Speculative fiction trilogy is ... still speculative
If you like David Mitchell's new novel, there's more where that came from. The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, just published by Random House (and recently reviewed by us), is the first part of a planned trilogy, Mitchell told the audience at a reading at Three Lives Bookstore on Thursday.
The Irish writer makes few visits to the States, and Three Lives, in the West Village, was packed for the occasion. During the question-and-answer period, one young man asked about the novel’s villain, a serenely amoral abbot who may or may not have been alive for 600 years. The slightly irritating question—did he really live for 600 years?—elicited an unexpected response. Mitchell announced news that he claimed he hadn't even yet shared with his publisher: that Jacob de Zoet will be followed by two more books dealing with the theme of immortality and delving further into the realm of speculative fiction. The implication was that the next two novels will be closer to Mitchell's early, experimental style than the more traditional, realistic Jacob de Zoet.
A spokeswoman for Random House wouldn't confirm if Mitchell was contracted for the trilogy, writing in an e-mail, "We have no official comment about David's plans for his upcoming novels. He simply likes dropping hints at readings."