Friday, February 23, 2018

New Books Spotlight

Welcome to another edition of the New Books Spotlight, where each month or so we curate a selection of 6 forthcoming books we find notable, interesting, and intriguing. It gives us the opportunity to shine a brief spotlight on some stuff we're itching to get our hands on.

What are you looking forward to? Anything you want to argue with us about? Is there something we should consider spotlighting in the future? Let us know in the comments!

Baker, Mishell. Imposter Syndrome [Saga Press]
Publisher's Description
In the third book of the Nebula Award–nominated Arcadia Project series, which New York Times bestselling author Seanan McGuire called “exciting, inventive, and brilliantly plotted,” Millie Roper has to pull off two impossible heists—with the fate of the worlds in the balance.

Three months ago, a rift between agents in London and Los Angeles tore the Arcadia Project apart. With both fey Courts split down the middle—half supporting London, half LA—London is putting the pieces in place to quash the resistance. But due to an alarming backslide in her mental health, new LA agent Mille Roper is in no condition to fight.

When London’s opening shot is to frame Millie’s partner, Tjuan, for attempted homicide, Millie has no choice but to hide him and try to clear his name. Her investigation will take her across the pond to the heart of Arcadia at the mysterious and impenetrable White Rose palace. The key to Tjuan’s freedom—and to the success of the revolution—is locked in a vault under the fey Queen’s watchful eye. It’s up to Millie to plan and lead a heist that will shape the future of two worlds—all while pretending that she knows exactly what she’s doing…
Why We Want It: Listen, despite the Nebula and World Fantasy Award nominations for Borderline, I think that Baker's Arcadia Project has flown a little bit under the radar - at least in the places I see online. If that's the case, I strongly recommend that everyone go read these books. Phantom Pains leveled up everything I loved about Borderline and then Baker closed it out with an exceptional last act. I'm all in for Imposter Syndrome.

Bear, Elizabeth. Stone Mad [ Publishing]
Publisher's Description
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. 

Why We Want It: Charles really liked Bear's novel Karen Memory (his review) and I thought it was even better than that. I loved Karen's voice and the steampunk western aesthetic. Bear is one hell of a storyteller and with Stone Mad she revisits Rapid City and gives us an unexpected adventure with Karen.

Brust, Steven. Good Guys [Tor]
Publisher's Description
A snarky, irreverent tale of secret magic in the modern world, the first solo standalone novel in two decades from Steven Brust, the New York Times bestselling author of the Vlad Taltos series 

“Delightful, exciting, and sometimes brilliant.” —Neil Gaiman on Steven Brust 

Donovan was shot by a cop. For jaywalking, supposedly. Actually, for arguing with a cop while black. Four of the nine shots were lethal—or would have been, if their target had been anybody else. The Foundation picked him up, brought him back, and trained him further. “Lethal” turns out to be a relative term when magic is involved.

When Marci was fifteen, she levitated a paperweight and threw it at a guy she didn’t like. The Foundation scooped her up for training too.

“Hippie chick” Susan got well into her Foundation training before they told her about the magic, but she’s as powerful as Donovan and Marci now.

They can teleport themselves thousands of miles, conjure shields that will stop bullets, and read information from the remnants of spells cast by others days before.

They all work for the secretive Foundation…for minimum wage.

Which is okay, because the Foundation are the good guys. Aren’t they?
Why We Want It: I'm sold on Good Guys simply because it is a novel written by Steven Brust. I absolutely love his Vlad Taltos series, but I haven't read any of his non-series novels (assuming we're not counting his Firefly fanfic novel, because that I've read and it's delightful). My expectations are high.

Kress, Nancy. If Tomorrow Comes [Tor]
Publisher's Description
Nancy Kress returns with If Tomorrow Comes, the sequel of Tomorrow's Kin, part of an all-new hard science fiction trilogy based on a Nebula Award-winning novella

Ten years after the Aliens left Earth, humanity succeeds in building a ship, Friendship, to follow them home to Kindred. Aboard are a crew of scientists, diplomats, and a squad of Rangers to protect them. But when the Friendship arrives, they find nothing they expected. No interplanetary culture, no industrial base—and no cure for the spore disease.

A timeslip in the apparently instantaneous travel between worlds has occurred and far more than ten years have passed.

 Once again scientists find themselves in a race against time to save humanity and their kind from a deadly virus while a clock of a different sort runs down on a military solution no less deadly to all. Amid devastation and plague come stories of heroism and sacrifice and of genetic destiny and free choice, with its implicit promise of conscious change.
Why We Want It: I'm a touch behind here because I have Tomorrow's Kin on my nightstand just waiting to be read. I've been a fan of pretty much everything I've read from Kress, including the original novella this series was based on, "Yesterday's Kin".

Robson, Kelly. Gods, Monsters and the Lucky Peach [ Publishing]
Publisher's Description
"Gods, Monsters, and the Lucky Peach is a tour-de-force, with nuanced characters in a masterfully conceived world of stunning, mind-bending eco-tech." —Annalee Newitz 

Experience this far-reaching, mind-bending science fiction adventure that uses time travel to merge climate fiction with historical fantasy. From Kelly Robson, Aurora Award winner, Campbell, Nebula, and Theodore Sturgeon finalist, and author of Waters of Versailles 

Discover a shifting history of adventure as humanity clashes over whether to repair their ruined planet or luxuriate in a less tainted past.

In 2267, Earth has just begun to recover from worldwide ecological disasters. Minh is part of the generation that first moved back up to the surface of the Earth from the underground hells, to reclaim humanity's ancestral habitat. She's spent her entire life restoring river ecosystems, but lately the kind of long-term restoration projects Minh works on have been stalled due to the invention of time travel. When she gets the opportunity take a team to 2000 BC to survey the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, she jumps at the chance to uncover the secrets of the shadowy think tank that controls time travel technology. 
Why We Want It: Robson has been absolutely crushing short fiction for several years now and conceptually, this story of time travel and ecology fits so much of what I want out of a story. I read pretty much everything Publishing puts out, but I'm sold on the description alone.

St. James, Simone. Broken Girls [Random House]
Publisher's Description
The “clever and wonderfully chilling” (Fiona Barton) suspense novel from the award-winning author of The Haunting of Maddy Clare… 

Vermont, 1950. There’s a place for the girls whom no one wants—the troublemakers, the illegitimate, the too smart for their own good. It’s called Idlewild Hall. And in the small town where it’s located, there are rumors that the boarding school is haunted. Four roommates bond over their whispered fears, their budding friendship blossoming—until one of them mysteriously disappears…

Vermont, 2014. As much as she’s tried, journalist Fiona Sheridan cannot stop revisiting the events surrounding her older sister’s death. Twenty years ago, her body was found lying in the overgrown fields near the ruins of Idlewild Hall. And though her sister’s boyfriend was tried and convicted of murder, Fiona can’t shake the suspicion that something was never right about the case.

When Fiona discovers that Idlewild Hall is being restored by an anonymous benefactor, she decides to write a story about it. But a shocking discovery during the renovations will link the loss of her sister to secrets that were meant to stay hidden in the past—and a voice that won’t be silenced… 
Why We Want It: So, my wife and I  are members of the Book of the Month club and Broken Girls was our February selection. A good ghost story is always intriguing and we've been on a bit of a mystery / thriller kick.

POSTED BY: Joe Sherry - Co-editor of Nerds of a Feather, 2017 Hugo Award Finalist for Best Fanzine. Writer / Editor of the mostly defunct Adventures in Reading since 2004. Minnesotan.

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