Stephen Walker is an award-winning BBC journalist. Born in England and educated in Northern Ireland, he has worked for BBC Northern Ireland for 20 years as a television and radio reporter, a documentary maker and a lobby correspondent at Westminster. He has made numerous current affairs and historical documentaries. Stephen's journalism has been honoured by the Royal Television Society and the Association of European Journalists. In 2005 he was named the Northern Ireland Journalist of the Year. His first book, Forgotten Soldiers: The Irishmen Shot at Dawn was shortlisted for the 2007 Irish Non Fiction Book of the Year. He lives in County Down with his wife and family.
'The thrilling story ... is not the first study of Gagarin and the Vostok missions, still less of Nasa's Mercury Seven astronauts - but bringing the two stories together is a masterstroke. Stephen Walker is a documentary film-maker as well as a historian, and it shows in the sophistication of the storytelling ... It is high-definition history: tight, thrilling and beautifully researched' Sunday Times 'Brings to life the space race and the extraordinary story of Yuri Gagarin. Using first-hand testimony, Stephen Walker evokes the personalities, the science and the atmosphere of the time in a history that reads like a thriller' Anne Applebaum 'The very best account of Yuri Gagarin's pioneering space mission - vivid, thoughtful, and respectful of the characters in the story. A wonderfully rendered story of an epochal event' Asif Siddiqi 'Beyond has the exhilaration of a fine thriller, but it is vividly embedded in the historic tensions of the Cold War, and peopled by men and women brought sympathetically, and sometimes tragically, to life' Colin Thubron 'Suddenly, every previous biography of cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin and his epic Earth-orbiting flight - and there are many - has been superseded ... A spellbinding and completely authoritative account ... It is rare for someone to tell such a monumental story with the narrative skill, research and suspense one usually expects to find in a James Patterson thriller, but this book is a guaranteed gem ... Simply put, Beyond is, in my opinion, the finest, best researched book ever written on the subject' Colin Burgess 'Dramatic and dynamic. Stephen Walker's passion for his subject along with his exceptional research and attention to detail have brought my father's extraordinary journey vividly to life' Elena Gagarina, daughter of Yuri Gagarin, the world's first spaceman