A new novel by Richard Powers is coming later this year.

W.W. Norton will publish the author’s Playground in the fall. The press says the novel “interweaves beautiful writing, rich characterization, profound themes of technology and the environment, and a deep exploration of our shared humanity in a way only Richard Powers can.”

Powers made his literary debut in 1985 with the novel Three Farmers on Their Way to a Dance; he quit his job as a computer programmer to write the book, which was inspired by an August Sander photograph he saw at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts. The novel was named a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.

He has written more than a dozen books since then, including Operation Wandering Soul, a National Book Award finalist; The Echo Maker, a National Book Award winner and Pulitzer Prize finalist, and The Overstory, a Pulitzer Prize winner.

Playground, Norton says, follows a group of people who are brought together on a French Polynesian island as part of “a plan to send floating, autonomous cities out onto the open sea.”

“Set in the world’s largest ocean, this awe-filled book explores that last wild place we have yet to colonize in a still-unfolding oceanic game,” Norton says.

Playground is slated for publication on Sept. 24.

Michael Schaub is a contributing writer.