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The Candy Mafia nominated for the Magnolia Book Awards 2022!

I was delighted to discover the other day that The Candy Mafia (aka Candy, or in various translations as The City Without Chocolate; For A Fistful of Smarties; Secret Agent Candy and the Chocolate Mafia; etc) has been nominated for Mississippi’s Magnolia Book Awards in the 3rd-5th Grade category.

I’m honoured!

As a reminder, you can also download and play for free the Candy Mafia Tap ‘n Pop mobile game!

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The Escapement nominated for the Philip K. Dick Award!

Found out last night that The Escapement is on the shortlist for the Philip K. Dick Award!

As a Philip K. Dick fan this one is particularly joyful.

January 11, 2022

For Immediate Release

The judges of the 2022 Philip K. Dick Award and the Philadelphia Science Fiction Society, along with the Philip K. Dick Trust, are pleased to announce the six nominated works that comprise the final ballot for the award:

    DEFEKT by Nino Cipri (Tordotcom Publishing)

    PLAGUE BIRDS by Jason Sanford (Apex Book Company)

    BUG by Giacomo Sartori, translated by Frederika Randall (Restless Books)

    FAR FROM THE LIGHT OF HEAVEN by Tade Thompson (Orbit)

    THE ESCAPEMENT by Lavie Tidhar (Tachyon Publications)

    DEAD SPACE by Kali Wallace (Berkley Books)

First prize and any special citations will be announced on Friday, April 15, 2022 at Norwescon 44. Plans for the ceremony will be posted at https://www.norwescon.org.

The Philip K. Dick Award is presented annually with the support of the Philip K. Dick Trust for distinguished science fiction published in paperback original form in the United States during the previous calendar year. The award is sponsored by the Philadelphia Science Fiction Society and the Philip K. Dick Trust and the award ceremony is sponsored by the Northwest Science Fiction Society.    Last year’s winner was ROAD OUT OF WINTER by Alison Stine (Mira) with a special citation to THE BOOK OF KOLI by M. R. Carey (Orbit). The 2021 judges are John P. Murphy, Kelly Robson, David Sandner, Allen Steele, and Molly Tanzer (Chair).

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The Bookman released in Dramatic Audio edition!

GraphicAudio are in the process of releasing all three of my Bookman Histories novels in a full-cast audio production, beginning with The Bookman, released on December 31st, 2021! It is available as a digital download, and MP3-CDs will be available this month.

Cast and Crew

Director Steve Wannall

Starring Steve Wannall as narrator, Robb Moreira as Orphan, Terence Aselford as Gilgamesh, Yasmin Tuazon as Lucy

Also with John Kielty, Laura C Harris, Stephon Walker, Wyn Delano, Elias Khalil, Rob McFadyen, Steven Carpenter, Christopher Williams, Alejandro Ruiz, Zeke Alton, Mike Ciporkin, Marni Penning, Nanette Savard, Eric Messner, Chris Davenport, Matthew Pauli, Kaylee Eluvian, Colleen Delany, Rayner Gabriel, Nora Achrati, Scott McCormick, Keval Shah, and Bradley Foster Smith

Book Adapted for GraphicAudio by Steve Wannall

Dialogue Editors Abigail Rose Raetz and Robert McDonald

Sound Designers Abigail Rose Raetz and Robert McDonald

Cover artwork by David Frankland represented by Artist Partners Ltd

Producers Richard Rohan, Duane Beeman and Matt Webb

Executive Producer Anji Cornette

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End of Year: 2021

Previous posts: 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016

Well, it’s been another weird year. I’m pivoting out of genre and into general fiction next year so that’s much on my mind these days. I’m writing a graphic novel for my long-time artist at the moment while waiting for the year to end. I got into making small mobile games during the seemingly-never-ending pandemic, so there’s that too – a new addition to the annual “end of year” list. I managed to do one international gig in person this year – Imaginales in France, which was a lot of fun. It’s dark and grey outside. Or is it “gray”? Does anyone know?

I probably published too much in 2021. This isn’t going to change for 2022, it seems. Anyhow, this is what I had out this year.

Books

Where do I even start? The Escapement came out in paperback in the US from Tachyon, with a PS Publishing hardcover limited edition coming out in the UK any day now. The Hood was published in hardcover by Head of Zeus in the UK. And Adler was published in trade omnibus edition by Titan.

Head of Zeus also released Osama: The Tenth Anniversary Edition as well as a new edition of A Man Lies Dreaming, both in paperback, and the paperback edition of By Force Alone.

Tor released the paperback edition of By Force Alone in the US.

Peachtree released The Candy Mafia in the US in paperback, following last year’s hardcover edition.

The Best of World SF: Volume 1 was published by Head of Zeus in both the US and UK in hardcover.

I also had fun putting together my “Hitler: P.I.” stories into a collection, The Lunacy Commission, published in e-book and paperback by Jabberwocky. A bit of a vanity project, but fun. A Man Lies Dreaming also has a new paperback edition in the US from Jabberwocky, and they look nice as a set!

Jabberwocky also released The Big Blind in e-book, following the original hardcover edition from PS Publishing last year.

Unholy Land was published in France and Poland.

Awards

Central Station won the Chinese Nebula (Xingyin) Award for best translated fiction. There was a big ceremony/party in Hainan and I woke up to a flurry of WeChat messages – sadly I couldn’t be there!

Unholy Land won both the Prix Planete SF and the Prix ActuSF de l’uchronie in France. I got to pick up the first one in person!

“Judge Dee and the Limits of the Law” was nominated for a Stabby Award (from Reddit) and for a Eugie Award.

By Force Alone was nominated for the British Fantasy Award.

Oh, I also became Writer in Residence and Visiting Professor at Richmond, The American International University in London!

Short Stories

  • “The Lunacy Commission”. Published as the title story of The Lunacy Commission.
  • “The Eves: Notes on a Different Exhibition” was published by the Jewish Museum Berlin in an art book accompanying an exhibition by the artist Yael Bartana. It’s a massive volume, in German and English editions.
  • “The Wasted Chewing Gum Bacteriome: An Oral History” was published in Nature. Read online.
  • “The Egg Collectors” was published in Interzone.
  • “Wild Geese” was published in F&SF.
  • “The Green Caravanserai” was published in anthology Out of the Ruins.
  • “Rain Falling in the Pines” was published in Clarkesworld. Read online.
  • “Judge Dee and the Three Deaths of Count Werdenfels” came out from Tor.com. Read online.
  • “Judge Dee and the Poisoner of Montmartre” came out from Tor.com. Read online.

Mobile Games:

I wrote and released 5 mobile games this year under my new Candy Arcade Games label. You can also play them online on Itch.io.

  • Cornucopia: Catch Everything! is a little catching game where hundreds of unique objects fall from the skies. It was the first one I made and released.
  • Bitcoin Catcher! is another idle catching game but mostly done as a joke about bitcoin.
  • Candy Mafia Tap ‘n Pop is a tapping and popping game I made as a little tie-in to the paperback release of the novel.
  • The Escapement is by far my most complicated game to date, an endless side-scrolling shooter with some surrealist elements – a sort of tie-in to the novel. Pretty proud of this one – it was a leap forward in terms of what it does and how it looks.
  • Bullies Stole My Lunch! (aka Playground Simulator). A playground survival simulator. It’s a fun concept.

Next Year

I have the usual slew of short stories scheduled for publication – 11 or so, I think, so far. There will be a new Judge Dee story in 2022, and another in 2023 (I know people seem to like these). There’ll be some SF, some crime, and one story for the Royal Literary Fund. Things to expect: Balloon Noir, more Neo-Neanderthal Cyberpunk, a zombie story and something about donkeys. And I’ll be in the latest reboot of New Worlds, which is due to come out soon.

Maror, The big literary novel (all 153,000 words of it) is scheduled for August. I’ll be talking about it a lot more in the new year.

Neom will be out from Tachyon in the US in, I think, the autumn.

I have a few games I’m hoping to make in the new year. I’m in the early stages of a new novel. I’m doing this fun graphic novel, which is in the writing-and-conceptual-sketches stage. There’s another anthology coming, too.

You know, the usual.

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Unholy Land wins French Prix ActuSF de l’uchronie

Delighted to find out the French edition of Unholy Land just won the Prix ActuSF de l’uchronie! This is the second award win for the book in France, following the Prix Planete SF earlier this year. Many thanks to the judges!

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Escapement Stuff

You can get one of a handful of signed copies of The Escapement + a signed limited edition art print from Forbidden Planet! Art by the fab Sarah Anne Langton – of course.

And The Escapement game is now available to play directly in your browser! Just click here to head over to Itch.io. You can also get the Android version over at the Play Store.

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New Story: “Rain Falling in the Pines”

My latest short story, “Rain Falling in the Pines”, is now out in Clarkesworld Magazine, marking fifteen years since their first issue – and my first appearance there.

At some point, someone should write the history of the early days of online publishing. Editor Neil Clarke talks about the start of Clarkesworld in this month’s editorial:

The magazine was unknown, and I recall being told by “pro” authors at the time that online venues were for “newbie” authors and low-quality work. You took that jump with us and I think we proved them wrong.

We sure did, Neil.

Anyhow, “Rain Falling in the Pines” began because I realised I never really explored the rest of the (made-up, I should add!), Judea Palestina Digitally Federated Union of Central Station. Having recently written and sold the novel Neom (out next year from Tachyon), which is set not far from there in the Arabian Peninsula, I thought it might be interesting to explore the area that centres around the Jezreel Valley and Armageddon… And if you ask, yes, I was born a stone’s throw away from Armageddon. How’s that for a biographical line? An interest in the region’s original inhabitants – the humans we now call Neanderthals – and an old love of cyberpunk merged to create what I started to think of as Neo-Neanderthal Cyberpunk (because every genre needs a label!). And yes, there’s at least one more story there already written.

Anyhow… Here it is.

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

The two men were armed. Security, probably federal. That’s if Geshem was lucky, if it wasn’t someone he owed money to.

The two men stepped up to the bar.

“Looking for a Neand,” one said.

There was a sudden silence around them at the slur.

“Don’t know any First Humans,” the bartender said. She polished a glass. Kept her face carefully blank. Kept one hand on the EMP device under the counter.

“Goes by the name of Geshem.”

The Monte Carmelo sat on the edge of the First Human Sanctuary and the Federated Lands of Judea Palestina. The border wasn’t neat. The Sanctuary encompassed most of Mount Carmel, which had been home to the original First Humans a long time in the past, and it extended down to the Hills of Menashe and past Armageddon to the Jezreel Valley and into the Galilee. The Monte Carmelo sat somewhere on the border, between Druze villages and the monastery of the Carmelites, each of which had their own dispensation, so questions of authority were the sort of questions it was best not to ask. Which was what drew the sort of people who drank there to the Monte Carmelo. – Continue reading.

Cover by Alexander Thumler
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Unholy Land wins the Prix Planete SF!

Delighted to hear this morning that the French edition of Unholy Land won the Prix Planete SF!

And while we’re on the subject of France, I will be going over there 14-17 October as a guest of the Imaginales Festival in Epinal! So if you’re around there, come say hi!

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The Escapement Publication Day!

Well, it’s been delayed a year due to a global pandemic, only to his the paper shortages / delivery issues / still got a global pandemic thing going, but it’s out! The Escapement, published today by Tachyon in paperback and e-book.

Click here for the publisher’s web site for some purchase links if you like.

UK copies should arrive soon, and Forbidden Planet will have a specially signed run with an exclusive art print. And PS Publishing will be doing the usual collectors edition, so stay tuned for that one!

You can read an excerpt on Tor.com

I talk about the book on John Scalzi’s The Big Idea

I also talk to Paul Semel about it

A boy lies in a hospital bed, and a desperate father escapes into a fantastical world to search for a cure. For everything is possible on the Escapement, a world inhabited by clowns, where clocks melt on the sand and terrifying giant statues roam the plains. Into that world rides the Stranger, desperately searching for a mythical flower with the power to heal.

But the flower lies beyond the Mountains of Darkness, far away, and time is running out as the Stranger journeys deeper and deeper into the secret heart of the Escapement – where an eternal war rages between the primal forces that rule there.

In The Escapement, World Fantasy Award winner Lavie Tidhar creates a magical, surrealist masterpiece as only he can, filled with wonder, mystery and adventure.

WHAT THEY SAY

“To say The Escapement is unique sells it way short. It’s part weird western and part quest; half dream and half epic adventure tale set in a memorable Daliesque landscape. Tidhar lets his imagination run wild in this vivid book, all told in spare, beautiful prose.”
—Richard Kadrey, bestselling author of the Sandman Slim series

“Lavie Tidhar is a voice to be reckoned with. With The Escapement, he fearlessly crests the wave of the New New Weird with a wild, decadent hybrid of The Dark Tower and Carnivale. A vivid beach read, if the beach was made of greasepaint and gunpowder.”
—Catherynne M. Valente, author of Deathless

“Can we just all admit now that Lavie Tidhar’s a genius? He’s written another brilliant book—a beautiful fever dream that somehow manages to be laugh-out-loud funny, psychedelically weird, and deeply moving.”
—Daryl Gregory, award-winning author of Spoonbenders

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The Return of Judge Dee!

The third Judge Dee vampire mystery is out today!

Judge Dee and the Poisoner of Montmarte is available for free on Tor.com!

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

You can read the previous Judge Dee stories at Tor:

I recently completed the sixth Judge Dee Mystery, and the fourth is due online at Tor in 2022. The amazing art is again by Red Nose Studio. Needless to say, these are terrific fun to write! My thanks to editor Jonathan Strahan for taking a chance on them and pushing me into writing more – they seem to get even sillier and more fun as I go!