Bobby's Great Divide

Crowdfund Robert Llewellyn's latest sci-fi novel!

10 June, 2016

Whisper it, but that Robert Llewellyn bloke is fast turning into one of the country's most prolific sci-fi novelists. No sooner has his News From... trilogy finished getting out of the door, than he's turned his hand to writing yet another book that blends his interest in speculating about the future with his distinctive comedy-drama sensibilities. Honestly, it's a wonder he's even found time to don the rubber and film twelve Red Dwarf episodes over the last year...

Bobby's Great Divide

Unlike the aforementioned trilogy, Robert's new book - a political satire called Josh Joshi and the Great Divide - is planned to be entirely standalone. But just like the News books, you can help this latest novel get published, by pledging to back it on Unbound. Unbound is a crowdfunding service that sees potential readers throw their support behind books before publication - the idea being that if a book attracts enough pledges, then it will have a budget to get published, and if it doesn't, it won't. Robert's last three books were successfully funded this way, and he's tapping the well again for Josh Joshi. Here's his summary of what the new book is all about:

Josh Joshi is an entertainer, he's 34 years old and on the downward arc of a short but impressive showbiz career. He lives in England, but not the England we would recognise, north south this England stretches from southern fringes of Birmingham to the south coast. East west, it stretches from Suffolk to Herefordshire.

North of that is Up North and Scotland, (officially known as Western Europe) an entirely separate country. England is a wealthy, free market liberal democracy with an entirely privately run healthcare and education system, a privately run police and defense force, privately run transportation system and a very small administrative government.Up North and Scotland is a publicly owned and run socialist economy where privately owned property or companies are not encouraged, although not actually illegal.

The split came about 30 years before the story begins; it was a mainly peaceful breakup with nothing worse than a few years of riots and civil unrest.That is now history and although Josh Joshi has a vague idea of what happened when he was 4 years old, it doesn't affect his daily life.He has never been to Up North and only knows about it from the media reports that constantly criticize and deride it.

A show he made in his twenties has come out of the stringent and repressive private media copyright and he discovers it's become a bit of a hit 'up North'. His wealthy pals find this highly amusing: 'The commies like you Josh, is there something you're not telling us?'

His agent, Moira McCarthy, a Scot who fled south during the unrest still has contacts Up North and suggests a promotional tour. She can get official Up North funding to cover travel and accommodation costs and as there's not much going on for him in England, suggests he might get chat show spots when he returns. He also discovers that Ralph Wallace, the supreme leader of Up North since the split is a very big fan. Josh is flattered and agrees to go.

His journey of discovery is an exploration of the alternatives facing us, the Corbyn and Lawson alternatives, plus the fact that he is effectively kidnapped by Wallace thugs who are not pleasant and forced to present newly written material at a massive state gala, along with his one time director and ex partner Fi LeFarge who he hates, who has likewise been 'transported' Up North.

So how does funding at Unbound work? Well, if you pledge a minimum of £10, you'll get at the very least an ebook copy of the novel when it's published; but the more you pledge, the more you get in return, including exclusive first edition hardbacks, signed copies, invites to the launch party and - here's the really fun part - the chance to name a character (either a goodie or a baddie) in the book itself!

At the time of writing, the book was just under halfway to funding - so there's still a way to go, but after all the News books successfully reached fruition, hopefully this one will to. Plus, those books were excellent (you can still buy them, incidentally!), so it would be great to get to read what Robert has lined up next.

Find out more and pledge your support at Unbound!

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