There’s a new Judge Dee short story! Lavie Tidhar‘s JUDGE DEE AND THE POISONER OF MONTMARTRE is out now! Published on and as an eBook, here’s the synopsis…

Judge Dee returns to solve a new case involving a Parisian party gone wrong. But this time? Everyone in attendance is a suspect, including the judge himself.

This is the third short story in the series, following JUDGE DEE AND THE LIMITS OF THE LAW and JUDGE DEE AND THE THREE DEATHS OF COUNT WERDENFELS (also published by and as eBooks).

Locus, Hugo, and Ignyte nominations for Aliette de Bodard!

In case you missed the great news: Aliette de Bodard has received four Locus Award nominations, a Hugo Award, and an Ignyte Award nomination! Let’s start with the Locus nominations…

Aliette’s has two novellas among the finalists in the Novella Category. OF DRAGONS, FEASTS AND MURDERS, published by JABberwocky, is a stand-alone story set in the same work as the Dominion of the Fallen series. Here’s the synopsis…

Lunar New Year should be a time for familial reunions, ancestor worship, and consumption of an unhealthy amount of candied fruit.

But when dragon prince Thuan brings home his brooding and ruthless husband Asmodeus for the New Year, they find not interminable family gatherings, but a corpse outside their quarters. Asmodeus is thrilled by the murder investigation; Thuan, who gets dragged into the political plotting he’d sworn off when he left, is less enthusiastic.

It’ll take all of Asmodeus’s skill with knives, and all of Thuan’s diplomacy, to navigate this one — as well as the troubled waters of their own relationship…

The Dominion of the Fallen series is published by Gollancz in the UK, and Roc Books and JABberwocky in North America. (While a stand-alone, this novella is set after the events of the third novel in that series, THE HOUSE OF SUNDERING FLAMES.)

The second finalist novella is SEVEN OF INFINITIES, one of the author’s many acclaimed Xuya stories, published by Subterranean Press (North America) and JABberwocky

Vân is a scholar from a poor background, eking out a living in the orbitals of the Scattered Pearls Belt as a tutor to a rich family, while hiding the illegal artificial mem-implant she manufactured as a student. 

Sunless Woods is a mindship — and not just any mindship, but a notorious thief and a master of disguise. She’s come to the Belt to retire, but is drawn to Vân’s resolute integrity.

When a mysterious corpse is found in the quarters of Vân’s student, Vân and Sunless Woods find themselves following a trail of greed and murder that will lead them from teahouses and ascetic havens to the wreck of a mindship — and to the devastating secrets they’ve kept from each other.

Aliette’s third Locus finalist nomination is for the short story IN THE LANDS OF THE SPILL, which was published in the AVATARS INC Sci-Fi Anthology, edited by Ann Vandermeer.

Meanwhile, the novelette THE INACCESSIBILITY OF HEAVEN has been nominated for three awards! Published in the July-August 2020 issue of Uncanny Magazine, it is up for the Hugo, Locus, and Ignyte Best Novelette Awards!

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…

The Locus Awards winners will be announced June 26, 2021, during the virtual Locus Awards Weekend.

Voting for the Hugo Awards are open now to members, and will close on November 19th. The award winners will be announced during DisCon III, which will be held in Washington, D.C., between December 15th-19th.

Voting for the Ignyte Awards is open now to anyone who wants to vote, and will close on May 21st. The award winners will be announced on September 18th.

Many congratulations, Aliette!

Who wants a new Dominion of the Fallen novella…?

Above you can see the striking cover for Aliette de Bodard‘s CHILDREN OF THORNS, CHILDREN OF WATER. It’s a prequel novella to THE HOUSE OF BINDING THORNS. Here’s the synopsis…

In a Paris that never was, a city of magicians, alchemists and Fallen angels struggling to recover from a devastating magical war…

Once each year, the House of Hawthorn tests the Houseless: for those chosen, success means the difference between a safe life and the devastation of the streets. However, for Thuan and his friend Kim Cuc, — dragons in human shapes and envoys from the dying underwater kingdom of the Seine — the stakes are entirely different. Charged with infiltrating a House that keeps encroaching on the Seine, if they are caught, they face a painful death.

Worse, mysterious children of thorns stalk the candidates through Hawthorn’s corridors. Will Thuan and Kim Cuc survive and succeed?

Gollancz are offering the novella free, if you pre-order THE HOUSE OF BINDING THORNS. You can find details on how, as well as a piece by Aliette on the design of the cover, here.

The first novel in the series, THE HOUSE OF SHATTERED WINGS is published by Gollancz in the UK, and Roc Books in the US. THE HOUSE OF SHATTERED WINGS will be published in the UK on April 6th, 2017; and in the US on April 4th, 2017.

The second novel has already started to receive praise, including this Starred review from Publishers Weekly

‘Meddling gleefully in the affairs of devils and dragons, this affective sequel to 2015’s THE HOUSE OF SHATTERED WINGS touches the heart as often as it cuts throats… Having fully crafted her world, de Bodard is now completely in control: she can move swiftly from gentle poetic touches to bloody Grand Guignol gestures, and she sure-handedly holds the reader by exposing the vulnerabilities and needs that drive even the seemingly all-powerful figures of rebel angels and ancient serpents to surrender to a higher collective power. In this world lacking signs of heaven, redemptions are painful but possible.’

We expect many more great reviews in the very near future. THE HOUSE OF SHATTERED WINGS was also showered in praise. Here’s a small selection…

‘Will grab readers and force them to pay attention to the amazing writing and the phenomenal characters. de Bodard will sweep you up into the dark and dirty world Paris has become… It’s a whirlwind, it’s heartbreaking and it’s one of the best fantasy novels of 2015.’ RT Book Reviews (Top Pick August 2015)

‘A gripping tragedy of forlorn individuals caught up in an angelic version of the Cold War… The story holds up well as a standalone, with clear possibilities but no pressing need for a sequel. De Bodard aptly mixes moral conflicts and the desperate need to survive in a fantastical spy thriller that reads like a hybrid of le Carré and Milton, all tinged with the melancholy of golden ages lost.’ Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

‘De Bodard… has spun a fascinating Paris of decay and cruelty. ­Phillippe is a marvel of a character, unreliable as a narrator but compelling in his flaws and his deep well of homesickness.’ Library Journal (Starred Review)

‘A beautifully crafted novel full of complex characters, set in a post apocalyptic Paris – the image of which is truly haunting… vivid and fast-paced battles and intense political manoeuvrings… with carefully crafted characters both with layers and depth, De Bodard reflects the best and worst of human nature in her novel… an intriguing mystery, elegantly written… Something any avid fantasy reader with an open mind will devour!’ Guardian

‘… strikingly original… heavily character-driven… remarkably evocative use of setting… an urban fantasy in the original and quite literal sense of that term… In the end, de Bodard manages to weave together the backstories and fates of the various characters (of whom the most appealing is Isabelle, as she learns to cope with a life among the Fallen) into a novel that is both haunting and original, its sense of loss almost palpable, and its setting not quite like anything else in modern fantasy.’ Locus (Gary K. Wolfe)

Congratulations Aliette de Bodard on Locus Award Nomination!

AlietteDeBodard-AuthorPicAliette de Bodard has done it again! The Zeno blog has seen a veritable flood of congratulations for Aliette over the past few years, as her short fiction racks up an impressive string of nominations.

Today, we’re delighted to share the news that her recent story THE WAITING STARS has been nominated for a 2014 Locus Award, in the Novelette category!

What makes this extra-special news, is that THE WAITING STARS has also been nominated for Hugo and Nebula awards this year.

The novelette was first featured in THE OTHER HALF OF THE SKY anthology, published by Candlemark & GleamTHE WAITING STARS is available to read for free on Aliette’s website – on screen, or to download in Mobi, ePub, or PDF. It’s a perfect opportunity to try Aliette’s work

Huge congratulations to Aliette once again! Another very-well-deserved nomination!


New Lavie Tidhar & Matthew Hughes Short Fiction…


We’re happy to share with you information about two new pieces of short fiction from Zeno clients!

First up we have MURDER IN THE CATHEDRAL, a new Bookman Histories novelette by Lavie Tidhar will be included in the June 2014 issue of Asimov’s Science Fiction. Lavie is the author of the critically acclaimed THE VIOLENT CENTURY (Hodder), and also the three Bookman Histories novels – THE BOOKMAN, CAMERA OBSCURA, and THE GREAT GAME (Angry Robot Books).

Next, Matthew Hughes is to be features in the upcoming anthology edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardener Dozios, ROGUES! Joining such leading lights as Neil Gaiman and Scott Lynch, Hughes has contributed his story THE INN OF THE SEVEN BLESSINGS. The anthology is due to be published by Bantam Spectra in June 2014. Matthew is the author most recently of the To Hell & Back trilogy – THE DAMNED BUSTERS, COSTUME NOT INCLUDED, and HELL TO PAY (Angry Robot Books).

E.J. Swift’s SAGA’S CHILDREN Available Free Online…

LowestHeaven-BlogE.J. Swift is the talented author of OSIRIS and the upcoming CATAVEIRO, the first two books in the Osiris Project science fiction trilogy. Last year, Emma’s short story SAGA’S CHILDREN was included in THE LOWEST HEAVEN anthology, published by Jurassic London. The story has now been made available in its entirety on Pornokitsch.

OSIRIS is out now in the UK and US, and CATAVEIRO follows later this year. They are both published by Del Rey UK and Night Shade Books (US). Here is the synopsis for OSIRIS

Nobody leaves Osiris.

Adelaide Rechnov – Wealthy socialite and granddaughter of the Architect, she spends her time in pointless luxury, rebelling against her family in a series of jaded social extravagances and scandals until her twin brother disappears in mysterious circumstances.

Vikram Bai – He lives in the Western Quarter, home to the poor descendants of storm refugees and effectively quarantined from the wealthy elite. His people live with cold and starvation, but the coming brutal winter promises civil unrest, and a return to the riots of previous years.

As tensions rise in the city, can Adelaide and Vikram bridge the divide at the heart of Osiris before conspiracies bring them to the edge of disaster?


The US & UK Covers for OSIRIS and the UK Cover for CATAVEIRO