Out in March 2019, check out the UK Cover and Details for Ian McDonald’s MOON RISING


The third novel in Ian McDonald‘s critically-acclaimed Luna series, MOON RISING, is due to be published by Gollancz in the UK on March 21st! Above you can see the eye-catching cover. The latest in Ian’s epic Sci-Fi trilogy of corporate greed and family betrayal set in the harsh environment of Earth’s Moon, here’s the synopsis…

A hundred years in the future, a war wages between the Five Dragons—five families that control the Moon’s leading industrial companies. Each clan does everything in their power to claw their way to the top of the food chain—marriages of convenience, corporate espionage, kidnapping, and mass assassinations.

Through ingenious political manipulation and sheer force of will, Lucas Cortas rises from the ashes of corporate defeat and seizes control of the Moon. The only person who can stop him is a brilliant lunar lawyer, his sister, Ariel.

Witness the Dragons’ final battle for absolute sovereignty in Ian McDonald’s heart-stopping finale to the Luna trilogy.

The first two novels in the series — NEW MOON and WOLF MOON. — are also published in the UK by Gollancz, and out now. The series is published in the US by Tor Books, and there is a growing number of translated editions of all three novels in series.

If you would like to read an excerpt from the novel, head on over to Tor.com.

Here is just a small selection of the aforementioned critical acclaim for the series…

‘The best moon novel I’ve seen in many years… McDon­ald’s novel has some formidable SF stingers not far beneath its densely textured surface.’ — Locus on NEW MOON

‘McDonald creates a complex and fascinating civilization featuring believable technology, and the characters are fully developed, with individually gripping stories.’ —Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) on NEW MOON

‘With an action narrative driving this political commentary, Luna is actually a fantastically fun read as well as an important one.’ — Los Angeles Review of Books on NEW MOON

‘An engaging thriller… McDonald’s portrait of a cutthroat society trying to survive in the deadliest of environments also make it one of the strongest science fiction novels of the year.’ — Chicago Tribune on NEW MOON

‘It’s a great scenario, lovingly detailed, and curiously attractive despite its current of unforgiving violence.’ — Wall Street Journal on NEW MOON

‘The fights and vengeance that follow are more vicious and intricate than anything in Game of Thrones, full of great acts of self-sacrifice and viciousness alike, brave cavalry charges and last stands, cowardice and avarice.’ — Boing Boing on WOLF MOON

‘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.’ — Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) on WOLF MOON

‘Spare, simple, elegant when he needs to be…deep and meaty when he wants to be… [Mcdonald] does his work like an artisan pulling a sculpture from stone.’ — NPR on WOLF MOON

Check out the US Cover and Details for Ian McDonald’s MOON RISING


On March 19th, Tor Books is due to publish the third novel in Ian McDonald‘s critically-acclaimed Luna series: MOON RISING. Above you can see the fantastic cover, and here’s the synopsis for the third ‘fast-paced, intricately plotted space opera’

A hundred years in the future, a war wages between the Five Dragons—five families that control the Moon’s leading industrial companies. Each clan does everything in their power to claw their way to the top of the food chain—marriages of convenience, corporate espionage, kidnapping, and mass assassinations.

Through ingenious political manipulation and sheer force of will, Lucas Cortas rises from the ashes of corporate defeat and seizes control of the Moon. The only person who can stop him is a brilliant lunar lawyer, his sister, Ariel.

Witness the Dragons’ final battle for absolute sovereignty in Ian McDonald’s heart-stopping finale to the Luna trilogy.

You can read an excerpt from the novel over on Tor.com.

Tor Books have also published the first two novels in the series: NEW MOON and WOLF MOON. The series is published in the UK by Gollancz. The first two novels have also been published widely in translation, with more editions on the way! (We’ll keep you updated on this site as soon as we have more information and covers.)

Here are just a few of the great reviews that the first two novels in the series have received so far…

‘With an action narrative driving this political commentary, Luna is actually a fantastically fun read as well as an important one.’Los Angeles Review of Books on NEW MOON

‘McDonald creates a complex and fascinating civilization featuring believable technology, and the characters are fully developed, with individually gripping stories.’Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) on NEW MOON

‘An engaging thriller… McDonald’s portrait of a cutthroat society trying to survive in the deadliest of environments also make it one of the strongest science fiction novels of the year.’Chicago Tribune on NEW MOON

‘It’s a great scenario, lovingly detailed, and curiously attractive despite its current of unforgiving violence.’Wall Street Journal on NEW MOON

‘The best moon novel I’ve seen in many years… McDon­ald’s novel has some formidable SF stingers not far beneath its densely textured surface.’Locus on NEW MOON

‘Spare, simple, elegant when he needs to be…deep and meaty when he wants to be… [Mcdonald] does his work like an artisan pulling a sculpture from stone.’NPR on WOLF MOON

‘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.’Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) on WOLF MOON

‘The fights and vengeance that follow are more vicious and intricate than anything in Game of Thrones, full of great acts of self-sacrifice and viciousness alike, brave cavalry charges and last stands, cowardice and avarice.’Boing Boing on WOLF MOON

Ian McDonald’s TIME WAS nominated for the Philip K. Dick Award!


We’re very happy to report that Ian McDonald‘s superb TIME WAS novella has been nominated for the Philip K. Dick Award! The winner of the award will be announced on Friday, April 19, 2019 at Norwescon 42 in Seattle, Washington.

Published by Tor.com, the novel has been very well received and reviewed since it was published in April of last year. Here’s the synopsis…

A love story stitched across time and war, shaped by the power of books, and ultimately destroyed by it.

In the heart of World War II, Tom and Ben became lovers. Brought together by a secret project designed to hide British targets from German radar, the two founded a love that could not be revealed. When the project went wrong, Tom and Ben vanished into nothingness, presumed dead. Their bodies were never found.

Now the two are lost in time, hunting each other across decades, leaving clues in books of poetry and trying to make their desperate timelines overlap.

Ian’s latest series is the critically-acclaimed Luna series, published in the UK by Gollancz, in the US by Tor Books, and widely in translation. Here’s a selection of covers for the various editions of the first novel, NEW MOON

Zeno Clients on the Locus Recommended Reading List!


It’s that time of year again, when Locus publishes its extensive, informative Recommended Reading List of books from the previous year. Published in the February 2019 issue of the Locus Magazine, we’re very pleased to see a number of our clients’ books and stories included! Here’s a quick run-down…

Ben Aaronovitch‘s LIES SLEEPING, the seventh novel in his best-selling Peter Grant/Rivers of London series, featured a few times in the issue, described as ‘delightful’, ‘amusing… fascinating… impressively weird’, ‘one of the strongest’ in the series, and ‘enjoyably readable, gripping’. The novel is published in the UK by Gollancz and in North America by DAW Books. Here’s the synopsis…

A fabulous new adventure, London under threat, and the scent of magic in the air… it must be a new Rivers of London mystery…

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

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

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

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

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

The February issue also reports that LIES SLEEPING was #6 on Locus’s bestseller list!

Lavie Tidhar‘s latest critically-acclaimed novel, UNHOLY LAND landed a few times in the magazine, too: it is described as ‘provocative and sparky alternate history’, ‘one of his most complex and suggestive yet’, ‘playful and meta-fictional with a dab of Roger Zelazny’, and a novel in which his ‘skill and nuance shines’. The novel is published by Tachyon Publications. Here’s the synopsis…

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

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

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

Lavie’s contribution to Robots vs Fairies — the short story THE BURIED GIANT — also got singled out as ‘Powerful work.’

Two of Aliette de Bodard‘s latest works appear on the list. First up, THE TEA MASTER AND THE DETECTIVE, her latest book set in the author’s Xuya universe: ‘strikingly original’, ‘fabulous’. The novella is published in the US by Subterranean Press, and in the UK and Europe by JABberwocky. 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…

IN THE VANISHERS’ PALACE, de Bodard’s ‘gorgeously written’  re-telling of the Beauty & the Beast story, is also published by JABberwocky

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…

Ian McDonald‘s Philip K. Dick Award-nominated TIME WAS also popped up on the list. The book ‘stands amongst his best work’, and is ‘haunting and lyrical’. The novella is published by Tor.com

A love story stitched across time and war, shaped by the power of books, and ultimately destroyed by it.

In the heart of World War II, Tom and Ben became lovers. Brought together by a secret project designed to hide British targets from German radar, the two founded a love that could not be revealed. When the project went wrong, Tom and Ben vanished into nothingness, presumed dead. Their bodies were never found.

Now the two are lost in time, hunting each other across decades, leaving clues in books of poetry and trying to make their desperate timelines overlap.

Finally, Justina Robson‘s latest novel, SALVATION’S FIRE, is picked as one of the best fantasy novels. The second novel in the After the War series, it is published by Solaris Books. Here’s the synopsis…

The Tzarkomen necromancers sacrificed a thousand women to create a Bride for the Kinslayer so he would spare them in the war. But the Kinslayer is dead and now the creation intended to ensure his eternal rule lies abandoned by its makers in the last place in the world that anyone would look for it.

Which doesn’t prevent someone finding her by accident.

Will the Bride return the gods to the world or will she bring the end of days? It all depends on the one who found her, Kula, a broken-hearted little girl with nothing left to lose.

Ian McDonald’s EMPRESS OF THE SUN now available in Italian!


Urania/Mondadori has published the Italian edition of EMPRESS OF THE SUN, the concluding novel in Ian McDonald‘s Everness series! Published as L’IMPERATRICE DEL SOLE, here’s the synopsis…

Il salto di Heisenberg ha portato la Everness su una Terra alternativa, diversa da qualsiasi luogo l’equipaggio dell’astronave abbia mai visto. Everett Singh, Sen e gli altri si trovano su una pianura sconfinata, in un mondo in cui i dinosauri non si sono estinti ma si sono evoluti acquisendo un vantaggio tecnologico di venticinque milioni di anni sull’umanità, e nel bel mezzo dello scontro tra nazioni rivali. L’equipaggio della Everness deve affrontare un mondo che sta andando rapidamente verso l’apocalisse. Per sopravvivere, e per capire quali nuovi scenari si aprono per l’umanità…

Urania has now published all three novels in the series, the other two being TERRA INCOGNITA (PLANESRUNNER) and PIANETA PARALLELO (BE MY ENEMY). Urania has also published the first novel in Ian’s latest series, Luna: LUNA NUOVA (NEW MOON).

The Everness series was first published in the UK by Jo Fletcher Books and in North America by Pyr Books. The series is now available in eBook via the JAbberwocky eBook Program, and in many other territories. Here’s the English-language synopsis for EMPRESS OF THE SUN

World-hopping, high-action adventure starring a smart boy with computer skills and a tough girl who pilots a blimp

The airship Everness makes a Heisenberg Jump to an alternate Earth unlike any her crew has ever seen. Everett, Sen, and the crew find themselves above a plain that goes on forever in every direction without any horizon. There they find an Alderson Disc, an astronomical megastructure of incredibly strong material reaching from the orbit of Mercury to the orbit of Jupiter. 

Then they meet the Jiju, the dominant species on a plane where the dinosaurs didn’t die out. They evolved, diversified, and have a twenty-five million year technology head-start on humanity. War between their kingdoms is inevitable, total and terrible. 

Everness has jumped right into the midst of a faction fight between rival nations, the Fabreen and Dityu empires. The airship is attacked, but then defended by the forces of the Fabreen, who offers theEvernesscrew protection. But what is the true motive behind Empress Aswiu’s aid? What is her price?

The crew of the Everness is divided in a very alien world, a world fast approaching the point of apocalypse.

Here’s what reviewers have said about the Everness series…

‘The marvelous Everness series takes readers to a world with highly evolved dinosaurs in this third voyage through parallel universes… McDonald lets his imagination run rampant without abandoning credibility, tackling real scientific concepts such as confirmation bias, a feature lacking in far too much science fiction. Fans might wish for more focus on the original Everett, but eventually, the three storylines weave themselves together nicely, setting up another sequel with hints of forthcoming romance. Endlessly fascinating and fun.’ Kirkus (Starred Review) on EMPRESS OF THE SUN

‘I’ve rarely had as much fun with a Young Adult SF series as I have with Ian McDonald’s Everness — now up to three books with the brand new, shiny addition of EMPRESS OF THE SUN, possibly the best book of the bunch so far… this latest installment, with its sentient space dinosaurs, will delight folks who occasionally yearn for a good old-fashioned pulp adventure… through all of it, the characters continue to shine… I confess that I initially wasn’t too crazy about the whole Doppelgänger plot, but in this novel, it turns into a wonderful part of the overall picture… It was simply a treat to get back into the crazy palari and strange fashions of the Everness books. It may sound bizarre, but this is the first time I’ve read a novel that actually made me feel like writing fan-fic about its characters, just because they’re so utterly fresh and surprising. The Everness series is technically Young Adult, but I believe any science fiction fan, young or old, would get sucked into these adventures.’ — Tor.com on EMPRESS OF THE SUN

EMPRESS OF THE SUN revels in its pulp adventure milieu… McDonald has created an incredibly “storyable” universe for his characters to have their adventures in, and he keeps those adventures coming fast and furious… Between the adventures, the pacing, the characters, and the narrative arcs, there’s a lot to enjoy about this book and the overall series.’ — Strange Horizons on EMPRESS OF THE SUN

‘McDonald proves the concept of his world of the Infundibulum has legs, and provides some intriguing new ideas amid an entertaining adventure… Lots of ideas thrown out and explored; good development of main characters… Malevolent Nanotech. More world hopping. A solidly entertaining second volume to the series… With all of these ideas, concepts and worldbuilding, McDonald, in terms of his core characters, provides us with meaty development and growth… I was more than satisfied with the book and anyone, young adult or otherwise, who has read the first book will find much to love here, and will likely be as eager as I for the next volume in the series.’ — SF Signal on BE MY ENEMY

‘… absolutely triumphant sequel to Ian McDonald’s pulse-pounding young-adult science fiction novel PLANESRUNNERPLANESRUNNER — a rollicking, multidimensional tale of a young boy who holds the key to infinite universes, seeking to rescue his physicist father from sinister powers — finished on a brutal cliffhanger, leaving its readers gasping and cursing for more. Now we have it. In BE MY ENEMY, there’s a lot more of what made PLANESRUNNER great — tremendous action scenes, cunning escapes, genius attacks on the ways that multidimensional travel might be weaponized, horrific glimpses of shadowy powers and sinister technologies. But BE MY ENEMY also has more of what makes McDonald’s adult fiction some of the best work I’ve ever read: a gifted ear for poesie that makes the English language sing, the unapologetic presumption of the reader’s ability to understand what’s going on without a lot of hand-holding, and a technological mysticism that never explicitly says when the literal stops and the fantasy starts… If you held off on reading PLANESRUNNER because you didn’t want to commit to a series without knowing if the author could keep up the quality, have no fear. McDonald has proven himself handily.’ — BoingBoing

‘Also appropriating airships, larger‑than-life characters and breakneck action is Ian McDonald’s PLANESRUNNER…, the opening volume in the Everness series and his first foray into Young Adult fiction. This is vintage McDonald, with beautifully drawn settings, complex characters and deft plotting. When Everett Singh’s scientist father is kidnapped, Everett’s investigations lead him to discover that his father was working to open portals between multiple worlds. Everett finds a map linking the worlds, which various sinister organisations desire – and the thrilling chase is on.’ — Guardian on PLANESRUNNER

‘The book begins with its young and likeably geeky protagonist, Everett Singh (named for physicist Hugh Everett, who came up with the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics back in the ‘50s) witnessing the kidnapping of his scientist father. But why would anyone want to drag an apparently unimportant academic off the street in London? Because, it turns out, Singh Sr has created the Infundibulum, a map of all known parallel Earths. Soon, Everett heads through a gateway and into a steampunk-tinged adventure. And yes, an airship is involved. But don’t hold that against McDonald, because this is a novel that’s knowing in the way it uses SF tropes without ever coming close to being condescending towards its intended audience. Science nerds of all ages may balk at the amount of exposition in the early chapters (arguably necessary, considering we’re talking quantum here), but most will be too busy getting lost in a cracking adventure story.’ — SFX on PLANESRUNNER

Short Fiction Watch: Ian McDonald in NOT ONE OF US


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

They Are Strangers from Far Lands…

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

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

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

Here’s the synopsis for TENDELEO’S STORY

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

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

Ian McDonald’s ARES EXPRESS is out now in Italy!


Zone 42 has published the Italian edition of Ian McDonald‘s ARES EXPRESS! Here’s the synopsis…

“Dovresti cercare di fermarmi. Dovresti farmi ragionare, dirmi quanto male staranno tutti quanti, e non pensi all’onore della famiglia, e sarà uno scandalo tale che dovranno andare in giro senza tagliarsi i capelli per i prossimi tre anni. Poi, visto che non funzionerà, dovresti chiedermi se so cosa sto facendo e se so dove sto andando e dirmi che quello là fuori è un mondo enorme e pericoloso e che mi farò del male molto in fretta e finirò per tornare con la coda tra le gambe. E quando io ti risponderò che è tutto a posto tu dovresti addolcirti e dirmi che ti mancherò e che mi hai sempre amato e che avevi questo piano brillante di comprarti la libertà e avremmo avuto il nostro treno e saremmo partiti verso il tramonto in una nuvola di vapore.”

Immagina treni grandi come quartieri, cattedrali volanti, deserti sconfinati attraversati da binari infiniti e città che si arrampicano per centinaia di piani sotto il tetto del mondo. Immagina una ragazza che vorrebbe solo guidare un treno, la sua gemella invisibile e una Storia da cui dipende il futuro — o i futuri — di un intero mondo. Immagina le meraviglie di un pianeta rutilante di colori, caleidoscopico nei molteplici panorami, con la sua corona di angeli e di intelligenze artificiali, gli artisti anarchici, le città desolate e quelle brulicanti di vita.

Ian McDonald mette in scena un’avventura governata dalle leggi ineluttabili della Narrativa, che — al solito — non sanno che farsene di un’Eroina Esuberante e Intraprendente (Ma Comunque Carina). Riuscirà Sweetness a piegare la Storia alla sua volontà, e a sopravvivere alle sfide che una dopo l’altra le si parano davanti?

Ares Express narra di uno strano mondo, così diverso, eppure così vicino al nostro, un luogo pittoresco e affascinante, dove si mescolano fantascienza e realismo magico, immaginazione e filosofia, azione scatenata e idee straordinarie.

Benvenuti nella vita di Sweetness Octave Glorious Honey-Bun Asiim XII Macchinista. Benvenuti su Marte.

The first novel in the series, DESOLATION ROAD, is also published by Zone 42 in Italy.

Both DESOLATION ROAD and ARES EXPRESS are available as eBooks via the JABberwocky eBook Program. Here are just a few of the reviews the series has received so far…

‘McDonald’s fantastic Mars is vividly detailed and owes much to Bradbury’s Martian stories… entirely worthy of its rightly lauded predecessor.’ Publishers Weekly on ARES EXPRESS

‘A phantasmagoria of nuclear locomotives and wild Martian awesomeness. It’s a definite must-read… McDonald is furthermore an extraordinary stylist. His prose is clear and lucid, and at once both beautiful and playful. There is an inescapable sense that McDonald enjoys playing with words, building prose like intricate clocks, which can persist wholly on their beauty, regardless of their subject.’ io9 on ARES EXPRESS

ARES EXPRESS is a long, adventure-filled, extravagantly colourful, often funny, quite moving, highly imaginative, excellently written, story, set on a glorious Mars… might be the most fun [novel of the year]. I loved it wholeheartedly’ SF Site

‘Ian McDonald’s DESOLATION ROAD is one of my most personally influential novels. It’s an epic tale of the terraforming of Mars, whose sweep captures the birth and death of mythologies, economics, art, revolution, politics… Desolation Road pays homage to David Byrne’s Catherine Wheel, to Ray Bradbury’s entire canon and to Jack Vance, blending all these disparate creators in a way that surprises, delights, then surprises and delights again… Pyr Books has done us all the service of bringing this remarkable volume back into print after too long a hiatus.’ — Cory Doctorow (Boing Boing)

‘There’s a fair bit of science fiction that feels like fantasy, and vice versa, but DESOLATION ROAD is the only book I know that holds this particular balance… It was McDonald’s first novel, it absolutely bowled me over when it came out, and while I have read everything he’s published since, and admire all of it and like most of it, this remains my favourite of his books because it’s so unusual. It’s also some of the most beautiful prose imaginable… If you ever want to demonstrate how different science fiction can be, what an incredible range and sweep of things are published with a little spaceship on the spine, DESOLATION ROAD is a shining datapoint, because it isn’t like anything else and yet it is coming from a knowledge of what the genre can do and can be and making something new out of it.’ — Jo Walton (Tor.com)

Backlist Plug: Ian McDonald’s CHAGA series


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

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

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

Here are some of the reviews CHAGA received…

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

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

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

You can also read an excerpt from the novel here.

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

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

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

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

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

Ian McDonald’s THE DERVISH HOUSE and CYBERABAD DAYS reissued in Poland


This week, MAG re-issues Ian McDonald‘s critically-acclaimed THE DERVISH HOUSE and CYBERABAD DAYS in Poland! Published as an omnibus edition colleting DOM DERWISZY and DNI CYBERABADU, here are the synopses for the two novels…

DOM DERWISZY

Minela pora modlitwy, ale pora pieniedzy — jeszcze nie.

Stambul, Królowa Miast, budzi sie z krzykiem.

W halasie budzacego sie miasta wybuch przechodzi niemal niezauwazony. Gluchy trzask. Potem cisza.

W sennej dzielnicy Eskiköy stoi dawny dom wirujacych derwiszy Mistrza Adema. W ciagu pieciodniowej fali upalów w Stambule, zycie szesciorga bohaterów splata sie w historie o korporacyjnych knowaniach i machinacjach, islamskim mistycyzmie, intrydze politycznej i gospodarczej, tajemnicach dawnego imperium osmanskiego, nowym, przerazajacym zagrozeniu terrorystycznym oraz nanotechnologii mogacej potencjalnie odmienic zycie wszystkich mieszkanców Ziemi.

DNI CYBERABADU

Zbiór nadzwyczajnych opowiadan osadzonych w Indiach przyszlosci Rzeki bogów.

Rzeka Bogów Iana McDonalda, obwolana przez ,,Asimov’s Science Fiction” arcydzielem, chwalona przez ,,Washington Post” jako ,,wielkie osiagniecie autora, który staje sie wlasnie jednym z najwybitniejszych wspólczesnych powiesciopisarzy” – kreslila zywy obraz Indii w bliskiej przyszlosci, w stulecie niepodleglosci. Zrewolucjonizowala nowa generacje fantastyki, przyjmujac perspektywe, która nie byla ani europejska, ani amerykanska. Nominowano ja do nagród Hugo i Arthura C. Clarke’a, zdobyla nagrode BSFA; bogata sceneria tej powiesci zainspirowala McDonalda do ponownej wizyty – w serii opowiadan, których fabula takze odbywa sie w swiecie Rzeki Bogów.

Dni Cyberabadu to triumfalny powrót do Indii roku 2047, nowego, preznego supermocarstwa majacego póltora miliarda mieszkanców, w epoce sztucznych inteligencji, suszy wywolanej zmianami klimatycznymi, wojen o wode, osobliwych nowych plci, genetycznie ulepszonych dzieci, starzejacych sie dwukrotnie wolniej od zwyklych ludzi, i ludnosci, w której mezczyzn jest czterokrotnie wiecej niz kobiet. Same Indie rozpadly sie tu na kilkanascie panstw, od Kerali, po górne doplywy Gangesu w Himalajach.

Dni Cyberabadu to zbiór siedmiu opowiadan, wsród nich jedno nominowane do Hugo i jedno bedace zdobywca tej nagrody oraz osiemdziesieciostronicowa mikropowiesc.

Jak zwykle w przypadku utworów McDonalda, i o tej ksiazce bedzie sie w tym roku wiele mówic.

CYBERABAD DAYS is published in the UK by Gollancz, and available in the US via the JABberwocky eBook Program. Here’s the English-language synopsis…

The world: ‘Cyberabad’ is the India of 2047, a new, muscular superpower of one and a half billion people in an age of artificial intelligences, climate-change induced drought, water-wars, strange new genders, genetically improved children that age at half the rate of baseline humanity and a population where males out-number females four to one. India herself has fractured into a dozen states from Kerala to the headwaters of the Ganges in the Himalayas. Cyberabad is a collection of 7 stories:

The Little Goddess. Hugo nominee Best Novella 2006. In near future Nepal, a child-goddess discovers what lies on the other side of godhood.

The Djinn’s Wife. Hugo nominee and BSFA short fiction winner 2007

A minor Delhi celebrity falls in love with an artificial intelligence but is it a marriage of heaven and hell?

The Dust Assassin. Feuding Rajasthan water-rajas find that revenge is a slow, subtle process.

Jasbir and Sujay go Shaadi. Love and marriage should be plain-sailing when your matchmaker is a soap-star artificial intelligence

Sanjeev and Robotwallah. What happens to the boy-soldier roboteers when the war of Separation is over?

Kyle meets the River. A young American in Varanas learns the true meaning of ‘nation building’ in the early days of a new country.

Vishnu at the Cat Circus. A genetically improved ‘Brahmin’ child finds himself left behind as he grows through the final generation of humanity.

THE DERVISH HOUSE is also published in the UK by Gollancz, and available in the US as an eBook via the JABberwocky eBook Program. Here’s the English-language synopsis…

Welcome to the world of The Dervish House — the great, ancient, paradoxical city of Istanbul, divided like a human brain, in the great, ancient, equally paradoxical nation of Turkey. With a population pushing one hundred million, and Istanbul alone swollen to fifteen million, Turkey is the largest, most populous, and most diverse nation in the new Europe, but also one of the poorest and most socially divided. The Dervish House is seven days, six characters, and three interconnected story strands all woven around the common core of the old dervish house of Aden Dede. A terror attack, a vision of djinn, a commodities scam, a hunt for half a miniature Koran that holds the key to new technology, and a quest for a creature from Arabic legend — that may not be so legendary after all.

Ian McDonald’s LUNA NUOVA available now in Italy


LUNA: NEW MOON by Ian McDonald, the first novel in the critically-acclaimed Luna series, is now available in Italy! Published in eBook by Urania/Mondadori as LUNA NUOVA, here’s the synopsis…

Anno 2110. Il nostro satellite è stato colonizzato e industrializzato, e cinque potenti famiglie, i “Cinque Draghi”, detengono il potere sulle preziose risorse che vengono estratte ed esportate sulla Terra: l’elio-3, il carbonio, il ghiaccio e i metalli rari. Ma il modello di governo ha riportato la società spaziale al feudalesimo, perciò ciascuno deve combattere per conquistare il proprio posto. Adriana Corta, a capo di uno dei “Cinque Draghi”, ci era riuscita sottraendo il controllo dell’elio-3 alla Mackenzie Metal Corporation. Adesso, ormai anziana, deve difendere la florida azienda di famiglia da tutti i nemici che si è fatta negli anni. Per sopravvivere, però, dovranno essere i suoi cinque figli a scendere in campo contro i numerosi avversari. E per difendersi da loro stessi…

The series is published in the UK by Gollancz, in the US by Tor Books, and widely in translation — the second novel is WOLF MOON, and the upcoming third novel is MOON RISING. Here’s the English-language synopsis for NEW MOON

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

The Moon wants to kill you.

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

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

WOLF MOON out now in Russia!


Ian McDonald‘s critically-acclaimed second Luna novel, WOLF MOON, is out now in Russia! Published by ACT as Волчья Луна, here’s the synopsis…

Дракон мёртв.

Корта Гелио, одна из пяти семейных корпораций, правивших Луной, пала. Те, кто пережил катастрофу, рассеяны по разным местам; богатства поделены между многочисленными врагами. Прошло восемнадцать месяцев.

Выжившие дети Гелио, Лукасиньо и Луна, находятся под защитой могущественных Асамоа, тогда как Робсон, который всё ещё не в силах оправиться от зрелища жестокой гибели своих родителей, теперь подопечный (практически заложник) клана Металлы Маккензи. Последний назначенный наследник, Лукас, исчез с лица Луны.

Лишь Госпожа Солнце, вдовствующая глава семьи Тайян, подозревает, что Лукас Корта не мёртв, что он всё ещё важный участник игры. В конце концов, Лукас всегда был Каверзником и, даже ценой смерти, пошёл бы на любые ухищрения, лишь бы всё вернуть и воссоздать Корта Гелио заново, ещё более могущественным. Однако Корта Гелио нужны союзники, и чтобы найти их, беглый сын решается на безрассудное, невозможное путешествие – на Землю.

В неустойчивом лунном обществе, полном постоянных измен и политических махинаций, самые многообещающие интриги всех семей, достигнув пика, разрешаются открытой войной.

ACT has also published the first in the series, NEW MOON, as Новая Луна.

The Luna series is published in the UK by Gollancz and in the US by Tor Books. The third book, MOON RISING, is forthcoming. Here’s the English-language synopsis for WOLF MOON

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.

KIRINYA turns 20!


This week marked the 20th anniversary of the publication of Ian McDonald‘s novel KIRINYA, which was described when released as ‘a huge and ambitious novel, the work of a supremely talented writer approaching the top of his game.’ (SFX) The second book in the author’s Chaga series, it was first published by Gollancz in the UK in 1998. Here’s the synopsis…

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

The release of KIRINYA inspired The Times to describe McDonald as an outstanding’ writer with such marvellous talent, so vivid an imagination’ whose prose sings and zings’.

KIRINYA, as well as the other two books in the Chaga series are available as an eBook via the JABberwocky eBook Program, and also via Audible. The first two books have been published in Germany by Heyne.

Ian’s latest series is the critically-acclaimed Luna, published by Gollancz in the UK and Tor Books in the US, as well as in a growing number of translated editions (more details on his author page).

BE MY ENEMY in Italy…


BE MY ENEMY, the second novel in the Everness trilogy, is out now in Italy! Written by Ian McDonald, and published by Mondadori, here’s the synopsis…

Everett Singh è riuscito a fuggire dalle grinfie di Charlotte Villiers, ma a un prezzo altissimo: la perdita di suo padre, il fisico Tejendra Singh, in uno degli universi paralleli del multiverso. Ora, a bordo della Everness, Everett sta studiando l’Infundibulum, la mappa dei mondi della Panoplia redatta dal padre, per effettuare il prossimo salto Heisenberg che condurrà lui e l’equipaggio della nave in un altro dei mondi paralleli. Ma la malvagia Charlotte Villiers è un passo avanti a lui…

Mondadori has also published the first in the series, PLANESRUNNER, as TERRA INCOGNITA. The trilogy is published in the UK by Jo Fletcher Books, and in the US by Pry Books. Here’s the English-language synopsis for BE MY ENEMY

Everett Singh has escaped from his enemies with the Infundibulum: the key to all the parallel worlds. But his freedom has come at a price: the loss of his father to one of the billions of parallel universes in the Panopoly.

E1 was the first Earth to create the Heisenberg Gate, the means to jump between worlds, but it was quarantined long ago. No one goes in… and nothing comes out. But E1 has something that Everett needs: the means to find his father.

It’s lucky that he has the support of Airship Captain Anastasia Sixsmyth, her daughter Sen and the unique crew of the Everness, because Everett is about to discover the horrifying secret of E1 — and with it, his deadliest enemy!

Here are just a few of the reviews BE MY ENEMY has received so far, as well as some for the other books in the series…

‘[A] pacy book filled with tropes McDonald takes from across the genre and makes his own, whether it is AI or nanotech, unpeopled Earths or post-apocalyptic worlds… In softer hands these books could become a “monster of the week” series but here there are consequences… I can’t wait to see what happens next.’ Strange Horizons on BE MY ENEMY

‘McDonald proves the concept of his world of the Infundibulum has legs, and provides some intriguing new ideas amid an entertaining adventure… Lots of ideas thrown out and explored; good development of main characters… Malevolent Nanotech. More world hopping. A solidly entertaining second volume to the series… With all of these ideas, concepts and worldbuilding, McDonald, in terms of his core characters, provides us with meaty development and growth… I was more than satisfied with the book and anyone, young adult or otherwise, who has read the first book will find much to love here, and will likely be as eager as I for the next volume in the series.’ SF Signal on BE MY ENEMY

‘[A]bsolutely triumphant sequel to Ian McDonald’s pulse-pounding young-adult science fiction novel PLANESRUNNER… a rollicking, multidimensional tale… In BE MY ENEMY, there’s a lot more of what made PLANESRUNNER great — tremendous action scenes, cunning escapes, genius attacks on the ways that multidimensional travel might be weaponized, horrific glimpses of shadowy powers and sinister technologies. But BE MY ENEMY also has more of what makes McDonald’s adult fiction some of the best work I’ve ever read: a gifted ear for poesie that makes the English language sing, the unapologetic presumption of the reader’s ability to understand what’s going on without a lot of hand-holding, and a technological mysticism that never explicitly says when the literal stops and the fantasy starts…’ BoingBoing

‘This is vintage McDonald, with beautifully drawn settings, complex characters and deft plotting. When Everett Singh’s scientist father is kidnapped, Everett’s investigations lead him to discover that his father was working to open portals between multiple worlds. Everett finds a map linking the worlds, which various sinister organisations desire – and the thrilling chase is on.’ Guardian on PLANESRUNNER

‘The book begins with its young and likeably geeky protagonist, Everett Singh (named for physicist Hugh Everett, who came up with the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics back in the ‘50s) witnessing the kidnapping of his scientist father. But why would anyone want to drag an apparently unimportant academic off the street in London? Because, it turns out, Singh Sr has created the Infundibulum, a map of all known parallel Earths. Soon, Everett heads through a gateway and into a steampunk-tinged adventure. And yes, an airship is involved. But don’t hold that against McDonald, because this is a novel that’s knowing in the way it uses SF tropes without ever coming close to being condescending towards its intended audience. Science nerds of all ages may balk at the amount of exposition in the early chapters (arguably necessary, considering we’re talking quantum here), but most will be too busy getting lost in a cracking adventure story.’ SFX on PLANESRUNNER

‘The marvelous Everness series takes readers to a world with highly evolved dinosaurs in this third voyage through parallel universes… McDonald lets his imagination run rampant without abandoning credibility, tackling real scientific concepts such as confirmation bias, a feature lacking in far too much science fiction. Fans might wish for more focus on the original Everett, but eventually, the three storylines weave themselves together nicely, setting up another sequel with hints of forthcoming romance. Endlessly fascinating and fun.’ Kirkus (Starred Review) on EMPRESS OF THE SUN

EMPRESS OF THE SUN revels in its pulp adventure milieu… McDonald has created an incredibly “storyable” universe for his characters to have their adventures in, and he keeps those adventures coming fast and furious… Between the adventures, the pacing, the characters, and the narrative arcs, there’s a lot to enjoy about this book and the overall series.’ Strange Horizons

Short Fiction Watch: Ian McDonald’s THE GUILE is out now on Tor.com!


THE GUILE, a new short story by Ian McDonald, has been published today on Tor.com, and in eBook!

When an AI that monitors casino gambling in Reno taunts a magician by revealing all his tricks, the magician is determined to exact his revenge.

Ian is the critically-acclaimed, award-winning author of many novels and short stories. His most recent series, Luna, is published by Tor Books in North America and Gollancz in the UK, as well as widely in translation.

Zeno clients among the 2018 Locus Awards Finalists!


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

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

A Dragon is dead.

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

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

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

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

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

Paris endures the aftermath of a devastating arcane war…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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