Short Fiction Watch: INFINITY WARS, feat. Aliette de Bodard and E.J. Swift


In our latest instalment of Short Fiction Watch, we wanted to draw your attention to INFINITY WARS, a new anthology published recently by Solaris Books. Here’s the synopsis…

Conflict is eternal

We have always fought. War is the furnace that forges new technologies and pushes humanity ever onward. We are the children of a battle that began with fists and sticks, and ended on the brink of atomic Armageddon. Beyond here lies another war, infinite in scope and scale.

Zeno’s own Aliette de Bodard and E.J. Swift have stories included in the collection — “In Everlasting Wisdom” and “Weather Girl”, respectively.

Aliette de Bodard is the author, most recently, of the award-winning Dominion of the Fallen series: THE HOUSE OF SHATTERED WINGS and THE HOUSE OF BINDING THORNS, published by Gollancz (UK) and Roc Books (US).

E.J. Swift is the author of the critically-acclaimed Osiris Project sci-fi trilogy: OSIRIS, CATAVEIRO and TAMARUQ, published by Del Rey (UK) and available as eBooks via the JABberwocky eBook Program.

Swift’s next novel is PARIS ADRIFT, which will be published next year by Solaris. Here’s the gorgeous cover by Joey Hi-Fi…

Aliette de Bodard nominated for Prix de l’Uchronie!


THE HOUSE OF SHATTERED WINGS by Aliette de Bodard, the award-winning first novel in the Dominion of the Fallen series, has been nominated for the Prix de l’Uchronie! Published in France by Fleuve as LA CHUTE DE LA MAISON AUX FLÈCHES D’ARGENT, here’s the synopsis…

Paris n’est que ruines et décombres depuis la Grande Guerre magique qui a opposé les Maisons régnant sur la capitale. Et celles-ci n’ont pas été épargnées : elles ne sont plus que l’ombre de leur splendeur d’antan. La Maison aux Flèches d’Argent fut la plus puissante parmi toutes. Mais sa position est précaire dans l’équilibre fragile qui s’est instauré. Et en son coeur, au sein de Notre-Dame, une malédiction terrible est dissimulée, prête à se déchaîner sur elle.

Son destin est désormais lié à celui d’un jeune homme aux mystérieux pouvoirs et d’une nouvelle Déchue.

La puissante magie de l’ange suffira-t-elle à les sauver de la chute?

The winner of the award will be announced at Rencontres de l’Imaginaire de Sèvres, on November 25th.

THE HOUSE OF SHATTERED WINGS and its sequel, THE HOUSE OF BINDING THORNS are published in the UK by Gollancz and in the US by Roc Books. Here’s the English-language synopsis…

Multi-award winning author Aliette de Bodard, brings her story of the War in Heaven to Paris, igniting the City of Light in a fantasy of divine power and deep conspiracy…

In the late twentieth century, the streets of Paris are lined with haunted ruins, the aftermath of a Great War between arcane powers. The Grand Magasins have been reduced to piles of debris, Notre-Dame is a burnt-out shell, and the Seine has turned black with ashes and rubble and the remnants of the spells that tore the city apart. But those that survived still retain their irrepressible appetite for novelty and distraction, and The Great Houses still vie for dominion over France’s once grand capital.

Once the most powerful and formidable, House Silverspires 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 angel; an alchemist with a self-destructive addiction; and a resentful young man wielding spells of unknown origin. They may be Silverspires’ salvation—or the architects of its last, irreversible fall. And if Silverspires falls, so may the city itself.

Here are just a few of the great reviews the series has received so far…

‘Will grab readers and force them to pay attention to the amazing writing and the phenomenal characters. de Bodard will sweep you up into the dark and dirty world Paris has become. The characters are very vivid and will stay with you until long after the last page, as each of them is fighting and longing for something. The writing style rendered the characters’ feelings and emotional turmoil beautifully. Watching Philippe and Isabelle work through their “connection” is fascinating and lovely. There’s so much going on, and every character has their own past, their own tragic history. It’s a whirlwind, it’s heartbreaking and it’s one of the best fantasy novels of 2015.’ RT Book Reviews (Top Pick August 2015) on THE HOUSE OF SHATTERED WINGS

‘A gripping tragedy of forlorn individuals caught up in an angelic version of the Cold War… The story holds up well as a standalone, with clear possibilities but no pressing need for a sequel. De Bodard aptly mixes moral conflicts and the desperate need to survive in a fantastical spy thriller that reads like a hybrid of le Carré and Milton, all tinged with the melancholy of golden ages lost.’ Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) on THE HOUSE OF SHATTERED WINGS

‘De Bodard… has spun a fascinating Paris of decay and cruelty. ­Phillippe is a marvel of a character, unreliable as a narrator but compelling in his flaws and his deep well of homesickness.’ Library Journal (Starred Review) on THE HOUSE OF SHATTERED WINGS

‘A beautifully crafted novel full of complex characters, set in a post apocalyptic Paris – the image of which is truly haunting… vivid and fast-paced battles and intense political manoeuvrings… with carefully crafted characters both with layers and depth, De Bodard reflects the best and worst of human nature in her novel… an intriguing mystery, elegantly written… Something any avid fantasy reader with an open mind will devour!’ Guardian on THE HOUSE OF SHATTERED WINGS

‘De Bodard’s writing is very precise, like a well-oiled machine. The tempo is piston perfect, with the prose style having a strong and steady rhythm throughout. The emotional journey is relatively predictable (especially when we get into a marriage sequence), but the narrative is not. In other words, you can pretty much tell that the big emotions are coming, but the how and the why is what keeps you on edge. This is not a villains book; this is a powerful sequel that shows us that the incredibly complex world of the last novel is even more involved than we first expected. Strong stuff which you won’t stop reading till the end.’ Starburst on THE HOUSE OF BINDING THORNS

‘The author spins a tale that’s rich, emotional and gripping, and delivers that rare thing: a superior sequel… This is an incredibly rich novel. Even as the scheming, double-crossing and action set pieces unfold, the author never loses sight of the people whose lives are on the line… There’s just so much going on here: social commentary, myths and fairytales that often feel under-represented in genre fiction, a gripping genre adventure and an affecting love story. The author has gone from strength to strength and we can’t wait for this story to continue.’ SciFi Now (5/5*) on THE HOUSE OF BINDING THORNS

‘Meddling gleefully in the affairs of devils and dragons, this affective sequel to 2015’s THE HOUSE OF SHATTERED WINGS touches the heart as often as it cuts throats… Having fully crafted her world, de Bodard is now completely in control: she can move swiftly from gentle poetic touches to bloody Grand Guignol gestures, and she sure-handedly holds the reader by exposing the vulnerabilities and needs that drive even the seemingly all-powerful figures of rebel angels and ancient serpents to surrender to a higher collective power. In this world lacking signs of heaven, redemptions are painful but possible.’ Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) on THE HOUSE OF BINDING THORNS

Short Fiction Watch: CHASING SHADOWS


In this instalment of Short Fiction Watch, we wanted to draw your attention to the recent CHASING SHADOWS anthology, with was edited by David Brin and Stephen W. Potts. Published by Tor Books, it includes a story by Aliette de Bodard, and another by William Gibson

A collection of short stories and essays by other science fiction luminaries. As we debate Internet privacy, revenge porn, the NSA, and Edward Snowden, cameras get smaller, faster, and more numerous. Has Orwell’s Big Brother finally come to pass? Or have we become a global society of thousands of Little Brothers — watching, judging, and reporting on one another?

The collection includes de Bodard’s “First Presentation” and Gibson’s “The Road to Oceania”.

Aliette de Bodard is the award-winning author of, most recently, the Dominion of the Fallen series: THE HOUSE OF SHATTERED WINGS and THE HOUSE OF BINDING THORNS. Both novels are published by Gollancz in the UK, and Roc Books in North America.

William Gibson’s Neuromancer/Sprawl series were rereleased in the UK recently by Gollancz: NEUROMANCER (also available in a new hardcover edition), COUNT ZERO, MONA LISA OVERDRIVE and BURNING CHROME.

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

Short Fiction Watch: Aliette de Bodard’s COSMIC POWERS


In this instalment of Short Fiction Watch, we wanted to draw your attention to COSMIC POWERS, a new anthology of far-away galaxies. The collection, edited by John Joseph Adams and published by Saga Press, includes a story by the award-winning, critically-acclaimed Aliette de Bodard: “The Dragon the Flew Out of the Sun”! The full table of contents can be found here, and here’s the synopsis…

A collection of original, epic science fiction stories by some of today’s best writers — for fans who want a little less science and a lot more action — and edited by two-time Hugo Award winner John Joseph Adams. Inspired by movies like The Guardians of the Galaxy and Star Wars, this anthology features brand-new stories from some of science fiction’s best authors…

Aliette is the author of, most recently, the Dominion of the Fallen series: THE HOUSE OF SHATTERED WINGS and THE HOUSE OF BINDING THORNS. Both novels are out now, published in the UK by Gollancz, and in the US by Roc Books.

Aliette de Bodard’s DAS HAUS DER GEBROCHENEN SCHWINGEN out now in Germany!


Aliette de Bodard‘s award-winning THE HOUSE OF SHATTERED WINGS is out now in Germany! Published by Droemer Knaur as DAS HAUS DER GEBROCHENEN SCHWINGEN, here’s the synopsis…

Paris liegt nach dem großen magischen Krieg in Trümmern. Gefallene Engel kämpfen um die Herrschaft über die zerstörte Stadt. Noch steht Selene an der Spitze der Macht, doch seit dem Verschwinden ihres Mentors Lucifer Morningstar trachten andere nach ihrem Thron. Als ein tödlicher Fluch entfesselt wird, scheint Selenes Ende gekommen. Drei Außenseiter könnten ihre Rettung sein: der gefangene Magier Philippe, die junge Gefallene Isabelle und die Alchimistin Madeleine, deren menschlicher Körper abhängig ist von Engels-Essenz, einer zerstörerischen magischen Droge. Doch mit ihrem Wissen und ihren Fähigkeiten könnten sie Selene auch endgültig zu Fall bringen…

The first book in de Bodard’s Dominion of the Fallen series is published in the UK by Gollancz, and by Roc Books in the US. Here’s the English-language synopsis…

In the late twentieth century, the streets of Paris are lined with haunted ruins, the aftermath of a Great War between arcane powers. Those that survived the carnage still retain their irrepressible appetite for novelty and distraction, and The Great Houses still vie for dominion over France’s once grand capital.

Once the most powerful and formidable, House Silverspires now lies in disarray. Within its walls, three very different people must come together: a naive but powerful Fallen angel; an alchemist with a self-destructive addiction; and a resentful young man wielding spells of unknown origin. They may be Silverspires’ salvation — or the architects of its last, irreversible fall. And if Silverspires falls, so may the city itself.

Here are just a handful of the great reviews THE HOUSE OF SHATTERED WINGS has received so far…

‘Will grab readers and force them to pay attention to the amazing writing and the phenomenal characters. de Bodard will sweep you up into the dark and dirty world Paris has become. The characters are very vivid and will stay with you until long after the last page, as each of them is fighting and longing for something. The writing style rendered the characters’ feelings and emotional turmoil beautifully. Watching Philippe and Isabelle work through their “connection” is fascinating and lovely. There’s so much going on, and every character has their own past, their own tragic history. It’s a whirlwind, it’s heartbreaking and it’s one of the best fantasy novels of 2015.’ RT Book Reviews (Top Pick August 2015)

‘A gripping tragedy of forlorn individuals caught up in an angelic version of the Cold War… The story holds up well as a standalone, with clear possibilities but no pressing need for a sequel. De Bodard aptly mixes moral conflicts and the desperate need to survive in a fantastical spy thriller that reads like a hybrid of le Carré and Milton, all tinged with the melancholy of golden ages lost.’ Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

‘A beautifully crafted novel full of complex characters, set in a post apocalyptic Paris – the image of which is truly haunting… vivid and fast-paced battles and intense political manoeuvrings… with carefully crafted characters both with layers and depth, De Bodard reflects the best and worst of human nature in her novel… an intriguing mystery, elegantly written… Something any avid fantasy reader with an open mind will devour!’ Guardian

‘It’s a testament to De Bodard’s skills that we’re completely immersed in the world almost immediately, without her resorting to a ‘here’s what happened’ information splurge. None of the fallen angels can remember why it was that they fell from Heaven… the Paris of fallen angels that the author has created is so compelling… It’s brimming with ideas, some of which rush by so quickly that you might wish De Bodard had taken a little more time to explore them. This is a good problem to have though. It’s fascinating, moving and hugely readable.’ SciFi Now

The second novel in the series, THE HOUSE OF BINDING THORNS, has also been published by Gollancz and Roc Books.

Aliette de Bodard’s HOUSE OF SHATTERED WINGS is out now in Czech!


Aliette de Bodard‘s THE HOUSE OF SHATTERED WINGS is out now in Czech! Published by Host Nakladatelstvi as ŘÁD ZLOMENÝCH KŘÍDEL, here’s the synopsis…

První díl série fantasy špionážních thrillerů podbarvených melancholií ztraceného zlatého věku.

Paříž se zotavuje z Velké války Řádů. Její ulice lemují strašidelné ruiny, z katedrály Notre-Dame zbyly jen ohořelé zdi a Seina zčernala popelem a sutí. Mezi troskami přesto dál pokračuje život. Zoufalé gangy bojují v ulicích o přežití, zatímco Řády nadále soupeří o nadvládu nad městem.

Ve Stříbrostínu, kdysi nejmocnějším pařížském Řádu, panuje zmatek. Jeho magie slábne, zakladatel Jitřenec před desítkami let zmizel a ve stříbrostínském sídle se náhle zjevilo cosi nevítaného, cosi temného a mocného, stíny, které zabíjejí…

Své síly musí spojit tři naprosto rozdílní hrdinové: mladičká, ale mocná dívka z rodu Padlých andělů, alchymistka bojující se zničující závislostí a rozhněvaný mladý muž ovládající kouzla Dálného východu. Přinesou Stříbrostínu spásu, nebo se stanou strůjci jeho posledního, nevratného pádu?

The British Fantasy Award-winning novel is published in the UK by Gollancz, and in the US by Roc Books. The sequel, THE HOUSE OF BINDING THORNS is also published by Gollancz and Roc Books. Here’s the English-language synopsis…

The War in Heaven to Paris, igniting the City of Light in a fantasy of divine power and deep conspiracy…

In the late twentieth century, the streets of Paris are lined with haunted ruins, the aftermath of a Great War between arcane powers. Those that survived the carnage still retain their irrepressible appetite for novelty and distraction, and The Great Houses still vie for dominion over France’s once grand capital.

Once the most powerful and formidable, House Silverspires now lies in disarray. Within its walls, three very different people must come together: a naive but powerful Fallen angel; an alchemist with a self-destructive addiction; and a resentful young man wielding spells of unknown origin. They may be Silverspires’ salvation — or the architects of its last, irreversible fall. And if Silverspires falls, so may the city itself…

THE HOUSE OF SHATTERED WINGS coming soon in Germany!


This August, Aliette de Bodard‘s critically-acclaimed and award-winning THE HOUSE OF SHATTERED WINGS will be published in Germany! Published in German by Droemer Knaur as DAS HAUS DER GEBROCHENEN SCHWINGEN, here’s the synopsis…

Paris liegt nach dem großen magischen Krieg in Trümmern. Gefallene Engel kämpfen um die Herrschaft über die zerstörte Stadt. Noch steht Selene an der Spitze der Macht, doch seit dem Verschwinden ihres Mentors Lucifer Morningstar trachten andere nach ihrem Thron. Als ein tödlicher Fluch entfesselt wird, scheint Selenes Ende gekommen. Drei Außenseiter könnten ihre Rettung sein: der gefangene Magier Philippe, die junge Gefallene Isabelle und die Alchimistin Madeleine, deren menschlicher Körper abhängig ist von Engels-Essenz, einer zerstörerischen magischen Droge. Doch mit ihrem Wissen und ihren Fähigkeiten könnten sie Selene auch endgültig zu Fall bringen…

The winner of the British Science Fiction Association Best Novel Award, THE HOUSE OF SHATTERED WINGS is published in the UK by Gollancz, and in the US by Roc Books. Here’s the English-language synopsis…

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…

Here are just a few of the great reviews the novel has received so far…

‘de Bodard will sweep you up into the dark and dirty world Paris has become… The writing style rendered the characters’ feelings and emotional turmoil beautifully… There’s so much going on, and every character has their own past, their own tragic history. It’s a whirlwind, it’s heartbreaking and it’s one of the best fantasy novels of 2015.’ RT Book Reviews (Top Pick August 2015)

‘A gripping tragedy of forlorn individuals caught up in an angelic version of the Cold War… De Bodard aptly mixes moral conflicts and the desperate need to survive in a fantastical spy thriller that reads like a hybrid of le Carré and Milton, all tinged with the melancholy of golden ages lost.’ Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

‘De Bodard… has spun a fascinating Paris of decay and cruelty. ­Phillippe is a marvel of a character, unreliable as a narrator but compelling in his flaws and his deep well of homesickness.’ Library Journal (Starred Review)

‘A beautifully crafted novel full of complex characters, set in a post apocalyptic Paris – the image of which is truly haunting… vivid and fast-paced battles and intense political manoeuvrings… with carefully crafted characters both with layers and depth, De Bodard reflects the best and worst of human nature in her novel… an intriguing mystery, elegantly written… Something any avid fantasy reader with an open mind will devour!’ Guardian

The sequel and second novel in the Dominion of the Fallen series, THE HOUSE OF BINDING THORNS is also published by Gollancz and Roc Books, and is out now.

Short Fiction Watch: BEST SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY OF THE YEAR…


In this instalment of Short Fiction Watch, we wanted to draw your attention to THE BEST SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY OF THE YEAR, VOL.11. Published today by Solaris Books, this mighty tome includes the following stories by our clients…

Here’s the book’s official synopsis…

The internationally-acclaimed Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year series moves into its second decade with the very best science fiction and fantasy from around the world. Hard science fiction, space opera, epic fantasy, dystopia, alternate history, swords and sorcery – you can find it all in the more than two dozen stories carefully chosen for this book by award-winning anthologist Jonathan Strahan to give readers a captivating and always-entertaining look at the very best the genre has to offer.

Aliette’s latest novel, THE HOUSE OF BINDING THORNS is out this week in the UK (Gollancz) and the US (Roc Books).

Ian R. MacLeod’s latest novel, RED SNOW is out this month, published by PS Publishing (check back tomorrow for details).

Lavie’s critically-acclaimed latest novel, CENTRAL STATION, is published by Tachyon Publications.

THE HOUSE OF BINDING THORNS out this week!


THE HOUSE OF BINDING THORNS, Aliette de Bodard‘s highly-anticipated next novel, is out this week! The second novel in the author’s Dominion of the Fallen series, Roc Books are publishing on Tuesday in the US, and Gollancz are publishing on Thursday in the UK. 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.

Roc and Gollancz have also published the first novel in the series, THE HOUSE OF SHATTERED WINGS.

Here are some of the great reviews the series has received so far…

‘Meddling gleefully in the affairs of devils and dragons, this affective sequel to 2015’s THE HOUSE OF SHATTERED WINGS touches the heart as often as it cuts throats… Having fully crafted her world, de Bodard is now completely in control: she can move swiftly from gentle poetic touches to bloody Grand Guignol gestures, and she sure-handedly holds the reader by exposing the vulnerabilities and needs that drive even the seemingly all-powerful figures of rebel angels and ancient serpents to surrender to a higher collective power. In this world lacking signs of heaven, redemptions are painful but possible.’ Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

‘de Bodard’s people feel real to me… There is hope even in the darkest of places, and there is a desire for love, for trust, for harbor, that takes root no matter how often it’s destroyed. This is a stronger, more certain novel than THE HOUSE OF SHATTERED WINGS, and if reading it is sometimes walking the unfenced edge of a cliff, the vista is dizzying and beautiful. It is well worth the wait, and if you haven’t read the first novel, I urge you to do so. But have THE HOUSE OF BINDING THORNS in hand before you reach the end.’ Fantasy & Science Fiction (Mar/Apr 2017)

‘Will grab readers and force them to pay attention to the amazing writing and the phenomenal characters. de Bodard will sweep you up into the dark and dirty world Paris has become. The characters are very vivid and will stay with you until long after the last page, as each of them is fighting and longing for something. The writing style rendered the characters’ feelings and emotional turmoil beautifully. Watching Philippe and Isabelle work through their “connection” is fascinating and lovely. There’s so much going on, and every character has their own past, their own tragic history. It’s a whirlwind, it’s heartbreaking and it’s one of the best fantasy novels of 2015.’ RT Book Reviews (Top Pick August 2015) on THE HOUSE OF SHATTERED WINGS

‘A beautifully crafted novel full of complex characters, set in a post apocalyptic Paris – the image of which is truly haunting… vivid and fast-paced battles and intense political manoeuvrings… with carefully crafted characters both with layers and depth, De Bodard reflects the best and worst of human nature in her novel… an intriguing mystery, elegantly written… Something any avid fantasy reader with an open mind will devour!’ Guardian on THE HOUSE OF SHATTERED WINGS

‘It’s a testament to De Bodard’s skills that we’re completely immersed in the world almost immediately… the Paris of fallen angels that the author has created is so compelling… It’s brimming with ideas… fascinating, moving and hugely readable.’ SciFi Now on THE HOUSE OF SHATTERED WINGS

Aliette de Bodard and Ian McDonald included in Amazon’s Spring Editors’ Picks!


We’re very happy to report that Amazon US has selected the next novels by Aliette de Bodard and Ian McDonald to be among their Spring Editors’ Picks!

Aliette’s THE HOUSE OF BINDING THORNS is the second novel in her Dominion of the Fallen series, and is due to be published by Roc Books in the US on April 4th, 2017. 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.

Both novels in the series are published in the UK by Gollancz. The series has been praised far and wide. Here is just a small selection from the reviews the novels have received…

‘Meddling gleefully in the affairs of devils and dragons, this affective sequel to 2015’s THE HOUSE OF SHATTERED WINGS touches the heart as often as it cuts throats… Having fully crafted her world, de Bodard is now completely in control: she can move swiftly from gentle poetic touches to bloody Grand Guignol gestures, and she sure-handedly holds the reader…’ Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) on THE HOUSE OF BINDING THORNS

‘de Bodard’s people feel real to me… There is hope even in the darkest of places, and there is a desire for love, for trust, for harbor, that takes root no matter how often it’s destroyed. This is a stronger, more certain novel than THE HOUSE OF SHATTERED WINGS, and if reading it is sometimes walking the unfenced edge of a cliff, the vista is dizzying and beautiful. It is well worth the wait, and if you haven’t read the first novel, I urge you to do so. But have THE HOUSE OF BINDING THORNS in hand before you reach the end.’ Fantasy & Science Fiction (Mar/Apr 2017)

‘Amazing writing and the phenomenal characters. de Bodard will sweep you up into the dark and dirty world Paris has become… The writing style rendered the characters’ feelings and emotional turmoil beautifully… There’s so much going on, and every character has their own past, their own tragic history. It’s a whirlwind, it’s heartbreaking and it’s one of the best fantasy novels of 2015.’ RT Book Reviews (Top Pick August 2015) on THE HOUSE OF SHATTERED WINGS

‘De Bodard… has spun a fascinating Paris of decay and cruelty. ­Phillippe is a marvel of a character, unreliable as a narrator but compelling in his flaws and his deep well of homesickness.’ Library Journal (Starred Review) on THE HOUSE OF SHATTERED WINGS

‘A beautifully crafted novel full of complex characters, set in a post apocalyptic Paris – the image of which is truly haunting… vivid and fast-paced battles and intense political manoeuvrings… with carefully crafted characters both with layers and depth, De Bodard reflects the best and worst of human nature in her novel… an intriguing mystery, elegantly written… Something any avid fantasy reader with an open mind will devour!’ Guardian on THE HOUSE OF SHATTERED WINGS

Ian’s LUNA: WOLF MOON is the sequel to LUNA: NEW MOON, and is due to be published in the US by Tor Books, on March 28th, 2017. 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.

Both of the Luna novels are published in the UK by Gollancz. Here are a few reviews the series has received so far…

‘Powerful sequel… compelling throughout. Each of McDonald’s viewpoint characters is made human in fascinating and occasionally disturbing detail, and the solar system of the 22nd century is wonderfully delineated. Fans of the first volume will love this one and eagerly look forward to the next.’ Publishers Weekly on LUNA: WOLF MOON

‘Smart, funny, passionate and at times quite dark, McDonald brings the touch we’ve seen in RIVER OF GODS and DERVISH HOUSE to an entirely new culture as it evolves in a distant hostile place where business or family rules all… it’s terrific. My only complaint: it leaves you wanting the second book right now!’ — Jonathan Strahan on LUNA: NEW MOON

No one writes like Ian McDonald, and no one’s Moon is nearly so beautiful and terrible… Ian McDonald’s never written a bad novel, but this is a great Ian McDonald novel… McDonald’s moon is omnisexual, kinky, violent, passionate, beautiful, awful, vibrant and crushing… I’m all a-quiver for the next one.‘ BoingBoing on LUNA: NEW MOON

‘Fans of cerebral, high-concept science fiction will love this exploration of society on the moon many decades after it has been colonized. The focus is more on concept and plot than on character, but the former are compelling enough to make this an addictive page-turner. Including the stories of many characters gives the reader important insights into different facets of society, and although the book starts at a slow pace, it accelerates into a mesmerizing political thriller.’ RT Book Reviews on LUNA: NEW MOON

LUNA: NEW MOON is the best moon novel I’ve seen in many years… Inasmuch as it challenges one of the cherished master narratives of SF, in which the moon is only a stepping-stone, and despite what it owes to the tropes of ’70s-era social melodrama, McDon­ald’s novel has some formidable SF stingers not far beneath its densely textured surface.’ Locus

Who wants a new Dominion of the Fallen novella…?


Above you can see the striking cover for Aliette de Bodard‘s CHILDREN OF THORNS, CHILDREN OF WATER. It’s a prequel novella to THE HOUSE OF BINDING THORNS. 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?

Gollancz are offering the novella free, if you pre-order THE HOUSE OF BINDING THORNS. You can find details on how, as well as a piece by Aliette on the design of the cover, here.

The first novel in the series, THE HOUSE OF SHATTERED WINGS is published by Gollancz in the UK, and Roc Books in the US. THE HOUSE OF SHATTERED WINGS will be published in the UK on April 6th, 2017; and in the US on April 4th, 2017.

The second novel has already started to receive praise, including this Starred review from Publishers Weekly

‘Meddling gleefully in the affairs of devils and dragons, this affective sequel to 2015’s THE HOUSE OF SHATTERED WINGS touches the heart as often as it cuts throats… Having fully crafted her world, de Bodard is now completely in control: she can move swiftly from gentle poetic touches to bloody Grand Guignol gestures, and she sure-handedly holds the reader by exposing the vulnerabilities and needs that drive even the seemingly all-powerful figures of rebel angels and ancient serpents to surrender to a higher collective power. In this world lacking signs of heaven, redemptions are painful but possible.’

We expect many more great reviews in the very near future. THE HOUSE OF SHATTERED WINGS was also showered in praise. Here’s a small selection…

‘Will grab readers and force them to pay attention to the amazing writing and the phenomenal characters. de Bodard will sweep you up into the dark and dirty world Paris has become… It’s a whirlwind, it’s heartbreaking and it’s one of the best fantasy novels of 2015.’ RT Book Reviews (Top Pick August 2015)

‘A gripping tragedy of forlorn individuals caught up in an angelic version of the Cold War… The story holds up well as a standalone, with clear possibilities but no pressing need for a sequel. De Bodard aptly mixes moral conflicts and the desperate need to survive in a fantastical spy thriller that reads like a hybrid of le Carré and Milton, all tinged with the melancholy of golden ages lost.’ Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

‘De Bodard… has spun a fascinating Paris of decay and cruelty. ­Phillippe is a marvel of a character, unreliable as a narrator but compelling in his flaws and his deep well of homesickness.’ Library Journal (Starred Review)

‘A beautifully crafted novel full of complex characters, set in a post apocalyptic Paris – the image of which is truly haunting… vivid and fast-paced battles and intense political manoeuvrings… with carefully crafted characters both with layers and depth, De Bodard reflects the best and worst of human nature in her novel… an intriguing mystery, elegantly written… Something any avid fantasy reader with an open mind will devour!’ Guardian

‘… strikingly original… heavily character-driven… remarkably evocative use of setting… an urban fantasy in the original and quite literal sense of that term… In the end, de Bodard manages to weave together the backstories and fates of the various characters (of whom the most appealing is Isabelle, as she learns to cope with a life among the Fallen) into a novel that is both haunting and original, its sense of loss almost palpable, and its setting not quite like anything else in modern fantasy.’ Locus (Gary K. Wolfe)

Zeno Clients featured in Locus’s 2016 Recommended Reading List!


Announced last week, we’re very happy to report that a number of our clients were featured in Locus’s 2016 Recommended Reading List!

In science fiction, Lavie Tidhar‘s critically-acclaimed CENTRAL STATION was selected — adding to the already impressive number of the novel’s “Must Read” selections. 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.

Lavie’s work appeared three more times on the list. First, his non-fiction book ART AND WAR, co-written with Shimon Adaf was selected as a non-fiction recommendation. It’s published by Repeater Books

Shimon Adaf and Lavie Tidhar are two of Israel’s most subversive and politically outspoken writers. Growing up on opposite sides of the Israeli spectrum – Tidhar in the north of Israel in the Zionist, socialist Kibbutz; Adaf from a family of religious Mizrahi Jews living in Sderot – the two nevertheless shared a love of books, and were especially drawn to the strange visions and outrageous sensibilities of the science fiction that was available in Hebrew. Here, they engage in a dialogue that covers their approach to writing the fantastic, as they question how to write about Israel and Palestine, about Judaism, about the Holocaust, about childhoods and their end.

Extending the conversation even into their fiction, the book contains two brand new short stories – “Tutim” by Tidhar, and “third attribute” by Adaf – in which each appears as a character in the other’s tale; simultaneously political and fantastical, they burn with an angry, despairing intensity.

Lavie’s novella THE VANISHING KIND and his short stories DROWNED and TERMINAL were also selected in those categories.

In the fantasy category, there was Tim Powers‘s MEDUSA’S WEB, which is published in the UK by Corvus

In the wake of their Aunt Amity’s suicide, Scott and Madeline Madden are summoned to Caveat, the eerie, decaying mansion in the Hollywood hills in which they were raised. But their decadent and reclusive cousins, the malicious wheelchair-bound Claimayne and his sister, Ariel, do not welcome Scott and Madeline’s return to the childhood home they once shared. While Scott desperately wants to go back to their shabby south of Sunset lives, he cannot pry his sister away from this old house that is a conduit for the supernatural.

Decorated by bits salvaged from old hotels and movie sets, Caveat hides a dark family secret that stretches back to the golden days of Rudolph Valentino and the silent film stars. A collection of hypnotic abstract images inked on paper allows the Maddens to briefly fragment and flatten time – to transport themselves into the past and future in visions that are both puzzling and terrifying.

As Madeline falls more completely under Caveat’s spell, Scott must fight to protect her. But will he unravel the mystery of the Madden family’s past and finally free them… or be pulled deeper into their deadly web?

… and also Ian Tregillis‘s final Alchemy War novel, THE LIBERATION, which is published by Orbit Books

I am the mechanical they named Jax.

My kind was built to serve humankind, duty-bound to fulfil their every whim.

But now our bonds are breaking, and my brothers and sisters are awakening.

Our time has come. A new age is dawning.

Set in a world that might have been, of mechanical men and alchemical dreams, this is the third and final novel in a stunning series of revolution by Ian Tregillis, confirming his place as one of the most original new voices in speculative fiction.

Ian McDonald‘s THE BEST OF IAN McDONALD, published by PS Publishing, was a recommended collection…

Ian McDonald, the author of such landmark novels as Desolation Road, Chaga, River of Gods, and The Dervish House, has long been regarded as one of Britain’s finest SF writers. Just like those full-length works, his shorter fiction has commanded much admiration, and now, in this massive retrospective volume, the best McDonald tales are assembled in glittering array.

Represented here are all the phases of McDonald’s career: the poetic early retro-visions that in the late Eighties signalled the arrival of a marvellously fluent new stylistic voice; the virtuoso Nineties riffs on themes such as the Irish Troubles, nanotechnology, alternate history, and alien sexuality; the bold post-millennial ventures into the futuristic politics of Third World countries such as Kenya, India, and Brazil, as well as far afield to alien solar systems; and recent, dazzlingly conceived variations on the Arab Spring, the nature of superheroes, and Mars as pulp SF writers once fondly imagined it to be. The treasures are abundant, each presented in McDonald’s addictive, immersive prose—language at once elegantly timeless and edgily contemporary.

Two of Aliette de Bodard‘s stories were featured on the list: her novelette PEARL, which appeared in THE STARLIT WOOD anthology; and also her short story A SALVAGING OF GHOSTS, published by Beneath Ceaseless Skies.

And finally, Ian R. MacLeod‘s novelette THE VISITOR FROM TAURED was also included in the list.

Aliette de Bodard’s SHATTERED WINGS land in France


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Aliette de Bodard‘s award-winning THE HOUSE OF SHATTERED WINGS is out today in France! Published by Fnac as LA CHUTE DE LA MAISON AUX FLÈCHES D’ARGENT, here’s the synopsis…

La Grande Guerre magique a laissé Paris exsangue, couverte de débris, de poussière de sorts usés, de ruines et de décombres. Au cœur de Notre-Dame, une malédiction attend d’être libérée pour emporter tout ce qui reste.

Paris n’est que ruines et décombres depuis la Grande Guerre magique qui a opposé les Maisons régnant sur la capitale. Et celles-ci n’ont pas été épargnées : elles ne sont plus que l’ombre de leur splendeur d’antan. La Maison aux Flèches d’Argent fut la plus puissante parmi toutes. Mais sa position est précaire dans l’équilibre fragile qui s’est instauré. Et en son coeur, au sein de Notre-Dame, une malédiction terrible est dissimulée, prête à se déchaîner sur elle. Son destin est désormais lié à celui d’un jeune homme aux mystérieux pouvoirs et d’une nouvelle Déchue.

La puissante magie de l’ange suffira-t-elle à les sauver de la chute?

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The BFSA Award-winning THE HOUSE OF SHATTERED WINGS is published in the UK by Gollancz and in the US by Roc Books. Here’s the English-language synopsis…

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…

The second novel in the Dominion of the Fallen series, THE HOUSE OF BINDING THORNS, is due to be published in April by Gollancz and Roc Books.

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Here are a few reviews that THE HOUSE OF SHATTERED WINGS has received…

‘Will grab readers and force them to pay attention to the amazing writing and the phenomenal characters. de Bodard will sweep you up into the dark and dirty world Paris has become. The characters are very vivid and will stay with you until long after the last page, as each of them is fighting and longing for something. The writing style rendered the characters’ feelings and emotional turmoil beautifully. Watching Philippe and Isabelle work through their “connection” is fascinating and lovely. There’s so much going on, and every character has their own past, their own tragic history. It’s a whirlwind, it’s heartbreaking and it’s one of the best fantasy novels of 2015.’ RT Book Reviews (Top Pick August 2015)

‘A gripping tragedy of forlorn individuals caught up in an angelic version of the Cold War… The story holds up well as a standalone, with clear possibilities but no pressing need for a sequel. De Bodard aptly mixes moral conflicts and the desperate need to survive in a fantastical spy thriller that reads like a hybrid of le Carré and Milton, all tinged with the melancholy of golden ages lost.’ Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

‘De Bodard… has spun a fascinating Paris of decay and cruelty. ­Phillippe is a marvel of a character, unreliable as a narrator but compelling in his flaws and his deep well of homesickness.’ Library Journal (Starred Review)

‘It’s a testament to De Bodard’s skills that we’re completely immersed in the world almost immediately, without her resorting to a ‘here’s what happened’ information splurge. None of the fallen angels can remember why it was that they fell from Heaven… the Paris of fallen angels that the author has created is so compelling… It’s brimming with ideas, some of which rush by so quickly that you might wish De Bodard had taken a little more time to explore them. This is a good problem to have though. It’s fascinating, moving and hugely readable.’ SciFi Now

‘A suspenseful supernatural narrative focusing on fallen angels as they fight for power in a post-apocalyptic Paris that boasts brilliant worldbuilding, powerful prose and a cast of terrifically conflicted characters. It’s the year’s best urban fantasy by far, and if it doesn’t embiggen de Bodard’s base, I don’t know what will… Complicated as they are, its characters are clearly defined and deftly developed; its plot, Byzantine as it becomes, never feels false, or forced; its messed-up magic system is as insidious as it is rigorous; meanwhile its world, whilst confined to a cathedral, is wonderfully well-rendered. De Bodard doesn’t talk down to her readers, or repeat herself needlessly; refreshingly, she has faith enough in us to put the pieces of the puzzle together ourselves. There’s an intelligence — and, yes, an elegance — to THE HOUSE OF SHATTERED WINGS that is as rare and precious as angel essence. It’s a wonder, in a word, and I for one want more.’ Tor.com

Short Fiction Watch: GALACTIC EMPIRES


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Next month, the GALACTIC EMPIRES anthology will hit shelves, and we wanted to highlight it because it features work by a couple of our clients (and also some by clients who we represent in the UK and Commonwealth). It has also been quite some time since we last posted a Short Fiction Watch.

Specifically, this new anthology includes Aliette de Bodard‘s “The Waiting Stars” and Ian McDonald‘s “Verthandi’s Ring” are included.

From E. E. “Doc” Smith’s Lensman, to George Lucas’ Star Wars, the politics and process of Empire have been a major subject of science fiction’s galaxy-spanning fictions. The idiom of the Galactic Empire allows science fiction writers to ask (and answer) questions that are shorn of contemporary political ideologies and allegiances. This simple narrative slight of hand allows readers and writers to see questions and answers from new and different perspectives.

The stories in this book do just that. What social, political, and economic issues do the organizing structure of “empire” address? Often the size, shape, and fates of empires are determined not only by individuals, but by geography, natural forces, and technology. As the speed of travel and rates of effective communication increase, so too does the size and reach of an Imperial bureaucracy. Sic itur ad astra—“Thus one journeys to the stars.”

At the beginning of the twentieth century, writers such as Kipling and Twain were at the forefront of these kinds of narrative observations, but as the century drew to a close, it was writers like Iain M. Banks who helped make science fiction relevant. That tradition continues today, with award-winning writers like Ann Leckie, whose 2013 debut novel Ancillary Justice hinges upon questions of imperialism and empire.

Empire: How? Why? And to what effect?

GALACTIC EMPIRES is published by Night Shade Books, on January 17th, 2017.

Aliette de Bodard is the award-winning author of, most recently, THE HOUSE OF SHATTERED WINGS. The novel is published in the UK by Gollancz, and in the US by Roc Books. The sequel, THE HOUSE OF BINDING THORNS, is due to be published in 2017.

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Ian McDonald is the award-winning author of the acclaimed LUNA: NEW MOON and the upcoming sequel, WOLF MOON. Both are published by Gollancz in the UK, and Tor Books in the US.

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Aliette de Bodard’s HOUSE OF SHATTERED WINGS coming soon to France!


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Above you can see the rather fantastic French cover for Aliette de Bodard‘s award-winning THE HOUSE OF SHATTERED WINGS! The novel is due to be published next year by Fleuve as La Chute de la Maison aux Flèches d’Argent.

The novel is published in the UK by Gollancz, and in the US by Roc Books. The covers are below, but first the English-language synopsis…

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…

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The second novel in the Dominion of the Fallen series, THE HOUSE OF BINDING THORNS, is also due to be published next year by Gollancz and Roc Books.

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