Aliette de Bodard’s A FIRE BORN OF EXILE (UK paperback) Out Tomorrow!


The UK paperback edition of Aliette de Bodard‘s acclaimed A FIRE BORN OF EXILE is out tomorrow! Published by Gollancz, it is the latest novel set in the author’s award-nominated Xuya Universe. Here’s the synopsis…

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, heart-warming space opera is set against a backdrop of corruption, power and political scheming in the far reaches of the award-winning Xuya universe.

The novel is published in North America by JABberwocky.

Here are just a few of the great reviews the novel has received…

‘… intricate and emotional standalone space opera…  de Bodard’s worldbuilding dazzles… a touching sci-fi romance that will delight fans and new readers alike.’ — Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

‘Incredible… This is a world of dizzying tech, gorgeous illusions and twisty political thrills — catnip for readers who enjoyed Ann Leckie’s Imperial Radch trilogy or Jacqueline Koyanagi’s “Ascension.”’ — New York Times

[A]n elaborate tale of revenge, courtly machinations, filial relationships, and a romance… As usual in the Xuya stories, de Bodard weaves a solid adventure; this stands alone and so might be a perfect introduction to the series.’ — Booklist

‘A tense, accomplished space opera, told with de Bodard’s usual vividness and verve.’ — Locus

de Bodard’s previous novel, the equally acclaimed and award-nominated THE RED SCHOLAR’S WAKE, is published by Gollancz in the UK, and JABberwocky in North America. It was shortlisted for the Arthur C. Clarke Award.

Three Weeks: UK Paperback of Aliette de Bodard’s A FIRE BORN OF EXILE


The UK paperback edition of Aliette de Bodard‘s acclaimed A FIRE BORN OF EXILE is due out in three weeks! To be published by Gollancz, on April 25th, it is the latest novel set in the author’s award-nominated Xuya Universe. Here’s the synopsis…

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, heart-warming space opera is set against a backdrop of corruption, power and political scheming in the far reaches of the award-winning Xuya universe.

The novel is published in North America by JABberwocky.

Here are just a few of the great reviews the novel has received…

‘… intricate and emotional standalone space opera…  de Bodard’s worldbuilding dazzles… a touching sci-fi romance that will delight fans and new readers alike.’ — Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

‘Incredible… This is a world of dizzying tech, gorgeous illusions and twisty political thrills — catnip for readers who enjoyed Ann Leckie’s Imperial Radch trilogy or Jacqueline Koyanagi’s “Ascension.”’ — New York Times

[A]n elaborate tale of revenge, courtly machinations, filial relationships, and a romance… As usual in the Xuya stories, de Bodard weaves a solid adventure; this stands alone and so might be a perfect introduction to the series.’ — Booklist

‘A tense, accomplished space opera, told with de Bodard’s usual vividness and verve.’ — Locus

de Bodard’s previous novel, the equally acclaimed and award-nominated THE RED SCHOLAR’S WAKE, is published by Gollancz in the UK, and JABberwocky in North America. It was shortlisted for the Arthur C. Clarke Award.

Coming Soon: NAVIGATIONAL ENTANGLEMENTS by Aliette de Bodard!


We’re very happy to report that TorDotCom are publishing another novella by Aliette de Bodard! NAVIGATIONAL ENTANGLEMENTS is a stand-alone story, due out on July 30th. Here’s the synopsis…

Award-winning author of The Red Scholar’s Wake Aliette de Bodard comes for your heart with a compelling tale of love, duty, and found-family in an exciting new space opera that brings xianxia-style martial arts to the stars.

Jockeying navigator clans guide spaceships through the Hollows: an area of space populated by the mysterious but deadly creatures known as Tanglers. When a Tangler escapes the Hollows for the first time in living memory, each clan must send a representative to help capture it — but the mission may be doomed and the hearts of two clan juniors may be in danger too.

Việt Nhi is not good with people. Or politics. Which is a problem when the Rooster clan sends her on the mission against her will, forcing her to work with an ill-matched group of squabbling teammates from rival clans, including one who she can’t avoid, and maybe doesn’t want to.

Hạc Cúc of the Snake clan has always been better at poisoning and stabbing than at making friends, but she’s drawn to Nhi’s perceptiveness and obliviousness to social conventions — including the ones that really should make Nhi think twice about spending time with her.

But when their imperial envoy and nominal leader is poisoned, this crew of expendable apprentices will have to learn to work together — fast — before the invisible Tangler can wreak havoc on a civilian city and destroy the fragile reputation of the clans. Along the way, Nhi and Hạc Cúc will have to learn the hardest lesson of all: to see past their own misconceptions and learn to trust their growing feelings for each other.

TorDotCom also publishes Aliette’s FIREHEART TIGER, a stand-alone Hugo Award-nominated fantasy novella.

A FIRE BORN OF EXILE Audiobook Out Tomorrow in North America!


Tomorrow, Podium are due to publish the North American audiobook edition of Aliette de Bodard‘s latest acclaimed Xuya novel, A FIRE BORN OF EXILE! Narrated by Tuyen Do, here’s the synopsis…

The Scattered Pearls Belt is a string of habitats on the edge of a huge galactic empire—a glittering, decadent society rife with corruption.

Now, one of its victims—Quỳnh, a scholar betrayed and left for dead—has come back for her revenge under the guise of the glamorous and enigmatic Alchemist of Streams and Hills.

Quỳnh’s path intersects that of Minh—the daughter of one of her oldest enemies, who chafes at her own lack of freedom—and of Hoà, a near-destitute engineer who poses a threat to all Quỳnh’s careful plans. Quỳnh finds herself inexorably attracted to Hoà, even as her plans upend the fragile political equilibrium of the Belt.

Falling in love wasn’t part of Quỳnh’s plans. Will she be able to grasp this second chance at happiness, or will she cling to a revenge that may well consume her whole?

A poignant, heartwarming, romantic space opera about love, revenge, and the weight of the past.

Podium also publishes the audiobook of Aliette’s highly-acclaimed THE RED SCHOLAR’S WAKE, also set in the Xuya universe (narrated by Aoife Hinds).

A FIRE BORN OF EXILE is published in print and eBook by Gollancz (UK) and JABberwocky (North America). The UK audiobook editions are also published by Gollancz (same narrators).

A FIRE BORN OF EXILE was selected as a Tor.com Reviewers’ Choice: Best of 2023. Here are just a few of the reviews the novel has received so far…

‘… intricate and emotional standalone space opera…  de Bodard’s worldbuilding dazzles… a touching sci-fi romance that will delight fans and new readers alike.’ — Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

‘Incredible… This is a world of dizzying tech, gorgeous illusions and twisty political thrills — catnip for readers who enjoyed Ann Leckie’s Imperial Radch trilogy or Jacqueline Koyanagi’s “Ascension.”’ — New York Times

[A]n elaborate tale of revenge, courtly machinations, filial relationships, and a romance… As usual in the Xuya stories, de Bodard weaves a solid adventure; this stands alone and so might be a perfect introduction to the series.’ — Booklist

‘A tense, accomplished space opera, told with de Bodard’s usual vividness and verve.’ — Locus

‘As always, Aliette’s prose is impactful, and the relationships and emotional arcs of the characters are doubly so.’ — Lynne M. Thomas, co-editor of Uncanny Magazine

Aliette de Bodard’s A FIRE BORN OF EXILE is Out Tomorrow!


Aliette de Bodard‘s latest Xuya masterpiece, A FIRE BORN OF EXILE is out tomorrow! To be published by Gollancz in the UK and JABberwocky in North America, here’s the synopsis…

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 space opera is set against a backdrop of corruption, power, and political scheming in the far reaches of the award-winning Xuya universe.

The gorgeous covers are by Alyssa Winans (UK) and Ravven (North America).

Here are just a few of the great reviews the novel has received so far…

‘Incredible… This is a world of dizzying tech, gorgeous illusions and twisty political thrills — catnip for readers who enjoyed Ann Leckie’s Imperial Radch trilogy or Jacqueline Koyanagi’s “Ascension.”’New York Times

‘… intricate and emotional standalone space opera…  de Bodard’s worldbuilding dazzles… a touching sci-fi romance that will delight fans and new readers alike.’ — Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

[A]n elaborate tale of revenge, courtly machinations, filial relationships, and a romance… As usual in the Xuya stories, de Bodard weaves a solid adventure; this stands alone and so might be a perfect introduction to the series.’ — Booklist

‘A tense, accomplished space opera, told with de Bodard’s usual vividness and verve.’Locus

Aliette de Bodard’s A FIRE BORN OF EXILE Out in Two Weeks!


A FIRE BORN OF EXILE, the latest Xuya masterpiece from Aliette de Bodard, is out in two weeks! Due to be published on October 12th by Gollancz in the UK and JABberwocky in North America. Here’s the synopsis…

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 space opera is set against a backdrop of corruption, power, and political scheming in the far reaches of the award-winning Xuya universe.

The covers are by Alyssa Winans (UK) and Ravven (North America).

Here are just a few of the great reviews the novel has received so far…

‘Incredible… This is a world of dizzying tech, gorgeous illusions and twisty political thrills — catnip for readers who enjoyed Ann Leckie’s Imperial Radch trilogy or Jacqueline Koyanagi’s “Ascension.”’New York Times

‘… intricate and emotional standalone space opera…  de Bodard’s worldbuilding dazzles… a touching sci-fi romance that will delight fans and new readers alike.’ — Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

[A]n elaborate tale of revenge, courtly machinations, filial relationships, and a romance… As usual in the Xuya stories, de Bodard weaves a solid adventure; this stands alone and so might be a perfect introduction to the series.’ — Booklist

‘A tense, accomplished space opera, told with de Bodard’s usual vividness and verve.’Locus

Aliette de Bodard’s THE RED SCHOLAR’S WAKE Out Now in Paperback!


The paperback edition of Aliette de Bodard‘s critically-acclaimed, Clark Award-shortlisted THE RED SCHOLAR’S WAKE is out now in the UK! Published by Gollancz in the UK, here’s the synopsis…

Xích Si: bot maker, data analyst, mother, scavenger. But those days are over now-her ship has just been captured by the Red Banner pirate fleet, famous for their double-dealing and cruelty. Xích Si expects to be tortured to death-only for the pirates’ enigmatic leader, Rice Fish, to arrive with a different and shocking proposition: an arranged marriage between Xích Si and herself.
Rice Fish: sentient ship, leader of the infamous Red Banner pirate fleet, wife of the Red Scholar. Or at least, she was the latter before her wife died under suspicious circumstances. Now isolated and alone, Rice Fish wants Xích Si’s help to find out who struck against them and why. Marrying Xích Si means Rice Fish can offer Xích Si protection, in exchange for Xích Si’s technical fluency: a business arrangement with nothing more to it.

But as the investigation goes on, Rice Fish and Xích Si find themselves falling for each other. As the interstellar war against piracy intensifies and the five fleets start fighting each other, they will have to make a stand-and to decide what kind of future they have together…

An exciting space opera and a beautiful romance, from an exceptional SF author.

The North American edition of the novel is published by JABberwocky.

Here are just a few of the great reviews the novel has received so far…

‘A read-in-one-sitting novel with a beautifully-realized setting amid a complex examination of power and consequences, all intertwined with an intense and gripping romance.’ — Kate Elliott, author of Unconquerable Sun

THE RED SCHOLAR’S WAKE is a fizzingly inventive space opera, quite unlike anything I’ve encountered before, and told with style, grace, and a big dose of heart. SF is lucky to have Aliette de Bodard.’ — Alastair Reynolds

‘Pirates, politics, sentient ships and unlikely romance all collide in Aliette de Bodard’s sapphic space opera THE RED SCHOLAR’S WAKE… With more tense political and social manoeuvring than rip-roaring action, events progress at a pace that maintains momentum while allowing plenty of time to revel in the texture and wonder of this rich, fascinating setting… With a unique world, a thought-provoking plot and a fragile, achingly believable relationship forming against the odds in the midst of rampant inequality and ever-present danger, this is a perfect novel for readers wanting emotional complexity, warmth and heartache in their space opera.’ — BSFA

‘A top-notch science fiction romance… THE RED SCHOLAR’S WAKE spins a thrilling yarn about pirate rivalries and epic battles, while proving a more-than-worthy addition to the canon of post-human space opera. And the romance is really, really hot. You’ll want to read this one twice: First to hold your breath as these two wives discover each other. And second to soak up all the clever ideas and lovely moment that feel totally human, even in this star-spanning context.’ — Washington Post

‘[W]hen she subtitles THE RED SCHOLAR’S WAKE “a Xuya Universe Romance” we can reasonably expect some of the high passions, miscommunications, betrayals, heartbreaks, sex, and reconciliations that seem to be checkboxes of that genre, and de Bodard delivers on all of them… de Board places the melodrama against the backdrop of flat-out space opera, which she excels at… The last third of the novel, with its space battles, navigational trickery, ship-boardings, sabotage, and desperate last-minute negotiations, is as colorful and satisfying as anything from the classic examples of the form.’ — Locus

‘Aliette de Bodard summons the spirit of HG Wells… in some far-flung future galaxy, love blossoms between two lesbian space pirates, one human, the other a sentient ship… Soon the pair are navigating the tricky waters of mutual attraction and virtual sex but must also deal with shifting allegiances among the pirate clans and rescue Xich Si’s daughter Khanh from slavery.’ — Financial Times (Best New Science Fiction Novels, January 2023)

‘What made this truly stand out to me was Aliette’s writing. As mentioned above, Aliette’s prose is outstanding. It is descriptive and evocative without being overwrought, it is witty and full of emotion. Every character, every scene comes to life immediately and plastically, drawing the reader into this world of space pirates, family biological and found and relationships of all sorts. It is at times delicate, and at other times matter of fact and then again it will make you laugh out loud with dry wit. The characters’ maturity makes them stand out in a market saturated with coming-of-age stories across young adult and adult publishing, and it is a true breath of fresh air to read about protagonists coming into their story after a life well-lived, with attachments and history, knowing who they are and what they want. I could not recommend THE RED SCHOLAR’S WAKE more.’ — Grimdark Magazine

Aliette’s next novel is A FIRE BORN IN EXILE, due to be published by Gollancz (UK) and JABberwocky (North America), on October 12th.

THE RED SCHOLAR’S WAKE Audiobook Out Tomorrow in North America!


The North American audiobook edition of Aliette de Bodard‘s critically-acclaimed and award-nominated THE RED SCHOLAR’S WAKE is out tomorrow! Narrated by Aoife Hinds and published by Podium Audio, here’s the synopsis…

When tech scavenger Xích Si is captured and imprisoned by the infamous pirates of the Red Banner, she expects to be tortured or killed. Instead, their leader, Rice Fish, makes Xích Si an utterly incredible proposition: an offer of marriage.

Both have their reasons for this arrangement: Xích Si needs protection; Rice Fish, a sentient spaceship, needs a technical expert to investigate the death of her first wife, the Red Scholar. That’s all there is to it.

But as the interstellar war against piracy rages on and their own investigation reaches a dire conclusion, the two of them discover that their arrangement has evolved into something much less business-focused and more personal…and tender. And maybe the best thing that’s ever happened to either of them—but only if they can find a way to survive together.
A rich space opera and an intensely soft romance from an exceptional SF author.

The print and eBook editions of THE RED SCHOLAR’S WAKE are published in North America by JABberwocky, and in the UK by Gollancz (who also publish the audiobook edition in the UK — also narrated by Aoife Hinds).

THE RED SCHOLAR’S WAKE has been shortlisted for the 2023 BSFA Award for Best Novel and the 2023 Arthur C. Clarke Award!

Here are just a few of the many great reviews the novel has received so far…

‘With a unique world, a thought-provoking plot and a fragile, achingly believable relationship forming against the odds in the midst of rampant inequality and ever-present danger, this is a perfect novel for readers wanting emotional complexity, warmth and heartache in their space opera.’ — British Fantasy Society

‘Aliette’s prose is outstanding. It is descriptive and evocative without being overwrought, it is witty and full of emotion. Every character, every scene comes to life immediately and plastically, drawing the reader into this world of space pirates, family biological and found and relationships of all sorts….I could not recommend THE RED SCHOLAR’S WAKE more.’ Grimdark Magazine

‘While bringing together two such unlikely lovers seems to be one of the most common conventions of romance, de Bodard places the melodrama against the backdrop of flat-out space opera, which she excels at.’ Locus Magazine

‘But beyond the romance, THE RED SCHOLAR’S WAKE also shines both when it comes to the action packed mystery of unravelling the Red Scholar’s death, and in the wider implications about piracy, freedom and emancipation which that plot entails.’ Nerds of a Feather

‘A top-notch science fiction romance… THE RED SCHOLAR’S WAKE spins a thrilling yarn about pirate rivalries and epic battles, while proving a more-than-worthy addition to the canon of post-human space opera. And the romance is really, really hot. You’ll want to read this one twice: First to hold your breath as these two wives discover each other. And second to soak up all the clever ideas and lovely moment that feel totally human, even in this star-spanning context.’ — Washington Post

‘Aliette de Bodard summons the spirit of HG Wells… in some far-flung future galaxy, love blossoms between two lesbian space pirates, one human, the other a sentient ship… Soon the pair are navigating the tricky waters of mutual attraction and virtual sex but must also deal with shifting allegiances among the pirate clans and rescue Xich Si’s daughter Khanh from slavery.’ — Financial Times (Best New Science Fiction Novels, January 2023)

Aliette’s next highly-anticipated new novel is A FIRE BORN OF EXILE, due to be published by Gollancz in October.

New, Turkish Edition of TEA MASTER AND THE DETECTIVE Out Now!


Aliette de Bodard‘s acclaimed THE TEA MASTER AND THE DETECTIVE is now available in a new Turkish edition! Published by İthaki Yayınları (under their Kapsül imprint) as ÇAY USTASI İLE DEDEKTİV, here’s the synopsis…

De Bodard Vietnam kültüründen esinlenen inandırıcı, cesur bir dünya kuruyor, zorlayıcı motivasyonları ve kışkırtıcı geçmişleriyle karakterleri ise Sör Arthur Conan Doyle’un karakterlerini akla getiriyor: Holmes eksantrik bir akademisyen, Watson ise huysuz bir gemizihin.

Xuya Evreni’nde, sürgündeki âlimler ve güçlü aileler tarafından yönetilen galaktik bir imparatorlukta insan ve yük taşıyan canlı gemizihinler, Saçılmış İnciler Kuşağı’ndaki habitatları birbirine bağlayan yegâne bağdır. İnsan ve gemizihin avatarlarının birbirine karıştığı, fiziksel ve sanal gerçekliklerin üst üste bindiği akışkan bir toplumdur karşımıza çıkan.

Travmatik bir kazanın ardından terhis edilen nakliye gemisi Gölgenin Çocuğu, uzay yolcularının rahatı için zihin değiştirici çaylar demleyerek geçimini sağlamaya çalışır. Eksantrik Long Chau ise bilimsel araştırması için uzay boşluğunda bir ceset bulmak ister. Long Chau ofisine girdiğinde, Gölgenin Çocuğu’nu tatsız ama kolay bir görev bekler ta ki buldukları cesedin cinayete kurban gittiği ortaya çıkana kadar. Olayın derinliklerine indikçe, Gölgenin Çocuğu soruşturmanın Long Chau’nun karanlık geçmişine ve yıldızların arasında yatan dayanılmaz boşluğa işaret ettiğini görecektir.

Çay Ustası ile Dedektif, bilimkurgu ve polisiyenin harika bir birleşimi.

The novella is published in North America by Subterranean Press, and is available in the UK and elsewhere via JABberwocky. Here’s the English-language synopsis…

Welcome to the Scattered Pearls Belt, a collection of ring habitats and orbitals ruled by exiled human scholars and powerful families, and held together by living mindships who carry people and freight between the stars. In this fluid society, human and mindship avatars mingle in corridors and in function rooms, and physical and virtual realities overlap, the appearance of environments easily modified and adapted to interlocutors or current mood.

A transport ship discharged from military service after a traumatic injury, The Shadow’s Child now ekes out a precarious living as a brewer of mind-altering drugs for the comfort of space-travellers. Meanwhile, abrasive and eccentric scholar Long Chau wants to find a corpse for a scientific study. When Long Chau walks into her office, The Shadow’s Child expects an unpleasant but easy assignment. When the corpse turns out to have been murdered, Long Chau feels compelled to investigate, dragging The  Shadow’s Child with her.

As they dig deep into the victim’s past, The Shadow’s Child realises that the investigation points to Long Chau’s own murky past–and, ultimately, to the dark and unbearable void that lies between the stars…

Here are just a few of the fantastic reviews that THE TEA MASTER AND THE DETECTIVE has received so far…

‘A science-fictional ode to Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, where the Holmes figure is a sharp and biting disgraced aristocratic scholar with a solid core of empathy, and the Watson-figure is a mindship with post-traumatic stress disorder from her war experiences… This is a measured, almost stately story, right up until a conclusion that explodes in fast-paced tension. It preserves the empathy and the intensity of the original Sherlockian stories, while being told in de Bodard’s sharp prose and modern style. The worldbuilding… sparkles. The characters have presence: they’re individual and compelling. And it ends it a way that recalls the original Holmes and Watson, while being perfectly appropriate to itself.’ — Tor.com

‘De Bodard revisits her far-future Xuya universe setting with this gripping novella about damaged characters driven to search for the truth… De Bodard constructs a convincingly gritty setting and a pair of unique characters with provocative histories and compelling motivations. The story works as well as both science fiction and murder mystery, exploring a future where pride, guilt, and mercy are not solely the province of humans.’ — Publishers Weekly

‘As a classical blend of far-future SF and traditional murder mystery, THE TEA MASTER AND THE DETECTIVE should satisfy readers unfamiliar with the Xuya universe, but at the same time it’s an intriguing introduction to that universe, much of which seems to lie just outside the borders of this entertaining tale.’ — Locus (Gary K. Wolfe)

‘De Bodard’s world building glitters, and her characters are deeply compelling… It becomes clear early on that THE TEA MASTER AND THE DETECTIVE is strongly influenced by, if not directly based upon, the Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson stories of Arthur Conan Doyle. It’s measured, almost stately, up until the conclusion, where the tension explodes into high gear. It preserves the empathy and the intensity of the original Sherlockian stories, while being told in de Bodard’s cut-glass prose and inimitable modern style. This is a really satisfying story, deeply invested in choosing to do the right thing – and in the importance of kindness. I strongly recommend it.’ — Locus (Liz Bourke)

‘[A] delicate, gender-bent recasting of Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson in the far future of her Xuya universe, the gorgeously mannered space opera setting of celebrated novellas… a window onto a beautifully developed world that widens the meaning of space opera, one that centers on Chinese and Vietnamese cultures and customs instead of Western military conventions, and is all the more welcome for it.’ — New York Times

‘An astonishing Holmesian mystery, in which Holmes is a woman and Watson is a spaceship. It is everything I wanted it to be. Tea, space, and mysteries within mysteries.’ — Mary Robinette Kowal

‘This slim volume packs a visceral punch. Absorbing prose pulls readers into the dark, frigid space between stars, where ships can fail, physically and emotionally, as easily as people… this novella offers sf fans an imaginative read.’ — Library Journal (Starred Review)

de Bodard’s latest novel is THE RED SCHOLAR’S WAKE, the Arthur C. Clarke Award and Locus Award Finalist, and also on the long-list for the BSFA Award for Best Novel. It is published in the UK by Gollancz, and in North America by JABberwocky.

Aliette de Bodard’s THE RED SCHOLAR’S WAKE is a Clarke Award Finalist!


We’re very happy to report that Aliette de Bodard‘s THE RED SCHOLAR’S WAKE is a finalist for the Arthur C. Clarke Award! The latest novel in the author’s acclaimed Xuya setting, it has also been long-listed for the BSFA Award for Best Novel, and is a finalist for the Locus Award for Best Novel as well! Here’s the synopsis…

Xích Si: bot maker, data analyst, mother, scavenger. But those days are over now-her ship has just been captured by the Red Banner pirate fleet, famous for their double-dealing and cruelty. Xích Si expects to be tortured to death-only for the pirates’ enigmatic leader, Rice Fish, to arrive with a different and shocking proposition: an arranged marriage between Xích Si and herself.

Rice Fish: sentient ship, leader of the infamous Red Banner pirate fleet, wife of the Red Scholar. Or at least, she was the latter before her wife died under suspicious circumstances. Now isolated and alone, Rice Fish wants Xích Si’s help to find out who struck against them and why. Marrying Xích Si means Rice Fish can offer Xích Si protection, in exchange for Xích Si’s technical fluency: a business arrangement with nothing more to it.

But as the investigation goes on, Rice Fish and Xích Si find themselves falling for each other. As the interstellar war against piracy intensifies and the five fleets start fighting each other, they will have to make a stand-and to decide what kind of future they have together…

THE RED SCHOLAR’S WAKE is published in the UK by Gollancz, and in North America by JABberwocky.

Here are just a few of the great reviews the novel has received so far…

THE RED SCHOLAR’S WAKE is a fizzingly inventive space opera, quite unlike anything I’ve encountered before, and told with style, grace, and a big dose of heart. SF is lucky to have Aliette de Bodard.’ — Alastair Reynolds

‘Confident, sexy, and touching – THE RED SCHOLAR’S WAKE gives a whole new meaning to the phrase “star-crossed lovers”!’ — Max Gladstone

‘Pirates, politics, sentient ships and unlikely romance all collide in Aliette de Bodard’s sapphic space opera THE RED SCHOLAR’S WAKE… With more tense political and social manoeuvring than rip-roaring action, events progress at a pace that maintains momentum while allowing plenty of time to revel in the texture and wonder of this rich, fascinating setting… With a unique world, a thought-provoking plot and a fragile, achingly believable relationship forming against the odds in the midst of rampant inequality and ever-present danger, this is a perfect novel for readers wanting emotional complexity, warmth and heartache in their space opera.’ — BSFA

‘A top-notch science fiction romance… THE RED SCHOLAR’S WAKE spins a thrilling yarn about pirate rivalries and epic battles, while proving a more-than-worthy addition to the canon of post-human space opera. And the romance is really, really hot. You’ll want to read this one twice: First to hold your breath as these two wives discover each other. And second to soak up all the clever ideas and lovely moment that feel totally human, even in this star-spanning context.’ — Washington Post

‘[W]hen she subtitles THE RED SCHOLAR’S WAKE “a Xuya Universe Romance” we can reasonably expect some of the high passions, miscommunications, betrayals, heartbreaks, sex, and reconciliations that seem to be checkboxes of that genre, and de Bodard delivers on all of them… de Board places the melodrama against the backdrop of flat-out space opera, which she excels at… The last third of the novel, with its space battles, navigational trickery, ship-boardings, sabotage, and desperate last-minute negotiations, is as colorful and satisfying as anything from the classic examples of the form.’ — Locus

‘Aliette de Bodard summons the spirit of HG Wells… in some far-flung future galaxy, love blossoms between two lesbian space pirates, one human, the other a sentient ship… Soon the pair are navigating the tricky waters of mutual attraction and virtual sex but must also deal with shifting allegiances among the pirate clans and rescue Xich Si’s daughter Khanh from slavery.’ — Financial Times (Best New Science Fiction Novels, January 2023)

‘What made this truly stand out to me was Aliette’s writing. As mentioned above, Aliette’s prose is outstanding. It is descriptive and evocative without being overwrought, it is witty and full of emotion. Every character, every scene comes to life immediately and plastically, drawing the reader into this world of space pirates, family biological and found and relationships of all sorts. It is at times delicate, and at other times matter of fact and then again it will make you laugh out loud with dry wit. The characters’ maturity makes them stand out in a market saturated with coming-of-age stories across young adult and adult publishing, and it is a true breath of fresh air to read about protagonists coming into their story after a life well-lived, with attachments and history, knowing who they are and what they want. I could not recommend THE RED SCHOLAR’S WAKE more.’ — Grimdark Magazine

THE RED SCHOLAR’S WAKE takes you on an exhilarating dive into space piracy with passion, politics, dazzling settings, and-even better-a profound core of love transcending hopelessness that rings throughout the story.’ — Everina Maxwell, author of WINTER’S ORBIT

‘An epic tale of piracy and romance.’ — Gareth L. Powell, award-winning author of Stars and Bones

In case you missed it, the UK cover for Aliette’s next Xuya novel — A FIRE BORN OF EXILE — was revealed last week; it’s another fantastic cover by Alyssa Winans (who is also responsible for the gorgeous THE RED SCHOLAR’S WAKE cover). The book is due to be published in the UK by Gollancz, in October 2023.

Aliette de Bodard’s SEVEN OF INFINITIES Audiobook Edition Out Now!


We’re very happy to report that the audiobook edition of Aliette de Bodard‘s acclaimed SEVEN OF INFINITIES is out now! Published by Tantor, and narrated by Emily Woo Zeller, here’s the synopsis…

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.

The novella is also available in North America from Subterranean Press (hardcover and eBook) and also more widely via JABberwocky (eBook and print).

Here are just a few of the great reviews the book has received…

‘With this lush, immersive sci-fi tale, de Bodard (The House of Sundering Flames) delves into a world as gritty as it is ethereal… De Bodard hints at a vast, fully realized world… readers will be swept away by the vivid prose, intrigue, and romance of this intricate tale. This fascinating, unusual story is sure to entrance.’ — Publishers Weekly

‘A magnificent sf mystery, nuanced, intense, and romantic, with a complex, clever plot nested inside de Bodard’s rich, evocative, and vivid Xuya universe.’ — Kate Elliott

‘Aliette de Bodard is an author whose works I both like (in several cases, the word adore may be more appropriate) and admire… De Bodard’s work is marked by precision and delicacy of prose, by a concern with ethics and relationships, and by the presence of uncaring systems that violently resist critique from without – and even from within… SEVEN OF INFINITIES is a novella concerned with forgiveness, deserved or not, about cages, self-made or otherwise. It concerns itself with growth, with grace, with ruthlessness and its costs and consequences. It’s a tightly written jewel of a story, intense and full of feeling, and I recommend it highly.’ — Locus (Liz Bourke)

‘While SEVEN OF INFINITIES is a perfectly satisfactory mystery, with ingratiating characters and clever puzzles, its main appeal comes from de Bodard’s seamless weaving together of three wildly diverse frames of reference: the structure of a romantic mystery, the far-future space opera-like setting, and the culture of formality and tradition derived from its Vietnamese and Chinese ancestry (the title, for example, refers to a tile from an ancient gaming tradition). In SF terms, de Bodard’s Xuya Universe – a far future descended from an alternate past – is a pretty impressive imaginative construct by itself, but as she demonstrates with stories like this, it’s also a way of rethinking and sometimes reinventing familiar formulas, of defamiliarizing the familiar through the lens of different cultures and histories. But mostly, it’s a lot of fun.’ — Locus (Gary K. Wolfe)

‘… the intricate plot is really the star of this tale… a completely engrossing tale that stretches my imagination. It’s one of the best stories she’s written yet.’ — Fantasy Literature

Aliette’s latest novel is the highly-acclaimed THE RED SCHOLAR’S WAKE — published by Gollancz in the UK and JABberwocky in North America.

Four Zeno Clients on the BSFA Long-List!


The British Science Fiction Association published their BSFA Awards longlist last week, and we’re very happy to report that four Zeno clients have work that appear! Read on for details!

Ben Aaronovitch‘s latest Peter Grant/Rivers of London novel, the best-selling and acclaimed AMONGST OUR WEAPONS is on the Best Novel long-list! Published in the UK by Orion Books and in North America by DAW Books, here’s the synopsis…

There is a world hidden underneath this great city…

The London Silver Vaults – for well over a century, the largest collection of silver for sale in the world. It has more locks than the Bank of England and more cameras than a celebrity punch-up. Not somewhere you can murder someone and vanish without a trace – only that’s what happened.

The disappearing act, the reports of a blinding flash of light and memory loss amongst the witnesses all make this a case for Detective Constable Peter Grant and the Special Assessment Unit.

Alongside their boss DCI Thomas Nightingale, the SAU find themselves embroiled in a mystery that encompasses London’s tangled history, foreign lands and, most terrifying of all, the North!

And Peter must solve this case soon because back home his partner Beverley is expecting twins any day now. But what he doesn’t know is that he’s about to encounter something – and somebody – that nobody ever expects…

Effortlessly original, endlessly inventive and hugely entertaining – step into the world of the much-loved, Number One bestselling Rivers of London series.

Aliette de Bodard‘s acclaimed new Xuya novel, THE RED SCHOLAR’S WAKE is on the long-list for Best Novel, and its UK cover by Alyssa Winans is on the long-list for Best Cover. The novel is published by Gollancz in the UK (left) and JABberwocky in North America. Here’s the synopsis…

Xích Si: bot maker, data analyst, mother, scavenger. But those days are over now-her ship has just been captured by the Red Banner pirate fleet, famous for their double-dealing and cruelty. Xích Si expects to be tortured to death-only for the pirates’ enigmatic leader, Rice Fish, to arrive with a different and shocking proposition: an arranged marriage between Xích Si and herself.

Rice Fish: sentient ship, leader of the infamous Red Banner pirate fleet, wife of the Red Scholar. Or at least, she was the latter before her wife died under suspicious circumstances. Now isolated and alone, Rice Fish wants Xích Si’s help to find out who struck against them and why. Marrying Xích Si means Rice Fish can offer Xích Si protection, in exchange for Xích Si’s technical fluency: a business arrangement with nothing more to it.

But as the investigation goes on, Rice Fish and Xích Si find themselves falling for each other. As the interstellar war against piracy intensifies and the five fleets start fighting each other, they will have to make a stand-and to decide what kind of future they have together…

An exciting space opera and a beautiful romance, from an exceptional SF author.

Also, the latest novella in Aliette’s Dragons & Blades series (set in the same world as the acclaimed Dominion of the Fallen series), OF CHARMS, GHOSTS AND GRIEVANCES is on the long-list for Best Short Fiction. It is published by JABberwocky. Here’s the synopsis…

It was supposed to be a holiday, with nothing more challenging than babysitting, navigating familial politics and arguing about the proper way to brew tea.

But when dragon prince Thuan and his ruthless husband Asmodeus find a corpse in a ruined shrine and a hungry ghost who is the only witness to the crime, their holiday goes from restful to high-pressure. Someone is trying to silence the ghost and everyone involved. Asmodeus wants revenge for the murder; Thuan would like everyone, including Asmodeus, to stay alive.

Chased by bloodthirsty paper charms and struggling to protect their family, Thuan and Asmodeus are going to need all the allies they can — and, as the cracks in their relationship widen, they’ll have to face the scariest challenge of all: how to bring together their two vastly different ideas of their future…

A heartwarming standalone book set in a world of dark intrigue.

Lavie Tidhar has three short stories on the long-list in that category, all three of which an be read online:

Finally, Adam Oyebanji‘s debut science fiction novel, BRAKING DAY is nominated in the Best Novel category! Published in the UK by Jo Fletcher Books, here’s the synopsis…

Interstellar Vehicle Archimedes has been hurtling through space for more than five generations, an oasis of heat and light in the middle of absolutely nowhere. But now the ageing starship is preparing to brake, for it is arriving at Destination Star: Tau Ceti, the new home for the space-born descendants of the First Crew.

For trainee engineer Ravinder MacLeod, the world he knows is coming to an end. Once Archimedes succumbs to the gravitational pull of the Destination Star and its (hopefully) habitable planet, there will be no going back – or anywhere else. As Braking Day approaches, Ravi finds himself caught between the rigid requirements of the officer class to which he aspires and his blue-collar, ne’er-do-well family. Unfortunately for Ravi, Boz, his brilliant ex-con cousin, seems determined to make his life difficult – not least by her experiments with forbidden technology.

Then Ravi is assigned to routine maintenance deep in the massive engines of the Archimedes, where, alone and out of contact, he comes face to face with something impossible – mind-breakingly impossible.

Plagued by nightmares and visions and worried that his grip on reality is slipping, Ravi turns to Boz for help. Their search for answers takes them to the jagged place where the ship’s future intersects with its long past. For not everyone is excited to be reaching journey’s end, and the ghosts of the First Crew may not have been fully laid to rest.

Zeno represents Adam Oyebanji in the UK and Commonwealth, on behalf of the JABberwocky Literary Agency in New York.

Upcoming UK Event: Aliette de Bodard in Glasgow!


On January 23rd, Waterstones Glasgow will be hosting Aliette de Bodard for an event to celebrate the author’s latest acclaimed novel, THE RED SCHOLAR’S WAKE!

In the UK launch for her brilliant new space opera, multiple-award-winning author Aliette de Bodard joins us to discuss The Red Scholar’s Wake, the incredible first Xuya novel! This incredible science fiction romance is a galaxy-spanning Vietnamese-inspired piratical romp, moving and action-packed by turns, and Aliette joins us in an exclusive event to discuss the book, its inspirations and inception, and much more!

The first full-length Xuya novel, THE RED SCHOLAR’S WAKE is published by Gollancz in the UK (cover at top) and JABberwocky in North America (cover below). Here’s the synopsis…

Xích Si: bot maker, data analyst, mother, scavenger. But those days are over now-her ship has just been captured by the Red Banner pirate fleet, famous for their double-dealing and cruelty. Xích Si expects to be tortured to death-only for the pirates’ enigmatic leader, Rice Fish, to arrive with a different and shocking proposition: an arranged marriage between Xích Si and herself.

Rice Fish: sentient ship, leader of the infamous Red Banner pirate fleet, wife of the Red Scholar. Or at least, she was the latter before her wife died under suspicious circumstances. Now isolated and alone, Rice Fish wants Xích Si’s help to find out who struck against them and why. Marrying Xích Si means Rice Fish can offer Xích Si protection, in exchange for Xích Si’s technical fluency: a business arrangement with nothing more to it.

But as the investigation goes on, Rice Fish and Xích Si find themselves falling for each other. As the interstellar war against piracy intensifies and the five fleets start fighting each other, they will have to make a stand-and to decide what kind of future they have together…

An exciting space opera and a beautiful romance, from an exceptional SF author.

The novel has already enjoyed a considerable amount of acclaim — from critics, other authors, and fans alike. Here is just a small selection of that praise…

‘A read-in-one-sitting novel with a beautifully-realized setting amid a complex examination of power and consequences, all intertwined with an intense and gripping romance.’ — Kate Elliott, author of Unconquerable Sun

THE RED SCHOLAR’S WAKE is a fizzingly inventive space opera, quite unlike anything I’ve encountered before, and told with style, grace, and a big dose of heart. SF is lucky to have Aliette de Bodard.’ — Alastair Reynolds

‘Thrillingly exciting and achingly romantic, THE RED SCHOLAR’S WAKE is rich with political intrigue and piratical adventure. It took my breath away!’ — Stephanie Burgis, author of Snowspelled and Scales and Sensibility

‘Confident, sexy, and touching – THE RED SCHOLAR’S WAKE gives a whole new meaning to the phrase “star-crossed lovers”!’ — Max Gladstone

‘Pirates, politics, sentient ships and unlikely romance all collide in Aliette de Bodard’s sapphic space opera THE RED SCHOLAR’S WAKE… With more tense political and social manoeuvring than rip-roaring action, events progress at a pace that maintains momentum while allowing plenty of time to revel in the texture and wonder of this rich, fascinating setting… With a unique world, a thought-provoking plot and a fragile, achingly believable relationship forming against the odds in the midst of rampant inequality and ever-present danger, this is a perfect novel for readers wanting emotional complexity, warmth and heartache in their space opera.’ — BSFA

‘A top-notch science fiction romance… THE RED SCHOLAR’S WAKE spins a thrilling yarn about pirate rivalries and epic battles, while proving a more-than-worthy addition to the canon of post-human space opera. And the romance is really, really hot. You’ll want to read this one twice: First to hold your breath as these two wives discover each other. And second to soak up all the clever ideas and lovely moment that feel totally human, even in this star-spanning context.’ — Washington Post

‘[W]hen she subtitles THE RED SCHOLAR’S WAKE “a Xuya Universe Romance” we can reasonably expect some of the high passions, miscommunications, betrayals, heartbreaks, sex, and reconciliations that seem to be checkboxes of that genre, and de Bodard delivers on all of them… de Board places the melodrama against the backdrop of flat-out space opera, which she excels at… The last third of the novel, with its space battles, navigational trickery, ship-boardings, sabotage, and desperate last-minute negotiations, is as colorful and satisfying as anything from the classic examples of the form.’ — Locus

‘Aliette de Bodard summons the spirit of HG Wells… in some far-flung future galaxy, love blossoms between two lesbian space pirates, one human, the other a sentient ship… Soon the pair are navigating the tricky waters of mutual attraction and virtual sex but must also deal with shifting allegiances among the pirate clans and rescue Xich Si’s daughter Khanh from slavery.’ — Financial Times (Best New Science Fiction Novels, January 2023)

‘What made this truly stand out to me was Aliette’s writing. As mentioned above, Aliette’s prose is outstanding. It is descriptive and evocative without being overwrought, it is witty and full of emotion. Every character, every scene comes to life immediately and plastically, drawing the reader into this world of space pirates, family biological and found and relationships of all sorts. It is at times delicate, and at other times matter of fact and then again it will make you laugh out loud with dry wit. The characters’ maturity makes them stand out in a market saturated with coming-of-age stories across young adult and adult publishing, and it is a true breath of fresh air to read about protagonists coming into their story after a life well-lived, with attachments and history, knowing who they are and what they want. I could not recommend THE RED SCHOLAR’S WAKE more.’ — Grimdark Magazine

‘[A]n intriguing, compelling character study that’s gentle on the face of things and deeply powerful beneath the surface.’ — Track of Words

Aliette de Bodard’s THE RED SCHOLAR’S WAKE is out tomorrow!


Aliette de Bodard‘s highly-anticipated new masterpiece, THE RED SCHOLAR’S WAKE is out today! Published by Gollancz in the UK (above), and JABberwocky in North America (below). Here’s the synopsis…

Xích Si: bot maker, data analyst, mother, scavenger. But those days are over now-her ship has just been captured by the Red Banner pirate fleet, famous for their double-dealing and cruelty. Xích Si expects to be tortured to death-only for the pirates’ enigmatic leader, Rice Fish, to arrive with a different and shocking proposition: an arranged marriage between Xích Si and herself.

Rice Fish: sentient ship, leader of the infamous Red Banner pirate fleet, wife of the Red Scholar. Or at least, she was the latter before her wife died under suspicious circumstances. Now isolated and alone, Rice Fish wants Xích Si’s help to find out who struck against them and why. Marrying Xích Si means Rice Fish can offer Xích Si protection, in exchange for Xích Si’s technical fluency: a business arrangement with nothing more to it.

But as the investigation goes on, Rice Fish and Xích Si find themselves falling for each other. As the interstellar war against piracy intensifies and the five fleets start fighting each other, they will have to make a stand-and to decide what kind of future they have together…

An exciting space opera and a beautiful romance, from an exceptional SF author.

The UK cover is by Alyssa Winans; and the North American cover is by Raven.

The novel has been generating a lot of pre-publication excitement among readers and authors. Here are just a few of the early reactions to the novel…

‘A read-in-one-sitting novel with a beautifully-realized setting amid a complex examination of power and consequences, all intertwined with an intense and gripping romance.’Kate Elliott, author of Unconquerable Sun

THE RED SCHOLAR’S WAKE is a fizzingly inventive space opera, quite unlike anything I’ve encountered before, and told with style, grace, and a big dose of heart. SF is lucky to have Aliette de Bodard.’ — Alastair Reynolds

‘Confident, sexy, and touching – THE RED SCHOLAR’S WAKE gives a whole new meaning to the phrase “star-crossed lovers”!’ — Max Gladstone

‘Pirates, politics, sentient ships and unlikely romance all collide in Aliette de Bodard’s sapphic space opera THE RED SCHOLAR’S WAKE… With more tense political and social manoeuvring than rip-roaring action, events progress at a pace that maintains momentum while allowing plenty of time to revel in the texture and wonder of this rich, fascinating setting… With a unique world, a thought-provoking plot and a fragile, achingly believable relationship forming against the odds in the midst of rampant inequality and ever-present danger, this is a perfect novel for readers wanting emotional complexity, warmth and heartache in their space opera.’ — BSFA

‘What made this truly stand out to me was Aliette’s writing… Aliette’s prose is outstanding. It is descriptive and evocative without being overwrought, it is witty and full of emotion. Every character, every scene comes to life immediately and plastically, drawing the reader into this world of space pirates, family biological and found and relationships of all sorts. It is at times delicate, and at other times matter of fact and then again it will make you laugh out loud with dry wit. The characters’ maturity makes them stand out in a market saturated with coming-of-age stories across young adult and adult publishing, and it is a true breath of fresh air to read about protagonists coming into their story after a life well-lived, with attachments and history, knowing who they are and what they want. I could not recommend THE RED SCHOLAR’S WAKE more.’ — Grimdark Magazine

‘[A]n intriguing, compelling character study that’s gentle on the face of things and deeply powerful beneath the surface.’ — Track of Words

THE RED SCHOLAR’S WAKE is a quiet, intimate novel, its focus on the personal as driving force for the plot. It’s a book about love, over and above everything else: familial love, romantic love, and love for a community that doesn’t always love you back. And alongside that love, it’s also a book about hope.’Reads Rainbow

Aliette’s previous novels include the award-winning and acclaimed Dominion of the Fallen novels, published by Gollancz in the UK, and Roc Books (#1-2) and JABberwocky (#3) in North America.

The Dragons & Blades series, also set in the same world as the Dominion of the Fallen novels, are published by JABberwocky.