The book's first chapter is now available on RollingStone.com.
Speaking to SciFiPulse.Net, Anderson stated about how the novelization came to life, "Neil and I discussed the story of the album as he developed the songs, and
so the plot came together as the lyrics were finished. I read the song
lyrics as he completed them, but the last pieces didn't gel until I
heard the rough mixes of the songs, music and words (back in February).
Then I started writing."
He added, "[The novel and the album] are
independent. You can enjoy the novel fully without listening to the
album, even if you're not a RUSH fan. But if you are a RUSH fan, you've probably already heard the CD. I think you can hear the CD a couple of times, and play it while you're readeing the novel. The two
should be greater than the sum of the parts."
Regarding the book cover, which was created by artist Hugh Syme, Anderson said, "Hugh contributed tremendously; he read parts of the drafts and found focal
points that I hadn’t seen (he was the one who picked up on the honeybee
as a perfect symbol for the Watchmaker). Hugh was doing the
illustrations for the songs, which appear in the CD booklet, as we were
drafting the novel, so each image gave inspiration and setting for the
scene. And then as we gave him drafts of certain scenes, he created new
art exclusive to the book–particularly the clockwork gypsy, the alchemy
college and the steamliner scoutship. Hugh and I worked together
to crate a beautiful booklet to accompany the unabridged audiobook from
Brilliance. I should also note the additional cool thing: Neil narrates the audiobook himself."