It’s in The Bookseller, so it must be true: my new novel, the epic-sized By Force Alone, has gone to publishers Head of Zeus in the UK, in a three-book deal. What these other two books might be, I have no idea! Haha. I am sure I will think of something. (He said, crying).
Anyway, By Force Alone (all 125,000 words of it!) is scheduled to come out in 2020 in hardcover – I think you can even pre-order it!
It’s an Arthurian novel, I guess, but hopefully not like any other Arthurian novel – as Nic Cheetham, my editor at HoZ, said, “There was only one way I was ever going to read another King Arthur novel, and that was if Lavie Tidhar wrote it.” I felt there was very little point tackling something that’s been around since old Geoff of Monmouth came up with the whole stupid thing back in the 12th century, unless you were going to seriously fuck with it. Think of it as the Trump & Brexit Arthur…
As part of my original pitch for the book went:
you know the story, so why am I telling you all this?
You know how it starts. You know how it all ends.
Uther, that shit, and how Igraine poisoned him. Mordred and the last battle. All that crap. It’s in Mallory. Look it up. All the murders and the blood and the warmth and nos-fucking-talgia of the original tales.
The Isle of Britain. That utter shithole Rome abandoned like a clogged sewer. Britain, where petty warlords squabbled in the mud.
Britain, where one king rose to bring peace and unite them all in chivalry and glory, to form a United Kingdom, to – bloody bloody blah blah.
So, it’s bigger than any of my other books – 125,000 words!! Did I mention that already? – and it combines historical fiction, fantasy, noir, politics – the usual. Maybe some kung fu. Possibly some aliens. You know the story. Arthur dies at the end. Who gives a shit.
It really was a lot of fun to write. It was a big, long, complicated process, and a big act of faith that there’d be a book at the end of it! Or that someone will publish it. I’m looking forward to sharing it next year!
It’s also lovely to be back publishing properly in the UK. I’ve turned down several offers in the past few years (crazy, I know!) looking for the right one. Head of Zeus have shown the right commitment and the enthusiasm to basically let me just get on with it, and there might be some other exciting possibilities on that front too. So I’m very pleased!
As for anyone curious about a US edition – yes, there will be one. Details on that will have to wait for a little while longer, though… Sorry! And, well, some more exciting book news, too. Let’s just say next year will be busy. 🙂