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!


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 You can also get the Android version over at the Play Store.


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

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!


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

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.


“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


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!

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!


Candy Mafia!

The Candy Mafia came out in paperback in the US on Wednesday! You can get it on Amazon, at Barnes & Noble, or all good bookshops.

To celebrate, I made a mobile game!

CANDY MAFIA TAP ‘N POP is now available on the Play Store!


Candy falls from the sky!

Tap ‘n pop to gain points – and beat your own high score!

A quick and fun casual game for when you’re waiting for the bus – or at the candy store!

A tasty confectionery tie-in game to the novel THE CANDY MAFIA by award-winning author Lavie Tidhar

Get the book, get the game, and get yourself some candy!


The Escapement Mobile Game – Now In Open Beta!

The Escapement is coming out next month from Tachyon, and I’ve been busy making a small mobile game to go alongside it (under my Candy Arcade label). The Escapement (game) is a surrealist side-scrollin’ shoot-em-up, and you can now download and try the game on the Play Store!

It’s been really fun to make (and play!). You ride across the Escapement collecting objects, shooting gunmen, avoiding ghosts and earning tokens to keep playing… So far with the beta I noticed one (hopefully rare) bug, and some other things to fix/add before the official release next month… In the meantime, I hope you give it a try and will welcome notes!

I have about 3 other games in various stages of development right now (learning new stuff with each one I try to make), so might be able to release one more before the end of the year. In the meantime – The Escapement mobile game!


By Force Alone nominated for the British Fantasy Award

Was delighted last week to discover By Force Alone is on the shortlist for the British Fantasy Awards. Locus has the full lists of nominees.


“Judge Dee” nominated for Eugie Award

“Judge Dee and the Limits of the Law”, the first of my Judge Dee series of tongue-in-cheek vampire mystery stories (published online at is nominated for the 2021 Eugie Foster Memorial Award for Short Fiction.

I never met Eugie in person, but we hung out in the same sort of online writer spaces back in the olden days, and she was poised to become a major voice before she died, far too young, in 2014. We shared a table of contents on at least a couple of things. The award was set to commemorate her work, and I’m genuinely touched to be on the list.

The nominees: