NeoText, which is a new publisher of fiction and long-form journalism with some light comics crossover, is publishing a new sci-fi thriller novella today…and The Beat just happens to have an exclusive excerpt.

In addition, this novella has art from François Schuiten, Recipient of the Angoulême International Comics Festival’s Prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award. The novella is titled The Compelled, and it’s written by Adam Roberts. You can download the PDF excerpt below…


And when you’re done, you can find a full press release about the new novella below along with some preview artwork by Schuiten…enjoy!

Arthur C. Clarke Award-Nominated Writer Adam Roberts and Renowned Artist François Schuiten Present THE COMPELLED, A Haunting Sci-Fi Novella Puzzle from NEOTEXT

THE COMPELLED is the First Book-Length Sci Fi Publication from François Schuiten, Recipient of the Angoulême International Comics Festival’s Prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award

NeoText — a new digital publishing company dedicated to publishing short-form prose ranging from science fiction and noir novellas to investigative journalism and narrative nonfiction—will publish THE COMPELLED, a sci-fi novella from Arthur C. Clarke Award-nominated writer Adam Roberts and artist François Schuiten in August. THE COMPELLED is the first book-length sci-fi publication from François Schuiten, recipient of the Angoulême International Comics Festival’s prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award. It will be published in two parts.

A mysterious change has occurred in humanity. Nobody knows how, why or exactly when this change came about, but disparate, seemingly unconnected people have become afflicted with the uncontrollable desire to take objects and move them to other places, where the objects gather and begin to form increasingly alien, monolithic structures that appear to have vast technological implications. Some of the objects are innocuous everyday things—like a butter knife taken still greasy from a breakfast table or a dented cap popped off a bottle of beer. Others are far more complex—like the turbine of an experimental jet engine or the core of a mysterious weapon left over from the darkest days of WWII.

Where is the Compulsion coming from? And— more importantly—when the machines they’re building finally turn on, what are they going to do?

“In writing THE COMPELLED I was hoping to create a mood of properly science-fictional mystery, a sense-of-wonder that works as much through a series of visual images as through consecutive story-logic and rational worldbuilding,” said writer Adam Roberts. “Writing was a process of juggling lots of different characters from lots of different backgrounds and situations and slowly bringing them together for the big finale. It’s quite a complex machine, but I hope all the individual parts move together to spin the mechanism and stir something strange into motion.”

THE COMPELLED is accompanied by the breathtaking stylized art of renowned French-Belgian artist François Schuiten and is the first book-length science fiction publication that Schuiten has illustrated. “One of the most exciting things about this project was the chance to work with François Schuiten, an artist I have long admired, and whose work resonates so brilliantly and powerfully with that kind of dream-potent visualisation in THE COMPELLED,” said Roberts.

Haunting and evocative, THE COMPELLED will be available digitally on August 25th for $2.99.

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