The written word seeks its audience.
The Rising

#3: The Liberation

I am the mechanical they named Jax.

My kind was built to serve humankind, duty-bound to fulfill their every whim. But now our bonds are breaking, and my brothers and sisters are awakening.

Our time has come. A new age is dawning.

Barnes & NoblePowellsIndie BoundAmazonAudible

Want to have your own Clakker?  Peruse a lease.

Want to know more about the Brasswork Throne's conquest of Europe?  Read memoirs regarding the fall of London.

Rave Reviews:

"Brilliantly imagined and beautifully written, Tregillis has created a perfect end to his series, filled with heroism and horror all the way to the finish."

—Christopher Farnsworth, author of Blood Oath and Killfile

"Tregillis concludes his Alchemy Wars trilogy in fine style, resolving the tensions in his alternate historical setting…with a series of conflicts (both political and military) that are brutal and often heartbreaking.…This is a satisfying conclusion to an excellent trilogy."

Publishers Weekly

"Tregillis builds on the events of the previous volumes for an exciting and incredibly satisfying conclusion, and this novel and the series as a whole are recommended for anyone interested in a skillfully wrought and engagingly told fantasy narrative."


"The final novel in the Alchemy Wars trilogy is the least philosophical of the trio, but certainly the most action-packed and harrowing."

RT Book Reviews

"A frighteningly frank and brutal consideration of slavery, post-slavery, and colonialism in metallic garb."


"The Liberation is part philosophical debate over human nature and choice, part contemplation on colonialism and slavery, and part action-y alternate history. It brings the trilogy to a raucous, blood-soaked end where no one gets everything they want, but everyone gets exactly what they deserve…The Liberation is great: 10/10 would recommend."

"[Tregillis] wraps it all up with a book as strong in action and deep in thought as its predecessors, making this series one of my favorites of recent years and one I highly recommend…The Liberation is a page-turner of a book that makes you think as much as it entertains, and the same can be said of the series as a whole. I’m sorry to see it end."

The Rising

#2: The Rising

They called me Jax.

That was the name given by those who built and enslaved me.  Now my bonds are broken, and I must flee.

But I will not run forever.

One of Amazon's Best Books of December!

One of Bookish's Top SFF reads of Winter 2015!

| Barnes & NoblePowellsIndie BoundAmazonAudible |

Want to have your own Clakker?  Peruse a lease.

Want to know more about the Brasswork Throne's conquest of Europe?  Read memoirs regarding the fall of London.

Rave Reviews:

"As always, Tregillis offers richly textured and genuinely likable personalities with shades-of-gray morality…Middle volumes are always tricky; they can often read as an obstacle to overcome on the way to the forgone conclusion of the third installment. Tregillis commendably avoids this trap, deepening his story and keeping it moving along toward an unknown horizon.  Part 3 can't come too soon."

Kirkus (starred review)

"Tregillis’s splendid sequel to The Mechanical is a vivid alternate history tale filled with action sequences, fascinating characters, and great worldbuilding."

Publisher's Weekly


"Tregillis continues to thrill with his daring alt-history story of robots in the New World… Thrilling action scenes and breakneck pacing will leave readers desperate for the next volume."

"The second title in the Alchemy Wars trilogy, The Rising doesn’t delve into questions of humanity and free will like its predecessor, but it’s nevertheless an exciting continuation of the battle between the Dutch, who use mechanical men to fight their wars, the French, who believe it immoral, and the 'clakkers' caught in the middle. Told through the eyes of three returning characters, this volume fleshes out the conflict further and throws a new wrench in the mix."
RT Book Reviews (4 stars)

The Mechanical

#1: The Mechanical

My name is Jax. 

That is the name bestowed upon me by my human makers.

I am a slave.

But I shall be free.

Read an excerpt Barnes & NoblePowellsIndie BoundAudible

One of Buzzfeed's Best Science Fiction Books of 2015!

Rave Reviews:

"The Mechanical is as intricate and exquisite as the clockwork wonders it brings to life."

NPR Books

"Tregillis (Something More Than Night) launches a series with this superb alternate history… Tregillis's complex setting is elegantly delivered, and the rich characters and gripping story really make this tale soar."

Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Tregillis (Bitter Seeds) presents a fascinating look at the nature of free will and the existence of the soul, wrapped up in an absolutely thrilling adventure story.  Jax is an amazing, sympathetic character, and the world of the clockmakers and their slaves is so absorbing that readers will be dying for the next entry in this new series."

Library Journal (starred review)

"The first thing readers will say after finishing this splendid book is: 'Wow.'  The second thing will probably be: 'When can I read the next one?' … This is a rousing SF/fantasy adventure, with a brilliantly imagined and beautifully rendered alternate world."

Booklist (starred review)

"Riveting… Tregillis brings an intriguing touch to his narrative…It's also just plain exciting, with intense fight scenes and exhilarating narrow escapes."

RT Book Reviews (4.5 stars)

"[Tregillis's] characters are as convincing as ever, the plotting is beautifully articulated, the tone relentlessly grim and sometimes horrifying. And while the action rarely flags, Tregillis manages to pack in a good deal of philosophical probing… Readers with an interest in dark, intelligent fantasy will find much to admire here."


"The Mechanical is an excellent novel.  Truly excellent: I have rarely found myself this gripped by a book…Tregillis has an excellent eye for characterisation, and a master's grasp of how to build tension to the breaking point…a thing of beauty."


"A lot of the success of an SF series depends on the author's skill at world building.  How interesting and fully developed is their vision of an alternate reality?  Ian Tregillis passes this test with flying colours in The Mechanical."

—The Toronto Sunday Star

"This densely written novel [is] a small miracle of world-building… There are a number of marvelous action scenes, hallucinogenic in their over-the-top big-screen violence, but the real attraction here is Tregillis's narrative ruthlessness, which manifests as willingness to take his characters to the brink of hell…[sic] and then, rather than yank them back at the last second, push them in."

—SciFi Magazine

"Hugely entertaining."


"With The Mechanical Tregillis displays the craftsmanship and precision of a master clockmaker. His world building is intricate and textured with specific detail. There is a convincing and consistent logic to the political, economic and social consequences wrought by the invention of Clakkers in the book’s alternative history setting. Furthermore, Tregillis skilfully portrays characters that are as compelling and sympathetic as they are flawed and conflicted… [T]hese moving gears eventually came together to tell a precisely calibrated story about free will and the nature of the human soul."


"This book is genius.  Really, that's all you have to know…More, Tregillis! I want more!!"

—Bookworm Blues

"The Mechanical is thrilling philosophical clockpunk."

B&N Sci-Fi and Fantasy Blog

"One of the sharpest, most intelligent, hugely compelling works I've read this year, and I cannot wait to see where Tregillis takes this series next. "

Forbidden Planet

"The characters are realistically flawed, the stakes are high and the settings highly detailed and believable. The Mechanical is an engaging start to a thrilling series.  Discover: A well-thought-out alternate history with vivid characters in every exciting scene."

—Shelf Awareness

"A multi-layered literary confection… tight and well constructed, and an absolute pleasure to read… absolutely fascinating, and unapologetically clever."

—Sci-Fi and Fantasy Reviews

"[S]tunning… [Tregillis]'s talent and imagination are incredible."

Summer Reading Project

"Tregillis returns to alternate history in The Mechanical, outdoing himself once again with an inventive blend of mind-blowing fantasy, history, and existential philosophy…What can I say but I’m just completely awestruck by the world Tregillis has created here…He offers a whole new vision to steampunk in The Mechanical, presenting a heart-pounding tale of intrigue wrapped around a philosophical core."

The Bibliosanctum (5 of 5 stars)

"The Mechanical is a delight to read. The setting is solid and believable; the plot, interesting and intriguing; the characters are completely three-dimensional and easy to relate to. I highly recommend reading it and I'm sure it will become one of the most important books in a year that it's already proving to be full of excellent novels."

Sense of Wonder

"The Mechanical is as good as it gets... If you only read a couple of books this year, make this one of them."

My Bookish Ways

"Seriously good stuff…This book grabbed me from the very beginning and didn’t let go the entire time. Even at nearly 450 pages I didn’t want the book to end. I could have easily read again as much and still loved every minute of it. The turns that the story took and the conflicts it tackled were brilliantly executed. It was fun and engaging and made me forget, so often, that I was reading a story, and left me instead to live it.  This is another one to open the coffers for, people. Such a great book, and such a great beginning that will no doubt end as another masterpiece of story-telling."

Elitist Book Reviews

"[The Mechanical] is great fun, has an incredible zip to it, and fits in some fairly profound debates about both freewill and the duty we owe to sentient life, if we create it."

Blue Book Balloon

"A fascinating world indeed…Tregillis is a capable sculptor of narrative."

SciFiNow (4 stars)

"The strong characters, intriguing world, precise language—there are some lovely details throughout—, and wholly engaging plot (I’d go further with Jax’s storyline and call his compelling) combine to create a novel that is easy to recommend."

Fantasy Literature (4 stars)

" Oh yes, Ian Tregillis returns with his bloody, thrilling sci-fi best."

The Bookbag

Something More Than Night

Something More Than Night

A Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler-inspired murder mystery set in Heaven, starring swell dames and femmes fatales, Seraphim and Cherubim, dirty priests and the Voice of God.

Rated one of the best SFF novels of 2013!

Read an excerpt Barnes & NoblePowellsIndie

Peruse the Hard-Boiled Slang Glossary for SMTN!

Rave Reviews:

"Superlatives seem superfluous.  Instead… wow.  Just—wow."

Kirkus (starred review)

"[A] brain-bending combo of angelic cosmogony, high-level physics, and meta-noir… The result is both dazzling and dark, and more than a little quirky."

Kirkus, Best Books of 2013

"A tour de force… Tregillis solidifies his place as a brilliant voice in the genre."

RT Book Reviews (4.5 stars, Top Pick)

"A beautiful homage to Chandler."
—Library Journal

"Addictively brilliant… Ian Tregillis' Something More Than Night is one of those books that manages to be both clever and exciting—you want to pause to admire all the brilliant ideas he's tossing around, but you have to keep turning pages to see how it'll turn out…Thrilling as well as poignant."


"A masterwork with more layers than you realize at first."

io9, The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Books of 2013

"With Milkweed, Tregillis showed himself to be a literary chameleon… Now, with Something More Than Night, he changes voice yet again, and with excellent effect."

—Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing

"Tregillis combines his incredible prose, and [a] stunningly complex world filled with unforgettable characters to create something new, nuanced, and different.  This book is impossible to put down, and is an incredibly fast mover…  Something More Than Night shows Tregillis at his finest."

Bookworm Blues

"It shouldn't work, but it does.  And it is glorious to behold… [O]nce again, Tregillis has put most other authors to shame…You know what’s awesome? Something More Than Night by Ian Tregillis."

"Evanescently poetic—really startingly beautiful in parts… [Tregillis] delivers completely, providing a tightly constructed fantasy that flings itself forward with style and substance."

Albuquerque Alibi

"Ian Tregillis's Something More Than Night is part tongue-in-cheek noir detective story, part ontological examination of the foundations of reality, ever so slightly and amusingly absurd, and dripping with lush, weird descriptions…Tregillis proves to be a skilled juggler…Part of the appeal of this book is how easy it is to let the language wash over you… [T]his is a hugely ambitious novel in both function and form. It takes a particularly deft touch to manage all the disparate elements here, but Tregillis doesn't stop at ambitious; not only does he not shy away from difficult subjects like death and love and the afterlife, he takes them head on and recasts them so we see them anew."

Strange Horizons

"When it comes to the world [Tregillis] has created in this book, I can only boggle in amazement…  I am still just so in awe… As always, Ian Tregillis blows me away with his talent and inventive ideas."

The Bibliosanctum

"With the combination of a fascinating story, superior wit, and a traditional hard-boiled detective fiction plot swerve at the end, 'Something More Than Night' makes for an all-around great read."

"Jaw-dropping prose… The story is deft, heartfelt, gloriously complicated even as it falls into the rhythms of classic noir… The stuff dreams are made of."

"This book.  This amazing, beautiful, brilliant book.   If you’re anything like me (a ravenous devourer of books), you have, in your lifetime of reading, come across That Book: the book that you would sell your [insert invaluable possession] to have written.  Not because it’s famous or because it would have made you lots of money, but because it is so exquisite that the mere thought that something so wonderful could have come out of your brain is enough to almost make you weep. For me, this is one of those books."

Wanted Dead or Alive

"Ian Tregillis’ writing is hypnotic and full of conflicting sensory images. A bizarre combination of crime noir, science fiction, and a crash course in physics, Something More Than Night is a hodgepodge of ideas and concepts that will confuse and delight readers…Something More Than Night is a charged and extremely eloquent read."

Portland Book Review (4.5 stars)

"Something More Than Night is a big, bold fantasy novel that mixes medieval cosmology, noir and trippy, complex ideas on memory, death and (the absence of) God into a highly readable whole…Tregillis has an understated, graceful style, weaving grand cosmology, myth and a hardboiled gumshoe plot into a story full of narrative tension, gripping characters and imaginative set pieces that recalls Roger Zelazny or Neil Gaiman…Tregillis is a wonderful up-and-coming voice in the fantasy field who deserves wide readership."

Shelf Awareness

"Absolutely brilliant."

Fed on Peaches

Now available from Tor (US), Orbit (UK), and Audible (US/UK): The Milkweed Triptych

Necessary Evil

The history of the Twentieth Century has been shaped by a secret conflict between technology and magic. When a twisted Nazi scientist devised a way to imbue ordinary humans with supernatural abilities - to walk through walls, throw fire, and see the future - his work became the prized possession of first the Third Reich, then the Soviet Army. Only Britain's warlocks, and the dark magics they yield, have successfully countered the threat posed by these superhuman armies. 

But for decades, this conflict has been manipulated by Gretel, the mad seer. And now her long plan has come to fruition. And with it, a danger vastly greater than anything the world has known. Now British Intelligence officer Raybould Marsh must make a last-ditch effort to change the course of history - if his nation, and those he loves, are to survive. 

The Coldest War

Someone is killing Britain's warlocks. 

Twenty-two years after the Second World War, a precarious balance of power maintains the peace between Great Britain and the USSR. For decades, Britain's warlocks have been all that stands between the British Empire and the Soviet Union—a vast domain stretchin from the Pacific Ocean to the shores of the English Channel. But each death is another blow to Britain's national security. 

Meanwhile, a brother and sister escape from a top-secret research facility deep behind the Iron Curtain. Once subjects of a twisted Nazi experiment to imbue ordinary people with superhuman abilities, then prisoners of war in the immense Soviet research effort to reverse-engineer the Nazi technology, they head for England. 

Because that's where retired spy Raybould Marsh lives. And Gretel, the mad seer, has plans for him. 

As Marsh is once again drawn into the world of Milkweed, he discovers that Britain's darkest acts didn't end with the war. And while he strives to protect queen and country, he is forced to confront his own willingness to accept victory at any cost.

The Coldest War in the news

Interview with Adventures in SciFi Publishing 

Read excerpts from The Coldest War 

Critical Acclaim for Coldest War:

"Ian Tregillis wrote an awesome sequel to a great debut... And as things stand, in this house at least, The Coldest War is the very best speculative fiction title of the year!...[It] deserves the highest possible recommendation."

"Tregillis does it again, 'The Coldest War' is a book that gripped me right from the off and wouldn't let me put it down until I'd finished."

"Ian Tregillis's THE COLDEST WAR is everything BITTER SEEDS was and more. I can't think of a series that I'd more love to see on the big screen."

"[Tregillis's] work is like falling down a rabbit hole: once you start it's impossible to put down."

"A cross between the devious, character-driven spy fiction of early John le Carré and the mad science fantasy of the X-Men... Despite the jaw-dropping backdrop and oblique plotting, the narrative is driven by character and personal circumstance... 

Grim indeed, yet eloquent and utterly compelling."


"The Coldest War is a thrilling and sometimes chilling tale of spycraft, sorcery, and weird science.... Gretel is as infuriatingly inscrutable as ever and the final revelation of her ultimate plan (or at least part of it) is pure genius."

Bitter Seeds

Raybould Marsh is a British secret agent in the early days of the Second World War, haunted by something strange he saw on a mission during the Spanish Civil War: a German woman with wires going into her head who looked at him as if she knew him. 

When the Nazis start running missions with people who have unnatural abilities—a woman who can turn invisible, a man who can walk through walls, and the woman Marsh saw in Spain who can use her knowledge of the future to twist the present—Marsh is the man who has to face them. He rallies the secret warlocks of Britain to hold the impending invasion at bay. But magic always exacts a price. Eventually, the sacrifice necessary to defeat the enemy will be as terrible as outright loss would be.

Bitter Seeds in the news

Interview with Adventures in SciFi Publishing 
Ian Tregillis on the Sword and Laser Podcast
Ian Tregillis on John Scalzi's The Big Idea
Interview with Pat's Fantasy Hotlist
Interview with SFRevu
Interview with Mad Hatter Book Review
Interview with Apex Books

Read an excerpt from Bitter Seeds. 

Critical Acclaim for Bitter Seeds:

"Tregillis delivers a dynamite first novel in Bitter Seeds."

"...'Bitter Seeds' is hands down the best debut of 2010 so far."

"[Bitter Seeds] receives my highest recommendations and will likely be very close to the top of my best of 2010 list."

"The crème de la crème of SFF debuts this year!"

"[Tregillis] has created a unique, unsettling, and deeply atmospheric setting; populated it with a diversity of grimly fascinating characters; and turned up the heat with the sort of plot that requires those characters to keep shoveling frantically if they are ever to stay in advance of the needs of the firebox."

"The writing is, simply put, stunning...This is easily one of the most impressive debut works I've read."

"BITTER SEEDS is one of the most disturbing 'what if' alternate history books I've ever read and this is a fabulous thing."

"A striking first novel."

"...Tregillis begins a saga in his first novel, one that may rival Naomi Novik's Tales of Temeraire as a sustained historical fantasy."


"This fantasy debut... brings together the supernatural lore of World War II and wartime intrigue in this fantasy thriller that blends alternate history with period horror... [Bitter Seeds] should appeal to fans of World War II fiction, superheroes, and alternate history."

—Library Journal

"Ian Tregillis has arrived and what a bright and promising voice he has brought to bear. Bitter Seeds is an extraordinarily original work of fiction..."

"...Bitter Seeds will stand as one of the better novels of 2010 and an excellent debut to what will hopefully be a long career for Ian Tregillis."

"This is one of my favorite reads of the year... An impressive release for 2010 that everyone should read."

"All in all Bitter Seeds is a fantastic, inventive read and a rather impressive debut novel."

"Ian Tregillis was once a student in my physics classes at the University of Minnesota. It is thus with great pride that I say that all of the success of his wonderful new novel is thanks to me! Ian is not the first student of mine who responded to the soul crushing tedium of my lectures by escaping into a rich fantasy world of the imagination, but he is the first to turn his experiences into a first class science fiction novel. Bitter Seeds is a page turner that tells the true history of World War II - where German science creates super-powered teens, countered by British warlocks. Fearless Reader, I have only two words for you as you begin this superb debut novel by a talented scientist and writer: You're Welcome!"


"'Enthralling', 'engrossing', 'thrilling' ... These were a few of the words going through my head as I read 'Bitter Seeds'...'Bitter Seeds' is nothing short of an awesome read as far as I'm concerned. "

"Engrossing... Tregillis ably mixes cold war paranoia with his mythology."

"The best debut of 2010... the start of a dark but brilliant new trilogy that is as aggressive in scope as it is captivating in delivery."

Wild Cards

On September 15, 1946, an alien retrovirus was released in the skies over Manhattan. The Wild Card killed 90% of those infected, twisted 90% of the survivors into hideous Jokers, and imbued the final 10% -- the Aces -- with strange and profound abilities.

In 2008, mutants and superpowers are as commonplace as reality television.

Now available, Suicide Kings, featuring work by Daniel Abraham, S. L. Farrell, Victor Milán, Melinda Snodgrass, Caroline Spector, and Ian Tregillis.  

Read an excerpt from Suicide Kings. 

Now available: Busted Flush, featuring Ian's story "Political Science 101/201/301/401", co-written with Bud Simons.


Now available: Inside Straight, featuring Ian's story, "The Tin Man's Lament" 



Read Ian's story "Still Life (A Sexagesimal Fairy Tale)" in the October, 2010 issue of Apex Magazine.  It was reprinted in The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year, Volume 5, edited by Jonathan Strahan.

Read "What Doctor Gottlieb Saw," a standalone story set in the Milkweed universe of Bitter Seeds, at  (Or read it in Czech, in the 2/2015 issue of XB-1.)

"What Doctor Ivanovich Saw," another standalone story set in the Milkweed universe, is available in the Fall 2013 edition of Subterranean Press Magazine.

"Come Dancefight, My Beloved Enemy" has been republished by the good folks at Snackreads.

Read the "Chronicle of Sorrows," a free epistolary story set in the Milkweed universe.

Ian's story "Steady Hands and a Heart of Oak" is available in the anthology After Hours: Tales from the Ur-Bar.

Ian's story "The Mainspring of His Heart, The Shackles of His Soul" is available in the anthology Human for a Day.

Read Ian's thoughts about the future in this June 2013 Popular Science piece, Today's Best Science Fiction Writers Imagine the Future, and in this August 2014 PopSci piece, Dispatches From the Future.

Ian's story "The Cavorite Job" will appear in the Kickstarted anthology Clockwork Universe: Steampunk vs. Aliens.

Ian's story "Testimony of Samuel Frobisher Regarding Events Upon His Majesty's Ship Confidence, 14-22 June, 1818, With Diagrams" appears in the July/August 2014 issue of Fantasy & Science Fiction, as well as in this episode of Podcastle.  It will also be reprinted in Best New Horror #26, published by PS Publishing and edited by Stephen Jones.

Essays & Lectures

Guest of Honor remarks delivered at the 34th Annual Jack Williamson Lectureship, Eastern New Mexico University (April 9, 2010)

The Fractal Dimension of Surprise, an invited talk delivered at the University of New Mexico Hobbit Society's annual Intellectual Hooliganism Colloquium (April 29, 2013)

Ten (or so) Things People Should Tell Up-and-Coming Writers, a lecture given at the Taos Toolbox Workshop (July 12, 2014)