Swords and Spaceships

SFF Summer Camp Scares

Happy Friday, shipmates! It’s Alex, and I’ve got two more new releases for you this week, and a bit of a summer camp theme. Which I will admit has more to do with me being sweaty and cranky and mosquito-bitten all week than any kind of fond summer memories of the great outdoors. That might also be why the books are all a bit on the…dark side this newsletter. But they’re all still good reads, I promise. Stay safe out there, space pirates, and stay cool! I’ll see you on Tuesday if I haven’t melted under the unforgiving glare of the July sun.

What do S.A. Cosby, Khaled Hosseini, Sarah Bakewell, and Yahdon Israel have in common? They’ve been guests on Book Riot’s newest podcast, First Edition, where co-founder Jeff O’Neal explores the wide bookish world. Subscribe to hear them and stay to hear Book Riot’s editors pick the “it” book of the month.

Let’s make the world a better place, together. Here’s somewhere to start: Entertainment Community Fund, which supports entertainment workers who are striking for living wages and a future where humans can continue to create art for each other.

Bookish Goods

Learn to Canoe Because Zombies Can't Swim Patch

Learn to Canoe Because Zombies Can’t Swim Patch by AresDesignCo

Going with the summery/summer camp theme this newsletter seems to have taken on, here’s a great camp badge — with a very true statement. We’ve seen and read about slow zombies, fast zombies…but no swimming zombies. Yet. $6

New Releases

cover of Silver Nitrate by Silvia Moreno-Garcia; pair of startled eyes done in reds and blacks

Silver Nitrate by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

In ’90s Mexico City, the film industry is very much a boys’ club, and Monserrat is excluded despite her brilliance as a sound editor. Then her oblivious crush Tristán, a fading soap opera star, discovers their new neighbor is a cult horror director, one who claims to be cursed by never having finished shooting a film using stock imbued with Nazi occultist magic. He asks Montserrat and Tristán to help him shoot the missing scenes to lift the curse, but soon the two sense a dark presence closing in on them…

camp damascus book cover

Camp Damascus by Chuck Tingle

Neverton, Montana is the home to a deeply religious community that insists it operates with a heart of gold — and one of its gems is Camp Damascus, the self-proclaimed “most effective” gay conversion camp in existence. But while the community touts its holiness, the camp’s secrets — and its successes — are anything but…

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

Riot Recommendations

My AC unit has been broken since the weekend, and my house is only slightly cooler than the outside, meaning I’ve been hot and sweaty and cranky all week. Which is to say, it feels like summer camp to me, so here are a couple of darkly fantastic summer camp novels that fit my current state.

cover of The Honeys by Ryan La Sala; the word 'honeys' repeated all the way down the cover over paintings of flowers

The Honeys by Ryan La Sala

Mars has been struggling in his politically-connected family; his genderfluidity means he keeps getting excluded from the activities of his politically active and well-connected family while his much more socially acceptable sister Caroline gets all the attention. But when Caroline dies horrifically, Mars sets out to find everything he can about her, which means going to the Aspen Conservancy Summer Academy in her place and discovering a dark fairy tale that runs on old-fashioned gender roles and toxic preparatory, rich-person nonsense. Then he finds his sister’s old friends, a group called the Honeys, and things start getting darker, with even his memories starting to give way…

you're not supposed to die tonight book cover

You’re Not Supposed to Die Tonight by Kalynn Bayron

This was supposed to be Charity’s dream summer job, testing her acting chops by playing the final girl at a slasher-themed interactive attraction that recreates parts of a classic horror film, The Curse of Camp Silver Lake. But then her co-workers start disappearing…and one of them winds up dead. Soon, if Charity and her best friend Bezi want a chance to survive the night, they’ll have to survive the actual history of Camp Mirror Lake.

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.