Upcoming: TO BE TAUGHT, IF FORTUNATE by Becky Chambers (Voyager / Hodder)

ChambersB-ToBeTaughtIfFortunate

Above you can see the North American and UK covers for To Be Taught, If Fortunate, the upcoming new novella by Becky Chambers. Chambers is the critically-acclaimed author of the Wayfarer sci-fi series. This novella is a stand-alone, and one that sounds really interesting:

At the turn of the twenty-second century, scientists make a breakthrough in human spaceflight. Through a revolutionary method known as somaforming, astronauts can survive in hostile environments off Earth using synthetic biological supplementations. They can produce antifreeze in subzero temperatures, absorb radiation and convert it for food, and conveniently adjust to the pull of different gravitational forces. With the fragility of the body no longer a limiting factor, human beings are at last able to journey to neighboring exoplanets long known to harbor life.

A team of these explorers, Ariadne O’Neill and her three crewmates, are hard at work in a planetary system fifteen light-years from Sol, on a mission to ecologically survey four habitable worlds. But as Ariadne shifts through both form and time, the culture back on Earth has also been transformed. Faced with the possibility of returning to a planet that has forgotten those who have left, Ariadne begins to chronicle the story of the wonders and dangers of her mission, in the hope that someone back home might still be listening.

To Be Taught, If Fortunate is due to be published in North America by Voyager (September 3rd), and in the UK by Hodder (August 8th). I’m really looking forward to reading this one.

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads

Upcoming: THE RUTHLESS by Peter Newman (Voyager)

NewmanP-D2-RuthlessUKFor some reason, I missed this series when the first book was published, but I find myself intrigued. The Ruthless, sequel to Peter Newman‘s The Deathless, is due to be published by Voyager in June 2019. The series has a new cover style, too, which I really like: it’s much more eye-catching than the original cover. Here’s the synopsis for The Ruthless:

Are you ready to return to The Wild?

Return to a world of crystal armour, savage wilderness, and corrupt dynasties.

That’s… not especially illuminating. So, here’s the synopsis for The Deathless, which gives us a bit more about the world/series:

The demons…

In the endless forests of the Wild, humanity scratches a living by the side of the great Godroads, paths of crystal that provide safe passage and hold back the infernal tide. Creatures lurk within the trees, watching, and plucking those who stray too far from safety.

The Deathless…

NewmanP-1-DeathlessUKPBIn crystal castles held aloft on magical currents, seven timeless royal families reign, protecting humanity from the spread of the Wild and its demons. Born and reborn into flawless bodies, the Deathless are as immortal as the precious stones from which they take their names. For generations a fragile balance has held.

And the damned…

House Sapphire, one of the ancient Deathless families, is riven by suspicion and madness. Whole villages are disappearing as the hunting expeditions holding the Wild at bay begin to fail.

Then, when assassins strike, House Sapphire shatters.

Nothing lasts forever.

The paperback edition of The Deathless is due to be published by Voyager on May 2nd.

Also on CR: Interview with Peter Newman (2015)

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads, Twitter

Upcoming: RULE OF CAPTURE by Christopher Brown (Voyager)

BrownC-RuleToCaptureIn 2017, Voyager published Christopher Brown‘s thought-provoking debut novel, Tropic of Kansas. I rather enjoyed that novel, and have been keeping my eyes open for news of the author’s next book. In August 2019, Voyager are due to publish Rule to Capture. It is described as “Better Call Saul meets Nineteen Eighty-Four“, which is certainly intriguing. It is also the first in a new series of legal thrillers set in the same dystopian world as Tropic of Kansas. Here’s the synopsis:

Defeated in a devastating war with China, America is on the brink of a bloody civil war. Seizing power after a controversial election, the ruling regime has begun cracking down on dissidents fighting the nation’s slide toward dictatorship. For Donny Kimoe, chaos is good for business. He’s a lawyer who makes his living defending enemies of the state.

His newest client, young filmmaker Xelina Rocafuerte, witnessed the murder of an opposition leader and is now accused of terrorism. To save her from the only sentence worse than death, Donny has to extract justice from a system that has abandoned the rule of law. That means breaking the rules — and risking the same fate as his clients.

When Donny bungles Xelina’s initial hearing, he has only days to save the young woman from being transferred to a detention camp from which no one returns. His only chance of winning is to find the truth — a search that begins with the opposition leader’s death and leads to a dark conspiracy reaching the highest echelons of power.

Now, Donny isn’t just fighting for his client’s life — he’s battling for his own. But as the trial in the top secret court begins, Xelina’s friends set into motion a revolutionary response that could destroy the case. And when another case unexpectedly collides with Xelina’s, Donny uncovers even more devastating secrets, knowledge that will force him to choose between saving one client… or the future of the entire country.

Rule to Capture is due to be published by Voyager in North America and in the UK, in August 2019.

Also on CR: Review of Tropic of Kansas

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads, Twitter

Upcoming: THE HOUND OF JUSTICE by Claire O’Dell (Voyager)

ODellC-JWC2-HoundOfJusticeClaire O’Dell‘s sci-fi take on Holmes and Watson return in the follow-up to the critically-acclaimed A Study in Honor. I’ve heard really good things about the series, but have yet to read the first novel (so many new series, so little time…). The Hound of Justice is due to be released in July 2019, though, so I have plenty of time to get caught up. Here’s the synopsis:

Dr. Janet Watson and former covert agent Sarah Holmes continue their dangerous investigation into the new American Civil War with the help of fresh allies, advanced technology, and brilliant deduction in this superb reimagining of Sherlock Holmes.

It’s been two months since Dr. Janet Watson accepted an offer from Georgetown University Hospital. The training for her new high-tech arm is taking longer than expected, however, leaving her in limbo. Meanwhile, her brilliant friend and compatriot, Sara Holmes, has been placed on leave — punishment for going rogue during their previous adventure. Neither is taking their situation very well.

Then an extremist faction called the Brotherhood of Redemption, based in the New Confederacy, launches an assassination attempt on the president. The attempt fails but causes mass destruction — fifty dead and hundreds more injured, and Holmes takes on the task of investigating the Brotherhood.

Holmes is making progress when she abruptly disappears. Watson receives a mysterious message from Holmes’s cousin Micha and learns that her friend has quit the service and is operating in the shadows, investigating clues that link the Brotherhood to Adler Industries.

She needs a surgeon, Micha tells Watson. She needs you.

Reunited once more, Dr. Watson, Holmes, and Micha embark on a mission through the deep South to clear Holmes’s name, thwart the Brotherhood’s next move, and most important, bring their nemesis to justice for the atrocities she’s committed in the New Civil War.

The Hound of Justice is due to be published by Harper Voyager in North America and in the UK, in July 2019.

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads, Twitter

Upcoming: THE GRAND DARK by Richard Kadrey (Voyager)

KadreyR-GrandDarkUSWell, that cover is rather fantastic. I’d spotted the synopsis for this novel a short while before the cover was unveiled, and my interest has only grown with that gorgeous cover. I know, “don’t judge a book by its cover” — I’m not, really, as I’m already a big fan of Richard Kadrey‘s novels, and have routinely recommended and cheered each and every new novel he’s written and had published. (Shamefully, that hasn’t stopped me from falling behind…) The Grand Dark is “a lush, dark, stand-alone fantasy… a subversive tale that immerses us in a world where the extremes of bleakness and beauty exist together in dangerous harmony in a city on the edge of civility and chaos.” That sounds pretty intriguing! It has also been described as akin to the work of China Miéville and M. John Harrison. Here’s the full synopsis:

The Great War is over. The city of Lower Proszawa celebrates the peace with a decadence and carefree spirit as intense as the war’s horrifying despair. But this newfound hedonism — drugs and sex and endless parties — distracts from strange realities of everyday life: Intelligent automata taking jobs. Genetically engineered creatures that serve as pets and beasts of war. A theater where gruesome murders happen twice a day. And a new plague that even the ceaseless euphoria can’t mask.

Unlike others who live strictly for fun, Largo is an addict with ambitions. A bike messenger who grew up in the slums, he knows the city’s streets and its secrets intimately. His life seems set. He has a beautiful girlfriend, drugs, a chance at a promotion — and maybe, an opportunity for complete transformation: a contact among the elite who will set him on the course to lift himself up out of the streets.

But dreams can be a dangerous thing in a city whose mood is turning dark and inward. Others have a vision of life very different from Largo’s, and they will use any methods to secure control. And in behind it all, beyond the frivolity and chaos, the threat of new war always looms.

The Grand Dark is due to be published by Voyager in North America and in the UK, on June 11th, 2019. That’s quite a long wait, but it does mean I’ll have time to get caught up on the excellent, highly-recommended Sandman Slim series.

Also on CR: Reviews of Sandman SlimKill the DeadAloha From HellDevil in the Dollhouse, Devil Said Bang and Kill City Blues.

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads, Twitter

Upcoming: THE DRAGON REPUBLIC by R.F. Kuang (Voyager)

KuangRF-2-DragonRepublicIn May 2019, Voyager are due to publish The Dragon Republic, the follow-up to R.F. Kuang‘s critically-acclaimed debut, The Poppy War. I read the first novel a while ago, but I’ve been struggling to write the review: I enjoyed the novel, and the characters were interesting. The clear borrowing from Chinese history was a little distracting, at times, for this reader (I’ve studied and written about East Asia for 20 years), but it was also well-done. The echoes and influence of the Rape of Nanking were harrowing and difficult to read. I’ll try to get something up on the site soon. If you’re interested in reading a fantasy novel that doesn’t pull any punches, does some interesting things with magic and world-building, though, then I think you’ll get a lot out of it. (It took a little while to get going, too, but it was always interesting.)

Anyway. I’m certainly looking forward to reading the sequel. I spotted the cover on Amazon UK yesterday. Here’s the synopsis:

In the aftermath of the Third Poppy War, shaman and warrior Rin is on the run: haunted by the atrocity she committed to end the war, addicted to opium, and hiding from the murderous commands of her vengeful god, the fiery Phoenix. Her only reason for living is to get revenge on the traitorous Empress who sold out Nikan to their enemies.

With no other options, Rin joins forces with the powerful Dragon Warlord, who has a plan to conquer Nikan, unseat the Empress, and create a new Republic. Rin throws herself into his war. After all, making war is all she knows how to do.

But the Empress is a more powerful foe than she appears, and the Dragon Warlord’s motivations are not as democratic as they seem. The more Rin learns, the more she fears her love for Nikan will drive her away from every ally and lead her to rely more and more on the Phoenix’s deadly power. Because there is nothing she won’t sacrifice for her country and her vengeance…

The Dragon Republic is due to be published by Voyager in North America and in the UK, in May 2019.

Also on CR: Interview with R.F. Kuang (2018)

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads, Twitter

Interview with R.F. KUANG

KuangRF-AuthorPicLet’s start with an introduction: Who is R.F. Kuang?

Me! I just graduated from Georgetown with a degree in International History. Next year I’ll be studying Chinese history on a Marshall Scholarship at Cambridge. I love corgis a lot.

Your debut novel, The Poppy War, was recently published by Voyager. How would you introduce it to a potential reader? Is it part of a series?

It’s like Avatar: The Last Airbender-meets-Ender’s Game, except the main character is Azula and everyone is on drugs. It’s the first of a trilogy. Continue reading