Orion is publishing Calling Major Tom by David M Barnett as one of the first books on its new imprint Trapeze, as commissioned by editor Sam Eades.
Eades, senior commissioning editor at Orion, acquired world rights (all languages) in a deal struck by John Jarrold Literary Agency.
The book sprung from the premise: "What if you were so grumpy, so fed up with life, that you literally wanted to get away from it all? And where better to go than space?"
Eades said: “Calling Major Tom is a very British A Man Called Ove and I’ve fallen head over heels with each and every character. It is the heart-warming and ultimately life-affirming story of a man who has given up on the world, but discovers in the most unlikely way that it might not have given up on him. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you will cheer on all the curmudgeons in your life.”
Barnett said: “Calling Major Tom was born out of wondering what would happen if those two worlds collided - the astronaut in splendid isolation far above the world and a normal family back on Earth. Of course, there’s no such thing as a ‘normal’ family - they’re all problematic and dysfunctional in their own ways. So it’s really about unlikely friendships, facing up to problems life throws at us, and finding a chance at redemption in the most unexpected places.”
Jarrold said: "This is an exciting new imprint, and Sam Eades’ proactive enthusiasm since she first contacted me and wanted to talk about involving David Barnett has been a delight. David’s writing overflows with warmth, wit and humanity – and this book will use all those aspects wonderfully well.”
Barnett is an author and journalist based in West Yorkshire. After a career working for regional newspapers he embarked upon a freelance career writing features for most of the UK national press. He is the author of the critically-acclaimed Gideon Smith series of Victorian fantasies, published by Tor Books, and teaches journalism part-time at Leeds Trinity University.
Calling Major Tom will be published by Trapeze on 18th May 2017, in paperback (£7.99) and e-book (£7.99).