The Books of Babel Tetralogy: Senlin Ascends, Arm of the Sphinx, The Hod King and The Fall of Babel with An Empyreal Retinue

Josiah Bancroft

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Edition Qty
Limited Edition - Matching Set of Senlin Ascends, Arm of the Sphinx, The Hod King and The Fall of Babel with An Empyreal Retinue
Lettered Edition - Matching Set of Senlin Ascends, Arm of the Sphinx, The Hod King and The Fall of Babel

Dust jacket and interior illustrations by Tom Kidd.

Subterranean Press is pleased to announce that they will be publishing signed limited editions of Josiah Bancroft’s beloved series, The Books of Babel, with the first two installments (Senlin Ascends and Arm of the Sphinx) due to be published simultaneously as separate books, but sold only in pairs.

Their editions will be: 

  • Oversized.
  • Printed in two-colors throughout.
  • Featuring full-color dust jackets and four full-color interior illustrations per book by Tom Kidd.

Each set will contain a matched numbered copy of both Senlin Ascends and Arm of the Sphinx.

Senlin Ascends (The Books of Babel, volume one):

While honeymooning in the Tower of Babel, Thomas Senlin loses his wife, Marya.

The Tower of Babel is the greatest marvel of the Silk Age. Immense as a mountain, the ancient Tower holds unnumbered ringdoms, warring and peaceful, stacked one on the other like the layers of a cake. It is a world of geniuses and tyrants, of airships and steam engines, of unusual animals and mysterious machines.

Thomas Senlin, the mild-mannered headmaster of a small village school, is drawn to the Tower by scientific curiosity and the grandiose promises of a guidebook. The luxurious Baths of the Tower seem an ideal destination for a honeymoon, but soon after arriving, Senlin loses Marya in the crowd. Senlin’s search for Marya carries him through madhouses, ballrooms, and burlesque theaters. He must survive betrayal, assassination, and the long guns of a flying fortress.

But if he hopes to ever find his wife, Thomas Senlin must do more than survive. This quiet man of letters must become a man of action.

Arm of the Sphinx (The Books of Babel, volume two):

The adventure continues!

Forced by necessity into a life of piracy, Senlin and his crew struggle to survive aboard their stolen airship. Senlin’s search for his lost wife continues, even as her ghost hounds his every step. But the Tower of Babel proves to be as difficult to reenter as it was to escape.

While searching for an unguarded port, Senlin encounters the camp of Luc Marat, who seems equal parts bandit and humanitarian. One thing is for certain: his asylum for the downtrodden hods is not as peaceful as it appears.

In desperation, Senlin turns to the mysterious and dangerous Sphinx, with whom Edith shares a terrible bond. They discover the Sphinx’s help does not come cheaply. 

Senlin is soon faced with an impossible choice between his friends, his freedom, and his wife.

The Hod King (The Books of Babel, volume three):

Fearing an uprising, the Sphinx sends Senlin to investigate a plot that has taken hold in the ringdom of Pelphia. Alone in the city, Senlin infiltrates a bloody arena where hods battle for the public's entertainment. But his investigation is quickly derailed by a gruesome crime and an unexpected reunion.

Posing as a noble lady and her handmaid, Voleta and Iren attempt to reach Marya, who is isolated by her fame. While navigating the court, Voleta attracts the unwanted attention of a powerful prince whose pursuit of her threatens their plan.

Edith, now captain of the Sphinx's fierce flagship, joins forces with a fellow wakeman to investigate the disappearance of a beloved friend. She must decide who to trust as her desperate search brings her nearer to the Black Trail.

As Senlin and his crew become further mired in the conspiracies of the Tower, everything falls to one question: Who is The Hod King?

The Fall of Babel (The Books of Babel, volume four)

As Marat’s siege engine bores through the Tower, Senlin can do nothing but observe the mayhem from inside the belly of the beast. 

While Adam unravels the mystery of his fame within the crowning ringdom, Edith and her crew are forced to face Marat on unequal footing and with Senlin caught in the crossfire.

And when the Brick Layer’s true ambition is revealed, neither the Tower nor its inhabitants will ever be the same again.

An Empyreal Retinue

Dust jacket and interior illustrations by Tom Kidd.

Subterranean Press is pleased to announce a heavily illustrated short story collection, an offshoot of Josiah Bancroft’s The Books of Babel.

An Empyreal Retinue will be oversized, printed in two colors throughout. All editions will include duotone illustrations by Tom Kidd. The lettered and limited editions will also include a number of exclusive full-color plates not in the trade hardcover.

Expanding upon the world of The Books of Babelthis collection of short works builds upon the Tower in directions both acquainted and strange.

Herein, readers will find a heartbreaking account of the Sphinx as she prepares to receive expected but unwelcome guests.

Intrepid bibliophiles will be dazzled by Byron’s bravery as he charges headlong into a paperwork labyrinth and locks horns with a misanthropic minotaur.

Sensitive witnesses will delight in John Tarrou’s evolution from romantic naïf into sickly waif languishing upon porcelain shores in the grips of a theatrical cure.

Devotees of poetic justice will find satisfaction in Finn Goll’s grasp for redemption with hands caked in gun powder and book glue.

In addition to these familiar sagas, this volume contains a number of new meditations upon the spire’s innumerable facets: a bookseller tries his hand at racing airships; a youthful orphan seeks sanctuary in a ruin; an ambitious vendor of fleece is reacquainted with the value of his own pelt; and two explorers of the cruising Nebos stumble upon an unexpected stowaway.

To guide visitors, the author supplies a preamble in which he attempts to account for these tales that seek to enrich tourists, zealots, and hods alike.

Table of Contents:

  • Author’s Note
  • Of Opals and Imposters
  • An Unexpected Guest
  • The Stars Behind the Stars
  • Into the Misanthropolis
  • The Buzzard Men
  • We Sorry Lot of Martyrs
  • The Merchant of Blue Wool
  • An Empyreal Retinue

Limited: 400 signed numbered hardcover copies

Lettered: 26 signed, specially bound copies, housed in a custom traycase

More Information
Publisher Subterranean Press