Acquisition Announcement and Exclusive Preview: Too Like the Lightning by Ada Palmer


Acquisition Announcement and Exclusive Preview: Too Like the Lightning by Ada Palmer

Head of Zeus have signed Ada Palmer’s critically acclaimed science fiction debut Too Like the Lightning, book one of the Terra Ignota Quartet, winner of the Compton Crook Award 2017 and shortlisted for the Hugo Award for Best Novel 2017.
Publisher Nicolas Cheetham signed a four-book deal — Too Like the Lightning, Seven Surrenders, The Will To Battle and Perhaps the Stars –– with Harry Illingworth of the D H H Literary Agency Ltd in association with the Donald Maass Literary Agency.
Cheetham said ‘This is an astonishingly inventive, extraordinary intricate feat of world-building that opens up new territory for science fiction. Ada conjures a future that is quite unlike anything we have seen before. This is visionary stuff that lives on in the mind long after you have finished it and, as such, is the perfect addition to Head of Zeus’s burgeoning SF list.’
Illingworth said ‘It isn’t often you can honestly say “I’ve never read anything like it”, but when I read Too Like the Lightning I can safely say that much was true. It blew me away. Breathtaking and inventive, pushing narrative boundaries many writers only dream of, Ada Palmer is one of the most exciting talents in science fiction today. I’m thrilled Head of Zeus will be publishing Ada in the UK and I can’t wait for everyone to read this magnificent writer’s work.
Ada Palmer said ‘I've been absolutely astonished by the enthusiasm for Terra Ignota, and so grateful to Head of Zeus for being confident in them. These books demand a lot of concentration and hard work from their readers, and ask uncomfortable questions- – the opposite of beach reading. I always expected them to find a small audience, so it's amazing to see so many people excited about 'big idea' books!  It makes me excited all over again about what wonderful people science fiction readers are.’
Too Like the Lightning will be published on July 13. Read an exclusive extract online here.


Humanity has engineered a hard-won golden age, forged in the aftermath of a bitter conflict that wiped both religion and nation
state from the planet. Now seven factions or ‘Hives’ co-govern the world, their rule fuelled by protective censorship, oracular statistical analytics and technological abundance.
But this is a fragile Utopia – and someone is intent on pushing it to breaking point.
Convicted for his crimes, celebrated for his talents, Mycroft Canner is the indentured instrument – and confidant – of some of the
world’s most powerful figures. When he is asked to investigate a bizarre theft, he finds himself on the trail of a conspiracy that could shatter the tranquil world order the Hives have maintained for three centuries.
But Mycroft has his own secrets. He is concealing a much greater threat to the seven Hives, a wild card no degree of statistical analysis could have prophesied. This threat takes the unlikely form of a thirteen-year-old called Bridger. For how will a world that has banished God deal with a child who can perform miracles?
Watch Ada Palmer introduce Too Like the Lightning:


Ada Palmer is an author, a historian, and a composer. She did her Ph.D. at Harvard University, and now teaches in the History Department at the University of Chicago. Ada studies the long-term evolution of ideas and the history of religious radicalism, science, and free-thought, especially in the Italian Renaissance, Enlightenment, and Classical Greece and Rome. She also writes the history/philosophy blog, composes close harmony folk music and performs with the a cappella group Sassafrass.