Nicolas Cheetham has paid a good five-figure sum for a two novels by award-winning UK writer Chris Beckett, for the Corvus imprint of Grove Atlantic. The deal was concluded with agent John Jarrold.
The first book in this deal, The Holy Machine, will be published in 2010 – Corvus acquired World rights excluding the USA, where it has been published by Prime. The second novel is being discussed by Beckett and Nicolas Cheetham, and has been acquired for World rights.
Beckett won the prestigious Edge Hill Story Award earlier this year for his SF collection The Turing Test, published by small press Elastic, beating off literary collections by Booker Prize-winner Anne Enright, Whitbread winner Ali Smith and other literary lions.
“I’m so delighted for Chris,” said John Jarrold. “He’s one of the most thoughtful writers involved in SF. He invents wonderful concepts, but it’s all about the characters, the people. After winning a major literary prize earlier this year – the judges said they didn’t know they liked SF until they read his stories – this is a great move forwards. Couldn’t happen to a nicer bloke.”
Nicolas Cheetham said “With all the imagination, zest and style of Chris’s award-winning short stories, The Holy Machine is a must read first novel. Chris proves that literary fiction and science fiction can be one and same.”