Author inspired by Highbury for debut sci-fi novel about aliens
- Credit: Tim Pritchard
A former Highbury local has just published a science fiction adventure book set in a place inspired by the borough of Islington.
Interplanetary Homesick Blues, written by Christopher Dicken, is “an escape from the day to day”.
The book focuses on the adventures of Cal, an alien who was illegally smuggled onto earth and is living in secret among humans.
While most other aliens have been put in refugee camps, Cal and his best friend Droov lead a far more exciting underground existence, forced to go on the run from their enemies. The narrative takes them from the hectic streets of London to the mountainous landscape of North Wales.
The setting of the book was inspired by Highbury and locals will appreciate the humour of a scene in which an alien leads “Arsenal fans in an alien support chant”.
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Christopher also emphasised that this book is more than a sci-fi adventure. He said it also portrays “complex adult emotions” by dealing with friendship, loyalty and fear, all aspects of human existence that Christopher discusses through the lives of aliens.
He said Interplanetary Homesick Blues is a book to escape to, adding: “Escapism is often dismissed and belittled as a label for a book or a film because it is not dealing with problems in the world but providing an escape from them.”
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The web designer was inspired by a quote which has been attributed to the 19th century author G.K. Chesterton: "Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten."
Having spent the last few years writing the book after work and on weekends, Christopher was finally able to finish it since the first lockdown of the pandemic.
Christopher said: “[During the first lockdown] I shut myself away, shut out the world, and focused on this imaginary world.”
He continued: “All the problems of lockdown actually gave me an opportunity to get it finished."
Interplanetary Homesick Blues is available for free on Kindle.