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.

Visit the UNHOLY LAND…


Lavie Tidhar‘s highly-anticipated and already critically-acclaimed new masterpiece, UNHOLY LAND, is out now as an eBook! 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.

Tachyon has also published Lavie’s award-winning (and similarly acclaimed) CENTRAL STATION.

Here’s some of the aforementioned praise that UNHOLY LAND has received so far…

‘Lavie Tidhar does it again. A jewelled little box of miracles. Magnificent.’Warren Ellis, author of Gun Machine

‘[Tidhar] will leave readers’ heads spinning with this disorienting and gripping alternate history… Tirosh discovers a niece he had forgotten, is accused of murder, narrowly dodges threats to his life, and takes on the role of a detective from one of his own novels as he tries to understand what is endangered and by whom. ‘No matter what we do, human history always attempts to repeat itself,’ Tidhar writes, even as he explores the substantial differences in history that might arise from single but significant choices. Readers of all kinds, and particularly fans of detective stories and puzzles, will enjoy grappling with the numerous questions raised by this stellar work.’ — Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

UNHOLY LAND is a wonder and a revelation—a work of science fiction capable of enthralling audiences across the multiverse.’Foreword (Starred Review)

‘Adventurous readers will appreciate this well-written and ambitious book. It should find a place at any library that offers high-quality literary fiction.’ — Booklist

UNHOLY LAND is a stunning achievement. It is packed to the brim with engaging ideas and features a captivating story… beautiful and thought-provoking.’ — The Speculative Shelf

‘Full of ideas and unafraid to tackle big, controversial, important issues. Warren Ellis compares him to Michael Moorcock in an afterword, and like Moorcock, Tidhar writes books that are unpredictable and experimental, consistently and reliably surprising, yet always readable and engaging.’ — Interzone

‘A powerful meditation on the ethics of history and the power of borders… UNHOLY LAND is a call to imagine and fight for alternatives.’ — World Literature Today

‘Sophisticated and assured.’ — Locus

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)

Listen to a tale of the ROGUE MOON…


A new audiobook edition of Algis Budrys‘s ROGUE MOON is out now! Published by Blackstone Publishing, here’s the synopsis…

A monstrous apparatus has been found on the surface of the moon. It devours and destroys in ways so incomprehensible to humans that a new language must be invented to describe it and a new kind of thinking to understand it. So far, the human guinea pigs sent there in hopes of unraveling the murderous maze have all died terrible deaths — except the last, now on suicide watch. The ideal candidate won’t go insane, even as he feels the end approaching. And now they think they’ve found their man.

Al Barker has already stared into the face of death — he can handle it again. But Barker won’t merely have to endure the trauma of dying: he will have to endure it over and over again — mentally linked to an ongoing series of duplicates of himself created and sent to the Moon by matter transmission — until the artifact reveals its secret.

With a cast of fascinating characters taking center stage, Rogue Moon is a rare thriller that doesn’t just make you sweat — it makes you think.

Blackstone are also due to publish new audio editions of MICHAELMAS (November), WHO? (December), and HARD LANDING (January). We already have the cover for MICHAELMAS, too…

Six of Algis Budrys’s classic books are published as eBooks by Open Road Media.

Zeno represents Algis Budrys on behalf of the Budrys Estate.

The Seventh Doctor’s latest adventure collected next month!


On November 14th, Titan Comics are due to publish the collected edition of Andrew Cartmel and Ben Aaronovitch‘s Seventh Doctor comic series, OPERATION VOLCANO!

An unknown alien intelligence in orbit around the Earth. Astronauts under attack. A terrifying, mysterious landing in the Australian interior. The future of the world itself at stake. Counter Measures activated.

And the Seventh Doctor and Ace slap bang in the middle of it all! This is OPERATION VOLCANO!

This brand new comic adventure features the Seventh Doctor and Ace, as played by Sylvester McCoy and Sophie Aldred, from the writers of the fan favourite episode Remembrance of the Daleks, which celebrates it’s 30th anniversary in 2018 – Andrew Cartmel and Ben Aaronovitch (Rivers of London)!

Whether you’re a long-time fan of the Seventh Doctor, or you’ve yet to have the pleasure, this accessible, big-budget movie extravaganza welcomes everyone with an all-new epic!

Includes a back-up comic written by Richard Dinnick (Twelfth Doctor) with art by Jessica Martin (Doctor Who actress).

Ben and Andrew also co-author the Rivers of London comic series, which are also published by Titan Comics. The first six of the stories have also been published as collected editions.

Get Lavie Tidhar’s UNHOLY LAND through your earholes… soon.


Lavie Tidhar‘s highly-anticipated upcoming novel, UNHOLY LAND, is also going to be released as an audiobook! To be published by Blackstone Publishing, the cover is above and here’s the synopsis…

When pulp-fiction writer Lior Tirosh returns to his homeland in East Africa, much has changed. Palestina — a Jewish state established in the early 20th century — is constructing a massive border wall to keep out African refugees. Unrest in the capital, Ararat, is at fever pitch.

While searching for his missing niece, Tirosh begins to act as though he is a detective from one of his own novels. He is pursued by ruthless members of the state’s security apparatus while unearthing deadly conspiracies and impossible realities. For if it is possible for more than one Palestina to exist, the barriers between the worlds are beginning to break.

The print and eBook editions of UNHOLY LAND are due to be published by Tachyon Publications in November 2018. Tachyon also publish Lavie’s award-winning CENTRAL STATION.

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.

Lavie Tidhar’s CENTRAL STATION available now in Italy!


The Italian edition of Lavie Tidhar‘s CENTRAL STATION is out now! Published by Acheron, here’s the synopsis…

A Tel Aviv, un quartiere popolato da un milione di persone è sorto intorno alla base spaziale Central Station. Umani, robot e i misteriosi Altri sono tutti interconnessi in una pervasiva coscienza digitale chiamata “la Conversazione”, e le molteplici culture si scontrano e si confondono fra reale e digitale. La vita può sembrare a buon mercato, ma le informazioni lo sono ancora di più.

Quando Boris Chong torna a Central Station, la ritrova in uno stato di caos. Le strade sono invase dalla droga religiosa chiamata Crucifixation. La sua ex compagna sta allevando un bambino dotato di poteri che lo rendono simile a un nuovo Messia. Suo padre è afflitto da un virus mentale multigenerazionale. Sua cugina è innamorata di un cyborg Robotnik. E una Vampira di Dati vagabonda lo ha seguito fin da Marte…

CENTRAL STATION is published in the UK and US by Tachyon Publications, and widely in translation. Here’s the English-language synopsis…

A worldwide diaspora has left a quarter of a million people at the foot of a space station. Cultures collide in real life and virtual reality. Life is cheap, and data is cheaper.

When Boris Chong returns to Tel Aviv from Mars, much has changed. Boris’s ex-lover is raising a strangely familiar child who can tap into the datastream of a mind with the touch of a finger. His cousin is infatuated with a robotnik — a damaged cyborg soldier who might as well be begging for parts. His father is terminally-ill with a multigenerational mind-plague. And a hunted data-vampire has followed Boris to where she is forbidden to return.

Rising above them is Central Station, the interplanetary hub between all things: the constantly shifting Tel Aviv; a powerful virtual arena, and the space colonies where humanity has gone to escape the ravages of poverty and war. Everything is connected by the Others, powerful alien entities who, through the Conversation — a shifting, flowing stream of consciousness — are just the beginning of irrevocable change.

At Central Station, humans and machines continue to adapt, thrive… and even evolve.

Lavie Tidhar is heading to the States!


Next week, Lavie Tidhar will be taking part in a couple of events across the pond! On October 1st, he will be attending a special event hosted at Dartmouth College, as one of three winners of the Neukom Literary Arts Award For Speculative Fiction. He won the award for his novel CENTRAL STATION (Tachyon Publications). In case you missed it, here’s the synopsis for the novel, which also won the John W. Campbell Award…

A worldwide diaspora has left a quarter of a million people at the foot of a space station. Cultures collide in real life and virtual reality. Life is cheap, and data is cheaper.

When Boris Chong returns to Tel Aviv from Mars, much has changed. Boris’s ex-lover is raising a strangely familiar child who can tap into the datastream of a mind with the touch of a finger. His cousin is infatuated with a robotnik — a damaged cyborg soldier who might as well be begging for parts. His father is terminally-ill with a multigenerational mind-plague. And a hunted data-vampire has followed Boris to where she is forbidden to return.

Rising above them is Central Station, the interplanetary hub between all things: the constantly shifting Tel Aviv; a powerful virtual arena, and the space colonies where humanity has gone to escape the ravages of poverty and war. Everything is connected by the Others, powerful alien entities who, through the Conversation — a shifting, flowing stream of consciousness — are just the beginning of irrevocable change.

At Central Station, humans and machines continue to adapt, thrive… and even evolve.

Later in the week, on October 4th, he’ll be taking part in a joint event with Silvia Moreno-Garcia at Pandemonium Books in Cambridge, Massechusetts.

Lavie’s latest novel is CANDY, his critically-acclaimed first book for younger readers (published by Scholastic in the UK). His next novel is the highly-anticipated UNHOLY LAND, due to be published in November by Tachyon Publications.

Catch E.J. Swift in Holland this week!


This Thursday (27th), E.J. Swift will be giving a talk as part of the Terra Fiction convention in Amsterdam!

Terra Fiction is the second installment of FIBER’s ongoing Coded Matter(s): Worldbuilding project. These lecture events question the design of contemporary world visions and technological narratives, which are contributing to greater socio-economic inequality and environmental destruction

Swift is the author of the critically-acclaimed Osiris Project trilogy and, most recently, the new novel PARIS ADRIFT. The Osiris Project novels are published in the UK by Del Rey, and available in the US via the JABberwocky eBook Program. PARIS ADRIFT is published in the UK and US by Solaris Books.

Here are some of the reviews Emma’s books have received so far…

‘[A]n effervescent blend of revisionist history, fantasy and science fiction… Hallie’s newfound family and bar life is utterly charming, and it’s this that holds your attention even as the plot meanders. The stakes — world-destroying as they may be — never feel higher than whether Hallie will make it through a shift at Millie’s.’ Washington Post

‘E.J. Swift’s PARIS ADRIFT is her best novel yet: a time-travelling adventure that, despite the cosmic stakes, is bravely and beautifully intimate. Despite the apocalyptic backdrop, PARIS is also wistfully hopeful – a novel of ordinary, extraordinary heroism… PARIS ADRIFT uses science fiction’s largest and most unwieldy mechanic for its smallest and most intimate stakes: this isn’t about the world, it is about Hallie. PARIS is a story about significance at every level, individually and collectively; ultimately, whether that’s in time, life, or simply one’s outlook – this is a poetic demonstration of how little changes make big differences. Despite being a novel that’s – literally! – timeless, you couldn’t find a work more wonderfully fitting for 2018.’ Pornokitsch

‘[A] really gripping book that was also really thought provoking and moving… [The novel] deals with many themes which are very relevant right now and Hallie’s time travel to a bleak 2042 felt too plausible… [I] loved reading about Hallie’s expeditions to 1875. Paris really came alive for me and I just loved all the sub stories going on, particularly Millie’s. PARIS ADRIFT also touches on what it’s like to feel adrift and alone in this big world, whether we’re living the best versions of ourselves. This story is about getting lost in order to find yourself. There’s a good message in this book, that doing small deeds to help strangers can have huge effects later on and the future is something we should all be thinking about.’ British Fantasy Society

‘Swift (the Osiris Project series) delivers both an unusual take on time travel and solid characters, including a fantastic protagonist… Swift keeps things moving briskly, throwing out innocuous tidbits while scene setting that lead to surprising later payoffs.’ Publishers Weekly

‘Marvelously well done. A glittering first novel: a kind of flooded Gormenghast treated with the alienated polish of DeLillo’s Cosmopolis. The result is a gripping novel, beautiful, politically engaged and wholly accomplished. Swift is a ridiculously talented writer… the fact that it’s her first novel is belied by how accomplished and well-written it is.’ Adam Roberts on OSIRIS

‘What a bare summary of the novel’s premise obscures is the amount of space Swift creates for her protagonists to simply live in their world and experience it for us – in other words, how textured the novel is. The world-building has a playfully oceanic flavor throughout… but is most compelling when it is sketching out the psychology of Osiris’ citizens… Swift demonstrates a much more sophisticated control of pace and tone, an ability to rapidly shift gears within scenes, and a willingness to undercut one scene with another: most notably, the prologue removes ambiguity from one of the major questions facing the protagonists and requires Swift to show one character in particular as much more obsessive and less sympathetic than would otherwise be the case. In the end it’s that choice, perhaps, more than anything else in this nuanced, intriguing, occasionally frustrating book, that makes me think Night Shade have found another worthy writer…’ LA Review of Books on OSIRIS

‘A fantastic blend of world-building, excellent storytelling and complex characters… An engrossing story from start to finish… OSIRIS would still be good if all it had was world-building, but it offers so much more by way of plot and storytelling. The thrust of the narrative is the motivation of the characters… forces readers to ask themselves what it would take to spur them to action. Now combine this with the other interesting elements of the book like political intrigue, subterfuge, the way the story is told from alternating viewpoints… and you can see why OSIRIS shines. It’s that kind of impressive storytelling that makes OSIRIS hard to put down, and when you have to put it down, something that you remain eager to pick up again.’ SF Signal

‘… the soulful latest instalment in The Osiris Project and a superior sequel… new lead characters, a fresh story and some real action… CATAVEIRO has a soulful, lonely quality as Taeo and Ramona embark on their solitary missions, haunted by memories of the past and visions of what lies ahead… Their imperfections keep them grounded and likeable, preventing EJ Swift from slipping into predictable and clichéd characterisation… as dystopian fiction goes it is an intriguing world to get lost in.’ SciFiNow

‘E. J. Swift is an awesome author… stunning…’ Tor.com on TAMARUQ

‘A series I find myself sad to have finished… but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed visiting the world that Swift has created. I’ve fallen in love with her characters and found myself turning page after page to see what happens to them. It was all depicted so vividly that I found it to be a really immersive series… a brilliant setting with wonderful characters…’ SF Crowsnest on TAMARUQ

Out Now: THREE GREAT NOVELS by R.A. Lafferty…


An omnibus edition collecting THREE GREAT NOVELS by R.A. Lafferty is out now, published by Gollancz. Including the acclaimed novels SPACE CHANTEY, FOURTH MANSIONS and PAST MASTER, here’s the omnibus’s synopsis…

Three early masterpieces from one of science fiction’s great stylists.

Acclaimed, as one of the most original voices in modern literature, Raphael Aloysius Lafferty drew more from traditional oral storytelling techniques than from the usual pulp roots of SF. His inventive style and fondness for tall tales marked him out from his contemporaries, and writers of the calibre of Harlan Ellison, Neil Gaiman and Gene Wolfe acknowledge him as a major influence and force in the field. His fiction has garnered numerous award wins and nominations and he has been given the prestigious SFWA Grand Master Award and the World Fantasy Award for Lifetime Achievement.

This volume contains three of his early novels: the Hugo- and Nebula-shortlisted Past Master, space opera re-telling of The Odyssey, Space Chantey, and Fourth Mansions, also shortlisted for the Nebula.

A whole host of Lafferty’s novels have also been made available in the UK as eBooks (including the three in the omnibus), published by Gollancz’s SF Gateway. We’ve including the novels’ individual synopses, below.

SPACE CHANTEY, originally published in 1968…

Set in the far future, Space Chantey chronicles the adventures of Space Captain Roadstrum and his crew, on a journey through galaxies resonant with myth and peril as Roadstrum valiantly battles to return across the cosmos to Big Tulsa, the Capital of the World, and to his wife and young son Tele-Max.

FOURTH MANSIONS, originally published in 1969…

Seven very special people blending to create a higher form of humanity…

A laughing man living alone on a mountain top, guarding the world…

The returnees, men who live again and again, century after century…

A dog-ape plappergeist who can be seen only from the corner of the eye…

And a young man named Foley, very much like you or me, who begins to find out about these people and these things, and how they are shaping the destiny of the world…

‘Of all the contemporary authors generally considered to be part of the fantasy and science fiction genres, Lafferty is without doubt the most original.’ Supernatural Fiction Writers on FOURTH MANSIONS

PAST MASTER, also originally published in 1968…

The golden planet of Astrobe, made in the image of Utopia, now faced a crisis which could destroy it forever; and yet, no one could understand it: In a world where wealth & comfort were free to everyone, why did so many desert the golden cities for the slums of Cathead and the Barrio? Why did they turn away from the Astrobe dream and seek lives of bone-crushing work, squalor and disease?

The rulers of Astrobe didn’t know, so they sought in humankind’s past for a leader who could give them the answers. They brought to life the one man out of history who would most want to destroy Astrobe!

‘Marvelously inventive… Profound wit and high adventure.’Roger Zelazny on PAST MASTER

‘As with everything the man writes, the wind of imagination blows strongly, with the happy difference that in a novel he can reach full  gale-force. Lafferty defies categorization; his work is unlike anyone else’s. This is a great galloping madman of a novel, drenched in sound and color.’Harlan Ellison on PAST MASTER

Zeno represents R.A. Lafferty in the UK and Commonwealth, on behalf of the JABberwocky Literary Agency in New York.

Naomi Foyle’s STAINED LIGHT out now!


The wait is finally over! Today, Jo Fletcher Books publishes STAINED LIGHT, the fourth novel in Naomi Foyle‘s critically-acclaimed Gaia Chronicles science fiction series! Continuing the story begun in ASTRA, and continues in ROOK SONG and THE BLOOD OF THE HOOPOE, here’s the synopsis for the series conclusion…

Astra Ordott tried — and failed — to deny her destiny.

For ten years Astra Ordott has lived as a traitor, hated by most of her fellow prisoners and abused by the guards. She made the ultimate sacrifice to save those she loved, voluntarily giving up her freedom when she handed herself over to the Is-Land authorities. Now long-simmering conflicts are beginning to boil over again as the wider world faces devastating threats both old and new. Non-Land and Is-Land are further from reunification than ever.

Outside Astra’s fortified Gaian homeland, an infertility crisis is threatening the survival of the human race, while the world’s reliance on rare earth metals is infuriating the ancient spirits of the planet.

Astra may have found her voice as a messenger of cosmic harmony — but is anyone listening?

Here are a few of the reviews the series has received so far…

‘Shocking though it might be in some respects, ASTRA certainly provides food for thought… the story quickly becomes engrossing. The ending is abrupt, but it makes you crave the second instalment of the Gaia ChroniclesASTRA will certainly not be everyone’s cup of tea, but personally I am looking forwards to the next book with curiosity and excitement.’ Starburst Magazine

‘If there’s one thing I learned from reading SEOUL SURVIVORS and now ASTRA, it is that author Naomi Foyle has a remarkable way of making me feel. I have been shocked and disturbed by some of the ideas in her books, but likewise there have been times where the touching beauty of her writing has bought me to tears. Her stories might not necessarily read like heart-pounding thrillers or page-turners, but no matter what, they always pack a powerful punch… a bold dystopian tale… by following Astra through all three life stages, I feel like I’ve come to know her very well, and the author has managed to make me care deeply about her character. I didn’t even realize how completely immersed I’d been until I reached the end, and tears started coming to my eyes while reading a scene that was particularly touching. I don’t know if that would have hit me so hard emotionally if the book hadn’t been so well-written overall… an intensely deep, complex and thought-provoking narrative of the main character’s life. It’s a beautiful story, unique and daring, which serves as a solid foundation for everything else to come.’ Bibliosanctum

‘The second instalment of the Gaia ChroniclesROOK SONG continues to develop Astra’s story, taking the reader through many illuminating, horrifying and overwhelming avenues… once the story really starts, it doesn’t let up. The highly politicised narrative is an enthralling and absorbing read… Where the first book offered a shocking, but somewhat aspirational alternative way of living, ROOK SONG delves further into the political influence that enables the way of life the Gaian’s are privileged to inhabit… Offering plenty of twists and surprises, ROOK SONG outdoes its predecessor with a more developed story and plenty of conspiracies that pull the reader in. Book one was a comment on how society should live to protect the planet, book two is a comment on how people should prevent international conflict and wars. We can only wait with bated breath to see what book three will campaign for.’ Starburst

ROOK SONG is brave and unexpected… if you like your SF intelligent and stimulating do yourself a favour and pick up both ASTRA and ROOK SONG. You won’t regret it.’ Upcoming4me

‘Foyle has built a fascinating portrait, often reminiscent of Ursula K. Le Guin in its layered complexity, and threaded it into a fascinating coming of age story. Gripping.’ Love Reading on ROOK SONG

‘There is no doubt that Naomi Foyle is an excellent writer. When she is on top of her game she can amuse, horrify, and pull at your heartstrings in equal measure. Her descriptions of Is-land and Non-land are extremely vivid, her skills as a poet translating into enchantingly lyrical prose throughout most of these books.’ Strange Horizons on THE BLOOD OF THE HOOPOE

Three award-winning novels by Ian R. MacLeod now available in new eBook editions!


We’re very happy to report that three of Ian R. MacLeod‘s critically-acclaimed, award-winning novels have been re-issued as eBooks! Published via the JABberwocky eBook Program, THE GREAT WHEEL, THE SUMMER ISLES, and SONG OF TIME are available now in the UK and US! Read on for more details…

Ian’s debut novel, THE GREAT WHEEL (pictured above), was first published in 1997 and won the Locus Award for Best First Novel. Here’s the synopsis…

This prescient and ground-breaking novel is set in a near-future where the privileged citizens of Europe shelter behind immense physical and biotechnical barriers from a world ravaged by climate change and disease. Beyond this safe existence of harvest fairs, uncomplicated religion and high tech crops lie the overcrowded souks, teeming streets and exotic religions of the vast sprawl of the Endless City which now encompasses most of North Africa.

Father John, a doubting missionary from the futuristic yet bucolic shires of the Welsh Marches, finds he must leave his ministry and the clamour of the Endless City to search across the dangerous wastelands beyond for the source of a lethal radioactive pollutant. There, in the company of a witchwoman and a young Borderer, he confronts not only his faith but also his own past, and the near-death of Hal, his comatose brother.

You can buy the novel now from Amazon UK, Amazon US, Kobo UK, Kobo US, iTunes UK, iTunes US, Barnes & Noble, and Google Play.

Originally published in 1998, THE SUMMER ISLES won the World Fantasy Award for Best Novella (for an earlier, shorter version) and the Sidewise Award for Long Form (2005), and was a nominee for the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Best Science Fiction Novel and the Gaylactic Spectrum Award for Best Novel. Here’s the synopsis…

What would have happened if Britain and its allies had lost the Great War? From this premise, and through the compelling story of an outsider forever struggling to make sense of, or even change, the world, The Summer Isles takes a journey into the darker side of British nationalism.

Geoffrey Brook, seemingly a successful and respected history don at a venerable Oxford college, feels his whole life is a fraud. Not only did he not go to the right schools, or attend university, but he cannot even understand Latin. That, and, in a country where intolerance and bigotry has become a national rallying cry, there’s the issue of his supposedly deviant sexuality. Which, if it was discovered, would probably see him sent to a labour camp — or worse still, to the Summer Isles. It all goes back to a boy he remembers from his youth, who has now become the country’s charismatic leader. But what can he do now, in a country that seems to be on the brink of cataclysm?

The novel is now available from: Amazon UK, Amazon US, Kobo UK, Kobo US, Barnes & Noble, Google Play, iTunes UK, and iTunes US.

Finally, we have SONG OF TIME (first published in 2008). Winner of the Arthur C. Clarke Award for Best Novel and the John W. Campbell Award for Best Science Fiction Novel (both in 2009), here’s the synopsis…

Song of Time begins with an old woman discovering a half-drowned man on a Cornish beach in the furthest days of this strange century. She, once a famous concert violinist, is close to death herself — or a new kind of life she can barely contemplate. Does death still exist at all, or has finally been extinguished? And who is this strange man she’s found? Is he a figure returned from her own past, a new messiah, or an empty vessel?

Filled with love, music, death and life, and spanning the world from the prim English suburbs of Birmingham to the wild inventions of a new-Renaissance Paris to a post-apocalyptic India, Song of Time tells the story of this century, and confronts the ultimate leap into a new kind of existence, and whatever lies beyond…

You can buy the novel now from Amazon UK, Amazon US, Kobo UK, Kobo US, iTunes UK, iTunes US, Barnes & Noble, and Google Play.

As we reported a little while ago, Ian’s RED SNOW novel has also been released as an eBook via the JABberwocky eBook Program. More new eBook editions of MacLeod’s back catalogue are on the way, and we’ll be sure to share details as soon as we have them.

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.

The adventures of the Seventh Doctor and Ace continue in OPERATION VOLCANO #3…


The third and final issue in Andrew Cartmel and Ben Aaronovitch‘s Doctor Who: Seventh Doctor comic series, OPERATION VOLCANO is out today! Published by Titan Comics, and with art by Christopher Jones, here’s the synopsis…

Brand new comic adventure featuring the Seventh Doctor and Ace, as played by Sylvester McCoy and Sophie Aldred!

As time grows short and enemies draw close, it’s up to the Doctor and Ace to save the world with nothing but cunning, Nitro-9… and a novel use of an umbrella?

From the writers of the fan favourite episode Remembrance of the Daleks, which celebrates it’s 30th anniversary in 2018 – Andrew Cartmel and Ben Aaronovitch (Rivers of London)!

Includes a short back-up strip, written by Richard Dinnick (Twelfth Doctor) with art by Jessica Martin (Doctor Who actress).

As you can see from the top of this post, the issue is available with two cover variants. The collected trade paperback edition of the series is due to be published later this year — we’ll share details soon.