ICYMI: Aliette de Bodard Interviewed on Page Break Podcast

Today, we wanted to draw your attention to Aliette de Bodard‘s interview for Brian McClellan’s Page Break podcast.

Brian’s guest is software engineer and award-winning science fiction and fantasy author Aliette de Bodard. Aliette has been published in magazines, ezines, collections, and in long form by major publishers across a prolific career. She has either been nominated for or outright won many of the big awards in genre publishing.

Aliette and Brian talked about history and conflict; about writing and rewriting, and how working with translators and being multilingual change the way writers think about our stories.

If you’d prefer to listen to the podcast on your phone (or other device), it is available from most podcast hosting apps.

Aliette’s latest book is the award-nominated and critically-acclaimed novella, FIREHEART TIGER. Published by Tor.com, it’s out now. Here’s the synopsis…

Fire burns bright and has a long memory…

Quiet, thoughtful princess Thanh was sent away as a hostage to the powerful faraway country of Ephteria as a child. Now she’s returned to her mother’s imperial court, haunted not only by memories of her first romance, but by worrying magical echoes of a fire that devastated Ephteria’s royal palace.

Thanh’s new role as a diplomat places her once again in the path of her first love, the powerful and magnetic Eldris of Ephteria, who knows exactly what she wants: romance from Thanh and much more from Thanh’s home. Eldris won’t take no for an answer, on either front. But the fire that burned down one palace is tempting Thanh with the possibility of making her own dangerous decisions.

Can Thanh find the freedom to shape her country’s fate — and her own?

Aliette is also the author of the acclaimed, award-winning Dominion of the Fallen series, published by Gollancz (UK), Roc Books and JABberwocky (North America); and also the Obsidian & Blood series, published by JABberwocky.

ICYMI: HOW TO BE A BOSS AT AGEING with Anniki Sommerville (Podcast)

Above you can hear the trailer for Anniki Sommerville‘s new podcast, How to Be a Boss at Ageing! Launched a little while ago, you may have seen our Tweets about the series, but we wanted to post this reminder, too. Here’s the podcast’s description:

‘How to Be a Boss at Ageing’ is the irreverent and funny podcast by Anniki Sommerville which tackles the question- who the heck am I now that I’m an ‘older’ woman? Each episode tackles a different issue, interviewing different female experts and focusing on how to combat falling out of love with your work, dealing with grief, coping with menopause and look okay without people saying things behind your back.

The podcast is available from most podcast outlets, including Apple and Spotify. The first episode, ‘How to Be Less Grumpy at Work’ is out now.

Anniki Sommerville is the author of MOTHERWHELMED, which is out now published by One Chapter More. The author’s next book, THE B-WORD, is due to be published in September (eBook) and November 2020 (print).

Here are just a few reviews that MOTHERWHELMED has received so far…

‘Had me laughing and crying in equal measure – would recommend to anyone venturing into parenthood or considering it.’Anna Whitehouse aka Mother Pukka

‘I love Anniki’s writing on motherhood. It’s funny and totally honest, but also soulful and sometimes quite beautiful. She gets to the heart of the matter of what it feels like to be a mother.’Clover Stroud

‘Anniki has the magic touch of saying what many of us are too edited to say whilst also being hilarious – I don’t know many parents that haven’t felt the overwhelm and having someone so brilliantly put it on paper makes me feel like I’m not the only one.’Cherry Healey

‘It felt like it was written for me.’Kate Hiscox (@wearsmymoney)

‘Hilarious, painful and deeply accurate. . . I was torn between howling with laughter and wincing with pain.’Julia Williams

‘Ten Minutes with Lavie Tidhar’ Podcast Interview

A little while ago, Jonathan Strahan interviewed Lavie Tidhar for Coode Street’s “Ten Minutes With…” series of podcast episodes. You can listen to the interview on the podcast’s website, but we’ve also embedded the interview below…

Lavie’s latest novel, the acclaimed BY FORCE ALONE, is out now in the UK (Head of Zeus) and due to be published in North America in August 2020 (Tor Books). In case you’ve missed the coverage, here’s the synopsis…

Britannia, AD 535.

The Romans have gone. While their libraries smoulder, roads decay and cities crumble, men with swords pick over civilisation’s carcass, slaughtering and being slaughtered in turn.

This is the story of just such a man. Like the others, he had a sword. He slew until slain. Unlike the others, we remember him. We remember King Arthur.

This is the story of a land neither green nor pleasant. An eldritch isle of deep forest and dark fell haunted by swaithes, boggarts and tod-lowries, Robin-Goodfellows and Jenny Greenteeths, and predators of rarer appetite yet.

This is the story of a legend forged from a pack of self-serving, turd-gilding, weasel-worded lies told to justify foul deeds and ill-gotten gains.

This is the story – viscerally entertaining, ominously subversive and poetically profane – of a Dark Age myth that shaped a nation.

Here’s just a small selection of the aforementioned acclaim for BY FORCE ALONE

‘Drawing on everything from wushu movies to The Wire by way of Tarkovsky and Tarantino, BY FORCE ALONE is wild, surprising and entertaining, and a hugely immersive read.’ — M.R. Carey

‘A twisted Arthur retelling mixing the historical and the magical with a very modern eye. Brutal and vicious, funny, Peaky Blinders of the Round Table.’ — Adrian Tchaikovsky

‘Profane, hilarious, brutal… kills as both sheer entertainment and canny political statement. To my fellow writers: the Arthurian Revision category is now closed. Take your ball and go home.’ — Daryl Gregory

‘Uther is a chancer and a shagger… [Arthur] is ruthless in pursuit of power… His Lancelot… is a ninja warrior, his Guinevere a killer — the writer is clearly having fun… Tidhar never lands direct political punches… but the very tone and shape of the book are a reminder that we need to treat national myths with caution… this is a novel that demands your attention and proves that sometimes when a writer has the audacity to revisit stories that others would avoid for fear of over-familiarity, they can steal the power of the oldest tales.’ — SFX (4.5*/5)

‘A violent, funny, absurd epic – Tidhar remains an utterly original voice in contemporary fiction.’ — Daniel Polansky

‘Tidhar saturates this epic adventure with profanity, dark humor, sword-sharp twists, and unexpected moments of pathos. Readers who hold King Arthur dear to their hearts will be gratified by Tidhar’s attention to detail amidst the innovation. This dark, imaginative take on a classic is sure to impress.’ — Publishers Weekly

‘Lavie Tidhar has built a career out of not playing it safe. Over the last decade he has written bold, provocative novels… with a flair for metafiction and inspired by the pulps (both hard-boiled and genre)… given the political nature of his work, it’s not entirely surprising that he would shift his focus to the question of nationalism and Brexit… with his latest novel, BY FORCE ALONE, Tidhar takes a mythology the English hold dear, the legend of King Arthur, and goes to town with it… For all its foul language and radical deconstruction, of which I’ve provided only a taste (you should see what Tidhar does with the Holy Grail), BY FORCE ALONE isn’t a desecration of the Arthurian romances. Instead, he pays homage to the writers and poets – Robert Wace, Chretien de Troyes, Wolfram von Eschenbach, and Thomas Mallory (just to name a few) – who took their turn in adapting and refining Monmouth’s text… BY FORCE ALONE is a jolt of pure entertainment, a brilliant, revisionist blend of magic, crime syndicates and Kung-fu knights.’ — Locus

‘The novel is a bloody, bravura performance, which Tidhar pulls off with graphic imagery and modern vernacular… a salutary antidote to the more romantic glossings of recent modern fantasy.’ — Guardian

Andrew Hodges on the History of AI, Alan Turing and more!

Andrew Hodges, author of the critically-acclaimed biography ALAN TURING: THE ENIGMA was recently interviewed for the University of Oxford’s Futuremakers Podcast. Here’s the episode’s intro…

Many developments in science are achieved through people being able to ‘stand on the shoulders of giants’ and in the history of AI two giants in particular stand out. Ada Lovelace, who inspired visions of computer creativity, and Alan Turing, who conceived machines which could do anything a human could do. So where do their stories, along with those of calculating engines, punched card machines and cybernetics fit into to where artificial intelligence is today?

Join our host, philosopher Peter Millican, as he explores this topic with Ursula Martin, Professor at the University of Edinburgh and a member of Oxford’s Mathematical Institute,  Andrew Hodges, Emeritus Fellow at Wadham, who tutors for a wide range of courses in pure and applied mathematics, and Jacob Ward, a historian of science, technology, and modern Britain and a Postdoctoral Researcher in the History of Computing.

Andrew’s aforementioned book is published by Vintage in the UK, Princeton University Press in the US, and widely in translation. Here’s the synopsis…

The official book behind the Academy Award-winning film The Imitation Game, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley

Alan Turing was the mathematician whose cipher-cracking transformed the Second World War. Taken on by British Intelligence in 1938, as a shy young Cambridge don, he combined brilliant logic with a flair for engineering. In 1940 his machines were breaking the Enigma-enciphered messages of Nazi Germany’s air force. He then headed the penetration of the super-secure U-boat communications.

But his vision went far beyond this achievement. Before the war he had invented the concept of the universal machine, and in 1945 he turned this into the first design for a digital computer.

Turing’s far-sighted plans for the digital era forged ahead into a vision for Artificial Intelligence. However, in 1952 his homosexuality rendered him a criminal and he was subjected to humiliating treatment. In 1954, aged 41, Alan Turing took his own life.

LeVar reads Lavie!

Just a quick post to let you know that Lavie Tidhar‘s YIWU short story is included in the latest podcast episode of LeVar Burton Reads! The story is out now, published by Tor.com. Here’s the synopsis…

Can dreams come true? They can if you win the lottery, which promises to provide what your heart desires. For a humble shopkeeper in Yiwu, it’s a living, selling lottery tickets. Until a winning ticket opens up mysteries he’d never imagined.

You can find the episode pretty much wherever you get your podcasts from, and also right here…

Robotics Through Science Fiction: Ian Tregillis interviewed

Today, we wanted to share with you this great interview with Ian Tregillis, for Robotics Through Science Fiction, in which he discusses his incredible Alchemy Wars series:

Ian is the critically-acclaimed author of the Milkweed Triptych and the aforementioned Alchemy Wars fantasy series, both of which are published in the UK by Orbit Books. Here are the covers, as well as just a few of the great reviews that the series have received…

‘Tregillis has journeyed into that most overtilled field, World War II alternate history, and in the process he has created a unique, unsettling, and deeply atmospheric setting; populated it with a diversity of grimly fascinating characters; and turned up the heat with the sort of plot that requires those characters to keep shoveling frantically if they are ever to stay in advance of the needs of the firebox… These are the book’s strengths – its atmosphere, its setting, the vividly imagined consequences of immoral and desperate actions… All in all, this is an excellent first book, and I am eagerly awaiting number two.’ Tor.Com (Elizabeth Bear) on BITTER SEEDS

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

‘With all the flair he showed in his debut novel, Tregillis continues the tale, bringing to it that same marvellous plotting, immersive sense of place, and above all, wonderful characters. One of the characters introduced in the first novel is a precognitive, and in this volume – which revolves around her long plots – we are shown that the power to see the future is the most corrupting power of them all. Tregillis’s oracle is one of the most chilling psychopath villains of literature, a delicious monster who drives the book forward. As with the earlier volume, I tore through this one in a day and a half. Tregillis is a major new talent in the field, and this is some of the best – and most exciting – alternate history I’ve read. Bravo.’ BoingBoing on THE COLDEST WAR

‘In this bleak fantasy, World War II was fought between Nazis with devastating psychic powers and British warlocks employing Eidolons, irresistible demons beyond time and space – a struggle the British ultimately lost… intensity of the narrative, the torments of the protagonist or the deviously alluring storyline. Darkly fascinating… A thoroughly satisfying conclusion to an imaginative tour de force.’ Kirkus on NECESSARY EVIL

‘The masterful conclusion… There are so many small details throughout the book (and series as a whole, actually) that help make the characters more-real, and the time more vivid. Gretel is an absolutely fascinating character, and one of my favourites in any book or series: she is both star and villain; Machiavellian in the extreme and ultimately tragic… Tregillis brings the novel and series to a brilliant close. The ending of NECESSARY EVIL is heart-wrenching… but it feels right, given what’s come before. The Milkweed Triptych is one of my all-time favourite series. It is a must-read. Very highly recommended.’ Civilian Reader

‘The first thing readers will say after finishing this splendid book is: “Wow.” The second thing will probably be: “When can I read the next one?” … This is a rousing SF/fantasy adventure, with a brilliantly imagined and beautifully rendered alternate world. Although he keeps the pace moving at a brisk clip, the author is able to work in some Big Ideas, asking us to think about what we mean when we speak about souls and free will. This isn’t Tregillis’ first venture into alternate history — the Milkweed Triptych is set during WWII and features an alternate time line — but, in terms of the quality of writing and cleverness of ideas, this new book constitutes a major leap forward.’ Booklist (Starred Review) on THE MECHANICAL

‘… launches a series with this superb alternate history filled with clockwork men and ethical questions on the nature of free will… Tregillis’s complex setting is elegantly delivered, and the rich characters and gripping story really make this tale soar.’ Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) on THE MECHANICAL

‘The chases, the battles, the brutal violence, and the scheming are nonstop. As always, Tregillis offers richly textured and genuinely likable personalities with shades-of-gray morality; it’s clearly no accident that the most purely good person in the novel is the mechanical Jax, although even his sterling qualities are severely tested by the terrible situations he faces. Middle volumes are always tricky; they can often read as an obstacle to overcome on the way to the forgone conclusion of the third installment. Tregillis commendably avoids this trap, deepening his story and keeping it moving along toward an unknown horizon. Part 3 can’t come too soon.’ Kirkus (Starred Review) on THE RISING

‘Tregillis’s splendid sequel to THE MECHANICAL is a vivid alternate history tale filled with action sequences, fascinating characters, and great worldbuilding… engrossing, with plenty of mid-story twists, and it’s well worth the ride.’ Publishers Weekly on THE RISING

THE LIBERATION brings to a violent, triumphant conclusion Ian Tregillis’s epic Alchemy Wars Trilogy: one of the most entertaining, original, and thought-provoking series of recent years… It’s a wonderfully realized world, packed with fascinating characters, and Tregillis uses alternative history brilliantly to explore concerns we still have over new technologies and their potential effect, for good and ill, on our freedom.’ Toronto Star 

The thoughtful, blood-soaked conclusion to an alternate-history trilogy… A frighteningly frank and brutal consideration of slavery, post-slavery, and colonialism in metallic garb.’ Kirkus on THE LIBERATION

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

Ben Aaronovitch interview and upcoming event

Ben Aaronovitch was recently interviewed for The Bestseller Experiment podcast…

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

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

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

… and three comic series published by Titan Comics

William Gibson Inducted into Canadian SFF Hall of Fame

GibsonW-PeripheralUK-BlogWe’re very happy to share the news that William Gibson has been inducted into the Canadian SFF Hall of Fame! Gibson is the author of the pioneering cyberpunk NEUROMANCER, and many other critically-acclaimed novels. His next novel, THE PERIPHERAL, is due to be published by Viking/Penguin this November. In case you’ve missed information about the novel, here’s the synopsis…

Some time around the year 2020, in a trailer park in the Deep South, a young woman witnesses a murder. She is in a video game, and watches with horror as a drone strike kills a child. At precisely the same moment, one hundred years in the future, a boy is remotely killed on the streets of London’s great skyscrapers. The perpetrator remains anonymous. Interweaving two strange futures, from a ramshackle community of US army veterans, to the teeming masses of a mega city, The Peripheral tells the story of a brave new world of drones, outsourcing and kleptocracy, and of a crime that can only be solved across time.

The Canadian SFF Hall of Fame is a new institution, established by the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Association, who also give the Aurora Awards. This year’s award will be given at VCON 39 in Vancouver. Gibson will be attending the convention for a Q&A session on October 4th between 1-2pm.

A reading from THE PERIPHERAL featured in a recent Penguin Podcast, ‘Extra-Terrestrial Reads Books’. You can hear the ‘cast, below…

Zeno represents William Gibson in the UK and Commonwealth, on behalf of Martha Millard.

More on John McHugo and the 2014 Transmission Award!

Last month, we shared the news that John McHugo had been nominated for the 2014 Transmission Award, which is given each year by Salon London. John is nominated for work related to his latest book, A CONCISE HISTORY OF THE ARABS (published by Saqi Books). Since then, Salon London has posted a podcast about John’s work and the other two nominees.

For your listening pleasure, here is the podcast…

Here is the synopsis for A CONCISE HISTORY OF THE ARABS

The key to understanding the Arab world – today and in the future – lies in unlocking its past.

John McHugo unfolds centuries of political, social and intellectual development, from the Roman Empire right up to the present day. Taking the reader beyond the headlines, McHugo presents a series of turning points in Arab history: the mission of the Prophet Muhammad, the expansion of Islam, the conflicts of the medieval and modern ages, the struggles against foreign domination, the rise of Islamism, and the end of the rule of dictators.

Accessible and penetrating, this concise history reveals how the Arab world has come to assume its present form and illuminates the choices that lie ahead in the wake of the Arab Spring.


Simon Unsworth Interviewed by This Is Horror…


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

Ian Tregillis Interviewed on the Sword & Laser Podcast

On January 14th, 2014, Ian Tregillis was interviewed for the Sword & Laser Podcast #159. We decided to share the interview – in which Ian ‘alludes to his secret Clakkers project, explains how to make an angel talk like a shamus, and reveals Gretel’s secret Reagan baby’ – with you, here…

Ian’s critically-acclaimed Milkweed TriptychBITTER SEEDS, THE COLDEST WAR, and NECESSARY EVIL – is published by Orbit Books in the UK. His latest novel, SOMETHING MORE THAN NIGHT, is published by Tor Books in the US (and has won a long string of accolades). His upcoming series, Clakkers, is due to be published by Orbit Books in late 2014.


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