Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Whispers Under Ground - 21st June 2012

Gollancz have confirmed to me that the UK release date of Whispers Under Ground will be the 21st June 2012. I know some of you are impatient so I thought I'd give you a little taster....


1: Tufnell Park 

Back in the summer I’d made the mistake of telling my mum what I did for a living. Not the police bit, which of course she already knew about having been at my graduation from Hendon, but the stuff about me working for the branch of the Met that dealt with the supernatural. My mum translated this in her head to ‘witchfinder’ which was good because my mum, like most West Africans, considered witchfinding a more respectable profession than policeman. Struck by an unanticipated burst of maternal pride she proceeded to outline my new career path to her friends and relatives, a body I estimate to comprise at least twenty percent of the expatriate Sierra Leonean community currently resident in the UK. This included Alfred Kamara who lived on the same estate as my mum and through him his thirteen year old daughter Abigail. Who decided, on the last Sunday before Christmas, that she wanted me to go look at this ghost she’d found. She got my attention by pestering my mum to the point where she gave in and rang me on my mobile.
            I wasn’t best pleased because Sunday is one of the few days I don’t have morning practice on the firing range and I was planning a nice lie-in followed by football in the pub.
            ‘So where’s this ghost?’ I asked when Abigail opened her front door.
            ‘How come there’s two of you?’ asked Abigail. She was a short skinny mixed race girl with light skin that had gone winter sallow.
            ‘This is my colleague Lesley May,’ I said.
            Abigail stared suspiciously at Lesley. ‘Why are you wearing a mask?’ she asked.
            ‘Because my face fell off,’ said Lesley.
            Abigail considered this for a moment and then nodded. ‘Okay,’ she said.
            ‘So where is it?’ I asked.
            ‘It’s a he,’ said Abigail. ‘He’s up at the school.’
            ‘Come on then,’ I said.
            ‘What, now?’ she said. ‘But it’s freezing.’
            ‘We know,’ I said. It was one of those dull grey winter days with the sort of sinister cold wind that keeps on finding ways through the gaps in your clothes. ‘You coming or not?’
            She gave me the patented stare of the belligerent thirteen year old but I wasn’t her mother or a teacher. I didn’t want her to do something, I wanted to go home and watch the football.
            ‘Suit yourself,’ I said and turned away.
            ‘Wait up,’ she said. ‘I’m coming.’
            I turned back in time for the door to be slammed in my face.

14 comments:

Fade said...

I'll just be over here in the corner, gibbering with excitement. (Though I suppose the UK release date means it'll be longer yet before I can get it in the US, alas.)

Leslie said...

eeee. This is what I get for skimming twitter too fast, I miss the good stuff!

Scoot over, Fade, I'm gibbering next to you!

(And hey Ben, can you make the editors not change "Lesley" to "Leslie" for the USA version? Or is it too late to change now? That's a darn silly conversion if you ask me, especially considering "Leslie" was in fact previously the MALE version of the name, eg. Leslie Townes Hope, Leslie Howard etc.)

Mark Jones said...

Do you blow up some ipads in it?

Ben Aaronovitch said...

I don't think I do, I can't remember. I'm not part of this strange brand name fetishism that seems to go on. If it's got a microprocessor and is under power - it's in trouble whoever built it.

Mark Jones said...

I'll just have to insert my own exploding ipads using the power of imagination.

pbristow said...

Yay Lesley! =:o}

Ben Aaronovitch said...

Just for you I'll blow one up in book 4 (or possibly 5). I'm making a note now.

barbara said...

oh sh*t, I can't wait so long!!!

Miss Peas said...

Can't wait for this! You make it very difficult not to wish the year away ;p

haztom said...

I had a posted a sensible comment, but I can never remember my google account.

Regardless, can you not write faster / make your publishers print faster? I nagged to get the first two for Christmas after listening to the reaction on Simon Mayo and read them in two days.

Also, just put a link to a rhyming slang dictionary and not footnotes (obviously no use for gob which is Celtic, so I've quickly undermined myself)

mzdarkstar said...

Gibberer #3 said...

I absolutely cannot wait. In the meantime, it's a couple of rereads of ROLondon and MOSoho, and hoping that we'll get to see a little more of Molly in WUGround (Don't ask why but she's my favourite character after Lesley. Love Peter though.) Star xx

Michael_1015 said...

Ben, please do tell why the release date keeps getting changed because I keep updating my e-books to buy list with the new release date. By the way love the books and want to the series go into double digits and see Peter become a full grown Wizard and become a force with whom not to mess with.
Thank you for the teaser as well.

Dave Heasman said...

I was wondering about Abigail. Peter said she had to get GCSE Latin. She will, of course, so that means a cameo role for Camden School for Girls, no?

Dick Harding said...

I read "Rivers of London" with some misgivings, as I don't do 'fantasy' any more(case of ANNO
DOMINI ). By chapter4 I was converted. I must research connections of Newton et al with the Folly! Then I read "Moon over Soho". That didn't take long as it
had me by the throat from page 2.
Where oh where is "Whispers Underground" and then, surely there is as much mileage in
Peter Grant as there was in Richard Sharpe. Yes, I'm a voracious reader but quite fussy. I also like Terry Pratchett.