Gillian Redfearn, Editorial Director of Gollancz, has acquired a three-book fantasy series by Stephen Hunt. The first novel is called In Dark Service, the first in The Far-Called trilogy. The agent was John Jarrold and the first volume will be published in 2013.
Stephen is the author of six fantasy novels published by HarperCollins Voyager in the UK and Tor in the US, as well as in eight languages around the world, and he runs the SF Crowsnest news and reviews site.
Here is Stephen’s introduction to the world in which this series takes place:
Plenas has two unique characteristics worth noting, the first – and most significant of which – is that it’s a world on a mind-boggling scale where peddler caravans can take a thousand years to complete a limited circuit of their trade territory, a land where the guild of radio signallers can relay messages between their stations for multiple lifetimes and still never make a clean circumnavigation of the globe.
It is a world where, should a youngster be gripped by wanderlust, they can simply head off and travel with merchant nomads for their entire lifetime, taking in thousands of exotic nations, strange races and mysterious wonders, while still only travelling across a minute fraction of the globe.
The second distinctive facet of Plenas is that the land has no mineral resources worth mining except around the stratovolcanoes dotted across the world, massive shield volcanoes that stand about three times the elevation of Mount Everest above sea level. These vomit out great gobs of ore-bearing rocks into the air for harvesting by sky mines, and this wealth is always jealously hoarded by the empires that rise to pre-eminence around the stratovolcanoes, growing rich with their monopoly over metals, crystals and coals.
Reliance on sustainable resources means that most societies, races and nations on Plenas are throttled somewhere between a Roman and Victorian level of progress, with only the great empires of the stratovolcanoes reaching a higher level of development.
Gillian Redfearn said: ‘I’ve always admired Stephen Hunt’s vast imagination, deftness with detail and stunning ideas, and it was a delight to open In Dark Service and find all of that and more. The characters are larger than life, and the adventure is full-screen – I can’t wait to share this story and we are all absolutely delighted to welcome Stephen to the Gollancz list.’
‘I was knocked out by the concept, but even more so by the darkness and immediacy of Stephen’s writing,’ said John Jarrold. ‘I’m delighted that Gillian and the team at Gollancz agreed with me.’