Gollancz pre-empts sci-fi debut

Gollancz pre-empts sci-fi debut

Orion imprint Gollancz has bought world rights to two science fiction novels by debut UK author Al Robertson.

Simon Spanton, Gollancz associate publisher, bought rights in a major pre-empt ahead of an auction, through Sue Armstrong at Conville & Walsh.

The first novel, titled Crashing Heaven, follows a unique friendship and ultimately asks what it means to be human in our technologically advancing world.

Spanton said: “From the very first lines of Crashing Heaven I was caught in the tangles of the amazing relationship between Jack and Hugo Fist. It was clear that Al Robertson was a writer completely in command of his material and totally at home in his chosen genre. To find all this, fully formed, in the work of a debut writer is special indeed. It’s a long time since I’ve read a book that takes the familiar and fashions it into something that feels so fresh.”

Armstrong added: “Al Robertson is a master storyteller. Every page of Crashing Heaven sparks with energy and it takes a brilliant craftsman to create and control such an imaginative novel, especially one where the characters are as mesmerising as the ideas. That this is a debut is all the more extraordinary.”

Robertson, who has already been shortlisted for the BSFA short story award and longlisted for the British Fantasy Award, commented: “Gollancz publish the writers who taught me how to write. They use new worlds to dig into this one, which is exactly what I wanted to do with Crashing Heaven."

Gollancz will publish Crashing Heaven in June 2015.