You might have noticed a little shouting about a new book this week. Here’s the link if you missed it.
Penny Thomas, Publisher at award-winning children’s and YA publisher Firefly Press, has acquired world rights in middle-grade sci-fi adventure Lethe by author Claire Fayers, from Gemma Cooper at The Bent Agency.
Fern and Tapper should never have met. Fern lives with her inventor dad in Swansea, the capital city of Earth. Tapper comes from a galaxy far, far away and his space submarine has only stopped at Earth for an emergency repair. But when Fern’s dad loses his memory, Fern and Tapper set off into the Lethe, one of the great rivers of space, to save him.
Lethe is a joyous, wildly imaginative mash-up of Greek myth and science fiction, full of extraordinary worlds and characters.
And here’s an interview with, um, myself, to tell you more.
Lethe? What’s that?
Stand by for some Greek myth. The Lethe is one of the five rivers of the underworld. You say it with a long ‘e’ at the end – Leethee. It is the river of forgetfulness that souls must pass over on their journey to Hades. Once they’ve drunk its waters, they forget everything that happened to them in life. Seems a bit unfair, but them’s the rules.
Obviously, I couldn’t stick to what the mythology says – that would be boring. Instead, I turned the Lethe into a giant space river that connects a thousand and one different worlds. Its memory-filled waters are constantly creating new things that appear and vanish in an endless mash-up of creativity. But if you drink the water, it will strip the memories right out of your head.
A thousand and one worlds, you say. How long is this book?
Don’t worry, we don’t visit all the worlds. But you will meet lots of strange alien people, including a humanoid dragon, flying octopods and (my favourites), Scylla and Charybdis the lobster mobsters.
Sounds… bizarre. Where did you get the idea from?
I had the thought of writing a heist adventure, and my favourite heist is the story of Jason and the Argonauts from Greek legend. Then I was playing around with the idea of lost memories and the two things sort of got mixed up in my head.
When’s the book coming out?
Not until 2023, which sounds like ages away but I know the time will fly by. And I have plenty of other projects to keep me busy in the meantime.
Is this the start of a series?
Possibly. There are four other rivers to play with, so watch this space.
Really? Haven’t you written enough books already?