As reported all over the blogosphere, SF author Alastair Reynolds has signed a £1m deal with UK publisher Gollancz for ten books.
It's a staggering figure, make no mistake. The only deal it reminds me of is the one Steven Erikson signed for his Malazan series, which was £675,000 for ten books. The Reynolds deal dwarfs this.
I've heard one or two folks suggest that Gollancz are taking a huge risk with such a deal, but I disagree. £1m is a huge amount of money, sure, but it breaks down to 100k a book. With world rights, Gollancz can sell into numerous territories and the money these foreign deals brings in will recoup much of their expenditure. On top of that, Reynolds is a popular writer who is clearly going places, so Gollancz's faith seems well-placed. Good on them for showing such support.
On another note - what does this deal mean for the Space Opera genre? I must admit I know next to nothing about this genre, so I can't comment on what this deal means for it. Anyone care to enlighten me? Surely it's a massive boost for the genre to see such a deal being made.