Swords and Spaceships

Hawaiian SFF Authors — and How to Help

Well, it’s Tuesday, shipmates. It’s Alex, and I’m here with your new releases to start off this week, and…some very sober remarks. Like many, my thoughts are with the people of Hawai’i, who have been hit by an absolutely devastating wildfire on Maui. As an adult, I’ve seen a lot of really scary fires sweep through my own state of Colorado (and was in one of the evacuation zones for the NYE 2021 Marshall fire) and even with that in mind, it’s hard to imagine the shock and horror Hawaiians are feeling with the death toll still mounting and Lahaina all but razed. It’s easy to feel helpless at times like this, but it’s important to know there are things we can do: give to the people it will help, and stay focused and loud about climate change because that’s not science fiction — it’s science reality. (Optional: have a good cry to let it all out, because that’s okay to do, too.) While I know a lot of that is outside the scope of this newsletter, what I can do is give you a couple “make the world a better place” links and point as much as I can to Hawaiian creators. Stay safe out there, space pirates, stay strong, and I’ll see you on Friday.

Maui Aloha: The People’s Response, which sends support to those affected by the wildfires on Maui, particularly first responders.

Hawai’i Community Foundation: The Maui Strong Fund, which will funnel funds to local leaders, nonprofits, and community members who can best apply them to evolving, on-the-ground needs.

Delighting velocireaders since 2017, Book Riot’s New Release Index will keep you in the know about all the latest books. All of them! For when my double features are not enough, because there are too many good books. Subscribe today — you won’t be able to read them all, but it’s fun to try!

Bookish Goods

Hawaiian Sailor Moon Wand pin

Sailor Moon’s Wand With a Hawai’i Flair by kehaunoeau

Once again, my love of enamel pins wins out! But this such a cool idea, Sailor Moon’s iconic wand reimagined with a Hawai’i style by a Native Hawaiian artist. Check out the rest of her shop: she’s got a lot of cute pins, including a series based on the adventures of Mauiakalana. $13

New Releases

Cover of The Brill Pill by Akemi C. Brodsky

The Brill Pill by Akemi C. Brodsky

Research scientist William Dalal has developed a medication that does what was once thought impossible: regenerate brain tissue from stem cells with nearly perfect accuracy. Emphasis on the nearly. Those Will helps face a wide range of side effects, including loss of motor function and sociopathy. Mentally trapped by his own personal tragedy, Will works feverishly to perfect his treatment, only to discover that the monsters he’s had a hand in making are beginning to take over.

the cover of Let's Go Let's Go Let's Go by Cleo Qian

Let’s Go Let’s Go Let’s Go: Stories by Cleo Qian

This is a short story collection that focuses on the alienated and technology-riddled lives of Asian and Asian American women. The women in the stories question convention and fight against dutiful and docile stereotypes, struggle, and embrace queer longing and desire.

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

Riot Recommendations

With our thoughts going to Hawai’i right now, one little way to help is to spotlight authors from the islands. Here’s a couple of books to check out!

Cover of Ike Papalua edited by Sam Fletcher

Ike Pāpālua: Science Fiction & Fantasy Stories from the Hawaiian Islands edited by Sam Fletcher

This is a collection of speculative fiction stories written by Hawaiian authors and set in Hawai’i. Topics range from magic to advanced technology, ghosts, robots, shapeshifters, trickster spirits, vampires, and more!

Cover of For a Muse of Fire by Heidi Heilig

For a Muse of Fire by Heidi Heilig

Jetta’s family are the most talented troupe of shadowed players…and much of their success has to do with her magic, which allows her to bind the souls of the recently departed into puppets with her own blood. It’s a deeply held secret because old magics like her are forbidden by the colonizers of her land. But when her family is invited to perform for the Mad King, Jetta will face danger beyond the secrets she holds — and find herself amidst a rebellion.

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.