Sleeps With Monsters: Optimism and (Game)Change

When I first heard about L.X. Beckett’s debut novel, the near-future science fiction sprawling cross between espionage thriller, family saga and romance that is Gamechanger, I wasn’t that excited. The cover copy is decidedly bland compared to the contents—so I found myself surprised and delighted when I started reading Gamechanger and couldn’t put it down.

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Series: Sleeps With Monsters

The Peripheral Sweepstakes!

In advance of The New York Times bestselling author William Gibson’s new novel Agency, here’s your chance to read one of his greatest novels to date! The Peripheral is a fast-paced sci-fi thriller that takes a terrifying look into the future — and we want to send you a copy!


Flynne Fisher lives down a country road, in a rural America where jobs are scarce, unless you count illegal drug manufacture, which she’s trying to avoid. Her brother Burton lives on money from the Veterans Administration, for neurological damage suffered in the Marines’ elite Haptic Recon unit. Flynne earns what she can by assembling product at the local 3D printshop. She made more as a combat scout in an online game, playing for a rich man, but she’s had to let the shooter games go.

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Read an Excerpt From The Seep, a New Novel From Chana Porter

Trina Goldberg-Oneka is a fifty-year-old trans woman whose life is irreversibly altered in the wake of a gentle—but nonetheless world-changing—invasion by an alien entity called The Seep. Through The Seep, everything is connected. Capitalism falls, hierarchies and barriers are broken down; if something can be imagined, it is possible.

Trina and her wife, Deeba, live blissfully under The Seep’s utopian influence—until Deeba begins to imagine what it might be like to be reborn as a baby, which will give her the chance at an even better life. Using Seeptech to make this dream a reality, Deeba moves on to a new existence, leaving Trina devastated.

Heartbroken and deep into an alcoholic binge, Trina follows a lost boy she encounters, embarking on an unexpected quest. In her attempt to save him from The Seep, she will confront not only one of its most avid devotees, but the terrifying void that Deeba has left behind. A strange new elegy of love and loss, The Seep explores grief, alienation, and the ache of moving on.

A blend of searing social commentary and speculative fiction, Chana Porter’s The Seep is available January 21st from Soho Press. Read an excerpt below!

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On the Edge of Ambition: The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black

Jude is the exiled, mortal Queen of Faerie: married to Cardan in exchange for releasing him from his vow to her but betrayed not long after, sent to live with her siblings in the human world outside of the court. She’s left reeling and embarrassed by her own foolishness, unsure of how to regain her throne, when opportunity arrives in the form of her desperate twin sister Taryn. As it turns out, Taryn finally had enough of her awful faerie husband Locke and murdered him, but she can’t lie under glamour like Jude can so she begs her to intercede in secret.

Eager for the chance to slip back into faerie against the terms of her banishment, Jude agrees to help Taryn. However, when she returns to Elfhame it’s clear that war is brewing between her father Madoc and Cardan, resting on uncertain alliances with Undersea and the other Courts. It doesn’t take long for her to become caught up once again in the fight for succession, except this time, she’s not just defending Cardan’s throne. She’s defending her own.

[A review, spoilers.]

Rereading The Ruin of Kings: Chapters 72 and 73

With the lights out, it’s less dangerous,! And as I wrote a lot of this during a random blackout, hurray crumbling American infrastructure, that’s apropos. So here we are now, I’ll entertain—us! You. Whatever.

This blog series will be covering The Ruin of Kings, the first novel of a five-book series by Jenn Lyons. Previous entries can be found here in the series index.

Today’s post will be covering Chapter 72, “The New Year’s Festival”, and Chapter 73, “Returning to the Red Sword.” Please note that from this point forward, these posts will likely contain spoilers for the entire novel, so it’s recommended that you read the whole thing first before continuing on.

Got that? Great! Click on for the rest!

[a mosquito, MY LIBIDO—YEAH]

Series: The Ruin of Kings by Jenn Lyons

His Dark Materials’ “The Spies” Is an Exposition-Heavy Calm Before the Storm

We open on Lyra, kidnapped by the Gobblers and then immediately rescued by Ben, Tony Costa, and some other gyptian youths. She is taken back to the gyptian gathering on the Thames where many different clans have met to find their children.

Mrs Coulter descends on Jordan College with a squad of Magisterium grunts, intending to put the screws to the Master so that he’ll give up Lyra’s location. She impugns the idea of Scholastic Sanctuary and he tells her that she has failed as Lyra’s guardian. She discovers alethiometer divination guides and vows to destroy the College once she finds the contraband device. He then reveals that Lyra has the alethiometer—another thing she has lost.

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Tor Books to Publish a New Science Fiction Novel From Eragon Author Christopher Paolini

Christopher Paolini, author of the blockbuster Inheritance Cycle fantasy series, is venturing into new frontiers.

Tor Books has announced the acquisition of To Sleep in a Sea of Stars, a new science fiction novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Christopher Paolini, to publish on September 15, 2020.

What can we expect from the author of Eragon? Read on:

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Vote for the Best Books of 2019 in the Goodreads Choice Awards Final Round!

It’s the Final Round of the 2019 Goodreads Choice Awards! The Opening Round and Semifinal Round have pared down the nominees to a final 10 choices in each category; among the finalists are Tamsyn Muir’s Gideon the Ninth, Marlon James’ Black Leopard, Red Wolf, Seanan McGuire’s Middlegame, Rivers Solomon’s The Deep, Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone’s This Is How You Lose the Time War, Oyinkan Braithwaite’s My Sister, the Serial Killer, Shaun Hamill’s A Cosmology of Monsters, Rainbow Rowell’s Wayward Son, and Alix E. Harrow’s The Ten Thousand Doors of January. 

Below, find your choices for the Final Round in science fiction, fantasy, horror, and more!

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Just Imagine the Possibilities: Neil Gaiman & Sarah Parcak on Archaeology From Space

It is a privileged few humans that get to see the Earth from space, that get to observe our planet in its most blue-marbley of forms. Archaeologist Sarah Parcak is one such human.

As a pioneer in the field of Space Archaeology, Parcak uses satellite imagery and algorithms to detect subtle clues that indicate things buried underground. She believes that archaeology helps us evolve as a culture, and that discovering new information about our past “will do nothing less than unlock the full potential of our existence.” Parcak and her team are uncovering lost artifacts, buried heroes, and discovering tools that help us rethink what we know about humanity on Earth.

But what happens when we start thinking beyond Earth? Would the same archaeological principals apply if we looked at alien civilizations, if we discovered evidence of life on another planet?

Neil Gaiman talked with Sarah Parcak about her work, what we have yet to discover, and the possibility of life beyond earth.

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Reading The Wheel of Time: Other Worlds and Couple Fights in Robert Jordan’s The Shadow Rising (Part 11)

This week in our read of The Shadow Rising, we get to travel to another world and meet a new species! We also get to watch a lot of stupid couples fights. Also, Loial is fabulous and Lan speaks poetry.

[Surprising what you can dig out of books if you read long enough, isn’t it?]

Series: Reading The Wheel of Time

Agency and Mind Control in Andre Norton’s Ice Crown

Now that I’ve read and reread a wide range of Norton novels from the Fifties to the early years of the new millennium, I’ve concluded that, for me, her “golden age” ran from the early Sixties through the mid-Seventies. Her official “Golden Age of SF” books of the Fifties have a distinct retro charm, and her later works kept on trucking for decades, delivering the patented Norton themes and settings and the occasional new one—and then there are her many collaborations with younger writers, some of them truly fine. But from about 1962 until about 1976, she wrote the novels that spoke to me most clearly and influenced my own writing the most.

I managed to miss Ice Crown at the time (1970). It hasn’t displaced any of my favorites from the period. But it’s classic Sixties/Seventies Norton.

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Riot Baby ARC Sweepstakes!

Marlon James (author of Black Leopard, Red Wolf) says Tochi Onyebuchi’s Riot Baby “bursts at the seams of story with so much fire, passion and power that in the end it turns what we call a narrative into something different altogether.” – and we want to send you a copy!


Ella has a Thing. She sees a classmate grow up to become a caring nurse. A neighbor’s son murdered in a drive-by shooting. Things that haven’t happened yet. Kev, born while Los Angeles burned around them, wants to protect his sister from a power that could destroy her. But when Kev is incarcerated, Ella must decide what it means to watch her brother suffer while holding the ability to wreck cities in her hands.

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