Categories
Swords and Spaceships

The Winners of the 57th Annual Nebula Awards

Happy Friday, shipmates! It’s Alex, with a couple more new releases for you to check out, and a mini-spotlight on the books that won Nebula Awards this last weekend. I know that it’s been a rough and heartbreaking week (… again. How many more times will I write something like this?) and all I can say is, please breathe, please hug someone you love, and keep fighting. Stay safe out there, space pirate, and I’ll see you on Tuesday!

Let’s make the world a better place, together. Here’s somewhere to start: Verified Gofundmes for Uvalde families

Bookish Goods

Museum heist coloring page

Museum Heist Coloring Page

The picture’s just a small piece of the full coloring page, which shows a dragon skeleton in a museum. The version in full color at the link looks even cooler! Don’t know about you, but I love having my colored pencils out during video meetings so it looks like I’m taking notes… $2

New Releases

Note: The new release lists I have access to weren’t as diverse as I would have liked this week.

Cover of A Cruel and Fated Light by Ashley Shuttleworth

A Cruel and Fated Light by Ashley Shuttleworth

After stopping a murderer, the deity of luck’s Hollow Star, Arlo, would really just like a vacation. But instead, the new crisis swiftly rears its head: someone’s trying to summon the literal embodiments of the Seven Deadly Sins, and it smells of immortal meddling pointing straight toward the mortal realm.

Cover of Spark of Ash by Molly E. Lee

Spark of Ash by Molly E. Lee

The divine beings that rule the world known as the Seven have declared war on Harley; they’ve taken her baby sister and have made her boyfriend their stooge. She’ll have to stop them any way they can, and in this case, it means gathering the Seven Scrolls to destroy their power. And nothing’s going to stop her.

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

Riot Recommendations

On May 21, the winners of the 57th annual Nebula Awards were announced! A lot of good people were awarded for great work, but I wanted to spotlight some of the books!

Cover of A Master of Djinn by P. Djèlí Clark

A Master of Djinn by P. Djèlí Clark

It’s 1912 in a Cairo very different from the one we know, where Djinn have come into the world and the Ministry of Alchemy, Enchantments, and Supernatural Entities regulates magic. When an entire secret brotherhood is slain, Agent Fatma is put on the case and discovers the murderer claims to be the man to whom that brotherhood was dedicated–al-Jahiz himself, the one who opened our world to magic. Whether he is real or imposter, he must be stopped, and she’s the woman to do it.

Cover of And What Can We Offer You Tonight by Premee Mohamed

And What Can We Offer You Tonight by Premee Mohamed

Jewel is an established courtesan in a luxurious and well-renowned House in a far-future city where the government will cull anyone for a single mistake. Jewel is keeping her head down and living her life… until one of her friends dies at the hands of a client and then, even more shockingly, comes back to life.

Cover of A Snake Falls to Earth by Darcie Little Badger

A Snake Falls to Earth by Darcie Little Badger

A Lipan girl from our world named Nina and a cottonmouth kid named Oli from the land of spirits and monsters never would have met up, had something not gone terribly wrong in both their homes. A catastrophe on earth and a strange sickness in Oli’s realm drives them together in their search to find answers… and there are forces that will kill to keep them apart.


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

Apocalypse Now! and SFF New Releases

Happy Tuesday, shipmates! It’s Alex, and I’m coming at you with a couple new releases to check out and some cataclysmic indie science fiction. I am sorry to report on a personal level that indeed it snowed over the weekend (curse you, Colorado!) and I don’t think my freshly planted lavender made it, along with a bunch of tree branches. May your weather be a little less irregular than mine! 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

Volcanic topography coasters

Volcano Topography Coasters

Is this strictly SFF? No, but there’s a book that involves a volcano this week, and I am a geologist and these are super cool. These are printed topographic maps (the rings on them indicate elevation change) of real world volcanoes in the state of Oregon, sized to be coasters. I love this! $35

New Releases

Cover of City of Orange by David Yoon

City of Orange by David Yoon

A man who believes he once lived in a place called California wakes in the desert, injured and alone, a bottle of pills in his pocket. He cannot remember important facts of his life, like the name of his daughter or what his own face looks like. He must journey through a strange landscape in which nothing is as it seems, trying to answer the most important of questions: who am I?

Cover of Primal Animals by Julia Lynn Rubin

Primal Animals by Julia Lynn Rubin

Arlee is a daughter struggling in the shadow of a successful mom who expects an unattainable level of perfection. She gets enrolled in Camp Rockaway to get her “back on track” for college prep after some less than satisfactory years in school. Arlee doesn’t like the North Carolina wilderness… or the numerous bugs that occupy it and the camp. But when the one friend she makes, Winnie, proves to something of a freak, it outs Arlee, too, for all her strange “glitches”—and draws her into a secret sisterhood that swear to protect each other, no matter what.

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

Riot Recommendations

In the mood for an apocalypse right now? Here are a couple of indie SFF books to scratch that particular itch!

Cover of Mage of Fools by Eugen Bacon

Mage of Fools by Eugen Bacon

The land of Mafinga is ruled by a dictator who hates books and, with the help of his pet sorcerer, has made the environment almost uninhabitable to the point that the sun has killed all of the able men. Jasmin has been widowed by this catastrophe, but she has her lost husband’s magical story machine, which tells her of a better world. When her children are claimed by the dictator’s childless queen, Jasmin can do little to save them… until she discovers the secrets behind the rulers and their sorcerer.

Cover of My Volcano by John Elizabeth Stintzi

My Volcano by John Elizabeth Stintzi

A volcano mysteriously begins growing–not erupting, but growing–in the Central Park Reservoir; after three weeks, it is almost two and a half miles tall. As this geological impossibility is happening, a cast of characters across the world begin to undergo their own personal environmental cataclysms and eruptions.

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

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 Slew of SFF Sequels

Happy Friday, shipmates! It’s Alex, coming to you with a couple more freshly-released books for this week and a bit of an author spotlight. And man, I’m all kinds of ticked off because I got my plants in the ground–it’s past Mother’s Day–and now some jerk of a meteorologist is predicting a ton of snow tonight? Burn a candle for my poor, sweet basil, if you would. 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


Bookish Goods

T-shirt that says "Probably reading fantasy smut novels"

Whatcha up to? Probably reading fantasy smut novels.

I’m trying not to throw too many t-shirts and coffee mugs at y’all since I know there are only so many t-shirts one can wear and so many mugs one can fit in a cabinet, but I could not resist this design. (Seen here on a t-shirt, but the shop does have a coffee mug version too.) Next time someone asks me what I’m doing on my phone, I can just point at my shirt in answer. $23+

New Releases

Cover of The Legacy of Molly Southbourne

The Legacy of Molly Southbourne by Tade Thompson

Every drop of Molly Southbourne’s blood once created a new copy of herself, one that wanted to murder the original. But the original is gone, and the clones have come together to build a home and try to escape their murderous purpose. But there are still more deadly secrets waiting, ones born in a Soviet lab during the Cold War, and they care nothing for peace that Molly desperately seeks.

Cover of The Emergent by Nadia Afifi

The Emergent by Nadia Afifi

After the events of The Sentient, Amira Valdez’s danger is not past. She still has a strange neurological connection with the new leader of a religious fundamentalist cult, and he’s well aware of that–and experimenting with it. Amira must form an uneasy alliance with the scientist Tony Barlow after he sees to the birth of the first human clone–which may hold the secret to immortality.

Riot Recommendations

I’m incredibly excited to read the third book of Tade Thompson’s Molly Southbourne trilogy (start with The Murders of Molly Southbourne), so I wanted to highlight two of his other books you should definitely check out. He’s a Nigerian author living in the UK–and a doctor! Yet somehow, he’s got the time and brain energy to write these tremendous books. Strange Horizons did an excellent interview with him that’s worth reading.

the cover of Rosewater

Rosewater by Tade Thompson

I imagine you have heard of Rosewater, but just in case you haven’t, this is one heck of a start to one heck of a trilogy. Set in Nigeria in the fictional town of Rosewater, which has grown around the edges of an unknowable alien biodome, this book is a journey into the bizarre, where human and alien cross in unexpected ways and the dark history of a government agent points to a horrifying and beyond human future for the world.

cover of Far from the Light of Heaven by Tade Thompson

Far From the Light of Heaven by Tade Thompson

This book starts as a mystery, when a ship carrying a thousand people in deep sleep arrives at the Lagos system, only for the first of the crew to be revived to discover that some of the passengers will never wake. But there’s something far more sinister afoot than a mechanical failure, something that weaves together the politics of multiple far-flung systems, and the first mate and the investigator she called in are stuck in the middle of it.

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


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 Sea of Flowers, an Arboreal Abuela, Paper Roses, and SFF New Releases

Happy Tuesday, shipmates! It’s Alex with a couple of fantasy new releases on the docket today and, since it’s now after Mother’s Day and in Colorado that means we can finally do our at-home planting— a couple of books that feature flowers! May your potted plants thrive (though perhaps less enthusiastically than my geranium, which is a monster) and your flower beds be beautiful! 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

paper roses made from fantasy novels

24 Fantasy Book Paper Roses

This is a really cute decoration idea! Paper flowers made from the recycled pages of fantasy books. The sellers got a couple of different kinds of flowers, too! They’re pitched as great for weddings, but I think that looks like a cute decoration with a lot of possibilities…

New Releases

cover of The Stardust Thief (The Sandsea Trilogy Book 1) by Chelsea Abdullah; an illustration of a gold locket design surrounded by swirling flames

The Stardust Thief by Chelsea Abdullah

The Midnight Merchant is a criminal who hunts and sells illegal magics— she’s also a woman named Loulie al-Nazari. She operates under the watchful eye of her jinn bodyguard and lives well… until she saves the life of a cowardly prince, which gains her the attention of the sultan, his father, and he blackmails her into an all important mission: find a magical lamp that will restore all magic to their barren land, though the cost will be the sacrifice of all jinn.

All the Seas of the World by Guy Gavriel Kay

All the Seas of the World by Guy Gavriel Kay

Two people are sent ashore from a small ship on a mission of assassination, an action that could tilt the power balance of the world irrevocably. One is a woman bent on revenge, who is trying to regain control of her life and self after having been sold into servitude for years. The other is a merchant child of exiles, haunted by the moment of loss of family, faith, and home. Together, they will affect the destinies of empires.

Riot Recommendations

In honor of us (goodness I hope) pasting the last hard frost of the spring, it’s time for flowers! So here are a couple of books that feature flowers in fantastical ways.

The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina Book Cover

The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina by Zoraida Códova

When mysterious family matriarch Orquídea Divina passes on, she turns into a ceiba tree instead of having a proper funeral— and the mystery only begins there. Three of her grandchildren sprout living flowers— orchids, specifically— out of their bodies and other new gifts begin to manifest. Their magical heritage may grant them power, but it’s also something for which their family is being hunted.

Cover of The Forever Sea by Joshua Phillip Johnson

The Forever Sea by Joshua Phillip Johnson

The seas are not water, but grass, and the ships that sail across them harvest flowers and other plants that power the magic that allows their crews— and the people of their island— to survive. But they must range further and further afield to make their harvest because they’ve over-harvested, while a war over water is just waiting to explode into full conflict.

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


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

Magical Cats, a Resurrected Tasmanian Tiger, and More Sir Julius Vogel Finalists

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

Happy Friday, shipmates–and it’s Friday the 13th, which is my favorite kind of Friday! (My birthday sometimes gets to be on Friday the 13th… though it’s not this one.) It’s Alex, and I’ve got a couple new releases for you to check out, and another wedge of delicious New Zealand SFF to peruse, courtesy of the Sir Julius Vogel Awards. Have a wonderful weekend and stay safe out there, space pirates! I’ll see you on Tuesday!

Bookish Goods

A coffee mug that says "until darkness dies"

Until Darkness Dies Mug

Who doesn’t love a good coffee mug? This one’s inspired by Laura Thalassa’s The Bargainer series. And that’s just a cool slogan on it to begin with… $13

New Releases

Cover of Let the Mountains Be My Grave by Francesca Tacchi

Let the Mountains Be My Grave by Francesca Tacchi

In 1944 Italy, a partisan named Veleno’s only goal is to kill as many Nazis as he can before he dies. But Veleno is beloved by the ancient goddess Angitia, and that gives him the strength to try to recover a Nazi weapon, one that will put him into a confrontation with his own mortality that he does not expect.

Cover of Star Wars: Brotherhood by Mike Chen

Star Wars: Brotherhood by Mike Chen

With the Clone Wars begun, the peace protected by the Jedi is being destroyed, bit by bit, with each world that joins the Separatists. When an explosion devastates a supposedly neutral planet, the Republic is immediately blamed, and the Jedi dispatch Obi-Wan Kenobi to investigate. And amidst all this strife, Anakin Skywalker has at last become a Jedi Knight.

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

Riot Recommendations

We’re doing the last round of Sir Julius Vogel Finalists for this year with the rest of the Novella/Novelette category. I also suggest checking out the finalists for best collected work when you get a chance if you’re in a short story mood. (Also, the short story finalists? Excellent.) I will note that this finalist list isn’t as diverse as Book Riot’s lists usually are.

Cover of Raven's Haven for Women of Magic

Raven’s Haven for Women of Magic by Anna Kirtlan

Cassandra Frost is a witch who would like to not be involved in any of this magical nonsense; she keeps the few spells she casts under wraps and tries to protect the secrecy of the Wellington witch community while staying well away from them. But when she casts a spell to save a geeky graphic designer named Adrian, her ordinary life and her witching life are suddenly on a collision course.

Cover of Heart and Hearth by Anna Klein

Heart and Hearth by Anna Klein

When Addie inherits a bed and breakfast in a tiny town, she was already nonplussed–but then she discovers that it’s magical, and she has an entire witch heritage that she’s been trying to ignore this entire time. Worse, there’s a decades old mystery just waiting for her arrival…

The Impossible Resurrection of Grief by Octavia Cade

The Impossible Resurrection of Grief by Octavia Cade

The Grief is an unstoppable melancholia that has infected the world thanks to the extinctions and ecological collapse; it has only one ending, which is suicide. When Ruby’s friend succumbs to the Grief, what she leaves behind are letters talking of the resurrected dead, such as the Tasmanian tiger. But this scientific rebirth is not necessarily biological… and it comes with a price.

Cover of Monsters and Manuscripts by Jamie Sands

Monsters and Manuscripts by Jamie Sands

Dedicated boyfriends Basil, a library witch, and Sebastian, a paranormal Youtuber, have settled down in a sleepy suburb and all seems well. But then mysterious books start showing up in Sebastian’s library and there’s something making noises in the attic, it’s up to them to investigate…


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

New Zealand SFF To Know About

Happy Tuesday, shipmates! It’s Alex, and I’m coming at you with some new releases and some more Julius Vogel Award finalists that you might want to check out. Get some New Zealand authors in your life! Over here in Colorado, it’s finally time to start putting plants outside and filling up flower beds since we’re now (hopefully) out of the frost danger zone. Hope you’ve got some greenery in your life. 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

an illustration of Octavia Butler in the form of different colored lines in a block of text

Octavia E. Butler, in her own words

Oh, this is really cool! It’s a picture of Octavia E. Butler, made by color highlighting words from her novel Wild Seed. I love the work that the artist put in on this! $10 – $129

New Releases

Cover of Under Fortunate Stars by Ren Hutchings

Under Fortunate Stars by Ren Hutchings

The freighter Jonah is on the run from the last terrible days of a generations-long war with an alien race when it encounters the Gallion, a ship that claims to be from 152 years in the future. And the Gallion recognizes the Jonah as the ship of the Fortunate Five–the people who ended the war that’s now in their past. But nothing about the crew matches, and if history is to repeat, the crew of the Gallion needs to figure out what’s going on.

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

Riot Recommendations

Today, we’re rounding out the Youth Novel nominees for this year’s Sir Julius Vogel Award–and starting on the Novella/Novelette category with the first of Octavia Cade’s two nominations. I will note that the list isn’t as diverse as Book Riot’s lists usually are.

Cover of Spark Hunter by Sonya Wilson

Spark Hunter by Sonya Wilson

There is something hiding in the forest of Fiordland National Park–Nissa Marhsall knows this for a fact. She’s seen the lights in the night. So when her school does a camping trip out into the forest, she abandons her group and loses herself in the forest as she searches for the truth. Alone and with the adults nowhere to be found, Nissa must survive in a dangerous wonderland and find her way home.

Cover of A Lair of Bones by Helen Scheuerer

A Lair of Bones by Helen Scheuerer

The cyrens have ruled Saddoriel for centuries, powering the fortress and its labyrinth of tunnels with magic and music. Roh is the daughter of an infamous criminal who is allowed only the life of a bone cleaner. But when the Queen’s Tournament comes around, she sees an opportunity to snatch the crown of Saddoriel.

Middle Distance edited by Craig Gamble

Scales, Tails, and Hagfish by Octavia Cade in the anthology Middle Distance edited by Craig Gamble

In an anthology specifically for novelettes (stories about 10,000 words in length), Octavia Cade offers a story that she says is about “an unpleasant little girl who wants to be a mermaid.”

Cover of Against the Grain by Melanie Harding-Shaw

Against the Grain by Melanie Harding-Shaw

Trinity is a witch with coeliac, and she’s starting over in the suburbs of New Zealand after a fling goes horribly wrong. While initially suburbia seems nonthreatening and downright relaxing, she soon realizes that something is trapping her familiar there… and that points to darker powers. Not just anyone can hold an ancient demon captive, after all.


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 Social-Ghost Story, an Aboriginal Speculative Fiction Anthology, and More SFF News & New Releases

Happy Friday, shipmates! It’s Alex and… you might notice the newsletter looks a little different today. We’re revamping the format, giving it a new coat of paint, tuning it up. So pardon our dust and here we go!

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

Bookish Goods

tshirt with the names of black sff writers on it

Famous Black SF Writers T-shirt

This shirt is simple, stylish, a conversation starter… and a to-read list just in case there’s someone on this shirt you haven’t read yet! $22

New Releases

For a more comprehensive list, check out our New Books newsletter!

Cover of Building 46 by Massoud Hayoun

Building 46 by Massoud Hayoun

A “social-realist” ghost story that centers around a mysterious death in Beijing just before the 2008 Olympics. This is a queer coming-out-and-of-age story, and also a love letter to Bejing that looks unflinchingly at both its dark and light and the full array of people who inhabit that city.

Cover of This All Come Back Now edited by Mykaela Saunders

This All Come Back Now: An Anthology of First Nations Speculative Fiction edited by Mykaela Saunders

This is the first-ever anthology of speculative fiction written exclusively by Aboriginal and Torres Islander writers. They tell stories that mourn what they have lost and attempt to revive what has been taken from them.

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

Riot Recommendations

As promised last week, we’re going to dip into the Sir Julius Vogel Award finalists a bit more! Here’s part one of the Best Youth Novel nominees. A lot of these sound so cool!

Cover of Fire's Caress by Lani Wendt Young

Fire’s Caress by Lani Wendt Young

Teuila is a brilliant sculptor who has just been “discovered”–and she’s coming home to Samoa. Keahi is a dark secret of her past, and he holds secrets that could destroy them both. But together, they must face down the developer Marc Gold, who wants to make a sanctuary for the world’s rich and powerful–and he doesn’t care if he’s going to wipe out an ancient settlement of Aitu to do it.

Welcome to the Inbetween by Kate Haley

Welcome to the Inbetween by Kate Haley

The Inbetween is a world of both chaos and magic, and gender-fluid teen Chris is stuck there after jumping into the Grand Canyon on a geology field trip. It turns out Chris is the last Bone Magician, and there’s a prophecy that’ll hit on their sixteenth birthday. They’ve got a week to figure out their magic and save the world. Shouldn’t be a problem, right?

Cover of The Thaumagician's Revenge by Gareth Ward

The Thaumagician’s Revenge by Gareth Ward

This is the sequel to Brasswitch and Bot! With the help of Thirteen, Wrench and Bot are hunting for Plum, who is back to recruiting aberrations and plotting bad things that will culminate in re-opening the rupture. Unfortunately, Wrench has been drained of her magic, and she’s got little time to try to rekindle it if she wants to make it out of this alive.


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

Post-Cyberpunk Books You Should Add to Your TBR

Happy Tuesday, shipmates! It’s Alex, with your new releases for the first Tuesday of May and some links to check out. And–two days late, but happy May Day. Solidarity forever! Stay safe out there, space pirates, unite with your fellow workers, 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 Seasonal Fears by Seanan McGuire

Seasonal Fears by Seanan McGuire

Melanie is fragile and dying and seemingly destined to die; Harry doesn’t want to believe that destiny exists because it means he will lose the person who means the most to him in the world. But destiny has a very different plan for them both, a road that–if they can make it through alive–will lead them to a possible lifetime together.

Cover of The Immortal King Rao by Vauhini Vara

The Immortal King Rao by Vauhini Vara

King Rao was the precocious child of Dalit coconut farmers, who rose to become the most powerful tech CEO in the world–and then the leader of a global, corporate government. His daughter Athena must reckon with his legacy in a world still run by the Board of Corporations–in a very literal sense, as he has insisted on giving her access to his memories. With climate change ravaging the world, Athena must commit a radical act of communion if she’s to convince the Shareholders to save the planet.

Cover of Eyes of the Void by Adrian Tchaikovsky

Eyes of the Void by Adrian Tchaikovsky

The Architects have returned after eighty years of peace, consuming entire planets and wreaking havoc across the galaxy–because this time, they have found a way to circumvent the Originator relics that once kept worlds safe. The Human Colonies, threatened with extinction, are casting about for any solution, looking for allies and arguing amongst themselves. An Intermediary named Idris, who would just like to run from his past, may be the one to save humanity–if he finds a weapon strong enough to do it.

Cover of An Unreliable Magic: A Hundred Names for Magic by Rin Chupeco

An Unreliable Magic: A Hundred Names for Magic by Rin Chupeco

Tala and Alex might have survived their brush with the Snow Queen, but she’s still out there, and she’ll be back to attack them again. The friends have a chance to make this confrontation on their own terms… but the world around them is only getting messier even before the Snow Queen returns.

Cover of Here Goes Nothing by Steve Toltz

Here Goes Nothing by Steve Toltz

Angus has tried to get his life back on the straight and narrow as he eagerly awaits the birth of his first child… but then he gets murdered by a man who’s in love with his wife, Gracie. Freshly dead, he finds himself in the afterlife despite never having believed in much of anything until now. And the afterlife is getting very crowded, thanks to a pandemic. But Angus still has a chance to reconnect to Gracie–and maybe get revenge.

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

News and Views

Hey there’s a trailer and some more info on the Parable of the Sower opera!

In other theater news, the Royal Shakespeare Company is staging My Neighbor Totoro!

Q&A with Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki

Is Series Fatigue Real?

Alma Katsu on why she finally wrote a main character who shares her ethnicity

Unsurprisingly, there’s an adaptation of The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes coming

The #DisneyMustPay Task Force has released a new open letter to Disney

LeVar Burton will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award at the new children’s Emmys

The Women of Marvel podcast is back

On Book Riot

Ahoy! Queer Pirate Books

Post-Cyberpunk Books You Should Add to Your TBR

Enter to win an ARC of The Darkening by Sunya Mara!


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 Closer Look at the Sir Julius Vogel Award Novel Finalists

Happy Friday, shipmates! It’s Alex, here with a look at some award-nominated books from New Zealand to take you through into the weekend. In celebration of New Zealand, I will share with you one of my favorite treat recipes from there: Lolly Cake. I’m still upset about how good it actually is–I made one in honor of WorldCon New Zealand two years ago, and it was no mean feet because I had to make my own malt biscuits. So have a slice of lolly cake (it really is good, I promise) and enjoy your weekend! Stay safe out there, space pirates, and I’ll see you on Tuesday for the start of May!

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


News and Views

Nigerian Author Suyi Davies Okungbowa Endows Fellowship for Emerging African Authors

Actor Michelle Yeoh wants to change the way we think of superheroes

Doctor Strange and the historical roots of the multiverse

BUT WHY. Wicked is being split into two movies??

Mind Meld: Best Game or Interactive Fiction

NASA Astronaut Jessica Watkins Sets Historic Milestone

On Book Riot

The Best Fantasy Books You’ve Never Heard Of

10 of the Most F*cked Up Books We’ve Ever Read

12 Awesome Star Wars Cross-Stitch Pattern For Your Next Embroidery Project

A Reflection on Batman Actors Represented on the Screen Throughout the Years

Knight in Stolen Armor: Moon Knight and Other Heroes Who Got Their Powers Illegally

This week’s SFF Yeah! Podcast is about SFF work-place romances

This month you can enter to win $250 at Barnes and Noble, one year of Kindle Unlimited, a Kindle Paperwhite, and $100 at Bookshop.org.

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

Free Association Friday: Sir Julius Vogel Award Novel Finalists

I have a massive amount of affection for the Sir Julius Vogel Awards, which I will shamefacedly admit I only learned about when WorldCon was held in New Zealand two years ago. But this is a place to showcase awesome New Zealand SFF, which doesn’t cross over to the US nearly often enough. So as promised, this week we’ll take a look at the novel category, and over the next couple of weeks we’ll focus on other categories. As a note, the list isn’t as diverse as we normally aim for.

Cover of A Force of Nature by Janna Ruth

A Force of Nature by Janna Ruth

For millennia, nature spirits have caused massive destruction throughout the world with storms and other disasters. Rika has lived on the streets for eight years and is one of the few people in the world who can see these spirits. She’s maintained a truce with them, but then a powerful storm sprite named Erlking attacks Berlin and she finds herself drawn into the Spirit Seekers, an elite force that battles the spirits.

Cover of Silent Sorrow by Russell Kirkpatrick

Silent Sorrow by Russell Kirkpatrick

Remezov is the best earthquake predictor in the world; he’s the youngest inductee the powerful Guild of Geographers has chosen in decades. But as he travels to the city of Hanemark to receive this honor, he finds the diary of a dead scientist, which warns of a coming invasion and explains some otherwise quite inexplicable recent occurrences. Remezov must decide if he will hand the diary over and face possible accusations of being the murderer… or keep it and try to use it to add to his fame.

Cover of Gateway to Dark Stars by Kate Haley

Gateway to Dark Stars by Kate Haley

Alongside the societal sins of bootleg gin and jazz, black magic is having a major comeback, much to the delight of Doctor Vincent Temple, who makes his living dealing with demons and cultists who trouble others. With even the Mafia finding themselves subject to magical issues, Vincent is happy to take the case because money is money. But it turns out the cult the dons are clashing with has a personal connection to Vincent–maybe too personal.

Cover of Foxhunt by Rem Wigmore

Foxhunt by Rem Wigmore

In a future where plants have saved us from a poisoned atmosphere and resource hoarders are the favorite marks of bounty hunters, Orfeus has relatively small goals–she just wants to be a traveling musician, though fame and adoration would be a nice bonus. Despite the fact that she’s never done anything wrong, she finds herself pursued by the Wolf, the most feared bounty hunter of the Vengeful Wild–and even as she tries to escape her hunter, there are greater monsters waiting for her on the road.

Cover of Butcherbird by Cassie Hart

Butcherbird by Cassie Hart

After Jena’s mother, father, and siblings were killed in a barn fire, her grandmother, Rose, banished her from the farm. Twenty years later, Rose is dying and it’s Jena’s last chance to find out what really happened the night of the fire. Rose’s live-in caregiver, Will, is a hunter of the supernatural, and he has his own questions. There’s something dark lurking on the homestead, and as Will and Jena search for answers, they unwittingly release a far darker evil into the world.

Cover of The King of Faerie by AJ Lancaster

The King of Faerie by A.J. Lancaster

There has been no marriage between mortal and faerie since the Iron Law was revoked… until now. Maybe. If Hetta and Wyn actually manage to have their wedding. They’ve received permission from the mortal queen, but now they need the blessing of the fae high king. Hetta and Wyn both have deeply personal reasons for wanting to get hitched as quickly as possible… but what are personal desires next to politics and haywire magic?


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

Jailbreaking a God, a Ramayana Retelling, Gravewitches, and More in Today’s SFF New Releases

Happy Tuesday, shipmates! It’s Alex, here with your last round of new releases for April and some links to check out. This weekend I will admit I didn’t get a whole lot of reading done, but I did get to see some movies, including Robert Eggers’s The Northman. I mention it here because it’s only at most adjacent to SFF, but there’s a really cool Smithsonian article about it: The History Behind Robert Eggers’ The Northman. (Also, it’s… Hamlet. But with vikings.) I hope y’all had as good of a weekend as I did, if not better! 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 Kaikeyi by Vaishnavi Patel

Kaikeyi by Vaishnavi Patel

Kaikeyi is the only daughter to the kingdom of Kekaya, and she watches as her mother is banished and her own worth is set at whatever her marriage can secure. She prays to the gods whose stories she was raised on, but none seem to hear. So instead she turns her efforts inward, taking up the books she once read with her mother and using them to unlock a magic that is hers alone, one that lets her transform herself into a warrior, diplomat, and queen… and perhaps make herself strong enough to vanquish her own destiny.

Cover of The Void Ascendant by Premee Mohamed

The Void Ascendant by Premee Mohamed

Nick Prasad is the last survivor of Earth; seven years ago, he crashed through uncountable dimensions to the strange new world in which he lives–and became the prophet to the ruling family in the process. The ruling family, who serves the Ancient Ones who destroyed Earth. But now Nick has a chance to destroy the Ancient Ones for good, and all it will take is a little bit of betrayal…

Cover of Rosebud by Paul Cornell

Rosebud by Paul Cornell

Five sentient digital beings have been given the unpleasant task of crewing a small survey ship for 300 years by the Company, and their mission yields excellent results–a mysterious black sphere that, once its coordinates are delivered to the home office, will no doubt earn them a lot of praise. But the ship immediately malfunctions and the digital crew must explore their find themselves… and discover something that will change all of existence.

Cover of The Key to Fury by Kristin Cast

The Key to Fury by Kristin Cast

The Key Corporation has kept the city of Westfall safe–from pandemics, from crime, from freedom–for almost fifty years. But a nurse named Elodie and a misfit named Aiden have discovered a terrible truth behind the company that everyone trusts, and they have made their escape from Westfall, searching for the Eos resistance movement. But the world is no more trustworthy outside of Westfall, and the corporation has a long, long arm…

cover of Nettle & Bone by T. Kingfisher

Nettle & Bone by T. Kingfisher

Marra is the third-born royal daughter, so she was able to escape the traditional fate of a princess, sent away to a convent to be raised there. But her older sister wasn’t so fortunate, and Marra has decided to rescue her from the abusive prince she’s been given to. For her quest to have a hope of succeeding, Marra has three tasks before her: build a dog of bones, sew a cloak of nettles, and capture moonlight in a jar.

Cover of Resilient by Allen Stroud

Resilient by Allen Stroud

After 100 years of a peaceful partnership between corporations and governments to colonize the solar system, a terrorist attack destroys the biggest solar array on Earth and alters the world’s economic balance. Soon Mars, Ceres, and Europa are facing their own problems with insurgents, with runaway and deeply unethical science experiments, with mutinies raging and alliances strained to the breaking point.

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

News and Views

Putting a New Edge on an Old Blade

Samuel R. Delany – Reading in His Library

Living Religions, Living Myths: On Retelling the Ramayana

How Creative Writing Programs De-Politicized Fiction

The Star Trek Role That Was Actually Written for Robin Williams

Fort Collins whiskey gets TV cameo, now has an unexpected Star Trek following

A Moment With Ellen Datlow

Between darkness and the splintered lights of Tolkienian faery: an interview with Verlyn Flieger

Also this is amazing: Bohemian Rhapsody played on a 1910 Fairground Organ

On Book Riot

8 of the Best Queer Arthurian Retellings

Scares of Every Kind: 20 of the Best Genre-Blending Horror Novels

LeVar Burton to Host National Spelling Bee

This month you can enter to win $250 at Barnes and Noble, a year of Kindle Unlimited, a Kindle Paperwhite, and $100 at Bookshop.org.


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.