Sunday, April 04, 2004

Interesting news about Matthew Reilly, whom his publicist tells me is "the #1 bestselling author in Australia." I haven't read his latest book Scarecrow, but it seems to be doing well (and it was the #1 book in Australia for the eight weeks leading to Christmas 2003) and is getting good reviews (Kirkus says it's the author's "best yet" and is "immensely entertaining").

Now Reilly is launching his latest project, an online serial novel called Hover Car Racer that will be available to readers free of charge. There are eight installments, available on the 4th and 20th of each month through July. This is the first time that a major bestselling author is offering a complete novel online --- for free.

Here's the plot: "Set in a time a few years from now, Hover Car Racer follows the high-octane adventures of 14-year-old Jason Chaser, a gifted young pilot as he takes on the supercharged world of hover car racing --- where races are run at 810 km/h. But Jason is exceedingly young to be a racer, a boy in a man's world. And so, in his trusty car, the Argonaut, he will race against all manner of villains and rivals in all kinds of races at the famed International Race School and (perhaps) in the larger world of pro racing. One thing is for sure, his high-speed escapes and nailbiting finishes will leave you literally clutching your armchair. You have never read anything faster than Hover Car Racer!"

Interesting idea... I think more authors will be trying stuff like this in the future. It can't help but attract more readers and help raise the author's profile.