Galactic Keegan: The Novel

By Scott Innes

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The year: 2023. After Earth is decimated by pestilence and war, mankind attempts to colonise a distant planet. Here, Kevin Keegan sets up his new football academy...

Publication date: May 2020
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About the book

The near future. Earth has been invaded by an aggressive, imperialistic alien race known as the L’zuhl, who have laid waste to the galaxy for centuries. Those humans lucky enough to have survived have been evacuated to the most distant reaches of space to rebuild and fight back against the L’zuhl onslaught. On the distant planet of Palangonia, in a large walled compound that houses the new human colony, there lives the former Newcastle United and England manager Kevin Keegan, the manager of Palangonia FC. As the war rages, Keegan just wants to focus on the most important things – picking up three points on Saturday – but constantly finds himself sucked into the battle against the L’zuhl, whether he likes it or not. And now, with whispers of a L’zuhl spy on the loose in the compound, it falls to Keegan himself to find the culprit before it’s too late...

Galactic Keegan: The Novel

Galactic Keegan (@GalacticKeegan) began in early 2014 as an attempt to finally answer the age-old question, “What would happen if the world ended and the beloved former Newcastle United, Fulham, Manchester City and England manager Kevin Keegan began coaching a football team in deep-space sometime in the near future?” Since then the tale has expanded to become a chronicle of the bitter galactic war between the Alliance and the evil L’zuhl as they attempt to lay waste to the cosmos, with an expanding cast of characters sharing the vast human compound on the distant planet of Palangonia, all either helping or hindering Keegan’s attempts to mount a challenge for the title in Galactic League C.

The idea for the Twitter account came to me during a slow afternoon at work, when I began to reminisce about Kevin Keegan’s brilliant “Entertainers” at Newcastle in the Nineties and I wondered where the man himself was these days. “He could be in outer space nowadays for all I know,” I thought… and a seed was planted.

I decided right from the off that I wanted the humour to be gentle and warm-natured, without featuring swearing or mean-spiritedness, perhaps because my mental image of Keegan was of a kind, decent man who would frown upon such things and would want to live his life in the best and purest way possible. I also wanted the account to feature more than just gags or observations about football, I wanted to tell an ongoing story with stakes, cliffhangers and characters people might even grow to care about – all assuming that it developed any kind of following at all. Thankfully, somehow, it did and to this day nothing cheers me up more than to hear from people who have become immersed in the fate of Keegan, his loyal No 2 Gerry Francis, his robot coach Barrington12, Gillian the academy chair, Laika the first dog in space turned respected political leader, General Leigh the antagonistic compound leader and the Great Betrayer himself, Richard Madeley, who defected to the L’zuhl immediately following their invasion of Earth.

It may sound silly, but I’ve felt a real responsibility toward those who have invested their time in Keegan’s adventures, some of whom have been following the account for many years, and have always wanted to do the story justice. To have an opportunity to expand the story beyond the realms of Twitter and into an actual novel would be, without question, a dream come true for me.

But I’ll need your help to make this a reality

And so, if you’re a long-time follower of the account then I can promise this parody will contain everything you know and enjoy about the Twitter version, the only difference being that the book will have sentences longer than 240 characters. There may be one or two familiar elements but this is not just a re-print of existing tweets – it’s a whole new story in the form of a full novel. If, on the other hand, you’ve never even heard of Galactic Keegan before and think “I’m not even a football fan, is this really for me? Is this writer on drugs?” then the answers to those two questions are as follows:

  1. If you enjoy science-fiction, comedy and entertaining stories filled with twists and turns, drama and excitement, pathos and humour, then yes: this book is absolutely for you. As has always been the case with the Twitter version, I really want Galactic Keegan’s story to be accessible to anyone, whether they’re into football or not.
  2. No.

But hey, don’t just take my word for it – here’s what Galactic Keegan himself has to say:

“For me, this story could outshine all the greats from throughout literary history – eclipsing the likes of War & Peace, David Copperfield, Lord of the Rings, The Great Gatsby and Steven Gerrard: My Story. For people to be able to read about what really goes on out here in the arse-end of space would make all of the struggles and hardships worthwhile. Look, these Unbound people will probably want me to cheapen myself and say, ‘I will love it if you pledge towards this book – love it!’ but I’m not going to give them the satisfaction, frankly. All I’ll say is, if you’re asking the question ‘Will this book be the greatest sci-fi comedy adventure story about a manager trying to run a football club against a backdrop of a civilisation torn asunder by the ravages of a brutal intergalactic war?’ then listen: that’s for others to say. But yes.”

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