Ebury Press has acquired an "explosive" new speculative thriller set in the near future from John Marrs, author behind The One (Ebury).
The Passengers will be published as an e-book next April and in paperback in May, after Ebury Fiction publishing director Gillian Green acquired world all languages rights from the author. US rights in The Passengers meanwhile sold to Rebecca Brewer at Berkley at auction.
Following Marrs' debut, The One, which has since been commissioned for a 10 episode Netflix original series and sold rights in 14 countries, The Passengers is also modern take on the psychological thriller - one its publisher believes would translate well to either the big or small screen.
Pitched as "'Speed' meets 'The Hunger Games'", the plot synopsis for the book reads: "Set five minutes in the future where practically everyone has a self-drive car, when someone hacks into the systems of eight cars and sends their passengers on a fatal collision course, it is up to the public to judge who should survive. But the passengers aren’t all that they first seem..."
Marrs said he was "very excited to see what the world makes of The Passengers", calling it his "most ambitious and cinematic book to date". "I hope that readers will embrace it and join the ride just as they did with The One," he added.
Green said: "We’re so thrilled to be publishing John’s new book, The Passengers. He is such a remarkable talent with a genius for coming up with high concept and highly original ideas that are set slightly in the future but close enough to feel all too real. The Passengers is 'Speed' meets 'The Hunger Games'. A fast paced, edge of the seat read, where no one is safe, perfect for our post-Black Mirror world. And – as with The One – The Passengers would make a perfect film or TV series."