In 2007 Immanion Press published my second novel, Angelglass, following on from my debut with them, Hinterland. Some time ago rights in both novels reverted to me and since then I’ve been pondering what to do with them.
I don’t think any mainstream publisher would be interested in this early work now, so as something of an experiment, following a chat with my agent John Jarrold, I’ve decided to put out Angelglass myself as an e-book for Kindle available on Amazon’s sites in various territories.
Given the great response Gideon Smith and the Mechanical Girl has been getting since publication in September, I thought it might be interesting for those who enjoyed Gideon to see some of my earlier work.
It’s a very different beast to Gideon – it was written, more or less, ten years ago – though it shares some commonality, mainly a focus on a historical period (in this case the 1580s) and the appearance of many real-life historical figures. Angelglass is what I called at the time a “split-screen” novel – it takes place in two time-frames, the 16th century and the present day – linked by one character. In the present day he is caught up in an anti-capitalist protest taking place in Prague on November 15 – the N15 event – and in 1584 he is drawn into court intrigue in Prague castle.
Here’s the blurb:
In present-day Prague, an amnesiac is discovered on the outskirts of the city and slowly absorbed into a household of expatriates preparing for a massive anti-globalisation protest. In the Bohemian capital at the close of the 16th century, a man with no memories is presented to the court of Rudolf II, melancholy ruler of the Habsburgs who presides over a chaotic court of seers, alchemists, charlatans and frauds. And in a shining city on the edge of forever, a being of a higher order is about to fall from grace. As these three stories entwine and mingle towards an explosive climax, truth and lies become harder to distinguish and the question is posed: How can you know yourself, when no-one around you is what they claim to be?
Angelglass received some nice reviews at the time, and sales were fairly respectable for a small press book. Here are some of the notices:
“ANGELGLASS is stunning”
– The Guardian
“Both touching and haunting, at its heart ANGELGLASS is a thoughtful novel about what truly makes us happy, and what makes life worth living.”
– SFX magazine
“ANGELGLASS is David Barnett’s love letter to Prague…and a rather good novel to boot.”
– Death Ray magazine
“A fascinating multi-layered story with a cast of characters that will leave you breathless.”
– Lancashire Evening Post
“A novel that at about 240 pages in length packs the narrative heft of a 500 page one…The threads mirror one another and converge in quite unexpected ways and I have to say that the ending blew me away crowning this powerful novel.”
– Fantasy Book Critic
Would you enjoy Angelglass if you liked Gideon Smith? If you enjoy Angelglass, will that mean you’ll have a good time with Gideon? Honestly not sure. But for better or worse, Angelglass is out there again, in DRM-free ebook this time. Will be interesting to see the reaction, if any.