Professor Kompressor is an inventor. He is excellent at inventing and, even though his ideas don’t always work out as intended, you can’t keep an excellent inventor down.
A slight miscalculation leaves the Professor with time on his hands and he develops an obsession with space.
A flash of inspiration leads to an unexpected invention.
An innocent game triggers a sequence of events that are truly out of this world.
The fourth book in the Professor Kompressor series is set in the hostile environment of outer space. The stakes are higher and the inventions bolder. Lives are at risk in encounters with exploding stars, black holes and, just possibly, alien civilisations.
“Perfect Blend of Zany Adventure & Scientific Fact” – Amazon reviewer
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
When I was working on the previous (third in the series) Professor Kompressor book I started thinking about space. I was tempted to try to write an adventure that involved the kind of things I work with in my actual scientific research; black holes, dead stars, gravity, space and time. It was clear that, if I were to do this it had to be out of this world (hence the title).
Funny enough, I had to do to much more research on this book – even though it involves things I should know back to front.
I am really quite pleased with the end result. There’s a whole lot of space in this book. Some real science and some extraordinary inventions that may seem totally unrealistic but may, in fact, not be that far from reality.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
The inventive Professor was a creation of myself and my daughter – obviously inspired by the many bumbling inventors you will find in kids literature. The main difference is that my Professor often draws on actual science for his ideas. He may get it wrong, but this is where the inspiration comes from.
The other characters in the books complement and support the Professor. Each book introduces a couple of new element. In this recent book that Captain of the ship takes his name of a famous explorer. He balances the Professor by being more down to earth (sorry). The other characters made their first appearances in previous books. I guess the most important are Spot, the Professor’s dog, and Lily, niece of the Professor’s housekeeper. I like the idea of counterbalancing the absent-minded Professor with a sharp girl, aged around 10.
Chapter 1: Space Rocks (excerpt)
Professor Kompressor was sitting on a rock. Staring into space. Literally.
The clarity of the night sky was beyond comprehension. A myriad of stars were twinkling up above and the large yellow moon drifted slowly across the firmament.
The Professor was deep in thought. Had been for hours. He was thinking about space. And all those stars, sparkling like tiny diamonds sprinkled on a dark velvet sheet. The sheer scale of the galaxy and the mere notion that there were countless other galaxies out there. There was a lot of space. Too much to take in.
He found it odd to think there would be stars in every conceivable direction on the sky. Each one shining brightly like the Sun. Yet the night was mostly dark, like a room where the light had been switched off for a very long time. He knew there was an explanation for this, but at first he could not remember. After a bit of rummaging around in forgotten corners of his memory, it came back to him. The light from most of those stars had simply not arrived yet. This made sense, but at the same time it was beyond reason. Light moves at such an unimaginable speed that nothing can catch up with it. If the first light from those distant stars had not arrived yet, they must be incredibly far away. It was difficult to grasp the vastness of the universe. There really was a lot of space out there. Truly awe-inspiring.
The Professor shivered. It was getting chilly and he could not help feeling small. He wrapped the coat tight around himself.
His mind continued to wander, serving up a buffet of random memories from a life-long obsession with space. From the cheap science fiction books that had absorbed him as a young boy to his first peek at Jupiter’s moons through a telescope, the advanced books on astronautics he had poured over as a student and finally the tremendous excitement of seeing man take those first small steps onto the surface of the Moon. All those years ago. He smiled at the thought that some people still insisted it had been a fake, that it had not really happened.
As the scenes flashed before his eyes, reality blended with fiction in an amazing, if somewhat confusing, patchwork.
He had read so many stories set in space. All sorts of adventures involving odd worlds and alternative realities. Advanced civilizations with other-worldly technologies. It was strange to think that people could have such astonishing imagination.
“You could hardly make it up,” he thought, although someone obviously had. “Where do they get it all from?”
Nils Andersson was born in 1964 in a small town in Sweden. He grew up, as people tend to do, formed a range of opinions about this, that and the other, and eventually went to Uppsala University to study physics. Unable to contemplate a real job, he left his homeland after finishing his PhD in 1991. Having roamed the world for a few years, he settled in the United Kingdom where he now works as a professor of Mathematics (not a real job!). He has always loved books, in all shapes and sizes, and probably reads a bit too much for his own good. Most of the stuff he writes can be found in science journals, and tends to be awfully technical (perhaps boring) on things like dead stars, black holes and waves of gravity. This has made him wonder what it would be like to write a “real” book. Maybe one day he will find out…
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