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Science Fiction and Fantasy - March 7, 2018

 

Science Fiction and Fantasy

 

Science Fiction and Fantasy

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

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New Books

The Fairies of Sadieville
by Alex Bledsoe

"This is real." Three small words on a film canister found by graduate students Justin and Veronica, who discover a long-lost silent movie from more than a century ago. The realistic footage shows a young girl transforming into a winged being. Looking for proof behind this claim, they travel to the rural foothills of Tennessee to find Sadieville, where it had been filmed. Soon, their journey takes them to Needsville, whose residents are hesitant about their investigation, but Justin and Veronica are helped by Tucker Carding, who seems to have his own ulterior motives. When the two students unearth a secret long hidden, everyone in the Tufa community must answer the most important question of their entire lives: what would they be willing to sacrifice to return to their fabled homeland of Tir na nóg?

Starlings
by Jo Walton

In this intimate first collection from award-winning novelist Jo Walton (Among Others, The King's Peace, Necessity) are captivating glimpses of her subtle myths and wholly reinvented realities. An ancient Eritrean coin uncovers the secrets of lovers and thieves. The magic mirror sees all but can do almost nothing. A search engine logically proceeds down the path of an existential crisis. Three Irish siblings thieve treasures with ingenuity, bad poetry, and the aid of the Queen of Cats. Through eclectic stories, intriguing vignettes, inspired poetry, and more, Walton soars with humans, machines, and more than a hint of magic.

84K
by Claire North

The penalty for Dani Cumali's murder: $84,000. Theo works in the Criminal Audit Office. He assesses each crime that crosses his desk and makes sure the correct debt to society is paid in full. These days, there's no need to go to prison - provided that you can afford to pay the penalty for the crime you've committed. If you're rich enough, you can get away with murder. But Dani's murder is different. When Theo finds her lifeless body, and a hired killer standing over her and calmly calling the police to confess, he can't let her death become just an entry on a balance sheet. Someone is responsible. And Theo is going to find them and make them pay.

Starless
by Jacqueline Carey

Destined from birth to serve as protector of the princess Zariya, Khai is trained in the arts of killing and stealth by a warrior sect in the deep desert; yet there is one profound truth that has been withheld from him. In the court of the Sun-Blessed, Khai must learn to navigate deadly intrigue and his own conflicted identity...but in the far reaches of the western seas, the dark god Miasmus is rising, intent on nothing less than wholesale destruction. If Khai is to keep his soul's twin Zariya alive, their only hope lies with an unlikely crew of prophecy-seekers on a journey that will take them farther beneath the starless skies than anyone can imagine.

Buffalo Soldier
by Maurice Broaddus

Having stumbled onto a plot within his homeland of Jamaica, former espionage agent Desmond Coke finds himself caught between warring religious and political factions all vying for control of a mysterious boy named Lij Tafari. Wanting the boy to have a chance to live a free life, Desmond assumes responsibility for him and they flee. But a dogged enemy agent remains ever on their heels, desperate to obtain the secrets held within Lij for her employer alone. Assassins, intrigue, and steammen stand between Desmond and Lij as they search for a place to call home in a North America that could have been.

Unbury Carol
by Josh Malerman

Carol Evers is a woman with a dark secret. Every so often Carol descends into a death-like coma that she calls the Black Place, where her heartbeat slows and her breathing all but stops. Only two people know of her condition: her husband Dwight, and her former lover James Moxie--the most legendary outlaw the Trail has ever seen. Just before Carol can share her secret with a friend, she falls into the Black Place once again, only this time, Dwight begins preparations for her funeral two days hence, hoping to inherit her fortune. When a telegram arrives for Moxie, notifying him of the upcoming burial of his lost love, he rides out of retirement and hits the Trail once again, desperate to save Carol from a premature burial. Hot on Moxie's heels are threats both human and other.

The Lamb Will Slaughter the Lion
by Margaret Killjoy

Danielle Cain is a queer punk rock traveller, jaded from a decade on the road. Searching for clues about her best friend's mysterious and sudden suicide, she ventures to the squatter, utopian town of Freedom, Iowa. All is not well in Freedom, however: things went awry after the town's residents summoned a protector spirit to serve as their judge and executioner. Danielle shows up in time to witness the spirit - a blood-red, three-antlered deer - begin to turn on its summoners. Danielle and her new friends have to act fast if they're going to save the town - or get out alive.

Space Opera
by Catherynne Valente

A century ago, the Sentience Wars tore the galaxy apart and nearly ended the entire concept of intelligent space-faring life. In the aftermath, a curious tradition was invented by the remnants of civilization. Something to bring the shattered worlds together in the spirit of peace, understanding, and the most powerful of all social bonds: excluding others. The great galactic civilizations gather for Galactivision--part beauty pageant, part concert extravaganza, and part a subtle continuation of the wars of the past. This year, a bizarre and unsightly species has looked up from its muddy planet-bound cradle and noticed the enormous universe blaring on around it: humanity. Where they expected to one day reach out into space and discover a grand drama of diplomacy, gunships, wormholes, and stoic councils of grave aliens, they have found glitter. And lipstick. And pyrotechnics. And electric guitars. A band of human musicians, dancers, and roadies have been chosen to represent their planet on the greatest stage in the galaxy. And the fate of Earth lies in their ability to rock.

Torn
by Rowenna Miller

Sophie, a dressmaker and charm caster, has lifted her family out of poverty with a hard-won reputation for beautiful ball gowns and discreetly embroidered spells. A commission from the royal family could secure her future -- and thrust her into a dangerous new world. But revolution is brewing. As Sophie's brother, Kristos, rises to prominence in the growing anti-monarchist movement, it is only a matter of time before their fortunes collide. When the unrest erupts into violence, she and Kristos are drawn into a deadly magical plot. Sophie is torn -- between her family and her future.

Smoke Eaters
by Sean Grigsby

Firefighter Cole Brannigan is on the verge of retirement after 30 years on the job, and a decade fighting dragons. But during his final fire call, he discovers he's immune to dragon smoke. It's such a rare power that he's immediately conscripted into the elite dragon-fighting force known as the Smoke Eaters. Retirement cancelled, Brannigan is re-assigned as a lowly rookie, chafing under his superiors. So when he discovers a plot to take over the city's government, he takes matters into his own hands. With hundreds of innocent civilians in the crosshairs, it's up to Brannigan and his fellow Smoke Eaters to repel the dragon menace.