The website of


One of Britain’s most challenging and original novelists” Times Literary Supplement


With extracts from the novels (although the text of China Dreams is complete), journalism, and unpublished short stories and poems




You can write to me via sid [at] sidsmith [dot] co [dot] uk


The Wikipedia entry


On BBC Radio 4:

Writing novels about a place you haven’t been (from 8min in)

Writing novels is boring – poetry is best (from 16min 40sec in)




“Nisbet and Trafalgar”

In which we follow Lord Nelson’s (real-life) stepson through his (not very real) adventures. Think of it as Flashman goes to sea





Twins’ (Sept 16)


‘Perry, Young and Old’


‘In The Mirror’


‘The Hat’ 




‘The Retiree’





Shorter ones   

“The Woven Spell” (July 23); “The Rule” (July 8); “From A to Beer”; “Sonnets”; “Hungover”; “Home after Christmas”; “My Terror of Todmorden”; “Little Buddha”; “A Plea”; “A Prisoner”; “Big Red Button”; “Home”; “Song in Summer”; “An English Spinster, 1928”; “Ilfracombe”; “My Daddy can Whistle”; “Uncle Sidney Tucks You In”; “Pain Considered”; “Burscough”; “I See A Gourmet”; “New Windows”; etc, etc


Longer ones

Additions to “Age” (Oct 15); “Ivy Crawls”; “Brief”; “On a Birthday”; “Sex Change at the London Hospital”; “A Very Hippy Christmas”; etc


Berlin Burned

War, pianos and strange sex with mirrors


Why We’re Not Bloody Moving to Bloody France

or, In the Chunnel, Arguing with the Missus





From Something Like a House’ (Picador, 2001)

Whitbread First Novel Award, James Tait Black Memorial Prize

“This amazing, authoritative tale of a deserter in China – ‘the only round-eye in the Red Guards’ – stains the mind indelibly, like a beautiful, harrowing dream”: Books of the Year, Daily Telegraph


From ‘A House by the River’ (Picador, 2003)

“A poetic novel and a serious literary novel, but also an adventure story. The writing is wonderful, absolutely brilliant. There is no Whitbread Second Novel Award, but he would be up for it”: Tom Sutcliffe, BBC Radio 4


The full text of ‘China Dreams’ (Picador, 2007)

Introduction to ebook version of China Dreams

“Plot summary cannot capture the strange beauty of this spare and intricately constructed novel”: The Guardian

“A string of visions that could be taken from Chinese folklore, but have as many resonances with the Bacchae, or the cult of Cybele. These nightmares have all the authority of world myth … Smith has made something fierce, alternative and horribly real”: Daily Telegraph





I’m a sub-editor at The Times and write the occasional piece for the paper. These days it’s behind a paywall, but if you have access you can search for my by-line, or here are some direct routes: My Japanese Wedding, a Historic Homes piece, another one, a shortie about British action novels and one on JP Donleavy’s The Ginger Man.





Random notes about novels I adore:

Is Stephen Maturin the best character in all literature? He’s the best I know.

Is his friendship with Jack Aubrey the best in all literature? It’s the best I know.”





Pictures and words about a DIY project