Home 5 News 5 British Author’s Tweet Sparks Sci-Fi Book Triumph

British Author’s Tweet Sparks Sci-Fi Book Triumph

by | Sep 25, 2023 | News

 

A tweet from a successful British author frustrated at the lack of a UK deal for her science fiction novel The Mars House has resulted in a two-book deal with Hachette/Orion imprint Gollancz.

Natasha Pulley won the UK’s Betty Trask award with her debut novel debut novel, The Watchmaker of Filigree Street, but the silence from UK publishers over The Mars House left her in despair.  When she had almost given up hope of a UK sale, she tweeted:

Me: So, um, I’ve written a sci fi book, and I’m super proud of it and they’ve bought it in the US and I know it’s really hard to sell sci fi but possibly…? Entire UK Publishing Industry: Get. In. The. Bin. Me: *closes lid of trash can over own head, weeping*

This prompted a speedy reaction from Gollancz deputy publisher Gillian Redfearn who acquired UK and Commonwealth rights from Jenny Savill of Andrew Nurnberg Associates in a pre-emptive offer.

Now The Mars House will publish in March 2024 in hardback, trade paperback, e-book, and audiobook, with Bloomsbury simultaneously publishing in the US and Canada. Gollancz describes the novel as a “profoundly beautiful sci-fi romance exploring climate collapse, prejudice, privilege, class, and queer love through the prescient lens of a ballerina turned refugee fleeing an environmentally devastated Earth and an enigmatic Martian politician embroiled in a political crisis who agree to a fake marriage after a media encounter torpedoes both their reputations”.

Redfearn said: “Pulley has a genius for seeing to the heart of characters and situations and for crafting stories which speak simply and powerfully. She’s always been an electric and exciting novelist, but The Mars House blew the Orion team away with its gorgeous evocation of the life and challenges of a climate change refugee.

“Pulley is unafraid to tackle huge and timely topics, and examines impossible issues with empathy, impeccable research and – in The Mars House – through the lens of an absolutely compelling enemies-to-lovers narrative. Rich, wonderful and thoughtful, this is a genre-reinventing novel – and author – we could not be more excited to bring to Gollancz.”

Pulley said: “Writing is a lonely process, and it’s easy to feel like no one wants your book, even if you already have a publishing history, and even when you have an amazing agent telling you they definitely will and just to be patient: you only have to hear ‘no’ four or five times to think you should retrain as an accountant.

 

“When I wrote The Mars House, I was convinced it was unsellable. When the team at Gollancz said that not only did they quite want it but it might even actually be a decent idea, I couldn’t believe it. I kept waiting for someone to leap out of a hedge at me and shout, ‘Haha, only joking, of course, it’s stupid and you’re not allowed to be a writer any more!’  Fortunately, everyone has been great about not jumping out from hedges. I remain, however, vigilant near topiary.”

Savill added: “Gillian and the team at Gollancz have an incredibly persuasive and joined-up vision not only for The Mars House but for all of Natasha’s future publishing.?I’m thrilled about this new chapter for Natasha, who is an extraordinary and fearless writer with a devoted fan base around the world.”

 

 

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