Books Received, October 16 — October 22
Worlds of Exile and Illusion: Rocannon’s World, Planet of Exile, City of Illusions by Ursula K. le Guin
From the multi-award-winning author of The Left Hand of Darkness and the Earthsea sequence comes this single-volume omnibus of the first three Hainish novels.Intergalactic war reaches Fomalhaut II in Rocannon’s World.Born out of season, a precocious young girl visits the alien city of the farborns and the false-men in Planet of Exile.In City of Illusions a stranger wandering in the forest people’s woods is found and his health restored; now the fate of two worlds rests in this stranger’s hands … The three novels contained in this volume are the books that launched Ursula K. Le Guin’s glittering career, and are set in the same universe as her Hugo and Nebula Award-winning classics The Left Hand of Darkness and The Dispossessed.
Cinder the Fireplace Boy by Ana Mardoll
Once upon a time there lived… a beautiful prince who kissed a frog. A cinder-smudged child who hid a secret. A princess who climbed a long braid of golden hair for love. A thumb-sized boy with the courage of a giant. And a valiant little tailor whose wit was as sharp as her needle.
These stories and many more await you in this delightful collection of classic fairy tales, lovingly retold and featuring characters who receive wonderfully queer happily-ever-afters! Let these new takes on the Brothers Grimm warm your heart and nurture your yearning to see yourself reflected in beloved favorites.
Features eight original illustrations by artist Alex Dingley.
Wild Cards XII: Turn of the Cards by Victor Milan
Rights to develop Wild Cards for TV have been acquired by Universal Cable Productions, the team that brought you The Magicians and Mr. Robot, with the co-editor of Wild Cards, Melinda Snodgrass as executive producer.Pursued by the CIA, the DEA, and the Wild Card mistress of the winds, Mistral, renegade biochemist Mark Meadows uses the three personalities buried in his psyche to outwit his pursuers. Fleeing across Europe and Asia, Mark meets a Vietnam veteran with an astounding plan — to lead an army of jokers in a war of conquest. Caught between jokers who despise him and nationalists who want him dead, Mark must decide whether to unleash his ace powers for a madman’s bloody dream, or to stay true to his peaceful ideals — and die.
The Wild Cards series goes into unexplored depths in Wild Cards XII: Turn of the Cards, a standalone novel written by award-winning author Victor Milan and edited by #1 New York Times bestselling author George R. R. Martin.
Bone Orchard by Sara A. Mueller
Sara A. Mueller’s The Bone Orchard is a fascinating whodunit set in a lush, gothic world of secrets and magic – where a dying emperor charges his favorite concubine with solving his own murder, and preventing the culprit, which undoubtedly is one of his three terrible sons, from taking control of an empire.Charm is a witch, and she is alone. The last of a line of conquered necromantic workers, now confined within the yard of regrown bone trees at Orchard House, and the secrets of their marrow.Charm is a prisoner, and a survivor. Charm tends the trees and their clattering fruit for the sake of her children, painstakingly grown and regrown with its fruit: Shame, Justice, Desire, Pride, and Pain. Charm is a whore, and a madam. The wealthy and powerful of Borenguard come to her house to buy time with the girls who aren’t real.Except on Tuesdays, which is when the Emperor himself lays claim to his mistress, Charm herself.But now – Charm is also the only person who can keep an empire together, as the Emperor summons her to his deathbed, and charges her with choosing which of his awful, faithless sons will carry on the empire — by discovering which one is responsible for his own murder.If she does this last thing, she will finally have what has been denied her since the fall of Inshil — her freedom. But she will also be betraying the ghosts past and present that live on within her heart.Charm must choose. Her dead Emperor’s will or the whispers of her own ghosts. Justice for the empire or her own revenge.
Shapers of Worlds Volume II edited by Edward Willett
Explore twenty-four imaginative tales crafted by some of today’s best writers of science fiction and fantasy, all guests on the Aurora Award-winning podcast The Worldshapers during its second year, and including several international bestsellers and winners of every major award in the field, as well as newer authors just beginning what promise to be stellar careers.A woman seeking the power to see the evil hiding within others regrets receiving it. Letters written by a wizard in the past threaten a queen’s reign in the present. Competing for Earth, a human wrestler faces an alien shapeshifter in an interstellar tournament. A guide in Tibet must weigh the good of his people when asked to lead a westerner to the fabled realm of Shangri. An activist imprisoned for illegal genetic modification works with the materials at hand and the threads of the multiverse to make the world — a world, at least — a better place. A demonic agent sent to help a human turns the tables on his summoner.Like the “cabinets of curiosities” created by collectors of the sixteenth century, Shapers of Worlds Volume II displays a varied array of thought-provoking delights: tales of humour and sorrow, darkness and light, and hope and despair that are full of adventure, full of life, and sometimes full of regret. There are stories set in alternate histories, in possible futures, near and far, and in the here-and-now, taking place on Earth, on distant planets, or in fantastic realms. All arise from the innate need of human beings to create, to imagine … to shape worlds.