Categories
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.

Categories
Swords and Spaceships

Mermaids, Sea Witches, and Underwater Gods

Happy Friday, shipmates! It’s Alex, and I’ve got a couple more new releases for you…and a mermaid theme! I know we’re a long way from MerMay, but when Natasha Bowen writes a sequel to Skin of the Sea, I sure can’t say no. It’s also the last Friday of September, if you can believe it. We are almost to what is, in my humble opinion, the best month of the year. Stay safe out there, space pirates, and I’ll see you in October!

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

Bookish Goods

picture of clam shells decorated with mermaids

Decoupage Art Deco Mermaid Clam Shell by LifeIsland

These clam shells are decorated on the inside with a decoupage mermaid (choose your own hair color) and are perfect as a ring dish or for holding other small trinkets. $37

New Releases

Cover of How to Succeed in Witchcraft by Aislinn Brophy

How to Succeed in Witchcraft by Aislinn Brophy

Shay Johnson is going places and has plans for her life; she’s already top of her class at T.K. Anderson Magical Magnet School, and now she just needs to win the Brockton Scholarship to get into her dream university. But if she wants the scholarship, she has to co-star in her school’s musical with her academic nemesis, Ana Álvarez. But as they work on the musical together, she discovers Ana might not be the enemy she once thought — and could be more than a friend. And Shay needs all the friends she can get, after being on the receiving end of some very inappropriate attention from the head of the scholarship committee.

the cover of Soul of the Deep by Natasha Bowen

Soul of the Deep by Natasha Bowen

Simi traded everything to save those she loves; now she has sworn herself to a new god and must stay at the bottom of the ocean, watching over the Land of the Dead. But when demons begin to appear, Simi realizes that they have a way into the human world now — and it’s her fault. To save the world, she must break her oath and team up with the trickster god to go on a perilous quest. But if they succeed, she might just be able to unbreak her heart, too.

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

Riot Recommendations

Thanks to Soul of the Deep, I’ve got mermaids on the brain again. Good thing there are a lot of awesome mermaid-related books to choose from, eh?

Cover of Sea Witch by Sarah Henning

Sea Witch by Sarah Henning

Evie has been an outcast in her small fishing town of Havnested ever since the death of her best friend, Anna. But one day, a girl who looks eerily like Anna comes out of the sea, and she and Evie together catch the eyes of two princes. This new Anna has her own secrets, however, and one of them is she can’t stay on land without Evie’s help — and magic. Desperate for a happy ending, Evie uses her power to save Anna’s land legs, only to discover what she’s bargained away is her own prince’s heart.

Cover of The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea by Axie Oh, an illustration in Asian-style art of a young woman surrounded by the ocean

The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea by Axie Oh

Mina’s homeland has been battered by storms for generations, and the people believe it’s because of the anger of the Sea God — anger that must be appeased with the sacrifice of a beautiful maiden every year. When her older brother’s love is chosen, Mina sacrifices herself instead. But the sea doesn’t end her life — instead she’s swept away to the Spirit Realm, where she finds out that the Sea God is not angry, but in an enchanted sleep. She must find a way to wake him, though here are many who will do anything to stop her.

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

Mechas On My Mind

Happy Tuesday shipmates! It’s Alex, with new releases and some giant-robot-related recommendations for you to check out. I hope everyone had a great weekend. I was busy as all heck, but I survived the crunch and now it’s time for a little staycation! I hope you find some time to relax in your lives — and that you’ve got some great autumn weather to enjoy like I do right now. 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

a photo of a metal robot model

Metal Robot Model by StmpnkrtDesigns

Since I have mecha on the mind right now (you’ll see why as soon as you get to the book recommendations), I went looking for robots and found this neat stainless steel, posable model! (They’ve also got a lot of other neat mechanical figures in their shop.) $74

New Releases

Book cover of The Genesis of Misery

The Genesis of Misery by Neon Yang

Misery Nomaki heard the voice of an angel, choosing them to pilot a holy mech and lead their people to victory. They know it’s a delusion, that they are a fraud… but if they want to survive, they have to convince everyone else it’s real. And soon, they may even begin to convince themself…

house of hunger book cover

House of Hunger by Alexis Henderson

Marion Shaw’s ticket out of the misery of the slums is a job advertisement for a bloodmaid — a servant to the high and mighty nobles who live to the north, who are known to drink the blood of those in their employ. Her escape from deprivation takes her to the House of Hunger and into the orbit of the Countess Lisavet, dark and magnetic, loved and feared in equal measure. But Lisavet isn’t nearly the most dangerous thing in the House of Hunger, and the building’s walls hide every darker and older secrets that Marion will soon find out.

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

Riot Recommendations

Inspired by The Genesis of Misery, here are a couple more novels to scratch your giant robot itch.

cover of United States of Japan by Peter Tieryas

United States of Japan by Peter Tieryas

In an alternate timeline where the Axis powers won World War II, the western US is under the rule of the Japanese Empire, whose technological supremacy — including giant robots — is unchallenged. Now in the late 1980s, a video game has been released, one that posits a world where the Allies won the war, leading a censor and an agent of the Imperial Government into an investigation that will soon make them question the empire and their loyalty to it.

Cover of Gearbreakers by Zoe Hana Mikuta

Gearbreakers by Zoe Hana Mikuta

The empire of Godolia is spreading ever further, taking more land thanks to the monstrous robots called Windups that serve as its weapons. Eris is a Gearbreaker, a rebel who specializes in destroying Windups by attacking them from within. But after a mission goes wrong, Eris finds herself imprisoned with a Windup pilot named Sona. At first Eris treats her as an enemy, but they both soon realize they share a mission: to destroy Godolia.

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

Don’t Bring a Gun to a Magic Fight

Happy Friday, shipmates! It’s Alex, and I’ve got a couple really cool looking new releases for you to check out — then we’re saddling our ghost horses and heading into the weird west for a little trip. Look, any time I can find an excuse to talk about weird westerns, I am there. Have a good weekend, buckaroos, stay safe out there, steer clear of ghosts, 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

a holographic robot sticker that says exciting stories in science fiction

Science Fiction Sticker by patricbates

Who doesn’t love a shiny, holographic sticker? More, who doesn’t love a shiny, holographic sticker featuring a robot with aliens hanging out on top of its head? The answer is no one. $3.

New Releases

The Last Dreamwalker Book Cover

The Last Dreamwalker by Rita Woods

After her mother’s death, Layla finds herself back in contact with her maternal aunts, whom she hasn’t been allowed to even speak of for years. The news she hears is surprising: a Gullah-Geechee island off the coast of South Carolina now belongs to her. But as she learns more about this new property, and about her mother’s past, she finds another unexpected truth. She’s a Dreamwalker, a power passed down from her Gullah ancestors, and her family’s past is darker and more dangerous than she could have imagined.

cover of Valley of Shadows by Rudy Ruiz

Valley of Shadows by Rudy Ruiz

Lawman Solitario Cisneros lost his family and his country in the 1870s when the Rio Grande shifted its course and abruptly made the Mexican town of Olvido the property of the United States. But when a series of gruesome murders and kidnappings strike Olvido, he has little choice but to pick up his gun and badge again and try to keep the mix of Mexican, Anglo, and Apache residents from destroying the town and themselves as accusations swirl. He finds an unlikely co-investigator in Onawa, an Apache-Mexican seer who will help him unravel a mystery that is only cover for a battle between the immortal forces of good and evil.

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

Riot Recommendations

Inspired by Valley of Shadows I wanted to delve a little into weird westerns, one of my favorite subgenres, to be honest. (Unsurprising, I’m sure, considering I’ve written a space western!)

Cover of Sisters of the Wild Sage by Nicole Givens Kurtz

Sisters of the Wild Sage by Nicole Givens Kurtz

This collection of short stories by Nicole Givens Kurts (whose Kingdom of Aves series is also A+, check out Kill Three Birds) is all about what happens when you bring a gun to a magic fight — the gun tends to lose.

Cover of Vermilion by Molly Tanzer

Vermilion by Molly Tanzer

Elouise “Lou” Merriwether is not a normal 19-year-old — she’s a gunslinging Taoist psychopomp in San Francisco, using all her skills to take down ghosts, shades, and geung si. It’s no wonder she’s more comfortable with the dead than the living. But when a bunch of the boys from Chinatown go missing in the Colorado Rockies, she saddles up and heads east to investigate. She just has to hope her skills better to dealing with the undead can get the living home 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

Monsters In Love

Happy Tuesday shipmates! It’s Alex, with some new releases and a couple of anthologies for you to check out in the recommendations. Sorry to miss out on Friday last week, but you were in good hands with Danika, and I’m back now! Hope everyone had a lovely weekend. 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

skeleton heart hands patch

Skeleton Heart Hands Patch by AMODesignsByAtlas

Inspired by the cover of Eternally Yours below and the fact that we’re getting closer and closer to October, how about this cute embroidered patch of skeletal hands making a heart? $5

New Releases

Cover of Eternally Yours edited by Patrice Caldwell

Eternally Yours edited by Patrice Caldwell

This short story anthology is filled with tales of supernatural creatures in love — because the love is the most powerful magic, greater than death and curses. A girl in a graveyard, a shipwrecked sailor, creatures from folk tales, and monsters from marriage – all of them find love in these pages.

rust in the root book cover

Rust in the Root by Justina Ireland

Laura Ann Langston lives in a very different 1930 from the one where we know, where America is recovering from a blight on the mystical arts known as the Great Rust and throwing itself wholly into industry and technology. But Laura knows her future is still as a mage, and finds a job with the Conservation Corps of the Bureau of the Arcane, working on its mission to repair magic so the new technology can thrive. When she’s sent on a mission into the heart of the country’s oldest Blight, she must rediscover work long lost in the days when Black mages like her were killed for their power.

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

Riot Recommendations

If the name Patrice Caldwell above rang a bell but you couldn’t quite put your finger on from where, she also edited the tremendous anthology A Phoenix First Must Burn. Here’s a couple more anthologies with stories by a diverse array of authors that might interest you!

a thousand beginnings and endings

A Thousand Beginnings and Endings edited by Ellen Oh and Elsie Chapman

This is an anthology of 16 folk tales and myths from East and South Asia, written by award-winning, bestselling speculative fiction authors. Stories about a young woman following in her mother’s footsteps to lead the dead to their rest, sisters turning to birds to escape captivity, a mountain losing her heart, and more!

cover of The Djinn Falls in Love and Other Stories

The Djinn Falls in Love & Other Stories edited by Mahvesh Murahd and Jared Shurin

The djinn are everywhere in our world, walking among us humans, acting for good and evil and everything in between. This anthology is all stories of djinn, told from a multitude of cultural perspectives, by authors from across the globe. (There’s even a story in here that was translated to English!)

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

Dreaming of a Red Planet

Alex had to run out unexpectedly, so this newsletter is collaboration between their draft and Danika’s writing! I may not have the same level of SFF expertise, but I am game for a space pirate excursion any day.

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

Bookish Goods

a photo of two minimalist posters showing a spaceship and a submarine

Minimalist Sci-Fi Travel Posters by JazzBerryBlue

This minimalist “explore” sci-fi posters are the perfect way to nerd up your reading nook. $24+

New Releases

Note: The new release lists I have access to were not as diverse as we would like for this week.

Cover of Ledge by Stacy McEwan

Ledge by Stacy McEwan

Ledge is a place of civilization in only the loosest sense; it’s a settlement trapped between a vast chasm and a sheer mountain face. The only way to leave is death. All they know of the outside world is the Glacians, winged creatures who bring them supplies in exchange for sacrifices. When Dawsyn is chosen as sacrifice, she knows only that her life has ended — until a half-Glacian named Ryon offers her escape. She must choose between the terrifying unknown of what waits on the other side of being sacrificed and trusting one of the creatures that have plagued her people.

Cover of Redspace Rising by Brian Trent

Redspace Rising by Brian Trent

After ending the Partisan War on Mars, Harris Alexander Pope wanted nothing more than to return to a life of solitude. But then he learns a terrible truth: war criminals have invaded the minds of others and are hiding there to escape justice. Harris teams up with other survivors in pursuit of justice, but soon begins to wonder if his memories of the war itself are even true.

the cover of Silver Under Nightfall

Silver Under Nightfall by Rin Chupeco

Remy has left the kingdom to hunt a new kind of deadly vampire — never mind the rumors that he’s half-vampire himself. Along the way, though, he meets a vampire couple who claim to have the answers to the virus called Rot that’s spreading. As he grows closer to them, he begins to question everything he thought he knew about vampires.

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

Riot Recommendations

Hmmm, are you feeling the red planet today? I am, inspired by Redspace Rising.

the cover of The Fated Sky

The Fated Sky by Mary Robinette Kowal

It’s 1961, and the moon colony has been declared a success. Now, they’ve turned their attention towards inhabiting Mars. Elma has to decide between joining this exciting mission or staying with her husband and starting a family. Meanwhile, the progress of the civil rights movement on Earth doesn’t seem to have made its way to the stars yet…

Cover of Life on Mars by Tracy K Smith

Life on Mars by Tracy K. Smith

For a different take on the red planet, check out this collection of poems that imagines a future where humans live on Mars and illness is a thing of the past — and so is love. These poems are part space opera, part memoir, and the delicate balance between the otherworldly and the everyday is what made this a Pulitzer Prize-winning collection.

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

Books about Brujas

Happy Tuesday, shipmates! It’s Alex, and I’m here with new releases and some books about brujas. I hope everyone had a great weekend — we finally had a break in the hot weather in Colorado, though I hear things are still pretty rough on the west coast. Hang in there, west coast friendos! May there be rain in everyone’s future.

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

Bookish Goods

Sugar skulls

Calaverita de azúcar by LoreSweetsShop

Since we got on a bit of a bruja kick in this newsletter, and one of the books mentioned below is Cemetery Boys, sugar skulls feel very fitting. It’s something mentioned in that book since it takes place around Dí de los Muertos. $35.

New Releases

Cover of Bindle Punk Bruja by Desideria Mesa

Bindle Punk Bruja by Desideria Mesa

Rose is living a dangerous deception — her name is actually Luna, she comes from a family of bruja, and she isn’t actually white. But the identity she hides behind lets her gain power as a bootlegger who deals with the criminal families of Kansas City as she works to get her own jazz club. But the perilous game is about to come to an end, and she’s going to have to learn to rely on her magic and her allies if she’s going to survive.

Cover of Glorious Fiends by Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam

Glorious Fiends by Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam

Roxanne, who is equal parts vampire and hot mess, resurrects her deceased friends. Of course it’s not that simple — she’s soon confronted by a Guardian of the Underworld who tells her she needs to replace them with three equally terrible monsters, or she will take their place instead. If she wants to save her friends and herself, they’re all going to need to team up and become monsters hunting monsters.

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

Riot Recommendations

In honor of Bindle Punk Bruja, I wanted to spotlight two other books that have brujas and brujos in them!

Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas

Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas

Yadriel belongs to a family gifted by the goddess of death to see spirits and do all manner of magic. But Yadriel, as a trans boy, is fighting against the expectation that he do the magic of a bruja — because he’s a brujo. When his cousin suddenly dies, he tries to perform a ritual to set the ghost free. But who he ends up summoning isn’t his cousin. It’s Julian Diaz, the bad boy of his high school, and Julian was murdered — and he’s not about to rest until he finds out by whom.

the cover of Labyrinth Lost

Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova

Alex is the most powerful bruja in a generation. Too bad she hates magic and would do anything to rid herself of it — or so she thinks. When she tries to cast a spell to do just that, it backfires and causes her entire family to disappear. She has to team up with a brujo she doesn’t trust and use her magic if she wants to save her family.

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

The Hugo Award Winners You Should Know About!

Happy Friday, shipmates! It’s Alex, here to finally talk the Hugos a bit with you. Wow, it’s already Friday again. It’s been a blur of a week for me, mostly because WorldCon ate my entire weekend. But it was a good convention! I enjoyed seeing a lot of people in person that I haven’t seen since the pandemic began (and hugging them! imagine!) and having little take out dinner parties in my room. A quieter personal con experience than previous WorldCons, but I don’t like crowds and noise so it was pretty darn good in my estimation! Hope everyone had a great weekend whether you were at WorldCon or not. 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

Ball jointed robot doll

3D Printed Articulated Robot by JollyBuild

This little ball-jointed and posable robot buddy is super cute, which of course made me think of Robot in A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers, which is also extremely cute. $24+

New Releases

Cover of Against All Gods by Miles Cameron

Against All Gods by Miles Cameron

In an alternate Bronze Age, the people are merely trying to survive the capricious whims of a myriad of gods. But four god-touched mortals are about to be brought together, and they will launch a conspiracy to take down the corrupt and aging gods, who are already fighting a war on one front.

Cover of Dreams of Wakanda

Marvel Studios’ Black Panther: Dreams of Wakanda by Nic Stone, et al.

This isn’t actually fiction, but I think this is very relevant to our SFF interests. This is an anthology of personal essays by Black creatives about the film Black Panther and its impact on culture, society, and film.

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

Riot Recommendations: Hugo Winners!

The Hugo Awards were given out this last Sunday, September 4. Here are just a few of the winners, but you can check out the full list over at Book Riot! And if you want, you can watch the full recording of the Hugo Awards ceremony!

Cover of A Desolation Called Peace by Arkady Martine

A Desolation Called Peace by Arkady Martine

Arkady Martine’s acceptance speech starts at about 1:53:00 in the video — and it is well worth watching because Arkady’s speech is excellent and also her dress is amazing. The book itself is about linguists trying to figure out how to communicate with a deeply alien race, when humans already have enough trouble talking amongst themselves.

Cover for A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers

A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers

Becky Chambers could not attend the Hugos even electronically, so her speech is read starting around 1:47:40 in the video. This is a very gentle, quiet book about a monk trying to find their purpose after losing it, and a robot trying to understand what humans want, when humans really don’t understand themselves. It’s also about the importance of rest, something Becky talks about in the speech.

Cover of Far Sector by N.K. Jemisin

Far Sector by N.K. Jemisin, art by Jamal Campbell

N.K Jemisin’s speech starts at about 1:30:40 in the video.

Rookie Green Lantern Sojourner “Jo” Mullein has been sent to the City Enduring, a metropolis at the edge of the universe that hasn’t seen a violent crime in generations thanks to the Emotion Exploit erasing its citizens’ full range of feelings and allowing them to lice in peace. But when a brutal murder occurs and the population begins to rise against the Emotion Exploit, Jo must solve the crime and give the city a push toward a better future.

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

Contagious Alien Sightings, Monster Racing, and Deadly Magic Trials

Happy Tuesday, shipmates! It’s Alex, with your new releases and the third and final installment of books from the self-published science fiction competition. I’m still at WorldCon, dodging deep dish pizzas and looking for the best place to get some Chicago mix popcorn. Sorry I don’t have Hugo Award winners for you today, but I’m actually having to write this to you on Sunday, before the ceremony took place. We’ll chat about it on Friday though, I promise! 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

frank-herbert-inspired suncatcher

Frank Herbet-inspired Suncatcher by 16BitsofGlass

The Dune imagery on this hand-made stained glass is obvious. I love the way the sand dunes look. And there are a lot of other science fiction/fantasy inspired pieces in this shop. Beautiful, and richly colorful! $183

New Releases

Cover of The Sunbearer Trials by Aiden Thomas

The Sunbearer Trials by Aiden Thomas

Once every ten years, Sol’s power must be replenished to keep the Obsidian gods at bay. The ten most worthy semidióses are selected to compete in the Sunbearer Trials. The winner carries the light to all the temples of Reino del Sol… and the loser is sacrificed to refuel the Sun Stones that protect the world. Teo, a Jade semidiós and trans son of the goddess of birds, is mostly worried about his best friend Niya, who will definitely be selected. But when Teo is also put into the trials, against opponents he’s not nearly as strong or as well-trained as, he finds he needs to worry first for himself.

cover of Monsters Born and Made by Tanvi Berwah

Monsters Born and Made by Tanvi Berwah

Every day, sixteen-year-old Koral and her older brother Emrik must capture monstrous maristags in the black sea around their island so their family won’t starve. But the maristags aren’t to eat — they’re to sell to the Landers, the elite family Koral and her relatives are indentured to, to be used in the Glory Race. But when Koral loses the last maristag of the year, the only solution she can find to saving her family from financial ruin and death is to cheat her way into the Glory Race. The race was already dangerous enough, but Koral’s competitors have no intention of letting a low-caste girl win.

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

Riot Recommendations

Here’s the third and final installment of books I’ve plucked from the Self-Published Science Fiction Competition. Hope you’ve enjoyed this mini-series — I had a lot of fun looking through all these books!

Cover of The Other by Marilyn Peake

The Other by Marilyn Peake

People across the world are seeing UFOs and alien creatures; where these sightings are reported, a new virus spreads, one that causes extreme hallucinations. Many believe the virus is from these aliens themselves. Dr. Cora Frost is certain this is mass hysteria… until she sees something in Roswell, New Mexico, that shakes her entire worldview.

Cover of The Elitist Supremacy by Niranjan K

The Elitist Supremacy by Niranjan K

Alexander Selwood is a man of many secrets — and the fact that he’s the first immortal is actually the least of them. More importantly, he’s on the run from Cesar Thaxter, the man who has ruled the galaxy for centuries. All Alexander wants is to remain unnoticed… but then the Resistance against Thaxter decides to use his company as a safe haven, and he’ll soon have no choice but to take sides.

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

Greetings from WorldCon

Happy Friday, shipmates! It’s Alex, with a few more new releases and the second installment of books from the self-published science fiction competition. I am writing this to you from this year’s WorldCon, which is taking place in Chicago. We’re two days away from the Hugo Award Ceremony, and I’m pretty jazzed to see who the winners are this year (we’ll talk about them next Friday). 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

Dragon Guarding Pearl of Wisdom art

Dragon Guarding Pearl of Wisdom by FaithStoneArt

This sharp and colorful wood block print is just stunning. If you click through, there’s a little video showing the end of the inking process that is just stunning. $125

New Releases

Cover of The Dragon's Promise by Elizabeth Lim

The Dragon’s Promise by Elizabeth Lim

Princess Shiori promised to return the dragon’s pearl to its rightful place; now she must journey to the kingdom of dragons, and along the way navigate the politics of both humans and dragons — and fight off thieves who want the pearl for themselves. The pearl itself is a chaotic factor, aiding Shiori one moment and trying to destroy her relationships with all those she loves the next. Shiori must marshal all her strength to keep her promise, defend herself from the pearl, and maintain her appearance as the perfect princess while doing it.

Cover of Holiday Heroine by Sara Kuhn

Holiday Heroine by Sarah Kuhn

When Bea Tanaka’s family comes to visit on her favorite holiday — Christmas — she couldn’t be happier. Her life seems to be going great, and everyone is ecstatic for her… too bad Bea feels adrift, between trying to figure out the long distance relationship with her boyfriend and her powers expanding toward something rather villainous again. When the holiday visit is cut short by monsters rising out of the ocean near Maui, Bea gets blasted back to the perfect Christmas in San Francisco during battle…and into the rom-com of her nightmares.

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Riot Recommendations

Here’s the second installment of cool-looking books from the Self-Published Science Fiction Competition. There are six pages (so far) of neat entries to rest your eyeballs on, so I definitely recommend you give them a look.

cover of The Diamond Device by M H Thaung

The Diamond Device by M. H. Thaung

Diamond power is poised to replace steam power, and that seismic shift in real and political power sets off shockwaves that could cause an international war. Alf Wilson is unemployed thanks to the new tech, and he has no other options due to his clockwork legs. Richard Hayes is an impoverished lord who keeps his seat in parliament with charm and a spot of burglary. When they end up in jail together, they each see an opportunity to use the other to get out of their current scrape. Neither has any idea where it will lead…

cover of Inish Carraig by Jo Zebedee

Inish Carraig by Jo Zebedee

Earth has been defeated by an alien invasion…not that the locals in Belfast are willing to admit to such defeat. John Dray is a teen doing what he can to survive, including taking a job spraying a mysterious compound over Belfast in exchange for food. This gets him send to Inish Carraig, an infamous prison, and in prison, he discovers a conspiracy that threatens to finish Earth off entirely.

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.