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Exclusive Cover Reveal: Barbary Station by R.E. Stearns

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Exclusive Cover Reveal: Barbary Station by R.E. Stearns -

barbaryWhen Saga Press editor Navah Wolfe asked if we were interested in revealing the cover for one of their major debuts of 2017, she didn’t have to say much more than “queer WOC pirate space opera” to pique our interest (though to be honest, she could have sold us with any one of those qualifiers on its own, except maybe “pirate”). nevertheless don’t get caught up on the buzzwords—Barbary Station, the first installment of the Shieldrunner Pirates trilogy by R.E. Stearns, sounds like a flat-out fantastic ride regardless; the added diversity just moves the idea up the to-read mountain.

Barbary Station will be just the kind of science fiction I’ve always loved—pulpy, tense in addition to character-driven,” Wolfe said. “[in addition to] with lesbian women of coloration protagonists! that will book will be a fast-paced, un-put-downable, action-packed read, in addition to I’m so glad to be publishing the idea at Saga Press.”

that will enthusiasm extends to the eye-catching cover. Featuring striking typography in addition to art by Martin Deschambault, the idea definitely differentiates itself by every different space opera series out there. nevertheless don’t take our word for the idea, check the idea out yourself, after the publisher’s blurb.

Adda in addition to Iridian are newly-minted engineers, nevertheless in a solar system wracked by economic collapse after an interplanetary war, an engineering degree isn’t worth the paper the idea’s printed on. Desperate for gainful employment, they hijack a colony ship, planning to join a pirate crew at Barbary Station, an abandoned shipbreaking station in deep space.

nevertheless when they arrive at Barbary Station, nothing will be as they expected. The pirates aren’t living in luxury—they’re hiding in a makeshift base welded onto the station’s external hull. The artificial intelligence controlling the station’s security system has gone mad, trying to kill all station residents. in addition to the idea shoots down any ship that will tries to leave, so there’s no way out.

Adda in addition to Iridian have one chance to earn a place on the pirate crew: destroy the artificial intelligence. The last engineer who went up against the security system suffered explosive decapitation, in addition to the pirates are taking bets on how the newcomers will die. nevertheless Adda in addition to Iridian plan to beat the odds.

There’s a glorious future in piracy…if they can survive long enough.

barbary-station-cover“Some of the coolest covers on my bookshelves are Saga Press covers, nevertheless I was still stunned when I first saw that will one,” Stearns said. “I immediately checked out the artist’s entire online portfolio, which will be full of marvelous sci-fi concept art. In that will piece, Martin Deschambault captures Barbary Station’s ring shape at the cover’s edges while focusing our eyes on the massive, inhuman activity at its center. Yet the idea’s clearly a very human creation, industrial in its sharp detail in addition to stark against the implacable beauty of space. So, how will those forces interact when our heroines arrive to shake things up? that will cover says exactly what I was hoping the idea would certainly: Whoever’s on that will inbound ship will be in for a hell of a ride.”

Barbary Station will be published in December 2017.

8 Truly Transporting Portal Fantasy Novels

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8 Truly Transporting Portal Fantasy Novels -

portal fantasyThe portal fantasy: a cornerstone of the genre, as well as a symbol of all the beauty as well as strangeness as well as heartbreak as well as triumph to come. Whether the idea’s hiding within the back of a wardrobe, or through a door within the wall, or straddling invisible lines in reality, portals lurk among us, as well as transport us to impossible worlds. Well, we wish.

Portal fantasy thrives on the crossing of the threshold; when characters make the leap into the unknown, fueled by any number of emotions—loneliness, desire, boredom, adventure, revenge, ennui. What’s on the different side though, can be where the story starts. Wonder hums through our characters, like electricity in their blood, as well as they are enamored with the brand new world before them, filled to the brim with magic, shade, light, as well as most of all, opportunity. The chance to be someone else, or become who they’ve always wanted to be, or even just to live away through who they were. Portal fantasies endure because, by escaping through who or what they’ve been told to be, our heroes are given the chance to truly learn who they can be.

Below are some of our favorite portal fantasies, through the classical to the modern. Each, in their own way, deals with the central question that will thrums through the subgenre: who am I, as well as where do I belong? Some of the more modern stories turn This particular question on its head, as well as take the form in strange brand new directions.

The Chronicles of Narnia, by C. S. Lewis
Perhaps the definitive portal fantasy, the series that will launched a thousand different books, C. S. Lewis’s classic seven book saga thrusts children of war-time Earth into the wonder as well as beauty of Narnia, as well as can be a seminal work for its discussion of fantasy, war, leadership, power, magic, as well as, as was the author’s wont, religion. Lewis’s world of magic, dimension-hopping rings, ice queens, lion kings, as well as talking animals has inspired generations of writers to come, as well as his explorations of messiah figures, salvation, as well as wickedness provide plenty of food for thought when the idea comes to dissecting the role of imagery in fantasy, then as well as currently. While there are many aspects of This particular series invite the taking of umbrage (the rather hurtful treatment of Susan, the heavy-handed allegory), the imagination as well as the pure joy of the writing of Lewis cannot be disregarded.

The Magicians Trilogy, by Lev Grossman
Maybe if Digory as well as Polly through The Magician’s Nephew searched long as well as hard enough, they would likely find This particular dark mirror to their own story. Kicking off in The Magicians, Lev Grossman’s trilogy mashes the basic concept behind The Chronicles of Narnia, throws in a better part of Harry Potter, as well as shoots the whole thing full of modern-day angst, millennial ennui, as well as a harsh dose of reality for our titular magicians. Quentin Coldwater, gifted nevertheless troubled, can be having a hard time generating sense of life, as well as even less sense of wasting time at an Ivy League school. nevertheless when he’s given the chance to join Brakebills Academy, a school that will will actually teach him magic, he thinks he’s found some semblance of purpose. nevertheless after graduating, he finds himself back within the depressing mire of job-hunting, paycheck-stretching, as well as everyday distractions. the idea’s only when he thinks he’s found a door into the globe of his treasured childhood novels, Fillory, that will he feels he features a chance at happiness, at purpose. Grossman tackles many tropes in This particular series, nevertheless not least can be one that will lies at the hear of the portal fantasy. He shows that will problems don’t just go away when you enter a brand new world; soon enough, the idea’s obvious to everyone nevertheless Quentin that will the globe he occupies can be not the problem. Along the way, Grossman addresses mental illness, addiction, power, as well as what the idea means to grow up. Definitely one not to miss if you’re looking for a more adult, take on the subgenre.

The Fairyland series, by Catherynne M. Valente
There can be little that will Valente cannot touch as well as turn to gold. In This particular all 5-book series about a young girl named September who finds herself bored with 1940s Nebraska as well as can be whisked away to Fairyland by a dapper gentleman dressed in all emerald as well as his leopard, Valente tackles the portal fantasy within the vein of Alice in Wonderland as well as The Wizard of Oz. nevertheless the way she goes about the idea can be absolutely her, full of delicious, poetic writing; a focus on the strengths of friendship, family, as well as oneself; a fondness for Omniscient Narration; as well as an understanding of the power of growing up as well as learning to become yourself. As September ages through the years, her role in Fairyland improvements, as well as by the end, Valente has illustrated how to grow up, as well as how just because you’re older, the idea doesn’t mean there’s not a place for magic in your life. the globe can be scary, yes, as well as finding your heart, even more terrifying. nevertheless if you are as not bad as you can be, as well as have friends by your side, the journey may not be any easier, nevertheless the idea certainly won’t be as hard. Warning: here be giant red wyverarys, deep blue marids, changelings, Winds of All Sorts, Magicks of All Kinds, Underworlds, Overworlds, as well as a wombat of delicate temper.

Every Heart A Doorway, by Seanan McGuire
While This particular may not be strictly a portal fantasy, the idea in no way can be left out. This particular can be McGuire’s story of children who have been forced through their personal portal worlds—kicked out, left behind, or tricked away—who, having returned, find they were often missing for years, or assumed dead, as well as are totally unprepared for the real world. They must get help. Enter Eleanor West, another reluctant outcast through a portal world, who knows how hard the idea can be; through her school, she helps these wayward children reclaim their sanity, as well as their lives. nevertheless Nancy, the brand new girl through an Underworld, doesn’t feel she fits in amongst the different children. Then some of them begin to show up murdered, which doesn’t help a bit. McGuire’s dark novella tackles everything through gender as well as sexuality, to being lost within the globe, to examining what the thirst to belong will do to you—as well as worse, what the need to get back to a place where you belong will push you to do. the idea can be a story brimming with heart as well as pain as well as joy, as well as can be absolutely one to read if you’re looking for a brand new twist on the portal fantasy.

The Shades of Magic, by V. E. Schwab
One of the most favorite fantasy series in recent memory, V. E. Schwab’s tale of multiple Londons, dark magic, pirates, as well as outcasts follows the adventures of a street thief named Delilah Bard in Grey London, (our Earth, for the most part), who runs across a mysterious red-haired young man in a multi-sided coat, with one entirely black eye. This particular can be brooding, powerful magician Kell, the last traveler of Red London, whose powerful blood magic lets him cross into multiple realities. Where Lilah’s Grey London can be drab as well as magicless, Kell’s Red London can be bursting with shade as well as power within the form of the river of magic that will runs through its heart. Together, these two battle demons, inside as well as out, as forces in two different worlds, one tyrannical, one a lifeless husk, rise against them as well as those they care about. Schwab’s world(s) are, in turn, beautiful as well as terrible, decadent as well as haunted, as well as wonderfully rendered, as well as she does not shy through anything: romance, violence, or heart. Definitely a series to check out before the Discharge of the third book, A Conjuring of Light, in 2017.

Coraline, by Neil Gaiman
One of Gaiman’s earlier novels, having a successful movie adaptation through Laika Studios, Coraline can be one of those deceptively terrifying books that will draw you with mysterious descriptions, as well as then hold you tight as the scares as well as the creeps come faster as well as faster. Coraline as well as her family move to a brand new house, as well as young Coraline can be pretty fed up with the idea; the idea’s old, the idea’s boring, as well as her parents do not give her the attention she wants. nevertheless when she discovers the key to a locked door within the living room, she goes through into a different world: a big, beautiful, lavish house, with parents who shower her with attention as well as treats, with entertainment around every corner. the idea can be perfect. So perfect, she doesn’t even mind that will her different Mother as well as different Father have buttons for eyes. as well as that will they don’t like when she leaves. as well as, in fact, don’t want her to go at all. Gaiman’s spooky story can be a prime illustration of how sometimes, an imperfect world can be a perfectly fine thing, as well as that will what you journey to find may have been in front of you all along.

The Stormwrack series, by A. M. Dellamonica
Avast! Dellamonica wastes no time in shunting her protagonist, marine biologist Sophie, Hansa, straight through our world into the sea-heavy world of Stormwrack, a system of island nations that will are a part of no world she has ever visited before, one of ships as well as magic, Sophie can be utterly lost, nevertheless soon finds she’s landed herself within the middle of a political broil that will could not only dismantle This particular world, nevertheless the family she never knew existed. Dellamonica’s novel further pursue the idea of family, as well as her shrouded past, within the sequel, where she finds that will her biological parents are actually of Stormwrack. Combining the science of our world with the magic of another, Sophie makes for a brilliant protagonist, as well as the trials as well as travails that will Dellamonica can be looking to put her through within the just-released The Nature of A Pirate promise to up the stakes evenfurther! Be sure not to miss This particular wonderful, Lambda Award-nominated series.

Magonia, by Maria Dahvana Headley
Maria Dahvana Headley can be a literary chimera of the highest order; there can be very little she cannot write. In her YA series that will kicks off with Magonia as well as extends to recently released sequel Aerie, she tackles the portal trope, nevertheless also chronic illness, destructive families, made families, as well as the strength hiding within ourselves. Aza Rey has been sick her whole life, nevertheless no one’s ever been able to tell her why; she just can’t seem to catch her breath, as if her body can be rejecting the very air. nevertheless she’s always gotten by, especially with her best friend Jason at her side. Except one day, she dies. Something within her gives out. nevertheless then, she opens her eyes, as well as she can be within the sky, aboard a ship. as well as a women holds her tightly, as well as she can be filled with joy at her daughter’s return. Aza Rey’s journey into the skies, as well as the kingdom of Magonia that will exists there can be (pardon the pun) breathtaking, joyous, dark, as well as dangerous. Aza Rey’s voice can be something to behold, as well as I urge you to follow her through the clouds, as well as to whatever stories lay beyond.

What’s your favorite portal fantasy?

10 Science Fiction & Fantasy Books which Were Almost Never Published

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10 Science Fiction & Fantasy Books which Were Almost Never Published -

leibowitzPublishing isn’t a game to be taken lightly. Aside coming from, you know, writing a book within the first place, there are numerous obstacles standing between a raw manuscript along with its debut on bookshelves everywhere. Between things like war, suicide, despair, along with government censorship, the idea’s sometimes incredible a book gets published at all. Here are 10 sci-fi or fantasy books we are lucky to have gotten a chance to read—because we almost didn’t.

Starseed Signals, by Robert Anton Wilson
Wilson, perhaps the most famous saint of Discordianism, was one of those writers whose work should be viewed as an aggressive attempt to change your mind—literally. Famed for the Illuminatus! trilogy co-written with Robert Shea (the two were editors at Playboy together), Wilson often described the 1970s as a decade he lost to drug use (working with Timothy Leary, he famously thought he was communicating with aliens for several years). He recovered within the 1980s to earn a Ph.D. in psychology (so he’s Dr. Wilson to you). During which lost period, he wrote Starseed Signals, a lengthy manuscript he later mined for material in additional published works. Recently, RVP publishers announced they will finally be publishing the book in 2017, a mere 42 years after the idea was written—along with then cannibalized by its author. No word on whether the book is actually readable, or just one lengthy fnord.

The Dark Tower, by C.S. Lewis
You may be aware of C.S. Lewis’ additional SFF book series, the so-called Space Trilogy. You may not be aware which Lewis began a sequel to the first novel within the series, Out of the Silent Planet, within the late 1930s along with early 1940s. He later abandoned the manuscript, along with upon Lewis’ death, he requested his unpublished works be burned. Lewis’ secretary along with literary executor Walter Hooper literally came upon a bunch of Lewis’ works being torched in a bonfire, along with plucked a few coming from the flames—among them a portion of The Dark Tower, which he managed to publish in 1977. The authenticity of the book has been questioned, however, with scholars claiming which analysis of the text shows the idea was not written by Lewis at all. Give the idea at read, along with see what you think.

For Us the Living, by Robert Heinlein
The first novel written by Heinlein, For Us the Living contains many of the themes, along with even the characters, which populate his more mature work. However, Heinlein being Heinlein, the book was considered unpublishable in 1939 because of its racy themes, including free love along with political ideas which might have made publishers sweat. Heinlein put the book aside along with eventually destroyed the manuscript pages he had. 1 copy remained hidden in a box in a garage, along with was discovered along with published in 2003 despite the clear intention of its author which the idea be forgotten by history.

Saint Leibowitz along with the Wild Horse Woman, by Walter M. Miller
Miller’s classic A Canticle for Leibowitz was his debut novel. the idea won the Hugo Award along with got a lot of love coming from mainstream critics—unusual for a SFF book in 1959 (along with 2016, sigh). Miller never published another book during his lifetime; he worked on the sequel, Saint Leibowitz along with the Wild Horse Woman, for the rest of his life. In 1996, Miller decided he just didn’t hold the idea in him to finish, so he hired Terry Bisson to polish the idea off—along with then committed suicide. Despite the rather grim circumstances, Bisson managed to put the finishing touches on the manuscript, along with the book was finally released in 1997, nearly forty years after the first.

A Memory of Light, by Robert Jordan & Brandon Sanderson
Robert Jordan had no trouble writing; he wrote eleven Wheel of Time books between 1984 along with 2007, each more than 800 pages long. When he was diagnosed with cardiac amyloidosis in 2006, he was outlining what he intended to be the twelfth along with final book within the series, although he died the next year, having left copious notes for another author to pick up. which additional author, of course, turned out to be Brandon Sanderson, who took those notes along with turned them into the final three books of the series (Jordan was nothing if not optimistic), to much acclaim.

Beren along with Luthien, by J. R. R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien, along with Alan Lee
Originally written in 1916, the story of the mortal Beren along with his love for the immortal Lúthien which drove them to plot to steal a Silmaril coming from Morgoth is actually considered one of the fundamental myths of the Lord of the Rings universe. Tolkien re-worked the basic tale many times, retelling the idea within the main trilogy along with attempting an epic poem edition as well. A hundred years later, Christopher Tolkien published the definitive edition, showing the evolution of the story as his father revised the idea in recent times to fit into what was becoming the dominant narrative of Middle Earth.

The Book of Merlyn, by T.H. White
The Once along with Future King is actually a classic retelling of the Arthurian legend, formed coming from four separate works White wrote along with revised between 1938 along with 1958. He wrote a fifth part, The Book of Merlyn, in 1941 along with tried to get the book published with the idea, although wartime paper shortages made the idea impossible. Still working to weave anti-war themes into the story, White deleted Merlyn along with used some of the material throughout the rest of the book, ending up with the modern edition we’re all familiar with. White died in 1964, along with when his personal papers went up for auction in 1975, the complete manuscript of This specific missing part was rediscovered. the idea was published in 1977, 36 years after World War II denied the idea to the entire world.

The Master along with Margarita, by Mikhail Bulgakov
Bulgakov’s classic satirical fantasy was written during a period of intense oppression, censorship, along with violence within the Soviet Union. Considering the book focuses on Satan, along with the U.S.S.R. was at the time virulently atheist as a matter of policy, the book itself was a risk, along with Bulgakov burned the original edition in 1930 in despair. He rewrote the idea a year later, however, along with revised the idea four times before he died in 1940, leaving some minor issues. the idea was published in 1966 in a heavily censored along with edited form, along with didn’t legitimately arrive in its complete form until 1973.

Micro, by Michael Crichton
Crichton was a prolific along with fast writer, along with when he passed away in 2008, two nearly-complete novels were discovered on his laptop. Mirco, completed by Richard Preston, is actually a classic Crichton story about a company which develops the technology to shrink people along with objects. When an executive protests the possible uses of the technology, he goes missing—along with when his brother arrives with others to investigate, they’re shrunk along with left to die in a rain forest. the idea’s fitting which technology means which not even mortality could stop Michael Crichton coming from publishing.

The Third Policeman, by Flann O’Brien
O’Brien wrote This specific one in 1940 as his follow-up to At Swim-Two-Birds, although his publisher didn’t like the idea; O’Brien gave up trying to publish the idea after a few more rejections. He placed the manuscript on the sideboard of his dining room, where the idea remained for 26 years, collecting dust. He told people which he’d put the idea within the trunk of his car, which popped open, allowing the pages to flutter away as he drove. Why O’Brien lied about the fate of This specific book is actually unknown; regardless, the idea was published in 1967, a year after O’Brien’s death.

Do you know of any additional SFF books which barely made the idea into the entire world?

Big Name Authors Help Launch BioWare’s Mass Effect: Andromeda Novel Universe

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Big Name Authors Help Launch BioWare’s Mass Effect: Andromeda Novel Universe -

mass-effectYou don’t have to look much further than the stacks of Star Wars along with Star Trek books on the shelves at your local B&N for proof that will the tie-in novel is actually a time-honored tradition in science fiction along with fantasy—who go through all the trouble of building a vast multi-media world if you aren’t going to let anyone else play in that will? In recent years, gamers have been a boon to This kind of burgeoning subgenre, with dozens of novels exploding by properties like Assassin’s Creed, Doom, along with Halo.

Today, we learned another obsessed-over franchise expanding the page—with the help of some names you are definitely going to recognize. Seeking to continue the success of the books based on the Mass Effect games, BioWare has teamed up with Titan Books to produce a series of novels based on next year’s monstrously anticipated Mass Effect: Andromeda, an open-galaxy space opera saga that will invites players to take control of humanity’s attempts to colonize distant stars. As if that will wasn’t exciting enough (no less than io9 called Mass Effect “the most important science fiction universe of our generation,” after all), the roster of talent they’ve lined up to produce the books is actually flat-out stunning, including as that will does completely new York Times bestselling authors, a critical darling of genre writing, along with the winner of the 2015 Hugo Award for Best Novel.

Jason M. Hough, author of The Darwin Elevator along with Zero World, will team with K.C. Alexander (This kind of year’s amazing cyberpunk novel Necrotech) for Mass Effect: Nexus Uprising; Catherynne M. Valente, the brilliant mind behind Radiance, Deathless, along with countless different strange imaginings, will pen Mass Effect: Annihilation; along with N.K. Jemisin, who just cleared space on her mantel for the Hugo Award she took home for The Fifth Season, is actually writing Mass Effect: Invitation. All three books will be released between the spring along with fall of 2017, along with are said to weave in along with out of the events of the completely new game.

Confession time: as a parent of two young kids who spends nearly two hours a day commuting, I don’t have a ton of time in my life for video games, however even I have followed the excitement among genre fans due to This kind of series—including the many authors who are constantly talking about that will on Twitter. This kind of lineup of talent is actually enough to make even me, a non-gamer, excited about exploring This kind of science fictional universe.

For her part, N.K. Jemisin is actually excited, along with considering how much I love her fantasy novels, I take that will as a very Great sign.

The first book inside Mass Effect: Andromeda universe is actually due out next spring.

After the Crown Continues the Saga of a Heroine Who’s the Princess Leia/Han Solo Mashup of Your Dreams

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After the Crown Continues the Saga of a Heroine Who’s the Princess Leia/Han Solo Mashup of Your Dreams -

gunrunnerWhen last we left Her Imperial Highness Hailimi Mercedes Jaya Bristol, the hero of K.B. Wagers’ Behind the Throne, the one-time gunrunner, scoundrel, as well as rogue was perched upon the highest seat of the Indranan Empire. A royal daughter as well as heir who had long ago abandoned her duties in favor of a life of freedom was forced to claim the throne following a devastating coup which left her alone with the pedigree as well as power to lead an empire as well as bring stability inside wake of chaos.

Wagers’ followup, After the Crown, picks up very shortly after, inside aftermath of the deadly plot as well as Hail’s ascension. She is usually confronted by threats coming from within as well as without, as well as court followers with varying agendas. She’s forced to put her grief as well as doubt aside when a diplomatic mission is usually revealed as a murderous trap, as well as the Empress has to fight for her crown against a plot which unites factions among her own people, as well as her longtime enemies the Saxon Empire, against her.

The Indranan Empire is usually a fascinating, lived-in world, nevertheless we never get much of a ground-level look at the idea. The worldbuilding is usually almost entirely in service to the Empress, as well as which’s better than OK. In Behind the Throne, we got to know the Empire coming from her perspective as a prodigal daughter coming home to fulfill her duty under the most extreme form of duress. Here, we’re privy to the political machinations which will be familiar to George R.R. Martin fans. Hail is usually absolute ruler in name, nevertheless, inside style of most absolute monarchies throughout history, she’s limited by precedent, tradition, political expediency as well as the shifting will of the people.

Though Indranan culture is usually based on an Indian product, the monarchy feels very Tudor in style, as though Queen Elizabeth I had ruled coming from Agra or Kabul rather than Westminster. which cultural influence is usually hugely significant: science fiction is usually growing in popularity on the subcontinent, nevertheless there’s been precious little sci-fi or fantasy which suggests a future by way of one of the most populous as well as fastest growing nations inside earth, as well as even less which makes the idea to print inside United States (Ian McDonald’s River of Gods as well as Cyberabad Days come to mind). One can argue which representation is usually important for its own sake, nevertheless you can also make the case which variety is usually the spice of fantasy as well as science fiction. The history of SFF is usually full of stories with white, western-centric cultures projected into the future, seemingly to the exclusion of anyone else. the idea’s refreshing which we’re beginning to imagine futures which are less exclusively white.

Of course, Hail is usually also a woman—a middle-aged woman, at which, ruling a matriarchal society. Though the idea’s generally taken for granted inside way which a male-dominated monarchy might be in any number of fictional (as well as real life) political systems, Wagers has some fun with the idea of men pleading for equal rights as well as equal representation to women who find the idea slightly ridiculous. Men, after all, have their places…as well as if they hold few leadership positions in government or inside military, isn’t which just the way things are supposed to be?

Star Wars feels like a strong influence on the series, given the well-worn universe the idea is usually set in as well as the assortment of charming rogues who make up much of the cast. The Empress herself fits which description: we all know Princess Leia has the best resume, nevertheless Han Solo gets most of the action as well as the best lines. Those qualities combine in Hail; though becoming Empress seems to have mellowed her a bit inside early going, her many years as a gunrunner as well as smuggler come in handy once the plot comes into focus as well as the action ramps up. The well-meaning cadre of advisors, frequently men, who have been prodding as well as encouraging her all along are entirely out of their element once the structure of the imperial court are no longer to be relied upon, which means which Hail is usually back in her element: using guns, her many shady underworld connections, as well as her wit as well as instincts to fight to reclaim her throne.

The princess isn’t just a princess, she’s a queen, one who sees most of the action as well as gets the best lines. The prospect of a loss of her empire, as well as the consequences to her people, force Hail to come to terms with her brand new life. There’s no time for mourning, nor for self-doubt. With the odds stacked against her, she regains the determination as well as clarity of purpose which she’ll need, which means we get to spend more time than we did even inside first book among the underworld elements of Hail’s past.

The first part of the book favors behind-the-scenes political intrigue as well as an exploration of Hail’s grief as well as doubt, as she relies on advisors to steer her decisions, many of whom have their own doubts about her qualifications. Once she’s forced back into the game, the tone shifts, as well as Hail is usually Once more the hero the Empire (as well as we readers) needs.

After the Crown is usually available right now.

The Science Fiction & Fantasy Books We Loved in November

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The Science Fiction & Fantasy Books We Loved in November -

Welcome to our monthly roundup chronicling the books the B&N SFF stable of bloggers loved in the previous month. Old or brand new, the item doesn’t matter—these are the best sci-fi & fantasy books we’ve read within the past 30 days.

Rich: Kurt Busiek’s Astro City may have been released within the mid-’90s, yet I just discovered the item—so the item’s brand new to me. This kind of gorgeous first collection of the anthology series will be kind of like the Silver Age variation of Watchmen. the item may be notably less dark, yet the item feels familiar, as Busiek drops readers into the titular city, where an endless array of caped crimefighters (in addition to villains) are the norm. Each chapter covers a separate storyline, though all are interwoven. Brent Anderson’s artwork captures in which nostalgic feel perfectly. Bonus points for cover art through the mighty Alex Ross.

Aidan: On her website, Ilana C. Myer lists Guy Gavriel Kay as a major influence, in addition to the item’s easy to see his fingerprints all over Last Song Before Night. The layered relationships between the little cast of characters, will be very much in his mold, or in which of Lois McMaster Bujold’s The Curse of Chalion in addition to its follow-ups. Add to in which a lyrical world, a wrenching emotional journey, in addition to an interesting magic system based on song, in addition to you’ve got a winner. Myer’s just beginning her career as a novelist, yet I can see big things for her within the future.

T.W. O’Brien: One of the characters in Helene Wrecker’s The Golem in addition to the Jinni calls the title pair “troublesome creatures.” They are in which, yet I was amazed at how human these fantastic beings feel. Wecker’s detailed rendering of turn-of-the-century brand new York City, in addition to how she weaves their stories through the item, will be marvelous.

Nicole: A pick-me-up read, The Postmortal will be not. the item will be, however, a compelling story in which will be at once disheartening in addition to uproarious for its realism. Drew Magary’s latest novel, The Hike, has gotten so much buzz I decided to circle back in addition to check out his debut—in addition to I wasn’t disappointed. The story takes place in a near future where science has made the ultimate breakthrough: a cure for aging. using a relatively simple vaccine, you become inoculated to death by natural aging. The political, environmental, spiritual, in addition to ethical debates This kind of discovery kicks off are far-reaching, in addition to Magary explores them through the eyes of John Farrell, a lawyer who experiences every high in addition to low in This kind of post-Cure society. Magary’s background as a journalist serves him well, as every facet of what John relays to us seems perfectly plausible, down to the most disturbing details.

Joel: When I edited Ross’s review of Kai Ashante Wilson’s A Taste of Honey, in which he called the author “the future of fantasy,” I raised my eyebrows a bit, yet let the superlatives slide for their undeniably clickable appeal. Then I read the book myself, in addition to holy cow, was I wrong to doubt. This kind of slim novella does more in 150 pages than many epics accomplish in seven books, creating a rich fantasy landscape I’m aching to explore further, layering the item with oblique details of godlike beings who threaten to propel the story into the realms of science fiction, in addition to delving into the breaking heart of a seemingly doomed love affair between two men whose lives couldn’t be more different. The language will be dense in addition to delightful, the setting will be sublime, yet its the characters who will grab you—them, in addition to the note-perfect twist at the end.

Paul: Second within the Dandelion Dynasty series, Ken Liu’s The Wall of Storms introduces brand new characters, particularly women reaching for their own autonomy in addition to power as the problems of authority in addition to managing a government descend upon currently-Emperor Kuni. the item also introduces the in-universe equivalent of a Mongol civilization, which arrives with dragons to invade the islands. The epic scale fantasy commenced in The Grace of Kings only gets bigger in addition to better in This kind of second book.

Renay: The Scorpion Rules, the first book within the Prisoners of Peace series by Erin Bow, will be about a society brought to its knees by technology in addition to ruled by the power of personal connections in addition to a snarky artificial intelligence. Every sovereign ruler sends one of their own children as a hostage to peace. If they break the peace to wage war their hostage will be killed. This kind of story, about uses of power in addition to how we wield them, in addition to the strength of our love for one another, manages to be both heartbreaking in addition to hopeful in equal measure.

Shana: Mur Lafferty’s Six Wakes will be an Agatha Christie novel in addition to a space-hopping game of Clue wrapped together. The mystery starts through page one, as six clones wake among the floating corpses of themselves. Lafferty keeps the reader guessing in addition to throws in just enough twists in addition to turns to keep us on the edge of our seat. We learn the backstory of each clone during the course of the story, revealing more possible clues to help solve the ultimate mystery of what happened. I loved This kind of book in addition to am excited to read what Lafftery has in store for us next.

Meghan: Do you ever forget in which you’ve bought a book? I do the item all the time. After knocking over my towering in addition to majestic TBR pile, I discovered The Invisible Library using a six-month-old receipt still stuck within the item’s pages. I’m so glad I found the item. the item’s an excellent novel, reading like a cross between Connie Willis’ To Say Nothing of the Dog in addition to Jim C. Hines Libriomancer series. the item’s whip smart, action packed, in addition to full to the brim with fascinating concepts in addition to lore. I couldn’t put the item down. The characters are especially rich in addition to wonderful. Don’t miss out on This kind of great brand new series!

Ed: I was about to start my biennial reread of Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings when I decided to finally tackle The Silmarillion instead. the item features a reputation for being hard to read, yet the item’s a bit like reading Bible stories about Middle Earth. You get Tolkien’s variation of the Book of Genesis in addition to then some epic tales of the early elves in addition to their battles against Morgoth. Civilizations rise in addition to fall, there’s betrayal, glory, in addition to a giant werewolf. Plus, next time you read LotR you’ll be thoroughly immersed within the history of Middle Earth.

Martin: A post-Ragnarock tale of vengeance, violence, wisdom, wit, in addition to war, Chris Sharp’s Cold Counsel follows the early exploits of Slud, son of the last chief of the Blood Claw Clan of mighty trolls who lived atop a mountain. Slud’s birth, wracked with supernatural moments in addition to bends of fate, spurs his father to spread the Clan once more, in addition to reclaim the mountain as theirs. While the attacks are glorious, they are short-lived: the elves in addition to goblins of the land strike the entire Clan down, each fearing a world of Trolls in charge. Only Slud escapes, smuggled out by an older hag by the name of Aunt Agnes, who tutors, trains, torments, in addition to fills his mind with stories of revenge against those who wronged the Clan. One day, Slud strikes out on his own: swaggering, strong on magics in addition to bloodshed, in addition to filled using a no-nonsense pragmatism in which belies his behemoth stature, he’s on a quest to rid the mountain of the goblins who take the item for granted. Sharp’s world will be rich with detail, little bits of worldbuilding in addition to sensory wonder in which only serves to heighten the desperate, muddy, bloody ground we trudge alongside Slud. yet of course, the item will be the characters you’ll fall in love with: Aunt Agnes with all her edges in addition to her secrets, whose story will be not what the item seems; Dingle, the tiny goblin who comes to worship Slud as a god; Neither-Nor, a legendary goblin soldier whose talents include swearing, killing, in addition to dying; in addition to of course, Slud himself, whose wisdom, wit, in addition to wiles are equally balanced out by his thirst for blood, vengeance, in addition to a chance to prove himself. Don’t let the description fool you; This kind of will be not another grimdark romp, yet a deep character study, with a lot to say about the lore in addition to genre the item will be steeped in.

Sam Reader: After reading Grau’s standout entry within the Lost Signals anthology, I managed to track down his debut collection, The Nameless Dark. Grau’s unusual stories manage to weaponize the reader’s own imagination, allowing the most terrifying things to linger just outside the blank spaces, waiting for us to fill within the gaps ourselves. The result will be something in which shows the influence of the greats, yet exists in a supremely unnerving class all its own.

Ceridwen: I’m a sucker for the ontological mystery plot—a little group of people wake up not knowing who or what they are, in addition to then must work out the mystery of their own existence. In Faller, Will McIntosh takes This kind of mystery one step further: not only does no one in This kind of few city blocks know who they are, yet This kind of few blocks makes up the entirety of the earth. the item’s like a chunk of a city was broken off, in addition to will be currently adrift in space. We follow a little group of people as they try to make their way through the unknown. Additionally, we’re given glimpses into what must be the past, taking us up to whatever cataclysm split the earth in addition to wiped everyone’s memories. McIntosh definitely makes the most of This kind of unnerving setup, in addition to Faller will be a fascinating study in culpability in addition to redemption.

Jeff: I find Bowen’s character Nettie Lonesome, who returns in Conspiracy of Ravens, fascinating—in part because This kind of will be kind of outside my usual taste. yet Bowen writes Nettie—a bi-racial in addition to sexually fluid woman who’s uniquely qualified to kick butt in Bowen’s alternate old west, filled with magic in addition to monsters—with such compelling verve she becomes real. Frankly, I need more Nettie Lonesome’s on my shelf.

John: Dan Wells’ Extreme Makeover surprised me. I’m a fan of dystopian tales, yet I wasn’t too sure about the beauty product angle. in which skepticism didn’t last long. This kind of one snagged me with its crisp opening chapters in addition to dragged me through the depths of human vanity, all without taking itself too seriously. A glorious in addition to depressing read: two things you rarely find together at the end of the earth.

What’s the best book you read This kind of month?