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Category: Future Treasures

Goth Chick News: Traveling the Road of Bones

Goth Chick News: Traveling the Road of Bones


Road of Bones by Christopher Golden (St. Martin’s Press, January 25, 2022). Cover artist unknown

I have recently been entertained by a Facebook group called View from My Window. People from around the world post pictures of just that; the view they see outside their windows. The fascinating bit is seeing postings from people in the farthest-flung corners of the globe, including Siberia. I didn’t know much about Siberia before, other than Russian dissidents being banished there, but seeing the pictures made me do a little research. I now know that Siberia is home to 33.7 million people, but that number is a little rough since there is no single precise definition of Siberia’s territorial borders. That population occupies 5 million square miles, so my concept of “sparsely populated” is mostly true. And boy is it cold. The average temperature in January −13 °F (no wind chill factored in) and warmest temps averaging around 50 °F.

So why am I telling you this and what does it have to do with horror?

Because my recent fascination with Siberia coincides nicely with a recent horror release from St. Martin’s Press, titled Road of Bones by Christopher Golden.

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Future Treasures: Gunfight on Europa Station edited by David Boop

Future Treasures: Gunfight on Europa Station edited by David Boop

Gunfight on Europa Station (Baen Books, January 25, 2022). Cover Art by Dominic Harman

I’ve been enjoying David Boop’s weird western anthologies for Baen (Straight Outta Tombstone, Straight Outta Deadwood, and Straight Outta Dodge City). His newest takes the series in a different direction — deep space! — but keeps the six shooters and saddle spurs. That’s different. But what the hell — I’m on board.

Gunfight on Europa Station arrives on January 25, and comes packed with new fiction by an impressive list of contributors: Alan Dean Foster, Jane Lindskold, Wil McCarthy, Gini Koch, Martin Shoemaker, Cat Rambo with J.R. Martin, Alastair Mayer, Alex Shvartsman, Patrick Swenson, Elizabeth Moon, and Michael L. Haspil. These books are a lot of fun, and I’m looking forward to the newest with anticipation.

I’m especially excited to see Alex Shvartsman’s contribution. I was at his reading at Worldcon last month (from his upcoming novel The Middling Affliction), and it was easily the most entertaining of the dozen or so I attended, a raucous and funny tale of an exorcist/con man who winds up over his head in a tangled supernatural mystery. It’s always a pleasure to discover a new writer, and it’s doubly so when you have the chance to hear a skilled entertainer perform their own work.

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Future Treasures: Battle of the Linguist Mages by Scotto Moore

Future Treasures: Battle of the Linguist Mages by Scotto Moore

Battle of the Linguist Mages (Tor.com, January 11, 2022)

If there’s a more exciting publisher in SF and fantasy at the moment than Tor.com, I don’t know what it is. They’ve dominated both award lists and bestseller lists with their recent powerhouse releases, including Martha Wells’ hugely popular Murderbot chronicles, Seanan McGuire’s Wayward Children series, and Tamsyn Muir’s Gideon the Ninth. Just in the last few months they’ve released brand new books by Tochi Onyebuchi, Adrian Tchaikovsky, Catherynne M. Valente, Alix E. Harrow, Charlie Jane Anders, Becky Chambers, and Peter F. Hamilton & Gareth L. Powell.

They’ve got a stellar line-up in place for next year as well, and we’re looking forward to sharing all the details. But the one I’ve got my eye on next month is Battle of the Linguist Mages by Scotto Moore, author of Your Favorite Band Cannot Save You (Tor.com, February 2019). Charles Stross says, “It reads like Snow Crash had a dance-off with Gideon the Ninth, in a world where language isn’t a virus from outer space, it’s a goddamn alien invasion,” and that sounds like something worth canceling a few meetings for.

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Future Treasures: Sword & Planet edited by Christopher Ruocchio

Future Treasures: Sword & Planet edited by Christopher Ruocchio

Sword & Planet (Baen Books, December 21, 2021). Cover by Kieran Yanner

Sword & Planet is experiencing a bit of a renaissance. Jason M Waltz and Fletcher Vredenburgh edited the fine The Lost Empire of Sol just this year, and even George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois dabbled recently with the genre in the acclaimed S&P anthologies Old Mars and Old Venus. Inspired by all this love for classic space fantasy, Howard Andrew Jones and I (under my ‘Todd McAulty’ moniker) chatted happily about Five Classic Sword-and-Planet Sagas over at Tor.com a while back.

Christopher Ruocchio, co-editor of Star Destroyers and Space Pioneers, presents his latest big anthology this month, and it looks like a treat. Sword & Planet has stories by Tim Akers, Susan R. Matthews, D.J. Butler, Jody Lynn Nye, Simon R. Green, Christopher Ruocchio, and many others. Weighing in at a generous 352 pages, it lands in less than two weeks — just in time for your last-minute holiday shopping.

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Future Treasures: Isolate by L. E. Modesitt Jr.

Future Treasures: Isolate by L. E. Modesitt Jr.

Isolate (Tor Books, November 2021). Cover by Chris McGrath

Lee Modesitt is one of the most popular fantasy authors on the shelves, with multiple bestselling series to his credit, including The Saga of Recluce, Corean Chronicles, and the Imager Portfolio. But for all his success, I don’t think he gets a lot of critical attention, so it’s a real pleasure to see his latest — Isolate, arriving in hardcover from Tor next week — generate some authentic pre-publication buzz.

Both Publishers Weekly and Library Journal gave it a starred review; Library Journal says “anyone who likes to delve into the way worlds work will be riveted.” Here’s an excerpt from Judith Utz’s enthusiastic coverage at Booklist.

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A Grand Scale Conspiracy and an Interstellar War: The Nova Vita Protocol Trilogy by Kristyn Merbeth

A Grand Scale Conspiracy and an Interstellar War: The Nova Vita Protocol Trilogy by Kristyn Merbeth

Fortuna, Memoria and Discordia (Orbit Books, 2019-21). Covers by Shutterstock and Lisa Marie Pompilio

Ooof. Things are really busy at Chateau O’Neill. Like, super busy. They’re always sorta busy, but this month has taken it to a new level. I’d share the details, but I’m too busy.

I don’t get much much time to read when I’m faced with this kind of deadline pressure. But I can still daydream about it, in between sales meetings and hitting my weekly pitch deadlines. This week I’m especially excited about the third novel in Kristyn Merbeth’s Nova Vita Protocol trilogy, Discordia, arriving from Orbit next month. Kirkus praised the opening volume Fortuna, saying “”The narrative is powered by a cast of deeply developed characters… The nonstop action and varying levels of tension make this an unarguable page-turner.” I’m looking forward to finally having all three volumes of this popular series in my hot little hands… and some vacation time to enjoy them.

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A Con Artist in a Magical City: The Rook & Rose Trilogy by M.A Carrick

A Con Artist in a Magical City: The Rook & Rose Trilogy by M.A Carrick

The Mask of Mirrors and The Liar’s Knot (Orbit, January and December, 2021). Covers by Nekro

I don’t know about you, but this recent trend in young adult fantasy for covers with elaborate designs and colorful crowns instead of cover art does nothing for me. There’s so many on the shelves, and after a while they all look the same.

At least the book descriptions are different — and that’s what grabbed me in the case of The Mask of Mirrors, the opening novel in a new fantasy trilogy by “M.A Carrick,” the writing team of Marie Brennan (author of the Hugo-nominated A Natural History of Dragons) and Alyc Helms (author of the splendidly pulpy Missy Masters novels). The two met on an archaeological dig in Wales and Ireland, which is exactly where I’d want to meet my future writing partner.

The second novel in the series, The Liar’s Knot, is due next month, and there’s a third volume on the way. Here’s the description on the back of The Mask of Mirrors that caught my eye.

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Future Treasures: You Sexy Thing by Cat Rambo

Future Treasures: You Sexy Thing by Cat Rambo

You Sexy Thing (Tor, November 16, 2021). Cover artist unknown

Cat Rambo made a name for herself with her short fiction — and a successful stint as President of the Science Fiction Writers of America. You Sexy Thing is their first novel release from a major publisher, and it looks poised to be a breakout book. Here’s an excerpt from Liz Bourke’s review at Locus Online.

You Sexy Thing, Cat Rambo’s first space opera novel, is in fact a romp. If you’re the kind of person who likes Mass Effect… then this book is definitely for you. This is a fast, zippy novel that hides some surprisingly substantial emotional heavy lifting under its hood…

Captain Niko Larsen is perhaps the greatest military mind ever to avoid being absorbed by the Holy Hive Mind. She and some of her surviving troops got out of the Holy Hive Mind’s military through the only loophole available to them: they became artists. Kitchen artists: their art is cookery, and their restaurant – the Last Chance, on TwiceFar station – is the first step in a plan that Niko’s had years, if not decades, in the making, a plan that has nothing at all to do with cooking…. You Sexy Thing… [is] fast, pulpy, and explosive – and full of feeling… it’s an utter delight. I recommend it wholeheart­edly.

Check out an excerpt here. You Sexy Thing will be published by Tor Books on November 16, 2021. It is 292 pages, priced at $25.99 in hardcover and $13.99 in digital formats. No word on who did the cover, but I like it. See all our recent coverage of the best upcoming SF and fantasy here.

New Treasures: The Conductors by Nicole Glover

New Treasures: The Conductors by Nicole Glover

The Conductors (John Joseph Adams Books, March 2021). Cover art by Elizabeth Leggett. Click for bigger versions.

As we near the end of 2021 (thank God!), I’m already starting to look back at the big fantasy releases and debuts of the year. One that surprised me was Nicole Glover’s The Conductors, the opening novel in her Murder & Magic series, which follows the adventures of black detectives Hetty and Benjy Rhodes, who pry into cases white police officers deign to investigate in Reconstruction era Philadelphia.

The Conductors was published and edited by John Joseph Adams, the man who pulled my own debut novel out of the slush pile and published it in 2018, so perhaps you can forgive me if I think the man has superb taste. I’m not the only one, however. NPR praises The Conductors as “A history buff’s dream fantasy novel,” and P. Djèlí Clark calls it “a tangled mystery of murder, spellwork, and freedom amid the remnants of slavery’s lingering memories.” Here’s an excerpt from the starred review at Publishers Weekly.

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Future Treasures: Swashbucklers by Dan Hanks

Future Treasures: Swashbucklers by Dan Hanks

Swashbucklers (Angry Robot, November 2021)

Dan Hanks’ first novel was Captain Moxley and the Embers of the Empire (Angry Robot, 2020), which the author admits was “all about my love for Indiana Jones.”

His follow-up features an ancient pirate ghost, supernatural battles, and 80s video games, which makes we wonder why no one has tried that combo before. I’m definitely ready to sign up, anyway. Nils Shukla at Fantasy Hive says it “brings all the magic of the 80’s back to life, and delivers a fun, action-packed tale with heart.”

Swashbucklers arrives in paperback next month from Angry Robot. Here’s the publisher description.

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