2016 And All That

It’s been a fairly busy year…


Central Station came out from Tachyon in May. It’s taken about 5 years to write, on and off, with individual episodes published in magazines and so on during that time. I honestly didn’t expect anyone to actually publish it, let along for it to get quite a nice response so far! Audible did an audio edition, and PS Publishing did a collectors edition, and in the meantime it’s picked up 6 sales in translation (Bulgaria, Romania, Germany, Poland, Israel and the Czech Republic) – which, again, unexpected but very nice!

A Man Lies Dreaming came out in the US, from Melville House, and in Italy from Frassinelli, and in Czech from Argo. All gorgeous (and different!) hardcovers…

The Bookman, Camera Obscura and The Great Game came out in brand-new editions in both the US and the UK. I’m really happy with how these turned out.

The Violent Century came out in Taiwan.

And, not a novel, but my first non-fiction book, Art and War, with Shimon Adaf, came out this year as well. I’ve been very happy with that one, too.


A Man Lies Dreaming was shortlisted for the Italian Premio Roma, and The Violent Century was shortlisted for the Japanese Seiun Award, though neither won.

Short Stories

It was another busy year on the short fiction front. I was delighted to make my debut in F&SF Magazine with a novella, “The Vanishing Kind”, which is one of my personal favourites – it’s been picked up for reprint in Gardner Dozois’ Year’s Best SF 34, and in Rich Horton’s The Year’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy, 2017 Edition. It’s also just been published in a Polish translation in the magazine Nowa Fantastyka. And “Terminal”, published this year online at, has been picked up for reprint in the Dozois Year’s Best SF 34, as well as in Jonathan Strahan’s The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year: Volume 11.

Total number of stories: 15

  • “Affection”. This was part of a “digitally native” project for Google Play Editions / Penguin Random House called Strata. I’m not entirely sure, but you can check it out here. I think?
  • “Agent of V.A.L.I.S.”. Novelette in Apex Magazine. Kind of messes around with Philip K. Dick, if that wasn’t clear enough from the title! Read online.
  • “Antechamber”. I wrote this on request for the Italian Acheron Books, so it’s a small dual-language edition e-book, in both the English and an Italian translation, on the theme of “Hell”.
  • “Drowned”. This is actually the first story in a new world I’ve been exploring recently, with more to come – this one’s in Jonathan Strahan’s Drowned Worlds anthology.
  • “Fealty to Apollo”. Fun little story about an alternate Apollo programme… only available in the ridiculously-limited edition (and ridiculously heavy!) The Extinction Event from Jurassic London.
  • “Heroes”. It’s a story set in the Violent Century universe – I wrote it for a Spanish charity anthology for cancer (WhiteStar, edited by Cristina Jurado) but then also got it published in English at Strange Horizons. Read online.
  • “Incursions”. My first appearance in Nature, it’s an unlikely piece about a certain well-known wardrobe… Read online.
  • “Red Christmas”. In Apex Magazine. A stand-alone story about “Wolf” from A Man Lies Dreaming, set a year earlier during Christmas… the only holiday-themed story I ever wrote (so naturally it’s about Hitler). Read online.
  • “Terminal”. Published at About a one-way ticket to Mars. Read online.
  • “The Beachcomber”. Novelette. In Postscripts #36/#37. Sort of steampunk-y/alternate history set in Fiji.
  • “The Godbeard”. At Strange Horizons. Kind of my semi-pisstake attempt at the classical SF story… Read online.
  • “The Red Flower”. Part of a new serial fiction thing I’ve been working on called The Escapement. Published in Persistent Visions. Read online.
  • “The Vanishing Kind”. Novella. Noir alt history. Published in F&SF.
  • “Tinkerers”. A story of the Escapement. In literary journal Conjunctions: 67.
  • “Tutim”. Too political for most places (though pretty funny!), this appears only in Art and War, but can be read online at the publisher’s site. The last poet in Israel goes on the run… Read online.

Storian Smol

It occurs to me I never properly mentioned this, but I’ve been writing a monthly column in Bislama for the Vanuatu Daily Post this year. These are short (400-1000 words, or basically 1-2 newspaper pages) literary vignettes – the only such fiction currently written in the language, as far as I know. It’s been quite exciting! (I lived in Vanuatu for a while, and I speak Bislama). We messed around with the format for the first couple of months, then settled on Storian Smol as the column name, and a regular design etc. The first column was published in March. So a total of 10 stories this year…. The aim is for 12 in total, and then – possibly – some sort of a collection or – also possibly! – a dual-language edition textbook. Or something! We’re working on it… For those curious enough, here is the list for 2016:

  • “Wan Man i Go Long Bankis”. March.
  • “Merilyn i Kam Bak Long Maket”. April.
  • “Welfis”. May.
  • “Godwin.” June.
  • “Sigaret”. July.
  • “Kukamba”. August.
  • “Posen”. September.
  • “Singsing”. October.
  • “Wokabaot”. November.
  • “Hu i Toktok”. December.

“Wan Storian Blong Wan Kleva Wetem Ol Vatu i Lus” should be the January 2017 story.

Next Year

I’ve got books (in several cases, multiple books) coming out in Japan, Israel, Poland, Germany, Czech Republic, Italy, France, Spain and Romania so far, with some more in the works. There should also be a US paperback edition of A Man Lies Dreaming. Too much of the next couple of years is in the “I can’t really talk about it yet!” category otherwise. I’ve got about 8 short stories scheduled for 2017 so far (including in, Analog and a bunch of anthologies), and there’s one very exciting project I’ll be doing that’s sort of digitally native, with new fiction combined with original art and cutting edge scientific research, and I get to talk about some very pertinent issues – but I really can’t talk about it just yet! Which gets annoying, so I’ll stop.

Also, if the stars align, possibly a play.