Nick Harkaway's first novel, The Gone Away World, was a silly surreal revelation, so we've been anxiously awaiting the follow-up, Angelmaker. And now it looks like we might not have to wait much longer — Knopf says it's out March 2012 in the U.S. And here's the cover.
Not only that, but there are two new synopses. Via Knopf:
From the author of the international best seller The Gone-Away World—a new riveting action spy thriller, blistering gangster noir, and howling absurdist comedy: a propulsively entertaining tale about a mobster's son and a retired secret agent who team up to save the world.
Joe Spork repairs clocks, a far cry from his late father, a flashy London gangster. But when Joe fixes one particularly unusual device, his life is suddenly upended. Joe's client, Edie Banister, is more than just a kindly old lady—she's a former superspy. And the device? It's a 1950s doomsday machine. And having triggered it, Joe now faces the wrath of both the government and a diabolical South Asian dictator, Edie's old arch-nemesis. With Joe's once-quiet world now populated with mad monks, psychopathic serial killers, scientific geniuses, girls in pink leather, and threats to the future of conscious life in the universe, he realizes that the only way to survive is to muster the courage to fight, help Edie complete a mission she gave up years ago, and pick up his father's old gun...
And here's a longer, more detailed synopsis, via Conville & Walsh Literary Agency:
All Joe Spork wants to do is live quietly. He repairs clockwork and lives above his shop in a wet, unknown bit of London. The bills don't always get paid and he's single and in his mid thirties and he has no prospects of improving his lot, but at least he's not trying to compete with the reputation of Mathew "Tommy Gun" Spork, his infamous criminal dad.
Edie Banister lives quietly and wishes she didn't. She's nearly ninety and remembers when she wasn't. She used to be a spy, and now she's… well… old. Worse yet, the things she fought to save don't seem to exist anymore, and she's beginning to wonder if they ever did.
When Joe repairs one particularly unusual clockwork mechanism, his quiet life is blown apart. Suddenly he's getting visits from sinister cultists and even more sinister lawyers. One of his friends is murdered and it looks as if he may be in the frame. Oh, and in case that wasn't enough, he seems to have switched on a 1950s doomsday machine - or is it something even more alarming?
Edie's story and Joe's have collided. From here on in, nothing will be the same - Joe's world is now full of mad monks, psychopaths, villainous potentates, scientific geniuses, giant submarines, girls in pink leather engine driver's couture, and threats to the future of conscious life in the universe - and if Joe's going to fix it or even survive, he must show that he can be everything Mathew was, and much, much more.
I love the idea of a young guy teaming up with an older woman to save the world. Rock on. [via Sensawunda]