Pyr Books branching out into young adult fictionS

Now that science fiction and fantasy are accounting for a bigger share of young adult titles, it's only natural that SF publishers would want to move into publishing YA themselves. Pyr Books will publish some titles aimed at younger readers.

According to Pyr's press release, the first YA book will come out in November: K.D. McEntire's debut novel Lightbringer, about a girl falling in love with a ghost. And then in December, longtime Pyr author Ian McDonald publishes his first YA title: Planesrunner, about a boy traveling through the multiverse. And then in February 2012, perhaps the most interesting-sounding of the bunch comes out: Ari Marmell's Thief's Covenant, about an orphan who becomes a thief — and then has a god who's lost his followers taking residence in her head.

Here's the full press release:

Amherst, New York – In November 2011, Pyr, the science fiction and fantasy imprint of Prometheus Books, will introduce its first book specifically for the Young Adult (YA) market. Two additional YA titles follow, in December 2011 and February 2012.

"Several titles in the Pyr catalog have had crossover appeal to the young adult reader-including The Greyfriar (Vampire Empire, Book 1), Sasha (A Trial of Blood and Steel Book One) and The Falling Machine (The Society of Steam, Book One)," says Prometheus Books president Jonathan Kurtz, "so it was a natural progression for us to decide to publish books intended specifically for this market segment."

Prometheus Books, an independent publisher of thoughtful nonfiction based in Amherst, New York, launched the Pyr imprint in March 2005. Since then, it has become a brand known for books with quality both inside and out, from rich, engrossing narratives to award-winning cover art and design. Pyr's editorial director, Lou Anders, is currently nominated for the prestigious Hugo Award for Best Editor-for the fifth consecutive year.

Anders says, "We believe there is a real hunger in the growing YA readership for narratives that explore the full, imaginative breadth of what science fiction and fantasy has to offer. Of our first three Pyr titles for the YA reader, two are from authors who primarily write for the adult book market, an acquisitions approach we decided best served this need. Also, it's long been said that ‘the Golden Age of science fiction is twelve,' and while this is somewhat tongue-in-cheek, it speaks to the common interests of those who read speculative fiction, whether teen or adult. With many adult readers turning to Young Adult fiction to recapture the sense of wonder and fun that the best stories in any category have always embodied, it made sense for us to bring our expertise, and that of our authors, to this new arena."

The first Pyr Young Adult title (in November) will be Lightbringer, the debut novel from K. D. McEntire. For ages twelve and up, Lightbringer is a YA urban fantasy/paranormal romance set in a world a breath away from our own. Similar in tone to Tithe by Holly Black and Unleashed by Kristopher Reisz, Lightbringer tiptoes down the line between love and horror with the tale of a young girl discovering love with a long-dead ghost.

In December, one of the most critically acclaimed Pyr authors-the Hugo and Philip K. Dick award–winning Ian McDonald-makes his YA debut with the sci-fi adventure Planesrunner. The first part of the new Everness series for ages twelve and up, Planesrunner stars a fourteen-year-old boy searching for his kidnapped father across the many parallel worlds of the multiverse. Cory Doctorow (Little Brother, For the Win) calls it "smashing adventure fiction that spans the multiverse without ever losing its cool or its sense of style. Ian McDonald is one of the greats of science fiction, and his young adult debut is everything you could hope for: romantic, action packed, wildly imaginative, and full of heart."

Lastly, Ari Marmell's Thief's Covenant (A Widdershins Adventure), for readers twelve and up, will be published in February 2012. It features a young, female orphan-turned-thief making her way in a dangerous city with help from Olgun, a foreign god who, having lost his followers, has taken up residence in her head.

YA titles will be released in hardcover and in ebook formats and will have their own section in the Pyr catalog. YA is expected eventually to account for a third of the Pyr list.

Although technically an imprint, Pyr was called "one of a very few publishers I know of who have no bad books to their name" by a BiblioBuffet writer, and "one of the most exciting publishers in the business" by Black Gate magazine. Given the crossover in adult and YA readership, Prometheus Books is thrilled to introduce the Pyr brand of science fiction and fantasy to a whole new audience.

[via Manga Maniac Cafe]