CrabHello, and welcome to the website of David Barnett, author and journalist.

My current project is CALLING MAJOR TOM, to be published in 2017 by the new Orion books imprint, TRAPEZE. I’m also the author of the Gideon Smith series of steampunk/alternate-history/fantasy novels, published in the US by Tor Books and the UK by Snowbooks.

I’m represented by the John Jarrold Literary Agency.

You can also see my journalism work at my Barnett Media website.

On the site you’ll see links to the latest books, what’s coming up, and personal appearances.

Thanks for stopping by.

Cheltenham Lit Fest 2016 – free #CallingMajorTom exclusive proofs!

CallingMajorTom-R2 1

Delighted to say that I will be appearing at the Cheltenham Literature Festival again this year, on FRIDAY OCTOBER 14. I’ll be alongside Sarah J Naughton and Peter Dunne at a Trapeze event… not only will you hear from three authors about their upcoming books for the new Orion imprint but you’ll get a goody bag with advance reading copies of the books… probably before anyone else!

Tickets go on sale to lit fest members at the end of the month and from September 7 to the general public. For more details, click here.


An Interview With CHUCK TINGLE

chucktingleOK. Who is Chuck Tingle, you ask? Go read this piece I did for the Guardian, then come back.

I wrote in that Guardian piece I had 2,000 or so words of Chuck Tingle interview notes that probably people wouldn’t want to be subjected to. I got enough messages saying people would like to see it to make it worth sticking up here. Note: this interview was conducted at the end of April. So… dive in:

Continue reading


Absolutely over the moon (heh) to announce that my novel CALLING MAJOR TOM, written as DAVID M BARNETT, is going to be published as one of the launch titles for the new Orion imprint, TRAPEZE BOOKS. Full release below:

For immediate release, March 11 2016

Calling Major Tom by David M Barnett

will be published by Trapeze on 18 May 2017

in paperback £7.99, eBook £7.99

Sam Eades, Senior Commissioning Editor at Orion, has acquired World Rights (All Languages) for Calling Major Tom by David M Barnett in a one book deal struck by John Jarrold Literary Agency.

Sam Eades said: “CALLING MAJOR TOM is a very British A Man Called Ove and I’ve fallen head over heels with each and every character. It is the heart-warming and ultimately life-affirming story of a man who has given up on the world, but discovers in the most unlikely way that it might not have given up on him. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you will cheer on all the curmudgeons in your life.”

David M Barnett said: “I woke up on the morning of my birthday to find out that not only had another year of my 40s seemed to have suddenly zoomed by, but to cap it all David Bowie had died. A few days later I saw the astronaut Tim Peake on the news, having become the first Briton to do a spacewalk, and all this made the mental rockets start firing. What if you were so grumpy, so fed up with life, that you literally wanted to get away from it all? And where better to go than space? The flip-side of that, of course, is that while astronauts are doing hugely exciting things up there, the rest of us are struggling along with our day to day lives and problems. Calling Major Tom was born out of wondering what would happen if those two worlds collided – the astronaut in splendid isolation far above the world and a normal family back on Earth. Of course, there’s no such thing as a ‘normal’ family – they’re all problematic and dysfunctional in their own ways. So it’s really about unlikely friendships, facing up to problems life throws at us, and finding a chance at redemption in the most unexpected places.”

John Jarrold said: “This is an exciting new imprint, and Sam Eades’ proactive enthusiasm since she first contacted me and wanted to talk about involving David Barnett has been a delight. David’s writing overflows with warmth, wit and humanity – and this book will use all those aspects wonderfully well.”

David Barnett is an author and journalist based in West Yorkshire. After a career working for regional newspapers he embarked upon a freelance career writing features for most of the UK national press. He is the author of the critically-acclaimed Gideon Smith series of Victorian fantasies, published by Tor Books, and teaches journalism part-time at Leeds Trinity University. David was born in Wigan, Lancashire, in 1970 and is married to Claire, also a journalist. They have two children, Charlie and Alice.

For further information please contact Sam Eades
on 020 3122 7195 or via email: sam.eades@orionbooks.co.uk


It’s been a while since I’ve updated this website, because a lot’s been happening recently.

The third GIDEON SMITH novel, THE MASK OF THE RIPPER, was released in October by Tor Books in the US and Snowbooks in the UK.

I’ve been working as a freelance journalist for the past nine months, mainly for the UK national press, magazines and online sites. I’ve been doing work for The Guardian, the Independent (R.I.P. the print model in the next few weeks), the Mail on Sunday, The Pool, SFX, Comic Heroes, and lots of others.

I also have a Very Secret Project in the pipeline, but can’t speak about it for the moment. Hopefully more news in March, though…

Gideon Smith and the Mask of the Ripper – first reviews

Screen Shot 2015-04-27 at 13.10.05 MaskRipperTor

Hello, so we’re in publication week for Gideon Smith and the Mask of the Ripper, the third book in the Gideon Smith series from Tor Books (US) and Snowbooks (UK). Let’s have a look at some early reviews! Extracts below, click for full review. And click here for where to buy.

The third installment of Barnett’s lively Victorian pulp/steampunk adventure series…Barnett creates some provocative and genuinely dark moments, and an intriguing cliffhanger sets up his next book. Fans of pulp adventure and steampunk settings will enjoy this strong series. – Publishers Weekly

With a diverse cast of characters and delightfully despicable villains, I found Barnett’s writing to be honest, compelling and clever. I am completely invested in the Gideon Smith series. Mr. Barnett, you’ve made me a fan. – Pop Kernal

This is the third of David Barnett’s marvellous steampunk novels chronicling the real-life penny-dreadful adventures of Gideon Smith, Hero of the Empire…It all makes for a busy book, but one that’s as much fun as a ride on the brass dragon. – Toronto Star/Hamilton Spectator

Perfect for fans of Mark Hodder’s “Burton & Swinburne” adventures. – Library Journal

“Fresh and exciting” – Don DaMassa