Swords and Spaceships

Harpies, Ubiquitous Data Harvesting, and More SFF Book Talk: February 13, 2024

Happy Tuesday, shipmates! It’s Alex, and I’ve got a double dose of new releases for you today, big publisher and indie. I hope everyone had a marvelous weekend and—gong shi fa tsai! (Wishing you wealth in this new year.) Happy Year of the Dragon!

2024 is the tenth year of the Read Harder Challenge! Join us as we make our way through 24 tasks meant to expand our reading horizons and diversify our TBRs. To get book recommendations for each task, sign up for the Read Harder newsletter. We’ll also keep you informed about other cool reading challenges, readathons, and more across the bookish internet. If you become a paid subscriber, you get even more recommendations plus community features, where you can connect with a community of passionate, like-minded readers in a cozy and supportive corner of the internet. Sign up today!

This week I want to draw your attention to a couple of neat-o SFF Kickstarters. Khōréō year 4 is fundraising! It’s a quarterly magazine of short speculative fiction by immigrant and diaspora writers and artists; they have done such good work over the last three years. I also stumbled across this super cool project: An Anthology of Gujarati Pulp Fiction. They’ll be translating a collection of Gujarati novellas and short stories into English, and some of them will be sci-fi since that falls under the pulp umbrella.

Bookish Goods

Summon the She-Beast Stickers

Summon the She-Beast Stickers by DiwataCraft

I was thinking “harpies” today (see the indie releases below) and found these extremely cool stickers. Intricate and absolutely gorgeous. $10.87

New Releases

Convergence Problems by Wole Talabi

Convergence Problems by Wole Talabi

This collection of sixteen short stories from a Hugo, Nebula, Locus, and Nommo Award-nominated author examines humanity’s relationship with technology and our convergence on our future selves.

the book of love by kelly link

The Book of Love by Kelly Link

A year after their disappearance, three friends who have long since been presumed dead (and in fact are) reappear in their high school classroom to find their slightly strange music teacher has called them up. They have a chance to reclaim their lives in exchange for performing magical tasks. But in the end, there will be winners and losers, and the mystery of their deaths will be the most important riddle of all to solve.

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

Riot Recommendations

There are a lot of really great indie SFF books coming out this month, so here are a couple of recent releases to check out.

American Abductions by Mauro Javier Cardenas

American Abductions by Mauro Javier Cárdenas

In a near-future United States, ubiquitous data harvesting has enabled the mass incarceration and deportation of Latines, whether they are citizens or not. Ada and Eva lose their father at an early day to this horrifying practice when he is deported to Colombia. Then, as adults, they must try to reunite with him as his health fails, a nearly impossible task due to the increasingly Byzantine security state.

Roxy and Coco by Terese Svoboda

Roxy and Coco by Terese Svoboda

Roxy and Coco are sisters who work together as social workers, saving the world one child at a time—and they also happen to be harpies. But when Roxy is inexplicably attracted to her supervisor, Coco is immediately suspicious. But even as Coco’s trying to cover her sister’s back and figure out what’s going on, the authorities are coming for her, certain she’s the source of a series of strange homicides.

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.