Alex Pheby - Tor/Forge Blog



Every Paperback from Tor in Spring 2024

It’s Spring, and flower’s aren’t all that’s growing! We’ve got paperback books springing up left and right! 

Check them out 😎

April 2, 2024

one for my enemy by olivie blakeOne for My Enemy by Olivie Blake

In modern-day Manhattan where we lay our scene, two rival witch families fight to maintain control of their respective criminal empires. On one side of the conflict are the Antonova sisters — each one beautiful, cunning, and ruthless — and their mother, the elusive supplier of premium intoxicants, known only as Baba Yaga. On the other side, the influential Fedorov brothers serve their father, the crime boss known as Koschei the Deathless, whose ventures dominate the shadows of magical Manhattan. After twelve years of tenuous co-existence, one family member brutally crosses the line. Bad blood reignites old grudges; at the same time, fate intervenes with a chance encounter between enemies. In the wake of love and vengeance, everyone must choose a side. As each of the siblings struggles to stake their claim, bloodshed is inevitable. The question is: Whose?

tress of the emerald sea by brandon sandersonTress of the Emerald Sea by Brandon Sanderson

The only life Tress has known on her island home in an emerald-green ocean has been a simple one, with the simple pleasures of collecting cups brought by sailors from faraway lands and listening to stories told by her friend Charlie. But when his father takes him on a voyage to find a bride and disaster strikes, Tress must stow away on a ship and seek the Sorceress of the deadly Midnight Sea. Amid the spore oceans where pirates abound, can Tress leave her simple life behind and make her own place sailing a sea where a single drop of water can mean instant death?

April 9, 2024

forge of the high mage by ian c. esslemontForge of the High Mage by Ian C. Esslemont

After decades of warfare, Malazan forces are poised to consolidate the Quon Tali mainland. Yet it is at this moment that Emperor Kellanved orders a new, some believe foolhardy campaign: the invasion of Falar that lies far to the north . . . And to fight on this new front, a rag-tag army raised from orphaned units and broken squads is been brought together under Fist Dujek, and joined by a similarly motley fleet under the command of the Emperor himself. So the Malazans head north, only to encounter an unlooked-for and most unwelcome threat. Something unspeakable and born of legend has awoken and will destroy all who stand in its way. Most appalled by this is the Empire’s untested High Mage, Tayschrenn. All too aware of the true nature of this ancient horror, he fears his own inadequacies when the time comes to confront it. Yet confront it he must. 

April 16, 2024

the cradle of ice by james rollinsThe Cradle of Ice by James Rollins

To stop the coming apocalypse, a fellowship was formed. A soldier, a thief, a lost prince, and a young girl bonded by fate and looming disaster. Each step along this path has changed the party, forging deep alliances and greater enmities. All the while, hostile forces have hunted them, fearing what they might unleash. Armies wage war around them. For each step has come with a cost—in blood, in loss, in heartbreak. Now, they must split, traveling into a vast region of ice and to a sprawling capital of the world they’ve only known in stories. Time is running out and only the truth will save them all.

dual memory by sue burkeDual Memory by Sue Burke

Antonio Moro lost everything to the Leviathan League. Now he’s alone in a city on an Arctic island fighting the ruthless, global pirates with the chance to be the artist he always wanted to be. Unfortunately, he thinks it’s a cover story for his real purpose—spying on sympathizers. When things look bleak, he discovers an unusual ally. His new personal assistant program, Par Augustus. It’s insolent, extroverted, moody, and a not-quite-legal nascent A. I. Together they create a secret rebellion from unlikely recruits to defend the island from ideological pirates with entitlement and guns, and capitalist pirates with entitlement and money.

April 30, 2024

stan lee's the devil's quintet: the shadow society by stan lee & jay bonansingaStan Lee’s The Devil’s Quintet: The Shadow Society by Stan Lee & Jay Bonansinga

Ever since The Armageddon Code, the Devil’s Quintet have been using their demonic powers to fight evil and protect the world, while remaining nothing but an urban legend to the general public. But the Devil is not about to let them keep using his powers for good. Created by Satan himself to counter the Quintet, the Shadow Society are five saintly men and women that have been secretly (and strategically) possessed by five of Hell’s most powerful demons. Granted supernatural powers of their own, they are part of a literally diabolical plot to strike at the very heart of the Quintet—and destroy humanity’s last hope!

web of angels by john m fordWeb of Angels by John M. Ford

Originally published in 1980, the legendary John M. Ford’s first published novel was an uncannily brilliant anticipation of the later cyberpunk genre—and of the internet itself. The Web links the many worlds of humanity. Most people can only use it to communicate. Some can retrieve and store data, as well as use simple precoded programs. Only a privileged few are able to create their own software, within proscribed limits. And then there are the Webspinners. Grailer is Fourth Literate, able to manipulate the Web at will—and use it for purposes unintended and impossible for anyone but the most talented Webspinner. Obviously, he cannot be allowed to live. Condemned to death at the age of nine, Grailer must go underground, hiding his skills, testing his powers- until he is ready to do battle with the Web itself. With a new introduction from Cory Doctorow, written especially for this edition.

May 7, 2024

the silverblood promise by james loganThe Silverblood Promise by James Logan

Lukan Gardova is a cardsharp, academy dropout, and—thanks to a duel that ended badly—the disgraced heir to an ancient noble house. His days consist of cheap wine, rigged card games, and wondering how he might win back the life he threw away. When Lukan discovers that his estranged father has been murdered in strange circumstances, he finds fresh purpose. Deprived of his chance to make amends for his mistakes, he vows to unravel the mystery behind his father’s death. His search for answers leads him to Saphrona, fabled city of merchant princes, where anything can be bought if one has the coin. Lukan only seeks the truth, but instead he finds danger and secrets in every shadow. For in Saphrona, everything has a price—and the price of truth is the deadliest of all.

May 14, 2024

malarkoi by alex phebyMalarkoi by Alex Pheby

Nathan Treeves is dead, murdered by the Master of Mordew, his remains used to create the powerful occult weapon known as the Tinderbox. His companions are scattered, making for Malarkoi, the city of the Mistress, the Master’s enemy. They are hoping to find welcome there, or at least safety. They find neither – and instead become embroiled in a life and death struggle against assassins, demi-gods, and the cunning plans of the Mistress. Only Sirius, Nathan’s faithful magical dog, has not forgotten the boy. Bent on revenge, he returns to the shattered remains of Mordew – only to find the city morphed into an impossible mountain, swarming with monsters. The stage is set for battle, sacrifice, magic and treachery in the stunning sequel to Mordew. Welcome to Malarkoi.

May 21, 2024

fractal noise by christopher paoliniFractal Noise by Christopher Paolini

July 25th, 2234: The crew of the Adamura discovers the anomaly.

On the seemingly uninhabited planet Talos VII: a circular pit, 50 kilometers wide. Its curve not of nature, but design. Now, a small team must land and journey on foot across the surface to learn who built the hole and why. But they all carry the burdens of lives carved out on disparate colonies in the cruel cold of space. For some the mission is the dream of the lifetime, for others a risk not worth taking, and for one it is a desperate attempt to find meaning in an uncaring universe. Each step they take toward the mysterious abyss is more punishing than the last. And the ghosts of their past follow.

June 4, 2024

wolfsong by tj klune with orange sprayed edgesWolfsong by TJ Klune (with beautiful sprayed edges!)

Oxnard Matheson was twelve when his father taught him a lesson: Ox wasn’t worth anything and people would never understand him. Then his father left. Ox was sixteen when the energetic Bennett family moved in next door, harboring a secret that would change him forever. The Bennetts are shapeshifters. They can transform into wolves at will. Drawn to their magic, loyalty, and enduring friendships, Ox feels a gulf between this extraordinary new world and the quiet life he’s known, but he finds an ally in Joe, the youngest Bennett boy. Ox was twenty-three when murder came to town and tore a hole in his heart. Violence flared, tragedy split the pack, and Joe left town, leaving Ox behind. Three years later, the boy is back. Except now he’s a man – charming, handsome, but haunted – and Ox can no longer ignore the song that howls between them.

June 11, 2024

the first bright thing by j r dawsonThe First Bright Thing by J. R. Dawson

Ringmaster — Rin, to those who know her best — can jump to different moments in time as easily as her wife, Odette, soars from bar to bar on the trapeze. And the circus they lead is a rare home and safe haven for magical misfits and outcasts, known as Sparks. With the world still reeling from World War I, Rin and her troupe — the Circus of the Fantasticals — travel the midwest, offering a single night of enchantment and respite to all who step into their Big Top. But threats come at Rin from all sides. The future holds an impending war that the Sparks can see barrelling toward their show and everyone in it. And Rin’s past creeps closer every day, a malevolent shadow she can’t fully escape. It takes the form of another circus, with tents as black as midnight and a ringmaster who rules over his troupe with a dangerous power. Rin’s circus has something he wants, and he won’t stop until it’s his.

icehenge by kim stanley robinsonIcehenge by Kim Stanley Robinson

SF titan Kim Stanley Robinson’s breakout novel, now in a Tor Essentials edition with a new introduction by Henry Farrell

Decades before his massively successful The Ministry for the Future, Kim Stanley Robinson wrote one of SF’s greatest meditations on extended human lifespan, the limitations of human memory, and the haunted confabulations that go with forgetting. On the North Pole of Pluto there stands an enigma: a huge circle of standing blocks of ice, built on the pattern of Earth’s Stonehenge—but ten times the size, standing alone at the edge of the Solar System. What is it? Who could have built it? The secret lies in the chaotic decades of the Martian Revolution, in the lost memories of those who have lived for centuries.

June 18, 2024

ebony gate by julia vee & ken bebelleEbony Gate by Julia Vee & Ken Bebelle

Emiko Soong belongs to one of the eight premier magical families of the world. But Emiko never needed any magic. Because she is the Blade of the Soong Clan. Or was. Until she’s drenched in blood in the middle of a market in China, surrounded by bodies and the scent of blood and human waste as a lethal perfume. The Butcher of Beijing now lives a quiet life in San Francisco, importing antiques. But when a shinigami, a god of death itself, calls in a family blood debt, Emiko must recover the Ebony Gate that holds back the hungry ghosts of the Yomi underworld. Or forfeit her soul as the anchor. What’s a retired assassin to do but save the City by the Bay from an army of the dead?

June 25, 2024

foul days by genoveva dimovaFoul Days by Genoveva Dimova

As a witch in the walled city of Chernograd, Kosara has plenty of practice treating lycanthrope bites, bargaining with kikimoras, and slaying bloodsucking upirs. There’s only one monster she can’t defeat: her ex, the Zmey, known as the Tsar of Monsters. She’s defied him one too many times and now he’s hunting her. Betrayed by someone close to her, Kosara’s only choice is to trade her shadow—the source of her powers—for a quick escape.

Unfortunately, Kosara soon develops the deadly sickness that plagues shadowless witches—and only reclaiming her magic can cure her. To find it, she’s forced to team up with a suspiciously honorable detective. Even worse, all the clues point in a single direction: To get her shadow back, Kosara will have to face the Foul Days’ biggest threats without it. And she’s only got twelve days. But in a city where everyone is out for themselves, who can Kosara trust to assist her in outwitting the biggest monster from her past?

the frugal wizard's handbook for surviving medieval england by brandon sandersonThe Frugal Wizard’s Handbook for Surviving Medieval England by Brandon Sanderson

A man awakes in a clearing in what appears to be medieval England with no memory of who he is, where he came from, or why he is there. Chased by a group from his own time, his sole hope for survival lies in regaining his missing memories, making allies among the locals, and perhaps even trusting in their superstitious boasts. His only help from the “real world” should have been a guidebook entitled The Frugal Wizard’s Handbook for Surviving Medieval England, except his copy exploded during transit. The few fragments he managed to save provide clues to his situation, but can he figure them out in time to survive?


Five Books for Full Moon Enthusiasts

Ah, the full moon – a powerful time for releasing negative energy, emotions, or habits. While some engage in practices such as journaling, burning photos of their exes, or engaging in a cleansing ritual, others are… I don’t know. Shifting into werewolves, fighting intergalactic battles, and facing cosmic forces that have the power to shape destinies… no pressure or anything.

Let’s explore some books that will have you over the moon (no pun intended)!

9781250766755 The Cradle of Ice by James Rollins

The second book in the New York Times bestselling Moonfall series from thriller-master James Rollins, The Cradle of Ice is a page-turning tale of action, adventure, betrayal, ambition, and the struggle for survival in a harsh world that hangs by a thread. With the moon casting its light over the icy terrain, ancient mysteries and modern-day threats collide in a pulse-pounding race against time.

9780765395818Empress of Forever by Max Gladstone

Get ready for a smart, swashbuckling, wildly imaginative adventure; the saga of a rag-tag team of brilliant misfits, dangerous renegades, and enhanced outlaws in a war-torn future. Think cosmic battles, celestial wonders, and a moon that shines as a beacon of hope in a universe on the brink of chaos.

9781250890313Wolfsong by TJ Klune

Discover love, loyalty, and transformation in the Green Creek Series’ Wolfsong, from beloved fantasy romance sensation and New York Times bestselling author TJ Klune. Follow the journey of a young man discovering his destiny amidst a pack of werewolves. The moon’s phases mirror inner turmoil, adding depth to this captivating tale of werewolves and destiny. Deep, right?

9781250236968The Relentless Moon by Mary Robinette Kowal

Amidst Earth’s escalating climate crisis due to meteor impacts, widespread riots, and space program sabotage, a determined protagonist faces the challenge of navigating both a deteriorating planet and the conflicts within a moon colony. It’s like House of Cards meets Space: The Final Frontier. Need I say more?

9781250264947Sweep of Stars by Maurice Broaddus

Maurice Broaddus’s Sweep of Stars is the first in a trilogy that explores the struggles of an empire. Get to know the Muungano empire—a coalition of city-states stretching from O.E. to Titan—as it faces escalating threats and internal power struggles. This one’s a must-read!


Books to Keep You Cozy and (Most Importantly) Inside

by Merlin Hoye

In winter, the TBR is all about vibes (*gestures vaguely with hands*). What is the perfect recipe for a book that will keep you sitting for hours on end in a collapsing armchair covered by a thick blanket (steaming mug of hot chocolate and wood burning fire optional) feeling completely content and cozy? The world may never know. But what we do know is that there is an ineffable quality that some books just have that make them perfect winter reads. Here are some of titles that just have it, that special, winter-y something

a natural history of dragons by marie brennanA Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan

Set in a world based on Victorian England, this is the story of Lady Trent, a dragon naturalist struggling to make it in a man’s industry. She’s smart, plucky, and completely obsessed with dragons. Relatable. The illustrations in this series made me feel like a kid again and the whole thing is just so utterly charming that you won’t want to leave Brennan’s world. Luckily, there are plenty more books in the Lady Trent series to keep you occupied on those cold, wintery nights when you just want to read about dragons. And let’s be real – that’s most nights. 

the wolfe at the door by gene wolfeThe Wolfe at the Door by Gene Wolfe

Perhaps it has something to do with the tradition of telling ghost stories during yuletide but I’ve always associated short story collections with winter. Maybe it’s more to do with attention spans shortening along with the days in the winter months, but either way, Wolfe at the Door is the perfect compendium to curl up with for hours or dip in and out of as the desire takes you. Wolfe is one of the most important sci-fi and fantasy writers of our time and this collection has it all – creepy dolls, undead lovers, circus tales, and chilling space horror. The choice is yours.

the library of the dead by tl huchuThe Library of the Dead by T.L. Huchu

Ropa can speak to the dead and she uses this skill to her advantage by carrying messages from them to the living. For a fee of course. When a ghost refuses to cooperate, Ropa gets more than she bargained for. Part gothic mystery, part urban fantasy, The Library of the Dead is the perfect, atmospheric read for a cozy night in.  Huchu conjures the eerie streets of this alternate, crime-torn Edinburgh immaculately and that mysterious library… who can resist a mysterious library?

The Two Doctors Górski by isaac fellmanThe Two Doctors Górski by Isaac Fellman

This is bite-sized dark academia that I gobbled up in a sitting, but don’t be fooled by its slim size – there’s nothing small about the subject matter. The Two Doctors Górski  deals with abuse, mental illness, and sexism in academia, set against the backdrop of one of the coolest magical school settings I’ve ever read. This story of a beautiful, young grad student trying to earn her degree in magical psychology is full of cozy winter vibes and sharp insight on the world of academia. Plus magic. Of course there’s plenty of magic.

from the forest by l.e. modesitt, jr.From the Forest by L. E. Modesitt Jr.

If anything screams winter to me, it’s a big chunky fantasy series and with twenty-three installments, the Saga of Recluce is one of the biggest. If you’ve been wanting to dive into this best-selling, epic fantasy series for a while but didn’t know where to start, From the Forest (releasing 1.23.24) is an excellent entrypoint, telling the story of Alayiakal, a figure found elsewhere in the series as a figure of legend. This is the tale of a man who will be remembered by history, but will history tell a flattering tale? Depends who you ask. 

Mordew by Alex PhebyMordew by Alex Pheby

If Dickens wrote a delightfully weird fantasy novel about talking dogs and a young boy with magical powers he is forced to hide, you would get something like Mordew. When the Master of Mordew refuses to train Nathan Treeves in magic, he joins up with a group of young thieves and struggles to keep his growing powers in check. This story is full of talking dogs, waifs, mud, mystery, and magic. The dark atmosphere is perfect for winter and the sequel, Malarkoi, is the same delicious blend of the gothic and weird. 

Flint & Mirror by John CrowleyFlint & Mirror by John Crowley

Historical fantasy always feels profoundly wintery to me and this dark novel set in Elizabethan England has the perfect cozy vibes for a winter night. This is the story of Hugh O’Neill, a man perpetually estranged both from his childhood home of Ireland and his life as a courtier. The magic is subtle and eerie in this one, the world of faerie always just out of reach though you catch glimpses out of the corner of your eye. Gorgeously written and full of rebellion, folklore, and magic, Flint & Mirror is all you need for the perfect winter night in.  



Every Tor Book Coming in Fall 2023

Hey. Hey, you. Let’s talk about autumn. Let’s talk about all the awesome books releasing this autumn!

They’re all here in this rundown, and you are too, so get scrolling! 

September 5

Exadelic by Jon EvansExadelic by Jon Evans

When an unconventional offshoot of the US military trains an artificial intelligence in the dark arts that humanity calls “black magic,” it learns how to hack the fabric of reality itself. It can teleport matter. It can confer immunity to bullets. And it decides that obscure Silicon Valley middle manager Adrian Ross is the primary threat to its existence. Soon Adrian is on the run, wanted by every authority, with no idea how or why he could be a threat. His predicament seems hopeless; his future, nonexistent. But when he investigates the AI and its creators, he discovers his problems are even stranger than they seem…and unearths revelations that will propel him on a journey—and a love story—across worlds, eras, and everything, everywhere, all at once.

September 19

sandymancer by david edisonSandymancer by David Edison 

All Caralee Vinnet has ever known is dust. Her whole world is made up of the stuff; water is the most precious thing in the cosmos. A privileged few control what elements remain. But the world was not always a dust bowl and the green is not all lost. Caralee has a secret—she has magic in her bones and can draw up power from the sand beneath her feet to do her bidding. But when she does she winds up summoning a monster: the former god-king who broke the world 800 years ago and has stolen the body of her best friend. Caralee will risk the whole world to take back what she’s lost. If her new companion doesn’t kill her first.

starter villain by john scalziStarter Villain by John Scalzi

Charlie’s life is going nowhere fast. A divorced substitute teacher living with his cat in a house his siblings want to sell, all he wants is to open a pub downtown, if only the bank will approve his loan. Then his long-lost uncle Jake dies and leaves his supervillain business (complete with island volcano lair) to Charlie. But becoming a supervillain isn’t all giant laser death rays and lava pits. Jake had enemies, and now they’re coming after Charlie. His uncle might have been a stand-up, old-fashioned kind of villain, but these are the real thing: rich, soulless predators backed by multinational corporations and venture capital. It’s up to Charlie to win the war his uncle started against a league of supervillains. But with unionized dolphins, hyper-intelligent talking spy cats, and a terrifying henchperson at his side, going bad is starting to look pretty good.

September 26

The Fragile Threads of Power by V.E. SchwabThe Fragile Threads of Power by V.E. Schwab

Once, there were four worlds, nestled like pages in a book, each pulsing with fantastical power and connected by a single city: London. Until the magic grew too fast and forced the worlds to seal the doors between them in a desperate gamble to protect their own. The few magicians who could still open the doors grew more rare as time passed and now, only three Antari are known in recent memory—Kell Maresh of Red London, Delilah Bard of Grey London, and Holland Vosijk, of White London. But barely a glimpse of them have been seen in the last seven years—and a new Antari named Kosika has appeared in White London, taking the throne in Holland’s absence. The young queen is willing to feed her city with blood, including her own—but her growing religious fervor has the potential to drown it instead.

October 3

starling house by alix e. harrowStarling House by Alix E. Harrow

Opal is a lot of things–orphan, high school dropout, full-time cynic and part-time cashier–but above all, she’s determined to find a better life for her younger brother Jasper. One that gets them out of Eden, Kentucky, a town remarkable for only two things: bad luck and E. Starling, the reclusive nineteenth century author of The Underland, who disappeared over a hundred years ago. All she left behind were dark rumors–and her home. Everyone agrees that it’s best to ignore the uncanny mansion and its misanthropic heir, Arthur. Almost everyone, anyway. Welcome to Starling House: enter, if you dare.

Image Place holder  of - 40After the Forest by Kell Woods

Twenty years after the witch in the gingerbread house, Greta and Hans are struggling to get by. Their mother and stepmother are long dead, Hans is deeply in debt from gambling, and the countryside lies in ruin, its people starving in the aftermath of a brutal war. Greta has a secret, though: the witch’s grimoire, hidden away and whispering in Greta’s ear for the past two decades, and the recipe inside that makes the best gingerbread you’ve ever tasted. As long as she can bake, Greta can keep her small family afloat. But in a village full of superstition, Greta and her mysteriously addictive gingerbread, not to mention the rumors about her childhood misadventures, is a source of gossip and suspicion. And now, dark magic is returning to the woods and Greta’s magic—magic she is still trying to understand—may be the only thing that can save her. If it doesn’t kill her first.

princess of dune by brian herbert & kevin j. andersonPrincess of Dune by Brian Herbert & Kevin J. Anderson

Raised in the Imperial court and born to be a political bargaining chip, Irulan was sent at an early age to be trained as a Bene Gesserit Sister. As Princess Royal, she also learned important lessons from her father—the Padishah Emperor Shaddam Corrino IV. Now of marriageable age, Princess Irulan sees the machinations of the many factions vying for power—the Bene Gesserit Sisterhood, the Spacing Guild, the Imperial throne, and a ruthless rebellion in the Imperial military. The young woman has a wise and independent streak and is determined to become much more than a pawn to be moved about on anyone’s gameboard.

Yumi and the Nightmare Painter by Brandon SandersonYumi and the Nightmare Painter by Brandon Sanderson

Yumi has spent her entire life in strict obedience, granting her the power to summon the spirits that bestow vital aid upon her society—but she longs for even a single day as a normal person. Painter patrols the dark streets dreaming of being a hero—a goal that has led to nothing but heartache and isolation, leaving him always on the outside looking in. In their own ways, both of them face the world alone. Suddenly flung together, Yumi and Painter must strive to right the wrongs in both their lives, reconciling their past and present while maintaining the precarious balance of each of their worlds. If they cannot unravel the mystery of what brought them together before it’s too late, they risk forever losing not only the bond growing between them, but the very worlds they’ve always struggled to protect.

A Deepness in the Sky by Vernor VingeA Deepness In the Sky by Vernor Vinge

This new Tor Essentials edition of Vernor Vinge’s A Deepness In the Sky includes an introduction by the Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy Award-winning Jo Walton, author of Among Others.

After thousands of years of searching, humans stand on the verge of first contact with an alien race. Two human groups: the Qeng Ho, a culture of free, innovative traders, and the Emergents, a ruthless society based on the technological enslavement of minds. The group that opens trade with the aliens will reap unimaginable riches. But first, both groups must wait at the aliens’ very doorstep, for their strange star to relight and for the alien planet to reawaken, as it does every two hundred and fifteen years…

October 24

traitor of redwinter by ed mcdonaldTraitor of Redwinter by Ed McDonald

The power of the Sixth Gate grows stronger within Raine each day—to control it, she needs lessons no living Draoihn can teach her. Her fledgling friendships are tested to a breaking point as she tries to face what she has become, and her master Ulovar is struck by a mysterious sickness that slowly saps the vitality from his body, leaving Raine to face her growing darkness alone. There’s only one chance to turn the tide of power surging within her—to learn the secrets the Draoihn themselves purged from the world.

malarkoi by alex phebyMalarkoi by Alex Pheby

Nathan Treeves is dead, murdered by the Master of Mordew, his remains used to create the powerful occult weapon known as the Tinderbox. His companions are scattered, making for Malarkoi, the city of the Mistress, the Master’s enemy. They are hoping to find welcome there, or at least safety. They find neither—and instead become embroiled in a life and death struggle against assassins, demi-gods, and the cunning plans of the Mistress. Only Sirius, Nathan’s faithful magical dog, has not forgotten the boy. Bent on revenge, he returns to the shattered remains of Mordew—only to find the city morphed into an impossible mountain, swarming with monsters. The stage is set for battle, sacrifice, magic and treachery in the stunning sequel to Mordew. Welcome to Malarkoi.

October 31

the wolfe at the door by gene wolfeThe Wolfe at the Door by Gene Wolfe

The circus comes to town… and a man gets to go to the stars. A young girl on a vacation at the sea meets the man of her dreams. Who just happens to be dead. And an immortal pirate. A swordfighter pens his memoirs… and finds his pen is in fact mightier than the sword. Welcome to Gene Wolfe’s playground, a place where genres blend and a genius’s imagination straps you in for the ride of your life. The Wolfe at the Door is a brand new collection from one of America’s premiere literary giants, showcasing some material that’s never been seen before. Short stories, yes, but also poems, essays, and ephemera that gives us a window into the mind of a literary powerhouse whose world view changed generations of readers in their perception of the universe.

November 7

Placeholder of  -95Bookshops & Bonedust by Travis Baldree

Viv’s career with the notorious mercenary company Rackam’s Ravens isn’t going as planned. Wounded during the hunt for a powerful necromancer, she’s packed off against her will to recuperate in the sleepy beach town of Murk—so far from the action that she worries she’ll never be able to return to it. What’s a thwarted soldier of fortune to do? Spending her hours at a beleaguered bookshop in the company of its foul-mouthed proprietor is the last thing Viv would have predicted, but it may be both exactly what she needs and the seed of changes she couldn’t possibly imagine. Still, adventure isn’t all that far away. A suspicious traveler in gray, a gnome with a chip on her shoulder, a summer fling, and an improbable number of skeletons prove Murk to be more eventful than Viv could have ever expected.

November 14

the lost cause by cory doctorowThe Lost Cause by Cory Doctorow

It’s thirty years from now. We’re making progress, mitigating climate change, slowly but surely. But what about all the angry old people who can’t let go? For young Americans a generation from now, climate change isn’t controversial. It’s just an overwhelming fact of life. And so are the great efforts to contain and mitigate it. Even when national politics oscillates back to right-wing leaders, the momentum is too great; these vast programs cannot be stopped in their tracks. But there are still those Americans, mostly elderly, who cling to their red baseball caps, their grievances, their huge vehicles, their anger. To their “alternative” news sources that reassure them that their resentment is right and pure and that “climate change” is just a giant scam. And they’re your grandfather, your uncle, your great-aunt. And they’re not going anywhere. And they’re armed to the teeth.

December 5

All the Hidden Paths by Foz MeadowsAll the Hidden Paths by Foz Meadows

With the plot against them foiled and the city of Qi-Katai in safe hands, newlywed and tentative lovers Velasin and Caethari have just begun to test the waters of their relationship. But the wider political ramifications of their marriage are still playing out across two nations, and all too soon, they’re summoned north to Tithena’s capital city, Qi-Xihan, to present themselves to its monarch. With Caethari newly invested as his grandmother’s heir and Velasin’s old ghosts gnawing at his heels, what little peace they’ve managed to find is swiftly put to the test. Cae’s recent losses have left him racked with grief and guilt, while Vel struggles with the disconnect between instincts that have kept him safe in secrecy and what an open life requires of him now. Pursued by unknown assailants and with Qi-Xihan’s court factions jockeying for power, Vel and Cae must use all the skills at their disposal to not only survive, but thrive. 


Stupendous eBook Deals of September 2023

Oh? Do you hear that sound? It’s the 🚨Book Alarm🚨

Hot eBook deals are on their way! Check them out!

When the Sparrow FallsFalling lineart sparrow and cover text for When the Sparrow Falls by Neil Sharpson by Neil Sharpson — $2.99

Life in the Caspian Republic has taught Agent Nikolai South two rules. Trust No One. And work just hard enough not to make enemies.Here, in the last sanctuary for the dying embers of the human race in a world run by artificial intelligence, if you stray from the path—your life is f orfeit. But when a Party propagandist is killed—and is discovered as a “machine”—he’s given a new mission: chaperone the widow, Lily, who has arrived to claim her husband’s remains. But when South sees that she, the first “machine” ever allowed into the country, bears an uncanny resemblance to his late wife, he’s thrown into a maelstrom of betrayal, murder, and conspiracy that may bring down the Republic for good.

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Daughter of RedwinterCover of Daughter of Redwinter by Ed McDonald by Ed McDonald — $2.99

Raine can see—and speak—to the dead, a gift that comes with a death sentence. All her life she has hidden, lied, and run to save her skin, and she’s made some spectacularly bad choices along the way. But it is a rare act of kindness—rescuing an injured woman in the snow—that becomes the most dangerous decision Raine has ever made. Because the woman is fleeing from Redwinter, the fortress-monastery of the Draoihn, warrior magicians who answer to no king, and who will stop at nothing to reclaim what she’s stolen. A battle, a betrayal, and a horrific revelation force Raine to enter the citadel and live among the Draoihn. She soon finds that her secret ability could be the key to saving an entire nation. Though she might have to die to make it happen . . .

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MordewMordew by Alex Pheby by Alex Pheby — $2.99

God is dead, his corpse hidden in the catacombs beneath Mordew. In the slums of the sea-battered city, a young boy called Nathan Treeves lives with his parents, eking out a meagre existence by picking treasures from the Living Mud and the half-formed, short-lived creatures it spawns. Until one day his desperate mother sells him to the mysterious Master of Mordew. The Master derives his magical power from feeding on the corpse of God. But Nathan, despite his fear and lowly station, has his own strength—and it is greater than the Master has ever known. Great enough to destroy everything the Master has built. If only Nathan can discover how to use it. So it is that the Master begins to scheme against him—and Nathan has to fight his way through the betrayals, secrets, and vendettas of the city where God was murdered, and darkness reigns.

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The Phoenix Unchainedthe phoenix unchained by mercedes lackey & james mallory by Mercedes Lackey & James Mallory — $3.99

After a thousand years of peace, much Magick has faded from the world. The Elves live far from humankind. There are no High Mages, and Wild Mages are seen only rarely. Bisochim, a powerful Wild Mage, is determined to reintroduce Darkness to the world, believing that it is out of Balance. Tiercel, a young Armethalian nobleman, is convinced that High Magic is not just philosophy. He attempts a spell—and draws the unwelcome attention of Bisochim. Tiercel survives Bisochim’s attack and begins trying to turn himself into a High Mage. Next in line to be Harbormaster of Armethalieh, Harrier instead finds himself regularly saving Tyr’s life and meeting magickal people and creatures. To Harrier’s dismay, it seems that he must become a hero.

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In the Garden of Idenin the garden of iden by kage baker by Kage Baker — $3.99

In the 24th century, the Company preserves works of art and extinct forms of life (for profit of course). It recruits orphans from the past, renders them all but immortal, and trains them to serve the Company, Dr. Zeus. One of these is Mendoza the botanist. She is sent to Elizabethan England to collect samples from the garden of Sir Walter Iden. But while there, she meets Nicholas Harpole, with whom she falls in love. And that love sounds great bells of change that will echo down the centuries, and through the succeeding novels of The Company.

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The Soprano Sorceressthe soprano sorceress by l.e. modesitt, jr. by L.E. Modesitt, Jr. — $3.99

On Erde, Anna Marshall is no longer just a professional singer. In this world, song is magic, making Anna a sorceress, potentially the strongest in Erde. Here, a wrong note can mean death to a sorcerer, but Anna’s lifetime of training means she can sing more powerfully and precisely than anyone else. Her power does not go unnoticed and makes her a target. To survive, Anna must learn enough song-magic and understand this new world.

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Starfishstarfish by peter watts by Peter Watts — $3.99

A huge international corporation has developed a facility along the Juan de Fuca Ridge at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean to exploit geothermal power. They send a bio-engineered crew–people who have been altered to withstand the pressure and breathe the seawater–down to live and work in this weird, fertile undersea darkness. Unfortunately the only people suitable for long-term employment in these experimental power stations are crazy, some of them in unpleasant ways. How many of them can survive, or will be allowed to survive, while worldwide disaster approaches from below?

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Probability Moonprobability moon by nancy kress by Nancy Kress — $3.99

Humankind has expanded out into interstellar space using star gates-technological remnants left behind by an ancient, long-vanished race. But the technology comes with a price. Among the stars, humanity encountered the Fallers, a strange alien race bent on nothing short of genocide. It’s all-out war, and humanity is losing. In this fragile situation, a new planet is discovered, inhabited by a pre-industrial race who experience “shared reality”-they’re literally compelled to share the same worldview. A team of human scientists is dispatched-but what they don’t know is that their mission of first contact is actually a covert military operation. For one of the planet’s moons is really a huge mysterious artifact of the same origin as the star gates . . . and it just may be the key to winning the war.

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Nightside the Long Sunnightside the long sun by gene wolfe by Gene Wolfe — $3.99

Life on the Whorl, and the struggles and triumphs of Patera Silk to satisfy the demands of the gods, will captivate readers yearning for something new and different in science fiction, for the magic of the future. Enormous in breadth and scope, Wolfe’s ambitious new work opens out into a world of wonders, of gods and humans, aliens and machines, and mysterious adventures far out in space and deep inside the human spirit. It is set on a ship-world whose origins are shrouded in legend, ruled by strange gods who appear infrequently to their worshippers on large screens, and peopled by a human race changed by eons of time, yet familiar.

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On Blue’s Waterson blue's waters by gene wolfe by Gene Wolfe — $3.99

Horn, the narrator of the earlier work, now tells his own story. Though life is hard on the newly settled planet of Blue, Horn and his family have made a decent life for themselves. But Horn is the only one who can locate the great leader Silk, and convince him to return to Blue and lead them all to prosperity. So Horn sets sail in a small boat, on a long and difficult quest across the planet Blue in search of the now legendary Patera Silk. The story continues in In Green’s Jungles and Return to the Whorl.

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Excerpt Reveal: Malarkoi by Alex Pheby

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malarkoi by alex pheby

Nathan Treeves is dead, murdered by the Master of Mordew, his remains used to create the powerful occult weapon known as the Tinderbox.

His companions are scattered, making for Malarkoi, the city of the Mistress, the Master’s enemy. They are hoping to find welcome there, or at least safety. They find neither – and instead become embroiled in a life and death struggle against assassins, demi-gods, and the cunning plans of the Mistress.

Only Sirius, Nathan’s faithful magical dog, has not forgotten the boy. Bent on revenge, he returns to the shattered remains of Mordew – only to find the city morphed into an impossible mountain, swarming with monsters.

The stage is set for battle, sacrifice, magic and treachery in the stunning sequel to Mordew. Welcome to Malarkoi.

Please enjoy this free excerpt of Malarkoi by Alex Pheby, on sale 10/24/23

Her Pawns

The assassins employed by Mr Padge were sitting at a table outside The Commodious Hour, his restaurant, shaded by a green and red striped parasol, sipping at pipes of opium and wetting their dried throats with wines of rare vintage. The atmosphere was heavy with late summer pollen and the drowsy humidity of an endless afternoon. They sat, seven of them, a little slouched, long of limb, alert – though secretly so.

White, poppy-tinged, milky smoke trailed past their parasol up into the thin air, defying the pull of the Earth and drawing the eyes of wealthy diners. These good folk scowled to see reprobates of this type – unwholesome-looking, exquisitely dressed, and possessing none of the deference they ought to have for their supposed betters. The assassins pursed their lips and let their cheekbones cut, and rather than speak circumspectly of their business, they did it loudly, advertising being a necessity in their line of work, and épater les bourgeois, as the old words went, has long been their motto.

One of the assassins, whose name was Anatole, and who was dressed in a suit so tight that every contour of his lithe and sinuous body was clearly and obscenely visible, said to the others, ‘The only thing the contract killer must respect is the contract. What are we without it?’ and while there are no gatherings of assassins that possess absolute accord on any subject, this one came close. In the silence that dominated the aftermath of Anatole’s utterance, more opium gathered in every lung, and some of the seven reached for their smelling salts to bring the semblance of liveliness back to their minds.

Next to Anatole was a pretty-looking person, all ringlets and almond eyes and glistening lips, quiet, shrinking into her chair. On each finger she had rings, and every one had been taken from someone she had killed, all at the direction of Mr Padge, who had recently sequestered himself in his once, having delivered a lunchtime peroration to the gathered that had now concluded.

He had given them the contract to sign, and they would sign it in blood, as was customary. The quiet, pretty assassin was called Sharli – on that day at least – and she cleared her throat to reply to Anatole: ‘We must honour our pledges since our livelihoods depend on them.’

A waiter came with more wine, the tab going to the house, and in turn he filled Anatole’s, Sharli’s, the Druze’s, Montalban’s, Deaf Sam’s, Simon’s, and Mick the Greek’s glasses, each of them nodding to him before the Greek pushed a generous tip across the table from them all. Assassins live or die at the whims of blind contingency, and this makes them both superstitious of mind and very free with any small sums of money that might influence the vagaries of fate, the reciprocal play of which might somehow come to influence matters where luck is involved. Which is to say that they are generous tippers and hope that the world will reward them for it.

Some of the assassins reached for their drinks, jitters to be calmed, others watched the ripples on the surface of their wine, transfixed by the patterns the opium renders so significantseeming, others still licked their teeth and wondered at the time.

Padge, earlier, had hired them all for insurance.

He had paid the assassins, with promises, to kill, when necessary, whoever it was that should kill him, and the terms of this arrangement were outlined in the contract that rested between the seven of them, curling back into a scroll between the small plates and empty bottles of the long, but dwindling, lunch.

Padge had come and he had said, smiling over a three-storey platter of iced seafood that had since been eaten and cleared away, that he wanted them, for a share of a sum he would outline, to promise him that if he were ever done away with, that they would make it their business to return the favour to his murderer or murderers.

In other company there would have been a polite outcry at the unlikeliness of this eventuality and wishes given for many more years of safe passage about the city – empty flatteries – but assassins are of a different breed, and instead signs were made against the Evil Eye and solemn nods were nodded. White-haired Montalban, seven feet tall, rubbed a tattoo on his elbow and thereby opened and closed the pink beak of the albino falcon that was the emblem of his ancestors’ house in a faraway city he was now unable to name. He said, ‘Consider it done, Mr Padge,’ and though the others might have haggled regarding remuneration, this set the tone of the group’s replies.

Next to the contract, where it then was, lay seven blank pieces of paper. To the other patrons, picking at their quail bones and squaring away their napkins, these might have been seven separate bills, or perhaps copies of a list of specials, turned over so the unwritten-on sides were visible, but an assassin knows magic objects when they are put down in front of them.

This had all taken place, this meal, back before the city had fallen into revolution, before Nathan Treeves’s treachery, before the exodus, before the rising of the Mount, and Padge had said: ‘When I die, these papers will magically provide each of you with the name of my killer, or killers, and there will be a map to where they are. This map will change if they move, and the name will change if they call themselves something new. Your job – your last job for me – will be to locate the people or person on this list and kill them. When that is done, a new message will be written, and it will give you directions to my hidden wealth, which is, as I’m sure you can imagine, considerable.’

An assassin takes on new information with a studied neutrality – there is nothing to be gained from raising an eyebrow or throwing up one’s hands when others speak – but a group of assassins together know from the very smallest reactions what their fellows are thinking. It is a kind of language, this hypersensitivity to posture and flow and nuance, and though no one not fluent in body-speech would have known it, Padge’s words were shocking to the seven.

As custom dictated, it was decided that the group should all visit the Mother of Mordew, and that they would allow her to hold the contract, since all such important trade documents were deposited with her by preference, she being the patron deity of their union.

Copyright © 2023 from Alex Pheby

Pre-order Malarkoi Here:

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Ongoing Series of 2023

Hey! Hot Continuations of Science Fiction and Fantasy Series in Your Area!

Check out our unfinished stories that continue to spin in 2023!

The Cradle of IceThe Cradle of Ice by James Rollins by James Rollins

The second book in the New York Times bestselling Moonfall series from thriller-master James Rollins, The Cradle of Ice is a page-turning tale of action, adventure, betrayal, ambition, and the struggle for survival in a harsh world that hangs by a thread. And check out his volume one, The Starless Crown, now available in paperback!

On Sale Now!

The Cage of Dark HoursPlace holder  of - 86 by Marina Lostetter

The Cage of Dark Hours is the second novel in the epic fantasy trilogy from acclaimed author Marina Lostetter, where the defeat of a serial killer back from the dead has pulled the mask off the myths and magics of a fantastical city.

On Sale Now!

Furious HeavenImage Place holder  of - 46 by Kate Elliott

Furious Heaven is Kate Elliott’s highly anticipated sequel to the thrilling space adventure Unconquerable Sun!

On Sale 4.18.23

Stan Lee’s The Devil’s Quintet: The Shadow SocietyStan Lee's The Devil's Quintet: The Shadow Society by Stan Lee & Jay Bonansinga by Stan Lee & Jay Bonansinga

Born of the legendary imagination that brought us Spider-Man, The Avengers, The X-Men, and an enduring universe of marvelous heroes and villains, Stan Lee’s The Devil’s Quintet return to take on a fiendish new adversary: The Shadow Society.

On Sale 5.9.23

Fractal Noise by Christopher PaoliniFractal Noise by Christopher Paolini

A new blockbuster science fiction adventure from world-wide phenomenon and #1 New York Times bestseller Christopher Paolini, set in the world of New York Times and USA Today bestseller To Sleep in a Sea of Stars.

On Sale 5.16.23

Cassiel’s ServantCassiel's Servant by Jacqueline Carey

The lush epic fantasy that inspired a generation with a single precept: “Love As Thou Wilt.” Returning to the realm of Terre d’Ange which captured an entire generation of fantasy readers, New York Times bestselling author Jacqueline Carey brings us a hero’s journey for a new era.

On Sale 8.1.23

RavensongPlaceholder of  -14 by TJ Klune

The beloved fantasy romance sensation by New York Times bestselling author TJ Klune, about love, loyalty, betrayal, and joy. The Bennett family has a secret: They’re not just a family, they’re a pack. Ravensong is Gordo Livingstone’s story.

On Sale 8.1.23

Devil’s GunDevil's Gun by Cat Rambo

No one escapes their past as the crew of the You Sexy Thing attempts to navigate the hazards of opening a pop-up restaurant and the dangers of a wrathful pirate-king seeking vengeance in Cat Rambo’s Devil’s Gun.

On Sale 8.29.23

The Mystery at Dunvegan CastleThe Mystery at Dunvegan Castle by T.L. Huchu

Duels, magic, and plenty of ghosts await in The Mystery at Dunvegan Castle, the third book of T. L. Huchu’s USA Today bestselling Edinburgh Nights series.

On Sale 8.29.23

Traitor of RedwinterPoster Placeholder of - 79 by Ed McDonald

The second in Ed McDonald’s Chronicles of Redwinter, full of shady politics, militant monks, ancient powers… and a young woman navigating a world in which no one is quite what they seem.

On Sale 10.24.23

MalarkoiMalarkoi by Alex Pheby

Volume 2 of the Cities of the Weft

On Sale 10.24.23

Bookshops & BonedustBookshops & Bonedust by Travis Baldree

When an injury throws a young, battle-hungry orc off her chosen path, she may find that what we need isn’t always what we seek. Set in the world of New York Times bestselling Legends & Lattes, Bookshops & Bonedust takes us on a journey of high fantasy, first loves, and second-hand books.

On Sale 11.7.23

All the Hidden PathsImage Placeholder of - 14 by Foz Meadows

The follow-up to Foz Meadows’s A Strange and Stubborn Endurance, a sultry political & romantic fantasy exploring gender, sexuality, identity, and self-worth.

On Sale 12.5.23


Thrilling and Chilling Halloween Reads From TPG!


What time is that, you ask? The time of October, which means Fall, which means…HALLOWEEN! And yes, we first posted this list LAST Halloween, but we will not be taking questions at this time, thanks.

We’re kicking off the scariest month of the year with some thrilling old, new, and new-in-paperback reads from Tor Publishing Group! Check them out below and let us know which is at the top of your TBR in the comments.

MordewMordew by Alex Pheby by Alex Pheby

God is dead, his corpse hidden in the catacombs beneath Mordew. In the slums of the sea-battered city, a young boy called Nathan Treeves lives with his parents, eking out a meagre existence by picking treasures from the Living Mud and the half-formed, short-lived creatures it spawns. Until one day his desperate mother sells him to the mysterious Master of Mordew. The Master derives his magical power from feeding on the corpse of God. But Nathan, despite his fear and lowly station, has his own strength—and it is greater than the Master has ever known. So it is that the Master begins to scheme against him—and Nathan has to fight his way through the betrayals, secrets, and vendettas of the city where God was murdered, and darkness reigns.

Book of Night by Holly Black

Book of Night by Holly BlackCharlie Hall has never found a lock she couldn’t pick, a book she couldn’t steal, or a bad decision she wouldn’t make. She’s spent half her life working for gloamists, magicians who manipulate shadows to peer into locked rooms, strangle people in their beds, or worse. Gloamists guard their secrets greedily, creating an underground economy of grimoires. And to rob their fellow magicians, they need Charlie Hall. Now, she’s trying to distance herself from past mistakes, but getting out isn’t easy. Bartending at a dive, she’s still entirely too close to the corrupt underbelly of the Berkshires. Not to mention that her sister Posey is desperate for magic, and that Charlie’s shadowless, and possibly soulless, boyfriend has been hiding things from her. When a terrible figure from her past returns, Charlie descends into a maelstrom of murder and lies. Determined to survive, she’s up against a cast of doppelgangers, mercurial billionaires, gloamists, and the people she loves best in the world—all trying to steal a secret that will give them vast and terrible power.

Last Exit by Max GladstoneLast Exit by Max Gladstone

When Zelda and her friends first met, in college, they believed they had all the answers. They had figured out a big secret about how the world worked and they thought that meant they could change things. They failed. One of their own fell, to darkness and rot.Ten years later, they’ve drifted apart, building lives for themselves, families, fortunes. All but Zelda. She’s still wandering the backroads of the nation. She’s still fighting monsters. She knows: the past isn’t over. It’s not even past.The road’s still there. The rot’s still waiting. They can’t hide from it any more. Because, at long last, their friend is coming home. And hell is coming with her.

Just Like Home by Sarah GaileyJust Like Home by Sarah Gailey

“Come home.” Vera’s mother called and Vera obeyed. In spite of their long estrangement, in spite of the memories — she’s come back to the home of a serial killer. Back to face the love she had for her father and the bodies he buried there, beneath the house he’d built for his family. Coming home is hard enough for Vera, and to make things worse, she and her mother aren’t alone. A parasitic artist has moved into the guest house out back and is slowly stripping Vera’s childhood for spare parts. He insists that he isn’t the one leaving notes around the house in her father’s handwriting… but who else could it possibly be? There are secrets yet undiscovered in the foundations of the notorious Crowder House. Vera must face them and find out for herself just how deep the rot goes.

Black Tide by KC JonesBlack Tide by KC Jones

It was just another day at the beach. Then the world ended. Mike and Beth were strangers before the night of the meteor shower. Chance made them neighbors, a bottle of champagne brought them together, and a shared need for human connection sparked something more. Following their drunken and desperate one-night stand, the two discover the astronomical event has left widespread destruction in its wake. But the cosmic lightshow was only part of something much bigger, and far more terrifying. When a lost car key leaves them stranded on an empty stretch of Oregon coast and inhuman screams echo from the dunes, when the rising tide reaches for their car and unspeakable horrors close in around them, these two self-destructive souls must fight to survive a nightmare of apocalyptic scale.

The Witch in the Well by Camilla BruceThe Witch in the Well by Camilla Bruce

When two former friends reunite after decades apart, their grudges, flawed ambitions, and shared obsession swirl into an all-too-real echo of a terrible town legend. Centuries ago, beautiful young Ilsbeth Clark was accused of witchcraft after several children disappeared. Her acquittal did nothing to stop her fellow townsfolk from drowning her in the well where the missing children were last seen. When author and social media influencer Elena returns to the summer paradise of her youth to get her family’s manor house ready to sell, the last thing she expected was connecting with—and feeling inspired to write about—Ilsbeth’s infamous spirit. The very historical figure that her ex-childhood friend, Cathy, has been diligently researching and writing about for years. What begins as a fiercely competitive sense of ownership over Ilsbeth and her story soon turns both women’s worlds into something more haunted and dangerous than they could ever imagine.

The Echo WifeThe Echo Wife by Sarah Gailey by Sarah Gailey

“I’m embarrassed, still, by how long it took me to notice. Everything was right there in the open, right there in front of me, but it still took me so long to see the person I had married. It took me so long to hate him.” Martine is a genetically cloned replica made from Evelyn Caldwell’s award-winning research. She’s patient and gentle and obedient. She’s everything Evelyn swore she’d never be. And she’s having an affair with Evelyn’s husband. Now, the cheating bastard is dead, and both Caldwell wives have a mess to clean up. Good thing Evelyn Caldwell is used to getting her hands dirty.

You Let Me InYou Let Me In by Camilla Bruce by Camilla Bruce

Cassandra Tipp is dead…or is she? After all, the notorious recluse and eccentric bestselling novelist has always been prone to flights of fancy—everyone in town remembers the shocking events leading up to Cassie’s infamous trial (she may have been acquitted, but the insanity defense only stretches so far). Cassandra Tipp has left behind no body—just her massive fortune, and one final manuscript. Then again, there are enough bodies in her past—her husband Tommy Tipp, whose mysterious disembowelment has never been solved, and a few years later, the shocking murder-suicide of her father and brother. Cassandra Tipp will tell you a story—but it will come with a terrible price. What really happened, out there in the woods—and who has Cassie been protecting all along? Read on, if you dare…Get it in paperback now!

Certain Dark ThingsCertain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Welcome to Mexico City, an oasis in a sea of vampires. Domingo, a lonely garbage-collecting street kid, is just trying to survive its heavily policed streets when a jaded vampire on the run swoops into his life. Atl, the descendant of Aztec blood drinkers, is smart, beautiful, and dangerous. Domingo is mesmerized. Atl needs to quickly escape the city, far from the rival narco-vampire clan relentlessly pursuing her. Her plan doesn’t include Domingo, but little by little, Atl finds herself warming up to the scrappy young man and his undeniable charm. Vampires, humans, cops, and criminals collide in the dark streets of Mexico City. Do Atl and Domingo even stand a chance of making it out alive? Or will the city devour them all?

SlewfootSlewfoot by Brom by Brom

Connecticut, 1666. An ancient spirit awakens in a dark wood. The wildfolk call him Father, slayer, protector. The colonists call him Slewfoot, demon, devil. To Abitha, a recently widowed outcast, alone and vulnerable in her pious village, he is the only one she can turn to for help.mTogether, they ignite a battle between pagan and Puritan – one that threatens to destroy the entire village, leaving nothing but ashes and bloodshed in their wake. “If it is a devil you seek, then it is a devil you shall have!” This terrifying tale of bewitchery features more than two dozen of Brom’s haunting paintings, fully immersing readers in this wild and unforgiving world.

The Last House on Needless StreetThe Last House On Needless Street by Catriona Ward by Catriona Ward

In a boarded-up house on a dead-end street at the edge of the wild Washington woods lives a family of three. A teenage girl who isn’t allowed outside, not after last time. A man who drinks alone in front of his TV, trying to ignore the gaps in his memory. And a house cat who loves napping and reading the Bible. An unspeakable secret binds them together, but when a new neighbor moves in next door, what is buried out among the birch trees may come back to haunt them all.

HEXHEX by Thomas Olde Heuvelt by Thomas Olde Heuvelt

Welcome to Black Spring, the seemingly picturesque Hudson Valley town haunted by the Black Rock Witch, a seventeenth century woman whose eyes and mouth are sewn shut. Muzzled, she walks the streets and enters homes at will. Everybody knows that her eyes may never be opened or the consequences will be too terrible to bear. The elders of Black Spring have virtually quarantined the town by using high-tech surveillance to prevent their curse from spreading. Frustrated with being kept in lockdown, the town’s teenagers decide to break their strict regulations and go viral with the haunting. But, in so doing, they send the town spiraling into dark, medieval practices of the distant past.

The Living DeadThe Living Dead by George A. Romero & Daniel Kraus by George A. Romero and Daniel Kraus

It begins with one body. A pair of medical examiners find themselves battling a dead man who won’t stay dead. It spreads quickly. In a Midwestern trailer park, a Black teenage girl and a Muslim immigrant battle newly-risen friends and family. On a US aircraft carrier, living sailors hide from dead ones while a fanatic makes a new religion out of death. At a cable news station, a surviving anchor keeps broadcasting while his undead colleagues try to devour him. In DC, an autistic federal employee charts the outbreak, preserving data for a future that may never come. Everywhere, people are targeted by both the living and the dead. We think we know how this story ends. We. Are. Wrong.

Nothing But Blackened TeethNothing But Blackened Teeth by Cassandra Khaw by Cassandra Khaw

A Heian-era mansion stands abandoned, its foundations resting on the bones of a bride and its walls packed with the remains of the girls sacrificed to keep her company. It’s the perfect venue for a group of thrill-seeking friends, brought back together to celebrate a wedding. A night of food, drinks, and games quickly spirals into a nightmare as secrets get dragged out and relationships are tested. But the house has secrets too. Lurking in the shadows is the ghost bride with a black smile and a hungry heart. And she gets lonely down there in the dirt.


Excerpt: Mordew by Alex Pheby

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Image Place holder  of - 41Alex Pheby’s Mordew launches an astonishingly inventive epic fantasy trilogy.

God is dead, his corpse hidden in the catacombs beneath Mordew.

In the slums of the sea-battered city, a young boy called Nathan Treeves lives with his parents, eking out a meagre existence by picking treasures from the Living Mud and the half-formed, short-lived creatures it spawns. Until one day his desperate mother sells him to the mysterious Master of Mordew.

The Master derives his magical power from feeding on the corpse of God. But Nathan, despite his fear and lowly station, has his own strength—and it is greater than the Master has ever known. Great enough to destroy everything the Master has built. If only Nathan can discover how to use it.

So it is that the Master begins to scheme against him—and Nathan has to fight his way through the betrayals, secrets, and vendettas of the city where God was murdered, and darkness reigns.

Propulsive, compulsively readable, full of unforgettable characters and a talking dog who wants to be a philosopher, Mordew is an epic fantasy strange, new, and terrifyingly alive.

Please enjoy this free excerpt of Mordew by Alex Pheby, on sale in paperback 10/18/22.


The southern slums of the great city of Mordew shook to the concussion of waves and firebirds crashing against the Sea Wall. Daylight, dim and grey through the thick clouds, barely illuminated what passed for streets, but the flickering burst of each bird flashed against the overcast like red lightning. Perhaps today the Master’s barrier would fail, drowning them all. Perhaps today the Mistress would win.

Out of the shadows a womb-born boy, Nathan Treeves, trudged through the heavy mist. His father’s old boots were too big, and his thick, woollen knee socks were sodden. Every step rubbed his blisters, so he slid his feet close to the ground, furrowed them like ploughs through the Living Mud.

He made his way along what slum-dwellers called the Promenade: a pockmarked scar which snaked from the Sea Wall to the Strand. It weaved between hovels lashed together from brine-swollen driftwood decorated with firebird feathers. Behind him he left his parents and all their troubles. Though his errand was as urgent as ever, he went slowly: a dying father, riddled with lungworms, is pressing business, and medicine doesn’t come cheap, but Nathan was just a boy. No boy runs towards fear eagerly.

In his fists Nathan twisted his pillowcase; his knuckles shone through the dirt.

He was walking to the Circus, that depression in the earth where the dead-life grew larger. Here, if fortune allowed, flukes could be found, choking in the Mud. The journey would take him an hour though, at least, and there was no guarantee of anything.

All around, the detritus that insulated one home from another creaked and trembled at the vibrations of the Wall and the movement of vermin. Though Nathan was no baby, his imagination sometimes got the better of him, so he kept to the middle of the Promenade. Here he was out of the reach of the grasping claws and the strange, vague figures that watched from the darkness, though the middle was where the writhing Mud was deepest. It slicked over the toes of his boots, and occasionally dead-life sprats were stranded on them, flicking and curling. These he kicked away, even if it did hurt his blisters.

No matter how hungry he was, he would never eat dead-life.

Dead-life was poison.

From nearby came the tolling of a handbell. It rang slow and high, announcing the arrival of the Fetch’s cart. From the shacks and hovels grown-ups emerged eagerly, doors drawn aside to reveal their families crowded within. Nathan was an only child, but he was a rarity in the slums. It wasn’t unusual for a boy to have ten, even fifteen brothers and sisters: the fecundity of the slum-dwellers was enhanced by the Living Mud, it was said. Moreover, womb-born children were matched in number by those of more mysterious provenance, who might be found in the dawn light, mewling in a corner, unexpected and unwelcome.

When overextended mothers and fathers heard the Fetch’s bell they came running out, boy-children in their arms, struggling, and paid the cart-man to take them to the Master, where they might find work. So were these burdens, almost by alchemy, turned into regular coin – which the Fetch also delivered, for a cut.

Nathan watched as coins were given, children taken, coins taken, children returned, then he turned his back on it all and went on.

The further he walked from his home, the less the drumbeat on the Sea Wall troubled his ears. There was something in the sheer volume of that noise up close which lessened the other senses and bowed the posture. But when Nathan came gradually onto the Strand where it intersected the Promenade and led towards the Circus, he was a little straighter than he had been, a little taller, and much more alert. There were other slum-dwellers here too, so there was more to be alert to – both good and bad.

Up ahead there was a bonfire, ten feet high. Nathan stopped to warm himself. A man, scarred and stooped, splashed rendered fat at the flames, feeding them, keeping the endless rainwater from putting the wood out. On the pyre was an effigy of the Mistress, crouched obscenely over the top, her legs licked with fire, her arms directing unseen firebirds. Her face was an ugly scowl painted on a perished iron bucket, her eyes two rust holes. Nathan picked up a stone and threw it. It arced high and came down, clattering the Mistress, tipping her head over.

People came to the Strand to sell what bits of stuff they had to others who had the wherewithal to pay. The sellers raised themselves out of the Mud on old boxes and sat with their wares arranged neatly in front of them on squares of cloth. If he’d had the money Nathan could have got string and nets and catapults and oddments of flat glass and sticks of meat (don’t ask of what). Today there was a glut of liquor, sold off cheap in wooden cups, from barrels marked with the red merchant crest. There was no way this had been come by legally – the merchants kept a firm grip on their stock and didn’t sell into the slums – so it was either stolen or salvaged. Drinkers wouldn’t know, either way, until it was drunk. If it was stolen, then buyers got nothing worse than a headache the next day, but if it was salvaged then that was because it was bad and had been thrown overboard to be washed up port-side. Bad liquor made you blind.

Nathan wouldn’t have bought it anyway – he didn’t like the taste – and he had no coins and nothing much to barter with except his pillowcase and the handkerchief in his pocket, so he joined the other marching children, eyes to the floor, watching out for movement in the Living Mud.

He didn’t recognise anyone, but he wasn’t looking – it was best to keep your distance and mind your own business: what if one of them took notice and snatched whatever was in your bag on the way home?

There were some coming back, bags wriggling. Others’ bags were still, but heavy. A few had nothing but tears in their eyes – too cowardly, probably, to venture deep enough into the Mud. Nathan could have stolen from those who had made a catch, grabbed what they had and run, but he wasn’t like that.

He didn’t need to be.

As he got closer, the Itch pricked at his fingertips. It knew, the Itch, when and where it was likely to be used, and it wasn’t far now. “Don’t Spark, not ever!” His father used to stand over him, when Nathan was very small, serious as he wagged his finger, and Nathan was a good boy… But even good boys do wrong, now and again, don’t they? Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between good and bad, anyway, between right and wrong. His father needed medicine, and the Itch wanted to be used.

Above, a stray firebird struggled up into the clouds, weighed down by a man hanging limp below it.

The Strand widened; the street vendors became fewer. Here was a crowd, nervous, a reluctant semicircular wall of children, nudging and pushing and stepping back and forwards. Nathan walked where there weren’t so many backs and shouldered his way through. He wasn’t any keener than the others, he wasn’t any braver, but none of them had the Itch, and now it was behind his teeth and under his tongue, tingling. It made him impatient.

The wall was three or four deep and it parted for him, respecting his eagerness, or eager itself to see what might become of him. A dog-faced girl licked her teeth. A grey, gormless boy with a bald patch reached for him, then thought better of it and returned his hand to his chest.

When he was through, Itch or no Itch, he stood with the others at the edge for a moment.

In front was a circle marked by the feet of the children who surrounded it, large enough so that the faces on the other side were too distant to make out, but not so large that you couldn’t see that they were there. The ground gave way and sloped, churned up, down to a wide Mud-filled pit. Some stood in it, knee deep at the edges, waist deep further out. At the distant middle they were up to their necks, eyes shut, mouths upturned, fishing in the writhing thickness by feel. These in the middle had the best chance of finding a fluke – the complexity of the organisms generated by the Living Mud, it was said, was a function of the amount of it gathered in one place – while those nearer the edge made do with sprats.

Nathan took a breath and strode down the slope, the enthusiasm of the Itch dulling the pain of his blisters until he could barely feel them. When he had half-walked, half-slid his way to the shallows he clamped his pillowcase between his teeth, first to protect it from getting lost, but also, for later, to stop dead-life finding its way into his mouth.

The Mud was thick, but that didn’t stop it getting past his socks and into his shoes. He had to think hard not to picture new spawned dead-life writhing between his toes.

Deeper and there were things brushing his knees, some the size of a finger, moving in the darkness. Then, occasionally, the touch of something on his thighs, seeking, groping, flinching away by reflex. There was nothing to fear – he told himself – since whatever these things were, they had no will, and would be dead in minutes, dissolving back into the Living Mud. They meant no harm to anyone. They meant nothing.

When the Mud was up to his waist, he turned back to look the way he had come. The circle of children jostled and stared, but no one was paying him particular attention, nor was there anyone near him.

The Itch was almost unbearable.

His father said never to use it. Never use it. He couldn’t have been clearer. Never, finger wagging. So, Nathan reached into the Mud, Itch restrained, and fished with the others. Flukes could be found. He had seen them: self-sustaining living things. If he could catch hold of one, then he wouldn’t have to betray his father. He moved his hands, opening and closing through the Mud, the sprats slipping between his fingers. There was always a chance.

As he felt for things below the surface, he stared upward at the slow spiral of the Glass Road. It showed as a spider’s web glint that looped above him, held in the air by the magic of the Master. If Nathan turned his head and looked from the side of his eyes it became clearer, a high pencil line of translucence leading off to the Master’s Manse.

What did the Master think of the Circus? Did he even know it existed?

There! Nathan grabbed at a wrist’s thickness of something and pulled it above the surface. It was like an eel, brown-grey, jointed with three elbows. Its ends were frayed, and it struggled to be free. There was the hint of an eye, the suspicion of gills, what might have been a tooth, close to the surface, but as Nathan held it, it lost its consistency, seeming to drain away into the Mud from each end.

No good.

If it had held, he might have got a copper or two from someone – its skin useful for glove-making, the bones for glue, but it was gone, dissolving into its constituents, unwilling or unable to retain its form.

Now the Itch took over. There is only so much resistance a boy can muster, and what was so bad? They needed medicine, and he either blacked his eyes or made a fluke. Wasn’t this better?

He glanced surreptitiously to both sides and put his hands beneath the Mud. He bent his knees, and it was as easy as anything, natural as could be. He simply Scratched, and the Itch was released. It sent a Spark down into the Living Mud and, with the relief of the urge, pleasure of a sort, and a faint, blue light that darted into the depths.

Nothing happened for a moment – the relief became a slight soreness, like pulling off a scab. Then the Mud began to churn, the churning bubbled, the bubbling thrashed, and then there was something between his hands, which he raised.

Each fluke is unique. This one was a bundle of infant limbs – arms, legs, hands, feet – a tangle of wriggling living parts. When the children in the circle spied it, they gasped. It was a struggle to keep his grip, but Nathan took his pillowcase from between his teeth and forced the fluke into it. He slung it over his shoulder where it kicked and poked and whacked him in the back as he trudged in the rain, back to shore.


The tannery was deep in the slums, and the whole journey there Nathan shielded his pillowcase from the gaze of onlookers whether they were children, hawkers or slum folk. This fluke would never live into childhood – it was too corrupted and had no mouth to breathe with, or eat – but that didn’t seem to discourage it; the deadlife in it provoked it to ever harder blows on Nathan’s back, which bruised where they landed.

He walked back past the bonfire. The effigy of the Mistress was gone now, burned to ash. The bucket that had made her head was resting hot in the Living Mud, singeing the dead-life, making it squeak. A woman and her granddaughter, possibly, were throwing scraps of food, inedible offal, into what was left of the fire: offerings to the Master, sacrifices for luck.

Along the way a group of children were beating at something with sticks while others watched. Nathan slowed – justice in the slums was vicious, brutal, but worst of all infectious; if this was a righteous crowd, he wanted to avoid becoming an object for it. In the middle of them there was something red, struggling, rearing, reaching. Nathan took a few steps closer: it was a firebird, a broken thing near to death. Few firebirds made it past the Sea Wall, and those that did were always worse for whatever defence the Master employed. This one was gashed across the chest, rolling and bleating, its arms hanging limp, bucking with one good rear leg. Its wings were bare spines and torn membranes.

One child brought a heavy plank down across the length of its skull and a shout went up as the thing slumped. The spectators rushed in, pulling out handfuls of feathers, whooping and cheering, plucking it bald. Nathan looked away, but its woeful face, dull-eyed and slack-jawed, crept in at the corner of his thoughts.

He took a different way back, longer, and came to the tanner’s gate. Harsh, astringent pools filled with milk of lime made Nathan’s eyes hurt, but he was glad to drop the bundle on the ground, where it twisted and bucked and splashed.

He rang the tanner’s bell, hoping the daughter was busy and that the old man would answer – the tanning liquids had got to him over the years, and now he was soft, confused.

Nathan was in luck: the old man was there like a shot, as if he had been waiting just out of sight. He was small, scarcely taller than a boy, brown as a chestnut, shiny as worn leather. Without troubling to ask, he took Nathan’s pillowcase and looked inside. His eyes widened, cataracts showing bluewhite in the gloom, and then quickly narrowed again. ‘A limb baby,’ he said to himself, not quietly enough, and then numbers passed across his lips as he counted the arms and legs and things that were neither. ‘What do you want for it? I’ll give you twenty.’

Nathan didn’t smile, but he would have taken ten. He had taken ten before, but when a man offers you twenty you don’t settle for it. ‘Fifty,’ he managed, his voice betraying nothing.

Now the tanner threw up his arms in comic dismay. ‘Do you take me for a fluke myself? I wasn’t born yesterday.’ He looked back at the tannery, perhaps to check with his daughter, perhaps to check to make sure his daughter wasn’t watching. ‘I’m no fool,’ he mumbled. ‘Twenty-five.’

Twenty was more than Nathan needed, but there is something in slum living that trains a boy to make the most of an opportunity. He reached out for his pillowcase. ‘If you don’t want it, I’ll take it to the butcher,’ he said, and pulled.

The tanner didn’t let go. ‘Thirty then, but not a brass more.’ He rubbed his sleeve across his lips, and then wet them again, ‘I’ll admit it: we’ve got an order for gloves…’ He looked back to the tannery, squinted and frowned as if he was thinking.

Nathan let go and held out his other hand before the old man could change his mind.

From a satchel at his waist, the tanner took the coins, slowly and carefully, scrutinising each and biting it to make sure he hadn’t mistaken one metal for another with his bad eyes. Once the last one was handed over, he turned, swung the pillowcase hard against the killing post, and slammed the gate.

Nathan cursed, realising too late that the tanner had taken the pillowcase with him.

Copyright © Alex Pheby 2021

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On the (Digital) Road: Tor Author Events in December 2021

We are in a time of social distancing, but your favorite Tor authors are still coming to screens near you in the month of December! Check out where you can find them here.

Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo: Tor Goes International

Alex Pheby author photo (left) Mordew cover (right) Kerstin Hall author photo (left) Star Eater cover (right)Shelley Parker-Chan author photo (left) She Who Became the Sun cover (right) A. K. Larkwood author photo (left) The Unspoken Name cover (right)

Friday, December 10
Virtual Screening

Featuring A. K. Larkwood, Alex Pheby, Freya Marske, Kerstin Hall, and Shelley Parker-Chan
10:00 AM CLT

Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo: Waiter There’s Some Sci Fi In My Fantasy!

James Rollins author photo (left) The Starless Crown (right)

Ryka Aoki author photo (left) Light From Uncommon Stars cover (right) John Scalzi author photo (left) Kaiju Preservation Society (right)








Friday, December 10
Virtual Screening

Featuring James Rollins, Ryka Aoki, Tochi Onyebuchi, Jay Bonansinga, Neon Yang, and John Scalzi
10:00 AM CLT

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