John Berlyne Interviewed on Coode Street Podcast!

Zeno Managing Director and Agent John Berlyne has been interviewed for Jonathan Strahan’s Coode Street Podcast! Part of the “10 Minutes With” series of episodes, it is intended to bring together ‘readers and booklovers from around the world talk about what they’re reading right now and what’s getting them through these difficult times.’

The episode covers a lot of ground (it is actually over 30 minutes), many books, and the state of publishing today.

We hope you enjoy the interview!

If you’d like more Zeno-related podcast goodness, both Ian McDonald and Lavie Tidhar have also also been guests for the 10 Minutes With series…

Ian is the author of, most recently, the critically-acclaimed Luna series, published by Tor Books (North America), Gollancz (UK) and (prequel novella).

Lavie is the author of, most recently BY FORCE ALONE — out now in the UK, published by Head of Zeus; and due to be published in North America by Tor Books in August. He is also the author of the critically-acclaimed, award-winning CENTRAL STATION, UNHOLY LAND and THE VIOLENT CENTURY, which are published in North America and in the UK by Tachyon Publications.

Video: THE LIFE AND WORKS OF WILLIAM ASHBLESS, featuring James P. Blaylock, Tim Powers, and John Berlyne!

On February 11th, 2020, the Orange Country School of the Arts held their 20/20/20 Legends of Steampunk Festival. It celebrated the 20 year anniversary of their Creative Writing Conservatory of which Tim Powers and James P. Blaylock were the founding directors. In a panel moderated by Zeno’s John Berlyne, the two authors examined the mysterious origins of William Ashbless, perhaps the most enigmatic and eccentric of all the romantic poets…

James P. Blaylock is the critically-acclaimed author of the Langdon St. Ives series, among many others. The novels are currently available in the UK and North America, published by Titan Books. The novellas in the series are published by Subterranean Press and JABberwocky.

Tim Powers is the critically-acclaimed author of a number of stand-alone novels, a handful of which were published in the UK by Corvus.

This Friday: John Berlyne at Manchester Metropolitan University’s NCWI Day

Just a quick post to draw your attention to an event this week: John Berlyne will be at Manchester Metropolitan University’s National Creative Writing Industry Day this Friday!

Tickets for the event have sold out, but we wanted to let anyone who’s going know that John will be there for pitch sessions. In addition, and perhaps of interest to all attendees and many who can’t make it is the “How to Get an Agent” page of the event’s website. On there, you can find 17 interviews with publishing professionals. Here’s John’s interview…

RED SNOW Trailer and Interview with Ian R. MacLeod!

Above you can watch the trailer for Ian R. MacLeod‘s latest novel, RED SNOW. Published by PS Publishing, here’s the synopsis…

In the aftermath of the last great battle of the American Civil War, a disillusioned Union medic stumbles across a strange figure picking amid the corpses, and his life is changed forever…

In the cathedral city of Strasbourg in the years before the French Revolution, a church restorer is commissioned to paint a series of portraits that chart the changing appearance of a beautiful woman over the course of her life, although the woman herself seems ageless…

In Prohibition-era New York, an idealistic young Marxist is catapulted into the realms of elite society, and forced to assume the identity of someone who never existed…

Red Snow is a novel of love and violence, ideas and dreams, and revolves around the mystery of a monster drawn from humanity’s darkest myths which still somehow survives, and thrives, and kills, in this modern age.

As a bonus, PS Publishing have shared this two-part interview with MacLeod, also about RED SNOW

Ben Aaronovitch interview and upcoming event

Ben Aaronovitch was recently interviewed for The Bestseller Experiment podcast…

Also, on July 1st, Ben is scheduled to lead a workshop on the key elements of writing fantasy fiction, as part of a Writers & Artists event in London!

Ben is the critically-acclaimed, best-selling author of the Peter Grant urban fantasy series. The series so far includes six novels, published in the UK by Gollancz, in the US by Del Rey and DAW Books, and widely in translation…

… an upcoming novella, due to be published by Gollancz and Subterranean Press

… and three comic series published by Titan Comics

Some Clips from Brandon Sanderson’s SHADOWS OF SELF Book Tour

Sanderson-M5-ShadowOfSelfUK-BlogBrandon Sanderson‘s fifth Mistborn novel, SHADOWS OF SELF, was released two weeks ago in the UK. Published by Gollancz, here’s the synopsis for the novel…

It is more than 300 years after the events of the The Final Empire shaped Scadrial. Waxillium Ladrian has returned to the capital city of Elendel from the far flung roughs. Elendel is crisscrossed by canals and railways and towers reach for the sky but this is still a city of dangers and of magic; Allomancy and Feruchemy can still change the world. Wax faces many more adventures.

The next novel in the Mistborn series, THE BANDS OF MOURNING, is due to be published in the UK by Gollancz, on January 28th, 2016.

Sanderson took part in some GollanczFest events and also some solo book tour signings and readings. Some of this tour was captured on video, and below you’ll find three clips. First, Brandon reads from the novel…

Next, Brandon twirls his Gemmell Award trophy axe (and announces the tour that has now finished)…

And, finally, an interview with Brandon…

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

Edward Cox’s THE RELIC GUILD Launch a Huge Success!


THE RELIC GUILD Editor Marcus Gipps (left) and Edward Cox

On September 18th, Gollancz published Edward Cox‘s superb debut fantasy novel, THE RELIC GUILD. To mark the occasion, the publisher and Goldsboro Books hosted Edward for a great book launch event.

CoxE-RelicGuildLaunch3-CropIn addition, Gollancz organised an extensive blog tour to mark the publication of the novel…

CoxE-RelicGuildBlogTourBanner15th September

Interview on Geek Planet Online

Guest Post: ‘Lies of the Father’ on Falcata Times‘how he smashed the ice when moving from a busy city to the country and how a lie can sometimes make a huge difference’

16th September

Interview on Book Plank

Guest Post: ‘A Deal’s Not a Deal Until the Deal is Done’ on Sci-Fi London‘I’ve been asked a few times about how I got signed by a major publisher. My answer always makes me sound flippant: I got an agent, and he got me a book deal. It’s a little more complicated than that, but it’s the truth. What’s also true is that it took me longer to convince my agent to represent my book than it took my agent to get the book signed by Gollancz.’

17th September

THE RELIC GUILD Audio Clip on The Cult Den

Guest Post: ‘The Feeling’ on Reader Dad‘The great question: why do I write? I’ve been asked this a number of times, and my answers have been varied. I’ve taken the pretentious route, proclaiming that no one chooses to be a writer, writing chooses you. I’ve tried to brush it off by saying that writing is the only thing I know how to do. The truth is, I definitely do know why I write, but it is difficult for me explain simply. It comes from an experience, a visceral reaction that I now call the Feeling.’

18th September

Guest Post: ‘Writing and Teaching’ on Wondrous Reads‘During the 2012-2013 academic year, I lectured in creating writing at the University of Bedfordshire. It was my privilege to spend many hours in the company of keen-minded individuals, each of whom was eager to get better at what they did. Their passion fuelled my passion. They inspired me as I tried to inspire them… I’m very proud of the work I did there. However, I’ve known a lot of people who don’t trust writing courses of any kind, and their misgivings are not without some justification.’

Interview with Alastair Stuart

19th September

Guest Post: ‘Known Things’ on Fantasy Book Critic‘A certain kind of vindication, a validation, comes with signing a book deal. Someone like Gollancz doesn’t buy your novel unless they believe it is good enough to publish. Knowing this will patch up the shaky confidence of any writer, at least for a time. However, writing a novel good enough for Gollancz is only the beginning, because when you’ve signed up for a trilogy, you sort of have to do it again…’

THE RELIC GUILD Audio Clip on Geek Native

20th September

Interview on Fantasy Book Review (and review)

Guest Post: ‘Writes & Wrongs’ on Civilian Reader – ‘I might have taken the longest route possible to getting an agent. I’m something of a blunderer by nature, and learning the hard way is the theme of my life. So much so that I sometimes wonder how I managed to get an agent at all…’

And, finally – THE RELIC GUILD, out now in Hardcover and Audiobook, is also available in eBook at just £1.99 until 25th September.

Ian McDonald Interviewed at DeepCon15 (Video)

Back in March, Ian McDonald was interviewed by Francesco Verso during the DeepCon15 in Fiuggi, Italy. Ian spoke about the craft of writing science fiction, his most important novels – including BRAZYL, RIVER OF GODS and THE DERVISH HOUSE – and it touches on a wide variety of issues such as quantum computing, artificial intelligence and nanotechnology. Ian also offers some hints and information about a certain new book, set on the Moon… Here’s the clip, which was only just made available online:

Ian McDonald’s latest novels, the YA Sci-Fi series EvernessPLANESRUNNER, BE MY ENEMY, and EMPRESS OF THE SUN – are published in the UK by Jo Fletcher Books, and in the US by Pyr Books. His critically-acclaimed and award-winning novels, mentioned near the start of this post (among others), are published in the UK by Gollancz. A number of his backlist titles were recently released as audiobooks by Audible.

Ian Tregillis Hang Out (Video)

Earlier this year, Ian Tregillis, author of the critically acclaimed alternative history Milkweed Triptych and the noir supernatural thriller SOMETHING MORE THAN NIGHT, was a guest for a Sword & Laser hang out. During the interview, he discussed his trilogy and stand alone novel, dropped hints about his upcoming novel, and expanded the backstory of one of his greatest creations, Gretel. The video of the interview is now available online (YouTube), but we thought we’d share it here, too…

Tregillis’s Milkweed Triptych is one of the best-reviewed series we’ve seen in a long time. The three novels – BITTER SEEDS, THE COLDEST WAR, and NECESSARY EVIL – are published in the UK by Orbit Books, and Tor Books in the US. The equally acclaimed SOMETHING MORE THAN NIGHT is published in the US by Tor Books. Head on over to his author page for some of the best review clips for his novels. The first book in Ian’s latest project, The Alchemy Wars series – CLAKKERS, is due to be published by Orbit Books in November 2014.

Zeno represents Ian Tregillis in the UK and Commonwealth, on behalf of Kay McCauley at Aurous Inc.

Simon Unsworth Interviewed by This Is Horror…


In the latest This Is Horror podcast, Dan Howarth interviews Zeno client Simon Unsworth, the author of QUIET HOUSES and the forthcoming horror novel THE SORROWFUL (which we announced on the site last year). During the interview, Simon talks about his writing, the editorial process; working with literary agents, small and large presses; film adaptations and more. You can listen to the interview on This Is Horror, or download it from iTunes, or just press play, below…

Charlie Human on Letting Go of APOCALYPSE NOW NOW

Last week, Charlie Human was interviewed by Channel 24 in South Africa about his novel APOCALYPSE NOW NOW. During the interview, Charlie spoke about writing the novel, the possibility of a screen adaptation…

And also the amusing mix-up that occurred after Charlie Hunnam was selected to star in the film adaptation of 50 Shades of Grey

APOCALYPSE NOW NOW is published by Century in the UK and Umuzi/Struik in South Africa.


New Interview with Samit Basu

We just wanted to take this opportunity to share with you a link to Samit Basu‘s latest interview, with The Hindu. Samit discusses not only his most recent graphic novel, but also the critically-acclaimed TURBULENCE and hints at his future plans.


Here’s the synopsis for TURBULENCE, published by Titan Books, in case you haven’t caught it yet…

Aman Sen is smart, young, ambitious and going nowhere. He thinks this is because he doesn’t have the right connections—but then he gets off a plane from London to Delhi and discovers that he has turned into a communications demigod. Indeed, everyone on Aman’s flight now has extraordinary abilities corresponding to their innermost desires. 

Vir, an Indian Air Force pilot, can now fly. Uzma, a British- Pakistani aspiring Bollywood actress, now possesses infinite charisma. And then there’s Jai, an indestructible one-man army with a good old-fashioned goal — to rule the world! 

Aman wants to ensure that their new powers aren’t wasted on costumed crime-fighting, celebrity endorsements, or reality television. He wants to heal the planet but with each step he takes, he finds helping some means harming others. Will it all end, as 80 years of superhero fiction suggest, in a meaningless, explosive slugfest? 

Turbulence features the 21st-century Indian subcontinent in all its insane glory—F-16s, Bollywood, radical religious parties, nuclear plants, cricket, terrorists, luxury resorts, crazy TV shows — but it is essentially about two very human questions. How would you feel if you actually got what you wanted? And what would you do if you could really change the world?

RESISTANCE is due to be published by Titan Books in July 2014.

An Interview with Ian Tregillis…

Ian Tregillis, author of the critically-acclaimed Milkweed trilogy (Orbit), has been interviewed for the Agony Column Podcast. In the interview, Ian discusses how he went about writing and planning the series, the research he conducted, and the fascinating real-world inspirations that went into the series.

Here’s some of what Rich Kleffel wrote in his introduction to the podcast:

‘With Bitter Seeds, The Coldest War and now Necessary Evil, Ian Tregillis managed to set a new standard for speculative fiction. When I sat down to talk with him, I felt a bit in danger of coming unstuck in time. But Tregillis is the most grounded, down-to-earth physicist I have ever met… The real problem with discussing The Milkweed Triptych is that having read it, one wants to keep it as much a mystery as possible for other readers, so that they can enjoy the machinations of the both the author and the characters. The power of these books is that the reader feels that the characters are enough their own men and women to have their own plans, independent of the whims of readers or author… I suppose it comes as no surprise that Ian Tregillis is smart and well spoken. There an air of informality in our conversation that I really liked. I’m already looking forward to his next novel and set of novels — yes, he works that far in advance — a well as our next conversation.’


All three novels in the Milkweed TriptychBITTER SEEDS, THE COLDEST WAR, and NECESSARY EVIL – are out now in the UK, published by Orbit Books.

Here’s just a small snapshot of the praise the Milkweed novels have received…

BITTER SEEDS grabbed me from the first pages… one of those novels I could not put down until I finished it and reread it immediately to get the subtler nuances I missed on my first read… Based on writing quality and main characters, BITTER SEEDS (A++) is hands down the best debut of 2010 so far. It is also the one novel of 2010 I would recommend to anyone who believes that speculative fiction cannot compete with “literary” novels, while having a strong core-genre content.’  —  Fantasy Book Critic

‘The engrossing second book in Tregillis’s Milkweed Triptych… Tregillis ably mixes cold war paranoia with his mythology, also nicely expanding characters (particularly Gretel)… The monstrous, extra-dimensional Eidolons add a genuinely convincing menace that transcends the more banal evil motivations of the political game players, although Gretel’s more complicated motivations really drive the action. A few nice twists keep things interesting, and the cliffhanger ending sets up the concluding volume quite well…’  —  Publishers Weekly

‘Independently intelligible sequel to the dark fantasy BITTER SEEDS, something like a cross between the devious, character-driven spy fiction of early John le Carré and the mad science fantasy of the X-Men… Despite the jaw-dropping backdrop and oblique plotting, the narrative is driven by character and personal circumstance, the only possible drawback being certain important developments that annoyingly take place offstage. Grim indeed, yet eloquent and utterly compelling.’  —  Kirkus (Starred Review, “Best of 2012”)

‘With NECESSARY EVIL… Ian Tregillis triumphantly concludes his astonishing, brilliant, pulse-pounding debut trilogy, The Milkweed Triptych… This is a book that veers precipitously from unexpected and chilling ruminations on the inherent evil of precognition; to the questions of loyalty and betrayal so thorny that they need a time-travel loop to really be explored; to spy-thriller action sequences that will keep you up under the covers with a flashlight, turning pages and unable to sleep. This is a remarkable set of books, and with all three in hand, would make a fabulous spring read.’  —  BoingBoing

Ian Tregillis is represented by Zeno in the UK and Commonwealth, on behalf of Kay McCauley of Aureous Inc., in New York.

Aliette De Bodard Featured in Aug 2013 LOCUS…

locus aug13The new edition of LOCUS (*the* definitve journal of the science fiction community) was published yesterday and features a fantastic and insightful interview with our client Aliette De Bodard in which she discusses her work, her influences and the particular story of how she became a Zeno client!

I went to World Fantasy in 2008, and it was great – I met lots of people, I networked. One of the people I met at the bar was John Berlyne, who introduced himself to me and gave me his card. The next day I was flying from Calgary to London and then back to France, except the Calgary flight never took off. So I got stuck in this dingy little hotel in the outskirts of Calgary,and ended up chatting again with John, who was with this other chap I didn’t know, Marc Gascoigne. We talked a bit and John said he was starting his own agency, and so I asked Marc, ‘What is it that you do?’ and he said, ‘I’m an editor and I’m putting together my own imprint.’ That turned out to be Angry Robot. We chatted some more, and Marc said, ‘We’re bored. Why don’t you pitch your novel to us?’

‘‘I thought, ‘Okay, do not panic, do not panic!’ I managed to get through the pitch. Marc said, ‘That sounds good, send me the first few chapters,’ and John said, ‘I also want to see those chapters.’ I knew I needed to completely rewrite my first chapters, so I did that on the return trip. I almost missed my connecting flight to Paris because I was too busy rewriting! I sent the chapters off maybe two days after arriving back home.

‘‘About a month and a half later, after they had both asked for the full manuscript, I had a conversation with John and he said, ‘I might be interested in representing this.’ Two or three days later, while I was still mulling that over, it I got an e-mail from Marc saying, ‘We would like to make you an offer, do you have an agent?’ I thought, ‘No, but that can be arranged!

A great argument for writers going to conventions! The full interview can be read in the new edition of LOCUS – click the link for details on how to get hold of a copy.


A Great Interview with Samit Basu…

SamitBasu-AuthorPicColour-BlogHot on the heels of the US release of TURBULENCE, Zeno client Samit Basu has been interviewed by the great genre website, SF Signal. TURBULENCE, the first in Samit’s super-hero series, was published by Titan Books in the US earlier this month (and almost a year ago in the UK, also by Titan). We thought we’d share some snippets from the interview, in which Samit touches upon his inspirations and also the highly-anticipated sequel, RESISTANCE.

First up, the author had this to say about TURBULENCE:

‘[It] is a superhero novel, set mostly in India and the UK. Fresh take on the genre, from a non-Western perspective. Passengers on a flight from London to Delhi find they’ve mysteriously gained physical abilities related to their deepest desires. What would you do if you actually got what you wanted? And how would you feel if you suddenly had the power to change the world? … A book about a group of people who suddenly found anything they did had tremendous consequences, whose every action would have a huge impact on the world around them.

Samit also explained how his approach to super-heroes and manifested super-powers was different to other mythologies – and that his approach could be argued to be more contemporarily relevant:

‘It was interesting because it led to a lot of thought on what people really wanted today, assuming the biggest stories and trends in the media were an indication. This isn’t really an age of big ideas – if the Turbulence event had happened in the late ’60s or early ’70s in America, for instance, you’d have a lot of spacemen and aliens. But for it to happen now, to a group of people on a British Airways flight – you had to have a lot of them developing powers that related to the things most important in their life, such as a perfectly toned butt, or a reality show, or a billion Twitter followers. Of course the old classic things people have always wanted – power, love, sex, money, in one form or another – showed up a lot. And the people who got really interesting, more original powers were people whose minds were not really aligned with mainstream thought at all, like Anima the anime warrior-princess and Sundar, who invents things in his sleep.’

Basu-T1-Turbulence-BlogWhen asked what power he would like, Samit cryptically replied, ‘People in the book don’t get the powers they’d like, they get the power they really want – and who knows what I really want.’

Great news for fans of the first novel, Samit also offered some more information on RESISTANCE, the sequel due to be published in November 2013:

‘It’s set in 2020, in a world dominated by superheroes, and is set all over the world, with a lot of scenes happening in imaginary future versions of New York and Tokyo. A lot of it is about the human response to the new world order. Most of the main characters who survive Turbulence are in it, but a few of the major characters are new, and human. Let’s say if TURBULENCE is the Superman book, RESISTANCE is the Batman book.’

With the book now out on both sides of the Atlantic, Samit is excited (so are we, actually) to see how it is received: ‘I’m thrilled that the book is out in the US, which is really Superhero Central, and I’m really curious to see how it does. In India it was mostly an eccentric novel set largely in India, where very few people are actually interested in SF or fantasy or superheroes, but when it went to the UK there was this sudden sense of finding readers and fellow writers with a greater understanding of what the book was trying to do and where it came from, apart from the details of where it was set. I’m really hoping that experience translates to America as well.’