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Books Received, June 25 — July 1

2 Jul, 2022

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MegaTraveller (DGP) Adventure: Manhunt by Philip Athans

Manhunt is an adventure module for MegaTraveller which takes your players on a quest for the legendary Victory Belt, an asteroid belt consisting entirely of the rare and expensive element onnesium-118. Only the basic three-volume MegaTraveller rules set is required to play Manhunt, and the referee should familiarize herself with both those rules and this module before play begins. Other MegaTraveller supplements and sourcebooks are available that will, though not essential, provide a wealth of further background information. Particularly useful is the Rebellion Sourcebook from GDW. Both of these provide the rich detail that made Traveller famous.

Manhunt was projected for publication in 1990, but its publisher DGP closed their doors before Manhunt saw print. Now, the original manuscript, recovered from a 3.5 inch floppy, has been rehabilitated and polished for publication.

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June 2022 in Review

1 Jul, 2022

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June 2022

22 works reviewed. 11.5 by women (50%), 9.5 by men (43%), 1 by a non-binary author (5%), 0 by authors whose gender is unknown (0%), and 9 by POC (41%)

Year to Date

129 works reviewed. 72 by women (56% ), 52 by men (40%), 5 by a non-binary author (4%), 0 by authors whose genders are unknown (0%), and 48 by POC (37%).

Grand Total to Date

2137 works reviewed. 1196 by women (56%), 892 by men (42%), 31 by non-binary authors (1%), 18 by authors whose gender is unknown (1%), and 622.75 by POC (29%).

Government Types June

Total 22, Not Applicable 4 (18%), Unclear 4 (18%), Anarchy 0 (0%), Pure democracy 0 (0%), Representative democracy 6 (27%), Oligarchy 7 (32%), Autocracy 1 (5%)

Government Type 2022 TD

Total 129, Not Applicable 21 (16%), Unclear 8 (6%), Anarchy 4 (3%), Pure democracy 1 (1%), Representative democracy 37 (29%), Oligarchy 42 (33%), Autocracy 16 (12%)

Definitions of government types here.

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Books Received, June 18 — June 24

25 Jun, 2022

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Legends & Lattes by Travis Baldree

High fantasy, low stakes – with a double-shot of coffee. 

After decades of raising hell, Viv the orc barbarian is finally hanging up her sword for good. Now she sets her sights on a new dream – one that involves pulling more shots than punches. Armed with hope and a hard-earned secret, she plans to open the first coffee shop in Thune. 

To build something that will last, Viv needs a new crew. She enlists a gruff hob builder shunned by humans, and a shy baker whose cinnamon rolls are to die for. Then there’s Tandri, a charming succubus who’s determined not to let anyone assume anything about her. 

But Thune has a shady underbelly that keeps goading Viv to take up her sword once more. New enemies threaten her beloved coffee shop and rag-tag team. And Viv’s adventuring past isn’t so eager to leave her behind – or the fabled piece of loot she took with her. 

Legends & Lattes by Travis Baldree is a cosy, heartwarming slice-of-life fantasy about found families and fresh starts – perfect for fans of TJ Klune, Katherine Addison and T. Kingfisher.

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Books Received, June 11 — June 17

18 Jun, 2022

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The Spare Man by Mary Robinette Kowal

Hugo, Locus, and Nebula-Award winner Mary Robinette Kowal blends her no-nonsense approach to life in space with her talent for creating glittering high-society in this stylish SF mystery, The Spare Man.Tesla Crane, a brilliant inventor and an heiress, is on her honeymoon on an interplanetary space liner, cruising between the Moon and Mars. She’s traveling incognito and is reveling in her anonymity. Then someone is murdered and the festering chowderheads who run security have the audacity to arrest her spouse. Armed with banter, martinis and her small service dog, Tesla is determined to solve the crime so that the newlyweds can get back to canoodling — And keep the real killer from striking again. 

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Books Received, May 28 — June 3

4 Jun, 2022

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Ten Thousand Stitches by Olivia Atwater

A housemaid needs some magical help when she falls for a high-society gentleman in this captivating historical fantasy full of wit, charm, and heart-fluttering romance. Effie has most inconveniently fallen in love with the dashing Mr. Benedict Ashbrooke. There’s only one problem: Effie is a housemaid, and a housemaid cannot marry a gentleman. It seems that Effie is out of luck until she stumbles into the faerie realm of Lord Blackthorn, who is only too eager to help her win Mr. Ashbrooke’s heart. All he asks in return is that Effie sew ten thousand stitches onto his favorite jacket.Effie has heard rumors about what happens to those who accept magical bargains. But life as a maid at Hartfield is so awful that she is willing to risk even her immortal soul for a chance at something better. Now she has one hundred days — and ten thousand stitches — to make Mr. Ashbrooke fall in love and propose…if Lord Blackthorn doesn’t wreck things by accident, that is. For Effie’s greatest obstacle might well be Lord Blackthorn’s overwhelmingly good intentions. 

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May 2022 In Review

31 May, 2022

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This month sees the addition an entirely new, very boring exciting statistic, for which see below the cut. 

May 2022

22 works reviewed. 13 by women (59%), 8 by men (36%), 1 by a non-binary author (5%), 0 by authors whose gender is unknown (0%), and 8 by POC (36%)

Year to Date

107 works reviewed. 60.5 by women (57% ), 42.5 by men (40%), 4 by a non-binary author (4%), 0 by authors whose genders are unknown (0%), and 39 by POC (36%).

Grand Total to Date

2115 works reviewed. 1184.5 by women (56%), 882.5 by men (42%), 30 by non-binary authors (1%), 18 by authors whose gender is unknown (1%), and 613.75 by POC (29%).

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Books Received, May 21 — May 27

28 May, 2022

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The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy by Megan Bannen

Hart is a marshal, tasked with patrolling the strange and magical wilds of Tanria. It’s an unforgiving job, and Hart’s got nothing but time to ponder his loneliness. 

Mercy never has a moment to herself. She’s been single-handedly keeping Birdsall & Son Undertakers afloat in defiance of sullen jerks like Hart, who seems to have a gift for showing up right when her patience is thinnest. 

After yet another exasperating run-in with Mercy, Hart finds himself penning a letter addressed simply to A Friend”. Much to his surprise, an anonymous letter comes back in return, and a tentative friendship is born. 

If only Hart knew he’s been baring his soul to the person who infuriates him most — Mercy. As the dangers from Tanria grow closer, so do the unlikely correspondents. But can their blossoming romance survive the fated discovery that their pen pals are their worst nightmares — each other? 

Set in a world full of magic and demigods, donuts and small-town drama, this enchantingly quirky, utterly unique fantasy is perfect for readers of The House in the Cerulean Sea and The Invisible Library. 

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Books Received, May 14 — May 20

21 May, 2022

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A Restless Truth by Freya Marske

Magic! Murder! Shipboard romance! 

Maud Blyth has always longed for adventure. She expected plenty of it when she volunteered to serve as an old lady’s companion on an ocean liner, in order to help her beloved older brother unravel a magical conspiracy that began generations ago. 

What she didn’t expect was for the old lady in question to turn up dead on the first day of the voyage. Now she has to deal with a dead body, a disrespectful parrot, and the lovely, dangerously outrageous Violet Debenham, who’s also returning home to England. Violet is everything that Maud has been trained to distrust yet can’t help but desire: a magician, an actress, and a magnet for scandal. 

Surrounded by the open sea and a ship full of suspects, Maud and Violet must first drop the masks that they’ve both learned to wear before they can unmask a murderer and somehow get their hands on a magical object worth killing for — without ending up dead in the water themselves. 

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Books Received, May 7 to May 13

14 May, 2022

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The Dream-Chosen by Celu Amberstone

Humans and aliens struggle to survive on a planet surface foreign to them both, which still suffers the aftermath of a past disaster. Dunnagh is responsible for his people, wanting to bring his soldiers and civilians to safety. The Khutani work to preserve not only their own people, but the races of this planet Timorna where they dwell. It takes all the Khutani mind powers, and those of Dunnagh, to bring them together for symbiosis.

The Dream-Chosen is the first book in the series Tales of the Kashallans, by celebrated author Celu Amberstone. Drawing on her Indigenous and Celtic heritage, Amberstone writes powerful fiction subtly different from the usual science fiction or fantasy adventures. For fans of the Hundred Worlds’ approach used in Star Trek and in Golden Age magazines, there are diverse settings and cultures along the journey taken by these human and alien characters.

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