Lavie Tidhar’s StoryBundle… (Also featuring Aliette de Bodard!)

A bonus bit of news, today: Multi-award-winning author Lavie Tidhar has set up a limited time StoryBundle! The bundle is live now, so click on that link to find out more. The bundle has been set up as part of the author’s ongoing attempts to highlight SFF from around the world. Here’s a little bit of his explanation for the project…

Over ten years ago I came up with the crazy idea of an anthology collecting speculative fiction stories from around the world. The resultant collection – The Apex Book of World SF – came out in 2009 and has since spawned a series of books, with the fifth volume coming out later this year. Over the course of that decade I encountered some brilliant writers, and was able to watch what had once seemed impossible – overseas writers flourishing in the genre world – come to seem a matter of course…

Our chosen charity for this bundle, English PEN, works tirelessly to promote translated works into English, championing literature beyond national and linguistic borders. They provide funding for translation projects, are the founding centre of a worldwide writers’ association with 145 centres in more than 100 countries, and are also a founding member of the Free Word Centre. They campaign to defend writers and readers in the UK and around the world whose human right to freedom of expression is at risk. I couldn’t think of a better partner for this bundle, and hope you help us support them and their work.

“World SF” as a term has been somewhat nebulous, encompassing a huge range of voices and approaches to the fantastic. Here is what I hope is but the first sampler of some of today’s exciting writers working in the field. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

Among the initial titles included in the World SF Bundle, which you would receive for a minimum $5 purchase is SERVANT OF THE UNDERWORLD by Aliette de Bodard, the first book in the Obsidian & Blood trilogy. Additionally, for that minimum purchase, you would receive…

  • The Secret History of Moscow by Ekaterina Sedia
  • The Apex Book of World SF: Vol. 4 edited by Mahvesh Murad
  • A Small Charred Face by Kazuki Sakuraba

If you pay at least the bonus price of just $15, you get all four of the regular titles, plus SIX more!

  • THE APEX BOOK OF WORLD SF: Vols.1-3 edited by Lavie Tidhar
  • Spirits Abroad by Zen Cho
  • Prime Meridian by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
  • Rupert Wong, Cannibal Chef by Cassandra Khaw
  • Castles in Spain edited by Mariano Villarreal
  • Azanian Bridges by Nick Wood



Aliette de Bodard‘s debut trilogy of Aztec fantasy, Obsidian & Blood, is now available as eBooks! The trilogy includes SERVANT OF THE UNDERWORLD, HARBINGER OF THE STORM and MASTER OF THE HOUSE OF DARTS.

Released through the JABberwocky eBook Program, here’s the synopsis for the first novel…

Year One-Knife, Tenochtitlan the capital of the Aztecs. Human sacrifice and the magic of the living blood are the only things keeping the sun in the sky and the earth fertile.

A Priestess disappears from an empty room drenched in blood. It should be a usual investigation for Acatl, High Priest of the Dead — except that his estranged brother is involved, and the the more he digs, the deeper he is drawn into the political and magical intrigues of noblemen, soldiers, and priests-and of the gods themselves…

SERVANT OF THE UNDERWORLD was also selected as one of ‘6 Historical Fantasy Novels that Don’t Skimp on the Details’ by Barnes & Noble. Here’s what they had to say…

‘The world  is fascinating, with a richly developed culture, and it’s clear de Bodard has done her research, creating a deeply involving story of court intrigue, demons, the realm of the dead, and shifting court politics. Even the magic system, wherein every spell involves either some kind of sacrifice or bloodletting, is presented in a way that rings true with what we known of these ancient cultures.’

Here’s just a small selection of the great reviews the Obsidian & Blood series has received…

‘Part murder mystery, part well-researched historical novel and part fantasy… The fantasy element blends neatly with the other parts. 4*’ — SFX Magazine on SERVANT OF THE UNDERWORLD

‘An Aztec priest of the dead tries to solve a murder mystery, and finds that politics may be even more powerful than magic. A vivid portrayal of an interesting culture in a truly fresh fantasy novel.’ — Kevin J. Anderson (New York Times bestselling author) on SERVANT OF THE UNDERWORLD

‘Political intrigue and rivalry among a complex pantheon of divinities drive this well-paced murder mystery set at the height of the Aztec Empire in the late 15th century… incorporates historical fact with great ease and manages the rare feat of explaining complex culture and political system without lecturing or boring the reader.’ — Publishers Weekly on HARBINGER OF THE STORM

‘Very impressive, the plot is both mature and seductive, twisting and turning like a weather vane in a force 9 gale while the action is both bloodthirsty and imaginative. The world building is fantastic and we get to learn even more of this rich culture and the many gods and creatures of the dark. I really can’t fault this book at all and recommend it to one and all but if you haven’t yet read Servant of the Underworld I suggest that you get them both and read them in order, you won’t be disappointed.’ SF Book Reviews on HARBINGER OF THE STORM

‘The final volume features an easily imaginable yet utterly horrific threat. Knowledge of the Aztecs’ historical defenselessness against smallpox heightens the sense of peril, as does the postwar political dissatisfaction that de Bodard adroitly weaves into the background… reflective, bittersweet… MASTER OF THE HOUSE OF DARTS is an accomplished novel, featuring sharply-observed characters negotiating a world where magic does not negate unpleasant consequences, but rather amplifies ethical dilemmas… the trilogy goes out on a high note.’ — Strange Horizons

THE HOUSE OF SHATTERED WINGS, Aliette de Bodard’s latest critically-acclaimed novel, is out now published in the UK by Gollancz and in the US by Roc Books.


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!

Harbinger of the Storm Book Trailer

Remember this?

Well, now there’s this…

Aliette De Bodard‘s new novel, HARBINGER OF THE STORM – sequel to SERVANTS OF THE UNDERWORLD, will be published by Angry Robot in Jan 2011.

The world-building is exquisite and we *believe* we are transported to the 15th century Tenotichtlan and together with the superb voice they formed the main reason I enjoyed this book so much… Highly recommended… Ms. de Bodard is a writer to watch.’ — Fantasy Book Critic

Servant of the Underworld is an incredibly strong and promising debut, showing her talents at full effect – she can create amazing, believable worlds; her characters are solid and relatable, and she knows how to do interesting magic, great action and creepiness in spades.’ — Fantasy and SciFi Weblog

Aliette De Bodard Deal News…

We delighted to announce the sale of French translation rights Aliette De Bodard’s Obsidian and Blood series to Mathieu Saintout at Bibliotheque Interdite in a deal done in association with our brilliant French agent Lora Fountain. We are very chuffed indeed for Aliette knowing that she’s to be published on her own turf! Not sure yet when they intend to publish but we’ll note it on here as soon as we know.

Meantime, here’s the fantastic cover for the forthcoming Angry Robot release of Book two in this series HARBINGER OF THE STORM, due early next year. Here too is the cover blurb…

The year is Two House and the Mexica Empire teeters on the brink of destruction, lying vulnerable to the flesh-eating star-demons – and to the return of their creator, a malevolent goddess only held in check by the Protector God’s power.

The council is convening to choose a new emperor, but when a councilman is found dead, only Acatl, High Priest of the Dead, can solve the mystery.

When he hears rumours of a sinister cabal of sorcerors he must face up to demons, not all of them his own.

And whilst I’m on, it’s worth noting the excellent reviews Aliette received from both Gardner Dozois and Rich Horton in the most recent edition of LOCUS for her story THE JAGUAR HOUSE, IN SHADOW which appeared in the July issue of Asimov’s.

The year is Two House and the Mexica Empire teeters on the brink of destruction, lying vulnerable to the flesh-eating star-demons – and to the return of their creator, a malevolent goddess only held in check by the Protector God’s power.

The council is convening to choose a new emperor, but when a councilman is found dead, only Acatl, High Priest of the Dead, can solve the mystery.

When he hears rumours of a sinister cabal of sorcerors he must face up to demons, not all of them his own.

Tales From the Forbidden Planet…

Here’s a quick snap of John (Thomas Blackthorne) Meaney and Aliette De Bodard at the Forbidden Planet signing last Friday evening (12th Feb). Having signed lord knows how many copies, John is texting his physiotherapist to book a treatment for stressed autographing ligaments, whilst Aliette is in the midst of a video interview with Nick Butler (aka blogger extraordinaire, Loudmouthman).

Signed copies!! Grab them while you can. (And you can, whilst stocks last, by following this link for EDGE and this one for SERVANT OF THE UNDERWORLD).

More Great Reviews…

… for our Angry Robot authors!

Thomas Blackthorne‘s EDGE gets five stars over at the Science Fiction and Fantasy blog, which the reviewers calling the book ‘…an intelligent, slick and brilliantly executed novel with a quite unexpected but superbly scripted ending.’ Full review here.

THE BOOKMAN has received yet another glowing review, this time on the Only The Best SciFi/Fantasy blog. ‘[THE BOOKMAN is] a boisterous mix of steampunk, Victorianna, mystery, travel story, thriller, adventure, partly coming of age story…Lavie Tidhar knows how to keep you in suspense… a shining steampunk bijou, brims over with allusions and cameos, vibrant, gorgeous depicted, clever constructed, compelling …  steampunk in 3D! Highly recommended from the bottom of my heart.’ Full review here.

And finally the Lateral Books blog loudly hails Aliette De Bodard‘s SERVANT OF THE UNDERWORLD as ‘…a book I was very excited by… It is a book which is like a fresh breeze of crisp air….I fully expect Ms De Bodard’s name to be huge‘. Full review here.

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.

Servant of the Underworld Book Trailer

And hot on the heels of the cover art (see below), here’s an amazing trailer that Aliette has put together for her forthcoming novel Servant of the Underworld. Is there no end to this woman’s talents?

And the My Favorite Books blog is running an exlusive excerpt from Servant of the Underworld – check it out if you want to wet your appetite for this superb historical fantasy thriller, which will be published January 7th by Angry Robot.