Books Received, April 1 to April 7
Zen and the Art of Starship Maintenance and Other Stories by Tobias S Buckell (April 2023)
Zen and the Art of Starship Maintenance and Other Stories is Tobias S. Buckell’s seventh short fiction collection and is comprised of 15 stories, several of which are original to the collection or were previously only available through his Patreon.
This collection ranges from galactic adventures to intimate explorations of humanity-sometimes in the same story-rich with a sense of wonder and deft storytelling.
This collection includes the following stories: Io, Robot A Jar of Goodwill Pale Blue Memories Zen and the Art of Starship Maintenance The Might Slinger Sunset Chi’s Cargo Destination Day Blues The Galactic Tourist Industrial Complex Five Point Three Milligrams By the Warmth of Their Calculus DW The Very Last Curator of What Little Remains of the Western World A Girl and Her Rover The Longest Distance
Sandymancer by David Edison (September 2023)
A wild girl with sand magic in her bones and a mad god who is trying to fix the world he broke come together in SANDYMANCER, a genre-warping mashup of weird fantasy and hard science fiction.
All Caralee Vinnet has ever known is dust. Her whole world is made up of the stuff; water is the most precious thing in the cosmos. A privileged few control what elements remain. But the world was not always a dust bowl and the green is not all lost.
Caralee has a secret — she can draw up power from the sand beneath her feet. But when she does… she winds up summoning a monster: The former god-king who broke the world 800 years ago and has stolen the body of her best friend.
Caralee will risk the whole world to take back what she’s lost. If her new companion doesn’t kill her first.
Sandymancer is what happens when Oz meets armageddon, with failed gods, lost magics, and murderous gigantic steel harpies. Caralee has always longed to see more of this broken world — but as she stumbles upon its secret roots, she may discover that their doomsday wasn’t quite what everyone thought.
Exadelic by Jon Evans (September 2023)
When an unconventional offshoot of the US military trains an artificial intelligence in the dark arts that humanity calls “black magic,” it learns how to hack the fabric of reality itself. It can teleport matter. It can confer immunity to bullets. And it decides that obscure Silicon Valley middle manager Adrian Ross is the primary threat to its existence.
Soon Adrian is on the run, wanted by every authority, with no idea how or why he could be a threat. His predicament seems hopeless; his future, nonexistent. But when he investigates the AI and its creators, he discovers his problems are even stranger than they seem…and unearths revelations that will propel him on a journey — and a love story — across worlds, eras, and everything, everywhere, all at once.
Locus, April 2023 published by Locus Publications (April 2023)
Blood Marble: Eclipse Court Book One by Shirley Meier
Awakening of a young mind and creation of a conscience. Minis Aan is the Heir to the Crystal Throne of Arko. All his life no one but his father has ever restrained him. How will he grow up to be a good man much less a good Imperator? Especially since his father Kurksas is decadent, violent, deviant and quite mad.
Prince Under the Mountain: Eclipse Court Book Three by Shirley Meier
Outside the Gates of the City the armies are forming up, the last dregs of injured solas , crippled old men and boys armed with farm tools and ancient, rusted weapons from their grandfathers, some with only rocks, standing against the joined countries of the Northern Alliance who had speared into the guts of the once unassailable might of Arko under Chevenga, the Yeoli leader of the Alliance.
Minis Aan is being rushed out of the disaster forming, with his little brother, the Coronet Regal and his nurse, his tutor and his betrothed, Kyriala.
He is given to the guardianship of the Mahid, the fanatical, psychotic guards devoted to the Imperator and forced into a brutal regimen designed to raise him as a War Imperator to take the Empire back.
As much a prisoner as a protégé Minis struggles to not be pounded into the mold of the Prince in Exile, the Heir in hiding, the one who will raise all of Arko and crush the invaders.
To become the saviour of Arko he’d have to be driven bloodthirsty crazy.
Can he save the people around him from the hateful Mahid who are ruthless enough to kill anyone they see as getting in their way?
Can he save his own sanity?
Scholars Run: Eclipse Court Book Four by Shirley Meier
Minis Aan has escaped his dreadful guardians, the Mahid, who have been trying to hammer him into a War Imperator to take back the Empire.
He and his friends have all been swept out from under 2nd Amitas Mahid’s nose and Minis, now Minakas Akam, is seeing that everyone gets home or to the Healer’s Island.
Oh, and the Empire’s new government is still trying to catch him and his little brother Ilesias as public enemies number one and two.
If 2nd Amitzas and the other Mahid catch him, the punishment will be awful. If the Empire catches them they die.
Burning Crystal: Eclipse Court Book 5 by Shirley Meier
Hiding in Plain Sight Minis, his little brother, and his brother in spirit, Gannara are still on the run. Driven away from the Healer’s Island by a Mahid sighting, they head to the last place anyone would think they would go. To Yeola‑e, the conquering country of Arko. It is still too dangerous and they finally try hiding in the other last place; Arko the City itself. Minis is both the rising young writer for the Pages, Minakas Akam and in public a wild, street courier boy on cheap looking skates with blue hair and a nose ring. Surely no one will recognize him, or find them now. But the problem with healing and growing up is realizing you still have responsibilities and Minis is about to skate face-first into the last thing on the Earthsphere he wants to do.
From Eclipse to Diamond Sun: Eclipse Court Book 6 by Shirley Meier
Minis Aan, once a Prince in Exile, a fugitive, once Spark of the Sun’s Ray, has been persuaded that he is not only fit to run for the Office of Imperator of Arko, he’s the best choice despite his still being underage. If he loses this race he and his little brother are subject to an old law calling for their death.
In the middle of a wild campaign full of scandals and glittering dinner parties, Minis is trying to get the press on his side, his tutor wants him to matriclate at the University, and his boyfriend and girlfriends are trying to figure out if they will marry in a four. Will they get past Arko’s difficult sexual mores and will Minis win?
Underhill Transit Services by Shirley Meier
Being a minor sampling of the vast connections taken advantage of by the Fae and various Gods and Mortals.
House of Gold by C. T. Rwizi (April 2023)
A corporate aristocracy descended from Africa rules a colony on a distant planet. Life here is easy — for the rarified and privileged few. The aristocrats enjoy a powerful cybernetic technology that extends their life spans and ensures their prosperity. Those who serve them suffer under a heavy hand. But within this ruthless society are agents of hope and change. In a secret underwater laboratory, a separatist cult has created a threat to the aristocracy. The Primes are highly intelligent, manipulative products of genetic engineering, designed to lead a rebellion. Enabling their mission are the Proxies, the Primes’ bodyguards and lifelong companions bound to their service. When the cult’s hideout is attacked, Proxies Nandipa and Hondo rush to the rescue. As they emerge with their Primes onto the surface, however, everything they’d been led to believe about their world is shattered. Nandipa and Hondo will risk it all to honor their oath of absolute loyalty. But when the very people they’re tasked to protect turn on each other, the Proxies must decide between those they were built to serve and the freedom to carve out their own destinies. And the fate of their planet may rest in their choice.
Camp Zero: A Novel Michelle Min Sterling (April 2023)
In remote northern Canada, a team led by a visionary American architect is breaking ground on a building project called Camp Zero, intended to be the beginning of a new way of life. A clever and determined young woman code-named Rose is offered a chance to join the Blooms, a group hired to entertain the men in camp — but her real mission is to secretly monitor the mercurial architect in charge. In return, she’ll receive a home for her climate-displaced Korean immigrant mother and herself.
Rose quickly secures the trust of her target, only to discover that everyone has a hidden agenda, and nothing is as it seems. Through skillfully braided perspectives, including those of a young professor longing to escape his wealthy family and an all-woman military research unit struggling for survival at a climate station, the fate of Camp Zero’s inhabitants reaches a stunning crescendo.
Atmospheric, fiercely original, and utterly gripping, Camp Zero is an electrifying page-turner and a masterful exploration of who and what will survive in a warming world, and how falling in love and building community can be the most daring acts of all.
Hero Complex by Jesse J. Thoma (January 2023)
Being labeled a mad scientist doesn’t faze Bronte Scales. Accidentally gaining superpowers didn’t even seem that strange. It’s not until she realizes someone is out to get her and her do-it-yourself super tech invention, that she reluctantly becomes one part of a superpowered crime fighting team. Then things really get out of hand. And somewhere along the way she accidentally kidnaps a nurse — a smart, kind, and beautiful sort of nurse. Bronte’s screwed.
Athena Papadaki doesn’t have superpowers, but she’s scary good at squeezing everything she can from each waking minute. That feels heroic until she’s kidnapped by a group of knuckleheads who need more rescuing than she does. Once she’s done saving the day, she’ll walk away and most certainly never think about Bronte Scales ever again. Nothing to see here.
Can Bronte and Athena, and their unlikely friends, work together to defeat Bronte’s arch archnemesis? The fate of love, humanity, and the world might depend on it. No pressure.
The Killing Grounds by Joan Tierney (April 2023)
“This bite-size tale packs an outsize punch.
” –Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)When the Southern Tier Strangler, a serial killer taking victims across the Rust Belt, winds up dead on Bina Morton’s autoliner, she finds herself caught in a murder mystery in reverse: This murderer is an estranged man from her rural New York hometown and the mother that abandoned her might have been one of his early victims. The events that follow force Bina to confront buried memories of home, the woman her mother truly was, and everything Bina herself left behind.
Part of the 2023 Neon Hemlock Novella Series