“A Thrilling Piece of Storytelling” The Sunday Times

09:07

12 APRIL 1961

A young Russian sits on top of the most powerful rocket in the world.
His name is Yuri Gagarin.
And in the next few minutes he will change history.
On its 60th anniversary a new book published by Harper Collins tells the thrilling story behind the world’s first human spaceflight.
beyond book image
BEYOND by New York Times
bestselling author
Stephen Walker

“The most gripping, exciting and intense book  I have read in the year that I have been interviewing writers on this show.
Just a wonderful book, I can't recommend it enough."

Giles Coren,  Times Radio

EXPLORE HUMANITY’S GREATEST ADVENTURE

Twenty-seven-years old, a loyal communist and father of two, Yuri Gagarin blasts into the skies inside a tiny cannonball-shaped capsule at the top of a modified Soviet R-7 missile – replacing the nuclear warhead it was originally designed for.  

Eleven minutes later he is in orbit, travelling at ten times the speed of a rifle bullet. The first human ever to leave the planet.
5 stars for telegraph review

“Always thrilling … brings a huge amount
that is fresh and new to our understanding
of the Space Race.”

DAILY TELEGRAPH

April 1961

The darkest days of the Cold War.

The
USA and USSR confront each other across an Iron Curtain.
 
Their new battleground is
space.

TWO TEAMS ARE TRAINING 
TOWARDS
THAT GOAL

In THE US THERE
ARE SEVEN 
AStRONAUTS

In the USSR there are twenty cosmonauts

TWO TEAMS ARE TRAINING 
TOWARDS
THAT GOAL

In THE USA THERE
ARE SEVEN 
AStRONAUTS

In the USSR there are twenty cosmonauts

The AMERICANS are national celebrities.

The SOVIETS are a state secret.

Both teams are racing To REACH SPACE FIRST.
Photograph of the explosion of Juno 2 - July 16, 1959

AND The race will come
down to the wire

See Beyond

Watch the introductory video by author Stephen Walker

“Exciting and fascinating.
I loved every word."

Laura Shepard - Churchley,
daughter of Alan Shepard, America's first astronaut.

Beyond has the exhilaration
of a fine thriller - brought sympathetically,
and sometimes tragically, to life."

Colin Thubron,
author of Shadow of the Silk Road

"an exhilarating journey into space.
BEYOND is a dramatic tour de force."

Mark Bostridge,
author of The Fateful Year: England 1914

“Vivid... Dramatic.
This entertaining history
achieves lift off."

Publishers Weekly

“Stephen Walker
mixes screenplay-like dynamism
with forensic detail to produce an account
that captures a pivotal moment in time."

BBC History Magazine


“Outstanding”

Soldier Magazine

“The very best account of Yuri Gagarin’s space mission.
A wonderfully rendered story of an epochal event."
Asif Siddiqi, author of Challenge to Apollo  

"Cinematic."

THE SPECTATOR

DISCOVER THE inside story of the event that shook the world

Beyond by Stephen Walker. Book artwork - published by Harper Collins
BEYOND by New York Times bestselling author Stephen Walker

Published by Harper Collins
Buy NowRead an Excerpt

"This book is a triumph."

Dan Snow,  History Hits