Unholy Land

Lavie Tidhar

Returning to East Africa, pulp-fiction author Lior Tirosh believes himself to be a detective from his own novels. World Fantasy Award-Winner Lavie Tidhar (Central Station)'s brilliantly subversive new novel recalls The Yiddish Policemen's Union and The City and the City.


Unholy Land

by Lavie Tidhar

ISBN: Print: 978-161696-304-0 Digital: 978-1-61696-305-7

Published: October 2018

Available Format(s): Trade Paperback and Digital


The author of the critically acclaimed, Campbell and World Fantasy Award-winning Central Station returns with a subversive new novel evoking Michael Chabon’s The Yiddish Policemen’s Union and China Miéville’s The City and the City.

When pulp-fiction writer Lior Tirosh returns to his homeland in East Africa, much has changed. Palestina—a Jewish state established in the early 20th century—is constructing a massive border wall to keep out African refugees. Unrest in the capital is at a fever pitch.

While searching for his missing niece, Tirosh begins to believe he is a detective from one of his own novels. He is pursued by ruthless members of the state’s security apparatus while unearthing deadly conspiracies and impossible realities. For if it is possible for more than one Palestina to exist, the barriers between the worlds are beginning to break.

About the Author

British Science Fiction and World Fantasy Award–winning author Lavie Tidhar was born in Israel. He has lived all over the world, including in Vanuatu, Laos, and South Africa, and is currently making his home in London. Tidhar has been compared to Philip K. Dick by the Guardian and to Kurt Vonnegut by Locus. His most recent novels,The Violent Century and A Man Lies Dreaming, were published to rapturous reviews in the UK, with the Independent referring to them as “masterpieces.”

Praise for Central Station

An NPR Best Book of 2016
A Tor.com Best Book of 2016
An NPR Summer Reading Choice
An Amazon Featured Best Science Fiction & Fantasy Book
A Kirkus 2016 Best Science Fiction and Fantasy pick
A Tor.com Five Mosaic Novels You Should Read
A Barnes and Noble Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of 2016
A Guardian Best SF & Fantasy Book of 2016

[STARRED REVIEW] “World Fantasy Award–winner Tidhar (A Man Lies Dreaming) magnificently blends literary and speculative elements in this streetwise mosaic novel set under the towering titular spaceport . . . Readers of all persuasions will be entranced.”
Publishers Weekly

[STARRED REVIEW] “A fascinating future glimpsed through the lens of a tight-knit community. Verdict: 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

“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

“Beautiful, original, a shimmering tapestry of connections and images—I can’t think of another SF novel quite like it. Lavie Tidhar is one of the most distinctive voices to enter the field in many years.”
—Alastair Reynolds, author of the Revelation Space series

“If you want to know what SF is going to look like in the next decade, this is it.”
—Gardner Dozois, editor of the best-selling Year’s Best Science Fiction series

“A dazzling tale of complicated politics and even more complicated souls. Beautiful.”
—Ken Liu, Nebula, Hugo, and World Fantasy winner and author of The Grace of Kings

“If Nalo Hopkinson and William Gibson held a séance to channel the spirit of Ray Bradbury, they might be inspired to produce a work as grimy, as gorgeous, and as downright sensual as Central Station.”
—Peter Watts, author of Blindsight

Central Station is masterful: simultaneously spare and sweeping—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

Central Station boasts complexity without complication, sharp prose, and a multi-dimensional world.”
—Jeffrey Ford, author of The Girl in the Glass

“A unique marriage of Philip K. Dick, William Gibson, C. L. Moore, China Miéville, and Larry Niven with 50 degrees of compassion and the bizarre added. An irresistible cocktail.”
—Maxim Jakubowski, author of the Sunday Times bestselling Vina Jackson novels

“A mosaic of mind-blowing ideas and a dazzling look at a richly-imagined, textured future.”
—Aliette de Bodard, author of The House of Shattered Wings

“I recommend it highly. It’ll stay with you for days, because every idea in it has more ideas under it. It’s all of science fiction distilled into a single book.”
—Warren Ellis, author of Transmetropolitan and Gun Machine

“Sublimely sensual, emotionally moreish, and composed with crystalline clarity irrespective of its incredible complexity.”

“Brimming with sensory detail and paying tribute to a plethora of science-fiction tropes, there are few works to rival Central Station.”
Intergalactic Medicine Show

“Amidst the loves and the fears, Tidhar reminds us of the intoxicating and invigorating power of longing and nostalgia.”
The Jewish Standard

Praise for  Osama

“Bears comparison with the best of Philip K. Dick” —The Financial Times

“Exceptional” —World Literature Today

Praise for The Violent Century

“A tour de force” —James Ellroy, bestselling author of L.A. Confidential

“A stunning masterpiece” —The Independent

“A new masterpiece” —Library Journal

“Unforgettable” —Jewish Standard

Praise for A Man Lies Dreaming

“A twisted masterpiece” —Guardian

“Unmissable” —The Telegraph

“Incredible” —Tor.com

Praise for The Bookman
“An emerging master” —Locus
“A steampunk treasure” —SFF World
“Sparks like a Roman candle” —Publishers Weekly

Visit the Lavie Tidhar website.

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