Short Fiction Watch: Ian R. MacLeod & Elizabeth Hand

MacLeod-BestNewHorror25thEd-BlogIn this instalment of Short Fiction Watch, we wanted to draw your attention to the 25th Anniversary anthology of BEST NEW HORROR. Edited by Stephen Jones and Ramsey Campbell, and published by PS Publishing, the collection includes stories by Ian R. MacLeod (1/72nd Scale) and Elizabeth Hand (On the Town Route).

Ian R. MacLeod is the author of many critically-acclaimed novels and short stories, including THE LIGHT AGES, THE SUMMER ISLES and WAKE UP AND DREAM. His most recent novella was THE REPARATEUR OF STRASBOURG, published by PS Publishing. His next book is the anthology FROST ON GLASS, due to also be published by PS Publishing next year.

Elizabeth Hand is the critically-acclaimed author of a number of novels. In the UK, Constable & Robinson most recently published GENERATION LOSS and AVAILABLE DARK. Here’s the synopsis for the former…

Cass Neary is on her way down, and almost out when an old acquaintance sends her on a mercy gig to interview a famously reclusive photographer. When she arrives Cass stumbles across a decades-old mystery that is still claiming victims, and she finds one final shot at redemption. Patricia Highsmith meets Patti Smith in this mesmerizing literary thriller.

The secrets of small-town life can be more deadly than fist fights and dead junkies . . .

Cass Neary is not afraid of living on the edge. A photographer whose shots of New York’s punk scene in the seventies earned her fame, caché, and a cultish kind of cool, Cass has spent much of her life in the dark, watching and waiting. But thirty years later she is alone, adrift and falling rapidly into oblivion. So when an old acquaintance asks her to interview a fellow photographer – a notorious recluse who lives on an island off the Maine coast – she accepts.

There, she learns about a decades-old crime that is still claiming new victims – and comes to realise that her days of living dangerously are not over yet: amid this inhospitable hinterland, Cass comes to realise that her final shot might also be a shot at redemption.

Patricia Highsmith meets Patti Smith in this mesmerizing literary thriller.

Zeno represents Elizabeth Hand in the UK and Commonwealth, on behalf of the Martha Millard Literary Agency in New York.



Cover Reveal: Ian R. MacLeod’s WAKE UP AND DREAM in Poland


Above is the cover for the Polish edition of Ian R. MacLeod‘s WAKE UP AND DREAM. Due to be published by MAG in February 2015, the book also includes BREATHMOSS AND OTHER EXHALATIONS, a series of short stories. Here is the synopsis…

Winner of the Sidewise Award for Alternate History: Nineteen-forties Hollywood is dazzlingly transformed and recreated in this alternate history fantasy noir about former screen actor-turned-private eye Clark Gable who investigates a deadly conspiracy in a neo-fascist Tinsel Town

In a different 1940, with Europe in flames and an anti-Semitic America creeping towards fascism, movie making has been revolutionized: A wondrous technological advancement made possible by the discovery of the Bechmeir field now transmits actors’ emotions directly into the minds of the audience — effectively ending the acting career of a cynical loner named Clark Gable. No longer a handsome screen idol, Clark now makes his living as an unlicensed matrimonial private eye. When gorgeous April Lamotte contacts the low-rent gumshoe, he sees a golden opportunity to make some quick and easy cash. All he has to do is impersonate April’s wealthy,reclusive screenwriter husband, sign a contract for a new biopic, and then slip back into the shadows. But when someone tries to assassinate Clark and pass it off as a suicide, he realizes he’s gotten too deep into something deadly. And as more and more of the Hollywood elite start turning up dead, Clark must race to uncover the shocking truth behind the Bechmeir field’s origins, and expose a terrible secret that someone’s all too willing to kill for.

WAKE UP AND DREAM is published in eBook by Open Road Media and in print by PS Publishing.


Cover Reveal: Lavie Tidhar’s BLACK GOD KISS


We’re very happy to share with you today the artwork for Lavie Tidhar‘s latest novella, BLACK GODS KISS. The story is set in the same world as GOREL & THE POT-BELLIED GOD. Due to be published by PS Publishing this month, here’s the synopsis…

His name was Gorel of Goliris and he was a gunslinger and an addict, touched by the Black Kiss. Gorel wanted nothing more than to return to his home, the greatest empire the World had ever known, from which he was banished by sorcery as a child. But wherever he went, trouble doggedly followed, and death preceded his steps…

In BLACK GODS KISS Lavie Tidhar returns to the vivid world of his 2012 British Fantasy Award winning novella, GOREL & THE POT-BELLIED GOD. It collects 5 long adventures set before and after the events of Pot-Bellied God, and includes a brand-new novella, “Kur-a-Len”.

In these pages you will find thrilling tales of guns and sorcery, filled with ghosts, mercenaries, necromancers and gods – not to mention sex, and death!

Here’s the full cover-wrap…


Upcoming New Anthology by Ian R. MacLeod

IanRMacLeodWe’re very happy to share with you the details of Ian R. MacLeod‘s upcoming new collection, FROST ON GLASS. The book is due to be published by PS Publishing in spring 2015.

Alongside ten of Ian’s best recent stories (each bookended by afterwords by the author) and a selection of his non-fiction, the collection includes a brand new eponymous story – ‘a dystopian novella set on a writers’ commune’ – and also a new essay about ‘that perennial subject of where writers get their ideas from’. This substantial volume, Ian writes, is ‘a big, fat Christmas pudding of a book.’ The title, he continues, ‘reflects the delights and frustrations of writing fiction, which is a theme which runs through much of the rest of FROST ON GLASS. Here’s the provisional table of contents (which may change, slightly)…

  • Introduction:  Don’t Look Back.
  • THE DISCOVERED COUNTRY  —  Afterword: Silver Machines
  • HECTOR DOUGLAS MAKES A SALE  —  Afterword: A Cul-de-Sac in Los Angeles
  • Foreword: Different Warts and All  —  A Truncated Life in Books
  • THE COLD STEP BEYOND  —  Afterword: The Future isn’t Real
  • A Concise and Ready Guide  —  Afterword: Bloody Dragons
  • An Empty Grey Cell of One’s Own
  • RE-CROSSING THE STYX  —  Afterword: On Being Dark
  • THE TRAVELLER AND THE BOOK  —  Afterword: On Writing Rubbish
  • I’ve Got This Idea For A Story…
  • THE CRANE METHOD  —  Afterword: Rejection
  • The Decline of the English Ghost story
  • LETTER TO WILL  — Afterword: Those Who Can’t…
  • Me and the Mushroom Cloud
  • TUMBLING NANCY  —  Afterword: Other Writers
  • FROST ON GLASS  —  Afterword: Writer’s Block
  • ENTANGLED  —  Afterword: Volcanoes and Dinosaurs

An exact publication date hasn’t yet been set, but we’ll be sure to share it with you as soon as we know. The same goes for the cover art, which is still in production.

Jim Shields and PS Publishing Launch BABY STRANGE


At the recently-held Eastercon in Glasgow, Zeno client Jim Shields‘s new novel, BABY STRANGE, was launched. Published by PS Publishing, it is a pretty awesome, unique novel. As the publisher’s newletter stated, ‘Jim did an absolutely superb reading.’ The event, which also included a short reading (see right), seems to have done just the trick – increasing interest in and raising awareness of Jim’s new book.

Shields-Signing1The two chapters that Jim read, as well as some clips of Jim’s reading are apparently soon to hit the internet. We’ll be sure to share them here with you as soon as we can. Just in case you can’t recall seeing our artwork reveal for the novel, here’s the synopsis for BABY STRANGE

A Dark Intelligence Has Been Poisoning Carefully Selected Lives.

The Con Man: ‘Reverend’ Joe McGill claims he’s a healer, but he’s chosen the wrong man to con.

The Psychotic Gangster: Arthur Bewlay has cancer eating away at his face. He’s in no mood to be messed around—either by fake miracle workers or his dead brother Tommy—and he’ll stop at nothing in his desperate desire to live.

The Eccentric Recluse: Maryam Clemenceau is just what both McGill and Bewlay need—a real miracle worker with a bona fide gift. But it comes at a considerable cost.

The Architect: The sinister link between a Maryam’s Gothic apartment block, and Bewlay’s boarded up, abandoned Victorian pub—buildings that are contaminated with fear and the echoes of old and ominous power.

Baby Strange opens with Joe beaten and bound in the back of a car, on his way to an appointment with a cement pit under a Glasgow flyover . . . this is not to be the lowest point of his day.

Jim Shields is a director/producer living and working in his home town of Glasgow. His work has been BAFTA-nominated and he has spent much of his career happily killing people who aren’t real and blowing stuff up. BABY STRANGE is his debut novel.


Ian McDonald’s CHAGA Series Now in Audio…


We’re very happy to report that the second and third volumes in Ian McDonald‘s first sci-fi trilogy, Chaga are now available as audiobooks, published by Audible! The eponymous first title was released in audio at the end of March 2014. Originally published in 1999-2000, these novels have remained cult classics among the SFF community. This is the first time they have been available in Audio format, so it’s a great time to check them out. Below are the details, including original print publisher and audio narrator…

  • KIRINYA – Chaga #2 (Millennium) – Melanie McHugh
  • TENDELEO’S STORY – Chaga #3 (PS Publishing) – Melanie McHugh

While out of print for some time, the Chaga series has recently been re-issued in eBook format (along with select other titles by Ian) through the JABberwocky eBook Program. Here are the eBook covers…


There are only a few more titles still to come from our large backlist deal with Audible. Be sure to check back next week for the next round of releases!

Artwork Reveal – Jim Shields’s BABY STRANGE


We’re delighted to finally be revealing the new artwork for the limited edition of Jim Shields‘s BABY STRANGE. Spooky and gothic, we think it’s rather perfect. Jim Shields is a multiple award winning and multi BAFTA nominated director/writer. BABY STRANGE is his first novel. He lives in Glasgow.

Due to be published by PS Publishing to coincide with EasterCon 2014 (aka Satellite4) in Glasgow, BABY STRANGE is a real attention-grabbing and genre-mashing novel, mixing elements of a contemporary supernatural thriller, hard-as-nails gangland crime, an unlikely romance, and gonzo grotesques. Here’s some more info on the novel:

Con Man: ‘Reverend’ Joe McGill claims he’s a healer, but he’s chosen the wrong man to con. 

Psychotic Gangster: Arthur Bewlay has cancer eating away at his face. He’s in no mood to be messed around – either by fake miracle workers or his dead brother Tommy… and he’ll stop at nothing in his desperate desire to live. 

Eccentric Recluse: Maryam Clemenceau is just what both McGill and Bewlay need – a real miracle worker with a bona fide gift. But it comes at a considerable cost. 

Architect: the sinister link between a Maryam’s Gothic apartment block, and Bewlay’s boarded up, abandoned Victorian pub – buildings that are contaminated with fear and the echoes of old and ominous power.

BABY STRANGE opens with Joe beaten and bound in the back of a car, on his way to an appointment with a cement pit under a Glasgow flyover… and this is not to be the lowest point of his day…

We believe BABY STRANGE is going to make waves, thanks to its dark brilliance. It is due to be published in April 2014, by PS Publishing.


Author Spotlight: Lavie Tidhar

LavieTidhar-AuthorPic2013Lavie Tidhar‘s most recent novel is the critically-acclaimed THE VIOLENT CENTURY, which was published by Hodder Books late last year. A re-telling of the 21st Century if super-heroes existed, it blends a Watchman-like comics noir feel with a tense, intimate espionage tale akin to John le Carre. He is also the author of the World Fantasy Award-winning OSAMA (PS Publishing, Solaris), a daring, boundary-pushing alternative reality thriller featuring the eponymous character as a private detective.

‘The most interestingly adventurous writer of the year was Lavie Tidhar, who came into 2013 with a fresh World Fantasy Award for OSAMA and extended his gonzo explorations of history, textuality, and pop culture with the relatively little-seen MARTIAN SANDS and the more widely hyped super-hero fantasia THE VIOLENT CENTURY, each of which took decided risks with the question of how freely SF methods can appropriate sensitive historical material… Tidhar plots like a mad paintballer, sometimes missing the mark but always making a splash, but since his Bookman novels he’s perhaps done more than any recent author to liberate the interdisciplinary steampunk aesthetic form…’ — LOCUS Recommended Reading List 2013

Speaking of steampunk, we thought we’d draw your attention to Lavie’s debut trilogy – the steampunk Bookman Histories, published by Angry Robot Books – and also some of her novellas. Certain rights are available, so please inquire for details. Continue reading “Author Spotlight: Lavie Tidhar”

A Good Year For Super-Heroes…

The past few years have not only seen a string of big-name super-hero movie blockbusters. They have also been pretty good years for super-hero fiction. And two of our very own Zeno clients wrote some of the best!


First up, Samit Basu‘s TURBULENCE was released in the UK and US by Titan Books to great, global critical acclaim. (No, seriously, we’ve had reviews from so many countries!) The much-anticipated sequel, RESISTANCE, is due to be published in mid-2014. Here’s the synopsis for TURBULENCE, just in case you haven’t been convinced, yet…

Aman Sen is smart, young, ambitious and going nowhere. He thinks this is because he doesn’t have the right connections—but then he gets off a plane from London to Delhi and discovers that he has turned into a communications demigod. Indeed, everyone on Aman’s flight now has extraordinary abilities corresponding to their innermost desires.

Vir, an Indian Air Force pilot, can now fly. 

Uzma, a British- Pakistani aspiring Bollywood actress, now possesses infinite charisma. 

And then there’s Jai, an indestructible one-man army with a good old-fashioned goal — to rule the world!

Aman wants to ensure that their new powers aren’t wasted on costumed crime-fighting, celebrity endorsements, or reality television. He wants to heal the planet but with each step he takes, he finds helping some means harming others. Will it all end, as 80 years of superhero fiction suggest, in a meaningless, explosive slugfest? 

TURBULENCE features the 21st-century Indian subcontinent in all its insane glory — F-16s, Bollywood, radical religious parties, nuclear plants, cricket, terrorists, luxury resorts, crazy TV shows — but it is essentially about two very human questions. How would you feel if you actually got what you wanted? And what would you do if you could really change the world?

Tidhar-ViolentCenturyUKAnd secondly, Lavie Tidhar‘s latest boundary-pushing novel, THE VIOLENT CENTURY, was published in October in the UK by Hodder Books. (A limited edition was also published by PS Publishing.) Here’s the synopsis…

They’d never meant to be heroes.

For seventy years they guarded the British Empire. Oblivion and Fogg, inseparable friends, bound together by a shared fate. Until one night in Berlin, in the aftermath of the Second World War, and a secret that tore them apart.

But there must always be an account… and the past has a habit of catching up to the present.

Now, recalled to the Retirement Bureau from which no one can retire, Fogg and Oblivion must face up to a past of terrible war and unacknowledged heroism — a life of dusty corridors and secret rooms, of furtive meetings and blood-stained fields – to answer one last, impossible question: What makes a hero?


Ian MacLeod‘s THE REPARATEUR OF STRASBOURG, now has a cover! The novella is due to be published by PS Publishing, and ties in with MacLeod’s upcoming full-length novel, RED SNOW. For those who just can’t wait for the novel, this promises to be a great way to whet your appetite and tide you over until the full-length book. Here’s the cover…


And the full, wrap-around cover:

Reparateur spread

Finally, here is the synopsis…

My name, Ezekiel, is Ariadne. And I have a commission to ask of you…

A beautiful woman arrives at dusk at the workshop of a reparateur, or restorer, of religious objects set high amid the rooftops of a great cathedral city. She wants him to paint her. But not as she is, or at least how she seems, but as she might appear many years into the future. So, against the looming backdrop of the French Revolution, a strange yet oddly touching relationship evolves.

THE REPARATEUR OF STRASBOURG twists history and the supernatural into a darkly beautiful tale of love and obsession, and takes the reader on the journey of one man’s life toward a tumultuous conclusion.

THE REPARATEUR OF STRASBOURG is due to be published in November 2013.

Lavie Tidhar’s Martian Sands is Coming…

martian-sandsLavie Tidhar‘s latest novel is the long-anticipated MARTIAN SANDS, a novel described as ‘mixing mystery and science fiction, the Holocaust and the Mars of both Edgar Rice Burroughs and Philip K. Dick.’

The novel is the latest addition to Tidhar’s ongoing Continuity Universe, a future history he has been working on since 2003 and will be released by PS Publishing in hardcover, next month.

1941: an hour before the attack on Pearl Harbour, a man from the future materialises in President Roosevelt’s office. His offer of military aid may cut the War and its pending atrocities short, and alter the course of the future…

The future: welcome to Mars, where the lives of three ordinary people become entwined in one dingy smokesbar the moment an assassin opens fire. The target: the mysterious Bill Glimmung. But is Glimmung even real? The truth might just be found in the remote FDR Mountains, an empty place, apparently of no significance, but where digital intelligences may be about to bring to fruition a long-held dream of the stars…

New Deal for Lavie Tidhar…

We’re delighted to announce a new deal for Lavie Tidhar. Here’s the official announcement from the publisher…

Anne Perry has acquired World English rights to two books by Lavie Tidhar, for the ongoing speculative fiction initiative at Hodder. The deal was negotiated by Tidhar’s agent, John Berlyne at the Zeno Agency.


lavieTidhar recently won the 2012 World Fantasy Best Novel Award for his novel OSAMA. He is one of the rising young stars of the genre world; in addition to OSAMA (which has been shortlisted for or won numerous prizes, including the BSFA award for best novel, the John W. Campbell best novel award, and the Kitschies’ Red Tentacle), Lavie has also writtenTHE BOOKMAN HISTORIES, an historical fantasy trilogy published by Angry Robot, numerous novellas, short stories and even a comic-book.


Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy meets Watchmen in Tidhar’s THE VIOLENT CENTURY, the thoughtful and intensely atmospheric novel about the mystery, and the love story, that determined the course of history itself. THE VIOLENT CENTURY is the sweeping drama of a time we know too well; a century of fear and war and hatred and death.  In a world where everyday heroes may become übermenschen, men and women with extraordinary powers, what does it mean to be a hero? To be a human? Would the last hundred years have been that much better if Superman were real?


Would they even have been all that different?


John Berlyne says: ‘This deal tops off what has been a most incredible 2012 for Lavie. With THE VIOLENT CENTURY, this fearless young author further establishes himself as a unique voice in modern fiction and I’m delighted that Hodder will be publishing.’


Anne Perry says: ‘In the last few years, Lavie has undertaken staggeringly ambitious projects – OSAMA, after all, is a novel about a world in which Osama bin Laden is the  villain in  a series of pulp novels – and made them work. With THE VIOLENT CENTURY, however, Lavie has reached a new level. The book demonstrates the maturity, the confidence, and the control of an author now really hitting his stride, and I’m beyond thrilled that Lavie has chosen to publish with Hodder & Stoughton.’


Hodder have set a release date of October 2013. And look out for a limited edition of THE VIOLENT CENTURY to be published by PS Publishing around the same time. Translation and film rights are represented by Zeno.

Tidhar on the 2nd Word SF Fund…

Zeno client Lavie Tidhar has long been actively involved with promotion for the World SF Travel Fund, a program set up to help industry folks from far-flung places to attend major genre events – WorldCon, World Fantasy Convention, etc.

This year the fund will be helping authors Csilla Kleinheincz from Hungary and Rochita Loenen-Ruiz from the Philippines to attend the World Fantasy Convention in Brighton in the UK.

Lavie has given an interview to SF Signal, conducted by the first recipient of the prize, Charles Tan. In the interview, Tidhar explains the mission and history of the World SF Travel Fund, as well as how and why he’s involved:

helping to foster a global conversation on SF/F is important for both sides, and we’re trying, in our small way, to help foster that. For many people, travel to the US or those big conventions is vastly expensive, and I think there is a danger of SF becoming insular if it does not open itself up to new voices, outsider voices.’

Lavie Tidhar is the author of the award-winning OSAMA (PS Publishing) and fan-favourite THE BOOKMAN HISTORIES (Angry Robot).  His web site is at and he is known to tweet occasionally from @lavietidhar.

A New Year

A new year, new beginnings. It’s been a busy year over here at Zeno!

Which meant we’d neglected the blog for some time, but we’re hoping to get back to regular updates now.

And what a year it’s been!


Ian R. MacLeod won the Sidewise Award for Alternate History, for his wonderful WAKE UP AND DREAM (PS Publishing).

Tim Powers won the World Fantasy Award for Best Collection, for THE BIBLE REPAIRMAN AND OTHER STORIES (Tachyon and Subterranean Press)

And Lavie Tidhar won the British Fantasy Award for Best Novella, for GOREL & THE POT-BELLIED GOD, and the World Fantasy Award, for his novel OSAMA (PS Publishing).

Award Winner 2012

Tidhar’s novel has been released in mass market paperback by Solaris. Foreign rights have been sold to RBA in Spain, and to Rogner & Bernhard in Germany (in addition to Polish and Hungarian deals announced earlier).

Meanwhile, Matthew Hughes is nominated for the 2012 A.E. Van Vogt Award for THE OTHER (Underland Press).

Congratulations Ian, Tim, Lavie and Matt!


Our authors continue to publish some fantastic short fiction online.

  • Ian McDonald‘s Driftings has just been published over at Clarkesworld Magazine.
  • Aliette de Bodard‘s Immersion has made quite an impact on publication. It appears in Clarkesworld.
  • Lavie Tidhar’s Strigoi, published in Interzone, is available as a free e-book download.


We have a full slate this month, with some new and classic steampunk coming out from our authors – we’ll tell you all about it in our next post!

Zeno’s Sidewise Award Nominees…

Zeno clients dominate this year’s shortlist for The Sidewise Award for Alternate History, which will be announced at the forthcoming Chicago Worldcon (Chicon 7) in September. Of the seven novels nominated for on the Best Long-Form , we have three familar names…

Good luck to all three of our authors – in some alternative historical universe, you all won!