Swords and Spaceships

Decidedly Witchy Vibes

Happy Tuesday, shipmates! It’s Alex, here for your first newsletter of October — it’s got a decidedly witchy vibe, and I could not be happier. I’m sorry to say I started off the best month of the year feeling like hot trash because I got my COVID booster and flu shot on the same day…but the good news is, I don’t have to do that again any time soon, and now I’m all ready for the autumn and winter! If you haven’t gotten your Omicron-flavored booster yet, I highly encourage you to do so, and as always, get your flu shot!! 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.

Bookish Goods

Black Cat Bookends

Black Cat Metal Bookends by UniqueDeskShop

It’s October, and there’s a witchy theme to this newsletter, so what belongs more than some bookends that look like a cute black cat for keeping all those witchy books in? $36

New Releases

Cover of River Woman, River Demon by Jennifer Givhan

River Woman, River Demon by Jennifer Givhan

Eva Santos Moon is a practitioner of brujería and curanderisma and a Chicana artist who is suffering from blackouts, a feeling of being disconnected, and plain old creative block. Then her husband is arrested for murder, and she’s soon under suspicion as well. The stress dredges up fragmented memories of an eerily similar murder in her childhood, and Eva begins to question if she was involved in both murders. Her only hope is to use her abilities as a bruja to protect herself and her family — and confront her past.

Cover of The Witch in the Well by Camilla Bruce

The Witch in the Well by Camilla Bruce

Hundreds of years ago, several young children went missing in a small town and a young woman named Ilsbeth Clark was accused of causing these disappearances with witchcraft. In the modern day, an author and social media influencer named Elena and her ex-childhood friend Cathy clash over ownership of Ilsbeth’s story — and become quite literally haunted by it in the process.

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

Riot Recommendations

Since we’re in our first newsletter of October and I’m giving myself a softball, I just want to tell you about two of my favorite recent spooky books!

Cover of The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson

The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson

This book still haunts me with its gorgeous prose and intensity. Immanuelle lives in an isolated religious cult where her very existence is blasphemous because she’s the daughter of an outsider — and her mother took some very dark actions because of it. The Darkwood that surrounds her home of Bethel still harbors the spirits of four powerful witches the Prophet killed, and they give Immanuelle the journal of her now-dead mother, who consorted with those witches. At first Immanuelle is shocked, but soon she begins to understand the rage of the witches — and who deserves to receive it.

Cover of Nothing but Blackened Teeth by Cassandra Khaw

Nothing But Blackened Teeth by Cassandra Khaw

A group of thrill-seeking friends is brought together to celebrate the impending wedding of two of their number in a crumbling Heian-era mansion that’s haunted by the ghost of a lonely bride who was never joined with her own husband. And as the ghost begins to weave her spell, the group is all too ready to fracture, under pressure from its own secrets.

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.