Tim Powers & James Blaylock at Forbidden Planet Photos

At the end of October and beginning of November, Zeno clients Tim Powers and James P. Blaylock were over in the UK for the first time in a number of years. While in London, Tim and Jim, as well as K.W. Jeter, were hosted by Forbidden Planet for a Masters of Steampunk event on October 26th. With the calm now settled post-WFC, and because we like to share evidence of our authors out in the world, we thought we’d post a couple of pictures from the event…


The Three Masters of Steampunk – K.W. Jeter, Tim Powers, and James P. Blaylock


The Mega-Signing


While in the UK, Tim was also awarded a Children of the Night Award by the Dracula Society, for his novel HIDE ME AMONG THE GRAVES

[Photo Credits: Serena Powers]


Following up on Tim Powers’s Blog Tour…


Just over a month ago, we mentioned Tim Powers‘s October blog tour, which came to an end this past Friday. Because it was so good, we thought we’d offer a round-up of the various tour-stops here.

On the 7th, Tim discussed Magic and Realism over on Fantasy Book Critic, and how ‘To my mind, the problem with Magic Realism is that it’s got plenty of magic but falls short on the realism – if only in that no one in the stories is ever surprised by the plain fact of magic actually happening. Wouldn’t you be?’ Powers discusses ‘the logic of dreams and fairy tales and mythology’, and how he wants the (sur)realism to work in his novels, how he hopes readers will see it.

On the 8th, Tim stopped by Falcata Times to talk about how research can lead to the strangest connections. For example, the idea for HIDE ME AMONG THE GRAVES came about (partly) thus: ‘I was reading a book about Dante Gabriel Rossetti, and I learned that after his wife killed herself he laid the notebook of all his poetry into her coffin, to be buried with her. This was a fine and much-admired romantic gesture – but a couple of years later a publisher told him, “You know, if you had a collection of poetry, we could publish it,” and Rossetti said, in effect, “Uh, gimme a couple of days on that.”‘

Mieneke of A Fantastical Librarian interview Tim about the new novel, his research and writing practices.

On October 10th,  SF Signal hosted a guest post by Tim, in which he talks about ‘How he Got Started Down the Road to Science Fiction and Fantasy’, and how it all started with Timothy Turtle. He also mentions how he got to know James P. Blaylock (also a Zeno client) and K.W. Jeter, and the very important advice the latter gave him: ‘Start when the action of the plot starts.’

On the 11th, Tim stopped by Civilian Reader to talk about Edward John  Trelawny, ‘the Magnificent Liar’ – a legendary biographer, novelist and adventurer best known for his friendship with the Romantic poets, including Lord Byron. His life was stranger than fiction, but he was not above fictionalising some early exploits.

On the 14th, Fantasy Book Review hosted an extract of HIDE ME AMONG THE GRAVES.

Speculative Scotsman hosted Tim on October 18th, for a guest post, ‘Taverns Measureless to Man’, in which the author discusses how steampunk started.

Over the course of the 21st-25th, Pornokitsch hosted a number of great pieces:

Tim Powers – Coming to a blog near you! (October)

Further to the exciting news that Tim Powers will be making his first trip to the UK in a long while, we are also able to share with you news of his upcoming Blog Tour. The tour, organised by Corvus, celebrates the recent paperback release of Tim’s latest novel, HIDE ME AMONG THE GRAVES (September 2013). The author will be writing guest posts and be interviewed for a number of the best genre blogs. The first stop is on October 7th. Here’s the tour poster, with the complete schedule…


Here are the links to the blogs, so you can bookmark them in preparation: Fantasy Book Critic, Falcata Times, A Fantastical Librarian, SF Signal, Civilian Reader, Fantasy Book Review, J for Jetpack, Speculative Scotsman, and Pornokitsch

Upcoming Event: Tim Powers & Lavie Tidhar on SECRET HISTORIES (UK)…

Kitschies-KrakenWill you be in London in late October? Then we strongly recommend you pre-book your tickets to an upcoming event featuring two Zeno clients.

The event in question, The Kitschies Present… Secret Histories, features Zeno clients Tim Powers and Lavie Tidhar, and also Kate Griffin, discussing the sub-genre of Secret Histories. As the organisers state, ‘The past holds many mysteries… Three of the most intriguing voices in fantastic fiction join forces for one night to discuss their work, the boundaries between truth and fiction and our world – just not as we know it…’

The event will be held at Blackwell’s Charing Cross branch, on Monday, October 28, 2013 (6:30-8:00pm). Space is limited, as are the secretive goodie bags that will be handed out, so please book quickly! Your ticket is also good for a £2 discount on selected books bought on the night.

A little bit more about the authors taking part:

  • Tim Powers is the author of THE ANUBIS GATES, DECLARE, HIDE ME AMONG THE GRAVES, and many more.
  • Lavie Tidhar is the World Fantasy Award-winning author of OSAMA, The Bookman Histories, and the upcoming THE VIOLENT CENTURY
  • Kate Griffin is the author of A Madness of Angels, Stray Souls, The Glass God)

Anne C. Perry will act as Moderator and Ringmaster.

Nominations for Tim Powers and Aliette deBodard…

Last week, the 2013 LOCUS Awards Finalists were announced, and we’re delighted to report that Zeno clients have once again featured…

Powers-HideMeAmongTheGraves-BlogFirst up, the great Tim Powers, whose superb HIDE ME AMONG THE GRAVES (Morrow/Corvus) has been nominated in the ‘Best Fantasy Novel’ category. This complex novel – part Vampire story, part Secret History – has received a lot of deserved attention and praise, with the UK Independent describing it as ‘one of his best’ and the author as ‘one of dark fantasy’s major eccentrics’, who has ‘not mellowed or grown more ordinary with age’.

Here’s the synopsis…

London, 1862. A city of over three million souls, of stinking fog and dark, winding streets.

Through these streets walks the poet Christina Rossetti, haunted and tormented by the ghost of her uncle, John Polidori. Without him, she cannot write, but her relationship with him threatens to shake London itself to the ground.

This fascinating, clever novel vividly recreates the stews and slums of Victorian London – a city of dreadful delight. But it is the history of a hidden city, where nursery rhymes lead the adventurer through haunted tunnels and inverted spires. And where the price of poetic inspiration is blood.

At the beginning of last month, we put up a post about the recent Hugo Nominations, commenting that there is ‘just no stopping’  the exceptionally talented Aliette deBodard this year. Well, it seems she wasn’t quite done!!

aliette-headshot3Having already racked up a BSFA nomination, two Nebula Award nominations, and subsequently two Hugo Award nominations for her novella ON A RED STATION, DRIFTING and her short story “Immersion” (Clarkesworld 6/12), she’s only gone and done it again!

Both of these works are on LOCUS awards shortlist – in the Best Novella and Best Short Story categories, respectively. And let’s also not forget that The Guardian last month selected Aliette as one of their Best Young Novelists – from SF’s Universe. Aliette the Unstoppable!

Here is the synopsis for ON A RED STATION, DRIFTING

For generations Prosper Station has thrived under the guidance of its Honoured Ancestress: born of a human womb, the station’s artificial intelligence has offered guidance and protection to its human relatives.

But war has come to the Dai Viet Empire. Prosper’s brightest minds have been called away to defend the Emperor; and a flood of disorientated refugees strain the station’s resources. As deprivations cause the station’s ordinary life to unravel, uncovering old grudges and tearing apart the decimated family, Station Mistress Quyen and the Honoured Ancestress struggle to keep their relatives united and safe. What Quyen does not know is that the Honoured Ancestress herself is faltering, her mind eaten away by a disease that seems to have no cure; and that the future of the station itself might hang in the balance…

Incidentally, there’s a nice connection between the two nominated authors. Back in 2007, Aliette was a Writers of the Future Award winner – one of her tutors there? A certain Tim Powers!

And – stop the presses! – news came in over the weekend that Aliette has been nominated again (twice!!) for the 2013 Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award for her short stories “Immersion” and Scattered Along the River of Heaven (Clarkesworld 1/12)! The Sturgeon Award will be presented June 14, 2013, at the Campbell Conference, held at the Oread Hotel in Lawrence, Kansas, June 14-16, 2014. The award recognises exceptional work in short fiction field, and is awarded alongside the John W. Campbell Memorial Award.

Best of luck to both Tim and Aliette.

New Deal For Tim Powers…

We’re delighted to announce that Ravi Mirchandani, Editor-in-Chief at Atlantic Books has acquired UK / British Commonwealth rights to a new Tim Powers novel, currently entiteld DEPTH OF FIELD. Details are scant on the novel itself, but the word is that it will be a contemporary Californian tale and will, as the title suggest, focus on the movie industry in some way. Likewise, a publication date is yet to be finalised, but it is likely the novel won’t appear before the end of 2015. Definitely something to look forward to then!


corvus powers2

Atlantic’s Corvus imprint has now published five Powers titles, beginning with supernatural spy story and World Fantasy award winner DECLARE. They followed this with  Powers’ famous pirate novel ON STRANGER TIDES, now forever linked with the Disney Juggernaut that is the Pirates of the Carribean franchise, and towards the end of last year, they published author’s most recent novel, HIDE ME A MONG THE GRAVES, a historical fantasy about the Rosettis and also it’s precursor, THE STRESS OF HER REGARD, a take on the Romantic poets and their vampyrric muse. Most recently Corvus released his 2006 novel THREE DAYS TO NEVER, previously unpublished in the UK.

corvus powers3

 Look out for the paperback edition of Powers’s HIDE ME AMONG THE GRAVES later this year. The Independent, which describes Powers as ‘one of dark fantasy’s major eccentrics‘, opines that the author has ‘not mellowed or grown more ordinary with age‘ and goes on to describe HIDE ME AMONG THE GRAVES as ‘one of his best books‘. Furthermore, the review praises Corvus’s decision to publish him. The paper recommends the novel on the basis of its ingenuity and conceptual wit, describing Powers as ‘an intelligent, emotionally complex writer with a taste for elegantly conceived nightmare.’ Meanwhile, SFX described the novel as ‘Dickens as directed by David Lynch… clever…fun… and rewarding.’

BoingBoing big-wig Cory Doctorow was mightily impressed with Powers’s approach to the supernatural – ‘Powers’s treatment of superstition works so well, I think, because he deals with it without apology. There’s never a sense that superstition is just a kind of alternate physics, with its own rules that are different from the ones we’re accustomed to. The supernatural world of Tim Powers has an internal logic, but it’s the logic of dreams and the id, not the logic of the scientific method. Powers’s work engages with something prerational that is buried deep, deep in our brains, and that won’t be bullied into submission by mere reason.‘ And to celebrate the re-issue, the Book Smugglers ran a fascinating and insightful interview with Powers.

LOAWHOIn other related news, over on the Library of America website Tim Powers has written a wonderful appreciation of the late Algis Budrys’s classic novel WHO? Zeno is delighted to handle the Budrys estate and is proud to have made a large number of his works available in ebook via the Gollancz SF Gateway programme. His famous 1960 novel ROGUE MOON is also available in print in the SF Masterworks.  We were delighted to be approached by the Library of America on behalf of editor Gary K. Wolfe, who wished to include WHO? in his AMERICAN SCIENCE FICTION FIVE CLASSIC NOVELS 1956-1956 collected box set – which is a gorgeous production worth of the works contained therein.

Of WHO?, Powers writes ‘…in the context of a science fictional future world, Budrys presents a picture of Cold War politics and espionage that is surprisingly insightful for an American writer of the time – but in many ways Budrys was never precisely an American writer. He was born in East Prussia, and his father – on whom he based the Soviet Colonel Anastas Azarin in WHO? – was a Lithuanian diplomat. It’s an affectionate portrait. Budrys has said, ‘A lot of my life when I was a small child was spent in cars, or trains, talking to strangers, speaking a variety of languages, never settling down anywhere…‘ The full piece is available online here.