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!
Beukes, Lauren. Motherland [Mulholland]
This is America, but not like you know it. Years after the decimation of the male population by a super-virus, the country has refashioned itself with new laws, new customs, and new methods of shame and punishment. Now, hiding a living and healthy male is one of the gravest offenses, rivaled only by the murder of a man.
Cole is a mother on the run, guilty of both crimes, and desperate to find a safe life for her adolescent boy Miles.
As the two drift throughout the transformed states of the West, they hide Miles’ identity while evading a mysterious, powerful man bent on justice. From a commune in the Rockies to a high security laboratory in the redwoods of northern California, the two tensely negotiate an existence on the fringes of a new America. Cole’s goal for her son and herself is escape, a family in South Africa, a slim chance at a better life. Mother and child see their chance, at last, in the wanderings and secret goals of a cult–if only Cole can keep Miles’ true self hidden, and as long as they can stay one step ahead of an ex-boyfriend from hell.
A brilliant blend of psychological suspense, American noir, and trenchant science fiction, MOTHERLAND is the story that Lauren Beukes’ myriad fans have been waiting for.Why We Want It: One thing I am continually drawn to in literature is dystopia and feminist dystopia. Beukes has already built a reputation of excellence. The Shining Girls and Broken Monsters were exceptional and I am ready for the Beukes' next novel.
Donnelly, Lara Elena. Amnesty [Tor]
Donnelly’s Amnesty completes the Nebula and LAMBDA Award-nominated Amberlough Dossier glam spy thriller trilogy that Publishers Weekly describes as "Impressive...as heartbreaking as it is satisfying.” (starred review)
In Amberlough City, out of the ASHES of revolution, a TRAITOR returns, a political CAMPAIGN comes to a roaring head, and the people demand JUSTICE for crimes past.
As a nation struggles to rebuild, who can escape retribution?Why We Want It: Amberlough was an exciting debut and Armistice was an excellent continuation of that story, though perhaps not the one I expected. Donnelly's art deco infused espionage thrillers set during the rise of an empire with strong Nazi overtones permeating everything, is outstanding and, not to continue to quote the publisher's description, legitimately heartbreaking. I want to see how this all ends.
Amnesty is a smart, decadent, heart-pounding conclusion to Lara Elena Donnelly’s widely-praised glam spy trilogy that will have readers enthralled until the very end.
Glass, Jenna. The Women's War [Del Rey]
In a feminist fantasy epic, a revolutionary spell gives women the ability to control their own fertility—with consequences that rock their patriarchal society to its core.
“A compulsive read, riveting characters, life-or-death stakes . . . a smashing book!”—Tamora Pierce
When a nobleman’s first duty is to produce a male heir, women are treated like possessions and bargaining chips. But as the aftereffects of a world-altering spell ripple out physically and culturally, women at last have a bargaining chip of their own. And two women in particular find themselves at the liberating crossroads of change.
Alys is the widowed mother of two adolescent children, and the disinherited daughter of a king. Her existence has been carefully regulated, but now she discovers a fierce talent not only for politics but also for magic—once deemed solely the domain of men. Meanwhile, in a neighboring kingdom, young Ellin finds herself unexpectedly on the throne after the sudden death of her grandfather the king and everyone else who stood ahead of her in the line of succession. Conventional wisdom holds that she will marry quickly, then quietly surrender the throne to her new husband. Only, Ellin has other ideas.
The tensions building in the two kingdoms grow abruptly worse when a caravan of exiled women and their escort of disgraced soldiers stumble upon a new source of magic in what was once uninhabitable desert. This new and revolutionary magic—which only women can wield—might well tear down what is left of the patriarchy. The men who currently hold power will do anything to retain it. But what force in the world can stand against the courage and resolution of generations of women who have tasted freedom for the very first time?Why We Want It: I'm down for a feminist epic fantasy. I've seen reviews discussing how it feels like more of an 1980's feminist epic fantasy that doesn't quite reach the heights of those novels, but I still want to check this one out.
Gloss, Molly. The Dazzle of Day [Saga]
Leaving a dilapidated Earth behind, Quakers across the globe pool funds and resources as they select colonists to send to a newly discovered planet to start life anew in this “miraculous fusion of…science fiction with unsparing realism and keen psychology” (Ursula K. Le Guin).
In this “carefully conceived and deeply affecting” (The New York Times) novel, award-winning author Molly Gloss turns her attention to the frontiers of the future. A group of Quakers band together to abandon the ailing Earth, and travel to a settle a whole new world. The Dazzle of Day is their story.
“The Dazzle of Day is a heartbreakingly good book...a rare dream of a book, passionate and lyric. The Dazzle of Day allows us to see our own world, our own present, more profoundly” (San Jose Mercury News).Why We Want It: The Dazzle of Day is part of Saga's republication of three of Gloss's novels and is the only one I had previously read. I mentioned it as part of a list of mostly overlooked novels and I'm glad that this re-release should give The Dazzle of Day and Molly Gloss some extra attention. This one is really good.
Newman, Emma. Atlas Alone [Ace]
Hugo Award winner Emma Newman returns to the captivating Planetfall universe with a novel about vengeance and the lengths to which one will go to save the future of humanity.
Six months after she left, Dee is struggling to manage her rage toward the people who ordered the nuclear strike that destroyed Earth. She’s trying to find those responsible, but she’s not getting very far alone.
A dedicated gamer, Dee is endeavoring to discover a mersive good enough to enable her to escape her trauma. When she is approached by a designer who asks her to play test his new game, she hopes it will be what she needs—but it isn’t like any mersive she’s played before. When a man suddenly dies in the real world, she realizes that at the same time in the game, she killed a character who bears a striking resemblance to the dead man—a man she discovers was one of those responsible for the death of millions on Earth.
Disturbed, but thinking it must be a coincidence, Dee continues the hunt for information. But when she finds out the plans for the future colony, she realizes that to save what is left of humanity, she might have to do something that risks what remains of her own.Why We Want It: Emma Newman's Planetfall was excellent and I've heard nothing but praise for Before Mars and After Atlas (which I haven't read), but I had access to an advanced copy of Atlas Alone. As good as Planetfall was (and it was plenty good), Atlas Alone is Newman raising the bar, leveling up, and telling a story that I did not want to put down. Having a cursory knowledge of the larger Planetfall universe is helpful, but unnecessary. Look for this. Read it when you find.
Roanhorse, Rebecca. Storm of Locusts [Saga]
Kai and Caleb Goodacre have been kidnapped just as rumors of a cult sweeping across the reservation leads Maggie and Hastiin to investigate an outpost, and what they find there will challenge everything they’ve come to know in this action-packed sequel to Trail of Lightning.
It’s been four weeks since the bloody showdown at Black Mesa, and Maggie Hoskie, Diné monster hunter, is trying to make the best of things. Only her latest bounty hunt has gone sideways, she’s lost her only friend, Kai Arviso, and she’s somehow found herself responsible for a girl with a strange clan power.
Then the Goodacre twins show up at Maggie’s door with the news that Kai and the youngest Goodacre, Caleb, have fallen in with a mysterious cult, led by a figure out of Navajo legend called the White Locust. The Goodacres are convinced that Kai’s a true believer, but Maggie suspects there’s more to Kai’s new faith than meets the eye. She vows to track down the White Locust, then rescue Kai and make things right between them.
Her search leads her beyond the Walls of Dinétah and straight into the horrors of the Big Water world outside. With the aid of a motley collection of allies, Maggie must battle body harvesters, newborn casino gods and, ultimately, the White Locust himself. But the cult leader is nothing like she suspected, and Kai might not need rescuing after all. When the full scope of the White Locust’s plans are revealed, Maggie’s burgeoning trust in her friends, and herself, will be pushed to the breaking point, and not everyone will survive.Why We Want It: Paul said Trail of Lightning was pretty great and I completely agree. If Roanhorse had not already won all of the awards for her story "Welcome to Your Authentic Indian Experience" (including the Campbell for Best New Writer), Trail of Lightning would be the announcement of a major new voice. It still is, and it is also confirmation that Roanhorse is as good as everyone thought she was, and she can do it at novel length. Storm of Locusts is Roanhorse's follow up novel and it is sure to be a must read.
POSTED BY: Joe Sherry - Co-editor of Nerds of a Feather, 2017 & 2018 Hugo Award Finalist for Best Fanzine. Minnesotan.