“Wild Geese” published in F&SF

My first short story of the year, “Wild Geese”, has just been published in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction.

With the end of summer the wild geese appeared, heralding the changing of the seasons. In the bazaars on the outskirts of Ulaanbaatar the usual crowds of Silk Roaders engaged in ever more heated commerce. Soon it will be winter: ice and dust storms, and the train crews grumbling and swearing on the tracks, and any sensible hobo would be long gone, to work out the winter as far south-west as possible. Now boots and fur coats made their grand appearance on the stalls of the Naran Tuul, and Silk Roaders from Tehran and Yekaterinbug, Gdańsk and Dushanbe argued bitterly with each other and haggled over wholesale prices, shipping berths and train routes.

Efrem knew they would soon be gone. Traders were like wild dandelion seeds, ubiquitous and easy to take flight. Efrem, who rode the rail to Ulaanbaatar from Yiwu the year before, considered themselves almost a local at this point. Now they chewed on a khuushuur and contemplated the chase.

The first wild goose of the season had been spotted, somewhere to the west of Dalanzadgad.

End of Year: 2020

Previous posts: 2019 2018 2017 2016

Books

By Force Alone came out in hardcover from Head of Zeus in the UK in March, and Tor in the US in August.

Candy came out in hardcover in the US as The Candy Mafia from Peachtree, with new illustrations by Daniel Duncan.

Osama came out in Russian from Eksmo.

The Big Blind came out in hardcover from PS Publishing.

I released New Atlantis (previously published in print in F&SF) in e-book.

Comics

Adler #1-5 were published by Titan Comics over 2020. Paul McCaffrey and I were able to launch issue #1 in London about a month before lockdown. We were supposed to be in Dublin Comicon as guests a month later. That didn’t happen. But there’s some cool stuff happening with Adler, and the trade paperback edition should be out in 2021. It looks great.

Awards

New Atlantis was nominated for the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award.

Central Station was nominated for the Xingyun Award in China.

A Man Lies Dreaming was nominated for the Seiun Award in Japan.

Short Stories

Next Year

The Escapement was scheduled for 2020 but got pushed so will be out later in 2021. My next novel for Head of Zeus will also be out in 2021 too, so that’s one book for the US and one for the UK. Though I’m starting 2021 with the French publication of Unholy Land in January. I am also editing The Best of World SF, which will be out in hardcover. I have a stack of stories sold (including some new Judge Dee mysteries for Tor.com), a couple of book reissues and a bunch of new audio editions, a small collection, one tv project, and to be honest I forget what else. I have books and stories scheduled until the end of 2022 and working on a bunch of projects, as usual. See you next year.

The Big Blind Published!

My last book for the year is now available! PS Publishing have finished copies in stock, which are shipping this week to anyone who pre-ordered. The Big Blind is available in both regular hardcover and a signed limited edition hardcover of just 100 copies. I’ve already signed and returned the limitation sheets, so these should also be available shortly! As with all my other PS titles, the book is fully designed by Pedro Marques, who does everything from the cover to the endpapers to the typography. I just got my own copies and the book is simply sumptuous to hold. Snag a copy now!

But to the book itself! Here’s the cover and blurb.

The daughter of a legendary card player with skills of her own, Claire doesn’t want to go into the family business. She’s heard the call, and she desperately wants to become a nun. But when her convent comes under financial threat, Claire must leave what she loves to save what she loves – and enter an international poker tournament.

Both a poker novella and a meditation on faith, The Big Blind is a taut, heartfelt and compelling new book from multiple award winner Lavie Tidhar.

The Best of World SF! (Volume 1)

The Best of World SF is my maaasive forthcoming anthology of international speculative fiction (though with more of a focus on science fiction), to be published in hardcover by Head of Zeus. I talk a little bit about it at Tor.com. The UK release is in April 2021, with the US following in June. Cover is by Ben Prior. £25, though you can pre-order it for less. Here’s the cover and Table of Contents!

Table of Contents:

  • ‘Immersion’ by Aliette de Bodard
  • ‘Debtless’ by Chen Qiufan (trans. from Chinese by Blake Stone-Banks)
  • ‘Fandom for Robots’ by Vina Jie-Min Prasad
  • ‘Virtual Snapshots’ by Tlotlo Tsamaase
  • ‘What The Dead Man Said’ by Chinelo Onwualu
  • ‘Delhi’ by Vandana Singh
  • ‘The Wheel of Samsara’ by Han Song (trans. from Chinese by the author)
  • ‘Xingzhou’ by Yi-Sheng Ng
  • ‘Prayer’ by Taiyo Fujii (trans. from Japanese by Kamil Spychalski)
  • ‘The Green Ship’ by Francesco Verso (trans. from Italian by Michael Colbert)
  • ‘Eyes of the Crocodile’ by Malena Salazar Maciá (trans. from Spanish by Toshiya Kamei)
  • ‘Bootblack’ by Tade Thompson
  • ‘The Emptiness in the Heart of all Things’ by Fabio Fernandes
  • ‘The Sun From Both Sides’ by R.S.A. Garcia
  • ‘Dump’ by Cristina Jurado (trans. from Spanish by Steve Redwood)
  • ‘Rue Chair’ by Gerardo Horacio Porcayo (trans. from Spanish by the author)
  • ‘His Master’s Voice’ by Hannu Rajaniemi
  • ‘Benjamin Schneider’s Little Greys’ by Nir Yaniv (trans. from Hebrew by Lavie Tidhar)
  • ‘The Cryptid’ by Emil H. Petersen (trans. from Icelandic by the author)
  • ‘The Bank of Burkina Faso’ by Ekaterina Sedia
  • ‘An Incomplete Guide to Understanding the Rose Petal Infestation Associated With EverTyphoid Patients in the Tropicool IcyLand Urban Indian Slum’ by Kuzhali Manickavel
  • ‘The Old Man with The Third Hand’ by Kofi Nyameye
  • ‘The Green’ by Lauren Beukes
  • ‘The Last Voyage of Skidbladnir’ by Karin Tidbeck
  • ‘Prime Meridian’ by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
  • ‘If At First You Don’t Succeed’ by Zen Cho

Judge Dee Unleashed!

So one of the surprisingly fun things I’ve been doing this year is writing a series of, well, vampire mysteries short stories. As in, Golden Age, Agatha Christie-ish, classical mysteries – only with vampires.

Enter Judge Dee – a cold intellect! A keen forensic mind! – and his reluctant assistant Jonathan as they investigate a series of intricate and ridiculous mysteries in the period I like to call “Medieval something-something”.

Tor.com really got behind these, with the result that several are already scheduled on the site between now and – gulp – 2022. But the very first adventure of Judge Dee is out today! Judge Dee and the Limits of the Law, with a cover illustration by Red Nose Studios, which uses actual paper puppets that, yes, were made especially for the series.

Anyway, here it is!

Adler #5 Released!

Can it be? Is this really it? After seven years in the making just to hit Covid-19 and subsequent delays and cancellations of all our plans, is Adler really coming to an end? So soon?

Well, not quite! Today sees the release of the fifth and final issue, but the trade paperback comes out early 2021 and there are some other plans in the works for Adler…

In the meantime, here she is!

A cover by Gary Erskine

Available from Comixology or your local comic book shop!

Launching the International Noir Bundle!

My latest bundle for Storybundle is a collection of international noir! You can get the basic 4-book bundle for just $5 or the full 10-book package for just $15. I’m again working with English PEN as the charity partner, and you can add a donation very easily to support translation and freedom of expression – what’s not to like!

The International Noir Bundle is here.

And here are the books!

Noir. Venetian blinds casting lines of shadows, the smoke of a cigarette curling in the air, a silhouette in the doorway signalling danger. There is something about noir that is both of its own aesthetic and transcends time and place. All we know is that there is a moral ambiguity at play, that small people in a corrupt world can too easily come to a messy end, even if they fight. I love noir in all its forms because it is so pliable, pure enough to be recognisable yet diverse enough to keep adapting. For as long as there are crooks there’ll be noir.

Here, then, is a sample of the form. Some of it is hard, classical noir. Some veers into science fiction or fantasy. Some it’s impossible to categorise. Here are the delights of Tamil pulp fiction, the slow-building menace of strangers with secrets in a sleepy Mexican village in the 1970s, of Scottish hardmen and science fiction avengers.

Read more about the TEN books in the bundle here, and make sure to click on each cover for a synopsis, reviews and preview of each book!

Gorel of Goliris Rides Again!

My latest Gorel of Goliris story, “The Drowned God’s Heresy”, is now live at Beneath Ceaseless Skies Magazine.

It was early evening on the docks of Vinay-Rin, a hot day with no breeze. Men perspired and dogs slept in the shade. The corpse of a Merlangai merchant rotted in the alleyway under the Sign of the Fish. No one attempted to move it. It smelled like molluscs and shrimp.

Gorel of Goliris sat at a table at the nearby No Way Inn. He wore his twin guns that bore the seven-pointed star of vanished Goliris. He was clean-shaven, relatively sober, and his boots, for once, were clear of mud. He was everything a half-decent gunslinger ought to be. He was about to go looking for sunken treasure. – continue reading

“Juvenilia” now online!

My latest short story, “Juvenilia”, is now up to read at Uncanny Magazine.

In the winter of 19–, having newly arrived in England, and still recovering from the nervous indisposition which had afflicted me greatly ever since my circumstances during the war, I responded to an advertisement placed in the Yorkshire Post, for the position of caretaker in an old, near-abandoned Elizabethan mansion called Wildfell Hall... continue reading.