Clockwork Angels Novel Available for Pre-order
Clockwork Angels: The Novel by science fiction author Kevin J. Anderson and Neil is available from Amazon.
UPDATE: The hardcover edition of the book debuted at No. 18 on the New York Times hardcover bestseller list.
List price for the hardcover version of the 264-page book, published by ECW Press, is $16.90.
Anderson is a buddy of Neil’s and the two of them collaborated on an e-book last year called Drumbeats.
UPDATE: The audio edition of the novel, read by Neil, is available starting in March 2013. Note the fancy case it comes in. That’s a real working clock, using Hugh Syme’s design.
Neil says the story took root in August, 2010, while he and Anderson were on a hike. “Another long-time goal took root in August, 2010, on a day off between shows at Colorado’s Red Rocks amphitheater. For about twenty years, I have been friends with the previously-mentioned author and pioneer of steampunk, Kevin J. Anderson, and all that time we have discussed doing a project together to combine lyrics and prose. Kevin lived nearby, and led me on a hike up Colorado’s Mount Evans (14,265 feet), during which we started workshopping a prose version of the Clockwork Angels story. A year and a half later, Kevin would do the ‘heavy lifting’ on its novelization.”
Anderson says Clockwork Angels is about a young man’s quest to follow his dreams. He’s “caught between the grandiose forces of order and chaos. He travels across a lavish and colorful world of steampunk and alchemy, with lost cities, pirates, anarchists, exotic carnivals, and a rigid Watchmaker who imposes precision on every aspect of daily life.”
Anderson says he worked with Neil to flesh out the story, which is told over the course of the upcoming album. Each section of the story is identified by an ancient runic symbol. Long-time Rush artist Hugh Syme also helps flesh out the story with his paintings, which Anderson says will fill the CD booklet.
“This is a dream project for me,” Anderson says on his blog. “I have always envisioned epic stories when listening to Rush music, and now working with Neil, it’s possible to translate those stories to the printed page. Clockwork Angels: The Novel turned out even better than we had hoped. I think it’s one of my very best books.”
“As my 38 years with Rush will attest, I very much enjoy collaboration with like-minded artists,” Neil says. “Working up this story with Kevin was one of the easiest, yet most satisfying projects I have ever shared—easiest, because we almost always simply agreed with each other’s ideas, and most satisfying because I am so proud of the result.”
Geddy in a Terrorizer interview says having the novel helped prevent the music from getting bogged down in storytelling details. The novel “took a lot of pressure off [that] I had to include in the lyrics! I could say, ‘Well you can just put that in the book then, it’ll be fine.’ So, that helped make it a better musical journey in that I wasn’t so restricted by plot twists and trying to make sense that [the main character] appears here, then appears there. That’s something that can be flushed out in a novel, but not necessarily important for a musical journey because the music itself is what gives you some colour and paints the picture.”
Anderson has written about 100 novels, 47 of which have been on bestseller lists, according to information on his publishing page.
Clockwork Angels, the album, is scheduled for release on May 29, although there’s talk of a single being released at the end of March, maybe April 1. The song is called “Headlong Flight” and it contains the line “I stoke the fires of the big steel wheels.” On Rush is a Band, there are blurbs that say it has a bit of an updated “By-Tor and the Snow Dog” sound and includes an extended ’74-’77-era guitar solo. Rush is a Band reader DJ_Carter describes the piece in its entirety here.
From Kevin J. Anderson’s blog on the audio version of the book:
Neil Peart reads audiobook of CLOCKWORK ANGELS: The Novel
June is audiobook month—so it’s appropriate to make the posting and announcement here.
Shortly after we sold the hardcover novel of Clockwork Angels to ECW Press (for a lavish full-color edition with illustrations by Hugh Syme), I was contacted by the editor at Brilliance Audio, who had produced the unabridged audios of many of my novels. Of course we wanted an audiobook edition of CLOCKWORK ANGELS: The Novel, and we knew the fans would want it as well (Rush fans being audio-oriented, and all).
Even better, Neil suggested that he would like to read the audio himself.
With the novel—and the audiobook—due to be released at the beginning of September, to coincide with the launch of Rush’s Clockwork Angels tour, we had no time to lose. Before Neil could read the audio, we had to get all the editing finished on the prose, all the corrections made, all the last-minute fine-tuning done. And we had to wrap up before Rush began their intense rehearsals for the tour.
I received the final galley pages of the novel to proofread, while Neil went into the studio to record the audiobook, and I tried to stay one day ahead of him so I could send in corrections and sentence changes before he recorded the words. I received email reports from him every day, telling me Our Hero’s progress across the steampunk landscapes of Albion, Poseidon City, Atlantis, and the Seven Cities, his encounters with the Watchmaker, the Anarchist, the Wreckers…all while I was up in Seattle with Brian Herbert brainstorming the intricate plot for MENTATS OF DUNE. My head was in two universes (not counting the real one) but every night I took a few hours before bed to proofread as much as possible, send in more corrections…and we finally got it done.
I can’t wait to hear it myself, but since I’ve read the novel six times in the past three months, I think I’ll let the imagination-dust settle for a little bit!
Pre-order the novel now: Clockwork Angels: The Novel
Credit to Rush is a Band for the news of the novel pre-order.