Monday, June 3, 2019

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!



Adams, John Joseph. Wastelands: The New Apocalypse [Titan]
Publisher's Description
The new post-apocalyptic collection by master anthologist John Joseph Adams, featuring never-before-published stories and curated reprints by some of the genre’s most popular and critically-acclaimed authors.

In WASTELANDS: THE NEW APOCALYPSE, veteran anthology editor John Joseph Adams is once again our guide through the wastelands using his genre and editorial expertise to curate his finest collection of post-apocalyptic short fiction yet. Whether the end comes via nuclear war, pandemic, climate change, or cosmological disaster, these stories explore the extraordinary trials and tribulations of those who survive.

Featuring never-before-published tales by: Veronica Roth, Hugh Howey, Jonathan Maberry, Seanan McGuire, Tananarive Due, Richard Kadrey, Scott Sigler, Elizabeth Bear, Tobias S. Buckell, Meg Elison, Greg van Eekhout, Wendy N. Wagner, Jeremiah Tolbert, and Violet Allen—plus, recent reprints by: Carmen Maria Machado, Carrie Vaughn, Ken Liu, Paolo Bacigalupi, Kami Garcia, Charlie Jane Anders, Catherynne M. Valente, Jack Skillingstead, Sofia Samatar, Maureen F. McHugh, Nisi Shawl, Adam-Troy Castro, Dale Bailey, Susan Jane Bigelow, Corinne Duyvis, Shaenon K. Garrity, Nicole Kornher-Stace, Darcie Little Badger, Timothy Mudie, and Emma Osborne.

Continuing in the tradition of WASTELANDS: STORIES OF THE APOCALYPSE, these 34 stories ask: What would life be like after the end of the world as we know it? 
Why We Want It: The first two volumes of John Joseph Adams' Wastelands anthologies brought together classic stories of apocalypse, legendary stories of the field. Both volumes were spectacular. I love apocalyptic fiction, and John Joseph Adams is a master anthologist. This third Wastelands volume brings together brand new apocalyptic stories as well some more recent stories that may well stand the test of time. 



Brooks, Terry. The Stiehl Assassin [Del Rey]
Publisher's Description
After The Black Elfstone and The Skaar Invasion comes the next chapter in the Fall of Shannara, a saga more than four decades in the making. 

The Skaar have arrived in the Four Lands, determined to stop at nothing less than all-out conquest. They badly need a new home, but peaceful coexistence is not a concept they have ever understood. An advance force under the command of the mercurial princess Ajin has already established a foothold, but now the full Skaar army is on the march—and woe betide any who stand in its way.

But perhaps the Skaar victory is not quite the foregone conclusion everyone assumes. The Druid Drisker Arc has freed both himself and Paranor from their involuntary exile. Drisker’s student, Tarsha Kaynin, has been reunited with Dar, chief defender of what is left of the Druid order, and is learning to control her powerful wishsong magic. If they can only survive Tarsha’s brother, Tavo, and the Druid who betrayed Drisker Arc, they might stand a chance of defeating the Skaar. But that is a very big if . . . as Tavo now carries the Stiehl—one of the most powerful weapons in all the Four Lands—and is hellbent on taking his revenge on everyone he feels has wronged him. 
Why We Want It: I've been a Terry Brooks reader from my earliest days of being a fantasy reader and though the novels have gone through various peaks and valleys in terms of quality and also of my engagement, but we're in the final push to the end of the Shannara chronology. There is only one more novel after The Stiehl Assassin and I am on board for this journey.



Ford, Jackson. The Girl Who Could Move Sh*t With Her Mind [Orbit]
Publisher's Description
Full of imagination, wit, and random sh*t flying through the air, this insane adventure from an irreverent new voice will blow your tiny mind. 

For Teagan Frost, sh*t just got real. 

Teagan Frost is having a hard time keeping it together. Sure, she’s got telekinetic powers — a skill that the government is all too happy to make use of, sending her on secret break-in missions that no ordinary human could carry out. But all she really wants to do is kick back, have a beer, and pretend she’s normal for once.

But then a body turns up at the site of her last job — murdered in a way that only someone like Teagan could have pulled off. She’s got 24 hours to clear her name – and it’s not just her life at stake. If she can’t unravel the conspiracy in time, her hometown of Los Angeles will be in the crosshairs of an underground battle that’s on the brink of exploding . . . 
Why We Want It: The title. Honestly, it's just the title.



Gailey, Sarah. Magic for Liars [Tor]
Publisher's Description
Sharp, mainstream fantasy meets compelling thrills of investigative noir in Magic for Liars, a fantasy debut by rising star Sarah Gailey. 

Ivy Gamble was born without magic and never wanted it. 

Ivy Gamble is perfectly happy with her life – or at least, she’s perfectly fine. 

She doesn't in any way wish she was like Tabitha, her estranged, gifted twin sister. 

Ivy Gamble is a liar. 

When a gruesome murder is discovered at The Osthorne Academy of Young Mages, where her estranged twin sister teaches Theoretical Magic, reluctant detective Ivy Gamble is pulled into the world of untold power and dangerous secrets. She will have to find a murderer and reclaim her sister—without losing herself. 
Why We Want It: Gailey's debut novellas (River of Teeth and Taste of Marrow) were delights, riffing of the real world idea of bringing hippopotamuses to America and taking it much farther so that feral hippos are extremely dangerous and "tame" hippos can be used for transport like horses. After those novellas, we were always on board for whatever she did next.


Lord, Karen. Unraveling [DAW]
Publisher's Description
In this standalone fantasy novel by an award-winning author, the dark truth behind a string of unusual murders leads to an otherworldly exploration of spirits, myth, and memory, steeped in Caribbean storytelling. 

Dr. Miranda Ecouvo, forensic therapist of the City, just helped put a serial killer behind bars. But she soon discovers that her investigation into seven unusual murders is not yet complete. A near-death experience throws her out of time and into a realm of labyrinths and spirits. There, she encounters brothers Chance and the Trickster, who have an otherworldly interest in the seemingly mundane crimes from her files.

It appears the true mastermind behind the murders is still on the loose, chasing a myth to achieve immortality. Together, Miranda, Chance, and the Trickster must travel through conjured mazes, following threads of memory to locate the shadowy killer. As they journey deeper, they discover even more questions that will take pain and patience to answer. What is the price of power? Where is the path to redemption? And how can they stop the man—or monster—who would kill the innocent to live forever? 
Why We Want It: Each of Karen Lord's three previous novels have been very highly regarded, but for no particular reason, I haven't read any of them. It's past time to rectify that.



Solomon, Rivers. The Deep [Saga]
Publisher's Description
The water-breathing descendants of African slave women tossed overboard have built their own underwater society—and must reclaim the memories of their past to shape their future in this brilliantly imaginative novella inspired by the Hugo Award nominated song “The Deep” from Daveed Diggs’ rap group Clipping. 

Yetu holds the memories for her people—water-dwelling descendants of pregnant African slave women thrown overboard by slave owners—who live idyllic lives in the deep. Their past, too traumatic to be remembered regularly, is forgotten by everyone, save one—the historian. This demanding role has been bestowed on Yetu.

Yetu remembers for everyone, and the memories, painful and wonderful, traumatic and terrible and miraculous, are destroying her. And so, she flees to the surface, escaping the memories, the expectations, and the responsibilities—and discovers a world her people left behind long ago.

Yetu will learn more than she ever expected to about her own past—and about the future of her people. If they are all to survive, they’ll need to reclaim the memories, reclaim their identity—and own who they really are.

Inspired by a song produced by the rap group Clipping for the This American Life episode “We Are In The Future,” The Deep is vividly original and uniquely affecting. 
Why We Want It: After the absolutely searing debut of An Unkindness of Ghosts it was clear Rivers Solomon was an important writer and that we needed to be there for whatever they did next. While we didn't expect that "expanding Clipping's song into a novel" was what was next, we're down for this.


Joe Sherry - Co-editor of Nerds of a Feather, 3x Hugo Award Finalist for Best Fanzine. Minnesotan.

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