The Quantum Thief by Hanuu Rajaniemi (upcoming novel)

It’s not everyday that you find a book that make you this excited. This one did and I got to read it, I have absolute no impulse control when it comes to books. The author Hannu Rajaniemi was born in Ylivieska, Finland and as he says himself “survived the polar bears, the freezing cold and the Nokia recruiting agents long enough to graduate from the University of Oulu“. He lives in Edinburgh and is now working on his PhD thesis in string theory.  “His favourite method of writing involves starting at a blank A4 page until drops of blood form on his forehead” according to his member page on writers-bloc. His three book deal with Gollancz came after they read a 24 pages chapter of the book.

Spanton of Gollancz told “Yes, acquiring one book, let alone three, on the basis of a single chapter is a gamble; and not one I or any other editor is in the habit of making. But I’ve never been more sure of a hand than the one dealt to me by John and Hannu.”

Hannu’s first chapter was entirely enticing; yes, it was brimful of energy, originality, and fascinating science but these were bonuses. What caught me and left me desperate for more was the masterful way he set up the characters, created relationships between them based on intrigue and need and suggested a rich past and a dangerous future for all concerned. I haven’t been this excited after reading just one chapter in a long, long time, and consequently I’m delighted to be able to welcome Hannu to Gollancz.


from the product description – Jean le Flambeur is a post-human criminal, mind burglar, confidence artist and trickster. His origins are shrouded in mystery, but his exploits are known throughout the Heterarchy – from breaking into the vast Zeusbrains of the Inner System to steal their thoughts, to stealing rare Earth antiques from the aristocrats of the Moving Cities of Mars. Except that Jean made one mistake. Now he is condemned to play endless variations of a game-theoretic riddle in the vast virtual jail of the Axelrod Archons – the Dilemma Prison – against countless copies of himself. Jean’s routine of death, defection and cooperation is upset by the arrival of Mieli and her spidership, Perhonen. She offers him a chance to win back his freedom and the powers of his old self – in exchange for finishing the one heist he never quite managed . . . The Quantum Thief is a dazzling hard SF novel set in the solar system of the far future – a heist novel peopled by bizarre post-humans but powered by very human motives of betrayal, revenge and jealousy. It is a stunning debut.

Do Gollancz do snippets? I am not sure I can wait until September 16.

Article on – New author Hannu Rajaniemi sells three books on the basis of 24 pages by Ian Randal Strock

It is available at