Author: Alastair Swinnerton
Genre: Fantasy/SciFi Blend (Time Travel with Fantasy Elements)
Books: The Multiverse of Max Tovey of The Hamdun Chronicles
Alastair has been writing for children’s television for over twenty five years. Among his many credits are ‘The Wombles’, ‘Sabrina, Secrets of a Teenage Witch’, and the Bafta-nominated CBBC Christmas Special ‘The Tale of Jack Frost’, which he wrote, co-produced and co-directed. He was also one the co-creators of Lego® Bionicle®. ‘The Multiverse of Max Tovey’ is his first Young Adult novel.
*Earned nominations for Best Animation at the BAFTAs and Best TV Special at the Pulcinella Awards in 2005 for The Tale of Jack Frost.
* Won Top-performing series on CITV for the summer of 2000 and received a special mention for graphics at the Pulcinella Awards in 2000 for his television show The Baskervilles, a cartoon series that developed a large cult following in the early 2000s.
*Emmy nominated in 1998 and won the 1998 New York Film & TV Festival Award for Best Children’s Program ages 2-6 for his work on Season 2 and 3 of The Disney Channel’s Amazing Animals.
* Nominated for an Irish Film & TV Award for Best Animation in 2008 for his work on Wobbly Land.
Fourteen year old Max Tovey’s world is blown apart when he discovers that his problems are nothing to do with him, and everything to do with being a Time Traveller. Following his mysterious grandfather’s funeral, Max finds himself on a wild journey through first century Celtic Britain, real and mythological, as his every action threatens to change the past, and his future.
Max battles demons – both real and psychological – on his mission to find the legendary Montacute Cross, stolen by his Viking ancestor Tofig, in order to close the gates to the Underworld, and lift the curse on his family.
“Exciting… A Heart-racing Romp through Time”
–Alex Marwood, Edgar Award-winning author of ‘The Wicked Girls’
“This book was great, overall. Fun, a little dark, and I would buy it for every kid I know if I could! 4/5–fun and deep.”
—Kelly Smith Reviews
Max felt a little faint, almost like he’d just stepped off a boat and the world was still rocking back and forth.
“It will stop soon,” said someone behind him. Max turned, to see a man with short, well-cut blonde hair dressed in a smart dark blue suit.
“That feeling in your head. It will stop soon.”
Max looked around at his new surroundings, a white-painted room full of monitors, and a big window looking out onto what looked like hospital beds, their occupants seemingly asleep, attached to all manner of wires and tubes. A man in shirt sleeves came into the room and stopped and stared as he saw Max. “He’s here?” said the man in alarm. He sat down at the monitors quickly, checking the sleepers’ vital functions.
“It’s alright Wilson – Stenton brought him in. He had to think quickly.”
“Where am I?” said Max. “And who are you?”
“I am Major Willoughby, and you are in the TRD. Time Research Department. Welcome Max – we’ve been following your life since, well since it began really.”
“Time Research Department?” said Max, a little cynicism creeping into his voice. “What, like a government department? Are you a secret agent or something?”
The Major laughed. “No Max, nothing so glamorous I’m afraid. This isn’t Doctor Who.”
Now Max looked closer at the occupant of one of the beds.
“That’s Nick! What’s he doing in that bed? He just rescued me from…”
“Yes, we saw. We can see everything The Dreamers do in these monitors here.”
Max stared at the Major, then held his hand up, taking a minute to try to work things out. But he couldn’t.
“Nick is a time traveller, as are the other five. Somehow they access the Multiverse – the infinite possible futures of the Fifth Dimension, and the alternative Presents of the Sixth. Like you, they have something missing in their brains that makes us see Time as a straight line – but unlike you, they can’t Travel when they’re awake. Only you can do that, that we know of, except of course your late grandfather, and anyone who has The Majyga. And so they sleep, and dream, and through them we make sure the Past, and the Present, remains stable. Which we have done – until now.”
“Where do they come from?”
“Percy found them shortly after he started Travelling himself,” said the Major. “He was still working for Intelligence as a code breaker then. Things kept changing in history, and he couldn’t work out why – then he found these guys. They didn’t even know they were doing it at first, but slowly they realised, and started taking advantage, changing history for their own ends. Percy tracked them down, one by one, and brought them to us. We were a dream research establishment at the time, but he realised we – and these Travellers – could be put to work for the good of the world, changing it subtly to right historical wrongs.”
Max was struggling. “So, you are government then…?”
“Well, a few people in various governments know about us, yes. But they don’t interfere. We rather scare them.”