Gollancz wins six-figure auction for SF series

Gollancz has won out in a "hard-fought" auction, with three publishers in the final round, acquiring world rights to three books in a new science-fiction series for a six-figure sum.

Deputy publishing director Simon Spanton snapped up the titles by Peter Higgins from Ian Drury at Sheil Land, with the first, The Wolfhound Century, lined up for publication in early 2013.

The title takes place in an alternative Russia in the mid-20th century. Central character Inspector Vissarion Lom is brought to Moscow by the secret police, who want his help to track down a terrorist. Meanwhile, vast stone angels keep crashing into the Hinterland, and their elemental influence is seeping into society.

Spanton said: "We found ourselves in a fierce auction but as it went on the book kept reminding me why I didn't want to lose it."