Signed by the John Jarrold Literary Agency

Well, m’friends, much has happened over the past two weeks. It cul­min­ated on Friday morn­ing, when a phone call to John Jarrold sealed my fate as the latest addi­tion to the John Jarrold Literary Agency. My steely pro­fes­sion­al­ism pre­vents me from writ­ing things like “I hope he knows what he’s let­ting him­self in for” but does per­mit me the odd swal­low of cham­pagne, in which man­ner I spent the great­er part of Friday night.

Who is John? He’s a rel­at­ively recent addi­tion to the agently hordes of UK pub­lish­ing, hav­ing set up his agency in 2004. Before that, he ran Earthlight, the ded­ic­ated sci­ence fic­tion and fantasy imprint of Simon and Schuster. He’s also been dir­ect­or of Orbit Books (an imprint to which most SF read­ers will need no intro­duc­tion). At Orbit, he pub­lished Arthur C Clarke, Iain Banks, Harry Harrison, and many oth­ers. So John is well versed in the dark art of pub­lish­ing, and I’m very happy to have him rep­res­ent­ing me. He also sounds like a nice bloke, which can only help in deal­ing with my mon­strous ego.

The Cunning Plan For World Domination involves work­ing some more on the second edi­tion of Déjà Vu. As I men­tioned in a recent blog post, there is a good­ish chance that Déjà Vu will rise up again in 2008, so we’ll be work­ing on get­ting Déjà Vu into the best shape pos­sible. Next up is the second sci­ffy nov­el, which is set in the same uni­verse as Déjà Vu. John’s a well-read guy des­pite his genre spe­cial­ism, and I’m wait­ing to see what he thinks of Proper Job, my com­edy nov­el. If he doesn’t want to ritu­ally burn it, we’ll try to hood­wink some pub­lish­er into tak­ing it. Sorry, that last sen­tence lacked pro­fes­sion­al­ism. I meant: We will try to find a pub­lish­er that deserves a book like Proper Job.

Hmm. I’ll try to work on my pro­fes­sion­al pol­ish. Meanwhile, as an example to us all, here is the press release that John pre­pared over the week­end. I’m aware it makes me sound like a cer­tain Aramaic-speak­ing car­penter, but that’s all part of the fun.


British SF author Ian Hocking has joined the John Jarrold Literary Agency. His first nov­el, a sci­ence fic­tion tech­no­thrill­er entitled Déjà Vu, was pub­lished in 2005 by the UKA Press. The Guardian described it as ‘show­ing quiet skill’ and SFX called it ‘a sol­id tech­no­thrill­er’. Author Ian Watson praised it as ‘grip­ping, fas­cin­at­ing, and power­ful’. Other review­ers have writ­ten ‘crisp and pro­fes­sion­al’, ‘a smart read full of fresh, clev­er dia­logue’, ‘mind-blow­ing’, and ‘thought-pro­vok­ing’. The book is thrill­er that encom­passes time travel, vir­tu­al real­ity, and digit­al minds.

Ian men­tions Jon Courtenay Grimwood and Ken MacLeod in his acknow­ledge­ments,’ said John Jarrold. ‘Having had the pleas­ure of pub­lish­ing a num­ber of books by them both, I can say that the many read­ers who love their work will thor­oughly enjoy Ian’s writ­ing. Ideas jump off the page, and his char­ac­ters remain in one’s mind over a long peri­od of time’

Hocking is presently writ­ing anoth­er nov­el in the Déjà Vu uni­verse.

Contact John Jarrold for fur­ther inform­a­tion by e-mail at or by phone at 01424 440652.

20th January 2007

Author: Ian Hocking

Writer and psychologist.

29 thoughts on “Signed by the John Jarrold Literary Agency”

  1. Tremendously good news! Well done to you, Ian. I’m sure it’ll be the start of a won­der­ful rela­tion­ship (where you write and he sells!)


  2. Thanks, Aliya. Yes, I hope we man­age to get some books out there. Time will tell. Best of luck with your own stuff, too!

  3. Congratulations, Ian! You’ll do mar­vel­lously with this, I feel sure, after a rewrite of a few awk­ward pas­sages in DEJA VU, and with the second book shap­ing up bril­liantly, as it cer­tainly seems to be doing, from the excerpts you’ve pos­ted.

    Re Proper Job, speak­ing only from the sample pas­sages I’ve seen here, it’s full of ideas and energy, but I still think the humour doesn’t come out of the situ­ation often enough, and there’s too much wry com­ment­ary which means there’s not enough at stake. (Of course, you’ve prob­ably com­pletely changed it from those early posts, so I’m talk­ing through one’s hat, but there you go.)

  4. Thanks, Andrea. As I said in my email, I wouldn’t be in this pos­i­tion if the UKA Press hadn’t pub­lished DV to start with…thanks again.

  5. Thanks, anonym­ous. Considering how sick of DV I was after the first pro­cess of edit­ing, I thought it bore up quite well when I read it aloud for the pod­cast — in some ways, the awk­ward pas­sages are the easy bits to cor­rect. The ‘feel’ of cer­tain sec­tions, togeth­er with some struc­tur­al changes, will ensure that I get fed up with it again fairly rap­idly. But hope­fully not before I’ve improved it… 🙂

  6. Hi Ian!

    Yes, delighted to have you on board!

    For my sins, I also ran the Random House UK SF and Fantasy imprint, Legend, between 1992 and 1997. When Nick Webb asked me to go to S&S and start up Earthlight, RH sold Legend to Orbit…so all the authors I pub­lished between 1988 and 1997 — Iain (M) Banks, Ken MacLeod, Robert Jordan, Terry Brooks, Tad Williams, Harry Harrison, many oth­ers — are togeth­er at Orbit! Bloody inces­tu­ous, eh?

  7. Thanks, John! There must be an awe­some col­lect­ive noun for the Orbit authors… I’ll think about it over a cup of tea…


    Congratulations! I’m so pleased that such a pos­it­ive step has been taken in such a short amount of time. That in itself shows an enorm­ous amount of prom­ise.

    We (Roly’s roy­al we) all had com­plete faith in your and you deserve all the suc­cess that you’ll doubt­less have.

  9. Congratulations Ian, saw this news over on GOB, and sounds fant­ast­ic news.

    I’ll try to recruit some will­ing read­ers to help shape up DV 2.0…

  10. Thanks for the kind words, Rolski. I’ll be look­ing out for a sim­il­ar announce­ment on your blog… 🙂

  11. Late to the party, but let me add my con­grat­u­la­tions Ian. This is fant­ast­ic (as in won­der­ful) news and very well deserved. I actu­ally came here to tell you how much I’m enjoy­ing Deja Vu — about 2/3 of the way through and it’s a rol­lock­ing ride. I’ll share my thoughts when I’ve fin­ished it, if you’re inter­ested. Shouldn’t be too long now.

    (By the way, this morn­ing I did spot a minor nit/query, which may be me being thick, but… if I don’t men­tion it now I’ll for­get it. It’s very minor, as I say. On p 156 Besson says ‘Proctor’s side might have been picked up by a radio hack’ thereby show­ing he already knows Proctor’s name. But on p157 after Saskia says ‘About Proctor’s trans­mis­sion.…’ Jago says: ‘Besson, you can for­get that name right now. I mean it.’ As if Saskia men­tion­ing it is the first time it has come up.)

    I have a feel­ing John Jarrold also rep­res­ents anoth­er writ­ing friend of mine, Anne Brook, but I may have got that wrong.

    Bloody well done.


  12. Roger

    Yes, I do rep­res­ent Anne. The JJLA’s tentacles are gradu­ally encirc­ling the world!

  13. Thanks for your com­ment, Simon. Nice to vir­tu­ally ‘meet’ you. Hey, do we get a badge read­ing ‘JJ’s Barmy Army’ or some­thing?

  14. Thanks, Roger…glad you’re enjoy­ing DV. I’m par­tic­u­larly glad you’re enjoy­ing the first bit, because that’s the bit I want to con­cen­trate on with my improve­ments (noth­ing rad­ic­al, but it does require some atten­tion).

    Re: ‘Proctor’s radio trans­mis­sion’ — well, clearly this is com­plex para-tem­por­al ref­er­ent that is intric­ately linked to the meta struc­ture of the nar­rat­ive (to speak with my post­mod­ern hat on and my Peril Sensitive Sunlgasses). I hope that clears it up. 🙂

  15. Ah yes. I thought it might be some­thing like that. I should have kept my mouth shut and read on!

    (Rule num­ber one, trust the author!)

  16. I see my name has been men­tioned in des­patches, though wrongly spelled (shame on you, Roger!! — it’s Brooke, don’t y’know!) — so may I belatedly say wel­come to the JJ Gang, Ian.



  17. Hey, do we get a badge read­ing ‘JJ’s Barmy Army’ or some­thing?”

    I heard it was a red hot brand to the pos­teri­or, but I’m safe in Western Australia so you can just fill me in on the grisly details once yours is done …

  18. Congratulations, Ian. I cor­res­pon­ded with you awhile back about my own online thrill­er on nuc­le­ar power — “Rad Decision”. I’m glad to report it’s now on book­shelves as well (and still online too). It’s a good thing the net has giv­en would-be writers the oppor­tun­ity to reach the pub­lic at large and get their response — and only THEN have to worry about agents and pub­lish­ers (who often seem to have more nar­row interests). I also con­grat­u­late the Jarrold Agency for look­ing (slightly) out­side the tra­di­tion­al box. Good luck! Jim Aach

  19. Thanks, James, and well done get­ting your own book onto the shelves. Is it POD? If so, did you have the Devil’s own time get­ting book­sellers to stock it? Either way, best of luck!

  20. Yes, it’s POD. Not dif­fi­cult get­ting online book­sellers to carry it. I have some fiendishly clev­er ways (prob­ably destined for fail­ure) of get­ting it on actu­al book­shelves. But it will be a chal­lenge.

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