PUBLISHED in time for Christmas, The Galactic Festival promises to be a great socking-filler for any sci-fi buff, young or not so young.

The brainchild of Ben Rhydding resident Paul Holmes, it was inspired by the Edinburgh Festival and written over the summer holidays during a break from Paul's usual day job as a maths and physics tutor. Paul describes it as a set of puzzles in a simple story format; an easy-read science fiction story with a twist. So far so good.

Each bite sized chapter, just a double page in length, carries the narrative along, but also presents the reader with a single puzzle involving logic, maths, physics or wordplay. The story itself however, can be read and enjoyed without having to solve any of them along the way.

Complicated? “Not at all,” says Paul, “the story stands by itself as a simple narrative. Any age could read it from say, 10 or11 up – and enjoy it without solving the puzzles. The story is accessible to all, the puzzles to most – although there are in fact, one or two very challenging puzzles; a few real stinkers in there, which even a physics graduate might find quite tricky.”

With a PhD in astrophysics, Paul ran the family business in Bradford for many years before returning to his first love of academia and for the last three years as been tutoring local students in maths and physics. With a book of puzzles published last year and well-known locally as a quiz master over the last 21 years, he's always had a passion for puzzles – and trivia. No wonder then that the short chapters here are also interspersed with a number of conundrums, some easy, some not so: “Just right for when you've a few minutes to spare," he added.

The Galactic Festival is published by Shoreline of Infinity Publications in Edinburgh and available from the Grove Bookshop in Ilkley priced at £8.50 and is also available on Amazon.