Simon, Gollancz’s Associate Publisher, reveals the cover for one of our exciting 2014 debuts. Gollancz Geeks take note as we expect you’ll be hearing about this title very soon. Not yet signed up to our Gollancz Geeks programme? You can sign up here.
We’re delighted to be able to show you the cover for one of our upcoming 2014 debuts. In Barricade, Jon Wallace has written an edgy, fast moving and violent SF thriller that comes with a lot of thought lingering behind the exhaust and gun smoke.
In a flashback sequence at the beginning of this novel a small boy asks the book’s (anti?)hero a question. At the time Kenstibec is horribly injured and hanging upside from a chain, bleeding on the floor. He’ll be fine though – he’s already repairing. So the small boy looks up at him and asks “Are you on our side?”
It’s a question the rest of the book spends asking as we follow Kenstibec, the sardonic, engineered artificial lifeform (or “Ficial”) on a hazardous journey through a future dystopia that is teetering constantly on the edge of post-apocalyptic melt-down. Kenstibec takes a job driving another Ficial from the barricade of Edinburgh to the barricade of London. In between they must negotiate a nightmarish landscape, a shattered world and vicious (or is that desperate) tribes of real people (or “Reals”).
When I read Jon’s book on submission it was clear that this was no simple dark and brutally thrilling SF road trip thriller with our heroes bulling their way south in an armoured LandRover (which would have been quite fun itself) but rather a dark a brutally thrilling SF road trip thriller laden with a generous load of wit and intelligence. As Kenstibec heads south he’s also in search of his past and we’re taken into an investigation of just what went wrong between the Reals and the Ficials and who might be to blame.
This is a dark vision for sure but it’s a thrilling journey and a hugely intelligent and really beautifully written novel. Jon’s writing reminded me a little of Richard Morgan’s.
Indeed if Takeshi Kovacs were to be driven through hell in an armoured LandRover I reckon he’d want Kenstibec at the wheel.
For the cover we decided on an essentially typographic cover with type and colours that jumped out at you. But we also wanted a sense of the sort of high-tech map that Kenstibec might pull up to plan his route out of the heavily fortified, constantly shelled and beleaguered city that is Edinburgh. Our excellent designers came up with this. It shouts SF we think, but also stands out from the crowd. Which is exactly what you want for the cover of a quality SF thriller like Barricade. We hope you like the cover and we hope
you’ll love the book.