Swords and Spaceships

Swords and Spaceships for February 14

Happy Friday, shipmates! It’s Alex, with the some news and a load of books to take you into the weekend. I’m still valiantly struggling to survive against the horrific onslaught of viral invaders, but I guess the good news is I’ve been getting a bit more reading done while I lay in bed and wait for the cough syrup to whisk me sweetly away. I just finished The Warrior Moon by K. Arsenault Rivera, which is the final book of an epic trilogy in which lesbians take on a god–and become gods themselves.

In non-SFF news, this interview with Bong Joon Ho is excellent and have I mentioned I love him? Also, the Oscars happened, so Genevieve Valentine has a red carpet rundown.

News and Views

Highlights from CL Polk’s reddit AMA. has a great introduction to KJ Charles’s work.

Black Girl Nerds have a list of six SFF books you should read during Black Future Month.

I honestly have no idea what is going on in this trailer, but I dig it.

Some of SFF artist Michael Whelan’s work has found a new home in a Louis Vuitton campaign.

Tochi Onyebuchi (Riot Baby) was on The Daily Show With Trevor Noah.

Just in case you, a foolish mortal, thought you could not possibly love Taika Waititi more, I bring you exhibit A and exhibit B.

We Asked a Hedgehog Dentist to Explain Why Sonic’s Human Teeth Are So Upsetting (You will come away from this article knowing many new facts about hedgehog teeth and how one cleans them.)

I just… These Crows Evolved Into a New Species, Boned the Old Species Too Much, Now Back Where They Started

On Book Riot

The Underground Railroad Book Club Questions and Reading Guide

This week’s SFF Yeah! podcast is about genre-blending SFF.

Don’t forget to check out the Black History Month Book Bundle give away! There’s three excellent SFF books in among the great selection.

Free Association Friday

Last week, I suggested some SFF retellings of literature from the “western canon” by non-white authors. There were a lot of other cool retellings that I ended up leaving off because my focus was so narrow. So how about another slice of retellings by PoC–this time it’s folklore edition!

Dark and Deepest Red by Anne-Marie McLemore – A retelling of “The Red Shoes,” updating the Strasbourg dancing plague of 1518 by five centuries when a pair of shoes seal onto an unwitting young woman’s feet.

Burning Roses by S.L. Huang – (Pre-order) This promises to be a mashup of Red Riding Hood and a genderbent Hou Yi the Archer.

Thorn by Intisar Khanani – A retelling of The Goose Girl, in which a princess who wishes to escape the pressures of royal life becomes the goose girl after a sorceress steals her identity.

The Epic Crush of Genie Lo by F.C. Yee – Overachieving student who just wants to get into an Ivy-league school (is that all) meets a hot transfer student who is literally the Monkey King of Journey to the West fame, just in time for her town to come under siege by demons.

Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi – A Snow White retelling that delves into questions of race; a white woman marries a light-skinned African-American man who has an apparently white daughter and finds herself becoming the wicked (step)mother when the son they have together is dark-skinned.

Ash by Malinda Lo – A lesbian retelling of Cinderella, where instead of a prince, “Cinderella” meets the King’s huntress and befriends her… and then becomes more.

forest of a thousand lanternsThe Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao – A beautiful girl with a cruel witch of an aunt lives at the edge of a forest. But if the girl wants to achieve greatness, she must fuel the magic within her by eating the hearts of the recently killed. It’s Snow White with a definite twist.

The Changeling by Victor LaValle – A modern changeling story that crashes right into some horrific Norse myths about trolls–and horrific realities of white supremacy.

Wicked Fox by Kat Cho – A nine-tailed fox quietly living in the modern world decides to rescue a young man in trouble instead of eating him… and then her life only gets more complicated from there.

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.