Bookshops & Bonedust by Travis Baldree (November 2023)
First loves. Second-hand books. Epic adventures. Viv’s career with the renowned mercenary company Rackam’s Ravens isn’t going as planned. Wounded during the hunt for a powerful necromancer, she’s packed off against her will to recuperate in the sleepy beach town of Murk — so far from the action that she worries she’ll never be able to return to it. What’s a thwarted soldier of fortune to do? Spending her hours at a struggling bookshop in the company of its foul-mouthed proprietor is the last thing Viv would have predicted. Even though it may be exactly what she needs. Still, adventure isn’t far away. A suspicious traveller in grey, a gnome with a chip on her shoulder, a summer fling and an improbable number of skeletons prove Murk to be more eventful than Viv could have ever expected. Sometimes, right things happen at the wrong time. Sometimes, what we need isn’t what we seek. And sometimes, we find ourselves in the stories we experience together. Set twenty years before the events of Legends & Lattes, Bookshops & Bonedust is a standalone cosy fantasy by BookTok sensation Travis Baldree about the power of good bookshops, great friends and the unexpected choices along the way.
The Hexologists by Josiah Bancroft (September 2023)
The Hexologists, Iz and Warren Wilby, are quite accustomed to helping desperate clients with the bugbears of city life. Aided by hexes and a bag of charmed relics, the Wilbies have recovered children abducted by chimney-wraiths, removed infestations of barb-nosed incubi, and ventured into the Gray Plains of the Unmade to soothe a troubled ghost. Well-acquainted with the weird, they never shy away from a challenging case. But when they are approached by the royal secretary and told the king pleads to be baked into a cake – going so far as to wedge himself inside a lit oven – the Wilbies soon find themselves embroiled in a mystery that could very well see the nation turned on its head. Their effort to expose a royal secret buried under forty years of lies brings them nose to nose with a violent anti-royalist gang, avaricious ghouls, alchemists who draw their power from a hell-like dimension, and a bookish dragon who only occasionally eats people. Armed with a love toughened by adversity and a stick of chalk that can conjure light from the darkness, hope from the hopeless, Iz and Warren Wilby are ready for whatever springs from the alleys, graves, and shadows next.
Godzilla and Godzilla Raids Again by Shigeru Kayama (October 2023)
The first English translations of the original novellas about the iconic kaijū Godzilla Godzilla emerged from the sea to devastate Tokyo in the now-classic 1954 film, produced by Tōhō Studios and directed by Ishirō Honda, creating a global sensation and launching one of the world’s most successful movie and media franchises. Awakened and transformed by nuclear weapons testing, Godzilla serves as a terrifying metaphor for humanity’s shortsighted destructiveness: this was the intent of Shigeru Kayama, the science fiction writer who drafted the 1954 original film and its first sequel and, in 1955, published these novellas. Although the Godzilla films have been analyzed in detail by cultural historians, film scholars, and generations of fans, Kayama’s two Godzilla novellas – both classics of Japanese young-adult science fiction – have never been available in English. This book finally provides English-speaking fans and critics the original texts with these first-ever English-language translations of Godzilla and Godzilla Raids Again. The novellas reveal valuable insights into Kayama’s vision for the Godzilla story, feature plots that differ from the films, and clearly display the author’s strong antinuclear, proenvironmental convictions. Kayama’s fiction depicts Godzilla as engaging in guerrilla-style warfare against humanity, which has allowed the destruction of the natural world through its irresponsible, immoral perversion of science. As human activity continues to cause mass extinctions and rapid climatic change, Godzilla provides a fable for the Anthropocene, powerfully reminding us that nature will fight back against humanity’s onslaught in unpredictable and devastating ways.