcevich and Steve Thomas (Square Peg Publishing)

It's definitely been an interesting year for boundary-pushing fusions between fiction and non fiction. This particular one is very interesting indeed! Let's take a tour of the Solar System, Package Holiday stylee!
When we were contacted about "Intergalactic Travel Bureau Vacation Guide to the Solar System" and read the presser, we knew this one was definitely for us.

We love space, we love science fiction - but above all we love to see books taking us in new directions with our favourite subjects and I don't think I'd ever seen anything quite like this before.

Olivia, Jana and Steve take us on a whistle stop tour of all the planets in our solar system (and quite a few of the more interesting moons orbiting those planets too).

Presented in a glossy hardback travel brochure style, it's instantly eye-catching and engaging - recalling those fabulous concept paintings you used to see in the early to mid part of the 20th Century as scientists and artists tried to imagine what Earth would look like from space, or what the surface of the other planets in our Solar System looked like (take a look at the work of folk like Chesney Bonestell as a great example of the sort of thing we're talking about).

Of course, thanks to space science we now know what a lot of those worlds look like - and the book includes some fantastic renderings and photographs to compliment the more stylish graphic art representations of planetary landscapes and skyscapes too.

Though the book is part fictionalised travel guide, it presents amazing space facts and stats about planets and space missions to compliment the flight of fantasy. I love the idea of 'learning by stealth' and could well imagine this being the sort of book that would be a great fit for anyone (adult or child) who doesn't mind fiction but really finds non-fiction a bit dry and unapproachable.

It's a brilliantly original idea and the team have pulled it off with aplomb. If this is the sort of book that new imprint Square Peg are going to be putting out in future, we'll be keeping a very close eye on their publications. This really is superb.

"Intergalactic Travel Bureau Vacation Guide to the Solar System" by Olivia Koski, Jana Grcevich and Steve Thomas is out now, published by Square Peg Publishing (kindly supplied for review).