A Bury author says a lifelong love of science fiction books inspired him to write his first novel.

Graham Howarth, 70, began writing his debut novel, Alliance, during the Covid-19 lockdown after being an avid reader of the genre for more than 40 years.

Alliance, which is the first book in the Far Future trilogy, tells the story of Theodore Newsome, a space cadet in training who makes contact with alien life.

The retired headteacher, who worked at Holcombe Brook Primary School for 15 years, said the idea for the trilogy came from a short story he wrote after he retired.

It then became the basis for the trilogy which also includes sequels Containment and Infinity.

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Graham said: “A few years ago I wrote a short story and I wondered whether I could expand it into a novel.

“The character in the original short story is the main character in all three books.

“It starts with him in cadet school in the far future, Earth people have still not come across any other civilisations."

During his cadet training, Theodore makes contact with an alien civilisation that he discovers is being attacked. He and his fellow trainees resolve to help them fight the enemy.

Graham says his love for the genre comes from the possibilities that stories set in the future can hold as well as the element of adventure.

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He said: “I’ve always been interested in sci-fi, I used to collect sci-fi novels.

“I’ve been reading them for 40 odd years and I suppose it is the fact that they’re so different, you can imagine things that just don’t happen on Earth.”

The later books in the series continue to follow Theodore’s quest to save the alien civilisation from their enemy and protect the human race.

Although this is his first novel, the author, who was born-and-bred in Bury, began writing after he retired from teaching seven years ago.

He has also written The Burrs Country Park, Bury which includes a history of the park alongside poems and photos. And he has written his autobiography, If Only I’d Asked.

Alliance is published by Austin Macauley and is available to buy on its website, Amazon and all major booksellers.