Announcing Art And War

World Fantasy Award and Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize winner Lavie Tidhar has sold debut non-fiction book, Art and War: Poetry, Pulp and Politics in Israeli Fiction, to Repeater Books for a 2016 release. The book is a collaboration with premier Israeli author Shimon Adaf, winner of the Sapir and Yehuda Amichai prizes.

Art and War is a book-length conversation between the two authors, covering their approach to writing, their struggle with self-doubt, their views on awards, and the conflict between art and commerce that is at the heart of modern publishing. They discuss their approach to writing the fantastic, the sometimes obscure writers which jointly influenced their work, and question how to write about Israel, about Judaism, about the Holocaust, and about childhoods and their end.

Closing the book are a pair of twinned short stories, written as part of the conversation between the authors, addressing the political reality of Israel through the lens of the fantastic, in which each appear as a minor character in the other’s story.

Lavie Tidhar said: “I am beyond delighted to see this book come out next year. Shimon Adaf is one of the great writers of my generation, and it has been a privilege for me to work with him on this book. I am grateful to Etan Ilfeld and Tariq Goddard at Repeater for allowing us the opportunity to see it in print, and wait in nervous but excited anticipation!”

The book is planned for early 2016 in paperback and e-book editions, and will be available in all English-language territories. The deal was negotiated by John Berlyne of the Zeno Agency.

So, about the book! Shimon and I earlier did this: The Convergence Between Poetry and the Fantastic: A Conversation and I wanted to try and extend that conversation in some way. Our first attempt was during the war in 2014 and we were both too depressed – we ended up writing the short stories that are going to be included here – my own “Tutim” and Shimon’s “third_attribute” – as our response instead. When Etan Ilfeld mentioned to me they were launching Repeater Books, with the former staff of Zero, I though it might just be the perfect home to what I still sometimes think is my little vanity project, and happily they agreed. Really, for me, the privilege is in talking to a writer of Shimon’s calibre – his novel Kfor is nothing short of a masterpiece, and was a huge influence on my own work – and for a long time I wanted to venture into the realm of non-fiction, which is something I enjoy but am not able to do much of.

Right now, Shimon and I are discussing the possibility of doing a follow up book about genre fiction (crime and SF in particular), though we’ll have to see how that goes! In the meantime, Art and War has been delivered to the publishers, and should be out sometime next year.

Announcing Central Station!

I’ve been talking for a while about a Central Station novel coming out – well, the word’s officially out, and Central Station will be published in the US by Tachyon Publications in march 2016!

I began CS in 2010 while living in Tel Aviv, and continued it over the next few years. The first CS story was published in 2011, and the stories were published in a variety of places, with several appearing consecutively in Interzone. They have also kept cropping up in the various Year’s Bests anthologies. I finished the last one at the end of 2014. In a way, CS both represents everything I have to say about the shape of science fiction – and a large part of it is a sort of dialogue with older (mostly, admittedly, quite obscure) SF – and a way of talking about the present. It is set in the old central bus station area in south Tel Aviv, currently home to a quarter of a million poor economic migrants from Asia, and African refugees, and I wanted to explore that area through the lens of science fiction (one of the weird things I found recently is that the fictional sort of “federal” political vision of Israel/Palestine I have in the book is now being touted as a real solution by a group of political activists). My other ambition was to write a book which was mostly about character interaction: about extended families, about relationships, in which the “shiny” science fiction future serves as a sort of background rather than taking centre stage. My other inspiration was that I always wanted to write a novel in short stories. Science fiction has a long tradition of doing this – from The Martian Chronicles to Lord of Light – but my inspiration was also partly V.S. Naipaul’s Miguel Street.

Tachyon have been amazing to work with so far. I’ve got to spend this month on some heavy editing, but the result of this will be that Central Station will be, essentially, an actual novel, I think – the way I intended it from the start.

Press release follows…

Central Station
Lavie Tidhar

***

“If you want to know what SF is going to look like in the next decade, this is it.”
—Gardner Dozois, editor of the bestselling Year’s Best Science Fiction series

***

A worldwide diaspora has left a quarter of a million people at the foot of a space station. Cultures collide in real life and virtual reality. The city is literally a weed, its growth left unchecked. Life is cheap and data is cheaper.

But at Central Station, people and machines still adapt, thrive, love . . . and even evolve.

***

When Boris Chong returns to Tel Aviv from Mars, much has changed. But his vast, extended family continues to pull him back home.

Boris’s ex-lover Miriam is raising a strangely familiar child who can tap into the datastream of a mind with the touch of a finger. His cousin Isobel is infatuated with a robotnik—a cyborg ex-Israeli soldier who might well be begging for parts. Even his old flame, Carmel—a hunted data-vampire—has followed him back to a planet where she is forbidden to return.

Rising above all is Central Station, the interplanetary hub between all things: the constantly shifting Tel Aviv; a powerful virtual arena, and the space colonies where humanity has gone to escape the ravages of poverty and war. Everything is connected by the Others, powerful entities who, through the Conversation—a shifting, flowing stream of consciousness— are just the beginning of irrevocable change.

***

Central Station

Lavie Tidhar

Publication Date: March 15, 2016

Science Fiction / $15.95 Trade Paperback /  $9.99 e-book

978-1-61696-214-2 / 5.5 x 8.5 / 288 pp.

Tachyon Publications

Distributed by the trade by Legato via PGW/Perseus

Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize photos

The Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize 2015 took place in central London on 18 June at the Jerwood space. The award celebrates the best fiction writers of the year Winning author Lavie Tidhar on far left

The Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize 2015 took place in central London on 18 June at the Jerwood space. The award celebrates the best fiction writers of the year
l-to-r: Ellie Cheele (publicist extraordinaire); Anne Perry (editor supreme); Lavie Tidhar (confused author).

The Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize 2015 took place in central London on 18 June at the Jerwood space. The award celebrates the best fiction writers of the year Winner Lavie Tidhar, author of A Man Lies Dreaming

The Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize 2015 took place in central London on 18 June at the Jerwood space. The award celebrates the best fiction writers of the year
Winner Lavie Tidhar, author of A Man Lies Dreaming, with the judges.

Photos (c) Alicia Canter, 2015.
Mural (c) The Grantchester Pottery Kyoto, 2004.

Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize for A Man Lies Dreaming

Jerwood Prize

So, last night, filled with trepidation (and some hasty gin & tonic) I headed to the Jerwood Space in Southwark, for the presentation of the Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize. A Man Lies Dreaming was one of 15 nominees, and the prize is given to 8 novels overall, with each winner getting a £5000 cheque, and a unique hand-bound copy of their book.

I didn’t expect to win it – but I did! I stuck to my “just say thank you” speech (thank you!) and stumbled away and back to a glass of wine. The rest of the evening passed in a blur, as they say.

I’m absolutely delighted – A Man Lies Dreaming is a book close to my heart, and it was just fantastic to see it get recognition from the judges. My thanks, as ever, go to my editor, Anne Perry, everyone at Hodder and everyone at Fiction Uncovered!

Jerwood Prize

The book will go on promotion at WH Smith alongside the other winners. You can also pick them up with bonus points at Foyles, and A Man Lies Dreaming is, at least for the moment, reduced to just £2.99 on the Kindle store.

Vonnegut on writing and Englishes

The writing style which is most natural for you is bound to echo the speech you heard when a child. English was Conrad’s third language, and much that seems piquant in his use of English was no doubt colored by his first language, which was Polish. And lucky indeed is the writer who has grown up in Ireland, for the English spoken there is so amusing and musical. I myself grew up in Indianapolis, where common speech sounds like a band saw cutting galvanized tin, and employs a vocabulary as unornamental as a monkey wrench.

In some of the more remote hollows of Appalachia, children still grow up hearing songs and locutions of Elizabethan times. Yes, and many Americans grow up hearing a language other than English, or an English dialect a majority of Americans cannot understand.

All these varieties of speech are beautiful, just as the varieties of butterflies are beautiful. No matter what your first language, you should treasure it all your life. If it happens to not be standard English, and if it shows itself when your write standard English, the result is usually delightful, like a very pretty girl with one eye that is green and one that is blue.

I myself find that I trust my own writing most, and others seem to trust it most, too, when I sound most like a person from Indianapolis, which is what I am. What alternatives do I have? The one most vehemently recommended by teachers has no doubt been pressed on you, as well: to write like cultivated Englishmen of a century or more ago.

A Man Lies Dreaming nominated for Jerwood Uncovered Fiction Prize

British writing celebrated: Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize announces longlist

Jerwood Uncovered Fiction Prize 2015 Longlist

The Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize today (Tuesday 12 May) announces its longlist of 15 books which showcase the breadth and vibrancy of British writing today. Now in its 5th year, the Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize is unique in its aim to celebrate great British fiction and each year awards a group of 8 writers with £5,000 each.

The longlisted books are:

This diverse group of books has been chosen by the judges as they display the flair, range and literary rigour abounding in British writing today and should, the judges believe, be widely read. In a nation reeling from the most divisive general election for many years, this is a group of books that can unify readers in the power of a good story.

Announcing the longlist, chair of judges India Knight said:

“It is absolutely thrilling to have found such brilliant books, across such a wide variety of genres, and from authors that live and write all over the country. These are fantastic writers who deserve to be household names.”

On the decision to release the longlist for the Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize for the first time this year, prize Founder and Director Sophie Rochester said:

“With writers from Swansea, Newcastle upon Tyne, Bath, Brighton, Lancaster, Edinburgh, Nottingham, Glasgow and London, and publishers from Yorkshire, Wales, Scotland and Norfolk, this year’s longlist presents an exciting snapshot of contemporary British fiction writing and publishing.”

Joining India Knight on the judging panel this year are Matt Bates (WH Smith Travel), Cathy Galvin (Word Factory/Newsweek) and Simon Savidge (Savidge Reads).

The final 8 winners will be announced on Thursday 18 June at a party at the Jerwood Space, London. WH Smith Travel will be running an eight-week summer promotion featuring all eight winning Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize titles. The titles will feature in stores across the UK from 25 June 2015.

Black Gods Kiss available in e-book

Delighted to say that Black Gods Kiss, my collection of “guns and sorcery” stories, published last year in hardcover by PS Publishing, is now available in e-book.

While the hardcover is a thing of beauty (thanks to my superb artist, Pedro Marques, who’d gone above and beyond designing literally every page!), the e-book is right there so, take your pick!

Black Gods Kiss

His name was Gorel of Goliris and he was a gunslinger and an addict, touched by the Black Kiss. Gorel wanted nothing more than to return to his home, the greatest empire the World had ever known, from which he was banished by sorcery as a child. But wherever he went, trouble doggedly followed, and death preceded his steps . . .

In Black Gods Kiss Lavie Tidhar returns to the vivid world of his 2012 British Fantasy Award winning novella, Gorel & The Pot-Bellied God. It collects 5 long adventures set before and after the events of Pot-Bellied God, and includes a brand-new novella, “Kur-a-Len”.

In these pages you will find thrilling tales of guns and sorcery, filled with ghosts, mercenaries, necromancers and gods – not to mention sex, and death!

E-BOOK AVAILABLE FROM

Kindle (US)

Kindle (UK)

Kobo

iBooks

WHAT THEY SAY

“One of the most flamboyantly entertaining collections of the year… what [the stories] are is almost the pure essence of pulp – violent, action-packed, paced like a runaway freight train, politically incorrect and socially unredeemable.” – Locus Magazine

“Muscular fantasy…  varied, adult, occasionally surreal and always interesting. Black Gods Kiss is a collection for readers seeking a different flavour to their fantasy.” – British Fantasy Society

“Classic heroic fantasy… My overwhelming feeling upon reading it is gratitude that such an exceptional writer chooses to write the kind of books I want to read.” –Theaker’s Quarterly