Friday, 23 July 2010

Space Hop! Interview with Mark Brake

The 2010 Summer Reading Challenge has a science fictional theme as UK libraries blast off on a Space Hop.

Over 700,000 readers are taking part in the mission to read six books from their local library across the summer holidays.

On tour as part of Space Hop are Mark Brake and science rapper Jon Chase, who are ranging far and wide across the UK to promote the Summer Reading Challenge, celebrating science fact as well as science fiction.

Mark and Jon contributed to the BBC's Space Hoppers series, which you can currently catch on CBBC, Sundays at 5.15pm, and there's also a Space Hoppers book.

Mark caught up with Books and Adventures for a brief interview earlier this week.

-You’re on tour with Jon Chase this summer to promote the Summer Reading Challenge. What can people expect from your visits?

A rather quirky fusion of science and music, I guess. The CBBC series upon which my book is based gets young viewers and readers to imagine what it might actually be like to go into space. The human experience of space, if you like. It's an approach that has inspired science fiction for centuries. Science finds out stuff about the universe, and fiction tells tales of the very taste, feeling and meaning of scientific discovery.

-What is Rap Science and how did it begin?
The fictional approach mentioned above is fused with a musical approach. After each tale of adventure we relate to the young readers, Jon retells the details in musical form using rap. It's his own unique fusion of rap to communicate science, which he does very well!

-What books would you choose for your Summer Reading Challenge?
Having read plenty of books to my 5 year-old daughter, I would choose 'Earth Story' by Eric Madden, and 'Moon Man' by David Donohue.

-A lot of science fiction is pretty wild and amazing. How accurate does the science have to be for a sci-fi story to be good?
Not at all. After all, it's fiction, not fact, and the very point is to take our imaginations where science may fear to tread!

To find out more and sign up for a Space Hop today, visit the Challenge site at

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