Swords and Spaceships

Swords and Spaceships for March 19: Nebula Finalists

Happy Friday, shipmates! It’s Alex, bearing news about this year’s Nebula finalists and a few fun links. I hope that everyone has a lovely weekend. (And that you have some leftover pie from pi day–I made apple crisp pie!) 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

Lambda Literary also announced their 2021 finalists! File 770 has highlighted the SFF books.

Aliette de Bodard tells you how to make the comfort food from Fireheart Tiger

Fans are rallying around blaseball, America’s favorite splort

N.K. Jemisin’s Inheritance Trilogy has been optioned

A brief history of the Falcon and the Winter Soldier in the comics

Some news about the new Man Who Fell to Earth adaptation

The new biggest piece of space trash from the ISS

11 facts about Donna Shirley, the first woman to manage a NASA program

On Book Riot

These are the finalists for the 56th annual Nebula Awards

Brown for no reason: finding books when Brandy Cinderella is your lodestar

8 of the best new and upcoming 2021 SFF books by Black authors

This week’s SFF Yeah! is about speculative migration.

This month you can 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: Nebula Finalist Showcase

Obviously you can check the whole list out over at Book Riot, but I wanted to showcase the Novel and Novella finalists here!

Ring Shout by P. Djèlí Clark

Novella finalist. With the release of Birth of a Nation in 1915, demons rose, fueled by the darkest thoughts of white people, and swelled the ranks of the KKK across the nation. Only resistance fighters are willing to take them down, with bullet, blade, and bomb, sending the demons of the Klan back to Hell.

Finna by Nino Cipri

Novella finalist. A customer goes missing in a Swedish big box store and it’s up to two minimum wage retail employees to find her in the depths of the infinite retail universe where all stores across all realities are interconnected. (Full disclosure: Nino and I have the same agent.)

Ife-Iyoku, the Tale of Imadeyunuagbon by Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki from the Dominion Anthology

Novella finalist. A small group has survived nuclear war in Africa and develop otherworldly powers. They’re expected to lead and save their people, but one woman, Imade, refuses to bend to destiny or be a mere vessel for her people.

Tower of Mud and Straw by Yaraslov Barsukov

Novella finalist. After refusing to gas a crowd of protestors, a minister is banished to the border of his country to oversee the construction of the largest anti-aircraft tower ever made. He can only reclaim his life if the construction succeeds, but there are many forces–including from within himself–that want the tower to fall.

riot baby

Riot Baby by Tochi Onyebuchi

Novella finalist. A Black girl with psychic abilities so powerful that she could level a city watches as her younger brother is incarcerated–and must decide what she will and won’t do about it as she watches him suffer through their connection.

The Four Profound Weaves by R.B. Lemberg

Novella finalist. In order to defeat an evil ruler, two trans elders must learn the final weave from Death itself.

Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse

Novel finalist. At the eave of a solstice that coincides with a solar eclipse, the reincarnation of a god travels to the holy city in order to usurp power from the Sun priest.

The City We Became by N.K. Jemisin

Novel finalist. As the city of New York awakens, it embodies itself in six people instead of the more traditional one–one for each borough and one for the city itself. If the city is to survive its metaphysical birth, these people must find each other and defend the city itself from the otherworldly force that would destroy it.

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Novel finalist. Noemi heads into the Mexican countryside after receiving a frantic letter from her cousin, who has just married a handsome Englishman who lives in a remote country estate belonging to a family that has fallen into ruin. This book is a love letter to classic gothic novels with an unflinching twist.

Network Effect: A Murderbot Novel by Martha Wells

Novel finalist. Murderbot’s human associates have been captured. When someone else who is totally-not-a-friend desperately calls for assistance, Murderbot swings into action. Of course things get shot and blown up.

The Midnight Bargain by C.L. Polk

Novel finalist. Women with magic in Beatrice’s world have two options: remain forever alone and be allowed to pursue their magic on the margins, or get married and have their magic locked away with a collar that is totally under their husband’s control. Beatrice’s family demands she marry to save their fortune; she wants only to learn magic. And then she meets someone she actually might be able to fall in love with… but it’s a choice she doesn’t want to face.

Piranesi by Susannah Clarke

Novel finalist. Piranesi lives in an infinite house filled with thousands of statues, which imprisons an ocean that sometimes floods up through rooms. The Other visits Piranesi twice a week and asks him to help him with his research, but soon Piranesi realizes there might be another person in there with him.

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.