Transworld has splashed out six figures on a “near future thriller” set in an America addicted to consumerism following a “hard-fought” 10-way auction.
Rights to The Warehouse by Rob Hart – one of the hot manuscripts of London Book Fair last month - were bought by Bill Scott-Kerr, publisher at Transworld, from Josh Getzler at HSG via Abner Stein’s Caspian Dennis.
The novel is described as a near-future thriller set in an America addicted to consumerism where gun violence, climate change and unemployment have ravaged the nation, and an online retail giant named Cloud reigns supreme. “Cloud brands itself not just as an online storefront but a sort of global saviour. However beneath that sunny exterior is a grinding, soul-sucking machine which will stop at nothing to make a buck,” the publisher said.
Film rights to the title have also sold for a "high six figure sum" after a five way auction, to Brian Grazer at Imagine Entertainment, with Ron Howard, fresh from the "Star Wars: Solo" movie, slated to direct.
Scott-Kerr said: “Like all the very best novels, The Warehouse entertains and makes you think. It is hugely engaging, exciting and indeed prescient. Rob Hart has conjured a reality that is close enough to our contemporary world and still feels frighteningly real. It says much about the world in which we live and our current consumer consciousness, but its author never allows the message to overshadow the story.”
Hart, author of the Ash McKenna private detective series (Polis Books), who has also collaborated with James Patterson on Scott Free, said he was “astounded” by the “enthusiasm and creativity” he saw from publishers in the UK—“which made the final decision all the more difficult. But in the end, I'm thrilled to be working with Transworld,” he said.
Rights have been also been sold in the US to Julian Pavia at Crown, editor of The Martian and Ready Player One and in 14 other territories, with auctions ongoing elsewhere.