Chris Hadfield: an author with global vision

Stephen King has written that books are a "uniquely portable magic". Yet some books force us to redefine the type and level of the magic which lay within their pages. Broadening horizons, educating and entertaining, the very best books bring us something unique. A magic to be taken with us, and a glow to last long after.

Ordinarily, perhaps historically, the news that the former Commander of the International Space Station was to publish a second book might excite a decent amount of people. It might not necessarily grab the attention some would feel such news deserves.

Yet the announcement that the former Commander Chris Hadfield is to publish his second book is most certainly attracting attention.

Hatfield, now retired, achieved his dreams and probably more than he ever dreamed about. As a boy he watched the moon landing and wanted nothing more than to following in the footsteps of his heroes. He joined the Canadian astronaut program in 1992 and flew into space aboard the STS-75 shuttle three years later.

In April 2001 he first visited the International Space Station, embarking on a space-walk to help install the 'Canadarm2' - a crucial bit of equipment for logistical and maintenance operations, otherwise known as the Mobile Servicing System.

As if to better enhance and brighten his later glorious views of Earth and space from orbit, he suffered a problem. While working to attach the Canadarm2 Hadfield went temporarily blind. In both eyes. Due to an anti-fogging agent Hadfield temporarily lost his sight while on a space-walk. It sounds absolutely terrifying, although he has recently said such issues are prepared for in training.

Twelve years later Hadfield would see beauty and capture imaginations on a global scale, sharing pictures of his views from space with us on Earth. Having joined the ISS on expedition 34 in December 2012, he became Commander of the Station in March 2013.

Clearly things are just a bit more eye-catching from space, and Hadfield made full artistic use of his time:

Naturally, space provides a simply astounding view on things; something the former Commander has conveyed wonderfully since his return to Earth:

"It's an entirely different perspective, you're not looking up at the and the Earth are going through the universe together.

And you're holding on with one hand, looking at the world turn beside you.

It's...roaring silently with colour and texture as it pours by just mesmersingly next to you."

It's that colour and texture, shown through the many beautiful images posted to his Twitter profile, which have captured the attention of millions. Pictures of deserts, lakes, cities and fault lines shown as only an astronaut sees them. Yes, space is different. "You see a sunrise or a sunset every 45 minutes", Hadfield told the audience at a TedX talk.

Some of what he's seen - in many photos the world has yet to - will make it into his second book, You Are Here: Around the World in 92 Minutes. The title will be the follow up to 2013's An Astronaut's Guide To Life.

Pan Macmillan's Jon Butler imprint has acquired UK and commonwealth rights and, just as King wrote, we can expect some "uniquely portable magic". Perhaps magic like no other. The book will feature stunning images, as well as engaging and - hopefully - captivating commentary.

Now unfortunately Chris Hadfield was unavailable for comment for this feature. Because we didn't even try to get hold of him.

We know he's busy in any case. After all, he has a lot of exquisite and awe-inspiring images to work through.