CENTRAL STATION wins an inaugural Neukom Award!


We are delighted to share the news that Lavie Tidhar‘s critically-acclaimed CENTRAL STATION has won an inaugural Neukom Award! You can read the full press release here.

Dan Rockmore, director of the Neukom Institute, said of the winners, ‘We are proud to have a list of award winners that features such thoughtful artistic visions of the future, both near and far… We all wrestle with the uncertainty of the future, that is what makes speculative fiction such an important and necessary genre, and that is what makes each of these works so special.’

Here’s what Lavie had to say about winning the award…

‘Writing CENTRAL STATION, I was finally able to put into form many of the ideas on the future – of people, of machines, of communication – that occupied me since first loading a command line prompt, and since the first time I heard the siren call of a modem. I’m honored to be among the inaugural recipients of the Neukom Institute Literary Arts Awards.’

CENTRAL STATION is published by Tachyon Publications in English, and is available in a growing number of translated editions — with more to come (check his author page for more information). Here’s the synopsis…

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.

Many congratulations, Lavie, on this latest very-well-deserved honour!

Last week, we shared the stunning cover for Lavie’s next novel, UNHOLY LAND, which will also be published by Tachyon Publications.

Zeno clients among the 2018 Locus Awards Finalists!


It’s that time of year again: the Locus Award Finalists have been announced! We’re very happy to report that a number of our clients and their work appear in the various categories. Here are the details…

Ian McDonald‘s LUNA: WOLF MOON is a finalist for Best Science Fiction Novel. Published by Tor Books in the US and Gollancz in the UK, here’s the synopsis…

A Dragon is dead.

Corta Helio, one of the five family corporations that rule the Moon, has fallen. Its riches are divided up among its many enemies, its survivors scattered. Eighteen months have passed .

The remaining Helio children, Lucasinho and Luna, are under the protection of the powerful Asamoahs, while Robson, still reeling from witnessing his parent’s violent deaths, is now a ward — virtually a hostage — of Mackenzie Metals. And the last appointed heir, Lucas, has vanished of the surface of the moon.

Only Lady Sun, dowager of Taiyang, suspects that Lucas Corta is not dead, and more to the point — that he is still a major player in the game. After all, Lucas always was the Schemer, and even in death, he would go to any lengths to take back everything and build a new Corta Helio, more powerful than before. But Corta Helio needs allies, and to find them, the fleeing son undertakes an audacious, impossible journey — to Earth.

In an unstable lunar environment, the shifting loyalties and political machinations of each family reach the zenith of their most fertile plots as outright war erupts.

Aliette de Bodard‘s THE HOUSE OF BINDING THORNS is among the finalists for Best Fantasy Novel. Published in the US by Roc Books and in the UK by Gollancz, here’s the synopsis…

Paris endures the aftermath of a devastating arcane war…

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.

Aliette’s CHILDREN OF THORNS, CHILDREN OF WATER, a novelette set in the same Dominion of the Fallen series as the above novel, is also nominated for Best Novelette. You can read the story here.

Ian R. MacLeod‘s RED SNOW, published by PS Publishing, is a finalist for Best Horror Novel. Here’s the synopsis…

In the aftermath of the last great battle of the American Civil War, a disillusioned Union medic stumbles across a strange figure picking amid the corpses, and his life is changed forever…

In the cathedral city of Strasbourg in the years before the French Revolution, a church restorer is commissioned to paint a series of portraits that chart the changing appearance of a beautiful woman over the course of her life, although the woman herself seems ageless…

In Prohibition-era New York, an idealistic young Marxist is catapulted into the realms of elite society, and forced to assume the identity of someone who never existed…

Red Snow is a novel of love and violence, ideas and dreams, and revolves around the mystery of a monster drawn from humanity’s darkest myths which still somehow survives, and thrives, and kills, in this modern age.

Winners will be announced during the Locus Awards Weekend in Seattle WA, June 22-24, 2018.

Aliette de Bodard signing in London this week


This Thursday at 6pm, Aliette de Bodard will be signing at the Forbidden Planet Megastore in London! The award-winning author of, most recently, the Dominion of the Fallen series and Xuya universe stories, not to mention countless award-winning other short fiction, we’re sure this will be a popular event!

Aliette’s latest book is the critically-acclaimed THE TEA MASTER AND THE DETECTIVE, published by Subterranean Press (US) and the JABberwocky eBook Program. Here’s the synopsis…

Welcome to the Scattered Pearls Belt, a collection of ring habitats and orbitals ruled by exiled human scholars and powerful families, and held together by living mindships who carry people and freight between the stars. In this fluid society, human and mindship avatars mingle in corridors and in function rooms, and physical and virtual realities overlap, the appearance of environments easily modified and adapted to interlocutors or current mood.

A transport ship discharged from military service after a traumatic injury, The Shadow’s Child now ekes out a precarious living as a brewer of mind-altering drugs for the comfort of space-travellers. Meanwhile, abrasive and eccentric scholar Long Chau wants to find a corpse for a scientific study. When Long Chau walks into her office, The Shadow’s Child expects an unpleasant but easy assignment. When the corpse turns out to have been murdered, Long Chau feels compelled to investigate, dragging The  Shadow’s Child with her.

As they dig deep into the victim’s past, The Shadow’s Child realises that the investigation points to Long Chau’s own murky past — and, ultimately, to the dark and unbearable void that lies between the stars…

The aforementioned Dominion of the Fallen series includes THE HOUSE OF SHATTERED WINGS and THE HOUSE OF BINDING THORNS, both published by Gollancz (UK) and Roc Books (US). Here’s the synopsis for the first novel…

A superb murder mystery, on an epic scale, set against the fall out — literally — of a war in heaven

Paris in the aftermath of the Great Magicians War. Its streets are lined with haunted ruins, Notre-Dame is a burnt-out shell, and the Seine runs black, thick with ashes and rubble. Yet life continues among the wreckage. The citizens retain their irrepressible appetite for novelty and distraction, and The Great Houses still vie for dominion over France’s once grand capital.

House Silverspires, previously the leader of those power games, now lies in disarray. Its magic is ailing; its founder, Morningstar, has been missing for decades; and now something from the shadows stalks its people inside their very own walls.

Within the House, three very different people must come together: a naive but powerful Fallen, an alchemist with a self-destructive addiction, and a resentful young man wielding spells from the Far East. They may be Silverspires’ salvation; or the architects of its last, irreversible fall.

CENTRAL STATION nominated for a Neukom Institute Literary Arts Award!


Lavie Tidhar‘s critically-acclaimed latest novel, CENTRAL STATION has been nominated for a Neukom Institute Literary Arts Award! On the awards’ website, Neukom Institute Director Dan Rockmore said, ‘Whether describing a cloned space crew, the future of sexual relations, or everyday life in a changed environment, the Neukom shortlist is filled with essential reads that address the complexities that the future may bring.’ The winners (one for debut, one for an established author) will be announced in early May 2018.

CENTRAL STATION is published by Tachyon Publications. Here’s the synopsis…

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.

The novel has been published widely in translation (with more editions to come!). Here’s some of the aforementioned critical acclaim…

‘Magnificently blends literary and speculative elements in this streetwise mosaic novel set under the towering titular spaceport… Tidhar gleefully mixes classic SF concepts with prose styles and concepts that recall the best of world literature. The byways of Central Station ring with dusty life, like the bruising, bustling Cairo streets depicted by Naguib Mahfouz. Characters wrestle with problems of identity forged under systems of oppression, much as displaced Easterners and Westerners do in the novels of Orhan Pamuk. And yet this is unmistakably SF. Readers of all persuasions will be entranced.’ Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

‘It is just this side of a masterpiece — short, restrained, lush — and the truest joy of it is in the way Tidhar scatters brilliant ideas like pennies on the sidewalk.’ NPR

‘A fascinating future glimpsed through the lens of a tight-knit community. Tidhar changes genres with every outing, but his astounding talents guarantee something new and compelling no matter the story he tells.’ Library Journal (starred review)

‘The stories include some of Tidhar’s most beautiful prose, and his future Tel Aviv is among the most evocative settings in recent SF… Somehow, CENTRAL STATION combines a cultural sensibility too long invisible in SF with a sensibility which is nothing but classic SF, and the result is a rather elegant suite of tales.’ Locus

‘Tidhar’s prose draws the reader in, bringing this world to life with ease… characters are never sacrificed in favour of the technology; in fact, the two of them combine seamlessly to create a unique vision, one that will leave the reader thinking long after the final page. Not only intelligent, it’s emotional too, telling of loves lost and those only just begun, of those wishing to escape their past and those hoping to bring it back… Tidhar is reminiscent of an early William Gibson, not just in sharing that short and punchy style, but in his ability to create a world where the speculation is believable enough to fit seamlessly into the narrative; somehow, despite being set centuries into the future, it feels just around the corner… cement[s] Lavie Tidhar as one of science fiction’s great voices, an author who creates scenarios and characters that feel destined to become classics, ones that readers will be happy to revisit time and time again. It’s a compelling collection that mixes the epic and the intimate, one that succeeds at being profound, incredibly moving and, quite simply, stunning.’ (10/10) Starburst 

Brandon Sanderson’s OATHBRINGER is a finalist for two Gemmell Awards!


The finalists for the three Gemmell Awards were unveiled recently, and we’re very happy to report that Brandon Sanderson‘s OATHBRINGER is nominated in two categories! The third novel in the Stormlight Archive novel, OATHBRINGER is in two categories: Legend (best novel) and Ravenheart (best cover)!

Voting on the shortlist will close on June 1st, 2018. The winners of the awards will be announced at Edge-Lit 7, on July 14th.

Published in the UK by Gollancz, here’s the synopsis for OATHBRINGER

Humanity faces a new Desolation with the return of the Voidbringers, a foe whose numbers are as great as their thirst for vengeance.

The Alethi armies commanded by Dalinar Kholin won a fleeting victory at a terrible cost: The enemy Parshendi summoned the violent Everstorm, and now its destruction sweeps the world and its passing awakens the once peaceful and subservient parshmen to the true horror of their millennia-long enslavement by humans. While on a desperate flight to warn his family of the threat, Kaladin Stormblessed must come to grips with the fact that their newly kindled anger may be wholly justified.

Nestled in the mountains high above the storms, in the tower city of Urithiru, Shallan Davar investigates the wonders of the ancient stronghold of the Knights Radiant and unearths the dark secrets lurking in its depths. And Dalinar realizes that his holy mission to unite his homeland of Alethkar was too narrow in scope. Unless all the nations of Roshar can put Dalinar’s blood-soaked past aside and stand together — and unless Dalinar himself can confront that past — even the restoration of the Knights Radiant will not avert the end of civilization.

The first two novels in the Stormlight Archive are also published in the UK by Gollancz, as are Brandon’s critically-acclaimed Mistborn novels and a number of stand-alone novels and novellas.

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

William Gibson’s THE PERIPHERAL optioned for television!


Earlier this week, it was announced that Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan, the creators of the critically-acclaimed Westworld HBO series, have optioned William Gibson‘s latest novel for television! The series will be distributed by Amazon Studios. To get caught up before the series drops, THE PERIPHERAL is out now, published in the UK by Penguin. Here’s the synopsis…

Flynne Fisher lives in rural near-future America where jobs are scarce and veterans from the wars are finding it hard to recover. She scrapes a living doing some freelance online game-playing, participating in some pretty weird stuff. Wilf Netherton lives in London, seventy-some years later, on the far side of decades of slow-motion apocalypse. Things though are good for the haves, and there aren’t many have-nots left.

Flynne and Wilf are about to meet one another. Her world will be altered utterly, and Wilf’s, for all its decadence and power, will learn that some of these third-world types from the distant past can be real badass.

William Gibson is the author of the cyberpunk classic NEUROMANCER and others. Aside from THE PERIPHERAL, his novels are published in the UK by Gollancz. The author’s next novel, AGENCY, is due out later this year (we’ll share updates, cover, etc., on the site as and when we have it).

Zeno represents William Gibson in the UK and Commonwealth, on behalf of Martha Millard at Sterling Lord Literistic.

Aliette de Bodard, Brandon Sanderson and Marie Brennan are Hugo Awards Finalists!


We’re delighted to report that Aliette de BodardBrandon Sanderson and Marie Brennan are among this year’s Hugo Awards finalists! The winners of the awards will be announced at WorldCon 76 in San Jose, on August 19th.

First up, Aliette de Bodard’s CHILDREN OF THORNS, CHILDREN OF WATER has been nominated in the Best Novelette category. Part of the author’s critically-acclaimed, award-winning Dominion of the Fallen series, the story is available free — more details on where you can get it here. Here’s the synopsis…

In a Paris that never was, a city of magicians, alchemists and Fallen angels struggling to recover from a devastating magical war…

Once each year, the House of Hawthorn tests the Houseless: for those chosen, success means the difference between a safe life and the devastation of the streets. However, for Thuan and his friend Kim Cuc, — dragons in human shapes and envoys from the dying underwater kingdom of the Seine — the stakes are entirely different. Charged with infiltrating a House that keeps encroaching on the Seine, if they are caught, they face a painful death.

Worse, mysterious children of thorns stalk the candidates through Hawthorn’s corridors. Will Thuan and Kim Cuc survive and succeed?

The Dominion of the Fallen series novels, including the Nebula Award-winning THE HOUSE OF SHATTERED WINGS, and THE HOUSE OF BINDING THORNS — are published in the UK by Gollancz and in the US by Roc Books.

Secondly, Brandon Sanderson’s Stormlight Archive series has been nominated for Best Series. Currently comprised of three novels — THE WAY OF KINGS, WORDS OF RADIANCE and OATHBRINGER (more on the way) — the series is published in the UK by Gollancz. Here’s the synopsis for the first book…

According to mythology mankind used to live in The Tranquiline Halls. Heaven. But then the Voidbringers assaulted and captured heaven, casting out God and men. Men took root on Roshar, the world of storms. And the Voidbringers followed…

They came against man ten thousand times. To help them cope, the Almighty gave men powerful suits of armor and mystical weapons, known as Shardblades. Led by ten angelic Heralds and ten orders of knights known as Radiants, mankind finally won.

Or so the legends say. Today, the only remnants of those supposed battles are the Shardblades, the possession of which makes a man nearly invincible on the battlefield. The entire world is at war with itself — and has been for centuries since the Radiants turned against mankind. Kings strive to win more Shardblades, each secretly wishing to be the one who will finally unite all of mankind under a single throne.

On a world scoured down to the rock by terrifying hurricanes that blow through every few day a young spearman forced into the army of a Shardbearer, led to war against an enemy he doesn’t understand and doesn’t really want to fight.

What happened deep in mankind’s past?

Why did the Radiants turn against mankind, and what happened to the magic they used to wield?

Last but by no means least, Marie Brennan’s Memoirs of Lady Trent novels have been nominated in the Best Series category! Published in the UK by Titan Books, all five novels are out now: A NATURAL HISTORY OF DRAGONS, THE TROPIC OF SERPENTS, VOYAGE OF THE BASILISK, and WITHIN THE SANCTUARY OF WINGS. Here’s the synopsis for the first book…

All the world, from Scirland to the farthest reaches of Eriga, know Isabella, Lady Trent, to be the world’s preeminent dragon naturalist. She is the remarkable woman who brought the study of dragons out of the misty shadows of myth into the clear light of modern science. But before she became the illustrious figure we know today, there was a bookish young woman whose passion for learning, natural history, and, yes, dragons defied the stifling conventions of her day. Here at last, in her own words, is the true story of a pioneering spirit who risked her reputation, her prospects, and her fragile flesh and bone to satisfy her scientific curiosity; of how she sought true love and happiness despite her lamentable eccentricities; and of her thrilling expedition to the perilous mountains of Vystrana, where she made the first of many historic discoveries that would change the world forever.

Zeno represents Brandon Sanderson and Marie Brennan in the UK and Commonwealth, on behalf of the JABberwocky Literary Agency in New York.

Ian McDonald’s Luna series continues with MOON RISING…


We’re very happy to report that Ian McDonald‘s critically-acclaimed Luna series has been nominated for the Kurd Laßwitz Preis in the ‘Bestes ausländisches SF-Werk mit deutscher Erstausgabe’ category (Best Foreign SF available in German translation)!

Both of the novels — LUNA and WOLFSMOND — are published in Germany by Heyne. Here’s the synopsis for the first novel…

Kampf der Fünf Drachen

Die Zukunft: Schon lange ist der Mond den Menschen zu einer zweiten Heimat geworden. Doch auf dem Erdtrabanten geschieht nichts, ohne dass die dort ansässigen, rivalisierenden Wirtschaftsgiganten – die sogenannten Fünf Drachen – davon erfahren. Einer davon ist die Corta Helio Corporation unter dem Vorsitz der Patriarchin Adriana Corta. Als junge Frau musste sich Adriana in der brutalen Mondgesellschaft nach oben kämpfen – und hat sich dabei eine Menge Feinde gemacht. Feinde, die Adriana und ihren Clan nun zu Fall bringen wollen…

The winner of the award will be announced on September 22nd, 2018, at ElsterCon in Leipzig.

The series — NEW MOON, WOLF MOON and the upcoming MOON RISING (2019) — is published in the UK by Gollancz and in the US by Tor Books. The series has also been published widely in translation (for more information on the other editions available, be sure to check out Ian’s author page). Here’s the English-language synopsis for the first novel…

The scions of a falling house must navigate a world of corporate warfare to maintain their family’s status in the Moon’s vicious political atmosphere…

The Moon wants to kill you.

Maybe it will kill you when the per diem for your allotted food, water, and air runs out, just before you hit paydirt. Maybe it will kill you when you are trapped between the reigning corporations — the Five Dragons — in a foolish gamble against a futuristic feudal society. On the Moon, you must fight for every inch you want to gain. And that is just what Adriana Corta did.

As the leader of the Moon’s newest “dragon,” Adriana has wrested control of the Moon’s Helium-3 industry from the Mackenzie Metal corporation and fought to earn her family’s new status. Now, in the twilight of her life, Adriana finds her corporation — Corta Helio — confronted by the many enemies she made during her meteoric rise. If the Corta family is to survive, Adriana’s five children must defend their mother’s empire from her many enemies… and each other.

Lavie Tidhar’s StoryBundle… (Also featuring Aliette de Bodard!)


A bonus bit of news, today: Multi-award-winning author Lavie Tidhar has set up a limited time StoryBundle! The bundle is live now, so click on that link to find out more. The bundle has been set up as part of the author’s ongoing attempts to highlight SFF from around the world. Here’s a little bit of his explanation for the project…

Over ten years ago I came up with the crazy idea of an anthology collecting speculative fiction stories from around the world. The resultant collection – The Apex Book of World SF – came out in 2009 and has since spawned a series of books, with the fifth volume coming out later this year. Over the course of that decade I encountered some brilliant writers, and was able to watch what had once seemed impossible – overseas writers flourishing in the genre world – come to seem a matter of course…

Our chosen charity for this bundle, English PEN, works tirelessly to promote translated works into English, championing literature beyond national and linguistic borders. They provide funding for translation projects, are the founding centre of a worldwide writers’ association with 145 centres in more than 100 countries, and are also a founding member of the Free Word Centre. They campaign to defend writers and readers in the UK and around the world whose human right to freedom of expression is at risk. I couldn’t think of a better partner for this bundle, and hope you help us support them and their work.

“World SF” as a term has been somewhat nebulous, encompassing a huge range of voices and approaches to the fantastic. Here is what I hope is but the first sampler of some of today’s exciting writers working in the field. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

Among the initial titles included in the World SF Bundle, which you would receive for a minimum $5 purchase is SERVANT OF THE UNDERWORLD by Aliette de Bodard, the first book in the Obsidian & Blood trilogy. Additionally, for that minimum purchase, you would receive…

  • The Secret History of Moscow by Ekaterina Sedia
  • The Apex Book of World SF: Vol. 4 edited by Mahvesh Murad
  • A Small Charred Face by Kazuki Sakuraba

If you pay at least the bonus price of just $15, you get all four of the regular titles, plus SIX more!

  • THE APEX BOOK OF WORLD SF: Vols.1-3 edited by Lavie Tidhar
  • Spirits Abroad by Zen Cho
  • Prime Meridian by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
  • Rupert Wong, Cannibal Chef by Cassandra Khaw
  • Castles in Spain edited by Mariano Villarreal
  • Azanian Bridges by Nick Wood

John Berlyne Interviewed at NCWGF…


A couple of months ago, John Berlyne was interviewed at the National Creative Writing Graduate Fair. In the interview John talked about the importance of doing your research when looking for agents: he is ‘looking for professional people who are serious about what they want to do.’ Check out the clip, above.

The NCWGF is an annual event for aspiring writers, where they can ‘meet with literary agents, attend workshops and panel discussions run by publishing professionals, and meet like-minded writers from the North and beyond.’

APOCALYPSE NOW NOW wins SAFTAS award for Best Short Film!


Last month, we shared the news that the short film based on Charlie Human‘s debut novel APOCALYPSE NOW NOW had been nominated for the SAFTAS award in the short film category. We’re delighted to report that, this past weekend, the short film won the award! Here’s the announcement, from the SAFTAS Twitter account on the night…

The short film was adapted by XYZ Film. APOCALYPSE NOW NOW is the first novel in Human’s critically-acclaimed Baxter Zevcenko duology, which also includes KILL BAXTER. Both novels are out now, published by Arrow in the UK and Titan in the US. Here’s the first book’s synopsis…

I LOVE THE SMELL OF PARALLEL DIMENSIONS IN THE MORNING

Baxter Zevcenko’s life is pretty sweet. As the 16-year-old kingpin of the Spider, his smut-peddling schoolyard syndicate, he’s making a name for himself as an up-and-coming entrepreneur. Profits are on the rise, the other gangs are staying out of his business, and he’s going out with Esme, the girl of his dreams.

But when Esme gets kidnapped, and all the clues point towards strange forces at work, things start to get seriously weird. The only man drunk enough to help is a bearded, booze-soaked, supernatural bounty hunter that goes by the name of Jackson ‘Jackie’ Ronin.

Plunged into the increasingly bizarre landscape of Cape Town’s supernatural underworld, Baxter and Ronin team up to save Esme. On a journey that takes them through the realms of impossibility, they must face every conceivable nightmare to get her back, including the odd brush with the Apocalypse.

The series has been very well received by readers and Charlie’s peers alike. Here’s just a small selection taken from the reviews…

‘It’s mad, dark, irreverent and wonderfully twisted in all the right ways.’ Lauren Beukes, author of The Shining Girls

‘… a riot — a firebomb of a novel, exploding with sick humour, violence and depravity… it’s never less than very funny, and the ongoing question of Baxter’s sanity adds a degree of mystery. There’s warmth here, too – you’ll likely feel sympathy for Bax by the end.’ — SFX Magazine on APOCALYPSE NOW NOW

‘I don’t even know how to describe reading this book, so just look at my wide eyes and my silently mumbling mouth and take my shell-shock as a good sign that you need to read this book right now.’ Chuck Wendig, author of Blackbirds

‘… wonderfully detailed scenarios, it’s fantastic… APOCALYPSE NOW NOW is often hilarious and tremendous fun… its target audience will have a blast.’ — SciFi Now 

‘… breakneck pace and mad imagination… APOCALYPSE NOW NOW [is] such an addictive experience. As one of an associate of Ronin’s remarks: “There’s no pause button, you understand? … Once it starts you have to see it through.” All too true!’ — Tor.com

‘With a wild imagination and savage glee, Charlie Human throws us into a school yard battle zone that’s part teenage wasteland, part Lovecraft fever dream. Rock and Roll High School meets the apocalypse.’ Richard Kadrey, author of Sandman Slim

‘Set against the refreshing backdrop of Cape Town, APOCALYPSE NOW NOW is the gloriously twisted novel… Imaginative, slightly demented and wonderfully odd, it’s a striking debut that delivers a dark monster-filled tale at a frenetically enjoyable pace… But thankfully, the voice of the main protagonist prevents the madness from taking control. His intelligent quips and cocky smart-arse attitude provides an incredibly entertaining backbone to a story that slowly reveals his heart and his struggles to grasp the world around him… If you want the dark imaginative wonder of Gaiman injected with the reckless, carefree abandon of a Tarantino flick, you’d be a fool not to hitch a ride into the mysterious world of Charlie Human’s South Africa.’ — Starburst

‘The story is full of humour and really made me laugh many times with its absurdity, bad attitude and characters that are just pure gold to read, especially Ronin the big bearded, foul mouthed, recovering alcoholic ninja. This is a brash and ballsy read that doesn’t pull any punches and as such it is for the most part an incredibly fun read but it is the characters and the over the top nature of the story that make it so much fun.’ — The Book Bag on KILL BAXTER

‘Like its predecessor, KILL BAXTER is laugh out loud funny and fiendishly creative. The anti-Hogwarts of Hexpoort gives Human the opportunity to riff more directly on pop culture… The further we delve into the supernatural world and its politics, with its psychotic fairies and violent luckdragons, the more engrossing the book becomes. Baxter himself is as entertaining a companion as ever, struggling with heartbreak and desperately trying to go against his own nature and be a good person, even as he travels through his own psyche with his psychosexual development funk band guides to fulfil his potential… tighter and more focused, and just as gloriously insane. Dark, mad, imaginative, and hilarious; KILL BAXTER is a joy.’ — SciFiNow

‘Just as the author punctures holes in the twee/charming class system of magical boarding schools, Human also goes after many of the other traditions of epic fantasy. The warrior-mages of KILL BAXTER struggle with PTSD. The “rescued” girlfriends don’t feel particularly swoony or appreciative. The quest to master “the power within” involves a funk band. Baxter himself sees himself as the center of the universe (saviour for all, chosen one, etc. etc.) – but is also wise enough to seek out professional therapy for that sensation. APOCALYPSE NOW NOW was a very clever, extremely dark book with an underpinning of real insight into the teenage mind. KILL BAXTER is a step beyond – a viciously sharp adventure that combines explosive entertainment with cutting satire; the best traditions of contemporary fantasy with the truth of what it actually means to be contemporary. The odd book that should appeal to those who love fantasy and those that hate it. And I would heartily recommend it either way.’ — Pornokitsch

Ben has finished LIES SLEEPING!


We’re happy to share the news that Ben Aaronovitch has finished and delivered the manuscript for his seventh Peter Grant novel, LIES SLEEPING! The novel is available for pre-order now, and will be available in a special Waterstones limited edition, too.

LIES SLEEPING is due to be published in November in the UK by Gollancz, and in the US by DAW Books. The first six novels in the series, and first novella, are available now — there’s still time to catch up, if you haven’t already!

APOCALYPSE NOW NOW short film nominated for SAFTA!


As we reported last year, Charlie Human‘s fantastic debut APOCALYPSE NOW NOW has been adapted into a short film by XYZ Films. We are very happy to now report that the film has been nominated for a South African Film & Television Award! In case you’ve not yet seen it, here is the trailer…

APOCALYPSE NOW NOW is the first novel in Human’s critically-acclaimed Baxter Zevcenko duology, which also includes KILL BAXTER. Both novels are out now, published by Arrow in the UK and Titan in the US. Here’s the first book’s synopsis…

I LOVE THE SMELL OF PARALLEL DIMENSIONS IN THE MORNING

Baxter Zevcenko’s life is pretty sweet. As the 16-year-old kingpin of the Spider, his smut-peddling schoolyard syndicate, he’s making a name for himself as an up-and-coming entrepreneur. Profits are on the rise, the other gangs are staying out of his business, and he’s going out with Esme, the girl of his dreams.

But when Esme gets kidnapped, and all the clues point towards strange forces at work, things start to get seriously weird. The only man drunk enough to help is a bearded, booze-soaked, supernatural bounty hunter that goes by the name of Jackson ‘Jackie’ Ronin.

Plunged into the increasingly bizarre landscape of Cape Town’s supernatural underworld, Baxter and Ronin team up to save Esme. On a journey that takes them through the realms of impossibility, they must face every conceivable nightmare to get her back, including the odd brush with the Apocalypse.

Here is some of the aforementioned critical acclaim…

‘… a riot — a firebomb of a novel, exploding with sick humour, violence and depravity… it’s never less than very funny, and the ongoing question of Baxter’s sanity adds a degree of mystery. There’s warmth here, too – you’ll likely feel sympathy for Bax by the end.’ — SFX Magazine on APOCALYPSE NOW NOW

‘… wonderfully detailed scenarios, it’s fantastic… APOCALYPSE NOW NOW is often hilarious and tremendous fun… its target audience will have a blast.’ — SciFi Now 

‘… breakneck pace and mad imagination… APOCALYPSE NOW NOW [is] such an addictive experience. As one of an associate of Ronin’s remarks: “There’s no pause button, you understand? … Once it starts you have to see it through.” All too true!’ Tor.com

‘Set against the refreshing backdrop of Cape Town, APOCALYPSE NOW NOW is the gloriously twisted novel… Imaginative, slightly demented and wonderfully odd, it’s a striking debut that delivers a dark monster-filled tale at a frenetically enjoyable pace… But thankfully, the voice of the main protagonist prevents the madness from taking control. His intelligent quips and cocky smart-arse attitude provides an incredibly entertaining backbone to a story that slowly reveals his heart and his struggles to grasp the world around him… If you want the dark imaginative wonder of Gaiman injected with the reckless, carefree abandon of a Tarantino flick, you’d be a fool not to hitch a ride into the mysterious world of Charlie Human’s South Africa.’ — Starburst

‘The story is full of humour and really made me laugh many times with its absurdity, bad attitude and characters that are just pure gold to read, especially Ronin the big bearded, foul mouthed, recovering alcoholic ninja. This is a brash and ballsy read that doesn’t pull any punches and as such it is for the most part an incredibly fun read but it is the characters and the over the top nature of the story that make it so much fun.’ — The Book Bag on KILL BAXTER

‘Like its predecessor, KILL BAXTER is laugh out loud funny and fiendishly creative. The anti-Hogwarts of Hexpoort gives Human the opportunity to riff more directly on pop culture… The further we delve into the supernatural world and its politics, with its psychotic fairies and violent luckdragons, the more engrossing the book becomes. Baxter himself is as entertaining a companion as ever, struggling with heartbreak and desperately trying to go against his own nature and be a good person, even as he travels through his own psyche with his psychosexual development funk band guides to fulfil his potential… tighter and more focused, and just as gloriously insane. Dark, mad, imaginative, and hilarious; KILL BAXTER is a joy.’ — SciFiNow

‘Just as the author punctures holes in the twee/charming class system of magical boarding schools, Human also goes after many of the other traditions of epic fantasy. The warrior-mages of KILL BAXTER struggle with PTSD. The “rescued” girlfriends don’t feel particularly swoony or appreciative. The quest to master “the power within” involves a funk band. Baxter himself sees himself as the center of the universe (saviour for all, chosen one, etc. etc.) – but is also wise enough to seek out professional therapy for that sensation. APOCALYPSE NOW NOW was a very clever, extremely dark book with an underpinning of real insight into the teenage mind. KILL BAXTER is a step beyond – a viciously sharp adventure that combines explosive entertainment with cutting satire; the best traditions of contemporary fantasy with the truth of what it actually means to be contemporary. The odd book that should appeal to those who love fantasy and those that hate it. And I would heartily recommend it either way.’ — Pornokitsch

Backlist Plug: Algis Budrys’s WRITING TO THE POINT


In this instalment of out Backlist Plug series, we wanted to draw your attention to Algis Budrys‘s WRITING TO THE POINT. Considered one of the best writing guides, it is published by WordFire Press. Here’s the synopsis…

The classic work of writing instruction back in print! The complete, concise guide to writing fiction that sells from one of the most popular instructors of the Writers of the Future and Clarion workshops. Get a master’s competitive edge in the writing business. Bestselling writer, editor and renowned writing teacher Algis Budrys, known as “AJ” to his many students, has distilled his fifty years of success into Writing to the Point. Write better stories. Fix mistakes in your current stories. Writing to the Point contains all the writing articles that appeared in the classic tomorrow Magazine, re-edited and expanded. Algis Budrys has taught hundreds of people at scores of workshops, and was a well-known critic, editor, and author in his own right.

Budrys was a master science fiction storyteller. A handful of his novels are available as eBooks via Open Road Media: ROGUE MOON, MICHAELMAS, WHO?, FALLING TORCH, THE FURIOUS FUTURE (a short story collection), and HARD LANDING.

Zeno Clients Nominated for Gemmell Awards!


We’re happy to report that four of our clients’ novels have been nominated for the Gemmell Legend Award! Voting on the long-list is open until March 30th. Read on for the book details! Congratulations to all four authors for making the long-list! Voting for the short-list will open on April 20th, and close on June 1st. The awards will be presented at Edge-Lit 7, on July 14th.

Aliette de Bodard‘s THE HOUSE OF BINDING THORNS is published by Gollancz (UK) and Roc Books (US), and is the second novel in her award-winning, critically-acclaimed Dominion of the Fallen series. The UK cover, by Shutterstock has also been nominated for the Ravenheart Award.

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.

Peter V. Brett‘s THE CORE is the highly-anticipated conclusion to his Demon Cycle fantasy series. Critically-acclaimed and a Sunday Times bestseller, it is published in the UK by Voyager. The cover, by Larry Rostant and Millennium FX has also been nominated for the Ravenheart Award.

Prepare for the final descent into darkness. The war has begun.

For time out of mind, bloodthirsty demons have stalked the night, culling the human race to scattered remnants dependent on half-forgotten magics to protect them.

Two heroes arosemen as close as brothers, yet divided by bitter betrayal. Arlen Bales became known as the Painted Man, tattooed head-to-toe with powerful magic symbols that enable him to fight demons in hand-to-hand combat and emerge victorious. Ahmann Jardir, armed with magically warded weapons, called himself the Deliverer, a figure prophesied to unite humanity and lead them to triumph in Sharak Kathe final war against demonkind.

But in their efforts to bring the war to the demons, Arlen and Jardir have set something in motion that may prove the end of everything they hold deara Swarm. Now the war is at hand, and humanity cannot hope to win it unless Arlen and Jardir, with the help of Arlen’s wife, Renna, can bend a captured demon prince to their will and force the devious creature to lead them to the Core, where the Mother of Demons breeds an inexhaustible army.

Trusting their closest confidantes, Leesha, Inevera, Ragen, and Elissa, to rally the fractious people of the Free Cities and lead them against the Swarm, Arlen, Renna, and Jardir set out on a desperate quest into the darkest depths of evilfrom which none of them expects to return alive.

Christopher Husberg‘s DARK IMMOLATION is the second novel in the author’s Chaos Queen series, published by Titan Books in the UK and US.

A new religion is rising, gathering followers drawn by rumors of prophetess Jane Oden. Her sister Cinzia — one-time Cantic priestess — is by her side, but fears that Jane will lead them to ruin. For both the Church and the Nazaniin assassins are still on their trail, and much worse may come. Knot, his true nature now revealed if not truly understood, is haunted by the memories of others, and is not the ally he once was. Astrid travels to Tinska to find answers for her friend, but the child-like vampire has old enemies who have been waiting for her return. And beyond the Blood Gate in the northern empire of Roden, a tiellan woman finds herself with a new protector. One who wants to use her extraordinary abilities for his own ends…

Brandon Sanderson‘s OATHBRINGER is the third novel in his internationally-bestselling Stormlight Archives epic fantasy series. It is published in the UK by Gollancz. Sam Green’s cover has also been nominated for the Ravenheart Award.

In Oathbringer, the third volume of the New York Times bestselling Stormlight Archive series, humanity faces a new Desolation with the return of the Voidbringers, a foe whose numbers are as great as their thirst for vengeance.

The Alethi armies commanded by Dalinar Kholin won a fleeting victory at a terrible cost: The enemy Parshendi summoned the violent Everstorm, and now its destruction sweeps the world and its passing awakens the once peaceful and subservient parshmen to the true horror of their millennia-long enslavement by humans. While on a desperate flight to warn his family of the threat, Kaladin Stormblessed must come to grips with the fact that their newly kindled anger may be wholly justified.

Nestled in the mountains high above the storms, in the tower city of Urithiru, Shallan Davar investigates the wonders of the ancient stronghold of the Knights Radiant and unearths the dark secrets lurking in its depths. And Dalinar realizes that his holy mission to unite his homeland of Alethkar was too narrow in scope. Unless all the nations of Roshar can put Dalinar’s blood-soaked past aside and stand together — and unless Dalinar himself can confront that past — even the restoration of the Knights Radiant will not avert the end of civilization.

Zeno represents Peter V. Brett, Christopher Husberg and Brandon Sanderson in the UK and Commonwealth, on behalf of the JABberwocky Literary Agency in New York.