Endless lockdown hasn’t been terrible for my work, exactly – I’m edging to 100,000 words on my next novel (2022 publication, and a departure from my previous stuff), been writing those Judge Dee stories (currently scheduled till 2022 as well, and hopefully beyond!), and written a draft of a short novel about a robot and a flower just to pass the time. Still. My hair is all over the place.
I also got into game making to pass the time. It’s fun if finicky, and I’m focusing on very simple (“hyper-casual”, as they’re apparently called!) mobile games, though you can play them in the browser, too. It’s a steep learning curve but a lot of fun, and I just released the first one, Cornucopia: Catch Everything!on the Google Play Store. It’s free, PG and with no ads, if you want to try it!
The Escapement, by far one of my favourite of my novels, will be out in October from Tachyon Publications. The rather awesome cover is by Elizabeth Story!
About the novel:
In this dazzling new novel evoking Westerns, surrealism, epic fantasy, and circus extravaganzas, World Fantasy Award winner Lavie Tidhar (Central Station) has created an evocative dreamscape of dark comedy, heartbreak, hope, and adventure. Chronicling a lone man’s quest in parallel worlds, The Escapement recalls the epic darkness of Stephen King’s The Gunslinger via the unpredictable whimsy of The Phantom Tollbooth.
“Lavie Tidhar is a genius at conjuring realities that are just two steps to the left of our own.” —NPR Books
Into the reality called the Escapement rides the Stranger, a lone gunman on a quest to rescue his son. But it is too easy to get lost on a shifting landscape full of dangerous versions of favorite things: lawless cowboys, giants made of stone, oppressed clowns, and even more sinister forces at play.
The Stranger always finds new enemies in every godforsaken town. He reluctantly defends the not-always-helpless, while avoiding the deadly symbol storms of petulant gods. As the Stranger has learned, the Escapement is a dreamscape of deep mysteries, unpredictable geography, unlikely allies, and unwinnable battles.
But the flower the Stranger seeks still lies beyond the Mountains of Darkness. Time is running out, as he journeys deeper and deeper into the secret heart of an unknown world.
A signed and limited collectors edition will also be available, from PS Publishing.
The new Judge Dee story is now live! The second in my series of tongue-in-cheek vampire murder mysteries for Tor.com, this one sees Judge Dee and Jonathan arrive at a Bavarian castle where a nefarious murder has been committed – but just who is to blame?
It’s publication day for Unholy Land in france! Translated by Julien Bétan as Aucune terre n’est promise, it is published by Mu Editions.
This is also, as it happens, my fourth novel published in France!
Here’s the cover and blurb:
Berlin. Lior Tirosh, écrivain de seconde zone, embarque pour la Palestina, fuyant une existence minée d’échecs. Il espère retrouver à Ararat City la chaleur du foyer, mais rien ne se passe comme prévu : la ville est ceinturée par un mur immense, et sa nièce, Déborah, a disparu dans les camps de réfugiés africains. Traqué, soupçonné de meurtre, offert en pâture à un promoteur véreux, Lior est entraîné malgré lui dans les dédales d’une histoire qu’il contribue pourtant à écrire.
Lavie Tidhar questionne nos identités, et le prix qui leur est attaché. Aucune terre n’est promise est un roman d’une incroyable lucidité sur les enjeux d’Israël, microcosme du monde. Il n’en cède pourtant rien à la poésie, seule utopie capable encore d’incarner la paix.
My first short story of the year, “Wild Geese”, has just been published in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction.
With the end of summer the wild geese appeared, heralding the changing of the seasons. In the bazaars on the outskirts of Ulaanbaatar the usual crowds of Silk Roaders engaged in ever more heated commerce. Soon it will be winter: ice and dust storms, and the train crews grumbling and swearing on the tracks, and any sensible hobo would be long gone, to work out the winter as far south-west as possible. Now boots and fur coats made their grand appearance on the stalls of the Naran Tuul, and Silk Roaders from Tehran and Yekaterinbug, Gdańsk and Dushanbe argued bitterly with each other and haggled over wholesale prices, shipping berths and train routes.
Efrem knew they would soon be gone. Traders were like wild dandelion seeds, ubiquitous and easy to take flight. Efrem, who rode the rail to Ulaanbaatar from Yiwu the year before, considered themselves almost a local at this point. Now they chewed on a khuushuur and contemplated the chase.
The first wild goose of the season had been spotted, somewhere to the west of Dalanzadgad.
By Force Alone came out in hardcover from Head of Zeus in the UK in March, and Tor in the US in August.
Candy came out in hardcover in the US as The Candy Mafia from Peachtree, with new illustrations by Daniel Duncan.
Osama came out in Russian from Eksmo.
The Big Blind came out in hardcover from PS Publishing.
I released New Atlantis (previously published in print in F&SF) in e-book.
Adler #1-5 were published by Titan Comics over 2020. Paul McCaffrey and I were able to launch issue #1 in London about a month before lockdown. We were supposed to be in Dublin Comicon as guests a month later. That didn’t happen. But there’s some cool stuff happening with Adler, and the trade paperback edition should be out in 2021. It looks great.
New Atlantis was nominated for the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award.
Central Station was nominated for the Xingyun Award in China.
A Man Lies Dreaming was nominated for the Seiun Award in Japan.
“Killing Kiss”, in The Book of Extraordinary Impossible Crimes and Puzzling Deaths (ed. Maxim Jakubowski)
“The Adventure of the Milford Silkworms”, in The Book of Extraordinary New Sherlock Holmes Stories (ed. Maxim Jakubowski)
The Escapement was scheduled for 2020 but got pushed so will be out later in 2021. My next novel for Head of Zeus will also be out in 2021 too, so that’s one book for the US and one for the UK. Though I’m starting 2021 with the French publication of Unholy Land in January. I am also editing The Best of World SF, which will be out in hardcover. I have a stack of stories sold (including some new Judge Dee mysteries for Tor.com), a couple of book reissues and a bunch of new audio editions, a small collection, one tv project, and to be honest I forget what else. I have books and stories scheduled until the end of 2022 and working on a bunch of projects, as usual. See you next year.
My last book for the year is now available! PS Publishing have finished copies in stock, which are shipping this week to anyone who pre-ordered. The Big Blind is available in both regular hardcover and a signed limited edition hardcover of just 100 copies. I’ve already signed and returned the limitation sheets, so these should also be available shortly! As with all my other PS titles, the book is fully designed by Pedro Marques, who does everything from the cover to the endpapers to the typography. I just got my own copies and the book is simply sumptuous to hold. Snag a copy now!
But to the book itself! Here’s the cover and blurb.
The daughter of a legendary card player with skills of her own, Claire doesn’t want to go into the family business. She’s heard the call, and she desperately wants to become a nun. But when her convent comes under financial threat, Claire must leave what she loves to save what she loves – and enter an international poker tournament.
Both a poker novella and a meditation on faith, The Big Blind is a taut, heartfelt and compelling new book from multiple award winner Lavie Tidhar.
The Best of World SF is my maaasive forthcoming anthology of international speculative fiction (though with more of a focus on science fiction), to be published in hardcover by Head of Zeus. I talk a little bit about it at Tor.com. The UK release is in April 2021, with the US following in June. Cover is by Ben Prior. £25, though you can pre-order it for less. Here’s the cover and Table of Contents!
Table of Contents:
‘Immersion’ by Aliette de Bodard
‘Debtless’ by Chen Qiufan (trans. from Chinese by Blake Stone-Banks)
‘Fandom for Robots’ by Vina Jie-Min Prasad
‘Virtual Snapshots’ by Tlotlo Tsamaase
‘What The Dead Man Said’ by Chinelo Onwualu
‘Delhi’ by Vandana Singh
‘The Wheel of Samsara’ by Han Song (trans. from Chinese by the author)
‘Xingzhou’ by Yi-Sheng Ng
‘Prayer’ by Taiyo Fujii (trans. from Japanese by Kamil Spychalski)
‘The Green Ship’ by Francesco Verso (trans. from Italian by Michael Colbert)
‘Eyes of the Crocodile’ by Malena Salazar Maciá (trans. from Spanish by Toshiya Kamei)
‘Bootblack’ by Tade Thompson
‘The Emptiness in the Heart of all Things’ by Fabio Fernandes
‘The Sun From Both Sides’ by R.S.A. Garcia
‘Dump’ by Cristina Jurado (trans. from Spanish by Steve Redwood)
‘Rue Chair’ by Gerardo Horacio Porcayo (trans. from Spanish by the author)
‘His Master’s Voice’ by Hannu Rajaniemi
‘Benjamin Schneider’s Little Greys’ by Nir Yaniv (trans. from Hebrew by Lavie Tidhar)
‘The Cryptid’ by Emil H. Petersen (trans. from Icelandic by the author)
‘The Bank of Burkina Faso’ by Ekaterina Sedia
‘An Incomplete Guide to Understanding the Rose Petal Infestation Associated With EverTyphoid Patients in the Tropicool IcyLand Urban Indian Slum’ by Kuzhali Manickavel
So one of the surprisingly fun things I’ve been doing this year is writing a series of, well, vampire mysteries short stories. As in, Golden Age, Agatha Christie-ish, classical mysteries – only with vampires.
Enter Judge Dee – a cold intellect! A keen forensic mind! – and his reluctant assistant Jonathan as they investigate a series of intricate and ridiculous mysteries in the period I like to call “Medieval something-something”.
Tor.com really got behind these, with the result that several are already scheduled on the site between now and – gulp – 2022. But the very first adventure of Judge Dee is out today! Judge Dee and the Limits of the Law, with a cover illustration by Red Nose Studios, which uses actual paper puppets that, yes, were made especially for the series.