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Solaris signs Yoon Ha Lee’s The Machineries Of Empire trilogy

We’re extremely excited to unveil a brand new acquisition for Solaris today, in the form of Yoon Ha Lee’s The Machineries Of Empire trilogy.

You may have read the news on The Bookseller this morning, and frankly we’ve been chomping at the bit to tell you ever since the deal was done.

Ninefox Gambit, the bravura opening instalment of the trilogy – and, amazingly, Yoon’s debut novel –  follows Kel Cheris, a disgraced captain of the Hexarchate, who is given the opportunity to redeem herself by recapturing the formidable Fortress of Scattered Needles.

A tale of massacres, madness and mathematics in deep space, this is hard SF quite unlike any other, a truly unique piece of boundary-pushing storytelling and a bold step forward for 21st century SF.

Legendary science fiction illustrator Chris Moore, who has created covers for works by the likes of Alastair Reynolds and Philip K Dick, will be providing the cover art for Ninefox Gambit.

Solaris Editor-in-Chief Jonathan Oliver commented on the signing:

“Yoon Ha Lee has been a writer whose work I’ve been keeping a close eye on for a while now. His prose is razor sharp and his ideas are fresh and challenging. Ninefox Gambit is an astonishingly assured debut and one of the richest science fiction novels I have read in a good long while. This is a space opera with scope and depth, and also diversity. Yoon shows that science fiction is alive and well and really going places.”

Yoon Ha Lee said:

“I’m thrilled that Solaris Books has picked up my trilogy and working with them has been terrific. Expect weaponized math, big space battles, and a captain whose 400-year-old undead advisor is her best ally and her most dangerous enemy, in a nation constantly at war with heretics whose calendars change the laws of technology.”
As you might imagine, we’re incredibly excited to be working with Yoon, and can’t wait for you to read Ninefox Gambit, which we’ll be publishing in June 2016.

Watch this space for more on Yoon and The Machineries Of Empire!

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Announcement: Solaris Books to publish new novel from Simon Bestwick

Solaris Books is delighted to announce the acquisition of a new horror title from Simon Bestwick.

“Among the most important writers of contemporary British Horror” is how legendary author Ramey Campbell describes Simon Bestwick, and we at Solaris couldn’t agree more, so it is with great delight that we can today announce we will be embarking once again on truly horrifying journey with him in Winter 2016 with the publication of REDMAN’S HILL:

The suburb of Crawbeck stands on a hill outside Manchester, overlooking the woodlands of Browton Vale. Alice Collier was happy here, once; now her life’s fallen apart and she’s come back.

Standing on the hilltop, 378 Collarmill Road looks like an ordinary semi-detached house. But sometimes, the world outside the windows isn’t the one you expect to see. And sometimes you’ll turn around and find you’re not alone.

John Revell, an old flame of Alice’s, reluctantly comes to her aid. Together they begin to uncover the secrets and legends of the past – the legends of the Beast of Crawbeck and the mysterious Red Man, and the secrets of the shadowy and ruthless Arodias Thorne.

Alice’s house stands at a gateway between worlds, a gateway she and John must learn to open. Because something ancient has been disturbed, and something dark is coming.

A well respected member of the horror community having published stand-out short stories with several acclaimed indie presses, and as an editor in his own right, we are delighted to have Bestwick on board once again following his 2012 novel THE FACELESS. In REDMAN’S HILL Bestwick uses his signature take on suburban horror with a fantasy twist to create a cinematic exploration of English folklore.

Chilling and original, this is unique contemporary horror title that fans of Adam Nevill and Christopher Fowler will not want to miss…

REDMAN’S HILL will publish from Solaris Books in the UK and US/Canada in print and eBook format in December 2016.

Join us again tomorrow for a special guest post from Simon Bestwick on the origins of REDMAN’S HILL.

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Acquisition Announcement: Every Mountain Made Low by Alex White

ACQUISITION ANNOUNCEMENT:
EVERY MOUNTAIN MADE LOW BY ALEX WHITE

Solaris is thrilled to announce the acquisition of the World English Rights to Every Mountain Made Low, the debut genre-defying fantasy novel by Alex White: a highly talented new writer whose popular original podcast drama series, The Gearheart, has gathered over a million unique downloads since its start.

Solaris Books Editor-in-Chief, Jonathan Oliver, acquired the title from Connor Goldsmith at Fuse Literary Agency.

Featuring Pullman-esque world building and set in a future Alabama city known as ‘The Hole,’ Every Mountain Made Low tells the story of Loxley, a young autistic woman whose family have the ability to see the restless dead. But for Loxley, the spirits of the deceased can see her back; they’re drawn to her like a bright fire, and their lightest touch leaves her with painful wounds. She avoids them as best she can, but she can’t say no to the spectre of Nora, her only friend, who was alive just hours ago. Swearing to take blood for blood and find her friend’s killer, she finds herself drawn into a conspiracy that will see her hunted down by the brutal enforcer of the corporate interests who reign over the hellish city.

Every Mountain Made Low is an incredible and moving debut, featuring a timely and original protagonist inspired by the author’s own son:

“All too often, especially in film and television, autistic characters are reduced to superpowered drag-behinds for the heroes—nothing more than calculators with sad eyes and unbreakable innocence. They’re represented as people to abuse or save, but I believe they have their own stories to tell. My son has his daily struggles, and I’ve watched him develop from a wordless, happy toddler into a young boy with turbulent emotions. He may not be able to speak, but the hardships he faces and the victories he feels are no less real. I tried to model some of his behaviours into the character of Loxley and imagine a world where I didn’t exist—where his mother and I couldn’t help him. By necessity, Loxley has a better grasp of social interactions, but the inspiration for her difficulties is lifted directly from the real world. And, of course, being a grown woman, Loxley will have to face different obstacles than my son, both from her surroundings and her condition. Autistic characters with real agency are underrepresented in fiction, but it is my hope that I can join the precious few authors who do these narratives a service.” – Alex White, author of Every Mountain Made Low.

Speaking on his excitement of the acquisition Jonathan Oliver said “Alex’s prose is beautifully written, his world meticulously constructed, but it’s Loxley herself that readers will truly fall in love with. It’s not often that a novel treats the subject of autism so sensitively and from such an informed standpoint. Alex’s novel is as entertaining as it is intriguing and thought provoking. This is one to break apart the ghetto of genre and show the world why we have all the best stories.”

Every Mountain Made Low will publish into the UK, US and Canada in both trade paperback and eBook in 2016.

Alex White is an artist, composer and writer based in Alabama. His podcast The Gearheart has countless loyal listeners, with over a million episodes downloaded. Every Mountain Made Low is a passion project born of his experience as the father of a child on the autism spectrum, whom he believes can be as heroic as anyone else.

Press enquiries should be directed to Lydia Gittins on PublishingPress@rebellion.co.uk

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Solaris Books to publish first independent novel from Nik Abnett

It brings us great pleasure to today be able to announce that we will be publishing Nik Abnett’s first independent solo novel Savant in summer 2016.

Savant is a modern classic SF tale, taking a timely look at our understanding of the rights of the state and the rights of individuals, set in a future in which Earth is rendered invisible by a device known as ‘The Shield’, humanity’s only defense from invasion.

The novel follows the story of Tobe, one of the mysterious ‘Actives’ charged with maintaining The Shield.

No one understands precisely what the Actives do, or how, but without them The Shield would cease to function. When Tobe finds himself caught in a probability loop, the equilibrium of Earth’s defense is compromised. Other Actives begin to share his malady and the world suddenly becomes vulnerable.

As the danger facing Earth escalates it’s down to Tobe’s assistant Metoo to keep The Shield’s security forces at bay to prevent them from undermining her friend’s already fragile condition…

At Rebellion Publishing we’ve had the privilege of working with Abnett previously via our sister imprint Abaddon, where she and husband Dan Abnett released their sublime novel Fiefdom: A Kingdom Novel based in the world created by Dan Abnett in his 2000 AD comic Kingdom earlier this year. As well as in our forthcoming Dangerous Games anthology, so we are beyond delighted to now be bringing you her first ever independent novel in summer 2016.

Do check back for further updates on Savant, but for now we leave you with Nik Abnett herself talking about the genesis of Savant and her alter-ego:

“Six or seven years ago, I was studying for a Fine Art degree and wanted to do some work on identity. So, I set up an on-line persona with an e-mail address and FaceBook page, and I bought a tablet so that all the work she produced only existed in web-space.

Then, because I’m a writer, I picked up my laptop and began writing Savant, at least, my alter-ego wrote Savant, and she produced cover-art, too, digitally, of course.

I’d never been very confident as a writer, and perhaps that’s why I’d hidden behind tie-in and IP based fiction. It was a way to do what I loved to do without taking too much responsibility. My own ideas always seemed a little ‘out there’ a little ‘left of centre’, so I never pursued them. My alter-ego had other ideas. She was tougher than I was, and she got things done.

I loved Savant, but it wasn’t until Jonathan Oliver took an interest in the novel that it crossed my mind that anyone else might want to read it. He’d invited me to write a story for his Dangerous Games anthology, and in one of our conversations he asked me about what else I was interested in writing. The conversation led to horror and SF, and he probed until I promised to send him Savant. The rest, as they say, is history.

My alter-ego no longer has a web presence, because she doesn’t need one. She never stopped writing, either.”

About the author:
Nik Abnett has published work in a number of mediums, including advertising, training manuals, comics and short stories. She has worked as a ghost writer, is a frequent contributor to Black Library Publishing, and regularly collaborates with her partner, novelist and comic author Dan Abnett. In 2012 she was runner-up for the inaugural Mslexia novel-writing competition. Savant is her first solo, independent full-length work of fiction and publishes summer 2016.

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Solaris acquisition announcement: UBO by Steve Rasnic Tem

Solaris Books is today delighted to share with our readers the announcement that we will be publishing horror legend Steve Rasnic Tem’s long-awaited first dark SF novel UBO in Spring 2016.

UBO is a timely and poignant look at humanity’s relationship with violence, and has been a work in progress for Tem since the early 80s. In UBO Tem combines his flair for horror with a beautifully conceptualised future world set in the prison of “Ubo,” from which the title draws its title, to create a poignantly realised and highly terrifying glimpse into the darker side of human nature.

“Every resident has a similar memory of the journey to Ubo: a dream of dry, chitinous wings crossing the moon, the gigantic insects so like roaches or cicadae dropping swiftly over the houses of the neighborhood. Dark membranes and scabrous exoskeleton pass through walls and windows in some manner magical or scientific that resembles most a deck of dusky and baroquely ornamented cards fanning themselves from one hidden world into the next.”

Now in Ubo, Daniel has no idea how long he has been imprisoned by the roaches. Each day they force him to play a different figure from humanity’s violent history, from a frenzied Jack the Ripper to a stumbling and confused Stalin to a self-proclaimed god executing survivors atop the accumulated ruins of the world. The hellish scenarios mutate day after day in this concentration camp somewhere beyond the rules of time, as skies burn and prisoners go mad, identities dissolving as the experiments evolve toward their mysterious end.

Tem describes working on UBO:

“Sometimes when you’re working on a piece you realize you’re not yet intellectually, or creatively, or emotionally equipped to do the material justice (and sometimes all three). My novel UBO, a meditation on violence, has been such a project for me. I began it in the early 80s, and showed sample chapters to a number of writers I respected. Some thought it was wonderful and showed great promise. Others thought a book about humankind’s propensity for violence was the last thing they wanted to read. For myself, I knew it was the most challenging thing I’d ever attempted. More problematic, however, was the fact that I had a 5- and an 8-year-old at home, and toiling in the land of Ubo during the day and then playing with my children and reading them bedtime stories proved to be a wrenching experience. I put the manuscript aside. Over the years I’d pick it up again, but I’d discover that either I wasn’t emotionally ready to tackle it, or I doubted my level of craft. Which brings us to today. At 64 years old I’m a little wiser perhaps; certainly I’m a lot more foolish. I’m still rather emotional, but I’ve learned that for me at least that seems to go with the job. And the book is done.”

We’re incredibly excited for the opportunity to be able to publish this amazing work, from one of our favourite authors and we hope you’re looking forward to it as much as we are.

For now we leave you with a few words from our Editor-in-Chief Jonathan Oliver on the acquisition:

“Steve is one of the most exciting and diverse voices in genre. Granted, he’s known mainly for horror, but this move into dark SF is an entirely natural progression for Steve. I’ve been enjoying his weird SF stories for years and to bring these talents to a novel is very exciting. There is no one quite like Steve Rasnic Tem.”

UBO is set to publish Spring 2016.

Steve Rasnic Tem is the author of over 400 published short stories, 6 novels, 9 collections, and is a past winner of the Bram Stoker, International Horror Guild, British Fantasy, and World Fantasy Awards.

He is the author of 2 previous novels for Solaris: Deadfall Hotel (2012) and Blood Kin (2014).

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Announcement: Paul Kearney – The Wolf in the Attic

In 1994 Riding the Unicorn by Paul Kearney published to warm critical acclaim. Ten years later, and today at Solaris Books, we concluded our 2014 re-issue of Kearney’s lost classic Different Kingdom’s trilogy with Riding the Unicorn, featuring a beautiful new cover by the incredible Pye Parr.

For us there could be no better day therefore to share with you the announcement of our next collaboration with Kearney, on his new book The Wolf in the Attic:

Publishing summer 2015 The Wolf in the Attic is a brand new novel from iconic fantasy author Paul Kearney.

In 1920’s Oxford a little girl called Anna Francis lives in a tall old house with her father and her doll Penelope. She is a refugee, a piece of flotsam washed up in England by the tides of the Great War and the chaos that trailed in its wake. Once upon a time she had a mother and a brother, and they all lived together in the most beautiful city in the world, by the shores of Homer’s wine-dark sea. Anna remembers a time when Agamemnon came to tea, and Odysseus sat her upon his knee and told her stories of Troy.

But that is all gone now, and only to her doll does she ever speak of it, because her father cannot bear to have it recalled.

She sits in the shadows of the tall house and watches the rain on the windows, and creates worlds for herself to fill out the loneliness. The house becomes her own little kingdom, an island full of dreams and half-forgotten memories.

And then one winter day, she finds an interloper in the topmost, dustiest attic of the house. A Romany boy named Luca with yellow eyes, who is as alone in the world as she is.
In this way she meets the only real friend she will ever know.

The Wolf in the Attic marks an exciting, new chapter in Kearney’s career, moving away from the epic and military fantasy for which he’s known to create an enchanting new story of a young girl, that retains the essence of Kearney’s world building and stylistic prose. The Wolf in the Attic is a poignant and touching story, with a timely exploration of our cultural sense of self; one which will have fans of Tolkien and Pullman finding a new home amongst its pages.

“Like Robert Holdstock, Ursula le Guin and Philip Pullman, Kearney pushes back the boundaries of what fantasy can actually do. Yes these stories are strange, yes they are speculative – but they are also very human, and that is what makes Kearney one of the most vital authors in genre.” – Jonathan Oliver, Solaris Editor-in-Chief

The Wolf in the Attic is out from Solaris Books summer 2015 – check back soon for more details.

Paul Kearney is the critically-acclaimed author of The Monarchies of God and the Sea Beggars series. He has been long-listed for the British Fantasy Award.