Unholy Land nominated for the Sidewise Award

Delighted to discover Unholy Land has been nominated for the Sidewise Award for Alternate History, in the Long Form category!

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Unholy Land nominated for a Dragon Award

So, much to my surprise, Unholy Land popped up on the nominations for this year’s Dragon Awards, given out at Dragon Con. Specifically, it is up for the Best Alternate History Novel.

Which is nice! It’s the fourth award this weird little novel is nominated for.

A full list of the nominees can be found at the Dragon Con site.

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New Three-Book Deal in UK

It’s in The Bookseller, so it must be true: my new novel, the epic-sized By Force Alone, has gone to publishers Head of Zeus in the UK, in a three-book deal. What these other two books might be, I have no idea! Haha. I am sure I will think of something. (He said, crying).

Anyway, By Force Alone (all 125,000 words of it!) is scheduled to come out in 2020 in hardcover – I think you can even pre-order it!

It’s an Arthurian novel, I guess, but hopefully not like any other Arthurian novel – as Nic Cheetham, my editor at HoZ, said, “There was only one way I was ever going to read another King Arthur novel, and that was if Lavie Tidhar wrote it.” I felt there was very little point tackling something that’s been around since old Geoff of Monmouth came up with the whole stupid thing back in the 12th century, unless you were going to seriously fuck with it. Think of it as the Trump & Brexit Arthur…

As part of my original pitch for the book went:

you know the story, so why am I telling you all this?

You know how it starts. You know how it all ends.

Uther, that shit, and how Igraine poisoned him. Mordred and the last battle. All that crap. It’s in Mallory. Look it up. All the murders and the blood and the warmth and nos-fucking-talgia of the original tales.

The Isle of Britain. That utter shithole Rome abandoned like a clogged sewer. Britain, where petty warlords squabbled in the mud.

Britain, where one king rose to bring peace and unite them all in chivalry and glory, to form a United Kingdom, to – bloody bloody blah blah.

So, it’s bigger than any of my other books – 125,000 words!! Did I mention that already? – and it combines historical fiction, fantasy, noir, politics – the usual. Maybe some kung fu. Possibly some aliens. You know the story. Arthur dies at the end. Who gives a shit.

It really was a lot of fun to write. It was a big, long, complicated process, and a big act of faith that there’d be a book at the end of it! Or that someone will publish it. I’m looking forward to sharing it next year!

It’s also lovely to be back publishing properly in the UK. I’ve turned down several offers in the past few years (crazy, I know!) looking for the right one. Head of Zeus have shown the right commitment and the enthusiasm to basically let me just get on with it, and there might be some other exciting possibilities on that front too. So I’m very pleased!

As for anyone curious about a US edition – yes, there will be one. Details on that will have to wait for a little while longer, though… Sorry! And, well, some more exciting book news, too. Let’s just say next year will be busy. 🙂

CWA Dagger Award Nomination

My story “Bag Man”, from The Outcast Hours, ed. by Mahvesh Murad and Jared Shurin (Solaris), is on the shortlist for the 2019 Crime Writers Association Short Story Dagger!

The Daggers are huge, and this was a complete surprise! This is my first nomination for a crime fiction award, and a rare nomination for short fiction, so it’s a double hooray! I really don’t expect to win, but it’s lovely just being nominated.

Here’s the short story shortlist:

  • Strangers in a Pub by Martin Edwards in Ten Year Stretch, edited by Martin Edwards and Adrian Muller
  • Death Becomes Her by Syd Moore in The Strange Casebook by Syd Moore
  • The Dummies’ Guide to Serial Killing by Danuta Reah in The Dummies’ Guide to Serial Killing and other Fantastic Female Fables
  • I Detest Mozart by Teresa Solana in The First Historic Serial Killers by Teresa Solana
  • Bag Man by Lavie Tidhar in The Outcast Hours, edited by Mahvesh Murad and Jared Shurin

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New US Paperback for The Violent Century!

The brand-spanking-new paperback edition of The Violent Century is out today in the US! Alongside a new e-book edition. Published by Tachyon, with new cover art by Sarah Anne Langton, and with a new introduction from Cory Doctorow! This is the first US paperback edition of the book.

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A bold experiment has mutated a small fraction of humanity. Nations race to harness the gifted, putting them to increasingly dark ends. At the dawn of global war, flashy American superheroes square off against sinister Germans and dissolute Russians. Increasingly depraved scientists conduct despicable research in the name of victory

British agents Fogg and Oblivion, recalled to the Retirement Bureau, have kept a treacherous secret for over forty years. But all heroes must choose when to join the fray, and to whom their allegiance is owed—even for just one perfect summer’s day.

From the World Fantasy and Campbell award-winning author of Central Station comes a sweeping novel of history, adventure, and what it means to be a hero.

Puzzle Tales is live!

A project that’s been some time in the work, I’m delighted to say Puzzle Tales is now live! It’s the brainchild of Jake Olefsky, and it’s an interactive fiction puzzle site, featuring an interactive choose-your-own-path SF story by me, called “Svalbard”! Designed especially for this project, the story allows you to skip and branch along the way as you solve fiendishly difficult puzzles between each chapter! And with some 40+ puzzles, it’s quite the experience!

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illustration by Alejandro Lee for “Svalbard”, 2019

Here is the blurb:

You are about to embark on a unique puzzle solving experience with Svalbard, a sci-fi short story by Lavie Tidhar. Travel along with Mai as she explores a utopian post-apocalyptic world and discovers ancient time vaults, forgotten robot enclaves and slumbering super computers. Help her scavenge for old technology in the ruined cities and discover ancient secrets about previous civilizations. Between chapters of the story, you will encounter a variety of different puzzles that you must solve to unlock the next chapter. There are multiple paths through this non-linear story, and many secrets to discover as you play along.

Do you have the mental fortitude necessary to conquer all 40+ puzzles and unlock the entire story?

Get playing!

RIP Yoshio Kobayashi (1951-2019)

Received the sad news on Friday that my Japanese translator, Yoshio Kobayashi, passed away suddenly last Thursday night. I knew he’s not been well for some time, but this came sudden.

He was better known under the pen name Takashi Ogawa, under which name he translated numerous works into Japanese.

Yoshio championed my work in Japan, beginning with some short stories (“The Night Train”, “The Stoker Memorandum”, “The Smell of Orange Groves”), and then selecting the Bookman Histories novels for publication. He translated all three for Hayakawa.

I saw him only a month or so back when I was in Japan for Hal-Con. He was full of energy, took me around Tokyo, and made sure to introduce me to all my Japanese publishers in Jimbocho (Tokyo’s incredible book area). We got to share one panel at the convention later in the weekend. He was smart, knowledgeable, enthusiastic, and very kind.

There is a vigil tomorrow, and the funeral will take place on Wednesday. My condolences go to his family and his many friends, both in Japan and abroad.

As part of my guest of honour appearance at Hal-Con there will be a short story collection of mine, in English and Japanese, published later this year, Venus in Bloom and Other Stories. I have asked that, in honour of Yoshio, we will have the collection dedicated to his memory.

Rest in peace.