A boy, struggling with OCD, must journey with his social worker through space to rescue his mother.
Eleven-year-old Rory Hobble has it tough: he gets upsetting thoughts all the time and they won't go away – 'Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)', the head doctors call it. His mum hasn't been very well for a long while either. Perhaps it's his fault... Maybe that's why she doesn't always feed him; maybe that's why she screams at him. At least Rory has his binoculars – gazing at the unchanging stars keeps him calm. But, one night, Rory sees something impossible in the sky: mysterious lights – artificial and definitely not of earthly origin.
When his mum is abducted by the shadowy Whiffetsnatcher, Rory – accompanied by his space-faring, care-experienced social worker, Limmy – travels beyond the Earth, chasing those mysterious lights to the frozen ends of the Solar System. Along the way he must outwit a breakaway human civilisation living on a Martian moon; survive the threat of otherworldly monsters; and learn to speak to alien whales.
But his greatest challenge left Earth with him and it will take all the courage he has not only to overcome his OCD, but to decide whether he wants to rescue an abusive mother if he gets his chance…
© 2019 Eli Allison
© 2019 Eli Allison
As a sufferer of OCD, the author is proudly partnering with the charity, OCD Action (https://www.ocdaction.org.uk/), to raise awareness of the particularly devastating effect the condition has on children. He will be donating, in perpetuity, 15% of all royalties from the book (so long as it is successfully funded) to OCD Action and hopes Rory Hobble and the Voyage to Haligogen will demonstrate to children with OCD that they can be heroes too.
Exo-Easter Egg Challenge
As a little extra, the author has secretly stashed away twenty-five references to science-fiction books, films and games, all waiting to be found within the pages of this novel. If you pledge to Rory Hobble and the Voyage to Haligogen at the ‘Super Patron’ level, or higher, you will receive a list of clues to help you on your way and you will be entered into a competition. The first person to successfully uncover all of the references in the book and contact the author at email@example.com wins a very special prize!
Unofficial Book Soundtrack
Music is an important part of the creative process for the author and many songs have, in some way, inspired him as he wrote. If you pledge to Rory Hobble and the Voyage to Haligogen at the ‘Super Patron’ level, or higher, you will be given exclusive access to the hidden unofficial book soundtrack on YouTube, Spotify and iTunes, featuring one song for every chapter in the book.
It is a sharp November night when Rory Hobble spots something impossible in the night sky.
He drops his binoculars, glancing at the bedside digital clock, which projects an eerie, red 23:38. The only sound is the occasional yell of his mum from the other side of the bedroom, struggling through yet another bad dream. Shuffling over the bed, he leans his arms into the chill windowsill. Far, far below is what seems such a little world, barbed in shadow. Unfastening the latch, Rory pushes the window open, the bedroom warmth depressurised into the night and replaced with the wind’s bitter breath. Goosebumps assemble over his skin like inverted meteor craters. This always wakes him, when the cold snaps at his cheeks, clawing the sleep from sore eyes. But more than anything, he adores craning his neck towards the clouds, hungering for all the wonders that await beyond the sky.
Rory glances at his mum, whose face is twisted and sweaty. She doesn’t wake.
Then it comes…that voice, that doubt which sickens his mind:
Rooory, Rooory. Mum might get cold. Then she might get ill. Then she might–
No, Rory. Deep breath, he tells himself. The thought will go.
But an image flickers into his mind: his mum, pale and lifeless in an Arctic bedroom. He closes his eyes, shakes his head.
After several controlled breaths, the thought – the voice – fades into the background of his mind.
Nonetheless, he hops off his bed and steps over to his mum. But her chest still lifts and drops. She’s fine. He knew that, deep down. In sleep, she looks vulnerable – a far cry from the daytime carnivore he knows her to be.
He creeps back across the floor, careful not to stand on the creaky bits he’s memorised, and avoiding the wire of the tatty, oil-heated radiator.
From under his bed, he drags out the Thought Diary. It’s where he jots down all those peculiar thoughts that fill his head. All those thoughts that he gets and ‘normal’ people – or so he sees them – don’t. He was advised by his last head doctor to write out every fear and every doubt that fills his mind, assured that it would help him to see them for what they really are: farce. It’s a nice diary too, leather.
So, he opens the pages. Moonlight helps him guide a biro through the dark:
Sunday, 10 March 2019
First of all, I'd like to offer a massive thank you to everyone who has pledged their support to Rory Hobble so far; it really does mean a great deal to me and without your commitment this book simply will not exist. For those of you unfamiliar with how these updates works, I, as the author, get to write them to you as and when I feel I have something to tell. Here's an idea of…
These people are helping to fund Rory Hobble and the Voyage to Haligogen.