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philip reeve signature
Who I am

About Me

I was born in Brighton in 1966. After leaving school I trained as an illustrator, and worked for many years providing cartoons and illustrations for the Horrible Histories and Murderous Maths books. My first novel, the epic Mortal Engines, was published in 2001. It went on to win the Smarties and Blue Peter prizes, and a movie, directed by Christian Rivers and produced by Peter Jackson, was released in 2018.

Mortal Engines was followed by three sequels - Predator’s Gold, Infernal Devices, and A Darkling Plain - and three prequels; Fever Crumb, A Web of Air, and Scrivener’s Moon. A collection of related short stories, Night Flights, with illustrations by Ian McQue, was published in 2018, along with The Illustrated World of Mortal Engines, co-written with Jeremy Levett and featuring artwork by an array of illustrators...

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What else I do

More than Books

The Mortal Engines Series

It was a dark, blustery afternoon in spring, and the city of London was chasing a small mining town across the dried-out bed of the old North Sea...

My first published novel, Mortal Engines is an adventure set in a far-off future where predatory cities rumble about on wheels and merchant airships ply the skies. Three sequels continue the story - Predator's Gold, Infernal Devices and A Darkling Plain. Later I returned to the same world but in an earlier era for a prequel series - Fever Crumb, A Web of Air and Scrivener's Moon. (I'd recommend reading them in the order they were written, starting with the four Mortal Engines books, and moving on to Fever Crumb.) The Illustrated World of Mortal Engines is a lavishly illustrated encyclopaedia & history of the Traction Era which I do-wrote with Jeremy Levett, and Night Flights contains three short stories, with wonderful illustrations by Ian McQue, who also created the cover art for the series.

Cover artwork by Ian McQue

2002 Gold Award Nestlé Smarties Book Prize for 9 to 11 years

2003 Blue Peter Book Award: The Book I Couldn't Put Down

2006 Guardian Children's Fiction Prize

2007 L.A. Times Book Prize Young Adult Literature

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The Railhead Trilogy

These books were my return to grand-scale world-building after a few years away. They’re in a similar scale to Mortal Engines, but instead of a ramshackle retro-future they’re set among the glittering hi-tech cities and terraformed garden planets of the Network Empire, an interstellar society built around a vast system of hyperspace railways. Hired to pull of a heist far more dangerous than he expected, petty thief Zen Starling is plunged into an adventure involving sentient trains, secret stations, sensitive androids, fickle data-gods, chatty insect colonies - so many things, in fact, that the story spilled over into two more books, Black Light Express and Station Zero. I was aiming for the exotic fun of classic space opera, but with trains instead of spaceships...

Published in the UK by Oxford University Press, and in the US by Switch Press.

"Zen's world is hauntingly evoked in all its technological beauty. A futuristic vision that enthralls and chills." - The Financial Times.

"...the emotions of the characters (even the robot who wants freckles) draw you in wholeheartedly. Railhead is superb." - Martin Chilton, The Daily Telegraph.

Cover artwork by Ian McQue

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philip reeve railhead trilogy full set

The Goblins Trilogy

My favourite book when I was growing up was The Lord of the Rings, but I always felt a bit sorry for the goblins and orcs - why did they always have to be the baddies? So here's my fantasy trilogy, in which the goblins get to be the heroes for a change. The ruined city of Clovenstone where my goblins rub shoulders with trolls, giants, and other legendary creatures, is also slightly based on Dartmoor, where I live. Considerably goofier than the Mortal Engines or Railhead books, I hope Goblins, Goblins vs Dwarves, and Goblin Quest will appeal to fantasy fans of 7 and up.

Cover artwork by Jonny Duddle

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philip reeve here lies arthur book cover

Here Lies Arthur

I’ve always been fascinated by the Arthurian legends, so once I’d finished the first four Mortal Engines books it seemed natural to try and write a King Arthur story. The problem was, it had been done so often - how could I do something distinctive? The answer turned out to be a sort of anti-legend: in post-Roman Britain a girl named Gwyna falls in with the warlord Arthur and becomes apprentice to his wily spin-doctor Myrddin: together they spin the stories which will turn Arthur’s shabby exploits into a legend that will echo down the ages... Here Lies Arthur is my only non-fantasy book to date, although as it’s set in the Dark Ages it’s still basically a made-up world. It won the prestigious Carnegie Medal in 2008. Published in the UK by Scholastic

‘Reeve is a terrific writer and at times this novel packs real emotional heft and more than a little adult sensibility.’

Toby Clements, The Times

Cover artwork by Ian McQue

2008 Carnegie Medal

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No Such Thing As Dragons

Bogged down in the early drafts of the epic Fever Crumb, I decided to clear my head by setting it aside and writing a shorter, simpler book. The result is No Such Thing As Dragons. Brock and his apprentice Anselm are dragon hunters, travelling from town to town through the mediaeval Alps, promising to slay the monsters which the villagers believe live on the heights. Of course, Brock knows that there are no such things as dragons... until he arrives at the Drachenburg, and discovers that there just might be. It’s basically Jaws up a mountain, and I thought up the whole story on a walk up the Old Man of Coniston.

Published in the UK by Scholastic

‘Full of adventure, humour and invention’ Charlie Higson

Cover artwork by Ian McQue

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philip reeve larklight book cover

Larklight

From the author of the international blockbuster Mortal Engines, adapted by visionary Peter Jackson, Larklight is an utterly unique and page-turningly brilliant Victorian space adventure

Art Mumby is just a normal boy living in space, but all that changes when an ancient race of gigantic white spiders called the First Ones arrive to seize his family home, Larklight.

Forced to flee, Art and his annoying sister Myrtle are chased across the galaxy, from the fiery rivers of Mars to the distant rings of Saturn. But the First Ones have trouble on their hands. They don't bank on Art falling in with Jack Havock and a motley crew of notorious space pirates ...

Cover artwork by David Wyatt

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philip reeve sarah mcintyre reeve&mcintyre

Reeve & McIntyre

When I met author and illustrator Sarah McIntyre, we got on so well together that we decided we decided to collaborate on some joint projects. Together we create funny adventure stories aimed at readers who want more text than a picture book provides, but would still like lots and lots of pictures. Oliver and the Seawigs, Pugs of the Frozen North, Cakes in Space, Jinks and O’Hare, Funfair Repair, and three books (soon to be four) about Kevin, the Roly Poly Flying Pony. They work well for kids aged 7 - 10 (though they’re also good read-aloud stories for younger ones) and they’ve been very popular with schools. Sarah and I come up with the stories and ideas together, then I write the text and Sarah draws the pictures - but we help each other out if we get stuck.

Visit https://www.jabberworks.co.uk/ for fun, free activities and videos for each book from this fantastic double act!

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Photos of Dartmoor

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philip reeve and sarah mcintyre
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News & Events

Two Recent Interviews, and Mortal Engines hits Netflix

 Here’s a link to an interview I recorded back in the summer with Tim Taylor of the Time Team website – the online successor to the long-running and fondly remembered Channel 4 series of the same name.  The website archive features loads of i…

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Bookplates for Christmas

The author Holly Bourne has come up with a neat way for authors to support indie bookshops this Christmas, in a year when those shops have been forced to shut for months on end and even more business than usual has been going to the online giants. Holl…

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