Swords and Spaceships

Swords and Spaceships for May 26

Happy Tuesday, shipmates! It’s time for some new books for your shelves and a few internet items to read to pass the time, and I’m just the Alex to bring it to you. I hope all the US-ians out there had a lovely holiday weekend even if we’re pretty much doing staycations, with lots of reading and silly movies, and I hope the same for everyone who didn’t have a long weekend!

Not SFF as such, but KJ Charles wrote an amazing craft essay about consent in romance as a thing that speaks meaningfully to character and it’s SO GOOD.

Also: GLACIER MICE! (they are not really mice. They are cuter than mice. And photosynthesize.)

New Releases

Note: The lists of new releases I have access to only included one author of color this week.

Sunshield by Emily B. Martin – The lush country of Moquoia maintains its opulent lifestyle and runs its factory on slave labor abducted from the nearby canyons of desert Alcoro. But the Sunshield Bandit, Lark, has made her name attacking and stopping those slave caravans; her mission is to shake the foundations of Moquoia while protecting those she rescues from the harsh and unforgiving environment in which they live. She unknowingly has allies inside of Moquoia, and soon the bandit, a diplomat, and a prisoner may with their individual actions change the world forever.

Ballistic by Marko Kloos – Aden chose the wrong side in a reckless war, and the price he pays is having to start a new life that demands his past stay hidden. He’s gotten himself a place on a merchant ship smuggling goods through dangerous space and that takes him to Gretia, an occupied world that’s a hotbed of political conspiracy. As war threatens to break out again, Aden must rediscover who he is, and see if he can choose the right side this time.

The Archer at Dawn by Swati Teerdhala – A soldier and a newly-minted royal advisor infiltrate the enemy court to seek allies for the rebel cause. Their ultimate goal is to rescue the long-missing princess, Rehala, who is the key to throne. The Sun Mela festival and games seems like the perfect cover for this mission, but the glitter and celebration hide deadly secrets, and the allies will soon have to reassess their loyalties to their countries and each other if they want to make it out alive, let alone successful.

The City of a Thousand Faces by Walker Dryden – Tumanbay is the most magnificent city on Earth and the beating heart of a sprawling empire. Paranoia and suspicion run rampant; the Master of the Palace Guard never runs out of spies and assassins to route out, while other court officials watch their underlings with suspicions. All of this suspicion and preparation do not prepare them for the day a stranger arrives in court, bearing a gift for the Sultan.

Queen of Coin and Whispers by Helen Corcoran – Idealistic Lia becomes queen after her uncle dies, leaving her a kingdom that’s been badly mismanaged, is bankrupt, and has neighboring powers circling like vultures that smell easy pickings. She wants to do a better job than her uncle, and it shouldn’t be too hard—but first she has to beat the court at its own games. Xania becomes the new Spymaster after Lia offers her a choice: pursue the investigation of your father’s murder while working for me, or be executed. The last thing on either of their minds in this complicated web of politics, lies, and treason is falling in love; too bad their hearts have other ideas.

News and Views

Isabel Yap’s short story collection has a gorgeous cover–and you can pre-order it.

Mallory O’Meara, author of The Lady From the Black Lagoon, asks the important questions. Like “Did Frankenstein Bone?

Why She-Ra Will Go Down in History

A look at the art of Jenn Ravenna 

So Jason Momoa and Peter Dinklage are going to team up as a vampire and Van Helsing respectively in Good Bad & Undead and I need this RIGHT NOW.

A tornado under the ocean! If you want to see more of the reef dive, there’s over six hours of it on YouTube.

Who says Twitter doesn’t put any good into the world? It helped scientists find a new species of parasitic fungus that infects millipedes.

I expect to be reading a fantasy novel about this shortly: Bolivian orchestra stranded at ‘haunted’ German castle surrounded by wolves

On Book Riot

Last week’s SFF Yeah! podcast had the hosts rereading some old favs.

Quiz: How well do you know the Hitchhiker’s Guide trilogy?

You can enter to win $50 at your favorite indie book store and/or a 1-year subscription to Kindle Unlimited.

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.