Ian McDonald

Born in Manchester and raised in Northern Ireland (where he still lives) Ian McDonald is an award winning Science Fiction author. His novels include BRASYL (2007), RIVER OF GODS (2004), ARES EXPRESS (2001), KIRINYA (1998) and DESOLATION ROAD (1988) and he been extensively published all over the world.

Ian is also also a prolific writer of novellas and short fiction and his work has appeared in many anthologies and collections.

Amongst the many accolades he has received for his fiction are the BSFA award (five times, across both the novel and short fiction categories), the Philip K. Dick award, the Hugo award, the LOCUS award for best first novel and the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award. He has also received nominations and shortlistings  for a host of other genre prizes  including the Arthur C. Clarke and Nebula awards.

Ian maintains a blog which can be found here.

CYBERABAD DAYS, a short story collection set in the same reality as RIVER OF GODS was published in 2009 in the US by Pyr and in March 2009 by Gollancz in the UK. THE DERVISH HOUSE, a critically-acclaimed stand-alone novel, was published by Gollancz (UK) and Pyr (US) in 2010 – it won the BSFA, SF Site Readers Poll, John W. Campbell Memorial Awards.

Ian’s most recent work includes the Everness series of YA science fiction novels – PLANESRUNNER, BE MY ENEMY, and the upcoming EMPRESS OF THE SUN (Jo Fletcher Books/Pyr).

Ian’s Hugo Award-nominated Luna series is published in the UK by Gollancz, in North America by Tor Books, and extensively in translation. The first three novels are out now — NEW MOON, WOLF MOON, and MOON RISING. A prequel novella, THE MENACE FROM FARSIDE, is published by Tor.com.

The novel HOPELAND is forthcoming in 2023 (Gollancz/Tor).

Four of Ian’s classic works have been released in eBook form by Open Road in 2013: THE BROKEN LAND, KING OF MORNING QUEEN OF DAY, SACRIFICE OF FOOLS, and SCISSORS CUT PAPER WRAP STONE.

In 2019, Ian was named a Grand Master of Science Fiction by the European Science Fiction Society.

Agent Contact: John Berlyne



Luna Series

  1. THE MENACE FROM FARSIDE (prequel novella)

Everness Series




India 2047



Desolation Road Series


Chaga Series








Awards & Commendations


Grand Master of Science Fiction, ESFS (2019)

- BSFA Award, Best Shorter Fiction Winner (2019)
- John W. Campbell Memorial Award, Finalist (2019)
- Philip K. Dick Award, Finalist (2019)
- Locus Award, Best Novella, 6th Place (2019)

Luna Series
- Hugo Award, Best Series, Nominee (2020)

- Prometheus Award, Finalist (2020)
- Locus Award, Best SF Novel, Finalist (2020

- Prometheus Award, Finalist (2018)
- Locus Award, Best SF Novel, 10th Place (2018)

- Prometheus Award, Finalist (2017)
- John W. Campbell Memorial Award, Finalist (2016)
- Gaylactica Spectrum Awards, Best Novel, Winner (2016)

- Locus Award, Best YA Book, 3rd Place (2015)

- Locus Award, Best YA Book, 6th Place (2013)

- Locus Award, Best YA Book, 2nd Place (2012)
- Golden Duck Award, Hal Clement Award, Nominee (2012)
- Sidewise Award, Long Form, Nominee (2012)

- John W. Campbell Memorial Award, Winner (2011)
- BSFA Award, Best Novel Winner (2011)
- SF Site Readers Poll, SF/Fantasy Novel, Winner (2011)
- Seiun Award, Translated Novel, Nominee (2015)
- Hugo Award, Best Novel Nominee (2011)
- Arthur C. Clark Award, Shortlist (2011)
- Locus Award, Best SF Novel, 3rd Place (2011)

- British Fantasy Award, Best Collection Nominee (2010)
- BSFA Award, Best Shorter Fiction Winner (2010) - "Vishnu at the Cat Circus"
- Philip K. Dick Award, Special Citation (2010)
- Locus Award, Best SF Novel, 3rd Place (2010)
- Phantastik Preis, Foreign novel, 6th Place (2013)

- BSFA Award, Best Novel Winner (2008)
- Nebula Award, Best Novel Nominee (2009)
- Hugo Award, Best Novel Nominee (2008)
- John W. Campbell Memorial Award, Finalist (2008)
- Locus Award, Best SF Novel, 4th Place (2008)
- Quill Award, Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror Novel, Nominee (2007)
- SF Site Readers Poll, SF/Fantasy Novel, 3rd Place (2008)

- BSFA Award, Best Novel Winner (2005)
- Grand Prix de l'Imaginaire, Translated Novel, Winner (2005)
- Hugo Award, Best Novel Nominee (2005)
- Arthur C. Clark Award, Shortlist (2005)
- James Tiptree Jr. Memorial Award, Longlist (2005)
- Locus Award, Best SF Novel, 9th Place (2005)
- SF Site Readers Poll, SF/Fantasy Novel, 9th Place (2006)

- Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award, Winner (2001)
- Locus Award, Best Novella, 19th Place (2001)

- Locus Award, Best SF Novel, 28th Place (1999)

- Kurd Laßwitz Preis, Foreign Novel, Winner (1999)
- James Tiptree Jr. Memorial Award, Longlist (1998)

- BSFA Award, Best Novel Nominee (1996)
- John W. Campbell Memorial Award, Finalist, 3rd Place (1996)
- Locus Award, Best SF Novel, 7th Place (1996)

- BSFA Award, Best Novel Nominee (1995)
- Locus Award, Best SF Novel, 16th Place (1995)

- Kurd Laßwitz Preis, Foreign Novel, Winner (1995)
- Philip K. Dick Award, Finalist (1995)
- Locus Award, Best SF Novel, 7th Place (1995)

- Arthur C. Clarke Award, Shortlist, 3rd Place (1993)
- BSFA Award, Best Novel Nominee (1993)
- Locus Award, Best SF Novel, 20th Place (1993)

- Philip K. Dick Award, Winner (1992)
- Grand Prix de l'Imaginaire, Translated Novel, Winner (2009)
- Locus Award, Best Fantasy Novel, 4th Place (1992)

- Locus Award, Best Debut Novel, Winner (1990)
- Arthur C. Clark Award, Shortlist, 3rd Place (1990)
- Seiun Award, Foreign Novel, Nominee (1998)

- Locus Award, Best SF Novel, 19th Place (1990)

- Locus Award, Best Collection, 6th Place (1989)

"The Fifth Dragon"
- Locus Award, Best Novelette, 7th Place (2015)

"The Djinn's Wife"
- Hugo Award, Best Novelette Winner (2007)
- BSFA Award, Best Shorter Fiction Winner (2007)
- Locus Award, Best Novelette, 8th Place (2007)
- Asimov's Readers Poll, Novelette, 2nd Place (2007)
- Seiun Award, Translated Short Form, Nominee (2008)



  • Luna: NEW MOON
  • Luna: WOLF MOON
  • Luna (Audio Editions)
  • Luna Series (Omnibus Editions)
  • Luna: THE MENACE FROM FARSIDE (prequel)
  • Everness: PLANESRUNNER
  • Everness: BE MY ENEMY
  • Everness: EMPRESS OF THE SUN
  • Everness (Audio Editions)
  • BRASYL 2007
  • India 2047: RIVER OF GODS
  • India 2047: CYBERABAD DAYS
  • Select Novels (Audio Editions)
  • Desolation Road: DESOLATION ROAD
  • Desolation Road: ARES EXPRESS
  • Desolation Road (Audio Editions)
  • Chaga Series (eBook, Germany)
  • Chaga (Audio Editions)
  • Stand-Alone Novels (eBooks)
  • Stand-Alone Novels (Audio Editions)



- Tor (US, 2023)
- Gollancz (UK, 2023)

Luna Series:
- WOLF MOON - Vorto Palabra (Croatia, 2023 - Vučji mjesec)
- NEW MOON - Salon Yayınları (Turkey, 2023 - Yeni Ay)
- THE MENACE FROM FARSIDE - Urania (Italy, 2022 - Minaccia da Farside)
- MOON RISING - Laguna (Serbia, 2021 - Mesečev osvit)
- WOLF MOON - Laguna (Serbia, 2021 - Vučji mesec)
- MOON RISING - Gabo (Hungary, 2021 - Holdkelte)
- NEW MOON - Laguna (Serbia, 2021 - Mlad Mesec)
- MOON RISING - 麥田出版 (Complex Chinese; Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, 2020 - 王者 之戰)
- WOLF MOON - 麥田出版 (Complex Chinese; Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, 2020 - 狼嚎 時分)
- NEW MOON - 麥田出版 (Complex Chinese; Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, 2020 - 血染 新月)
- MOON RISING - 理想国/Imaginist (Simplified Chinese; Mainland China, 2020 - 月出)
- WOLF MOON - 理想国/Imaginist (Simplified Chinese; Mainland China, 2020 - 狼月)
- NEW MOON - 理想国/Imaginist (Simplified Chinese; Mainland China, 2020 - 新月)
- MOON RISING - MAG (Poland, 2020 - Luna: Wschód)
- MOON RISING - ACT (Russia, 2020 - Восставшая Луна)
- WOLF MOON - Gabo (Hungary, 2019 - Ordashold)
- NEW MOON - Vorto Palabra (Croatia, 2019 - Mladi Mjesec)
- MOON RISING - Denoël (France, 2019 - Luna, Lune Montante)
- LUNA Series - Oscar Fantastica/Mondadori (Italy, 2019 - Luna, La Trilogia)
- MOON RISING - Urania/Mondadori (Italy, 2019 - Luna Crescente)
- MOON RISING - Nova (Spain, 2019 - Luna Creciente)
- MOON RISING - Heyne (Germany, 2019 - Drachenmond)
- MOON RISING - Gollancz (UK, 2019)
- MOON RISING - Tor Books (US, 2019)
- WOLF MOON - Urania/Mondadori (Italy, 2019 - Luna piena)
- NEW MOON - Urania/Mondadori (Italy, 2018 - Luna nuova)
- WOLF MOON - ACT (Russia, 2018 - Волчья Луна)
- WOLF MOON - Denoël (France, 2017 - Lune du Loup)
- NEW MOON - ACT (Russia, 2017 - Новая Луна)
- WOLF MOON - Nova (Spain, 2017 - Luna: Luna de Lobos)
- NEW MOON - Gabo (Hungary, 2017 - Újhold)
- NEW MOON - Nautilus/Nemira (Romania, 2017 - Luna nouă)
- WOLF MOON - Heyne (Germany, 2017 - Luna: Wolfmond)
- WOLF MOON - MAG (Poland, 2017 - Luna: Wilcza pełnia)
- NEW MOON - Denoël (France, 2017 - Luna)
- WOLF MOON - Blackstone (Audio, UK, 2017)
- WOLF MOON - Gollancz (UK, 2017)
- WOLF MOON - Tor (US, 2017)
- NEW MOON - Heyne (Germany, 2016 - Luna)
- NEW MOON - Artline Studios (Bulgaria, 2016 - Луна: Новолуние)
- NEW MOON - Nova (Spain, 2016 - Luna: Luna Nueva)
- NEW MOON - MAG (Poland, 2016 - Luna: Nów)
- NEW MOON - Blackstone (Audio, UK, 2016)
- NEW MOON - Tor (US, 2015)
- NEW MOON - Gollancz (UK, 2015)

- Dolmen Editorial (Spain, 2023/07 - Tiempo Que Fue)
- 早川書房/Hayakawa (Japan, 2022 - 時ありて)
- Bélial' (France, 2020 - Le Temps Fut)
- Tor.com (US/UK, 2018)

Everness Series
- BE MY ENEMY - Mondadori (Italy, eBook, 2018 - Pianeta Parallelo)
- PLANESRUNNER - JABberwocky eBook Program (US, eBook, 2018)
- BE MY ENEMY - JABberwocky eBook Program (US, eBook, 2018)
- EMPRESS OF THE SUN - JABberwocky eBook Program (US, eBook, 2018)
- EMPRESS OF THE SUN - Artline Studios (Bulgaria, 2017 - Императрицата на слънцето)
- BE MY ENEMY - Artline Studios (Bulgaria, 2016 - Бъди ми враг)
- PLANESRUNNER - Mondadori (Italy, eBook, 2016 - Terra Incognita)
- PLANESRUNNER - Artline Studios (Bulgaria, 2015 - Беглец по равнините)
- EMPRESS OF THE SUN - Эксмо (Russia, 2015 - Императрица Солнца)
- PLANESRUNNER - Gabo (Hungary, 2014 - Síkvándor)
- BE MY ENEMY - Эксмо (Russia, 2013 - Будь моим врагом)
- PLANESRUNNER - Эксмо (Russia, 2013 - Странник между мирами)
- EMPRESS OF THE SUN - Audible (Audio, 2014, TBC)
- BE MY ENEMY - Audible (Audio, 2013)
- PLANESRUNNER - Audible (Audio, 2013)
- EMPRESS OF THE SUN - Pyr (US, 2014)
- EMPRESS OF THE SUN - Jo Fletcher (2014)
- PLANESRUNNER - Gallimard Jeunesse (France, 2013 - L'Odyssée des mondes)
- BE MY ENEMY - Jo Fletcher (UK, 2013)
- BE MY ENEMY - Pyr (US, 2012)
- PLANESRUNNER - Jo Fletcher (UK, 2012)
- PLANESRUNNER - Pyr (US, 2011)

- JABberwocky eBook Program (US, eBook, 2018)
- Gallimard (France, PB, 2015 - La Maison des derviches)
- Altera (Bulgaria, 2015 - Дервишката къща)
- 東京創元社 (Japan, 2014 - 旋舞の千年都市 上 & 下)
- ACT (Russia, 2013 - Дом дервиша)
- Paladin (Bosnia, 2013 - Tekija)
- Audible (Audio, 2012)
- Ad Astra (Hungary, 2012 - A dervisház)
- Denoël (France, 2011 - La maison des derviches)
- MAG (Poland, 2011 - Dom derwiszy)
- Pegasus (Turkey, 2011 - Derviş Evi)
- Pyr (US, 2011)
- Gollancz (UK & Trans., 2011)

- JABberwocky eBook Program (US, eBook, 2018)
- ACT (Russia, 2016)
- Saída de Emergência (Brazil, 2015)
- MAG (Poland, 2015)
- Ad Astra (Hungary, 2014)
- Audible (Audio, 2012)
- Bragelonne (France, 2011)
- Folio (France, 2011)
- Gollancz (eBook, 2010)
- Paladin (Serbia, 2010)
- Triton (Czech, 2010)
- La Factoría de Ideas (Spain, 2009)
- Gailivro (Portugal, 2008)
- Gollancz (UK, 2008)
- Pyr (US, 2007)

India 2047 Series:
- CYBERABAD DAYS - Urania (Italy, 2022 - I giorni di Cyberabad)
- RIVER OF GODS - Gollancz (UK, SF Masterwork, 2020)
- RIVER OF GODS - Хермес (Bulgaria, eBook, 2019 - Река на боговете)
- CYBERABAD DAYS - JABberwocky eBook Program (US, eBook, 2018)
- RIVER OF GODS - JABberwocky eBook Program (US, eBook, 2018)
- CYBERABAD DAYS - Denoël (France, 2013 - La Petite Déesse et autres histoires d'une Inde future)
- CYBERABAD DAYS - Audible (Audio, 2013)
- RIVER OF GODS - Audible (Audio, 2012)
- RIVER OF GODS - Heyne (Germany, 2012 - Cyberabad)
- RIVER OF GODS - Paladin (Serbia, 2011 - Reka bogava)
- RIVER OF GODS - Denoël (France, 2010 - Le fleuve des dieux)
- RIVER OF GODS - MAG (Poland, 2010 - Rzeka bogów)
- CYBERABAD DAYS - Gollancz (eBook, 2009)
- RIVER OF GODS - Gollancz (eBook, 2009)
- CYBERABAD DAYS - Pyr (US, 2009)
- CYBERABAD DAYS - Gollancz (UK, 2009)
- RIVER OF GODS - Argo/Triton (Czech, 2009 - Řeka bohů)
- RIVER OF GODS - Gollancz (UK, 2008)
- RIVER OF GODS - Pyr (US, 2006)
- RIVER OF GODS - La Factoría de Ideas (Spain, 2006 - El Río de los Dioses)
- RIVER OF GODS - ACT (Russia, 2006 - Река богов)
- RIVER OF GODS - Simon & Schuster (UK, 2004)

- AST (Russia, 2023 - Некровиль)
- Heyne (Germany, 2015)
- Audible (Audio, 2013)
- Gollancz (eBook, 2011)
- Paladin (Serbia, 2010)
- Heyne (Germany, 1996 & 2008)
- J'ai Lu (France, 1996)
- Fanucci (Spain, 1996)
- Editura Pygmalion (Romania, 1995)
- Spectra (US, 1994 - Terminal Cafe)
- Gollancz (UK, 1994)

Desolation Road Series:
- DESOLATION ROAD - ACT (Russia, 2019 - Дорога запустения)
- DESOLATION ROAD - Heyne (Germany, 2015 - Straße der Verlassenheit)
- DESOLATION ROAD - Zona 42 (Italy, 2014)
- ARES EXPRESS - JABberwocky eBook Program (US, eBook, 2014)
- DESOLATION ROAD - JABberwocky eBook Program (US, eBook, 2014)
- ARES EXPRESS - Audible (Audio, 2013)
- DESOLATION ROAD - Audible (Audio, 2013)
- ARES EXPRESS - Pyr (US, 2010)
- DESOLATION ROAD - Pyr (US, 2009)
- DESOLATION ROAD - Paladin (Poland, 2009 - Bespuće)
- ARES EXPRESS - Earthlight (UK, 2001)
- DESOLATION ROAD - Earthlight (UK, 2001)
- DESOLATION ROAD - 早川書房 (Japan, 1997 - 火星夜想曲)
- DESOLATION ROAD - Livres de Poche (France, 1994)
- DESOLATION ROAD - Martinez Roca (Spain, 1992 - Camino Desolación)
- DESOLATION ROAD - Bastei Lübbe (Germany, 1991 - Strasse der Verlassenheit)
- DESOLATION ROAD - Bantam Spectra (1988)

Chaga Series:
- KIRINYA - Heyne (Germany, 2015 - Kirinja)
- CHAGA - Heyne (Germany, 2015)
- TENDELEO'S STORY - JABberwocky eBook Program (US, eBook, 2014)
- TENDELEO'S STORY - Audible (Audio, 2013)
- KIRINYA - Audible (Audio, 2013)
- CHAGA - Audible (Audio, 2013)
- KIRINYA - JABberwocky eBook Program (US, eBook, 2013)
- CHAGA - JABberwocky eBook Program (US, eBook, 2013)
- TENDELEO'S STORY - PS Publishing (2000)
- KIRINYA - Heyne (Germany, 2000 - Kirinja)
- KIRINYA - Millennium (1999)
- CHAGA - Fantastyka (Poland)
- CHAGA - Heyne (Germany, 1997)
- CHAGA - Orion (UK, 1996)
- CHAGA - Spectra (US, 1995 - Evolution's Shore)

- JABberwocky eBook Program (US, eBook, 2014)
- Audible (Audio, 2013)
- Paladin (Serbia, 2010 - Knjiga izgubljenih snova)
- Bastei Lübbe (Germany, 1993 - Sternenträume)
- Spectra (UK/US, 1988)

- Mondadori (Italy, 2020 - La Terra Infranta)
- Audible (Audio, 2013)
- Open Road (eBook, 2013)

- ACT (Russia, 2023 - Король утра, королева дня)
- JABberwocky (US/UK, 2019)
- Folio SF (France, 2016 - Roi de Matin, Reine du Jour)
- Audible (Audio, 2013)
- Open Road (eBook, 2013)
- Paladin (Serbia - Srca, Ruke I Glasovi)

- Audible (Audio, 2013)
- Open Road (eBook, 2013)

- Audible (Audio, 2013)
- Open Road (eBook, 2013)

- Audible (Audio, 2013)
- Open Road (eBook, 2013)




      ‘A story of the near future, it starts out as an urban fantasy love story before twisting to become a magical realism-tinged tale and a show-don’t-tell philosophical novel that’s also a rollicking sea-based adventure… HOPELAND is a profoundly optimistic novel, even one tinged with utopianism. Indeed, it often has a vibe similar to the work of another great optimist, lain Banks… By some distance Ian McDonald’s best novel — which is saying something, considering how good so many of his other books have been — this is the work of a writer at the peak of his powers.’SFX (5* Review!)

      ‘… a unique take on time-travel and electromancy… An eccentric and adventurous love story mixed with a rich and picturesque family saga. The popping action sequences reinforce McDonald’s swift and distinctive writing style.’Library Journal

      ‘[M]arries magic realism to solid, near-future speculative fiction… An essential work of climate fiction.’Guardian

      HOPELAND is extraordinary — a deep-dive into pyschogeographic wonders that’s galvanised by jolts of romance and conspiracy…. HOPELAND works a sort of magic on the reader. Resist and you get lost. Submit to its mad energy and you’ll be swept from Spitalfields to Ireland, Iceland to Polynesia by the sheer variety of Ian McDonald’s imagination and the power of his vision.’ — Daily Mail

      ‘A novel so eerily good it almost made me angry… amazing, uncategorizable, unsummarizable, weird, sprawling, hairball of a novel…’Cory Doctorow, Medium

      ‘On display in this book is a familiar virtue of McDonald’s, seen in works such as River of Gods and Brasyl: the ability to depict a culture in both large and granular details across historical eras. But new to his quiver is the intense lyricism of the prose… Replete with deft, unforgettable character portraits… With its powerful, never overplayed themes of country versus city, arctic versus tropical, male energies versus female energies, tradition versus innovation, kids versus adults, life versus death, this wise and expansive tale beautifully embodies the famous saying of David Ben-Gurion: “Anyone who doesn’t believe in miracles is not a realist.”’Locus (Paul di Filippo)

    • Luna 3 - MOON RISING

      ‘McDonald concludes his Luna space opera trilogy in triumphant style… The political intrigue never feels too abstract or removed from 21st-century Earth. Readers will appreciate the care McDonald takes with both worldbuilding and characterization, and will enjoy little touches such as giving an assassin the job title of Corporate Conflict Resolution Officer… fans of the prior books will find this wrap-up rewarding.’Publishers Weekly

      ‘McDonald’s richly imagined Lunar culture and interplanetary poleconomy make for a superb backdrop for literally dozens of richly realized human dramas, and it’s hard to say which is more fascinating. McDonald’s wildly imaginative worldbuilding (present since his debut novel, the utterly wonderful standout OUT ON BLUE SIX) and his ability to spin out intrigues are both in full flight in this final volume.’Boing Boing

      ‘… cinematic set-pieces… so much fun to read… these entertaining, and intelligent novels, capped off by the very satisfying Luna: MOON RISING, have been about establishing a society, a community, a family that looks to the future, that lives and prospers in an environment that must always be treated with respect.’Locus (Ian Mond)

      ‘The Luna trilogy is a masterpiece of worldbuilding. Ian McDonald has created an incredibly developed, complex and astonishingly plausible future for the Moon… What stands out, though, are its threads of gorgeous storytelling… as a whole, this is an extraordinary trilogy. Ian McDonald always writes beautifully. I love what he has to say. I’ll always remember his vision of the Moon, which at times is horrifying and violent and yet at others is so heartwarming and wondrous.’For Winter Nights

      ‘[T]here are few excuses for not reading Ian McDonald’Cheryl Morgan

    • Luna 2 - WOLF MOON

      ‘… powerful sequel… compelling throughout. Each of McDonald’s viewpoint characters is made human in fascinating and occasionally disturbing detail, and the solar system of the 22nd century is wonderfully delineated. Fans of the first volume will love this one and eagerly look forward to the next.Publishers Weekly

      NEW MOON was one of the most interesting sci-fi novels of 2015, with smart ideas on humanity and economies matched by street smarts, political brawls and murder in the streets. LUNA: WOLF MOON turns that up to eleven – it’s a fascinating story, which is also a tense, enthralling read.’ Sci-Fi & Fantasy Review

      ‘The fights and vengeance that follow are more vicious and intricate than anything in Game of Thrones, full of great acts of self-sacrifice and viciousness alike, brave cavalry charges and last stands, cowardice and avarice. McDonald’s great gift is to hold the micro- and macro-scale in his hand at once. Starting with his debut novel, 1988’s Desolation Road, McDonald has used his intense, finely crafted and small personal stories of his vast casts of characters as the pixels in an unimaginably vast display on which he projects some of the field’s most audacious worldbuilding — never worldbuilding for its own sake, either, but always in the service of slyly parodying, critiquing or lionizing elements of our present-day world.’ Boing Boing

      ‘A Howling Good Read… No one builds a world like Ian McDonald does. Piece by piece and brick by brick. Spare, simple, elegant when he needs to be…, deep and meaty when he wants to be…, he does his work like an artisan pulling a sculpture from stone. There are no wasted moves, nothing that isn’t vital because, in the end, everything is vital. Everything matters… it is fascinating, all of it. Because McDonald has made a world that is ruthless in its consistency and living, breathing reality, and then made characters who are not just living in it, but wholly and fully of it… McDonald’s corporate war is a gorgeous thing, fought with every tool available… McDonald is able to wrap the biggest events in constellations of the smallest so that a cocktail party here, a discussion of ’80s retro fashion (all mall-hair and WHAM! T-shirts), a love story and a day at work for a guy who cleans solar panels all build and coalesce to form the background radiation of life in this unstable future. Every moment with his characters makes them precious, real and alive.’ NPR

      ‘Luna: New Moon was a “magnificent bastard of a book,” as I put it in my review. Part two, it’s my pleasure to tell you, is just as awesome, and just as masterfully nasty.’ Tor.com

    • Luna 1 - NEW MOON

      ‘Smart, funny, passionate and at times quite dark, McDonald brings the touch we’ve seen in RIVER OF GODS and DERVISH HOUSE to an entirely new culture as it evolves in a distant hostile place where business or family rules all… it’s terrific. My only complaint: it leaves you wanting the second book right now!’ — Jonathan Strahan

      ‘McDonald… begins his superb near-future series… scintillating, violent, and decadent world. McDonald creates a complex and fascinating civilization featuring believable technology, and the characters are fully developed, with individually gripping stories. Watch for this brilliantly constructed family saga on next year’s award ballots.’ Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

      ‘Mafia-style mining families clash in a compelling fantasy that offers up all the pleasures of a cut-throat soap opera in space…That McDonald is able to spin a compelling story from this unforgiving set-up is testament to his skill as a writer… One thing Luna does exceptionally well is to puncture Old Heinlein’s assumption that a frontier society based on the primacy of the family and a disregard of conventional laws would end up like idealised smalltown America. Luna argues that any realistic future colonisation of the moon will be much more The Sopranos than The Waltons. LUNA is as gripping as it is colourful, and as colourful as it is nasty.’ — Guardian

      No one writes like Ian McDonald, and no one’s Moon is nearly so beautiful and terrible… Ian McDonald’s never written a bad novel, but this is a great Ian McDonald novel… McDonald has ten details for every detail proffered by other sf writers. Not gratuitous details, either: gracious ones. The fashion sense of William Gibson, the design sense of Bruce Sterling, the eye for family drama of Connie Willis, the poesie of Bradbury, and the dirty sex of Kathe Koja and Samuel Delany… McDonald’s moon is omnisexual, kinky, violent, passionate, beautiful, awful, vibrant and crushing. As the family saga of the Cortas unravels, we meet a self-sexual ninja lawyer, a werewolf who loses his mind in the Full Earth, a family tyrant whose ruthlessness is matched only by his crepulance, and a panoply of great passions and low desires. LUNA: NEW MOON is the first book of a two-book cycle. Now I’m all a-quiver for the next one.BoingBoing

      ‘Fans of cerebral, high-concept science fiction will love this exploration of society on the moon many decades after it has been colonized. The focus is more on concept and plot than on character, but the former are compelling enough to make this an addictive page-turner. Including the stories of many characters gives the reader important insights into different facets of society, and although the book starts at a slow pace, it accelerates into a mesmerizing political thriller.’ RT Book Reviews

      LUNA: NEW MOON is the best moon novel I’ve seen in many years, but it’s also something of a piece with the recent movement on the part of Paul McAuley, Kim Stanley Robinson, and oth­ers to confine novels to the solar system, out of a realistic assessment that this is likely all we’ll have to work with – but McDonald takes this a step further. Possibly the most chilling lines in the book for an SF reader come from Adriana herself, in her own narrative: ‘‘There was no law, no justice,’’ she writes, ‘‘only management. The moon was the frontier, but it was the frontier to nothing. There was nowhere to run.’’ Inasmuch as it challenges one of the cherished master narratives of SF, in which the moon is only a stepping-stone, and despite what it owes to the tropes of ’70s-era social melodrama, McDon­ald’s novel has some formidable SF stingers not far beneath its densely textured surface.’ Locus

      ‘Heralds the welcome return of one of western science fiction’s foremost globally oriented authors. Bristling with the energy and action… LUNA accomplishes much more than simply demonstrating the author’s newfound appreciation for snappy plotting and adventure. It is in many respects an updating of McDonald’s first interplanetary colonization novel, DESOLATION ROAD, for our globally precarious present. Nestled within a narrative of lunar colonization driven by STEM developments and a decimated, post-oil Earth economy, LUNA burns with the desperate anxieties of the late-capitalist, financialized age: the universalization of debt, the demand for contingent and flexible labor, and the resulting polarized wealth gap… one of McDonald’s greatest strengths: an ability to think through the uneven development and cultural diffusion of global economic and technological change. In a striking fashion, McDonald’s worlds are heavily cultural. Instead of the usual palettes of techno ascetic, noir grime, or vulgar-commodified futures of so much second-tier cyberpunk, McDonald’s corpus is littered with songs, poetry, religious iconography, and cosmologies. These cultural facets position the latest technological developments in computing, quantum theory, and nanotechnological body enhancements within a larger sociocultural milieu that often illustrates the view from the colonial margins and their adaptation of the center’s techno-futures. McDonald’s worlds, whether grim, hopeful, or — as is often the case — both, feel lived in rather than culturally depleted or used up… With an action narrative driving this political commentary, LUNA is actually a fantastically fun read as well as an important one.’ LA Review of Books

      ‘A refreshing and complex science fiction of the best kind – one that is universally clever and thought provoking, and one that stays with you long after you close the final page.’ Upcoming4Me

      The way that Ian McDonald flawlessly adapts his writing to the relevant culture and country at hand is ingenious, and he showcases this perfectly in his much-lauded previous work. In LUNA: NEW MOON though, McDonald has clearly perfected this skill… McDonald certainly shows off the well-developed Cortas to illustrate his knack for creating dynamic human relationships that encompass the whole Moon… LUNA: NEW MOON is a world that has been intricately woven together by its author. It’s compelling and thought-provoking, and all without relying on overbearing sci-fi clichés. Brilliantly done.’ SciFiNow

      Almost monolithic in its ambition. In its gravitas and tension and, alas, tragedy, it’s damn near Shakespearian… a setting so brilliantly built and deftly embellished that buying into it isn’t ever an issue; a vast cast of characters as satisfying and sympathetic individually as they are as part of McDonald’s elaborate ensemble; and a plot composed of so many threads that you never know where it’s going to go — except that when it ends, it’s destined to end terribly… a world as wicked as it is convincing… only a matter of time before CBS sets about broadening the appeal of this magnificent bastard of a book.’ Tor.com

      ‘Science Fiction authors have made the Moon a popular destination for centuries now: our closest celestial neighbor is home to hundreds of stories. Ian McDonald’s latest novel, LUNA: NEW MOON, is probably one of the best set there… McDonald envisions a future that feels wholly realistic… This is an astonishingly good novel, loaded with vivid detail and interesting ideas about politics, dynasties and our future in space. McDonald has written — no, crafted — some of my favorite science fiction novels, from RIVER OF GODS to THE DERVISH HOUSE, and this one is probably his best yet.’ io9

      ‘They all leap off the page at the reader, filled with complexity, and emotional truth. They may not be particularly pleasant examples of people, but they do feel genuinely human… Between the starkly lethal beauty of the environment, the carefully crafted society where everything is a matter of contract, and the feuding dynastic families, the plot really writes itself… McDonald manages to set up a multi-layered plot, a fusion of family dynamics, character pieces and sweeping action pieces, and bring the whole together seamlessly. It was very, very hard to put this book down. I would say that the end is clearly a set up for the forthcoming sequel – but it’s very well done… a really good read – the environment is convincing, the characters wonderfully flawed and entirely believable, and the plot well-paced and gripping. It’ll draw you into its world and refuse to let you out again. If you want to try an innovative piece of sci-fi, with a lot to say and a good means of exploring ways to say it, then this is the book for you.’ Sci-Fi & Fantasy Reviews

      ‘Ian McDonald is a brilliant writer, and seeing the moon through his eyes promised to be an exquisite pleasure. I was not disappointed… the book flows so organically that it’s perfectly accessible… The moon is brought to life beautifully… Everything about this moon is interesting, visceral and so very very alive. It’s not at all a dead rock, but a buzzing frontier. Ian McDonald is a virtuoso with prose. Luna might have some of the dynastic feudalism and tribalism that Song of Ice and Fire has made so very fashionable of late, but it’s told in prose that flows and sings and dances on the page. It’s seductive and mesmerising – a beautiful book to read… Highly recommended.’ Bastian’s Book Review

      ‘I foresee great things for this book and award nominations a-plenty. Recommended.’ SFF World

      LUNA provides an amazing, futuristic universe set in 2110… The story is innovative and fresh, on top of being pleasantly well written… The best part of this book, hands down, would have to be the diversity of the characters.’ Portland Book Review

      ‘An extraordinary novel, its drama almost entirely dictated by the quality of its characterisation. We are presented with a cast of many, most drawn from the five Dragon families, and every one of them, however brief their time on the page, is given a distinct and important place in the story… LUNA‘s world is beautifully evoked – the worldbuilding never forced, always apart of the story and vivid… The story of the novel is beautifully elaborate, with time spent on each of the main characters, immersing us in their strange lives that still, at their heart, are as human as our own. The family relationships are wonderfully drawn, often touching, loving and tragic. Even the most powerful of people are shown to have another more private side… LUNA is accessible throughout and comes to life through the brilliantly visual prose as well as its intense action and the most memorable episodes. There are characters here that will stay with me for a long time, moments that I won’t forget. It is self-contained and thoroughly satisfying but there is clearly so much more that could be said and I was so pleased to learn that there will be a second volume. I can’t say this enough – LUNA is a remarkable novel! It is enormously clever and spectacularly visual and yet nothing overshadows the strength of its characterisation. A standout novel in a year that has been fantastic for science fiction.’ For Winter Nights

      ‘Between the grandeur of the lunar habitats, the unforgiving nature of the surface environment, the joyously genderqueer nature of lunar society, and the thoughtless brutality of the ruling oligarchs, NEW MOON is one hell of a science fiction novel. It is well worth reading, and has plenty in it to keep you thinking long after you have done so.’ Cheryl Morgan

      ‘The perfect mix of interesting plot and characters’ Blu Chicken Ninja

      ‘A stylishly dark, richly elaborate human drama that utilizes the powerful combination of a relentlessly foreboding atmosphere and electrifying, interwoven subplots to establish a near-future setting that is as fascinating as it is disturbing… In LUNA, McDonald proves himself a master of the art of writing multidimensional characters; the characters in Luna are all intriguingly complex and properly fleshed out, and McDonald makes sure that they’re all given the opportunity to make meaningful contributions to the story. He also does an extraordinary job of providing readers with intimate glimpses into the private struggles of each and every character and exposing the idiosyncrasies of each and every personality without relying too heavily on boring, unnecessary exposition. Simply put, none of the characters in Luna can be described as too “vanilla.” Every individual you come across in this book has a unique story to share and a distinctive personality that sets them apart from every other soul on the Moon… an intensely dramatic story.’ SciFi Gazette

      ‘One of my favorite things about McDonald as an author is his ability to create incredibly vibrant characters that practically leap off the page… His rich, diverse tapestry of characters brings to life a lot of the social and political struggles… The plot is engrossing… McDonald completely pulls in his readers with his flawless prose and his well-realized world. There really isn’t anything to fault here… this was the science fiction novel I’ve been waiting for. It’s human, far reaching, thought provoking, complex, and relatable. It’s a tangled web of intrigue in such a well-realized world, I feel like I could live there. Ian McDonald really hit it out of the park with this one.’ Bookworm Blues

      ‘Although seasoned Science Fiction fans may be most at ease initially with the style and sweep of a complex civilisation and the scientific and techy leaps and darts, Luna is very highly recommended and may well be a next big thing.’ Literature Works

      ‘Ian McDonald has done a great job bringing to life the harsh, unforgiving environment of the moon.  You can feel the constant pressure of the hostile atmosphere on every page… an enjoyable read… the moon is often overlooked, in a lot of books [characters] venture further in to the solar system and it was nice to see our neighbour so beautifully described as the setting for this excellent story.’ Random Redheaded Ramblings

      ‘Those interested in spacefaring settings and, in particular, those who enjoy reading about compelling characters in those settings, LUNA: NEW MOON is well worth the price of admission.’ Strange Horizons

      ‘The world McDonald has created is stunning. The science is stunning, the society is stunning, the Corta dynasty is stunning. LUNA is rich in detail and texture… McDonald’s prose is direct, unforgiving and often chilling… gritty, Shakespearian, violent and in-your-face… an instant classic.’ Schicks Algemeinshaft

    • TIME WAS

      ‘[E]ntrances readers with this multigenerational novella of two time-crossed lovers who can only meet for brief moments separated by several years… beautiful writing… Fans of science fiction who enjoy a dash of history and legend will savor this tender story.’ Publishers Weekly

      ‘With echoes of H. G. Wells’s The Time Machine and replete with the inimitable scent of used bookstores, TIME WAS weaves an exquisite spell of love, war and quantum physics that is timeless in its appeal. A scientific romance in the most evocative sense of the word.’ — Nina Allan

      ‘McDonald’s gift for storytelling is on full display as he captures the emotional nuances of a decades-long love while exploring issues of military and scientific might and the state of the contemporary book industry.’Booklist

      ‘[A] character-based story about the impact of a pair of time travelers on those who discover their existence. A full-length novel might have been consumed with the temporal mechanics and incidents in the lives of time-lost lovers; by eliding those details, this shorter work is, paradoxically, able to slow down and luxuriate in the story’s elegiac themes… an impressively challenging book for its length, both in McDonald’s use of language, and in its timey-wimey overlapping narratives. A story from the point of view of poets and book lovers would fall flat if the novel’s language weren’t a match for the inner monologues you’d expect from people whose interior lives are so full of words. McDonald succeeds in doing several seemingly incompatible things at once, and doing them well. TIME WAS is a time travel story that’s also, and primarily, a love story. Science fiction is typically plot-driven, occasionally to the exclusion of other elements, but this one luxuriates in characters and language. It’s a work that looks to the past, but speaks to the future of science fiction.’B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog

      ‘Throughout his career, Ian McDonald has demon­strated a remarkable versatility of style and language. His recent fiction has ranged from the YA sense-of-wonder exuberance of his parallel-world Everness series to the efficient social melodrama narration of the Luna novels, but he’s always been equally capable of great lyricism, and his new novella, TIME WAS, is a persuasive and gorgeous example of it. Essentially a timeslip romance in which the romance is evoked not by dramatic clinches but by a heightened sensuality, an acute awareness of nature, and a haunting sense of imminent loss, it nevertheless introduces enough chatter about quan­tum indeterminacy to work as SF. In a fascinating way, the two “time-crossed lovers,” Ben and Tom, come to represent the dual aesthetic of any good SF romance: Ben is a physicist working on a complex new experiment with his “Uncertainty Squad,” while Tom is a poet and part-time amateur actor who, when we meet him, is working for the Signal Corps. Early on, Ben confesses that he doesn’t have the soul of a poet, and Tom admits he doesn’t “have the soul of a scientist,” but, as McDonald well knows, you need both to tell a story like this… one of the most purely beautiful pieces of writing McDonald has given us in years.’Gary K. Wolfe (Locus)

      ‘This slender, poignant queer romance incorporates time travel and hints of hard science into a story as devastatingly sad—which isn’t to say bleak—as anything you’ll read this year.’ — B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog (Best SFF Books of the Year So Far, 2018, Honourable Mention)

      TIME WAS… a peculiar story of time, mystery, books, love, and war, compact as a parable, layered like a complex metaphor… and in some ways, strikingly unsettling… very well put together, and gorgeously written.’Tor.com

      ‘Ian McDonald has become one of my favorite science fiction authors in recent years: his novel LUNA: NEW MOON kicked off a fantastic trilogy…, while RIVER OF GODS and THE DERVISH HOUSE used the intersection between cheap technology, poverty, and politics to present a really intriguing set of futures for Earth. McDonald’s latest, TIME WAS, is a change from that model, but it’s no less a gripping read… McDonald does something impressive over the course of its short length, blending hard physics with a really tragic romance that comes full circle in a sort of reciprocating way — a form that I really love reading, as in Lev Grossman’s The Magician King and Joe Hill’s Horns… It’s incredibly well written, and is well worth picking up.’Andrew Liptak


      ‘One of the best collections of the year, perhaps the best, and one that shouldn’t be missed… the best stories by a towering talent; readers who know him only from his novels will be pleasantly surprised by his skill at shorter lengths.’ Locus (2016 Year in Review)


      ‘… a writer with an unerring instinct for finding resonance between theme and location… a rich and assured novel that, like much of Ken MacLeod’s recent work, revels in the shiny precision of the airport tech-thriller, yet insists on putting forward disquieting ideas rather than offering all-too-neat reassurances that you can somehow put escaped djinns back in bottles. This is as good as contemporary literary SF gets.’ SFX (5* Review)

      ‘I know what to expect from Ian McDonald: broad vistas, intricately imagined futures, poetic language that transports and delights, a blend of mysticism and science that thrills and moves. But no matter how much foreknowledge I bring to a new Ian McDonald, I am always, always startled and thrilled by the exciting, moving epic story I find inside… To read McDonald is to fall in love with a place and to become drunk with it (see this free sample from Dervish House for a taste). I you’ve never read him, you’re in for a treat. If you’re a fan like me, you’ll be delighted anew. What a wonderful, wonderful book.’ BoingBoing

      ‘… thrilling… A master in his own right, McDonald has written some of the best SF of the last fifteen years… a mosaic of a story that can be admired for its finely-wrought pieces but not fully appreciated until the book is finished and looked at again from some distance. The biggest part of the thrill is wondering how the characters will inevitably intersect… As much as THE DERVISH HOUSE is about biogenetics and history, McDonald couches some of his lushest prose in explorations of mysticism… McDonald, who is a native of Scotland, has an uncanny ability to write about other cultures authentically. He is a painstaking researcher and while he cannot always write with absolute authority, his dedication to making settings and characters feel alive is incredibly impressive… Ian McDonald has crafted a gorgeously lush novel, oozing with exciting, relevant ideas, a love letter to the Queen of Cities, to all cities, really.’ Tor.com

      ‘A lush, complex and hugely entertaining novel.’ Guardian

      ‘… Istanbul, the Queen of Cities, and the setting for Ian McDonald’s near-future story of terrorism, nanotechnology and change rushing over us like a tidal wave of strangeness. Like his novels about the future of Indian, African and Brazilian society, McDonald’s new book is a conscientious attempt to write the Other from the inside and accept the possibility that the Anglo world may be a sideline… a brilliant, jewelled machine of a novel in which lives trigger events in other lives, in a sequence that skirts chaos and disaster, but ends with gorgeous order.’ Independent

      ‘McDonald’s books are epic in scale (do not expect a quick summer read when you crack this bad boy open) and almost intimidating in their intelligence. At the heart of all of them, however, particularly in the case of THE DERVISH HOUSE, is an excellent story driven by perfectly-formed and believable protagonists. McDonald serves up a master class in writing that would give the literary elite the sweats. The novel doesn’t rely on high concepts or geeky gimmicks to sell itself… McDonald is, above all, a wordsmith… If you read one science fiction book this year, pick this one.’ Culture Northern Ireland

      ‘Those who have previously enjoyed McDonald’s narrative style will find a great deal to like in THE DERVISH HOUSE… McDonald’s writing has been steadily improving in terms of its lyrical and descriptive quality over the years, and it seems his recent foray into short stories with CYBERABAD DAYS has helped his focus and tightness. Several passages shine with literary flow and power… McDonald keeps his story fresh with every chapter and its flickering viewpoints, giving a series of snapshots that come together to form a panorama of his world. THE DERVISH HOUSE is an excellent sci-fi tale from a phenomenal writer, one who deserves every plaudit that can be heaped upon him. Those who appreciate slow-burning, dense and creative genre work should get this book now.’  —  SciFiNow

      ‘The florid descriptions that regularly course through his novels are merely colourful bonuses decorating detailed examination of what might just come to pass and even denser prose fuelling narrative journeys.’ Globe & Mail

      ‘If you only read one SF book this year… make sure it’s Ian McDonald’s THE DERVISH HOUSE… I wish I’d written this!!! … It’s too bloody good for comfort… THE DERVISH HOUSE takes the expansive cultural mosaic of  RIVER OF GODS, multiplies it by the driving Latin beat and teetering sense of jeopardy in BRASYL, and gives you a novel that is his best yet by a whole new order of imaginative and sensuous magnitude… I cannot recommend it highly enough.’ Richard K. Morgan (author of Altered Carbon and The Steel Remains)

      ‘… in THE DERVISH HOUSE, aspects of the geography, socioeconomic, religious and political groups do come alive – perhaps not as full characters, but as not-quite separate personalities within Istanbul – a city suffering and celebrating its multiple personalities… McDonald’s tried and true strategy of exploring the people of emerging economies in combination with the implications of technology on society in a near-future setting succeeds once again… It’s at times powerful, informative, and fun and another example of science fiction alive in our world.’ NethSpace

      ‘… builds on the complex, multi-layered narratives that McDonald has already produced in RIVER OF GODS and BRASYL. Like them, the very richness of the bustling world, the differing ways in which a range of characters intersect with the world, makes for a convincing portrait of the near future. In both those earlier novels, the past is the foundation upon which the future has been built, but the new novel goes further, because here the past is inescapable and the future perhaps unreachable. You feel that ten or so years from now, Istanbul could be just the way it is described here. The most important thing, though, is that as a kaleidoscopic portrait of that place at that time, THE DERVISH HOUSE is a very fine, very powerful novel indeed.’ SF Site

      ‘… a more restrained, more believable and much more elegant conclusion. McDonald’s prose remains as pleasing to read as ever, with rhythm and cadence changing from character to character satisfyingly… a fascinating, thought-provoking, challenging and engrossing novel.’ Wertzone

      ‘… a beautiful homage to one of most unique cities on earth… Nominated for the Hugo Award last week, THE DERVISH HOUSE is a worthy addition to that tradition. It is certainly one of the best novels I read in 2010. McDonald asks a lot his readers, but he rewards them with a beautiful novel that I believe will appeal to traditional readers in some ways more than lovers of genre fiction.’ Staffer’s Book Review

      ‘Ian’s current series has been something of a whirlwind, the writing is something unequalled from what he’s done before but what really makes this title is the sheer scope of the plot outline. The characters stand on their own, they are fully rounded and the author is not above giving the cast traits that could have driven the average man mad. A great title and a wonderful third addition to Ian’s series. A real must own book.’ Falcata Times

      ‘McDonald is a very talented writer, which becomes obvious in THE DERVISH HOUSE. He loses almost no time with wrapping the book around the reader with a stunning opening scene involving what seems to be a botched suicide-bombing job. From that aggressive start, the book keeps spinning, never losing that forceful, almost hurried tone. Due to this, McDonald packs quite a bit into THE DERVISH HOUSE. I do think McDonald’s writing is best summed up with the word aggressive. Though I’m not saying that he’s not a wonderful, almost poetic writer. McDonald’s descriptions make Istanbul come alive to the point where you can almost sense the traffic, and hear and smell the Grand Bazaar… McDonald seamlessly weaves together the unique politics of the time, as well as religious influences, cultural issues and technological advances, creating an incredible hodge-podge of future Istanbul… an aggressive, thought provoking work filled with the humanizing tales of six different, yet entwined individuals… a worthy read. The plot is engaging. McDonald’s writing is lyrical and descriptive and the issues covered will make people think about matters on a real-world, global scale.’ Bookworm Blues

      ‘This is a wonderfully complex and intricate novel that deals as easily with human emotions and the press of humanity as it does with cybernetic implants and robot drones.’ SFRevu

      ‘McDonald’s Istanbul is one giant mosaic, made up of disparate pieces from so many peoples and histories set side by side that it is almost impossible to make sense of when you’re in the midst of it. The novel’s threads, the triumphs and crises of its characters’ lives, parallel and contrast with each other even as they resolve into many parts of the same shared story. It may not, initially, be as easy a book to fall in love with as RIVER OF GODS, but as it all comes together it proves that McDonald’s command of nuance, detail, and payoff is second to none.’ Strange Horizons

      ‘… an audacious look at the shift in the power centers of the world and an intense vision of one possible future.’ New York Times

    • Everness - PLANESRUNNER

      ‘From the get-go it’s engaging, exciting – practically unputdownable… There’s not a dull moment as we hop around… from action scene to staggering set-piece and back just to start again from scratch… the world of E3 is a winner in its own right: an eerily silent cityscape wherein humanity discovered electricity before coming to depend as we do on fossil fuels… There are pirates and airships and jump-guns and a sort of “United Nations for parallel universes,” all rendered with such clarity that one begins to see pictures in place of McDonald’s prose. Imagine the world of Chris Wooding’s Tales of the Ketty Jay embellished with sparkling SF tech and an exquisite electropunk aesthetic; even then you’re only coming close to the experience of E3. In terms of character, too, PLANESRUNNER impresses… PLANESRUNNER is the first novel is a series, and if the second and the third and so on (and so forth) are anything like as exhilarating as this, it’s a series that stands to redefine award-winning author Ian McDonald’s place in the multiverse of speculative fiction.’ Speculative Scotsman

      ‘Also appropriating airships, larger‑than-life characters and breakneck action is Ian McDonald’s PLANESRUNNER…, the opening volume in the Everness series and his first foray into Young Adult fiction. This is vintage McDonald, with beautifully drawn settings, complex characters and deft plotting. When Everett Singh’s scientist father is kidnapped, Everett’s investigations lead him to discover that his father was working to open portals between multiple worlds. Everett finds a map linking the worlds, which various sinister organisations desire – and the thrilling chase is on.’ Guardian

      ‘The book begins with its young and likeably geeky protagonist, Everett Singh (named for physicist Hugh Everett, who came up with the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics back in the ‘50s) witnessing the kidnapping of his scientist father. But why would anyone want to drag an apparently unimportant academic off the street in London? Because, it turns out, Singh Sr has created the Infundibulum, a map of all known parallel Earths. Soon, Everett heads through a gateway and into a steampunk-tinged adventure. And yes, an airship is involved. But don’t hold that against McDonald, because this is a novel that’s knowing in the way it uses SF tropes without ever coming close to being condescending towards its intended audience. Science nerds of all ages may balk at the amount of exposition in the early chapters (arguably necessary, considering we’re talking quantum here), but most will be too busy getting lost in a cracking adventure story.’ SFX

      PLANESRUNNER, book one in Ian McDonald’s brand new Everness series, which — based on this first novel — I hope will be a very long series of YA science fiction novels. Boy, this book was fun… Everett Singh is a wonderful main character who balances the delicate line between normal and awesome… reading about his exploits is definitely never boring, and Ian McDonald throws in enough human touches to make Everett believable… Sometimes the prose is downright chatty and occasionally funny… [and] McDonald occasionally can’t help himself and throws in gorgeous lines… Combine this with the fast, fun dialogues that fill this novel and you have a book that practically reads itself… PLANESRUNNER is one of those novels that grabs hold of you from the very beginning and then just never lets go until the very end… Can we have ten books, please? … One of the best aspects of this novel is its cast of side characters… To top it all off, if this YA novel finds its way into the hands of the adults who are impatiently hovering in the periphery of its target audience, they’ll discover several fun little side-jokes and references that may not make sense (yet) to people born in the last few decades, and that’s not even mentioning some of the subtleties and recurring themes that fans of the author will recognize. This is a YA novel that definitely has a lot to offer to not-so-YA readers. It’s rare when a book is more or less exactly what you hoped it would be, but PLANESRUNNER is just that. I had a blast with this novel, and I can’t wait for the next book in the Everness series. As Sen Sixsmyth would say, this book was utterly bonaroo.’ Tor.com

      PLANESRUNNER is a great start to the Everness series and all down to the richly detailed, exotic world(s) that McDonald creates for his characters to live in. Everett is a very likeable character who is smart, resourceful and determined to save his Dad. I enjoyed every page of Everett’s journey,  the crew of the Everness and the alternative London that McDonald created. PLANESRUNNER is aimed at the younger YA reader but still has plot with enough twists and turns to keep the older YA or adult reader interested from start to finish.’ Book Chick City

      ‘Snappy, inventive language, lively characters and world-building on an epic scale.’ Sci-Fi Now

      ‘I love a Science Fiction novel that brings heroes that the young reader can get on with as well as villains that they’ll just love to hate especially when a well-established author brings his talent to the fore for that market. What unfurls within is a story that travels multiple universes with a lead character that the younger reader will love to spend time around, he’s believable, is fully rounded and when added to the authors wonderful way of moving a story forward really generates a story that young readers will find hard to put down. Back that up with cracking prose, some top notch dialogue which when backed with an author who loves to weave magic with words really gives you something special.’ Falcata Times

      ‘Having produced thirteen highly acclaimed SF novels and won pretty much every award there is, Ian McDonald now turns his hand to YA fiction with this, the first in an ongoing series. If the opener is anything to go by – and we rather suspect it is – long may it run… Right from the word go, PLANESRUNNER has the reader sucked in. Starting in a completely believable and familiar world of teenage angst, parental break-ups, school and Xboxes, McDonald’s novel manages to bring our young hero to the incredible world of E3 without skipping a heartbeat. McDonald has an incredible economy of style; with just a few words one can picture the characters and settings perfectly, making the world of E3 London feel completely real. That isn’t to say he’s dumbed down his prose or concepts for the younger reader; this is a sterling piece of ‘hard’ SF. And, with cultural references including everything from Doctor Who to Pulp Fiction, there’s much for readers of a finer vintage to enjoy. Take note, BBC execs – if you’re wanting to fill in Saturday tea-time schedules in the long waits between seasons of Who, you could do a lot worse than to mine this rich seam. It has same mixture of ideas, adventure and, above all, heart, that makes that show so successful. And it’d sure as hell beat the arse off Primeval.’ Starburst (9/10)

      ‘What makes Ian McDonald’s science fiction so readable–closely observed environments (his novels and short fiction are often set in gritty, Third World near futures) and quirky characters–comes through in his debut young adult effort. An alternate London chockfull of steampunk trappings and populated by some deliciously evil villains is the recipe for an instant hit. Despite his sure-footed storytelling, McDonald takes a while to find the voice and the motivation of his hero Everett Singh, though that’s a minor quibble in this otherwise big-hearted take on identity, family, and our place in the universe.’ Bookmarks Magazine

      ‘In this first YA novel from noted SF writer McDonald…, 14-year-old Everett Singh is still dealing with his parents’ divorce when his quantum physicist father is kidnapped, and both the police and Everett’s father’s boss are acting strangely. Then Everett is emailed a complex computer program, the Infundibulum, which allows Everett, no slouch at math himself, to map out an infinite number of alternate worlds. Everett learns that his father was kidnapped because the governments of the so-called Ten Known Worlds want the Infundibulum for themselves. Soon he winds up in an alternate “electropunk” England in which sophisticated dirigibles rule the skies; there he meets Sen, the pixyish pilot of the Everness, who initially attempts to steal his computer, but becomes a close ally. Athletic, brilliant, and always ahead of the game, Everett is too perfect, but it doesn’t detract from the book’s fun. McDonald writes with scientific and literary sophistication, as well as a wicked sense of humor. Add nonstop action, eccentric characters, and expert universe building, and this first volume of the Everness series is a winner.’ Publishers Weekly

      ‘Strong beats of plotting; appealing Heinleinian protagonist; wide variety of interesting characters; plenty of stuff for non-YA readers to enjoy. Ian McDonald seamlessly switches gears to a rollicking YA adventure… Language is another strong highlight of the novel… The author appears to have taken to heart the lessons of the best animated ‘Children’s’ films: Keep the tone and focus for the target audience, but provide enough good stuff for older viewers to keep them coming along too. PLANESRUNNER is replete with side references (many I didn’t get, not being a Brit) and allusions that kept me amused. I really didn’t need them, but they were like bonuses for me as a reader to find… If I was 12, I would love the hell out of this book. I’m more than three times that age, and I still loved the hell out of this book… More than just being one of the best YA novels I’ve read the last couple of years, its one of the best science fiction novels of 2011 that I have read, period.’ SF Signal

      ‘Ian McDonald is consistently difficult to review because it’s becoming harder to find anything wrong with his books… when you take readers’ vastly differing tastes into account, I’m sure there’s someone out there who won’t enjoy PLANESRUNNER. That person probably also doesn’t enjoy things like ‘fun,’ or ‘sunshine,’ or ‘adventure’… YA science fiction that does what good YA does by remaining just as entertaining to adults as to younger readers… This is science fiction adventure at its best, and at its core is Everett, the heroic little geekling that we all wanted to be as kids (Admit it, you did). He makes for a great protagonist with his daring, his brain, and for simply not giving up, even if entire worlds are set against him. With “Ten Known Worlds” as part of this book’s lore, this gives McDonald an enormous amount to work with. Will we eventually see every one of these worlds, not to mention the infinite variety of other realms that exist alongside them? I hope so, because McDonald brings the worlds we do see to such life that I want an interdimensional passport ASAP. The detail of the cultures, down to the street lingo make these breathing, moving, colorful realities that seem just as possible and present as our own. The adventure simply never stops from the opening abduction of Everett’s father to taut chase scenes to airship battles. Snappy dialogue (especially from Sen, who’ll quickly become a character favorite) and fascinating details round out this marvelous series debut. As you might guess, PLANESRUNNER ends strong but leaves plenty of room open for future installments. This first installment ended far too quickly, as I was eager to travel on with Everett and his crew, but I suppose patience is required here. At least there’s the promise of plenty more to come.’ Examiner

      ‘Science fiction rules in this stellar series opener about a boy who travels to parallel universes. What joy to find science fiction based on real scientific concepts. Fourteen-year-old Everett Singh sees his physicist father kidnapped from a London street and learns that he’ll have to travel to another universe to save him. Dad cleverly sends Everett a map to the multiverse, knowing that Everett has the smarts to decipher it. Dr. Singh invented the “Heisenberg Gate” that allows travel between worlds, leading to the discovery of nine parallel Earths. Everett sneaks through the gate to get to a parallel London, where he meets Sen, a scrappy girl, and her airship crew, who will help him rescue his father. Meanwhile, he must evade the powerful politician who wants his map. In his debut for teens, established science-fiction writer McDonald builds a world just different enough to charm readers into believing, populating it with entertaining, quirky characters, spicing up the story with Punjabi cooking and a secret dialect (complete with glossary) and explaining the multiverse theory in readily comprehensible terms. Suspense rules, and Everett’s advantages come from both his football goalie skills and his intelligence. Shining imagination, pulsing suspense and sparkling writing make this one stand out. As Sen would say, “fantabulosa bona”.’ Kirkus

      ‘Physics is a heady topic for any lay readers, let alone those as young as 12, but McDonald does an outstanding job of simplifying complex ideas and presenting them in a compelling and relatable plot… There are a lot of thought-provoking ideas on the nature of family and loyalty and imaginative, science-y details in PLANESRUNNER that make this alternate London recognizable but also a bit off and oddly compelling. Whether it’s the air ships floating above the city or its inhabitants, whose dress seems inspired by Captain Hook, PLANESRUNNER is a visually, if densely, written tale of sci-fi suspense that ponders big questions with wonderment and heart.’ LA Times

      ‘Ian McDonald has spent the past two decades blowing the lid off of science fiction with his poetic, dense, lavish novels that span the universe from Mars to Africa, from the future to the past, from Brazil to India to Turkey. Now McDonald has begun a second career as a young adult novelist with his Everness series… PLANESRUNNER is smashing adventure fiction that spans the multiverse without ever losing its cool or its sense of style. Ian McDonald is one of the greats of science fiction and his young adult debut is everything you could hope for: romantic, action-packed, wildly imaginative and full of heart.’ BoingBoing

      ‘Despite all the fancy science and exotic scenery, PLANESRUNNER is (like all good books) a recognisable story about kids and parents and society and challenges and relationships. It’s also a cracking adventure that jumps through worlds full of of super-cool heroes and cold-hearted villains, bizarre landscapes and alien technology, and offers up three new mysteries for every one solved. It’s the first book of the Everness series, and I can’t wait for the next one.’ Stephanie Saulter (author of Gemsigns)

      ‘There is really nothing about this book that I didn’t like. As soon as Everett jumps to E3, he heads to the library, where he does a bit of brushing up on this new, alternate London, and finds out that oil has never been used, and electricity is king. Everett calls it Electropunk. He describes E3 as what people in the 30’s imagined our time looking like, and immediately notices the smoky, chemical smell that envelopes him on the streets… I’m kind of a sucker for a book with airships, and if you are too, you’ll LOVE PLANESRUNNER. When Everett and Sen meet, the book takes off like a rocket. Don’t let the idea of multiple universes scare you. I admit, when I start thinking about stuff like countless parallel universes, my brain begins to ache just a bit, but kinda in a good way, because the thought of it is frankly awesome. In PLANESRUNNER, Everett only explores one, but I’m hoping, and suspect, we’ll get more in the next book. Sen’s world is one of brutality, living by one’s wits, and the hustle and bustle of an alternate London that’s very different from Everett’s, but it’s also one of fierce loyalty, friendship, and swashbuckling adventure. I fell in love with the charming Sen from the get go (and I suspect Everett did too). However, as fun as hanging with the crew of the Everness is, Everett’s ultimate goal is to rescue his father, and he’ll call on his new friends to help. Hampering his efforts is Charlotte Villiers, Planepotentiary (sort of like an ambassador), and stone cold killer, and her cadre of thugs. They’re after Everett at every turn, but Captain Sixsmyth is larger than life, as is her crew, and they’ve got a few tricks up their sleeves. Will Everett rescue his father from the evil Charlotte Villiars, and keep the Infundibulum out of the wrong hands? If I told you, that would spoil all the fun of this wonderful book! You certainly don’t have to be a young adult to enjoy this book, and lovers of sci-fi, adventure, and steampunk won’t be able to put it down! Not to be missed!’ My Bookish Ways

      ‘Basically, McDonald has taken all the things that kids love – pirates, airships, science-magic, football, Christmas – and turned them into a novel. PLANESRUNNER is relentlessly enjoyable from beginning to end, certainly the most fun of all McDonald’s books… There seems a good possibility that sci-fi will be the next ‘big thing’ in young adult fiction – splitting off the current Hunger Games and Blood Red Road trend in dystopian fiction. If it is, then McDonald’s PLANESRUNNER is in a strong position to corner a good percentage of the incoming fandom. PLANESRUNNER is easily commercial in a way that McDonald’s adult novels probably aren’t, while at the same delivering the intelligent, plausible sci-fi that he is known for. The world is coherent and adaptable – there are literally thousands of permutations to explore – and Everett makes for an appealing protagonist… [McDonald’s characters] are all interesting, diverting additions to the cast… It is intelligent, just the right side of incomprehensible sci-fi, a fast-paced adventure story and a twisty, well-written mystery. The characters are fun, the world is interesting and McDonald – surely Northern Ireland’s most visionary writer – finds a good balance between answering questions and posing others. It is a strong start to what promises to be a riveting series.’ Literary Belfast

      PLANESRUNNER really is a fun and exciting novel, with an interesting setup and some involving characters… The plot is fast moving and exciting, especially once Everett reaches E3. The characters are well-done as well. Everett is a well-rounded kid — with nerdiness inherited from his father, plus an interest in cooking and in soccer (er… sorry, ‘football’). His new friend Sen, and her mother Anastasia and the rest of the crew of the Everness, are also well done. The villains, especially Charlotte Villiers, may chew the scenery a bit much – this is one way in which the book differs from McDonald’s recent adult novels, which eschew full-blown evil villains – but they still hold the interest. I think this is one of the best YA novels of the year, and I’m eagerly anticipating the sequels.’ SF Site

      PLANESRUNNER is an exhilarating read! It’s a perfectly balanced tale of science and adventure… an incredible read, and I recommend it to anyone who likes science fiction. I think the world building and amazing execution will impress many readers.’ Speculating on SpecFic

      ‘Add Ian McDonald’s PLANESRUNNER to the list of the most interesting and well-written young adult novels I’ve read this year… Adventurous and fun but also fresh and clever, if you’re looking for a YA offering that’s a little different but has a great story at the same time, consider checking this one out… a fabulously clever novel. There’s enough information to enjoy this fun and action-filled story without getting bogged down with details, and when it comes to his imaginings of parallel earths, Ian McDonald takes things all the way… this book was just plain fun. Where else would I be able to get the craziness and thrills of an actual airship duel outside the pages of this awesome novel? I love YA fiction like this — quick, clever and full of great ideas.’ Bibliosanctum

      ‘A marvelous treat of adventure, science and balderdash! … If you’ve been aching to find that amazing young adult read that mixes science fiction with high adventure this is definitely the book you need to pick up… great in that it didn’t seem as if anything was dumbed down or glossed over, indeed this would probably be a techie kids uber dream… One of the major things I loved about PLANESRUNNER is the racial and cultural diversity we get to experience… PLANESRUNNER might just be the book you’ve been looking for, it definitely was for me and I can tell things are only going to get better! If all of this isn’t enough to tempt you, well then, maybe your sense of fun is broken.’ My Shelf Confessions

    • Everness - BE MY ENEMY

      ‘… a pacy book filled with tropes McDonald takes from across the genre and makes his own, whether it is AI or nanotech, unpeopled Earths or post-apocalyptic worlds. The airship which is the series home has a real three dimensionality whilst the jump gun acts as pure plot device. In softer hands these books could become a “monster of the week” series but here there are consequences, none more so than when Everett is punched in the stomach by an authority figure. This basic, personal violence is a reminder that this is not a game and that even a genius can’t get through unscathed. I can’t wait to see what happens next.’ Strange Horizons

      ‘McDonald proves the concept of his world of the Infundibulum has legs, and provides some intriguing new ideas amid an entertaining adventure… Lots of ideas thrown out and explored; good development of main characters… Malevolent Nanotech. More world hopping. A solidly entertaining second volume to the series… With all of these ideas, concepts and worldbuilding, McDonald, in terms of his core characters, provides us with meaty development and growth… I was more than satisfied with the book and anyone, young adult or otherwise, who has read the first book will find much to love here, and will likely be as eager as I for the next volume in the series.’ SF Signal

      ‘… absolutely triumphant sequel to Ian McDonald’s pulse-pounding young-adult science fiction novel PLANESRUNNER. PLANESRUNNER — a rollicking, multidimensional tale of a young boy who holds the key to infinite universes, seeking to rescue his physicist father from sinister powers — finished on a brutal cliffhanger, leaving its readers gasping and cursing for more. Now we have it. In BE MY ENEMY, there’s a lot more of what made PLANESRUNNER great — tremendous action scenes, cunning escapes, genius attacks on the ways that multidimensional travel might be weaponized, horrific glimpses of shadowy powers and sinister technologies. But BE MY ENEMY also has more of what makes McDonald’s adult fiction some of the best work I’ve ever read: a gifted ear for poesie that makes the English language sing, the unapologetic presumption of the reader’s ability to understand what’s going on without a lot of hand-holding, and a technological mysticism that never explicitly says when the literal stops and the fantasy starts… If you held off on reading PLANESRUNNER because you didn’t want to commit to a series without knowing if the author could keep up the quality, have no fear. McDonald has proven himself handily.’ BoingBoing

      ‘… non-stop action, the cool mishmash of genres and ideas, the interesting and subtly done interpersonal dynamics…  this series has a lot of really awesome things going for it. It is fast-paced and exciting and has a diverse protagonist and is very original and has people solving problems with science and plenty of airship chases and things exploding and parallel universe jumping.’ Fyrefly’s Books

      ‘In this exciting first sequel to outstanding series opener PLANESRUNNER (2011), 14-year-old science whiz Everett Singh continues to outthink his enemies while navigating the multiverse searching for his dad, lost in a parallel universe. Everett’s enemies multiply in this installment. There’s still the marvelously imagined villain Charlotte Villiers, with her impeccable 1940s style and the confidence of genius, but now Everett’s ‘alter,’ Everett M, his double from another parallel-universe Earth, has been made into a cyborg instructed to eliminate Everett. Add to those a new threat: sentient advanced technology gone bad. The quirky crewmates on their rogue airship, especially Sen, the wonderfully original Airish girl with her enjoyably distinctive dialect, keep the conversations lively as they dodge death at every turn. McDonald roots Everett’s heroism in his intelligence. Everett knows mathematics, physics and Punjabi cooking. He wins because he outthinks his rivals, not because he’s faster or stronger, like his alter. Stuffed with science, this series has the potential to fascinate young readers as William Sleator’s books did, tackling concepts on the slippery edge of current understanding. Science causes danger, but it’s also the weapon that combats those terrors. Smart, clever and abundantly original, with suspense that grabs your eyeballs, this is real science fiction for all ages. More! More!’ Kirkus

      BE MY ENEMY is the sequel to last year’s PLANESRUNNER, the book that launched Ian McDonald’s first ever YA series in spectacular fashion. I dearly love both of these novel… Just revisiting the Airish and reading the palari chatter is worth the price of admission. Everett and Sen continue to grow closer, and you just can’t help but root for them. The story once again moves along at a very rapid pace, making this another fun, fast read. There are times when these books just sparkle with innovation and adventure and humor. Ian McDonald also sneaks in several sly references and allusions again… If you loved PLANESRUNNER as much as I did, you won’t need my recommendation to pick up this sequel… a blast from start to finish. As far as I’m concerned, Ian McDonald could write another dozen or so of these Everness novels, and I’d happily read them all.’ Tor.com

      BE MY ENEMY… is even better [than PLANESRUNNER]… Few authors out there are world-crafters on a par with McDonald. He builds tactile ecosystems out of words, vivid and viscous enough to touch. It is a talent that he has put to good use in BE MY ENEMY, introducing four different, distinct versions of Earth. Everything from the history (in one the British Raj never rose) to the smell of the place (imagine no petrol fumes?) is laid out in the text. Yet McDonald’s narrative hand is light enough that none of it ever feels like an exposition dump. The similarities and differences between the divergent Everetts we meet are just as carefully picked out. They are more alike than twins, yet it is still possible to tell them apart in the text… BE MY ENEMY has a little less swash and buckle than the original installment and a bit more SF horror. It is still the best blend of intelligent writing and young adult fun on the market. The characters are likable, brave and not stupid in annoying ways. And with the high concept of the novel already in play from the previous installment, the non-Everett characters get more page time… McDonald conquers that most elusive of serial fiction challenges – giving the audience information while keeping them on tenterhooks for what happens next. There’s plenty of mystery left at the end of BE MY ENEMY, but without that irritating feeling that you’re playing a literary version of three-card monte… a book series that deserves to be better-known than it is. It is certainly one of the best young adult series in circulation at the moment. It can only get stranger from here – and it is pretty strange already.’ Literary Belfast

    • Everness - EMPRESS OF THE SUN

      ‘The marvelous Everness series takes readers to a world with highly evolved dinosaurs in this third voyage through parallel universes… McDonald lets his imagination run rampant without abandoning credibility, tackling real scientific concepts such as confirmation bias, a feature lacking in far too much science fiction. Fans might wish for more focus on the original Everett, but eventually, the three storylines weave themselves together nicely, setting up another sequel with hints of forthcoming romance. Endlessly fascinating and fun.’ Kirkus (Starred Review)

      ‘… still a lot of fun with the third entry, EMPRESS OF THE SUN (a wonderfully pulpish title far better than last year’s BE MY ENEMY)… There aren’t quite as many game-changers in EMPRESS OF THE SUN, but there’s a terrific Big Dumb Object and a civilization of evolved dinosaurs whose origin vaguely recalls Harry Harrison’s West of Eden trilogy. We’re also given tantalizing hints of something called the Pleroma, which seems to be a kind of World Tree for the entire panoply of possible worlds… The dominant species here is a society of ill-tempered dinosaurs who, never having been wiped out by the Cretaceous extinction event, have the advantage of some 65 million years of evolution, which they haven’t really taken full advantage of because of their bellicose tendency to try to obliterate one another through periodic massive wars… Charlotte’s political scheming becomes almost as important an aspect of her motivations as her pursuit of Everett. McDonald also takes the opportunity for some back-filling by providing a bit more history and depth to Charlotte’s character, who is otherwise in danger of becoming a one-dimensional Maleficent, and by reclaiming the alternate Everett M from his never-quite convincing role as an evil terminator in BE MY ENEMY… enrich[es] the main characters and keeping the human aspects of the tale clearly in focus. Even our main point of view character Everett himself makes a few morally questionable decisions that lead to disastrous consequences. In other words, there’s a lot more at stake here than recreational world-hopping, and some substantial hints that the stakes will deepen even further with the next volume… YA or not, the Everness series may be the most enjoyable ongoing series that SF currently has to offer.’ Locus (Jan.2014)

      ‘It’s no exaggeration when I say these books in the Everness series just seem to get better and better. The adventure that started with PLANESRUNNER only intensified with BE MY ENEMY, and now the third installment has taken things even further. Seriously — I really wish there were more young adult novels like this out there… The author sure pulled out all the stops with this one. Blown, my mind is… I also can’t decide what I love more about this book: the world building or the character development. The former has clearly impressed me, but as ever, the people in the stories are the most important to me when I read. With every book in this series, I feel closer and more amiable towards Everett and the crew. The relationship between him and Sen is moving forward nicely, and we’re getting to the point where their feelings for each other are starting to come to the surface… To sum it up, this book just does a fantastic job all around at fleshing out everyone. As someone who places such high importance on characters, I couldn’t be happier… Action, adventure, and rollicking good fun! EMPRESS OF THE SUN has all of that. And of all the books so far, I also have to say this one was the most humorous. There are some sections of dialogue that just made me laugh out loud… The crew of the Everness still has much to do, and there are still so many worlds out there to explore. I can’t wait to see where they will go next.’ Bibliosanctum

      ‘I love adventuring with Everett Singh and the crew of the Everness… The danger is increasing, and Ian McDonald is skilfully expanding the world and the characters so readers get a better sense of the bigger picture… Perfectly balanced… full of amazing action sequences and a lot of adventure… The world-building is absolutely epic, as usual… EMPRESS OF THE SUN is an amazing accomplishment, and Ian McDonald has taken his time and really expanded his world and characters throughout the book… Fans of the Everness books shouldn’t miss out on the latest offering, and those looking for a quality science fiction read with a teen protagonist should pick up the first book, PLANESRUNNER, right away!’ Speculating on SpecFic

      EMPRESS OF THE SUN revels in its pulp adventure milieu… McDonald has created an incredibly “storyable” universe for his characters to have their adventures in, and he keeps those adventures coming fast and furious… Between the adventures, the pacing, the characters, and the narrative arcs, there’s a lot to enjoy about this book and the overall series.’ Strange Horizons

      ‘A nice little sci-fi adventure for youngsters, with young characters who deal with both the inter-galactical and the completely ordinary.’ Wonderland Avenue

      ‘A BDO of engineering larger than a Ringworld! Good character development of both the protagonists and antagonists… The third novel in MacDonald’s series starts taking off the gloves and kicking things into high gear… Beyond the plotting and the action sequences, character development shines in this novel. Three novels in and the author still continues to develop and grow his protagonists… With strong characters covering all ages and genders, fine action sequences, and enough cool SF concepts that could fill a volume twice its size, EMPRESS OF THE SUN is an excellent entry in one of my favorite SF series. Like the practiced rider of a ten-speed bike, McDonald’s handling of the the series is climbing up the gears and hitting its speed in strength.’ SF Signal

      ‘I’ve rarely had as much fun with a Young Adult SF series as I have with Ian McDonald’s Everness — now up to three books with the brand new, shiny addition of EMPRESS OF THE SUN, possibly the best book of the bunch so far… this latest installment, with its sentient space dinosaurs, will delight folks who occasionally yearn for a good old-fashioned pulp adventure… through all of it, the characters continue to shine… I confess that I initially wasn’t too crazy about the whole Doppelgänger plot, but in this novel, it turns into a wonderful part of the overall picture… It was simply a treat to get back into the crazy palari and strange fashions of the Everness books. It may sound bizarre, but this is the first time I’ve read a novel that actually made me feel like writing fan-fic about its characters, just because they’re so utterly fresh and surprising. The Everness series is technically Young Adult, but I believe any science fiction fan, young or old, would get sucked into these adventures.’ Tor.com

      EMPRESS OF THE SUN is a fantastic read that you shouldn’t miss out on. Even though it’s classified as a young-adult book, I know that a lot of adults (like me) will find it just a great to read. Ian McDonald’s Everness series keeps on improving book after book, they draw you in and don’t let you go. It’s pacey and a whole lot of fun to read… just sit back relax and let Everett take you to places beyond your wildest dreams. The Multiverse still has a lot of untold and unfound places to discover and I hope to see it soon! This really is a story of unparalleled dimensions.’ The Book Plank

      ‘Tom’s narration is perfect for this book, not overwhelming so you can really listen to the story, but he also brings the page to life. If you like audio books then I highly recommend this one.’ Sci-Fi Drama Queen (Audiobook Review)

      ‘We really love how book three continues to weave the saga of the familiar and the mundane with the wonderful and the strange. Mr. McDonald has a knack for explaining an alternate world in meticulous detail, whether it’s an alternate world where steam and coal is the primary power source, or one ruled by intelligent dinosaurs. This is no mean feat, when you think about it, as the author isn’t just creating one alternate world, but a multitude of them! Be sure to read EMPRESS OF THE SUN for some non-stop dimension hopping action!’ Astro Guyz

      ‘McDonald has developed a rich environment. The differences between worlds are fascinating as are the cultures they contain. The Everness comes from Earth3 where the alter Everett, EverettM, resides. Charlotte has also taken Everett’s family hostage and threatened to kill them is he doesn’t cooperate, spurring him to escape from her and to avoid giving her the infundibulum, the map of all worlds, his father created. The writing is polished and the action sometimes frantic, but it is the characters and how they change that will fascinate the readers. As with the other titles, the saga continues.’ SF Revu

      ‘The key to the third exciting Everness parallel universes saga… is the growing complexity; as Ian McDonald honors the intelligence of his teenage audience by not dumbing down scientific theory while also paying homage to Terry Pratchett. Though it remains difficult to keep track of who’s who amongst the multiples (Everett, Charlotte and others) without a scorecard, young adult readers will appreciate this thrilling entry.’ Alternative Worlds

      ‘Pleasurable and insightful new chapter in the overarching series.’ Upcoming4Me


      ‘The sheer number of ideas and plotlines can sometimes make McDonald’s novels seems dense, but the stories here are sharp, focused and witty.’  —  BBC Focus

      ‘McDonald’s partitioned India of 2047, which he returns to in the seven stories in CYBERABAD DAYS, is a heaving, complexly imagined society that is, helplessly of course, the work of a westerner.’  —  Deathray

      ‘McDonald’s India engulfs you with an overwhelming, perfumed, stinky embrace. A hugely impressive collection. Seven nifty, witty stories.’  —  SFX

      ‘He considers India’s political future as a rising superpower and the cold realities of ethnic and religious diversity turning hot and divisive, with obvious analogies to the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. As with all short-story collections, some work better than others, but taken as whole, this is a fascinating read, rich in texture, imagery and language.’  —  Dreamwatch Total Sci-Fi

      ‘All in all, CYBERABAD DAYS is a terrific book and a satisfying return to the world of RIVER OF GODS. Ian McDonald is a genius, pure and simple.’  —  Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist

      ‘McDonald excels at conveying, in a gorgeous melange of sensory impressions, an India transformed by AIs, nanotech, robots and cybernetics: the subcontinent is chaotic and lurid, shot through with devotion to eternal Hindu gods and divided by internecine conflict. McDonald gives a refreshing take on the future from a non-western viewpoint.’  —  Guardian

      ‘McDonald gives sci-fi its sense of wonder back, and creates a landscape in which nothing can be taken for granted.’  —  Independent

      ‘One of the great pleasures of science fiction is the escape it offers readers from commonplace, everyday surroundings into strange new worlds, and nobody does it better than Ian McDonald. Although CYBERABAD DAYS is set on Earth, and only a few decades into the future, McDonald’s vision of a newly repartitioned India, warring over water and at the cutting edge of technologies based on artificial intelligence, is practically hallucinogenic in style and intensity.’  —  Times


      ‘A staggering achievement, brilliantly imagined and endlessly surprising … A brave, brilliant and wonderful novel’  —  Christopher Priest, Guardian

      ‘Hugely adventurous and entertaining, sumptuously inventive and full of heart… it is likely to rank as Ian McDonald’s finest creative achievement.’  —  Locus

      ‘Ian McDonald has written what could well be the best scifi novel in quite a while… RIVER OF GODS deserves the highest possible recommendation!’  —  Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist

      ‘[A] bold, brave look at India on the eve of its centennial, 41 years from now… McDonald takes his readers from India’s darkest depths to its most opulent heights, from rioting mobs and the devastated poor to high-level politicians and lavish parties. He handles his complex plot with flair and confidence and deftly shows how technological advances and social changes have subtly changed lives. RIVER OF GODS is a major achievement from a writer who is becoming one of the best sf novelists of our time.’  —  Washington Post

      ‘This ambitious portrait of a future India from British author McDonald (Desolation Road) offers multitudes: gods, castes, protagonists, cultures….readers will become increasingly hooked as the pieces of McDonald’s richly detailed world fall into place. Already nominated for both Hugo and Arthur C. Clarke awards, this is sure to be one of the more talked-about SF novels of the year.’  —  Publishers Weekly

      ‘An ambitious science fiction thriller set in a futuristic India that is fabulously rewarding… in terms of risk-taking, sheer scale, ideas, detail, inventiveness, and intellectual scope there are few recent books to match River of Gods, and as a novel about India, there is nothing like it… [It’s] not just the definitive thriller set in India but the most richly imaginative thriller about India.’  —  The Hindu (India’s National Newspaper)

      ‘[P]erhaps his most accomplished novel to date. It’s a dense and sometimes difficult read, reminiscent of William Gibson in full-throttle cultural-immersion mode, packed with technical jargon, religious and sociological observation and allusions to art both high and low. But RIVER OF GODS amply rewards careful consideration and more than delivers its share of straight-ahead entertainment. Already a multiple-award nominee following its British publication, McDonald’s latest ranks as one of the best science fiction novels published in the United States this year.’  —  San Francisco Chronicle

    • BRASYL

      ‘British author McDonald’s outstanding SF novel channels the vitality of South America’s largest country into an edgy, post-cyberpunk free-for-all. McDonald sets up three separate characters in different eras—a cynical contemporary reality-TV producer, a near-future bisexual entrepreneur and a tormented 18th-century Jesuit agent. He then slams them together with the revelation that their worlds are strands of an immense quantum multiverse, and each of them is threatened by the Order, a vast conspiracy devoted to maintaining the status quo until the end of time. As McDonald weaves together the separate narrative threads, each character must choose between isolation or cooperation, and also between accepting things as they are or taking desperate action to make changes possible. RIVER OF GODS (2004), set in near-future India, established McDonald as a leading writer of intelligent, multicultural SF, and here he captures Latin America’s mingled despair and hope. Chaotic, heartbreaking and joyous, this must-read teeters on the edge of melodrama, but somehow keeps its precarious balance.’  —  Publishers Weekly

      BRASYL is classic McDonald: a deep thinking, high-paced adventure story, exploring the quantum universe, combining sassy, believable characters with a captivating delight in language and storytelling. McDonald inhabits the Brazil – or rather, the Brazils – of this world and sweeps you along as no other writer in the field could manage.’  —  Guardian

      ‘A beautiful story, one that cries out to be read again and again. McDonald’s light is still shining brightly, and considering the consistent quality of his titles, we say long may it burn.’  —  SciFi Now

      ‘This is a big, sprawling, sexy, complex novel. The writing is energetic and economical, the story riveting, the denouement fascinating. An ambitious and riveting SF epic.’  —  Dreamwatch Total Sci-Fi

      ‘[BRASYL] has been receiving high praise from just about everyone since its publication. It’s easy to see why. Not content with writing just one interesting story, McDonald gives us three… [it] isn’t just a parallel dimensions story; it tackles big issues like free will and the heat death of the universe and places them in intensely personal stories, which serves to humanize these ideas and make them easier to understand….Brasyl rivals River of Gods story-wise and surpasses it in science fictional terms.’  —  SFsignal.com

      ‘McDonald’s book is like the flipside to the famous Terry Gilliam film — a bright, wheeling carnival that plays on the “multiverse” theory of quantum physics. It implies that, if not exactly utopian, the future might at least be fun.’  —  Financial Times

      ‘Packing his pages with local color and big-picture speculation, McDonald conjures three equally vivid worlds.’  —  Entertainment Weekly

      ‘Ian McDonald’s BRASYL, with its three storylines, is as close to perfect as any novel in recent memory. It works because of great characterization, but also because McDonald envisions Brazil as a dynamic, living place that is part postmodern trash pile, part trashy reality-TV-driven ethical abyss… and yet also somehow spiritual… McDonald’s novel is always in motion. This movement extends through time and alternate realities in ways both wonderful and wise, as the three storylines interlock for a satisfying and often stunning conclusion. McDonald has found new myths for old places; in doing so, he has cemented his reputation as an amazing storyteller.’  —  Washington Post

      ‘One of the most interesting and accomplished science fiction writers of this latter-day era, indeed maybe the most interesting and accomplished, and certainly the most culturally and musically sophisticated, the Frank Herbert, William Gibson, or arguably even Thomas Pynchon of the early 21st Century.’  —  Asimov’s Science Fiction

      ‘The most rewarding science fiction in recent memory.’  —  USA Today

      ‘Science fiction writers, by definition, are supposed to take us to strange new worlds. Ian McDonald does this while at the same time impersonating a travel writer… If you liked RIVER OF GODS, which performed a similar mash-up of SF tropes with full cultural immersion in India, you will delight in BRASYL. And if you’re a science fiction fan who has never read any Ian McDonald, well, then, clear your calendar….I always wanted to visit the future. But after BRASYL, I want to book a ticket to São Paulo also.’  —  Salon.com Recommended Summer Reading List (2007)


      ‘Ian McDonald’s DESOLATION ROAD is one of my most personally influential novels. It’s an epic tale of the terraforming of Mars, whose sweep captures the birth and death of mythologies, economics, art, revolution, politics… Desolation Road pays homage to David Byrne’s Catherine Wheel, to Ray Bradbury’s entire canon and to Jack Vance, blending all these disparate creators in a way that surprises, delights, then surprises and delights again… Pyr Books has done us all the service of bringing this remarkable volume back into print after too long a hiatus.’ Cory Doctorow (Boing Boing)

      ‘There’s a fair bit of science fiction that feels like fantasy, and vice versa, but DESOLATION ROAD is the only book I know that holds this particular balance… It was McDonald’s first novel, it absolutely bowled me over when it came out, and while I have read everything he’s published since, and admire all of it and like most of it, this remains my favourite of his books because it’s so unusual. It’s also some of the most beautiful prose imaginable… If you ever want to demonstrate how different science fiction can be, what an incredible range and sweep of things are published with a little spaceship on the spine, DESOLATION ROAD is a shining datapoint, because it isn’t like anything else and yet it is coming from a knowledge of what the genre can do and can be and making something new out of it.’ Jo Walton (Tor.com)

      ‘This is the kind of novel I long to find yet seldom do. DESOLATION ROAD is a rara avis… Extraordinary and more than that!’Philip José Farmer

      ‘Flavoured with a voice that blends the delightful prose of Jack Vance with the idiosyncratic stylings of Cordwainer Smith, this novel is, most of all, about the dusty town of Desolation Road in the middle of the red Martian desert. Episodic in scope, it would also work as short stories. An elderly couple get lost in the infinite space of their garden, a baby growing in a jar is stolen and replaced with a mango, a man called The Hand plays electric guitar for the clouds and starts the first rain for one hundred and fifty thousand years.’SF Site

      DESOLATION ROAD is a rich, rewarding novel that occupies territory of its own in science fiction. Like Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles and Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude, it utilizes untamed creativity for literary purpose, wholly succeeding in telling an imagined history that directly comments on the real world with characters as genuine and colorful as those we meet in our daily lives. The fact the story takes place on a Mars where machines come to life, time can be twisted, and the air can crackle with purple and blue static makes no difference; the realism is all there beneath the sparkling surface… if you are looking for the literary side or something wildly unique in the genre, this is it.’Speculiction

    • Mars - ARES EXPRESS

      ‘McDonald’s fantastic Mars is vividly detailed and owes much to Bradbury’s Martian stories… entirely worthy of its rightly lauded predecessor.’ Publishers Weekly

      ‘A phantasmagoria of nuclear locomotives and wild Martian awesomeness. It’s a definite must-read… McDonald is furthermore an extraordinary stylist. His prose is clear and lucid, and at once both beautiful and playful. There is an inescapable sense that McDonald enjoys playing with words, building prose like intricate clocks, which can persist wholly on their beauty, regardless of their subject.’ io9

      ARES EXPRESS is a long, adventure-filled, extravagantly colourful, often funny, quite moving, highly imaginative, excellently written, story, set on a glorious Mars… might be the most fun [novel of the year]. I loved it wholeheartedly’ SF Site

      ‘SF master Ian McDonald knows that any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic realism. And, with humor, poetic grace, and an abundance of Big Ideas, he embodies that truth in ARES EXPRESS. Artificial intelligences manipulate mortals with the casual power of gods; prophecies come true; quantum realities erase railroad tracks with a slice of terrain from an alternate Mars — and that’s just for starters… grab this book: it’s a treasury of extrapolative and imaginative SF delights.’ Fantasy Magazine

      ‘A positively joyful read’ Green Man Review

      ‘Soaring and magnificent in ambition…’ Infinity Plus


      ‘McDonald’s lush prose paints a vivid and credible Armageddon. World-building SF that’s punk, funky, and frightening: a fantastic acid trip to the end of the world.’ Kirkus

      ‘McDonald, who won the Philip K. Dick Award for KING OF THE MORNING QUEEN OF THE DAY, reveals the workings of his bizarre society through the exploits of five friends as they search for the meaning of life in the Necroville at Los Angeles on the Night of the Dead. Sorting through five points of view requires some patience, but it is well rewarded. In the best science fiction tradition, McDonald provokes reexamination of current societal standards through the prism of another time and place.’ Publishers Weekly

      ‘McDonald revels in the creation of brilliantly described near-futures and lushly exotic settings, and has more ideas in a book than most writers dream up in a lifetime. Here death is no more: the dead are reborn thanks to nanotechnology in Jesus-tanks and decanted into “techtoplastic” bodies. Drug-designer Santiago Columbar invites his friends to join him in the Terminal café in the suburb of LA known as Necroville, and in the resulting free-wheeling, mind-spinning novel we follow the friends as they travel to meet him, encountering genetically engineered dinosaurs, undead prostitutes, werewolves and an invasion of Earth by resurrected space workers. In Necroville, decay sits next to fabulous invention, terrible privation next to limitless possibility. The book…offers a graphic dystopian vision.’ — Guardian


      ‘Optimistic near-future alien-contact yarn… McDonald’s tale is also inventive and challenging… a dense, complex, rather weighty, often fascinating piece of speculation.’ Kirkus


      ‘[A] slim but powerful vision of 21st-century Japan and a guilt-ridden man’s journey through it toward redemption… effectively blends Ring’s personal story with his depiction of a future Japan reverting to technological feudalism and haunted by reconstructed “ghosts” of the dead preserved in virtual realities, and he keeps this fine novel tight and well focused.’ Publishers Weekly


      ‘One of the most interesting and accomplished science fiction writers of this latter-day era, indeed maybe the most interesting and accomplished, and certainly the most culturally and musically sophisticated, the Frank Herbert, William Gibson, or arguably even Thomas Pynchon of the early 21st century.’ — Asimov’s

      ‘I will read anything that man writes — he is the most underappreciated genius working in the field today.’ — Cory Doctorow

      ‘McDonald’s power as a storyteller lies in his stylistic versatility and intensity of language as well as in his capacity to create vivid and memorable characters.’ Library Journal


      ‘Inventive and often effective drama, but dense and oppressive, with the dark and anguished backdrop looming above the characters; and the ending bleakly acknowledges that, in terms of today’s troubles, nothing much can be done.’ Kirkus

      ‘[The] world is a captivating one with its rampant biotechnology and passionate characters. But McDonald…, a lifelong resident of Belfast, also succeeds in presenting the religious and national conflict of an Ireland that still knows no respite from bloodshed.’ Publishers Weekly

      ‘Ian McDonald takes on all the atrocity and strife of the 20th Century, radically displaces it, and dares to envision a means of change. It’s a brilliant achievement.’ — Locus

      ‘At once disturbing and beautiful . . . superbly realized.’ — The Times

    • CHAGA

      ‘McDonald… consistently explores new territory with his breathtaking images and incisive language. Both form and substance blend fortuitously in a work that features strong characters, a suspenseful story, and a profound message of hope and transformation. A priority purchase for SF collections.’ Library Journal

      ‘One of the finest writers of his generation, who chooses to write science fiction because that is how he can best illuminate the world.’ New Statesman

      ‘Optimistic near-future alien-contact yarn… McDonald’s tale is also inventive and challenging… a dense, complex, rather weighty, often fascinating piece of speculation.’ Kirkus

    • Chaga 2 – KIRINYA

      ‘This is a huge and ambitious novel, the work of a supremely talented writer approaching the top of his game.’ SFX

      ‘So outstanding a writer that he deserves reading beyond the science-fantasy market … He has such marvellous talent, so vivid an imagination. His prose sings and zings – simultaneously.’ The Times

    • Chaga 3 - TENDELEO'S STORY

      ‘[An] excellent original novella… gazes boldly into the heart of darkness, and finds there a great and galvanising hope.’ Infinity Plus

      ‘… the Chaga sequence [is] Ian McDonald’s marvellous panorama of Third World plights and possibilities.’ SF Site


      ‘For ten years, I’ve been singing the praises of OUT ON BLUE SIX, Ian McDonald’s 1989 science fiction novel that defies description and beggars the imagination… as you’ll read, this book is one of those once-in-a-generation, brain-melting flashes of brilliance that makes you fall in love with a writer’s work forever.’ Cory Doctorow