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Books Received, October 26 — November 1

1 Nov, 2019


The Perfect Assassin

A novice assassin is on the hunt for someone killing their own in K. A. Doore’s The Perfect Assassin , a breakout high fantasy beginning the Chronicles of Ghadid series. Divine justice is written in blood. Or so Amastan has been taught. As a new assassin in the Basbowen family, he’s already having second thoughts about taking a life. A scarcity of contracts ends up being just what he needs. Until, unexpectedly, Amastan finds the body of a very important drum chief. Until, impossibly, Basbowen’s finest start showing up dead, with their murderous jaan running wild in the dusty streets of Ghadid. Until, inevitably, Amastan is ordered to solve these murders, before the family gets blamed. Every life has its price, but when the tables are turned, Amastan must find this perfect assassin or be their next target.

Years Best Aotearoa New Zealand Science Fiction Fantasy Volume I

The best short science fiction and fantasy published by authors from Aotearoa New Zealand in 2018, collected together for the first time.

This inaugural edition of the Year’s Best Aotearoa New Zealand Science Fiction & Fantasy brings together the very best short speculative fiction published by Kiwi authors in 2018.

Explore worlds of hope and wonder, and worlds where hope and wonder are luxuries we wasted long ago; histories given new life, and futures you might prefer to avoid.


We Feed the Bears of Fire and Ice”, by Octavia Cade (originally published in Strange Horizons)
Logistics”, by A.J. Fitzwater (originally published in Clarkesworld)
The Garden”, by Isabelle McNeur (originally published in Wizards in Space)
Trees”, by Toni Wi (originally published in Breach)
A Most Elegant Solution”, by M. Darusha Wehm (originally published in Terraform)
Mirror Mirror”, by Mark English (originally published in Abyss & Apex)
A Brighter Future”, by Grant Stone (originally published in Cthulhu: Land of the Long White Cloud (IFWG))
The People Between the Silences”, by Dave Moore (originally published in Landfall)
Common Denominator”, by Melanie Harding-Shaw (originally published in Wild Musette Journal)
The Billows of Sarto”, by Sean Monaghan (originally published in Asimov’s)
The Glassblower’s Peace”, by James Rowland (originally published in Aurealis)
Te Ika”, by J.C. Hart (originally published in Cthulhu: Land of the Long White Cloud (IFWG))
Girls Who Do Not Drown”, by Andi C. Buchanan (originally published in Apex) 

Future Lovecraft

Decades, centuries, and even thousands of years in the future: the horrors inspired by Lovecraft do not know the limits of time…or space. Journey through this anthology of science fiction stories and poems inspired by the works of H.P. Lovecraft. Listen to the stars that whisper and drive a crew mad. Worship the Tloque Nahuaque as he overtakes Mexico City. Slip into the court of the King in Yellow. Walk through the streets of a very altered Venice. Stop to admire the beauty of the flesh-dolls in the window. Fly through space in the shape of a hungry, malicious comet. Swim in the drug-induced haze of a jellyfish. Struggle to survive in a Martian gulag whose landscape isn’t quite dead.

But, most of all, fear the future!

Sword and Mythos

Aztec warriors ready for battle, intent on conquering a neighboring tribe, but different gods protect the Matlazinca. For Arthur Pendragon, the dream of Camelot has ended. What remains is a nightmarish battle against his own son, who is not quite human. Master Yue, the great swordsman, sets off to discover what happened to a hamlet that was mysteriously abandoned. He finds evil. Sunsorrow, the ancient dreaming sword, pried from the heart of the glass god, yearns for Carcosa. Fifteen writers, drawing inspiration from the pulp sub-genres of sword and sorcery and the Cthulhu Mythos, seed stories of adventure, of darkness, of magic and monstrosities. From Africa to realms of neverwhere, here is heroic fantasy with a twist.

Strange way of dying

Spanning a variety of genres — fantasy, science fiction, horror — and time periods, Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s exceptional debut collection features short stories infused with Mexican folklore yet firmly rooted in a reality that transforms as the fantastic erodes the rational. This speculative fiction compilation, lyrical and tender, quirky and cutting, weaves the fantastic and the horrific alongside the touchingly human. 

Perplexing and absorbing, the stories lift the veil of reality to expose the realms of what lies beyond with creatures that shed their skin and roam the night, vampires in Mexico City that struggle with disenchantment, an apocalypse with giant penguins, legends of magic scorpions, and tales of a ceiba tree surrounded by human skulls.

The Inhabited Island

When Maxim, a space explorer from Earth, accidentally discovers a planet inhabited by humanoids who destroy his spaceship, he thinks of himself as a modern-day Robinson Crusoe. But after his experiences in the planet’s nightmarish military and mental health facilities, he begins to realize that his sojourn on this radioactive and war-scarred world will not be a walk in the park. The Inhabited Island is one of the Strugatsky brothers’ most popular and acclaimed novels, yet the only previous English-language edition was based on a heavily censored version. Now, in a sparkling new translation by award-winning translator Andrew Bromfield, this landmark novel can be newly appreciated by both longtime Strugatsky fans and new explorers of the Russian science fiction masters’ astonishingly rich oeuvre. 

Mohs 5 5 Mega Structures

In these pages, a spectacular collection of science fiction authors — newcomers and veterans, bestsellers and debuts — clash thusly over one of Clarke’s most famous motifs: extreme feats of engineering.

Curated by Yudhanjaya Wijeratne, Mohs 5.5: Megastructures echoes a journey through hard science fiction that inspires, entertains, and, quite possibly, explores. From Sri Lanka, India, Australia, and North America come five-minutes-into-the-future efforts to detect alien life, great colonies in the void, homophobia in space, and a one-man army being endlessly 3D-printed and sent out to do battle among the stars.

Download this free glimpse into the future now and stimulate your mind.