Claiming T-Mo

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In this lush interplanetary tale, an immortal priest flouts the conventions of a matriarchal society by choosing a name for his child. The act initiates chaos that splits the boy in two, unleashing a Jekyll-and-Hyde child upon the universe: named T-Mo by his mother and Odysseus by his father. The story unfolds through the eyes of these three distinctive women: Silhouette, Salem and Myra - mother, wife, and daughter. As they struggle to confront their fears and navigate the treacherous paths to love and accept T-Mo/Odysseus and themselves, the darkness in Odysseus urges them to unbearable choices that threaten their very existence.

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About the Book

Recent Press & Endorsements

  • NPR, Jason Heller – “This debut novel by African Australian author Eugen Bacon is an instantly confounding and mysterious tour de force of imagination. On the surface, it’s a richly textured, multidimensional tale that blends science fiction and an intricate mythology of its own making. Dig deeper, and it’s a puzzle that requires considerable assembly, piece by piece, as Bacon’s vision of outer-space sociopolitics, Afrofuturist metaphysics, and familial bonds comes into sharper focus. It’s an audacious book, one that zooms from the broadest of cosmic conceits into the most intimate of emotional epiphanies. Bacon is not remotely interested in following any threadbare formulas of science fiction or fantasy — much to Claiming T-Mo‘s benefit.” – Full Review
  • Foreword Reviews – “Claiming T-Mo is literate, imaginative, and provocative—a strong, even unforgettable, science fiction debut.”
  • Library Journal – “Bacon employs elegant and poetic language that pulls readers into each different world and experience as felt by the three leading women. Recommended reading for those with an interest in sf, expressive language, and stories that focus on women’s relationships and perspectives.” – Full Review
  • Publishers Weekly – “Bacon explores a four-generation alien family saga in this gleeful, wacky debut.” – Full Review
  • Booklist – “Recommended for those looking for speculative fiction centered around Black characters as well as fiction that blurs the boundaries between genres.”
  • Lightspeed Magazine, Chris Kluwe – “A luxurious tapestry of words … Packed with so much love, fear, pain, and hope, that it invites multiple re-readings, and is good enough to justify the time spent doing so.” – Full Review
  • Aurealis Magazine, Megan Kelly – “Bacon enthralls readers with an innovative narrative that extols the potency of using poetic language in fiction.” – Full Review
  • Andromeda Spaceways – “Beautiful and engaging and provokes a genuine emotional reaction in the reader.” – Full Review
  • NB Magazine, Linda Hepworth (5 stars) – “[Bacon’s] eloquent, elegant and lyrical prose gripped me from the very first sentence of this immensely passionate, moving and thought-provoking story … [an] amazing, magical book.” – Full Review
  • Mad Scientist Journal – “A multi-generational tale of otherworldly beings, superpowers, and the complexity of families . . . fantasy and science fiction blended together in a way that makes both seem utterly plausible within the world Bacon has constructed.” – Full Review
  • Other Terrain – “Claiming T-Mo is more than its stylistic elements of sci-fi, fantasy and speculative fiction— it reads like a well-woven memoir, a family saga in a parallel universe in which human and alien interaction is not such a strange occurrence. This novel will ground and hook you with ‘what is’, and enchant and reel you in with what might be.” – Full Review
  • NB Magazine – “Eugen Bacon Meets Linda Hepworth” – Interview
  • Weekend Notes – “Nothing is off limits in Claiming T-Mo with a literary eloquence and decadence, which transports the mundane into the magical, suspending time and place into a kaleidoscopic universe.” – Full Review
  • Milton Davis (author of The Gunman Series, Meji books 1 & 2, and Amber and the Hidden City) – “Claiming T-Mo is a whimsical blend of fantasy and science fiction, an engaging story accented by Eugen’s unique style.”
  • Eric J. Guignard (award-winning author and editor, including That Which Grows Wild and A World of Horror)
    – “Claiming T-Mo is more than a novel—it is a life force, a beautiful and heartfelt sentience that speaks to you in equal parts charm, thrill, and wonder. Eugen Bacon is an emerging force in literary and genre circles alike, and quite simply her work is highly recommended.”
  • Kaaron Warren (award-winning author of Tide of Stone and The Grief Hole) – “Lush, hypnotic and absorbing. Bacon speaks in a language all her own, transporting us to an original, surreal, very real invented world.”
  • Keith Rosson (award-winning author of The Mercy of the Tide and Smoke City) – “Bacon’s sentences are endlessly full of these nimble, assured, madly inventive leaps. Her work is striking; I’ve never read anything like it.”
  • J.S. Breukelaar (author of Aletheia, American Monster, and Collision) – “Bacon scrambles and codifies and defamiliarises with a deft hand, bringing characters to vivid life and evoking worlds within worlds. Singing plants and sons severed from their best selves by bad intent; blue-haired aliens, murderous laws, and mothers who hide in the shadows—lyrical and mesmerising.”
  • Seb Doubinsky (author of the City-States Cycle) – “With Claiming T-Mo, Eugen Bacon has written an unforgettable saga of power, curse and hope, as lived by three generations of exceptional women. Magical, violent, enthralling, it is a book that shines with its own specific aura, a somber and beautiful unique object, designed by a truly splendid writer. A must.”
  • Julian Novitz (novelist, shortlisted Commonwealth Short Story prize 2014) – “A highly imaginative and well written novel with some highly evocative scenes and well realised characters, it uses the conventions of its genre to explore sophisticated themes.”
  • Nike Sulway (author,winner Queensland Premier’s Literary Award 2000) – “The voice is particular and energetic: by far the strongest element of the work. The sentences have a bridling, writhing energy that, at its best, carries the reader forward at a blistering pace. The style is reminiscent of Toni Morrison, particularly in works like The Bluest Eye, where she experiments with non-standard English, but is far more playful. The combination of voice infused with the playful energy of a form of Standard Black English, combined with a story of quests and magic produces a unique work.”
  • Michael Pryor (author of Gap Year in Ghost Town and the Laws of Magic series) – “Prose with a rhythm that sets it apart. Come for the music, stay for the story.”
  • Prof. Kevin Brophy (poet, novelist, short fiction writer and essayist, joint winner Calibre prize 2009) – “It is not easy to make a work of fiction keep to its genre boundaries and still be an original work. Eugen Bacon’s novel is ambitious and skillful enough to pull this off. This is a novel with several types of magic in it, the magic of beautiful prose, the magic we expect of these characters, and a magically large heart within the telling.”
  • George Green (author) – “Worlds are described, like those from Calvino’s Imaginary Cities, held up for the reader to admire, and then disappear to invite extrapolation . . . There is magic and magical powers, all described with a delight which is convincing and controlled. There is also realism, of a sort; places where the concerns and actions of the characters are similar to our own . . . The world described here is strange and yet familiar; more importantly, the worlds are fully imagined and fully realised. We are placed into it confidently and with assurance, and allowed to make our own way.”
  • Dominique Hecq (award-winning poet, novelist, short story writer) – “The first thing that strikes me about the novel is how efficiently the mood is set, and how effectively it draws the reader in by way of identification at a deep level. Striking are how efficiently the plot is set in motion and how effectively the cast of characters are drawn in the story. The use of language—the breadth of vocabulary and the attention to detail are absolutely engrossing.”
  • Prof. Oz Hardwick (award-winning poet and author of Learning to Have Lost and The Lithium Codex) – “Claiming T-Mo takes the reader on a breathless journey through kaleidoscopic worlds which, on looking closer, resemble the mythic veins and sinews of our own, pulsing with unalloyed vitality. Within this visceral, shimmering universe, beautifully drawn characters spin their intersecting tales in language that bristles with visionary exuberance. And throughout looms the presence—and absence—of the mercurial and mysterious T-Mo, who alone holds the answers to questions that lie too deep to be asked. As playful as it is thought-provoking, this is a work of dizzying originality and profound humanity.”
  • Emmet O’Cuana (author of comic Faraway) – “Claiming T-Mo is a story of generations of women striving for fulfillment, but caught in webs of passion, magic and stardust. Eugen Bacon embraces the strange and estranged in this unanticipated contemporary trickster myth.”
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About the Author
Eugen Bacon

Eugen Bacon is African Australian, a computer scientist mentally re-engineered into creative writing. She’s the author of Claiming T-Mo by Meerkat Press and Writing Speculative Fiction by Red Globe Press, Macmillan. Eugen’s work has won, been shortlisted, longlisted or commended in national and international awards, including the Bridport Prize, Copyright Agency Prize, Australian Shadows Awards, Ditmar Awards and Nommo Award for Speculative Fiction by Africans. Website: Twitter: @EugenBacon