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It would be nice if all these things weren’t happening simultaneously so I could spread the euphoria out over an extended period. But there are two other fairly momentous things going on in my life at the moment. One is the airing of the TV series I wrote for Sam Neill that screens on Foxtel’s History Channel on August 27, The Pacific: In the Wake of Captain Cook with Sam Neill. A little taste of what you can expect to see can be found here.

The other thing is the weighty tome I wrote to accompany the series that’s being published by Harper Collins. Hardcover, coloured illustrations and everything. It’s going to be released in a matter of days. For those of you who don’t want to incur chiropractic fees by carrying the printed version around with you, it’s also available in e-form. Because of course it is. All details available here, including a sample chapter to whet your collective appetites.

This is what it’s about:

A rich, complex and engaging account of Cook’s voyages across the Pacific, from actor and raconteur Sam Neill, in which Sam Neill retraces Cook’s footsteps, in the 250th anniversary year of Cook’s first voyage.

Captain James Cook first set sail to the Pacific in 1768 – 250 years ago. These vast waters, one third of the earth’s surface, were uncharted – but not unknown. A rich diversity of people and cultures navigated, traded, lived and fought here for thousands of years. Before Cook, the Pacific was disconnected from the power and ideas of Europe, Asia and America. In the wake of Cook, everything changed.

The Pacific with Sam Neill is the companion book to the Foxtel documentary series of the same name, in which actor and raconteur Sam Neill takes a deeply personal, present-day voyage to map his own understanding of James Cook, Europe’s greatest navigator, and the immense Pacific Ocean itself.

Voyaging on a wide variety on vessels, from container ships to fishing trawlers and sailing boats, Sam crosses the length and breadth of the largest ocean in the world to experience for himself a contemporary journey in Cook’s footsteps, engaging the past and present in both modern and ancient cultural practice and peoples.

Fascinating, engaging, fresh and vital – this is history – but not as you know it.

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