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Swords and Spaceships

Swords and Spaceships Dec 30

Hello on these final days of 2016! The future is basically tomorrow.

We’re giving away a $250 Barnes & Noble shopping spree. Go here to enter.

$250 Barnes & Noble Giveaway

 

My goal with this week’s newsletter is to explode your TBRs for 2017 — sorry not sorry. You all got gift cards to bookstores, surely? (If not, please join me in bombarding my library with hold requests.) To that end, we’re starting off with the top five posts, plus one, from Book Riot’s science fiction and fantasy coverage in 2016:

100 Must-Read SF/F Books by Female Authors
100 Must-Read Strange and Unusual Novels
7 Stand-Alone Novels for Fantasy Lovers
7 Stand-Alone Novels for Science Fiction Lovers
10 Fantasy Books with Excellent Feminist Heroines
Bonus: Your Middle-Earth Race Based On Your Hogwarts House

Those are, of course, all books you can get/read now. I am happy to report that the Gods of Future Books have smiled upon us as well; here are 14 of the most anticipated sci-fi/fantasy/related books coming in 2017, selected by yours truly and my fellow Book Riot contributors. (All descriptions taken from publisher copy.) Time to limber up your pre-ordering muscles, folks.

Cover Collage for Most-Anticipated Books Coming in 2017

The Cold Eye (The Devil’s West #2) by Laura Anne Gilman, January 10 2017 (Saga Press)
Picked by: Liberty Hardy
In the anticipated sequel to Silver on the Road, Isobel is riding circuit through the Territory as the Devil’s Left Hand. But when she responds to a natural disaster, she learns the limits of her power and the growing danger of something mysterious that is threatening not just her life, but the whole Territory.

Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza, February 7 2017 (Razorbill)
Picked by: Angel Cruz
Rhee, also known as Crown Princess Rhiannon Ta’an, is the sole surviving heir to a powerful dynasty. She’ll stop at nothing to avenge her family and claim her throne.
Aly has risen above his war refugee origins to find fame as the dashing star of a DroneVision show. But when he’s falsely accused of killing Rhee, he’s forced to prove his innocence to save his reputation – and his life.
With planets on the brink of war, Rhee and Aly are thrown together to confront a ruthless evil that threatens the fate of the entire galaxy.
A saga of vengeance, warfare, and the true meaning of legacy.

Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman, February 7 2017 (W.W. Norton)
Picked by: Keri Crist-Wagner and Martin Cahill
In Norse Mythology, Gaiman stays true to the myths in envisioning the major Norse pantheon: Odin, the highest of the high, wise, daring, and cunning; Thor, Odin’s son, incredibly strong yet not the wisest of gods; and Loki, son of a giant, blood brother to Odin and a trickster and unsurpassable manipulator.
Through Gaiman’s deft and witty prose emerge these gods with their fiercely competitive natures, their susceptibility to being duped and to duping others, and their tendency to let passion ignite their actions, making these long-ago myths breathe pungent life again.

Wintersong by S. Jae Jones, February 7 2017 (Thomas Dunne)
Picked by: Jenn Northington
All her life, nineteen-year-old Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, mysterious Goblin King. He is the Lord of Mischief, the Ruler Underground, and the muse around which her music is composed. Yet, as Liesl helps shoulder the burden of running her family’s inn, her dreams of composition and childish fancies about the Goblin King must be set aside in favor of more practical concerns.
But when her sister Käthe is taken by the goblins, Liesl journeys to their realm to rescue her sister and return her to the world above. The Goblin King agrees to let Käthe go—for a price. The life of a maiden must be given to the land, in accordance with the old laws. A life for a life, he says. Without sacrifice, nothing good can grow. Without death, there can be no rebirth. In exchange for her sister’s freedom, Liesl offers her hand in marriage to the Goblin King. He accepts.
Down in the Underground, Liesl discovers that the Goblin King still inspires her—musically, physically, emotionally. Yet even as her talent blossoms, Liesl’s life is slowly fading away, the price she paid for becoming the Goblin King’s bride. As the two of them grow closer, they must learn just what it is they are each willing to sacrifice: her life, her music, or the end of the world.

Shadowbahn by Steve Erickson, February 14 2017 (Blue Rider Press)
Picked by: Jan Rosenberg
When the Twin Towers suddenly reappear in the Badlands of South Dakota twenty years after their fall, nobody can explain their return. To the hundreds, then thousands, then tens of thousands drawn to the American Stonehenge including Parker and Zema, siblings on their way from L.A. to visit their mother in Michigan the Towers seem to sing, even as everybody hears a different song. A rumor overtakes the throng that someone can be seen in the high windows of the southern structure.
On the ninety-third floor, Jesse Presley the stillborn twin of the most famous singer who ever lived suddenly awakes, driven mad over the hours and days to come by a voice in his head that sounds like his but isn’t, and by the memory of a country where he survived in his brother’s place. Meanwhile, Parker and Zema cross a possessed landscape by a mysterious detour no one knows, charted on a map that no one has seen.

Nightlights by Lorena Alvarez, March 14 2017 (Nobrow Press)
Picked by: Ardo Omer
Every night, tiny stars appear out of the darkness in little Sandy’s bedroom. She catches them and creates wonderful creatures to play with until she falls asleep, and in the morning brings them back to life in the whimsical drawings that cover her room.
One day, Morpie, a mysterious pale girl, appears at school. And she knows all about Sandy’s drawings…Nightlights is a beautiful story about fear, insecurity, and creativity, from the enchanting imagination of Lorena Alvarez.

Borne by Jeff Vandermeer, April 25 2017 (MCD)
Picked by: Martin Cahill
In Borne, the epic new novel from Jeff VanderMeer, author of the acclaimed, bestselling Southern Reach Trilogy, a young woman named Rachel survives as a scavenger in a ruined, dangerous city of the near future. The city is littered with discarded experiments from the Company—a bio-tech firm now seemingly derelict—and punished by the unpredictable attacks of a giant bear. From one of her scavenging missions, Rachel brings home Borne, who is little more than a green lump—plant or animal?—but exudes a strange charisma. Rachel feels a growing attachment to Borne, a protectiveness that she can ill-afford. It’s exactly the kind of vulnerability that will upend her precarious existence, unnerving her partner, Wick, and upsetting the delicate balance of their unforgiving city—possibly forever. And yet, little as she understands what or who Borne may be, she cannot give him up, even as Borne grows and changes . . .

Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson, May 2 2017 (WW Norton)
Picked by: Jenn Northington
While waiting for your morning coffee to brew, or while waiting for the bus, the train, or the plane to arrive, Astrophysics for People in a Hurry will reveal just what you need to be fluent and ready for the next cosmic headlines: from the Big Bang to black holes, from quarks to quantum mechanics, and from the search for planets to the search for life in the universe.

Beren and Lúthien by JRR Tolkien, May 4, 2017 (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Picked by: Kristen McQuinn
Painstakingly restored from Tolkien’s manuscripts and presented for the first time as a fully continuous and standalone story, the epic tale of Beren and Lúthien will reunite fans of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings with Elves and Men, Dwarves and Orcs and the rich landscape and creatures unique to Tolkien’s Middle-earth.
In this book Christopher Tolkien has attempted to extract the story of Beren and Lúthien from the comprehensive work in which it was embedded; but that story was itself changing as it developed new associations within the larger history. To show something of the process whereby this legend of Middle-earth evolved over the years, he has told the story in his father’s own words by giving, first, its original form, and then passages in prose and verse from later texts that illustrate the narrative as it changed. Presented together for the first time, they reveal aspects of the story, both in event and in narrative immediacy, that were afterwards lost.

Radiate (Lightless #3) by C. A. Higgins, May 23 2017 (Del Rey)
Picked by: Liberty Hardy
In the follow-up to Lightless and Supernova, C. A. Higgins again fuses science fiction, suspense, and drama to tell the story of a most unlikely heroine: Ananke, once a military spacecraft, now a sentient artificial intelligence. Ananke may have the powers of a god, but she is consumed by a very human longing: to know her creators.

The Refrigerator Monologues by Cat Valente, illustrated by Annie Wu, June 6 2017 (Saga Press)
Picked by: Martin Cahill
From the New York Times bestselling author Catherynne Valente comes a series of linked stories from the points of view of the wives and girlfriends of superheroes, female heroes, and anyone who’s ever been “refrigerated”: comic book women who are killed, raped, brainwashed, driven mad, disabled, or had their powers taken so that a male superhero’s storyline will progress.
In an entirely new and original superhero universe, Valente subversively explores these ideas and themes in the superhero genre, treating them with the same love, gravity, and humor as her fairy tales. After all, superheroes are our new fairy tales and these six women have their own stories to share.

The Raven Stratagem (The Machineries of Empire #2) by Yoon Ha Lee, June 13 2017 (Solaris)
Picked by: Martin Cahill
Shuos Jedao is unleashed. The long-dead general, preserved with exotic technologies and resurrected by the hexarchate to put down a heretical insurrection, has possessed the body of gifted young captain Kel Cheris.
Now, General Kel Khiruev’s fleet, racing to the Severed March to stop a fresh incursion by the enemy Hafn, has fallen under Jedao’s sway. Only Khiruev’s aide, Lieutenant Colonel Kel Brezan, appears able to shake off the influence of the brilliant but psychotic Jedao.
The rogue general seems intent on defending the hexarchate, but can Khiruev – or Brezan – trust him? For that matter, can they trust Kel Command, or will their own rulers wipe out the whole swarm to destroy one man?

The Stone Sky (Broken Earth #3) by NK Jemisin, August 15 2017 (Orbit)
Picked by: Jenn Northington
The Moon will soon return. Whether this heralds the destruction of humankind or something worse will depend on two women.
Essun has inherited the power of Alabaster Tenring. With it, she hopes to find her daughter Nassun and forge a world in which every orogene child can grow up safe.
For Nassun, her mother’s mastery of the Obelisk Gate comes too late. She has seen the evil of the world, and accepted what her mother will not admit: that sometimes what is corrupt cannot be cleansed, only destroyed.
The remarkable conclusion to the post-apocalyptic and highly acclaimed trilogy that began with the multi-award-nominated The Fifth Season.

The Tiger’s Daughter by K. Arsenault Rivera, October 3 2017 (Tor Books)
Picked by: Angel Cruz
The Hokkaran empire has conquered every land within their bold reach―but failed to notice a lurking darkness festering within the people. Now, their border walls begin to crumble, and villages fall to demons swarming out of the forests.
Away on the silver steppes, the remaining tribes of nomadic Qorin retreat and protect their own, having bartered a treaty with the empire, exchanging inheritance through the dynasties. It is up to two young warriors, raised together across borders since their prophesied birth, to save the world from the encroaching demons.
This is the story of an infamous Qorin warrior, Barsalayaa Shefali, a spoiled divine warrior empress, O-Shizuka, and a power that can reach through time and space to save a land from a truly insidious evil.

 

See you in the New Year!

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