With echoes of Tom Wolfe's The Right Stuff and Richard Yates' Revolutionary Road, The Last Pilot re-ignites the thrill and excitement of the space race through the story of one man's courage in the face of unthinkable loss. Set against the backdrop of one of the most emotionally charged periods in American history, The Last Pilot begins in the bone-dry Mojave Desert during the late 1940s, where US Air Force test pilots are racing to break the sound barrier. Among the exalted few is Jim Harrison: dedicated to his wife, Grace, and their baby daughter. By the 1960s, the space race is underway and Harrison and his colleagues are offered a place in history as the world's first astronauts. But when his young family is thrown into crisis, Jim is faced with a decision that will affect the course of the rest of his life - whether to accept his ticket to the moon and at what cost.
Benjamin Johncock was born in England in 1978. His short stories have been published by The Fiction Desk and The Junket. He is the recipient of an Arts Council England grant, the American Literary Merit Award and won Comma Press's National Short Story Day competition in 2012. He also writes for the Guardian. He lives in Norwich, with his wife, his daughter and his son. The Last Pilot is his first novel.