Swords and Spaceships

Swords and Spaceships for March 12: Revenge of the Irish SFF Showcase

Happy Friday, shipmates! It’s Alex with some Irish SFF and news links for you this snowy day. The Colorado Front Range is in the midst of our own Snowpocalypse, though since this regularly happens here, our infrastructure is built for it (no shade on other states–just saying, don’t worry about us). Time for hunkering down with a good book! I’m currently on a little romance kick so I’m reading The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics by Olivia Waite, which is SFF-adjacent because it’s a sapphic historical romance with a lady astronomer and there’s a lot of oof-worthy stuff about women loving science when it (or rather the men who gatekeep it) doesn’t love them back. And don’t forget it’s Pi Day on Sunday! I’m making an apple crumble pie. (It is also Daylight Savings Time on Sunday so… whee.) Stay safe out there, shipmates, and I’ll see you on Tuesday!

Let’s make 2021 better than 2020. A good place to start? The Okra Project and

News and Views

Mark your calendars! This year’s Nebula Awards will be streaming live on March 15 at 8:30 PM ET

Author Colson Whitehead on 60 minutes

How Octavia E. Butler Reimagines Sex and Survival

Marina Lostetter: Le Morte d’Author: on Aggregate Storytelling and Authorial Hope

An interesting look at Mary Poppins and how it relates to permissive childrearing

Richard Marpole at Fantasy Faction has a roundup of the SFF content that got him through 2020

The definitive list of works that have been on the Hugo shortlist and have been adapted for film

Nerds of a Feather has their February 2021 short fiction round up

Octavia Butler and Katherine Johnson will be inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame this year

Kevin Standlee toured an atomic test site in Nevada

The CDC has updated its zombie apocalypse preparedness site. Sure, why not.

On Book Riot

5 unusually structured speculative fiction novels

Create a fantasy world and get a romantic fantasy series recommendation

This week’s SFF Yeah! podcast is about novelettes

You have until tonight to enter to win a copy of House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas. Or enter by March 16 to win a copy of Tales from the Hinterland by Melissa Albert.

This month you can also enter to win a $250 gift card at Barnes & Noble, your own library cart, a $250 gift card to Powell’s Books, and/or a Kindle Oasis.

Free Association Friday: Revenge of the Irish SFF Showcase

It’s been about a year, so I felt it was high time to showcase Irish (and Northern Irish) SFF authors again! This time, I focused on finding some recent novels, and I was not disappointed! Since this is entirely authors from Ireland and Northern Ireland, the list isn’t as racially diverse as we normally aim for–and unfortunately while there’s actually a lot of SFF written in gaelic, trying to find copies available from the US is a different matter.

Connect by Julian Gough

Naomi is a single mother and a brilliant scientist in the field of biology. Her son, Colt, is socially awkward and finds his best escape in a virtual reality game world where he stands out as someone with excellent coding skills. When Colt secretly releases the data about his mother’s latest scientific breakthrough, he brings his estranged father back into their lives–with the power of a secret security agency behind him. Colt must grapple with the world outside his game, while Naomi has to decide how far she’ll go to protect both her son and her research.

Other Words for Smoke by Sarah Maria Griffin

When a woman goes missing, the twins Mae and Rossa know the truth of what happened to her. But it’s a secret they’ll keep forever, along with their knowledge of the uncanny cat, the owl in the wall, and the creatures that eat both love and fear. (Full disclosure: Sarah and I have the same agent.)

Welcome to Coolsville by Jason Mordaunt

A satire set in a fictional suburb of Dublin, this book involves genetic engineering in the search for immortality, a chemical agent that makes people docile, and an order of warrior nuns that is quite Charlie’s Angels-esque.

Inish Carraig: An Alien Invasion Novel by Jo Zebedee

The alien invasion is over and the earthlings lost. But life goes on, people survive, and John Dray now works for the local hard man in Belfast to try to keep his younger siblings safe and alive. Unfortunately, he gets sent to Innish Carraig, an alien prison, and there he discovers a new plot which threatens to destroy the earth entirely.

Last Ones Left Alive by Sarah Davis-Goff

The Irish mainland has fallen to a flesh-eating evil known as the skrake. Orpen has known only the small island she was raised on, safe from its depredations but training always to fight. But when disaster strikes, her only hope is to abandon the island and head to the mainland in the hopes of joining the legendary Banshee, an all-female fighting force that battles the skrake.

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.