Transworld has acquired an "insider's guide" to algorithms as part of a two-book deal in a pre-emptive six figure bid.
Susanna Wadeson has acquired UK and Commonwealth rights to two new books by Dr Hannah Fry from Claire Paterson Conrad at Janklow & Nesbit. There are currently "major" auctions ongoing in Germany, the Netherlands, China and Japan with US and other territories to follow, according to Transworld.
Fry's first new book, Black Box: Inside the Algorithms That Are Shaping Our Lives, will be an exploration of how much of the modern world is dominated by mathematical algorithms. An algorithm can influence what we see online, read emotions in faces captured on CCTV, detect the source of a riot on Twitter, and track a serial killer. Fry’s day job is to work alongside a unique mix of physicists, computer scientists, architects and geographers to study the patterns in human behaviour, and as an expert in this field is in a unique position to show that while some algorithms are benign and some clearly useful, others are deeply troubling. It is scheduled to publish in 2018.
The Indisputable Existence of Santa Claus, by Fry, publishes on 3rd November. It is co-written with Dr Thomas Oléron Evans, a colleague at University College London’s Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis.
Fry said: "Having now written a couple of books that showcase some quite playful mathematics, I thought it was about time to show my more serious side. You can't get much more serious than the algorithms that silently analyse our behaviour and make decisions on our behalf - and the consequences they're already having on our lives. I'm looking forward to digging in to how they work, celebrating their successes and highlighting their failures, hopefully still with a little bit of playfulness along the way. I couldn't be more delighted that I get to do it with the team at Transworld."
Waderson said: "Working with Hannah on her irresistible mathematical stocking filler, The Indisputable Existence of Santa Claus, was sometimes mind-stretching, often revelatory, and most of all the most brilliant fun. I can’t wait for books to hit bookshop tables. And this new book is going to be massive. Fascinating. Frightening. A complete must-have. We couldn’t be more excited to be able to work with Hannah for the long term."