Senior editor Paul Slovak at Viking snapped up a British novel that won a Writer's Award from Britain's Arts Council for author Clare Dudman. It is Wegener's Jigsaw , based on the dramatic life of a German-born scientist, Alfred Wegener, who formulated the theory of continental drift. The story is dramatic: Wegener was a meteorologist and Arctic explorer who fought all his life for the acceptance of his controversial theory, was wounded in battle in World War I and eventually died in 1929 on his fourth expedition to Greenland, in which he mapped the remote and inaccessible northeast coast of that forbidding land. Dudman, a scientist herself, is also the author of an award-winning children's book published in England, Edge of Danger. Slovak made his buy, like Britain's Sceptre imprint at Hodder, on the basis of a partial manuscript, from London agent Rupert Heath, and plans to publish in 2003.