Swords and Spaceships

Swords and Spaceships June 11

Happy Tuesday, werewolves and swearwolves. It’s Alex, ready to howl out some new releases and book-world news for you! (And wow, what a week for new releases!) Around my town we’re solidly into farmers’ market season, and I hope you’ve got something just as nice to wander around in and find wonderful gems like a Turkish-Mexican fusion food truck with döner tacos.

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New Releases

The Outside by Ada Hoffman: An autistic scientist whose experimental energy drive destroys the space station it was aboard is given a choice by the AI gods that rule the galaxy: be executed or help hunt down her long-vanished mentor.

Bunny by Mona Awad: Twee college rich girls who call each other “Bunny” have a ritualistic off-campus “workshop” where they magically summon monstrous things.

The Sol Majestic by Ferrett Steinmetz: A teen guru who wants to advise the galaxy’s one percenters wins a fabulous free dinner at the Sol Majestic… and learns it might financially ruin the restaurant in pursuit of his dream.

A History of Soul 2065 by Barbara Krasnoff: A mosaic novel about two young Jewish girls who magically meet on the eve of World War I, and how their promise to meet again echoes through their lives and those of their descendants.

Stronger Than a Bronze Dragon by Mary Fan: Anlei is a warrior who protects her village from shadow spirits; it’s for that protection that she sacrifices her freedom and agrees to get married. The day before her wedding, she encounters a young thief and embarks on a journey to the Courts of Hell, searching for the source of the shadow spirits.

The Book of Disappearance: A Novel by Ibtisam Azem Timberlake, translated by Sinan Antoon: A novel that imagines life in Tel Aviv if all Palestinians suddenly disappeared one day.

The Last Supper Before Ragnarok by Cassandra Khaw: The fifth Rupert Wong novel, which asks an important and really worrying question: “Where did the father gods go?”

News and Views

Huge, if kind of inside baseball: Barnes and Noble has been acquired by the same hedge fund that owns Waterstones. My automatic reaction to the words “hedge fund” is to recoil, but with the Waterstones CEO being in charge, I’m cautiously optimistic?

Three super cute animated Star Wars shorts here.

A list of the ten most stylish hats from genre film. As a person with a deep love of hats, this is the kind of content I am here for.

The Good Place will end with its fourth season. While I’ll sure miss the show, I’m glad they’re doing their planned ending and finishing it how they wanted instead of trying to stretch it out endlessly.

Gwyneth Paltrow apparently forgot she was in Spider-man: Homecoming and her being reminded of it is actually really cute. Jon Favreau’s The Chef Show has also provided us with this adorable clip of Tom Holland and Robert Downey Jr. eating oysters.

As someone who was in high school during the reinvention of emo in the mid-90s, I am highly entertained by this list of 8 books for those still emo in their hearts.

In a Vogue interview, Margot Robbie says Harley Quinn’s outfits in Birds of Prey are going to be less ‘male-gazey’ probably thanks to the female producer, writer, director, and costume designer.

The IAU is is running a campaign in which each participating country will get to name its own star and the exoplanets in that system. Over 100 countries have signed on.

These cannonballs might have been used by Vlad the Impaler.

NASA is opening the ISS to for-profit and marketing activities.

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.