Books Received, January 1 — January 6
Secondhand Daylight by Eugen Bacon & Andrew Hook (October 2023)
Something is happening to Green. He is an ordinary guy, time-jumping forward at a startling, uncontainable rate. He is grappling to understand his present; his relationship is wholly tattered; his ultimate destination is a colossal question mark. Zada is a scientist in the future. She is mindful of Green’s conundrum and seeks to unravel it by going backwards in time. Can she stop him from jumping to infinity? Their point of intersection is fleeting but memorable, each one’s travel impacting the other’s past or future. And one of them doesn’t even know it yet. Secondhand Daylight is a reverse story in alternate timelines between two protagonists whose lives must one day intersect. A titillating offering from World Fantasy Award-finalist Eugen Bacon, an Otherwise Fellowships honouree for ‘doing exciting work in gender and speculative fiction’. In collaboration with three-time British Fantasy Society Award-winner Andrew Hook.
Abeni’s Song by P. Djèlí Clark (July 2023)
Abeni’s Song by award-winning author P. Djèlí Clark is the enchanting beginning of an epic West African and African Diaspora-inspired fantasy adventure for middle-grade readers about a reluctant apprentice to magic and the stolen villagers she sets out to save.
On the day of the spirits festival, the old woman who lives in the forest appears in Abeni’s village with a terrible message: You ignored my warnings. It’s too late to run. They are coming.
The old woman hasn’t come to save them, only to collect one child as payment for her years of service and protection. When warriors with burning blades storm the village and a man with a cursed flute plays an impossibly alluring song, everyone Abeni has ever known and loved is captured and marched toward far-off ghost ships set for even more distant lands.
But not Abeni. Abeni escapes the warriors in the clutches of the old woman, magically whisked into the forest away from all she’s ever known. And there she begins her unwanted magical apprenticeship, her journey to escape the witch, and her impossible mission to bring her people home.
Abeni’s Song is the beginning of a timeless, enchanting fantasy adventure about a reluctant apprentice, a team of spirit kids, and the village they set out to save from the evil Witch Priest who stole away Abeni’s people.
FIYAH No. 25 published by FIYAH Literary Magazine (January 2023)
The Iron Children by Rebecca Fraimow (April 2023)
Asher has been training her entire life to become a Sor-Commander. One day, she’ll give her soul to the gilded, mechanical body of the Sor and become a commander to a whole battalion of Dedicates. These soldiers, human bodies encased in exoskeletons, with extra arms, and telepathic subordination to the Sor-Commanders, are the only thing that’s kept the much larger Levastani army of conquest at bay for decades.
But while on a training journey, Asher and her party are attacked, and her commander is incapacitated, leaving her alone to lead the unit across a bitterly cold, unstable mountain. Worse, one of the Dedicates is not what they seem: a spy for the enemy, with their own reasons to hate their mechanical body and the people who put them in it.
To get off the mountain alive, Asher and her unit will need to decide how much they’re willing to sacrifice — and what for.