I’m a fantasy, science fiction and thriller/crime author. The fantasy/SF books are written as Stephen Hunt, while the crime/thrillers are published as Stephen A. Hunt.
My best-known works are still the Jackelian series of fantasy-scifi novels.
Set in a 19th century-level society rather than the usual furry pants world of Conan & Hobbits, the seven Jackelian books accidentally booted up the steampunk craze (“accidentally”, as, showing my usual level of self-awareness, I never explicitly set out to write steampunk-themed books).
Off the back of the Jackelian novels’ success, steampunk grew from being a tiny sub-genre only a handful of fans had heard about and transformed into a mass force of cos-players, readers, modders, gamers – a world where no fashion cat-walk can sport goggles or brown without the ‘S’ word being invoked (whisper it …. Steampunk).
The first six Jackelian novels appeared in the UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, through HarperCollins’ Voyager imprint – they also publish JRR Tolkien, George RR Martin and CS Lewis alongside my books.
These novels are published all around the world, including in the USA via Tor Macmillan, and as foreign language editions from publishers in countries as diverse as Japan, China, Russia, Brazil, France, Germany, Portugal and Spain.
My first Jackelian novel was voted ‘Best Book to be made into a Film’ by the Committee of the world’s largest film festival, The Berlin International Film Festival, aka the Berlinale. I believe the elevator pitch was ‘Charles Dickens meets Bladerunner’. To date, it’s never been made into a movie or TV series.
Speaking about the failure to fly of such movies as The Golden Compass and Peter Jackson’s take on Mortal Engines, one of the directors at my trad publisher wryly noted, ‘There’s not a Steampunk Market. There’s a Stephen Hunt Market.’
I also have a scifi-fantasy trilogy – the Far-called Sequence published by Gollancz (the genre imprint of Orion Publishing and Hachette Livre).
My more recent works have been published in e-book and print format by my own indie imprint, Green Nebula Publishing.
Why? Basically, back in 2011 – in the non-contracted gap between my trad-published deals with HarperCollins and Hachette – I wrote and indie-published the initial novella in my Sliding Void space opera series.
The first thing I noticed was that the novella quickly became no. 1 most-downloaded book in the Amazon Kindle store in the UK, USA and Canada. The second thing I noticed was that I earned more from that single novella in three weeks on Kindle than I had in the entire prior year with all my traditionally published novels’ royalties.
And so, not being entirely stupid, when my deals with the Big Four lapsed, I followed the same course blazed by my chum J.K. Rowling with her indie Pottermore firm – or in my own case, Green Nebula Publishing.
I haven’t looked back since!
This blog is mainly for my personal reflections on, as Douglas Adams might have said, life, the universe and everything… but particularly the life of an author and any genre stories that catch my jaded eye.
There is also a 60,000-strong Fan Page of scifi readers focused on my science fiction novels located at https://www.facebook.com/SciFi.Fantasy/ – not to mention a 160,000-strong Fan Page of steampunk readers focused on my Jackelian novels at https://www.facebook.com/steampunkish/
If you’re an illustrator, there’s an artists’ community for paintings based on scenes, characters and races from my books over at http://lions-of-jackals.deviantart.com/
I still intermittently pen pieces for Stephen Hunt’s SFcrowsnest at https://www.SFcrowsnest.info, the scifi magazine I helped co-found (c. 700,000 readers a month at its height when I was editing it).
I ceased being Editor of SFcrowsnest in 2000, so sending me e-mails asking for help in securing you your book reviews, actor interviews, film reviews etc. more than twenty years after I stepped down as Big Cheese (or indeed, moaning about a bad review you have received), is almost as useful as writing to Issac Asimov and asking him to get your fiction published in Asimov’s Science Fiction magazine.
Hint: Issac sadly passed in 1992. And yes, the magazine still gets submissions in 2022 mailed to Issac Asimov, even though he’s been dead for 30 years. Something for my grandkids to look forward to after I’m gone, perhaps?
GETTING IN TOUCH
— BUYING RIGHTS.
A note to the Hollywood people getting in touch: film/TV rights for the first six books in my Jackelian series of fantasy novels are held by HarperCollins.
If you want to talk turkey, please don’t try to contact me directly, you need to call the HarperCollins media rights department in their UK head office on +44 (0)20 8741 7070. Ditto game, comic-book and merchandising rights. All I can do is shrug nicely and point you towards HarperCollins. My soul is still mine, just, but that’s not – yet – for sale.
The Far-called trilogy of fantasy books is now out via Gollancz (Hachette Livre/Lagardère). Gollancz holds film/tv rights for that. You can talk to them at +44 (0)20 3122 6000.
Rights for my ongoing novella serializations – the Agatha Witchley crime series and Sliding Void scifi series, my stand-alones and my education work – reside with me.
Basically, if the book’s published by Green Nebula Publishing, my agents or my office can licence you an option/foreign publication rights directly. Drop me a line using the e-mail below.
— FOR FANS
My office receives anywhere between 300-700 O.P.P. e-mails a day (Other People’s Priorities), so the chances of me being able to reply individually to your asks/questions/favours wanted are not high – to do so, I’d have to deprive readers of the majority of my effective writing time.
If you’re a fan of my books wanting to say nice things, the two FaceBook pages mentioned above are your best venue (I try to check in with you weekly there).
— HIT ME UP
My Head of Executive Team and Keeper of the Hunt Diary as of 2021 is Emma Stafford.
Drop her a line by solving this easy riddle …
emma <insert round you-know-what symbol here> stephenhunt [dot] net
Apologies for the cryptic munging of the address above. It used to be a .jpg graphic until spammers started grabbing emails using OCR tech and avalanched my office with the usual garbage and nonsense.