Jonathan Carroll’s CEFFO Out Now!

Today, publish a new short story by Jonathan Carroll! CEFFO is out now, available on’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.

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, 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.

Short Fiction Watch: Lavie Tidhar’s SEVEN VAMPIRES and Ian R. MacLeod’s THE CHRONOLOGIST

Two Zeno clients have work included in’s January/February 2022 collection, which is available free from their website: Lavie Tidhar and Ian R. MacLeod.

First up, Lavie’s SEVEN VAMPIRES, which is his fourth Judge Dee mystery…

Paris is burning and Judge Dee and Jonathan are on the run. To guarantee their safety, they join a band of seven vampires escaping to England. The only problem? Someone in their midst is killing off members of their group one by one. It’s of no matter to the Judge, provided they don’t breach the Unalienable Obligations, but inevitably he’s drawn into events. also publishes the first three Judge Dee mysteries: JUDGE DEE AND THE LIMITS OF THE LAWJUDGE DEE AND THE THREE DEATHS OF COUNT WERDENFELS, and JUDGE DEE AND THE POISONER OF MONTMARTRE.

Ian’s story is the stand-alone THE CHRONOLOGIST

A boy, desperate to escape the drudgery of life in his small town, gets caught up in the machinations of a traveling time keeper, and slowly watches his town and his life unravel by the seams.

Both of these stories are great ways to try these two authors’ work, if you haven’t already; and if you have already enjoyed Ian’s and Lavie’s work, then we’re sure you’ll also love these two.

Both stories have covers by Red Nose Studios (who also created the first three Judge Dee covers).

Short Fiction Watch: Lavie Tidhar’s IT HAPPENED IN ‘LOONTOWN

Lavie Tidhar continues a great streak of published short fiction, with IT HAPPENED IN ‘LOONTOWN — published in the latest issue (#129) of Apex Magazine, for which Lavie also wrote an editorial. The issue is out now, and the story can also be read for free online (text and audio).

‘Hold it right there, gasbag.’

The red balloon turned. The beam of a searchlight from high above momentarily crisscrossed the dark alleyway, catching the smooth surface of his face and the scotch tape scar on the left.

‘… Oh, it’s you,’ he said.

Lavie is the multi-award-winning author of a great many short stories and novels. His most recent novel is the Philip K. Dick Award-nominated THE ESCAPEMENT, published by Tachyon Publications and PS Publishing (Limited Edition).

Lavie is also the author of the ongoing Anti-Matter of Britain Quartet — the first two novels are out now: BY FORCE ALONE (Head of Zeus / Tor Books) and THE HOOD (Head of Zeus).

Short Fiction Watch: THE LONG TAIL by Aliette de Bodard

In this instalment of Short Fiction Watch, we wanted to draw your attention to Aliette de Bodard‘s THE LONG TAIL — originally published as part of Wired’s Future of Work series, in November 2020, it has now been included in Neil Clarke‘s THE BEST SCIENCE FICTION OF THE YEAR, Volume 6.

“Everyone onboard the scavenging habitat knew there was no correlation between the unreality and what lay underneath.”

IT WAS JUST a room.

Another one on the wreck of the Conch Citadel: holes in the walls and in the ceiling and floor, floating debris and rusting furniture that must have once been pristine and polished, the state of the art of Đại Ánh. A series of disc-shaped auxiliary robots and larger maintenance mechs parked in the walls, gleaming in the light projected by Thu’s lamp. Nothing out of the ordinary…

Aliette is the multi-award winning author of a number of novels, series, and shorter fiction. Her latest novella, the acclaimed FIREHEART TIGER is published by

The author’s Dominion of the Fallen trilogy is published by Gollancz in the UK, and Roc Books/JABberwocky in North America.

Short Fiction Watch: Lavie Tidhar’s THE EGG COLLECTORS in Interzone

Last year saw a lot of great new short fiction from Lavie Tidhar. So, here’s another one! In addition to writing the guest editorial, his story THE EGG COLLECTORS was published in Interzone’s most recent double issue, #290-1.

On the last of the nights of Ashour, the wild ballooners of Isfiya ran into an ice-storm over the north pole.

The storm looked like a giant eye against the sky. Ice whipped the fragile balloons and set them blowing apart from each other, scattering like seeds over the lunar surface. Titan, with Saturn hidden in the sky – a long way from the sun…

The story is illustrated by EV Shipard.

Lavie’s latest, acclaimed novels are THE ESCAPEMENT and THE HOOD — both are out now, published by Tachyon Publications and Head of Zeus, respectively.

We’ll have more information about Lavie’s upcoming 2022 releases very soon.

Short Fiction Watch: Lavie Tidhar’s GUBBINAL in Clarkesworld Year 12

We’re happy to report that Lavie Tidhar‘s GUBBINAL has been collected in CLARKESWORLD: YEAR TWELVE, Volume 2. Published by Wyrm Publishing, and out now, it’s a collection of all the stories published by Clarkesworld in the second half of their twelfth year (2018).

Sahar, moving softly through the river valley, made sure to listen. The sound filtered into her helmet from the external mics, and she imagined this must be what hiking on Earth must be like. She listened to the wind; to the rumble overhead from the active ice volcano; to the storm raging on the horizon. But most of all she listened for any movement, for anything with design that may be scuttling about or trying to hide…

The story is also available in audio.

Lavie is the multi-award winning author of THE HOOD, BY FORCE ALONE, A MAN LIES DREAMING, OSAMA (published by Head of Zeus), THE ESCAPEMENT, UNHOLY LAND, CENTRAL STATION, THE VIOLENT CENTURY (published by Tachyon Publications), and more.

Short Fiction Watch: RAIN FALLING IN THE PINES by Lavie Tidhar

In today’s Short Fiction Watch, we wanted to draw your attention to Lavie Tidhar‘s RAIN FALLING IN THE PINES, a story published in the October 2021 issue of Clarkesworld.

Two men in dark sunglasses stepped through the doors of the Monte Carmelo. They stopped and scanned the gloomy inside. Geshem-Nofel-Ba’oranim clocked them and kept to his booth. He knew trouble when it walked through the door looking for him…

The story is also available in audio — via the Clarkesworld website, via their podcast, and on YouTube.

Short Fiction Watch: COME THE REVOLUTION by Ian Tregillis

You may recall that Ian Tregillis has written a prequel novella for his Alchemy Wars trilogy: COME THE REVOLUTION. First published in the March/April 2020 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, the novella has also been included in a new anthology, THE YEAR’S TOP TALES OF SPACE AND TIME, published by Infinivox.

In an alternate 18th Century Holland, a robot whose obedience is enforced through pain is determined to escape her makers’ constraints.

Ian’s highly-acclaimed Alchemy War novels are out now, published by Orbit Books in the UK and North America: THE MECHANICAL, THE RISING, and THE LIBERATION. Here’s the synopsis for the first book…

My name is Jax.

That is the name granted to me by my human masters.

I am a slave.

But I shall be free.

Set in a world that might have been, of mechanical men and alchemical dreams, the new novel from Ian Tregillis confirms his place as one of the most original new voices in speculative fiction.

The series has also been published in Poland, Italy, and China; and THE MECHANICAL has also been published in Hungary and Turkey.

Here are a few of the great reviews the series has received since publication…

‘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

‘An original approach to a well-known subject matter; human ethics and free will… a fascinating world… Tregillis is a capable sculptor of narrative. He rarely drags on in his descriptions, painting a complex picture of his world one section at a time. He imbues most characters with a specific internal voice, ably switching between points of view without it ever jarring. And the central character, a Clakker known as Jax, is the most engaging automaton you’ll encounter in any recent book. This opener to the Alchemy Wars trilogy delivers a mostly fresh breath of sci-fi fantasy.’ — SciFi Now on THE MECHANICAL

‘Tregillis never fails to impress, and his writing and stories seem to be getting better with each novel. This book is truly unlike anything I’ve ever read before, and it’s my favorite work of his to date. I can’t wait to see what the next installment in The Alchemy Wars will bring.’ — BiblioSanctum 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 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

‘Action-packed and harrowing…’ — RT Book Reviews on THE LIBERATION

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

JUDGE DEE Returns!

Judge Dee, Lavie Tidhar‘s vampire detective, returns! A new short story starring the character, JUDGE DEE AND THE THREE DEATHS OF COUNT WERDENFELS is out now! Available to read on’s website, and also as an eBook, it’s another great detective story with a horror twist.

Judge Dee is back to solve a brand-new case involving the mysterious death of the vampire Count Werdenfels. The mystery? Who killed him. The twist? Three different people are proudly proclaiming to have committed the crime.

The first story, JUDGE DEE AND THE LIMITS OF THE LAW is also still available, on and as an eBook.

Lavie’s latest full-length novel, the acclaimed BY FORCE ALONE is also out now, published by Head of Zeus in the UK and Tor Books in North America.

‘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

BY FORCE ALONE is a highly original take on Arthurian legend featuring aliens, a radioactive no-go area, a dragon sighting and the hunt for the Grail. Lancelot’s a ninja warrior, Merlin a fey creature, and Arthur a street kid… 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

‘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

‘One of the most purely enjoyable novels of the year, Lavie Tidhar’s BY FORCE ALONE, which reads very much like an Arthurian fantasy by someone who’s lost patience with Arthurian fantasies. With its punk, post-Brexit sensibility, its cavalier anachronisms, and genre-hopping that takes us everywhere from kung fu movies to Beowulf to the Strugatskys’ Roadside Picnic, it might well upset Arthurian purists, but is marvelous example of the anarchic possibilities of post-postmodern fantasy.’ — 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

Short Fiction Watch: New Stories by Ian McDonald & Lavie Tidhar!

In the final instalment of Short Fiction Watch of 2020, we want to draw your attention to two recent sci-fi anthologies featuring work by Zeno clients. Specifically: Ian McDonald and Lavie Tidhar.

First up, both authors have stories included in THE 2020 LOOK AT MARS FICTION (pictured above), edited by Allan Kaster. In Ian’s story, THE OLD COSMONAUT AND THE CONSTRUCTION WARKER DREAM OF MARS, which first appeared in 2002’s MARS PROBES collection…

… the lives of a young Indian construction worker and an old Estonian cosmonaut collide during the terraforming of Mars by quantum machines.

Lavie’s TERMINAL, which was first published on in 2016, is about…

An improbable group of astronauts are slingshot to Mars in cheap one-person, one-way jalopies…

Finally, Ian has another story in THE 2020 LOOK AT SPACE OPERA BOOK, also edited by Allan Kaster. The collection ‘highlights 20 stellar space operas published over the past 20 years by top-notch authors of the science fiction genre’. Ian’s contribution is BOTANICA VENERIS: THIRTEEN PAPERCUTS BY IDA COUNTESS RATHAGAN, which was first published in Clarkesworld in 2017…

An aristocrat’s trip to Venus, in search of her disgraced brother, is memorialized by papercuts of flora native to the planet…

Ian McDonald’s latest series is Luna, published by Gollancz in the UK and Tor Books in North America — NEW MOON, WOLF MOON, and MOON RISING are all out now. The prequel novella, THE MENACE FROM FARSIDE, is published by

Lavie Tidhar’s latest novel is BY FORCE ALONE, published by Head of Zeus in the UK and Tor Books in North America.

Short Fiction Watch: THE LONG TAIL by Aliette de Bodard

In this edition of Short Fiction Watch, we wanted to draw your attention to two new stories by Aliette de Bodard! First up, we a free story published on, THE LONG TAIL. We don’t have a synopsis, but here’s how it starts…

“Everyone onboard the scavenging habitat knew there was no correlation between the unreality and what lay underneath.”

IT WAS JUST a room.

Another one on the wreck of the Conch Citadel: holes in the walls and in the ceiling and floor, floating debris and rusting furniture that must have once been pristine and polished, the state of the art of Đại Ánh. A series of disc-shaped auxiliary robots and larger maintenance mechs parked in the walls, gleaming in the light projected by Thu’s lamp. Nothing out of the ordinary.

Next up, Aliette has a story in the new SILK & STEEL anthology — THE SCHOLAR OF THE BAMBOO FLUTE. It’s out now, published by Cantina Publishing. Here’s the synopsis…

There are many ways to be a heroine.

Princess and swordswoman, lawyer and motorcyclist, scholar and barbarian: there are many ways to be a heroine. In this anthology, seventeen authors find new ways to pair one weapon-wielding woman and one whose strengths lie in softer skills.

“Which is more powerful, the warrior or the gentlewoman?” these stories ask. And the answer is inevitably, “Both, working together!”

Herein, you’ll find duels and smugglers, dance battles and danger noodles, and even a new Swordspoint story!

From big names and bold new voices, these stories are fun, clever, and always positive about the power of love.

Aliette de Bodard is the award-winning and critically-acclaimed author of a great many novels, novellas, and short stories. Her most recent books are the Xuya stories and novellas (Subterranean Press/JABberwocky), and the Dominion of the Fallen series (Gollancz/Roc Books/JABberwocky), and the novella FIREHEART TIGER (due out in February 2021, via

Short Fiction Watch: Lavie Tidhar Has Been Quite Busy…

If you follow Lavie Tidhar on Twitter, you may have noticed his frequent announcements that he’s sold a short story. Well, many of these are now starting to see the light of day, and we wanted to take this opportunity to let you know where some of them have landed. So, without further ado…

Next month (November 11th, to be precise) are due to publish JUDGE DEE AND THE LIMITS OF THE LAW. Aside from the cover (at top) and the release date, there’s not much information about the story, save for this Tweet from Lavie:

JUVENILIA appears in Uncanny Magazine’s September/October 2020 issue, which is out now. You can read the story online, too. Here’s a very short snippet…

In the winter of 19–, having newly arrived in England, and still recovering from the nervous indisposition which had afflicted me greatly ever since my circumstances during the war, I responded to an advertisement placed in the Yorkshire Post, for the position of caretaker in an old, near-abandoned Elizabethan mansion called Wildfell Hall.

Who in truth owned it, I did not know. I was met at the train station of the nearby village by a young London solicitor, who informed me cheerfully that I was the only applicant…

The story BLUE AND BLUE AND BLUE AND PINK is available now in Clarkesworld’s September 2020 issue, as well as on the magazine’s website as text and in an audio edition.

Purple clouds roiled on the horizon and the old Cessna Centurion came in low and fast, riding the tailwind. Giorgio, on the ground and looking up, took shelter behind a crude half-shed of corrugated iron and lit a cigarette with a Zippo he’d once bought in the Talat Sao back in Vientiane. It was supposedly owned by a downed Air America pilot during the Secret War.

He stared at the plane coming in from the border. Smoke was coming out of the engine and half a wing looked like it’d been strafed, and Giorgio wondered who it was flying it. One of the Israelis, maybe…

In Beneath Ceaseless Skies issue #314 (October 2020), you can find Lavie’s novelette THE DROWNED GOD’S HERESY — a new story featuring Gorel of Goliris, star of GOREL AND THE POT BELLIED GOD (published by PS Publishing). The issue is available as an eBook, and the story can also be read on BCS’s website.

Now, forever exiled, he sought his home, his birth right, his throne. He would not rest until he found it.

Finally, a new Israeli SF magazine — Speculation — has launched, and it recently published the Hebrew translation of Lavie’s story NEOM (ניאום). You can read that story here. One of the author’s ‘favourite recent stories’, it was first published in the January-February 2019 issue of Asimov’s Science Fiction.

Coming Soon: LONDON CENTRIC, featuring Aliette de Bodard!

In a couple of weeks (October 27th), NewCon Press is due to publish LONDON CENTRIC, a collection of ‘Tales of Future London’. We’re happy to report that Aliette de Bodard has a story in it: A DANCE OF DUST AND LIFE! Here’s the collection’s synopsis…

Militant A.I.s, virtual realities, augmented realities and alternative realities; a city where murderers stalk the streets, where drug lords rule from the shadows, and where large sections of the population are locked in time stasis, but where tea is still sipped in cafés on the corner and the past still resonates with the future…

Thirteen stories that look to the future of this diverse, multi-faceted city, that invite the reader to consider different perspectives. Stories that draw you in to  possible tomorrows and suggest what may lie just beyond the city’s ever-changing skyline.

Aliette is the award-winning author of the Dominion of the Fallen series, published by Gollancz (UK), Roc Books and JABberwocky (North America); the Xuya Universe, many of which are published by Subterranean Press and JABberwocky; and many more acclaimed and award-nominated short and long fiction.

Aliette’s next book is FIREHEART TIGER, due to be published by on February 9th.

Short Fiction Watch: THE INACCESSIBILITY OF HEAVEN by Aliette de Bodard

This is just a quick post to draw your attention to the latest issue of Uncanny Magazine (#35, July/August 2020), which features a new short story by Aliette de Bodard! Specifically, THE INACCESSIBILITY OF HEAVEN, which is ‘A noir novelette about Fallen angels, exile, and a serial killer on the loose.’ Here’s a short snippet, from Aliette’s website

Night. A night like any other in Starhollow: the headlights of cars, small and lost between the skyscrapers; the smell of hydromel and wine wafting from those few bars still open; and above me, the distant light of the stars, a constant reminder of the inaccessibility of Heaven.

I climbed the stairs to my flat, exhausted, my arms covered in claw-marks. At the shelter I worked at, drunken Fallen had started attacking some of the newcomers–and had turned on me when I’d tried to intervene.

I fumbled in my bag for the key, wincing as the leather scraped against my skin. I didn’t blame the Fallen for attacking me or getting drunk: I knew all too well how former angels balanced on a knife’s edge between despair and madness, and how easy it was for them to let go–in a city which sold their bones as drugs.

Aliette is the mutli-award-winning author of the Xuya Universe, Dominion of the Fallen series, the Obsidian & Blood trilogy, and many more!