This is How You Lose the Time War
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This is How You Lose the Time War

4.15 (4,243 ratings by Goodreads)
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'A fireworks display from two very talented storytellers' Madeline Miller, author of Circe

Co-written by two award-winning writers, This Is How You Lose the Time War is an epic love story spanning time and space.

Among the ashes of a dying world, an agent of the Commandant finds a letter. It reads: Burn before reading.
Thus begins an unlikely correspondence between two rival agents hellbent on securing the best possible future for their warring factions. Now, what began as a taunt, a battlefield boast, grows into something more. Something epic. Something romantic. Something that could change the past and the future.

Except the discovery of their bond would mean death for each of them. There's still a war going on, after all. And someone has to win that war. That's how war works. Right?

'An intimate and lyrical tour of time, myth and history' John Scalzi, bestselling author of Old Man's War

'Lyrical and vivid and bittersweet' Ann Leckie, Hugo Award-winning author of Ancillary Justice

'Rich and strange, a romantic tour through all of time and the multiverse' Martha Wells, Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author of The Murderbot Diaries
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Product details

  • Paperback | 208 pages
  • 124 x 196 x 20mm | 162g
  • Jo Fletcher Books
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1529405238
  • 9781529405231
  • 1,480

Review quote

Exquisitely pitched . . . I don't remember the last time I cried rereading a book, but this one manages it * Strange Horizons * Breathtaking. Brilliant in a way I'm not sure a review can illustrate. It has to be read to be believed * To Other Worlds * A short, but punchy book that was highly emotional. I loved it a lot. The whole idea behind it is brilliantly ironic. I loved the writing, and I wished it was longer * Umut Reviews * Beautifully conceived and written in shifting tones with clockwork precision underpinning its Moebius convolutions, one of the most fascinating books of the year so far * Geek Chocolate * The worldbuilding is superb . . . This Is How You Lose the Time War wonderfully delivers on its premise * Den of Geek * Well deserves every second you dedicate to it * Calles de Tinta * A story told through lyrical writing you very rarely see in fantasy these days . . . A genuine tour de force from a pair of writers at the top of their games * Streetlamp Halo * Strange and lovely . . . unique * I Should Read That * Compulsively readable . . . this book was one of my most anticipated reads this year since I found out about it, and it really did not disappoint one bit * Reads Rainbow * If you took that sappy story of unrequited love, Keanu Reeves and a time-traveling mailbox, strapped it up in body armor, covered it with razors, dipped it in poison and set it loose to murder and burn its way across worlds and centuries, what you'd end up with is This Is How You Lose The Time War, the experimental, collaborative, time-travelling love-and-genocide novel by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone * NPR * A message that the world needs to hear * Cheryl's Mewsings * Lush, glorious, passionate . . . I don't know how I'm going to move on past this book - but do I need to? I feel profoundly changed, cracked open and weeping, my heart in my hand, a songbird in my chest * For Every Helen of Troy * An epistolary masterpiece, a masterclass in allusion, a deep dive into character, a perfect manipulation of form and syntax and tone, a bending of the genre to create something that is intrinsically science-fiction and yet absolutely, gorgeously unique . . . This book stunned me * Old Firehouse Books * Soars and succeeds in its vivid detail, and in its vast imaginative sweep . . . Vivid, savage, tender, cruel, it is worthy of many readings * Stephen Cox, author of Our Child of the Stars * The intergalactic and historic sweep . . . services rather than overwhelms what is in essence a story about falling in love under a repressive dictatorship * The Big Issue * Intimately operates within an immersive space opera * Entertainment Weekly * I'm very rarely a reader of romances - but I think now that's only because there is so rarely a romance like How To Lose the Time War. I've lost the day to it, and my only regret is that it's over . . . It's a smart, inventive, lyrical story that dances a pas de deux down the edge of a razor, and I'm very glad to have read it * Stephanie Saulter, author of Gemsigns * A wonderful tapestry of detail * Starburst * This is the time-travelling queer epistolary romance I didn't know I needed . . . With precise, cut-glass prose - poetic and pragmatic at once - deeply compelling characters, and a tensely rewarding conclusion, This Is How You Lose the Time War is one of the most striking works of fiction I've read this decade. I'm going to be thinking about it - returning to it - for months, at least. Read it, because I can't recommend it highly enough * Locus * A gorgeous love story playfully yet powerfully spanning time and space in a weave of imagery and delight * Claire North, author of The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August * Sweet, hopeful, and unashamedly beautiful * SciFiNow * A time travel adventure that has as much humanity, grace, and love as it has temporal shenanigans, rewriting history, and temporal agents fighting to the death. Two days from now, you've already devoured it * Ryan North, New York Times Bestselling and Eisner Award winning author of How to Invent Everything: A Survival Guide for the Stranded Time Traveler * Fast-paced and intricately plotted * Temi Oh, author Do You Dream of Terra-Two? * If Iain M. Banks and Gerard Manley Hopkins had ever been able to collaborate on a science fiction project, well, it wouldn't be half as much fun as this novella by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone. There is all the pleasure of a long series, and all the details of an much larger world, presented in miniature here * Kelly Link, MacArthur Genius Grant recipient and Pulitzer Prize finalist for Get in Trouble * Spectacular . . . Poetry, disguised as genre fiction. I read several sections out loud - this is prose that wants to be more than read. It wants to be heard and tasted * Kelly Sue DeConnick, creator of Captain Marvel * Exquisitely crafted . . . Part epistolary romance, part mind-blowing science fiction adventure, this dazzling story unfolds bit by bit . . . Full of fanciful ideas and poignant moments, weaving a tapestry stretching across the millennia and through multiple realities that's anchored with raw emotion and a genuine sense of wonder. This short novel warrants multiple readings to fully unlock its complexities * Publishers Weekly Starred Review * This is How You Lose the Time War is rich and strange, a romantic tour through all of time and the multiverse, and you shouldn't miss a moment * Martha Wells, Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author of The Murderbot Diaries * Lyrical and vivid and bittersweet. An absolutely lovely read from two talented writers * Ann Leckie, Hugo Award-winning author of Ancillary Justice * An intimate and lyrical tour of time, myth and history, with a captivating conversation between characters - and authors. Read it * John Scalzi, New York Times bestselling author of The Collapsing Empire * This book has it all: treachery and love, lyricism and gritty action, existential crisis and space-opera scope, not to mention time travelling superagents. Gladstone's and El-Mohtar's debut collaboration is a fireworks display from two very talented storytellers * Madeline Miller, internationally bestselling author of Circe and Song of Achilles *
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About Amal El-Mohtar

Amal El-Mohtar (Author)
Amal El-Mohtar is an author, editor and critic. Her short story 'Seasons of Glass and Iron' won the Hugo, Nebula, and Locus awards and was a finalist for the World Fantasy, Sturgeon, Aurora, and Eugie Foster awards. She is the author of The Honey Month, a collection of poetry and prose written to the taste of twenty-eight different kinds of honey, and contributes criticism to NPR Books and The New York Times. Her fiction has most recently appeared on Tor.com and Uncanny Magazine, and in anthologies such as The Djinn Falls in Love & Other Stories and The Starlit Wood: New Fairy Tales. She is currently pursuing a PhD at Carleton University and teaches Creative Writing at the University of Ottawa.

Max Gladstone (Author)
Max Gladstone is the author of the Hugo-nominated Craft Sequence, which Patrick Rothfuss called 'stupefyingly good'. The sixth book, Ruin of Angels, was published in the US last year. His critically acclaimed short fiction has appeared on Tor.com and in Uncanny Magazine, and in anthologies such as XO Orpheus: Fifthy New Myths and The Starlit Wood: New Fairy Tales. John Crowley described Max as 'a true star of twenty-first-century fantasy'. Max has also sung at Carnegie Hall.
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Rating details

4,243 ratings
4.15 out of 5 stars
5 47% (1,983)
4 32% (1,337)
3 15% (633)
2 5% (192)
1 2% (98)
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