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Hero Of The Empire: steampunk from David Barnett

13/12/2011. Contributed by Jessica Martin

Buy Hero Of The Empire in the USA - or Buy Hero Of The Empire in the UK

author pic

Claire Eddy, Senior Editor at Tor Books in New York, has concluded a three-book World English Language rights deal for British author David Barnett, for a strong five-figure sum in US dollars. The agent was John Jarrold.

The first volume in this Steampunk series is titled Hero Of The Empire and introduces a young protagonist, Gideon Smith, who faces perils both natural and supernatural in Victorian England.

‘David’s writing and invention has fascinated me and drawn me in from the day I took him on,’ said John Jarrold. ‘I’m delighted that he now has a major deal, quite rightly.’

David commented, ‘I've always loved fantastical fiction, especially that which is grounded in some form of recognisable reality. I think that's why the alternative Victorian setting appeals to me so much - it's just far enough away to be shrouded in the mystery of life lived beyond living memory, yet close enough to reflect our world and the way we live life today. It's perfect for adding a veneer of the fantastic to.

‘The Gideon Smith books were born out of a desire to write something which combined the rip-roaring adventure that Victorian writers did so well with the sensibilities of a modern novel. I think it was watching my two young children rapt in front of Raiders of the Lost Ark which made me want to try to create something that even approached inspiring such jaw-dropping attention... but at the same time questioned the concept of the “hero”, from the point of view of the heroes themselves and the public who worship them.

‘Given Tor's track record in publishing some of the novels in this genre that I love, I think they are the perfect outfit to bring Gideon Smith and his compatriots to the world and I am absolutely delighted to be working with them.’

David Barnett is an author and journalist. He was born in Wigan in 1970 and has worked in regional newspapers since he was 19 years old. He is currently Assistant Editor (Content) at the Telegraph & Argus in Bradford, West Yorkshire, following a 22 year career in newspapers, predominantly as a writer/editorial manager for regional newspapers but which has also included work for publications as diverse as the Daily Star and the Guardian Online. He is the author of three published novels, Hinterland (2005) and Angelglass (2007 - described by the Guardian as "stunning"), both published by Immanion Press, and popCULT! (2011), Pendragon Press. In 2009 Immanion Press brought out a collection comprising a novella and 13 short stories, The Janus House And Othe Two-Faced Tales. He is married to Claire, also a journalist, and they have two children, Charlie and Alice.

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