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Thread: ANNOUNCEMENT: Gollancz novel. ELITE: DOCKING IS DIFFICULT by Gideon Defoe

  1. #1

    ANNOUNCEMENT: Gollancz novel. ELITE: DOCKING IS DIFFICULT by Gideon Defoe

    ELITE: DOCKING IS DIFFICULT by Gideon Defoe, published by Gollancz in eBook (May 2014) and Hardback (Autumn 2014)

    Synopsis:
    On what might be the worst planet in the universe, a young man dreams of the stars. Adventure! Lasers! Women! And the ultimate goal - to become Elite!

    Unfortunately, Misha has to do his chores first. And learn how to talk to Phoebe, the beautiful customs officer. And leave the planet.

    But the death of a famous author unexpectedly drags Misha and Phoebe into a system-wide conspiracy, complete with smuggling, international art thieves, multi-system corporations, canapés and exploding pigs. This is Misha's chance to prove he has what it takes!

    After all, surely anyone can be Elite if they dream...

    The Author(s):
    Gideon Defoe is best known for his comic novels featuring THE PIRATES! and was the scriptwriter for the Oscar-nominated Aardman film THE PIRATES! IN AN ADVENTURE WITH SCIENTISTS, based on his books.

    You can follow Gideon 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!


    The hover-truck skimmed back through town towards the Bulgakovs’ pig farm.
    ‘I think the President made some very good points,’ said Misha, gazing out of a rain-streaked window as they sped past the rotting foundations of the Olympic-sized velodrome and the vacant lot where the opera house would have gone. His father snorted.
    ‘He is idiot dreamer,’ said Misha Senior.
    ‘What about the graph? That graph seemed pretty convincing.’
    ‘Graphs are for methane farmers and simpletons.’
    Misha watched as the unfinished city gave way to claggy, monochrome fields of mud. ‘I’ve been saying for ages that we should consider branching out from pigs,’ he persisted. ‘We could do a part-exchange on the Malkovich, get something a bit nippier, a bit more space-worthy, do some proper long-haul trading. You know: in commodities that people actually want to buy. Commodities that don’t make them throw up all the time. You could take it easy down here. Kick back, learn space golf or something.’
    ‘Putin give me strength. This is one of your “projects”.’
    ‘I’ve given it a lot of thought.’
    ‘You mean you design logo for company.’
    ‘I’ve not just designed a logo,’ said Misha. ‘I did a tagline too. Bulgakov Trading – Outstanding in our Field. Next to a picture of us on our farm. Farm/fields. It’s a play on words, you see?’
    Misha Senior went on staring at the road ahead. ‘Your great-grandfather farm pigs. Your grandfather farm pigs. I farm pigs. You farm pigs. Though mostly you do not farm pigs. Mostly you sit on fleshy ****, eating my cereal.’
    ‘You’re not seeing the big picture! You need more vision, dad. What’s so great about pig farming anyway?’
    ‘Pig farming is hard life. Second highest number of industrial accidents after mining. Good, honest work.’
    Misha rolled his eyes.
    ‘It’s not like they’re even pigs,’ he muttered.
    The pigs were not technically pigs. So far as anyone could tell, they were ambulatory plants, brainless, bone-free, stump-legged Triffids. A few passing botanists had theorised that the fact Gippsworld’s dominant life form relied on photosynthesis indicated the planet’s weather had, in some distant past, been less unremittingly dismal. For millennia the plant-pigs had been locked in an arms race with the sky, getting more and more efficient at extracting energy from whatever watery sunlight made it through the remorseless cloud cover, like drunks magically locating the alcohol in a bathroom cabinet. Now, if you shone a bright enough light source at their hyper-black skin they’d overdo it and explode in a gloopy shower of vegetable matter. On otherwise boring evenings, kids would sneak into the farm and try to blow the pigs up with a torch for a joke. It was the sort of fact that made it into the light-hearted ‘and finally’ column of a few nature journals, but no academic could be bothered to do much fieldwork on a place like Gippsworld, so that was as far as studies had gone.
    ‘Always you are coming up with these schemes,’ said Misha Senior. ‘It is same as when you said you would be comics artist. Or when you were going to be zoo keeper. Or when you were going to be in band.’
    ‘The band was really good. It’s hard to get decent representation these days.’
    ‘You had four omnichord players. No drummer even.’ His father shook his head sadly. ‘Awful, awful sound.’
    ‘I just think the President is right,’ said Misha. ‘We need to move with the times. In his book on Innovating The Workplace Via Space-War, Cliff Ganymede says a business, like a shark, must constantly swim forward, or it will be eaten by a moon whale or a squid.’
    ‘Oooff. Again with Cliff Ganymede. Always his stories filling your head with tales of exciting adventure beyond the stars. I know what it is. You feel destined for some life greater than pig farming. A life much more exotic, yes? Well. There is reason for this.’
    Misha Senior pulled the hover-truck over to the side of the road and rested his chin on the wheel. He exhaled a heavy, whistling sigh.
    ‘There is something I must tell you.’ The old man sounded tired and resigned. ‘I think maybe you have long suspected it. The truth is …’ He paused for a moment. ‘I am not your actual father, Misha. Your real father was great hero. An Elite space ace. He fought brave secret battle in the Alioth Rebellion of 3228. When he was dying, I swore to him I would raise you as my own, out of harm’s way, but now I see: is pointless to try to fight the destiny that courses through your blood.’
    ‘What?’ Misha’s mouth opened and closed like the door of a broken elevator, except up and down, not sideways. ‘What?’ he said again.
    ‘Oh, sweet mother of Belka and Strelka. Look at your stupid plate face.’ Misha Senior cuffed his son round the ear. ‘You want to know why really you feel destined for great things? Because you are idiot dreamer just like President. All so many dreams, but no follow-through. Wasting money on expensive notebooks to write big ideas down.’
    Misha scowled. He knew that using paper notebooks in the thirty-fourth century was a pretty daft affectation, but he’d seen a show where at the start of each episode Cliff Ganymede, sat behind his sturdy non-synthetic desk, introduced the upcoming space adventure with a real leather-bound journal in his hands. And Misha really liked Cliff Ganymede.
    ‘Nice stationery is important for the creative process,’ he mumbled.
    ‘You never even fill up notebook! I know this because I found one. You write “sit-ups x 100”. You write “learn coding language”. Then five pages of drawings of girls in tight tops. You want to know something?’
    ‘Not really.’
    ‘You are much better at drawing ***** than faces. Also, you have no perseverance. You say you will do a thing, then you waste time playing Cliff Ganymede computer game. How are you going be daring intergalactic space-trader when you are never even getting around to doing ship’s health and safety check?’
    Misha Senior started the truck up again and it bobbed on down the road.
    ‘By the way, who is “Phoebe”?’
    ‘Phoebe …?’ Misha pretended to try to recall a Phoebe. ‘I think maybe there’s a Phoebe works up on the space station. I don’t remember exactly. Why do you ask?’
    ‘Along with the sketches of girls and ideas for terrible films, you have written down the name Phoebe many times. Sometimes you have drawn flowers next to it.’ Misha Senior shook his head pityingly. ‘Is good your mother is dead in violent threshing machine accident to not see this type of thing.’


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

  2. This is the last staff post in this thread. #2

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  4. #4
    ...isn't sure what's going on. Moderator T.j's Avatar
    Thread title amended.

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    Really looking forward to this one! Exploding pigs!

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  9. #9
    Stopped reading at the word
    Triffids
    hahaha... this is gonna be fun!

    Kate: you've got yourself a competitor in the humor corner!

  10. #10
    A nice interview with Gid here:

    http://usvsth3m.com/post/81585721950...-complete-with

    It also has a different extract (in which the secret of what Gid insisted on calling his planet is revealed...)

    Best,
    Marcus

  11. #11
    Originally Posted by marcusgipps View Post (Source)
    A nice interview with Gid here:

    http://usvsth3m.com/post/81585721950...-complete-with

    It also has a different extract (in which the secret of what Gid insisted on calling his planet is revealed...)

    Best,
    Marcus
    Ha ha ha ha! Gippsworld!

  12. #12
    Originally Posted by marcusgipps View Post (Source)
    A nice interview with Gid here:

    http://usvsth3m.com/post/81585721950...-complete-with

    It also has a different extract (in which the secret of what Gid insisted on calling his planet is revealed...)

    Best,
    Marcus
    Great interview! With the Aardman connection it would be a shame if somewhere out there in the Elite galaxy there wasn't a moon made from... er... Wensleydale?

  13. #13
    I did notice the article says '3 tie-in novels' a lot

  14. #14
    Originally Posted by JeffRyan View Post (Source)
    I did notice the article says '3 tie-in novels' a lot
    Which given there are 8 that have got to the point of being blessed by Frontier, is rather sad.

    There is no such thing as bad publicity, we are told, but I thought the 'article/interview' was pretty poor, to be honest. Probably largely because it was trying to be funny, and failing. The book, on the other hand, seems to be able to do some humour perfectly OK, from the excerpts.

  15. #15
    Originally Posted by AnnuverScotinExile View Post (Source)
    Which given there are 8 that have got to the point of being blessed by Frontier, is rather sad.

    There is no such thing as bad publicity, we are told, but I thought the 'article/interview' was pretty poor, to be honest. Probably largely because it was trying to be funny, and failing. The book, on the other hand, seems to be able to do some humour perfectly OK, from the excerpts.
    dont forget there will also be a dice based RPG as well as the books!

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