Jonathan Carroll’s LAND OF LAUGHS Available in China!


We’re very happy to share the news, in case you missed it, that Jonathan Carroll‘s THE LAND OF LAUGHS is available in a new Chinese edition! Published by 漫遊者文化 事業股份有限公司, as 歡笑國度, it was translated by 章晉唯. Here’s the synopsis…

湯瑪士是一個平凡的英文老師,長期活在電影巨星父親的陰影下。某天湯瑪士決定休個長假寫書,寫自己最愛的童書作家馬修・法蘭斯的傳記。那是他自小以來心靈的寄託與歸宿。但法蘭斯行蹤隱密,關於他的生平大家知之甚少,而作家過世多年以來,想為之立傳的人,都被他女兒安娜轟出門外。但湯瑪士不死心,和同樣喜歡法蘭斯的新女友千里迢迢前往密蘇里州的鄉下小鎮,那裡正是作家的故鄉。

然而,當他們風塵僕僕抵達,卻發現一切都和想像的不一樣……

鎮民熱烈歡迎,安娜居然也親切接待,甚至對湯瑪士寫傳記一事興致勃勃,帶他到處走訪父親生前最愛的地點。不過,兩人在鎮上住下後,逐漸發現這裡有些不對勁……墓園裡的名字都是法蘭斯筆下人物,養的狗都是他喜歡的牛頭㹴,這個小鎮彷彿是作家的靈感來源。當安娜終於答應授權湯瑪士寫傳記後,鎮上卻接二連三發生怪事,他開始在鎮民臉上看見小說角色的面孔,有天還聽見了狗在說話……

在這個每個人都友善又快樂的神祕小鎮裡,鎮民到底在隱瞞些什麼?事實的真相令人毛骨悚然……

First published in 1980, THE LAND OF LAUGHS won the Prix Tour-Apollo Award in 1989. Here’s the English-language synopsis…

Have you ever loved a magical book above all others? Have you ever wished the magic were real? Welcome to The Land of Laughs. A novel about how terrifying that would be.

Schoolteacher Thomas Abbey, unsure son of a film star, doesn’t know who he is or what he wants — in life, in love, or in his relationship with the strange and intense Saxony Gardner. What he knows is that in his whole life nothing has touched him so deeply as the novels of Marshall France, a reclusive author of fabulous children’s tales who died at forty-four.

Now Thomas and Saxony have come to France’s hometown, the dreamy Midwestern town of Galen, Missouri, to write France’s biography. Warned in advance that France’s family may oppose them, they’re surprised to find France’s daughter warmly welcoming instead. But slowly they begin to see that something fantastic and horrible is happening. The magic of Marshall France has extended far beyond the printed page… leaving them with a terrifying task to undertake.

Carroll’s latest novel is the highly-acclaimed MR. BREAKFAST — out now, published by Melville House.

Zeno Clients & Titles on the Locus 2023 Recommended Reading List!


Locus Magazine released their February 2024 issue, which includes their annual Recommended Reading List, covering 2023 releases. We’re very happy to report that a number of Zeno clients and titles are featured on the list. Check out below for more information on each of the featured titles.

SF Novel

Aliette de Bodard, A FIRE BORN OF EXILE (Gollancz/JABberwocky)

The Scattered Pearls Belt is a string of habitats under tight military rule… where the powerful have become all too comfortable in their positions, and their corruption. But change is coming, with the arrival of Quynh: the mysterious and enigmatic Alchemist of Streams and Hills.

To Minh, daughter of the ruling prefect of the Belt, Quynh represents a chance for escape. To Hoà, a destitute engineer, Quynh has a mysterious link to her own past… and holds a deeper, more sensual appeal. But Quynh has her own secret history, and a plan for the ruling class of the Belt. A plan that will tear open old wounds, shake the heavens, and may well consume her.

A beautiful exploration of the power of love, of revenge, and of the wounds of the past, this fast-paced, heartwarming standalone space opera is set against a backdrop of corruption, power, and political scheming in the far reaches of the Xuya universe, also home to the Arthur C. Clarke Award-shortlisted The Red Scholar’s Wake.

Ian McDonald, HOPELAND (Gollancz/Tor Books)

Hopeland is not a nation. It is not a cult. It is not a religion.

Hopeland is a community. It is a culture. It is a family.

When Raisa Hopeland, determined to win her race to become the next electromancer of London, bumps into Amon Brightbourne – tweed-suited, otherworldly, guided by the Grace – in the middle of a London riot, she sets in motion a series of events which will span decades, continents and a series of events which will change the world.

Amon falls in love in that moment of chaos, but being loved by him can have a cost. And while Raisa has Hopeland, Amon has a family of his own, and they have their own secrets.

From rioting London to geothermal Iceland to the climate-struck islands of Polynesia, from birth to life to death, from tranquillity to terror to joy, Raisa’s journey will encompass the world. But one thing will always be true.

Hopeland is family.

Lavie Tidhar, THE CIRCUMFERENCE OF THE WORLD (Tachyon)

Caught between realities, a mathematician, a book dealer, and a mobster desperately seek a notorious book that disappears upon being read. Only the author, a rakish sci-fi writer, knows whether his popular novel is truthful or a hoax. In a story that is cosmic, inventive, and sly, multi-award-winning author Lavie Tidhar (Central Station) travels from the emergence of life to the very ends of the universe.

Delia Welegtabit discovered two things during her childhood on a South Pacific island: her love for mathematics and a novel that isn’t supposed to exist. But the elusive book proves unexpectedly dangerous. Oskar Lens, a science fiction-obsessed mobster in the midst of an existential crisis, will stop at nothing to find the novel. After Delia’s husband Levi goes missing, she seeks help from Daniel Chase, a young, face-blind book dealer.

The infamous novel Lode Stars was written by the infamous Eugene Charles Hartley: legendary pulp science-fiction writer and founder of the Church of the All-Seeing Eyes. In Hartley’s novel, a doppelganger of Delia searches for her missing father in a strange star system. But is any of Lode Stars real? Was Hartley a cynical conman on a quest for wealth and immortality, creating a religion he did not believe in? Or was he a visionary who truly discovered the secrets of the universe?

Fantasy Novel

Jonathan Carroll, MR. BREAKFAST (Melville House)

Graham Patterson’s life has hit a dead end. His career as a comedian is failing. The love of his life recently broke up with him and he literally has no idea what to do next. With nothing to lose, he buys a new car and hits the road, planning to drive across country and hopefully figure out his next moves before reaching California.

But along the way Patterson does something his old self would never have even considered: he gets tattooed by a brilliant tattoo artist in North Carolina. The decision sets off a series of extraordinary events that changes his life forever in ways he never could have imagined. Among other things, Patterson is gifted with the ability to see in real time three different lives that are available to him. The choice is his: The life he is leading right now, or two very different ones. In all of them there is love or fame and of course danger because once he has chosen, there is no telling what will happen next.

Mr. Breakfast is a dazzling, absorbing and deeply moving novel about the choices that we have to confront and face, confirming Jonathan Carroll’s status as one of our greatest and most imaginative storytellers.

Tim Powers, MY BROTHER’S KEEPER (Ad Astra)

Howarth, 1846.

In a parsonage at the edge of the moors, a widowed rector lives with his family: three daughters and their dissolute brother, Bramwell.

Though the future will celebrate Charlotte, Emily and Anne, right now they are unknown, their genius concealed. In just a few short years they will all be dead, and it will be middle sister Emily’s chance encounter with a grievously wounded man on the moor that sets them on the path to their doom.

For there is an ancient pagan secret haunting the moors, a dark inheritance in the family bloodline and something terrible buried under an ogham-inscribed slab in the church. Not only are their lives at stake, but their very souls.

My Brother’s Keeper is an atmospheric gothic novel that mixes diabolical hatred and vengeance with the supreme power of love to conjure dark magic from the tragic fate of the Brontë sisters.

Horror Novel

Grady Hendrix, HOW TO SELL A HAUNTED HOUSE (Titan UK)

When Louise finds out her parents have died, she dreads going home. She doesn’t want to leave her daughter with her ex and fly to Charleston. She doesn’t want to deal with her family home, stuffed to the rafters with the remnants of her father’s academic career and her mother’s lifelong obsession with puppets and dolls. She doesn’t want to learn how to live without the two people who knew and loved her best in the world.

Mostly, she doesn’t want to deal with her brother, Mark, who never left their hometown, gets fired from one job after another, and resents her success. But she’ll need his help to get the house ready for sale because it’ll take more than some new paint on the walls and clearing out a lifetime of memories to get this place on the market.

Some houses don’t want to be sold…

Collections

Ian R. MacLeod, RAGGED MAPS (Subterranean Press)

From furthest reaches of deep space in “The Memory Artist” to the jungles of Yucatan in “Lamagica,” and from the strange suburbia of “Stuff” to a Vatican where a dying pope awaits deliverance in “Sin Eater,” the worlds mapped out by these stories range far and wide. 

As, from the mythic ancient city of “The God of Nothing” to the post-human futures of “Ephemera” and “The Fall of the House of Kepler,” via alternate pasts and some very twisted presents in such tales as “Selkie,” “The Mrs Innocents” and “The Chronologist,” do the times. 

What holds all these pieces together, including the gripping long new novelette “Downtime” and its vision of a near-future penal system, are vivid writing, strong characters and a sense of awe and surprise. On travels that will take you from cluttered attics and strange shorelines to star-flung civilisations and beyond, let Ian R. MacLeod be your guide.

Anthologies

Lavie Tidhar (ed.), THE BEST OF WORLD SF, Volume 3 (Ad Astra)

The third annual instalment to the ‘excellent, lovingly curated’ (Financial Times) The Best of World SF series

The Best of World SF series is a fixture on the global science fiction scene. If you want to find the most exciting SF authors writing today, look no further.

In this third instalment, you’ll discover alien artists, rioting dinosaurs, shape-shifting rabbits, heartbreak-harvesting cafes and one robot on a quest for meaning. You will be transported to the stars and back down to Earth and sideways, with the order of the world turned upside down.

Featuring authors from Austria, Bulgaria, China, Finland, Ghana, Greece, India, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palestine, the Philippines, Portugal, Russia, Singapore and South Africa, this collection’s stories have been selected by award-winning writer, editor and World SF expert Lavie Tidhar.

The most exciting science fiction on the planet comes from all corners of the globe. And it’s all in the Best of World SF series.

Short Stories

Aliette de Bodard, “The Mausoleum’s Children“ (Uncanny 5-6/23)

Jonathan Carroll’s CEFFO Out Now!


Today, Tor.com publish a new short story by Jonathan Carroll! CEFFO is out now, available on Tor.com’s website and also as an eBook. A great way to get a taste of the author’s fantastic writing and imagination, here’s the (succinct) synopsis…

On a trip to Italy, a woman stuck in a crumbling relationship discovers the city she loves holds a secret that could change her life…

Carroll’s latest full-length novel is the highly-acclaimed MR. BREAKFAST, published by Melville House.

Paperback Edition of MR. BREAKFAST Out Now!


MR.BREAKFAST, the highly-acclaimed latest novel by Jonathan Carroll, is out today in a new North American paperback edition! Published by Melville House, here’s the synopsis…

Graham Patterson’s life has hit a dead end. His career as a comedian is failing. The love of his life recently broke up with him and he literally has no idea what to do next. With nothing to lose, he buys a new car and hits the road, planning to drive across country and hopefully figure out his next moves before reaching California.

But along the way Patterson does something his old self would never have even considered: he gets tattooed by a brilliant tattoo artist in North Carolina. The decision sets off a series of extraordinary events that changes his life forever in ways he never could have imagined. Among other things, Patterson is gifted with the ability to see in real time three different lives that are available to him. The choice is his: The life he is leading right now, or two very different ones. In all of them there is love or fame and of course danger because once he has chosen, there is no telling what will happen next.

Mr. Breakfast is a dazzling, absorbing and deeply moving novel about the choices that we have to confront and face, confirming Jonathan Carroll’s status as one of our greatest and most imaginative storytellers.

The novel has been garnering praise from far and wide, and here are just a few of the great reviews MR. BREAKFAST has received so far…

‘Jonathan Carroll is one of my favorite living writers. [MR. BREAKFAST is] a  beautiful, brilliant, meditation on art, love, inspiration and what makes life worthwhile. Such a treat.’Neil Gaiman

‘Like Murakami, Brian Eno, or David Lynch, Jonathan Carroll is entirely sui generis, someone whose work is so fresh, weird, and original, it stands in a class of its own. Maybe the most striking thing about this lean, remarkable novel is Carroll’s caffeinated curiosity about everything, his roving eye for everyday wonders, for the effervescent in the banal. MR. BREAKFAST is a small book of big ideas, a set of Russian nesting dolls with an entire universe glowing at the centre.’ Joe Hill, bestselling author of HornsNOS4A2, and Netflix’s recent Locke and Key

‘Few recent works of fiction in any genre have touched on the vagaries of life, love, and art more movingly or with deeper understanding. An intoxicating, deeply affecting novel by the influential fantasist.’ Kirkus (Starred Review)

‘A compulsively readable, introspective tale about the road not taken… At its heart, this is an arresting and imaginative meditation on life. Perfect for fans of magical realism with a free-flowing style like that of David Mitchell and Toshikazu Kawaguchi.’ Library Journal

‘[Carroll] has been winning awards for his elegantly spooky magical-realist fantasies since his 1980 debut, The Land of Laughs. His first novel since 2014 plays with ideas about fate, choice, art and love… Every bit as inventive and engaging as the best of his earlier novels, and still with a sinister edge, this is more dream than nightmare, and a pure delight to read.’Guardian

MR BREAKFAST is a tale of regret and reincarnation, of second chances arriving perhaps too late. Its narrative strands are folded inside one another and the whole thing is couched in pristine prose. To [Jonathan] Carroll, the mundane can yield unexpected delight and danger, making everyday lives fascinating.’Financial Times

‘As always with the exceptionally imaginative Carroll, he creates complex worlds for his hero to inhabit and with clever crossovers between realms that are carefully thought out and fun to explore. Carroll’s attention to details is impressive, and the unexpected prevails.’Booklist

‘Reading Jonathan Carroll, one thinks of a blind person stroking a drugged tiger – an experience that is sensuous, dreamy, and dangerous all at once. And then, of course, the tiger wakes up.’  Bruce Wagner, novelist and screenwriter

‘Amazing, perplexing, and unforgettable. A magical world that forces the reader to put aside his own and live only in wonder.’ Stanislaw Lem

‘… unique mixture of the mundane and the metaphysical… sudden time shifts, the nostalgic landscapes of middle America, mysterious tutelary figures, encounters with earlier selves, photographs and tattoos, and, inevitably, very ingratiating dogs. It even includes some subtle allusions to his own earlier work. By any measure, this is vintage Carroll, which is another way of saying it’s entirely new… the sense of infinite possibility – which after all is the main appeal of Road Not Taken stories – is exhilarating, even through the novel’s somber, sad, or occasionally sentimental moments.’ Locus

ICYMI: Jonathan Carroll’s Mysterious Galaxy MR. BREAKFAST Virtual Event


Today, we wanted to share with you the recording of Jonathan Carroll‘s virtual event with Mysterious Galaxy, which was held in celebration of MR. BREAKFAST‘s publication for which Carroll was joined by author Dan Chaon.

MR. BREAKFAST is Carroll’s highly-anticipated and critically-acclaimed new novel, published by Melville House. Here’s the synopsis…

Graham Patterson’s life has hit a dead end. His career as a comedian is failing. The love of his life recently broke up with him and he literally has no idea what to do next. With nothing to lose, he buys a new car and hits the road, planning to drive across country and hopefully figure out his next moves before reaching California.

But along the way Patterson does something his old self would never have even considered: he gets tattooed by a brilliant tattoo artist in North Carolina. The decision sets off a series of extraordinary events that changes his life forever in ways he never could have imagined. Among other things, Patterson is gifted with the ability to see in real time three different lives that are available to him. The choice is his: The life he is leading right now, or two very different ones. In all of them there is love or fame and of course danger because once he has chosen, there is no telling what will happen next.

Mr. Breakfast is a dazzling, absorbing and deeply moving novel about the choices that we have to confront and face, confirming Jonathan Carroll’s status as one of our greatest and most imaginative storytellers.

And here is just a small selection taken from the great reviews the novel has received so far…

‘Few recent works of fiction in any genre have touched on the vagaries of life, love, and art more movingly or with deeper understanding. An intoxicating, deeply affecting novel by the influential fantasist.’ — Kirkus (Starred Review)

‘A compulsively readable, introspective tale about the road not taken.. At its heart, this is an arresting and imaginative meditation on life. Perfect for fans of magical realism with a free-flowing style like that of David Mitchell and Toshikazu Kawaguchi.’ — Library Journal

As always with the exceptionally imaginative Carroll, he creates complex worlds for his hero to inhabit and with clever crossovers between realms that are carefully thought out and fun to explore. Carroll’s attention to details is impressive, and the unexpected prevails.’ — Booklist

‘[Carroll] has been winning awards for his elegantly spooky magical-realist fantasies since his 1980 debut, The Land of Laughs. His first novel since 2014 plays with ideas about fate, choice, art and love… Every bit as inventive and engaging as the best of his earlier novels, and still with a sinister edge, this is more dream than nightmare, and a pure delight to read.’ — Guardian

‘Jonathan Carroll is one of my favorite living writers. [MR. BREAKFAST is] a  beautiful, brilliant, meditation on art, love, inspiration and what makes life worthwhile. Such a treat.’ — Neil Gaiman

‘Dazzlingly original (it’s Jonathan Carroll, so no surprise there), slyly funny in places, thoughtfully and cleverly rendered, MR. BREAKFAST is an exhilarating and moving meditation on how we deduce what matters most.’ — Amazon Best Books of January 2023

‘… unique mixture of the mundane and the metaphysical… sudden time shifts, the nostalgic landscapes of middle America, mysterious tutelary figures, encounters with earlier selves, photographs and tattoos, and, inevitably, very ingratiating dogs. It even includes some subtle allusions to his own earlier work. By any measure, this is vintage Carroll, which is another way of saying it’s entirely new… the sense of infinite possibility – which after all is the main appeal of Road Not Taken stories – is exhilarating, even through the novel’s somber, sad, or occasionally sentimental moments.’ — Locus (Gary K. Wolfe)

‘[A]nother winner from one of our best fabulists… Carroll is compared with Haruki Murakami almost as often as he’s called a writer’s writer, but the comparison makes intuitive sense. Like Murakami, Carroll is a magical realist, rather than a systematizer or a worldbuilder: The rules of magic and the logic of the supernatural matter less than the mysteries of the heart… I read MR BREAKFAST in three enthralled sittings… The novel thrilled me; it made me reflect on art, love, choices, and regrets; it left me with tears in the corners of my eyes and a smile on my face. What more can a reader ask for? Jonathan Carroll is too good to ever stop being a writer’s writer, but I hope that MR BREAKFAST will make him a reader’s writer too. There are thousands of people who would love this book. I hope they all find it.’ — Tor.com

‘Quick with a label, critics have called Carroll a magic realist, a slipstream novelist, a writer of supernatural thrillers and the creator of modern fairy tales. He does check all these boxes, while remaining elegantly sui generis. His prose is spare, polished and quick-moving, sometimes lightly comic, always immensely engaging. At the same time, his plots — including that of his new novel, MR BREAKFAST — depict the abrupt irruption of the uncanny and terrifying into our familiar workaday world… MR BREAKFAST is the first Carroll novel in several years, but it seems to me as masterly as his earlier books. It will surprise you, make you laugh and scare you — and then, just when you think it’s over, add several extra twists before bringing this Rubik’s Cube of a story to just the right, emotionally muted conclusion.’ — Washington Post

MR. BREAKFAST by John Carroll is Out Now!


MR.BREAKFAST, the highly-anticipated (and already acclaimed) new novel by Jonathan Carroll, is out today in North America! Published by Melville House, it is a ‘story about the roads not taken and a magical tattoo that opens doorways to other realities’. Here’s the full synopsis…

Graham Patterson’s life has hit a dead end. His career as a comedian is failing. The love of his life recently broke up with him and he literally has no idea what to do next. With nothing to lose, he buys a new car and hits the road, planning to drive across country and hopefully figure out his next moves before reaching California.

But along the way Patterson does something his old self would never have even considered: he gets tattooed by a brilliant tattoo artist in North Carolina. The decision sets off a series of extraordinary events that changes his life forever in ways he never could have imagined. Among other things, Patterson is gifted with the ability to see in real time three different lives that are available to him. The choice is his: The life he is leading right now, or two very different ones. In all of them there is love or fame and of course danger because once he has chosen, there is no telling what will happen next.

Mr. Breakfast is a dazzling, absorbing and deeply moving novel about the choices that we have to confront and face, confirming Jonathan Carroll’s status as one of our greatest and most imaginative storytellers.

Here is just a small sample taken from the aforementioned early acclaim for MR. BREAKFAST

‘Jonathan Carroll is one of my favorite living writers. [MR. BREAKFAST is] a  beautiful, brilliant, meditation on art, love, inspiration and what makes life worthwhile. Such a treat.’Neil Gaiman

‘Like Murakami, Brian Eno, or David Lynch, Jonathan Carroll is entirely sui generis, someone whose work is so fresh, weird, and original, it stands in a class of its own. Maybe the most striking thing about this lean, remarkable novel is Carroll’s caffeinated curiosity about everything, his roving eye for everyday wonders, for the effervescent in the banal. MR. BREAKFAST is a small book of big ideas, a set of Russian nesting dolls with an entire universe glowing at the centre.’ Joe Hill, bestselling author of HornsNOS4A2, and Netflix’s recent Locke and Key

‘Few recent works of fiction in any genre have touched on the vagaries of life, love, and art more movingly or with deeper understanding. An intoxicating, deeply affecting novel by the influential fantasist.’ Kirkus (Starred Review)

‘A compulsively readable, introspective tale about the road not taken… At its heart, this is an arresting and imaginative meditation on life. Perfect for fans of magical realism with a free-flowing style like that of David Mitchell and Toshikazu Kawaguchi.’ Library Journal

‘[Carroll] has been winning awards for his elegantly spooky magical-realist fantasies since his 1980 debut, The Land of Laughs. His first novel since 2014 plays with ideas about fate, choice, art and love… Every bit as inventive and engaging as the best of his earlier novels, and still with a sinister edge, this is more dream than nightmare, and a pure delight to read.’Guardian

MR BREAKFAST is a tale of regret and reincarnation, of second chances arriving perhaps too late. Its narrative strands are folded inside one another and the whole thing is couched in pristine prose. To [Jonathan] Carroll, the mundane can yield unexpected delight and danger, making everyday lives fascinating.’Financial Times

‘As always with the exceptionally imaginative Carroll, he creates complex worlds for his hero to inhabit and with clever crossovers between realms that are carefully thought out and fun to explore. Carroll’s attention to details is impressive, and the unexpected prevails.’Booklist

‘Reading Jonathan Carroll, one thinks of a blind person stroking a drugged tiger – an experience that is sensuous, dreamy, and dangerous all at once. And then, of course, the tiger wakes up.’  Bruce Wagner, novelist and screenwriter

‘Amazing, perplexing, and unforgettable. A magical world that forces the reader to put aside his own and live only in wonder.’ Stanislaw Lem

‘… unique mixture of the mundane and the metaphysical… sudden time shifts, the nostalgic landscapes of middle America, mysterious tutelary figures, encounters with earlier selves, photographs and tattoos, and, inevitably, very ingratiating dogs. It even includes some subtle allusions to his own earlier work. By any measure, this is vintage Carroll, which is another way of saying it’s entirely new… the sense of infinite possibility – which after all is the main appeal of Road Not Taken stories – is exhilarating, even through the novel’s somber, sad, or occasionally sentimental moments.’ Locus

Upcoming Jonathan Carroll Virtual Event


To celebrate the release of Jonathan Carroll‘s highly-anticipated new novel, MR. BREAKFAST, Mysterious Galaxy are hosting a virtual event on January 17th! The author will be in conversation with Dan Chaon, and you can register for the event here.

The novel will be published on January 17th, by Melville House. Here’s the synopsis…

Graham Patterson’s life has hit a dead end. His career as a comedian is failing. The love of his life recently broke up with him and he literally has no idea what to do next. With nothing to lose, he buys a new car and hits the road, planning to drive across country and hopefully figure out his next moves before reaching California.

But along the way Patterson does something his old self would never have even considered: he gets tattooed by a brilliant tattoo artist in North Carolina. The decision sets off a series of extraordinary events that changes his life forever in ways he never could have imagined. Among other things, Patterson is gifted with the ability to see in real time three different lives that are available to him. The choice is his: The life he is leading right now, or two very different ones. In all of them there is love or fame and of course danger because once he has chosen, there is no telling what will happen next.

Mr. Breakfast is a dazzling, absorbing and deeply moving novel about the choices that we have to confront and face, confirming Jonathan Carroll’s status as one of our greatest and most imaginative storytellers.

The novel has already received a number of great reviews. Here are just a few of them…

‘Few recent works of fiction in any genre have touched on the vagaries of life, love, and art more movingly or with deeper understanding. An intoxicating, deeply affecting novel by the influential fantasist.’ — Kirkus (Starred Review)

‘A compulsively readable, introspective tale about the road not taken.. At its heart, this is an arresting and imaginative meditation on life. Perfect for fans of magical realism with a free-flowing style like that of David Mitchell and Toshikazu Kawaguchi.’ — Library Journal

As always with the exceptionally imaginative Carroll, he creates complex worlds for his hero to inhabit and with clever crossovers between realms that are carefully thought out and fun to explore. Carroll’s attention to details is impressive, and the unexpected prevails.’ — Booklist

‘Jonathan Carroll is one of my favorite living writers. [MR. BREAKFAST is] a  beautiful, brilliant, meditation on art, love, inspiration and what makes life worthwhile. Such a treat.’ — Neil Gaiman

‘Dazzlingly original (it’s Jonathan Carroll, so no surprise there), slyly funny in places, thoughtfully and cleverly rendered, MR. BREAKFAST is an exhilarating and moving meditation on how we deduce what matters most.’ — Amazon Best Books of January 2023

MR BREAKFAST is worth the wait… a tale of regret and reincarnation, of second chances arriving perhaps too late. Its narrative strands are folded inside one another and the whole thing is couched in pristine prose. To Carroll, the mundane can yield unexpected delight and danger, making everyday lives fascinating.’ — Financial Times (Best New Science Fiction of January 2023)

‘… unique mixture of the mundane and the metaphysical… sudden time shifts, the nostalgic landscapes of middle America, mysterious tutelary figures, encounters with earlier selves, photographs and tattoos, and, inevitably, very ingratiating dogs. It even includes some subtle allusions to his own earlier work. By any measure, this is vintage Carroll, which is another way of saying it’s entirely new… the sense of infinite possibility – which after all is the main appeal of Road Not Taken stories – is exhilarating, even through the novel’s somber, sad, or occasionally sentimental moments.’ — Locus

Jonathan Carroll’s MR. BREAKFAST Out in Three Weeks!


In three weeks, Melville House is due to publish the latest fantastic novel by Jonathan Carroll! MR. BREAKFAST, ‘a new story about the roads not taken and a magical tattoo that opens doorways to other realities’, is due to arrive in shops on January 17th, 2023. Here’s the synopsis…

Graham Patterson’s life has hit a dead end. His career as a comedian is failing. The love of his life recently broke up with him and he literally has no idea what to do next. With nothing to lose, he buys a new car and hits the road, planning to drive across country and hopefully figure out his next moves before reaching California.

But along the way Patterson does something his old self would never have even considered: he gets tattooed by a brilliant tattoo artist in North Carolina. The decision sets off a series of extraordinary events that changes his life forever in ways he never could have imagined. Among other things, Patterson is gifted with the ability to see in real time three different lives that are available to him. The choice is his: The life he is leading right now, or two very different ones. In all of them there is love or fame and of course danger because once he has chosen, there is no telling what will happen next.

Mr. Breakfast is a dazzling, absorbing and deeply moving novel about the choices that we have to confront and face, confirming Jonathan Carroll’s status as one of our greatest and most imaginative storytellers.

The novel has already started to generate some great pre-publication reviews. Here are just a few of them…

‘Jonathan Carroll is one of my favorite living writers. [MR. BREAKFAST is] a  beautiful, brilliant, meditation on art, love, inspiration and what makes life worthwhile. Such a treat.’Neil Gaiman

‘Like Murakami, Brian Eno, or David Lynch, Jonathan Carroll is entirely sui generis, someone whose work is so fresh, weird, and original, it stands in a class of its own. Maybe the most striking thing about this lean, remarkable novel is Carroll’s caffeinated curiosity about everything, his roving eye for everyday wonders, for the effervescent in the banal. MR. BREAKFAST is a small book of big ideas, a set of Russian nesting dolls with an entire universe glowing at the centre.’ Joe Hill, bestselling author of HornsNOS4A2, and Netflix’s recent Locke and Key

‘Few recent works of fiction in any genre have touched on the vagaries of life, love, and art more movingly or with deeper understanding. An intoxicating, deeply affecting novel by the influential fantasist.’ Kirkus (Starred Review)

‘A compulsively readable, introspective tale about the road not taken… At its heart, this is an arresting and imaginative meditation on life. Perfect for fans of magical realism with a free-flowing style like that of David Mitchell and Toshikazu Kawaguchi.’ Library Journal

‘As always with the exceptionally imaginative Carroll, he creates complex worlds for his hero to inhabit and with clever crossovers between realms that are carefully thought out and fun to explore. Carroll’s attention to details is impressive, and the unexpected prevails.’Booklist

‘Reading Jonathan Carroll, one thinks of a blind person stroking a drugged tiger – an experience that is sensuous, dreamy, and dangerous all at once. And then, of course, the tiger wakes up.’  Bruce Wagner, novelist and screenwriter

‘… unique mixture of the mundane and the metaphysical… sudden time shifts, the nostalgic landscapes of middle America, mysterious tutelary figures, encounters with earlier selves, photographs and tattoos, and, inevitably, very ingratiating dogs. It even includes some subtle allusions to his own earlier work. By any measure, this is vintage Carroll, which is another way of saying it’s entirely new… the sense of infinite possibility – which after all is the main appeal of Road Not Taken stories – is exhilarating, even through the novel’s somber, sad, or occasionally sentimental moments.’ Locus

Short Fiction Watch: PORGEE’S BOAR by Jonathan Carroll


In this edition of Short Fiction Watch, we wanted to draw your attention to the latest story by Jonathan Carroll: PORGEE’S BOAR is published on Tor.com, and is also available as an eBook. Edited by Ellen Datlow, and with cover artwork by Robert Hunt, here’s the synopsis…

An artist’s work attracts the eye of Andrey Porgee, a notorious gangster, who becomes her best customer.

But when he commissions a painting based on a childhood photograph, the artist fears his reaction to the final product.

If you are a long-time fan of Carroll’s work, or a newcomer, we think you’ll love this new story.

Jonathan Carroll is the author of multiple of award-winning, award-nominated, and internationally-acclaimed novels and short stories — including THE PANIC HAND, which won the Bram Stoker Award in 1996; and OUTSIDE THE DOG MUSEUM, which won the British Fantasy Award in 1992. His next novel is MR. BREAKFAST, which is due to be published in 2023.

Jonathan Carroll & Aliette de Bodard are Lead Interviews in Latest Locus!


Just a very quick post to draw your attention to the latest issue of Locus Magazine: Jonathan Carroll and Aliette de Bodard are the lead interviews! The issue is out now.

In addition to his published work, and publishing in the time of COVID, Jonathan Carroll discusses his latest novel: MR. BREAKFAST, which has already been published in Italy and Poland…

It’s a kind of a combination of Borges’s ‘Garden of Forking Paths’ and that film Sliding Doors. In so many cases, so many people’s lives would have been profoundly different if they’d taken a little step to the left or to the right. We don’t think about that, because we’re so fixed on right now and this moment…

Aliette de Bodard discusses her published work — which includes, most recently, FIREHEART TIGER (Tor.com) — and also the importance of parent-child relationships in fiction, and the desire to break the moulds of certain story tropes and frameworks.

Now I think, ‘You know what? Where is it written that a story has to work that way?’ I read a book that suggested putting ‘Where is it written?’ in front of everything you think is a given. If you can pull it off, you can do anything.

The March 2021 issue of Locus Magazine is out now.

Jonathan Carroll’s MR. BREAKFAST Nominated for Publio Awards!


Today, we’re delighted to be able to share news that  Jonathan Carroll‘s MR. BREAKFAST is eligible in two categories for the Gala Publio 2019 awards: Best eBook and Best Foreign Author. (Publio is Poland’s biggest eBook and Audiobook retailer.)

Anyone with a Publio account can vote for the book (we’re assuming that this is your favourite of the nominees) from now until January 14th.

MR. BREAKFAST is published in Poland by Rebis. here’s the synopsis…

Kiedy jedno życie to za mało…

Niespełniony komik Graham Patterson przejeżdża przez zapyziałe miasteczko w Karolinie Północnej, gdy nagle psuje mu się samochód. Zmuszony czekać dwa dni na naprawę, zachodzi do salonu tajemniczej tatuażystki. Zachwycony jej kunsztem, postanawia zrobić sobie tatuaż, który „najmniej mu się podoba”. Nie ma pojęcia, że tym samym zyskał moc przemieszczania się między równoległymi rzeczywistościami. Od tej pory życie Grahama Pattersona rozszczepia się na trzy splatające się wersje jego biografii. Kłopot w tym, że wersje te zaczynają się z sobą mieszać…

MR. BREAKFAST is currently only available in Poland, but the author published this mini-excerpt on his website

People want life to be their friend. Some even expect or believe they deserve it. But I think of life only as a companion, and an unpredictable one at that. If it were my friend, life would be hurting or disappointing me all the time. But if it’s only a companion, we’re just traveling the same road together. I’m happy when it’s in a good or generous mood, but I don’t expect anything from it.

“Most of the time we have the ability to make ourselves content or at least comfortable. We shouldn’t need to depend on others or outside sources to supply it or to get us there.”

Rebis has published 14 of Carroll’s other books in Poland — you can find a full list, including details, here.

Zeno welcomes JONATHAN CARROLL


Photo credit: Mateusz Skwarczek / Agencja Gazeta

Today, we are delighted to announce that Jonathan Carroll has joined Zeno as a client!

Since the publication of his debut, THE LAND OF LAUGHS (1980), all of Carroll’s work has been acclaimed by fans and peers alike (see below). He has racked up an impressive number of award nominations and wins. His novel OUTSIDE THE DOG MUSEUM (1991) won the British Fantasy Award, and A CHILD ACROSS THE SKY (1989) was a runner-up for the Arthur C. Clark Award. He has been nominated 11 times for the World Fantasy Awards, winning one for his short story “Friend’s Best Man” (1987). His collection THE PANIC HAND (1995) won a Bram Stoker Award. For more of his nominations and wins, be sure to check out the Science Fiction Awards Database.

‘There are a few writers who are special,’ long-time Carroll fan Neil Gaiman wrote, in an introduction for Carroll’s website. ‘They make the world in their books; or rather, they open a window or a door or a magic casement, and they show you the world in which they live… Jonathan Carroll’s a changer. He’s one of the special ones, one of the few. He paints the world he sees. He opens a window you did not know was there and invites you to look through it. He gives you his eyes to see with, and he gives you the world all fresh and honest and new.’

Jonathan’s other books include BONES OF THE MOON (1987), WHITE APPLES (2002), GLASS SOUP (2005) THE GHOST IN LOVE (2008), THE WOMAN WHO MARRIED A CLOUD (2012), BATHING THE LION (2013), and many more.

If you’d like to give Jonathan’s work a try, his most recent short story, MAMA BRUISE, was published earlier this year by Tor.com.

Here are just a few comments and reviews about Carroll’s work…

‘Jonathan Carroll is a master of sunlit surrealism–his beguiling, impossible novels are like Frank Capra films torn open to reveal the Philip K. Dick or Julio Cortázar mechanisms ticking away at their cores.’Jonathan Lethem

‘Carroll specializes in a difficult-to-label melding of emotionally acute realism with varying degrees of the fantastic… there’s no one else like him, and a Jonathan Carroll novel is always that rarest of reading experiences: a genuine surprise, filled with wonder, and apt to change how you look at the world… One of the key defining aspects of Carroll’s work is its heart, the powerful empathy one experiences within his fiction…’National Post

‘Carroll’s work is unlike any other’s. When you start one of his novels or short stories, your every instinct is going to lead you in the wrong direction — sooner rather than later, the book or story is going to turn itself inside out and leave you gasping.’Peter Straub

BONES OF THE MOON is chilling and no one has ever written a book quite like it…Jonathan Carroll is a cult waiting to be born.’Pat Conroy

‘A gorgeous, frightening, imaginative, loving, unsettling, funny, gruesome, thought-provoking novel. This grand book is a triumph.’Stephen King on BONES OF THE MOON

‘Amazing, perplexing, and unforgettable. A magical world that forces the reader to put aside his own and live only in wonder.’ Stanislaw Lem on BONES OF THE MOON

THE LAND OF LAUGHS is a book for anyone who has ever believed that a favorite book could be a safe place to go when things get hard.’Neil Gaiman

‘I love Jonathan Carroll’s books. They are as surprising and delightful as Rottweiler puppies — and they bite, too.’Audrey Niffenegger

‘I always look forward to a new book by Jonathan Carroll — his work is consistently witty, compassionate and astounding, and GLASS SOUP is no exception. It is a tender, funny love story, both madcap and darkly metaphysical: a singular creation that further adds to the fabulous Carroll oeuvre.’Dan Chaon

‘… an eccentric and fascinating assortment of observations, musings, anecdotes, and snatches of story… this collation of efficient prose bears witness to the novelist’s attentive eye and ability to illuminate the mundane. His work suggests that the small moments are where we are most alive in the world and where we can learn to make momentary sense of it.’Publishers Weekly on THE CROW’S DINNER

‘Cosmic conspiracies, paranoia, and awe are grounded in the everyday, the impossible made probable by Carroll’s authoritative wordplay. Flawed characters struggle with identity and love, selfishness and fear, in a world where wonder can always be found in the mundane. This lyrical and thematically rich novel is not to be underestimated.’Publishers Weekly on BATHING THE LION