The Affair of the Mysterious Letter by Alexis HallWhat it is: a witty Sherlock Holmes adaptation with a speculative twist and a LGBTQIA diverse cast.
Starring: Captain John Wyndham and his new roommate, consulting sorceress Ms. Shaharazad Haas; their first case involves Hass' former lover, Lady Eirene Viola, who's being blackmailed.
For fans of: Claire O'Dell's Janet Watson novels or G.S. Denning's Warlock Holmes series.
The Grand Dark
by Richard Kadrey
The Grand Dark is a lush, dark, stand-alone fantasy built off the insurgent tradition of China Mieville and M. John Harrison—a subversive tale that immerses us in a world where the extremes of bleakness and beauty exist together in dangerous harmony in a city on the edge of civility and chaos.Unlike others who live strictly for fun, Largo is an addict with ambitions. But dreams can be a dangerous thing in a city whose mood is turning dark and inward. Others have a vision of life very different from Largo’s, and they will use any methods to secure control.
This is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max GladstoneWhat happens: Two time traveling operatives from competing futures fall in love, expressing their longing through letters composed in lava flows, glasses of water, tree rings, and more.
Why you might like it: Fritz Leiber's The Big Time meets Ian McDonald's Time Was in this lyrical epistolary love story.
About the authors: Lebanese-Canadian author Amal El-Mohtar is the author of The Honey Month; Campbell Award nominee Max Gladstone is best known for his popular Craft novels.
The Record Keeper by Agnes GomillionIntroducing: Arika Cobane, the valedictorian of her graduating class, who has spent a decade training to become a Record Keeper.
But then... the arrival of a new student with dangerous ideas causes Arika to question her complicity in perpetuating the injustices of her racially segregated, rigidly hierarchical post-apocalyptic society.
For fans of: Rivers Solomon's An Unkindness of Ghosts, another lyrical Afrofuturist work that examines systemic racism through a speculative lens.
The Lesson by Cadwell TurnbullWhat happens: The alien Ynaa occupy St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands, causing tension between the newcomers and the locals.
Why you might like it: This thought-provoking debut is at once an allegory for colonialism and a moving, character-driven first contact story.
For fans of: Arthur C. Clarke's Childhood's End and Tade Thompson's Rosewater.
The Rage of Dragons by Evan WinterStarring: Tau Tafari, a reluctant warrior-in-training who fights his way to the top of a socially stratified society to exact revenge on his enemies.
Why you might like it: This debut, 1st in a series, boasts a sympathetic protagonist and a vividly depicted, African-inspired setting.
For fans of: the inventive system of magic in Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn novels, the gritty battles of Joe Abercrombie's First Law trilogy, and the world-building of Pierce Brown's Red Rising trilogy.
Kill the Farm Boy by Delilah S. Dawson and Kevin HearneWhat it is: a quirky comedic fantasy adventure that riffs on classic genre tropes.
Featuring: a farm boy (briefly), a talking goat, a seven-foot-tall warrior in a chainmail bikini, an enchanted rabbit bard, an alektorophobic assassin, a sand witch, and a dark lord.
For fans of: William Goldman's The Princess Bride, Diana Wynne Jones' Dark Lord of Derkholm, or Terry Pratchett's Discworld series.
Practical demonkeeping : a comedy of horrors
by Christopher Moore
In Christopher Moore's ingenious debut novel, we meet one of the most memorably mismatched pairs in the annals of literature. The good-looking one is one-hundred-year-old ex-seminarian and "roads" scholar Travis O'Hearn. The green one is Catch, a demon with a nasty habit of eating most of the people he meets. Behind the fake Tudor facade of Pine Cove, California, Catch sees a four-star buffet. Travis, on the other hand, thinks he sees a way of ridding himself of his toothy traveling companion. The winos, neo-pagans, and deadbeat Lotharios of Pine Cove, meanwhile, have other ideas. And none of them is quite prepared when all hell breaks loose.
A Blink of the Screen: Collected Shorter Fiction by Terry PratchettWhat it is: a short story collection by the late (and much-missed) Terry Pratchett.
Contains: several Discworld stories, as well as an assortment of other pieces, all with commentary from the author.
Don't miss: "The Hades Business," written when Pratchett was just 13 (it got published); "The Ankh-Morpork National Anthem."
Space Opera by Catherynne M. ValenteWhat it's about: “Glamrock messiah” Danesh Jalo is fighting for mankind’s continued existence -- by taking center stage in an intergalactic talent show bursting with glitter, lipstick, and rock and roll.
Reviewers say: An “endearing, razzle-dazzle love song about destiny, finding one’s true voice, and rockin’ the house down” (Publishers Weekly).
Is it for you? If you like The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, David Bowie, or the Eurovision Song Contest, you'll like this humorous science fiction extravaganza.
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