Walliams writes SF fantasy set in future Buckingham Palace for November publication

Walliams writes SF fantasy set in future Buckingham Palace for November publication

David Walliams’ next book will be a science-fiction fantasy adventure titled The Beast of Buckingham Palace, marking “a real departure” for the bestselling author, HarperCollins Children's Books has revealed.

The new novel will be published on 21st November (hardback, £14.99) alongside the e-book and an audio edition read by Walliams and an accompanying “star-studded cast” which is still to be announced.

“Destined to be the most wanted book this Christmas, Walliams weaves a richly imaginative fantasy adventure that is vividly brought to life with Tony Ross’s stunning illustrations,” the publisher said. “The year is 2120. London is in ruins, the people are hungry and darkness has fallen across the world. Prince Alfred, a sickly boy of 12, has never known life outside Buckingham Palace. But evil forces are at work, and soon Alfred must do battle with the King of the Beasts – the Griffin.”

HarperCollins has promised that “Walliams’ legions of fans will be enthralled by this page-turning tale of myth, magic and the most Machiavellian of villains”.

Walliams said: “This book is a real departure for me. It is a science-fiction fantasy adventure set in London 100 in the future. I hope my readers will love coming on this magical journey with me.”

HarperCollins Children’s Books executive publisher Ann-Janine Murtagh said, “David has delivered an incredible and visionary new book that boldly invites his readers into an exciting new world. The Beast of Buckingham Palace is a glorious departure into a fantastical future realm. It has all the classic Walliams hallmarks but with a ferocious command of a fantasy world that is a testament to David’s extraordinary talent as a writer. It is set to fire the imaginations of children the world over and will mesmerise readers from beginning to end.”

Since the publication of his first novel by HarperCollins, The Boy in the Dress (2008), Walliams has seen unprecedented growth with his books translated into 53 languages, HarperCollins said. In August, his latest book The World’s Worst Teachers (HarperCollins) claimed the joint-longest run of any Walliams title in the  UK Official Top 50 number one spot, tied with 2016’s The Midnight Gang (HarperCollins). Altogether he has sold 17.1 million books for £99.28m, with his bestseller Gangsta Granny (HarperCollins) at 1.34 million copies sold, according to Nielsen BookScan.

The author’s books have branched into licensed products, TV adaptations, theatre productions, arena tours and the recently announced theme-park attraction at Alton Towers, which launches next year.