All Writers Are Avatars
Going Cosmic.


NASA may be putting its shuttle program to bed, but the adventure of traveling to a galaxy far, far away is far from taking a rest. Boys and girls may not know Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin like they used to, but these men live vividly in the imaginations of Boomers like Frank Cottrell Boyce. Boyce, a best-selling children’s author (including Carnegie Medal–winning Millions) and screenplay writer, among other things, has a new book out, Cosmic. But I’ll stop there and let him tell you some more. Boyce recently talked to National Review Online about Cosmic, writing, and some other little things like fatherhood and faith.

KATHRYN JEAN LOPEZ: How do you describe Cosmic to people?

FRANK COTTRELL BOYCE: Cosmic is the story of a boy called Liam who has a massive growing spurt (his Dad says, “That’s not a growth spurt, that’s a mutation”) just before starting high school. He discovers that he can pass himself off as an adult. At first he just uses this ability to gain extra shopping opportunities (for instance, test-driving a Porsche), but he gets more and more ambitious until he ends up in space.

LOPEZ: Who’s the audience for Cosmic?

BOYCE: Everyone in the whole world! I think it works for grown-ups and children in slightly different ways, and my dream audience is always parents sharing the book with their children.

LOPEZ: Is it more for boys than girls?

BOYCE: Not unless you think the Moon belongs more to boys than it does to girls.

LOPEZ: Do you have a favorite character in Cosmic?

BOYCE: Actually it’s the girl — whose name is Florida. She poses as Liam’s daughter. At first she seems shallow and empty — she’s obsessed with celebrity (she thinks Hitler’s first name was “Heil”) — but she turns out to be smart and courageous.

LOPEZ: A favorite line?

BOYCE: I believe in the slogan of Infinity Park — “The World is My Thrill Ride” — but my favorite scene is when Liam accidentally takes morning assembly in school and tries to get everyone to walk out and go to all the amazing places in the World right now. “These places are not in Narnia. They’re in our World. We can get to them on the bus. OK, it’ll take a lot of buses . . .”



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