ZERO SUM GAME by S.L. Huang

A new review over at Tor.com:

Zero Sum Game is enormously fun, with vivid, visceral action scenes and a main character who’s definitely on the darker, more scuffed end of the “moral shades of grey” spectrum. Huang’s taken liberal inspiration from old-fashioned noir as well as from superhero stories and the modern high-octane Hollywood-esque thriller to create a novel that’s a souped-up blend of all three. I really enjoyed it. I recommend it, and I’m definitely looking forward to seeing more of Huang’s work reach a wider audience.

Sleeps With Monsters: New and Upcoming Books Featuring Ladies Who Love Ladies

A new post over at Tor.com:

You may have noticed that I’m very interested in books with queer female protagonists. Everything, as a friend of mine said once, is better with lesbians—though I’d just say women who love women, myself.

I suspect some of you reading here have a degree of overlap with this interest of mine. So let me share with you some of the new and forthcoming science fiction and fantasy novels where I’m reliably informed there are queer female protagonists, and where I’m reliably informed that their queerness doesn’t end in tragedy.

EXIT STRATEGY by Martha Wells

A new review over at Tor.com:

Murderbot novellas are usually a joy to read. Exit Strategy becomes even more of a joy to read in the emotional climax and dénouement, after the shooting is done and Murderbot is putting itself back together and having conversations while the Murderbot equivalent of woozy and concussed. It nearly died. Those were some poor life choices.

THE SISTERS OF THE WINTER WOOD by Rena Rossner

A new review over at Tor.com:

The Sisters of the Winter Wood is largely measured in its pacing (one might call it slow), save for those moments where everything happens all at once. It is, perhaps, a promising debut. I wish I’d liked it more, because I really feel the genre needs more fantasy that draws on explicitly Jewish (and Muslim) backgrounds in the face of the pull that Christian soteriological and teleological influences exert on the literature of the fantastic. I hope it finds an audience.

Alas, that audience is not me.

ROSEWATER by Tade Thompson

A new review over at Tor.com:

At first glance, Rosewaters setting, its mixture of mysticism and science, and its overall themes—communication, trust, the unknowable alien and irreversible transformations—recalls the work of another award-winning author of Nigerian extraction: Nnedi Okorafor’s acclaimed Lagoon (Hodder, 2014; Saga Press, 2016). But in terms of structure, characterisation, and tone, Rosewaters an entirely different beast. It reminds me a little of Elizabeth Bear’s Jenny Casey trilogy, and a little, too, of Ian McDonald. It’s not really into soft edges.

STATE TECTONICS by Malka Older

A new review over at Tor.com:

We can play the same game of semantic nuance with the title of State Tectonics. “Tectonics” is a word for the structure and properties of the Earth’s crust and its development over time: a development that can be slow and incremental (the growth of mountain ranges, the changing shapes of continents) or provide sudden violent shocks that intrude into human experience: volcanoes and earthquakes are also the result of tectonic processes. And “state,” as a noun, can either mean a particular condition that something or someone is in at any given time, or it can refer to a political entity united under a government.

The events of State Tectonics bring all the aspects of this wordplay to the fore. Human society is never exactly static, and in State Tectonics change both incremental and shocking is underway…

Sleeps With Monsters: A Pair of Delightfully Queer Novellas

A new post over at Tor.com:

This week, I want to bring to your attention two novellas from Book Smugglers Publishing, Lena Wilson’s Accelerants and Juliet Kemp’s A Glimmer of Silver. These books are mere morsels in length—114 pages for Accelerants, 136 pages for A Glimmer of Silver—but in their different ways, they’re both very good. As well as being delightfully queer, and enjoyably compact!

Interesting links and a book to look forward to

Aliette de Bodard has a short novel in a new continuity forthcoming in October: clocking in at a little under fifty thousand words, In the Vanishers’ Palace (Kobo; Amazon; print not yet available for preorder) is a closely-observed and darkly compelling Beauty-and-the Beast retelling between a scholar and a dragon. (Both main characters are women.) I intend to review it at length in another venue, because this is a story that deserves attention: you should all keep an eye out and read it.

Melissa Caruso has a Twitter thread on chapter breaks and tension.

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js
Ann Leckie talks about taste and enjoying things.

Autostraddle, an excellent website for queer lady culture, needs more members to support its continued existence into 2019.

An older thread from Dr. Mary McAuliffe, on queer Irish women of the early 20th century. (Queer Irish female revolutionaries included.)

A Twitter thread I have been holding close to my heart:

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js
A tumblr post, likewise.

THE ACCIDENTAL WAR by Walter Jon Williams

A new post over at Tor.com:

For much of its length, The Accidental War feels more like a fantasy of manners—science fiction Regency-style—than the military space opera that I remember from Dread Empire’s Fall. Events move with measured inevitability. Tension lies more in social invitations and sporting events, in who goes where and who knows what when than in action and shooting. But this slow build is entirely worthwhile.

 

TERRA NULLIUS by Claire G. Coleman

A new post over at Tor.com:

Terra Nullius is a tremendously accomplished book. It’s Claire G. Coleman’s first novel, and since its 2017 publication in Australia, it’s been shortlisted for several awards and won at least two. Coleman is an indigenous Australian Noongar woman, and Terra Nullius is a story about settlement, about cultural erasure, genocide, exploitation, suffering.

Sleeps With Monsters: Spec-Fic Romances With Ladies Who Love Ladies

A new column over at Tor.com:

I’m glad that queer protagonists are becoming easier to find in the offerings of traditional SFF publishers (Angry Robot has done quite an interesting lot this year, and I can count volumes from Tor, Saga, Harper Voyager, Orbit, Ace, and Solaris/Rebellion without having to strain my memory), because in general, one has to grade fiction from the lesbian romance small presses on a curve. And sometimes you don’t want to be locked in to a romantic arc. But when you do want an SFF romance between ladies? There are three solid and fun books out from Bold Strokes Books this September and October.

MOTHER OF INVENTION edited by Rivqa Rafael and Tansy Rayner Roberts

A new review over at Tor.com:

Above all else, the word that might characterise this anthology is diverse. It collects a diverse range of authorial voices, and presents a diverse set of stories and storytelling approaches. In places it’s queer and post-colonial (and sometimes anti-colonial), but a commitment to inclusion is visible in its arrangement—as is a commitment to showcasing really good fiction. For the most part, even the stories that didn’t wow me are still very good.

Sleeps With Monsters: Inclusive SF We All Deserve

A new column over at Tor.com:

I finished reading T.J. Berry’s debut novel, Space Unicorn Blues, and said to myself (and several other people): “Maybe Angry Robot Books is becoming the publisher of queer, feminist, sometimes-angry, sometimes-funny, anti-imperialist novels that we didn’t know we deserved.” Because Berry’s Space Unicorn Blues can join a list that includes (in the UK, at least) Kameron Hurley’s The Stars Are Legion, Tim Pratt’s The Wrong Stars, Foz Meadows’ An Accident of Stars and A Tyranny of Queens, and Jeannette Ng’s Under the Pendulum Sun, and it stands up very well in this company.

Sleeps With Monsters: Uplifting Post-apocalypses from Carrie Vaughn

A new column over at Tor.com:

These are gorgeous books. Told from Enid’s perspective, written in spare and compelling prose, they are quiet, introspective murder mysteries, deeply invested in ethics and in kindness. Kindness, in fact, lies at their heart—and the push-pull of the best, and the worst, impulses of humanity as they go about their daily life. Enid represents some of the best, in her quiet, staid, determined, unshowy fashion, and the depth of her character is what makes these novels truly shine.

Sleeps With Monsters: Astronaut Ladies

A new column over at Tor.com:

The simplest way to describe Mary Robinette Kowal’s The Calculating Stars and its sequel, The Fated Sky, is as an alternative history of the American space programme. But that’s not all it is: it’s a story about a young Jewish woman with an anxiety disorder using all the tools at her disposal to gain a place for herself in the astronaut programme, and building coalitions with other women to bring them with her.

TEMPER by Nicky Drayden

A new review over at Tor.com:

Temper is Nicky Drayden’s second novel. Her first novel, The Prey of Gods, was a weird and inventive thriller that combined fantasy and science fictional elements. Temper is a standalone work in a new setting, one that involves fantasy, religion, and a touch of steampunk SF. This review will contain spoilers, because there’s absolutely no way to talk about even half of this book without them—much less the more interesting half.