Swords and Spaceships

Hypersonic Squeals of Valkyrian Joy

Happy Tuesday, shipmates! It’s Captain Alex, and considering we just passed by SDCC weekend, there’s a lot of good stuff to share with you. Personally, I’m most excited about Thor: Love and Thunder because I’m an Asgardian at heart, and Taika Waititi not only retrieved Natalie Portman from the Marvel forgetting hole, he’s making her Thor–and letting Valkyrie be out and proud in this one. Basically, if you heard hypersonic squeals of joy on Saturday night, that was probably me. Sorry about your windows.

This newsletter is sponsored by Meerkat Press and Claiming T-Mo by Eugen Bacon.

Perfect for fans of Toni Morrison and N.K. Jemisin. In this lushly written interplanetary tale, an immortal priest commits an act that unleashes a Jekyll-and-Hyde boy upon the world. Three distinctive women—his mother, his wife, his child—must confront their fears and navigate the treacherous paths to claiming him from a darkness that threatens them all.

“Packed with so much love, fear, pain, and hope, that it invites multiple re-readings, and is good enough to justify the time spent doing so.” —Lightspeed Magazine

New Releases

a Latinx woman stares up at a starry sky, and beneath her is a door with gilded carvings and an image of a Mayan pyramidGods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia – A young woman in the jazz age dreams of escaping a life of domestic drudgery until she accidentally frees the Mayan god of death and is handed a life or death quest.

Sweet Dreams by Tricia Sullivan – Charlie is a dreamhacker, someone who can enter dreams and change them. Her booming business suddenly turns deadly when one of her clients sleepwalks off a building.

Jade War by Fonda Lee – The Kaul family battles rival clans and encroaching foreign threats that seek the island of Kekon’s jade. Sequel to the award-winning Jade City.

a purple cover with a giant moth in the middle whose wings also double as mirror images of people standing on rock ledgesHow We Became Wicked by Alexander Yates – An insect-borne plague divides the world into the infected Wicked, the isolated and plague-free True, and the immune Vexed. In this world, three 16-year-old teens struggle to survive.

Desdemona and the Deep by C. S. E. Cooney – “The spoiled, daughter of a rich mining family must retrieve the tithe of men her father promised to the world below. On the surface, her world is rife with industrial pollution that ruins the health of poor factory workers while the idle rich indulge themselves in unheard-of luxury. Below are goblins, mysterious kingdoms, and an entirely different hierarchy.”

News and Views

Science fiction and fantasy writers talk about what it was like to watch the moon landing.

The original 1979 Dune board game is getting a re-release.

A list of 5 ways science has made SF more interesting.

An interesting (and slightly depressing article) about city planners utilizing computer modeling for increased flooding as climate change progresses.

Total science fiction [corporate dystopia] fuel: how the heck could you even regulate Facebook’s Libra?

This Twitter thread documents an amazing interaction a bookseller had with Carrie Fisher.

If you wanted a gag reel for The Good Place, you’re in luck.

The SDCC Highlight Reel

Everything from SDCC about the MCU. A fun ranking of those announcements, though I strongly disagree with how low on the list Shang-Chi falls. Black Girl Nerds has a list of the black talent that will be involved.

I want to draw your attention to the casting of The Eternals, which is pretty exciting. If you, like me, have no idea who the Eternals are, here’s a guide.

An update from V.E. Schwab on the progress of her next two books.

Here’s four things Vulture learned about the His Dark Materials mini-series at the SDCC panel.

A roundup of trailers from SDCC.

Here’s a breakdown of the trailer for The Witcher.

Guillermo del Toro talked about the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark movie.

Trailer for The Expanse season 4!

George Takei was at SDCC to talk about his graphic memoir, They Called Us Enemy. It’s an important work, considering current events.

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 over at my personal site.