Angry Robot Books is delighted to announce the signing of a World English two-book deal with Arthur C. Clarke award-nominated Matthew De Abaitua, acquired from Sarah Such of Sarah Such Literary Agency.
The first of these two novels, If Then, is a novel in two parts, bringing the First World War to an English town of the near-future, where an economic collapse has left the citizens under the control of an algorithm known as the Process. If Then will be published in September 2015. Matthew’s second SF title, The Destructives described as Mad Men in space, will be published in 2016.
Matthew De Abaitua: “The disturbing contours of the future are becoming clear. Angry Robot are publishing tremendous novels that explore this strange, exciting, terrifying territory, and I’m excited that they will include my next two new novels If Then and The Destructives on that map.”
Marc Gascoigne: “I was and am a big fan of Matthew’s debut novel The Red Men, so leapt at the chance to read his new novel, If Then. I think I was about two chapters in when I knew we had to buy it for Angry Robot. Then the swine let me read the opening of The Destructives too, and of course we bought that as well. He reminds me of the very best boundary-pushers of English SF, including Christopher Priest and M John Harrison, and I’m delighted we will be bringing you his exceptional novels soon.”
About Matthew De Abaitua: Matthew lived and worked as Will Self’s amanuensis in a remote cottage in Suffolk, after he graduated with an MA in Creative Writing. His short story ‘Inbetween’ was included in the best-selling anthology Disco Biscuits and adapted as a short film by Channel 4. His first novel The Red Men (Snowbooks 2007, Gollancz ebook 2013) was shortlisted for the Arthur C Clarke Award. In 2013, the first chapter was adapted as a short film ‘Dr. Easy’ by directors Shynola (produced by Film4 and Warp Films) as a precursor to a feature film, currently in development. ‘Dr. Easy’ has had over 250k views on Vimeo. He currently lectures on Creative Writing at Brunel University and Writing Science Fiction at the University of Essex.
James has a scar in the back of his head. It’s where he was wounded in the Battle of Suvla Bay in August 1915. Or is the scar the mark of his implant that allows the Process to fill his mind with its own reality?
In IF, the people of a small English town cling on after an economic collapse under the protection of the Process. But sometimes people must be evicted from the town. That’s the job of James, the bailiff. While on patrol, James discovers the replica of a soldier from the First World War wandering the South Downs. This strange meeting begins a new cycle of evictions in the town, while out on the rolling downland, the Process is methodically growing the soldiers and building the weapons required to relive a long lost battle.
In THEN, it is August 1915, at the Battle of Suvla Bay in the Dardanelles campaign. Compared to the thousands of allied soldiers landing on this foreign beach, the men of the 32nd Field Ambulance are misfits and cranks of every stripe: a Quaker pacifist, a freethinking padre, a meteorologist, and the private (once a bailiff) known simply as James. Exposed to constant shellfire and haunted by ghostly snipers, the stretcher-bearers work day and night on the long carry of wounded men. One night they stumble across an ancient necropolis, disturbed by an exploding shell. What they discover within this ancient site will make them question the reality of the war and shake their understanding of what it means to be human…