Newspapers

A couple of things popped up today.

First, a full-page interview with me in the Israeli newspaper Yisrael Hayom, about A Man Lies Dreaming (can be read online here).

And The Financial Times just reviewed Candy! Concluding that:

The tone is as hard-boiled as a cough drop. The jokes sizzle like Space Dust. Candy is a treat, the kind of confection Roald Dahl and Raymond Chandler might have come up with after an all-night bonbon bender.

In other Candy related material, I talk about books and comedy in No Funny Stuff over the Scholastic Blog, and I also did a mini-interview for this Australian blog.

So grab a copy! You can get it on Amazon, of course, or, if you’re outside the UK, get it with free shipping over at Book Depository. As I type this it’s just under a fiver!

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Bookshops

On Friday, I popped into Forbidden Planet to sign copies of Candy – you can get in-shop, or online here. Only a limited number though!

Yesterday, I did a mini-tour of some of the independent children’s bookshops in London. It was a blast! And eye-opening – I had no idea there were these wonderful shops all around London!

We started in Pickled Pepper Books in Crouch End, then Owl Bookshop in Kentish Town, then the wonderfully-named Tales on Moon Lane (where I even got to sign a couple of copies!).

Then more bus, coffee-on-the-go and train to Richmond-Upon-Thames, and to the amazing The Alligator’s Mouth, where years ago there used to be a bookshop that I spent hours in, browsing second hand books in the basement! I got to sign a bunch more copies of Candy there, and then we were off to the big Waterstone’s in Kingston, where I’ve done a couple of events in the past.

It was a surprisingly long day! That roughly went train, train, train, walk, bookshop, bus, tube, tube, bookshop, train, train, bookshop, bus, train, bookshop, bus, bookshop, bus. (The “walk” part was what I thought was a straight road but turned out to be a pretty steep hill! Thanks, Google Maps!).

tales on moon lane.jpg

Also lovely: first thing that morning a review by Jonathan Thornton popped up on the website Fantasy Faction, which calls it “a perfectly pitched noir take” and “a subversive children’s story [that] for all its joyous sense of fun still packs a surprising emotional and philosophical punch.” He also rightly notes the close link between Candy and my adult books.

In fact, the one question I kept being asked was “So why did you decide to write a children’s book?” – and I didn’t know how to answer! Candy feels to me so much of whatever it is I do that it feels a perfectly natural continuation of that, rather than some whimsical departure…

Just confirmed a couple of new events for the summer to do with Candy, so that’s all new and exciting! More stuff to come, plus of course the various translations are edging closer to coming out, and I can’t wait to share some of the artwork for those.

Candy Publication Day!

It’s finally here! Candy, my first-ever children’s book, is published today in the UK by Scholastic! Illustrated by Mark Beech, it is available as a paperback priced just £6.99.

My thanks to everyone at Scholastic, especially my amazing editor Sophie, for all their hard work on the book!

Described as “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory meets Bugsy Malone for 9+ readers”, the book is available to buy from a range of places, including Amazon, Waterstones, W.H. Smith and Foyles. I will have an update on the availability of signed copies tomorrow.

To buy the book outside the UK, you can use Book Depository with free international shipping!

The author Ben Aaronovitch (Rivers of London) said, “Lavie Tidhar has turned his mad imagination on the world of the school playground and the result is hilarious, insightful and terrifying all at once.”

Candy will be out in France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Romania and the Czech Republic in the next few months too.

Here is the cover and blurb!

Tidar-Candy

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory meets Bugsy Malone for 9+ readers

In a city where candy is a crime and biscuits have been banned, Nelle Faulkner is a twelve-year-old private detective looking for her next client.

So when a notorious candy gangster asks for her help, Nelle is on the case.

Swept into a secret world of sweet smugglers and chocolate crooks, can Nelle and her friends find a way to take the cake? Or will they come to a sticky end…

Central Station out in the Czech Republic

The latest edition of Central Station is now out – in the Czech Republic! My publishers over there are the fantastic Argo, who previously published A Man Lies Dreaming and Osama, and later this year are publishing Candy, too.

The Czech edition also contains the bonus story, “Crabapple”, otherwise found in the (sold out) limited edition from PS Publishing.

The book was translated by Pavel Černovský. The cover is by my long-time artist Pedro Marques, first used on the PS limited edition.

Here it is!

ArgoCentralStation

RIP Gardner Dozois (1947-2018)

Heard on Sunday night that editor Gardner Dozois died unexpectedly in hospital – he was 70 years old. I’m still trying to process it – Gardner e-mailed me just 3 weeks ago to ask for a new short story, and now he’s gone. He came close a couple of years ago, and I remember thinking, “Please hold on, please hold on, I need you, Gardner!” – and he did. For a little while longer at least. For which I’ll always be grateful.

I can’t speak as to how he was in person – there are a lot of moving tributes around about what a lovely man he was, but I never met him in person, and now I never will. I also, shamefully, can’t speak about his own writing, which was accomplished and award-winning in its own right. But I can remedy that by reading him now.

What I can say about Gardner is that he meant a hell of a lot to me. He was my most strident champion in short fiction. He first contacted me about ten years ago, asking to reprint one of my stories in his seminal Year’s Best Science Fiction anthology series. Since then, he’s included me in every volume, sometimes doing me the honour of reprinting not one but two in the same volume. I only skipped one year – I got fed up with short fiction for some reason and published barely nothing, and it was the realisation that I missed a volume in Gardner’s anthology, I think, that made me realise how ridiculous I was being, so I started again.

Gardner’s reviews in Locus meant the world. He covered the short fiction world extensively, and praise from him meant you’d done your job properly. Years earlier I must have submitted stories to him at Asimov’s Science Fiction and got my rejections, though sadly I didn’t keep the rejection slips. Then he had mentions of stories worthy of note at the back of his Year’s Best anthologies, and cover the field in his lengthy introductions. I remember standing at the KLCC Kinokuniya in Kuala Lumpur around 2008, enjoying the aircon and spending a good half-hour just browsing the latest volume (and searching for mentions of my name…).

Gardner was the first person to see what I was doing with Central Station, as the individual episodes began to appear in various magazines. He talked it up in his reviews, reprinted the stories in the Year’s Best, and expressed constant enthusiasm to me about the project long before I could even envision finishing it. When it came to selling the book, he was, very kindly, the first person to blurb it, and his name I think is inextricably linked with the book – most recently, it’s right there above mine on the cover of the Romanian edition.

For a long time I couldn’t sell a new story to Clarkesworld for love nor money, but Gardner, as their reprint editor, still bought two of my stories for the magazine, keeping my presence there.

And he asked me for new stories. I got to write for Rip-Off!, an original audio anthology (later published in print as Mash-Up); and for Old Venus, which he co-edited with his friend George R.R. Martin. And then Gardner sold a new anthology called The Book of Swords to Penguin Random House, and he remembered – somehow! – my Gorel of Goliris stories, and he wanted a new Gorel story for the anthology. I’ve not written one of those for years – had detailed notes left on the hard drive but lost my enthusiasm and thought I’d never complete the work I planned – until Gardner came calling. So I exercised some forgotten muscles (for all that my story for Old Venus, really, was a Gorel in all but name), and wrote him the first new one in years, “Waterfalling”.

The anthology was pretty successful – it’s been coming out in a whole variety of translated editions, too – and he asked me for another story for a follow-up anthology, The Book of Magic. I wrote another Gorel story (it was my good luck charm at this point!), but it was only when I was writing a third story for Garnder that I realised he had, by the simple act of his request, allowed me to finish the Gorel mosaic/fixup novel arc I’d planned nearly 10 years ago. Suddenly Guns and Sorcery, my silly pulp tribute to C.L. Moore and swords and sorcery, was finished (nearly 100,000 words in 10 years), and it was all thanks to him – and at first I didn’t even realise!

He’d asked me for a new one just 3 weeks ago. I was just about to start writing it… I don’t really know what happens now. He was an amazing editor, a defining force, and my knight in shining armour. He knew my work better than I did. There is no one else like him. The world of science fiction is poorer for not having him, but God damn it, I needed you, Gardner!

Rest in peace.

Yiwu

My latest short story, “Yiwu”, is now live for free at Tor.com – you can also pick up an e-book edition for a handful of change.

The story was picked up by editor Jonathan Strahan, and the cover art is by Feifei Ruan.

“In all his time working for the lottery, Eshamuddin had only ever sold three winning tickets but, as a consequence, he had seen three miraculous things…” – check it out!

yiwu_full.jpg

German cover of Candy!

The German edition of Candy, published by Loewe, will be out in hardcover on October 9th, illustrated by Max Meinzold and translated by Ulrike Köbele. The full German title is “Geheimagentin Candy und die Schokoladen-Mafia” – which translates as Secret Agent Candy and the Chocolate Mafia!

Seriously, how cool is that? I love Max’s cover, and the whole thing has, to me, definite Michael Ende / Momo vibes (I’m a huge Ende fan). Loweve have been incredibly enthusiastic about the novel – I can’t wait for it to hit the shelves in Germany. You can pre-order it on Amazon Germany here.

Candy is out in the UK next month (pre-order on Amazon here), and in France, Italy, the Czech Republic, Poland and Romania not long after. I’ll post new covers when they become available!

Meanwhile, here is the German cover in all its glory!

Candy Germany.jpg