All posts by Lavie Tidhar

[GUEST POST] Lavie Tidhar’s Top 5 Five Weird Trips to Mars


Lavie Tidhar is the World Fantasy Award winning author of Osama, of The Bookman Histories trilogy and many other works. He won the British Fantasy Award for Best Novella, for Gorel & The Pot-Bellied God, and a BSFA Award for his non-fiction. He grew up on a kibbutz in Israel and in South Africa but currently resides in London. His 2013 novels are the just-released Martian Sands and forthcoming The Violent Century.

Five Weird Trips to Mars

by Lavie Tidhar

My new novel, Martian Sands, is out now from PS Publishing in the UK. It builds on my fascination with the novels of Philip K. Dick, which had such an impact on me when I was reading them as a teenager – the only American novels, it felt to me, to describe a future in which I had a place. Dick wrote about kibbutzim on Mars, and I grew up on a kibbutz (a sort of Socialist commune in Israel). He also wrote about time travel and the Holocaust, obsessing in the way I too obsess over that enormous psychic wound. My mother was born in a refugee camp in Germany after the war: the majority of my family died at Auschwitz.

Pulp fiction, it seemed to me when writing my World Fantasy Award winning novel, Osama, and seems to me still, allows us a way to look at truly unbelievable, implausible things, things that look like, that feel as though they should belong in the pages of cheap, disposable literature.

In many of my recent short stories I have been exploring a vast future history, one in which humanity has populated the solar system. Martian Sands takes place roughly in that same universe, or at least adjacent to it. It is a novel about pulp – the Martian pulps of Philip K. Dick as well as Edgar Rice Burroughs – and it is a novel about time travel, which is impossible, and the Holocaust, which should have been impossible.

Think of it as Total Recall meets Schindler’s List

It is a very strange book.

Here, I wanted to explore five other weird journeys to Mars. The usual suspects may be missing, but each of these, in their own way, has contributed to Martian Sands.
Continue reading

[GUEST POST] Lavie Tidhar on the Top 5 Movies That Influenced “Osama”


SF Signal welcomes back Lavie Tidhar, whose book Osama is out from Solaris Books on October 1st.  He runs the World SF Blog, which contains four years of short stories, essays, articles, interviews and links to genre literature from around the world. When he’s not doing that he’s the World Fantasy, BSFA and Campbell Award nominated author of The Bookman Histories (out in December in omnibus from Angry Robot), and editor of The Apex Book of World SF 2, collecting 26 stories from Africa, Latin America, Asia and Europe, out from Apex Books.

Top Five Movies That Influenced OSAMA

CASABLANCA

Casablanca is my blueprint, a movie that has woven itself into the fabric of my being as a writer. It is referenced in the very first chapter of Osama, and its doomed love story informs the nature of the book. What fascinates me most about Casablanca, however, is the fact that many of the actors were genuine refugees from the Nazis, filling up the film in bit parts in Rick’s Cafe and the casino. It’s a film I can watch again and again and always find new things in.

Continue reading

[GUEST POST] Lavie Tidhar on The Lonely Business of Self-Promotion

Lavie Tidhar’s The Apex Book of World SF 2, collecting 26 stories from Africa, Latin America, Asia and Europe, is now out. He runs the World SF Blog, which contains four years of short stories, essays, articles, interviews and links to genre literature from around the world. When he’s not doing that he’s the World Fantasy, BSFA and Campbell Award nominated author of Osama (out later this month from Solaris Books) and of The Bookman Histories (out in December in omnibus from Angry Robot).

The Lonely Business of Self-Promotion

Writing is a lonely business. Promotion is the opposite. Everyone wants to get the word out. Buy my book! Please Share! Please Like! Please RT!

It occurs to me that your chances of being heard are better if you think not only of yourself (as hard as that may be!). Helping others gains you, in pure Capitalist terms, social capital. What Ed McBain called the “favour bank” in his 87th Precinct novels. Therefore, paradoxically, the best way to help yourself is to help others.

As editor of the World SF Blog, I get a fair amount of PR “spam”. Why do I call it spam? Because, in the four years of running the blog, I have never – not once – received a PR e-mail remotely relevant to the blog.

Continue reading

[GUEST POST] Lavie Tidhar on Liminal Spaces

[SF Signal welcomes the return of Lavie Tidhar, whose latest book, the supernatural thriller An Occupation of Angels, is out now from Apex Books. Follow him on Twitter (@LavieTidhar) for a chat and a chance to win signed copies of his books.]

I’m fascinated by conventions, and I’m not entirely sure why.

I think conventions are liminal spaces, a bubble of unreality – some sort of a compressed space-time anomaly where the usual rules of physics no longer apply. Like a singularity inside a black hole… there is something about that sort of social space that appeals to the writer in me, with the result that I keep ending up featuring conventions in my books. Somewhat strange conventions…

To the extent that my agent, on receiving a recent manuscript, sighed and said, ‘Are you going to have one in every damn book?’

Which is a good question…

Continue reading

[GUEST POST] Lavie Tidhar on ‘Cloud Permutations’

[Lavie Tidhar is the author of The Bookman and the forthcoming sequel Camera Obscura. Other books include the linked-story collection HebrewPunk, the novel The Tel Aviv Dossier (with Nir Yaniv), the novella An Occupation of Angels and several forthcoming novels and novellas including Cloud Permutations, Gorel & The Pot-Bellied God and Martian Sands. He also edited The Apex Book of World SF and runs the World SF News Blog.]


I wrote Cloud Permutations on the island of Vanua Lava, in Vanuatu, in view of the volcano, wreathed in clouds. There are always clouds. They are attracted to islands, the land formations jutting out of the surface of the ocean help them coalesce and form.

#

Cloud Permutations is a story of islands, and clouds, and in a way, I think, it’s a story not just of escapism, but of escape.

Continue reading

[GUEST POST] Lavie Tidhar Asks ‘What Do We Talk About When We Talk About Steampunk?’

[Lavie Tidhar is the author of The Bookman, released this week in the UK, and the forthcoming sequel Camera Obscura. Other books include the linked-story collection HebrewPunk, the novel The Tel Aviv Dossier (with Nir Yaniv), the novella An Occupation of Angels and several forthcoming novels and novellas including Cloud Permutations, Gorel & The Pot-Bellied God and Martian Sands. He also edited The Apex Book of World SF and runs the World SF News Blog.]

Several years ago, my friend (and now my agent) John, and I, tried to pitch around the idea of a steampunk anthology. We’re both big fans – we actually met due to being somewhat-obsessive Tim Powers collectors – but every time we mentioned the idea to a publisher the response was the same: “Steampunk doesn’t sell.”

Cue several years later: Ann and Jeff Vandermeer’s Steampunk anthology came out (with a second volume in the works), as did Nick Gevers’ Extraordinary Engines, and suddenly steampunk appears to be everywhere – even in the pages of The New York Times. There’s steampunk fashion, and steampunk interior design, steampunk gaming and steampunk music and steampunk conventions and steampunk blogs and steampunk art – and it’s truly international, with a recent anthology of Brazilian steampunk and a recent German convention…

And I have to ask: what happened?

Continue reading