Dead Silence by S. A. Barnes
Claire Kovalik is days away from being unemployed — made obsolete — when her beacon repair crew picks up a strange distress signal. With nothing to lose and no desire to return to Earth, Claire and her team decide to investigate.What they find at the other end of the signal is a shock: the Aurora, a famous luxury space-liner that vanished on its maiden tour of the solar system more than twenty years ago. A salvage claim like this could set Claire and her crew up for life. But a quick trip through the Aurora reveals something isn’t right.Whispers in the dark. Flickers of movement. Words scrawled in blood. Claire must fight to hold onto her sanity and find out what really happened on the Aurora, before she and her crew meet the same ghastly fate.
Think The Handmaid’s Tale but with the women in charge, set in a world where all men are electronically tagged and placed under strict curfew, and the murder investigation threatening to undo it all.
Imagine a near-future Britain in which women dominate workplaces, public spaces, and government. Where the gender pay gap no longer exists and motherhood opens doors instead of closing them. Where women are no longer afraid to walk home alone, to cross a dark parking lot, or to catch the last train.
Where all men are electronically tagged and not allowed out after 7 p.m.
But the curfew hasn’t made life easy for everyone. Sarah is a single mother who happily rebuilt her life after her husband, Greg, was sent to prison for breaking curfew. Now he’s about to be released, and Sarah isn’t expecting a happy reunion, given that she’s the reason he was sent there.
Her teenage daughter, Cass, hates living in a world that restricts boys like her best friend, Billy. Billy would never hurt anyone, and she’s determined to prove it. Somehow.
Helen is a teacher at the local school. Secretly desperate for a baby, she’s applied for a cohab certificate with her boyfriend, Tom, and is terrified that they won’t get it. The last thing she wants is to have a baby on her own.
These women don’t know it yet, but one of them is about to be violently murdered. Evidence will suggest that she died late at night and that she knew her attacker. It couldn’t have been a man because a CURFEW tag is a solid alibi.
Obsidian by Sarah Daley
Shade Nox is an abomination and a wanted criminal. When she is called upon to raise a Veil to protect her people, she discovers a road much rockier than she expected, made no easier by Raiden Mad — Imperial emissary — who intends to capture and imprison her… Shade Nox is an abomination and a wanted criminal. She wears her tattoos openly as any bloodwizard would, and carries obsidian blades at her hips. She scratches out a dangerous living in the broken Wastes, but now that they are growing more unstable and dangerous, Shade and her people need a Veil to protect them. She vows to raise one — a feat not accomplished in over a hundred years, and never performed by a woman. The Veils are controlled by the Brotherhood, who consider them sacred creations; they would sooner see them all collapse into dust than allow a witch to raise one. With the help of her friends and allies, and her own indomitable will, Shade stays one step ahead of her enemies. But when she learns the true sacrifice required to raise a Veil — a secret even the centuries-old Brotherhood has forgotten — it is too high a price to pay. Nevertheless, she must pay it, or she will lose everything and everyone she loves…
Comeuppance Served Cold by Marion Deeds
Marion Deeds’s Comeuppance Served Cold is a hard-boiled historical fantasy of criminality and magic, couched in the glamour of Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries.Seattle, 1929 — a bitterly divided city overflowing with wealth, violence, and magic.A respected magus and city leader intent on criminalizing Seattle’s most vulnerable magickers hires a young woman as a lady’s companion to curb his rebellious daughter’s outrageous behavior.The widowed owner of a speakeasy encounters an opportunity to make her husband’s murderer pay while she tries to keep her shapeshifter brother safe.A notorious thief slips into the city to complete a delicate and dangerous job that will leave chaos in its wake.One thing is for certain — comeuppance, eventually, waits for everyone
All of Us Villains by Amanda Foody & Christine Lynn Herman
You Fell in Love with the Victors of the Hunger Games.Now Prepare to Meet the Villains of the Blood Veil.The Blood Moon rises. The Blood Veil falls. The Tournament begins.Every generation, at the coming of the Blood Moon, seven families in the remote city of Ilvernath each name a champion to compete in a tournament to the death. The prize? Exclusive control over a secret wellspring of high magick, the most powerful resource in the world — one thought long depleted. This year, thanks to a salacious tell-all book, the seven champions are thrust into the worldwide spotlight, granting each of them new information, new means to win, and most importantly, a choice: accept their fate or rewrite their story.But this is a story that must be penned in blood.
Engines of Empire by R. S. Ford
Engines of Empire is the unmissable start to a new epic fantasy trilogy– a tale of clashing Guilds, magic-fueled machines, intrigue and revolution, and the one family that stands between an empire’s salvation or destruction. The nation of Torwyn is run on the power of industry, and industry is run by the Guilds. Chief among them are the Hawkspurs, and their responsibility is to keep the gears of the empire turning. It’s exactly why matriarch Rosomon Hawkspur sends each of her heirs to the far reaches of the nation. Conall, the eldest son, is sent to the distant frontier to earn his stripes in the military. It is here that he faces a threat he could have never seen coming: the first rumblings of revolution. Tyreta’s sorcerous connection to the magical resource of pyrstone that fuels the empire’s machines makes her a perfect heir — in theory. While Tyreta hopes that she might shirk her responsibilities during her journey one of Torwyn’s most important pyrestone mines, she instead finds the dark horrors of industry that the empire would prefer to keep hidden. The youngest, Fulren, is a talented artificer, and finds himself acting as consort to a foreign emissary. Soon after, he is framed for a crime he never committed. A crime that could start a war. As each of the Hawkspurs grapple with the many threats that face the nation within and without, they must finally prove themselves worthy — or their empire will fall apart.
Summer Sons by Lee Mandelo
Lee Mandelo’s debut Summer Sons is a sweltering, queer Southern Gothic that crosses Appalachian street racing with academic intrigue, all haunted by a hungry ghost.Andrew and Eddie did everything together, best friends bonded more deeply than brothers, until Eddie left Andrew behind to start his graduate program at Vanderbilt. Six months later, only days before Andrew was to join him in Nashville, Eddie dies of an apparent suicide. He leaves Andrew a horrible inheritance: a roommate he doesn’t know, friends he never asked for, and a gruesome phantom that hungers for him. As Andrew searches for the truth of Eddie’s death, he uncovers the lies and secrets left behind by the person he trusted most, discovering a family history soaked in blood and death. Whirling between the backstabbing academic world where Eddie spent his days and the circle of hot boys, fast cars, and hard drugs that ruled Eddie’s nights, the walls Andrew has built against the world begin to crumble.And there is something awful lurking, waiting for those walls to fall.
Where the Drowned Girls Go by Seanan McGuire
In Where the Drowned Girls Go, the next addition to Seanan McGuire’s beloved Wayward Children series, students at an anti-magical school rebel against the oppressive faculty“Welcome to the Whitethorn Institute. The first step is always admitting you need help, and you’ve already taken that step by requesting a transfer into our company.“There is another school for children who fall through doors and fall back out again.It isn’t as friendly as Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children.And it isn’t as safe.When Eleanor West decided to open her school, her sanctuary, her “Home for Wayward Children,” she knew from the beginning that there would be children she couldn’t save; when Cora decides she needs a different direction, a different fate, a different prophecy, Miss West reluctantly agrees to transfer her to the other school, where things are run very differently by Whitethorn, the Headmaster.She will soon discover that not all doors are welcoming…
Dangerous Visions and New Worlds: Radical Science Fiction, 1950 to 1985 by Andrew Nette & Iain McIntyre
Much has been written about the “long Sixties,” the era of the late 1950s through the early 1970s. It was a period of major social change, most graphically illustrated by the emergence of liberatory and resistance movements focused on inequalities of class, race, gender, sexuality, and beyond, whose challenge represented a major shock to the political and social status quo. With its focus on speculation, alternate worlds and the future, science fiction became an ideal vessel for this upsurge of radical protest.
Dangerous Visions and New Worlds: Radical Science Fiction, 1950 to 1985 details, celebrates, and evaluates how science fiction novels and authors depicted, interacted with, and were inspired by these cultural and political movements in America and Great Britain. It starts with progressive authors who rose to prominence in the conservative 1950s, challenging the so-called Golden Age of science fiction and its linear narratives of technological breakthroughs and space-conquering male heroes. The book then moves through the 1960s, when writers, including those in what has been termed the New Wave, shattered existing writing conventions and incorporated contemporary themes such as modern mass media culture, corporate control, growing state surveillance, the Vietnam War, and rising currents of counterculture, ecological awareness, feminism, sexual liberation, and Black Power. The 1970s, when the genre reflected the end of various dreams of the long Sixties and the faltering of the postwar boom, is also explored along with the first half of the 1980s, which gave rise to new subgenres, such as cyberpunk.
Dangerous Visions and New Worlds contains over twenty chapters written by contemporary authors and critics, and hundreds of full-color cover images, including thirteen thematically organised cover selections. New perspectives on key novels and authors, such as Octavia Butler, Ursula K. Le Guin, Philip K. Dick, Harlan Ellison, John Wyndham, Samuel Delany, J.G. Ballard, John Brunner, Judith Merril, Barry Malzberg, Joanna Russ, and many others are presented alongside excavations of topics, works, and writers who have been largely forgotten or undeservedly ignored.
A Practical Guide to Conquering the World by K. J. Parker
A Practical Guide to Conquering the World can be read by itself, but for those who like endings it can also be considered the refreshingly pragmatic conclusion to World Fantasy Award-winning author K.J. Parker’s acclaimed sequence of novels that began with Sixteen Ways to Defend a Walled City and continue with How to Rule an Empire and Get Away with It. “Full of invention and ingenuity … Great fun.” — SFX This is the true story of Aemilius Felix Boioannes the younger, the intended and unintended consequences of his life, the bad stuff he did on purpose, and the good stuff that happened in spite of him.It is, in other words, the tale of a war to end all wars, and the man responsible.
Bluebird by Ciel Pieriot
Lesbian gunslinger fights spies in space!Three factions vie for control of the galaxy. Rig, a gunslinging, thieving, rebel with a cause, doesn’t give a damn about them and she hasn’t looked back since abandoning her faction three years ago. That is, until her former faction sends her a message: return what she stole from them, or they’ll kill her twin sister. Rig embarks on a journey across the galaxy to save her sister – but for once she’s not alone. She has help from her network of resistance contacts, her taser-wielding librarian girlfriend, and a mysterious bounty hunter. If Rig fails and her former faction finds what she stole from them, trillions of lives will be lost – including her sister’s. But if she succeeds, she might just pull the whole damn faction system down around their ears. Either way, she’s going to do it with panache and pizzazz.
Sundial by Catriona Ward
All Rob wanted was a normal life. She almost got it, too: a husband, two kids, a nice house in the suburbs. Far from her childhood home, Sundial, hidden deep in the wild Mojave Desert.
But beneath the veneer, Rob is terrified for her oldest daughter, Callie, who collects tiny bones and whispers to imaginary friends. Rob sees a darkness in Callie, one that reminds her too much of the family she left behind.
Running from her past has led her directly back to it — what’s buried at Sundial could never stay a secret forever, and Rob must risk one last trip out there to protect her family, and her future.
The Circus Infinite by Khan Wong
A circus takes down a crime-boss on the galaxy’s infamous pleasure moon. Hunted by those who want to study his gravity powers, Jes makes his way to the best place for a mixed-species fugitive to blend in: the pleasure moon where everyone just wants to be lost in the party. It doesn’t take long for him to catch the attention of the crime boss who owns the resort-casino where he lands a circus job, and when the boss gets wind of the bounty on Jes’ head, he makes an offer: do anything and everything asked of him or face vivisection. With no other options, Jes fulfills the requests: espionage, torture, demolition. But when the boss sets the circus up to take the fall for his about-to-get-busted narcotics operation, Jes and his friends decide to bring the mobster down. And if Jes can also avoid going back to being the prize subject of a scientist who can’t wait to dissect him? Even better.