The Factory World

Steam Press’s first title for 2013 is Joseph Edward Ryan’s The Factory World. Joseph is from Wellington, New Zealand, and he has both a BA and an MA in creative writing and is an award-winning author of short fiction. The Factory World is Joseph’s first novel. If you’re keen to find out more about him and what he’s up to, check out his blog at

“Some people can’t see certain things the world makes. It gets in them like a thorn and turns in a bad way. Cuts them up from inside, and gets a bleed going. And that makes a person weak. And in a world like this, kid, that's enough to get you killed.”

Waking in a pipe in a silent forest, unable to remember how he got there or where he came from, Simon finds himself walking a rusting railway track with a mysterious stranger who cannot even remember his own name. Abandoned factories and eerie mannequins dot their path, falling stars lighting the night sky and searing holes through the earth to reveal a maze of pipes beneath. A dream, and a thousand miles away is their only way home.

But they are not alone on this factory world, and soon realise that they are fighting for their lives...



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Praise for The Factory World

“A highly accomplished first novel that shows great leaps of imagination and a firm handle on the sci-fi genre... It has more than an echo of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road and transmits a similar feeling of melancholy and despair. Disturbing, engaging and thought-provoking, The Factory World deserves a wide audience.” – New Zealand Listener

“Belts along with tremendous energy... The present is murderous, future uncertain and past evasive... A considerable imaginative accomplishment, and definitely absorbing. Watch this guy’s space.” – Herald on Sunday

“A profoundly strange, sinister trip where the answers are hidden beneath layers of possible meaning and non-meanings... Wholly unique and thought provoking.” – NZ Booklovers

“This story had a real impact on me. The plot is imaginative and the story engrossing.” – Herald on Sunday

“Building towards an action-packed climax Ryan doesn’t lose sight of what really makes The Factory World stand out – its atmosphere and tone of hidden menace, and its central relationship of Simon and The Tin Man. This story draws you in almost immediately and Ryan’s deft handling of his central characters and the ever-changing landscape around them was crucial to keeping me riveted... I found The Factory World so new and so fresh that it had a real impact on me.” – BookieMonster

“Most stories are plot-driven, some are character-driven, and just occasionally a novel is setting-driven. The Factory World is one of the latter, all about place. And a strange place it is too, alternately dream-like and nightmarish, brought vividly to life through Ryan’s elegant prose... A unique and skilfully designed world, that will stick in your memory.” – Novazine

“Ryan has constructed an intricate puzzle box of a story, with a pair of characters that you will love. You’ll be biting your nails even as you explore their new dangerous and curious world along with them.” – Philippa Ballantine

“A powerful and original evocation of a world where the distinction between the human and the machine is problematic ... The story flows straight from the page to the imagination.” – Phillip Mann

“Simon is a wonderful character – plucky, compassionate and inventive – in a sinister and unsettling world that lived on in my imagination long after I finished the book.” – Mandy Hager

“Weird and intriguing ... strange and disturbing ... a wonderful antidote to the ubiquitous fat fantasy trilogy.” – SFFANZ Reviews

“Dark and foreboding as any great New Zealand novel but full of original twists, The Factory World is an unsettling, slow-burning road trip through post-apocalyptic chaos.” – Sarah Dunn, Baby Seal Book Club

“A genuinely unsettling mix of the familiar and the weird, Ryan’s story world seems born out of a fevered nightmare. It’s the vivid grotesquerie of Ryan’s wildly fertile imagination that is this book’s greatest strength... I gobbled down the majority of it in one greedy sitting.” – We ♥ Books

“Well written with some stunning dialogue between Simon and the Tin Man... For something classy and different read this. A totally unique idea.” – Bob’s Book Blog

Go on – you know you want to...

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Joseph Ryan

Joseph Ryan

The Factory World

Josephd Edward Ryan

ISBN: 9780992251109

Pages: 310

Paperback RRP: NZ$30

ebook RRP: NZ$9