British Fiction Focus

The Girl in the Red Dress: Revealing Paris Adrift by E. J. Swift

Paris: la ville lumière! It’s the city of light, the city of love, and the setting of E. J. Swift’s next novel: “a breathtaking tale of time travel” starring a young lady, name of Hallie, and her bartending friends.

E. J. Swift, for those of you who don’t know, is the author of The Osiris Project—an underrated science fiction trilogy set in a world totally transformed by climate change—and a number of award-nominated (not to mention excellent) short stories, such as ‘Saga’s Children’ and ‘The Spiders of Stockholm’.

Part and parcel with the announcement of her new book is the news that the author seems to have parted ways with her previous publisher, Del Rey UK, as Paris Adrift has been snapped up by Solaris. Swift herself is delighted about this development. “They are a fantastic team,” she said, “and I’m very much looking forward to working with them over the coming months.” Little wonder given that one of the first things the publisher of Paris Adrift did was approach the incomparable Joey Hi-Fi to come up with some cover art…

“The first sighting of a cover can be a nerve-racking moment,” Swift admitted…

…but “it’s fair to say Joey’s artwork for Paris Adrift has surpassed all my expectations.”

“The city of the title is close to my heart,” added the author, who fell in love with Paris while spending time travelling and working there, “and I can’t wait for readers to join Hallie—and her bartending friends—as she is unwittingly thrust into a journey that will take her through the city’s turbulent past and possible futures, forcing her to come to terms with love, loss and her own precarious sense of self.”

That’s the closest thing to a synopsis we have at this early stage, I’m afraid. That, and this comment  from Solaris’ Editor-in-Chief Jonathan Oliver:

E.J. Swift’s extraordinarily rich time travel novel is a real treat of a read. Paris is evoked in all it grubby yet shiny glory, and the characters will make you fall in love with this city, its past and its misfits. An extraordinary accomplishment, bringing to mind the work of authors such as Claire North and Audrey Niffenegger.

Paris Adrift is to be published next February.

The press release announcing it featured an additional tease, too. Apparently, the next volume of Jonathan Strahan’s ongoing Infinity anthology project is called Infinity Wars—not to be confused with the forthcoming Avengers film—and a deep dive into Amazon’s database revealed the following:

We have always fought. War is the furnace that forges new technologies and pushes humanity ever onward. We are the children of a battle that began with fists and sticks, and ended on the brink of atomic Armageddon. Beyond here lies another war, infinite in scope and scale.

But who will fight the wars of tomorrow? Join Elizabeth Bear, Indrapramit Das, Aliette de Bodard, Garth Nix, An Owomoyela, Peter Watts, and many, many more in an exploration of the furthest extremes of military science fiction…

Infinity Wars, which E. J. Swift has also contributed a short story to, is currently scheduled for publication in September.

Niall Alexander is an extra-curricular English teacher who reads and writes about all things weird and wonderful for The Speculative ScotsmanStrange Horizons, and Tor.com. He lives with about a bazillion books, his better half and a certain sleekit wee beastie in the central belt of bonnie Scotland.

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