John’s debut novel is out of this world!

John Walker , 85, of Luddenden, with his first novel 'Space Trash'
John Walker , 85, of Luddenden, with his first novel 'Space Trash'

A retired engineer has released his début novel at the age of 85.

John Walker worked for the European Space Agency for 20 years and has used that experience in writing Space Trash.

It tells the story of Chas Thomas, who is wrongly convicted of embezzlement in the year 2020.

Rather than going to prison, he chooses the Space Debris programme, where he has to clear the trash floating around the Earth’s orbit.

After teaming up with astronaut Greta Laars, he uncovers a secret conspiracy behind his arrest before the duo return to Earth to try and clear his name.

Mr Walker, who was born in Oldham but has lived in Luddenden for the last nine years, said: “I worked mainly in the field of designing and testing aircraft and satellites.

“One day I had this idea of what if they shot all the nuclear waste into space - that’s what sparked it off.

“It took a couple of years to write but it was good fun.

“I just wanted to give it a go and see what happened but all my friends and family have been very positive about it.”