Head of Zeus announced today the launch of Ad Astra, a new imprint at the cutting edge of high concept Science Fiction and Fantasy. The first six titles will be published on 1 October with a regular programme of up to 30 new titles planned for 2021 and beyond.
Why Science Fiction?
HoZ Chairman Anthony Cheetham said “I’ve been a fan since the age of 11 when I traded my stamp album for a copy of HG Wells’s collected short stories, and I’ve never looked back.”
Above: an earlier SF adventure for HoZ Chairman Anthony Cheetham
“But if we look forward we see the making of a new age of science fiction writing, a group of talented novelists and storytellers who use the genre to explore the big big questions in philosophy and politics, genetics and astrophysics, society and the environment. This is what we mean by high concept.”
The talisman of the Ad Astra imprint is Cixin Liu, the Chinese polymath who has found upward of nine million readers in 25 languages for his Three Body Problem trilogy, been the first translated writer to win SF’s top literary awards, made converts in the White House (no, not Trump) and in No 10.
The first six Ad Astra titles publishing on 1st October are:
- HOLD UP THE SKY / Cixin Liu’s - The Master’s new story collection
- SOONER OR LATER EVERYTHING FALLS INTO THE SEA / Sarah Pinsker - from the winner of this year’s Nebula and Philip K. Dick Awards
- ASHES OF THE SUN / Django Wexler - magic and technology fused in the fires of a fallen civilization.
- UNCONQUERABLE SUN / Kate Elliott - Alexander the Great, re-imagined as Empress of an interstellar empire.
- ATTACK SURFACE / Cory Doctorow - five minutes into the future, to a world where everything is connected and everyone is vulnerable.
- THE LOST COLONY / A.G. Riddle - the conclusion of US self-published multi-million-copy bestseller’s Long Winter trilogy.
In November Ad Astra will also release new paperback editions of Cixin Liu’s THE THREE-BODY TRILOGY with cover art from his Chinese editions. Earlier HoZ editions have recorded sales of more than 500,000 copies.
In December Ad Astra publishes Simon Ing’s 1032-page compendium of science fiction’s best 100 stories about Artificial Intelligence, WE, ROBOTS.
Head of Zeus has blazed a trail for international science fiction writing with Chen Qiufan, Baoshu, Cixin Liu, Hao Jing Fang and Jacek Dukaj, and in 2021 Ad Astra will widen the net to include outstanding writers from other cultures who are at the forefront of international science fiction. These will be introduced in Lavie Tidhar’s THE BEST OF WORLD SF, which features new stories by 26 authors from Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America, the Caribbean and the Middle East.
Further 2021 highlights include new novels from award winners C.S. Friedman, Ada Palmer, Ken Liu, Adrian Tchaikovsky, John Birmingham and the international bestseller Terry Goodkind.
The founding publisher of Ad Astra is HoZ Chief Executive Nicolas Cheetham, who has inherited his Chairman’s enthusiasm for the science fiction and fantasy genres.
“Nature, nurture or genetic engineering?” Nicolas Cheetham said, “I’ve always found big, challenging, take-no-prisoners SFF irresistible. With Ad Astra, HoZ’s stealthy but extremely successful SF list breaks cover to better publish the best high-concept SFF our world can offer.”
From left to right: Chen Qiufan, Adrian Tchaikovsky, Nicolas Cheetham, Baoshu, Cixin Liu, Ken Liu