Swords and Spaceships

Tea With Mr. Tumnus, a Pure Moment With Pokémon, and Eurovision

Bookachu, I choose you! Yes, that’s right, it’s Tuesday, and I’m Pokeémon Trainer Alex, fresh off of seeing how freaking adorable the bulbasaurs were in Detective Pikachu. Ready your poké balls, we’ve got some new book releases to catch.

Sponsored by Dynamite Entertainment

Takeshi Kovacs was a member of the Envoy Corps, ultra-lethal adepts in switching bodies across the stars. While he served, he was known by a variety of names–Mamba Lev, One Hand Rending, the Icepick–all testament to his capacity for rapid response and extreme violence in whatever flesh he wore. Now he’s out of the service and trying to live a different life. But the Protectorate hasn’t changed its spots, no matter what world Kovacs drifts to, and with that old combat rage still burning deep inside him, will he ever really be able to walk away?

New Releases

The Undefeated by Una McCormack – A retired journalist just wants a nice visit back to her home planet, but humanity’s newest enemy has other ideas.

Mythic Journeys: Retold Myths and Legends edited by Paula Guran – A short story collection of retold legends with an absolutely jaw-dropping TOC that includes Neil Gaiman, Aliette de Bodard, Nisi Shawl, Darcie Little Badger, Sofia Samatar, Catherynne M. Valente, and many more.

A Brightness Long Ago by Guy Gavriel Kay – I trust Guy Gavriel Kay to write absolutely gorgeous historical fantasy, and it sounds like he’s done it again, this time in a world based on Renaissance Italy.

Pariah by W. Michael Gear – Third book of the Donovan series, and there’s a “corporate assassin.” I’m intrigued.

Children of Ruin by Adrian Tschaikovsky – Sequel to Children of Time. An ancient terraforming attempt went awry long ago, and is just about to be rediscovered.

The Buying of Lot 37 and Who’s a Good Boy? by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor – Volumes 3 and 4 respectively of Welcome to Nightvale episodes, with added illustrations and commentary.

Department of Bits from Books

Over at Book Riot, we have an exclusive excerpt from Orpheus Girl by Brynne Rebele-Henry.

io9 has an excerpt from Avatar, The Last Airbender: The Rise of Kyoshi by F.C. Yee. wants you to have this deleted scene from Sam J. Miller’s Blackfish City.

News and Views

Modern Library is launching a new series that features classics by women writers, including The Heads of Cerberus by Francis Stevens.

SYFY Wire has some sci-fi/fantasy romances to try out for May.

I am super excited about all the Star Trek: Discovery tie-in fiction we’re going to get. Particularly The Way to the Stars by Una McCormack because Tilly is SUCH A GOOD.

SYFY Wire cast all 151 original pokémon with Hollywood stars.

Bill Nighy now loves Pokémon after acting in Detective Pikachu and it’s basically the purest thing I read all week.

The Game of Thrones Live Concert will be touring through 20 more American cities as the series ends.

EUROVISION IS UPON US. And if just looking at some of the costumes isn’t sci-fi enough for you, read Space Opera by Catherynne M. Valente.

There’s a new documentary series on Amazon Prime about the artists who imagined how 1970s space colonies would look.

A new exhibit at the Manhattan-based Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum and Kerkrade (Netherlands)-based Cube Design Museum radically re-imagines how humanity can co-exist with nature.

A Minor News-Related Rant

The Russo Brothers are pulling a JK Rowling and want us to know someone is totally already secretly gay in the MCU. Just think, a whole character with an actual name and everything, and we just don’t know it yet. I was already feeling pretty aggravated by the expectation of butt-patting the Russos were broadcasting for the nameless (white, cis) gay man in Endgame, and this has done the opposite of soothing my queer ire. Marvel forced Taika Waititi to cut the scene that confirmed Valkyrie was bi. Florence Kasumba said that the scene where her character flirted with Okoye in Black Panther was cut. But hey everyone, it’s okay, because it still totally counts as representation even when the character has been stuffed so far into the closet by Kevin Feige that they’re doing an accidental crossover event and having tea with Mr. Tumnus. We’re reaching for some Supernatural-esque levels of queerbaiting and I am through being anything but irate in this, the 19th year of the 21st century. Don’t tease the gays, Marvel. We bite.

As a cure for my absolutely desiccating levels of salt, here’s a really beautiful twitter thread by a muslim lady about a plot point that carries from Iron Man all the way through to Endgame.

See you, space pirates. You can find all of the books recommended in this newsletter on a handy Goodreads shelf. If you’d like to know more about my secret plans to dominate the seas and skies, you can catch me on the (Hugo-nominated!!!) Skiffy and Fanty Podcast or over at my personal site.