Astronomy is another form of cinema. Time is fragmented and extended. Matter becomes light in motion. The camera remains fixed, looking outwards into the darkness, while the earth moves beneath our feet.’
I am pleased to announce that I have a new book out, published by Strange Attractor Press, and it is officially launched today. There will be an event at the Royal College of Art this evening. You can RSVP by clicking on this link - the password is SPACEORACLE@RCA.
I will be posting further background information and illustrations from the book on this blog in the coming weeks, but in the meantime here is an overview, plus some comments on the book from higher sources.
The Space Oracle reinvents the history of astronomy as a new kind of astrological calendar. This radical retelling of our relationship with the cosmos reaches back to places and times when astronomers were treated as artists or priests, to when popes took part in astral rites and the common people feared eclipses and comets as portents of disaster. Panoramic and encyclopaedic in its scope, the book brings astronauts and spies, engineers and soldiers, goddesses and satellites into alignment with speculative insights and everyday observations. The universe, Hollings argues, is a work in progress – enjoy it.
As astronomers have peered ever further out into the cosmos their discoveries have always refused to remain confined within observatory walls. The Space Oracleshows what happens when astronomy escapes into the wider human world, and finds purposes beyond the scientific. As Ken Hollings points out, ‘the further into space we go, the more we learn about ourselves’ – Marek Kukula, Public Astronomer, Royal Observatory Greenwich
‘Continuing the trajectory set in Welcome To Mars and Bright Labyrinth, A Space Oracle revolts magnificently against the fault-lines of contemporary learning. Within the courtly form of a Renaissance almanac, and in a voice that echoes the recursive wanderings of a comet, Hollings gives us a vision of humanity endlessly making sense of the heavens. As he goes he shows us how the stars appear from Tycho Brahe’s Uraniborg and Wernher von Braun’s Peenemünde, from the branches of Yggdrasil and the helter-skelter at Luna Park. I loved it, but then I would say that; I’m a Plutonian’ – Richard Barnett, author of The Sick Rose
‘Reading Ken Hollings is the intellectual equivalent of being fired from the space-module for a non-stop EVA’ – Tom McCarthy, author ofMen in Spaceand Satin Island
The Space Oracle
A Guide to Your Stars
Available from Strange Attractor Press