Sponsored by @torbooks
Mulan meets The Song of Achilles in this bold, queer, and fantastical reimagining of the rise of the founding emperor of the Ming Dynasty.
In a famine-stricken village, two children are given fates. A boy, greatness. A girl, nothingness.
But when a bandit attack orphans the children, it is Zhu Chongba who succumbs to despair. Desperate, the girl takes her brother’s identity to enter a monastery as a boy. There, she learns she is capable of doing whatever it takes, no matter how callous, to stay hidden from destiny.
When her sanctuary is destroyed, Zhu decides to wrest control of her fate…and steal her brother’s foretold greatness.
Happy Tuesday, shipmates! It’s Alex, with a selection of new releases and some fun links for you on this last Tuesday of July. I’m fresh back from a mini-vacation over the weekend, during which I visited my family, read a lot of books, ate a lot of cheese, and drank a lot of wine, so I’m feeling energized and ready to tackle the start of August. Here’s hoping you find a long weekend to get a little relaxing done out of the smokey air soon, too. Stay safe out there, space pirates, and I’ll see you on Friday!
Thing that made me laugh this week: The Two Guards
The River Has Teeth by Erica Waters
This is not the first time that girls have gone missing in the woods, but Natasha is determined that her sister will be the last. Following rumors of supposed witchcraft, she asks Della for magical help to bring her sister home. But Della has her own fears that center on the woods, ones she keeps carefully secret–she believes the beast that takes the girls might in fact be her own mother, transformed by a spell gone wrong. With little to lose, they are each other’s only hope.
Far Out: Recent Queer Science Fiction and Fantasy edited by Paula Guran
An anthology of science fiction and fantasy short stories from the last decade that includes a wide spectrum of queer identities and voices. Authors include Sam J. Miller, Amal El-Mohtar, Neon Yang, Charlie Jane Anders, and many more!
The Dying Squad by Adam Simcox
Detective Inspector Joe Lazarus thought he was going to take down a drug ring; instead, when he storms a farmhouse in Lincolnshire, he discovers his own corpse and a woman named Daisy-May who has some bad news and some good news for him. The bad news: yes, he’s dead, and she’s a spirit guide. The good news? She’s there to recruit him into the Dying Squad, a detective force of the recently dead, so at least his afterlife won’t be boring. His first mission: solve his own murder, and do it before his memories fade away to nothing.
Hold Fast Through the Fire by K.B. Wagers
The crew of Zuma’s Ghost, one of the Near-Earth Orbital Guard ships, has won the Boarding Games for their second year in a row, cementing their reputation as an absolutely unstoppable team. But in the wake of this victory, they find out their commander and their Master Chief are both retiring, so a change in dynamic is inevitable–but they get more disruption than they counted on in the form of Spacer Chae Ho-Ki, who has a dark past as a convict and an even darker secret. As the crew of Zuma’s Ghost struggles to find its equilibrium again, the Trappist colonies start a war, and the ship is directly in their sights.
Death Song of the Dragón Chicxulub by Rudy H. Garcia
La Muerta Blanca is a mysterious dragon-like ghostly creature that’s been stalking Central America since the days of the Aztecs, eating hearts and spreading terror. Now, Miguel Reilly comes to modern-day New Mexico and falls in with a shaman named Tomás, who shows him that he’s not “pure” Irish-American while trying to train this innocent nerd into a dragonslayer. Along his journey, Miguel meets a Maya med student named Maritza who has survived a brush with the spectral monster and come away with her own ambitions to slay it. Náhuatl codices lead the two to Chichén Itzá for a final, fantastical battle to slay a dragon and find themselves.
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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.