Swords and Spaceships

Swords and Spaceships for February 2

Happy Tuesday, shipmates! It’s Alex, here with five picks from the start of the February book flood, and some news items to peruse. Over the weekend, it was just warm enough here for more to ride my bike around. Even covered head to toe and wearing a mask, it was a real relief to get some fresh air and see something other than walls (and listen to an audiobook while I was doing it!). I hope you get a similar opportunity soon! Stay safe out there, space pirates, and I’ll see you on Friday.

This is a beautiful Twitter thread about a little piece of lesbian family history.

Also, Evangelion, but… cats.

Let’s make 2021 better than 2020. A good place to start? The Okra Project and

New Releases

Note: The new release lists I have access to weren’t as diverse as I would have liked this week.

On Fragile Waves by E. Lily Yu

A family from Afghanistan journeys to Australia, keeping their hopes alive with fairy tales and stories. During the long journey from Pakistan to Indonesia to Nauru, they must rely on the kindness of strangers with questionable motives for temporary shelter. But Australia is not the land they’ve made into myth along the journey, and once there, Firuzeh, the daughter of the family, escapes into her fantasy worlds once more.

This Golden Flame by Emily Victoria

Karis has been forced to serve the Scriptorium, her country’s ruling group of scribes, who have one main purpose: unlock the magic of an army made of ancient automatons. As she searches for her missing brother, Karis accidentally awakens one of the automatons–which turns out to be intelligent and sentient, and named Alix. Alix doesn’t know why he was made or why his creator once tried to destroy him and all the other automatons. Now hunted by the Scriptorium, Karis and Alix must work together to find Karis’s brother and unearth the secrets that have long held the country in darkness.

A History of What Comes Next by Sylvain Neuvel

Mia’s family has shaped humanity over 99 generations, always pushing them to try to reach for the stars. Her task in this mission is to lure Wernher Von Braun to the American space program, thus securing the move into the space race. But Mia’s family isn’t the only one trying to manipulate history, and her enemies are far more ruthless and creative than she yet imagines.

Beneath the Keep by Erika Johansen

A kingdom once founded to be a utopia has collapsed into feudalism, with the gap between wealthy and poor ever-widening. A rumor circulates that a True Queen will save the kingdom, and these are the sort of rumors that fuel rebellion. A young man named Lazarus, who has lived most his life without ever seeing the sky as he is trained to kill mercilessly, ascends to the surface and joins a royal court filled with intrigue. There he meets Niya, a handmaiden with a true identity that must never be revealed, and the princess she serves, Elyssa. Together, the three of them must fight for a better world and to master their own fates.

cover image of And Then She Vanished by Nick Jones

And Then She Vanished by Nick Jones

Twenty years ago, Joseph Bridgeman’s little sister, Amy, disappeared, and his life fell apart. A friend convinces him to see a hypnotherapist for his insomnia, and instead he accidentally discovers he can time travel. He suddenly has a new purpose: to go back and save Amy. But the further he travels back, the less time he gets to spend in his destination–and he has a deadly mystery to solve.

News and Views

Nominations are now open for the 2021 Sir Julius Vogel Awards. Anyone can nominate.

Symphony Space is doing a Celebration of Octavia E. Butler on February 24.

Over at Vox, there’s a discussion about Harrow the Ninth: Profound grief and terrible puns

The Book as Rorschach Test (Flowers for Algernon)

Netflix has made its first casting announcements for Sandman

Stitch’s Media Mix: Urban Fantasy 101: Magical Negros in the Genre

How to save the world by reading science fiction

The Culture war: Iain M. Banks’s billionaire fans

Science may have solved the Dyatlov Pass mystery, with the help of… Frozen 2? And here’s a Twitter thread that summarizes if NatGeo is giving you trouble.

On Book Riot

A beginner’s guide to the godpunk genre

The best funny sci-fi books

Imaginary Papers issue 5 is out

You’ve got until 11:45 pm tonight if you’re in Canada to enter to win a copy of Wings of Ebony by J. Elle.

See you, space pirates. 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.