Gollancz signs nuclear scientist Kissick's 'magnificent' debut

Gollancz signs nuclear scientist Kissick's 'magnificent' debut

Gollancz has bought two books from nuclear scientist and debut novelist Dr Lucy Kissick. 

Marcus Gipps, the Orion imprint’s publishing director, bought Plutoshine and an untitled second novel from Julie Crisp of The Julie Crisp Literary Agency. The deal is for world rights excluding North America, and includes audio and translation rights. Gollancz plans to publish in hardback in February 2022. 

Plutoshine explores human life on the edge of the solar system, as the plan to transform Pluto into a habitable world is rocked by unknown accidents. Are they genuine mistakes, intentional sabotage, or something more? 

The synopsis reads: “A mysterious accident on Pluto has left one girl mute, her father comatose, and her brother changed beyond all recognition. But their barren world is changing around them, and secrets can't be kept forever.” 

Kissick has a PhD in planetary geochemistry from the University of Oxford and now lives in Cumbria where she works as a nuclear scientist. Plutoshine is her first novel and won the inaugural Bloomsbury Writers & Artists Working-Class Writers' Prize. 

Gipps said: “It was a delight to first read Lucy’s magnificent book – hard, accurate science but with a beating core of emotional truth and character development. Even when we reach the outer planets, humanity will have lost none of its defining attributes and its ability to thrive in the face of unimaginable danger. I can’t wait for everyone else to visit Pluto in, sadly, the only way possible at the moment.” 

Kissick commented: “There’s so much in Plutoshine I can’t wait to share: colossal solar mirrors; sabotage and subterfuge; deadpan scientists and chipper terraformers. But mostly it’s the gorgeous, frosted worldlet of Pluto itself, smaller than our moon but with a wispy blue sky of its own. Growing up, Gollancz brought me stories that shaped my view of our world and beyond, and now they’re helping me bring Pluto down to Earth. I’m tremendously grateful and so excited for what’s yet to come.” 

Crisp added: “Lucy’s story of characters trying to survive on Pluto, and the challenges they encounter, is both emotionally impacting and incredibly exciting. I’m thrilled that Gollancz are publishing this original new voice in science fiction.”