“Byrne’s allegorical debut boasts a premise that’s simultaneously dark and playful, lovely synesthetic imagery, and world-building that jumps delightfully between moments of fairy tale fantasy and high-tech dystopia.” — Publishers Weekly
From the Author
Nine Planets appeared in my head within an almost miraculous ten minute period in late 2006 immediately after I had finished with a class of overseas adult students who were learning English as a Second Language. The trigger was a Korean student who said, “Santa can’t possibly deliver all the presents the night before Christmas, so he hires a network of retired postmen to help him.” On hearing that, and grateful that the class was over so I could find pen and paper and start madly scribbling notes, a wonderful and unexpected flood of images, characters, themes and story ideas appeared in my head with the novel almost fully formed. I immediately abandoned the novel I had been working on and started writing. Originally, it was called ‘Gift’, partially because the inspiration had been a gift, then The Boston Secret, and finally Nine Planets. I knew very quickly what the ending was, and then fretted for months over my ability to write it.Getting it to a publisher’s attention then occupied several years, mainly because it was such an unusual novel and defied my many persistent attempts to categorise and define it. Eventually, though, the good folks at Dragonwell took it on and here we are at Amazon.