Retired HYLTON SMITH is set to follow in the literary footsteps of his science fiction hero.
The little-known author is winning a strong following among sci-fi fans with his latest exploration into other worlds.
His new book, THE DARWINIAN EXTENSION - INITIATION, is part one of a trilogy set 25 years in the future and light years into space.
The story is a thriller in the spirit of science fiction legend Sir Arthur C Clarke, famous for the cult novel 2001: A Space Odyssey.
An unplanned early retirement in 1993, at the age of 52, led Hylton to pick up the pen and challenge one of the book world's most competitive markets.
The father of one cites Clarke as a major inspiration behind his work, but insists the radical view of what lies ahead for the human race is his own.
"I was determined to embrace my retirement and I'd always liked writing since school, and have a love of science fiction," said Hylton of Rowlands Gill, Gateshead. "I think we have difficult situations to face in the future because of consumerism. I think manned missions to places we have not been before will be necessary in the next 50 or 100 years.
The book tells of an interaction with another life form which can help us if we wish it to. We aren't talking about monsters, but a sophisticated form of life."
Hylton's literary bow came in 2008 with the release of THE PREDICAMENT OF REDWOOD PADDOCK, a political satire on the state of the British Government.
Source: Evening Chronicle.