Swords and Spaceships

Swords and Spaceships for February 11

Happy Tuesday, shipmates! We all know what that means by now… Alex coming in at a slow, zombie-esque shuffle, fighting against the horrible infestation of cold viruses that have left them with barely enough strength to tow in the new releases. Okay, thankfully, that’s not how it goes every week. Please wash your hands a lot, y’all. And get your flu shot.

Happy things for the week, though! This happened at the Independent Spirit Awards and it was the best thing I’ve seen all week. Also, you might not know this about me, but I also really enjoy reading romance. So this list on Book Riot about romances that express queerness while also being m/f (which is something I think gets erased way too often) gave me a lot of books to add to my to-read pile.

New Releases

stormsongStormsong by C.L. Polk – Grace must face the consequences of her decision to help her brother undo an atrocity. The power is out and a line of ferocious winter storms are coming in to batter Aeland. But while she’s trying to guide her family to safety, she must deal with interference from a vengeful queen, the murmurings of revolution–and worst of all, a photojournalist named Avia who has a nose for secrets and is aimed straight at Grace’s heart.

Tyll: A Novel by Daniel Kehlmann, translated by Ross Benjamin – A scrawny boy named Tyll is forced to flee his quiet village in the seventeenth century when his father’s interest in alchemy and magic is found out by the church. Tyll eventually becomes a traveling performer as he wanders a land devestated by the Thirty Years War and meets meets figures both historic and fictional.

A Witch in Time by Constance Sayers – Helen Lambert meets a man who claims he’s watched her for centuries–and unbeknownst to her, he has, through different lives as a musician and actress. She begins to have vivid dreams of these lives, all of them cut abruptly short–and in so doing develops uncanny powers that will perhaps help her break the curse she’s caught in.

And I Do Not Forgive You by Amber Sparks – A collection of weird and otherworldly stories about women, from the fantastic to the historical; each story seeks to return a voice to those who have been silenced, by the lies of history or the inequities of modern life.

The Unspoken Name by A.K. Larkwood – An orc priestess named Csorwe is “betrothed” to the god called the Unspoken One, which means she will be sacrificed to him in her fourteenth year. But as she climbs the mountain to his shrine to meet her fate, a mage intervenes and offers her a new life: become his hired sword and assassin, help him topple an empire and regain his rightful place as ruler, and she will live if she’s strong and clever enough. Csorwe takes her chance and embarks on her new life… but all debts come due eventually.

News and Views

Exploring the People of Middle-earth: Éowyn, Shieldmaiden of Rohan is a really fascinating piece about Éowyn’s evolution as a character during Tolkien’s writing process.

Darcie Little Badger’s debut novel now has a gorgeous cover (and you can read an excerpt)! You can also pre-order Elatsoe, though the cover hasn’t made it onto Amazon yet.

Here’s Alex Brown’s suggestions on what short fiction you should read from January.

Naomi Novik is going to write a new fantasy trilogy.

Birds of Prey is out now, and I’ve seen it and I love it, in case you were wondering. One of the things I loved best was the action sequences were flippin’ amazing. There’s a really good reason for that.

I know as a rule I don’t really link to book reviews, but I really want there to be more yelling about Given.

NASA brought Voyager 2 back online!

Something that definitely deserves to be explored in sci-fi: SpaceX’s satellites and the night sky

Christina Koch has set a new record for the longest space flight by a woman.

On Book Riot

The Best Bookish Games for Your Interests

Check out Book Marks, our new reading tracker and journal (complete with recommended reading lists from Book Riot)!


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.