The Aviator

Flying his hi-tech airship around a world devastated by climate change and economic collapse, the hero of The Aviator encounters the scattered and often weird remnants of our civilisation – people searching for the singularity, a rocking bishop in his flying cathedral, the last climate sceptics, deep green terrorists, billionaire libertarians in their bubble, and much, much more. Not to mention the goats, the girlfriend with bots in her head and the elixir of life (which is cheese).

Part dystopian tome ala ‘Mad Max’ meets ‘Waterworld’, part stinging indictment of the mendacious ongoing campaign to deny the threats of human-caused climate change, The Aviator delivers a winning combination of wit and insight as it depicts the perils we may bestow upon future generations if we choose not to act on the greatest threat human civilization has ever faced.

Professor Michael E Mann, climate scientist and author of The Hockey Stick & The Climate Wars.

A brilliant and wickedly satirical romp through a post-climate change world.

Sonny Whitelaw, author of Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis novels.

Early reviews: At, Arthur Smith writes:

At times the novel reminded me of some of the ambience and free-wheeling twists and turns of Neal Stephenson’s novels – “Snow Crash” and “Anathem” particularly. […] Renowden introduces conflicts and concerns which suggest a deep thoughtfulness about what really matters in life and in our future. The novel ends with a number of loose ends that anticipate a sequel – I’m eagerly looking forward to it!

Gavin Webber at The Greening of Gavin:

I found the story enthralling, entertaining, humorous, chilling in places, and believable. It was also a definite page-turner.

The Aviator is the first part of Gareth Renowden’s new Burning World series, and was first published as an ebook in August 2012. It is available worldwide in all major ebook formats and as a print-on-demand paperback. The opening chapters are available as a free download from all major ebook stores, or from the links in the sidebar here. The ebook is also distributed to libraries in New Zealand, Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom. Ask your librarian if you’d like to borrow a copy.

To stay up to date with events in The Burning World, visit the book blog and check out the Facebook page.

How to buy The Aviator: ebook editions are priced at NZ$6.99, US$4.99, £3.50 and €4.50. The epub edition is available direct from the author at Gareth’s web store priced at NZ$6.99. The paperback edition is priced at US$15, £9.50 or €11.00.


Apple iTunes bookstore: US, UK, Australia, New Zealand
Barnes & Noble
Nook UK store
Smashwords (all ebook formats and online reading)

9 thoughts on “The Aviator”

  1. Congratulations, ‘The Aviator’ really is a very good book. Is it really 100,000 words? Read it on an iPad and thought is was about 50,000 – which is good – it’s a page-turner.

    My only complaint, such as it is, is about a third of the way in when Mr Huang serves “a bowl with cooked chicken and chillies and a huge quantity of rice”. Truth is, the Chinese don’t bother much with rice in their meals and a factory owner like Mr Huang would most likely show up with some of his senior management and they’d all be there for a formal Chinese banquet – with no rice to be seen. Plus, to be really picky, climate change might well make rice more difficult to grow…

    I only bother to mention this because (apart from just having returned from spending several days in China) your book is really, really good and so amazingly convincing about so many unlikely things and delivers credible incredible characters, that I didn’t think you’d want your Chinese factory owner to be showing disrespect for our hero by giving him a rather cursorily prepared meal with its ‘huge quantities of rice’.

    Still, I’m thinking of getting the paperback version now, to have it on my shelves and be able to loan it to those I think should read it.

    When’s the next volume due to be published?


    • Thanks for the kind comments, Paul. Yes, the book is 108,000 words. Glad they got out of the way and let the story flow…
      Your point on the Chinese meal is well made. I could perhaps defend myself by suggesting that because rice is much more difficult to grow in the Burning World, presenting a big bowl of a scarce food shows the guest is being honoured.
      I’m currently working on ideas for books two and three, and hope that Book Two will appear towards the end of 2013.

  2. I am in Taiwan, and I can tell you that Tawianese and CHinese DO EAT their meals with rice, lots of rice, huge quanities of white rice, and Paul is wrong above. He visits China for a few days and suddenly is an expert? I been here 20 years Paul. They do eat rice in Taiwan and China, LOTS of rice. PLEASE!

    • I don’t doubt that you’re right Dan, but I do think it’s the case that when formal meals are provided to people regarded as ‘important guests’ (as would have to be the case in Gareth’s wonderful book) rice is not routinely served in any great quantity.

  3. Regarding rice and banquets… see, for instance, this comment on

    “Chinese Banquet Etiquette Tip #6: Don’t Ask for Rice

    Rice is a normal part of a routine Chinese meal, but at a banquet, it is different. At a banquet, the focus is on meat and vegetables. Rice is not served until the very end of the meal. If you ask for rice in the middle of the meal, it will come across as if you think the host has not provided enough food.”

    It’s not that the Chinese don’t eat a lot of rice! I was thinking that Mr Huang would want to impress his guest by providing him with anything but rice, in accordance with the tradition of the Chinese banquet. I hope this clarifies things!

    Meanwhile, we all wait eagerly for Gareth’s sequel… 🙂

  4. I’ve never been accused of being an arrogant westerner before. I’ve been to China eight times and have experienced wonderful hospitality and been treated with respect, which I hope that I have always returned. I have enjoyed dozens of banquets. The ‘rice issue’ has arisen on a number of occasions because I happen to like rice very much and wondered why it wasn’t a central dish in the banquets – which it clearly wasn’t. My comments are based on this experience and appear to be supported to some extent by the blog I noted last time – which I found through a very quick search on-line. I didn’t start this to get into a slanging match but simply because I thought Gareth’s book is superb and I wanted to share an observation I’d made on the basis of being precisely what his protagonists is in the book – an ‘honoured’ visiting guest.

  5. David Bradshaw said:

    Hi Gareth,

    I really enjoyed the first book of the series, and I’m looking forward to reading the next book. How’s it coming along?

    Best regards,

    Dave Bradshaw

    • Hi Dave,

      Very slowly, unfortunately. I have a book on truffles under way – aiming to get it out this year. But the continuing adventures of Lemmy and Kate and Jenny are plotted out for the next two books…


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