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Books Received, November 27 — December 3

4 Dec, 2021


Last Exit

Last Exit by Max Gladstone

Ten years ago, Zelda led a band of merry adventurers whose knacks let them travel to alternate realities and battle the black rot that threatened to unmake each world. Zelda was the warrior; Ish could locate people anywhere; Ramon always knew what path to take; Sarah could turn catastrophe aside. Keeping them all connected: Sal, Zelda’s lover and the group’s heart. 

Until their final, failed mission, when Sal was lost. When they all fell apart. 

Ten years on, Ish, Ramon, and Sarah are happy and successful. Zelda is alone, always traveling, destroying rot throughout the US. 

When it boils through the crack in the Liberty Bell, the rot gives Zelda proof that Sal is alive, trapped somewhere in the alts. 

Zelda’s getting the band back together―plus Sal’s young cousin June, who has a knack none of them have ever seen before. 

As relationships rekindle, the friends begin to believe they can find Sal and heal all the worlds. It’s not going to be easy, but they’ve faced worse before. 

But things have changed, out there in the alts. And in everyone’s hearts. 

Fresh from winning the Hugo and Nebula Awards, Max Gladstone weaves elements of American myth―the muscle car, the open road, the white-hatted cowboy―into a deeply emotional tale where his characters must find their own truths if they are to survive.

Black Tide

Black Tide by KC Jones

A character-driven science fiction/horror blend, KC Jones’ Black Tide is Stephen King’s Cujo meets A Quiet Place.It was just another day at the beach. And then the world ended.Mike and Beth didn’t know each other existed before the night of the meteor shower. A melancholy film producer and a house sitter barely scraping by — chance made them neighbors, a bottle of champagne brought them together, and a shared need for human connection sparked something more.After a drunken and desperate one-night stand, the two strangers awake to discover a surprise astronomical event has left widespread destruction in its wake. But the cosmic lightshow was only part of something much bigger, and far more terrifying.When a set of lost car keys leaves them stranded on an empty stretch of Oregon coast, when their emergency calls go unanswered and inhuman screams echo from the dunes, when the rising tide reaches for their car and unspeakable horrors close in around them, these two self-destructive souls must band together to survive a nightmare of apocalyptic scale.“This is gasp-for-your-breath, peek-through-your-fingers horror, and I loved every page of it.” —Jonathan Janz, author of The Siren and the Specter 

Golden Sky Stories

Golden Sky Stories by Ryo Kamiya & Tsugihagi Honpo

Golden Sky Stories is a heartwarming, non-violent role-playing game from

Japan, by Ryo Kamiya. In this game, players take on the role of henge, 

animals that have just a little bit of magical power, including the 

ability to temporarily take on human form. You can be a fox, raccoon 

dog, cat, dog, rabbit, or bird, and each kind has their own special 

magical powers. Players will then attempt to solve problems around a 

small enchanted town with ingenuity, co-operation and friendship.


Heinlein’s Children: The Juveniles by Joseph T. Major

2007 Hugo Award finalist for Best Related Book with an introduction by Alexei Panshin

Almost half a century ago Robert A. Heinlein began writing a series of juvenile science fiction novels whose influence is still being felt. Many scientists and engineers — in the space program and elsewhere — have said those stories inspired them to commit their lives to research and technology.

The first of those books, Rocket Ship Galileo in 1947, followed the traditional pattern of juvenile fiction in those days: Three teen-age boys and the scientist uncle of one of them set out to design, build, and fly the first spaceship to the Moon. And when they get there, they discover a secret base of Nazi renegade holdouts from World War II.

Heinlein had planned this to be the first in a series about The Young Atomic Engineers. But that fell through, and starting with the second in the series, Space Cadet in 1948, the Heinlein juveniles were independent stories not connected to each other. And they do not fit into his famous Future History.”

Perhaps the most notable characteristic of the Heinlein juveniles is that they are juvenile only in that the protagonists are youngsters, usually in their late teens. (Of course, in keeping with publishers’ requirements of that time, sexual matters are either absent or very discreetly veiled.) But the stories are not in any way written down” to their young readers and can be fully enjoyed by adults. That may explain why they have worn so well — those who loved them as children find that they are just as good when reread thirty or forty years later. That’s also why they have stayed in print most of these years.

Mr. Major’s study of Heinlein’s juveniles emphasizes plot development and incident, considers what Heinlein was trying to do in each story and how well he succeeded, and also points out possible influences from other sources.

Major does not waste the reader’s time trying to deconstruct” stories to make political points about our own times. The closest he comes to that is in considering the controversy that exploded around Starship Troopers (1959) and why the book was denounced as militaristic and fascist by some critics (many of whom understood little about the military and even less about fascism). Scribner’s published the first twelve of Heinlein’s juveniles, but balked at Starship Troopers — too much red meat for young readers, apparently — so Heinlein sold the last two of his juveniles to Putnam’s.

This book is introduced by Alexei Panshin, whose own Advent books Heinlein in Dimension and SF in Dimension reflect a quite different way of analyzing the works of Robert A. Heinlein.

The Kaiju Preservation Society

The Kaiju Preservation Society by John Scalzi

The Kaiju Preservation Society is John Scalzi’s first standalone adventure since the conclusion of his New York Times bestselling Interdependency trilogy.When COVID-19 sweeps through New York City, Jamie Gray is stuck as a dead-end driver for food delivery apps. That is, until Jamie makes a delivery to an old acquaintance, Tom, who works at what he calls an animal rights organization.” Tom’s team needs a last-minute grunt to handle things on their next field visit. Jamie, eager to do anything, immediately signs on.What Tom doesn’t tell Jamie is that the animals his team cares for are not here on Earth. Not our Earth, at at least. In an alternate dimension, massive dinosaur-like creatures named Kaiju roam a warm and human-free world. They’re the universe’s largest and most dangerous panda and they’re in trouble. It’s not just the Kaiju Preservation Society whose found their way to the alternate world. Others have, too. And their carelessness could cause millions back on our Earth to die. 

Twisted tales

Twisted Tales of Holiday Horror by The Sisterhood of the Black Pen

For those who like a little scary in their merry, Twisted Tales of
Holiday Horror is an anthology of short stories released by masters of horror, The Sisterhood of the Black Pen. Featuring 10 original works, this festive fright fest is filled with delightful twists on holiday favorites that are sure to make your hot chocolate turn cold.

Where does the Christmas train really go?

Is Santa filled with good intentions?

What could go wrong when a Christmas wish comes true?

Avoid the mistletoe and beware of carolers. This isn’t a book of bedtime stories…Follow us on a twisted adventure if you dare. We’ll make sure you never look at the holidays the same way again. 

The Legacy of Molly Southbourne

The Legacy of Molly Southbourne by Tade Thompson

From Arthur C. Clarke Award-winner Tade Thompson, The Legacy of Molly Southbourne continues his chilling series.Whenever Molly Southbourne bled, a murderer was born. Deadly copies, drawn to destroy their creator, bound by a legacy of death. With the original Molly Southbourne gone, her remnants drew together, seeking safety and a chance for peace. The last Molly and her sisters built a home together, and thought they could escape the murder that marked their past.But secrets squirm in Molly Southbourne’s blood — secrets born in a Soviet lab and carried back across the Iron Curtain to infiltrate the West. What remains of the Cold War spy machine wants those secrets back, and to get them they’re willing to unearth the dead and destroy the fragile peace surrounding the last copies of Molly Southbourne.The Legacy of Molly Southbourne brings the story to a bloody end.