Solaris acquisition announcement: UBO by Steve Rasnic Tem

Solaris Books is today delighted to share with our readers the announcement that we will be publishing horror legend Steve Rasnic Tem’s long-awaited first dark SF novel UBO in Spring 2016.

UBO is a timely and poignant look at humanity’s relationship with violence, and has been a work in progress for Tem since the early 80s. In UBO Tem combines his flair for horror with a beautifully conceptualised future world set in the prison of “Ubo,” from which the title draws its title, to create a poignantly realised and highly terrifying glimpse into the darker side of human nature.

“Every resident has a similar memory of the journey to Ubo: a dream of dry, chitinous wings crossing the moon, the gigantic insects so like roaches or cicadae dropping swiftly over the houses of the neighborhood. Dark membranes and scabrous exoskeleton pass through walls and windows in some manner magical or scientific that resembles most a deck of dusky and baroquely ornamented cards fanning themselves from one hidden world into the next.”

Now in Ubo, Daniel has no idea how long he has been imprisoned by the roaches. Each day they force him to play a different figure from humanity’s violent history, from a frenzied Jack the Ripper to a stumbling and confused Stalin to a self-proclaimed god executing survivors atop the accumulated ruins of the world. The hellish scenarios mutate day after day in this concentration camp somewhere beyond the rules of time, as skies burn and prisoners go mad, identities dissolving as the experiments evolve toward their mysterious end.

UBO inspiration board: see more & image credits at
PLEASE NOTE: this board contains some images that readers may find upsetting.
Speaking exclusively with the When Gravity Fails blog Tem describes working on UBO:

“Sometimes when you’re working on a piece you realize you’re not yet intellectually, or creatively, or emotionally equipped to do the material justice (and sometimes all three). My novel UBO, a meditation on violence, has been such a project for me. I began it in the early 80s, and showed sample chapters to a number of writers I respected. Some thought it was wonderful and showed great promise. Others thought a book about humankind’s propensity for violence was the last thing they wanted to read. For myself, I knew it was the most challenging thing I’d ever attempted. More problematic, however, was the fact that I had a 5- and an 8-year-old at home, and toiling in the land of Ubo during the day and then playing with my children and reading them bedtime stories proved to be a wrenching experience. I put the manuscript aside. Over the years I’d pick it up again, but I’d discover that either I wasn't emotionally ready to tackle it, or I doubted my level of craft. Which brings us to today. At 64 years old I'm a little wiser perhaps; certainly I'm a lot more foolish. I'm still rather emotional, but I've learned that for me at least that seems to go with the job. And the book is done.”

We’re incredibly excited for the opportunity to be able to publish this amazing work, from one of our favourite authors and we hope you’re looking forward to it as much as we are. 

For now we leave you with a few words from our Editor-in-Chief Jonathan Oliver on the acquisition:

“Steve is one of the most exciting and diverse voices in genre. Granted, he’s known mainly for horror, but this move into dark SF is an entirely natural progression for Steve. I’ve been enjoying his weird SF stories for years and to bring these talents to a novel is very exciting. There is no one quite like Steve Rasnic Tem.”

UBO is set to publish Spring 2016.

Steve Rasnic Tem is the author of over 400 published short stories, 6 novels, 9 collections, and is a past winner of the Bram Stoker, International Horror Guild, British Fantasy, and World Fantasy Awards.

He is the author of 2 previous novels for Solaris: Deadfall Hotel (2012) and  Blood Kin (2014).

Press enquires should be directed to Lydia Gittins at

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