Gollancz has acquired a new collection of short novels from Joe Hill, author of dystopian science fiction The Fireman (Gollancz), publishing in November.
Gollancz commissioning editor Marcus Gipps bought UK and Commonwealth rights, including audio, to the collection entitled Strange Weather from Laurel Choate at The Choate Agency, with Jennifer Brehl at William Morrow acquiring for the US.
It will contain four "creepy and powerful" novellas, including a story reflecting on mass shootings in America, that will appeal to readers seeking something "lean and mean". Other stories in the collection ponder situations in which a camera can steal memories, the sky rains nails and a man is stranded on a cloud. According to Hill he wrote the stories in between novels whenever he could, including on placemats in diners.
Hill said: “I'm a fan of the slim, heart-punch novel that can be read in a single sitting: On Chesil Beach, Sense of an Ending, Heart of Darkness, Jekyll and Hyde. I wrote two big novels over the last five years, but in between, I've been scribbling away at these shorter stories, pushing myself to do more with less. I came up with one about a camera that steals memories, and another about the sky opening up and raining nails; I had a castaway story to tell about a man stranded on a cloud, and a thing to write about America's endless cycle of mass shootings. I wrote 'em when I could (on planes, on trains, in hotel rooms), and in whatever medium was available (the computer, a notebook, placemats in diners) and I had fun doing it. For readers in the mood for something lean and mean, Strange Weather will, I hope be found satisfactory. A warning though: the forecast calls for treacherous, stormy days to come.”
Gipps said: “It’s always a thrill to have a new project from Joe, and this collection is remarkable – short punchy narratives that range from the macabre to the beautiful, some with elements of horror, others just taut gripping tales. I had to circulate one, 'Loaded', to the rest of Orion as soon as I finished the first draft, it was so powerful. Joe’s readers will find much to love here.”