Tidhar on the 2nd Word SF Fund…

Zeno client Lavie Tidhar has long been actively involved with promotion for the World SF Travel Fund, a program set up to help industry folks from far-flung places to attend major genre events – WorldCon, World Fantasy Convention, etc.

This year the fund will be helping authors Csilla Kleinheincz from Hungary and Rochita Loenen-Ruiz from the Philippines to attend the World Fantasy Convention in Brighton in the UK.

Lavie has given an interview to SF Signal, conducted by the first recipient of the prize, Charles Tan. In the interview, Tidhar explains the mission and history of the World SF Travel Fund, as well as how and why he’s involved:

helping to foster a global conversation on SF/F is important for both sides, and we’re trying, in our small way, to help foster that. For many people, travel to the US or those big conventions is vastly expensive, and I think there is a danger of SF becoming insular if it does not open itself up to new voices, outsider voices.’

Lavie Tidhar is the author of the award-winning OSAMA (PS Publishing) and fan-favourite THE BOOKMAN HISTORIES (Angry Robot).  His web site is at lavietidhar.wordpress.com and he is known to tweet occasionally from @lavietidhar.

Reviews Round-Up #2… Myke Cole

Continuing our series of Review Round-Ups, fan-favourite Myke Cole’s second novel, FORTRESS FRONTIER, has been receiving a huge amount of positive attention. We’re delighted to represent Myke in the UK and British Commonwealth on behalf of our collegues at the JABberwocky Literary Agency in New York.

coleFFFORTRESS FRONTIER is out now in the UK, published by Headline, and in support of publication, Myke has been a most visible presence online – read, for example, this excellent interview on Mad Hatter’s Book Review. The word on the street is that while the first novel in this exciting action series, CONTROL POINT, was viewed as a very solid debut, FORTRESS FRONTIER further impresses in almost every way (see this review at Civilian Reader, for example), with particular attention paid to the greater world-building (see Bookworm Blues), which reviewers say promises to ‘remain fresh for a long time… and keep readers entertained for a long time to come‘ (via Fantasy Book Critic). Here are some of the other highlights.

New review site, 52 Reviews, praised Cole’s ability to avoid the ‘sophomore slump‘, and suggested that he has, instead, written a sequel that ‘not only builds on the momentum and success of its predecessor but surpasses it in almost every way.’

SF Signal, in a recent review, announced that ‘this series isn’t one to be missed.’ And referring to the recent news of a new US deal for Cole, the reviewer continued ‘With four additional books on the way, there’s quite a bit set up for future stories, both on Earth and on The Source. Personally, if they’re all going to be the quality of Fortress Frontier, I’m already impatient for the next one.

Fantasy Faction clearly hated FORTRESS FRONTIER – their reviewer only gave the book a measley ten out of ten! The reviewer said of the author, ‘While telling compelling stories, he also sets the table for bigger and better things to come. I’d be amazed to hear Hollywood hasn’t come knocking… I can’t wait to find out what happens next.’

BookThing, in another maximum score review, described the novel as ‘interesting and surprising‘, and that while CONTROL POINT was “great”, FORTRESS FRONTIERis just superb. The third book can’t come along soon enough… Highly, highly recommended.’coleCP

Bookworm Blues was impressed Cole’s prose, writing ‘One of the most impressive features of Fortress Frontier is how obviously Cole has grown as an author. This is only his second book, but already he has advanced with his writing as much as many very seasoned SF authors out there. Cole shows an incredible ability to time his plot perfectly. He reveals things slowly, and does a wonderful job at keeping readers hanging on until the very end. Furthermore, his prose are beautifully polished, and his characters have a more realistic, three dimensional feel.’

Genre community blog Ranting Dragon, which also hostied a giveaway to win a pair of the SHADOW OPS novels, said that ‘FORTRESS FRONTIER does everything right that geek culture ever did wrong.’ They sum up the novel  by saying ‘Fortress Frontier is a force of nature. It is a breath-taking rollercoaster ride. It is an artistic tour de force. Cole’s no-nonsense prose pulls you in and takes you for a ride through high-paced action and astonishing conflicts both military and political.’

Staffer’s Book Review shares the popular opinion that ‘For fans of military fiction and fantasy, the SHADOW OPS series is the best thing going. Not reading it would be a crime against good fiction.’

Myke was also hosted by A Dribble of Ink for whom he wrote a fascinating article entitled ‘The Peril of the Contemporary’, in which the he offered up his thoughts on Urban Fantasy, and what the genre is really about.

And, finally, in a Zeno Client two-for-one, both Myke Cole and Peter V. Brett were interviewed in a two part podcast on SpeculateSF. Do not miss it!

Michael Cobley’s Brand New Web Site…

Mike has a new web site, and a fine looking thing it is too!

Head straight over there now, why don’t you? Below is an example of the kind of content that will be posted there, along with Mike’s  varied and insightful thoughts on whatever takes his fancy, and – most importantly – news about his novels, short stories and public appearances. Enjoy!

Lavie Tidhar News

  • 316_largeLavie’s been in touch to let us know that he’s revamped and updated his web sote – it’s now a rather smart WordPress affair, not dissimilar to this one!

  • Lavie is nominated for one of Ann and Jeff Vandermeer’s Last Drink Bird Head Awards! He is up for the International Activism prize, given ‘In recognition of those who work to bring writers from other literary traditions and countries to the attention of readers in North America, the United Kingdom, and Australia…’ The winners will be announced at the World Fantasy Convention in San José and the lucky recipient will receive a bird head figurine, a certificate, and chocolate. Fingers crossed (Lavie LOVES chocolate!)
  • And finally, we’re delighted to announce the sale of Lavie’s novella MARTIAN SANDS, to Jason Sizemore at Apex Publications, a long time supporter and advocate of Lavie’s work. The novella will appear some time next year or in early 2011.

Lavie Tidhar… “Heaven is a Supermarket”

And following on from the entry below, our other Angry Roboteer Lavie Tidhar has also been interviewed by Charles Tan over at his Bibliophile Stalker Blog. In this article, Lavie discusses his soon to be published project with Apex Books, anthology The Apex Book of World SF and his recently published  novella (written with Nir Yaniv) The Tel Aviv Dossier. He also offers up some insight into his humdrum life out there in Laos!

What’s a day in the life of Lavie Tidhar like?

I’m practising the old Indian Bead Trick at the moment – you might know it better as the Needle Swallowing Trick that Houdini made popular. It’s when you swallow needles and thread and then bring them back out with the needles all threaded together. Wonderful illusion. I’m too chicken to put needles in my mouth though, so I’ve been using safety pins! Ha! Definitely not as glamorous.

Which is to say, very dull, really. I get excited if I go across the border to Thailand because they actually have supermarkets there! I think heaven is a supermarket, all clean and shiny and bright. And they have a Mister Donut!

I’m easily pleased.

Aliette de Bodard Interviewed…

Charles Tan’s excellent Bibliophile Stalker Blog has just put up a brand new interview with Aliette de Bodard conducted by Marshall Payne. In it Aliette talks about her background and, of course, her writing, and she also  discusses the odd but fortuitous circumstances which brought about her first book deal…

You just signed a three-book deal with Angry Robot. What can you tell us about that?

Well, this was totally a case of serendipity. Last year, I was rather miffed when British Airways cancelled my flight home from World Fantasy, leaving me stuck in a shabby hotel with not much in the way of distraction. By sheer luck, there were also two people in the hotel: John Berlyne, who was setting up a new agency in the UK, and Marc Gascoigne, editor of the new HarperCollins Angry Robot. Together, they cajoled me into pitching the novel I had completed at the time (and which I’d had no intention of pitching at all, making for a rather flustered few seconds while I got my sentences under control).

And, as it turned out, the first became my agent, and negotiated a three-book deal with the second, for the novel in question and two sequels. It all feels very surreal, but there you have it.

The novel is called Servant of the Underworld, and is a fantasy-mystery set in Aztec times, featuring death-priest-cum-investigator Acatl (and ghostly jaguars, bloodthirsty gods and fingernail-eating monsters). It’s a wild, fast-paced ride through a blood-soaked land where the old gods are manifest, and quick to demand their due in all kinds of unpleasant ways. It’s due in print Spring 2010.

Of Elfland and Inspiration

Freda Warrington has just had a fascinating article published at the BSCreview. In the piece she addresses that age-old clichéd question of ‘where do you get your ideas from?’…

elfland-thumb“It’s an irresistible question, because truly comprehending what goes on in someone else’s mind is impossible, intangible, and all the more fascinating for it. Truth is, I don’t always know where my own ideas come from. They seldom arrive fully formed, but tend to develop in a tree-like fashion, usually in need of considered pruning. But what makes us want to write in the first place?”

Freda’s novel Elfland, published by Tor Books is due for release mid-August.

John Meaney Interviewed…

bone-song-thumbblack-blood-thumbGenre web site BSC has a fascinating interview with our man John Meaney, in which he discusses at length his two most recent novels,  Bone Song and Dark Blood conducted by one ‘Professor Crazy’! Under the circumstances, JM talks a lot of sense!He also gives us some hints about his forthcoming works…

No definite plans for another TristopolisWhite Bones. So it’ll happen at some point, I hope. book, though I’ve created an outline for one, called

Well, I thought I’d been ambitious with some of my previous books, but I’m really going for it this time. The book in progress is called Absorption, being book 1 of the Ragnarok trilogy. The trilogy ends a million years after the earliest storyline begins.

All right, for most of the story, the different timelines only span a couple of dozen centuries…

It’s set in the Pilots future history, but totally subsumes the previous four books in that setting, and you can read Absorption with or without knowledge of the other books.

Brandon Sanderson on WARBREAKER…

We delighted to be representing Brandson Sanderson in the UK on behalf of JABberwocky– and their latest newsletter, they offer up the following on Brandon’s new novel WARBREAKER…

warbreakerWARBREAKER by Brandon Sanderson is #24 on the NY Times Hardcover Fiction list for the week ending June 13, 2009.

This is the second straight book from Brandon’s to make the NY Times list following THE HERO OF AGES (Mistborn #3) which was #21 in November.  The performance of WARBREAKER is in some ways more impressive because it’s a single-volume stand-alone fantasy in a series dominated market, while the previous book was the concluding and eagerly-awaited final volume of a trilogy.

WARBREAKER is published by Tor in the US.  It is a Main Selection of the Science Fiction Book Club and is forthcoming in audio from both Recorded (unabridged non-dramatic) and Graphic Audio (abridged dramatic).  It sold in the Czech Republic (Talpress) and Poland (MAG) ahead of publication, and with other books by Brandon selling in some 16 languages we look forward to many more sales for WARBREAKER in upcoming months.

Warbreaker received starred reviews from both Publishers Weekly (‘extraordinary and highly entertaining’) and Library Journal (‘essential reading for fantasy fans’) and was a 4 1/2* Top Pick for Romantic Times (‘compelling, superb, highly entertaining’) and other good reviews have come in from Booklist, The Onion/AV Club, The Deseret News and all the major sf review sites.”

We hope to have some news on Brandon’s UK dealing before too long! Watch this space!! And watch the space  underneath to see Brandon discussing WARBREAKER and hinting about his nest solo project (via SFSignal).

Vandermeer Interviews MacLeod…

Amazon.com’s Omnivoracious blog has just added a feature interview with our newest client (and recipient of this year’s Arthur C. Clarke Award) Ian R. Macleod.

Conducted by Jeff Vandermeer, the interview has Ian discussing his work in general, Song of Time in particular and even mentions his work in progress, entitled Wake Up and Dream

It’s set in an alternate version of Golden Age Hollywood. The main character is a seedy unlicensed matrimonial private eye called Clark Gable. Forget the talkies — this is about the feelies.

More about this in due course!

Lavie Tidhar in Lovecraft Unbound…

lovecraft_unbound_thumbEllen Datlow has posted the table of contents and the fantastic cover art for her upcoming anthology Lovecraft Unbound, over on her livejournal page.

The book is to be published by M Press in October and features a fantastic line up of authors – including Michael Chabon, Joyce Carole Oates and our own rising star Lavie Tidhar. His story is entitled One Day, Soon and was previously mentioned by the author in this interview that appeared on the Apex Book Company web site last October.

Chris Roberson Podcast… and more!

end-of-the-century-us-thumbHere’s a fascinating interview with Chris Roberson that was broadcast recently on the Adventures in SciFi Publishing podcast show. Amongst other things, Chris discusses his novel End of the Century, just published in the US by Pyr – a free excerpt of which you can see here.


And here are  a couple of links to an in-depth, two-part Lou Anders’ article on the Tor.com website all about Chris’s work….

Ian McDonald interviewed on BBC online

Ian McDonald reflects on the digital doppelgangers that our growing use of the net is bringing about…

river-of-gods-thumbI’m in bits. Pieces of me are all over the place.

My history is on Wikipedia, my photos are on Flickr, my petty rants are on Livejournal, my indiscretions are on Facebook, my globetrotting is stored on half a dozen travel sites, my likes and dislikes profiled and my reading recorded on Amazon.

And I’m a part-time mage in World of Warcraft. Well, I’m not. But it might be fun. More fun than Second Life, where I could be some tedious avatar and hang with boring people.’