Friday, 20 April 2012

Why I commissioned… UNISON 3.0

Twitter-style summary: Two teens run for their life across futuristic NYC into Unison – the social network that knows you better than you know yourself…

Sometimes a book just works right off the bat. Our list is made up of the triumvirate of original fiction, re-issues and buy-ins. When I look for a buy-in, I look for something perfect, something I connect with immediately with zero effort from my editorial itchings to talk to author about “what I get” from the narrative. A buy-in should have instant appeal for the home market and need nothing other than a critical proof read, a new imprint page and a fancy pants cover.

And would you look at the fancy pants cover? That bad boy has matt lamination, spot UV and de-bossing in real life. It is truly a thing of beauty. You should probably hunt it out in the wild and capture it with some of those English pounds to stroke and read and love in your own home. The imprint page is pretty good too… (I jest, it is like all other imprint pages: informative.)

The only thing I wanted to change about this book was the title, in the US it’s published as Unison Spark, but we preferred Unison 3.0 – what do you think? Anyhoo, it’s taking me a while to get to why I loved it: I wish this has been in print when I was 12. The narrative is exciting, pacey and the plot is clever and current, using wry turns of phrase to reference the way the digital era is shaping our lives. (Although 12-year-old me would have said, “Social networking, WTF? Hang on, what does 'WTF' mean?”)

When I read this book I felt I was at the cinema. I could really envisage the dinginess of Mistletoe’s Little Saigon beneath the Canopy that divides New York. When Ambrose Truax stands in his apartment several hundred feet over Mistletoe’s head I’m there in his room, watching him select clothes from a digitally enhanced wardrobe. The plot picked me up and carried me off, only occasionally pausing to set me down and dust off my clothes before grabbing my hand and pulling me back to stand, watch, listen and feel another scene.

Andy Marino has written a really fun, knowing and exciting book and I’m really pleased to have him as part of the Catnip team. You can follow him on twitter @Andy_Marino or check out his website, but better yet, I recommend you read his book. It's cheaper than a cinema ticket, there are no adverts and it lasts longer than 120 mins. It's a no-brainer.


  1. No adverts? You have me hooked! (I love the mute button on the remote as well.)

  2. ooh looking forward to getting my hands on this one!