End of Year: 2021

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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.


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.


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 Read online.
  • “Judge Dee and the Poisoner of Montmartre” came out from 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

  • 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.