Lavie Tidhar


British-Israeli author Lavie Tidhar has been described as ‘a political writer, an iconoclast and sometimes a provocateur’ by the Review of Contemporary Fiction. Born on a kibbutz in Israel, Tidhar’s unusual childhood has inspired a life devoted in equal parts to books and to travelling. He has lived in South Africa, Laos and Vanuatu, and currently resides in London, a city he has made his home.

A MAN LIES DREAMING (2014) won the Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize for best British fiction, was nominated for Italy’s prestigious Premio Roma, as well as the British Fantasy Award, and was longlisted for the International Dublin Literature Award. It has been described as ‘a twisted masterpiece’ by the Guardian.

THE VIOLENT CENTURY (2013), described as ‘a stunning masterpiece’ by the Independent, was shortlisted for Japan’s Seiun Award, and longlisted for the IMPAC Dublin Literature Prize. It has been described as ‘Watchmen meets Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy’, and is a wide-canvas thriller, history of the 20th Century, and a meditation on heroism. James Ellroy hailed the book as ‘A brilliantly etched phantasmagoric reconfiguring of that most sizzling of eras — the twilight 20th.’

OSAMA (2011) won the prestigious World Fantasy Award for Best Novel, and was a nominee for the BSFA and the Campbell awards.
Lavie’s other awards include a 2012 British Fantasy Award for Best Novella, a BSFA Award for non-fiction, and others, and he has been nominated for many more.

CENTRAL STATION (2016) came out to rapturous reviews, with legendary SF editor Garnder Dozois declaring, ‘If you want to know what SF is going to look like in the next decade, this is it.’ The novel won the John W. Campbell Award in 2017, and has also been shortlisted for the Arthur C. Clarke Award.

THE BOOKMAN HISTORIES — comprising THE BOOKMAN (2010), CAMERA OBSCURA (2011) and THE GREAT GAME (2012) — borrow equally from mythology, classic literature, pulp fiction and noir and kung-fu cinema to reimagine and comment upon the Victorian era. They are being reissued in new editions in 2016.

Other works include the linked-stories collections HEBREWPUNK (2005) and BLACK GODS KISS (2014), the short novel THE TEL AVIV DOSSIER (2009, with Nir Yaniv), short novel MARTIAN SANDS (2013) and novellas AN OCCUPATION OF ANGELS (2006), CLOUD PERMUTATIONS (2010), GOREL & THE POT-BELLIED GOD (2011), JESUS & THE EIGHTFOLD PATH (2011). He also edits the influential anthology series The Apex Book of World SF, now up to 4 volumes, and co-edited the charity anthologies JEWS VS ZOMBIES and JEWS VS ALIENS (both 2015).

Lavie has also worked on graphic projects, including 2012’s GOING TO THE MOON, a picture book about a boy with Tourette’s, with artist Paul McCaffrey, and one-shot comics ADOLF HITLER’S ‘I DREAM OF ANTS’, with artist Neil Struthers. A full-length graphic novel with Paul McCaffrey, ADLER, is forthcoming from Titan Comics.

Tidhar works across genres, combining detective and thriller modes with poetry, science fiction and historical and autobiographical material. Recent media appearances included Channel 4 News and BBC London Radio, and he has several times been a guest in European and British literary festivals. The Jewish Standard said of him that he ‘should be your new favourite writer’ and Library Journal said that ‘his astounding talents guarantee something new and compelling no matter the story he tells.’

titles



CENTRAL STATION

ART AND WAR: POETRY, PULP AND POLITICS IN ISRAELI FICTION (w. Shimon Adaf)

A MAN LIES DREAMING

THE VIOLENT CENTURY

OSAMA

BLACK GODS KISS

MARTIAN SANDS

The Bookman Histories

  1. THE BOOKMAN
  2. CAMERA OBSCURA
  3. THE GREAT GAME

CLOUD PERMUTATIONS

GOREL AND THE POT-BELLIED GOD

Comic Series: ADLER

covers

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  • CENTRAL STATION
  • A MAN LIES DREAMING (UK HC & PB, Ltd., Italy, US, Czech, Spain, France)
  • A MAN LIES DREAMING: A MAN NAMED WOLF and LUST OF THE SWASTIKA
  • THE VIOLENT CENTURY (UK, PS Publishing Ltd.Ed, US, Japan Pts.1&2, Taiwan, Poland)
  • OSAMA (UK/US, Hungary, Germany, Spain, France, Poland, Italy, Czech)
  • Novels (Audio Editions)
  • The Bookman Histories (UK, US, Omnibus, Japan, Germany)
  • The Bookman Histories (Audio Editions)
  • Novellas
  • Novellas, etc. (Audio Editions)
  • ART AND WAR: POETRY, PULP AND POLITICS IN ISRAELI FICTION (w. Shimon Adaf, 2016)

translations

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CENTRAL STATION
- Heyne (Germany, 2018)
- Argo (Czech, 2017 - )
- Zysk (Poland, 2017 - Stacja Centralna)
- Бард (Bulgaria, 2016 - Централна станция)
- PS Publishing (Ltd.Ed., 2016)
- Tachyon Publications (2016)

ART AND WAR: POETRY, PULP AND POLITICS IN ISRAELI FICTION (w. Shimon Adaf)
- Repeater Books (2016)

A MAN LIES DREAMING
- Editions Terra Nova (France, 2017 - Quand un Homme Rêve)
- Kalias (Spain, 2017 - Un Hombre sueña despierto)
- Argo (Czech, 2016 - Muž leží a sní)
- Melville House (US, 2016)
- Frassinelli (Italy, 2016 - Wolf)
- PS Publishing (Ltd., 2015)
- Hodder (UK, 2014)

THE VIOLENT CENTURY
- Apex (Taiwan, 2016 - 狂暴年代)
- Eclipse (France, TBC)
- 東京創元社 Tokyo Sogensha (Japan, 2015 - 完璧な夏の日-上 & -下)
- Thomas Dunne Books/St.Martin's Press (US, 2015)
- PS Publishing (Special Edition, 2013)
- Hodder (UK, 2013)

OSAMA
- Argo (Czech, 2017 - Usáma)
- Gargoyle (Italy, 2014 - Wanted)
- MAG (Poland, 2014)
- Eclipse (France, 2014)
- RBA Libros (Spain, 2013)
- Audible (Audio, 2012)
- Rogner & Bernhardt (Germany, 2012)
- Ad Astra (Hungary, 2012 - Oszama)
- Solaris (UK & US, 2012)
- PS Publishing (2011)

BLACK GODS KISS
- PS Publishing (2014)

MARTIAN SANDS
- PS Publishing (2013)

The Bookman Histories:
- THE GREAT GAME - Angry Robot (UK & US, 2016 Reissue)
- CAMERA OBSCURA - Angry Robot (UK & US, 2016 Reissue)
- THE BOOKMAN - Angry Robot (UK & US, 2016 Reissue)
- THE GREAT GAME - Hayakawa Shobo (Japan, 2014 - 終末のグレイト・ゲーム)
- CAMERA OBSCURA - Hayakawa Shobo (Japan, 2013 - 影のミレディ)
- THE BOOKMAN - Hayakawa Shobo (Japan, 2013 - 革命の倫敦)
- THE BOOKMAN HISTORIES - Angry Robot (Omnibus, UK & US)
- THE BOOKMAN - Piper (Germany, 2012)
- THE GREAT GAME - Angry Robot (UK & US, 2012)
- CAMERA OBSCURA - Angry Robot (UK & US, 2011)
- THE BOOKMAN - Angry Robot (UK & US, 2010)

CLOUD PERMUTATIONS
- PS Publishing (2011)

GOREL AND THE POT-BELLIED GOD
- PS Publishing (2011)

reviews

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    • CENTRAL STATION
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      ‘Magnificently blends literary and speculative elements in this streetwise mosaic novel set under the towering titular spaceport… Tidhar gleefully mixes classic SF concepts with prose styles and concepts that recall the best of world literature. The byways of Central Station ring with dusty life, like the bruising, bustling Cairo streets depicted by Naguib Mahfouz. Characters wrestle with problems of identity forged under systems of oppression, much as displaced Easterners and Westerners do in the novels of Orhan Pamuk. And yet this is unmistakably SF. Readers of all persuasions will be entranced.’  —  Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

      ‘It is just this side of a masterpiece — short, restrained, lush — and the truest joy of it is in the way Tidhar scatters brilliant ideas like pennies on the sidewalk.’  —  NPR

      ‘The stories include some of Tidhar’s most beautiful prose, and his future Tel Aviv is among the most evocative settings in recent SF… Somehow, CENTRAL STATION combines a cultural sensibility too long invisible in SF with a sensibility which is nothing but classic SF, and the result is a rather elegant suite of tales.’  —  Locus

      CENTRAL STATION, by the talented Lavie Tidhar, is a mindbending mosaic novel.’  —  Locus (2016 Year in Review)

      ‘It might seem like Lavie Tidhar is such a major figure by now that discussing him under international SF is hardly necessary, but his somewhat novelized storysuite CENTRAL STATION is so engaged with Israeli culture that it seems appropriate, even though it’s also a wonderful tribute to classic SF both in form (the fix-up) and content…’  —  Gary K. Wolfe, Locus (2016 Year in Review)

      ‘If you want to know what SF is going to look like in the next decade, this is it.’  —  Gardener Dozois

      ‘Beautiful, original, a shimmering tapestry of connections and images – I can’t think of another SF novel quite like it. Lavie Tidhar is one of the most distinctive voices to enter the field in many years.’  —  Alastair Reynolds

      ‘A fascinating future glimpsed through the lens of a tight-knit community. Tidhar changes genres with every outing, but his astounding talents guarantee something new and compelling no matter the story he tells.’  —  Library Journal (starred review)

      ‘A dazzling tale of complicated politics and even more complicated souls. Beautiful.’  —  Ken Liu

      ‘If Nalo Hopkinson and William Gibson held a séance to channel the spirit of Ray Bradbury, they might be inspired to produce a work as grimy, as gorgeous, and as downright sensual as CENTRAL STATION.’  —  Peter Watts

      ‘Tidhar presents a richly constructed future in this beautifully crafted world.’  —  David Brin

      ‘Tidhar weaves strands of faith and science fiction into a breathtaking and lush family history of the far future.’  —  Max Gladstone

      ‘The book is bigger than it seems, and I’m still thinking about it, unpacking the layers of it. I recommend it highly. It’ll stay with you for days, because every idea in it has more ideas under it. It’s all of science fiction distilled into a single book.’  —  Warren Ellis

      ‘A mosaic of mind-blowing ideas and a dazzling look at a richly-imagined, textured future.’  —  Aliette de Bodard

      ‘Tidhar’s prose draws the reader in, bringing this world to life with ease… characters are never sacrificed in favour of the technology; in fact, the two of them combine seamlessly to create a unique vision, one that will leave the reader thinking long after the final page. Not only intelligent, it’s emotional too, telling of loves lost and those only just begun, of those wishing to escape their past and those hoping to bring it back… Tidhar is reminiscent of an early William Gibson, not just in sharing that short and punchy style, but in his ability to create a world where the speculation is believable enough to fit seamlessly into the narrative; somehow, despite being set centuries into the future, it feels just around the corner… cement[s] Lavie Tidhar as one of science fiction’s great voices, an author who creates scenarios and characters that feel destined to become classics, ones that readers will be happy to revisit time and time again. It’s a compelling collection that mixes the epic and the intimate, one that succeeds at being profound, incredibly moving and, quite simply, stunning.’ (10/10)  —  Starburst 

      CENTRAL STATION is without question the best assemblage of short stories I’ve read in recent memory. Sublimely sensual, emotionally moreish, and composed with crystalline clarity irrespective of its incredible complexity.’  —  Tor.com

      ‘[Tidhar] has created a textured and original future that echoes real historical and economic tensions while satisfying veteran readers with deliberate echoes of classic science fiction… Deeply humane.’  —  Chicago Tribune

      ‘Powerfully imagined and beautifully rendered… capture[s] profound emotional truths…’  —  Interzone

      ‘A standout, absorbing, well realised sci-fi world, with characters who feel like they’re about to stroll off the page and take you for a cup of arak.’  —  Sci-Fi & Fantasy Reviews

      ‘If you’re looking for something a little more philosophical and thoughtful than the usual fare in the genre, look no further than this book… a fantastic read.’  —  Strange Currencies

      ‘Lavie Tidhar gives enormous depth to the world he creates… CENTRAL STATION is a fascinating glimpse into a very possible future.’  —  Metapunk

      ‘One of the most breathtakingly, bewilderingly, mindbendingly imaginative stories I’ve read.’  —  Bookaneer

      ‘A story—or many stories—about family. Not only blood, but love: romantic and otherwise. It’s about all the strange kinds of bonds that tie people together, in the present and across the years. It’s a story about muddling along together, all the disparate stories interlinking, all the opposites mingling, making a greater whole. A greater future.’  —  Strangely Charmless

      ‘I love Lavie Tidhar’s writing and, as always, here it is beautiful. I loved the setting and the characters… the world building, the sense of significance, the huge ideas, are wonderful and I can see much potential in this setting for future novels. I particularly enjoyed the Church of Robot. Central Station is a place I would love to explore further.’  —  For Winter Nights

      ‘Full of fresh and well-thought concepts… never dull and never boring.’  —  Sense of Wonder

      ‘Beautiful prose. It’s unlike any Science Fiction I’ve ever read, equally parts poetic, abstract, and authentic in its ability to show us a strange future we can believe that, yes, is certainly possible. What will life be like for us in 50 years? In 100? Is this the trajectory we’re headed toward with our dependence on data and manipulating our bodies? Will we discard robots as they become obsolete, to leave them in endless poverty, begging for parts? It is these questions and more that CENTRAL STATION attempts to answer, and by the end it left me wondering–but in a good way.’  —  Elitist Book Reviews

      ‘Some of Tidhar’s finest writing. Verdict: Come to CENTRAL STATION and allow yourself to be enveloped in its embrace… Set in a place that will feel so real to you by the end that you will swear you can taste and hear it…’  —  Sci-Fi Bulletin

      ‘The breadth of Tidhar’s imagination in this book just left me gasping… this is an absorbing tapestry — the more so for Tidhar’s slightly warped view of future religions… his wry turn of phrase… beautiful language… or a myriad other things, the book fizzes with invention and in its portrayal of future humanity, has real heart. I hope that there will be more from this world. The book brings together separate stories, a feat that, again, echoes Golden Age SF and it does so very well, creating a wonderful text but I would simply kill for a full length novel drawing on all this background and carrying the story forward as hinted at in the Preface.’  —  Blue Book Balloon

      ‘What makes this book special is the strong literary quality to the writing… CENTRAL STATION is not like anything else you’ve read. This book shows clearly that Lavie Tidhar is an author to watch.’  —  SF Revu

      CENTRAL STATION is a wondrous thought-provoking book, as you would expect from someone as highly credentialed as Lavie Tidhar.’  —  Fantasy Book Review

      ‘[T]he escape from more traditional (and commercial) story structure allows the CENTRAL STATION to be a place where the extraordinary and alien are commonplace, its world imbued with life beyond the service of a single narrative arc.’  —  Ars Technica

      ‘A fantastic mosaic novel.’  —  New York Review of Science Fiction

      ‘… lyrical… entertaining… elegant… [W]hat Central Station does beautifully, and does so because it is such a well-written piece of well-conceived science fiction, is to depict precisely how identities form, why they are important – and the ways in which we might imagine them as both inviolable and non-exclusive.’  —  The Story and the Truth

    • A MAN LIES DREAMING
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      ‘Comes crashing through the door of literature like Sam Spade with a .38 in his hand. This is a shocking book as well as a rather brilliant one, and it treats the topic of genocide with a kind of energetic unseriousness… Tidhar’s novel treats its grim theme not as a comedy, although there is plenty of caustic humour, but instead as a pulp-noir tale of seamy city streets, gumshoes and lowlifes… Tidhar gets the outre tone just right: outrageous sex and violence related in a briskly workmanlike style. And Tidhar’s Hitler is a striking reimagination of that endlessly reimagined individual: twisted with hatred, doing good almost by accident… Tidhar, who cut his teeth in the world of genre SF, understands how eloquent pulp can be… [OSAMA] won the World Fantasy award. I wouldn’t be surprised to see A MAN LIES DREAMING repeat that achievement… Like Tarantino, Tidhar may find that some people don’t take him seriously. But the joke’s on them. Seriousness is the least of it: A MAN LIES DREAMING is a twisted masterpiece.’  —  Guardian

      ‘Wild, noir-infused alternative history from genre-bender Tidhar… A wholly original Holocaust story: as outlandish as it is poignant.’  —  Kirkus (Starred Review)

      ‘…savagely funny… A MAN LIES DREAMING, by the Israeli-born novelist Lavie Tidhar, has not been published with the fanfare bestowed on Martin Amis’s The Zone of Interest or Howard Jacobson’s J, but it is their equal for savage humour… Those who enjoy laughter in the dark will relish Tidhar’s parade of mordant ironies… This novel is weird, upsetting, unmissable.’  5* —  Telegraph

      ‘No one can accuse Lavie Tidhar of being risk-averse… Tidhar reveals – as he did earlier in OSAMA and to some extent in THE VIOLENT CENTURY – that he’s really less interested in the mechanistic ‘‘what-ifs’’ of conventional alternate history than he is in the interpenetration of real and in­vented histories, or perhaps more grandiosely in the interpenetration of art and life – even the often-demeaned art of sensational fiction or (as in the case of THE VIOLENT CENTURY) comic books. This is what makes him such an interesting writer, and what makes A MAN LIES DREAMING quite a bit more complex than it at first appears… the novel is not without a fair amount of humor, and that might well be the boldest risk Tidhar is taking here…’  —  Locus

      ‘Everything in this genre-bender works; intriguing historical characters are worked into expertly managed plots, and the visceral noir atmosphere is juxtaposed nicely against the drawing-room world of London’s political scene.’  —  Booklist (Starred Review)

      ‘A Chandler-esque mystery… a jarring tale of a grim, gray alternative world… Seldom will readers come across fantasy as well conceived and well written as this exceptional novel.’  —  Library Journal (Starred Review)

      ‘Set during the election of a demagogue who battens on the fears of an underemployed populace threatened by thousands of foreign-born refugees, A MAN LIES DREAMING feels disturbingly prescient. Tidhar holds up a mirror not just to Wolf, but to ourselves. In doing so, he reminds us that even — especially — under the most terrible of circumstances, stories are all we have. And in the right hands, they can be a formidable weapon.’  —  Washington Post

      ‘Books that imagine a different version of the World War II era are as old as Philip K. Dick’s The Man in the High Castle and as new as Philip Roth’s 2005 novel The Plot Against America. But few of these alternate histories are as bold and unnerving as Lavie Tidhar’s A Man Lies Dreaming. First published in the UK in 2014, the novel is now out in the U.S., and it couldn’t appear at a more unnerving time: As if mirroring our current election cycle, it depicts a right-wing politician successfully stoking the fires of xenophobia and bigotry… Like any good alt-history, Dreaming is exhaustively researched. A multitude of historical figures pop up in its pages, including many literary ones — among them A. A. Milne, J. R. R. Tolkien, Ian Fleming, and Evelyn Waugh. Some feel gratuitous and even distracting; others, like G. K. Chesterton and his notions of law and anarchy from The Man Who Was Thursday, feed into the thematic fabric that Tidhar weaves. Dreaming is a book of big ideas, from the pathological origins of racist ideology to the way humanizing and dehumanizing those we love or loathe are flip sides of the same coin… Tidhar tightropes between fantasy, farce, and historical fiction, all while grounding things in brisk, gritty noir. Parallels to our current state of affairs abound, but if anything, they’re simply symptoms of how the past can recycle itself in frightening new ways — a process that Dreaming compellingly picks apart and rewires. History isn’t written by the winners or the losers, Tidhar illustrates, but by those who know how to shroud it and spin it the most entertainingly. Which only makes Dreaming all the more chilling.’  —  NPR

      How does one write the Holocaust? This high-wire act of a book is his attempt. Does it work as pulp? Yes. It’s nasty, clever, waspish and witty. It finds room for guest appearances from Leni Riefenstahl, Ian Fleming and Evelyn Waugh and quotations from everyone from Chandler to Ukip…  You turn the pages avidly. You read it for the pulp story. And you read it for the frame that surrounds it. And you can’t stop reading.  —  Herald Scotland

      ‘Theodor Adorno said that to write poetry after Auschwitz was barbaric. To which I would say, yes, but you can still write an excellent novel. A MAN LIES DREAMING is that novel.’  —  Philip Kerr

      ‘Lavie Tidhar’s latest novel is one of the most powerful books I’ve read this year thanks to its combination of alternate history noir and the harsh reality of life in the concentration camps. Tidhar doesn’t just describe situations, both real and fictional; he makes you feel them, with writing that stimulates all your senses… A MAN LIES DREAMING once again combines Tidhar’s love of alternate realities with insights into what it means to be human. It will haunt your dreams and is his best novel yet. Highly recommended. 9/10′  —  SciFi Bulletin

      ‘There have been many alternate histories with a crime setting  before but this new novel by a young Israeli author writing in English is one of the most challenging and rewarding. It’s 1939 in London and the Nazis never came to power, having been brushed aside by the Communists and Hitler is now an exile in London scraping a living as a low grade private eye. He still hates the Jews and remains a most despicable character, when he is engaged to find a missing girl (and sister…). The following story obeys all the rules of pulp writing in a noir and atmospheric tradition, full of violence, wit and irony. But what you are actually reading is the dream of a poor pulp writer imprisoned in Auschwitz. A fascinating walk along a literary tightrope that never rings a wrong note, this is outstanding and moving stuff, whether you are seeking crime, SF or just a great novel!’  —  Love Reading (1)

      ‘A fascinating book of which you cannot predict where it is going… There are no real heroes, except maybe Shomer. There are villains and victims and no winners. Brilliant.’  —  Love Reading (2)

      ‘When Tidhar writes of the Holocaust it is with brutal accuracy and a deep sensitivity… it’s poetic and terrible… Many will find elements of this story deeply disturbing, not the least of which is a possible sympathy to Wolf… To top it all of course is Tidhar’s voice itself — at times humorous, at times grim but never frivolous and always taught and controlled… As with his previous novels, Tidhar knows how to say a great deal in very little. There is eloquence and gravitas in the sparseness and brevity of noir fiction when it is good, and Tidhar’s is quite incredible.’  —  Tor.com

      ‘Lavie Tidhar wrote a novel in which the world has taken a different path, and Hitler, the ruthless executioner, found himself a loser. Just like in a Tarantino movie, the effect is powerful and liberating… Rewriting history, even as a product of imagination, requires a lot of freedom and courage. Those who attempt to do it are often rewarded. In WOLF, Tidhar is not afraid to tell an alternate reality.’  —  Rolling Stone (Italy)

      ‘[A]n extraordinary vision of a shifted, dark and rotted world… dark and powerful… fascinating and extremely difficult to put down… It’s hugely clever, aimed at (and hitting) both the reader’s heart and mind, witty and completely absorbing. Lavie Tidhar is a writer with extraordinary flair and wit…’  —  For Winter Nights

      ‘Beautifully constructed, this story within a story, mystery within mystery, is a fresh and unique take on Holocaust fiction, which is no less powerful or disturbing for its strange direction. Flawless, engaging and with an eye for detail that is second-to-none, A MAN LIES DREAMING is the perfect follow-up to last year’s THE VIOLENT CENTURY, even going so far as to examine one of the earlier novel’s key questions, albeit from a different angle: what makes a man? One of the best novels I’ve read in a year of excellent novels, A MAN LIES DREAMING stands beside some of the classics of Holocaust literature while providing a more accessible route than some, and is nothing less than a masterpiece.’  —  Reader Dad

      ‘Wolf’s story is interesting, well-plotted… The relationship A MAN LIES DREAMING has with OSAMA is clear, but in many ways this is a better novel—it is more tightly structured, with a close focus on Tidhar’s own religion, as opposed to the wide-ranging remit of international terrorism. Wolf is a fantastic character, reprehensible, but somehow piteous, hilarious, oddly likeable for all his terrible traits, and the ability to make the reader sympathise with Adolf Hitler, for god’s sake, cannot be underestimated. Tidhar is a masterful writer. More so even than James Smythe and Adam Roberts, he is perhaps the UK’s most literary speculative fiction writer, and we should celebrate A MAN LIES DREAMING as more a masterful work of literary fiction than of speculative fiction. But it is exactly that: masterful.’  —  Strange Horizons

      ‘When did he become one of our best and most adventurous writers?’  —  Jonathan Strahan in Locus (Feb.2015)

      ‘An immensely readable book about the unreadable. He mixes hardboiled noir; dystopia and magical realism to create a dark and thought provoking novel, sure to compel the reader whilst making them face the darker sides of humanity. It is a book about war, power, politics, sex and religion whilst being a page turning thriller which gives a new and usual twist on tales of World War II and The Holocaust… One of the most visceral novels I have read in some time and one which weeks and months later I am still thinking about with a thrill and a shudder, it is quite brilliant. I urge you to read it.’  —  Savidge Reads

      ‘My favourite book of the year, so dark, funny, wild and important. It’s a brilliant realisation of a down-at-heel Hitler, one of the best re-imaginings I’ve read, darkly serious with a great undertow of rage.’  —  Stav Sherez

      ‘A work that is original, and funny,and angry, and moving, and significant.’  —  Nina Allan

      ‘Intelligent, troubling, funny, at times harrowing, an emotional rollercoaster from start to finish.’  —  E.J. Swift

      ‘Amazing book.’  —  James Smythe

      ‘This is an entertaining and poignant story; both a caper and a Holocaust tale in one (and if that sounds like a peculiar marriage, then you’re getting warmer). Writing historical fantasy based on a genocide is a risky objective, even when using a sympathetic narrative frame, but a wry look at detective fiction and a surprisingly generous recognition of the fragility of all men, and their convictions, makes for an unpredictable and thought-provoking experience.’  —  We Love This Book

      ‘Poetic and terrible, riveting and disturbing… a book of history, yet also of humanity. An utterly enthralling read, but by no means a jolly one. It is in turns brutal, harrowing, heartbreaking and intriguing. Not for the faint-hearted … but having read it, I feel compelled to recommend this unforgettable novel. Definitely an extraordinary story of revenge and redemption, A MAN LIES DREAMING is a testament to the power of imagination and a novel which will stay in every reader’s thoughts long after the book has been closed.’  —  Gulf Weekly

      ‘Overall, the novel is not an easy read, even though at times it is an entertaining one. The alternate-history concept, however is superbly well handled and is well worth reading for. Hitler is a difficult character to portray in an original way, being as he is the cause of so many secondary school history syllabi and History Channel documentaries. Despite this, A MAN LIES DREAMING succeeds in providing an original and intriguing portrayal of the dictator.’  —  Paper Man Reviews

      ‘Deliciously clever… one of the funniest novels I’ve read in a long time… brilliant, suggestive and structurally precise… I loved it – it’s fearless and audacious, raucously enjoyable and yet deadly serious.’  —  Dancing on Glass

      ‘Absolutely engrossing…a fascinating narrative… a must-read for anyone that likes books that make them think; it is complex, with plenty of meaty themes to mull over…’  —  A Fantastical Librarian

      ‘Tidhar pulls this off with skilful aplomb. The author treats the source material with a delicate, reverential touch. He has used a horrific chapter in history and crafted a story that explores the best and worst aspects of humanity. This novel truly is exceptional… Highly recommended.’  —  Eloquent Page

      ‘A strange beast… His prose is musical, brilliant to read… I had heard of the novel almost constantly since it was published, people were raving about it – weird and fantastic. A must read, they all said. So I finally got round to picking it up, and I’m glad I did. It is all of the things the other reviewers are saying… A brilliant novel. A MAN LIES DREAMING will make you feel uncomfortable and dirty while transporting you to Shomer’s detailed and brilliantly imagined world of ‘What ifs’.’  —  Pop-Verse

      ‘It’s good. It’s damn good… a tight, masterful creation, an unexpectedly moving work.’  —  Jewish Book Council

      ‘Fast-paced, fascinating, in all its horror an excellent read…’  —  Metapunk

      ‘This novel is playful, it is fun, it is dark, it is horrific, it’s shocking, it oozes sex and violence, and yes it is also unmissable. There have been many books about the Nazis and Hitler winning the Second World War, and many books about the holocaust: recently, we have had two from Martin Amis and Howard Jacobson, and good though they no doubt are, I’ll bet they aren’t as darkly entertaining as this one, which is surely one of the books of the year.’  —  Concatenation

      ‘To call this a delightful book, would do it a disservice. None of Shomer’s imagined characters are likeable. He has all kinds of misfortunes befall them, especially Wolf. At the start, a reader might wonder why these men who tried to exterminate Jews, have been given a relatively easy exile compared to the life which Shomer and his fellows are experiencing. Shomer, though, has a very devious fate awaiting Wolf… This is a book that fully deserves to be on an awards shortlist.’  —  British Fantasy Society

      ‘Masterful… took my breath away…’  —  Cleaver Magazine

    • THE VIOLENT CENTURY
      +

      ‘A brilliantly etched phantasmagoric reconfiguring of that most sizzling of eras – the twilight 20th…  This book has it all:  time travel, political intrigue, hellacious history…  You’ve got superheroes in the guise of regular humans, you’ve got World War II … THE VIOLENT CENTURY is a torrid tour de force!’  —  James Ellroy

      ‘Tidhar synthesises the geeky and the political in a vision of world events that breaks new superhero ground… Lavie Tidhar’s new novel breaks new ground in terms of the “superhero novel”… THE VIOLENT CENTURY extends [an] eerie synthesis of the geeky and the political, conjuring a version of the 20th and 21st century where everything we know still happened, only with added superheroes… The novel turns out to be a melancholy sort of love story, but the world-building is so profoundly smart that one can easily forgive and even thrill to the slightly predictable tale of amours, betrayals, repressed adoration and stifled expediency… Comics, of course, have been doing “what if they were real?” for ages, from Alan Moore’s Watchmen to Pat Mills’s Marshal Law. But the politics in Tidhar’s novel are very much about real-world subterfuge… the truly clever thing here is that while the reader has to suspend disbelief in the existence of superheroes, the superheroes themselves struggle to believe in the war, and especially the Holocaust: repeatedly they refer to it as being like a fiction rather than reality. The war becomes, again, something unthinkable. Using fantasy to reassert the awful reality of the 20th century is a smart piece of defamiliarisation.’  —  The Guardian

      THE VIOLENT CENTURY… may be his best yet: a blistering alt-historical retelling of a 20th century lousy with superheroes.’  —  The Guardian, Best SFF of 2013

      ‘While perhaps not as politically loaded as OSAMA, Tidhar’s THE VIOLENT CENTURY… is no less powerful. He imagines a world where superheroes are real. But while the Americans go for the brash costumes and public displays of power, Tidhar’s British heroes – primarily Oblivion and Fog – operate in the shadows, and bear witness to the major events of the 20th century in what is quite simply a stunning masterpiece.’  —  The Independent

      ‘Vintage Lavie, and also I think his most fully accomplished novel yet. Nobody rides that fast-rolling wave separating schlocky pulp and serious literary sensibilities so deftly as Tidhar. He manages to make serious points about the benighted twentieth-century and its obsession with ‘supermen’ without ever letting the narrative slacken or the adventure pale. If Nietzche had written an X-Men storyline whilst high on mescaline, it might have read something like THE VIOLENT CENTURY.’  —  Adam Roberts, author of Jack Glass

      ‘Where do heroes come from? How are friendships made? What makes us human? These are the questions that Lavie Tidhar grapples with, in this story of friendship writ large upon a canvas that stretches from the 1930s to the present day, in a slightly alternate world where superheroes exists, but heroics mean different things to different people. Choices made in the second world war resonate down through a series of brilliantly detailed cold war scenes, ultimately wrestling with the idea of the self. This is a big, ambitious book that manages to deliver.’  —  Glenn Mehn

      ‘Good fantasy creates new worlds for us to dream in. Great fantasy, such as THE VIOLENT CENTURY, holds a dark mirror up to these dreams and tests them to the limit… Espionage inhabits a sort of parallel universe. Lavie Tidhar has taken this idea and run with it, creating a sophisticated, moving and gripping take on 20th century conflicts and our capacity for love and hate, honour and betrayal.‘  —  Daily Mail

      ‘Part pulp fiction, part spy novel… Startling, moving and cleverly turned (spot the walk-on parts for real comic book artists) the novel delivers epic scale, sharply observed detail and a real emotional wallop.’  —  Daily Mail 12 Books for Christmas 2013

      ‘An alternative history tour-de-force. Epic, intense and authentic. Lavie Tidhar reboots the 20th century with spies and superheroes battling for mastery – and the results are electric.’  —  Tom Harper, author of The Orpheus Descent

      ‘[a] high stakes tale of friendship and what it ultimately means to truly be a hero… Tidhar has created a book that oozes excellence in both characterisation and storytelling.’  —  Huffington Post

      THE VIOLENT CENTURY, Tidhar’s latest book, is even darker than OSAMA. Think John le Carré dark… something like John le Carré, not as a matter of slavish imitation so much, but rather as an evocation of darkness, idealism turning to exhaustion, and moral ambiguity. The Old Man, Oblivion, Fogg, these are men who have been fighting in the shadows for far too long and whatever sense of right and wrong they started out with is now dangerously suspect… But this is also a novel of alternate history and the world these characters live in is not exactly ours. In fact it may have almost as much in common with the seedy world of Alan Moore’s Watchmen  for all of the characters mentioned so far are actually superhuman… It’s hard, but not impossible as Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, Mike Carey and others have shown, to create a morally complex, artistically ambitious story based on characters whose origins are not that far removed from the simplicity of Superman, Spiderman, and their ilk. Tidhar has succeeded brilliantly in this task. THE VIOLENT CENTURY is a masterful example of alternate universe science fiction and can only add to its author’s rapidly growing reputation.’  —  Los Angeles Review of Books

      ‘The level of detail with which Tidhar fills his novel ensures that the events he is using as his setting feel convincing. Like Le Carre’s best novels, the world of espionage isn’t glamorous or exciting; it’s a grim, cold and lonely place. The author does a lot with a relatively minimalist style, and he envelops us in Transylvanian forests with Count Dracula’s transformed descendant and the frozen battleground of Minsk without ever slowing down… it’s impressive how much ground Tidhar covers. At the centre of this is the question, ‘What makes a hero?’ The supermen of Tidhar’s novel are forced to commit terrible acts in the name of the greater good, and stand by and watch as terrible acts are committed for the same reason. As well as being a wonderfully drawn and detailed historical espionage tale, THE VIOLENT CENTURY is ultimately a very human story. It’s gripping, imaginative and, finally, moving.’  —  SciFi Now

      ‘… like Watchmen on crack… the great strength of the book: Tidhar’s examination not of what makes a hero, but how we perceive our heroes. The American heroes are an almost parody of the comic heroes that you know and love: Tigerman, Whirlwind, The Electric Twins, The Green Gunman, Girl Surfer and Frogman, the League of Defenders. There’s their German and Russian counterparts as well: Wolkenstein (Wolf Man), and Schneesturm (Snow Storm), and the Red Sickle. They’re propaganda icons, pumped up, brightly dressed and there for the show, in a pointed look at their real world counterparts… The book runs out of order, with the plot teased out of each section, growing as a larger and more complicated puzzle throughout. It’s a strange reveal, one that slowly draws you in; first with action and then with some excellent character drama… While Tidhar looks at the violent narrative of the twentieth century, he has his eyes firmly planted on how we’ve interpreted the violence in our own real world… THE VIOLENT CENTURY is filled with small Easter eggs… which ultimately support Tidhar’s main idea here: the superheroes we create are an extension of ourselves… There [have] been a number of fantastic novels that have drawn on the mythos of the comic book world, ranging from Michael Chabon’s The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay to Austin Grossman’s Soon I Will Be Invincible, but Tidhar’s is probably one of the best prose examinations to really examine the superhero and what they mean… Ultimately, THE VIOLENT CENTURY is about legacy and how heroics play into it, a deeper message than defining what heroics mean: The actions of Fogg and Oblivion have lasting consequences, while at the same time, we can see the weight of the world they’ve helped to build grow on their shoulders. By the end of the book, it’s clear that their own journeys are defined by the actions which they’ve undertaken because it’s what they felt was right, rather than what their orders were.’  —  io9.com

      THE VIOLENT CENTURY is what you’d get if Cormac McCarthy wrote a mash-up of Watchmen and Casablanca. It’s a classic World War II film, cold-war spy thriller and superhero story all rolled into one tightly written package… The major western world powers each have their cadres of superheroes, and their battles are beautifully written, with tight prose of sometimes brutal simplicity, but all the more effective for it… THE VIOLENT CENTURY is an amazing book and as my first introduction to Lavie Tidhar’s writing I couldn’t have asked for anything better. Although I was first hesitant about the stylistic literary affectation he’s chosen to write with, once it became familiar, it felt right and each element of the writing, world and characters complemented each other wonderfully. I’d highly recommend this book to anyone.’  —  J For Jetpack

      ‘Tidhar brings us a tale of individuals wrestling with questions of their nature, told on a grand scale, on the stage of the historical shifts that exist in living memory, and he does an outstanding job of it, weaving together historical fact with stunningly deceptive world building into a cloth that reflects in a very real way how these people, how these lives are different for the presence of these Übermenschen, and, in fact, what little difference it makes in the grand scheme of things… Tidhar shows a deft hand with research, digging up records of war crimes tribunals, of World War II battles, of the CIA front company Air America, funding the war by selling Laotian opium, bringing together British, Soviet, and American Übermenschen, showing how different, and how similar, the arcs of their lives can be over this violent century… This is a dark, brooding book, one that you want to gnaw on, savour, slowly, and enjoy, but it has its light moments, too… He’s dealing with the grandest schemes on the largest of backdrops in time and place, and this level of awe-inspiring craft places him firmly within the highest tier of writers working today, no longer an emerging writer, but a master.’  —  British Fantasy Society

      we might call it enhanced history – a narrative which grafts pulp-comic fantasies onto the existing record, with just enough quantum gobbledygook to make it sound vaguely science fictional. It’s the sort of thing Quentin Tarantino did as bloody wish-fulfillment in Inglourious Basterds, multiplied by several orders of magnitude… What really gives the novel its emotional center, and eventually its tragic weight, is the depiction of the decades-long friendships among the ‘‘changed’’ themselves, and especially between Fogg and Oblivion, as the world increasingly passes them by and as Fogg pursues what seems to be a doomed romance with Vomacht’s own daughter, who is associated with a literal dimension of brightness largely lost to the violent century itself. All this is presented in the present-tense, stage-directed style of a movie treatment which values efficiency over grace, but it manages some genuinely powerful moments, some memorable figures, and a thoroughly unhinged view of the 20th century that almost convinces you of its own demented logic.’  —  LOCUS

      ‘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

      THE VIOLENT CENTURY’s fractured narrative does, however, have a heart, and when the author sets his sights on this, beauty both meets and beats the beast… The effect of the narrative’s darkness and density, then, is the elevation of simple scenes like this, which are rendered with incredible resonance by dint of Tidhar’s stylistic decisions… At the last, Lavie Tidhar’s latest is at once a love story, a tragedy, a spy novel, a memoir of a friendship, an exposé of the horrors of war, and a very serious study of the superhero: the origins of the concept as well as its relative relevance. THE VIOLENT CENTURY is a difficult text, yes, but one that gives as good as it gets.’  —  Tor.com

      ‘It’s the X-Men as written by John le Carré, a shadowy alternate history in which cynical Cold War compromises are all too real. Agents Fogg and Oblivion investigate a conspiracy dating back 75 years to post-war Berlin. The British duo haven’t aged since 1932, when hundreds of mutants were created from the sub-atomic wave unleashed by a German scientist. Several years later, warring nations rally the troops with front-line superheroes but some end up as grisly Übermenschen experiments in Auschwitz. Tidhar’s Jewish heritage enriches his self-aware, tersely styled narrative. A love story and meditation on heroism, this is an elegiac espionage adventure that demands a second reading.’  —  Metro

      ‘The cover asks “what makes a hero”? That may be underestimating what Tidhar achieves with this novel – through the mix of characters and situations, he provides an insight into what it takes to be human, and what can happen when we lay that humanity aside. It’s a powerful novel, which will no doubt reward rereading.’  —  SciFi Bulletin

      THE VIOLENT CENTURY is an excellent novel that demonstrates, once again, the impressive versatility of its author.’  —  Interzone

      ‘Fans of Alan Moore’s Watchmen (1987) should thoroughly enjoy this imaginative story about the hidden side of modern history… Here, in Tidhar’s gifted hands, WWII was an epic battle of superheroes, with a villain (the German scientist Dr. Vomacht) so evil that he makes Hitler seem mild by comparison. A terrifically told tale of heroism and enduring friendship that captures our imaginations from the very first page.’  —  Booklist

      ‘Lavie Tidhar has one of the most nimble imaginations in SF and he likes to play in provocative territory… His new novel, THE VIOLENT CENTURY, is his most successful effort yet: a huge and ambitious noir superhero novel that really isn’t about superheroes at all… This is serious stuff, grim even—but the sheer skill of Tidhar’s storytelling compels us… this is a novel that can break your heart and then, ever so subtly, include a cameo by Stan Lee. Tidhar clearly knows as much about supermen of all kinds as he does about the circumstances that produce them. The effortless way he reveals this knowledge makes you wonder if he too has special powers. True to title, the novel covers nearly one hundred years of history, blends several genres, and dozens of characters both fictional and real. It should collapse under the weight of its own ambition. It doesn’t. It merely inspires awe. Tidhar may not be an Übermenschen himself, but, like the intrepid Fogg, he’s one of the best we’ve got.’  —  Strange Horizons

      ‘The minimalist, stark style suits a plot where espionage (British heroes are mostly limited to watching, not acting – though we are often told that watching is a form of action) is grim and gritty, not the sexed up life that is seen on TV. Perhaps something not suited to all, to me it had a beauty and power, showing that Tidhar on form is one of genre’s most flexible prose stylists. There is no sign of the pulp stylings of Osama, or his more ethereal sentences in Gorel and the Pot Bellied God. Instead we have dialogue and description stripped back almost entirely, locations drawn a la film script, with broad brushstrokes that give us all the detail we need… Tidhar does with relative ease what many writer’s would struggle for decades to do – to simultaneously do something new with the superhero genre, and create a thoroughly human story at the same time. It’s delivers on expectations, and goes beyond.’  —  One Chapter More

      ‘My God… THE VIOLENT CENTURY is bloody brilliant. Actually refused a lift home from work last night so I could read on the bus…’  —  David Barnett (Guardian)

      ‘Just finished… VIOLENT CENTURY. It’s Night Circus meets Bitter Seeds. Wow.’  —  Justin Landon (Staffer’s Book Review)

      ”Tidhar, like Alan Moore, is interrogating real events with the speculative fiction toolkit, looking not at how it happened historically, but at what about the human condition allowed it. The result, in THE VIOLENT CENTURY’s case isn’t just a great piece of superhero fiction, but a beautiful novel of cultural and literary merit… In the end, THE VIOLENT CENTURY is a love story. Not a tale of heroism or social commentary, although it is those things too, Tidhar’s novel is the kind of stilted romance built on repressed feelings and unspoken connections… Tidhar’s tone throughout is conversational, stark, and gloomy. The prose is less about artful construction than rugged purpose, communicating what’s happening like snippets of memory… There’s haunting beauty in its simplicity. Like voices in an empty warehouse Tidhar’s prose echoes about to fill the space. Each reflection conjures new sounds. The end result puts mood ahead of imagery. It’s [something] I often associate with noir, which Tidhar clearly references through puffs of cigarette smoke and fogged alleys. From plot to structure to theme, the novel is simply special. It’s as if Ian Tregillis’s Bitter Seeds had been written by Night Circus author Erin Morgenstern, a superhero war novel with a sense for historical detail and conscious of its ability to impact with structure and style. Tidhar has the chance to become this generation’s Ursula LeGuin, an author who is equally capable of engaging readers on a surfeit of levels, as socially conscious as he is literary, and as reckless as he is in control. THE VIOLENT CENTURY is unquestionably one of the finest novels of 2013. Lavie Tidhar is no longer a rising star in the genre, but one burning bright.’  —  Staffer’s Book Review

      ‘Finished Tidhar’s THE VIOLENT CENTURY over lunch. War, history, heroism, memory: best thing he’s done to date, very impressive.’  —  Niall Harrison (Editor-In-Chief, Strange Horizons)

      ‘Sat down to for a minute to read the start of THE VIOLENT CENTURY. Half an hour later, and it’s really, really good.’ – James Smythe, author of The Explorer

      THE VIOLENT CENTURY is a well-researched and lovingly constructed piece of fiction that, despite its science fiction elements, still manages to remain well within the bounds of realism. Lavie Tidhar is rapidly becoming one of the most important writers of speculative fiction today. THE VIOLENT CENTURY is the work of a writer with talent and confidence to burn. Unlike anything else you’ve ever read, its combination of spy thriller and superhero adventure make for an unusual, but inspired, combination. It’s a wonderful, engaging and thought-provoking novel, written with a style as original as the story itself… Quite simply: perfect!’  —  Reader Dad

      ‘… an original, engrossing fusion of noir-ish super-heroes and gritty espionage thriller… [The novel] has a wonderful, noir-ish feel… Tidhar has written a fantastic novel… Definitely recommended.’  —  Civilian Reader

      An excellent standalone novel, Lavie Tidhar propels himself into the spotlight with one of the best novels of the year. After excelling with several novels in the past, The Violent Century is what raises the benchmark for his fiction and should be the novel that puts him on everybody’s must-read list. This book is just that good… deliver[s] an awesome read right from the start, providing us with one of the more unusual novels of the year, as well as quite possibly one of the best… a delightful read, and aside from the comparisons to John Le Carre and Watchmen, fans of Ian Tregellis’ Milkweed novels will find something to love here… It’s dark, creative and wonderfully written – and comes highly recommended.  —  Founding Fields

      ‘The ending of the book is heart-breaking and made me think that no matter how long and well we know another, we’ll never know their entire self… Stylistically THE VIOLENT CENTURY is very strong and quite interesting… It weaves an intricate tapestry of motives, memories, history, and world building… THE VIOLENT CENTURY was my first long-form encounter with Lavie Tidhar and hopefully it won’t be my last. I was very impressed by this war torn superhero narrative, which touches upon sensitive topics such as the Holocaust, the Eichmann trial, World War II atrocities, but also on less well-known wars such as the Laotian Civil War and US involvement therein and ever holds up a mirror asking us: “What makes a man?” A story that sings around for a bit and got stuck in my head, THE VIOLENT CENTURY is a strong contender for my top ten this year.’  —  A Fantastical Librarian

      ‘Tidhar’s premise is elegant and compelling… Placing superheroes in World War Two is not a new concept, but this is the first I’ve read something that analyses exactly what it might mean… Stylistically some might consider the novel a challenge. You have to have some chutzpah to open a chapter with ‘The wheels on the bus go round and round.’ But Tidhar pulls off this type of literary quirk time and again… Tidhar teases us with what Fogg and Oblivion are trying to find, why Fogg dropped off the radar, and why, decades later, the Old Man has called him in and reopened old wounds. The answer is surprising and surprisingly tender. Like a shape in the fog, suddenly revealed, the story that you thought was about one thing, turns out to be about something else altogether. Literary sleight of hand this accomplished can only be applauded.’  —  Robin’s Books/Quicksilver Reads

      THE VIOLENT CENTURY is one of the most extraordinary reads I’ve had this year. It’s unlike anything other novel I’ve read. While it hovers around fantasy and jumps through history, above all else it tells the story of a couple of men, Fogg and Oblivion, who have been given a task they never wanted… This is a novel that tells the story of the century by expressing its outrages through emotions run wild, given bodily form, and endowed with rage… this book might be brief but it is most certainly not light. Neither is it forgettable… despite this being a tale of war and superheroes and the most evil of villains, THE VIOLENT CENTURY felt to me primarily like an account of the best and worst of humanity trying to cope with the most difficult of events. What is a hero? Sometimes it can be impossible to tell but even during the very worst of times they can be found.’  —  For Winter Nights

      ‘… after finishing the final pages, I believed THE VIOLENT CENTURY was one of the best books I’ve ever read… ultimately rewarding, and makes the reader become deeply involved in the writing… Despite its premise, there’s something startlingly real about it all; in fact, it’s often the true stories about real-life people and situations that are the most bizarre and disturbing. Tidhar blends imagination and reality with startling results… while adding in philosophy and politics. Despite the latter, the author never preaches; this is a book about humanity, about what actions (or inactions) can decide a man’s fate, and the nature of heroism. At its heart, there’s a love story, but it may not be what you’d expect, and the book keeps the reader in suspense until the very end. The finale left me in tears, making me want to start the book again as soon as I’d finished it… THE VIOLENT CENTURY has everything to look for in a novel – a wonderfully crafted plot, strong realistic characters, an atmosphere that is unnervingly real – all written in a style that insists on the reader’s full attention… one of the best books I’ve ever read.’  —  Fantasy Faction

      ‘Lavie Tidhar’s THE VIOLENT CENTURY questions what it means to be a hero, and whether heroes can really save the world, or even each other. THE VIOLENT CENTURY is like a perfect blend of Le Carre’s spy novels and Grant Morrison’s X-Men, but bigger, deeper and more resonant… Within the sparseness of Tidhar’s language there are poignant, poetic phrases that resonate with great elegance, there is romance and melancholy and beauty within this fascinating fractured, controlled prose. It is easy to be sucked into the story, easy to speed along the short, precise sentences, until you realise you may have missed something crucial, something important and elaborate hidden safely within that sparsity, something calling for repeated readings and exploration.’  —  Dawn.com

      ‘Lavie Tidhar proves with THE VIOLENT CENTURY that he is definitely an author to add to your favorites list. THE VIOLENT CENTURY is much, much more than you standard superhero face-off book. Even though the story is written as a novel, it reads away like a comic and Lavie Tidhar has a interesting and lively narration… that places you directly into the story with a nice bird eye perspective, this gives you as a reader the full experience of this amazing book. But THE VIOLENT CENTURY isn’t only about action and as you get deeper and deeper into the story and read about what happened in the beginning of Fogg’s life and all throughout his missions you see a strong emotional undercurrent that steadily drives the story further. The ending for me, the reasoning of the Old Man only added to the emotional side of the story. THE VIOLENT CENTURY is one of those books that lives up to you expectations and goes way beyond it, make sure you get reading it ASAP, it won’t let you down.’  —  The Book Plank

      ‘It’s definitely a quirky book, something pretty unique and when it delves into the second world war as told from a superhero point of view really takes the reader into an uncomfortable world that will dig itself in deeper into the psyche. Add to this solid prose, some cracking characters and of course an overall arc that really gets to the heart of the matter makes this a book that will stay with the reader for quite some time.’  —  Falcata Times

      ‘Whilst thoroughly exciting and engaging as a thriller, Tidhar also uses the book to explore deeper concepts such as heroism, loyalty and power. Despite their abilities, the characters who are ‘the changed’ remain very human; and many struggle with their new powers, both in terms of what they can do with them, but also how they change their relationship with those around them. The horror of war – and the moral compromises it brings – are starkly drawn, but Tidhar does not moralise. At its heart, THE VIOLENT CENTURY is a novel that revolves around one of the oldest of human preoccupations – that of love, and what actions it might drive an individual to take… THE VIOLENT CENTURY is also a somewhat sly book, and features a number of stellar cameos familiar to anyone even broadly acquainted with superhero comics… In [one] passage, Tidhar writes about the attack on the World Trade Centre in 2001. He takes that tired, over-used phrase used about Superman – ‘Is it a bird? Is it a plane?’ – and flips it on its head, turning it into an audacious, heart-breaking commentary on the death of heroes. If you enjoyed Alan Moore’s Watchmen – a book I’ve read and re-read obsessively since my teens – then you’re going to love THE VIOLENT CENTURY, which for me is very, very high praise indeed.’  —  What Are You Reading For..?

      ‘… a sprawling, whirlwind ride though the history of the 20th century… The action sequences felt faithful to the superhero comic book milieu that it draws from. While it can be as bloody and grisly as the tumultuous events which serve as the backdrop, it still recalls the fun and sense of adventure of the Chris Claremont years of The X-Men… the beating heart of this book is its attempt to not just capture and harness the energy of the genre but its attempt to approach it with a kind of literary sensibility… the main concern of the book—not just deconstructing our desire for supermen, whether they be psychological or cultural, but undermining their very agency and potency. The Ubermensch cancel each other out, they change nothing. The sheer weight of the social, political, strategic, and economic forces at work in an industrialized world of advanced nation-states (in all their best and worst manifestations) ultimately subsume the Ubermensch—they are, in many ways, as adrift in the sea of conflict and historical reversals as we are… Ultimately, in THE VIOLENT CENTURY, we are given a fast-paced, engrossing, beautifully attenuated portrait of the absurdity of the “Superman” in the 20th century in both its ideological, mythological, and popular contexts. Superbeings and Ubermensch, imaginary or otherwise, are not the driving agents of history, but participate only alongside it as a sort of Sisyphean sideshow-shadow-puppetry amidst the carnage.’  —  Navigator

      ‘… yet another tale with which Lavie Tidhar demonstrates his superb skills as a storyteller… Lavie has created a gripping and stark tale of what life for a superhero is like when your powers are nothing special in the grand theme of things and your very existence becomes a burden. THE VIOLENT CENTURY is a dark, uncompromising and cynically philosophical novel, it keeps you enthralled right to the end and this end is bittersweet with yet another twist. 10/10′  —  Traveler’s Steampunk Blog

      ‘[A] new masterpiece… a tremendous, unforgettable read… This study in heroism, love, revenge and violence will be in demand by lovers of complex, intelligent sf and alternative history. Anyone who enjoys stories of people with supernatural abilities will thrive reading Tidhar’s world.’  —  Library Journal (Starred Review)

    • OSAMA
      +

      ‘He is a political writer, an iconoclast and sometimes a provocateur … OSAMA is a remarkable and ambitious work.’  —  China Mieville

      Bears comparison with the best of Philip K Dick’s paranoid, alternate-history fantasies. It’s beautifully written and undeniably powerful.’  —  Financial Times

      OSAMA has ushered Tidhar into the limelight… OSAMA is the narrative symphony Philip K. Dick wished he could have composed. Not only is it beautifully written, it is expertly crafted… OSAMA is a work of art. And Tidhar is a word-painter, constructing vibrant and poetic landscapes of narrative in spite of the novel’s dark and brooding subject matter. Too often, I am surprised by works that win the World Fantasy Award, among others in the speculative genres (none more so than the Bram Stoker Award). Sometimes the quality of winners doesn’t hold up and their nominations seem to be a matter of sheer star power or nepotism. In this case, I’m happy to say, the judges got it dead right.’  —  Los Angeles Review of Books

      ‘… fascinating and hypnotic … the writing is beautiful.’  —  Jeff VanderMeer

      ‘Intensely moving.’  —  Interzone

      ‘… craziest (and this in a very good way) book since Burroughs’ Naked Lunch.’  —  Sonntags Zeitung (Germany)

      ‘A novel about the power of fantasy, about the proximity of dreams and reality, about ghost people and ghost realities. Lavie Tidhar has written a fine, striking, memorable piece of fiction here, one that deserves to be widely read.’  —  Adam Roberts

      ‘A provocative and fast moving tale that raises good questions not only about the heritage of Al Qaeda, but about the slippage between reality and sensational fiction that sometimes seems to define our own confused and contorted experience of the last couple of decades.’  —  Gary K. Wolfe, Locus

      ‘A roller-coaster ride… [a] fabulous opium-soaked political thriller… pulls out all the stops.’  —  Rolling Stone (Germany)

      ‘Moving seamlessly between intense realism and equally intense surrealism, OSAMA is a powerful and disturbing political fantasy by a talent who deserves the attention of all serious readers.’  —  Strange Horizons

      OSAMA is an unsettling, oddly poignant look at what might have been, a world that is not necessarily better –because human nature precludes that- but simply different; it shows Tidhar’s originality and growing accomplishment in one of the best novels of the year so far.’  —  Colin Harvey

      ‘Mind bending . . . This book will shake you. It left our reviewer in a hazy nightmare state, left in a waking dream that rattled him for hours. Literally, the complex construction of Osama and rekindled intense collective PTSD of 9/11 woke our reviewer from his sleep.’  —  Boston Book Bums

      ‘I loved, loved this book! A wonderfully entertaining and thought-provoking book.’  —  T.J. McIntyre

      ‘I would make this required reading.’  —  SF Signal

      ‘It is a novel that unfolds, that becomes bigger the further we go into it … it will haunt the memory.’  —  Paul Kincaid, Bull Spec

      ‘Not a writer to mess around with half measures … brings to mind Philip K Dick’s seminal science fiction novel The Man in the High Castle.’  —  The Guardian

      OSAMA is written with both an obvious affection for genre fiction and a sense of wild-eyed disbelief at the insanity of a world where people fly planes into skyscrapers. 4.5/5 stars.’  —  SFX

      ‘Offers perhaps the weirdest fictional take yet on Osama Bin Laden in this offbeat and enigmatic thriller.’  —  Publishers Weekly

      OSAMA is exceptional. Compelling, confrontational, and surprisingly moving, it is one of the best novels yet on terror in our times.’  —  World Literature Today

      OSAMA glides: its prose is crystal clear … a wonderfully crafted alternate noir-ish tale … I highly recommend this.’  —  The Weekly Take

      ‘A phenomenal achievement.’  ––  Cheryl Morgan

      ‘The work as a whole reminded me of Auster’s ‘New York Trilogy’ and Mieville’s ‘The City and the City’, but I enjoyed OSAMA much more.  It’s more readable than either of them. Tidhar never forgets to be entertaining, even whilst deep in his metaphysical constructs… Highly recommended.’  —  Robin’s Books

      OSAMA is a meta-fictional masterpiece that is quite unlike anything you will have ever read.’  —  This Is Horror

      ‘A modern classic, a defining moment in science fiction.’  —  SFBook.com

      ‘Intriguing is an understatement for this book. It envelopes you like smoke, turns you around and you stumble out the other side slightly bewildered. A fascinating concept to a story that has dominated our world for over a decade and like the true events leaves a swirl of questions that might not ever be able to be answered.’  —  Bite the Book

      ‘A wonderfully entertaining and thought-provoking book.’  —  Skull Salad Reviews

      ‘A strange and fascinating novel.’  —  Pagina12 (Argentina)

    • THE BOOKMAN
      +

      ‘Lavie Tidhar’s THE BOOKMAN is simply the best book I’ve read in a long time, and I read a lot of books. If you’re worried that Steampunk has turned into a mere fashion aesthetic, then you’d better read this one. It’s a stunningly imaginative remix of history, technology, literature, and Victorian adventure that’s impossible to put down. The book is immensely smart and readable at the same time. I very much hope that it’s the first of many such books. Buy it.’  —  James P. Blaylock

      ‘Literary figures emerge from the swirling fog, automatons patrol the streets, space probes head for Mars and giant lizards rule over Victorian England. A potent and atmospheric steampunk adventure.’  —  Chris Wooding

      THE BOOKMAN is without a doubt the most enjoyable, fascinating and captivating book I have read in a long time. It has managed to claim the throne as my favorite steampunk novel from Moorcock’s A Nomad of the Time Streams… Not only because of the plot and the world with its automatons, simulacra and the giant space cannon, it is also in itself an intricate work of art, very much like clockwork. The story’s depth is revealed piece by piece, gear by gear, during the entire length of the novel up until the end, which makes for a very exciting and captivating read. It took me very much until the last chapter to piece all the details together, combine all the different gears and cogwheels to one beautiful apparatus, to grasp the full expanse of what was actually going on right from the start of the novel. Finally in the end I understood and was left with the images of a truly fascinating story and world in my mind. But it is not only the depth of the plot, its many twists and mysteries which kept me glued to its pages, it is also the cast of characters and the many striking details of the world, which make this book so enjoyable.’  —  Dailysteampunk.com

      ‘I enjoyed the book and found myself drawn into the world quite substantially. Its our world, but not quite–with a much larger emphasis on reading and authors, as well as a society where the power of words really can be more powerful then any other weapon known.’  —  Poisoned Rationality

      ‘Self-contained and with a great ending, THE BOOKMAN seems to be part of a planned series and I really am happy about that since I want more of this wonderful milieu… Just big time fun, THE BOOKMAN is highly, highly recommended.’  —  Fantasy Book Critic

      ‘The punkgenre has a new term, BookPunk. THE BOOKMAN pokes at the fat and waddled body of steampunk with its walking cane and leaves it on the roadside with its fresh take on Victorian London without loosing any steam on its way.’  ––  Loudmouth Man

      ‘This is a steampunk gem. The settings are marvellously detailed, giving you the feeling that there is a London in which Lizards reign and whales swim up the Thames to sing lullabies to the city dwellers… Bring on a sequel, Tidhar! I’m craving to know what happens after the ending!’  —  SFF World

      THE BOOKMAN is a delight, crammed with gorgeous period detail, seat-of-the-pants adventure and fabulous set-pieces.’  —  The Guardian

      ‘A sequel is in the offing and I can hardly wait. I could write much more but I want you to discover this novel’s delights for yourself. Do I need to add that this is highly recommended? 5*’  —  Free Thinking

      ‘His writing is easy on the mind, and deceptively smooth. His vision is surprising, and intricate within a simplistic frame. There’s a lot of nods to popular steampunk inspirations, and plenty of opportunities for you to chuckle at his references and the marvellous way he weaves his references into his novel. And it even has pirates, too. I mean, it has it all. Except ninjas. For now.’  —  Lateral Books

      ‘The world building is immense as Tidhar has warped history into something altogether wonderful and exciting, which also shows the authors great love for the written word and the power it can convey.’  —  The Mad Hatter’s Bookshelf and Book Review

      The juicy backstory is unfolded by Tidhar, making it a key part of what makes the narrative so compelling… skilful, clever and highly enjoyable. 4*’  ––  SFX Magazine

      ‘Not only an interesting read but also one that leads the reader to ask more questions than is answered within the text supplied… A promising start and I hope that the follow-ups are just as interesting.’  –  Falcata Times

      ‘In THE BOOKMAN, Tidhar has created a wonderfully clever world, relying either on a house full of Victorian-era books or a heavily stamped library card and late fees. Either way, many of Tidhar’s creations are fantastic, a standout being the simulacra of Lord Byron, a robot designed to recall the great Romantic poet. With a sigh he will admit that he doesn’t have the original Byron’s love of poetry.’  ––  FantasyLiterature.com

      ‘The writing is beautiful and flows so well you’ll be farther along the journey than you realize when you finally come up for air. Tidhar had me engaged throughout the book; from the set up during the first part, where he introduces us to his alternate Britain and its inhabitants, to the rollicking excitement of Orphan as he seeks out the Bookman and finally, to the climax where answers to mysteries are revealed and the whole grand design is wrapped up in a big, bodacious bow.’  —  Benito Corral Reviews

      ‘Lavie Tidhar’s mind must be fascinating place in which to live. It certainly is an exceeding pleasure to visit… I honestly love THE BOOKMAN and would happily reread it. It is a delight, from start to finish.’  —  Rob Will Review

      ‘… an intelligent, clever book, that creates a wonderfully complex secondary world … as well-constructed as a Swiss cuckoo clock and as readable as any genre fiction being written today.’  —  Red Rook Review

    • CAMERA OBSCURA
      +

      ‘Achieves moments of surprising depth and beauty, with real insights into human history and psychology as well as the immense and varied wealth of writing in the last half of the 19th century. It’s a virtuoso performance.’  —  Locus Magazine

      ‘An outstanding novel that appreciates full how to entertain and intrigue, and yet not shirk the big issues the story raises. The storytelling here will keep you on the edge of your seat. I emerged from the final page of CAMERA OBSCURA exhausted by the experience, but with a definite smile on my face. It was an incredibly fun read, expertly written and immersive on an almost dangerous level. It’s a widely held belief in the circles of genre fiction that Lavie is well on his way to being one of the new monsters of science fiction. This novel is as good an example of why as you’re likely to find.’  –  Ramblings of a Borderline Misanthrope

      ‘The reader certainly suffers along with the character. At the same time, the characters never cease to be fascinating and I found myself intrigued by the settings, which become characters in themselves. From the underwater squid-like dwellings of Scab to the Little China of Paris, each location is richly detailed, dripping with nuances and characters which bring it to life. It’s easy to feel “there” along with Milady throughout her journey.’  —  SF Signal

      CAMERA OBSCURA is dark, violent, and a fine steampunk thriller that’ll stick to your ribs in a way other thrillers don’t. It’s stuffed to the gills with action and plot…the world-building is deftly done. And Tidhar’s Milady de Winter is fantastic. If you like steampunk or just action in general, it’s well worth a read.’  —  The Literary Omnivore

      ‘I enjoyed CAMERA OBSCURA very much. It was an incredibly fun read, expertly written and immersive on an almost dangerous level. It’s a widely held belief in the circles of genre fiction that Lavie is well on his way to being one of the new monsters of science fiction. This novel is as good an example of why as you’re likely to find.’  —  A Mad Man With A Blog

      ‘Overall, I really, really enjoyed this book… It was very well done and very well thought out.  I will definitely be picking up more books by Tidhar in the future.’  —  Karissa’s Reading Review

    • THE GREAT GAME
      +

      ‘… a very fine addition to the series, and can be enjoyed without having read the others, though you owe it to yourself to read the entire series if well detailed alternate history science fiction is your sort of thing.’  ––  Starburst Magazine

      ‘I heartily recommend THE GREAT GAME; not only a satisfying read, but an enjoyable, fun, and interesting one too.’  —  Libris Leonis

      ‘… steampunk epitomised in the form of a whistle-stop tour …’  ––  Drying Ink

      ‘… occasionally, a novel throws caution to the winds and goes for the absolutely insane. The Bookman Histories falls into that last category, and the most recent installment, THE GREAT GAME, lives up to that reputation.’  —  OwlCat Mountain

      ‘The marvelous and oddly disturbing mind of Lavie Tidhar has once again cranked out an awesome steampunk novel.’  —  Barry Huddleston, Gnostalgia

      ‘… alien technologies, lizard monarchs, giant robots, breathless action, and all manner of weird stuff going down … It’s great, over-the-top period fun.’  ––  Ros Jackson, Warpcore SF

      ‘Spies, monsters, machines, and mad scientists fill every page, and the action never stops … Twists and turns await around every corner, constantly leaving readers wonder what will happen next.’  —  Jessica Nelson, AllwaysUnmended

      ‘Tidhar’s world is energetic and a tad confusing as he switches from points of view and narrative styles, but nevertheless it is a thoroughly fun book and a lively adventure.’  ––  Terror Tree

      ‘This is a wild and imaginative adventure through London and Paris as Tidhar loots both history and literature for a diverse cast of characters to weave together in a very satisfyingly wild universe.’  ––  Disorganised, As Usual

    • ART AND WAR
      +

      ‘An unconventional, intense, and political dialogue…’  —  Locus (2016 Year in Review, Best of Non-Fiction)

    • MARTIAN SANDS
      +

      ‘Feels more like early Kurt Vonnegut… both writers seem to channel the same prankster glee that covers deep despair. MARTIAN SANDS crackles with energy and life while poking at some big questions about the nature of reality.’  —  Locus

      ‘A totally mad and very enjoyable book. The closest comparison I can think of is Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse 5 – Tidhar does the same thing of taking a overwhelmingly serious subject (in this case the Holocaust; in Slaughterhouse 5, the bombing of Dresden) and applying to it a surreal and farcical lens – using humour to highlight tragedy, which is of course what the best theatre does.’E.J. Swift, author of OSIRIS

      ‘… the work of a serious writer who writes entertainingly, who can be funny, political, speculative, provocative and charming, all at the same time. I’m not going to pretend I understood everything that was going on in MARTIAN SANDS, especially towards the end… but I would love to read a sequel that was even weirder. Tidhar writes equally well in several genres; CLOUD PERMUTATIONS and GOREL & THE POT-BELLIED GOD were, I thought, both excellent, but so dissimilar that one would be hard-pressed without title pages to identify them as the product of a single author. It seemed to me when reading MARTIAN SANDS that for Tidhar “classic science fiction” in the style of Silverberg, Brunner and Dick’s novels of the sixties is just another genre to which he can turn his hand as ably as he does all the others. In some ways that’s almost galling (“Here’s a Hugo winner I made earlier!”), but I hope he does it again.’  —  Theaker’s Quarterly

    • GOREL & THE POT-BELLIED GOD
      +

      ‘Tidhar has created something uniquely his own – a delightfully Weird pulp tale that could easily sit on a shelf alongside Leiber, Vance and Moorcock… Tidhar’s world-building is a joy to read… This is an excellent planned and exuberantly executed fantasy about a gunslinging god-slayer in a land where fairy tales transcend anthropology to become biology. At no point does the story veer towards the ponderous or worthy, instead it stays true to its pulp literature antecedents and keeps the pace up throughout. The dialogue is sparse, the description errs on the side of tantalizing and the action is undeniably heroic. This is a story about sex, drugs and frog people – what more could you ask for?’  —  Pornokitsch

    • JESUS & THE EIGHTFOLD PATH
      +

      ‘Lavie Tidhar is one of the most interesting new writers to enter the genre in some time, and his chapbook novella JESUS & THE EIGHTFOLD PATH is another major work by him, although even harder to pin down by genre than is his usual work. A vivid and gonzo reimagining of the life of Jesus, it’s less sacrilegious and more respectful than you would think a story whose working title was “Kung Fu Jesus” would be, although Jesus does indeed get to use his martial arts skills, learned under the tutelage of the Eastern Masters who taught him to follow the Eightfold Path, to beat up the moneylenders as he casts them from the Temple, defeat some attacking mummies, and so forth.  Although all this would probably have been enough to get Tidhar burnt at the stake during the Middle Ages, he actually treats Jesus with a fair degree of reverence, as a man who really has been touched by the Divine (although what Divine remains open to question) and possesses immense preternatural abilities.  Much of the gonzo humor, and much of the entertainment value, is carried by the Three Wise Men, here reimagined as former kings, wizards, and minor gods impressed into service by a superior supernatural force, and called Sandy, Monkey, and Pigsy; they get many of the best lines.  There’s also a supporting role for the slippery Jewish historian, Josephus Flavius.  Perhaps what this reminds me the most of is the movie Big Trouble in Little China, if the filmmakers had decided to tackle the Gospels as well as Chinese mythology.  Although some of the more pious may be offended, most readers will probably find this hugely entertaining.’  —  Gardner Dozios (LOCUS)

      ‘[B]egan life as an irreverent brain-nugget: the story of kung-fu Jesus. The final result is less cheeky than you might imagine, fusing classical Chinese novel Journey to the West with the life of Christ as recounted in the New Testament… The story spans the life of Christ from before birth to shortly after his death, touching upon many of the most memorable Biblical fables – overturning the tables of the moneylenders, now with added kung fu; his love affair with Cleopatra, which was definitely in there somewhere; and ruining the livelihood of local farmers by filling their pigs with demons… The book is a characteristic example of Tidhar’s writing and storytelling; it repurposes the mythic with a deft touch that retains some degree of familiarity yet introduces enough difference to produce a stark sense of contrast. It also has his characteristic lightness of tone juxtaposed with gravitas and respect for his subject matter. It’s rarely wildly funny but produces plenty of wry smiles. Readers who enjoy laughter lines will find this book does actually crease them up.’  —  Nostalgia for Infinity

      ‘As well as being a fun book – and it is a playful read – it does contain a true sense of spirituality.’  —  Geek Syndicate

    • BLACK GODS KISS
      +

      ‘One of the most flamboyantly entertaining collections of the year… what [the stories] are is almost the pure essence of pulp – violent, action-packed, paced like a runaway freight train, politically incorrect and socially unredeemable… they’re also a lot of fun.’  —  Gardner Dozois in Locus (Feb.2015)