Short Fiction Watch: Ian McDonald in NOT ONE OF US


In this episode of Short Fiction Watch, we wanted to draw your attention to NOT ONE OF US, a sci-fi anthology edited by Neil Clarke and published by Night Shade Books. Within, you will find Ian McDonald‘s TENDELEO’S STORY, the third story in his Chaga series. Here’s the anthology’s synopsis…

They Are Strangers from Far Lands…

Science fiction writers have been using aliens as a metaphor for the other for over one hundred years. Superman has otherworldly origins, and his struggles to blend in on our planet are a clear metaphor for immigration. Earth’s adopted son is just one example of this “Alien Among Us” narrative.

There are stories of assimilation, or the failure to do so. Stories of resistance to the forces of naturalization. Stories told from the alien viewpoint. Stories that use aliens as a manifestation of the fears and worries of specific places and eras. Stories that transcend location and time, speaking to universal issues of group identity and its relationship to the Other.

Nearly thirty authors in this reprint anthology grapple both the best and worst aspects of human nature, and they do so in utterly compelling and entertaining ways. Not One of Us is a collection of stories that aren’t afraid to tackle thorny and often controversial issues of race, nationalism, religion, political ideology, and other ways in which humanity divides itself.

Here’s the synopsis for TENDELEO’S STORY

From the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro, an alien force begins to spread, turning the land into an unrecognizable alien landscape. Tendeléo is nine years old when this first package comes down, and before she reaches adulthood the Chaga will change her life forever.

The first two books in Ian’s Chaga series, the novels CHAGA and and KIRINYA are available as eBooks published via the JABberwocky eBook Program. Ian’s latest series is the critically-acclaimed Luna, which is published by Gollancz (UK) and Tor Books (US), and is also available widely in translation. Recently, Tor.com also published the novella TIME WAS.

Lavie Tidhar signing at Forbidden Planet next week!


Next Thursday (November 8th) at 6pm, the London Forbidden Planet Megastore will host Lavie Tidhar! He will be signing copies of his latest novel, UNHOLY LAND (and others). The novel is due to be published soon by Tachyon Publications. Here’s the synopsis…

Lior Tirosh is a semi-successful author of pulp fiction, an inadvertent time traveler, and an ongoing source of disappointment to his father.

Tirosh has returned to his homeland in East Africa. But Palestina — a Jewish state founded in the early 20th century — has grown dangerous. The government is building a vast border wall to keep out African refugees. Unrest in Ararat City is growing. And Tirosh’s childhood friend, trying to deliver a warning, has turned up dead in his hotel room. A state security officer has identified Tirosh as a suspect in a string of murders, and a rogue agent is stalking Tirosh through transdimensional rifts — possible futures that can only be prevented by avoiding the mistakes of the past.

From the bestselling author of Central Station comes an extraordinary new novel recalling China Miéville and Michael Chabon, entertaining and subversive in equal measures.

The novel will also be available as an audiobook, published by Blackstone Publishing. UNHOLY LAND has already be racking up great reviews. Here are just a few of them…

‘… will leave readers’ heads spinning with this disorienting and gripping alternate history… Readers of all kinds, and particularly fans of detective stories and puzzles, will enjoy grappling with the numerous questions raised by this stellar work.’ — Publishers Weekly (PW Picks: Books of the Week, October 15, 2018)

‘[O]ne of those lovely books that starts out presenting itself as one thing, and mutates into another almost without you seeing it… a game-player of a writer who uses the spectrum of science fiction canon for his pieces… a grand game of alternate worlds cast like jewels on the sand. The long second act is all dust and blood and madness and glory, and the fast third act comes down on you like a sharpened spade… Lavie Tidhar is a clever bastard, and this book is a box of little miracles.’ — Warren Ellis

UNHOLY LAND starts out hard-boiled and comes at you sideways with the speculative elements. Tidhar has blended alternative history with murder in hotel rooms, missing women, an honest-to-god Fedora and mysterious borders in a tale that evokes Chabon’s The Yiddish Policemen’s Union, Cassablanca and Mieville’s The City & the City. Political and pulpy, with distinct metafictional elements, Tidhar adroitly pulls off this fantastical tale of an occupied territory.’ — Tade Thompson

‘… adventurous readers will appreciate this well-written and ambitious book. It should find a place at any library that offers high-quality literary fiction.’ — Booklist

Backlist Plug: Ian McDonald’s CHAGA series


Today, we wanted to draw your attention to Ian McDonald‘s classic Chaga series: CHAGA, KIRINYA and TENDELÉO’S STORY. The trilogy is now available in eBook, published by the JABberwocky eBook Program, and the first two books are also published in Germany by Heyne.

CHAGA, originally called EVOLUTION’S SHORE, was first published in 1995 and was nominated for the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Best Science Fiction Novel. Here’s the synopsis…

On the trail of the mystery of Saturn’s disappearing moons, network journalist Gaby McAslan finds herself in Africa researching the Kilimanjaro Event: a meteor-strike in Kenya which caused the stunning African landscape to give way to something equally beautiful – and indescribably alien. Dubbed the ‘Chaga’, the alien flora destroys all man-made materials, and moulds human flesh, bone and spirit to its own designs. But when Gaby finds the first man to survive the Chaga’s changes, she realizes it has its own plans for humankind… Against the backdrop of Mount Kilimanjaro, McDonald weaves a staggering tale of keen human observation and speculation, as the Kilimanjaro Event changes the course of the human race by exposure to something beyond its imagination.

Here are some of the reviews CHAGA received…

‘McDonald… consistently explores new territory with his breathtaking images and incisive language. Both form and substance blend fortuitously in a work that features strong characters, a suspenseful story, and a profound message of hope and transformation. A priority purchase for SF collections.’ Library Journal

‘One of the finest writers of his generation, who chooses to write science fiction because that is how he can best illuminate the world.’ New Statesman

‘Optimistic near-future alien-contact yarn… McDonald’s tale is also inventive and challenging… a dense, complex, rather weighty, often fascinating piece of speculation.’ Kirkus

You can also read an excerpt from the novel here.

KIRINYA (1998) was showered with similar accolades when it was published: the novel was described by SFX as ‘a huge and ambitious novel’ and ‘the work of a supremely talented writer’, and McDonald was hailed as an ‘outstanding writer’ and ‘marvellous talent’ by The Times...

The end of the universe happened at around ten o’clock at night on 22 December, 2032. It’s just that humanity hasn’t realized it yet. And the Chaga, the strange flora deposited from the stars, is still busy terraforming the tropics into someone else’s terra. Gaby McAslan was once a hungry news reporter who compromised her relationship with UNECTA researcher Dr. Shepard for the sake of her story… but Gaby is no longer a journalist and she doesn’t want to be a full-time mother, even though her child Serena is her last link with Shepard. Gaby’s fire has gone out; she’s gone soft. But the massive political and military upheavals rocking the world are about to drag her back into the action.

The final book in the Chaga series, TENDELÉO’S STORY is a novella that was originally published by PS Publishing in 2000.

From the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro, an alien force begins to spread, turning the land into an unrecognizable alien landscape. Tendeléo is nine years old when this first package comes down, and before she reaches adulthood the Chaga will change her life forever.

Ian’s latest series is Luna, of which the first two books are out now: NEW MOON and WOLF MOON, published by Gollancz in the UK and Tor Books in North America. The series is also available in a growing number of translated editions.

Charlaine Harris’s Midnight Texas series is on sale in the UK!


From today until November 11th, Charlaine Harris‘s acclaimed Midnight, Texas series is on sale! Only 99p each in Amazon’s Kindle Autumn sale, this is a great way to try Harris’s work if you haven’t already, and also a great way to complete your collection!

All three books — MIDNIGHT CROSSROAD, DAY SHIFT and NIGHT SHIFT — are published in the UK by Gollancz. Here’s the synopsis for book one, just in case you haven’t seen it before…

Welcome to Midnight, Texas, a town with many boarded-up windows and few full-time inhabitants, located at the crossing of Witch Light Road and Davy Road. It’s a pretty standard dried-up western town.

There’s a pawnshop (someone lives in the basement and is seen only at night). There’s a diner (people who are just passing through tend not to linger). And there’s new resident Manfred Bernardo, who thinks he’s found the perfect place to work in private (and who has secrets of his own).

Stop at the one traffic light in town, and everything looks normal. Stay awhile, and learn the truth…

The author’s latest novel, AN EASY DEATH, is also out this week in the UK, published by Piatkus Books.

Zeno represents Charlaine Harris in the UK and Commonwealth, on behalf of the JABberwocky Literary Agency in New York.

LeVar reads Lavie!


Just a quick post to let you know that Lavie Tidhar‘s YIWU short story is included in the latest podcast episode of LeVar Burton Reads! The story is out now, published by Tor.com. Here’s the synopsis…

Can dreams come true? They can if you win the lottery, which promises to provide what your heart desires. For a humble shopkeeper in Yiwu, it’s a living, selling lottery tickets. Until a winning ticket opens up mysteries he’d never imagined.

You can find the episode pretty much wherever you get your podcasts from, and also right here…

Lavie Tidhar is heading to the States!


Next week, Lavie Tidhar will be taking part in a couple of events across the pond! On October 1st, he will be attending a special event hosted at Dartmouth College, as one of three winners of the Neukom Literary Arts Award For Speculative Fiction. He won the award for his novel CENTRAL STATION (Tachyon Publications). In case you missed it, here’s the synopsis for the novel, which also won the John W. Campbell Award…

A worldwide diaspora has left a quarter of a million people at the foot of a space station. Cultures collide in real life and virtual reality. Life is cheap, and data is cheaper.

When Boris Chong returns to Tel Aviv from Mars, much has changed. Boris’s ex-lover is raising a strangely familiar child who can tap into the datastream of a mind with the touch of a finger. His cousin is infatuated with a robotnik — a damaged cyborg soldier who might as well be begging for parts. His father is terminally-ill with a multigenerational mind-plague. And a hunted data-vampire has followed Boris to where she is forbidden to return.

Rising above them is Central Station, the interplanetary hub between all things: the constantly shifting Tel Aviv; a powerful virtual arena, and the space colonies where humanity has gone to escape the ravages of poverty and war. Everything is connected by the Others, powerful alien entities who, through the Conversation — a shifting, flowing stream of consciousness — are just the beginning of irrevocable change.

At Central Station, humans and machines continue to adapt, thrive… and even evolve.

Later in the week, on October 4th, he’ll be taking part in a joint event with Silvia Moreno-Garcia at Pandemonium Books in Cambridge, Massechusetts.

Lavie’s latest novel is CANDY, his critically-acclaimed first book for younger readers (published by Scholastic in the UK). His next novel is the highly-anticipated UNHOLY LAND, due to be published in November by Tachyon Publications.

Catch E.J. Swift in Holland this week!


This Thursday (27th), E.J. Swift will be giving a talk as part of the Terra Fiction convention in Amsterdam!

Terra Fiction is the second installment of FIBER’s ongoing Coded Matter(s): Worldbuilding project. These lecture events question the design of contemporary world visions and technological narratives, which are contributing to greater socio-economic inequality and environmental destruction

Swift is the author of the critically-acclaimed Osiris Project trilogy and, most recently, the new novel PARIS ADRIFT. The Osiris Project novels are published in the UK by Del Rey, and available in the US via the JABberwocky eBook Program. PARIS ADRIFT is published in the UK and US by Solaris Books.

Here are some of the reviews Emma’s books have received so far…

‘[A]n effervescent blend of revisionist history, fantasy and science fiction… Hallie’s newfound family and bar life is utterly charming, and it’s this that holds your attention even as the plot meanders. The stakes — world-destroying as they may be — never feel higher than whether Hallie will make it through a shift at Millie’s.’ Washington Post

‘E.J. Swift’s PARIS ADRIFT is her best novel yet: a time-travelling adventure that, despite the cosmic stakes, is bravely and beautifully intimate. Despite the apocalyptic backdrop, PARIS is also wistfully hopeful – a novel of ordinary, extraordinary heroism… PARIS ADRIFT uses science fiction’s largest and most unwieldy mechanic for its smallest and most intimate stakes: this isn’t about the world, it is about Hallie. PARIS is a story about significance at every level, individually and collectively; ultimately, whether that’s in time, life, or simply one’s outlook – this is a poetic demonstration of how little changes make big differences. Despite being a novel that’s – literally! – timeless, you couldn’t find a work more wonderfully fitting for 2018.’ Pornokitsch

‘[A] really gripping book that was also really thought provoking and moving… [The novel] deals with many themes which are very relevant right now and Hallie’s time travel to a bleak 2042 felt too plausible… [I] loved reading about Hallie’s expeditions to 1875. Paris really came alive for me and I just loved all the sub stories going on, particularly Millie’s. PARIS ADRIFT also touches on what it’s like to feel adrift and alone in this big world, whether we’re living the best versions of ourselves. This story is about getting lost in order to find yourself. There’s a good message in this book, that doing small deeds to help strangers can have huge effects later on and the future is something we should all be thinking about.’ British Fantasy Society

‘Swift (the Osiris Project series) delivers both an unusual take on time travel and solid characters, including a fantastic protagonist… Swift keeps things moving briskly, throwing out innocuous tidbits while scene setting that lead to surprising later payoffs.’ Publishers Weekly

‘Marvelously well done. A glittering first novel: a kind of flooded Gormenghast treated with the alienated polish of DeLillo’s Cosmopolis. The result is a gripping novel, beautiful, politically engaged and wholly accomplished. Swift is a ridiculously talented writer… the fact that it’s her first novel is belied by how accomplished and well-written it is.’ Adam Roberts on OSIRIS

‘What a bare summary of the novel’s premise obscures is the amount of space Swift creates for her protagonists to simply live in their world and experience it for us – in other words, how textured the novel is. The world-building has a playfully oceanic flavor throughout… but is most compelling when it is sketching out the psychology of Osiris’ citizens… Swift demonstrates a much more sophisticated control of pace and tone, an ability to rapidly shift gears within scenes, and a willingness to undercut one scene with another: most notably, the prologue removes ambiguity from one of the major questions facing the protagonists and requires Swift to show one character in particular as much more obsessive and less sympathetic than would otherwise be the case. In the end it’s that choice, perhaps, more than anything else in this nuanced, intriguing, occasionally frustrating book, that makes me think Night Shade have found another worthy writer…’ LA Review of Books on OSIRIS

‘A fantastic blend of world-building, excellent storytelling and complex characters… An engrossing story from start to finish… OSIRIS would still be good if all it had was world-building, but it offers so much more by way of plot and storytelling. The thrust of the narrative is the motivation of the characters… forces readers to ask themselves what it would take to spur them to action. Now combine this with the other interesting elements of the book like political intrigue, subterfuge, the way the story is told from alternating viewpoints… and you can see why OSIRIS shines. It’s that kind of impressive storytelling that makes OSIRIS hard to put down, and when you have to put it down, something that you remain eager to pick up again.’ SF Signal

‘… the soulful latest instalment in The Osiris Project and a superior sequel… new lead characters, a fresh story and some real action… CATAVEIRO has a soulful, lonely quality as Taeo and Ramona embark on their solitary missions, haunted by memories of the past and visions of what lies ahead… Their imperfections keep them grounded and likeable, preventing EJ Swift from slipping into predictable and clichéd characterisation… as dystopian fiction goes it is an intriguing world to get lost in.’ SciFiNow

‘E. J. Swift is an awesome author… stunning…’ Tor.com on TAMARUQ

‘A series I find myself sad to have finished… but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed visiting the world that Swift has created. I’ve fallen in love with her characters and found myself turning page after page to see what happens to them. It was all depicted so vividly that I found it to be a really immersive series… a brilliant setting with wonderful characters…’ SF Crowsnest on TAMARUQ

REAL MURDERS, real steal (today only)


REAL MURDERS by Charlaine Harris is a Bookbub special deal, today! Only 99p in the UK (eBook), it is the first novel in the author’s Aurora Teagarden series of mysteries. Published in the UK by Piatkus, here’s the synopsis…

Lawrenceton, Georgia, may be a growing suburb of Atlanta, but it’s still a small town at heart. Librarian Aurora ‘Roe’ Teagarden grew up there and knows more than enough about her fellow townsfolk, including which ones share her interest in the darker side of human nature…

With those fellow crime buffs, Roe belongs to a club called Real Murders, which meets once a month to analyze famous cases. It’s a harmless pastime — until the night she finds a member dead, killed in a manner that eerily resembles the crime the club was about to discuss.

As other brutal “copycat” killings follow, Roe will have to uncover the person behind the terrifying game, one that casts all the members of Real Murders, herself included, as prime suspects-or potential victims…

Piatkus has published all of the Aurora Teagarden novels to date, in the UK.

Here are just a few of the reviews the novel has received since publication…

‘Harris has a knack for writing a compelling mystery… REAL MURDERS is a fantastic start to the Aurora Teagarden series and we can’t wait to continue working our way through the rest of the books… Written in a snappy, gripping and humour-filled style, REAL MURDERS is a real page turner and the most addicted we’ve been to a book in ages.’Entertainment Focus

‘Clever pacing along with ample red herrings and judiciously placed clues keep the story moving briskly. Let’s hope for another fast-paced mystery featuring Aurora and her friends.’School Library Journal

‘Teagarden is a quirky but likeable character. Enjoyable from beginning to end.’Critical Mass

Piatkus are also due to publish Harris’s next new novel (and first in a new series), AN EASY DEATH, on October 2nd.

Zeno represents Charlaine Harris in the UK and Commonwealth, on behalf of the JABberwocky Literary Agency in New York.

Robotics Through Science Fiction: Ian Tregillis interviewed


Today, we wanted to share with you this great interview with Ian Tregillis, for Robotics Through Science Fiction, in which he discusses his incredible Alchemy Wars series:

Ian is the critically-acclaimed author of the Milkweed Triptych and the aforementioned Alchemy Wars fantasy series, both of which are published in the UK by Orbit Books. Here are the covers, as well as just a few of the great reviews that the series have received…

‘Tregillis has journeyed into that most overtilled field, World War II alternate history, and in the process he has created a unique, unsettling, and deeply atmospheric setting; populated it with a diversity of grimly fascinating characters; and turned up the heat with the sort of plot that requires those characters to keep shoveling frantically if they are ever to stay in advance of the needs of the firebox… These are the book’s strengths – its atmosphere, its setting, the vividly imagined consequences of immoral and desperate actions… All in all, this is an excellent first book, and I am eagerly awaiting number two.’ Tor.Com (Elizabeth Bear) on BITTER SEEDS

‘The engrossing second book in Tregillis’s Milkweed Triptych… Tregillis ably mixes cold war paranoia with his mythology, also nicely expanding characters (particularly Gretel)… The monstrous, extra-dimensional Eidolons add a genuinely convincing menace that transcends the more banal evil motivations of the political game players, although Gretel’s more complicated motivations really drive the action. A few nice twists keep things interesting, and the cliffhanger ending sets up the concluding volume quite well…’ Publishers Weekly on THE COLDEST WAR

‘With all the flair he showed in his debut novel, Tregillis continues the tale, bringing to it that same marvellous plotting, immersive sense of place, and above all, wonderful characters. One of the characters introduced in the first novel is a precognitive, and in this volume – which revolves around her long plots – we are shown that the power to see the future is the most corrupting power of them all. Tregillis’s oracle is one of the most chilling psychopath villains of literature, a delicious monster who drives the book forward. As with the earlier volume, I tore through this one in a day and a half. Tregillis is a major new talent in the field, and this is some of the best – and most exciting – alternate history I’ve read. Bravo.’ BoingBoing on THE COLDEST WAR

‘In this bleak fantasy, World War II was fought between Nazis with devastating psychic powers and British warlocks employing Eidolons, irresistible demons beyond time and space – a struggle the British ultimately lost… intensity of the narrative, the torments of the protagonist or the deviously alluring storyline. Darkly fascinating… A thoroughly satisfying conclusion to an imaginative tour de force.’ Kirkus on NECESSARY EVIL

‘The masterful conclusion… There are so many small details throughout the book (and series as a whole, actually) that help make the characters more-real, and the time more vivid. Gretel is an absolutely fascinating character, and one of my favourites in any book or series: she is both star and villain; Machiavellian in the extreme and ultimately tragic… Tregillis brings the novel and series to a brilliant close. The ending of NECESSARY EVIL is heart-wrenching… but it feels right, given what’s come before. The Milkweed Triptych is one of my all-time favourite series. It is a must-read. Very highly recommended.’ Civilian Reader

‘The first thing readers will say after finishing this splendid book is: “Wow.” The second thing will probably be: “When can I read the next one?” … This is a rousing SF/fantasy adventure, with a brilliantly imagined and beautifully rendered alternate world. Although he keeps the pace moving at a brisk clip, the author is able to work in some Big Ideas, asking us to think about what we mean when we speak about souls and free will. This isn’t Tregillis’ first venture into alternate history — the Milkweed Triptych is set during WWII and features an alternate time line — but, in terms of the quality of writing and cleverness of ideas, this new book constitutes a major leap forward.’ Booklist (Starred Review) on THE MECHANICAL

‘… launches a series with this superb alternate history filled with clockwork men and ethical questions on the nature of free will… Tregillis’s complex setting is elegantly delivered, and the rich characters and gripping story really make this tale soar.’ Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) on THE MECHANICAL

‘The chases, the battles, the brutal violence, and the scheming are nonstop. As always, Tregillis offers richly textured and genuinely likable personalities with shades-of-gray morality; it’s clearly no accident that the most purely good person in the novel is the mechanical Jax, although even his sterling qualities are severely tested by the terrible situations he faces. Middle volumes are always tricky; they can often read as an obstacle to overcome on the way to the forgone conclusion of the third installment. Tregillis commendably avoids this trap, deepening his story and keeping it moving along toward an unknown horizon. Part 3 can’t come too soon.’ Kirkus (Starred Review) on THE RISING

‘Tregillis’s splendid sequel to THE MECHANICAL is a vivid alternate history tale filled with action sequences, fascinating characters, and great worldbuilding… engrossing, with plenty of mid-story twists, and it’s well worth the ride.’ Publishers Weekly on THE RISING

THE LIBERATION brings to a violent, triumphant conclusion Ian Tregillis’s epic Alchemy Wars Trilogy: one of the most entertaining, original, and thought-provoking series of recent years… It’s a wonderfully realized world, packed with fascinating characters, and Tregillis uses alternative history brilliantly to explore concerns we still have over new technologies and their potential effect, for good and ill, on our freedom.’ Toronto Star 

The thoughtful, blood-soaked conclusion to an alternate-history trilogy… A frighteningly frank and brutal consideration of slavery, post-slavery, and colonialism in metallic garb.’ Kirkus on THE LIBERATION

Zeno represents Ian Tregillis in the UK and in Translation, on behalf of Kay McCauley at Aurous, Inc.

SERVANT OF THE UNDERWORLD is a Kindle Deal in the US and UK!


This month, Aliette de Bodard‘s critically-acclaimed debut novel is a Kindle Monthly Deal in the US! SERVANT OF THE UNDERWORLD, the first novel in the Obsidian & Black trilogy, is only 99c! The novel is also on sale in the UK for Kindle. Published through the JABberwocky eBook Program, here’s the synopsis…

Year One-Knife, Tenochtitlan the capital of the Aztecs. Human sacrifice and the magic of the living blood are the only things keeping the sun in the sky and the earth fertile.

A Priestess disappears from an empty room drenched in blood. It should be a usual investigation for Acatl, High Priest of the Dead–except that his estranged brother is involved, and the the more he digs, the deeper he is drawn into the political and magical intrigues of noblemen, soldiers, and priests-and of the gods themselves…

The other two novels in the trilogy are also available in eBook: HARBINGER OF THE STORM and MASTER OF THE HOUSE OF DARTS.

Aliette’s latest book is THE TEA MASTER AND THE DETECTIVE, the critically-acclaimed novella set in the author’s Xuya science fiction universe. Published in the US by Subterranean Press, it is also available in the rest of the world as an eBook, published through the JABberwocky eBook Program.

Aliette’s latest series is the award-winning Dominion of the Fallen, published in the UK by Gollancz and in North America by Roc Books: THE HOUSE OF SHATTERED WINGS and THE HOUSE OF BINDING THORNS.

French Documentary series about ALAN TURING, featuring Andrew Hodges


Earlier this month, France Culture broadcast a mini-documentary series about Alan Turing, the genius mathematician who cracked Germany’s Enigma Code (among other achievements). Andrew Hodges, author of ALAN TURING: THE ENIGMA was a contributor to the series. All of the episodes are available from the France Culture website.

Hodges’s Turing biography published by Michel Lafon in France (and Canada),  Here’s the synopsis…

Génie de l’informatique et héros de la Seconde Guerre mondiale, Alan Turing est célèbre pour avoir décrypté les communications codées de l’armée allemande en venant à bout d’Enigma, la machine de chiffrement utilisée par les nazis, réputée inviolable.

Il faut dire que lorsqu’il « casse » le code secret allemand, à moins de 30 ans, le mathématicien n’en est pas à son premier coup d’éclat. Déjà, en 1936, il a dessiné les contours d’une première machine programmable, ou « machine de Turing », capable d’effectuer n’importe quel calcul mathématique : c’est l’ancêtre de l’ordinateur.

Après la guerre, Alan Turing poursuit ses recherches et se consacre en pionnier aux possibilités offertes par l’intelligence artificielle. Mais l’ex-héros national est persécuté à cause de son homosexualité et condamné en 1952 à la castration chimique. Deux années plus tard, à l’âge de 41 ans, Alan Turing met fin à ses jours en croquant une pomme empoisonnée au cyanure.

Cette biographie, qui mêle histoire des sciences, politique et philosophie, nous dévoile la vie hors norme de l’inventeur, longtemps méconnu, qui a révolutionné nos vies.

ALAN TURING: THE ENIGMA is published by Vintage in the UK, and Princeton University Press in the US. Here’s the English-language synopsis…

Alan Turing was the mathematician whose cipher-cracking transformed the Second World War. Taken on by British Intelligence in 1938, as a shy young Cambridge don, he combined brilliant logic with a flair for engineering. In 1940 his machines were breaking the Enigma-enciphered messages of Nazi Germany’s air force. He then headed the penetration of the super-secure U-boat communications.

But his vision went far beyond this achievement. Before the war he had invented the concept of the universal machine, and in 1945 he turned this into the first design for a digital computer.

Turing’s far-sighted plans for the digital era forged ahead into a vision for Artificial Intelligence. However, in 1952 his homosexuality rendered him a criminal and he was subjected to humiliating treatment. In 1954, aged 41, Alan Turing took his own life.

ALAN TURING: THE ENIGMA was adapted into the Oscar-winning movie The Imitation Game, starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Turing.

Ben Aaronovitch is embarking on a huge UK book tour for LIES SLEEPING!


This November, Ben Aaronovitch is going to embark on an extensive UK book tour to celebrate the release of the highly-anticipated seventh Peter Grant novel: LIES SLEEPING! Gollancz, his UK publisher, has put together the funky graphic above marking all the stops. That’s a lot of stops, and a lot of miles…

These are ticketed events (hence the early warning), and we expect them all to be very popular. So, if you’re interested in going we recommend you book your spot(s) ASAP! Here are more details, including links to appropriate sites for booking…

  • Monday 12th Nov: Signing 12:30pm – 1:30pm at Waterstones Inverness. More info here
  • Monday 12th Nov: Talk & signing 6:30pm at Waterstones Aberdeen. Book your tickets here
  • Tuesday 13th Nov: Signing 12:30pm – 1:30pm at Waterstones Edinburgh. More info here
  • Tuesday 13th Nov: Talk & signing 6:30pm at Waterstones Glasgow Argyle St. Book your tickets here
  • Wednesday 14th Nov: Signing 12:30pm – 1:30pm at Waterstones Newcastle. More info here
  • Wednesday 14th Nov: Talk & signing 6:30pm at York Literary Festival. Book your tickets here
  • Thursday 15th Nov: Signing 12:30pm – 1:30pm at Waterstones Leeds. More info here
  • Thursday 15th Nov: Talk & signing 6:30pm at Waterstones Lincoln. Book your tickets here
  • Friday 16th Nov: Signing 12:30pm – 1:30pm at Waterstones Nottingham. More info here
  • Friday 16th Nov: Talk & signing 6:30pm at Waterstones Birmingham. Book your tickets here
  • Saturday 17th Nov: Signing 1pm – 2pm at Forbidden Planet London. More info here
  • Saturday 17th Nov: Talk & signing 6pm at Foyles, Charing Cross, London. Book your tickets here
  • Wednesday 21st Nov: Signing 12:30pm – 1:30pm at Waterstones Southampton. More info here
  • Wednesday 21st Nov: Talk & signing 8pm at Toppings Bath. Book your tickets here
  • Thursday 22nd Nov: Short talk and signing 12:30pm – 1:30pm at Octavo’s Bookshop and Café, Cardiff. Book tickets here
  • Thursday 22nd Nov: Talk & signing 6:30pm at Waterstones Swansea. Book your tickets here
  • Friday 23rd Nov: Signing 12:30pm – 1:30pm at Waterstones Crewe. More info here
  • Friday 23rd Nov: Talk & signing 6:30pm at Waterstones Liverpool. Book your tickets here
  • Saturday 24th Nov: Signing 12:30pm – 1:30pm at Waterstones Sheffield. More info here
  • Monday 26th Nov: Talk & signing 7:30pm at David’s Bookshop, Letchworth Garden City. Book your tickets here
  • Tuesday 4th Dec: Talk & signing 6:30pm at Waterstones Epsom. Book your tickets here
  • Or if you can’t make it along in person to meet Ben, signed editions of LIES SLEEPING can be pre-ordered directly from Waterstones here

As mentioned above, Gollancz is due to publish LIES SLEEPING in the UK (November 15th). The novel is also due to be published in North America by DAW Books (November 13th). Here’s the synopsis…

Martin Chorley, aka the Faceless Man, wanted for multiple counts of murder, fraud and crimes against humanity, has been unmasked and is on the run.

Peter Grant, Detective Constable and apprentice wizard, now plays a key role in an unprecedented joint operation to bring Chorley to justice.

But even as the unwieldy might of the Metropolitan Police bears down on its foe, Peter uncovers clues that Chorley, far from being finished, is executing the final stages of a long term plan.

A plan that has its roots in London’s two thousand bloody years of history, and could literally bring the city to its knees.

To save his beloved city Peter’s going to need help from his former best friend and colleague – Lesley May – who brutally betrayed him and everything he thought she believed in. And, far worse, he might even have to come to terms with the malevolent supernatural killer and agent of chaos known as Mr Punch…

We’ll share information with you about other editions of the novel (and series as a whole) as soon as we have it.

John Berlyne Kaffeeklatsch at Worldcon!


Are you heading to Worldcon 76 in San Jose this weekend? Do you want to learn more about the agent-side of the industry? Well, John Berlyne will be hosting a kaffeeklatsch at the convention, at 3pm on Sunday 19th!

Space is limited for the event, so you will have to sign up before. Here are the instructions from the Worldcon website:

‘Signups in person at the convention in advance are required because the number of participants at each individual gathering is limited.  The signup process is designed to give many people a chance to participate in at least one of the sessions. Signups will open approximately a half day or so before the actual event. Signups for Thursday evening sessions will be available on Thursday morning, Friday morning sessions will be available on Thursday afternoon  and so on. We may limit the number of sessions which any one member may join and reserve the right to decline to accept signups.’

More information on the Kaffeeklatsches & Literary Beers, as well as the convention program, can be found on the Worldcon 76 website, here.

The convention will take place on August 16th-20th, 2018, at San Jose’s McEnery Convention Center.

THE HOUSE OF BINDING THORNS snares ESFS Award!


Last week, we shared the news that Aliette de Bodard‘s THE HOUSE OF BINDING THORNS had been nominated for the ESFS Award for Best Work of Fiction. Today, we are delighted to share the news that Aliette won!

THE HOUSE OF BINDING THORNS is the second novel in the Dominion of the Fallen fantasy series, published by Gollancz (UK), Roc Books (US), Pocket  (France), Knaur (Germany — only the first book is out at the moment), and Host (Czech). Here’s the synopsis for the novel…

As the city rebuilds from the onslaught of sorcery that nearly destroyed it, the great Houses of Paris, ruled by Fallen angels, still contest one another for control over the capital.

House Silverspires was once the most powerful, but just as it sought to rise again, an ancient evil brought it low. Phillippe, an immortal who escaped the carnage, has a singular goal — to resurrect someone he lost. But the cost of such magic might be more than he can bear.

In House Hawthorn, Madeleine the alchemist has had her addiction to angel essence savagely broken. Struggling to live on, she is forced on a perilous diplomatic mission to the underwater dragon kingdom — and finds herself in the midst of intrigues that have already caused one previous emissary to mysteriously disappear…

As the Houses seek a peace more devastating than war, those caught between new fears and old hatreds must find strength — or fall prey to a magic that seeks to bind all to its will.

Please join us in wishing Aliette a very happy congratulations on her definitely-deserved win!

Aliette de Bodard’s THE HOUSE OF BINDING THORNS has been nominated for an ESFS Award!


We’re delighted to report that Aliette de Bodard‘s THE HOUSE OF BINDING THORNS has been nominated for an ESFS Award for Best Work of Fiction! The winner of the award will be announced on Saturday July 21st, at Eurocon Nemo 2018.

The second novel in Aliette’s Dominion of the Fallen series, it’s published in the UK by Gollancz. Here’s the synopsis…

As the city rebuilds from the onslaught of sorcery that nearly destroyed it, the great Houses of Paris, ruled by fallen angels, still contest one another for control over the capital.

House Silverspires was once the most powerful, but just as it sought to rise again, an ancient evil brought it low. Phillippe, an immortal who escaped the carnage, has a singular goal — to resurrect someone he lost. But the cost of such magic might be more than he can bear.

In House Hawthorn, Madeleine the alchemist has had her addiction to angel essence savagely broken. Struggling to live on, she is forced on a perilous diplomatic mission to the underwater dragon kingdom — and finds herself in the midst of intrigues that have already caused one previous emissary to mysteriously disappear…

As the Houses seek a peace more devastating than war, those caught between new fears and old hatreds must find strength — or fall prey to a magic that seeks to bind all to its will.

The first novel in the series, THE HOUSE OF SHATTERED WINGS is also published by Gollancz in the UK.

THE HOUSE OF BINDING THORNS is also published in France by Pocket as L’ASCENSION DE LA MAISON AUBÉPINE

The first novel in the series is also published in Germany by Knaur, as DAS HAUS DER GEBROCHENEN SCHWINGEN

The two novels have also been published in Czech by Host, as ŘÁD ZLOMENÝCH KŘÍDEL and ŘÁD VĚČNÝCH TRNŮ

Finally, for those outside of Europe, the series is also published in the US by Roc Books.