The idea for Gig came to me, as ideas sometimes do, while I was out on a run. Gollancz had just republished the first four PS Publishing novellas in flip-book paperback editions (my How The Other Half Lives was paired with Graham Joyce’s superb Leningrad Nights). These, of course, echoed the format of the famous Ace Doubles series. What came into my mind, somewhere on the spine of the South Downs, was the notion of back-to-back novellas which mirrored each other and were interdependent, each telling one half of a story. I decided, in addition, that the novellas would make plentiful use of palindromes — mirror-image words and phrases — and, further, that the over-all structure would be palindromic, content reflecting form and vice versa. I’d been hankering to write a story set in the music biz, which I know a little bit about, and I felt that theme and execution would suit each other very well. By the time I’d finished my run, I had the plot worked out, the two principal characters had taken shape, and the only possible title for the project, Gig, had suggested itself.
Pete Crowther, at PS Publishing, completely ‘got’ the book — not only the basic conceit but my vision of how it should look as a product. The only way it would work is if neither novella was obviously the main one. They had to be perfect equals. The jacket had to be designed in such a way that the reader could start from either end, not feeling the novellas were in a preordained sequence. The result is such a fine-looking book, with such a cunningly designed dustjacket, it fair brings tears to your eyes. Throw in a couple of introductions by Eric Brown, who also played along wonderfully with the whole idea, and you have a package to be proud of.
We’re hoping that, as well as the current limited-edition run, Gig will come out as a mass-market paperback, PS’s first such, perhaps sometime in 2005.
- Gig [slipcased hardback, June 2004] – ISBN 978-1902880846
- Gig [jacketed hardback, June 2004] – ISBN 978-1902880838
- “Lovegrove gives us a page-turning, drug-fuelled rockumentary, full of sly digs and wry observations about the music biz. Set in a surreal, Ballard-esque near-future of warring Beatles fanatics and designer drugs, it’s all hugely enjoyable even if you don’t pick up on all the wordplay and hidden levels of meaning.” ***** — Dave Golder, SFX
- “An enjoyable read… Characterisation is uniformly excellent, and there’s quite a few entertaining moments — I can’t let Chapter 3 of ‘Kim’ go unmentioned … it’s one of the funniest things I’ve read in ages. A lovely book, and three cheers to Lovegrove for writing and to PS for publishing a pair of such novel novellas.” — John Toon, Infinity Plus
- “Lovegrove casts his satirical eye over the nature of fandom. He finds the very human qualities in the characters and plays to them, allowing the humour and the reality of the situation to come to the fore. Harking back to British genre peculiarities, such as the cosy catastrophe, Lovegrove delivers a wonderfully palindromic tale. This is one gig for which you’d give you eye teeth for a backstage pass.” — Ian Emsley, Interzone
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• Filed under Books • 08/06/2004 •