On The Shelves

How Long ’til Black Future Month?: Stories by N. K. Jemisin  (Orbit November, 2018)

N. K. Jemisin is one of the most powerful and acclaimed speculative fiction authors of our time. In the first collection of her evocative short fiction, Jemisin equally challenges and delights readers with thought-provoking narratives of destruction, rebirth, and redemption.
 Dragons and hateful spirits haunt the flooded streets of New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. In a parallel universe, a utopian society watches our world, trying to learn from our mistakes. A black mother in the Jim Crow South must save her daughter from a fey offering impossible promises. And in the Hugo award-nominated short story “The City Born Great,” a young street kid fights to give birth to an old metropolis’s soul.

On The Shelves

The Adventurer’s Guide to Treasure (and How to Steal It) by Wade Albert White (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers November 2018) 

At Saint Lupin’s Quest Academy Completely Ordinary School Where Nothing Bizarre Ever Happens Most Especially Not Illegal Quests That Destroy Famous Landmarks, students are not taught about pirates. They’re not taught how to identify them, how to befriend them, or even how to fight them. This leaves the school completely open to pirate invasion, which, on the first day of classes, is exactly what happens. When a pirate captain and her crew attack to steal an ancient Prophecy Medallion, Anne, Penelope, and Hiro are caught up in yet another adventure. After accidentally activating a quest, Anne and her friends have no choice but to complete the task and deliver the medallion to the supreme pirate ruler, Octo-Horse-Pirate. But the quest and the medallion are not what they seem, and Octo-Horse-Pirate is more than just a simple rogue. To complete the quest, Anne will have to journey back into her own secretive past and discover the truth about who–and what– she really is. And, just maybe, save the whole world in the process.

Filled to the brim with heart-pounding action, miniature dragons, robot clones, and (sometimes friendly) pirates, The Adventurer’s Guide to Treasure (and How to Steal It) is a laugh-out-loud, fast-paced adventure that will leave readers breathless.

On The Shelves

In The Vanisher’s Palace by Aliette de Bodard (JABberwocky Literary Agency, Inc.October 2018)

In a ruined, devastated world, where the earth is poisoned and beings of nightmares roam the land…A woman, betrayed, terrified, sold into indenture to pay her village’s debts and struggling to survive in a spirit world. A dragon, among the last of her kind, cold and aloof but desperately trying to make a difference.

When failed scholar Yên is sold to Vu Côn, one of the last dragons walking the earth, she expects to be tortured or killed for Vu Côn’s amusement.

But Vu Côn, it turns out, has a use for Yên: she needs a scholar to tutor her two unruly children. She takes Yên back to her home, a vast, vertiginous palace-prison where every door can lead to death. Vu Côn seems stern and unbending, but as the days pass Yên comes to see her kinder and caring side. She finds herself dangerously attracted to the dragon who is her master and jailer. In the end, Yên will have to decide where her own happiness lies—and whether it will survive the revelation of Vu Côn’s dark, unspeakable secrets…

On The Shelves

The Cobbler’s Boy by Elizabeth Bear and Katherine Addison

Brilliant, bookish Christopher Marlowe is fifteen years old and desperate to qualify for a scholarship to the King’s School in order to escape his brutal father.

But the only man who could have helped him has been murdered… and now the killers are looking for Kit.

On The Shelves

As She Ascends (Fallen Isles) by Jodi Meadows (Katherine Tegen Books September, 2018)

On The Shelves

My Plain Jane by Jodi Meadows, Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton (Harper Teen June 2018) 

You may think you know the story. Penniless orphan Jane Eyre begins a new life as a governess at Thornfield Hall, where she meets one dark, brooding Mr. Rochester—and, Reader, she marries him. Or does she? Prepare for an adventure of Gothic proportions in this stand-alone follow-up to My Lady Jane.

 

Witchmark by C.L. Polk (Tor Books June 2018) 

In an original world reminiscent of Edwardian England in the shadow of a World War, cabals of noble families use their unique magical gifts to control the fates of nations, while one young man seeks only to live a life of his own. Magic marked Miles Singer for suffering the day he was born, doomed either to be enslaved to his family’s interest or to be committed to a witches’ asylum. He went to war to escape his destiny and came home a different man, but he couldn’t leave his past behind. The war between Aeland and Laneer leaves men changed, strangers to their friends and family, but even after faking his own death and reinventing himself as a doctor at a cash-strapped veterans’ hospital, Miles can’t hide what he truly is. When a fatally poisoned patient exposes Miles’ healing gift and his witchmark, he must put his anonymity and freedom at risk to investigate his patient’s murder. To find the truth he’ll need to rely on the family he despises, and on the kindness of the most gorgeous man he’s ever seen.

The Lost Books: The Scroll of Kings by Sarah Prineas (Harper Collins June 2018) 

On The Shelves

Still So Strange by Amanda Downum (Chizine Publications May, 2018)

Drawing heavily on Lovecraftiana and myth, these are tales of devil’s bargains, love songs to monsters, and the people―human and otherwise―who inhabit liminal spaces. Ghosts, gods, and ghouls make their way as best they can, one step sideways from the mortals around them. Many are connected; some are puzzle pieces that don’t quite fit. Spanning a decade of writing, Still So Strange is Amanda Downum’s first collection of short fiction, and includes stories originally released in Strange Horizons, Realms of Fantasy, and Weird Tales, as well as original, unpublished work.

On The Shelves

Star Wars Most Wanted by Rae Carson (Disney Lucasfilm Press May 2018) 

Set before the events of Solo: A Star Wars Story! Han and Qi’ra don’t have a lot in common other than not having a lot. They’re street kids on the industrial planet Corellia, doing whatever it takes to get by, dreaming of something more. They each jump at a chance to prove themselves in the perilous world of Corellia’s criminal underbelly, only to discover they are on the same mission for the same unscrupulous boss. When the job goes disastrously wrong, Han and Qi’ra are on the run–from pirates, a droid crime syndicate, the Empire, and their boss–and will have to learn to trust each other if they are going to survive.

On The Shelves

A Veil of Spears (Song of Shattered Sands) by Bradley Beaulieu (Daw March 2018)

On The Shelves

Stone Mad: A Karen Memory Adventure by Elizabeth Bear (Tor.com March 2018) 

Readers met the irrepressible Karen Memory in Elizabeth Bear’s 2015 novel Karen Memory, and fell in love with her steampunk Victorian Pacific Northwest city, and her down-to-earth story-telling voice. Now Karen is back with Stone Mad, a new story about spiritualists, magicians, con-men, and an angry lost tommy-knocker—a magical creature who generally lives in the deep gold mines of Alaska, but has been kidnapped and brought to Rapid City.

Karen and Priya are out for a night on the town, celebrating the purchase of their own little ranch and Karen’s retirement from the Hotel Ma Cherie, when they meet the Arcadia Sisters, spiritualists who unexpectedly stir up the tommy-knocker in the basement. The ensuing show could bring down the house, if Karen didn’t rush in to rescue everyone she can.

The Tea Master and the Detective by Aliette de Bodard (Subterranean Press, March 2018)

Welcome to the Scattered Pearls Belt, a collection of ring habitats and orbitals ruled by exiled human scholars and powerful families, and held together by living mindships who carry people and freight between the stars. In this fluid society, human and mindship avatars mingle in corridors and in function rooms, and physical and virtual realities overlap, the appearance of environments easily modified and adapted to interlocutors or current mood. A transport ship discharged from military service after a traumatic injury, The Shadow’s Child now ekes out a precarious living as a brewer of mind-altering drugs for the comfort of space-travellers. Meanwhile, abrasive and eccentric scholar Long Chau wants to find a corpse for a scientific study. When Long Chau walks into her office, The Shadow’s Child expects an unpleasant but easy assignment. When the corpse turns out to have been murdered, Long Chau feels compelled to investigate, dragging The Shadow’s Child with her.  As they dig deep into the victim’s past, The Shadow’s Child realises that the investigation points to Long Chau’s own murky past…and, ultimately, to the dark and unbearable void that lies between the stars…