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Sci-Fi Author William Ledbetter Signs With Audible Originals

Amazon's digital audiobook division is making Netflix-like moves and the North Texas writer's new thriller is one of them.
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We’ve talked about William Ledbetter a couple of times around here. If you don’t have time to click on those links, I’ll sum up the story so far as briefly as I possibly can. Last year, Ledbetter, who lives in Prosper, won a Nebula Award for his novelette, The Long Fall Up. I don’t know if you italicize the title of a novelette or put it in quotes, so you see I made a choice there. The Nebula Awards, to put it in easily relatable terms, are the Oscars for science fiction writers. You might have guessed that by context clues. For a time, the author focused more on science than fiction, finding employment in the aerospace industry where he worked on parts for the International Space Station. But he’s been writing since high school, and has published more than 50 stories since 2000.

He is now represented by literary agent David Hale Smith, who, full disclosure, is a friend of mine. (And Tim. And Eric. He might know some other folks up here. I don’t know. I mind my own business.) But this news would be worthy of mentioning regardless: Ledbetter has sold a new sci-fi thriller titled RESET to Audible Originals. Amazon has owned the audiobook company since 2008, but over the past year or so, Audible has begun to heavily invest in original content, becoming a sort of Netflix-like player in that world with its Audible Originals imprint. Or I guess it is becoming just like Amazon. Hm. Maybe I should delete that. Anyway, no matter what comparison you prefer, audiobooks are the “fastest-growing format in publishing.”

We’ve probably neglected to mention that DHS has sold two book-based TV shows in the past few years (Blake Crouch’s Wayward Pines on Fox and Good Behavior on TNT), and it’s probably a good time to say that Ridley Scott is in final negotiations to direct an adaptation of Queen & Country, the graphic novel series by David’s longtime client Greg Rucka.

He got together with Ledbetter last summer, after he sent him an email congratulating him on his Nebula win. They met for a beer at the Flying Saucer in Addison and DHS asked if he had any book-length fiction in the works. That led to the Reset deal. The book, according to Smith, is “a near-future thriller that starts with the death of an innocent woman, igniting a chain of events that frees artificial intelligences from their masters, causes the launch of global nano-replicator attacks, and forces the one woman who can stop the attack to make the impossible choice between saving her daughter or the world.”

Audible is looking for a narrator right now, and the plan is for the book to be exclusively available to Audible and Amazon customers this summer.



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