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

New Clients, New Deals # 2

Zeno welcomes the super talented South African author Charlie Human as a client with the news of an exciting deal. Charlie’s debut novel APOCALYPSE NOW NOW, plus an untitled follow-up, has sold to Jack Fogg at Century for a very healthy five-figure sum in a deal negotiated by John Berlyne of the Zeno Agency. Century will publish in the UK and Commonwealth (Ex SA) IN SUMMER 2013. South African rights sold in a separate deal to Frederik de Jager at Random House Struik.

A sharp urban fantasy with a uniquely South African twist, APOCALYPSE NOW NOW has been described by fellow SA writer Lauren Beukes (author of the Arthur C. Clarke award winning ZOO CITY) as ‘… mad and dark and irreverent and wonderfully twisted in all the right ways‘. Here’s a taste of what you can expect…

‘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.’

John Berlyne said ‘When this one landed in my in-box I knew immediately that it was something special. It’s sly, iconoclastic, off-the-wall and full of the kind of energy that I hunger for in my reading. It’s also extremely well written – the kind of book that reads effortlessly. I’m very pleased indeed that Century – who’ve had such a success with Ernest Cline’s superb READY PLAYER ONE – will be publishing.’

Jack Fogg said ‘APOCALYPSE NOW NOW is one of those rare, generous novels which goes to incredible lengths to entertain the reader. I haven’t laughed so hard or flat out enjoyed a ride more in a very long time. Charlie is a fantastic writer, at the forefront of the nascent speculative fiction scene in South Africa, and I feel incredibly privileged to be publishing his unique novels.’

Charlie Human is a writer from Cape Town, South Africa. His short story, The Immaculate Particle, appeared in Pandemonium: Stories of the Apocalypse, and Land of the Blind was printed in the UK version of ZOO CITY  by Lauren Beukes. He has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Cape Town.

All other rights are with Zeno.

New Clients, New Deals #1…

We’re delighted to announced that Zeno now represents award winning author Mark Hodder in the UK and commonwealth, on behalf of primary agent Eddie Schneider at the JABberwocky Literary Agency  Inc. in New York.

Mark’s fantastic steampunk romp THE STRANGE AFFAIR OF SPRING-HEELED JACK was a hugely popular winner of the 2011 Philip K. Dick Award, and along with the two follow up titles THE CURIOUS CASE OF THE CLOCKWORK MAN and EXPEDITION TO THE MOUNTAINS OF THE MOON (published by Pyr in the US and Snow Books here in the UK) has brought this author great acclaim and a huge fan base in a relatively short period of time.

We can now announce three new Burton and Swinburn novels, THE SECRET OF ABDU EL-YEZDI THE MYSTIC, IN THE GRIP OF THE BEAST, and THE MYSTERY OF THE MULTIPLYING MEN, which will run parallel to the first trilogy. These, along with a ‘sword-and-planet’ standalone, A RED SUN ALSO RISES have been acquired at auction in a four book deal by Michael Rowley at Ebury, and will be published on their soon-to-be-name dedicated SF/F list, the first title appearing in 2013.

William Gibson Signs New Deal with Penguin…

Penguin have bought UK and British Commonwealth rights to William Gibson‘s non-fiction collection DISTRUST THAT PARTICULAR FLAVOR and an untitled new novel.

The deal was negotiated by John Parker on behalf of the author’s primary agent Martha Millard and Zeno is absolutely delighted to add this marquee name to our list of clients.

News on the novel is strictly under wraps for now, but this superb collection should certainly whet your appetite whilst we wait. Here’s the cover copy…

William Gibson was writing fiction when he predicted the internet. And as his stories bled into reality, so he became one of the first to report on the real-world consequences of cyberspace’s growth and development.

Now, with the dust settling on the first internet revolution, comes Gibson’s first collection of non-fiction essays from the technological and cultural frontiers of this new world. Covering a variety of subjects, they include:

  • Metrophagy: The Art and Science of Digesting Great Cities
  • An account of obsession in ‘the world’s attic’:eBay
  • Reasons why ‘The Net is a Waste of Time’
  • Singapore as ‘Disneyland with the Death Penalty’
  • A primer on Japan, our default setting for the future

These and many other pieces, collected for the first time in DISTRUST THAT PARTICULAR FLAVOR, are studded with revealing autobiographical fragments and map the development of Gibson’s acute perceptions about modern life.

Here, then, is a guide to the new territory we find ourselves in written by one of its discoverers.

Algis Budrys…

Zeno Agency is delighted to announce that we now represent the estate of the late Algis Budrys. Furthermore, Darren Nash at Gollancz has recently acquired ebook rights to A.J.’s backlist and will be making these works available electronicaly for the first time. Publishing dates are still TBC.

In addition to this, A.J.’s best known work ROGUE MOON will be reissued in 2012 in the Gollancz SF Masterworks series and there are also plans afoot for an omnibus trade paperback edition of THE IRON THORN, MICHAELMAS and HARD LANDING – again dates TBC.

New Zeno Clients….

In the wake of our recent submissions window and to prove that it does actually happen, we are delighted to announce that the following authors are now represented worldwide by Zeno. Welcome one and all …

Watch this space for exciting announcements for some of these folks in next few days and weeks.

New Client – James P. Blaylock

Zeno Agency is delighted to announce that we now represent multi-award winning fantasy author James P Blaylock worldwide.

Jim Blaylock’s credentials and achievements are almost too many to list! He is the author of nearly twenty published novels and numerous shorter works. His 1978 story ‘The Ape-Box Affair’ is acknowledged as the first Steampunk story and the many further adventures of his much loved character Langdon St. Ives, in both shorter and longer forms (notably in the Philip K. Dick Award winning novel HOMUNCULUS and LORD KELVIN’S MACHINE) have made him the central figure in the original Steampunk triptych alongside Tim Powers (also represented by Zeno in the UK) and K.W. Jeter. He continues to collaborate with Powers, maintaining a partnership that has lasted since the two met in college back in the mid-70s and one only occasionally hampered by the interference of William Ashbless.

Blaylock has received multiple nominations for the World Fantasy Award, winning it on two occasions – for short stories ‘Paper Dragons‘ and his collection ‘Thirteen Phantasms‘. Over the years his work has consistently ranked the highest positions in the annual LOCUS Magazine poll and his story ‘Unidentified Objects‘ was included in Prize Stories 1990, the O. Henry Awards.

I have admired Jim’s work for over two decades now,’ says Zeno agent John Berlyne, ‘In fact – gushing fanboy that I am – I realise I’ve read every word of  his published fiction! Aside from being, by a country mile, the best short fiction writer I’ve ever come across, he is, and remains, a truly original voice – unique in fact – and a hugely respected and cherished genre figure.’

James P. Blaylock lives in Orange, CA with his wife, Viki. He teaches creative writing at Chapman University where he is Assistant Professor of English. Continue reading “New Client – James P. Blaylock”

Submissions Open for Authors Attending This Year’s Worldcon…

Are you going to be at the Melbourne Worldcon in September? Are you an unagented author based in either Australia or New Zealand who will be attending? Are you an unagented author from somewhere else, but somehow independently wealthy enough to be going to the con? In either case, are you any good??

It’s looking increasingly likely that I’ll be attending Aussiecon 4 later in the year – volcanic ash permitting! My intention, having schlepped all that way, is to return with the pick of genre talent in my agently pocket, thus we’ve decided to open for submissions, but only for authors who will be attending the con. (Don’t try and hoodwink me – as I’ll be checking the membership roster to see if you’re on it! If you’re not going to be at Worldcon, your submission will not be considered in this window.)

What am I looking for? Well, all areas of genre fiction basically. That means SF, Fantasy and Horror and the various combinations/permutations thereof. As always, the salient factor is that of the excellence of the writing and the commercial hook, rather than how many rockets or wizards or ghosts appear in the story, so look to our Submission Guidelines and the About Zeno page to gauge our tastes.

Come on Australia and NZ – let’s see what you’ve got!

New Client – Samit Basu

We’re delighted to announce that Zeno has taken on Indian author Samit Basu as a client.

Samit is a very much a rising star on the scene in India – his Gameworld Trilogy, hit the best seller lists over there and he joins Zeno having sent his novel Turbulence into us – a novel which both Johns absolutely loved. It’s an extremely clever and terrifically inventive take on the Superhero genre and one with a very fascinating Indian slant. Full of energy, intrigue, action and verve, Turbulence packs a serious punch and its central plot poses two key questions… How would you feel if you actually got what you wanted? And what would you do if you could really change the world? Turbulence is due to be published in the Autumn by Hachette India.

Instinctively creative, Samit is established in other markets too – he has had a number of works for children published by Scholastic and is extremely active in the world of comics graphic novels (with work published by Virgin Comics). He has recently completed a GN project with Mike Carey and is working on a number of Bollywood screenplay projects.

We’re very much looking forward to working with Samit and to introducing his wonderful work to a wide international audience.

NEW CLIENT – Ben Aaronovitch

We’re a little late in announcing this (so much to do, so little time!) but are delighted to be doing so nonetheless.

Zeno has taken on Ben Aaronovitch as a client and we’ve already got some excitement going on for his novel RIVERS OF LONDON, the first book in a quite superb fantasy crime series that I’ve been pitching as “NEVERWHERE meets  THE SWEENEY“.

John Berlyne says “Ben’s arrival proves that the system works  and should give hope to all unagented writers out there. His book came in during the last round of submissions and the process followed the proscribed protocols in textbook fashion. I received an enquiry letter which intrigued me, asked for an elevator pitch which excited me, then received an excerpt which impressed me and finally a manuscript which floored me. It’s exactly the scenario that both parties – writer and agent – long for.

RIVERS OF LONDON is one of the most exciting and commercial prospects I’ve seen in a good while and ticks every box. John Parker and myself are enjoying working with Ben enormously and can’t wait to get this series out into the world

Zeno Lands Tim Powers A UK Deal!

secret historiesHere at Zeno towers, I have been quietly working away for some months on something of pet project. Anyone who knows me also knows that my favourite author nonpareil is the American genre writer Tim Powers. I won’t waste time repeating all the reasons why his work has thrilled and fascinated me for over twenty years, except to say that it did so enough for me to spend the last ten of them writing a book on the subject!

SECRET HISTORIES is now available from PS Publishing, and one significant thing that occured to me whilst I was working on it was that, with only minor exceptions, Powers remained out of print here in the UK for almost the entire time I was writing about him –  a project I began in the previous century!

Given my expert knowledge on this particular subject, I decided to set about addressing the issue and it is with tremendous personal and professional pride that I am delighted to be able to announce that Zeno, in association with Russell Galen of Scovil Galen Ghosh Literary Agency, has just completed on a FOUR book deal for Tim with Nicholas Cheetham at Corvus Books, the new imprint at Grove Atlantic.

Corvus is a perfect home for Powers, who has for many year’s been confined to the genre ghetto. However, the wider readership is nowadays far more receptive to genre-friendly, mainstream-cross-over novels in the wake of the Dan Brown phenomenon and the runaway success  in recent years of novels such as The Historian and Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell.  Publishing Director Nic Cheetham says of the imprint “Corvus takes a particular delight in patrolling those fertile zones of convergence at genre borders, where the best stories are to be found, where entire worlds – historical, psychological, fantastical – are built just to tell stories,” which makes things sound pretty much tailor made for Powers!

corvus declareThe Corvus deal sees publication both backlist and frontlist titles, bringing Powers back to a British and Commonwealth  audience with a fanfare that this extraordinary author truly deserves. Their programme begins with a mass market paperback edition of DECLARE – Tim’s 2000 World Fantasy Award winner, described as a “…transcendent thriller that re-writes the espionage fiction rule book as it reveals the terrible secret at the heart of the Cold War…” and scheduled for publication in June 2010. It’s hard to believe that this will be the first UK publication of this novel. Note that the image to the right is merely a design rough from the Corvus catalogue and may well change in due course. (I like it though!)

Nic Cheetham: “Everyone is a Tim Powers fan, but just not everybody knows it… yet. We’re looking forward to changing that in June with the publication of Tim’s World Fantasy Award-winning spy novel DECLARE.”

Following DECLARE will be another first UK publication, this time of THREE DAYS TO NEVER (format to be confirmed) currently scheduled for a January 2011 release, though subject to change. Corvus and will then publish a brand new Powers novel sometime later in that year. THE LIGHTS ALONG THE SHORE is set some years after the events of THE STRESS OF HER REGARD, to which it is a loose sequel.  STRESS will also be reissued as part of the deal.

So, there you have it folks – Powers is back in the UK with a new publisher, a new book and ready to find a new audience. Happy days!

Everyone is a Tim Powers fan, but just not everybody knows it… yet. We’re looking forward to changing that in June with the publication of Tim’s World Fantasy Award-winning spy novel DECLARE.

More Angry Robot Sales…

Following our recent announcement regarding début novel deals for Aliette de Bodard and Lavie Tidhar, we’re delighted to announce two more to Angry Robot, the exciting new genre imprint at Harpercollins.

Blackthorn headshotFirst up is a two book deal for John Meaney, who of course is already widely known as a Science Fiction author of immense talent (Robert J. Sawyer says that he’s ‘One of the most original voices, and most insightful thinkers, the genre has ever produced‘) and ABSORPTION,  the first novel in his new Space Opera sequence is due out from Gollancz next February.  Writing under the name Thomas Blackthorn – John will have two near future thrillers, EDGE and POINT published by Angry Robot, the first next February and the second in August 2010. Here’s what Angry Robot publishing Director Marc Gascoigne says of these…

‘[In EDGE] …we find ourselves in a decaying UK. The government’s response to decades of uncontrollable knife crime has been to legalise duelling, turning fighting with blades into a legitimate activity. The pinnacle of this new “sport” is the primetime TV show Knife Edge, in which have-a-go members of the public can compete against trained knifemen for ever greater rewards. So you know just what our ex-soldier hero Josh Cumberland will have to do to get to the bottom of his hunt for a missing child…

Its equally extraordinary sequel, POINT, takes us deep into the razor-wielding world of the Cutter Circles. But even in these Last Days, who the hell would want to deliberately cause the UK’s teenagers to self-harm and commit suicide? It’s up to Josh Cumberland to find out.’

Hughes headshotWe also delighted to have negotiate a three-book deal on behalf of Matt Hughes, a writer whom I’ve admired since my reviewing days. Matt’s recent releases in the US – the Henghis Hapthorn books published by Nightshade are a massively enjoyable mix of P.G. Wodehouse, Sherlock Holmes and Jack Vance’s Dying Earth, and I am hoping to find a home for them in the UK before too long, especially in the wake of the current Jack Vance renaissance. Matt has however, changed hats somewhat with these new books for Angry Robot which as yet are untitled. Here’s Marc Gascoigne again…

‘[Matt]… brings us a trio of novels featuring mild-mannered actuary Chesney Anstruther. After he accidentally summons a demon (as you do), the canny Anstruther refuses to go ahead with any soul-selling, which leads through various confusions to, well, Hell going on strike. Which means that nothing bad ever happens in the world… with disastrous consequences. When Satan offers him his heart’s desire to sort the whole mess out, our hero seizes his chance, and becomes a caped crimefighter, with a very unwilling demon for a sidekick.

Volume one of Anstruther’s outrageous shenanigans will be with you in August 2010, with at least two more to follow at six-month intervals. The titles themselves… well, we’re going to keep you in suspense a little longer on those. Bring it on!

Bring it on indeed! Congratulation to both John (or Thomas, if you prefer) and Matt and of course to Angry Robot. More on these releases in due course.

NEW CLIENT – Ian R. MacLeod

Zeno is delighted to announce that multi-award winning author Ian R. MacLeod has joined us as a client and we will henceforth be acting as his primary agent.

sot-thumbIan has, of course, been in the news recently having scooped the coveted Arthur C. Clarke Award last month for his wonderful novel Song of Time, published by PS Publishing. His superb backlist is also no stranger when it comes to receiving gongs – he has twice received both the World Fantasy and the Sidewise awards and has also been placed first in the Asimov readers poll and won the LOCUS award for best first novel. In addition to all this, he has made the short-lists for the Hugo, the Nebula, the BSF, the Sturgeon, the John W. Campbell and the Tiptree awards!

John Berlyne says “I’ve been a fan of Ian’s for years! He is a truly exceptional talent and one-man showcase for all that shines in British science fiction. John Parker and I are looking forward hugely to working with him.”

NEW CLIENT – Colin Harvey

angry_robot-thumbWe’re delighted to add British author Colin Harvey to our client list, representing him in the UK and British Commonwealth on behalf of Jenny Rappaport at The Rappaport Literary Agency in the US.

Colin has recently sold two books to Angry Robot, the shiny new genre imprint at HarperCollins headed up by Marc Gascoigne, and we were delighted to have been involved in steering the deal through. Congratulations Colin!

Here’s a link to Colin’s Blog in which he talks about Winter Song, his novel due to be published by Angry Robot in October 2009.

NEW CLIENT – Aliette de Bodard

We are absolutely delighted to welcome Aliette de Bodard to the Zeno agency.

John Berlyne says “Aliette’s reputation as a rising star of genre fiction had reached me long before I had the pleasure of meeting her in person at last year’s World Fantasy Convention in Calgary. That reputation was well founded – her work is both delightful and ingenous, her voice distinctive and her feeling for history and the ancient civilisations where she sets much of her work is instictive, thorough and a credit to her extensive research. No longer can she be considered merely one of the Writers of the Future (she was a winner of that competition on 2007) – Aliette is a very much a writer of today and one that is going to be around for a long time to come.