Two More Audio Editions!


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Recently, Audible have released two more titles from our clients’ backlists. This time, a collection of short stories from Justina Robson and also the final volume in Michael Cobley‘s Shadowkings fantasy trilogy. Here are the details, followed by their synopses…

Now in eBook: Michael Cobley’s SHADOWKINGS Grimdark Fantasy Series


Michael Cobley‘s early-grimdark fantasy series, Shadowkingshas recently been released as part of the JABberwocky eBook Program! Out-of-print for some time, the series – SHADOWKINGS, SHADOWGOD and SHADOWMASQUE – was well-received upon initial publication. With the continuing rise in popularity for fantasy, it’s a great time to see these books made available once again. Here are the freshly-commissioned covers, by Dirk Berger:

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We will have some more news about the Shadowkings series in a few days. Watch this space!

New Audiobooks by Justina Robson and Michael Cobley


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Here is some information on three more new audio editions, published this past week by Audible.

First up, we have two more stand-alone novels by Justina Robson. As with SILVER SCREEN and NATURAL HISTORY, released earlier this month, these early novels further show Robson’s skill at crafting engaging, ahead-of-their-time literary science fiction novels.

Both of these novels were critically-acclaimed when they were released, and continue to receive good praise. Publishers Weekly gave MAPPA MUNDI a starred review, stating that it ‘maintains throat-tightening suspense from its teasingly enigmatic introduction of its major characters to its painful conclusion that evil will succeed if well-meaning people try to achieve good at any cost… this near-future SF thriller presents convincing characters caught in profound moral dilemmas brought home through exquisite attention to plot details and setting.’ The novel was also shortlisted for the 2001 Arthur C. Clarke Award. LIVING NEXT DOOR TO THE GOD OF LOVE garnered praise from both Publishers Weekly and the New York Times. The former suggested that, ‘If William Gibson and Norman Spinrad had dropped acid together, this fourth SF novel by British author Robson is the book they might have written.’ The NYT described the novel as one ofexquisite precision and thoughtfulness, andnothing short of a modern-day fairy tale, except she doesn’t need to hide behind predatory wolves and little girls in blood-red garments to convey what’s truly at stake. Her story could not be told without technology, but it is not a story about technology. It is a story about people, whose behavior cannot be so easily predicted, whose defects cannot be so easily repaired and whose functions and purposes in the universe have yet to be determined.

Next, the second volume in Michael Cobley‘s Shadowkings series, SHADOWGOD is also now available. There will be some more news on this series next week, but suffice it to say, Cobley’s debut fantasy trilogy was an early pioneer of modern ‘grimdark’ fantasy. Here are the details…

  • SHADOWGOD – Shadowkings #2 (Earthlight) – Philip Rose

Jon Courtenay-Grimwood, writing for the Guardian, reviewed SHADOWGOD thus: SHADOWKINGS, was brutal, cruel and realistic in a way genre usually avoids. SHADOWGOD, his second, is not only lighter, it is better written and makes good use of the world Cobley has created… writing to rival David Gemmell.’

This Week’s New Audible Titles…


A slightly smaller influx of audio editions, this week – but by no means any less exciting! Here are the six new titles available as of today (James Blaylock’s) and tomorrow…

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Cover Reveal: Michael Cobley’s ANCESTRAL MACHINES…


Today, we are excited to share with you the stunning cover art for Michael Cobley‘s forthcoming science fiction novel, ANCESTRAL MACHINES, another amazing and gorgeous image from renowned artist Steve Stone!

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ANCESTRAL MACHINES is an absorbing standalone space adventure, set in the universe of the hugely popular Humanity’s Fire series. Orbit are set publish in both the UK and US and the release is currently scheduled for March 2014.  While we wait, here’s the novel’s synopsis…

It was named Bringer of Battles, three hundred worlds orbiting a single artificial star, three hundred battlefields where different species vie for mastery and triumph. It is a cage where war is a game, brutal, savage and sudden. In this arena, all must bend the knee to the Lords of Permutation (and the ancient sentient weapons with which they have merged) or suffer indescribable agonies.

Trapped in this draconian crucible of death Brannan Pyke, captain and smuggler, must find a way to fight his way to freedom.

Because in the Bringer of Battles the game of war is played to the death – and beyond.

Three previous books in the series – SEEDS OF EARTH, THE ORPHANED WORLDS and THE ASCENDANT STARS – are already available in the UK, US and Germany.

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You can see plenty more Zeno book covers over at our Pinterest Zeno Cover Art Gallery.

Félicitations Monsieur Cobley et Mademoiselle de Bodard…


The French edition of Michael Cobley‘s SEEDS OF EARTH (originally published in the UK by Orbit) has been nominated in the longlist for Best Foreign Novel category for this year’s Grand Prix de l’Imaginaire, the most prestigious award in the SFF field in France.

L’Ombre de la Longue Nuit, translated by Laurent Queyssi, is published by Bragelonne and will compete with ten works by contemporaries such as Dan Simmons, China Mieville and Lauren Beukes and fellow Zeno client Aliette de Bodard.

Aliette’s novel, D’Obsidienne et de Sang, translated by Laurent Philibert-Caillat, is published by Eclipse – having originally been published in English by Angry Robot as SERVANT OF THE UNDERWORLD. And yes,  the multiple ironies involved with a native French author, living in France, writing in English, being translated into French and then nominated in a category for Best Foreign Novel have not escaped our notice! Still cool, though, ain’t it!

The shortlist will be announced by the jury at the end of March and the winners will receive their prizes at a ceremony held during the Etonnants Voyageurs (Amazing Voyagers) festival at Saint-Malo (26-28 May 2012).

Congratulations and good luck to both Mike and Aliette. We’re hoping for a tie between the two of you!

Cobley Sells New Novel to Orbit…


Some great deal news for Michael CobleyOrbit have acquired World English rights to WARCAGE, a brand new novel set in the world of his hugely popular Humanity’s Fire series, and they will publish in hard cover both the UK and the US in Autumn 2013. Here’s a taster…

In the Warcage war is a game, brutal, savage and sudden. In the Warcage three hundred worlds orbit a single artificial star, three hundred battlefields where different species vie for mastery and triumph. In the Warcage, all bend the knee to the Lords of Permutation or suffer indescribable agonies. In the Warcage Randal Pyke, captain and smuggler, must find a way to fight his way to freedom. Because in the Warcage the game of war is played to the death – and beyond.

…and Mike offers up a little further insight into the WARCAGE, thus –  ‘The original idea behind WARCAGE actually goes back 26 years when I came up with the idea for an immense artificial star system full of planets. I even built a plastic model of it, which was sadly lost in one of my more recent moves. Suffice to say that with scores, even hundreds of planets, and a twisted and savage background, the unfolding drama will be action-packed and resonant with meaning.

Anne Clarke, Editorial Director for Orbit UK, says, ‘We’re all delighted with the continuing success of Michael’s superb Humanity’s Fire series, and we’re very excited about WARCAGE and looking forward to sharing it with Mike’s fans next year. Michael Cobley is becoming an increasingly important name in science fiction, so we’re extremely happy that our colleagues in the US will be on this adventure with us too.’

Michael Cobley Enters Orbit (US)…!


Michael Cobley‘s acclaimed science fiction trilogy, Humanity’s Fire, (comprising SEEDS OF EARTH, THE ORPHANED WORLDS and THE ASCENDANT STARS) will be published in the US by Orbit next year – the books are provisionally scheduled for October, November and December 2012.

Cobley Cover Love…


Here’s a couple of pretties for fans of Michael Cobley‘s Humanity’s Fire books…

  • Bragelonne have just published the French translation of book one under the title L’OMBRE DE LA LONGUE NUIT.
  • And for German readers, WAISEN DES ALLS, the translation of the second novel in the series now available from Heyne.

Zeno Deals Round-Up…


It’s been a busy time here at Zeno Towers, what with the recent Worldcon in Reno, the upcoming Fantasycon and World Fantasy Convention, plus one or two personal bits and bobs that JP and I have been catching up on… life, I think some people call it!

That notwithstanding, we’ve been beavering away and are delighted to announce a few deals that we’ve recently concluded…

  • James P. Blaylock‘s first novel length Steampunk story in twenty years has sold to Titan in a world English deal negotiated by John Berlyne. THE AYLESFORD SKULL, which features further  gaslight adventures of Langdon St. Ives and his nemesis Ignatio Narbondo will be published by Titan late next year or early 2013. A limited edition is also planned. In addition to THE AYLESFORD SKULL, Titan will also be re-issueing two Blaylock steampunk classics, the 1988 Philip K Dick Award winning HOMUNCULUS and also LORD KELVIN’S MACHINE. Audio rights for all three novels went to Stacy Patton Anderson at Audible.
  • Titan have also acquired world English rights (excluding India) to TURBULENCE and an UNTITLED sequel by Samit Basu. Publication is set for Feb 2012.
  • Audible will release an audiobook edition of Ian R. MacLeod‘s WAKE UP AND DREAM along with two earlier MacLeod novels THE SUMMER ISLES and THE GREAT WHEEL.
  • Audible also picked up audio rights to the third novel in Michael Cobley‘s HUMANITY’S FIRE series, THE ASCENDANT STARS. German rights for this title went to Heyne via Thomas Schluck.
  • Sheila Gilbert at DAW Books has acquired World English rights to  Kari Sperring‘s THE GRASS KING’S CONCUBINE and an UNTITLED sequel in a nice  deal negotiated by John Parker.
  • German rights to Freda Warrington’s ELFLAND sold to Carl Ueberreuter Verlag GMBH via Paul & Peter Fritz AG.
  • French rights to the first three novels in Ben Aaronovitch‘s best selling RIVERS OF LONDON series went to J’ai lu via Lora Fountain. Orion have sold rights to the series in Poland, Hungary and Italy.
  • Also via Lora Fountain, French rights to Ian McDonald‘s PLANESRUNNER sold to Gallimard Jeunesse.
  • The Library of America will publish the Algis Budrys‘ classic SF work WHO? as part of a reissue series to be edited by Gary K. Wolfe.
  • UK / British Commonwealth rights to a new graphic novel series by Charlaine Harris and Christopher Golden entitled CEMETERY GIRL went to Jo Fletcher at Jo Fletcher Books. Jo has also acquired three anthologies edited by Charlaine Harris and Toni P. Kelner.
  • US rights to Iain Sinclair‘s GHOST MILK and AMERICAN SMOKE went to Mitzi Angel at Farrar, Strauss and Giroux.
  • UK /British  Commonwealth rights to two brand new titles in Elizabeth Moon‘s PALADIN’S LEGACY series sold to Orbit.

And there are plenty more things in the pipeline! More in due course.

News From Planet Eastercon…


Zeno clients triumphed at the BSFA awards, which were held at this year’s Eastercon, at the Hilton Metropole in Birmingham over the Easter weekend.

First up was Aliette de Bodard, who was on hand to collect the award for Best Short Fiction for her story The Shipmaker, which appeared in Interzone issue #231. I managed to snap this pic of her being dwarfed by David Weber, who was on hand the present the award. (The homeless man to the rear is Paul Cornell prior to the removal of his comedy charity beard – for which he raised an impressive amount of money for, ironically, Shelter!)

No sooner had the applause for Aliette died down than our own Ian McDonald took to the stage to accept for the award for Best Novel for THE DERVISH HOUSE (not ‘The Dervish Nights’ as the convention newsletter later reported!), his 2010 novel published by Gollancz in the UK and by Pyr in the US.

A further layer of coolness was added to these wins when we later learned that both Ian and Aliette have been nominated for this year’s Hugo Awards – this news adding to Aliette’s previously reported Nebula nomination for the same story, and Ian’s Arthur C. Clarke Award nomination.

Huge congratulations to both authors.

There were lots of other Zeno authors at Eastercon – I got to meet our latest clients Anne Lyle and David Tallerman, albeit all too briefly, and the mass signing of Angry Robot authors at Waterstones in the centre of Birmingham was almost a mini ‘Zenocon’ of its own. Present were Aliette, Colin Harvey, John Meaney – or was it Thomas Blackthorn? – and, in a rare UK appearance, one Lavie Tidhar (pictured here next to a banner proclaiming his novels in all their steampunky glory.)

Elsewhere at the con, at readings, on panels and if truth must be told, in the bar, one could find Freda Warrington, Susan Boulton, Michael Cobley and last but by no means least Ian R. MacLeod.

I did a panel called ‘Writing 102: Finding an Agent‘, which was well attended and along with Gollancz Editorial Director Gillian Redfearn, Gollancz author Stephen Deas and author Martin Owton, we fielded a number of excellent questions from the audience. Hope those who were there found it helpful.

October News Round-Up…


Posting to the agency web site has been sporadic of late, entirely down to time constraints. Aside from the aftermath of Worldcon, there has been the Frankfurt Book Fair, the processing of the bi-annual royalties (a tough job, but the one of the reasons we’re here, I guess!) prep for this year’s World Fantasy Convention (in Columbus, OH) and a subsequent week of meetings in NYC and the fact that we’ve been to a number of rather nice parties! That said, here’s a little news…

  • Angry Robot have revealed this gorgeous David Frankland cover for Lavie Tidhar’s forthcoming novel, CAMERA OBSCURA, the follow-up to his Steampunk romp, THE BOOKMAN, due for release next May, and about which they say ‘ In this one we meet Milady de Winter, investigating some murders in, of all places, the Rue Morgue. (Why yes, that does sound strangely familiar…) As she dives deeper into Parisian society, it seems everyone knows who did it except her… and the real question is not who, but why? Her search for answers will take her to the far side of the world, and beyond.’
  • And THE BOOKMAN has just sold to Rani Graff at Graff Publishing in Israel.
  • Lavie’s CLOUD PERMUTATIONS, published by PS Publishing has been receiving some nice coverage and we’ve just done a deal with Peter Crowther at PS for a new Tidhar collection – more news on this anon.
  • And whilst we’re patting him on the back, congrats to Lavie for being winning the Last Drink Bird Head award for International Activism… follow that link to find out more.

And we’ve a couple of other Angry Robot covers to show off here – on the left is Colin Harvey‘s DAMAGE TIME, a seat of the pants, SF thriller from the author of WINTER’S SONG. This new one by Colin has just been released by AR and in a recent Guardian review was described thus by Eric Brown ‘The strength of the novel lies not only in the depiction of a detailed future of hardship and privation, but in the expert characterisation of [protagonist] Shah: a lone figure whose origins leave him open to prejudice within the police department, and whose problematic relationship with an intersexual courtesan reveals his own deep-seated prejudices.

And to the right, we’ve the cover for POINT by Thomas Blackthorn (a.k.a John Meaney), not due out until Feb 2011 and which looks rather splendid when placed next to EDGE, the first Blackthorn novel. Swapping identities and publishers for a moment, John reports he has just completed the second Ragnarok novel for Simon Spanton at Gollancz… more on that in due course.

Audible Sales…


Audible have acquired world English Audio rights for Ian R. MacLeod’s 2009 Arthur C. Clark Award winning novel SONG OF TIME. Originally published as a limited edition by PS Publishing, SONG OF TIME was described by Paul Billinger, chair of the Clarke  judges as ‘… a rich and subtle novel that couples themes of memory and identity with well crafted and all too human characters.

Audible have also acquired world rights to Michael Cobley‘s epic Space Opera series HUMANITIES FIRE, comprising  SEEDS OF EARTH, ORPHANED WORDS and THE ASCENDANT STARS. Published in the UK by Orbit and in Germany by Heyne, this series has been widely acclaimed by reviewers and reader alike.

No word yet as to who will narrate either of these acquisitions nor on when we can expect their release, but we’ll let you know as and when we’re told.

Michael Cobley’s Brand New Web Site…


Mike has a new web site, and a fine looking thing it is too!

Head straight over there now, why don’t you? Below is an example of the kind of content that will be posted there, along with Mike’s  varied and insightful thoughts on whatever takes his fancy, and – most importantly – news about his novels, short stories and public appearances. Enjoy!

Cobley’s Orphaned Worlds Published…


Over at the Orbit Books blog, Michael Cobley‘s editor, Bella Pagan has provided an excellent post celebrating publication of Mike’s ORPHANED WORLDS, the second in his epic space opera series, Humanity’s Fire.

The post is chock full of goodies, with links to an extract from the new book, to themed wallpaper featuring Steve Stone’s superb cover art, news of author appearances and signings and also to some fantastic reviews!

Still here? Get thee hence to the Orbit Blog right away!