Gretchen's SF/F picks

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Light From Uncommon Stars By Ryka Aoki Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9781250789068
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Published: Tor Books - September 28th, 2021

A big-hearted debut featuring undercover refugee extraterrestrials running a doughnut shop, a woman who made an infernal deal with the devil in exchange for the talent of her musical protegees, a struggling mother coming into the magical family knack for instruments despite her ancestors' sexism, and the young houseless trans girl with a prodigious talent for violin come together in this satisfying blend of genres that puts human desire and connection at the center of the story. If you're looking for the hopeful feel-good widely inclusive experience of reading Becky Chambers or Charlie Jane Anders, don't sleep on this one.


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The Dawnhounds (The Endsong #1) By Sascha Stronach Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781982187057
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Published: Gallery / Saga Press - June 14th, 2022

Such a good, angry, fascinatingly drawn queer revolutionary noir romp! I very much enjoyed the worldbuilding, I didn't know what was going to happen, and the foundations in NZ and specifically Maori culture were such a welcome change from so much of SF/F as a whole. If you loved Our Flag Means Death and are hankering for some more queer pirate hijinks, here you go!


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The Death of Jane Lawrence: A Novel By Caitlin Starling Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9781250272584
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Published: St. Martin's Press - October 5th, 2021

A feminist take on classic gothic horror, featuring ghosts, a dilapidated manor, and mysterious secret societies, the willful eponymous protagonist is smart, sensible, and in WAY over her head.


Nettle & Bone By T. Kingfisher Cover Image
$25.99
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ISBN: 9781250244048
Published: Tor Books - April 26th, 2022

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She Who Became the Sun (The Radiant Emperor Duology #1) By Shelley Parker-Chan Cover Image
$28.99
ISBN: 9781250621801
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Published: Tor Books - July 20th, 2021

an expansive and queer reimagination of the founding of the Ming Dynasty, this political fantasy features larger-than-life characters, and breathtaking cinematic battles make this a memorable epic historical fantasy.


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The Unbroken (Magic of the Lost #1) By C. L. Clark Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780316542753
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Published: Orbit - March 23rd, 2021

Come for the anticolonial politics and engaging story, stay for Touraine's Arms. Or vice versa. No matter how you get here, you won't be disappointed with this story of queer revolution and political intrigue set in an occupied fantasy North Africa.


Across a Field of Starlight: (A Graphic Novel) By Blue Delliquanti Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780593124130
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Published: Random House Graphic - February 8th, 2022

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The Jasmine Throne (The Burning Kingdoms #1) By Tasha Suri Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780316538510
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Published: Orbit - June 8th, 2021

Intrigue, magic, and a world on the brink of war... high intrigue and a very winning sapphic romance make this a winner!


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Dead Collections: A Novel By Isaac Fellman Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780143136910
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Published: Penguin Books - February 22nd, 2022

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The Bone Shard Daughter (The Drowning Empire #1) By Andrea Stewart Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780316541435
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Published: Orbit - March 30th, 2021

A young woman with missing memories learns chilling bone magic from the ailing emperor--her father. A young man with an unusual sea creature pet embraces the smuggler life and gets unwittingly drawn into smuggling kids away from the horrifying fate that awaits them at age ten under the emperor's brutal rule. A fascinating archipelago ripe for revolution.


We Have Always Been Here By Lena Nguyen Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780756417291
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Published: DAW - July 6th, 2021

A taut, engaging space thriller that manages to be creepy and thoughtful, claustrophobic and wildly expansive, and a moving meditation on reality and sanity--both human and not.


The Hollow Places: A Novel By T. Kingfisher Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781534451124
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Published: Gallery / Saga Press - October 6th, 2020

A creepy story about a young woman who moves into her uncle's creepy taxidermy museum and finds portals into a truly unsettling and dangerous reality. Funny and inclusive cast rounds out this very top notch modern horror novel.


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No Gods, No Monsters (Convergence Saga #1) By Cadwell Turnbull Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9781982603724
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Published: Blackstone Publishing - September 7th, 2021

an unsettling story about the moment the world realized monsters are real… and what happened next. Beautifully layered, sharp prose, and tight pacing and character work make this a captivating read.


Harrow the Ninth (The Locked Tomb Series #2) By Tamsyn Muir Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781250313218
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Published: Tordotcom - September 21st, 2021

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Gideon the Ninth (The Locked Tomb Series #1) By Tamsyn Muir Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781250313188
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Published: Tordotcom - July 14th, 2020

Rarely have I, in this jaded life, been so flush with excitement for a new book. Gideon the Ninth is off-the-wall ridiculous, sarcastic, funny, angry, compellingly earnest, and evinces in the reader the kind of love of not one but TWO complex, emotionally stunted, delightfully messed-up characters that most authors only dream of inspiring. Gideon is my favorite character in recent fiction, and this is one of the most delightful novels I've read in years. Deeply dangerous, messed up death magic, brazenly confident writing, and, listen, GAY NECROMANCERS uncovering locked room mysteries and facing ever more sinister foes in search of an unknown goal... this book is incredible. I can't help but capslock about it, and that effervescent, delightful glee in having this book soon to be in the world is a rare and precious gift.


Riot Baby By Tochi Onyebuchi Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781250214751
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Published: Tordotcom - January 21st, 2020

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An Unkindness of Ghosts By Rivers Solomon Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781617755880
Availability: In stock with our warehouse--usually ships within 1-7 days. May or may not be in stock at Room.
Published: Akashic Books - October 3rd, 2017

Incredible, relevant, harrowing and fascinating, this is the story of a young woman in the low class of a brutally stratified generation ship. Her search for clues to her mother's death lead her to discover some difficult truths about the ship's voyage. Aster's voice is so solid, her experiences read as tangible, every surface and texture feel real both physically and emotionally. Readers of dystopias that explore race, gender, disability, sexuality, and class will not want to miss this one. It will sit on my shelf by my Butler, Jemisin, Le Guin, Okorafor, Leckie. One of the most human explorations of the possibilities of our repressive future and the hope for hard-won rebellion I have ever read.


The Future of Another Timeline By Annalee Newitz Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780765392114
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Published: Tor Books - October 6th, 2020

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Spear By Nicola Griffith Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781250819321
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Published: Tordotcom - April 19th, 2022

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The Luminous Dead: A Novel By Caitlin Starling Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062846907
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Published: Harper Voyager - April 2nd, 2019

Ahhhhh! A grim, driven novel of suspense, meticulously plotted, fantastically rendered, and psychologically unnerving. It's rare that such a muscular, embodied sort of survival/adventure story builds such fascinating characters, but I've got Gyre and Em stuck in my head and haven't stopped thinking about this damn book since I finished it. Thrilling, occasionally terrifying, and compelling as a descent into the earth, into grief, into darkness and an unusual story of female characters whose selfishness and ambition aren't redeemed or apologized for by the story. Moral ambiguity, edge-of-your-seat terrifying caving, and unreliable characters whose motivations and needs unspool as Gyre descends.


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The Murderbot Diaries: All Systems Red, Artificial Condition, Rogue Protocol, Exit Strategy By Martha Wells Cover Image
$75.96
ISBN: 9781250784278
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Published: Tordotcom - October 27th, 2020

This series features my new most relatable protagonist ever--the somewhat disaffected, self-hacked murderbot who only wants to be left alone, not have to talk to humans more than necessary, and keep on going through the secretly-downloaded drama shows that are more interesting than real humans. Funny, fresh, action-packed, and unpredictable, this is a great beginning to a series I'll be keeping up with.


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The Fifth Season (The Broken Earth #1) By N. K. Jemisin Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780316229296
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Published: Orbit - August 4th, 2015

Gretchen's Rec: Brutal, intense, and fascinating. I was totally sucked in by the troubled, volcanically unstable world and its palimpsest of forgotten cultures and technologies. The three threads of a story flow together with increasing vehemence. Jemisin has come into her own as a storyteller.


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Lilith's Brood By Octavia E. Butler Cover Image
$21.99
ISBN: 9780446676106
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Published: Grand Central Publishing - June 1st, 2000

Gretchen's Rec: Ruthlessly beautiful, disturbing, and haunting. This is my favorite series of all time--every time I re-read it I get something new out of it.


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Silver in the Wood (The Greenhollow Duology #1) By Emily Tesh Cover Image
$11.99
ISBN: 9781250229793
Availability: In stock with our warehouse--usually ships within 1-7 days. May or may not be in stock at Room.
Published: Tordotcom - June 18th, 2019

This slim book has all the depth and slow gentle warmth and teeming life and dark terror of rotting leaf matter blanketing a centuries-old wood. The author's prose is evocative and spare, taciturn and forthright yet observant and beautifully assured, much like her protagonist. The old stories of the Green Man and the monsters in the wood find new (queer!) life and meaning in this lovely book.


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A Memory Called Empire (Teixcalaan #1) By Arkady Martine Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781250186447
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Published: Tor Books - February 25th, 2020

Meticulously written, delving into questions of colonialism and empire and drenched in political intrigue, this satisfying novel follows an underprepared and deeply resourceless new ambassador from a tiny station to the heart of the neighboring empire, to uncover the truth behind the untimely death of her predecessor and do her best to keep her home safe from being devoured by the expansionist empire. Culture clashes, closely-held secrets, and political unrest make the plot swim along, and the story delves with particular interest into questions of identity and memory. Fans of James SA Corey and Ann Leckie will be delighted by this impressive debut!


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An Unkindness of Ghosts By Rivers Solomon Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781617755880
Availability: In stock with our warehouse--usually ships within 1-7 days. May or may not be in stock at Room.
Published: Akashic Books - October 3rd, 2017

Incredible, relevant, harrowing and fascinating, this is the story of a young woman in the low class of a brutally stratified generation ship. Her search for clues to her mother's death lead her to discover some difficult truths about the ship's voyage. Aster's voice is so solid, her experiences read as tangible, every surface and texture feel real both physically and emotionally. Readers of dystopias that explore race, gender, disability, sexuality, and class will not want to miss this one. It will sit on my shelf by my Butler, Jemisin, Le Guin, Okorafor, Leckie. One of the most human explorations of the possibilities of our repressive future and the hope for hard-won rebellion I have ever read.


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Blackfish City: A Novel By Sam J. Miller Cover Image
$16.99
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ISBN: 9780062684875
Published: Ecco - October 2nd, 2018

A densely populated, stratified city controlled by AI government floats in the ocean, a technological answer to the devastation of social and environmental collapse on the continent. The novel switches briskly between a handful of characters inhabiting the city, whose disparate circumstances and personal struggles regrets and fears bring to life the dizzying marvel that is Qaanaaq. The ubiquitous and mysterious City Without A Map broadcast, including the memorable first rumors of the woman who arrives riding an orca, with a polar bear at her side, highlights the importance of story to civic life and personal fulfilment, the connective tissue of the telling of tales for a healthy society. Miller's prose is punchy, each chapter a marvel of efficiency and focus on character, weaving plot threads sinuously and with excellent tempo. His characters are full of bitterness, rage and heartache and the fascinating simmering feeling of impending revolution, of a becoming-whole and coming-together that they never knew to hope for. An astonishing achievement, this is a book I'll be thinking about for a long time.


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The Devourers: A Novel By Indra Das Cover Image
$17.00
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ISBN: 9781101967539
Published: Del Rey - February 21st, 2017

One of the most startlingly, disturbingly, hauntingly gorgeous werewolf stories I have ever read. A historian in Kolkata is given an old journal to transcribe from a stranger, a journal of moving and visceral histories written in and on the skins of the shifters who wore and tore them in the 17th Century. Each moment contains such an incredible depth of embodied mythology that you can almost taste the years and lives stretching back and back from every scene. One of the most striking and memorable novels I have come across in some time.