Three-book Deal for Debut SF Novelist

Marcus Gipps at Gollancz, an imprint of The Orion Publishing Group, has acquired World Rights in three science fiction novels by Alexander Lamb from agent John Jarrold.  Alex is an Englishman, living in the US.  The first book is titled ROBOTEER and will be published in 2015.

“I’m delighted,” said John Jarrold. “Alex is a remarkable writer – his debut novel displays all the breadth of great SF while also examining what it means to be human.  And this is my first deal with Marcus, who is a great and good man, with great knowledge of the field and enthusiasm to share.”

Marcus said: “I was blown away by Alex’s debut novel, which combines hard-hitting space-based SF with some remarkable characters against a wide backdrop of religion and technology clashing among the stars. His plans for the next two books are as intriguing as this first book is compelling, and the in-house comparisons to Alastair Reynolds and Peter F. Hamilton have been both numerous and unsolicited! We’re thrilled to welcome him to the Gollancz list, and I’m personally delighted to sign my first book from John Jarrold, who is a legend in the industry.”

Alexander Lamb shares some thoughts about ROBOTEER:

“I’ve been fascinated for years by a single big question: How do we, as a species, survive the impact of our own intelligence? The more powerful we get, the higher the risks to ourselves and our environment. Is there a way to play civilization-poker and win?

“I believe the answer is yes, but only if enough people in the world are thinking about the problem. With Roboteer, I wanted to take some of the most fun themes in science fiction and use them to frame the question in a new way.

“That’s why Roboteer has aliens, robots, and epic space-battles, but all of them a little more realistic than we’re used to seeing. Robots are stupid, starships are insanely expensive, and aliens tend to be extinct, while being no less dangerous for it.”

Alexander Lamb splits his time between writing science fiction, software engineering, teaching improvised theatre, running business communication skills workshops, and conducting complex systems research.


His story Ithrulene, in the Polyphony 5 anthology by Wheatland Press, was singled out for praise by Gardner Dozois in his end of year review for Locus.  He is a graduate of the Clarion West writers program and a Milford group attendee.


As an improviser, Alex has founded three theatre companies and is the inventor of the archetypal improv style, a technique used to bring Joseph Campbell’s theories of narrative structure to unscripted theatre.  As Britain’s foremost expert on spontaneous plotting, he has created play formats now used and enjoyed across the world from London to San Francisco. 


As a trainer, he has worked with CEOs, high school students, international sales professionals, astrophysicists, doctors, world-class athletes, and graduate students.  He has twice been a speaker at ASTD International—the largest business training conference in the world. 


In his day jobs, Alex has worked on the trading floors of international finance, crafted the next generation of man-machine interfaces and worked as an Artificial Intelligence researcher on three continents.  He is currently working on mobile applications for the publishing industry, and also on the large-scale simulation of battlefields for the US Department of Defense, for the purposes of enabling the evacuation of soldiers by robot. 


He also holds the position of Research Scholar in the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Dept. at Princeton University, where he works on computer simulations of complex systems. His research has spanned the simulation of gossip, the formation of human cultural norms, the rise of wealth inequality in society, new algorithms for general machine intelligence, and the modelling of the Planck-length structure of spacetime. He has several blogs, including one focussed on behaviour science and improv, and another on algorithmic approaches to physics. 


He currently lives in Princeton, NJ with his wife, Genevieve Graves, an astrophysicist also at the university there, and his young son, Thorfinn. 

• October 14th, 2013 • Posted in News