It's the last of the three trilogies and its publication will allow me a year off writing but learning how to paint properly and learn that computer language I've been worrying at for ages. No, not C++ I've long realised that I'm far too stupid for that one.
Anyhow, here is the first page. I'm concerned that the first reference to their recent space travelling doesn't come til almost page three.
One‘David, your ear’s on fire.’
After almost an hour of the gentle, almost apologetic groans of the ancient school quietly rotting about them, the Victorian classroom shook to the onslaught of the stentorian voice. Even the eternal rumbling of Derrick’s cavernous stomach was stilled; an event sufficiently noteworthy to attract shock and awe in the natural course of events - but not today. This unnatural stillness continued for several seconds as one by one, thirty two heads eagerly swivelled towards the scene of impending doom.
The new teacher had spoken.
Just one more in a long line of replacement teachers, all had possessed their own unique peculiarities. Some had been nasty, some creepy, while others had been downright crazy and the unfortunate episode of one being forcibly removed in a straight jacket by the police was an event still hotly debated in the school toilets.
This particular temp liked to make jokes which weren’t even the slightest bit funny, being all grown up and rubbish. And this was the paradox: if they didn’t laugh at his peculiar version of humour he would fly into one of those perplexing adult rages; stomping about the room and threatening all manner of diabolical punishments. Yet if they did politely titter he would immediately order them all to shut up, usually throwing in fifty lines just to prove his mystifying point. You just couldn’t win with him. In fact he was so weird that even Sad-case, quite happy to make fun of anyone, any time, had been reduced to utter confusion by the terminally strange person who’d invaded the previous peace of their classroom - and his personal domain.
For another ten seconds or so the intense silence held as every child unashamedly gloated over the unlucky recipient of the strange man’s even stranger humour. Until finally Mr Crowther, perhaps irked at the lack of response, slammed a skeletal hand down on his table, instantly jumping back in alarm as the ruler he’d just spent five minutes balancing on the pencil sharpener, shot up and biffed him on the end of his large, veiny nose.
This is the cover I may use. It's not a photo I ripped off the net, but all my own work - hence the year off to learn how to paint.