Breakaway: 1977 by R. M. Kozan
Publication Date: 13 September 2013



RAVES

"A fiercely compelling read ... a truly creative writer who brings to life real characters across a blazing backdrop of imagination."
Sylvia Anderson, co-creator of Space: 1999

"An ambitious quest to explore the possibilities of the human condition ... recommended."
-Bookideas.com

"Profoundly truthful"
Robert E. Wood, author of Destination: Moonbase Alpha

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BACK COVER BLURB

What would happen if you were suddenly cut off from the one lifeline that kept you sane in an unbearable situation? Lionel O Neill is forced to wander hostile environments and alien situations as his life deteriorates and a cold, menacing existential void craves his bones.

This century-spanning epistolary tale of devotion and madness reveals the teenagers of 1977 to be just as media and music-obsessed as modern youth.

In Breakaway: 1977, middle-school diaries and audio transcripts document teenage angst and delusion, the adolescent conflict between free will and destiny, and ultimately, outline a subtly satiric murder mystery amid a context of science fiction fandom.

Included are detailed analyses of Space: 1999 episodes, a previously unreleased interview with Barry Morse, and the secrets of potatoes.

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ADDITIONAL DESCRIPTION

Breakaway: 1977 takes place in 1970s Saskatchewan and concerns three teenagers in the throes of identity formation who form a close bond based on their mutual social ostracism and love of science, science fiction, philosophy, and heavy rock music. Their fascination with the British TV series Space: 1999 is strongly evident.

Breakaway: 1977 traces the downward trajectory of character Lionel O’Neill, an intelligent and sensitive teenager from a troubled home. When his much-loved older brother Jerry disappears, Lionel suspects his own secrets might have played a role. Thus begins his descent into madness and murder.

Breakaway: 1977 consists of diary entries, transcripts of recorded conversations (some surreptitious), summaries and commentaries on particular Space: 1999 episodes, plus later-day commentaries by the three teenagers at various points in their adult lives. The final entry is from the year 2077.

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REVIEW OF Breakaway: 1977

Breakaway: 1977, by R. M. Kozan, consists of an interesting storyline told within an unusual diary framework. In essence, a group of socially outcast young adults in Junior High share their joys of watching the fantasy world of Space: 1999 unfold throughout the program’s run, but as the series itself nears its inevitable end, so too do their young lives move uncontrollably from the shelter of childhood towards the harsh shocks of the "real" world, and their loss of innocence is compounded by the descent of one of their own into drugs, paranoia and madness following various personal and family troubles. As their lives mimic art, these youths face perilous circumstances and shocking revelations, as do their heroes on Moonbase Alpha.

Breakaway: 1977 is a weighty read, in both length and theme. The characters are at times obsessed with the minutia of their surroundings ... but the minutia, and the teenage discussions on philosophy and music - or even their discussions of Space: 1999 itself - are not what make this book fascinating. The interest in Breakaway: 1977 is in its overall story arc as a tragedy.

In one of the more profoundly truthful moments of the book, Kozan has one of his characters express this powerful thought: "Loss of illusion can be devastating. There is no going back. You can only go forward with the truth you have found, which is probably an illusion too."

I think that Kozan’s book reinforces that the best life choice is to not succumb to the so-called "realities" of the world, but to remain an optimist and a dreamer - indeed, to live as your own man - and believe that the future is fantastic, and anything is possible if we just set our minds and our actions towards making it happen.

- Robert E. Wood, author of Destination: Moonbase Alpha

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Trade Paperback (216 x 140 mm)

436 pages $21.99 (Canada/USA)

ISBN 978-0-9920119-0-1 UPC-5: 62199

BISAC: FIC043000 Fiction/Coming of Age