Oct 12



When I have a night off, I like to dress up like a ninja and sneak about at night, seeing if there are any crimes I can prevent in the cities and suburbs of Canada. This is pretty boring as, despite what you may have seen on television, there isn’t much crime in this country.

So I usually end up finding a chicken place and taking off my zukin, or ninja mask, and eating alone.

From time to time, some wonderful people invite me to their book club. I prefer this to the largely disappointing ninja thing. If you would like to read Come Barbarians with your friends and then have me in your home, I will:

1. Dress up in a suit (not a ninja suit).

2. Bring a lovely bottle of Côtes du Rhône, from the region in southern France where Come Barbarians begins.

3. Provide hummus (in Alberta, where I have access to a Vitamix, it will be homemade hummus) and blue corn chips.

4. Do eight (8) consecutive hand-stand push-ups against a wall (by request only).

5. Sign copies of your books, unless they’re from the library.

6. Vacuum (by request only).

I mostly live in Edmonton. However, I travel around and I may be in your city or close enough to your city to visit. Send me a note on Twitter or Facebook if you want me to come over.



Ninja with vacuum

Sep 25

If a book launches in the chaos


My new novel, a thriller called Come Barbarians, launched on a warm late-September day, warm all over the world. The day was characterized by astonishing warmth.

The director Tom Gunia released a short Come Barbarians teaser video that says very little about the novel but does involve quite a bit of authorial humiliation.

Also, a review of the novel appeared in two newspapers: the Calgary Herald and Vancouver Province.

I will soon post a schedule of where I will be, between now and Christmastime, if you would like a signed copy. Of course, you could always just contact me through Twitter or Facebook.

Below is a photograph of Jean Shepherd.

Jean Shepherd, entertainer.




Sep 11

You guys have to buy it now


Come Barbarians is a page-turner in the vein of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy, minus the flashy technology.”

Quill & Quire


Yes, you need this in order to be a happy, well-adjusted person

Jul 25

Why read Come Barbarians?


You know nothing about my new novel, coming out September 24. You’re busy. So what is an author to do? Allow brilliant people to read an early version of it, that is what. Then ask them what they thought of it, and shamelessly publish these thoughts on the back of the book and… here, on a blog.

These are enormously good people, for doing this, especially since I have not met one of them in person (though that is my fondest dream).


With Come Barbarians, Todd Babiak stands shoulder to shoulder with Greene and le Carré, but makes the world his own, infusing it with French New Wave cinema and an emotionally resonant voice to craft a thriller of distinction, and of the heart.

-Andrew Pyper, bestselling author of The Demonologist


Come Barbarians is a heart-wrenching and heart-stopping thriller filled with powerful demonstrations of familial love as well as remarkable, chilling violence. Babiak masterfully negotiates these two extremes in this fast-paced, intelligent novel that had me white-knuckled until the last page.

-Ivy Pochoda, author of Visitation Street


Todd has crafted a dark mystery that had me contemplating ‘What would I do?,’ all the while painting a beautiful landscape. Would make Richard Castle proud! 

-Nathan Fillion, star of Castle


A strong, accomplished thriller with a subtle touch of character and a great sense of France and French politics.

-Martin Walker, author of the internationally bestselling series, Bruno, Chief of Police


Utterly gripping. Gets you by the throat and doesn’t let go.

-Sabine Durrant, author of Under Your Skin

COME BARBARIANS, launching September 24, 2013

Jun 18

Lost quotations by the greats, volume 8


Father didn’t like it when I wrote poetry. Boy did I want to show him! How best to show him? By scoring, right?

But when I was a young man I did not yet know how to attract women to my bed with words. Even if I did know how to attract them to my bed (Puedo escribir los versos más tristes esta noche), I would not have known what to do.

I mean, I barely know now.

A lot of people don’t understand how difficult I have found my crowded bedchambers. So clumsy! And everyone expects, when you can write a hell of a poem about love, that you should be a major cocksman. Unreasonable expectations. I falter, my comrades.

I wonder, in the midst of the act, “Is she looking at my bald head and thinking, ‘I am making love to a bald man.’ Or is she thinking of someone else, Hemingway for instance?”

God damn Hemingway! Let me say this: I spoke to a woman in Buenos Aires who had made love to him and she said it was forgettable. I mean, I suppose she will never forget she had made love to Hemingway. But the act itself: what did she say, ninety seconds, tops? The great American lover! Spare me!

-Pablo Neruda

Tonight I can write the saddest lines, you guys.