A Smorgasbord of Award Nominations!

It’s February, so many award shortlists have recently been unveiled, and we’re very happy to share the news that a number of our clients have been nominated! So, in order of announcement…

Already nominated for the Philip K. Dick Award, Ian McDonald‘s TIME WAS is also on the shortlist for the BSFA Award for Best Shorter Fiction! Published by Tor.com, here’s the synopsis for the critically-acclaimed novella…

A love story stitched across time and war, shaped by the power of books, and ultimately destroyed by it.

In the heart of World War II, Tom and Ben became lovers. Brought together by a secret project designed to hide British targets from German radar, the two founded a love that could not be revealed. When the project went wrong, Tom and Ben vanished into nothingness, presumed dead. Their bodies were never found.

Now the two are lost in time, hunting each other across decades, leaving clues in books of poetry and trying to make their desperate timelines overlap.

The stunning covers of two books by Zeno clients are also on the BSFA shortlist for Best Artwork…

Aliette de Bodard‘s essay ‘On motherhood and erasure: people-shaped holes, hollow characters and the illusion of impossible adventures’ has also been nominated for a BSFA Award, for Best Non-Fiction. You can read that piece here.

The BSFA Awards will be presented on Saturday 20th April at Ytterbium, the 70th Eastercon, which will be held at the Park Inn Heathrow, London, from 19-22 April 2019.

That’s not all for Aliette, however: her critically-acclaimed novella THE TEA MASTER AND THE DETECTIVE has been nominated for the Nebula Award for Best Novella! Published in North America by Subterranean Press, and elsewhere in English via JABberwocky, the novella has been racking up an impressive number of glowing reviews. Here’s the synopsis…

Welcome to the Scattered Pearls Belt, a collection of ring habitats and orbitals ruled by exiled human scholars and powerful families, and held together by living mindships who carry people and freight between the stars. In this fluid society, human and mindship avatars mingle in corridors and in function rooms, and physical and virtual realities overlap, the appearance of environments easily modified and adapted to interlocutors or current mood.

A transport ship discharged from military service after a traumatic injury, The Shadow’s Child now ekes out a precarious living as a brewer of mind-altering drugs for the comfort of space-travellers. Meanwhile, abrasive and eccentric scholar Long Chau wants to find a corpse for a scientific study. When Long Chau walks into her office, The Shadow’s Child expects an unpleasant but easy assignment. When the corpse turns out to have been murdered, Long Chau feels compelled to investigate, dragging The  Shadow’s Child with her.

As they dig deep into the victim’s past, The Shadow’s Child realises that the investigation points to Long Chau’s own murky past — and, ultimately, to the dark and unbearable void that lies between the stars…

The Nebula Award winners will be announced at SFWA’s 54th annual Nebula Conference in Los Angeles, CA, taking place May 16th-19th at the Marriott Warner Center in Woodland Hills, CA.

Cover Reveal: KILL BAXTER by Charlie Human, South African Edition


We unveiled Joey Hi-Fi’s superb cover for the UK edition of Charlie Human‘s second novel, KILL BAXTER, a little while ago. Today, we share with you the equally stunning cover that will grace the South African edition of the novel, which is due to be published by Random Struik/Umuzi. This cover is also done by the insanely talented Joey Hi-Fi.

KILL BAXTER is due to be published in the UK by Century, later this week. It is the sequel to the critically-acclaimed APOCALYPSE NOW NOW.

Here are the two covers for the novel side-by-side…


Cover Reveal: KILL BAXTER by Charlie Human


We are very happy indeed to be able to share with you the superb cover for Charlie Human‘s second novel, KILL BAXTER. We think you can agree, Joey Hi-Fi has once again knocked it right out of the park! KILL BAXTER is the sequel to APOCALYPSE NOW NOW, Charlie’s critically-acclaimed debut. Here’s the synopsis for the new novel…

And he thought the hard part was over…

The world been massively unappreciative of sixteen-year-old Baxter Zevcenko. His bloodline may be a combination of ancient Boer mystic and giant shape-shifting crow, and he may have won an inter-dimensional battle and saved the world, but does anyone care? No.

Instead he’s packed off to Hexpoort, a magical training school that’s part reformatory, part military school, and just like Hogwarts (except with sex, drugs, and better internet access). Th problem is that Baxter sucks at magic. He’s also desperately attempting to control his new ability to dreamwalk, all the while being singled out by the school’s resident bully, who just so happens to be the Chosen One.

But when the school comes under attack, Baxter needs to forget all that and step into action. The only way is joining forces with his favourite recovering alcoholic of a supernatural bounty hunter, Ronin, to try and save the world from the apocalypse. Again.

Here’s just a small selection of that aforementioned critical praise for APOCALYPSE NOW NOW

‘It’s mad, dark, irreverent and wonderfully twisted in all the right ways.’ — Lauren Beukes, author of The Shining Girls

‘With a wild imagination and savage glee, Charlie Human throws us into a school yard battle zone that’s part teenage wasteland, part Lovecraft fever dream. Rock and Roll High School meets the apocalypse.’ — Richard Kadrey, author of Sandman Slim

‘… a bowl of fireworks… It has porn-peddling adolescents, ginger bearded monk ninjas, killer crows and zombie-filled sex dungeons ruled over by parasitic mega-spiders. What’s not to love!?!’ — J For Jetpack

‘… a riot – a firebomb of a novel, exploding with sick humour, violence and depravity… it’s never less than very funny, and the ongoing question of Baxter’s sanity adds a degree of mystery. There’s warmth here, too – you’ll likely feel sympathy for Bax by the end.’ — SFX Magazine

‘Think Lauren Beukes meets Neil Gaiman, with bounty hunters.’ — Wired (UK)

KILL BAXTER is due to be published by Century in the UK in July 2014. As for APOCALYPSE NOW NOW, Joey Hi-Fi is working on a separate cover for Charlie’s home South African edition, and we’ll be sure to share that will you as soon as we can.

An Award Nod for APOCALYPSE NOW NOW Artist!


We are very pleased to share the news that Joey Hi-Fi‘s wonderful art that graces the cover of Charlie Human‘s APOCALYPSE NOW NOW has been chosen as a finalist in The Kitschies‘ Inky Tentacle (Cover Art) category! Selected from over 230 covers, it’s great to hear that Joey’s work has made the final short list!

As for Charlie’s novel, it continues to receive rave reviews from far and wide! As a result, anticipation for the sequel, KILL BAXTER, just keeps on growing. APOCALYPSE NOW NOW was published by Century in the UK, and Umuzi/Random Struik in South Africa. Here’s a reminder of the novel’s synopsis…

Baxter Zevcenko is your average sixteen-year-old-boy — if by average you mean kingpin of a schoolyard porn syndicate and possible serial killer who suffers from surreal  nightmares. Which may very well be what counts as average these days. Baxter is the first to admit that he’s not a nice guy. After all, if the guy below you falls, dragging you down into an icy abyss you have to cut him loose — even in high school.

That is until his girlfriend, Esmé, is kidnapped and Baxter is forced to confront a disturbing fact about himself — that he has a heart, and the damn thing is forcing him to abandon high-school politics and set out on a quest to find her. The clues point to supernatural forces at work and Baxter is must admit that he can’t do it alone. Enter Jackie Ronin, supernatural bounty hunter, Border War veteran, and all-round lunatic, who takes him on a chaotic tour of Cape Town’s sweaty, occult underbelly.

What do glowing men, transsexual African valkyries, and zombie-creating arachnids have to do with Esmé’s disappearance? That’s what Baxter really, really needs to find out.

And some of the aforementioned critical praise…

‘… a riot – a firebomb of a novel, exploding with sick humour, violence and depravity… it’s never less than very funny, and the ongoing question of Baxter’s sanity adds a degree of mystery. There’s warmth here, too – you’ll likely feel sympathy for Bax by the end.’  —  SFX Magazine

‘Think Lauren Beukes meets Neil Gaiman, with bounty hunters.’  —  Wired (UK)

‘… wonderfully detailed scenarios, it’s fantastic… APOCALYPSE NOW NOW is often hilarious and tremendous fun… its target audience will have a blast.’  —  SciFi Now

‘Human effortlessly mixes Baxter’s psychiatrist’s comments on him with lurid scenes of Cape Town’s supernatural clubland. It’s quick, amusing and widely referenced, and the reader gets no help on which reality to take seriously.’  —  Mail & Guardian

‘… a bowl of fireworks… It has porn-peddling adolescents, ginger bearded monk ninjas, killer crows and zombie-filled sex dungeons ruled over by parasitic mega-spiders. What’s not to love!?!’  —  J For Jetpack

‘… breakneck pace and mad imagination… APOCALYPSE NOW NOW [is] such an addictive experience. As one of an associate of Ronin’s remarks: “There’s no pause button, you understand? … Once it starts you have to see it through.” All too true!’  —  Tor.com