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!

In The Post Today…


Well, a couple of days ago if I’m honest, but behold this shiny finished copy of mighty Michael Cobley‘s THE ORPHANED WORLDS, book two in the Humanity’s Fire series and due to be published in trade paperback by Orbit on April 29th.

Darien is no longer a lost outpost of humanity, but the prize in an intergalactic power struggle. Hegemony forces have a stranglehold over the planet and crack troops patrol its hotspots while Earth watches, passive, rendered impotent by galactic politics. But its Darien ambassador will soon become a player in a greater conflict. There is more at stake than a turf war on a newly discovered world. An ancient Uvovo temple hides access to a hyperspace prison, housing the greatest threat sentient life has ever known. Millennia ago, malignant intelligences were caged there following an apocalyptic war. And their servants work on their release. However, Darien’s guardians have not been idle, gathering resistance on the planet’s forest moon. Knowledge has been lost since great races battled in eons past, and now time is short. The galaxy will depend on the Uvovo reclaiming their past – and humanity must look to its future. For a new war is coming.

Already picked up in both France and Germany, Zeno still has other rights available for this superb series, described by Iain M. Banks as ‘Proper galaxy-spanning Space Opera‘ – so drop us a line if you’d like to make an enquiry. Additionally, we’re going to be at this year’s London Book Fair, so be sure to come and chat to us about it!

The German Edition of Seeds of Earth


We just got a graphic in showing the German cover of Michael Cobley‘s SEEDS OF EARTH, or, to be accurate, DIE SAAT DER ERDE, due to be published by Heyne in August 2010.

Shiny spaceships!

And here’s a link to a recent review over at NextRead for SEEDS OF EARTH.

A great first attempt… Cobley has a strong confident voice with a intriguing and different tale to tell. I’m wondering what layers he’s going to peel back in THE ORPHANED WORLDS.’

Who Let The Clients Out?


  • Zeno clients Aliette De Bodard and John Meaney (also known as Thomas Blackthorn) will be signing, respectively, SERVANTS OF THE UNDERWORLD and EDGE – their novels published (soon to be published in the case of Mister Meaney / Blackthorn) by Angry Robot. You’ll be able to meet both authors on Friday February 12th at 6pm at the flagship Forbidden Planet megastore on Shaftesbury Avenue.
  • Prior to the above, John will be one of the participating authors at the SFX Weekender – a two day Sciffy fest taking place on the 5th and 6th of February at Camber Sands – see their web site (link above)  for details. Note that fellow Zeno client Justina Robson will also be in attendance.
  • Still with John Meaney, those of you hungrily awaiting the arrival of his brand new space opera ABSORPTION, will, alas, no have to wait a little while long, as publisher Gollancz has had to reschedule the release date – you’ll be able to get hold of it from May 20th.

Lots of Michael Cobley News…


Michael Cobley‘s superb space opera SEEDS OF EARTH receives its mass market paperback release, published by Orbit and priced at £7.99.  (See this entry made today on the excellent Orbit Blog).

If you came to the party early and picked this one up during its first outing in trade paperback, you’ll be excited to learn that the follow up, ORPHANED WORLDS is due out in April. Thank to the folks at Orbit for sending along the cover visual – what great artwork! Incidentally, we’ve already done a deal with Bragelonne for a French translation of this series and so more on that in due course.

Mike has dropped us a line to tell us about a tonne of other stuff he has going on too…

  • Another Cobley short, THE MAKER’S MARK, is to appear in the Conflicts anthology, edited by Ian Whates and Ian Watson, published by Newcon Press. This is scheduled for release in February/March 2010
  • Michael is one of the featured authors taking part in the Aye Write festival, held in Glasgow March 5-13th. He’ll be participating in a panel entitled ‘The Early Days Of A Better Future’, along withother genre authors, Ken Macleod, Richard Morgan, Hal Duncan, Debbie Miller, and chaired by Andrew Wilson. This is a ticketed event.
  • Finally Michael will be at this year’s Eastercon, which takes place at the Radisson Edwardian, Heathrow over Easter weekend.  Zeno will be there too, as will a host of other genre folks and fans. There’s still time to get your membership!