Geoff Ryman Books In Order


  1. The Warrior Who Carried Life (1980)
  2. The Unconquered Country (1986)
  3. The Child Garden (1989)
  4. Was (1992)
  5. 253 (1997)
  6. Lust (2001)
  7. Air (2004)
  8. The King’s Last Song (2006)


  1. Unconquered Countries (1985)
  2. Cities (2003)
  3. What Remains (2009)
  4. Paradise Tales (2011)


  1. V.A.O. (2002)


  1. The Film-makers of Mars (2010)

Anthologies edited

  1. When It Changed (2009)

Novels Book Covers

Collections Book Covers

Chapbooks Book Covers

Novellas Book Covers

Anthologies edited Book Covers

Geoff Ryman Books Overview

The Child Garden

In a semi tropical London, surrounded by paddy fields, the people feed off the sun, like plants, the young are raised in Child Gardens and educated by viruses, And the Consensus oversees the country, ‘treating’ non conformism. Information, culture, law and politics are biological functions. But Milena is different: she is resistant to viruses and an incredible musician, one of the most extraordinary women of her age. This is her story and that of her friends, like Lucy the immortal tumour and Joseph the Postman whose mind is an information storehouse for others, and Rolfa, genetically engineered as a Polar Bear, whose beautiful singing voice first awakens Milena to the power of music.


WAS is the story of Dorothy. Orphaned as a child in the 1870s, she goes to live in Kansas with her Aunty Em and Uncle Henry. They face drought and poverty. They face each other. Alone, abused, Dorothy meets an itinerant actor called Frank and inspires a masterpiece. From the settling of the West and the heyday of the Hollwywood studios to the glittering megalopolis of modern Los Angeles, WAS is the story of all our childhoods.


A London tube train, with all seats occupied, carries 252 passengers. The driver makes 253. Each one has a secret history, thoughts about themselves and the world. And each one’s story takes one page comprised of exactly 253 words in this novel. Meet Estelle, who has fallen madly in love with Saddam Hussein; James, who anesthetizes sick gorillas for a living; and Who? a character who doesn’t know where, or what, on earth he is. Perhaps you’ll see a bit of yourself in some or all of them. This seven and a half minute ride between Embankment and Elephant & Castle is highly original. And enjoyable. And unpredictable. And full of marvels.


What if you could have sex with anyone in the world?The ultimate fantasy? Or a nightmare of self discovery? Michael Blasco, a young scientist investigating what happens to the brain during the process of learning, suddenly finds himself on the other end of experimentation. On the way home from his lab one night he runs into Tony, a fitness instructor from his gym who he harbors a crush for, on the same platform waiting for the subway. When Michael imagines Tony naked, a pleasant fantasy to spice up a dull journey home, an extraordinary thing happens: Tony strips then and there on the platform and offers himself to Michael in front of all onlookers. Horrified, Michael flees. But back at his apartment, Tony reappears, as if by magic. And disappears again, when Michael wishes him away. Being a scientist, Michael recognizes an experiment when he sees one, and sets out to test the parameters of his newfound gift. In quick succession he conjures up Billie Holliday, Johnny Weismuller, Daffy Duck, Picasso, Sophia Loren, even his younger self. The world is seemingly there for the taking. But what does Michael really desire? Mad with lust and losing all scientific objectivity, he runs the gamut of his fantasies inventing new lovers and calling up old ones, until, sated and morally bankrupt, he’s forced to confront himself. What happens to the heart when it gets everything it desires?From the renowned author of Was and 253 comes a witty, disturbing and intensely erotic fable for the modern age.


Chung Mae is the only connection her small farming village has to culture of a wider world beyond the fields and simple houses of her village. A new communications technology is sweeping the world and promises to connect everyone, everywhere without power lines, computers, or machines. This technology is Air. An initial testing of Air goes disastrously wrong and people are killed from the shock. Not to be stopped Air is arriving with or without the blessing of Mae’s village. Mae is the only one who knows how to harness Air and ready her people for it’s arrival, but will they listen before it’s too late?

The King’s Last Song

‘ Ryman has not so much created as revealed a world in which the promise of redemption takes seed even in horror.’ The Boston Globe

Sweeping and beautiful…
. The complex story tears the veil from a hidden world. The Sunday Times

Inordinately readable…
extraordinary in its detail, color and brutality. The Independent

‘Ryman has crafted a solid historical novel with an authentic feel for both ancient and modern Cambodia.’
Washington DC City Paper

Another masterpiece by one of the greatest fiction writers of our time. Kim Stanley Robinson

‘Ryman’s knack for depicting characters; his ability to tell multiple, interrelated stories; and his knowledge of Cambodian history create a rich narrative that looks at Cambodia’s ‘killing fields’ both recent and ancient and Buddhist belief with its desire for transcendence. Recommended for all literary fiction collections.’
Library Journal

Archeologist Luc Andrade discovers an ancient Cambodian manuscript inscribed on gold leaves but is kidnapped and the manuscript stolen by a faction still loyal to the ideals of the brutal Pol Pot regime. Andrade’s friends, an ex Khmer Rouge agent and a young motoboy, embark on a trek across Cambodia to rescue him. Meanwhile, Andrade, bargaining for his life, translates the lost manuscript for his captors. The result is a glimpse into the tremendous and heart wrenching story of King Jayavarman VII: his childhood, rise to power, marriage, interest in Buddhism, and the initiation of Cambodia s golden age. As Andrade and Jayavarman s stories interweave, the question becomes whether the tale of ancient wisdom can bring hope to a nation still suffering from the violent legacy of the last century.

Geoff Ryman is the author of the novels Air winner of Arthur C Clarke and James Tiptree awards and The Unconquered Country a World Fantasy Award winner. Canadian by birth, he has lived in Cambodia and Brazil and now teaches creative writing at the University of Manchester in England.

Unconquered Countries

A collection of astonishing and inventive works by a groundbreaking author of speculative fiction includes ”O Happy Day,” ”Please Say Hello,” ”The Unconquered Country,” and ”A Fall of Angels, or On the Possibility of Life Under Extreme Conditions.”


China Mi ville, Michael Moorcock, Paul Di Filippo, and Geoff Ryman: These award winners are on any list of the most inventive, popular, and critically acclaimed talents writing in the realms of fantasy and science fiction today. Their four original creations for this collection range from surreal visions of the infinite to high tech nightmare; from apocalyptic ruins stalked by heroes and vampires to a near future where the aged terrorize the young.

What Remains

What Remains, published in conjunction with the appearance of Ellen Klages and Geoff Ryman as the Guests of Honor at WisCon 33, features three tales, two of them by Geoff Ryman and one by Ellen Klages. In Ryman’s ”No Bad Thing,” a certain brilliant, world famous scientist has become a vampire and duly turns his intellectual gifts in a new direction; and in ”Care,” a story set in the fascinating world of Belo Horizonte, a little boy’s father stands with him on the Edge of the world looking down at Rio, shows him how to walk off the Edge, then disappears. In Ellen Klages’s original novelette ”Echoes of Aurora,” Jo Norwood goes back to her hometown to bury her father and meets a lovely, mysterious woman named Aurora, and through the summer, Jo and Rory make passionate love, poetry, and a story together a story that begins ”Once upon a time, you kissed me.” What Remains also includes Eileen Gunn’s interview of Geoff Ryman and Debbie Notkin’s interview of Ellen Klages.

Paradise Tales

Geoff Ryman writes about the other and leaves us dissected in the process. His stories are set in recognizable places London, Cambodia, tomorrow and feature men and women caught in recognizable situations or technologies and not sure which way to turn. They, we, should obviously choose what’s right. But what if that’s difficult? What will we do? What we should, or…
?Paradise Tales builds on the success of his most recent novel, The King’s Last Song, and on the three Cambodian stories included here, ‘The Last Ten Years of the Hero Kai,’ ‘Blocked,’ and the exceedingly popular ‘Pol Pot’s Beautiful Daughter.’ Paradise Tales includes stories selected from the many periods of Ryman’s career including Birth Days, Omnisexual, The Film makers of Mars, and a new story, K is for Kosovo or, Massimo s Career. To complement this first full length short story collection, Small Beer Press is reprinting Ryman’s backlist: Was, The Child Garden, and a book of four novellas, The Unconquered Countries, with new introductions to continue to build the readership of one of the most fascinating writers exploring the edges of being, gender, science, and fiction. Geoff Ryman is the author of the novels The King’s Last Song, The Child Garden, Air a Clarke and Tiptree Award winner, and The Unconquered Country a World Fantasy Award winner. Canadian by birth, he has lived in Cambodia and Brazil and now teaches creative writing at the University of Manchester in England.

When It Changed

Collaborating between leading scientists and literary authors, this unique experiment creates a new strain of science fiction by extending the repertoire of the genre beyond the common places of space travel, time travel, and artificial intelligence. Through the use of diverse, credible, and contemporary research areas from Planck length to plankton and virtual conversations between Wittgenstein and Turing to future civilizations torn asunder by differences over particle physics these stories reinstate the furnace of scientific endeavor. Comprised of research from practicing scientists at Manchester University and the stories of established authors including Frank Cottrell Boyce, Geoff Ryman, Patricia Dunscker, and Sara Maitland this anthology attempts to take science fiction into new, scientifically realistic fields while explaining the theory and technology behind each story.

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