Swords and Spaceships

Swords and Spaceships Jan 22

Hello and happy Tuesday, vampires and Vogons! Today we’ve got some exciting book news including a cover reveal and sequel announcement, new releases, ebook deals, and a review of my first ever (I know, I know!) Terry Pratchett read.

This newsletter is sponsored by Flatiron Books.

Enchantée by Gita Trelease transports readers to the glittering and magical world of 1870s Paris. After her parents die, Camille must find a way to provide for her sister by transforming scraps of metal into money. But soon she begins to pursue a more dangerous mark: the court of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. Camille transforms herself into a baroness and is swept up into life at Versailles. She meets a handsome young inventor, and begins to believe that love and liberty may both be possible. But magic has costs, and when revolution erupts, Camille must choose—before Paris burns.

In straight-up-book news:

I loved CB Lee’s Not Your Sidekick (it’s an awesome queer superpowered teen adventure) and we’ve got the cover reveal and an excerpt for Not Your Backup (June 1), the third book in the series. Note to self, time to catch up!

Daniel José Older (Shadowshaper, Half-Resurrection Blues) is moving from straight-up fantasy to magical realism with his new novel, The Book of Lost Saints.

Melissa Albert fans (:looks pointedly at Sharifah:), rejoice! The Night Country, a sequel to Hazel Wood, is happening.

In adaptation news:

Netflix is adapting Leigh Bardugo’s Shadow and Bone and Six of Crows in one eight-episode series, what what!

For my Trekkies, a new novel in the Discovery‘verse has been announced, which will follow the Enterprise during the Klingon War. AND Michelle Yeoh is getting her own spin-off TV series, OMG.

Also in screen-to-page news, a prequel novel for The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina has been announced and Sarah Rees Brennan (In Other Lands) is writing it!

New releases:

The Kingdom of Copper by SA Chokraborty (reviewed here) Publishing Editorial Spotlight #1: A Selection of Novellas (please ignore this terrible title, this is CHOCK FULL of amazing work including stories by JY Yang and Kai Ashante Wilson)

Ebook deals:

The Lilith’s Brood ebook set by Octavia Butler is $2.99, a lot of bang for your buck (tw: graphic alien sex, coercion)

Torn by Rowenna Miller is $1.99 (this one’s high on my TBR, as several other folks I trust loved it)

All Systems Red (Murderbot #1) by Martha Wells is $3.99 (highly recommend)

And now, let me be the zillionth person to recommend Terry Pratchett to you!

Wyrd Sisters (Discworld #6; The Witches #2) by Terry Pratchett

Over the holiday break, I read my first ever Terry Pratchett. I know, I know — how does someone who works in SF/F for a living get to their mid-30s without reading him? I don’t know what to tell y’all except to say that there are many many many books in this world. Fortunately Sharifah talks about him all the time on SFF Yeah!, and my library had Wyrd Sisters available when I was late-night whim-surfing their ebook catalog. (I was looking for The Wee Free Men, but the fates had other plans.)

Those of you already inducted into the Pratchett Fan Club will be unsurprised to hear that I loved it; for those like me who haven’t gotten around to him yet, despite the fact that (or possibly because?) there are eleventy-jillion Discworld books, this is both a great stand-alone and enough of a tease to make me want to dive further into the series.

A rompy Shakespearean mash-up, Wyrd Sisters follows the three Very Eccentric witches of Lancre as they meddle in the recently-overturned succession of the throne. They’re minding their own business, having a perfectly normal coven meeting, when some guardsmen chase a man holding a baby right into their midst. There’s nothing for it but to save the child, send him away with a group of traveling players, and feel confident that destiny will return him when the time is right — but of course, it’s not that simple. We also meet the not-very-bright but highly indignant ghost of a murdered king, a playwright who is haphazardly channeling the creative zeitgeist, a put-upon jester, and a very troublesome cat named Greebo.

Pratchett has a distinctly British sense of humor and, as I’m already a Monty Python and Douglas Adams fan, it works for me. I suddenly understand the great affection fans have for Granny Weatherwax, although I think if pressed my actual favorite would be Nanny Ogg (must learn that hedgehog song!). It was a delight picking out the bits of Macbeth and Hamlet, and getting both a small-town story via the Lancre witches and a tromp through greater Discworld via the players balanced the book nicely. I inhaled the whole thing in a matter of hours, and am currently first in line on the hold list for Equal Rites; I’ll be working my way through the other Witches books when I can squeeze them in between work-reading.

In conclusion: come on in, the water’s fine.

And that’s a wrap! You can find all of the books recommended in this newsletter on a handy Goodreads shelf. If you’re interested in more science fiction and fantasy talk, you can catch me and my co-host Sharifah on the SFF Yeah! podcast. For many many more book recommendations you can find me on the Get Booked podcast with the inimitable Amanda, or on Twitter as jennIRL.

Your fellow booknerd,