The Circumference of the World

Caught between realities, a mathematician, a book dealer, and a mobster desperately seek a notorious book that disappears upon being read. Only the author, a rakish sci-fi writer, knows whether his popular novel is truthful or a hoax. In a story that is cosmic, inventive, and sly, multi-award-winning author Lavie Tidhar (Central Station) travels from the emergence of life to the very ends of the universe.

Delia Welegtabit discovered two things during her childhood on a South Pacific island: her love for mathematics and a novel that isn’t supposed to exist. But the elusive book proves unexpectedly dangerous, attracting the attention of Oskar Lens, a Russian mobster in the midst of an existential crisis. When Delia’s husband goes missing, she seeks help from Daniel Chase, a young, face-blind book dealer.

Lode Stars was written by the infamous Eugene Charles Hartley, legendary pulp science-fiction writer and founder of the Church of the All-Seeing Eyes. In Hartley’s novel, a doppelganger of Delia searches for her missing father in a strange star. But is any of Lode Stars real? Was Hartley a cynical conman on a quest for wealth and immortality, creating a religion he did not believe in? Or was he a visionary who truly discovered the secrets of the universe?


“Tidhar wins it all with this magnificently original mind-bender of a novel about a missing husband and a mysterious book that disappears as soon as you read it. The Circumference of the World is two parts Philip K. Dick, two parts Brothers Strugatsky, and six parts blow your f**king mind.”
—Junot Diaz, author of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

“Brilliant and bizarre, Lavie Tidhar’s The Circumference of the World is many things—but fundamentally it is a love letter to the Golden Age of science fiction, whether or not it deserves it (it does), as well as a love letter to its writers, whether or not they deserve it (they don’t. Well, mostly.).”
—Molly Tanzer, author of Vermilion and Creatures of Will and Temper

“Ingeniously constructed and stylistically protean, this seven-course banquet of a novel glisters with the Golden Age of science fiction, even as it nourishes our neurons with a marvelous thought experiment: what if an amalgam of Philip K. Dick and L. Ron Hubbard had founded a religion that, against all odds, provided a gateway into ultimate reality?”

–James Morrow, award-winning author of Shambling Towards Hiroshima

“I always have been partial to dangerous books, and to fictions about dangerous books, and the one at the swirling center of this exhilarating tour de force is a doozy—just like every book by Lavie Tidhar.”

— Andy Duncan, three-time World Fantasy Award winner