Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Elysium Fire and a new title for The Prefect

I'm pleased to be able to announce that my next novel will have the title Elysium Fire. Actually the title has been out there for a little while courtesy of various online listings, but at least now I can confirm it (sometimes provisional titles do escape out into the wild) and also offer up the cover artwork, concerning which I'm very happy.

This is a direct sequel to 2007's The Prefect, and although it's been a decade since I completed the earlier novel, the action in this book begins only two years after the events of the first. Although it features the same settings, organisation and main characters of the first, it concerns itself with an entirely different story and is intended to function as a standalone book, requiring no prior knowledge of The Prefect.

While my editor and I were discussing title options for this new novel, none of which seemed to follow on organically from the first, I made the not entirely flippant suggestion that, given the chance, I would jump at the opportunity to retitle The Prefect. Although I still liked the book, over the ensuing decade I'd come to feel that it was one of my weaker titles and was particularly problematic from the standpoint of establishing the idea of the Panoply stories forming a sort of universe within a universe. So, once we had begun to settle on a title for the new book, thoughts turned to the possibility of a fresh identity for the older one, and after some deliberation this is the result:

Obviously I am keen that no one should mistake this for a new novel, so the intention at the moment is that the original title will feature prominently as part of the description on the rear cover (this will be a paperback reissue) while the front cover will have a removable sticker clearly identifying the nature of the book. Online descriptions will also strive to make it clear that this is not an original work, and I'll aim to get the word out at all opportunities between now and the re-issue.