Central Station

A worldwide diaspora has left a quarter of a million people at the foot of a space station. Cultures collide in real life and virtual reality. Life is cheap, and data is cheaper. When Boris Chong returns to Tel Aviv from Mars, much has changed. Boris’s ex-lover is raising a strangely familiar child who can tap into the datastream of a mind with the touch of a finger. His cousin is infatuated with a robotnik—a damaged cyborg soldier who might as well be begging for parts. His father is terminally-ill with a multigenerational mind-plague. And a hunted data-vampire has followed Boris to where she is forbidden to return. Rising above them is Central Station, the interplanetary hub between all things: the constantly shifting Tel Aviv; a powerful virtual arena, and the space colonies where humanity has gone to escape the ravages of poverty and war. Everything is connected by the Others, powerful alien entities who, through the Conversation—a shifting, flowing stream of consciousness—are just the beginning of irrevocable change. At Central Station, humans and machines continue to adapt, thrive . . . and even evolve.

Advance Praise for Central Station

[STAR] “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. In a future border town formed between Israeli Tel Aviv and Arab Jaffa, cyborg ex-soldiers deliver illicit drugs for psychic vampires, and robot priests give sermons and conduct circumcisions. The Chong family struggles to save patriarch Vlad, lost in the inescapable memory stream they all share, thanks to his father’s hack of the Conversation, the collective unconscious. New children, born from back-alley genetic engineering, begin to experience actual and virtual reality simultaneously. Family and faith bring them all back and sustain them. Tidhar gleefully mixes classic SF concepts with prose styles and concepts that recall the best of world literature. The byways of Central Station ring with dusty life, like the bruising, bustling Cairo streets depicted by Naguib Mahfouz. Characters wrestle with problems of identity forged under systems of oppression, much as displaced Easterners and Westerners do in the novels of Orhan Pamuk. And yet this is unmistakably SF. Readers of all persuasions will be entranced.”
Publishers Weekly, starred review

[STAR] “. . . 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, starred review

“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

“Lavie Tidhar weaves the threads of classic and modern science fiction tropes with the skills of a gene surgeon and creates a whole new landscape to portray a future both familiar and unsettling. 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

“Like all good science fiction, the linked stories of Central Station are really about the here and now we live in.  Most urgently, they are about just who ‘we’ might be, here on this overcrowded, contested, Anthropocene world that we all must share.  Lavie Tidhar writes in generous detail and expansive vision of a New, and old Jerusalem, and of the many possible ‘we’s who live there.”
—Carter Scholz, author of Radiance

“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

“Disturbingly strange, yet bizarrely familiar, like implanted memories from a future you have not yet lived. I loved it.”
—Eileen Gunn, author of Stable Strategies and Others

“Tidhar weaves strands of faith and science fiction into a breathtaking and lush family history of the far future.”
—Max Gladstone, author of Three Parts Dead

“a standout, absorbing, well realised sci-fi world, with characters who feel like they’re about to stroll off the page and take you for a cup of arak.”
Sci-Fi and Fantasy Reviews

“If you’re looking for something a little more philosophical and thoughtful than the usual fare in the genre, look no further than this book . . . a fantastic read.”
Strange Currencies

“Lavie Tidhar gives enormous depth to the world he creates. . . . Central Station is a fascinating glimpse into a very possible future.”

“Central Station is a gorgeous book”

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 the works of Lavie Tidhar

On Osama
“Bears comparison with the best of Philip K. Dick” —The Financial Times
“Exceptional” —World Literature Today

On 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

On A Man Lies Dreaming
“A twisted masterpiece” —Guardian
“Unmissable” —The Telegraph
“Incredible” —Tor.com

On 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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