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Tag: The Consequence Girl

Fixing the Future – a guest post by Alastair Chisholm

This month we’re absolutely delighted to have published The Consequence Girl,  a thrilling, unputdownable adventure, from Alastair Chisholm, the highly-acclaimed author of the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize-shortlisted Orion Lost and the Blackwell’s Children’s Book of the Year, Adam-2. And today we’re very excited to be sharing a guest post from Alastair!

The Consequence Girl is my third science fiction novel. It’s about Cora, a girl hiding in a world ruined by a mysterious ancient disaster. Chased from her hiding place, she meets others for the first time, and learns about an amazing power she has – one which could change literally everything

It’s an adventure story, a chase story, and a mystery. But actually, it’s about how we deal with disaster and grief, how we overcome feelings of powerlessness, and how we live in the face of fear for the future.

Actually, it’s about a girl on a mountainside.

I love writing science fiction. I grew up immersed in sci-fi (I still remember queuing for The Empire Strikes Back, standing on tiptoes because I technically wasn’t old enough to get in!). Oh, sure, I liked magic, too – but sci-fi was cool. Sci-fi comes from our world – from things that might actually happen, machines we might actually invent. I love that the people in these stories really could be us.

And so for me, when an idea first starts, it’s with a person. My first novel, Orion Lost, was someone waking up alone on a starship, a billion miles from home. My second, Adam-2, was a boy in a basement. And this one was a girl – Cora – standing on a snowy, pine-covered mountainside.

Who was she? Why was she on the mountainside? Where was everyone else? Was she hiding? Who was trying to find her? I had no idea, but she stood there, and I had to work it out.

Cora, I realised, has a power. She can look at something that happens – a coin toss coming up heads, say – and see all the tiny events that led to it. The flick of her thumb on the coin, the air currents as it flew, the way it hit the ground and bounced. And then she can ask: what if things were just slightly different? If my thumb twitched slightly as I flicked? If the coin bounced just a little differently? What would happen?

Cora can see every outcome – and once she has one in her head, she can fix it in place. She can rewrite history.

She can change the world.

And boy, sometimes it feels like the world needs changing, right? Scary events in the news can make us feel like we don’t have any control. It’s clear that the grown-ups don’t always know what they’re doing. Weird politicians make weird decisions and tell us that this is what we agreed to, while actual climate disasters are ignored. Old prejudices and intolerances have raised their horrible heads – in fact, we’re inventing new intolerances, like we don’t have enough…

I thought, what would I change, if I could? And then I thought – how would I ever stop?

Cora’s world was ruined by some disaster – an apocalypse that broke everything. It’s taken a hundred years for society to get going again. But it’s not a dystopia. There’s food, and power, and schools, and shops. There are police, and a free press, and an elected government, and freedom of movement. It’s not dystopia – in fact, in some ways it’s a lot like our world.

But the government are trying to control the press. And the police are getting a bit heavy-handed. And there are artificial shortages, and policies designed to create fear amongst the population. It’s not dystopia, but it could be.

So … it’s a lot like our world.

And I wanted to show this world, and how different people react to it. Some hide away, living alone with their grief. Some revel in nostalgia, trying to return to “The good old days”. Some want to burn it down and start again. Some want to control it, lock it down tight as if people were numbers on a spreadsheet. Cora has the power to do any one of those – but which one?

Of course, I love sci-fi adventures. So first she must escape explosions, flying cars, evil security bosses and all sorts of danger! And she has no idea who she can trust, and things are going to get very dark indeed…

I hope you enjoy The Consequence Girl. I loved writing about Cora (and her guardian, the amazingly kick-ass Lilith!). As I was writing, I came across this quote from Thomas Paine, the politician and philosopher, who understood something amazing. Many years ago, he said:

“We have it in our power to rebuild the world over again”

I think about this a lot. We have that power.

How are we going to use it?

Thank you, Alastair! You can order a copy of The Consequence Girl from Waterstones here, Bookshop.org here, or Amazon here.

Read the first few chapters below:

 

 

Read an exclusive extract from The Consequence Girl – a thrilling, unputdownable adventure from Alastair Chisholm

We’re very excited to be publishing The Consequence Girl next month, a brilliantly-imagined, ambitious and high-concept adventure from one of the most exciting new voices in children’s fantasy and science fiction, Alastair Chisholm.

And today we’re delighted to be sharing a preview of the book – you can read the first few chapters below!

The world of Colony is in ruins. No one knows what caused society to begin tearing itself apart – but the secret may lie with Cora, a girl living on the mountainside far away from others. Cora possesses an extraordinary gift: the power to see back in time, from an event back to its causes. Even more incredibly, sometimes she can change events. But the present is looking for Cora, and she is forced on the run – and must decide who she is, what she can do … and how to fix the future.

Read an extract:

The Consequence Girl will be published on June 2nd – you can pre-order a copy from Waterstones here, Bookshop.org here, or from Amazon here.

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Nosy Crow announces exciting new titles from Waterstones Children’s Book Prize-shortlisted author Alastair Chisholm

Nosy Crow is delighted to announce the acquisition and publication of two unputdownable middle-grade adventures from Waterstones Children’s Book Prize-shortlisted author, Alastair Chisholm, as well as six titles in a new illustrated fiction series for 7+ readers.

The Consequence Girl, the first middle-grade title, will publish in September 2022, followed by the second in September 2023. Alastair’s illustrated fiction series, Dragon Storm, will launch with Tomás and Ironskin (book one) and Cara and Silverthief (book two) in January 2022, with three further books to publish in 2022 and a sixth in the series to come in January 2023. The Dragon Storm series will be illustrated by Eric Deschamps, with cover illustrations by Ben Mantle.

Tom Bonnick, Senior Commissioning Editor at Nosy Crow, bought world rights to two middle-grade titles and six younger fiction titles from Caroline Montgomery at Rupert Crew. Nosy Crow has already sold rights in the Dragon Storm series to the US, France, the Netherlands and Germany.

Dragon Storm is an exciting, imaginative new fantasy series for 7-9 year olds, brilliantly illustrated throughout by Eric Deschamps, and perfect for fans of How to Train Your Dragon and Dragon Mountain. The Consequence Girl is a thrilling, ambitious and unputdownable science fiction adventure for 9-12 year olds.

Author Alastair Chisholm comments: “I’m so excited to be working with Tom Bonnick, and everyone at Nosy Crow, on both the new sci-fi novels and the upcoming Dragon Storm series – I can’t wait to share these stories with everyone!”

Tom Bonnick, Senior Commissioning Editor at Nosy Crow, comments: “I’m so thrilled to be working with Alastair not just on more incredible middle-grade novels, but also on a brilliant new series for younger readers. With his first two books, Orion Lost and ADAM-2, Alastair has established himself as one of the most exciting new authors of middle-grade science fiction, and The Consequence Girl is an extraordinary achievement – it’s even more gripping, intelligent and fast-paced. And I’m delighted that Nosy Crow will also be publishing younger illustrated fiction by Alastair – Dragon Storm is a fantastic new series, with a hugely appealing fantasy premise and an amazing new world.”

Caroline Montgomery, Alastair’s agent, comments: “It’s always a joy working with Tom Bonnick and Nosy Crow, so I’m thrilled that our journey together continues with Alastair’s latest standalone novels and especially excited by the new Dragon Storm adventure series.  I cannot wait to see all these books in children’s hands.”

Alastair Chisholm is the author of two previous middle-grade novels published by Nosy Crow, Orion Lost (2020), shortlisted for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize, and ADAM-2 (2021). He lives in Edinburgh with his family.

Synopsis of Dragon Storm: Tomás and Ironskin

In the land of Draconis, there are no dragons. Once, there were. Once, humans and dragons were friends, and created the great city of Rivven together. But then came the Dragon Storm, and the dragons retreated from the world of humans. To the men and women of Draconis, they became legends and myth.

 Tomás has always been told that now, dragons are extinct, and so he can’t believe it when a mysterious stranger invites him to join a secret society, the Dragonseer Guild – and tells him that not only do dragons still exist, but also that Tomás has a very special power … he can summon his very own dragon! But Tomás faces a difficult choice, and he and his dragon, Ironskin, must learn to trust each other – in time to save their home from a deadly threat.

 Synopsis of The Consequence Girl

The world of Colony is in ruins. It has been this way for so long that no one knows what caused society to begin tearing itself apart – but the secret may lie with Cora, a girl living on the mountainside far away from others, kept by a woman who will not tell her about her past. Cora possesses an extraordinary gift: the power to see back in time, from an event back to its causes. Not far – a few hours, perhaps a day – but some. Even more incredibly, sometimes she can change events. She can’t simply make things happen, but she can give tiny nudges, and see how they would unfold, and then she can lock them into a new reality. But the present is looking for Cora and her guardian, and together they are forced on the run. Hunted by a corrupt government who want to use her powers, recruited by resistance forces who want the same, Cora has to decide who she is, what she can do … and how to fix the future.