Monday, March 2, 2020

New Books Spotlight

Welcome to another edition of the New Books Spotlight, where each month or so we curate a selection of 6 new and 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!

Jemisin, N.K. The City We Became [Orbit]
Publisher's Description
Five New Yorkers must come together to defend their city from an ancient evil in this stunning new novel by Hugo Award-winner and NYT bestselling author N. K. Jemisin.

Every great city has a soul. Some are as ancient as myths, and others are as new and destructive as children. New York City? She’s got six.

But every city also has a dark side. A roiling, ancient evil stirs in the halls of power, threatening to destroy the city and her six newborn avatars unless they can come together and stop it once and for all. 
Why We Want It: Coming off of the absolutely brilliant Broken Earth trilogy, the level of expectation for The City We Became could not be higher unless this was the secret fourth Broken Earth novel. It’s not. This is something completely different. The City We Became is an expansion of the idea first introduced in Jemisin’s Hugo Award finalist short story “The City Born Great”, which itself was an excellent story. In a year filled with significant novels, The City We Became is a must read.

Kozloff, Sarah. A Broken Queen [Tor]
Publisher's Description
Time can heal all wounds, but not all wounds are visible.

Barely surviving her ordeal in Oromondo and scarred by its Fire Spirit, Cerulia is taken to a recovery house in Wyeland to heal from the trauma. In a ward with others who are all bound to serve each other, she discovers that not all scars are visible, and dying can be done with grace and acceptance.

While she would like to stay in this place of healing, will she ever be able to the peace she has found to re-take the throne? 
Why We Want It: I've only recently finished the first book of the series, A Queen in Hiding, and the Nine Realms is shaping up to be a bit of a throwback fantasy series. It's good, and I'm interested to see how the series progresses. A Broken Queen is the third novel of the series.

Kress, Nancy. Sea Change [Tachyon]
Publisher's Description
New from the Nebula Award winning author of Beggars in Spain: A riveting climate-change technothriller of espionage, conspiracy, and stakes so high they could lead to the destruction of humanity itself. In this environmental page-turner, activist lawyer Renata Black—covert member of the Org—must go deep underground to unravel the truth behind the ecological disaster that has paralyzed the food industry and destroyed her family. 
Why We Want It: Prolific over a long and accomplished career, I know that a Nancy Kress novella (or novel, or short story) is going to look at science and technology in the future and imagine it into a frighteningly plausible way that I hadn't considered - and that it will be one heck of

Strahan, Jonathan. Made to Order [Solaris]
Publisher's Description
100 years after Karel Capek coined the word, “robots” are an everyday idea, and the inspiration for countless stories in books, film, TV and games.

They are often among the least privileged, most unfairly used of us, and the more robots are like humans, the more interesting they become. This collection of stories is where robots stand in for us, where both we and they are disadvantaged, and where hope and optimism shines through.

Why We Want It: Frankly, it's an anthology from Jonathan Strahan and that makes it an anthology I want to read. Strahan is one of our preeminent anthologists and that's a powerhouse lineup of writers.

Szpara, K.M. Docile [ Publishing]
Publisher's Description
K. M. Szpara's Docile is a science fiction parable about love and sex, wealth and debt, abuse and power, a challenging tour de force that at turns seduces and startles. 

There is no consent under capitalism. 

To be a Docile is to be kept, body and soul, for the uses of the owner of your contract. To be a Docile is to forget, to disappear, to hide inside your body from the horrors of your service. To be a Docile is to sell yourself to pay your parents' debts and buy your children's future.

Elisha Wilder’s family has been ruined by debt, handed down to them from previous generations. His mother never recovered from the Dociline she took during her term as a Docile, so when Elisha decides to try and erase the family’s debt himself, he swears he will never take the drug that took his mother from him.

Too bad his contract has been purchased by Alexander Bishop III, whose ultra-rich family is the brains (and money) behind Dociline and the entire Office of Debt Resolution. When Elisha refuses Dociline, Alex refuses to believe that his family’s crowning achievement could have any negative side effects—and is determined to turn Elisha into the perfect Docile without it.

Content warning: Docile contains forthright depictions and discussions of rape and sexual abuse. 
Why We Want It: In parts of the online SFF community I participate in, Docile is one of the buzzier novels of the Spring. I'm not convinced it is a novel for me, but it is very much a novel to pay attention to.

Wagers, K.B. A Pale Light in the Black [Harper Voyager]
Publisher's Description
The Expanse meets the Battle Room in Ender's Game as K. B. Wagers brings us the rollicking first entry in a unique science fiction series that introduces the Near-Earth Orbital Guard—NeoG—a military force patrolling and protecting space inspired by the real-life mission of the U.S. Coast Guard. 

For the past year, their close loss in the annual Boarding Games has haunted Interceptor Team: Zuma’s Ghost. With this year’s competition looming, they’re looking forward to some payback—until an unexpected personnel change leaves them reeling. Their best swordsman has been transferred, and a new lieutenant has been assigned in his place.

Maxine Carmichael is trying to carve a place in the world on her own—away from the pressure and influence of her powerful family. The last thing she wants is to cause trouble at her command on Jupiter Station. With her new team in turmoil, Max must overcome her self-doubt and win their trust if she’s going to succeed. Failing is not an option—and would only prove her parents right.

But Max and the team must learn to work together quickly. A routine mission to retrieve a missing ship has suddenly turned dangerous, and now their lives are on the line. Someone is targeting members of Zuma’s Ghost, a mysterious opponent willing to kill to safeguard a secret that could shake society to its core . . . a secret that could lead to their deaths and kill thousands more unless Max and her new team stop them.

Rescue those in danger, find the bad guys, win the Games. It’s all in a day’s work at the NeoG. 
Why We Want It: In four short years Wagers has quickly become one of my favorite writers. The five novels published so far in their Indranan and Farian War series are absolute delights (when they are not gut wrenchingly painful) and I am so very excited for this first novel in a new and unrelated series.

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