Swords and Spaceships

Swords and Spaceships May 31

We made it to space port, me hearties–happy Friday! The rainbow nebula that is Pride Month is just on the horizon and coming in fast, so prepare the glitter canons. (And if you want something heartwarming, there’s this ad about a dad showing his trans son how to shave.) It’s Captain Alex, with at-least-peripherally-book-related news and whatever random thing from Wikipedia makes me feel like going off on a science fantasy tangent.

This newsletter is sponsored by Tor Books, publisher of A Chain Across the Dawn by Drew Williams.

Esa and her fellow agent Jane Kamali have been travelling across the known universe, searching for children who share Esa’s supernatural gifts, but they are not alone. A mysterious being with impossible powers will stop at nothing to get his hands on the very children Esa and Jane are trying to save.

News and Views

There’s a Good Omens-themed escape room? And David Tennant and Michael Sheen showed up?

SYFY Wire also has a super cute post with pictures of tattered copies of Good Omens and fans talking about how they met their beloved book.

For your heart punch of the day, Terry Pratchett’s hat and scarf had their own seat at the show’s world premiere.

A cover reveal and an excerpt from The Good Luck Girls by Charlotte Nicole Davis. has an excerpt fromThe Iron Dragon’s Mother, which is the sequel to this gritty, diesel-punky with fairies book called The Iron Dragon’s Daughter. I mostly mention this because it is a blast from my person past. The Iron Dragon’s Daughter was originally published in 1997, the year before I graduated high school. So… wow.

Ever wonder what Myers-Briggs type various Star Wars characters might be? We’ve got you covered.

Okay, I normally leave comic book news to one of our other newsletters but Dynamite is going to have a miniseries where Bettie Page fights chthonic elder beings. has a round up of genre short fiction from May for you to read.

For the next 20 days or so, you can get the Science Fiction and Fantasy Satire Bundle (curated by Nick Mamatas) and the Afrofuturism Bundle (curated by Tenea D. Johnson) has a bit less than a week left. You can choose to donate 10% of your purchase to charities selected by the curators.

A gentle look at fans being overly possessive of media properties: “Not my Batman” is no way to go through life.

First reviews are in for the third season of The Handmaid’s Tale

On the sisterhood of Arya and Sansa Stark.

Fans built a full-sized Atlantis Stargate.

The crowd-funded Star Trek: Deep Space Nine documentary is coming to US and Canadian theaters soon.

Astronomical fun: The merger of two white dwarf stars that might turn into a neutron star. And neutron stars might give us some clues about quarks.

Free Association Friday

May 31, 1223 was the Battle of Kalka River, during the Mongolian invasion of the Cumans. And 70 years later, Kublai Khan headed out to invade Java because King Kertanegara refused to pay tribute.

I’m sorry to say that my Google skills have failed mightily and I haven’t dug up any science fiction or fantasy by Mongolian authors for you. I actually haven’t even had much luck finding any literature or poetry in translation, other than this newsletter that’s got a little bit of poetry in it. In penance, I offer this badass music video by Mongolian metal band The Hu, which is guaranteed to make you want to get on a horse and go tearing across the nearest picturesque, steppe-like piece of land you can find. (Or on a motorcycle.)

I can say there’s been a lot of really great Asian-inspired fantasy lately that definitely has not forgotten the Mongolians–and goes beyond the simple and problematic “barbarian horde” trope. The Tiger’s Daughter (and its sequel The Phoenix Empress) by K. Arsenault Rivera’s got to be one of my favorites; the world feels real and lived-in and like it has a history, and the beating heart of the story are lesbian soulmates. Ken Liu’s Grace of Kings is more concerned by civil war, but by the time we get to Wall of Storms, there’s someone knocking at Dara’s door. Elizabeth Bear’s Eternal Sky trilogy starts with the grandson of the Great Khan walking off a battlefield where he was left for dead in Range of Ghosts and proceeds apace. Kate Elliot’s Jaran is set in a sci-fi world with some very Steppe-like features, while her Crown of Stars series is fantasy with a rather Mongolian-esque culture.

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.