Gollancz, the Science-Fiction and Fantasy imprint of Orion, are proud to announce the acquisition of THE INCORRUPTIBLES, the beginning of an outstanding new fantasy series by John Hornor Jacobs. Marcus Gipps, Editor at Gollancz, bought World all language rights for three books from Stacia Decker of the Donald Maass Literary Agency.

Jacobs was shortlisted for the Bram Stoker Award for his first novel. His horror and YA works have been published in the US by Simon & Schuster, among others. This is his first fantasy series, and Gollancz is his first UK publisher.

“In the contested and unexplored territories at the edge of the Empire, a boat is making its laborious way upstream. Riding along the banks are the mercenaries hired to protect it – from raiders, bandits and, most of all, the stretchers, elf-like natives who kill any intruders into their territory. The mercenaries know this is dangerous, deadly work.  But it is what they do.

In the boat the drunk governor of the territories and his sons and daughters make merry. They believe that their status makes them untouchable. They are wrong. And with them is a mysterious, beautiful young woman, who is the key to peace between warring nations and survival for the Empire. When a callow mercenary saves the life of the Governor on an ill-fated hunting party, the two groups are thrown together.

For Fisk and Shoe – two tough, honourable mercenaries surrounded by corruption, who know they can always and only rely on each other – their young companion appears to be playing with fire. The nobles have the power, and crossing them is always risky. And although love is a wonderful thing, sometimes the best decision is to walk away. Because no matter how untouchable or deadly you may be, the stretchers have other plans.”

John Hornor Jacobs commented:  ‘I’m tremendously gratified that THE INCORRUPTIBLES found a wonderful home at Gollancz and excited that readers will experience the hardscrabble world I’ve created and all the wonderful (and horrible) characters that populate it.’

‘I took THE INCORRUPTIBLES on holiday with me along with lots of other submissions, planning to take a skim through the early pages and devote more time to it back in the office. Five hours later I was still sitting at the same table, staring at my iPhone, scrolling through to the end. John has written a fast-moving and incredibly readable story that breaks a lot of the rules, and draws influence from many places, but stands tall beside the best fantasy being published today as its own fully-formed creation. I’m hugely excited to be publishing it’ said Marcus Gipps.

THE INCORRUPTIBLES will be released in Spring 2014.