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Illustrator and Author Alex Latimer Presents His Debut Novel, The Space Race

The Space RaceNew from Umuzi, The Space Race by Alex Latimer:

Vastrap. Our very own nuclear testing site, so far into the desert that the Russians and the Americans don’t even have a clue about it. You don’t mess with an Afrikaner, not if you don’t want to get a proper klap.

An unauthorised nuclear blast beyond belief at Vastrap Airbase outside Upington not only winds up the Americans, but also launches Africa’s first spacecraft. Pro­pelled by an engine harnessing the power of a nuclear bomb never disarmed in the eighties, the rocket leaves Earth without its pilot or crew. But how did this spaceship, designed by the previous government to extend the Afrikaner’s history as a nation of pioneers, survive? And more pressingly, who’s working its joystick?

Small-time journalist Greg Hall sets out to uncover the details of the ship that has captured the world’s imagination. In the wreckage of the blast, he discovers a man badly burnt and almost dead. A man who has an alarming story to tell and a frightening plan of his own.

Funny and thrilling, The Space Race twinkles with its author’s humour and trademark irony.

About the author

Alex Latimer is an illustrator and author based in Cape Town whose picture books are published here and abroad. With his brother Patrick, he created the Business Day cartoon The Western Nostril. He is also the author and illustrator of The South African Alphabet and From Aardvark to Zuma. The Space Race is his first novel.

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