Voyager UK |

Vote for James Smythe!

James Smythe has been longlisted for The Guardian’s Not the Booker Prize for his most recent book, The Machine, published by Blue Door! Find out how to vote for him here.

The Explorer is out in paperback at the end of this month and we have two events with James coming up.

The first will be in conversation with Amy McCulloch, author and editor at HarperVoyager – Thursday 29th August, 7pm, Waterstones Guildford, Tickets: £3 and available in store

And the second is in conversation with author Adam Christopher – Waterstone’s Deansgate, Thursday 5th September, 7pm, Tickets: £5/£3 and available in store

The-Explorer-PB

Voyager UK |

The Explorer is out in the UK

Published earlier this month in the US, James Smythe’s The Explorer is now out in hardback in the UK. To add to the amazing quotes we shared earlier this month, there has been EVEN MORE early praise for this dark, SF thriller, including…

‘A wonderful examination of coping with loss, time and death.’ – SFX Magazine gives it 4 1/2 stars

‘A thriller of deep-space exploration with overtones of the best 70s space-based SF’ – The Guardian features it in their round up of 2013 SF predictions

The Explorer earns a “can’t miss” recommendation for its mind-bending, heart-wrenching, avalanche of a reading experience.’ – SF Signal is a fan

‘…one of the most gripping novels that I’ve read in 2012. Dread, claustrophobia and unease permeate this imaginative, bleak masterpiece. The Explorer was easily my favourite sci-fi novel of the past year, possibly my favourite of all time, and I can’t recommend it highly enough.’ Starburst Magazine gave it 9/10

‘Utterly gripping, terrifyingly claustrophobic, heartbreaking. Literary sci-fi of the best kind.’ Alex Preston (author of The Revelations)

‘James Smythe’s Explorer unfolds like fractal origami. Elegant, streamlined, complex and beautiful.’ Tom Pollock

‘a perfect crossover between literary fiction and science fiction’ Booktrust

‘a head-scratching mystery, a powerful, dangerous vision of the future, and a beautifully-written drama about humanity and what we strive for, all wrapped up in a spaceship-shaped puzzle box. It’s mind-bendingly good. Read it at once.’ Will Hill

‘A suffocating lonely sad and brilliant paean to no one being able to hear you scream in space.’ Nikesh Shukla, author of Costa First Novel Award-shortlisted novel, Coconut Unlimited

‘even if you’re not a fan of sci-fi, or think you’re not, you’ll still find a lot to love about The Explorer. In many ways the space setting and sciency conundrums are incidental; this is at heart a novel about a man pushed to the very edge of his endurance, who must somehow find the mental fortitude to carry on.’ Page Plucker

‘The story is not only entertaining but captivating. In the later stages of the book the plot twists and turns – sometimes back on itself – and through its complexities there actually is a romping good space travel yarn.’ Dog Ear Discs

‘absolutely loved this book, gripping and clever; it kept me up reading late into the night.’ Curiosity Killed the Bookworm blog

‘It’s a taut, claustrophobic, frankly unnerving exploration of grief, memory, self-knowledge, and what it really means to go where no one has gone before both physically and psychologically… I found Smythe’s writing to have a rare power to move. The Explorer is a profound and deeply impressive novel which I urge you to read.’ Words of Mercury blog

‘a taut psychological thriller, that draws on fear of the unknown and the debilitating effects of isolation…. Smythe’s control of the tension is, by and large, spot on. ‘The Explorer’ is reminiscent of Stephen King’s early short fiction… The novel’s conclusion is expertly constructed, and the denouement jaw-dropping. It’s the closest thing I have seen in literature to a ‘Sixth Sense’ type reveal, that will have you thumbing back through the book, to check all the pieces were there. I can assure you they are, and you won’t quite believe you missed them. Things are even left open for a sequel, and such is the open nature of the tale, it could be taken in any number of directions. I can’t wait to see which one the author chooses. If The Testimony marked James Smythe as an author to watch, then The Explorer demands that he is one to follow. An excellent novel.’ Quicksilver Reads blog

‘The whole book is a sort of reflection of ourselves, of society, set against the back drop of space, whilst also being a superb work of science fiction in the traditional sense.’ The Opinionated Geeks blog

The Explorer is a modern Sci-fi novel that grips the reader from the start. It traps you inside a spaceship and does not let you go, you feel the oxygen levels plummeting, you’re cold and starving, while a error message keeps popping up on the screen. There isn’t much time left. What would you do?’ Read, Write and Read Some More blog 

So – have you read it yet?

The Explorer is out TODAY in hardback and is also available as an eBook.

Pick it up at your local store or order it today from Amazon or Waterstone’s.

James is doing two events later on this month:

Wednesday 30th January – 7pm
Event with Ben Johncock for Waterstones11-17 Castle Street, NR2 1PB, Norwich. Tickets available in store or on 0843 290 8519

Saturday 26th February
Q&A with Nikesh Shukla at the Review Bookshop, 131 Bellenden Road, SE15 4QY. For more information 0207 639 7400

Uncategorized, Voyager US |

OUT NOW – James Smythe’s THE EXPLORER

James Smythe’s tense, claustrophobic and gripping science fiction thriller THE EXPLORER is on sale now!

When journalist Cormac Easton is selected to document the first manned mission into deep space, he dreams of securing his place in history as one of humanity’s great explorers. But as soon as the crew emerge from hypersleep, things start to go terribly wrong and soon Cormac finds himself alone and spiraling towards his own inevitable death … unless he can do something to stop it.

Here’s just some of the praise so far:

“Beautifully written, creepy as hell. The Explorer is as clever in its unravelling as it is breathlessly claustrophobic.”
— Lauren Beukes, author of Zoo City

“This is a remarkable book: a state-of-the-art spacecraft constructed from ideas, and propelled by a powerful story. Gripping, terrifying and audacious–an exploration in every sense of the word.”

— Charles Yu, author of How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe

“A challenging and stimulating read.”
— Booklist

The Explorer is essentially exemplary: a short, sharp shock of a story from an author who deserves to do as well for himself as he does by us. It’s perfectly plotted, smartly characterized and rife with insight and excitement.”
— Tor.com

“Science fiction is best when it does what we least expect, when it transforms narrative into something you don’t see coming. Smythe guides this tale with a sure hand, leading readers along a non-linear path where anything might happen and what does happen will make you reconsider all that happened before. It’s a trick not every writer can master, but Smythe makes a marvel of this world, and these characters, and makes this reader want the sequel now.”
— Romantic Times BOOKclub (Top Pick!)

“The Explorer is smart, scary and seductive. Like its protagonist, it explores the queasy strangeness of space-time, and puts the reader at the heart of a tale of watching and fearing that comes off like a collaboration between Hitchcock and Heinlein. Excellent stuff.”
— Lloyd Shepherd, author of The English Monster

“Dark, cold, claustrophobic, and oh so very scary. The Explorer is literary science fiction at its blackest best.”
— Adam Christopher, author of Empire State and Seven Wonders

 

Voyager UK, Voyager US |

Read an extract of The Explorer

In space, nothing goes according to plan…

Fans of SF will love our first book from James Smythe. When journalist Cormac Easton is selected to document the first manned mission into deep space, he dreams of securing his place in history as one of humanity’s great explorers. But as soon as the crew emerge from hypersleep, things start to go terribly wrong and soon Cormac finds himself alone and spiralling towards his own inevitable death … unless he can do something to stop it.

Here are just SOME of the quotes we’ve already had in for it:

“Beautifully written, creepy as hell. The Explorer is as clever in its unravelling as it is breathlessly claustrophobic” Lauren Beukes, Arthur C. Clarke Award-winning author of Zoo City

“Dark, cold, claustrophobic, and oh so very scary. The Explorer is literary science fiction at its blackest best” Adam Christopher, author of Empire Stateand Seven Wonders

“The Explorer is smart, scary and seductive. Like its protagonist, it explores the queasy strangeness of space-time, and puts the reader at the heart of a tale of watching and fearing that comes off like a collaboration between Hitchcock and Heinlein. Excellent stuff” Lloyd Shepherd, author of The English Monster

Read a short extract below or head over to James’ Facebook page to read more…

Continue reading

Voyager UK |

THE EXPLORER – UK Cover Art reveal

HarperVoyager UK are thrilled to reveal the cover for James Smythe’s incredible science fiction début The Explorer. You may know James from his Guardian blog re-reading Stephen King, or as the author of the  ”utterly gripping and highly original” (Daily Mail) The Testimony published by our sister imprint Blue Door, but to Voyager he is the author of one of the best – and most compelling – science fiction novels we’ve read in years.

With no further ado, the UK cover for The Explorer (ebook 20 December 2012, hb 17 January 2013):

 

A tense, claustrophobic and gripping science fiction thriller from the author of The Testimony.

When journalist Cormac Easton is selected to document the first manned mission into deep space, he dreams of securing his place in history as one of humanity’s great explorers.

But in space, nothing goes according to plan.

The crew wake from hypersleep to discover their captain dead in his allegedly fail-proof safety pod. They mourn, and Cormac sends a beautifully written eulogy back to Earth. The word from ground control is unequivocal: no matter what happens, the mission must continue.

But as the body count begins to rise, Cormac finds himself alone and spiralling towards his own inevitable death … unless he can do something to stop it.

Pre-order the hardback or ebook today