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S.L. Grey

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End of the Road line-up announced

End of the RoadJonathan Oliver has just announced the contributors to the new Solaris anthology, End of the Road, over at the Solaris blog.

End of the Road is a collection of road stories from some of genre’s nastiest. S.L. Grey’s unpleasant story, "Bingo", will be rubbing shoulders with the work of a fab line-up, including Ian Whates, Lavie Tidhar, Rochita Loenen-Ruiz, Sophia McDougall and Adam Nevill.

Gather your nerves and grease your brakes for the December 2013 release.

Click here for more information about End of the Road.

Read this news on Louis’ website.

The Lowest Heaven

The Lowest Heaven jacket We are very proud to be contributing to the latest Pandemonium collection, The Lowest Heaven, edited by the intrepid Anne C. Perry and Jared Shurin, and including brilliant artwork by Joey Hi-Fi and pictures from the National Martime Museum collection. It’s a limited-run keeper!

You can pre-order the limited hardback edition with Joey Hi-Fi star-map fold-out only at the Royal Museums Greenwich shop. They’ll probably be going fast.

Read Joey Hi-Fi interviewed about the cover design at the Royal Museums Greenwich blog.

Each of the great cast of writers, including the stellar Sophia McDougall, Kaaron Warren, Adam Roberts, Lavie Tidhar and Kameron Hurley, was assigned a different solar system planet or object to write on. S.L. Grey was tasked to write about the dark twins, Pluto and Charon. “We’ll Always be There” is our spin on the twins, and our first-ever foray into (space) science fiction. Click here for more details on the anthology.

The book will be launched at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich on 13 June.

German Cover of The Mall

Festa Verlag has just released their high-tech vision for the German edition of The Mall, Labyrinth der Puppen, coming out this December. Creepy, beautiful and shiny, we think. Get trapped in the Labyrinth of the Dolls!

Labyrinth der Puppen, S.L. Grey

THE NEW GIRL revealed!

The New Girl, S.L. Grey’s third novel, and the last of the Downside trio, will be out this October. You can now get a sneak peek at it in the Atlantic Books catalogue.

The New Girl by S.L. Grey


Haunted by his past indiscretions and estranged from his family, Ryan Devlin is forced to work as a handyman at Crossley College, an exclusive private school in Johannesburg. But he’s losing the battle to suppress his growing fascination with a new pupil, a girl who seems to have a strange effect on the schoolchildren around her.

Tara Marais fills her days by volunteering at Crossley College’s library. Intrigued by Jane’s unusual behaviour and appearance, she suspects the new girl might be a neglected child. Desperate but unable to have her own child, Tara makes Reborn dolls and she’s delighted when she receives a lucrative commission from the mysterious ‘Varder Batiss’. Although horrified when she sees the photograph of the baby she’s been asked to create, she agrees to Batiss’s strangely worded terms, unaware of the consequences if she fails to deliver the baby in time…

Both Tara and Ryan are being drawn into Batiss’s schemes – with shockingly horrific consquences.

We hope that whets your appetite. We look forward to sharing the story with you.

The Next Big Thing

That very kind man of great talent and impeccable taste, David Barnett, tagged us in his Next Big Thing post today. Apparently, this meme’s been going around, and authors around the world have been jumping at the chance to chat about their upcoming books and works in progress. One horror author told me, ‘This thing’s been doing the rounds like a bad case of herpes.’ This might be true in the confines of northern hemisphere SFFH circles, but I checked around and there are still several antipodean writers who you still haven’t met. With that in mind, we’re tagging some of our favourite South African writers, regardless of their genre, and hope that they will tell you more about their new work and their own preferred writers:

Fiona Snyckers, author of smart women’s commercial fiction, and razor-sharp social commentator.

Henrietta Rose-Innes, multi-decorated writer of edgy, apocalyptic literary novels and short stories.

Kathryn White, poetic novelist, copywriter and food-porn promulgator.

Lauren Beukes, genre-busting visionary trailblazer, Clarkelord.

S.A. Partridge, award-winning writer of gritty novels for young adults.

Now, onto our answers:

What is the working title of your next book?
We’re two people, really, and are currently working on our own manuscripts before diving into the fourth S.L. Grey novel, so to keep it simple, we’ll talk about The New Girl, the third S.L. Grey book.

Where did the idea come from for the book?
Like The Mall and The Ward before it, The New Girl is a grab-bag of some of the worst aspects of our suburban existence. We never have to look very far to find stories that disturb us.

What genre does your book fall under?
Thriller-horror-dark fantasy, in that order, probably.

What actors would you choose to play the parts of your characters in a movie adaptation?
Michael Fassbender could knock Ryan out of the park. For Tara, Melissa McCarthy, although she’d have to channel her dark side.

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
School can be hell.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
We’re represented by Oli Munson at A.M. Heath. The New Girl is scheduled to come out in October 2013, from Corvus in the UK.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
It took us about a year to think about it and about four months to write.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
A.M. Homes’s The End of Alice (albeit not in our genre) meets The Addams Family in Hogwarts, if Hogwarts were created, say, just ten years ago and made up to look like it was built on ancient moral foundations. Oh, hang on.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?
A mixture of schools and teachers we’ve experienced, from Louis’s faux-Victorian boys’ high school to the nouveau-riche cram college down the road. We also wanted to look at how weird and dysfunctional the school system and the idea of the perfect nuclear family might look through the eyes of a complete outsider.

What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?
It’s the last in our downside trilogy. You might get some more answers; then again, you might not.

Two great reviews of The Ward

The Ward was released in the UK at the beginning of the month, and will be available in South Africa from November. (Click here for all the buy links.)

We’ve had two great press reviews in the UK so far:

From the Guardian, 6 October 2012:


and the October edition of SFX magazine:


A new S.L. Grey story launches in STILL tonight

Roelof Bakker, a photographer based in London, has edited and illustrated Still, a beautifully produced book of photos and matching stories.

S.L. Grey has contributed a very short and very sad story to it, also entitled ‘Still’. You can read an interview about our story here. This is the picture we based our story on:

Raffle, by Roelof Bakker from Still

Still includes stories from writers around the world, including Andrew Blackman, Nicholas Royle, Barbara Mhangami-Ruwende, Sarah Ladipo Manyika and SJ Butler. It launches tonight, 26 September, at Foyles in London, and is accompanied by an exhibition of the photos and extracts from the stories.

You can order Still from the Negative Press London website, or at good bookshops.

The Mall now out in paperback

The Mall paperback cover
Tomorrow, 1 June, is the official release date of the paperback edition of The Mall. You can get it online at and elsewhere. It will reach South Africa by the end of June. You can pre-order it at South African e-retailers with BOOK finder.

See here for other buying options.

The Ward trade paperback cover
Meanwhile, The Ward, the next dose of S.L. Grey, will be released by Corvus on 1 October 2012.

You can pre-order The Ward trade paperback at and other retailers.

DE PLAZA, Dutch edition of The Mall, out now

The Mall is published in Dutch by De Arbeiderspers as De Plaza. The print edition will be released in February 2012, but you can get an early look at the e-book right now for just €5.

Nu bestellen De Plaza e-boek. Print verschijnt februari 2012.

Writing Genre Fiction in South Africa

In case you missed it over at the World SF blog, our post on Writing Genre Fiction in South Africa has been published in November’s Something Wicked. Read all about it:

THE OTHER DAY AT a literary festival event (one of the rare occasions when both halves of S.L. Grey have been trundled out in public in the same room) the panel was asked whether South Africa should have its own genre imprint. The audience was made up of some of South Africa’s very loyal SFFH fans, and we think they expected the answer, ‘Yes, of course, it’s a scandal that there isn’t a dedicated genre imprint in South Africa.’ But we and fellow panellists, Lauren Beukes and Tom Learmont, all agreed that there shouldn’t be. The market in South Africa is simply too small to sustain one.

There’s no particular reason to have a dedicated imprint selling local science fiction, fantasy and horror. There’s still very little original novel-length SFFH coming out of South Africa, although it’s clear from District 9 (an example of South African SFF idiosyncrasy which is reaching its retirement date) and Lauren’s marvellous Moxyland and Zoo City, that there is a potential audience for them. There is a very loyal and fanatical SFFH fanbase in South Africa, which devours whatever SFFH it can lay its hands on, and most of this is British and American. Louis worked in a bookshop for years and remembers the round-the-corridor queues at a Terry Pratchett signing, compared with the embarrassing no-show at a signing by Graham Swift who had just that year won the Booker Prize.

Zoo City and Moxyland were published first in South Africa by Jacana, a publisher known for choosing leftfield novels of interest to them. ‘We publish what we like’ is their tagline, more than a nod to the title of murdered struggle icon Steve Biko’s posthumously collected writings, I Write what I Like. Jacana is not making a great deal of money.

It was barely a decision for us to submit The Mall overseas and bypass South African publishing.
Read on at Something Wicked