Nominated for the 2019 Kitschie Awards for best novel, Simon Ings' The Smoke is about love, loss and loneliness in an incomprehensible world. Humanity has been split into three different species. Mutual incomprehension has fractured the globe. As humans race to be the first of their kind to reach the stars, another Great War looms.
For you that means returning to Yorkshire and the town of your birth, where factories churn out the parts for gigantic spaceships. You're done with the pretentions of the capital and its unfathomable architecture. You're done with the people of the Bund, their easy superiority and unstoppable spread throughout the city of London and beyond. You're done with Georgy Chernoy and his questionable defeat of death. You're done with his daughter, Fel, and losing all the time. You're done with love.
But soon enough you will find yourself in the Smoke again, drawn back to the life you thought you'd left behind.
You're done with love. But love's not done with you.
Ings' return to full-throttle SF is a cause for celebration. His gift for edgy slipstream fiction makes comparisons with both JG Ballard and William Gibson apposite. Bleak, brutal and uncompromising . If there's any justice in the world it'll win awards (WOLVES review) - SFX
A serious, ambitious and discomforting novel (WOLVES review) - Christopher Priest
Hot Head is entertaining and intelligent - Time Out
Hot Head is the rosy glow announcing the dawn of a new era of excitement in science fiction - New York Review of Science Fiction
Simon Ings goes into orbit as a science fiction master (HEADLONG review) - Daily Mail
Beautifully written, The Smoke is a thrilling thought-experiment on social schisms, technology and the ethics of immortality' - Liz Jensen, bestselling author of The 9th Life of Louis Drax
Simon Ings has created a distinctive world and style that captures the weirdness of what might have been - SFcrowsnest
an intriguing story set in an inventive, disturbing version of the world we know - YA Under My Skin
Simon Ings is the author of eight previous novels (some science fiction, some not) and two works of non-fiction, including the Baillie Gifford longlisted STALIN AND THE SCIENTISTS. His debut novel HOT HEAD was widely acclaimed. He is the arts editor of New Scientist magazine and splits his time between a sweltering penthouse in Dubai (not his) and possibly the coldest flat in London.