Upcoming: CERTAIN DARK THINGS by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (Tor Nightfire)

MorenoGarciaS-CertainDarkThings2021Next month, Tor Books are reissuing Silvia Morena-Garcia‘s The Beautiful Ones; in August, Del Rey are due to publish Velvet Was the Night. Fans of Moreno-Garcia’s work can look forward to yet another new book this year: in September, Certain Dark Things is also due to be re-issued! The stunning North American cover for this “pulse-pounding neo-noir that reimagines vampire lore” was unveiled earlier today by Night Worms. Really looking forward to reading this. Here’s the synopsis:

Welcome to Mexico City, an oasis in a sea of vampires. Domingo, a lonely garbage-collecting street kid, is just trying to survive its heavily policed streets when a jaded vampire on the run swoops into his life. Atl, the descendant of Aztec blood drinkers, is smart, beautiful, and dangerous. Domingo is mesmerized.

Atl needs to quickly escape the city, far from the rival narco-vampire clan relentlessly pursuing her. Her plan doesn’t include Domingo, but little by little, Atl finds herself warming up to the scrappy young man and his undeniable charm. As the trail of corpses stretches behind her, local cops and crime bosses both start closing in.

Vampires, humans, cops, and criminals collide in the dark streets of Mexico City. Do Atl and Domingo even stand a chance of making it out alive? Or will the city devour them all?

Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s Certain Dark Things is due to be published on September 7th, by Tor Nightfire (North America), and Jo Fletcher Books (UK — I’ll add the cover when it’s available).

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Upcoming: THE LIBRARY OF THE DEAD by T.L. Huchu (Tor Books)

HuchuTL-EN1-LibraryOfTheDeadUSI think I first heard of T. L. Huchu‘s upcoming debut novel, The Library of the Dead, after Ben Aaronovitch blurbed it. The first in a new series, Edinburgh Nights, it looks like a great new urban fantasy series that I’m very much looking forward to trying. I’m particularly looking forward to the Edinburgh setting — I haven’t read much (urban) fantasy set there. Pitched as “Sixth Sense meets Stranger Things“, here’s the synopsis:

A sharp contemporary fantasy following a precocious and cynical teen as she explores the shadowy magical underside of modern Edinburgh.

WHEN GHOSTS TALK
SHE WILL LISTEN

HuchuTL-EN1-LibraryOfTheDeadUKRopa dropped out of school to become a ghostalker – and they sure do love to talk. Now she speaks to Edinburgh’s dead, carrying messages to those they left behind. A girl’s gotta earn a living, and it seems harmless enough. Until, that is, the dead whisper that someone’s bewitching children – leaving them husks, empty of joy and strength. It’s on Ropa’s patch, so she feels honor-bound to investigate. But what she learns will rock her world.

Ropa will dice with death as she calls on Zimbabwean magic and Scottish pragmatism to hunt down clues. And although underground Edinburgh hides a wealth of dark secrets, she also discovers an occult library, a magical mentor and some unexpected allies.

Yet as shadows lengthen, will the hunter become the hunted?

T.L. Huchu’s The Library of the Dead is due to be published by Tor Books in North America (June 1st) and in the UK (February 4th).

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Upcoming: THE EMPIRE’S RUIN by Brian Staveley (Tor Books)

StaveleyB-AotUT1-EmpiresRuinUSHCBrian Staveley’s debut novel, The Emperor’s Blades, was one of the best fantasy debuts I’d read in a long while: an engaging new world, some great characters, and superb writing, I started the follow-up immediately after finishing the first (something I haven’t done very often, when it comes to fantasy series). This year, readers will finally get to read Staveley’s new novel, The Empire’s Ruin. The first in a new series, Ashes of the Unhewn Throne, it picks up the story after the end of The Last Mortal Bond. I’m really looking forward to reading this. Here’s the synopsis:

The Annurian Empire is disintegrating. The advantages it used for millennia have fallen to ruin. The ranks of the Kettral have been decimated from within, and the kenta gates, granting instantaneous travel across the vast lands of the empire, can no longer be used.

In order to save the empire, one of the surviving Kettral must voyage beyond the edge of the known world through a land that warps and poisons all living things to find the nesting ground of the giant war hawks. Meanwhile, a monk turned con-artist may hold the secret to the kenta gates.

But time is running out. Deep within the southern reaches of the empire and ancient god-like race has begun to stir.

What they discover will change them and the Annurian Empire forever. If they can survive.

Brian Staveley’s The Empire’s Ruin is due to be published by Tor Books in North America, on July 6th, 2021. (I couldn’t find any details about a UK edition, but the author’s Chronicles of the Unhewn Throne trilogy was published by Tor UK, so I assume it’ll be them again.)

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Upcoming: THE BEAUTIFUL ONES by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (Tor Books)

MorenoGarciaS-BeautifulOnesUS2021With the considerable (and deserved) success of Silvia Moreno-Garcia‘s Mexican Gothic, Tor Books are due to re-issue the author’s earlier novel The Beautiful Ones. First published in 2017, by Thomas Dunne, I think a lot of fans of the author’s latest hit novel will enjoy this one as well. Check out the synopsis:

They are the Beautiful Ones, Loisail’s most notable socialites, and this spring is Nina’s chance to join their ranks, courtesy of her well-connected cousin and his calculating wife. But the Grand Season has just begun, and already Nina’s debut has gone disastrously awry. She has always struggled to control her telekinesis — neighbors call her the Witch of Oldhouse — and the haphazard manifestations of her powers make her the subject of malicious gossip.

When entertainer Hector Auvray arrives to town, Nina is dazzled. A telekinetic like her, he has traveled the world performing his talents for admiring audiences. He sees Nina not as a witch, but ripe with potential to master her power under his tutelage. With Hector’s help, Nina’s talent blossoms, as does her love for him.

But great romances are for fairytales, and Hector is hiding a truth from Nina — and himself—that threatens to end their courtship before it truly begins.

The Beautiful Ones is a charming tale of love and betrayal, and the struggle between conformity and passion, set in a world where scandal is a razor-sharp weapon.

Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s The Beautiful Ones is due to be published by Tor Books in North America, on May 11th, 2021. I couldn’t find a new UK listing, but I’m sure one will be along shortly — Mexican Gothic and Gods of Jade and Shadow were both published by Jo Fletcher Books in the UK, so maybe them. In September, Tor Nightfire are due to re-issue the author’s 2016 novel, Certain Dark Things (no cover, yet).

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Upcoming: FURIOUS HEAVEN by Kate Elliott (Ad Astra)

ElliottK-2-FuriousHeavenUKIn 2021, Ad Astra are due to publish Furious Heaven, the sequel to Kate Elliott’s acclaimed Unconquerable Sun. A space opera trilogy inspired by the life of Alexander The Great, it has plenty of “non-stop action, space battles and intrigue”. While I still have to get caught up on the first novel, I’m really looking forward to reading them both. Here’s the synopsis for the second novel:

The Republic of Chaonia fleets under the joint command of Princess Sun and her formidable mother, Queen-Marshal Eirene, have defeated and driven out an invading fleet of the Phene Empire, although not without heavy losses. But the Empire remains strong and undeterred. While Chaonia scrambles to rebuild its military, the Empire’s rulers are determined to squash Chaonia once and for all by any means necessary.

On the eve of Eirene’s bold attack on the rich and populous Karnos System, an unexpected tragedy strikes the republic. Sun must take charge or lose the throne. Will Sun be content with the pragmatic path laid out by her mother for Chaonia’s future? Or will she forge her own legend despite all the forces arrayed against her?

Kate Elliott’s Furious Heaven is due to be published by Ad Astra in the UK (September 1st). The first novel was published in North America by Tor Books, so I guess the second novel will be as well (no details at time of writing, though).

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Upcoming: THE BLACKTONGUE THIEF by Christopher Buehlman (Tor Books/Gollancz)

BuehlmanC-1-BlacktongueThiefUSI spotted this book in a catalogue a long time ago. The synopsis caught my eye, and I made a note of it. Recently(ish), the publisher unveiled the eye-catching cover, and my interest was further increased. Christopher Buehlman‘s first foray into fantasy, “Set in a world of goblin wars, stag-sized battle ravens, and assassins who kill with deadly tattoos”, here’s the synopsis for The Blacktongue Thief:

Kinch Na Shannack owes the Takers Guild a small fortune for his education as a thief, which includes (but is not limited to) lock-picking, knife-fighting, wall-scaling, fall-breaking, lie-weaving, trap-making, plus a few small magics. His debt has driven him to lie in wait by the old forest road, planning to rob the next traveler that crosses his path.

But today, Kinch Na Shannack has picked the wrong mark.

Galva is a knight, a survivor of the brutal goblin wars, and handmaiden of the goddess of death. She is searching for her queen, missing since a distant northern city fell to giants.

Unsuccessful in his robbery and lucky to escape with his life, Kinch now finds his fate entangled with Galva’s. Common enemies and uncommon dangers force thief and knight on an epic journey where goblins hunger for human flesh, krakens hunt in dark waters, and honor is a luxury few can afford.

The Blacktongue Thief is due to be published in North America by Tor Books (May 25th) and by Gollancz in the UK (May 27th)

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Upcoming: THE LAST WATCH by J.S. Dewes (Tor Books)

DewesJS-D1-LastWatchUSFirst spotted this when the cover was revealed earlier this week. Then I did some digging, and think The Last Watch by J.S. Dewes sounds rather interesting. The first novel in the Divide series, it’s pitched as a space adventure that is like “The Expanse meets Game of Thrones“, I’m looking forward to giving it a try:

The Divide.

It’s the edge of the universe.

Now it’s collapsing — and taking everyone and everything with it.

The only ones who can stop it are the Sentinels — the recruits, exiles, and court-martialed dregs of the military.

At the Divide, Adequin Rake, commanding the Argus, has no resources, no comms — nothing, except for the soldiers that no one wanted.

They’re humanity’s last chance.

J.S. Dewes’s The Last Watch is due to be published by Tor Books in North America and in the UK, on April 20th, 2021.

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Interview with MARIE BRENNAN

BrennanM-AuthorPicWelcome back to CR! It’s been a little while, so let’s start with an introduction for new readers: Who is Marie Brennan?

Well, at one point I wound up calling myself “an anthropological compost heap from which stories sprout,” which might be as good a description of my writing as any. I’m a fantasy novelist and short story writer (and occasional game writer, too), with an academic background in anthropology, archaeology, and folklore, which leaves its fingerprints all over my work.

Your new novel, Driftwood, will be published soon by Tachyon. It looks really interesting: How would you introduce it to a potential reader?

The tagline is “where worlds go to die,” but that sounds a little grim, doesn’t it? Driftwood is a setting composed of the fragments of broken worlds, brought together by some unknown force. Driftwood the novel is a fix-up of short stories previously written in that setting, with a new novelette and a frame story to link all the pieces together. If you feel like there might be a thematic connection between the setting and the form of the novel, well, you’re not wrong! Continue reading

Interview with K.A. DOORE

DooreKA-AuthorPicLet’s start with an introduction: Who is K.A. Doore?

Three gators in a plaid twirly dress. With pockets, of course.

Aside from that – and a ton of moisturizer – I’m a mom, a runner, a reader, a weightlifter, an eLearning designer, a random facts generator, a coffee aficionado, an occasionally comforting voice from the Void, an erstwhile Classicist, a spider wrangler, and – yes, of course – a writer.

I also yell about queer books on Twitter. A lot. God, I love queer books.

The third novel in your Chronicles of Ghadid series, The Unconquered City is due to be published by Tor Books in June. How would you introduce the series to a potential reader? And what can fans of the series expect from the new novel?

The Chronicles of Ghadid are three books of non-stop queer assassins saving the day. It begins with quiet and bookish Amastan trying to solve a hometown murder and ends with an invasion of a country and the end of the world (as we know it). Continue reading

Upcoming: THE ECHO WIFE by Sarah Gailey (Tor Books)

GaileyS-EchoWifeUSSarah Gailey is already well-known for their interesting genre-mash-ups: the weird-west novellas published by Tor.com (the American Hippo duology and Upright Women Wanted), and the urban fantasy-noir-mystery novel Magic for Liars. Populated with interesting and engaging characters, intriguing twists on genre staples, and well-written, I’ve enjoyed everything of theirs that I’ve read so far (although, I’ve fallen a bit behind on my reviews…).

In February, Tor Books is due to publish the author’s next genre-straddling novel, The Echo Wife. This novel, which is pitched as “perfect for fans of Big Little Lies and Killing Eve” has a little bit of sci-fi thrown in as well, and I think it sounds fascinating:

Evelyn Caldwell’s husband Nathan has been having an affair — with Evelyn Caldwell.

Or, to be exact, with Martine, a genetically cloned replica made from Evelyn’s own award-winning research.

But that wasn’t even the worst part.

When they said all happy families are alike, I don’t think this is what they meant…

Really looking forward to reading this! The Echo Wife is due to be published by Tor Books in North America and in the UK, on February 16th, 2021.

Also on CR: Interview with Sarah Gailey (2017); Review of River of Teeth

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