Gollancz has nabbed game designer and podcaster Jonathan Sims' début horror novel—aimed at "fans of 'The Haunting of Hill House', 'Get Out' and 'A Quiet Place'"—which will be backed by an "extraordinary" audio edition.
Rachel Winterbottom, senior commissioning editor, bought world rights in all languages (including TV and film) to Sims' Thirteen Storeys, plus another book, from Zoë Plant at The Bent Agency.
The novel, to be published in August, is set at a dinner party in a London penthouse of a new multi-million pound development where all the guests are strangers—even to the billionaire host—but they’ve all experienced unsettling occurrences within the building’s walls: "Rooms that shouldn’t exist. A new friend only a little girl can see. Shadowy figures stalking the halls." Soon the host is dead and none of the guests will say what happened...
North London-based Sims is the creator and host of the popular horror podcast "The Magnus Archives" and Gollancz says: "Thirteen Storeys will be written with the audio market firmly in mind, with plans for a multi-voice audio edition and Jonathan set to write two versions of the climactic final chapter: one in prose, and the other as a multi-voice audio drama for a unique audiobook experience."
Winterbottom said: ‘I am a huge fan of 'The Magnus Archives' and was thrilled to discover that not only had Jonathan applied his incredible talent to novel-writing, it was this utterly brilliant, creepy meta-horror only he could write. It’s the ultimate haunted house for today’s horror viewers: a brand-new London apartment building. I can’t wait for readers to journey through the horrors that await them on every floor.’
Paul Stark, Orion’s audio manager, said: "Horror’s such a great genre for audio, and it’s been so exciting to work with Jonathan on this project—he’s a fab writer. I’m looking forward to scaring all our listeners."