In 2014 we were thrilled to publish Gleam by Tom Fletcher, the first book in the Factory Trilogy. A rich, genre-bending, totally unique novel, Gleam was praised for it’s passionate writing, fascinating world building and boundary pushing. We’re delighted to be publishing the sequel Idle Hands today and I can assure you, it’s every inch as brilliant, eclectic and gripping as the first. Happy Publication Day Tom!
Here’s Tom himself telling you all about the world of The Factory Trilogy …
Today sees the publication of Idle Hands, in which we return to the world of Gleam – a mysterious concrete edifice without end, bristling with ruins and shanty towns, and slowly being swallowed by a seething, corruptive swamp. At the centre of the inhabited regions rises the Black Pyramid, and at the top of the Black Pyramid, the Chief Architect watches and schemes; the world is at a tipping point, and it’s time for him to act to save the Pyramid and those who live in it.
Inside the Pyramid, life is run for you. Your days are scheduled by Administrators, who also assign you your Station; your partner is chosen for you according to the workings of the Astronomers who, in turn, are informed by the Alchemists, who manage the Pyramid blood stocks and organise the regular bleeding of all Pyramid citizens. In return, Pyramidders don’t have to worry about food, shelter or old age.
Most people live outside the Pyramid, though, in what Pyramidders call the ‘Discard’. Where the Pyramid is secure, the Discard is dangerous. Where the Pyramid is sterile, the Discard is wild. Where the Pyramid is repressive, the Discard is lawless. The Discard is open to nature, to the air above and the swamp below. And although that might suit some, it’s a tough life for others – for the young, the old, and the unwell.
In the Discard is where we’ll find Wild Alan, desperately (and drunkenly) trying to make things right for his family, and – of course – himself. But after the events of the first book, his companions are scattered, and there’s a price on his head. Daunt, the Mushroom Queen, is chasing him down for contraband she thinks he stole from her, and she’s got people everywhere. So even the Discard doesn’t want its erstwhile minstrel any more. And Alan needs friends now more than ever; his quest this time is to get inside the Pyramid itself, and stop the spread of an ancient disease that’s come back from the dead; Idle Hands is a parasite that turns its hosts into horned husks with bloodlust, and it’s on the loose again.
Speaking of blood – Bloody Nora is at home in the Discard too. Nora’s a Mapmaker, but she’s at odds with her people. The Mapmakers are legendary in Gleam for their martial training and their eerie, studied neutrality – but Nora’s troubled family history has resulted in her betraying her teachings and choosing a side in the increasingly febrile Gleam atmosphere. As a Mapmaker, Nora can commune with what little magic is left in Gleam – and she knows that the spirit of Gleam is sick.
To be in with a chance of winning 1 of 5 sets of Book 1 & 2 in The Factory Trilogy, head over to our Twitter or Facebook and retweet or share the post about this blog. Ends Friday 28th July at 5pm. Open to UK and Ireland only (sorry!).