Lavie Tidhar’s MAROR is a Best of 2022!

Just a quick post today to congratulate Lavie Tidhar: one of his latest novels, MAROR, has been selected by both The Guardian and The Economist as one of the best books of the year! Published in the UK by Head of Zeus, here’s the synopsis…

How do you build a nation?

It takes statesmen and soldiers, farmers and factory workers, of course. But it also takes thieves, prostitutes and policemen.

Nation-building demands sacrifice. And one man knows exactly where those bodies are buried: Cohen, a man who loves his country. A reasonable man for unreasonable times.

A car bomb in the back streets of Tel Aviv. A diamond robbery in Haifa. Civil war in Lebanon. Rebel fighters in the Colombian jungle. A double murder in Los Angeles.

How do they all connect? Only Cohen knows.

Maror is the story of a war for a country’s soul – a dazzling spread of narrative gunshots across four decades and three continents.

It is a true story. All of these things happened.

Here, too, are just a few of the reviews the novel has received so far…

MAROR is a masterpiece of the sacred and the profane … a literary triumph.’The Guardian

‘[A] wildly ambitious saga… A caustic alternative history of the dream and development of Israel.’The Economist

‘A bloody beast of a book… MAROR is to Israeli history what Tarantino is to American movie culture’The Daily Mail

‘Amos Oz’s A Tale of Love and Darkness… Fade[s] into oblivion compared with Lavie Tidhar’s magnificent novel MAROR, a panoramic look at four decades of the dark, despicable side of Israel, of death, corruption, violence and drugs… It’s a brilliant undertaking.’The Jewish Chronicle

‘Radiant with all the brutally elegant atmosphere of crime noir, and the richly nuanced complexity and style of Marlon James’ A Brief History of Seven Killings, it’s a genre-busting novel that will catch your breath … At once illuminating, thrilling and thought-provoking, this tale of corruption, killings, sacrifice and the souls that make up a nation is a symphonic feat of fiction.’LoveReading

‘Some write in ink, others in song, Tidhar writes in fire… MAROR is a kaleidoscopic masterpiece, immense in its sympathies, alarming in its irreverences and altogether exhilarating’Junot Díaz

‘One of the boldest, most visionary writers I’ve ever read creates both a vivid political exploration and a riveting crime epic. It’s like the Jewish Godfather!’Silvia Moreno-Garcia

‘I’ve rarely read such a sustained feat of narrative invention and momentum. The novel’s a masterpiece.’Tim Pears

MAROR blends the page-turning wit of a hard-boiled detective noir with the stirring intrigue of a multi-national political epic. An ambitious achievement that weaves a tapestry of both story and statement.’Kevin Jared Hosein

A Very Good Week for Aliette de Bodard…!

Over the past few days, there has been rather a lot of excellent news for Aliette de Bodard! First, the Asia Society has named Aliette as one of their Asia 21 Young Leaders! From the press release

The Class of 2022 features a diverse mix of leaders representing 26 different countries and includes journalists, human rights advocates, entrepreneurs, fiction writers, politicians, and more. Together, they will form an integral part of the Asia Society family as the newest cohort of its signature young leaders initiative, embody the organization’s mission to navigate shared futures, and actively contribute in taking the network to new heights. 

“Drawing on their personal expertise and leveraging the collective power of the Asia 21 network, the class of 2022 will actively contribute in shaping a more peaceful, prosperous, and secure future for all,” said Asia Society President and CEO Kevin Rudd. “We are delighted to play our part in connecting individuals who share common values and desire to make this world a better place.”

In addition, THE HOUSE OF SHATTERED WINGS has been picked as one of the Top 10 21st Century Fantasy Novels by the Guardian! The first novel in Aliette’s Dominion of the Fallen series, it won the BSFA Best Novel Award in 2016. It’s published by Gollancz in the UK, Roc Books in North America, and in a number of translated editions. Here’s the synopsis…

An epic murder mystery set on the crumbling streets of a Paris torn apart by a magical war…

Paris in the aftermath of the Great Magicians War. Its streets are lined with haunted ruins, Notre-Dame is a burnt-out shell, and the Seine runs black, thick with ashes and rubble. Yet life continues among the wreckage. The citizens retain their irrepressible appetite for novelty and distraction, and The Great Houses still vie for dominion over France’s once grand capital.

House Silverspires, previously the leader of those power games, now lies in disarray. Its magic is ailing; its founder, Morningstar, has been missing for decades; and now something from the shadows stalks its people inside their very own walls.

Within the House, three very different people must come together: a naive but powerful Fallen, an alchemist with a self-destructive addiction, and a resentful young man wielding spells from the Far East. They may be Silverspires’ salvation; or the architects of its last, irreversible fall…

The Dominion of the Fallen series also includes the novels THE HOUSE OF BINDING THORNS (Gollancz, Roc Books) and THE HOUSE OF SUNDERING FLAMES (Gollancz, JABberwocky), and the spin-off Dragons & Blades novellas OF DRAGONS, FEASTS AND MURDERS and OF CHARMS, GHOSTS AND GRIEVANCES (both published by JABberwocky).

And last, but by no means least, Aliette has also been announced as an online speaker at Octocon, which will take place in Dublin between October 15th-16th. Head over to their website for full details of the convention and Aliette’s participation.

A Selection of Recent Stephen Vines Appearances…

Today, we want to share with you some recent Stephen Vines content. Above, you can watch his interview with Benedict Rogers for Hong Kong Watch.

Earlier this month, he also took part in a Council on Foreign Relations roundtable on The Future of Hong Kong, which you can watch below…

Stephen has also written about his departure from Hong Kong for The Guardian and the Hong Kong Free Press. He was also a guest on BBC Radio 4’s The Media Show, and joined a discussion on the subject of ‘Reporting on the ground in China’.

When I arrived in Hong Kong in 1987 as the Observer’s south-east Asia correspondent, the foreign editor said he saw it as being a base, not the kind of territory that would generate much news but it was a safe place to be, communications were good and I was unlikely to have any visa problems. I thought I might stay a couple of years and move on. Thirty-five years later, I have, with great sadness, moved on and no one in their right mind can possibly assert that Hong Kong is a safe place for journalists… [Guardian]

Vines is the author of, most recently, DEFYING THE DRAGON, published by Hurst Publishers (UK) and Oxford University Press (North America). Here’s the synopsis…

Defying the Dragon tells a remarkable story of audacity: of how the people of Hong Kong challenged the PRC’s authority, just as its president reached the height of his powers. Is Xi’s China as unshakeable as it seems? What are its real interests in Hong Kong? Why are Beijing’s time-honoured means of control no longer working there? And where does this leave Hongkongers themselves?

Stephen Vines has lived in Hong Kong for over three decades. His book shrewdly unpacks the Hong Kong-China relationship and its wider significance — right up to the astonishing convergence of political turmoil and international crisis with Covid-19 and the 2020-21 crackdown.

Vividly describing the uprising from street level, Vines explains how and why it unfolded, and its global repercussions. Now, the international community is reassessing relations with Beijing, just as Hong Kong’s rebellion and China’s handling of the pandemic have exposed the regime’s weakness. In a crisis that has become existential all round, what lies ahead for Hong Kong, China and the world?

Here are just a few of the great reviews the book has received so far…

‘A detailed chronicle of Hong Kong’s fight in the face of repression. Anyone who cares about Hong Kong and China will definitely want to read this book.’Joshua Wong, Hong Kong’s most famous democracy advocate

‘A definitive, compelling account of a drama that has gripped the world. Vines interweaves frontline reporting, insights from key players and a local’s knowledge to chronicle Hong Kong’s defiant challenge to the might of Xi Jinping’s China.’Philip Sherwell, Asia correspondent, Sunday Times

‘A superb book about Beijing’s ruthless and depressing efforts to stamp out Hong Kong’s freedoms, erode its rule of law and attack its identity as an open society. Vines, a brave and distinguished journalist, sets this sad story of a great international city within the brutal politics of the Chinese regime.’Lord Chris Patten, last British governor of Hong Kong

‘One of the most important stories of our times of the fight against authoritarian regimes. The best way to understand China is through the lens of Hong Kong’s struggles.’Nathan Law, leading democracy activist

‘A compelling narrative set against two major crises facing China—control of Hong Kong and unprecedented international pushback. With his signature dry wit and razor-sharp pen, Vines skewers Quislings, dysfunctional bureaucracies and self-interested elites, arguing that we shouldn’t bet against Hongkongers just yet.’Sharon Hom, Executive Director of Human Rights in China and Adjunct Professor, New York University

‘Written with honesty and integrity, [DEFYING THE DRAGON] chronicles a critical moment in Hong Kong’s history as the city prepares for an unclear future.’South China Post Magazine

10yrs of Jack Campbell’s LOST FLEET Series in the UK!

Today, we want to draw your attention to Jack Campbell‘s acclaimed, best-selling Lost Fleet series, which turns ten this year! Published by Titan Books in the UK, the books are superb military science fiction, the series has expanded to include two spin-off series and a prequel series.

The original series contains six novels: DAUNTLESS, FEARLESS, COURAGEOUS, VALIANT, RELENTLESS, and VICTORIOUS. In case you’ve never had the pleasure of reading the series, here’s the synopsis for the first book…

After a hundred years of brutal war against the Syndics, the Alliance fleet is marooned deep in enemy territory, weakened and demoralised and desperate to make it home.

Their fate rests in the hands of Captain “Black Jack” Geary, a man who had been presumed dead but then emerged from a century of survival hibernation to find his name had become legend. Forced by a cruel twist of fate into taking command of the fleet, Geary must find a way to inspire the battle-hardened and exhausted men and women of the fleet or face certain annihilation by their enemies.

The Beyond the Frontier series includes DREADNAUGHT, INVINCIBLE, GUARDIAN, STEADFAST, and LEVIATHAN.


The aforementioned prequel series, Genesis Fleet, is currently ongoing, and the first three novels are out now: VANGUARD, ASCENDANT, and TRIUMPHANT. The fourth novel in the series, BOUNDLESS, is due to be published later this year — we’ll bring you more details and a cover as soon as we have them.

Zeno represents Jack Campbell in the UK and Commonwealth, on behalf of the JABberwocky Literary Agency in New York.

William Gibson’s AGENCY rolls out in the UK!

William Gibson‘s highly-anticipated new novel, AGENCY was published in the UK last Thursday, by Viking. The novel has been very well received, hitting the top of various Amazon and other charts. In addition, Foyles in London really went all-out! Check out their fantastic window display…

… and this prominent ‘Highlights’ display for the book! (They also have a limited stock of exclusive signed editions — so rush to Foyles if you need one for your collection!)

(Photo Credits: Andy Taylor @ Penguin)

Not only that, but the novel also received a fantastic review in the Guardian by M John Harrison. Below is just a pull-quote, but it’s well worth reading the full review.

‘This dazzling vision of politics and power across alternate timelines is both observation and warning… begins with the classic Gibsonian unboxing scene… a sensual, remarkably visual ride, vigorous with displays of conceptual imagination and humour.’

In case you’ve missed it, here’s the synopsis for the novel…

San Francisco, 2017. Clinton’s in the White House, Brexit never happened — and Verity Jane’s got herself a new job.

They call Verity ‘the app-whisperer’, and she’s just been hired by a shadowy start-up to evaluate a pair-of-glasses-cum-digital-assistant called Eunice. Only Eunice has other ideas.

Pretty soon, Verity knows that Eunice is smarter than anyone she’s ever met, conceals some serious capabilities and is profoundly paranoid which is just as well since suddenly some bad people are after Verity.

Meanwhile, in a post-apocalyptic London a century from now, PR fixer Wilf Netherton is tasked by all-seeing policewoman Ainsley Lowbeer with interfering in the alternative past in which Verity and Eunice exist. It appears something nasty is about to happen there — and fixing it will require not only Eunice’s unique human-AI skillset but also a little help from the future.

A future which Verity soon fears may never be…

Zeno represents William Gibson in the UK and Commonwealth, on behalf of Nell Pierce at Sterling Lord Literistic.

A MAN LIES DREAMING Lands on a Number of Best Of 2014 Lists

Tidhar-AManLiesDreamingUK-BlogLavie Tidhar‘s latest masterpiece, A MAN LIES DREAMING, has not only been receiving plentiful glowing reviews. It has also landed on a handful of great Best Of 2014 lists, including the Guardian [review]…

‘Grim has been the flavour of the genre for some years now, and 2014 was no exception… Lavie Tidhar’s A MAN LIES DREAMING (Hodder) was another [highlight], juxtaposing the horrors of the Nazi death camps with a splendidly over-the-top gumshoe adventure starring Adolf Hitler as a 1940s London private eye.’

… the LA Review of Books [review]…

‘Reality and fantasy served up in subversive proportions by the author of OSAMA.’

… and Herald Scotland [review]…

‘Pushing hard at the boundaries of genre, daring us to classify it neatly, Lavie Tidhar’s A MAN LIES DREAMING … reimagines Adolf Hitler as a deposed dictator forced to work as a private investigator on the mean streets of 1930s London. But as the book progresses we realise that the man called Wolf only exists in the mind of a Jewish writer imprisoned in Auschwitz. It’s bold, often brilliant, and avoids the pitfalls one might expect before crossing into the territory of speculative writers such as Philp K Dick.’

The novel is published in the UK by Hodder Books. In case you’ve somehow missed it, here’s the synopsis…

Deep in the heart of history’s most infamous concentration camp, a man lies dreaming. His name is Shomer, and before the war he was a pulp fiction author. Now, to escape the brutal reality of life in Auschwitz, Shomer spends his nights imagining another world – a world where a disgraced former dictator now known only as Wolf ekes out a miserable existence as a low-rent PI in London’s grimiest streets.

An extraordinary story of revenge and redemption, A MAN LIES DREAMING is the unforgettable testament to the power of imagination.

Lavie Tidhar’s THE VIOLENT CENTURY is a Best SFF of 2013! Twice!!

Tidhar-ViolentCenturyUKWe’re very happy to report that Lavie Tidhar‘s THE VIOLENT CENTURY, published by Hodder Books in the UK, has been selected for two Best of 2013 lists! Both the Guardian and Daily Mail newspapers featured the novel in their end-of-year selections. Here’s what they had to say…

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

‘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

THE VIOLENT CENTURY has racked up an impressive number of gushing reviews already. Here’s the synopsis, in case you somehow missed it…

They’d never meant to be heroes.

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

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

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

What makes a hero?

The Guardian loves Aliette…

aliette-headshot2This is just a very quick post to draw your attention to The Guardian‘s Booksblog post from Monday 15th April. It is a list of “The Best Young Novelists – from SF’s universe“, and includes the nigh-unstoppable Aliette de Bodard!

Aliette has been racking up a string of prestigious award nominations (crossing fingers for eventual wins, of course), and this is a great extra bit of exposure for one of our major young  talents. The Guardian has included her in a list of such luminaries as Lauren Beukes, China Mieville and Joe Abercrombie.

Congratulations, Aliette!

deBodard-Obsidian&Blood-BlogAliette’s latest big release in the UK is the omnibus edition of her Obsidian and Blood trilogy (published by Angry Robot)…

SERVANT OF THE UNDERWORLD — Year One-Knife, Tenochtitlan the capital of the Aztecs. The end of the world is kept at bay only by the magic of human sacrifice. A priestess disappears from an empty room drenched in blood. Acatl, high priest, must find her, or break the boundaries between the worlds of the living and the dead.

HARBINGER OF THE STORM — The year is Two House and the Mexica Empire teeters on the brink of destruction, lying vulnerable to the flesh-eating star-demons and to the return of their creator, a malevolent goddess only held in check by the Protector God s power. The council is convening to choose a new emperor, but when a councilman is found dead, only Acatl, High Priest of the Dead, can solve the mystery.

MASTER OF THE HOUSE OF DARTS — The year is Three Rabbit, and the storm is coming… The coronation war for the new Emperor has just ended in a failure, the armies retreating with a mere forty prisoners of war not near enough sacrifices to ensure the favor of the gods. When one of those prisoners of war dies of a magical illness, Acatl, High Priest for the Dead, is summoned to investigate.