Unholy Land


Product Details

Tachyon Publications
Publish Date
5.5 X 8.4 X 1.0 inches | 0.65 pounds

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About the Author

Lavie Tidhar (A Man Lies Dreaming, Unholy Land) is an acclaimed author of literature, science fiction, fantasy, graphic novels, and middle grade fiction. Tidhar received the Campbell and Neukom Literary awards for his breakout novel Central Station, which has been translated into more than ten languages. He has also received the British Science Fiction, British Fantasy, and World Fantasy Awards. Tidhar's recent books include the Arthurian satire By Force Alone, and the series Adler. He is a book columnist for the Washington Post, and recently edited the Best of World SF anthology. Tidhar has lived all over the world, including Israel, Vanuatu, Laos, and South Africa, and he currently resides with his family in London.


Praise for Unholy Land

NPR Best Book of 2018
A Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2018
A Library Journal Best Book of 2018
A UK Guardian Best Book of 2018
A Crime Time Book Best Book of 2018

Locus Recommended Reading List

"Lavie Tidhar does it again. A jewelled little box of miracles. Magnificent."
--Warren Ellis, author of Gun Machine

"[STARRED REVIEW] World Fantasy Award winner Tidhar (Central Station) will leave readers' heads spinning with this disorienting and gripping alternate history. Author Lior Tirosh, grieving a personal tragedy, travels home after years abroad and immediately has a series of strange encounters that pull him into a complex plot to destroy the border between worlds. He arrives in Palestina, the land that the Jews were offered on the Ugandan border in 1904, which both closely resembles and is profoundly different from the Israel of our world, and is followed by two government agents who are trying to stop the destruction of 'borders, ' though it's unclear whose side they are really on. Tirosh discovers a niece he had forgotten, is accused of murder, narrowly dodges threats to his life, and takes on the role of a detective from one of his own novels as he tries to understand what is endangered and by whom. 'No matter what we do, human history always attempts to repeat itself, ' Tidhar writes, even as he explores the substantial differences in history that might arise from single but significant choices. Readers of all kinds, and particularly fans of detective stories and puzzles, will enjoy grappling with the numerous questions raised by this stellar work."
--Publishers Weekly

[STARRED REVIEW] "On the suggestion of his agent, pulp fiction writer Lior Tirosh flies back to the home he hasn't seen since childhood: Palestina, an East African Jewish state formed in the early 20th century. He soon discovers a lot has changed. In the capital, Ararat, unrest is at an all-time high. Palestina is creating a border wall to deter refugees from entering. Lior then learns from an old childhood friend that his niece Deborah is missing and takes on the persona of one of his own detective novel characters as he searches for her, only to be hunted by his own state's security. VERDICT Shifting perspectives will keep readers trying to catch up with this fast-paced plot involving incredible twists on multiple realities and homecoming. This latest from Campbell and World Fantasy Award winner Tidhar (Central Station) is fascinating and powerful."
--Library Journal

[STARRED REVIEW] "Unholy Land is a wonder and a revelation--a work of science fiction capable of enthralling audiences across the multiverse."

"Tidhar has turned a suspenseful adventure tale into a complex meditation on the possible paths of modern Jewish history."
--Chicago Tribune

"5/5 stars. A world (worlds) of thoughtfulness, suspense, imagery, and beautiful prose. Highly recommended."
--Fantasy Literature

"Adventurous readers will appreciate this well-written and ambitious book. It should find a place at any library that offers high-quality literary fiction."

"Unholy Land is a wildly inventive and entertaining novel that moves at a breathless gallop . . . [Tidhar] has already staked a claim as the genre's most interesting, most bold, and most accomplished writer."

"Extraordinary, confronting, intriguing. Unholy Land is a dream of a home that's never existed, but is no less real for that: a dream that smells like blood and gunpowder. It's precisely what we've come to expect of Tidhar, a writer who just keeps getting better."
--Angela Slatter, author of the World Fantasy Award-winning The Bitterwood Bible

"There are SFF writers. There are good SFF writers. And there is Lavie Tidhar. In a genre entirely of his own, and quite possibly a warped genius, he rummages in the ruins of our centuries and our genres and makes out of them something strange, dark and utterly unique. There is no one like him writing in genre today . . . [Unholy Land] will leave you dazzled and delighted."
--Ian McDonald, author of Time Was and Luna: Wolf Moon

Lavie takes us through a haunting, mesmerizing Judea, across multiple timelines into the promised night shelter in British East Africa. Here is an expedition at once proposed and taken, an alternate reality in which the holocaust is averted but the mechanics of displacement remain the same, where people are oppressed and oppressor at the same time. A genius, dreamlike fantasy for those who slip across might-have-been worlds."
--Saad Z. Hossain, author of Escape from Baghdad!

"Unholy Land is a stunning achievement. It is packed to the brim with engaging ideas and features a captivating story . . . beautiful and thought-provoking."
--The Speculative Shelf

"Lavie Tidhar's daring Unholy Land brilliantly showcases one of the foremost science fiction authors of our generation."
-- Silvia Moreno-Garcia, World Fantasy Award-winning editor and author of Certain Dark Things

"Unholy Land is probably better than Michael Chabon's Yiddish Policeman's Union."
--Bradley Horner, author of the Darkside Earther series

"Full of ideas and unafraid to tackle big, controversial, important issues. Warren Ellis compares him to Michael Moorcock in an afterword, and like Moorcock, Tidhar writes books that are unpredictable and experimental, consistently and reliably surprising, yet always readable and engaging."

"A powerful meditation on the ethics of history and the power of borders . . . Unholy Land is a call to imagine and fight for alternatives."
--World Literature Today

"Sophisticated and assured."

"Lavie Tidhar is the science fiction writer to be discovered now."
--Italian Esquire

"Tidhar's magic touch is the result of a very concise and evocative prose, an ingenious imagination, and the ability to poke the reader's social conscience . . . Any fan of good speculative fiction with a pitch of noir, some pulp hints and a lot of sense of wonder will enjoy Unholy Land."
--Sense of Wonder

"If you enjoyed Central Station, you'll recognize Tidhar's beautiful prose and lush imagination . . . Unholy Land is without a doubt one of the best books I read this year and one I will revisit numerous times in the future. Highly, highly recommended"
--The Curious SFF Reader

"This was a thoroughly engrossing, entertaining and thought-provoking novel."
--SF Crowsnest

"With gentle wit and strong alternate history, Tidhar pokes at the folly of humanity and wonders whether even if historical calamities are avoided, we'll just come up with new ones to replace them. Threaded with themes of identity and belonging, Tidhar once again delivers an intriguing novel with multiple realities and hard-boiled detectives."
--Geek Dad

"A gripping thriller: clever, bloody, ironic and twisted."

"A novel which can be read on all sorts of levels, each as rewarding as each other, whether as sheer entertainment or serious speculation, making Tidhar a rather unique writer who seldom comes up with the expected and for whom each book is a challenge to the imagination.."
--Crime Time

"An unconventional book, from an author who is wildly imaginative and innovative. The prose is wonderful, the ideas are fascinating, and the whole book is very sensual, in that it evokes all your senses."
--We Three Readers

"Beautiful, lyric prose. . . .Dramatic, cathartic science fiction stories. That's the arena that author Lavie Tidhar occupies when he writes."

"The blend of politics, allegory, and alternate-history detective novel is unconventional yet weirdly wonderful."

"A powerful, labyrinthine story reminiscent of China Miéville The City and The City and, in a much more subtle and controlled way, some of the best of Philip K. Dick."
--SFRA Review

Praise for Central Station

Winner of the Campbell Award
Winner of the Neukom Literary Arts Award
An NPR Best Book of 2016
An Amazon Featured Best Science Fiction & Fantasy Book
A Tor.com Best Book of 2016
A Guardian Best SF & Fantasy Book of 2016
A Publishers Weekly Staff Pick
A Kirkus Best Science Fiction and Fantasy pick

"It is just this side of a masterpiece -- short, restrained, lush -- and the truest joy of it is in the way Tidhar scatters brilliant ideas like pennies on the sidewalk."
----NPR Books

[STARRED REVIEW] Readers of all persuasions will be entranced."
----Publishers Weekly

[STARRED REVIEW] "Tidhar (A Man Lies Dreaming; The Violent Century) changes genres with every outing, but his astounding talents guarantee something new and compelling no matter the story he tells."
----Library Journal

Thought-provoking . . . highly intellectual."

"A sprawling hymn to the glory and mess of cultural diversity."

Quietly enthralling and subtly ingenious."
--Asimov's Science Fiction

"Beautiful, original, a shimmering tapestry of connections and images - I can't think of another SF novel quite like it."
----Alastair Reynolds, author of the Revelation Space series

"A dazzling tale of complicated politics and even more complicated souls."
----Ken Liu, author of The Grace of Kings

"A perfect combination of emotional sophistication and speculative vision. Tidhar always stuns me."
----Kij Johnson, author of At the Mouth of the River of Bees