Swords and Spaceships

Swords and Spaceships August 27

Happy Tuesday, shipmates! It’s Captain Alex, with your Tuesday new releases and news as I try to navigate the strange seas of starting a new job. I also saw a bunch of movies over the last few days, and let me recommend Ready or Not if you’re in the mood for some absolutely wicked, gory fun. Lastly, I need to share this D&D-related Twitter thread with you (via the thread reader app) because it’s beautiful and made me cry.

New Releases

Last Ones Left Alive by Sarah Davis-Goff – Orphen and her tiny family (her mother and Maeve) have survived on a tiny island off the cost of Ireland in a world overtaken by the flesh-eating skrake. When disaster strikes, Maeve must abandon the safety of the island for the mainland, where the all-female skrake-fighting force called the Banshee may wait–and non-skrake dangers that Orphen can’t even imagine.

Song of the Abyss by Makiia Lucier – Seventeen-year-old Reyna is the granddaughter of a famed navigator and dreams of being an explorer in her own right. When her ship is attacked by mysterious raiders, she barely escapes with her life–and when next she sees the abandoned ship, her entire crew is missing. Reyna sets off on a dangerous journey to find and rescue them–and learn the truth behind these raiders.

Mind Games by Shana Silver – Arden is a hacker who uploads memories for classmates who want experiences they’d never otherwise have. One day, she whites out and finds her own memories have been hacked, removed rather than simply shared. How can she find an enemy that can erase every memory of their presence?

Overthrow by Caleb Crain – A grad student named Matthew falls in love with a skater named Leif and is drawn into his group of friends, people are are experimenting with what might be telepathy–and hope that their radical empathy will change the world. A government security contractor targets the group and brings the might of social and legal scrutiny down on them; will the group and their relationships survive?

The Passengers by John Marrs – Several years after self-driving cars have been mandated in the UK, eight unrelated people are hijacked by what appear to be hackers, with their pleas for help broadcast worldwide. But all is not as it seems, and each person carries a secret that can be the key to their salvation.

Galaxy’s Edge: Black Spire by Delilah S. Dawson – General Leia Organa has dispatched her spies in a desperate search for allies and sanctuary for the battered Resistance. Her top spy might have found just the place at Black Spire Outpost–if she can survive the First Order stormtroopers hot on her tail.

News and Views

An interview with Samuel Delaney about capitalism, racism, and science fiction.

Here’s a new trailer for His Dark Materials.

Short fiction alert! John Joseph Adams has released the TOC for the upcoming The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2019

SyFy Wire has a good roundup of some of the big news from Disney’s D23 expo. Hollywood Reporter has a guide to the known programming for Disney’s streaming serice thus far.

Also from D23: JJ Abrams talks about Leia’s role in The Rise of Skywalker and basically I just expect to cry through the entire movie.

This month’s Slate Future Tense short story is out: What the Dead Man Said. The response essay is also worth reading.

io9 has a great video from Flame Con, showing the intersection of scifi/fantasy fandom and drag and burlesque.

This might be the first crime committed in space. Yay?

A cooling vest invented by a Furry is now in use by soldiers in the US military.

Climate change has caused warm-weather-loving cycads to bloom on the Isle of Wight.

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.