Gollancz, have bought the spectacular SF debut, Crashing Heaven, from an exciting new UK author.
Simon Spanton, Gollancz Associate Publisher, bought world rights for two books from London author Al Robertson in a major pre-empt ahead of an auction, through Susan Armstrong at Conville & Walsh. The first novel, Crashing Heaven, will be published in January 2015.
Crashing Heaven echoes classic SF and brings a cutting edge digital twist.
With Earth abandoned, humanity resides on Station, an industrialised asteroid run by the sentient corporations of the Pantheon. Under their leadership a war has been raging against the Totality – ex-Pantheon AIs gone rogue.
With the war over, Jack Forster and his sidekick Hugo Fist, a bizarre virtual puppet tied to Jack’s mind, have returned home.
Labelled a traitor for surrendering to the Totality, all Jack wants is to clear his name but when he discovers two old friends have died under suspicious circumstances he also wants answers. Soon he and Fist are embroiled in a conspiracy that threatens not only their future but all of humanity’s. But with Fist’s software licence about to expire, taking Jack’s life with it, can they bring down the real traitors before their time runs out?
Crashing Heaven is about a unique friendship and ultimately asks what it means to be human in our technologically advancing world. Crackling with energy and wit, it will appeal to fans of everything from detective noir to genre classics like Neuromancer.
“From the very first lines of Crashing Heaven I was caught in the tangles of the amazing relationship between Jack and Hugo Fist, “said Simon Spanton. “It was clear that Al Robertson was a writer completely in command of his material and totally at home in his chosen genre. To find all this, fully formed, in the work of a debut writer is special indeed. Why was I determined to publish this book? It’s a long time since I’ve read a book that takes the familiar and fashions it into something that feels so fresh. And it will be a long time before I can forget the terrifying manic energy, the barely contained rage, the chilling face of Hugo Fist.”
Sue Armstrong said:
“Al Robertson is a master storyteller. Every page of Crashing Heaven sparks with energy and it takes a brilliant craftsman to create and control such an imaginative novel, especially one where the characters are as mesmerising as the ideas. That this is a debut is all the more extraordinary. But extraordinary is what Al Robertson does, I knew that the moment I met Hugo Fist.”
Al Robertson has already been shortlisted for the BSFA short story award and longlisted for the British Fantasy Award. He said: “’Gollancz publish the writers who taught me how to write. They use new worlds to dig into this one, which is exactly what I wanted to do with “Crashing Heaven“. It’s hugely exciting to be joining them, I can’t wait to start working with Simon and his team.’