Gollancz is hoping to reignite interest in the adventure game books of the 1980s after buying two books by a self-published author.
Editor Marcus Gipps bought world rights to two books in the DestinyQuest series by Michael J Ward in a five-figure deal directly with the author. The series echoes interactive game book series like Choose Your Own Adventure and Fighting Fantasy where the reader controls the path of the story by rolling a dice or choosing the next actions of a character.
Ward self-published the first book in the series, The Legion of Shadow, in February, and it has sold more than 1,800 copies, according to the publisher. Gollancz will republish in May 2012 as a £14.99 trade paperback, which will include the original self-published version, extra material and a new mini-adventure. Book two in the series, The Heart of Fire, will follow in November 2012.
Gipps said: "Having loved the game books of my youth, I was intrigued as soon as I saw DestinyQuest on my desk. It only took me about five minutes to realise that this was something new, something different. I was excited then—but when I did some reading, I realised that the game wasn’t the only thing—the writing was fantastic as well.
"And once I realised how successful Mike had been under his own steam, I couldn’t stop thinking about what Gollancz could do to get his work to a wider audience."