Genre-bender-lovers, rejoice! Serial Box has announced that three new sci-fi mystery series are coming to the ebook/audiobook app. They include a chiller about an uploaded brain that wakes up in the wrong body, a murder mystery involving demigods and “Pantheonic politics,” and a corporate espionage thriller about two rival AI companies. The authors behind the three series include Yoon Ha Lee, Max Gladstone, Sarah Gailey, Mary Robinette Kowal, Elizabeth Vail, Frank Wilde, Curtis C. Chen, and more.
Here are the synopses and authors for each, from a press release:
Embodied (Yoon Ha Lee, SL Huang, Malka Older, Gwenda Bond, Max Gladstone, Fran Wilde, Sarah Gailey, Mary Robinette Kowal, and Madeline Ashby): A chilling story about transferring the human mind to android bodies with the expectation of a perfect afterlife. An eternity of adventures, parties, and companionship await, in an everlasting body designed to your specifications. But what happens if you wake up and see hands you don’t recognize and have memories of a life you never lived?
Gods & Lies (Elizabeth Vail): In a world where humans and Gods live side by side and old ways die hard, an unlikely duo race to solve a bizarre murder. Entering into a dangerous web of Pantheonic politics, black market artifacts, and exploited nymphs, a human temple investigator and her demigod partner search for the truth behind the death of a young woman who is transformed into a sea bird.
Machina (Fran Wilde, Malka Older, Martha Wells, and Curtis C. Chen): Facing off in a contest to create AI that will take humans to Mars, two rival tech companies grapple with old grudges, competing visions, personal demons, and mysterious interference. A near-future workplace drama about the creation of that artificial intelligence, and the all-too human coders and technologists competing to build it with a solid helping of industrial espionage, perilous romance, betrayal, compromised ethics, and abuse of power—as well as a robotic “Swiss-Army” dog.
According to the press release, all three series will be released in weekly installments. Embodied is currently available on Serial Box. Gods & Lies launches on November 13, while Machina will launch in early 2020.
Here’s a clip from Gods & Lies by Elizabeth Vail!
The priestess led us through the eerily quiet temple to the high altar, reserved for all major public services. Carved out of a single piece of blue-veined white marble, and surrounded by four statues representing the four winds, it was installed at the cliff’s highest point, within an airy pagoda that overlooked the ocean. A lone seagull squatted on the north-facing statue and quarrrked at my approach.
There was still a sacrifice on the altar. I recognized the black-spotted plumage of a kestrel, a bird particularly favored by Aestros. It was lying beak up, its wings extended, its chest cut open. Grooves in the stone directed the animal’s dried blood down into a ceremonial basin beneath the altar. An ashen-faced novice who didn’t look older than eighteen stood guard beside it, twisting the folds of his robe in his hands.
“I thought you said there was a body,” Andy said.
“You’re looking at it.” The high priestess stepped forward and placed a comforting hand on the novice’s shoulder. “Brother Abe, show the representatives of justice what you showed me.”
With a jerky nod, the novice turned the kestrel onto its back. “It was my turn to clean the altars in the morning, but when I showed up, the bird . . . I mean the body was already there. When I tried to collect it . . . I noticed . . . I n-noticed . . .”
I eased closer as he gently pulled back some of the feathers on the bird’s left shoulder, revealing a glimpse of a black-and-purple design etched onto the skin. “May I?”
The boy nodded, limp with relief, and let me take over. Beneath the plumage, the design was stretched, distorted, but still recognizable: an elaborate P made up of flowers, gems, and vines. “I’m not the world’s greatest expert on raptors, but I’m pretty sure they’re not huge fans of personalized tattoos. You recognize the design?”
The boy nodded again, weaving a bit on his feet. I couldn’t blame him. This was new territory, even for me. “Pippa showed it to me once, when she first arrived. Said she planned on adding more onto it once her classes were over.”
“Oh sh . . .” Andy swallowed the rest of his expletive. It sounded like he had to swallow something else back as well. “You’re telling me that bird used to be a person?”