Swords and Spaceships

Swords and Spaceships for February 18

Happy Tuesday, shipmates! It’s Alex, coming in with new releases and some genre news for you. I’ve been down all week with an absolutely horrible cold, so please think some healthy thoughts for me and give your hands an extra wash. (I’ve also learned that if you’re someone who can’t stand menthol, there are cough drops made with pectin instead! Who knew!) The good news is, this email transmission is guaranteed to be virus free (har har)!

In non-sick news, I’ve been reading about dams in the US, which are definitely items of human interference with geological processes. Or if you want something less technical, how about a cat scaring off a black bear?

New Releases

Of Curses and Kisses by Sandhya Menon – A retelling of Beauty and the Beast, with a centuries-old family feud played out by teenagers at an elite boarding school. Lord Grey Emerson is a misanthropic jerk, convinced he’s doomed when he turns 18 thanks to an ancient curse laid on his family by a long-gone matriarch of the Rao clan. Princess Jaya Rao wants revenge for her little sister, who was targeted by the awful Emerson family, and she hatches a plan to make Grey love her and then break his heart. As one might imagine, things don’t go according to plan.

Sword of Fire by Katharine Kerr – In the kingdom of Deverry, the bards are the peoples’ voice. The terribly corrupt state of the law courts are thrown into sharp relief when a bard is allowed to starve to death rather than let their grievances be heard. Alyssa has the evidence that could overthrow the corrupt courts, but the most powerful lords in the kingdom would rather kill than let even the smallest part of their privilege go.

Bridge 108 by Anne Charnock – In the near future, out of control wildfires force millions to flee southern Europe. Twelve-year-old Caleb is separated from his mother during the trek and taken by human traffickers to Manchester. With a fellow victim, he escapes and begins a new journey, looking for a better life and for his family.

The Golden Key by Marian Womack – In the wake of Queen Victoria’s death, seances and spiritualism rise to the fore in an England that practically heaves with the uncanny. A woman with the ability to find what is lost is hired by a lady who wants closure to a twenty-year-old mystery: the disappearance of her three stepdaughters in the Norfolk Fens. But the fens are a place of dark magic and the fae…

The Life Below by Alexandra Monir – Sequel to The Final Six. The teenage astronauts for the mission to Europa have been chosen, but there are still more questions than answers. What happened to the previous, failed mission? Is Europa a blank slate, waiting for humanity, or is there alien life there already? Teenage astronauts Leo and Naomi have to find answers before the mission is launched and its too late for everyone.

News and Views

Twitter basically lost its mind over this trailer for The Green Knight. Because Dev Patel, and this looks absolutely metal as hell.

The Hottest New Literary Genre Is “Doomer Lit” (and by doom, they mean climate doom)

Barbara Remington, whose Lord of the Rings illustrations were beloved by everyone but Tolkien, has died

Amal El-Mohtar has a game recommendation for you: For the Queen

io9 attempts a definitive list of the 10 best presidents in science fiction

The dark history behind Hansel and Gretel

First Stranger Things season 4 trailer is out.

Alan Tudyk plays the alien doctor in Resident Alien.

Eternals will have Marvel’s first big screen queer couple. would like you to pick your necromancy family from the houses of Gideon the Ninth

Cathy Yan breaks down the end fight scene of Birds of Prey where Harley is on roller skates

New images show Betelgeuse isn’t dimming evenly

On Book Riot

Discovering a Love of Science Fiction and Fantasy and Recent Favorites

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.