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Future Treasures: Hearts of Oak by Eddie Robson

Tuesday, March 10th, 2020 | Posted by John ONeill

Hearts of Oak-small Hearts of Oak-back-small

Cover by Armando Veve

I’ve really been enjoy enjoying Tor.com’s line of near-weekly original novellas. I don’t know for sure how many they’ve published (I lost count somewhere around 120), but man. It’s a lot. They’ve hogged virtually all the Hugo nominations for Best Novella for the past five years, too, which is no small accomplishment. If you’re looking for cutting edge fantasy and SF from a Who’s Who of exciting new writers, this is the imprint to follow.

I can’t stay on top of all their releases, but every once in a while I get especially intrigued. It happened back in October when they released a sword-and-sorcery novella by Saad Z Hossain back-to-back with a promising space opera debut by Lina Rather. And it happened again this month, when Tor.com sent me a review copy of an odd little package titled Hearts of Oak, by Eddie Robson. Here’s a snippet from Publishers Weekly‘s enthusiastic review.

Four people in an uncannily unchanging city come to question their reality in this piercing work. Iona, Steve, Saori, and Victor can’t remember a time when they didn’t live in the unnamed city or follow their daily routines. They go to work, go home, and repeat this cycle again the next day alongside their obedient, homogeneous fellow citizens. But the arrival of a stranger triggers repressed memories, sending all four hurtling into danger… Robson (Welcome to Our Village, Please Invade Carefully) is a master of the gradual release of information, ratcheting up the tension by degrees as both readers and characters learn the truth of his intricately constructed universe… Clever, emotional, and thematically rich, this is sure to please fans of classic science fiction.

Clocking in at 265 pages, this is a very generous package for a novella. Hearts of Oak will be published by Tor.com on March 17, 2020. It is 265 pages, priced at $14.99 in trade paperback and $4.99 in digital formats. The cover is by Armando Veve. Get all the details here.

The Undefeated Una McCormack-smallThe Tor.com Publishing novella line began in 2015 with The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps by Kai Ashante Wilson. We’ve covered the first 33 here at Black Gate.

  1. The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps by Kai Ashante Wilson
  2. Witches of Lychford by Paul Cornell
  3. Sunset Mantle by Alter S. Reiss
  4. Binti by Nnedi Okorafor
  5. The Last Witness by K. J. Parker
  6. Of Sorrow and Such by Angela Slatter
  7. Envy of Angels by Matt Wallace
  8. The Builders by Daniel Polansky
  9. Domnall and the Borrowed Child by Sylvia Spruck Wrigley
  10. The Shootout Solution by Michael R. Underwood
  11. The Drowning Eyes by Emily Foster
  12. The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle
  13. Patchwerk by David Tallerman
  14. Lustlocked, Matt Wallace
  15. A Song for No Man’s Land, Andy Remic
  16. The Ballad of Black Tom, Victor LaValle
  17. The Absconded Ambassador, Michael R. Underwood
  18. The Devil You Know, K. J. Parker
  19. Forest of Memory, Mary Robinette Kowal
  20. Pieces of Hate, Tim Lebbon
  21. Every Heart a Doorway, Seanan McGuire
  22. The Emperor’s Railroad, Guy Haley
  23. The Jewel and Her Lapidary, Fran Wilde
  24. A Whisper of Southern Lights, Tim Lebbon
  25. Runtime, S. B. Divya
  26. Infomocracy, Malka Older
  27. Return of Souls, Andy Remic
  28. Pride’s Spell, Matt Wallace
  29. The Ghoul King, Guy Haley
  30. Nightshades, Melissa F. Olson
  31. City of Wolves, Willow Palecek
  32. Spiderlight, Adrian Tchaikovsky
  33. The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe, Kij Johnson

Witches-of-Lychford-smallFor more details on any of the previous volumes, check out Tor.com‘s online catalog:

New Releases
Coming Soon
Download the Tor.com Publishing Sampler for Free!
Free Short Fiction — hundreds of free short stories and novelettes at Tor.com

Our more detailed coverage includes:

Why Novellas? Tor.com‘s Stellar New Fantasy & SF Releases by Mordicai Knode
Sample All Ten of Tor.com‘s Upcoming Novellas With Their Fall 2015 Sampler
Tor.com Publishing’s Fall 2016 Line-Up
Proceeding in the Pulp Tradition by Writing Five Novels a Year: A Conversation With Guy Haley
Caterers to the Damned, Zombie Gladiators, and Lovecraft’s Dreamlands: Catching Up With Tor.com Publishing
Desdemona and the Deep by C.S.E. Cooney
Intergalactic Wars, Ancient Gods, and Living Ships: New Novellas from Tor.com
Rebecca Diem on The New Golden Age of the SFF Novella

See all of our coverage of the best in upcoming fantasy here.

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