Solaris is very pleased to announce that it has acquired the new novel by the author of The Somnambulist, Jonathan Barnes.
Cannonbridge will be published in February 2015.
In a genre flooded with Steampunk, this new literary fantasy novel set in the 19th Century brings a refreshing take on one of the most fascinating periods in history as its charts the rise and fall of the most influential creative mind of the times, Matthew Cannonbridge.
The most prolific novelist of his day, the most accomplished playwright, and the poet of his generation most clearly touched by genius, all the world was Cannonbridge’s and he possessed, seemingly, the ability to be everywhere at once. Cannonbridge was there that night by Lake Geneva when conversation between Byron, Shelley and Mary Godwin turned to stories of horror and the supernatural. He was sole ally, confidante and friend to the young Dickens as Charles laboured without respite in the blacking factory. He was the only man of standing and renown to visit Oscar Wilde regularly in prison – Cannonbridge’s extraordinary life and career spanned a century, earning him a richly-deserved place in the English canon.
The only problem, as beleaguered, provincial, recently-divorced English don Toby Judd is about to discover is that Cannonbridge ought never to have existed.
In the present day, as bibliophiles everywhere prepare to toast the bicentenary of the publication of Cannonbridge’s most celebrated work, Judd’s discovery will lead him on a breakneck chase across the English canon and countryside, to the realisation that something has gone horribly awry with history – and that the spectre of Matthew Cannonbridge might not be so dead and buried after all...
Solaris editor-in-chief Jonathan Oliver said: “Jonathan Barnes’s work is up there with Tim Powers and James P. Blaylock in terms of literary fantasy. His brilliant, complex and raucously entertaining novels are elaborately plotted and beautifully written. I’m delighted that Jonathan has found a new home with Solaris and I’m certain that Cannonbridge will further cement his reputation as one of Britain’s best fantasists.”