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Thread: ANNOUNCEMENT: Gollancz novel. ELITE: WANTED by Gavin Deas

  1. #1

    ANNOUNCEMENT: Gollancz novel. ELITE: WANTED by Gavin Deas

    ELITE: WANTED by Gavin Deas, published by Gollancz in eBook (May 2014) and Hardback (Autumn 2014)

    When a routine bit of piracy goes wrong, the crew of the Song of Stone realise that there's a bounty hunter on their tail. One who might, finally, be able to outclass them. The Dragon Queen is feared across space, and for good reason. But even the bounty hunter doesn't realise what she's been hired to do. Or what is in the container she's been sent to retrieve.

    And she's not the only hunter in the game...

    The Author(s):
    Gavin Smith and Stephen Deas are regular Gollancz authors – having produced 15 books between them over the last few years – and their combined talent makes this a gripping tale.

    You can follow Gavin on twitter here and Steve on twitter here.

    The Cover:

    Ebook Preorder Links (published May 15 2014 worldwide):

    Amazon UK
    Amazon US
    Apple UK
    (more to come as the data feeds out)

    Hardback Preorder Links (published Autumn 2014 UK, shortly after worldwide):

    (to come as the data feeds out)

    An Extract (unproof-read or formatted, mildly NSFW):Edited to add: Oh look, the forum has taken out the naughty words. The real books will have them!

    Stars stopped being fractal lines and became dots of light again as they dropped out of hyperspace in a burst of light.
    ‘Running active scans harsh enough to give them cancer,’ Orla muttered. Ravindra double-checked the coordinates and then found herself searching the blackness ahead of them while she waited for the result of the active scans. The Cobra appeared next to them. If the other ship had a name – and all ships should have a name in Ravindra’s opinion – then she hadn’t been made aware of it. But she was impressed with the piloting. Newman’s pilot was holding it perfectly in formation despite the jump.
    ‘Found it,’ Orla said.
    Her lenses projected the coordinates directly into Ravindra’s vision. Her fingers moved slightly and the Song of Stone banked and went after the target ship at full burn. All of them were pushed back into their acceleration couches. The Cobra was barely a millisecond behind.
    ‘She’s running.’ Orla told them.
    ‘Juicing the manoeuvring drive,’ Jenny told them.
    ‘Missiles on standby,’ Jonty said. He would wait until they had closed before triggering them.
    ‘Fly the black flag,’ Ravindra told them.
    Orla moved her fingers slightly and a small data-packet was sent to the other ship. If they opened it they would see a red screen with an animated hourglass on it. The animation would show that they were rapidly running out of time.
    ‘They’re broadcasting a distress …’ Orla said. ‘Jamming.’
    Harsh light drew a red line in space between the Song and the other craft as Harnack fired the military grade laser again and again, whittling down their target’s shield. Ravindra could only just make out the glow of the other vessel’s engines.
    They closed with the other craft rapidly. Two missiles shot past the bridge, their engines burning brightly, moving at gees that would have pulped a living being.
    ‘I hope you didn’t go overboard,’ Harnack managed through teeth gritted due to the acceleration.
    ‘Me too,’ Jonty said. Ravindra didn’t like how unsure he sounded. They did not want to destroy the ship.
    The missile payloads blossomed in light and force and were almost immediately snuffed out by vacuum, but not before they’d done their damage. There was more harsh red light as Harnack fired the military laser again.
    ‘Their shields are down,’ Orla told them.
    ‘It’s an Orca,’ Jenny said. ‘I’ve highlighted the manoeuvring engines, the jump drive, comms and weapons on the specs.’
    ‘Targeting,’ Harnack said. This time he fired the beam laser. Using the military laser against an unshielded craft would probably destroy it. Ravindra was aware of Newman’s Cobra firing its beam laser as well. They were close enough to make out the beleaguered ship now. It was a once luxurious, sleek, elegant, finned, mostly transparent, multi-level yacht, a plaything of the super rich. Now it was a burnt, partially destroyed, near-wreck. There was at least one hull breach in one of the transparent areas of the upper hull. Ravindra guessed one of the missiles had done it. She was less than pleased.
    The Stone’s shield lit up as it took multiple hits from the Orca’s defensive pulse laser. Ravindra banked sharply. You couldn’t dodge something moving at the speed of light but you could move erratically enough to avoid civilian-grade targeting systems. The Cobra fired its beam laser again and destroyed the Orca’s pulse. Harnack had targeted the Orca’s jump drive first, to stop it running, then the comms, which Orla and the Cobra had been jamming since the moment they had arrived in system. Now he was removing the yacht’s ability to manoeuvre, though it would continue on its current trajectory at its current velocity.
    ‘Prepare to be boarded,’ Orla transmitted to the other ship. Her voice would be received disguised. It would have the whining accent of someone from Capital in the Achenar system, the Empire’s home world. ‘Make this easy on us and nobody will get hurt. Any resistance will result in your deaths and we get what we want anyway.’ Orla finished the transmission and ignored the counter-threats, not even bothering to play them to the rest of the crew.
    ‘Anyone get killed in the breach?’ Jenny asked.
    Orla drew patterns in light with her hologramatic control gloves, giving commands to the ship’s scanners.
    Ravindra was still annoyed with the excessive violence as she brought the Song into overwatch position above the Orca. She had no problem with killing but it upped the stakes and tended to complicate things.
    ‘Locking missiles on,’ Jonty said. It was a warning, letting the Orca know that they meant business. Harnack would keep the rest of the weapons free to deal with any other external threats.
    ‘If they lost anyone in the breach then I can’t find them amongst the debris,’ Orla told Jenny. ‘I’m scanning enough people on board to suggest a full crew, passengers and a security detail.’
    ‘Let’s hope that they’re not stupid enough to fight,’ Jenny muttered. Ravindra silently agreed with the engineer.
    The Cobra banked down past the Song and came alongside the Orca. They watched as the Cobra matched speed and then extended its docking arm,
    ‘They’re in,’ Orla said moments later.
    ‘What were they doing out here?’ Jenny wondered out loud.
    ‘Payload exchange,’ Jonty guessed.
    ‘Yeah, but what?’
    ‘Yacht like that, the owner’s got to be a collector,’ Jonty suggested. ‘I’m thinking alien artefact.’
    ‘Okay, that’s enough speculation,’ Ravindra said. She glanced across at Orla. Normally her first mate would have cracked down on such chatter while Ravindra concentrated on flying. She did not like the look on Orla’s face.
    ‘What’s wrong?’ Ravindra asked. Then a flash below her caught her eye. They were about hundred metres over the stern of the Orca. The flash had come from inside the yacht.
    ‘Gunfire,’ Harnack said. There were more flashes from inside the yacht.
    Orla moved her hands and the live feed from Newman’s comms came over the bridge’s speakers. Gunfire drowned out all other sounds for a moment, then they heard the screaming and the sobbing.
    ‘We’ve given you what you want … please—’ a man begged, then there was a long scream that tapered into choking sobs.
    Ravindra swallowed hard.
    ‘That’s not for me. You, all of you, you’re for me.’ It was Newman’s voice. Everyone except Orla turned to look at Ravindra.
    ‘Nothing’s changed,’ she told them. ‘Orla, tell that sick ******* to get back on his ship right now.’
    ‘Newman, if you’ve got the payload then we are leaving, you understand me?’ Orla said over the comms link. She was answered by more gunfire.
    A blinking icon appeared in Ravindra’s vision. Jonty was asking permission to arm a very particular weapon.
    ‘Arm it,’ she told him. ‘You drop it on my command only.’
    Jonty’s fingers moved within his holographic control glove.
    ‘Patch me through,’ Ravindra told Orla, who did so. ‘Newman, make sure everyone’s dead and get back on your ****ing ship right now.’
    ‘You’ll do what you’re paid for, do you understand me?’ Newman said calmly over the comms link. There was more gunfire and screaming in the background.
    ‘Listen to me, we’re not leaving any evidence or witnesses behind, do you understand?’ It was a direct threat. Piracy was one thing. Multiple murder was another. Right now it didn’t matter if some of the passengers and the crew on the Orca were dead, or all of them – legally speaking. It did matter in terms of evidence collection and witness statements, however.
    ‘Understood,’ Newman said. Even across the comms link she could hear his begrudging tone.
    They waited tensely for what seemed like a very long time, but in actuality it was only a few minutes. Then they saw the Cobra detach from the yacht. Orla was shaking her head.
    ‘What?’ Ravindra asked. The first mate pointed. Three lifepods shot away from the yacht. ‘The fools. Jonty, drop it.’
    Ravindra moved her fingers, preparing for a hard burn. It was Newman and his crew’s hard luck if they couldn’t keep up.
    ‘E-bomb gone,’ Jonty said.
    Acceleration slammed all of them back into their chairs. Behind them energy connected all matter in what looked like an electrical display. Behind them space whited out, and the force of the exploding energy bomb buffeted the Song as it destroyed everything.
    They had just blown more than half the profit they were likely to get from this job by dropping the E-bomb. Ravindra was mostly disappointed to see the Cobra make it out of the blast radius. She was a little relieved as well. It had the payload on board, after all.

    Any questions, please ask them here, direct to the editor (me!) on twitter, or at the Gollancz blog.

  2. #2
    Originally Posted by marcusgipps View Post (Source)
    Announcement coming today - will edit this and add details soon.

    Mods, if we could sticky, that would be great!
    Looking forward to finding out more.

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    Originally Posted by marcusgipps View Post (Source)
    How many more corners ....

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    You guys get the pleasure of waiting in suspense. I'll get to go to sleep now and wake up to (hopefully) find the news broken. No nail biting for me!

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  9. #9
    Cruel April Fools getting people's hopes up like this

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    Thread title amended.

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    Ship called Song of Stone, I wonder if that's a wink at the late great Iain M Banks.

  14. #14
    Originally Posted by Slawkenbergius View Post (Source)
    Cruel April Fools getting people's hopes up like this
    It is a great day to announce the news; when they knew we would be unsure of its authenticity.

  15. #15
    Exciting to finally learn more about the upcoming books!

    Originally Posted by T.j View Post (Source)
    Thread title amended.
    Would help tremendously to add the missing 'e' to 'announcEment' - in all three threads.

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