Acquisition Announcement and Interview with P. H. Low (THESE DEATHLESS SHORES)
Angry Robot Books is thrilled to announce the acquisition of UK, New Zealand, and Australian rights for These Deathless Shores, from an exciting new voice P.H. Low.
Savannah Brooks of kt literary sold UK & Commonwealth (excl. Canada) to Desola Coker in her first acquisition for Angry Robot Books.
Phoebe’s Journey to Publishing: Originally submitted to Angry Robot Books’ Open Doors Submission, These Deathless Shores was spotted as a key entry by Desola, who was then in communication with Phoebe. With an offer forthcoming, Phoebe received multiple offers of representation before signing with Savannah Brooks and Sara Megibow of kt literary, and excitedly the book was sold to both Angry Robot Books and Orbit US.
GOSH: Angry Robot Books is publishing with permission from Great Ormond Street Hospital to whom Peter Pan stories in the UK are dedicated.
These Deathless Shores: Inspired by J.M. Barrie’s beloved children’s story Peter Pan, These Deathless Shores is an exciting genderbent origin story told from the perspective of Captain Hook, set in a Malaysian-inspired world full of secrets and danger.
This fresh, vivid, imaginative novel is told from several distinct POVs exploring a range of themes such as family, gender, freedom, childhood trauma, growing up, and choice. P.H. Low has been nominated for the Locus and Rhysling award and was a PitchWars mentee under bestselling authors Grace D. Li and Em X. Liu.
Scheduled for release in Summer 2024, Angry Robot is thrilled to bring both P.H. Low and These Deathless Shores to our audiences.
“I’m absolutely thrilled to be working with Angry Robot to bring These Deathless Shores to UK, Australia, and New Zealand readers! I’ve been blown away by the Angry Robot team’s enthusiasm for my story from the very beginning, and am so honoured to be among their amazing roster of authors.” – P.H. Low
“As soon as I started reading it, I knew These Deathless Shores was something special and had to share. Phoebe is a brilliant and atmospheric writer and has produced an exciting subversion of the Peter Pan story as we know it. I’m so thrilled to get the chance to work on this book.” – Desola Coker
“At its heart, These Deathless Shores is both an ode to a beloved work of British literature and a contemporary take on the realities of girl- and womanhood. From the beginning, Angry Robot connected with that essence and sprinkled it with their own little bit of magic.” – Savannah Brooks
“When Desola showed me this MS from open submissions I loved it straight away – it’s a totally fresh and beautiful written take on the Peter Pan story and I’m delighted to be working with her and Phoebe on publishing it” – Eleanor Teasdale
P.H. Low is a Locus and Rhysling nominated Malaysian American writer and poet with work published in Strange Horizons, Fantasy Magazine, Tor.com, and Abyss & Apex, among others. P.H. is a graduate of the Viable Paradise writing workshop, a Pitch Wars 2021 mentee, and a first reader for khōréō, a magazine of speculative fiction and migration. P. H. can be found on Twitter and Instagram @_lowpH.
Welcome to the Hive, Phoebe. We’re so thrilled to have the opportunity to talk to you about your exciting debut novel These Deathless Shores, which will be published by Angry Robot in the UK, New Zealand and Australia in summer 2024! Firstly, can you tell us all about it? What can readers expect?
Thank you so much for having me! These Deathless Shores follows Jordan, a former Lost Boy convinced she would never grow up. Now, she’s twenty-two and exiled to the real world, still suffering withdrawal from the magic Dust of her childhood—and the drug she’s using to medicate that withdrawal is wreaking its final, fatal effects. With nothing left to lose, Jordan returns to the Island and its stories—of pirates and war and the cruelty of youth—intent on facing Peter one last time, on her own terms. And if that makes her the villain…so be it.
Readers can expect an exploration of mythmaking, the romanticisation of childhood, growing up under capitalism, gender, and a bit of colonialism shade, as well as anxiety and neurodivergent rep and a not-insignificant amount of blood and gore.
Your novel is described as a “genderbent Peter Pan origin story told from the perspective of Captain Hook.” What drew you to writing from Hook’s perspective?
The premise of These Deathless Shores crystallized for me after I read the original by J. M. Barrie, to which my primary takeaway was damn, this is fucked up—in terms of the sexism and racism, but also in the way it portrays adulthood. In the world of Peter Pan, childhood is this glorified, pure, magical state that is a tragedy to lose (kind of like virginity?), to the point where Lost Boys are killed off for growing up (and I quote: “Peter thins them out”). Which kind of sucks for the readers whose childhoods fall short of the ideal, because it implies they don’t deserve magic at all. Anyway: Peter and his unending youth have come to embody a certain ethos in popular culture, a certain narrative of hero vs. villain, and I wanted to write from a perspective that could examine the darker implications of that.
Which leads me to ask, can you tell us a bit more about your main character, Jordan? And do you have any favourite side characters?
Jordan is full of rage—at the Island, at Peter, at the exploitative systems that have ground her down in the Outside world. She has one (1) friend—Baron, who was a Lost Boy on the Island with her, and has grown up to be a walking existential crisis. He’s also had a crush on her since they were kids, though he’s never found the courage to confess.
Other significant members of the cast include Chay, who has been starving herself for ten years so she can keep playing the part of Mother to Peter and the Lost Boys on the Island; and Tier, an expat pilot eager to prove his worth to his disdainful old-money family by digging up Island treasure.
Your novel is also set in a Malaysian inspired world, can you tell us more about this? What kind of magic does your world incorporate?
These Deathless Shores is something of a portal fantasy, so the world Outside—which starts in a country inspired by Malaysia—is fairly similar to ours, with a touch of the futuristic. Dust, which works both on- and off-Island, allows people to fly, create illusions, and defy the laws of physics in various other ways, though it’s addictive if used too extensively. As for the Island itself…let’s just say it has its own POV sections 🙂
Ok Phoebe, if you were transported into your own fictional world how do you think you would fare?
In the Outside world, probably as well as I’m doing here (cue nervous laughter). On the Island, though, I would perish immediately from lack of soap. And the many people wielding swords. But mostly the soap.
Is your novel a standalone, or are there planned sequels? If so, can you give us a few teasers of what lies ahead?
It’s a standalone for now! I’ve also written some shorter spinoff stories and a novella, but we’ll see how the winds of publishing blow for those.
Lastly, what do you hope readers take away from These Deathless Shores?
I hope the readers who need it can feel seen. I hope they can forgive themselves for growing up, and for becoming who they needed to be to survive.
To everyone else—I hope you at least have a good time.