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Cover of 'Blast Off At Woomera' Cover of 'Blast Off At 0300'
Dutch language 'Woomera'

Blast Off At Woomera

(US - Blast Off At 0300)
(NL - Ruimtevaarder nummer één - lit "Astronaut Number One")


Publishing details:

UK: Faber 1957, in print until about 1978, h/b.
UK: Faber 1965, p/b.
US: Criterion Books, 1958, h/b.
NL: Prisma Juniores 104, 1960.

Synopsis:

Mysterious domes have been sighted in a crater on the Moon. Suspecting that they may be the work of Communists, the British Government must launch a man into space in order to photograph them from outside the atmosphere. Unfortunately their rocket was not designed to carry a man, and so someone unusually short is required. Enter Chris Godfrey, a four foot ten and a half sixth-former at Wolverton Grammar School. Will he survive the trip? The less than reliable rocket is to be launched from Australia - but there may be a Soviet traitor among the ground crew!

Commentary:

The original, and in many ways the best. The early chapters are superbly evocative of the 50's, complete with Teddy Boys, corner shops, and wonderfully formal dialogue between the main protagonists.
The space flight itself only occupies a small section at the end of the book, but the build up to it is extremely tense and gripping. This is perhaps the most 'adult' of any of the books in the series, relying more on characterisation than on hardware.

Reviews:

The Bulletin & Scots Pictorial
The Bulletin & Scots Pictorial
21st Feb 1957
The Hertfordshire & Hemel Hempstead Gazette
The Hertfordshire &
Hemel Hempstead Gazette
22nd Feb 1957
The Southport Journal
The Southport Journal
22nd Feb 1957
The Fifeshire Advertiser
The Fifeshire Advertiser
23rd Feb 1957
The Newark Herald
The Newark Herald
9th Mar 1957
Newcastle Evening Chronicle
The Newcastle Evening Chronicle
15th Mar 1957
The Glasgow Herald
The Glasgow Herald
21st Mar 1957
Express & Star
Express & Star
1st Apr 1957
Housewife
Housewife
May 1957
The Sheffield Telegraph
The Sheffield Telegraph
4th May 1957
Times Literary Supplement
Times Literary Supplement
31st May 1957
Times Literary Supplement
Courier Mail Brisbane
6th July 1957
The Melbourne Herald
The Melbourne Herald
6th July 1957
Birmingham Post & Gazette
Birmingham Post & Gazette
12th July 1957
The Journal of Education
The Journal of Education
Aug 1957
The Librarian
The Librarian
30th Dec 1957
Unknown
Unknown
1958
US Preview
US Preview
1958
US Preview
Unknown
24th Feb 1958
US
Unknown
15th Mar 1958
US
Unknown
31st May 1958
US
Unknown
1959
Australian Book Review
Australian Book Review
Oct 1965