This October: Aliette de Bodard’s IN THE VANISHER’S PALACE


We’re delighted to share with you today the cover and details Aliette de Bodard‘s latest new book: IN THE VANISHER’S PALACE! A dark retelling of Beauty and the Beast, it is due to be published on October 16th via the JABberwocky eBook Program. Here’s the synopsis…

In a ruined, devastated world, where the earth is poisoned and beings of nightmares roam the land…

A woman, betrayed, terrified, sold into indenture to pay her village’s debts and struggling to survive in a spirit world.

A dragon, among the last of her kind, cold and aloof but desperately trying to make a difference. 

When failed scholar Yên is sold to Vu Côn, one of the last dragons walking the earth, she expects to be tortured or killed for Vu Côn’s amusement.

But Vu Côn, it turns out, has a use for Yên: she needs a scholar to tutor her two unruly children. She takes Yên back to her home, a vast, vertiginous palace-prison where every door can lead to death. Vu Côn seems stern and unbending, but as the days pass Yên comes to see her kinder and caring side. She finds herself dangerously attracted to the dragon who is her master and jailer. In the end, Yên will have to decide where her own happiness lies — and whether it will survive the revelation of Vu Côn’s dark, unspeakable secrets…

The book has already received some advance praise, too…

‘Another stellar offering by Bodard. Her signature intensity is on display in this tale of people (and dragons) struggling to survive in the ruins of an alien conquest. Emotionally complex relationships interweave with richly drawn and deftly nuanced world-building.’ — Kate Elliott, Author of the Court of Fives series

‘A transformative experience. With dragons.’ — Fran Wilde, Hugo and Nebula nominated author of The Bone Universe and The Gemworld series

The book is available to pre-order from Amazon UK, US and France; Kobo UK and US; Google Play; and iTunes UK and US.

Aliette is also the award-winning author of the Dominion of the Fallen series, published by Gollancz in the UK and Roc Books in North America; the critically-acclaimed THE TEA MASTER AND THE DETECTIVE, published by Subterranean Press and the JABberwocky eBook Program; and also the Obsidian & Blood trilogy, also published as eBooks through the JABberwocky eBook Program.

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Short Fiction Watch: Aliette de Bodard in A THOUSAND BEGINNINGS AND ENDINGS


In this instalment of Short Fiction Watch, we wanted to draw your attention to Aliette de Bodard‘s contribution to A THOUSAND BEGINNINGS AND ENDINGS, a new anthology edited by Ellen Oh and Elsie Chapman, published by Greenwillow Books. The anthology includes 15 retellings of Asian myths and legends, and Aliette’s contribution is the story “The Counting of Vermillion Beads”, a re-telling of a Vietnamese myth. Here’s the book’s synopsis…

Star-crossed lovers, meddling immortals, feigned identities, battles of wits, and dire warnings: these are the stuff of fairy tale, myth, and folklore that have drawn us in for centuries.

Fifteen bestselling and acclaimed authors reimagine the folklore and mythology of East and South Asia in short stories that are by turns enchanting, heartbreaking, romantic, and passionate.

Compiled by We Need Diverse Books’s Ellen Oh and Elsie Chapman, the authors included in this exquisite collection are: Renée Ahdieh, Sona Charaipotra, Preeti Chhibber, Roshani Chokshi, Aliette de Bodard, Melissa de la Cruz, Julie Kagawa, Rahul Kanakia, Lori M. Lee, E. C. Myers, Cindy Pon, Aisha Saeed, Shveta Thakrar, and Alyssa Wong.

A mountain loses her heart. Two sisters transform into birds to escape captivity. A young man learns the true meaning of sacrifice. A young woman takes up her mother’s mantle and leads the dead to their final resting place.

From fantasy to science fiction to contemporary, from romance to tales of revenge, these stories will beguile readers from start to finish.

Aliette’s latest release is the critically-acclaimed novella THE TEA MASTER AND THE DETECTIVE, published by Subterranean Press in the US, and available in eBook via the JABberwocky eBook Program.

Aliette’s latest series is the Dominion of the Fallen, currently at two books: THE HOUSE OF SHATTERED WINGS (winner of the BSFA Award for Best Novel, and Locus Award finalist) and THE HOUSE OF BINDING THORNS. The series is published in the UK by Gollancz, and in the US by Roc Books.

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.

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.

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

THE TEA MASTER AND THE DETECTIVE will see you now…


Aliette de Bodard‘s latest novella, THE TEA MASTER AND THE DETECTIVE is out now outside of the US! Available as an eBook via the JABberwocky eBook Program, here’s the synopsis…

Once, the mindship known as The Shadow’s Child was a military transport. Once, she leapt effortlessly between stars and planets, carrying troops and crew for a war that tore the Empire apart. Until an ambush killed her crew and left her wounded and broken.

Now the war is over, and The Shadow’s Child, surviving against all odds, has run away. Discharged and struggling to make a living, she has no plans to go back into space. Until the abrasive and arrogant scholar Long Chau comes to see her. Long Chau wants to retrieve a corpse for her scientific studies: a simple enough, well-paid assignment.

But when the corpse they find turns out to have been murdered, the simple assignment becomes a vast and tangled investigation, inexorably leading back to the past–and, once again, to that unbearable void where The Shadow’s Child almost lost both sanity and life… 

THE TEA MASTER AND THE DETECTIVE is published in the US by Subterranean Press, as a hardcover and eBook. Here are some of the reviews the book has received so far…

‘De Bodard constructs a convincingly gritty setting and a pair of unique characters with provocative histories and compelling motivations. The story works as well as both science fiction and murder mystery, exploring a future where pride, guilt, and mercy are not solely the province of humans.’Publishers Weekly

‘This slim volume packs a visceral punch. Absorbing prose pulls readers into the dark, frigid space between stars, where ships can fail, physically and emotionally, as easily as people… this novella offers sf fans an imaginative read.’ Library Journal (Starred Review)

THE TEA MASTER AND THE DETECTIVE is the Sherlock Holmes retelling I always wanted and now I have it. And I want so much more of it.’ Kirkus

‘This is a measured, almost stately story, right up until a conclusion that explodes in fast-paced tension. It preserves the empathy and the intensity of the original Sherlockian stories, while being told in de Bodard’s sharp prose and modern style. The worldbuilding — this novella is set in de Bodard’s Xuya continuity, like On A Red Station, Drifting and The Citadel of Weeping Pearls — sparkles. The characters have presence: they’re individual and compelling. And it ends it a way that recalls the original Holmes and Watson, while being perfectly appropriate to itself.’Tor.com

‘As a classical blend of far-future SF and traditional murder mystery, The Tea Master and the Detective should satisfy readers unfamiliar with the Xuya universe, but at the same time it’s an intriguing introduction to that universe, much of which seems to lie just outside the borders of this entertaining tale.’Locus (Gary K. Wolfe)

We believe you will want to read this novella. The decision is simply… elementary, my dear reader.

Wider release for Aliette de Bodard’s THE TEA MASTER AND THE DETECTIVE next week!


Next week — April 2nd, to be exact — Aliette de Bodard‘s critically-acclaimed new Xuya novella, THE TEA MASTER AND THE DETECTIVE will be available as an eBook outside of the US! The new edition also has a new cover, as can be seen above, by Dirk Berger.

Currently available only in the US via Subterranean Press (cover at end), the book will be released via the JABberwocky eBook Program in the UK and other territories. Here’s the synopsis…

Once, the mindship known as The Shadow’s Child was a military transport. Once, she leapt effortlessly between stars and planets, carrying troops and crew for a war that tore the Empire apart. Until an ambush killed her crew and left her wounded and broken.

Now the war is over, and The Shadow’s Child, surviving against all odds, has run away. Discharged and struggling to make a living, she has no plans to go back into space. Until the abrasive and arrogant scholar Long Chau comes to see her. Long Chau wants to retrieve a corpse for her scientific studies: a simple enough, well-paid assignment.

But when the corpse they find turns out to have been murdered, the simple assignment becomes a vast and tangled investigation, inexorably leading back to the past — and, once again, to that unbearable void where The Shadow’s Child almost lost both sanity and life…

Here, too, is some of that aforementioned critical acclaim…

‘This slim volume packs a visceral punch. Absorbing prose pulls readers into the dark, frigid space between stars, where ships can fail, physically and emotionally, as easily as people… this novella offers sf fans an imaginative read.’Library Journal (Starred Review)

‘A science-fictional ode to Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, where the Holmes figure is a sharp and biting disgraced aristocratic scholar with a solid core of empathy, and the Watson-figure is a mindship with post-traumatic stress disorder from her war experiences… This is a measured, almost stately story, right up until a conclusion that explodes in fast-paced tension. It preserves the empathy and the intensity of the original Sherlockian stories, while being told in de Bodard’s sharp prose and modern style. The worldbuilding… sparkles. The characters have presence: they’re individual and compelling. And it ends it a way that recalls the original Holmes and Watson, while being perfectly appropriate to itself.’ Tor.com

‘De Bodard revisits her far-future Xuya universe setting with this gripping novella about damaged characters driven to search for the truth… De Bodard constructs a convincingly gritty setting and a pair of unique characters with provocative histories and compelling motivations. The story works as well as both science fiction and murder mystery, exploring a future where pride, guilt, and mercy are not solely the province of humans.’ Publishers Weekly

‘De Bodard’s world building glitters, and her characters are deeply compelling… This is a really satisfying story, deeply invested in choosing to do the right thing – and in the importance of kindness. I strongly recommend it.’ Locus

‘The Tea Master and the Detective is the Sherlock Holmes retelling I always wanted and now I have it. And I want so much more of it.’ Kirkus

JABberwocky have also released the eBook editions of Aliette’s debut trilogy, Obsidian & Blood: SERVANT OF THE UNDERWORLD, HARBINGER OF THE STORM and MASTER OF THE HOUSE OF DARTS.

THE HOUSE OF BINDING THORNS paperback out tomorrow in the UK!


The second novel in the Dominion of the Fallen series is out in paperback tomorrow! Aliette de Bodard‘s THE HOUSE OF BINDING THORNS is published 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.

Gollancz has also published the award-winning first novel in the series, THE HOUSE OF SHATTERED WINGS. The two novels are published in the US by Roc Books.

Here are a few of the great reviews the novel 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)

‘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

‘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*)

‘Truly beautifully balanced: between new and old, birth and death, beauty and ugliness, inside and outside, beginning and, yes, ending. It walks the line, and walks it fine.’ Tor.com

de Bodard’s latest novella, THE TEA MASTER AND THE DETECTIVE, was published last week by Subterranean Press.

Aliette de Bodard’s THE TEA MASTER AND THE DETECTIVE out now!


Aliette de Bodard‘s latest novella, THE TEA MASTER AND THE DETECTIVE is out now! Published by Subterranean Press, 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 appareance 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 novella has already been racking up some great reviews, too…

‘A science-fictional ode to Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, where the Holmes figure is a sharp and biting disgraced aristocratic scholar with a solid core of empathy, and the Watson-figure is a mindship with post-traumatic stress disorder from her war experiences… This is a measured, almost stately story, right up until a conclusion that explodes in fast-paced tension. It preserves the empathy and the intensity of the original Sherlockian stories, while being told in de Bodard’s sharp prose and modern style. The worldbuilding… sparkles. The characters have presence: they’re individual and compelling. And it ends it a way that recalls the original Holmes and Watson, while being perfectly appropriate to itself.’ Tor.com

‘De Bodard revisits her far-future Xuya universe setting with this gripping novella about damaged characters driven to search for the truth… De Bodard constructs a convincingly gritty setting and a pair of unique characters with provocative histories and compelling motivations. The story works as well as both science fiction and murder mystery, exploring a future where pride, guilt, and mercy are not solely the province of humans.’Publishers Weekly

‘De Bodard’s world building glitters, and her characters are deeply compelling… This is a really satisfying story, deeply invested in choosing to do the right thing – and in the importance of kindness. I strongly recommend it.’Locus

Aliette de Bodard’s latest series of novels, Dominion of the Fallen, is published in the UK by Gollancz and in the US by Roc Books.

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.

Zeno Clients in Locus Magazine’s 2017 Recommended Reading List…


We’re very happy to report that a number of our clients and their work was included in Locus Magazine’s 2017 Recommended Reading List! Ian McDonald, Aliette de Bodard, Lavie Tidhar, E.J. Swift, and Ian R. MacLeod all cropped up a number of times in the list.

Ian McDonald‘s LUNA: WOLF MOON is picked as one of the best science-fiction novels of the year, and variously described as ‘excellent’, ‘enthralling’, ‘compelling… twisty’, and ‘complex… brilliant… a joy to read’. One writer says that McDonald ‘has been making a case for being the best SF writer in the world’! The novel is published by Gollancz (UK) and Tor Books (US). Ian’s contribution to GALACTIC EMPIRES was also mentioned as a stand-out.

Aliette de Bodard‘s THE HOUSE OF BINDING THORNS is described as ‘utterly amazing’ and ‘vivid’ by different editors, and is identified as one of the best fantasy novels of the year. It is published by Gollancz (UK) and Roc Books (US). Aliette’s “The Dragon That Flew Out of the Sun” is one of Gardner Dozois’s best picks included in the COSMIC POWERS anthology, as is the author’s “First Presentation” in the CHASING SHADOWS anthology. The Dominion of the Fallen novelette, CHILDREN OF THORNS, CHILDREN OF WATER is among the best of the year.

Ian R. MacLeod‘s RED SNOW, published by PS Publishing, is selected as one of the best Horror novels of the year.

E.J. Swift‘s contribution to the INFINITY WARS anthology, the novelette WEATHER GIRL, is picked as a stand-out by Gardner Dozois and one of the best novelettes of the year. Emma is also given a nod for her contribution to THE DJINN FALLS IN LOVE AND OTHER STORIES.

Lavie Tidhar‘s work is mentioned a few times, especially his work that has appeared in Clarkesworld, and WATERFALLING (which appeared in THE BOOK OF SWORDS) is picked as one of the best novelettes of the year. His Tor.com short story “The Old Dispensation” is also picked as one of the best of 2017.

THE TEA MASTER AND THE DETECTIVE coming soon…


In case you missed the ongoing flurry of interest on social media, Aliette de Bodard has a new Xuya novella on the way! Due to be published in March, THE TEA MASTER AND THE DETECTIVE is due to be published by Subterranean Press. 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 appareance 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…

Here are a couple of advance reviews…

‘De Bodard constructs a convincingly gritty setting and a pair of unique characters with provocative histories and compelling motivations. The story works as well as both science fiction and murder mystery, exploring a future where pride, guilt, and mercy are not solely the province of humans.’Publishers Weekly

‘THE TEA MASTER… is an astonishing Holmesian mystery, in which Holmes is a woman and Watson is a spaceship. It is everything I wanted it to be. Tea, space, and mysteries within mysteries.’Mary Robinette Kowal

Aliette is also the Nebula Award-winning author of the Dominion of the Fallen series, which is published by Gollancz in the UK, Roc Books in the US, and is available in various translations.

Aliette de Bodard’s THE HOUSE OF BINDING THORNS out now in France!


The second novel in Aliette de Bodard‘s critically-acclaimed, award-winning Dominion of the Fallen series is now available in France, published by Fleuve as L’ASCENSION DE LA MAISON AUBÉPINE.

The series is published in the UK by Gollancz, and in the US by Roc Books: THE HOUSE OF SHATTERED WINGS and THE HOUSE OF BINDING THORNS. Here’s the English-language synopsis for the second novel…

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

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

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

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

The first novel in the series is also out today in paperback in France, published by Pocket: LA CHUTE DE LA MAISON AUX FLÈCHES D’ARGENT.