Stacking the Shelves – November 10, 2018
Stacking the Shelves is a weekly feature all about sharing your good luck in book acquisitions! So here’s what came my way since my last post!
It’s been another couple of great weeks for book additions!
Received for Review
I was really excited about both of these arrivals from Tor. The Traitor Baru Cormorant was really good, so I’m definitely looking forward to the sequel. And City of Broken Magic sounds like a fun read. Many thanks to Tor!
…The Monster Baru Cormorant (The Masquerade, #2) by Seth Dickinson
Also by this author: The Traitor Baru Cormorant
Published by Tor/A Tom Doherty Associates Book on October 30, 2018
Baru Cormormant's world was shattered by the Empire of Masks. To exact her revenge, she has clawed her way up razor-edged rungs of betrayal, sacrifice, and compromise, becoming the very thing she seeks to destroy.
Now she strides in the Masquerade's halls of power. To save the world, she must tear it asunder...and with it, all that remains of her soul.
…City of Broken Magic (Chronicles of Amicae #1) by Mirah Bolender
Published by Tor Books on November 20, 2018
Five hundred years ago, magi created a weapon they couldn’t control. An infestation that ate magic—and anything else it came into contact with. Enemies and allies were equally filling.
Only an elite team of non-magical humans, known as sweepers, can defuse and dispose of infestations before they spread. Most die before they finish training.
Laura, a new team member, has stayed alive longer than most. Now, she’s the last—and only—sweeper standing between the city and a massive infestation.
These were both surprise arrivals from Harper Voyager. I’d not heard of Vita Nostra before, but that amazing cover got my attention immediately, and reading the synopsis, I am excited about it! I have some catching up to do before I can read Shattered Sun, but I have heard good things about the series. My thanks to Harper Voyager!
…Vita Nostra by Marina Dyachenko, Sergey Dyachenko, Marina Dyachenko
Published by Harper Voyager on November 1, 2018
The definitive English language translation of the internationally bestselling Ukrainian novel—a brilliant dark fantasy with "the potential to be a modern classic" (Lev Grossman), combining psychological suspense, enchantment, and terror that makes us consider human existence in a fresh and provocative way.
Our life is brief . . .
While vacationing at the beach with her mother, Sasha Samokhina meets the mysterious Farit Kozhennikov under the most peculiar circumstances. The teenage girl is powerless to refuse when this strange and unusual man with an air of the sinister directs her to perform a task with potentially scandalous consequences. He rewards her effort with a strange golden coin.
As the days progress, Sasha carries out other acts for which she receives more coins from Kozhennikov. As summer ends, her domineering mentor directs her to move to a remote village and use her gold to enter the Institute of Special Technologies. Though she does not want to go to this unknown town or school, she also feels it’s the only place she should be. Against her mother’s wishes, Sasha leaves behind all that is familiar and begins her education.
As she quickly discovers, the institute’s "special technologies" are unlike anything she has ever encountered. The books are impossible to read, the lessons obscure to the point of maddening, and the work refuses memorization. Using terror and coercion to keep the students in line, the school does not punish them for their transgressions and failures; instead, their families pay a terrible price. Yet despite her fear, Sasha undergoes changes that defy the dictates of matter and time; experiences which are nothing she has ever dreamed of . . . and suddenly all she could ever want.
A complex blend of adventure, magic, science, and philosophy that probes the mysteries of existence, filtered through a distinct Russian sensibility, this astonishing work of speculative fiction—brilliantly translated by Julia Meitov Hersey—is reminiscent of modern classics such as Lev Grossman’s The Magicians, Max Barry’s Lexicon, and Katherine Arden’s The Bear and the Nightingale, but will transport them to a place far beyond those fantastical worlds.
…The Shattered Sun (Bound Gods, #3) by Rachel Dunne
Published by Harper Voyager on December 4, 2018
The epic sword-and-sorcery Bound Gods fantasy series comes to its dark conclusion in this thrilling story of a vibrant world whose fate lies in the hands of vengeful gods and bold warriors
The world has been plunged into darkness . . . and only the scheming priest Joros might be able to bring back the sun.
With his ragtag band of fighters—a laconic warrior, a pair of street urchins, a ruthless priestess, and an unhinged sorcerer—Joros seeks to defeat the ancient gods newly released from their long imprisonment. But the Twins have champions of their own, and powers beyond knowing . . . and the only sure thing is that they won’t go down without a fight.
The fate of the world hangs in the balance as the Twins aim to enact revenge on the parents that imprisoned them, and the world that spurned them. The Long Night has begun, and the shadows hide many secrets—including that the Twins themselves may not be as powerful as they would have everyone think.
Joros and his allies must strike now—before the Twins can consolidate their power . . . and before they are allowed to shape the world in their vision.
A couple more surprise arrivals. Mage Against the Machine sounds like it could be a fun and exciting book, plus, look at that cover!! (It’s even more impressive in real life). My thanks to Saga Press for the review copy! And Astounding is a non-fiction look at science fiction, which sounds like to could be interesting if I’m in the mood. Many thanks to Dey Street books!
…Mage Against the Machine by Shaun Barger
Published by Saga Press on October 30, 2018
Harry Potter meets The Terminator in this action-packed adventure about a young man who discovers that everything he believed about his world is a lie.
The year is 2120. The humans are dead. The mages have retreated from the world after a madman blew up civilization with weaponized magical technology. Safe within domes that protect them from the nuclear wasteland on the other side, the mages have spent the last century putting their lives back together.
Nikolai is obsessed with artifacts from twentieth-century human life: mage-crafted replica Chuck Taylors on his feet, Schwarzenegger posters on his walls, Beatlemania still alive and well in his head. But he’s also tasked with a higher calling—to maintain the Veils that protect mage-kind from the hazards of the wastes beyond. As a cadet in the Mage King’s army, Nik has finally found what he always wanted—a purpose. But when confronted by one of his former instructors gone rogue, Nik tumbles into a dark secret. The humans weren’t nuked into oblivion—they’re still alive. Not only that, outside the domes a war rages between the last enclaves of free humans and vast machine intelligences.
Outside the dome, unprepared and on the run, Nik finds Jem. Jem is a Runner for the Human Resistance. A ballerina-turned-soldier by the circumstances of war, Jem is more than just a human—her cybernetic enhancement mods make her faster, smarter, and are the only things that give her a fighting chance against the artificial beings bent on humanity’s eradication.
Now Nik faces an impossible decision: side with the mages and let humanity die out? Or stand with Jem and the humans—and risk endangering everything he knows and loves?
…Astounding: John W. Campbell, Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein, L. Ron Hubbard, and the Golden Age of Science Fiction by Alec Nevala-Lee
Published by Dey Street Books on August 21, 2018
“[Astounding] is a major work of popular culture scholarship that science fiction fans will devour.” — Publishers Weekly
"Alec Nevala-Lee has brilliantly recreated the era. . . . A remarkable work of literary history." — Robert Silverberg
"Science fiction has been awaiting this history/biography for more than half a century. . . . Here it is. This is the most important historical and critical work my field has ever seen. Alec Nevala-Lee’s superb scholarship and insight have made the seemingly impossible a radiant and irreplaceable gift."—Barry N. Malzberg, author of Beyond Apollo
Astounding is the landmark account of the extraordinary partnership between four controversial writers—John W. Campbell, Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein, and L. Ron Hubbard—who set off a revolution in science fiction and forever changed our world.
This remarkable cultural narrative centers on the figure of John W. Campbell, Jr., whom Asimov called “the most powerful force in science fiction ever.” Campbell, who has never been the subject of a biography until now, was both a visionary author—he wrote the story that was later filmed as The Thing—and the editor of the groundbreaking magazine best known as Astounding Science Fiction, in which he discovered countless legendary writers and published classic works ranging from the I, Robot series to Dune. Over a period of more than thirty years, from the rise of the pulps to the debut of Star Trek, he dominated the genre, and his three closest collaborators reached unimaginable heights. Asimov became the most prolific author in American history; Heinlein emerged as the leading science fiction writer of his generation with the novels Starship Troopers and Stranger in a Strange Land; and Hubbard achieved lasting fame—and infamy—as the founder of the Church of Scientology.
Drawing on unexplored archives, thousands of unpublished letters, and dozens of interviews, Alec Nevala-Lee offers a riveting portrait of this circle of authors, their work, and their tumultuous private lives. With unprecedented scope, drama, and detail, Astounding describes how fan culture was born in the depths of the Great Depression; follows these four friends and rivals through World War II and the dawn of the atomic era; and honors such exceptional women as Doña Campbell and Leslyn Heinlein, whose pivotal roles in the history of the genre have gone largely unacknowledged. For the first time, it reveals the startling extent of Campbell’s influence on the ideas that evolved into Scientology, which prompted Asimov to observe: “I knew Campbell and I knew Hubbard, and no movement can have two Messiahs.” It looks unsparingly at the tragic final act that estranged the others from Campbell, bringing the golden age of science fiction to a close, and it illuminates how their complicated legacy continues to shape the imaginations of millions and our vision of the future itself.
I don’t tend to gravitate to Science Fiction for some reason, but Polaris Rising sounds great and I was in the mood for a bit of romance. My thanks to Harper Voyager! And I loved the premise of Vigilance, I so was very excited to get an early copy of it! Many thanks to Tor.com!
…Polaris Rising by Jessie Mihalik
Also by this author: Polaris Rising
Published by Harper Voyager on February 5, 2019
A space princess on the run and a notorious outlaw soldier become unlikely allies in this imaginative, sexy space opera adventure—the first in an exciting science fiction trilogy.
In the far distant future, the universe is officially ruled by the Royal Consortium, but the High Councillors, the heads of the three High Houses, wield the true power. As the fifth of six children, Ada von Hasenberg has no authority; her only value to her High House is as a pawn in a political marriage. When her father arranges for her to wed a noble from House Rockhurst, a man she neither wants nor loves, Ada seizes control of her own destiny. The spirited princess flees before the betrothal ceremony and disappears among the stars.Ada eluded her father’s forces for two years, but now her luck has run out. To ensure she cannot escape again, the fiery princess is thrown into a prison cell with Marcus Loch. Known as the Devil of Fornax Zero, Loch is rumored to have killed his entire chain of command during the Fornax Rebellion, and the Consortium wants his head.
When the ship returning them to Earth is attacked by a battle cruiser from rival House Rockhurst, Ada realizes that if her jilted fiancé captures her, she’ll become a political prisoner and a liability to her House. Her only hope is to strike a deal with the dangerous fugitive: a fortune if he helps her escape.
But when you make a deal with an irresistibly attractive Devil, you may lose more than you bargained for . . .
…Vigilance by Robert Jackson Bennett
Also by this author: City of Stairs
Published by Tor.com on January 29, 2019
Robert Jackson Bennett's Vigilance is a dark science fiction action parable from an America that has permanently surrendered to gun violence.
The United States. 2030. John McDean executive produces "Vigilance," a reality game show designed to make sure American citizens stay alert to foreign and domestic threats. Shooters are introduced into a "game environment," and the survivors get a cash prize.
The TV audience is not the only one that's watching though, and McDean soon finds out what it's like to be on the other side of the camera.
At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.