We’re pleased to present the cover for a new edition of Nina Allan’s The Race, available July 2016 from Titan Books! Originally published in 2014 by UK small press NewCon, The Race is a progressive sci-fi novel set in a future Great Britain scarred by fracking and ecological collapse. Learn more about the novel and check out the full cover art, designed by Julia Lloyd, below!
In designing a new cover, Editor Cath Trechman explains, “We wanted to achieve that difficult balance of conveying the layers of the story, its depth and richness, as well as its compelling, readable quality.”
And author Nina Allan was thrilled with the results! She says, “When my editor Cath first showed me the new cover design it was like seeing the novel reborn. Julia Lloyd’s incredible artwork captures the atmosphere and tone of The Race perfectly. I honestly couldn’t be happier with what Titan have come up with.”
From the catalog copy:
The coastal town of Sapphire is dominated by the illegal sport of smartdog racing: greyhounds genetically modified with human DNA. For Jenna, the latest Cup meet bears a significance far beyond the simple hunger for victory.
Christy’s life is dominated by fear of her brother, a man she knows capable of monstrous acts and suspects of hiding even darker ones. Desperate to learn the truth she contacts Alex, a stranger she knows only by name. Together they must face their demons, wherever that may lead.
Raised at the Croft, a secret government programme focussing on smartdogs, Maree has to undertake a journey through shipping lanes haunted by the enigmatic and dangerous Atlantic whale. What she discovers en route will change her world forever.
The story of four damaged people whose lives are inextricably linked, The Race is a novel of tender nuances, brutality, insight and great ambition, a narrative that lays bare the fears and joys of being human, and, ultimately, offers hope to us all.
Read an excerpt from the opening chapter below!
There have been Hoolmans living in Sapphire for hundreds of years. Like so many of the town’s old families, we are broken and divided, our instincts as selfish and our minds as hard-bitten as the sick land we live on. We have long memories though, and fierce allegiances. We cannot seem to be free of one another, no matter if we wish to be or not.
My mother, Anne Allerton, walked out on the town and on our family when I was fifteen. After she left, my brother Del, whose nickname is Yellow, went a little bit crazy. He was crazy before, most likely – it was just that our mother leaving made his madness more obvious. I was scared of Del then, for a while, not because of anything he did especially but because of the thoughts he had. I could sense those thoughts in him, burrowing away beneath the surface of his mind like venomous worms. I swear Del sometimes thought of killing me, not because he wanted me dead but because he was desperate to find out what killing felt like.
I think the only reason he never went through with it was that he knew deep down that if he killed me, there would be no one left on the planet who really gave a shit about him.
Del and I are still close, in spite of everything.
It’s easy to blame Mum for the way Del turned out, but then it’s always easier to pin the blame on someone else when things go mental. If I’m honest, I’d say that Del was troubled because he was a Hoolman, simple as that. The legends say the Hools have always been wanderers and that restlessness is in their blood. When the Hools first sought refuge in England, they were persecuted for being curse-givers, though of course that was centuries ago. I was sometimes teased at school because of my surname but most kids soon got bored of it and moved on to something more interesting. It wasn’t even as if I looked Hoolish, not like Del with his gorsefire hair and beanpole legs, but no one in class was going to risk kidding him about it, not if they wanted their head and body to remain part of the same organism.
If it hadn’t been for the dogs, I seriously think Del would have ended up in jail. Del cared about his smartdog Limlasker more than he cared about anyone, including his wife Claudia, including me.
The one exception was his daughter, Luz Maree, who everyone called Lumey. Del loved Lumey as if a fever was raging inside him, and he didn’t care who knew it.
When Lumey went missing, Del became even crazier. He swore he’d find his girl and bring her home, no matter the cost.
I think he’ll go on looking for Lumey till the day he dies.