Christopher Edge on Black Hole Cinema Club and sci-fi books for early teens

Black Hole Cinema Club by Christopher Edge. Book cover and author photo.
Our Macaw subscribers are heading off on an epic sci-fi adventure this month with Black Hole Cinema Club, the gripping new book by Christopher Edge, in which Lucas and his friends find themselves swept up in a jet-black tidal wave that comes crashing out of the cinema screen at the Black Hole Cinema Club. Leaping from one epic movie to the next, Lucas must unravel the mystery of what's really going on and find a way to save himself and his friends. It's an all-action, wildly imaginative adventure - the Parrot Street crew had a sneak peek and LOVED it! Here Christopher tells us what inspired the book and which other sci-fi books for tweens and teens he recommends you read next.

What inspired you to write Black Hole Cinema Club?

I remember my brother, Nick, taking me to the cinema when we were growing up to watch the Steven Spielberg film, E.T. As the film began, I remember the darkness suddenly filling with stars and found myself swept into the story on the screen. Looking back now what I remember most vividly are snapshots of scenes and the emotions these made me feel. Joy. Wonder. Excitement. Fear. I remember shedding a tear as Elliott reached out his hand towards a dying E.T. and how my heart soared as their BMX bike flew in front of the moon. It was a movie and it moved me, transporting me into a whole new world and, with Black Hole Cinema Club, I wanted to write a story that captured the immersiveness of cinema.

We love the movie references! How did you decide which movie genres to include?

From spy movies to sci-fi films, jungle adventures to monster movies, I wanted to take the readers of Black Hole Cinema Club on a cinematic rollercoaster ride with action and excitement galore, cliffhanger scenes and surprises, and a homage or two to some of my favourite films. The movies that Lucas and his friends experience in the Black Hole Cinema Club link to the twists and turns of the plot, with each scene building up to a big climax. As Lucas says in the story, sometimes it seems like every movie we watch is about the end of the world…

And which is your favourite?

I loved writing them all, especially the monster movie where Lucas and co are searching for the legendary Leviathan which homages both Jurassic Park and Jaws, but my very favourite scene to bring to life comes near the end of the story in a short chapter which almost felt like a Christopher Nolan movie when I was writing it and which has a blockbuster special effects budget to match!

Which character did you most enjoy writing and why?

At different times in the story, each character gets the chance to take the lead, and I had a lot of fun making Finn the star of his own Indiana Jones style movie, while Caitlin makes a great super-spy in the mould of James Bond, but I think Lucas was probably my favourite character to write. The reader experiences the Black Hole Cinema Club through Lucas’s eyes so he’s always at the centre of the action in the story, but he’s also a character who seems to searching for his own starring role and is always questioning what’s really happening inside the Black Hole Cinema Club.

What do you think is the most important lesson the group learns from their experiences?

When we step inside a cinema, we escape from the world, but so often the movies we watch show us heroes who are trying to save the world and they show us why it’s a world worth saving. I think the lesson that Lucas and his friends gain from their experiences is that it’s never too late to take action and that they’ve got the power to save the day, and I hope this is a message that readers take away from the story too.

Why did you decide to write books for this age group?

Sometimes I think the ambition you find in children’s literature outstrips that found in adult fiction. One of the things I like best about writing stories for young readers is that they’re a fearless audience, who will go with you anywhere if you can deliver on giving them a great story. From quantum physics to black holes, these are readers who are hungry for big ideas and stories that reveal the wonder in the world, so it’s real honour to write for this audience.

Do you have a favourite place to write?

In the best tradition of Roald Dahl and Charles Dickens I have an office at the bottom of my garden that I retreat to. When I’m writing the first draft of a story I like to immerse myself in this writing full-time, but other times I’ll be travelling to events with a notebook handy so I can keep scribbling away on the move and actually think I do some of my best writing on trains!

What other sci-fi books for tweens and early teens would you recommend our subscribers read next?

I think there are so many great sci-fi books for young readers out there and I’d recommend Phoenix by S.F. Said, Orion Lost by Alastair Chisholm, and The Infinite by Patience Agbabi to start with and, of course, you could read more of my books such as Escape Room, The Infinite Lives of Maisie Day and The Many Worlds of Albie Bright too to name but a few!


Copies of our Black Hole Cinema Club pack, including a copy of the book and loads of fun activities to go with it, are now available for individual purchase. Grab a copy while stocks last!

This post includes affiliate links to our page, meaning we receive a small percentage of the sale should you purchase through them. Additionally, a percentage from all sales on the platform goes directly to local UK bookshops which is an initiative we're delighted to support!


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