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Hollow World Paperback – April 15, 2014

4.2 out of 5 stars 409 ratings

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Editorial Reviews


"Hollow World is a modern science fiction classic...It's perfect for both fans of science fiction as well as those curious about the genre. I'd also recommend it to anyone that likes to read books that encourage the reader to pause and ponder." -- Brannigan Cheney, The Quillery
"This is social science fiction that H.G. Wells or Isaac Asimov could have written, with the cultural touchstones of today. A modernized classic, Hollow World is the perfect novel for both new and nostalgic science fiction readers." -- Justin Landon, Staffer's Book Reviews

"Hollow World was easily one of my top reads of 2013...I rate this book highly based on pure enjoyment factor; Hollow World is so many things, but without a doubt, the best part about it is also its most obvious duality: that is it at once a light and entertaining read, but also heavy on important issues and philosophy." -- Stephenie Sheung, Bibliosanctum

"I'm happy to report that not only does Hollow World establish Sullivan as a force to be reckoned with in any genre he chooses to ply his talent to, it also is a prime example of one of the reasons speculative fiction is so important." -- Matt Gilliard, 52 Book Reviews

"Hollow World is one of those old style science fiction books I never really expected to see again." -- Christopher Mansell, A Writer's Sidequest

"This is a clever and thought-provoking story, with loads of interesting ideas, some adrenalin-pumping action and plenty of humour...overall an entertaining read with Pax being one of my favourite characters of the year." -- Pauline M. Ross, Fantasy Review Barn
"A novel that begins with sorrow and regret becomes a story of wonder and discovery that is at turns compelling and intriguing."-- Rob H. Bedford,

"Michael J. Sullivan has made a name for himself with his excellent series of fantasy novels and Hollow World proves he can deftly tackle science fiction just as skillfully. The ideas are big and the future plausible, this is one of those rare gems you'll be thinking about long after you put it down." - Bryce Lee, Only the Best Science Fiction & Fantasy

From the Author

Hollow World is a story I never meant to write. At any given time I have seven or eight novels sitting in a queue waiting their turn, and Hollow World wasn't one of them. It started out because of an anthology called The End--Visions of Apocalypse edited by N. E. White. Nila runs writing contests on sffworld and wanted to put out an anthology to showcase some new writers. She asked me and a few other established authors to act as anchors in the hopes of a wider readership. The first short story I wrote for her sparked what would become Hollow World, which really wanted to be a full-length novel. So I wrote a new story for Nila (Burning Alexandria) and pushed aside all my other projects to write this "book of the heart" that got into my head and wouldn't let me go.

When I started writing Hollow World, I suspected getting it published would be challenging. First, I'm established in epic fantasy, so crossing genres and moving into science fiction isn't what my (or I suspected other) publishers would be interested in.  Also, it is very much a cross-genre piece containing elements of science fiction, a heroes journey, and even a murder mystery all in a single book. To make matters worse, it deals with controversial subjects which I won't get into here as I don't want any spoilers. Last, but not least, it has a classic, retro vibe of the science fiction I loved in my youth, and I was told that the current market was focusing on space opera and military science fiction.

None of this deterred me. As with my other books, I was writing something I wanted to read. While I hoped there would be those that would want to read it, too, that was secondary to the fact that I just "had" to tell this story. I had already been successfully self-published in the past, and I was more than willing to do that again in order to get this book in front of readers. As it turned out, I got a nice five-figure offer for the book...but (the devil isn't in the details, it's in the buts) that publisher wanted full rights: print, ebook, and audio.  I REALLY wanted to keep the ebook rights so I turned that down and went in search of a "print-only" deal.

For those that don't know, there have only been a few "print-only" deals...and all of them by authors who sell at blockbuster levels (Hugh Howey, Brandon Sanderson, Bella Andre, and Coleen Hoover). But I figured nothing ventured nothing gained, so my agent approached Tachyon Publishing (who did Brandon Sanderson's print-only deal for his Hugo winning The Emperor's Soul) and they made me an offer which I gladly accepted.  I then sold the audio rights to Recorded Books, which have done such a great job with my Riyria Revelations and Riyria Chronicle novels.

One of the big advantages about retaining ownership of the ebook is that I can do some things that other publishers can't...namely:
  • I can offer free ebooks for anyone who buys the print or audio versions version
  • Provide my books DRM free so that they can be read them from multiple sources
  • Provide all ebook formats so readers can read it on their kindle, ipad, or nook
  • Offer a non-explicit language version for those who are sensitive to swearing
I'm really excited by this new publishing paradigm.  My hope is that it will be good for the readers, Tachyon Publications, Recorded Books, and myself. A win-win-win-win-win if ever there was one.

So, anyway that's probably more than you wanted to know about how Hollow World came into being and the unusual way in which it is being published. I do hope you'll enjoy it, and if you do, and would like more books in this world and with these characters, let me know. It's feedback from readers that often determines what I write in the future.

Michael J. Sullivan | @author_sullivan |

Always the perfect gift

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Tachyon Publications (April 15, 2014)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 384 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 161696183X
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1616961831
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 12 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.5 x 1 x 8.5 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.2 out of 5 stars 409 ratings

Customer reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5
409 global ratings
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Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on June 24, 2017
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Reviewed in the United States on June 7, 2014
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Reviewed in the United States on January 10, 2018
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Top reviews from other countries

5.0 out of 5 stars Not just very enjoyable but also very insightful
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 24, 2019
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5.0 out of 5 stars 5/5: Different, but an enjoyable read.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 8, 2018
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Timothy Cooper
4.0 out of 5 stars Get past the first 2 chapters & its amazing
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 7, 2015
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Mr. Simon J. Kelk
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful book that you can read in one sitting!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 5, 2015
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5.0 out of 5 stars I absolutely loved this book!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 7, 2015
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