Vyvyan Evans

(c) Vyvyan Evans

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Vyvyan Evans is a native of Chester, England. He holds a PhD in linguistics from Georgetown University, Washington, D.C., is a Professor of Linguistics, and a full member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association (SFWA). He has published numerous acclaimed popular science and technical books on language and linguistics. His popular science essays and articles have appeared in numerous venues including 'The Guardian', 'Psychology Today', 'New York Post', 'New Scientist', 'Newsweek' and 'The New Republic'. His award-winning writing focuses, in one way or another, on the nature of language and mind, the impact of technology on language, and the future of communication. His science fiction work explores the status of language and digital communication technology as potential weapons of mass destruction.



BY Vyvyan Evans • POSTED ON May 2, 2023

The first installment of Evans’ Songs of the Sage SF series explores a near future in which language is a streamed commodity controlled by corporations.

In the early 22nd century, learned language is largely obsolete. The majority of the world’s populace is “chipped” at birth with a neural implant that streams “Unilanguage” technology, which is controlled by powerful mega-corporations. The language-streaming business is a highly lucrative and rapidly evolving industry—but when a catastrophic global language outage inexplicably sweeps much of the world, humankind quickly devolves into chaos. Emyr Morgan, head of the Europol Cybercrime Division, is tasked with investigating the outage. The grand-scale conspiracy that he uncovers is ingeniously intricate and involves the most powerful people on the planet. He soon finds himself on the run, with only one person in his corner: the enigmatic Ebba Black, a linguistics professor, heiress, hacker extraordinaire, and the world’s last natural speaker of multiple dead or proscribed languages. She also may head a terrorist organization; Morgan muses, “I had never in my whole life met anyone quite like her” in a moment of comic understatement. The novel is powered by a multitude of narrative elements: deeply considered and meticulously described worldbuilding, an impressively complex storyline with numerous bombshell plot twists, emotionally compelling characters, and weighty themes concerning the power of language and the danger of humankind’s becoming overly dependent on technology. The pace is breakneck and the action nonstop, leading up to a stand-up-and-applaud conclusion that not only satisfies, but sets the stage for the next installment.

A perfect fusion of SF, thriller, and mystery—smart speculative fiction at its very best.

Pub Date: May 2, 2023

ISBN: 9781739996222

Page count: 388pp

Publisher: Nephilim Publishing

Review Posted Online: April 12, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2023



BY Vyvyan Evans • POSTED ON May 7, 2024

The second installment of Evans’ Songs of the Sage series continues its narrative of a future society divided by IQ scores.

This genre-blending story—equal parts apocalyptic SF, arcane mystery, and mainstream thriller—is set in the early 22nd century, when the world’s population is separated into social classes based on intellect, with the lowest labeled the “Unskills.” A great many people fall into this category, and they’re “uncertified for work”; in an increasingly automated world run by artificial intelligence, some feel that Unskills are “useless eaters” holding humankind back from a glorious destiny. When a global pandemic quickly afflicts more than a billion people—all of them Unskilled—High Commissioner Lilith King, Interpol’s Special Representative to the United Nations, is brought in to investigate. King, whose own family line is murky, has unexplained powers that allow her to detect powerful beings—and she uses them to begin to unravel a nefarious conspiracy that, if successful, could lead to “the single greatest act of genocide in the history of the world.” Accompanied by Dr. Kace Westwood—whose Unskilled brother was murdered by radicals—she embarks on an investigation that leads them from the catacombs underneath Paris to the rainforests of South America to enclaves in the Swiss Alps. What they uncover is unimaginable, involving doomsday cults, interdimensional rifts, and alien invasion. Grand-scale storytelling of this type is immensely difficult to do well, but Evans masterfully twists together multiple storylines with ease. The pacing is relentless throughout, as is the action, with jaw-dropping set-pieces that rival any in a Mission: Impossible movie. But the two elements that make this novel stand out are its deep character development its thematic profundity. Evans portrays Lilith so insightfully—especially her brutal backstory—that readers will feel a close connection to her, and the novel’s not-so-subtle commentary on the dangers of blind faith in technology and authority is powerful indeed.

A truly extraordinary SF saga of epic scope.

Pub Date: May 7, 2024

ISBN: 9781739996246

Page count: 400pp

Publisher: Nephilim Publishing

Review Posted Online: May 6, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2024

The Babel Apocalypse -- book trailer

Awards, Press & Interests

Day job

Professor of Linguistics & language technology consultant

THE BABEL APOCALYPSE: Kirkus Best Books List, 2023

THE BABEL APOCALYPSE: Grindstone Literary International Novel Prize (longlisted), 2023

Kirkus starred review, 2023

Reedsy Discovery Review, 2023

SFBook Reviews, 2023

Medium, 2023

The Future Fire Reviews, 2023

Long and Short Reviews, 2023

Thick and Thin Reviews, 2023


The Rise of the Mashiach

Songs of the Sage #3, forthcoming
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