As with many of the books I’ve come to love most, I bought Autonauts of the Cosmoroute (1983) impulsively, knowing nothing about it, and mainly because of its cover. This features a doughty old red Volkswagen camper, with its forward-pitched roof raised like a sceptical eyebrow as a bearded man climbs out through its sliding side door. In the foreground, we see two lurid, flowery chairs. Above is only blue sky. Inside, you can make out a cooker, a folding table and a checked curtain. It is the kind of van in which you could go a long way.