Gemmell Award Nominations, Voting & Zeno Clients


It’s that time of year again! Voting for the Gemmell Awards long-lists has now opened, and there are a handful of Zeno clients in the mix!

In the Legend Category, for best fantasy novel of the year, we have…

In the Ravenheart Category, for best book artwork, we have…

  • Peter V. Brett‘s THE DAYLIGHT WAR
  • Brandon Sanderson‘s STEELHEART (published in the UK by Gollancz)


Readers can vote for their favourite novel from the long-lists (nominated by publishers), and the results of the first round of voting will be revealed at this year’s Eastercon, in Glasgow. (Voting for the first round closes on the 13th April.) The Shortlist will then be open for voting until the end of April, and the winner will be announced at the Gemmell Award ceremony at the Magic Circle, London, on June 13th, 2014. Voting is open to all, so get yourself over there and VOTE (… for our clients…)!

Zeno represents Peter V. Brett and Brandon Sanderson in the UK and Commonwealth, on behalf of the JABberwocky Literary Agency in New York.

Ian Tregillis’s MILKWEED Trilogy Coming to Germany!


We are delighted to announce that Festa Verlag has acquired German rights for Ian Tregillis‘s superb Milkweed TriptychBITTER SEEDS, THE COLDEST WAR, and NECESSARY EVIL! The trilogy has been published in the UK by Orbit Books, the US by Tor Books, and in Spain by DeBolsillo.

Here’s the synopsis for BITTER SEEDS

The year is 1939. Raybould Marsh and other members of British Intelligence have gathered to watch a damaged reel of film in a darkened room. It appears to show German troops walking through walls, bursting into flames and hurling tanks into the air from afar.

If the British are to believe their eyes, a twisted Nazi scientist has been endowing German troops with unnatural, unstoppable powers. And Raybould will be forced to resort to dark methods to hold the impending invasion at bay.

But dealing with the occult exacts a price. And that price must be paid in blood.

The Milkweed novels have been a huge critical hit on both sides of the Atlantic. Here is just a small taste of the praise…

‘Tregillis… has created a unique, unsettling, and deeply atmospheric setting; populated it with a diversity of grimly fascinating characters; and turned up the heat with the sort of plot that requires those characters to keep shoveling frantically if they are ever to stay in advance of the needs of the firebox… These are the book’s strengths – its atmosphere, its setting, the vividly imagined consequences of immoral and desperate actions… All in all, this is an excellent first book…’  —  Tor.Com

‘You should read BITTER SEEDS because of the brutal effect of this concocted mix of science, magic and grey characters. If you are looking for a new and exciting voice in fantasy and science-fiction or a voice that rings true on the tolls of war, then look no further than Ian Tregillis.’  —  Ranting Dragon

‘… engrossing… Tregillis ably mixes cold war paranoia with his mythology, also nicely expanding characters (particularly Gretel)… The monstrous, extra-dimensional Eidolons add a genuinely convincing menace that transcends the more banal evil motivations of the political game players, although Gretel’s more complicated motivations really drive the action. A few nice twists keep things interesting, and the cliffhanger ending sets up the concluding volume quite well…’  —  Publishers Weekly on THE COLDEST WAR

‘… something like a cross between the devious, character-driven spy fiction of early John le Carré and the mad science fantasy of the X-Men… Despite the jaw-dropping backdrop and oblique plotting, the narrative is driven by character and personal circumstance, the only possible drawback being certain important developments that annoyingly take place offstage. Grim indeed, yet eloquent and utterly compelling.’  —  Kirkus (Starred Review, “Best of 2012”) on THE COLDEST WAR

‘With NECESSARY EVIL… Ian Tregillis triumphantly concludes his astonishing, brilliant, pulse-pounding debut trilogy… This is a book that veers precipitously from unexpected and chilling ruminations on the inherent evil of precognition; to the questions of loyalty and betrayal so thorny that they need a time-travel loop to really be explored; to spy-thriller action sequences that will keep you up under the covers with a flashlight, turning pages and unable to sleep. This is a remarkable set of books, and with all three in hand, would make a fabulous spring read.’  —  BoingBoing

Zeno represents Ian Tregillis in the UK/Commonwealth and in Translation, on behalf of Kay McCauley at Aurous, Inc.

Zeno Well-Represented in Amazon UK’s Best 2013 SFF on Kindle!


We’re delighted to share the news (and draw your attention to these titles) that Amazon UK has selected five titles by Zeno clients for their Best SFF 2013 on Kindle! Here are the selectees…

     Ben Aaronovitch‘s BROKEN HOMES (Gollancz)

     Peter V. Brett‘s THE DAYLIGHT WAR (Voyager)

     Charlaine Harris‘s DEAD EVER AFTER (Gollancz)

     Brandon Sanderson‘s STEELHEART (Gollancz) and A MEMORY OF LIGHT (Orbit)

All of these are, of course, excellent selections – perfect, you might say, for Christmas and the holidays…

Zeno represents Peter V. Brett, Charlaine Harris and Brandon Sanderson in the UK and Commonwealth, on behalf of JABberwocky Literary Agency in New York.

Latest Elizabeth Moon News…

MoonE-PL4-LimitsOfPower-BlogThis week saw publication of LIMITS OF POWER, the penultimate volume in Elizabeth Moon‘s Paladin’s Legacy, an epic fantasy series of elves, dragons and kingdoms under threat. The novel is published by Orbit in the UK. Here is the synopsis…

Magic will not be enough… The Lady of the elves has been slain and King Kieri injured by the iynisin, a corrupted race of elves whose poisonous touch means grisly death for all who stand in their way. As the Lady’s elves retreat to bury their dead, strange discoveries are made in the palace, revealing old secrets about the ancient alliance between humankind and elves. Meanwhile, in the kingdom of Tsaia, young Prince Camwyn begins to exhibit dangerous signs of magery. Discovery of magical blood so close to the king will put his brother’s rule in jeopardy, but he has nowhere to turn when even his own family might put him to death for treason.

Orbit have shared an excerpt of the novel on their website, so be sure to check that out if you are not yet (for shame!) familiar with the series. The novel has also received some excellent early reviews…

‘Moon’s fourth fantasy novel set in the Eight Kingdoms… is thoughtful and deeply character driven, full of personal crises as heartbreaking and hopeful as any dramatic invasion… Moon deftly avoids big literary explosions, preferring instead a slow boil that builds pressure without relief. There are plots within plots, but the complex story is never confusing. Fantasy fans will be delighted by this impressive foray.’  —  Publishers Weekly

‘… it’s easy to become fully immersed in, and absorbed by, the narrative: Her great strength lies in the patient accumulation of telling detail, yielding an extraordinarily rich picture of the world’s politics, philosophy, military structure, history, magic and alien cultures, where men and women stand as equals even in force of arms.’  —  Kirkus

LIMITS OF POWER was preceded by OATH OF FEALTY (2010), KINGS OF THE NORTH (2011), and ECHOES OF BETRAYAL (2012). The climactic final volume in the series, CROWN OF RENEWAL, is currently schedule for publication in May 2014.

Elizabeth Moon is represented by Zeno in the UK and Commonwealth, on behalf of Jabberwocky Literary Agency in New York.


BITTER SEEDS – Editorial Love-In…

We’re bowled over to see such fantastic support from the editorial team at Orbit Books for Ian Tregillis‘s superb Milkweed trilogy. Over on the Orbit Books blog, Editorial Assistant James Long has taken the time to write about how much the series blew him away…

‘As an editor, there’s no better feeling than reading a submission that blinds you with its sheer brilliance. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does it’s one of the most exciting things about working in publishing… [BITTER SEEDS] left amazed by its vivid prose, bold action sequences and the wonderful depth of its characterisation. Not to mention the underlying plot that regularly crosses into the realms of sheer genius.’


The whole UK editorial team at Orbit has, in fact, gone on record with their gushing praise for Ian’s series.

‘I love the way the plot threads around and twists back on itself, just when you think you’ve got it all worked out, both within the books and between them. Every new page gives you another thread to pull. The writing itself is phenomenal, but it’s the characters and the plot – my god, the plot! – that have got me so hooked. I can’t wait to read Necessary Evil and find out how Ian manages to resolve such a tangled web. Ian’s poor protagonists dance like puppets for the unbearably sinister Gretel, but there must be a master plan behind it all. I can’t believe she doesn’t have one – though I do hope poor Raybould foils it and that he finds the redemption he so desperately wants. He deserves a break after all he’s been through!’ — Anne Clark, Orbit Editorial Director, after reading THE COLDEST WAR

‘After having devoured the entire Milkweed Triptych at the speed of light, I can only conclude is that Ian Tregillis is an absolute genius. The Milkweed books are simply one of the cleverest, most engrossing series I’ve ever read. I often found myself chuckling out loud in public places at the pure brilliance of the plotting, the devious intellect of the protagonists, and the masterful skill of the author’s turn of phrase… Ian Tregillis takes an idea which is already hugely exciting in a very superhero-comic kind of way (mad warlocks fighting scientifically-enhanced Nazi übermensch), but then delivers the concept with such intelligence, such emotional power and such literary flair that you cannot help but fall head-over-heels for him as a writer.’ — Anna Gregson, Orbit Commissioning Editor

The Milkweed trilogy – BITTER SEEDS, THE COLDEST WAR and NECESSARY EVIL – is out now in the UK. If you haven’t tried it yet… well, get thee to a bookshop!

And if you have read this series, note that Orbit have another series in the pipeline from Ian. More on that in due course.

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!


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.


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.

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.

Kings of the North Freebies…

Elizabeth Moon‘s brand new new novel,  KINGS OF THE NORTH, the second volume in her new Paladin’s Legacy series is to be published by Orbit here in the UK later this month.

If you’re looking to send us a fantasy novel at some point, you could do worse than look to Elizabeth’s work as an fine example of what the market is looking for right now – and courtesy of Orbit – a publisher always on the look-out for commercial fantasy, here’s some free sample chapters from the novel to help you do just that.

Elizabeth has also just contributed a guest piece to the Orbit Blog entitled ‘A Few Favourite Fantasy Dragons‘ which is well worth a look. (Hint: Dragons are hot right now – no pun intended … well, okay, a bit intended!)

King Kieri’s realm has been destabilised by political wrangling and his court is blind to the dangers – until an assassination attempt on their king. And when this backfires, Kieri’s enemies start planning an invasion using dragonfire, a force unseen for hundreds of years. In King Mikeli’s adjoining kingdom, his crown is threatened by a bandit prince. Alured the Black claims his lineage gives him dominion over all the lands. His ambition is boundless, his methods are ruthless and he will not be swayed from his goal, whether or not it undermines a region already on the brink of war. Dark mages also watch for weakness and hunger for their own lost powers. The Kings of the North must plan wisely, as disaster is a sword’s breadth away.

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!