1) Okay, so what exactly is a Crudrat?
2) A Gail Carriger book? Does this mean more of Alexia and Conall and Lord Akeldama?
3) It’s funny, though, right?
4) So where did this project come from?
5) What is Full-Cast Audio?
6) Who are ArtisticWhispers Productions?
7) When can I get it?
8) Who’s involved?
Okay, so what exactly is a Crudrat?
In the far future in a space-port the size of a city, Crudrats scrape out a meager living cleaning the great machines of the pollution they generate when they convert dark energy into usable power. Only children can safely traverse the cramped tunnels, filled with mechanical perils–grow too tall or too broad, and they’ll get caught in a fan and killed, or worse.Like rats, they scurry frenetically on their daily errands to clean the crud so their city can continue. Then they are disposed of when they grow too big to be useful anymore.
Meet Maura. Orphan. Slave. Crudrat. Grown too tall, alone in a city with no use for her, doomed to starve. With only her crud-eating murmel and an alien monster to help her, she must find a way to survive, or escape, before they catch her and blow what’s left of her life, and her companions, out into space.
A young-adult advanture tale packed full of transhumanist dystopias, Gail Carriger’s Crudrat brings golden age-style science fiction into the 21st century, stuffs it full of heart, and gives it a finely polished, gleaming edge.
A Gail Carriger book? Does this mean more of Alexia and Conall and Lord Akeldama?
Nope. While Gail continues to write books set in her Parasol Protectorate universe–including The Finishing School series and the forthcoming Parasol Protectorate Abroad–and while there are no less than six of these books due out over the next few years, Crudrat is not among them. You won’t meet any of your old friends here (though you will make new ones), it’s not set in Victorian England, it’s not even set on Earth, and, most surprisingly, it isn’t Steampunk.
It’s funny, though, right?
Not exactly. Crudrat is a classic, hard-edged, golden age science fiction coming-of-age story. While it is definitely a rollicking good time with character moments that will stick in your head for years, it’s not a comedy. It is, however, Gail Carriger at her best, and a dramatic departure on a wild trip that we hope you’ll all enjoy.
You can actually sample the book for yourself with this free first-chapter preview when you sign up for the Crudrat newsletter.
So where did this project come from?
Gail wrote Crudrat directly after writing Soulless, intending to shop both books at the same time. Before Crudrat could sell, Soulless was picked up and became an international phenomenon, demanding sequels and spinoffs and all the wonderful things she’s brought us since in that universe.
But her other great love is young adult adventure stories, and she has always intended Crudrat to see the light of day and, if you all like it as much as we do, to eventually start its own series after the Parasol Protectorate spin-offs wind up.
As a science fiction adventure story, Crudrat ranks right up with the Golden Age greats, drawing on parkour and Inca civilization, transhumanism and social utopianism, and featuring priests and aliens and cyphers and scythers in bold fashion that evokes the best of the genre and, frequently, surpasses it. As a coming-of-age story, it does even better–in Maura, Gail presents us with one of the most original heroines in the genre, and her adventures while on the run in unfriendly worlds raise “harrowing” to new levels. After getting a look at the manuscript for Crudrat, we campaigned for the chance to make it into a full-cast audio production so that we could share the story with the world.
What is Full-Cast Audio?
Close your eyes. Imagine that, while they’re closed, you can watch the film version of your favorite book, just by listening, and without sacrificing any of the moments or narrative flourishes that you love. That is the essence of a full-cast audiobook. An experienced director marshalls a full cast of actors to voice all the different characters (and the narrator), then the producer adds rich soundscaping that immerses you in the environment of the story, then an original musical score written and performed by an award-nominated orchestral talent, and all of it is finally mixed and mastered for your listening pleasure.
The author’s words, brought to life in your ears, remain unchanged.
You can hear some examples on the Welcome To The Wheel page.
Who are ArtisticWhispers Productions?
See more on our About AWP page.
When can I get it?
Crudrat is scheduled for limited release in April (available from this website) and should hit most major distribution and retail channels sometime between the end of April and the beginning of June.
See the page The Team for more details.