Happy December! Today, I have some snowy SFF new releases for you, plus some speculative short story collections to put on your TBR.
Are you looking for the perfect gift for that bookish special someone in your life this holiday season? Tailored Book Recommendations is here to help! Here at TBR, we pair our customers with a professional book nerd (aka bibliologist) who just gets them. They fill out a survey and then sit back and relax as we pick books just for them. We’ve got three levels — recs-only, paperback, and hardcover — and you can gift a full year or one-time, so there are options for every budget! Get all the details at mybtro.com/gift.
Let’s make the world a better place, together. Here are two places to start: Palestinian Children’s Relief Fund, which provides medical and humanitarian relief to children in the Middle East regardless of nationality, religion, or political affiliation; and 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.
Cloisonné Swan Ornament by ValueArtsByKeming
I was looking for swan things thanks to one of our new novels this week, and this gorgeous cloisonné ornament caught my eye immediately. $36
Shards of Glass by Michelle Sagara
After being frozen for centuries, the Academia has come back to life…and its new Chancellor, a literal dragon, is looking for new students to fill its dorms once more. One of the new students, Robin, recruits his friend Raven as well; both grew up in poverty in the Warrens, and Robin knows Raven will be safe at the school where she can use her unusual gifts and be praised for it. But then students start turning up dead, and Robin and Raven must solve the mystery if they want to survive in this place that once promised safety.
Upon a Frosted Star by M.A. Kuzniar
Once each year, on the night of the first snowfall, mysterious invitations arrive around the city. All they say is, “Tonight.” Forster, a struggling artist, finds one of the invitations and is eager to sink into the glamor of it — and solve the mystery of the party’s host. But it takes him to an abandoned manor house where he finds a woman cursed…not at all what he might have expected.
For a more comprehensive list of new releases, check out our New Books newsletter.
I had a friend ask for recommendations of collections after she read Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang. So, I thought I’d share three of the books I came up with!
The Water That Falls on You From Nowhere by John Chu
I’m already breaking what I said I was going to do. This isn’t a collection but rather a single story. But I have to recommend it because John Chu is the only short story writer, other than Ted Chiang, who has managed to make me cry.
Bloodchild and Other Stories by Octavia E. Butler
I adore Octavia Butler’s novels, but her short stories are challenging in their own way. She tends to go to far darker places than Ted Chiang, but I feel she still shares his compassion for her characters, even if she is often pessimistic about their circumstances.
Changing Planes by Ursula K. Le Guin
Ursula K. Le Guin tends to focus on societies, but she does so through intense character work. This is more of a mosaic than a collection as such; the stories are interlinked as Sita Dulip hops from plane to plane and visits societies and touches cultures very alien to our own.