Swords and Spaceships

The Venn Diagram of Our Current Dystopias

Happy Friday, shipmates! It’s Alex, and I’ve got two more new releases for you this week and a couple of dystopian novels about finding out the truth is far different than the characters expected. I hope you’ve had a lovely week…it got cold here again, but I splurged and bought a heated blanket, and it’s probably the best silly thing I’ve bought lately. I can’t wait for my cat to discover how it works, guaranteeing I’ll never sit alone again. Have a great weekend, stay safe out there, and I’ll see you on Tuesday!

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Let’s make the world a better place, together. Here’s somewhere to start: NDN Collective and Jane’s Due Process.

Bookish Goods

Dystopia "You Are Here" Patch

Dystopia “You Are Here” Patch by Ecologics

Since there’s a bit of a dystopian theme for this newsletter, here’s a fun(?) Venn diagram patch. $9

New Releases

cover of The Lies of the Ajungo by Moses Ose Utomi

The Lies of the Ajungo by Moses Ose Utomi

In the City of Lies, everyone has their tongue cut out when they are 13 under the orders of the Ajungo Empire — a brutal requirement if they want to continue to receive water from their overlords. Tutu is three days from his 13th birthday, but he knows his mother won’t make it that long. He makes a deal with an oba: if she gives his mother water now, he will leave the city and find water to bring back for everyone.

Cover of Lucha of the Night Forest by Tehlor Kay Mejia

Lucha of the Night Forest by Tehlor Kay Mejia

Lucha is a have-not in Robado, a city where the haves are happy to forget people like her exist. Her drug-addicted mother often leaves her and her beloved younger sister Lis to fend for themselves; it’s up to Lucha to provide for both of them, using her innate abilities to hunt monsters. Left homeless by their mother’s most recent disappearance, the sisters must go on the run to survive…and find themselves in the middle of a feud between two gods.

For a more comprehensive list, check out our New Books newsletter.

Riot Recommendations

Since both of today’s new releases have that theme of young people leaving a dystopian city to learn truths about the outside world…how about a couple more?

the cover of The Record Keeper: a broken chain lies against a gray landscape, while red silhouettes of birds fly through the air

The Record Keeper by Agnes Gomillion

In the wake of World War III, society has been restructured in strict castes. Arika has been training for ten years to become part of the Kongo elite, and questioned none of it…until a student arrives are her school who spreads dangerous new beliefs and makes her question the very laws that she has been trained to uphold.

Cover of Never Let Me Go by Kazu Ishiguro

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

Kathy, Ruth, and Tommy have grown up as students at an elite boarding school named Hailsham, where they have been isolated in the English countryside and constantly told how special they are. It is not until they step out into the greater world that they understand just what that means and who they truly are.

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.