2018 Book News

Happy New Year!

After a quiet time publication-wise in 2017, I’m going to be BUSY over the next twelve months. Here’s a list of all the Reeve, McIntyre and Reeve & McIntyre titles which will be released in the UK during 2018.

Station Zero


This is the third book in the Railhead trilogy. I wrote a bit about it here, and I’ll be writing a lot more about it as publication date draws near. I’ve really enjoyed living in  Zen and Nova’s world for the past few years – in fact, I think it’s the best time I’ve had as a (solo) writer, and the best work I’ve done. I’ll be sorry to move on, but I hope Station Zero is a suitably grand and explosive way to bring the series to a conclusion. The cover illustration is by Ian Mcque.

Published by Oxford University Press, May 2018


Night Flights

Ian McQue is also going to be providing a cover and some interior illustrations for this book, which gathers together three short stories about Anna Fang, adding a bit of detail to the stories of her early life which are hinted at in Mortal Engines. The middle story is based on my long out-of-print World Book Day story Traction City, but I’ve re-written it to bring Anna to the centre of things – she made more of a cameo appearance in the original version. The other two are episodes from Anna’s life which never found a place in the original Mortal Engines Quartet, and which I think make good stories in their own right – I’m very much looking forward to seeing what images Ian puts with them. As there’s no artwork to show you yet, here’s a picture of Jihae, who plays Anna in the forthcoming Mortal Engines movie. (It was talking to her in Wellington last year which made me decide to do this book.)


Published by Scholastic, June 2018


The Legend of Kevin

By Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre

Work in Progress!

This is my fifth story book with splendidly-befrocked illustration legend and international celebrity hatstand Sarah McIntyre! The first four each had a different setting and central character, but The Legend of Kevin will be the start of a four book series. It seems to be set in the same world as Oliver and the Seawigs (the mermaids make a guest appearance, and those Sea Monkeys are up to mischief again) but our heroes this time are a boy called Max and a roly-poly flying pony named Kevin, who crash-lands on the balcony of Max’s flat one stormy night and decides to stay. Kevin made his first appearance in a story Sarah and I made up one Christmas here on Dartmoor. He was inspired by a plump Pegasus I painted on a bit of Brighton beach driftwood back in 1989 – little did I know where that would lead!)

Published by Oxford University Press, September 2018


When she isn’t slaving over the illustrations for our joint efforts, McIntyre is usually to be found creating picture books (Jampires and There’s A Shark In The Bath are borrowed from UK libraries more often than all the books I’ve written put together). She has two new titles coming out this year:

Dinosaur Firefighters


Dinosaur Firefighters is a follow-up to the very successful Dinosaur Police, and if you know any picture-book fans who like firefighters and/or dinosaurs, this is the book for them. Dipsy the Diploducus is desperate to join the Dinoville Fire Brigade, but is she too big and clumsy? SPOILERS: Of course she isn’t, and after a couple of comic catastrophes Dipsy finds her feet and saves the day. (I eagerly await the adventures of Dinosaur Paramedics, Dinosaur Coastguards and all the other dinosaur emergency services, but I think Sarah might feel it’s time to move on…)

Published by Scholastic, May 2018

The New Neighbours

Dinosaur Firefighters is bright, goofy, and fun, and it’s main purpose is to make small children laugh uproariously. Sarah’s other picture book this year is drawn and coloured in a slightly softer-edged, more subtle style, but it’s just as much fun and will have the same effect. It’s based around her Vern and Lettuce characters, and takes place in a tower block where each floor is home to a family of different animals. Behind all the charm and silliness and cute bunnies there is a gentle, generous, very McIntyre-ish lesson about tolerance and neighbourliness. It’s her picture book masterpiece, and it deserves to do very well indeed.

Published by David Fickling, March 2018


An Illustrated Guide to the World of Mortal Engines

(by Jeremy Levett and Philip Reeve)

With the Mortal Engines movie looming, it seemed a good opportunity to revise and expand the old Mortal Engines Codex, which had a very patchy e-book release a few years ago. Jeremy Levett knows far more about history and technology than I ever will, and he’s come up with an impressively plausible account of the centuries which separate the Fever Crumb books from the beginning of Mortal Engines, as well as lots of extra details about the cities, airships and characters who inhabit the books. There are glimpses of what the Traction era means for Australia, South America, and other bits of the world my stories never managed to encompass. And it will all be full of paintings, maps and diagrams by an illustrator (or illustrators) whose name (or names) I’ll reveal nearer the publication date.

Published by Scholastic, November 2018


These titles will be available from all good bookshops, and it should be possible to pre-order them from a few months before publication date. Page 45  in Nottingham ship internationally and stock the Reeve & McIntyre books  (and if you pre-order The New Neighbours from them you get a limited edition signed bookplate).

At time of writing, Amazon UK seems only to have a US edition of Night Flights for pre-order – it has the wrong publication date and a strange price – so UK readers should be careful to wait for the UK edition to be listed. The current Amazon listing also says there are four stories, but that’s wrong: there are three.







What with one thing and another I’ve been too busy to publish any new fiction this year – although I have been hard at work on Railhead 3, which will be coming out next spring. (I’ll be announcing the title and sharing the cover artwork soon.)

But although Sarah McIntyre and I won’t be releasing a new story until next autumn we are publishing one book together this year, and here it is – PUG-A-DOODLE-DO, the Reeve & McIntyre Bumper Book of Fun:


When those nice people at Oxford University Press asked us to come up with an book of doodling and colouring activities based on characters and illustrations from our four books with them (Oliver and the Seawigs, Cakes in Space, Pugs of the Frozen North, and Jinks and O’Hare, Funfair Repair) we had to have a good hard think…

And some full and frank discussions…

We decided that we didn’t want to just re-use pictures from the other books, so we ended up writing and drawing quite a lot of new material too, including some surprisingly pointless quizzes, the autobiography of Colin the superstar crab, a day in the life of put-upon space tyrant Lord Krull, Iris the Mermaid’s Beauty Tips and super villain Stacey de Lacey’s frankly disturbing debut as an agony aunt. There are, inevitably, Quite A Lot Of Pugs. It was also a chance to publish print versions of a few things which have hitherto existed only online, like the excellent character drawing guides which Sarah produces to go with all our books, and the touching tale of Kevin, the Dartmoor Pegasus.

That lot filled about half the book. For the rest, I went to Sarah’s studio in London’s exotic Deptford, where we sat up late into the night dreaming up jokes and activities to fill the remaining pages. This resulted in some lovely spreads…

…and some rather odd ones…

…and towards the end it all started to get a bit Conceptual…

Anyway, PUG_A_DOODLE_DO is available now from all UK booksellers, price £10, and I think it’s turned out rather well. When I was a kid I always looked forward to the Bumper Summer Specials which comics like the Dandy and Whizzer and Chips used to publish in the summer holidays – extra thick editions crammed with stories, jokes and puzzles – and I hope our Bumper Book of Fun has something of that quality. It made us laugh like drains while we were thinking it up, so hopefully it will amuse somebody else too. Here’s my 8-year-old cousin Aretha test-driving a copy, and she seems to approve!

If you’re able to get to Tales On Moon Lane bookshop in London’s exotic Herne Hill this coming Saturday (8th September) Sarah and I will be launching the new book with a special doodling event, featuring guest pugs (including pug superstar Benny Bean).


Benny Bean: look at his little FACE…


Look! Seawigs have reached Germany! Here are some young rambling isles who we met last week at the European School Rhein Main in Bad Villbel, near Frankfurt.
Dressler, our German publisher, had asked Sarah McIntyre and I to go and visit some international schools to spread the word about Oliver and the Seawigs, or ‘Schwupp und Weg’ as it’s known in those parts. 
Me, Stephanie, McIntyre and Mystery Guest.
Our main host was Stephanie von Selchow who is the librarian at the European School in Frankfurt. She’d arranged for us to do two sessions there, for her own students, and a visiting class from the Textorschule in Sachsenhausen.  A lot of the kids had already read Oliver and the Seawigs, so after we’d talked a bit about it we went on to cakes in Space, which has just been published in Germany as Kekse im Kosmos. Most of the audience spoke good English, and it seemed to go down well – of course, some of the show needs no translation; the bit where Sarah hits me over the head with a mandolin case goes down well in any language. Ow.
That afternoon we had a quick wander around Frankfurt, and tried to draw some of the odd but attractive pollard linden trees which line the riverside. 
Then it was off to the Goldmund Restaurant at the Literaturhaus, where we had dinner with Stephanie and some of her colleagues from ESF and other schools. As you can see, it was very grand, and the food was lovely. 

The next morning we were picked up by Manuela Rossi, who whirled us down the Autobahn to Bad Villbel, where we talked Seawigs and Cakes to some of the students of the European School Rhine Main. Utte, the librarian there, showed us some of the great artwork the children had produced, including this fantastic tower of houses. It looks a bit like a Traction City from my Mortal Engines books.
Best question of the day: “Where did you get those GIGANTIC SHOES?”
Achtung! Gigantischeschuhen!
Then it was back on the Autobahn to yet another international school, Accadis in Bad Homburg
We’d met Samantha Malmberg and Caitlin Wetsch from the school at the previous night’s dinner, so it was good to see them in their natural surroundings, and meet their students, who were VERY EXCITED TO SEE US. Some of the classes had done whole whole projects on Oliver the Seawigs, complete with some great drawings.

Samantha Malmberg with one of the drawings we did at accadis…
…and the seawig Sarah drew for Caitlin.
And after that we had a little bit more time to mooch around Frankfurt, in the guise of Mitteleuropean crime-fighting duo Peek & Cloppenburg.
Strange things were going on in Frankfurt city centre. Nobody seemed to be bothered by the fact that the shopping mall was being devoured by a freak wormhole…
…while a time-loop at the caketastic Café Im Liebeighaus kept generating extra Sarahs…
But we discovered a natty German-style TARDIS and were able to save the day.
And we both found excellent covers for our forthcoming albums, should we ever find time to write and record them. Mine is going to be icy German electronica…

Heaven knows what Sarah’s is going to sound like.
But whatever it is, it will be lovely – because some things are Better Than Perfection.
Thanks to Stephanie, and to all the students, staff and volunteers who helped to make our visit to Frankfurt so enjoyable! We were very sad to leave…

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