Monday, July 2, 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!

Emrys, Ruthanna. Deep Roots [ Publishing]
Publisher's Description
Ruthanna Emrys’ Innsmouth Legacy, which began with Winter Tide and continues with Deep Roots, confronts H. P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos head-on, boldly upturning his fear of the unknown with a heart-warming story of found family, acceptance, and perseverance in the face of human cruelty and the cosmic apathy of the universe. Emrys brings together a family of outsiders, bridging the gaps between the many people marginalized by the homogenizing pressure of 1940s America.

Aphra Marsh, descendant of the People of the Water, has survived Deep One internment camps and made a grudging peace with the government that destroyed her home and exterminated her people on land. Deep Rootscontinues Aphra’s journey to rebuild her life and family on land, as she tracks down long-lost relatives. She must repopulate Innsmouth or risk seeing it torn down by greedy developers, but as she searches she discovers that people have been going missing. She will have to unravel the mystery, or risk seeing her way of life slip away.
Why We Want It: I've never given a rip about the Cthulhu Mythos or Lovecraft, and I still don't. More than anything else, knowing a story is Lovecraftian is a major turn off. And yet. And yet when I read Winter Tide last year I didn't want the book to end. I didn't care anything about what may have inspired the novel. I cared about Aphra and the story Emrys was telling. I didn't know if there would be a second book, but if there was, I knew I wanted it.

Hurley, Kameron. Apocalypse Nyx [Tachyon]
Publisher's Description
Ex-government assassin turned bounty-hunter Nyx is good at solving other people’s problems. Her favorite problem-solving solution is punching people in the face. Then maybe chopping off some heads. Hey—it’s a living.

Nyx’s disreputable reputation has been well earned. After all, she’s trying to navigate an apocalyptic world full of giant bugs, contaminated deserts, scheming magicians, and a centuries-long war that’s consuming her future. Managing her ragtag squad of misfits has required a lot of morally-gray choices. Every new job is another day alive. Every new mission is another step toward changing a hellish future—but only if she can survive.

Apocalypse Nyx is the must-have collection of Kameron Hurley’s five newest Nyx adventures.
Why We Want It: It's been six years since Kameron Hurley last gave us a full length Nyx novel with Rapture. With Apocalypse Nyx, we get to see what Nyxnissa has been up to with this story collection detailing Nyx's further adventures. We're in for one hell of a ride.

Kowal, Mary Robinette. The Calculating Stars [Tor]
Publisher's Description
Mary Robinette Kowal's science fiction debut, The Calculating Stars, explores the premise behind her award-winning "Lady Astronaut of Mars."

On a cold spring night in 1952, a huge meteorite fell to earth and obliterated much of the east coast of the United States, including Washington D.C. The ensuing climate cataclysm will soon render the earth inhospitable for humanity, as the last such meteorite did for the dinosaurs. This looming threat calls for a radically accelerated effort to colonize space, and requires a much larger share of humanity to take part in the process.

Elma York’s experience as a WASP pilot and mathematician earns her a place in the International Aerospace Coalition’s attempts to put man on the moon, as a calculator. But with so many skilled and experienced women pilots and scientists involved with the program, it doesn’t take long before Elma begins to wonder why they can’t go into space, too.

Elma’s drive to become the first Lady Astronaut is so strong that even the most dearly held conventions of society may not stand a chance against her.
Why We Want It: "The Lady Astronaut of Mars" won a Hugo Award for Best Novelette and knowing that The Calculating Stars is the first of two prequel novels expanding on that story and that alternate history. I absolutely adored "The Lady Astronaut of Mars" and tend to thoroughly enjoy Kowal's work. How can I not be excited for this?

Novik, Naomi. Spinning Silver [Del Rey]
Publisher's Description
A fresh and imaginative retelling of the Rumpelstiltskin fairy tale from the bestselling author of Uprooted, which was hailed as “a very enjoyable fantasy with the air of a modern classic” by The New York Times Book Review.

With the Nebula Award–winning Uprooted, Naomi Novik opened a brilliant new chapter in an already acclaimed career, delving into the magic of fairy tales to craft a love story that was both timeless and utterly of the now. Spinning Silverdraws readers deeper into this glittering realm of fantasy, where the boundary between wonder and terror is thinner than a breath, and safety can be stolen as quickly as a kiss.

Miryem is the daughter and granddaughter of moneylenders, but her father’s inability to collect his debts has left his family on the edge of poverty—until Miryem takes matters into her own hands. Hardening her heart, the young woman sets out to claim what is owed and soon gains a reputation for being able to turn silver into gold.

When an ill-advised boast draws the attention of the king of the Staryk—grim fey creatures who seem more ice than flesh—Miryem’s fate, and that of two kingdoms, will be forever altered. Set an impossible challenge by the nameless king, Miryem unwittingly spins a web that draws in a peasant girl, Wanda, and the unhappy daughter of a local lord who plots to wed his child to the dashing young tsar.

But Tsar Mirnatius is not what he seems. And the secret he hides threatens to consume the lands of humans and Staryk alike. Torn between deadly choices, Miryem and her two unlikely allies embark on a desperate quest that will take them to the limits of sacrifice, power, and love.

Channeling the vibrant heart of myth and fairy tale, Spinning Silver weaves a multilayered, magical tapestry that readers will want to return to again and again.
Why We Want It: I wrote that Uprooted (my review) was a standalone fairy tale which felt both fresh and familiar. I was, in fact, left wanting more. Spinning Silver is not a sequel to Uprooted and the only sense that it is a follow up is that it is also a standalone fairy tale. That's exactly what I want. After the roaring success of Uprooted, my expectations for Spinning Silver are extremely high. Novik has the skill to meet and perhaps even exceed those expectations.

Strahan, Jonathan. Infinity’s End [Solaris]
Publisher's Description
The highly-anticipated final volume of the critically-acclaimed science fiction anthology series

Life in space is hard, lonely and the only person you can rely on is yourself. Whether you’re living deep in the gravity well of humanity’s watery home, mucking out air vents in a city floating high in the clouds of Jupiter, or re-checking the filtration system on some isolated space station, life is hard and demanding, and life is small.

The stories of Infinity’s End are set in those empty spaces, in futures where planets have been disassembled and reused for parts, or terraformed and settled; where civilisations have risen and fallen; where far future people make their lives anywhere from colonies hanging in the clouds of Neptune or Venus to the repurposed cores of distant asteroids; on worldlets and asteroids, inside Saturn’s rings or distant spheres and wheels, on-board ships trucking from home to home, and port to port. They're set in a future that's lived in. And they make it clear that even if we never leave the Solar System, there's life enough and room enough to live out all of science fiction's dreams.

Infinity’s End is the future. The stories you’ll find here are the stories of your life.
Why We Want It: I've been a fan of Jonathan Strahan's Infinity Project since its inception. Many science fiction anthologies offer visions of the future. It's somewhat inherent in the genre, but Strahan has offered up somewhat more focused looks at possible futures around a loose theme of Engineering or Building or War. With Infinity's End, Strahan brings the Infinity Project to a close and I know I'm going to miss my annual volume of Infinity. Unless, of course, there is a secret anthology titled Infinity's Rebirth. If there is, I'll be there for that, too!

Yang, JY. The Descent of Monsters [ Publishing]
Publisher's Description
JY Yang continues to redefine the limits of silkpunk fantasy with their Tensorate novellas, which the New York Times lauded as "joyously wild." In this third volume, an investigation into atrocities committed at a classified research facility threaten to expose secrets that the Protectorate will do anything to keep hidden

You are reading this because I am dead.

Something terrible happened at the Rewar Teng Institute of Experimental Methods. When the Tensorate’s investigators arrived, they found a sea of blood and bones as far as the eye could see. One of the institute’s experiments got loose, and its rage left no survivors. The investigators returned to the capital with few clues and two prisoners: the terrorist leader Sanao Akeha and a companion known only as Rider.

Investigator Chuwan faces a puzzle. What really happened at the institute? What drew the Machinists there? What are her superiors trying to cover up? And why does she feel as if her strange dreams are forcing her down a narrowing path she cannot escape?
Why We Want It: At this point, a Tensorate novella is essential reading. The Black Tides of Heaven (my review) is one of the finest novellas I've read. It was a sublime experience. The Red Threads of Fortune was never going to quite hit that height, but it was likewise exceptional. The Descent of Monsters is the third novella from JY Yang and I can't wait.

POSTED BY: Joe Sherry - Co-editor of Nerds of a Feather, 2017 & 2018 Hugo Award Finalist for Best Fanzine. Minnesotan.