Mein Name ist Tom Hillenbrand. Ich komme aus Hamburg und wohne in München. Die meiste Zeit schreibe ich – vor allem Krimis, aber auch Scifi und historische Romane.

Ich habe Politik studiert und an der Georg von Holtzbrinck-Schule für Wirtschaftsjournalismus volontiert. Danach war ich für diverse Publikationen tätig (Textarchiv). Bis 2010 war ich Ressortleiter bei Spiegel Online.

Wenn ich gerade nicht schreibe, koche ich oder jage mit Bogen und Schwert Monster durch Dungeons, und zwar auf die althergebrachte Art: mit Papier, Bleistift und Würfeln.

My name is Tom Hillenbrand. I am from Hamburg and live in Munich...

Ich lese regelmäßig im deutschsprachigen Raum auf Festivals und in Buchhandlungen.
Außerdem halte ich Vorträge zu den Themen Essen und Wirtschaft.

Die nächsten Termine:

Bei Presseanfragen und Anfragen zu Buchlesungen wenden Sie sich bitte an meine Agentur weissundblau.

Bei Vortragsanfragen kontaktieren Sie gerne die Agentur für Helden.

Bei Rechteanfragen zu meinen Büchern sowie allen anderen Anfragen wenden Sie sich bitte an meine Literaturagentin Rebekka Göpfert.

About me

My name is Tom Hillenbrand. I am writing - mainly novels, but also some non-fiction (scroll down for a list of my books). Before I morphed into a full-time novelist, I covered technology and business for DER SPIEGEL’s online edition, Financial Times Deutschland and others. I live in Munich which is in Bavaria which is in Germany (kind of). When I am not writing, chances are you will find me at the gym or in a dungeon (not the whips-and-latex-kind, but the geeks-with-odd-shaped-dice-and-soda-kind).



My literary agent is Rebekka Göpfert.

For PR enquiries and readings, please contact Dorle Kopetzky.

Please do not send me any manuscripts. Unsolicited manuscripts sent by snail mail will be barbecued in my backyard. Unsolicited manuscripts sent by email will be printed out before being barbecued in my backyard.


Books (fiction)

My sci-fi thriller "Hologrammatica" is set in 2088. Three catastrophes have ravaged the planet - climate change, a virus that has greatly decimated world population and a crisis known as "The Turing Incident". Private eye Galahad Singh is hired to find a missing computer programmer who worked on encrypting mind uploads - digital replications of human brains. Who kidnapped the programmer? Soon Singh doubts that his adversary is human. English summary and rights info here.

My dystopian scifi thriller "Drone State“ is set in a future European Union that has become the perfect surveillance state. It won the Glauser prize for best German detective novel and the Laßwitz prize for best science fiction novel in 2014. It is currently available in German, English, French and Japanese. English summary and rights info here.

My historical novel „The Coffee Thief“ is a kind of Ocean’s Eleven with musketeers and powdered wigs. Set in the late 17th century, it is based on the true story of how the Dutch stole coffee plants from the Ottomans and broke the Turkish monopoly on the „wine of Islam“. Currently available in German, Spanish, Dutch and Russian. English summary and rights info here.


My Xavier Kieffer mystery series is about a cook and accidental detective. In every volume, Kieffer solves a murder (and uncovers a food scandal). The books are currently available in German, Italian, Spanish and Polish and are currently being made into a movie. English summary and rights info here.


"The Drones of Monsieur Leclerq“ is a collection of columns first published in the German edition of „Wired“ magazine - offering glimpses into a strange future, set in the world of „Drone Country“. Available in German.


Books (non-fiction)

Co-written with Konrad Lischka, and crowdfunded by hundreds of fans, "Dragonfathers: The History of Role-Playing Games and the Birth of the Virtual World“ is a 360 page full color book about the history of pen & paper RPGs like "Dungeons & Dragons". It traces the roots of these analog virtual realities to early fantasy stories and Prussian war game simulations. The book is currently available in German, but you can find an English summary here.


"The King’s NSA“ is an essay about the roots of mass surveillance in the Baroque era. It shows how Louis XIV and other monarchs used letters and ciphers to control the flow of information during the Enlightenment. Based on a Re:Publica speech, available in German and English.


"Bits & Bites. The invention of food“: What do iPhones and chocolate bars have in common? "Bits & Bites" looks at innovation in the food sector since the stone age. The essay is available in German and English.



Some thoughts on the hundred zillion Brexit bill

The FT reports that the Commission has re-estimated the UK’s Brexit bill. It is now going to be € 100 bn or even € 120 bn. Before, the figure was around € 60 bn. Some commentators conclude that the EU has decided to use Britain as a „cash piñata“ and that this is a kind of extortion scheme where 27 greedy countries gang up on one poor Sceptered Isle that might soon have to pawn the sceptre.

I do not think that’s the case. The € 100 bn are a negotiation tool. Works like this: Every time during the negotiations when the EU needs to make a concession to May, it will offer to shave off a couple of billions. In every quid pro quo, Commission negotiator Barnier will throw in an amount of fiat money (in the truest sense of the word). It’s bargaining chips that cost him nothing.

This is the classic from every negotiation playbook: Make extreme demands followed up by small, slow concessions.

Which means that the UK’s negotiators cannot – must not – accept any Brexit bill figure to be set at the start of the process. It does not matter whether the tally is a hundred or fifty billion. It’s a goddamn trap, either way.

When the FAZ reported on the disaster dinner where May said she wouldn’t pay anything before a trade deal was reached, my first thought was: the woman is delirious. But now I think she saw this coming. The Commission argues that everyone should agree what the two parties‘ liabilities are before the negotiations start. This is bullshit, because the negotiations are about the liabilities (financial ones and others).

May will never agree to be boxed in from the start. Or will she?

It might appear that the EU is daring May to go for hard Brexit to get it over with quickly. I do not think they are, though. This is just another spiel from the negotiating playbook: The good old take-it-or-leave-it offer. It even might work, because coughing up a hundred billion might sound bad, but compared to the alternative, it really isn’t.

The concessions the UK really wants, really needs have got nothing to do with cash, but with tariffs, regulations, passporting etc. The UK’s trade volume with the EU is roughly three times the likely Brexit bill every year. Britain’s annual GDP is around € 2500 bn. So any Brexit bill pales in significance to the effects of a favorable or unfavorable trade deal which will be in effect for decades.

We’ll see who flinches first.

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