book news

Osama nominated for a British Science Fiction Association Award

Surprised and delighted to find out this morning that Osama has been nominated for Best Novel in the British Science Fiction Association (BSFA) Awards. Even more delighted that Pedro Marques’s amazing cover of Osama is also nominated!

Just look at that cover!

The full list of nominees:

Best Novel

Cyber Circus by Kim Lakin-Smith (Newcon Press)

Embassytown by China Mieville (Macmillan)

The Islanders by Christopher Priest (Gollancz)

By Light Alone by Adam Roberts (Gollancz)

Osama by Lavie Tidhar (PS Publishing)

Best Short Fiction

The Silver Wind by Nina Allan (Interzone 233, TTA Press)

The Copenhagen Interpretation by Paul Cornell (Asimov’s, July)

Afterbirth by Kameron Hurley (Kameron Hurley’s own website)

Covehithe by China Mieville (The Guardian)

Of Dawn by Al Robertson (Interzone 235, TTA Press)

Best Non-Fiction

Out of This World: Science Fiction but not as we Know it by Mike Ashley (British Library)

The SF Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition ed. John Clute, Peter Nicholls and David Langford (website)

Review of Arslan by M J Engh, Abigail Nussbaum (Asking the Wrong Questions blog)

SF Mistressworks, ed. Ian Sales (website)

Pornokitsch, ed. Jared Shurin and Anne Perry (website)

The Unsilent Library: Essays on the Russell T. Davies Era of the New Doctor Who (Foundation Studies in Science Fiction), ed. Graham Sleight, Tony Keen and Simon Bradshaw (Science Fiction Foundation)

Best Art

Cover of Ian Whates’s The Noise Revealed by Dominic Harman (Solaris)

Cover and illustrations of Patrick Ness’s A Monster Calls by Jim Kay (Walker)

Cover of Lavie Tidhar’s Osama by Pedro Marques (PS Publishing)

Cover of Liz Williams’s A Glass of Shadow by Anne Sudworth (Newcon Press)

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Osama nominated for the Kitschies Award

Very glad to say Osama has been nominated for the Kitschies Award for Best Novel, established to celebrate “the year’s most progressive, intelligent and entertaining works of genre literature.”

There’s a nice write-up in the Guardian, too.

The full list of nominees:

Red Tentacle (Novel):
The Enterprise of Death by Jesse Bullington (Orbit)
Embassytown by China Miéville (Tor)
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness and Siobhan Dowd (Walker Books)
The Testament of Jessie Lamb by Jane Rogers (Sandstone)
Osama: A Novel by Lavie Tidhar (PS Publishing)

Golden Tentacle (Debut Novel): 
Among Thieves by Douglas Hulick (Tor)
God’s War by Kameron Hurley (Night Shade Books)
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (Harvill Secker)
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs (Quirk)
The Samaritan by Fred Venturini (Blank Slate Press)

Inky Tentacle (Best Cover): 
Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch; illustration by Stephen Walter, design by Patrick Knowles (TAG Fine Arts) (Gollancz)
The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan; design by Peter Mendelsund (Canongate)
The Prague Cemetery by Umberto Eco; design by Suzanne Dean, illustration by John Spencer (Harvill Secker)
Equations of Life by Simon Morden; design by Lauren Panepinto (Orbit)
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness and Siobhan Dowd; illustration by Jim Kay (Walker Books)

The winners will be announced on February 3 at the SFX Weekender convention held in Prestatyn, north Wales.

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Going To The Moon!

I’m delighted almost beyond words (well, almost!) to announce that at long last, my picture book Going To The Moon is about to be released!

Going To The Moon is the story of Jimmy, a boy with Tourette’s Syndrom, who wants to be an astronaut when he grows up. The story follows Jimmy’s bullying at school and his evolving relationship with his chief tormentor, Ronnie. (Warning: contains graphic language!). It also includes aliens! Paul Cornell was kind enough to blurb the book, calling it “a brilliant interaction between art and words.”

The amazing art is by Paul McCaffery, who really brings it to stunning, vivid life.

This is a project very close to my heart. I owe Terry Martin, of Murky Depths, a huge debt of gratitude for believing in this project, for making it happen, for hooking me up with Paul and for shepherding the whole thing through until, at last, we have a book. It’s taken… a long time – and I think the end result is absolutely stunning. I only wish I could take more credit for it!

This will be officially released at the SFX Weekender in February – I’ll be there, holed up in Pontins with a dalek and 6 pounds of frozen sausages! And will be happy to sign copies etc. Meanwhile, you can pre-order the book directly from Murky Depths (it’s right at the top, just click on cover picture to be taken to the pre-order page) or, for your shopping convenience, from Amazon UK. But if you order direct, 10% will go to charity!

Going To The Moon is coming out at the same time as The Great Game, my next mass-market novel and the third Bookman Histories book. Both will be launched at the SFX Weekender – did I mention frozen sausages?

My next graphic project is the graphic novella Adolf Hitler’s “I Dream of Ants!”, with art by Neil Struthers – this will also be published by Murky Depths, possibly later on in the year.

Going To The Moon – artwork sample

book news

Osama reviewed in the Financial Times

James Lovegrove reviews Osama in the Financial Times this week!

Osama is a surreal critique of our terrorism-haunted age. Joe, a Laos-based private eye, is hired to locate the author of a series of lurid pulp novels featuring a terrorist-mastermind hero called Osama Bin Laden. His hunt for the pseudonymous recluse Mike Longshott leads him to Paris, London, New York and finally Kabul.

As the plot unfolds, it becomes clear that Joe’s world is not ours. Oblique hints are subtly stitched into the narrative. There is no Channel Tunnel, the World Trade Center has never existed and the fictional adventures of “Osama Bin Laden, Vigilante” seem to have been beamed in from elsewhere. But where?

Joe’s dreamlike search leads to a truth that the reader may already have begun to suspect, but the final revelation is well orchestrated nonetheless. Lavie Tidhar’s novel bears comparison with the best of Philip K Dick’s paranoid, alternate-history fantasies. It’s beautifully written and undeniably powerful.

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Black Gods Kiss

I don’t think we ever officially announced it, but I’ve just delivered the manuscript of Black Gods Kiss: A Guns & Sorcery Collection to PS Publishing. Black Gods Kiss is a companion volume to my recently-published PS Publishing novella Gorel & The Pot-Bellied God, and is due to be published in late 2012.

Table of Contents:

1. Black Gods Kiss – 5600
2. Buried Eyes – 9400
3. Kur-a-len – 24000
4. The Dead Leaves – 5900
5. White Queen – 7500

So that’s two stories, two novelettes and a novella, all featuring Gorel of Goliris – and plenty of sex, drugs, guns and sorcery!

The first two stories (“Black Gods Kiss” and “Buried Eyes”) will be published in the next two issues of Postscripts; the others will be original to the collection.

Here’s a little fun extract – the opening paragraphs – from “The Dead Leaves”:

‘I would like you,’ the sorcerer said, ‘to kill a man.’

Gorel of Goliris stared at the sorcerer across the table. There are many questions one can ask in response to such a statement. The amateur might ask, for instance, why? or who? – good questions both, for certain. The amateur might ask, What has he done? or Is he a good man or a bad one? The professional has other, more urgent considerations.

‘How much?’ Gorel said, and the sorcerer smiled, revealing blackened, broken teeth. Gorel hated sorcerers, but this one was, so far, paying for the drinks.

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Camera Obscura nominated for an Airship Award

Very glad to report that Camera Obscura has been nominated for the Airship Award in the written category! The Airship Awards are given for a variety of steampunk categories at Steamcon, an annual steampunk convention.

The nominees in the written category are:

Phoenix Rising: A Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Novel, Tee Morris & Pip Ballantine (Harper Voyager)
The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack, Mark Hodder (Pyr)
Camera Obscura, Lavie Tidhar (Angry Robot)
The Half-Made World, Felix Gilman (Tor)

Very nice company to be in! A full list of nominees can be found here.

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Jesus & The Eightfold Path cover and pre-orders!

I’m delighted to announce that Jesus & The Eightfold Path is now available for pre-orders! The book costs £10 for a limited edition hardcover of just 200 copies. While these are not signed, I should be at Fantasycon this year for the launch, and will make sure to sign copies there.

The awesome cover – and isn’t it an awesome cover? – is by Melissa Gay, who did the cover for HebrewPunk back in the day. Check it out!

THREE WISE MEN CAME FROM THE EAST for the infant Jesus in The New Testament. Three brave companions accompany the Buddha in the Chinese classic A Journey to the West. Could they have been the same three? Guided by a star, three strange companions arrive in the barbarous land of Judea to seek a newborn child–a possible messiah to some, and the reincarnation of the Budda to others.

When the child’s life is threatened, his family and new guardians escape to Egypt, returning years later, to a Jewish land on the cusp of annihilation by the Roman Empire.

Once a general in the Judean army, now a Roman agent, Josephus Flavius is sent by Caesar back to his home land to observe and report on the actions of the troubling young man now preaching sedition in the Galilee–a boy with the unsettling powers of kung-fu…

Their lives would collide in a cataclysmic confrontation between Romans and Jews, between empire and rebels–and change the world forever…

And here is Gardner Dozois reviewing the book in the latest issue of Locus:

Lavie Tidhar is one of the most interesting new writers to enter the genre in some time, and his chapbook novella “Jesus and the Eightfold Path” is another major work by him, although even harder to pin down by genre than is his usual work.  A vivid and gonzo reimagining of the life of Jesus, it’s less sacrilegious and more respectful than you would think a story whose working title was “Kung Fu Jesus” would be, although Jesus does indeed get to use his martial arts skills, learned under the tutelage of the Eastern Masters who taught him to follow the Eightfold Path, to beat up the moneylenders as he casts them from the Temple, defeat some attacking mummies, and so forth.  Although all this would probably have been enough to get Tidhar burnt at the stake during the Middle Ages, he actually treats Jesus with a fair degree of reverence, as a man who really has been touched by the Divine (although what Divine remains open to question) and possesses immense preternatural abilities.  Much of the gonzo humor, and much of the entertainment value, is carried by the Three Wise Men, here reimagined as former kings, wizards, and minor gods impressed into service by a superior supernatural force, and called Sandy, Monkey, and Pigsy; they get many of the best lines.  There’s also a supporting role for the slippery Jewish historian, Josephus Flavius.  Perhaps what this reminds me the most of is the movie Big Trouble in Little China, if the filmmakers had decided to tackle the Gospels as well as Chinese mythology.  Although some of the more pious may be offended, most readers will probably find this hugely entertaining.

book news

The Great Game cover art!

Angry Robots have just revealed the cover art for the forthcoming third Bookman Histories novel, The Great Game.

I still can’t believe I got David Frankland as my cover artist. I’ve loved his work for years, and he just does them perfectly!

Anyway, no words necessary. Just… this:

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Get The Bookman for just 99p!

Angry Robot Books have gone craaaaaazy! You can now get The Bookman for the Kindle for just 99p!

That’s right! 99 pence!

What are you waiting for!

And if that’s not all, you get a set of steak knives absolutely free!!*

Get The Bookman for just 99p now!

* no you don’t.

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Adam Roberts reviews Osama

Adam Roberts reviews Osama:

Osama is a bold, gripping, atmospheric and thoughtful novel; easily the best thing of Tidhar’s I’ve yet read. The protagonist is a Chandleresque private eye, called (of course) Joe, living in a Greene-ily rendered Vientiane (that’s in Laos, of course—not the Vientiane in Hampshire). He is hired by the requisite bombshell mystery woman to locate a writer of pulp fiction, one ‘Mike Longshott’, author of a variety of lowrent adventure or porn-y novels, not least a series of novels about “Osama Bin Laden: Vigilante”. So, yes, in this alt-Earth Bin Laden is a fictional character. Interspersed between the chapters of Joe’s varied, kinetic adventures are excerpts from Longshott’s novels detailing the terrorist attacks in ‘our’ world (Dar Es Salam, the shoe bomber, London’s 7/7 and so on) with which we are familiar. In other words, Tidhar does that The Grasshopper Lies Heavy thing of giving us a perspective on our actual world from the point of view of an alt-historical location (that’s not quite right, though; because, although the world of The Grasshopper Lies Heavy is closer to ‘our’ world than the world ofThe Man in The High Castle there are nonetheless key differences between reality and Dick’s novel-within-the-novel. But the analogy is close enough for government work).

Tidhar’s novel generates an impressive degree of emotional traction by setting an deftly replicated pulp noir ’tec idiom (the frame novel) against a carefully rendered neutral, reportage rendering of terrorist atrocity in the interleaved sections. The violence of the main novel figures after the manner of pulp adventure violence — dramatic, but more-or-less consequence-free — but the violence described in the embedded section genuinely shocks.

Despite the exceptionally cool cover image (up top, there) Osama Bin Laden is not actually a character in this novel. But that’s as it should be; Osama the novel is in the largest sense about the way ‘terrorism’ is actually a mode of making war upon our imaginations, and not, however it might appear, upon our bodies and our infrastructure. Accordingly this is a novel about the power of fantasy, about the proximity of dreams and reality, about ghost people and ghost realities. Lavie Tidhar has written a fine, striking, memorable piece of fiction here, one that deserves to be widely read. Kudos to PS for picking it up. You should read it.

Read the full review!