These two related novellas, Stephen Morris and Pilotage, were Nevil Shute’s first works of fiction and drew on his own youthful experiences. Both concern young men obsessed with the early world of aviation. Stephen Morris has just called off his engagement to the girl he loves because he is a penniless graduate with no prospects—but for his dream of building airplanes. Pilotage continues the story, focusing on Stephen's ambitious navigator Peter Dennison, as he tests a daring idea for a new cross-Atlantic airmail service.
About Nevil Shute
Nevil Shute Norway was born in 1899 in Ealing, London. He studied Engineering Science at Balliol College, Oxford. Following his childhood passion, he entered the fledgling aircraft industry as an aeronautical engineer working to develop airships and, later, airplanes. In his spare time he began writing and he published his first novel, Marazan, in 1926, using the name Nevil Shute to protect his engineering career. In 1931 he married Frances Mary Heaton and they had two daughters. During the Second World War he joined the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve where he worked on developing secret weapons. After the war he continued to write and settled in Australia where he lived until his death in 1960. His most celebrated novels include Pied Piper (1942), A Town Like Alice (1950), and On the Beach (1957).
“An example of trim, professional storytelling with technical know-how (splendid accounts of flying, driving by night, and sailing) giving extra thrust to the narrative.” —The Observer
“[Shute is] the English novel’s only down-to-earth romantic. . . . There is a quality of golden light that hangs over his books. That comes, I think, from his sense of order and from his own vast, undemonstrative solicitude.” —The Guardian
“A novelist of intelligent and engaging quality, deservedly popular…. Nevil Shute was, in brief, the sort of novelist who genuinely touches the imagination and feeling.” —The Times (London)