Hey, lovely people. How are you doing?
No Really. It is a hard question right now for most people. On one hand, if you are reading this you are probably healthy, not sick, and holding it together, but on the other you are probably a lot like me: six minutes to midnight or one new travesty to send me over the edge into the depression abyss. It is a precarious and uncomfortable line.
I live in the US, and if you have been following the news, you have seen our death toll and cases mounting. It isn’t that bad everywhere, but it is bad in enough places that it seems like it is bad everywhere. All I know is that we as a species are trapped inside, and are watching the world through our collective windows and peepholes.
How does that relate to reading, because as you know, this blog is the space where I glory in all things books and writing?
I have found that because of my baseline anxiety and mental health, reading has been harder for me, and I have a feeling that it has been very hard for a lot of you. Things that we once used as a mode of self-care or relaxation have been more challenging to do. I am coming out of it and accepting my new, if hopefully temporary normal. But, it seems like a slow process.
What I found to be very funny when I was recently going through my HUGE TBR for the year is that I noticed how many dystopias and apocalyptic fictions I had to read for the year. I joked with my family that if I tried to read some of the speculative fiction books I had lined up for the next few months, I was going to end up walking around in a sign that read “The End is Nigh” like Homer Simpson.
I do have some fun books, non-dystopias, lined up for the rest of the month, plus some very, very cool book hauls. Here is the book haul from the last few weeks. I went a tad overboard. teehee
Embers of War by Gareth L. Powell
The warship Trouble Dog was built and bred for calculating violence, yet following a brutal war, she finds herself disgusted by conflict and her role in a possible war crime. Seeking to atone, she joins the House of Reclamation, an organisation dedicated to rescuing ships in distress.
But, stripped of her weaponry and emptied of her officers, she struggles in the new role she’s chosen for herself. When a ship goes missing in a disputed system, Trouble Dog and her new crew of misfits and loners, captained by Sal Konstanz, an ex-captain of a medical frigate who once fought against Trouble Dog, are assigned to investigate and save whoever they can.
Meanwhile, light years away, intelligence officer Ashton Childe is tasked with locating and saving the poet, Ona Sudak, who was aboard the missing ship, whatever the cost. In order to do this, he must reach out to the only person he considers a friend, even if he’s not sure she can be trusted. What Childe doesn’t know is that Sudak is not the person she appears to be.
Quickly, what appears to be a straightforward rescue mission turns into something far more dangerous, as Trouble Dog, Konstanz and Childe, find themselves at the centre of a potential new conflict that could engulf not just mankind but the entire galaxy.
If she is to survive and save her crew, Trouble Dog is going to have to remember how to fight.
Resist: Tales from a Future Worth Fighting Against by Hugh Howey
The arc of history is unpredictable, and no one knows where it’s headed. But that’s never stopped speculative fiction writers from shouting out a warning.
Join twenty-seven of today’s top science fiction authors as they write about possible tomorrows we hope to avoid, drawing on challenges taken from today’s headlines. Hugo and Nebula Award winners, New York Times best sellers, and some of the hottest names in Hollywood all come together to share tales from a future worth fighting against.
This is a project of passion for all involved. We hope that passion is evident and contagious. At least 50% of each sale of this anthology will go to the ACLU. To learn more about their mission, go to www.aclu.org.
Welcome to the Resistance.
With stories by:
Charlie Jane Anders
C. Robert Cargill
Delilah S. Dawson
Troy L. Wiggins
Daniel H. Wilson
Monstress Volume 1: Awakening by Marjorie M. Liu
Set in an alternate matriarchal 1900’s Asia, in a richly imagined world of art deco-inflected steam punk, MONSTRESS tells the story of a teenage girl who is struggling to survive the trauma of war, and who shares a mysterious psychic link with a monster of tremendous power, a connection that will transform them both and make them the target of both human and otherworldly powers. Collects MONSTRESS #1-6
Daughter of Chaos (The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina #2) by Sarah Rees Brennan
Half-witch, half-mortal sixteen-year-old Sabrina Spellman has made her choice: She’s embraced her dark side and her witchy roots. Now her power is growing daily… but will it come at too high a price?
Sabrina Spellman has just made the hardest decision of her life: She’s leaving behind her beloved friends at Baxter High. Now it’s time to follow the path of night and find her way among the witches and warlocks at the Academy of Unseen Arts.
Sabrina has always been good at the school thing, but now she has a whole new world to navigate. Her power is growing daily, but it comes with a high price. She must always remember her new allegiances and the cost they have on her friends… and on herself.
And then there’s her new classmates. Prudence, Dorcas, and Agatha are friends, kind of, but can Sabrina trust them? And what about Nick Scratch? He’s as charming as ever, but will his feelings for Sabrina last?
Based on the hit Netflix show, this original YA novel tells an all-new, original story about Sabrina
Robogenesis (Robopocalypse #2) by Daniel H. Wilson
The stunningly creative, epic sequel to Wilson’s blockbuster thriller and New York Times bestseller Robopocalypse
“The machine is still out there. Still alive.”
Humankind had triumphed over the machines. At the end of Robopocalypse, the modern world was largely devastated, humankind was pressed to the point of annihilation, and the earth was left in tatters . . . but the master artificial intelligence presence known as Archos had been killed.
In Robogenesis, we see that Archos has survived. Spread across the far reaches of the world, the machine code has fragmented into millions of pieces, hiding and regrouping. In a series of riveting narratives, Robogenesis explores the fates of characters new and old, robotic and human, as they fight to build a new world in the wake of a devastating war. Readers will bear witness as survivors find one another, form into groups, and react to a drastically different (and deadly) technological landscape. All the while, the remnants of Archos’s shattered intelligence are seeping deeper into new breeds of machines, mounting a war that will not allow for humans to win again.
Daniel H. Wilson makes a triumphant return to the apocalyptic world he created, for an action-filled, raucous, very smart thrill ride about humanity and technology pushed to the tipping point
Horrorstor by Grasy Hendrix
Something strange is happening at the Orsk furniture superstore in Cleveland, Ohio. Every morning, employees arrive to find broken Kjerring bookshelves, shattered Glans water goblets, and smashed Liripip wardrobes. Sales are down, security cameras reveal nothing, and store managers are panicking.
To unravel the mystery, three employees volunteer to work a nine-hour dusk-till-dawn shift. In the dead of the night, they’ll patrol the empty showroom floor, investigate strange sights and sounds, and encounter horrors that defy the imagination.
A traditional haunted house story in a thoroughly contemporary setting, Horrorstör comes packaged in the form of a glossy mail order catalog, complete with product illustrations, a home delivery order form, and a map of Orsk’s labyrinthine showroom.
No Time to Spare by Ursula K. LeGuin
From acclaimed author Ursula K. Le Guin, and with an introduction by Karen Joy Fowler, a collection of thoughts—always adroit, often acerbic—on aging, belief, the state of literature, and the state of the nation.
Ursula K. Le Guin has taken readers to imaginary worlds for decades. Now she’s in the last great frontier of life, old age, and exploring new literary territory: the blog, a forum where her voice—sharp, witty, as compassionate as it is critical—shines. No Time to Spare collects the best of Ursula’s blog, presenting perfectly crystallized dispatches on what matters to her now, her concerns with this world, and her wonder at it.
On the absurdity of denying your age, she says, If I’m ninety and believe I’m forty-five, I’m headed for a very bad time trying to get out of the bathtub. On cultural perceptions of fantasy: The direction of escape is toward freedom. So what is ‘escapism’ an accusation of? On her new cat: He still won’t sit on a lap…I don’t know if he ever will. He just doesn’t accept the lap hypothesis. On breakfast: Eating an egg from the shell takes not only practice, but resolution, even courage, possibly willingness to commit crime. And on all that is unknown, all that we discover as we muddle through life: How rich we are in knowledge, and in all that lies around us yet to learn. Billionaires, all of us
Monstress Volume 2: The Blood by Marjorie M. Liu
The Eisner-nominated MONSTRESS is back! Maika, Kippa, and Ren journey to Thyria in search of answers to her past… and discover a new, terrible, threat. Collects MONSTRESS #7-12
Six Months, Three Days, Five Others by Charlie Jane Anders
Before the success of her debut SF-and-fantasy novel All the Birds in the Sky, Charlie Jane Anders was a rising star in SF and fantasy short fiction. Collected in a mini-book format, here–for the first time in print–are six of her quirky, wry, engaging best:
In -The Fermi Paradox Is Our Business Model, – aliens reveal the terrible truth about how humans were created–and why we’ll never discover aliens.
-As Good as New- is a brilliant twist on the tale of three wishes, set after the end of the world.
-Intestate- is about a family reunion in which some attendees aren’t quite human anymore–but they’re still family.
-The Cartography of Sudden Death- demonstrates that when you try to solve a problem with time travel, you now have two problems.
-Six Months, Three Days- is the story of the love affair between a man who can see the one true foreordained future, and a woman who can see all the possible futures. They’re both right, and the story won the 2012 Hugo Award for Best Novelette.
And -Clover, – exclusively written for this collection, is a coda to All the Birds in the Sky, answering the burning question of what happened to Patricia’s cat.
Season of the Witch (The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina #1) by Sarah Rees Brennan
t’s the summer before her sixteenth birthday, and Sabrina Spellman knows her world is about to change. She’s always studied magic and spells with her aunts, Hilda and Zelda. But she’s also lived a normal mortal life — attending Baxter High, hanging out with her friends Susie and Roz, and going to the movies with her boyfriend, Harvey Kinkle.
Now time is running out on her every day, normal world, and leaving behind Roz and Susie and Harvey is a lot harder than she thought it would be. Especially because Sabrina isn’t sure how Harvey feels about her. Her cousin Ambrose suggests performing a spell to discover Harvey’s true feelings. But when a mysterious wood spirit interferes, the spell backfires… in a big way.
Sabrina has always been attracted to the power of being a witch. But now she can’t help wondering if that power is leading her down the wrong path. Will she choose to forsake the path of light and follow the path of night?
Our exclusive prequel novel will reveal a side of Sabrina not seen on the new NETFLIX show. What choice will Sabrina make… and will it be the right one?
No, I don’t have a problem. I will get to reading these some day soon lol. What are you reading, and what does your recent haul look like?
Grady Hendrix rocks! Enjoy.
I have a few more of his books coming. I just went on a Hendrix spree
Love your book haul! You can never have too many books (although your bank account may disagree)!
Embers of War! I’m such a fanboy of that series 😃 Hope you enjoy it.
I know I will. I like his other stuff, so this should be great.
Love the blog!! Great look. Book hauls are such fun. Super excited for you.
Thank you! I really appreciate that.
I’ve noticed the same thing, but thank god for Scribd this month – because somehow I was fine reading on my phone (as I’m already holding it, I didn’t feel the compulsion to keep checking it). But I totally do know what you mean – I can read, but only very specific books. So if a book tackles a topic that’s a NO NO NO, then I have to drop it. Dropped quite a few this month.
The one good thing I’ve found is how I’ve stopped hauling as many books. For some reason, I just don’t want to. Which is pretty great, because my TBR is big enough!
What I don’t get is why so many dystopias are trending right now, especially sickness-related. Do people not have enough? Why do they want to submerge themselves into this MORE..? I.. don’t get…
I read some Simak on Scribd though, and that went down very well. Simak is mostly so chill. Rural landscapes and aliens. Try it, it’s a good mood for right now.
I will look Simak up. It is so hard to read anything right now that is in dystopia and I have sooooo many on my TBR.
Read Way Station by Simak – it’s one of the most hopeful, kind scifis I’ve ever read. It made me all warm inside. It will be perfect for now.
Ohhh I will. Thanks for the rec.
I’ve heard great things about Embers of War by Gareth L. Powell! Also own the first Sabrina book but am yet to read it!
I am very excited. Looks fabulous and you can’t go wrong with Sabrina.
I’ve really wanted to pick up Gareth Powell’s books. And Monstress looks sooooo pretty (the covers) and I’ve heard good things. Hope those Sabrina books are good.
Monstress is dark and beautiful. I love it.