In the last 40 years the planets have been revealed in their full glory, unmasked by a fleet of satellites and interplanetary probes. And the closer we look, the more astonishing they are: Mars' deserts were once home to rivers and oceans; on Jupiter wind speeds reach 10,000 kph (6,000 mph) and storms rage for centuries; Saturn is surrounded by a swarm of 34 moons; and diamonds are believed to rain from Neptune's blue skies. Moving out from the Sun, every planet and moon is visited in a journey that takes us a full light year into space, out to the fringes of the solar system where the Sun is no longer the brightest star in the sky. With 200 spectacular images, The Planets follows the tracks of robotic rovers over Mars, plunges through Titan's atmosphere on the back of the Hugyens probe, smashes into a comet with Deep Impact, and voyages to the edge of our solar system to discover the frozen planets that lurk beyond the orbit of Pluto.
Hello, and thanks for visiting my page on Author Central. I'm a freelance writer and editor, specializing in astronomy and physics - though I've also worked on many other subjects, and as a general editor in illustrated reference publishing. Over the years I've written for everything from multi-volume encyclopedias to websites, multimedia CD-Roms (remember them?) and magazines.
Subjects I've written about include space technology, astronomy and physics, geology, palaeontology, climate, the history of science, archaeology, and architecture. I've also written at a variety of levels, from the 8-12 agegroup up to adult books.
As well as writing, I've worked as an editor, both in-house and out-of-house, for a variety of publishing houses since the mid-1990s. Some of these have been science-related, while others have simply involved my project-management and general editorial skills.
For the past few years, I've also been a partner, with m'colleague Tim Brown, in a book packaging and illustration business called Pikaia Imaging. We specialize in astronomical and scientific imagery, offering a combination of scientific nouse and visual flair in one place, and have also found ways of working computerized data processing into artworks such as star maps. For more on all this, see the Pikaia website.
When I'm not writing for the day job, I enjoy film, theatre and cult TV, travel, natural history, Forteana and writing for pleasure - and needless to say I'm working on a novel and a couple of screenplays in my spare time...