Categories
Swords and Spaceships

Cruel Pirate Kings, Sexy Spaceships, and Other SFF New Releases

Happy Tuesday, shipmates! It’s Alex, with a selection of new releases for you today, and some news items to peruse. We’re midway through November now–how did that happen?–and I decided to treat myself to a mango cloud cake, something I’ve been staring longingly at through the window of the local bakery for well over a year. Let me tell you… worth it. Sometimes dreams come true and a cake tastes as good as it looks. May your cakes be delicious and exactly what you hoped for. Stay safe out there, space pirates, and I’ll see you on Friday!

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


New Releases

Briar Girls cover

Briar Girls by Rebecca Kim Wells

Lena was cursed by a witch before she was ever born; simply touching her skin can kill another person. After one terrible mistake, she and her father are forced to flee from the safety of their village into the foreboding forest known as the Silence. In the Silence, Lena meets Miranda, a girl from a city named Gather she says is in the forest. Miranda is on a quest to wake a sleeping princess who is the key to freeing Gather from an evil ruler… and if Lena helps her on this quest, Miranda will help Lena break her curse. But the deeper Lena goes into the forest and along the path of her quest, the more she begins to realize that her curse and its origins may not quite be what she was told.

Elder Race by Adrian Tchaikovsky

The fourth daughter of a queen tries to save her people from a demon by asking for help from the Elder sorcerer who has always watched over her people from a massive tower. But the tower isn’t quite a tower, and the sorcerer isn’t actually a sorcerer–he’s an anthropologist, and a junior one at that–and he’s forbidden from interfering with the people he’s supposed to be observing. He’s also fairly certain that this demon is no demon at all.

cover of Our Violent Ends by Chloe Gong

Our Violent Ends by Chloe Gong

Juliette sacrificed her relationship with Roma to save him from the blood feud of the Scarlets, but her position is more precarious than ever. If she makes the smallest mistake, her cousin will usurp control of the Scarlet Gang. Roma himself has rejected her, believing she murdered his best friend–and she’s allowing him to keep believing that, no matter how much it hurts. But when a monstrous new danger comes into the city, Juliette needs Roma’s help if they’re going to save Shanghai.

Cover of You Sexy Thing by Cat Rambo

You Sexy Thing by Cat Rambo

Former Admiral in the Grand Military of the Hive Mind Niko Larson has very specifically gone to live in TwiceFar station at the ass-end of the known universe because she wants to be free of continual wars of conquest. She and the remnants of her former unit have opened a restaurant on the station, and they’d all like to be forgotten and left to obscurity, thank you very much. But their past catches up with them eventually, and if Niko and her crew want to survive and keep their restaurant alive, they need to kidnap a sentient ship and face down a sadistic pirate king.

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at Audiobooks.com with a free trial!

News and Views

Why the YA dystopia crazy finally burned out

Influence vs. fame in science fiction and fantasy

Reviews of the short stories of Jesse Miller, a Black SFF author active in the 1970s

Charlie Jane Anders on 5 real-life horrors that she wrote short stories (see her above collection) to cope with

What makes a long book feel too long? (A very relevant question in SFF…)

What if… we unpacked Chloe Zhao’s Eternals? also Eternals is a superhero primer on gnosticism

The cast of The Wheel of Time discuss the new dimension of stories to unfold from the series

On Book Riot

Why should children read dark books?

Should horror protagonists be genre savvy?

A brief history of vampires & werewolves in Ireland & the United Kingdom (and some of Europe)

Check out our new podcast Adaptation Nation, which is all about TV and film adaptations of books!

This month you can win a selection of spicy sequels and a $200 Barnes and Noble gift card, a $100 Amazon gift card and a Radish swag bag, and a $250 Barnes and Noble gift card.


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.

Categories
Swords and Spaceships

A Round of Applause for These Award-Winning Authors

Happy Friday, shipmates! It’s Alex, with some news items for you to check out as we head into the weekend, and a look at some of the authors who won at the World Fantasy Awards this last week. It’s getting crisp and very windy out here, and I’ve crunched almost all of the leaves on my back porch underfoot, sadly. Now all that’s left is the clean up. Have a relaxing weekend, space pirates, stay safe, and good luck to all of my fellow NaNoWriMo sufferers out there! I’ll see you on Tuesday.

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


News and Views

Disney is now doing some shady stuff to writers with reprints.

Chinese trailer for Three Body Problem being produced by Tencent

Interview with Dan Hanks

You can watch What’s in a Genre: Black Authors and SFF streamed live on November 13 at 10 AM PST/ 1 PM EST

Far Sector Round Table with N.K. Jemisin

Black mermaids: the waters beyond Eurocentric mythology

You can watch a recording of the Climate Futures Conversations from Scotland panel

Young People Read Old SFF tackles some less known Ursula K. Le Guin

Neal Stephenson talks about his climate thriller – and why the metaverse didn’t match his vision

I’ve seen the first three episodes of The Wheel of Time: here’s why you’re going to love it

On Book Riot

This week’s SFF Yeah! is a grab bag of awesome books that haven’t gotten air time yet.

What if your reading life was a video game? Reading side quests for all types of readers

12 free short stories by your favorite authors

9 comics and manga set in space

This month you can win a selection of spicy sequels and a $200 Barnes and Noble gift card, a $100 Amazon gift card and a Radish swag bag, and a $250 Barnes and Noble gift card.

Free Association Friday: Award-Winning Authors

We got the World Fantasy Award winners for this year earlier this week–if you missed it when I mentioned them int he Tuesday newsletter, here’s Book Riot’s news post. Obviously, you want to check out the books that won, but what other good stuff have these authors written?

cover of Love is the Drug by Alaya Dawn Johnson

Love is the Drug by Alaya Dawn Johnson

Alaya won a Nebula for this book back in 2015. An ordinary girl with a great life named Emily Bird wakes up in the hospital with no memory of the last several days after a chance meeting with a government agent and finds herself in the middle of a deadly flu pandemic. Emily knows there’s more than meets the eye–and research scientist parents are probably involved, too. But the only person who believes her is the small-time drug dealer from a neighboring prep school. You should also check out The Summer Prince, which was nominated for a Nebula and shortlisted for the National Book Award.

Alaya’s website is very worth visiting, too!

War Girls by Tochi Onyebuchi

Between climate change and nuclear disasters, Earth is basically uninhabitable by the year 2172, with the wealthy and lucky having escaped to floating colonies. In Nigeria, soldiers must be augmented if they want to survive and battles are conducted with massive mecha. Onyii and Ify are twin sisters who dream of a life beyond the ongoing civil war… and they’re willing to fight to find that future. Also check out Goliath, which is up for pre-order.

Honestly, Tochi has a ton of great stuff on his website, so you should check it out.

Cover of Back, Belly, and Side by Celeste Rita Baker

Back, Belly, and Side by Celeste Rita Baker

A collection of short stories, from the mystical to the mimetic, with a dash of magical realism to go with it, some written in standard American broadcast dialect and some in Caribbean dialect. Celeste’s prose is, as always, gorgeous.

Also swing by Celeste’s website to see her other numerous short stories, some of which are for sale as Kindle editions!

Cover of The Big Book of Classic Fantasy by Ann and Jeff Vandermeer

The Big Book of Classic Fantasy edited by Ann and Jeff Vandermeer

Ann and Jeff Vandermeer are basically a power couple for literary science fiction. Ann’s been an editor for years with a wide range of tastes and a bent for the weird; Jeff is more known as an author, but obviously he works with his wife to edit the crap out of some big books. This one is the companion volume to the book that won this year.

For a couple more of their anthologies to check out, cast your eyeballs on Sisters of the Revolution: A Feminist Speculative Fiction Anthology and The Time Traveler’s Almanac.

And of course Jeff is known on his own as a writer, mostly in the new weird field subgenre. His most recent is, if memory serves, Hummingbird Salamander.

Aoko Matsuda

It’s a little more difficult to find more work by Aoko Matsuda right now. She has short stories that have appeared in the magazine Monkey Business, including Volume 6 and Volume 7, and Strangers Press in the UK has published her novella The Girl Who Is Getting Married, a dizzying journey through an apartment building and memories of a friend.


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.

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at Audiobooks.com with a free trial!

Categories
Swords and Spaceships

New Releases: Mermaids, Time Travel, and Swashbucklers

Happy Tuesday, shipmates! It’s Alex, with a great selection of new releases coming at you this second week in November. I’ve been listening to the audiobook of Kim Stanley Robinson’s Ministry for the Future lately and I’m finding it to be a very different experience. It’s my first KSR book ever (don’t judge me, please) so I’m not sure if audio is the best format, but oof, that subject matter. It also starts at a point only three years from now, which is strangely brain-bending. Good stuff so far; a tough read, but not devoid of hope. I hope you’ve got a good book to keep you company right now (and if not, may I suggest one of those in the below list). Stay safe out there, space pirates, and I’ll see you on Friday!

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


New Releases

cover of noor by nnedi okorafor

Noor by Nnedi Okorafor

Anwuli Okwudili prefers to just be called AO, initials she thinks of as meaning ‘artificial organism.’ She was born with several disabilities and acquired more after a car accident, but her body augmentations have enabled her to live a decent life and she has embraced them. Then, one day, everything goes wrong at her local market and she’s forced to go on the run as a murderer. She meets a Fulani herdsman named DNA, who has been condemned as a terrorist, and together they journey across the deserts of Northern Nigeria, their every movement streamed to the world.

Year of the Reaper by Makiia Lucier

Lord Cassia was once an engineer’s apprentice, given his mission by the king himself. Then came an ambush by enemy soldiers; then came a devastating plague. After rotting in a prison cell for three years, Cas wants nothing more than to return home… but what he finds there is a royal court in refuge and their enemies circling. When an assassin tries to kill those close to the queen in Cas’s home, he must search for the killer—and he soon comes to understand that who is far less important than why.

The Undertakers by Nicole Glover

The Undertakers by Nicole Glover

Hetty and Benjy return to investigate another crime, one that seems a bit too simple and neat at first glance. Raimond Duval appears to have died in an accidental fire, one of many that have happened recently in Philadelphia. Their investigation implicates a Fire Company that’s been in the habit of letting the homes of Black folk burn to the ground. Then Raimond’s son Valentine is found dead, another supposed “accident” far too connected to the death of his father.

Swashbucklers by Dan Hanks

Thirty years ago, Cisco Collins saved his town from being swallowed by a hell mouth which had been opened by the ancient ghost of a pirate. Now he’s come back home as a single parent, and he has enough problems without signs of the pirate’s power creeping back and killing people in the town in some truly bizarre ways. Cisco must figure out how to save the town again, and that’s going to involve convincing his old friends to help him save the day while they all try to keep up with the grueling holiday schedule dictated by having school-age children.

cover of Skin of the Sea by Natasha Bowen

Skin of the Sea by Natasha Bowen

Simi serves the gods as a mermaid; her task is to collect the souls of those who have died at sea and send them home. But when she finds a still-living boy in the water, instead of letting him drown and sending his soul on, she saves his life instead. Now she must journey to the Supreme Creator to face the consequences of her actions, but there are forces moving against her that would like to see her fail and take the other mermaids with her— and the boy she saved knows far too much.

The Perishing by Natashia Deón

A young Black woman named Lou wakes up in 1930s L.A. in a back alley with no memories. After being taken in by a foster family, she focuses on her education and becomes the first Black female journalist at the Los Angeles Times, all the while doing her best to forget her mysterious origin. Then she meets a firefighter at a boxing gym and realizes she’s been drawing his face for years even though she has no idea who he is. Haunted by dreams and inexplicable flashes of almost-memory, Lou begins to believe she must be some sort of immortal, sent to L.A. for a reason… and she needs to figure out what that is before it’s too late.

News and Views

Congratulations to the winners of this year’s World Fantasy Awards!

Mercedes Lackey has been named the 38th SFWA Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master

The 10 finalists for the Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off have been announced

The Books That Made Garth Nix

Interview with N.K. Jemisin

A profile of Premee Mohamed

Novelists illustrate the climate futures that could await us

Dune‘s ornithopters don’t just look like bugs – they sound like them, too

Axios interviews Neal Stephenson re: “Metaverse”

Making Space Travel Inclusive for All

On Book Riot

Find out which ’90s witch you are for a book recommendation

20 must-read genre-blending romance books to satisfy your needs (SFF romance in here!)

Authors as Tarot Cards

10 books to read if you loved Squid Game

This month you can win a selection of spicy sequels and a $200 Barnes and Noble gift card, a $100 Amazon gift card and a Radish swag bag, and a $250 Barnes and Noble gift card.


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.

Categories
Swords and Spaceships

SFF Novels By Native American Authors

Happy Friday, shipmates! It’s Alex, with some SFF news for you this first Friday in November, and some novels for you to check out as we kick off Native American Heritage Month! I hope you’re enjoying the cooling days, the leaves crunching underfoot, and if you’re like me, the Halloween decorations you still haven’t bothered to take down. (Maybe this weekend. Maybe not.) Stay safe out there, space pirates, and I’ll see you on Tuesday!

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


News and Views

Anathema, a magazine that exclusively publishes SFF by LGBTQIA POC/Indigenous/Aboriginal creators, is crowdfunding for its sixth year

The Fickle Nature of Science Fiction

America’s first vampire was Black and revolutionary — it’s time to remember him

Is Dune a White Savior Narrative?

The Muslimness of Dune: A Close Reading of “Appendix II: The Religion of Dune”

There’s a trailer for The Book of Boba Fett

Imaginary Papers issue 8 is online!

At My Most Beautiful: The Politics of Body Prostheses, Disability, and Replacement in Arryn Diaz’s Dresden Codak

You can sign up for the Crafting Climate Futures: From Story to Policy webinar that’s happening on Monday, November 8 (1:30 PM London Time)

SFF eBook Deals

Seed to Harvest: The Complete Patternist Series by Octavia E. Butler for $3.99

Infernal by Mark de Jager for $0.99

The Betrayals by Bridget Collins for $1.99

On Book Riot

This week’s SFF Yeah! podcast is about Raybearer

Check out our new podcast Adaptation Nation, which is all about TV and film adaptations of books! The first episode is about Dune.

Revisiting Superman: For the Man Who Has Everything

You can win the audiobook of These Wicked Walls by Lauren Blackwood

Enter to win a $100 ThriftBooks Gift Card

This month you can win a selection of spicy sequels and a $200 Barnes and Noble gift card, a $100 Amazon gift card and a Radish swag bag, and a $250 Barnes and Noble gift card.

Free Association Friday

As November is officially Native American Heritage Month in the US, so how about a spotlight on SFF novels by Native American authors?

Elatsoe book cover

Elatsoe by Darcie Little Badger

In an America like our own, but perhaps a bit in the future and just a little more supernatural, Ellie is a Lipan Apache girl who wants to be a paranormal investigator, partially because of her skill for speaking with the ghosts of dead animals. When her cousin is murdered near a town that is eerily perfect, she makes solving that mystery her first official mission, with the help of friends and family.

Robopocalypse by Daniel H. Wilson

In the near future, an AI called Archos, disguised as a shy little boy, makes a hostile takeover of the “smart” technology that governs every aspect of human life. Some humans have an inkling that things are going wrong with technology, but it’s too little, too late, and Zero Hour arrives with decimating force that could destroy humanity forever… or perhaps unite it.

cover of Future Home of the Living God by Louise Erdrich

Future Home of the Living God by Louise Erdrich

A mysterious condition has hit humanity across the globe; children are suddenly being born that appear to be from primitive pre-human species. For Cedar Hawk Songmaker, this disturbing change is personally terrifying, because she is four months pregnant. An adoptee, she decides to search for her birth parents before her own child is born as society begins to unravel around her.

Riding the Trail of Tears by Blake M. Hausman

In near-future America, the Trail of Tears has been rendered into a ride at a virtual reality tourist compound in Georgia. Tallulah Wilson, a Cherokee woman who works there, is caught up in strange events as tourists begin falling unconscious on the ride–and the ride’s programming is being twisted by someone to tell a different narrative.

Cover of Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse

Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse

The winter solstice in Tova is normally a time of renewal, but this year it brings a solar eclipse, the possible fulfillment of a terrifying prophecy, and the collision of politics, religious oppression, and the struggle of cultures that have been bound together by conquest. It comes at the hand of Serapio, a young man who has been blinded and scarred, who may fulfill his destiny and become a god, and Xiala, who should fear him–and doesn’t.

Trinity Sight by Jennifer Givhan

Calliope is pregnant with twins and not long from giving birth when she awakens to a New Mexico transformed into a sinister, haunted wasteland where she seems to be one of the few people left alive. As long-quiescent volcanoes erupt and monsters come to life, she has to find a way to reconcile what she sees in the geological record and what she knows of her long-denied heritage if she wants to survive.

the cover of Mongrels, featuring an illustration with a red-tinged silhouette of a wolf in the foreground and a standing person in front of power lines and a car against a yellow background

Mongrels by Stephen Graham Jones

There’s a kid who has had it really tough, living a poor and hardscabble life of constantly moving, trying to coexist with a society that does not want or understand his family, who are called mongrels or mixed blood. Still, he wants nothing more than to grow up to be like the people who have raised him: his grandfather, his Aunt Libby, and his Uncle Darren… all of whom are werewolves.


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.

Categories
Swords and Spaceships

An Alien Road Trip, a Supernatural Detective Agency, and Other New Releases

Happy Tuesday, shipmates! I’m Alex, it’s the first Tuesday in November–my second favorite month of the year–and I’ve got some fresh new releases for you to check out. We had an almost-traditional Colorado Halloween this year. It was cold for the trick-or-treaters, but there wasn’t actually any snow in my part of the state. There’s a reason it’s traditional for kids to have their costumes big enough to fit over a snow suit! Maybe next year. Enjoy your leftover Halloween candy, save something peanut-y for me, and I’ll see you on Friday!

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


New Releases

Cover of Star Mother by Charlie N. Holmberg

Star Mother by Charlie N. Holmberg

Every time a star dies, a new one is born from a mortal woman… and the birth kills her. Ceris is an outsider in her village, and she volunteers as this sacrifice to secure a place for her family. But she survives the birth, as no other person has, and that’s only the beginning of her strange journey. When she returns to her village, she finds seven centuries have passed rather than the nine months she experienced, and she sets about racking down her descendants.

Obviously, Aliens by Jennie Goloboy

When Dana drinks the wrong soda on the way to Spokane, a series of events lead her to suddenly be occupying the same body as Jay, and she would very much like for them to go back to having separate bodies so they can both move on with their lives. But on the quest to get Jay into a new body, they’re going to deal with a lot of aliens, a clone of Dana’s dead dad, talking dogs, government agents, and evil executives. It’s going to be a road trip for the ages.

Cover of The Ghost Tracks by Celso Hurtado

The Ghost Tracks: The San Antonio Supernatural Detective Agency by Celso Hurtado

Erasmo Cruz has had a rough start; his mother abandoned him and his father, too, is gone–a junkie who overdosed. The grandmother who has raised him now has cancer. What he’s got is his fascination with the supernatural, and he decides to open a paranormal investigation agency to earn money to pay for his grandmother’s medical treatment. But finding the truth behind his clients’ claims may be scarier than he bargained for.

The Veiled Throne by Ken Liu

Sequel to The Wall of Storms. Princess Théra has crossed the Wall of Storms with ten thousand troops and a fleet of advanced warships to make war on the Lyucu. Her strategy is to do the most interesting thing in the face of every challenge, though this may not always be the best idea. Behind her in Dara, the survivors of the Dandelion Court and the leadership from Lyucu engage in their own much more quiet war of political maneuvering, and it remains to be seen if tradition or newer justifications for power will win out.

the cover of You Reached Sam

You’ve Reached Sam by Dustin Thao

Julie, at the age of seventeen, has her life planned; she and her boyfriend Sam are going to leave their small town, go to college in the city, go to Japan for the summer, and then… bigger and more nebulous things. But then Sam dies and leaves Julie alone, her imagined future broken. Wanting to hear his voice again, Julie calls Sam’s cell phone, intending to listen to his voicemail… and then Sam picks up. And Julie has a second chance to at least say goodbye.

A Psalm of Storms and Silence by Roseanne A. Brown

Sequel to A Song of Wraths and Ruin. After a violent coup, Karina has nothing: no kingdom, no throne. On the run as the most wanted person in Sonande, her only hope of salvation is to search for divine power in a long-lost city. As she searches, disaster after disaster threatens the world that’s left her behind, caused by the resurrection of her sister. Karina may be the key to returning the world to balance… but it’s a lot to ask her to save those who only recently tried to kill her.

News and Views

Pulp friction: Irish women’s place in genre writing should be rescued from ignominy

Paizo will voluntarily recognize workers’ union – solidarity!!

Publishers Weekly has listed its favorite SFF of 2021

Beyond Dark Academia: The Real Horror in Magic School Is Systemic Inequality

The Potterization of Science Fiction

The Cosmic Horror of Sword & Sorcery

Roundup of indie speculative fiction for October

Interview with Erica Ciko Campbell and Desmond Rhae Harris

On Book Riot

The War of the Worlds: The Influence of the Novel and its Infamous Broadcast

Let the best dark fantasy books enchant your life

The Girl With the Green Ribbon: A Tale of Many Lives

Why do kids love Stephen King? A reader reflects.

Sleeping with the lights on: a Stephen Graham Jones Reading Pathway

Enter to win a copy of Rhythm of War by Brandon Sanderson!

Don’t forget to check out our new podcast Adaptation Nation, all about TV and film adaptations of your favorite books!


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.

Categories
Swords and Spaceships

Vampire Reads To Sink Your Teeth Into

Happy Friday, shipmates! Here we are, last Friday in October and two days away from my personal favorite day of the year. We bought the good candy in the hopes we’ll get some trick-or-treaters–though in a worst case scenario, hey, mini Snickers, right? The only bump in my Halloween plans is it look like we’re not getting the Colorado traditional Halloween snowstorm, but we’ll make it work. Have a great one, friends. Stay safe out there, and I’ll see you on Tuesday!

Let’s make the world a better place, together. Here’s somewhere to start: https://blacklivesmatters.carrd.co/ and anti-asianviolenceresources.carrd.co


News and Views

Ursula K Le Guin prize for fiction to launch in 2022

Telling Our Stories: When Mexican Folklore and Oral Tradition Meet Sci-Fi

The entire concept behind Pixar’s upcoming Lightyear movie is shockingly meta

The Blockbuster That Hollywood Was Afraid to Make

The Enduring Appeal of Dune as an Adolescent Power Fantasy

Dune: Part 2 Officially Greenlit, Release Date Set for 2023

Asking the Tough Questions About Superheroes and Public Nudity

Kickstarter for From Here to Timbuktu: A Steamfunk Adventure

SFF eBook Deals

Ring Shout by P. Djèlí Clark for $2.99

The Second Bell by Gabriela Houston for $1.99

Song of the Forever Rains by E.J. Mellow For $1.99

On Book Riot

Quiz: A Pirate’s Book for Me! Which YA pirate book should ye read next?

The best LGBTQ books that aren’t YA (lots of good SFF on this list!)

This week’s SFF Yeah! is about immortality

This month you can enter to win a Kindle Oasis, a waterproof Kindle Paperwhite, a year of free books, a stack of fall new releases, an audiobook bundle, and $100 to spend on books plus a romance tote bag.

Last chance to get our limited edition Book Riot merch! Once October ends, it disappears.

Free Association Friday: Vampires

It’s the last Friday in this monsterful October, and I decided to save perhaps the easiest monster for last: vampires! Boy, are they popular. But what I have for you is a selection of vampire (and vampire-like-being) novels written entirely by authors of color, and I’m only just scratching the surface here. Happy Halloween, my friends!

Certain Dark Things book cover

Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

A garbage-collecting street kid in Mexico city hooks up with a jaded vampire who is the last scion of an ancient family of Aztec blood drinkers. These two cynical survivors find friendship in each other as they dodge narcos and corrupt cops and try their best to simply survive.

Also check out her short story collection, This Strange Way of Dying.

Moonshine by Alaya Dawn Johnson

In 1920s New York, Zephyr teaches night school for the underprivileged of the Lower East Side to keep herself fed, because social activism doesn’t pay the bills. Desperate for her next rent payment, she agrees to help a student to bring down a vampire mob boss, using her charity work as cover. She should have asked why…

cover of fledgling by octavia butler

Fledgling by Octavia Butler

An apparently young girl with amnesia turns out to be a 53-year-old genetically modified vampire who has lost her memories to an attempt on her life. If she wishes to survive, she needs to quickly learn where she came from, who she is, and why people tried to kill her–and are still trying to kill her.

A Small Charred Face by Kazuki Sakuraba, translated by Jocelyne Allen

Bamboo is a vampire “born” from the tall grass that is his namesake, shockingly gentle considering the necessity of his diet. He befriends a human named Kyo, and together they share a strange sort of life together. But other vampires of Bamboo’s type don’t take kindly to him communicating with a mortal human…

cover of The Nymphos of Rocky Flats by Mario Acevedo

The Nymphos of Rocky Flats by Mario Acevedo

Felix Gomez got turned into a vampire during his tour of duty in Iraq; when he comes home, things have somehow get even weirder. There’s an outbreak of nymphomania at Rocky Flats, which is not only a superfund site, it’s a secret government facility. He’s brought in to investigate, and it’s a race to see what gets him first: the vampire hunters, the shady government agents, or the aforementioned nymphomaniacs.

My Soul to Keep by Tananarive Due

Jessica’s perfect husband turns out to be anything but; when people around him begin mysteriously dying, he confesses that he’s actually from an Ethiopian sect who traded their souls for immortality… over 400 years ago. His immortal brethren are trying to force him to come home, but he has a better idea: making Jessica and their daughter immortal like him, even if both of them would much rather keep their souls.

The Gilda Stories cover

The Gilda Stories by Jewelle L. Gómez

Gilda is a woman who escapes from slaver in the 1850s and finds community and family in a group of benevolent vampyres. With these immortal companions and an ever-lengthening life stretching out before her, she goes on an dangerous adventure that’s filled with laughter and terror in equal measure.

Venous Hum by Suzette Mayr

After the death of an old high school acquaintance, Lai Fun and Stefanja decide to organize a twenty-year reunion. Of course there are secrets and drama… Lai Fun’s relationship with her wife is crumbling, she’s sleeping with a married man (and he’s married to Stefanja), and her mother, an immigrant and vegetarian who has… unusual appetites, has decided that she just wants Lai Fun to be happy.


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.

Categories
Swords and Spaceships

A Spaceship Murder Mystery, a Climate Catastrophe Dystopia, and Other New Releases

Happy Tuesday, shipmates! Here we are, the last Tuesday in October–how did that happen? Definitely the scariest thing about this month. It’s Alex, with some new releases for you to check out, and some news links. I just watched the new Dune film–I braved an early show at the theater–and I’m still processing the sheer scale of the movie. (And also wondering how legible it is if you haven’t read the book before.) If you have a chance to watch it, I definitely recommend it, though. If nothing else, it’s utterly gorgeous. Stay safe out there space pirates, and I’ll see you on Friday!

Let’s make the world a better place, together. Here’s somewhere to start: https://blacklivesmatters.carrd.co/ and anti-asianviolenceresources.carrd.co


New Releases

cover of Far from the Light of Heaven by Tade Thompson

Far From the Light of Heaven by Tade Thompson

A colony ship with one thousand people in cold sleep arrives at the Lagos system, but when it’s time for these colonists to wake and head for their new home, the first mate discovers some of the colonists are dead instead of merely in suspended animation. Investigator Rasheed Fin is called in to investigate the mysterious deaths and discovers the mystery is far more sinister than a simple malfunction, with a plot that ranges from Lagos all the way back to Sol.

Trashlands by Alison Stine

After climate catastrophe has reshaped the world, the countries have finally agreed to stop making new plastics… so that makes the old plastics finally valuable. “Pluckers” who pull plastic trash from the rivers and woods of the so-called “Trashlands” eke out a living. Coral is one such Plucker, desperately saving up the money to rescue her daughter from the terrible conditions of the recycling factories. And when she’s not working, she makes art. When a reporter from a city further up the coast arrives, it’s an opportunity for Coral to change her life… if she can imagine a better future.

cover of How Do You Live? by Genzaburo Yoshino

How Do You Live? by Genzaburo Yoshino, translated by Bruno Navasky

Fifteen-year-old Copper is dealing with the death of his father and betrayal by his best friend. Named after Copernicus, Copper looks to the stars for guidance on how he will live his life and what kind of person he wishes to be. Copper’s uncle also writes to give him advice and help him grow and find his place in a universe both infinitely large and small.

We Light Up the Sky by Lilliam Rivera

Three teenagers who travel in very different social spheres in a high school in Los Angeles find themselves thrown suddenly together when aliens land in the city. Pedro is a boy who frequents the local drag bar to escape his difficult home life; Rafa is quiet, shy, and hiding the fact that he’s homeless; and Luna is nominally popular, but deeply mourning the loss of her cousin Tasha. When the alien visitor takes the form of Tasha and begins causing havoc throughout the city, the three teens must first survive and then try to save those around them.

Grave Reservations cover image

Grave Reservations by Cherie Priest

Leda Foley is a struggling travel agent who is also psychic… sometimes. When she’s psychically prompted to re-book Detective Grady Merritt onto a different flight, both of them are shocked to find out she actually saved his life after the plane explodes. Grady realizes this is his opportunity to crack a cold case, while Leda sees a chance to close the books on her fiance’s unsolved murder.

Untamed Isles: The Path Awakens by Aaron Hodges

Zachary Sicario is a master thief who has done his best to retire; he’s spent the last ten years in a cottage on the unpopulated highlands. But the world isn’t done with him, even if he’s done with the world. When a mysterious wasting illness begins to plague him, he can either die quietly or return to his thieving life in order to search for a cure. It’s an easy choice, one that takes him to a strange new island steeped in magic.

News and Views

Dune: Denis Villeneuve on Frank Herbert, a director’s cut, and Dune Part Two

Why Dune endures

Jason Sanford on the financial barriers (in this case, obstacles to actually getting paid) that international authors face

The charm of the paranormal cozy: an appreciation

Managing my ever-expanding TBR stack

Why is Frankenstein’s monster green?

Afrofuturist and horror writer Tananarive Due: “Invite more Black creators to the table”

Interview with Ryka Aoki

Interview with R.B. Lemberg

10 LA landmarks made even more famous by Hollywood horror flicks

A fantasy blockbuster shot in 2014 is finally being released

On Book Riot

It’s Black Speculative Fiction Month, so let’s talk Hoodoo

The 17-year-old who invented science fiction

10 must-read new sci-fi books for the fall

Fantasy books with no romance (or very little)

Japan-inspired fantasy novels

Win a copy of Dust and Grim by Chuck Wendig

This month you can enter to win a Kindle Oasis, a waterproof Kindle Paperwhite, a year of free books, a stack of fall new releases, an audiobook bundle, and $100 to spend on books plus a romance tote bag.

This is the last week to snag some of our limited edition Book Riot merch, celebrating our 10th birthday!


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.

Categories
Swords and Spaceships

Send in the Zombies!

Happy Friday, shipmates! It’s Alex with some more Halloween-themed books for your perusal and a few links to click. Out here, we’re starting to get some frost on the windows in the morning, which is what I like to see… even if my cats do not appreciate the chill in the air. (Life hack: keep your thermostat low if you can, and it not only lets you enjoy sweaters and jumpers, but it forces cats to be extra cuddly.) Stay safe out there, space pirates, and I’ll see you on Tuesday!

Let’s make the world a better place, together. Here’s somewhere to start: https://blacklivesmatters.carrd.co/ and anti-asianviolenceresources.carrd.co


News and Views

Congratulations to the 2021 Mythopoeic Award winners!

Rick Steves Casually Reviews Dangerous Fantasy Locations

James McAvoy, Son of Dune, Has Advice for His Father, Dune Star Timothée Chalamet and also Claudia Black’s Sci-Fi Advice to a Young James McAvoy Proves Timeless

Interview with V.E. Schwab

How 2001: A Space Odyssey‘s long-lost lunar lander found its way to LA’s new Academy Museum of Motion Pictures

Black ugliness and the covering of blue: William Shatner’s suborbital flight to “death”

NASA Announces Winners of Deep Space Food Challenge

Crab in amber!

SFF eBook Deals

Night of the Mannequins by Stephen Graham Jones for $2.99

The Sisters Grimm by Menna van Praag for $1.99

More Than Human by Theodore Sturgeon for $1.99

On Book Riot

This week’s SFF Yeah! is about Foundation and Saga

Let’s talk folk horror and appropriation

20 of the best enemies-to-lovers fantasy books

New Dark Witchy YA Books

Enter to win a copy of The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

Enter to win a copy of The Troubled Girls of Dragomir Academy by Anne Ursu

This month you can enter to win a Kindle Oasis, a waterproof Kindle Paperwhite, a year of free books, a stack of fall new releases, an audiobook bundle, and $100 to spend on books plus a romance tote bag.

Also check out Book Riot’s limited edition merch, celebrating the site’s 10th birthday!

Free Association Friday: Zombies!

Continuing with my favorite month of the year and our weekly monster theme, how about some zombies… or more broadly, the undead. Maybe it’s a virus, maybe it’s a curse, but some people just don’t want to stay buried. Here’s some SFF with different takes on the dead that don’t want to die!

cover of salvation day

Salvation Day by Kali Wallace

I cannot have an SFF with zombies list without some good ol’ space zombies, and here they are. A salvage crew aims to take the derelict House of Wisdom, a giant exploration vessel that should be nice and empty after its crew got taken out by a mysterious virus a decade ago. But even after ten years, the ship isn’t as empty as they think–and it carries a secret the government would like to keep buried.

The Bone Houses by Emily Lloyd-Jones

Ryn and her family are gravediggers in a remote mountain village called Colbren; it’s not a good living, but it’s better than the alternative. But Colbren was once home to the fae, and the dead, once buried, don’t necessarily stay put. These cursed, risen corpses are called “bone houses” and they become strangely irate when a new mapmaker’s apprentice named Ellis, arrives in town. Together Ellis and Ryn must unravel the curse of the bone houses.

cover of zone one

Zone One by Colson Whitehead

The zombie apocalypse has happened, and the survivors have managed to reclaim an island south of Canal Street in New York City, which they call Zone One. This book follows the life of Mark Spitz for three days as he starts working to clear out stragglers, look for survivors, and try to come to grips with a world that’s changed forever.

Handling the Undead by John Ajvide Lindqvist

As the power grid in Stockholm goes bonkers, something even stranger happens–the dead begin to wake in morgues and cemeteries. Not classic zombies, but not beautiful ghosts either, they return to the places they knew, and those they left behind must deal with what their rising could mean.

Cover of Dead Beautiful by Yvonne Woon

Dead Beautiful by Yvonne Woon

Renee’s ordinary life gets turned upside-down when she finds her parents dead in an apparent double murder that has some disturbing ritualistic overtones. Now the charge of her wealthy grandfather, she’s sent off to Gottfried Academy, a strange boarding school in Maine that is more about “Crude Sciences” and Latin than a more regular curriculum. But the Academy has a dark past, and Renee’s got a lot of curiosity…

The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

Mary lives a life of simple truths, surrounded by a fence that keeps the relentless Unconsecrated at bay. She knows that the Sisterhood knows best, that the Guardians will always protect her, and that only death resides outside the fence. But when all those truths fail and the Unconsecrated breach the village, she can stay and die, or she can flee and take her chances… and discover that reality is far more complicated.


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.

Categories
Swords and Spaceships

A Murderous Planet, Hungry Ghosts, a Curse of Jewels, and Other New Releases

Happy Tuesday, shipmates! It’s Alex, with another round of new releases for you in this glorious mid-October. I am super excited about several books this week. Thanks to the weather getting colder, I’ve had to move my plants inside, and now my cats are mad at me because they’re taking up one of the best windowsills in the house. Life’s unfair when you’re a kitty cat, I guess. Stay safe out there, space pirates, and I’ll see you on Friday!

Let’s make the world a better place, together. Here’s somewhere to start: https://blacklivesmatters.carrd.co/ and anti-asianviolenceresources.carrd.co


New Releases

Cover of Flowers For the Sea by Zin E Rocklyn

Flowers for the Sea by Zin E. Rocklyn

Iraxi is a commoner who is ostracized even among the lowest of the low because she refused the advances of a prince and because she’s pregnant and alone. In any society her situation would be difficult, but in this ark that carries survivors over a flooded kingdom, her struggle to survive is desperate. Worse, the child she carries may be more than human, and the her fate promises both darkness and power.

Every Star a Song by Jay Posey

After exposing the depredations of the Ascendance, former agent of the First House Elyth is on the run. She wishes she could put it all behind her, but she’s soon cornered and… offered a deal instead of punishment. If she agrees to explore a mysterious new planet that seems to have appeared from nowhere, all of her sins will be forgiven. Wanting to live, Elyth agrees to join the team of explorers, but she quickly discovers this new world is conscious, and it very deliberately wants all of them dead.

Cover of Nothing but Blackened Teeth by Cassandra Khaw

Nothing but Blackened Teeth by Cassandra Khaw

A group of friends decides to get their thrills by partying in an abandoned Heian-era mansion, one whose foundations rest on the bones of a bride and whose walls are filled with the girls who were sacrificed to follow her into death. While a late night with lots of alcohol starts revealing dark secrets among the friends, the house’s lonely, hungry ghost comes calling.

Warriors of God by Andrzej Sapkowski

Reynevan has been given a secret and dangerous mission by the Hussite leaders, forcing him to come out of hiding and head for Silesia. On the way, he still needs to find revenge for his brother’s death and discover the location of his vanished lover.

Cover of Little Thieves by Margaret Owen, featuring outline of girl in red in front of outlines of figures in gray

Little Thieves by Margaret Owen

Vanja was the dutiful servant to a princess until a year ago, when her adopted mothers–Death and Fortune themselves–demand she pay them back for all the care they’ve given her. She must take the princess’s place using a string of enchanted pearls… but she wants to steal her own life back, becoming a jewel thief and stealing from the nobles she rubs elbows with by day. One theft away from freedom, she crosses yet another god and is cursed. She has two weeks to break a curse and make her getaway, with a detective on her tail and the princess’s sinister fiance complicating her life.

Nightwatch on the Hinterlands by K. Eason

Lieutenant Iari finds herself in charge of a murder investigation where there’s only one suspect–a decommissioned battle mecha that cannot possibly have committed the crime. But she’s not the only one on the case; Gaer, an ambassador who is actually a spy, is also investigating. The truth they find is deeper and more dangerous than a simple malfunction.

News and Views

The science behind Destiny 2‘s Lorentz Driver weapon

Under your skin: the horror of the inexplicable

Interview with Premee Mohamed

Superman’s motto is changing

Workers at Pathfinder publisher Paizo have announced the formation of the United Paizo Workers union

Why body horror is such an evocative tool in storytelling (CW for discussions of ableism and miscarriage)

I will never be over how astoundingly terrible the title of this actual movie that has an actual trailer (that looks pretty good!) is

On Book Riot

Best books about first contact with aliens

Stand by me: 9 familiars/animal companions in literature

The danger–and necessity–of paranoid reading

Studio Ghibli’s other director: a read-alike guide to the films of Isao Takahata

The Girl Who Drank the Moon is about questioning the status quo

This month, you can enter to win a Kindle Oasis, a waterproof Kindle Paperwhite, a year of free books, a stack of fall new releases, an audiobook bundle, and $100 to spend on books plus a romance tote bag.

Book Riot is 10 years old this month! Celebrate with limited edition merch, including a cozy Book Riot hoodie perfect for fall reading.


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.

Categories
Swords and Spaceships

Shapeshifter Reads for Your Monstertober TBR!

Happy Friday, shipmates! It’s Alex, with some shapeshifters for the continued monster-fication of October! Also some links and a few deals. We just had our first freeze–and snow–of the season here in Colorado! I had to bring my plants inside, and now my cats are angry at me because the plants have stolen their windowsill. Hardships abound. Stay safe out there, space pirates, and I’l see you on Tuesday!

Let’s make the world a better place, together. Here’s somewhere to start: https://blacklivesmatters.carrd.co/ and anti-asianviolenceresources.carrd.co


News and Views

Interview with Becky Chambers

10 best fantasy and sci-fi books with upcoming TV and movie adaptations

What makes John Carpenter’s The Thing so effing scary?

Celebrate Ursula K. Le Guin’s legacy by reading a classic Earthsea story

Star Trek: Discovery season 4 trailer!

A moment that changed me: Patrick Stewart on the teacher who spotted his talent – and saved him

William Shatner went to space!

Superman Jr is bi!

SFF eBook Deals

Memory of Water by Emmi Itäranta for $1.99

The Complete Chronicles of William Wilde by Davis Ashura for $2.99

Chaos Awakens by Megg Jensen for free!

On Book Riot

The most influential sci-fi books of all time

Who was Octavia Butler?

How to read more diversely

Why not both? 8 books with love triangles that end in polyamory

This month you can enter to win a Kindle Oasis, a waterproof Kindle Paperwhite, a year of free books, a stack of fall new releases, an audiobook bundle, and $100 to spend on books plus a romance tote bag.

Book Riot is 10 years old this month, and we’re celebrating with some limited edition merch!

Free Association Friday

For this free association Friday in Monstertober, we’re going to howl at the moon and aim for books with werewolves and other shapeshifters! And we’re doing this hardmode, with no paranormal romance and no Animorphs. Here’s what I’ve got for you!

book cover for lobizona

Lobizona by Romina Garber

Manuela is an undocumented immigrant on the run from both the government and her father’s Argentinian crime family, trying to live her life in Miami. But when her mother is arrested and her grandmother is attacked, Manuela has to look to her past to find solutions to these present problems. And that past takes her all the way to a cursed city in Argentina, where she finds out she’s even more “illegal” than she could have imagined.

The Cloud Roads by Martha Wells

Moon is an orphan who can shapeshift into a winged creature; it’s something he’s been hiding for his entire life. Just as he is about to be thrown out of another adopted tribe, he meets a shapeshifter like himself, one who can tell him the truth about his lineage and his existence… and what he means for the survival of the tribes around them.

when the tiger came down the mountain cover

When the Tiger Came Down the Mountain by Nghi Vo

A cleric named Chih and her mammoth-riding companion find themselves at the mercy of a family of shapeshifting tigers. To survive, they need to buy enough time for help to arrive… and the best way to do that is to trade stories. What better story than one about a tiger and the woman she fell in love with?

The Devourers by Indra Das

A college professor named Alok in Kolkata listens to the odd confessions of an even odder stranger and agrees to transcribe a series of yet still odder notes. These notes document a people who are both human and beast during Mughal India, and the story of a wanderer who falls in love with a ferocious woman.

dragon pearl cover

Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee

Min is the young daughter in a family of gumiho who have been hiding their magic and their true selves for centuries. She dreams of joining the Space Forces like her older brother did so she can shake the dust of her backwater planet off her boots. But then her brother is accused of going AWOL in search of the fabled Dragon Pearl, and Min knows that can’t possibly be the truth. She moves up her timeline to leave home and runs away, determined to clear his name… but she’s in for a wilder adventure than she could have ever imagined.

The Tiger and the Wolf by Adrian Tchaikovsky

Two warring clans face off: the Tiger and the Wolf. Maniye’s an outcast of the Wolf clan, even though she’s the chieftain’s daughter, because her mother was queen of the Tigers. But she has an even bigger secret: she can shift to either animal form, and not just that of her father’s clan. She rescues a prisoner of her clan and escapes, but with a murderer on their trail to bring them back.

the glass magician cover

The Glass Magician by Caroline Stevermer

At the turn of the twentieth century in New York City, rich and famous families rule both society and the country. Thalia is a nobody; all she’s got going for her is a talent for stage magic.. until a trick goes horribly awry and she finds out in the process that she’s a shapeshifter. It might be her ticket to wealth and power, but only if she can control it and survive.


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.