book news

Osama in Europe

Osama was out last year in several European countries, and subsequently I found out that:

  • In Germany, my translator, Juliane Gräbener-Müller, is nominated for the Kurd Lasswitz Prize, in the Best Translation category, for her translation of Osama (pub: Rogner & Bernhard).
  • In France, my cover artist, Pedro Marques, is nominated for the Prix Imaginales, for his cover of Osama (pub: Panini/Eclipse).

Osama, France, 2013 Osama, German edition, 2013


This is fantastic news – Pedro’s cover was the last thing I expected for Osama, but as soon as I first saw it I knew it was absolutely right – I love that 1950s Penguin paperback vibe it has, that cool modernism. It ended up being used on the mass market paperback, the French, and the German editions of the book and was previously nominated for a BSFA Award.

As for Juliane, I can’t judge the German translation myself, but it’s been an utter pleasure working with her (and indeed, with everyone at Rogner & Bernhard, who have been amazing throughout), and I’m delighted to see her work recognised – in fact, I wish translators were recognised a lot more than they usually are, and it’s great to see the Kurd Lasswitz has a special category explicitly for translators.

Fingers crossed!

book news

The Violent Century – Limited Edition

The limited edition of The Violent Century is now available for pre-orders. It is limited to just 200 signed copies, with original artwork by Pedro Marques unique to this edition. It will be launched at World Fantasy Convention in Brighton on Friday 1st November. The cover is quite a statement!

The Violent Century, PS Publishing 2013


Osama sells to mass market; Poland, Hungary; nominated for a Campbell Award

It’s been some time coming, but I’m delighted to announce that Solaris Books have bought mass market paperback edition rights to Osama! The mass market edition will be available in both the US and the UK and is due to be released in October 2012. It will use the same cover art as the PS edition, by the brilliant Pedro Marques.

In addition to that, my tireless agent has also sold Polish and Hungarian rights to the novel: Hungarian rights were bought by Ad Astra via Gynn Kalman of the Torus Books Agency on behalf of Zeno, and Polish rights went to MAG in a deal negotiated by Patrycja Swiat at ANAW Literary Agency on behalf of Zeno.

And, shortly after announcing this yesterday, I also found out that Osama is nominated for the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Best Novel. It’s in fantastic company there.

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)


Pedro Marques on designing the OSAMA cover

Pedro Marques, the Portuguese artist responsible for the Osama cover, has a fascinating post on his blog detailing the process of creating the image used. I’m reproducing the English text below.


Pedro Marques

In doing the cover for Lavie Tidhar‘s wonderfully complex novel Osama (very soon available through PS Publishing), I drew inspiration from a magnetic image created in 1951 by Gertrude Huston (the wife of New Direction’s publisher James Laughlin) for Julien Gracq’s A Dark Stranger, which I found on Will Schoffield’s blog.

I replaced the greco-roman classical silhouette with the more complex turban clad, bearded one of Osama Bin Laden, deciding later to add his eyes over the texture made up of debris (from a photo of one of the 1998 bombing sites in Africa) that fill this silhouette.

In Tidhar’s novel, Bin Laden is nothing but a fictional character in apulp paperback series, and the world hasn’t lived through 9/11, but what one reads in those pulp novels is pretty much what happened inour own dimension in the 1998 Dar es Salaam and Nairobi bombings. Maybe a pulp cover would have been more suitable, but I could not resist trying to assemble an iconic summary of the figure hiding behind the name: Osama.

Here’s what I believe to be the “dark” specter of our very sombre first decade of the new century and millenium, the very dark essence of our present days: not the late Bin Laden (a pathetic middle-aged sick man living in a well-to-do neighbourhood in a quiet town of Pakistan), nor even what may be known as Al Qaeda, but the fear, the willingness to accept brutality as a way of going forward in history, the loss of hope in the future.