E.J. Swift


E. J. Swift is the author of The Osiris Project trilogy, a speculative fiction series set in a world radically altered by climate change, comprising OSIRIS, CATAVEIRO and TAMARUQ. Her short fiction has appeared in anthologies from Salt Publishing, NewCon Press and Jurassic London, including The Best British Fantasy (Salt Publishing, 2013 and 2014).

Swift was shortlisted for a 2013 BSFA Award in the Short Fiction category for her story SAGA’S CHILDREN (The Lowest Heaven, Jurassic) and was longlisted for the 2015 Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award for THE SPIDERS OF STOCKHOLM (Irregularity, Jurassic).

Emma’s website and extracts of her work can be found at www.ejswift.co.uk

titles



Osiris Project

  1. OSIRIS
  2. CATAVEIRO
  3. TAMARUQ

covers

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  • Osiris Project: OSIRIS
  • Osiris Project: CATAVEIRO
  • Osiris Project: TAMARUQ

translations

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Osiris Project:

- TAMARUQ - JABberwocky (US eBook, 2015)
- CATAVEIRO - JABberwocky (US eBook, 2015)
- TAMARUQ - Del Rey (UK, 2015)
- CATAVEIRO - Del Rey (UK, 2014)
- OSIRIS - Del Rey (UK, 2013)
- OSIRIS - Night Shade Books (US, 2012)

reviews

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    • OSIRIS
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      ‘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

      ‘At a time when writing the far future novels is harder and harder Swift does it with style, brains and heart. OSIRIS is a fine mix of mystery and apocalyptic intrigue on a human scale.’  —  Richard Kadrey (author of Sandman Slim)

      ‘What if Salvador Dali wrote science fiction instead of painted? Thankfully, we don’t have to wait for a time collapse to find out. Read this, and know a story of beauty, terror, and a world with E.J. Swift writing it, and be glad.’  —  M. Rickert (World Fantasy Award-winning author of Map of Dreams)

      ‘A vivid, exotic, turbulent world on the far, far side of our own era, populated by characters delicate and brawling, refined and coarse, timid and bold, vengeful and loving—in short, a full spectrum of humanity.’  —  Paul Di Filippo (author of A Princess of The Linear Jungle)

      ‘A refreshingly re-humanized departure from the Sturm and Drang of potboiler post-apocalyptic literature, and the auspicious foundation for a new era of epic fantasy.’  —  Cody Goodfellow

      ‘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. Small episodes, such as an interlude on a freshwater iceberg during which Vikram muses that the slap of waves must be what land sounds like, or the “ground dreams” experienced by many citizens, underline that the sea here is all-encompassing: everything comes from it and returns to it. It’s the sea that catches the city’s ghosts, and the sea that gives the city’s criminal justice system its cues, from the underwater prisons to the official method of execution… 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

      ‘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

      ‘With a plot as slick and tangled as drifted seaweed and phrases like ‘an empty foyer that smelled of decomposing ideas,’ this is a terrific debut. Grade A  —  Cleveland Plain Dealer

      ‘Swift’s first novel, with its brilliant near-future vision of an ecologically and socially devastated world and characters who resonate with life and passion, marks her as an author to watch.’  —  Library Journal

      ‘In this debut novel, the opening salvo in The Osiris Project, E.J. Swift presents a scenario that’s all too possible, a future which isn’t all that hard to divine given the economic malaise currently assailing the West… Swift employs lean, spare precision in the telling, with beauty and lyricism held in the spaces between the words. Osiris is a democracy of privilege and its inhabitants are fully realised; a highly detailed picture of a rigidly hierarchical society in a city on the verge of upheaval. The tectonic friction between the two social bodies, those of the city dwellers and those outside its bounds, sharply expressed, is the engine which drives the narrative. Whether intentional or otherwise, the work is a parable for our own times, uncomfortably prescient in its implications. Here is an assured and accomplished debut novel from a writer we’re sure to hear more from in the future. Swift’s intensely observed interplay between the two principals mirrors in microcosm the obstacles to easing tensions between the factions. This is the beauty of the picture – the brushstrokes are broad but look closer and you will discern incredible detail. An absolute gem – there are many who would do well to take note of what this book says.’  —  Interzone (#246, May-June 2013)

      ‘… Swift’s writing is exceptional, vivid and compelling… I found OSIRIS to be a novel that deserves to be read. Swift’s talent as a writer can’t be questioned, and it’s clear to me that there exists an intent behind her work. It lends a depth that helped me persevere, not only to finish, but to anticipate the sequel. I’m hopeful that other patient readers will take the time to find the beauty in it that I ultimately did.’  —  Staffer’s Book Review

      ‘Swift surpasses many other fantasy authors. Swift’s world is complex and these complexities are very emotionally compelling and deep. Many of the issues that Swift brings to light in her city of Osiris are reminiscent of our own world and the glaring line between the untouchable elite and the downtrodden impoverished… The Osiris Project is promising to be a very interesting series and… I’m anxiously waiting to see what Swift has coming at us next. OSIRIS is the start of a fascinating series which proudly showcases the evolution of speculative fiction.’  —  Bookworm Blues

      It is a novel that is not just a post-apocalyptic dystopia. It raises questions about life in a world that has suffered massive global climate changes, and pairs that against an almost commentary on social and political differences in the last remaining (ostensibly) bastion of human civilisation. Adelaide and Vikram could not be any more different from each other than they are, one the daughter of a ruling family of this last remaining human city, and the other a rebel working to improve the life of his fellow poor and disenfranchised. The boundaries that separate them are very reminiscent of what the boundaries that separated East and West Germany after the Second World War. And that is just one of the imageries that Swift conjures up with her narrative. OSIRIS is not just a novel about rich versus the poor, it is also about breaking social barriers and being willing to make changes that will resonate down the generations. It presents both sides of the ‘conflict’ very well, with characters that are nuanced and compelling. For me, the characters and the setting of the novel were the highlights… Swift shows a lot of promise… Swift’s writing, by itself, is quite impressive…’  —  Son of Corax

      ‘Swift conjures a vivid city of glass towers and pyramids rising from the ocean, the last haven in a world devoid of land… Swift writes with assured elegance and her eco-dystopian vision is politically complex.’  —  American Book Center Blog

      ‘The most positive attribute of E. J. Swift’s debut novel, OSIRIS was undoubtedly the writing. The book possessed a stylistic assurance that takes many writers two or three novels to come close to mastering. Its finely tuned lyricism, gentle but persuasive, demonstrated that Swift is an author who takes her craft seriously and to whom language is of central importance. Reading OSIRIS, you were left in no doubt that you were in the presence of a sensitive artist at work, and certain scenes – the opening execution scene in particular – continued to resonate long after the story itself had been concluded.’  —  The Spider’s House

    • CATAVEIRO
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      ‘I found the worldbuiding in CATAVEIRO to be a thing of great beauty: both robust and poetical and… enviably assured. CATAVEIRO is cunningly conceived to work as a standalone. Although the action takes place shortly after the events of OSIRIS, you don’t need to have read OSIRIS to make sense of it. Defying the laws of trilogy, Swift has created a work that issues naturally from of the events of her first novel and yet dispenses with all but one of that novel’s main characters. There are no tedious recaps, no desperate striving for continuity. Instead there is a whole new story, with Osiris nestled within that story as an integral yet unobtrusive part. Swift’s writing also shows increasing maturity. There is a tactile quality, a perfume, an innate sensitivity to Swift’s control of language that both echoes and builds upon everything that proved most satisfying in the first book. There are no dull sentences. Swift’s interest in her characters and her story shines throughout the novel’s entire length. There are passages in CATAVEIRO that approach radiance. There is nothing so gratifying as watching a talented writer begin to fulfil her promise, and such solid development from one book to the next is a pleasure to see. I have the feeling though that Swift is only beginning to flex her muscles here. Should she choose – and I’m sure she will – to experiment still further with form, to stretch the boundaries of the genre in which she works, to break entirely free of the particular set of reader expectations that trilogy-writing inevitably entails, then I think she could be not just very good but seriously brilliant.’  —  The Spider’s House

      ‘… a very good follow up, improving on the first in pretty much every way… The author’s prose is as good as before (in fact, better), and the story does a great job of building the readers’ image of this future. It’s difficult to not be impressed by the world-building… another beautifully-written novel… CATAVEIRO – and OSIRIS – might not be for all sci-fi fans, but there’s no doubt that Swift is a very talented writer, who is honing her craft wonderfully (in these two novels and also her shorter fiction). I expect she will very soon become a real force to be reckoned with. Definitely an author to watch. If you enjoy beautifully-written, literary science fiction, with less focus on being an action-packed blockbuster, then The Osiris Project is a must read.’  —  Civilian Reader

      ‘… this series by EJ Swift is something that will more than hit the spot if you’re a fan of Dystopian Science Fiction. The characters within are fully rounded, have some wonderful little quirks and when added to the arc really generate a caring response within the reader. Back this up with great prose, solid pace work and of course some magical twists which, when backed with the authors own identifiable writing style all round, makes this a book that hit the spot for me as a reader. Top notch.’  —  Falcata Times

      ‘… 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

    • TAMARUQ
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      ‘[Fans] will jump for joy at the sheer beauty of this finale… TAMARUQ really is a revelation… you will be rewarded when you reach your destination.’  —  SciFiNow

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

      ‘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