Two time-traveling agents from warring futures, working their way through the past, begin to exchange letters—and fall in love in this thrilling and romantic book from award-winning authors Amal-El Mohtar and Max Gladstone.
Among the ashes of a dying world, an agent of the Commandant finds a letter. It reads: Burn before reading.
Thus begins an unlikely correspondence between two rival agents hellbent on securing the best possible future for their warring factions. Now, what began as a taunt, a battlefield boast, grows into something more. Something epic. Something romantic. Something that could change the past and the future.
Except the discovery of their bond would mean death for each of them. There’s still a war going on, after all. And someone has to win that war. That’s how war works. Right?
Cowritten by two beloved and award-winning sci-fi writers, This Is How You Lose the Time War is an epic love story spanning time and space.
Amal El-Mohtar is an award-winning author, editor, and critic. Her short story “Seasons of Glass and Iron” won the Hugo, Nebula, and Locus awards and was a finalist for the World Fantasy, Sturgeon, Aurora, and Eugie Foster awards. She is the author of The Honey Month, a collection of poetry and prose written to the taste of twenty-eight different kinds of honey, and contributes criticism to NPR Books and The New York Times. Her fiction has most recently appeared on Tor.com and Uncanny Magazine, and in anthologies such as The Djinn Falls in Love & Other Stories and The Starlit Wood: New Fairy Tales. She is presently pursuing a PhD at Carleton University and teaches creative writing at the University of Ottawa. She can be found online at @Tithenai.
Max Gladstone is the author of the Hugo-nominated Craft Sequence, which Patrick Rothfuss called “stupefyingly good.” The sixth book, Ruin of Angels, was released this September. Max’s interactive mobile game Choice of the Deathless was nominated for the XYZZY Award, and his critically acclaimed short fiction has appeared on Tor.com and in Uncanny Magazine, and in anthologies such as XO Orpheus: Fifty New Myths and The Starlit Wood: New Fairy Tales. John Crowley described Max as “a true star of twenty first century fantasy.” Max has sung in Carnegie Hall and was once thrown from a horse in Mongolia.
"This Is How You Lose the Time War is rich and strange, a romantic tour through all of time and the multiverse, and you shouldn’t miss a moment.”
– Martha Wells, Hugo Award-winning author of The Murderbot Diaries
"This book has it all: treachery and love, lyricism and gritty action, existential crisis and space-opera scope, not to mention time traveling superagents. Gladstone's and El-Mohtar's debut collaboration is a fireworks display from two very talented storytellers."
– Madeline Miller, Winner of the Orange Prize for Fiction
“Poetry, disguised as genre fiction. I read several sections out loud — this is prose that wants to be more than read. It wants to be heard and tasted.”
– Kelly Sue DeConnick, author of Captain Marvel
“An intimate and lyrical tour of time, myth and history, with a captivating conversation between characters—and authors. Read it.”
– New York Times bestselling author John Scalzi
“A time travel adventure that has as much humanity, grace, and love as it has temporal shenanigans, rewriting history, and temporal agents fighting to the death. Two days from now, you've already devoured it.”
– Ryan North, New York Times Bestselling and Eisner Award winning author of How To Invent Everything: A Survival Guide For The Stranded Time Traveler