Philip Reeve’s long-awaited new novel Railhead is out now, and we’ve got two signed copies to give away thanks to those kind people at Liz Scott PR.
Railhead is the story of Zen Starling, a petty thief and self-confessed ‘railhead’ who loves to ride the rails to nowhere. It is set in a far-flung galaxy connected by thousands of gates, linked by indestructible rails – The Great Network, where hundreds of sentient trains criss-cross the universe in seconds. Zen Starling is chosen by the mysterious and powerful Raven to steal something that has the power to bring everything in this galaxy and the next to an end.
Philip Reeve comments, “There have been a lot of dystopian and post-apocalyptic stories published for children and young adults over the past decade (some of them written by me), so I thought it would make a nice change to write about a more hi-tech future where technology has answered many of our present-day problems. I’ve always wanted to have a go at an old-fashioned space opera set in a society that sprawls across dozens of different planets. But I found spaceships strangely hard to write about; flights of fancy always work best when they have a toehold in reality, and I had no store of real-world imagery to which spaceships could be anchored.
“While I was mulling over this problem, I was travelling all round the country doing book events, and since I don’t drive, I generally travelled by train. Watching the rails and stations go by, I started to realise that trains are far stranger and more romantic than any spaceship…
“So I scrapped my space story and rebuilt it in a new setting, the Network Empire, a future human civilisation which is built around a network of railway lines that criss-crosses the galaxy, passing from world to world through mysterious hyperspace portals called K-gates. And into this mostly peaceful, mostly prosperous empire I threw a young thief called Zen, and set about seeing what adventures he could stumble into.”
To get one of these precious copies, just answer this simple question:
Which book series is Philip Reeve best known for?
A) Mortal Engines
B) The Mortal Instruments
C) His Dark Materials
Simply send your answer – A, B, or C – to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line TRAIN along with your name and address, to arrive before 0001 on Monday 12th October, 2015. This competition is only open to readers in the UK and Eire.
The Small PrintThe competition is open to UK and Eire residents aged 18 or over. Anyone professionally connected with the promotion, and their families, are excluded from entering this competition. Prizes will be awarded from all the correct entries through a random draw under independent supervision within seven days of the closing date. There is no cash alternative to any prize. The editor’s decision is final and no discussion will be entered into. To request a list of winners please write to Paul Simpson at email@example.com within 28 days of the closing date. Sci-Fi Bulletin is the recognised promoter of this competition. Only one entry per person.