Tag Archives: forthcoming

a new short story

FINAL Cave  Julia_Cover“That whole year, and to a lesser extent the year after, bodies were washed up all along that part of the coast, some whole, some in pieces … In the south of Autotelia, especially, it was a bad year for bodies; but the body of the vanished brother didn’t show up among them. Passive and silent, full of some incommunicable anger, the sister attempted suicide, spent time in institutions; then, her work suddenly becoming popular, left the country for a new life on our side of things.” When Cave meets Julia, he finds himself sucked into her strange alienated history of loss and sacrifice. “Cave & Julia” is a love story set between our world and Autotelia. Available from the Kindle Store today, 99p; or free to borrow from the Kindle Library. You can still find “In Autotelia”, the first Autotelia story, in Arc #1, here.

Just to round up what’s available, electronically and otherwise: you can buy Light, Nova Swing and Empty Space; The Centauri Device, cursed be its name, with its very fine paper-sculpture cover image; and Viriconium in the old paperback Fantasy Masterworks edition. The new edition of Climbers (coming in May) is ready for pre-order, both as paper and as ebook, with a fabulous new Sam Green cover and a very special introduction I’m not allowed to tell you about yet, although you probably already found out for yourself. The books you won’t find, except as pre-enjoyed or remaindered, are The Course of the Heart, Signs of Life and Things That Never Happen.

Since these three, along with Climbers and my new short stories, rather sum up the point of writing for me, I hope we can do something about that soon.

“Cave & Julia” being very much a product of the Ambiente Hotel, back-bar regulars will add value by tracing its beginnings in these entries over the last year or two. I’ve set up a “Cave & Julia” page: leave your criticisms, gasps of almost sexual delight & sighs of sarcastic disbelief etc there, where comments aren’t time-limited, rather than here, where they close after a few days.

Or, of course, leave a review at Amazon.


Filed under fantasy, forthcoming work, lost & found, science fiction

cave & julia

A couple of hundred words from cave & julia, a new short story soon to be available as a Kindle Single–

“The Autotelian karst drains itself, through a complex of vast underground caverns–many of which have never been entered–directly into the sea. That whole year, and to a lesser extent the year after, bodies were washed up all along that part of the coast, some whole, some in pieces. A proportion were claimed; many–like the mysterious “Mr English”, delivered by a high tide one summer afternoon on what the European news services referred to as “Autotelia’s Riviera” –were not. The sexes tended to be evenly represented. The oldest item was the lower left leg of a woman of at least sixty years; the youngest a complete male toddler wearing a wristband with the name Ellis, never identified. There were pairs of hands in an expensive suitcase, and heads wrapped carefully in clingfilm or hastily tied up, bunny-ears, in plastic bags. In the south of Autotelia, especially, it was a bad year for bodies; but the body of the vanished brother didn’t show up among them. Passive and silent, full of some incommunicable anger, the sister attempted suicide, spent time in institutions; then, her work suddenly becoming popular, left the country for a new life on our side of things.”

cave & julia is very much a product of the Ambiente Hotel. Back-bar regulars will add value by tracing its genesis in these pages over the last two or three years.


Filed under forthcoming work

here’s what to expect in 2013

Is this the best physics scene ever?
Escaped neurophilosopher caught after hunt
Paradise Lost tops language abuse list
“Astonishingly, I could tell Harris + Hoole was a chain not an indy”
Safe Effective Clean
Fiscal cliff only E8 claims IMF
Are gadgets paedophilic?
East Midlands’ favourite Swiss “killed”
Another wave of American food
What if world leaders were survivors of the Vendian extinction?
Advanced Savvy Different
The young cannot cope with Hilary Clinton
Town bans twitter distribution of water
New year sees means testing of faceless heroes
What really causes Sheffield?


Filed under predicting the present

bad pony

With the ebook release of Light & Nova Swing this week, you can buy the whole of the Empty Space trilogy in Sam Green covers. Autumn’s setting in, so it’s just the time to cheer yourself up by reading a quantum-goth meditation on death disguised as space opera. You can decide afterwards, with the rain pissing down outside your house & politics settling a little further into the uncanny valley every afternoon, to what degree the author was mad or knew just what he was doing when he wrote the final two or three lines. He’s on to the next thing, anyway, which appears to be an insincere alien invasion set along an easily recognisable river in an easily recognisable town in an easily recognisable now. Although of course that might change.


Filed under forthcoming work

autotelia in arc

Arc launches in late February.

Issue 1.1: China Mieville on squid. Bruce Sterling on everything. Me in Autotelia, staring about in the usual postures of wonder.

“Maybe, you think, this is something to do with marriages, births or deaths, some kind of registration anyway; or maybe it isn’t at all clear what’s going on–just people from our side buying something, dealing in something. It’s legal, though. It’s intrinsically legal. My part is to make the medical checks. They often aren’t necessary,  even so I’m required to make them. The same little adjoining room is put aside for the purpose every time, bare but very clean. Legal representation must be present, or no examination takes place; often, the representative is also the agent from our side. The women and children cover their embarrassment with smiles. The men, especially the older ones, do what’s required with an appalled dignity, as if I am an outrage that could only happen to them during war or an epidemic, a breakdown of all values and infrastructures, something to be borne but never forgotten. They are so reluctant to loosen their wide, thick, hand-tooled leather belts–a poor-quality example of which can fetch two or three thousand euros in a London  store–they tremble.”


Filed under forthcoming work, science fiction

empty space again

Light & Nova Swing were about going inside something–maybe yourself–& not coming out again. Empty Space seems to be about going inside then coming back so changed you might as well have been (& indeed might well have been) something else all along. Several kinds of “going inside” are depicted. In some cases going inside is seen as a defeat, retreat or sudden loss of a handhold on the world; in others a transformational acceptance of weirdness, the existential value of which can’t be experienced or measured by the observer.


Filed under forthcoming work, the book

neil gaiman presents LIGHT as an audiobook

Light will be turned on at Neil Gaiman Presents next Tuesday, with an introduction by Neil & a sample of Julian Elfer’s reading. I’ll put up a link to the page as soon as it’s available. It’s exciting to be published in this format on the launch day of the project. Good luck to Neil, Audiobook & everyone else involved. Elsewhere: Nina Power visits occupylsx; and we hear that “Michael Pugh & Rebecca Griffin changed their names by deed poll to become Mr & Mrs Puffin when they married last year“.


Filed under forthcoming work


Light & Viriconium are going to feature in the Neil Gaiman Presents audiobook range from ACX. I’m in awe of Simon Vance, who’s reading Viriconium. I can just about get through a short story before my voice is trashed.


Filed under forthcoming work

the book (2)

Gollancz acknowledged delivery of the book a couple of days ago. As far as I know it’s still on course for April 19th 2012. Meanwhile there’s a brief extract here.


Filed under forthcoming work, the book

the book

Anna Kearney: Anna is trying to come to terms with her life. Since Michael Kearney walked into the sea off Mann Hill Beach, she’s remarried & has a grown-up daughter. Though she spent decades “pretending to be an adult”, Anna remains as dysfunctional as ever, haunted by her own suicide attempts & a dream she can’t explain. She’s trying, in her confused and self-defeating way, to return to physicist Brian Tate the data collected in the Tate-Kearney experiments.

World X: The crew of the Nova Swing strip the remaining assets of Madame Shen’s circus, shipping illegal aliens from planet to disused planet across the Halo. Who is the mysterious M.P. Renoko ? Why is he so interested in diner aesthetics ? What is the true nature of the quarantine orbit ? Irene the mona loses faith in the party universe. For Liv Hula & Fat Antoyne, there’s an unwelcome meeting with an old acquaintance.

Saudade City: Lens Aschemann’s assistant investigates a series of unlikely killings. She doesn’t seem to be any better at investigation than Aschemann, but everyone is too scared of her to complain. “Rig” Gaines, a mid-rank EMC fixer with a satisfyingly broad remit, introduces her to a million-year-old experimental artefact. She gets a boyfriend. She searches for a name. Fans of Aschemann’s 1952 Cadillac roadster will be delighted to find that its engine has been uprated to 1000 horsepower.

War. Rockets. Disturbing imagery. Appearances by characters from previous fictions. Sex tourism. Gigantic objects in space. Death of a loved figure. Faux retro. Bad behaviour presented without sufficient moral positioning. Weird behaviour presented without comment. A book, in short, which reproduces the exact experience of the 21st Century Cultural Minimum. Pearlent will work better if you’re familiar with Light & Nova Swing.


Filed under forthcoming work, pearlant notebook, the book