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Lebbon, Tim

Entry updated 19 February 2024. Tagged: Author.

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(1969-    ) UK author who began to publish work of genre interest with "Simon Says" in Psychotrope for March 1994, and who until recent years almost exclusively specialized in Affect Horror and fantasy, though from the first an instinct for worldbuilding has constantly threatened to widen this remit; from early in his career he has tended to set his tales in variously designated (or background) landscapes in the throes of apocalyptic decay, often referring to this mise en scene as "the Ruin". The earliest of his several series to date, the Assassin sequence beginning with Dead Man's Hand (2004), is set in Deadwood and other fantasticated Western venues, and told with some gusto. The Noreela sequence beginning with Dusk (2006), is set in a kind of circumambient Ruin. As the land of Noreela becomes more and more complexly mapped, so does the Magic that fuels its culture; Noreelan Paranoia about seemingly human intruders with (or without) gills, with a cadre of secret police scouring the land for what in an sf novel would undoubtedly be defined as Mutants, intensifies a sense that genres (see Equipoise) are on the cusp of mixing fruitfully. Bar None (2008), set in Near Future Wales after a terminal Holocaust, applies similar language to description of a group of survivors, temporarily safe in an isolated mansion, as they contemplate the coming End of the World; as does The Silence (2015) set in a world ravaged by sound-sensitive creatures from deep Underground, forcing silence upon the few survivors, including the teenaged protagonist (see Young Adult) who is deaf and capable of being soundless. Echo City (2010), a singleton, is narrated in terms that evoke Ruined Earth venues familiar to sf; the mysterious Mad Scientist – whose Underground laboratories are located directly beneath the ancient City (for Urban Fantasy here and Polder below see The Encyclopedia of Fantasy under links below) – is clearly conducting experiments in Genetic Engineering. Echo City itself, befitting its name, is a vast midden built on the ruins of innumerable earlier cities, and is depicted in terms evocative of China Miéville's New Crobuzon, a central text in twenty-first century urban Fantastika. Dawn of the Jedi: Into the Void (2013) is a Tie to the Star Wars universe. Eden (2020), set in a Near Future world tormented by violent Climate Change into radically Dystopian solutions, including the establishment of sealed-off Zoo-like Polders; in one of these, Eden, Mutant creatures threaten further devastation.

Lebbon's three most recent series continue fruitfully to mix old genres together. The Hidden Cities sequence – comprising Mind the Gap (2008), The Map of Moments: A Novel of the Hidden Cities (2009), The Chamber of Ten (2010) and The Shadow Men (2011), all with Christopher Golden – variously explores urban understories that Equipoisally illuminate the world today. The first is set Underground, in deep bomb shelters beneath London, from which refuge the young female protagonists forays to commit thefts, and to begin to understand her fate, and her city's, in terms of Magic; the second is a ghost story set in ruined New Orleans; in the third, set beneath Venice as Climate Change threatens to drown the city, two investigators, who have uncovered the lost Library of Petrarch, proceed further Underground, where artefacts left by ancient Secret Masters threaten to rewrite history; the fourth is set in a Boston palimpsested into overlapping versions of the city. The Secret Journeys of Jack London – comprising The Wild (2011) and The Sea Wolves (2012), both with Christopher Golden – imagines supernatural and other adventures experienced by Jack London but which, despite his ruthlessly prolific career, he could not describe. The Toxic City sequence, comprising London Eye (2012), Reaper's City (2013) and Contagion (2013), is set in a Near Future London isolated from the world by terrorist attacks, and deemed by the rest of the world to be toxic: but (as in almost all of Lebbon's work) survivors prowl the ruins, making do in the new world. In The Last Storm (2022), set in a America almost fatally desiccated by Climate Change, a young woman treks through deserts inhabited by humans transfigured into Monsters in her search for a key to the power locked within her: for she is a potential rainmaker, though the rain she may invoke may be supernaturally poisonous.

Throughout his career, Lebbon has consistently focused on anguish and loss, sometimes in tales too hasty to justify their serious intent, but often to considerable effect. [JC]

Tim Lebbon

born London: 26 July 1969



The Assassin

  • Dead Man's Hand (Escanaba, Michigan: Necessary Evil Press, 2004) [novella: chap: Assassin: pb/Caniglia]
  • Pieces of Hate (Escanaba, Michigan: Necessary Evil Press, 2005) [novella: chap: Assassin: pb/Caniglia]
    • Pieces of Hate (New York:, 2016) [omni of the above two: pb/Gene Mollica]
  • A Whisper of Southern Lights (Escanaba, Michigan: Necessary Evil Press, 2008) [novella: chap: Assassin: pb/Caniglia]



30 Days of Night

Hidden Cities

The Secret Journeys of Jack London

  • The Wild (New York: HarperCollins, 2011) with Christopher Golden [Secret Journeys of Jack London: hb/]
  • The Sea Wolves (New York: HarperCollins, 2012) with Christopher Golden [Secret Journeys of Jack London: hb/]

Toxic City

  • London Eye (Amherst, New York: Prometheus Books/Pyr, 2012) [Toxic City: hb/Steve Stone]
  • Reaper's Legacy (Amherst, New York: Prometheus Books/Pyr, 2013) [Toxic City: hb/Steve Stone]
  • Contagion (Amherst, New York: Prometheus Books/Pyr, 2013) [Toxic City: hb/Steve Stone]

Aliens: Out of the Shadows

Aliens: Predator: Rage War

  • Incursion (New York: Titan Books, 2015) [Aliens: Predator: Rage War: pb/]
  • Invasion (New York: Titan Books, 2016) [Aliens: Predator: Rage War: pb/]
  • Armageddon (New York: Titan Books, 2016) [Aliens: Predator: Rage War: pb/]



  • Relics (London: Titan Books, 2017) [Relics: pb/]
  • The Folded Land (London: Titan Books, 2018) [Relics: pb/]
  • The Edge (London: Titan Books, 2019) [Relics: pb/]

individual titles

collections and stories

  • Faith in the Flesh (Prague, Czech Republic: RazorBlade Press, 1997) [coll: pb/Ros Protheroe]
  • White (Wokingham, Berkshire: MOT Press, 1999) [novella: MOT Press Novellas: pb/Lisa Busby]
  • As the Sun Goes Down (San Francisco, California: Night Shade Books, 2000) [coll: hb/Alan M Clark]
  • Devil Walking (San Francisco, California: Night Shade Books, 2000) [chap: pb/]
  • Exorcising Angels (Northborough, Massachusetts: Earthling Publications, 2003) with Simon Clark [coll: hb/Les Edwards as Edward Miller]
  • Fears Unnamed (New York: Dorchester Publishing/Leisure Books, 2004) [coll: pb/]
  • Absinthe (Modesto, California: Bloodletting Press, 2006) with Jack Ketchum [coll/anth: chap: one story by each author: pb/Mike Bohatch]
  • The Reach of Children (London: Humdrumming, 2008) [hb/Lee Thompson]
  • Last Exit for the Lost (Baltimore, Maryland: Cemetery Dance Publications, 2010) [hb/Les Edwards]
  • The Thief of Broken Toys (Toronto, Ontario: ChiZine Publications, 2010) [novella: pb/Erik Mohr]
  • Nothing As It Seems (Hornsea, East Yorkshire: PS Publishing, 2012) [coll: hb/Caniglia]
  • Kong: Skull Island (New York: Titan Books, 2017) [tie to the film: pb/]
  • Rime (Hornsea, East Yorkshire: PS Publishing, 2018) [novella: hb/Ronnie Jensen]
  • Resurrection (Newport, Gwent: Three Imposters, 2020) [story: chap: pb/nonpictorial]
  • All Nightmare Long (Hornsea, East Yorkshire: PS Publishing, 2022) [coll: introduction by Sarah Pinborough: hb/Daniele Serra]
  • The Last Day and the First (Hornsea, East Yorkshire: PS Publishing, 2023) [chap: hb/Tomislav Tikulin]

works as editor

  • British Invasion (Baltimore, Maryland: Cemetery Dance Publications, 2009) with Christopher Golden and James A Moore [anth: hb/Les Edwards]
  • Ten-Word Tragedies (Hornsea, East Yorkshire: PS Publishing, 2019) with Christopher Golden [anth: hb/Jose Nieto]
  • Studio of Screams (Hornsea, East Yorkshire: PS Publishing, 2020) with Christopher Golden, Stephen Volk, Stephen R Bissette and Mark Morris [anth: of interconnecting stories: hb/Graham Humphreys]


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