'You're on': Benn to write for Gollancz

'You're on': Benn to write for Gollancz

Gollancz has signed a debut science fiction novel from comedian and songwriter Mitch Benn, star of Radio 4's "The Now Show", following an impromptu Twitter conversation.

Deputy publishing director Simon Spanton acquired world rights, including audio and film, in two books for a "good five-figure sum" through Benn's manager Ian Wilson. The first novel has the working title Terra, and will be published in 2013.

The book is described as a "charming and hilarious fable", featuring the tale of a girl who spends her childhood on an alien planet, after being discovered in a car crash on earth—or Rrth—by a visiting alien, who decides she needs saving not only from the wreck but from her planet and humanity.

The deal came about when Spanton answered a tweet from Benn saying he had time to kill in London, saying he should use the time to come to Gollancz's offices to discuss the SF novel "that you're going to write for Gollancz". Benn wrote back and said "You're on". 

"I'd always loved the laugh-out-loud righteous outrage of Mitch's contributions to 'The Now Show'," Spanton said. "I had a serious 'fan boy' moment when he answered my tweet and it's been lovely to discover a gentler side to his satirical humour in his novel. I can't wait to let other people see it as well."