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Every Book Coming From Tor in Spring 2023

Ah, spring! Blue skies are returning, flowers are blooming, and—what’s this? New books?! YES. New books are releasing!

Check out everything coming from Tor Books this spring here!


One for My Enemyone for my enemy by olivie blake by Olivie Blake

In modern-day Manhattan, 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 community extortion ventures dominate the shadows of magical Manhattan. After twelve years of tenuous co-existence, a change in one family’s interests causes a rift in the existing stalemate. When bad blood brings both families to the precipice of disaster, fate intervenes with a chance encounter, and in the aftershocks of a resurrected conflict, everyone must choose a side. As each of the siblings struggles to stake their claim, fraying loyalties threaten to rot each side from the inside out. If, that is, the enmity between empires doesn’t destroy them first.

On Sale 4/4/23


Tress of the Emerald SeaTress of the Emerald Sea by Brandon Sanderson 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?

On Sale 4/4/23


Image Place holder  of - 43King Rat by China Miéville

Something is stirring in London’s dark, stamping out its territory in brickdust and blood. Something has murdered Saul Garamond’s father, and left Saul to pay for the crime. But a shadow from the urban waste breaks into Saul’s prison cell and leads him to freedom: a shadow called King Rat. King Rat reveals to Saul his own royal heritage, a heritage that opens a new world for him, the world below London’s streets. With drum-and-bass pounding the backstreets, Saul must confront the forces that would use him, the ones that would destroy him, and those that have shaped his own bizarre identity. Now with a new introduction by Tim Maughan, author of Infinite Detail.

On Sale 4/4/23


The WardenThe Warden by Daniel M. Ford by Daniel M. Ford

There was a plan. She had the money, the connections, even the brains. It was simple: become one of the only female necromancers, earn as many degrees as possible, get a post in one of the grand cities, then prove she’s capable of greatness. The funny thing about plans is that they are seldom under your control. Now Aelis de Lenti, a daughter of a noble house and recent graduate of the esteemed Magisters’ Lyceum, finds herself in the far-removed village of Lone Pine. Mending fences, matching wits with goats, and serving people who want nothing to do with her. But, not all is well in Lone Pine, and as the villagers Aelis is reluctantly getting to know start to behave strangely, Aelis begins to suspect that there is far greater need for a Warden of her talents than she previously thought. 

On Sale 4/18/23


Furious Heaven by Kate ElliottFurious Heaven by Kate Elliott

The Republic of Chaonia fleets, under the joint command of Princess Sun and her formidable mother, Queen-Marshal Eirene, have defeated and driven out an invading fleet of the Phene Empire, though not without heavy losses. But the Empire remains undeterred. While Chaonia scrambles to rebuild its military, the Empire’s rulers are determined to squash Chaonia once and for all. They believe their military might is strong enough to defeat the enemy, but they also secure a secret alliance with a deadly religious sect skilled in the use of assassination and covert ops, to destabilize the republic. On the eve of Eirene’s bold attack on the rich and populous Karnos System, an unexpected tragedy strikes the republic. Sun must take charge or lose the throne. Will Sun be content with the pragmatic path laid out by her mother for Chaonia’s future? Or will she choose to forge her own legend? Can she succeed despite all the forces arrayed against her?

On Sale 4/18/23


In the Lives of PuppetsIn the Lives of Puppets by TJ Klune by TJ Klune

In a strange little home built into the branches of a grove of trees, live three robots—fatherly inventor android Giovanni Lawson, a pleasantly sadistic nurse machine, and a small vacuum desperate for love and attention. Victor Lawson, a human, lives there too. They’re a family, hidden and safe. The day Vic salvages and repairs an unfamiliar android labelled “HAP,” he learns of a shared dark past between Hap and Gio–a past spent hunting humans. When Hap unwittingly alerts robots from Gio’s former life to their whereabouts, the family is no longer hidden and safe. Gio is captured and taken back to his old laboratory in the City of Electric Dreams. So together, the rest of Vic’s assembled family must journey across an unforgiving and otherworldly country to rescue Gio from decommission, or worse, reprogramming. Along the way to save Gio, amid conflicted feelings of betrayal and affection for Hap, Vic must decide for himself: Can he accept love with strings attached?

On Sale 4/25/23


Red Team Blues by Cory DoctorowRed Team Blues by Cory Doctorow

Martin Hench is 67 years old, single, and successful in a career stretching back to the beginnings of Silicon Valley. He lives and roams California in a very comfortable fully-furnished touring bus, The Unsalted Hash, that he bought years ago from a fading rock star. Martin is a—contain your excitement—self-employed forensic accountant, a veteran of the long guerilla war between people who want to hide money, and people who want to find it. He knows computer hardware and software alike, including the ins and outs of high-end databases and the kinds of spreadsheets that are designed to conceal rather than reveal. He also knows the Valley like the back of his hand, all the secret histories of charismatic company founders and Sand Hill Road VCs. Because he was there at all the beginnings. Now he’s been roped into a job that’s more dangerous than anything he’s ever agreed to before—and it will take every ounce of his skill to get out alive.

On Sale 4/25/23


Tsalmoth by Steven BrustTsalmoth by Steven Brust

Vlad Taltos is in love. With a former assassin who may just be better than he is at the Game. Women like this don’t come along every day and no way is he passing up a sure bet. So a wedding is being planned. Along with a shady deal gone wrong and a dead man who owes Vlad money. Setting up the first and trying to deal with the second is bad enough. And then bigger powers decide that Vlad is the perfect patsy to shake the power structure of the kingdom. More’s the pity that his soul is sent walkabout to do it. How might Vlad get his soul back and have any shot at a happy ending? Well, there’s the tale…

On Sale 4/25/23


Spring's Arcana by Lilith SaintcrowSpring’s Arcana by Lilith Saintcrow

Nat Drozdova is desperate to save a life. Doctors can do little for her cancer-ridden mother, who insists there is only one cure—and that Nat must visit a skyscraper in Manhattan to get it. Amid a snow-locked city, inside a sleek glass-walled office, Nat makes her plea and is whisked into a terrifying new world. For the skyscraper holds a hungry winter goddess who has the power to cure her mother…if Nat finds a stolen object of great power. Now Nat must travel with a razor-wielding assassin across an American continent brimming with terror, wonder, and hungry divinities with every reason to consume a young woman. For her ailing mother is indeed suffering no ordinary illness, and Nat Drozdova is no ordinary girl. Blood calls to blood, magic to magic, and a daughter may indeed save what she loves…if it doesn’t consume her first.

On Sale 5/2/23


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

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!

On Sale 5/9/23


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.

On Sale 5/16/23


Fractal NoiseImage Placeholder of - 89 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.

On Sale 5/16/23


The Woods of ArcadyThe Woods of Arkady by Michael Moorcock by Michael Moorcock

In the 1970s, Michael Moorcock, a writer of genre fiction, attempts to save his failing marriage by taking his wife and daughters to Paris. One night in a bar he is amazed to find himself drinking with heroes of story and history. The next day he awakens aboard a sailing ship, kidnapped into another reality by a French highwayman and the four Musketeers, who know Moorcock well from adventures in London’s Alsacia…but that was another Moorcock, from another world. Soon after they reach Africa, the company are rescued from ambush by Antara, a poet-adventurer who offers to lead them across the desert and through several realities to the estate of Lord and Lady Blackstone. The trip is full of wonders Moorcock has read, dreamed, or written: an underground civilization of nonhuman creatures; a magical oasis where the lion lies down with the lamb; a lush garden inhabited by miniature dinosaurs.

On Sale 6/6/23


The First Bright ThingThe First Bright Thing by J.R. Dawson 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.

On Sale 6/13/23


The Frugal Wizard’s Handbook for Surviving Medieval EnglandThe Frugal Wizard's Handbook for Surviving Medieval England by Brandon Sanderson 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?

On Sale 6/27/23

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More SFF Classics are Back: Tor Essentials of 2023

Our Tor Essentials line was created to give readers new editions of science fiction and fantasy titles that have stood the test of time, and to bring back ones current SFF fans might have missed out on in the past. Check out every Tor Essentials title coming out in 2023 here!


Image Place holder  of - 4King Rat by China Mieville

Something is stirring in London’s dark, stamping out its territory in brickdust and blood. Something has murdered Saul Garamond’s father, and left Saul to pay for the crime. But a shadow from the urban waste breaks into Saul’s prison cell and leads him to freedom: a shadow called King Rat. King Rat reveals to Saul his own royal heritage, a heritage that opens a new world for him, the world below London’s streets. With drum-and-bass pounding the backstreets, Saul must confront the forces that would use him, the ones that would destroy him, and those that have shaped his own bizarre identity. Now with a new introduction by Tim Maughan, author of Infinite Detail.

ON SALE 4/4/23!

Poster Placeholder of - 80Everfair by Nisi Shawl

In this re-imagining of Belgium’s disastrous colonization of the Congo, African American missionaries join forces with British socialists to purchase land from the Congo Free State’s “owner,” King Leopold II. This land, which they name Everfair, is set aside as a safe haven for native populations of the Congo as well as settlers from around the world, including dream-eyed Europeans attempting to create a better society, formerly enslaved people returning from America, and Chinese railroad builders escaping hard labor. Using the combined knowledge of four continents, Everfair becomes a land of spying cats and gulls, nuclear dirigibles buoyed by barkcloth balloons, and silent pistols that shoot poison knives. With this technology, Everfair will attempt to defeat the Belgian tyrant Leopold II. But even if they can defeat their great enemy, a looming world war and political infighting may threaten to destroy everything they have built. Now with a foreward from award-winning author Cadwell Turnbull.

ON SALE 6/13/23!

Image Placeholder of - 64Knight’s Wyrd by Debra Doyle and James D. Macdonald

On the eve of his knighting, Will Odosson learns his wyrd, or destiny: He shall meet death before a year has passed. Will rushes north to release his betrothed from their engagement, but on the way he is beset by all manner of horrors–a man-eating troll, carnivorous mermaids, a magic-working dragon . . . and something far worse: an evil unlike anything Will ever imagined. Knight’s Wyrd is an award-winning gem that’s perfect for revival as a Tor Essential and will appeal to fans of books like Hild and Spear, and films like The Green Knight–-a medieval fantasy with the authentic lived-in strangeness of the real Middle Ages. It was originally published by a pair of YA imprints, but it works equally well as an adult read. Now with an introduction written for this edition by Sherwood Smith.

ON SALE 8/22/23!

Placeholder of  -51Small Change by Jo Walton

In 1941 the European war ended in the Farthing Peace, a rapprochement between Britain and Nazi Germany. The balls and banquets of Britain’s upper classes never faltered, while British ships ferried “undesirables” across the Channel to board the cattle cars headed east. In three brilliant novels set between the late 1940s and the early 1960s of this alternate world, Jo Walton explores how a free society can become an unfree one, how easily traditional powers-that-be can accommodate themselves to tyranny, and what a difference a few courageous men and women can make. Alternately charming, heartstopping, and astonishingly deft, this trilogy is a work of total relevance to our modern age. This new Tor Essentials edition of the Small Change trilogy includes a new introduction by J. Bradford de Long, author of Slouching Toward Utopia and one-time Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Treasury.

ON SALE 9/5/23!

Place holder  of - 80A Deepness in the Sky by Vernor Vinge

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…Amidst terrible treachery, the Qeng Ho must fight for their freedom and for the lives of the unsuspecting innocents on the planet below, while the aliens themselves play a role unsuspected by Qeng Ho and Emergents alike. This new Tor Essentials edition includes an introduction by the Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy Award-winning Jo Walton, author of Among Others.

ON SALE 10/3/23!

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Excerpt Reveal: King Rat by China Miéville

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Award-winning author China Miéville began his astounding career with King Rat—now in a new Tor Essentials edition—a mix of a young man’s search for identity with a pulse-pounding story of revenge and madness.

With a new introduction by Tim Maughan, author of Infinite Detail.

Something is stirring in London’s dark, stamping out its territory in brickdust and blood. Something has murdered Saul Garamond’s father, and left Saul to pay for the crime.

But a shadow from the urban waste breaks into Saul’s prison cell and leads him to freedom: a shadow called King Rat. King Rat reveals to Saul his own royal heritage, a heritage that opens a new world for him, the world below London’s streets.

With drum-and-bass pounding the backstreets, Saul must confront the forces that would use him, the ones that would destroy him, and those that have shaped his own bizarre identity.

Please enjoy this free excerpt of King Rat by China Miéville, on sale 4/4/23.


One

The trains that enter London arrive like ships sailing across the roofs. They pass between towers jutting into the sky like long-necked sea beasts and the great gas-cylinders wallowing in dirty scrub like whales. In the depths below are lines of small shops and obscure franchises, cafés with peeling paint and businesses tucked into the arches over which the trains pass. The colors and curves of graffiti mark every wall. Top-floor windows pass by so close that passengers can peer inside, into small bare offices and store cupboards. They can make out the contours of trade calendars and pin-ups on the walls.

The rhythms of London are played out here, in the sprawling flat zone between suburbs and center.

Gradually the streets widen and the names of the shops and cafés become more familiar; the main roads are more salubrious; the traffic is denser; and the city rises to meet the tracks.

At the end of a day in October a train made this journey toward King’s Cross. Flanked by air, it progressed over the outlands of North London, the city building up below it as it neared the Holloway Road. The people beneath ignored its passage. Only children looked up as it clattered overhead, and some of the very young pointed. As the train drew closer to the station, it slipped below the level of the roofs.

There were few people in the carriage to watch the bricks rise around them. The sky disappeared above the windows. A cloud of pigeons rose from a hiding place beside the tracks and wheeled off to the east.

The flurry of wings and bodies distracted a thickset young man at the rear of the compartment. He had been trying not to stare openly at the woman sitting opposite him. Thick with relaxer, her hair had been teased from its tight curls and was coiled like snakes on her head. The man broke off his furtive scrutiny as the birds passed by, and he ran his hands through his own cropped hair.

The train was now below the houses. It wound through a deep groove in the city, as if the years of passage had worn down the concrete under the tracks. Saul Garamond glanced again at the woman sitting in front of him, and turned his attention to the windows. The light in the carriage had made them mirrors, and he stared at himself, his heavy face. Beyond his face was a layer of brick, dimly visible, and beyond that the cellars of the houses that rose like cliffs on either side.

It was days since Saul had been in the city.

Every rattle of the tracks took him closer to his home. He closed his eyes.

Outside, the gash through which the tracks passed had widened as the station approached. The walls on either side were punctuated by dark alcoves, small caves full of rubbish a few feet from the track. The silhouettes of cranes arched over the skyline. The walls around the train parted. Tracks fanned away on either side as the train slowed and edged its way into King’s Cross.

The passengers rose. Saul swung his bag over his shoulder and shuffled out of the carriage. Freezing air stretched up to the great vaulted ceilings. The cold shocked him. Saul hurried through the buildings, through the crowds, threading his way between knots of people. He still had a way to go. He headed underground.

He could feel the presence of the population around him. After days in a tent on the Suffolk coast, the weight of ten million people so close to him seemed to make the air vibrate. The tube was full of garish colors and bare flesh, as people headed to clubs and parties.

His father would probably be waiting for him. He knew Saul was coming back, and he would surely make an effort to be welcoming, forfeiting his usual evening in the pub to greet his son. Saul already resented him for that. He felt gauche and uncharitable, but he despised his father’s faltering attempts to communicate. He was happier when the two of them avoided each other. Being surly was easy, and felt more honest.

━━ ˖°˖ ☾☆☽ ˖°˖ ━━━━━━━

By the time his tube train burst out of the tunnels of the Jubilee Line it was dark. Saul knew the route. The darkness transformed the rubble behind Finchley Road into a dimly glimpsed no-man’s-land, but he was able to fill in the details he could not see, even down to the tags and the graffiti. Burner. Nax. Coma. He knew the names of the intrepid little rebels clutching their magic markers, and he knew where they had been.

The grandiose tower of the Gaumont State cinema jutted into the sky on his left, a bizarre totalitarian monument among the budget groceries and hoardings of Kilburn High Road. Saul could feel the cold through the windows and he wrapped his coat around him as the train neared Willesden station. The passengers had thinned. Saul left only a very few behind him as he got out of the carriage.

Outside the station he huddled against the chill. The air smelled faintly of smoke from some local bonfire, someone clearing his allotment. Saul set off down the hill toward the library.

He stopped at a take-away and ate as he walked, moving slowly to avoid spilling soy sauce and vegetables down himself. Saul was sorry the sun had gone down. Willesden lent itself to spectacular sunsets. On a day like today, when there were few clouds, its low skyline let the light flood the streets, pouring into the strangest crevices; the windows that faced each other bounced the rays endlessly back and forth between themselves and sent it hurtling in unpredictable directions; the rows and rows of brick glowed as if lit from within.

Saul turned into the backstreets. He wound through the cold until his father’s house rose before him. Terragon Mansions was an ugly Victorian block, squat and mean-looking for all its size. It was fronted by the garden: a strip of dirty vegetation frequented only by dogs. His father lived on the top floor. Saul looked up and saw that the lights were on. He climbed the steps and let himself in, glancing into the darkness of the bushes and scrub on either side.

He ignored the huge lift with its steel-mesh door, not wanting its groans to announce him. Instead he crept up the flights of stairs and gently unlocked his father’s door.

The flat was freezing.

Saul stood in the hall and listened. He could hear the sound of the television from behind the sitting room door. He waited, but his father was silent. Saul shivered and looked around him.

He knew he should go in, should rouse his father from slumber, and he even got as far as reaching for the door. But he stopped and looked at his own room. He sneered at himself in disgust, but he crept toward it anyway.

He could apologize in the morning. I thought you were asleep, Dad. I heard you snoring. I came in drunk and fell into bed. I was so knackered I wouldn’t have been any kind of company anyway. He cocked an ear, heard only the voices of one of the late-night discussion programmes his father so loved, muffled and pompous. Saul turned away and slipped into his room.

━━ ˖°˖ ☾☆☽ ˖°˖ ━━━━━━━

Sleep came easily. Saul dreamed of being cold, and woke once in the night to pull his duvet closer. He dreamed of slamming, a heavy beating noise, so loud it pulled him out of sleep and he realized it was real, it was there. Adrenaline surged through him, making him tremble. His heart quivered and lurched as he swung out of bed.

It was icy in the flat.

Someone was pounding on the front door.

The noise would not stop, it was frightening him. He was shaking, disorientated. It was not yet light. Saul glanced at his clock. It was a little after six. He stumbled into the hall. The horrible bang bang bang was incessant, and now he could hear shouting as well, distorted and unintelligible.

He fought into a shirt and shouted: “Who is it?”

The slamming did not stop. He called out again, and this time a voice was raised above the din.

“Police!”

Saul struggled to clear his head. With a sudden panic he thought of the small stash of dope in his drawer, but that was absurd. He was no drugs kingpin, no one would waste a dawn raid on him. He was reaching out to open the door, his heart still tearing, when he suddenly remembered to check that they were who they claimed, but it was too late now, the door flew back and knocked him down as a torrent of bodies streamed into the flat.

Blue trousers and big shoes all around him. Saul was yanked to his feet. He started to flail at the intruders. Anger waxed with his fear. He tried to yell but someone smacked him in the stomach and he doubled up. Voices were reverberating everywhere around him, making no sense.

“. . . cold like a bastard…”

“. . . cocky little cunt…. ”

“. . . fucking glass, watch yourself….. ”

“. . . his son, or what? High as a fucking kite, must be… ”

And above all these voices he could hear a weather forecast, the cheery tones of a breakfast television presenter. Saul struggled to turn and face the men who were holding him so tight.

“What the fuck’s going on?” he gasped. Without speaking, the men propelled him into the sitting room.

The room was full of police, but Saul saw straight through them. He saw the television first: the woman in the bright suit was warning him it would be chilly again today. On the sofa was a plate of congealed pasta, and a half-drunk glass of beer sat on the floor. Cold gusts of air caught at him and he looked up at the window, out over houses. The curtains were billowing dramatically. He saw that jags of glass littered the floor. There was almost no glass left in the window-frame, only a few shards around the edges.

Saul sagged with terror and tried to pull himself to the window.

A thin man in civilian clothes turned and saw him.

“Down the station now,” he shouted at Saul’s captors.

Saul was spun on his heels. The room turned around him like a funfair ride, the rows of books and his father’s small pictures rushing past him. He struggled to turn back.

“Dad!” he shouted. “Dad!”

He was pulled effortlessly out of the flat. The dark of the corridor was pierced by slivers of light spilling out of doors. Saul saw uncomprehending faces and hands clutching at dressing-gowns, as he was hauled toward the lift. Neighbors in pajamas were staring at him. He bellowed at them as he passed.

He still could not see the men holding him. He shouted at them, begging to know what was going on, pleading, threatening and railing.

“Where’s my dad? What’s going on?

“Shut up.”

“What’s going on?”

Something slammed into his kidneys, not hard but with the threat of greater force. “Shut up.” The lift door closed behind them.

“What’s happened to my fucking dad?”

As soon as he had seen the broken window a voice inside Saul had spoken quietly. He had not been able to hear it clearly until now. Inside the flat the brutal crunch of boots and the swearing had drowned it out. But here where he had been dragged, in the relative silence of the lift, he could hear it whispering.

Dead, it said. Dad’s dead.

Saul’s knees buckled. The men behind him held him upright, but he was utterly weak in their arms. He moaned.

“Where’s my dad?” he pleaded.

The light outside was the color of the clouds. Blue strobes swirled on a mass of police cars, staining the drab buildings. The frozen air cleared Saul’s head. He tugged desperately at the arms holding him as he struggled to see over the hedges that ringed Terragon Mansions. He saw faces staring down from the hole that was his father’s window. He saw the glint of a million splinters of glass covering the dying grass. He saw a mass of uniformed police frozen in a threatening diorama. All their faces were turned to him. One held a roll of tape covered in crime scene warnings, a tape he was stretching around stakes in the ground, circumscribing a piece of the earth. Inside the chosen area he saw one man kneeling before a dark shape on the lawn. The man was staring at him like all the others. His body obscured the untidy thing. Saul was swept past before he could see any more.

He was pushed into one of the cars, light-headed now, hardly able to feel a thing. His breath came very fast. Somewhere along the line handcuffs had been snapped onto his wrists. He shouted again at the men in front, but they ignored him.

The streets rolled by.

━━ ˖°˖ ☾☆☽ ˖°˖ ━━━━━━━

They put him in a cell, gave him a cup of tea and warmer clothes: a gray cardigan and corduroy trousers that stank of alcohol. Saul sat huddled in a stranger’s clothes. He waited for a long time.

He lay on the bed, draped the thin blanket around him.

Sometimes he heard the voice inside him. Suicide, it said. Dad’s committed suicide.

Sometimes he would argue with it. It was a ridiculous idea, something his father could never do. Then it would convince him and he might start to hyperventilate, to panic. He closed his ears to it. He kept it quiet. He would not listen to rumors, even if they came from inside himself.

No one had told him why he was there. Whenever footsteps went by outside he would shout, sometimes swearing, demanding to know what was happening. Sometimes the footsteps would stop and the grill would be lifted on the door. “We’re sorry for the delay,” a voice would say. “We’ll be with you as soon as we can,” or “Shut the fuck up.”

“You can’t keep me here,” he yelled at one point. “What’s going on?” His voice echoed around empty corridors.

Saul sat on the bed and stared at the ceiling.

A fine network of cracks spread out from one corner. Saul followed them with his eyes, allowing himself to be mesmerized.

Why are you here? the voice inside whispered to him nervously. Why do they want you? Why won’t they speak to you?

Saul sat and stared at the cracks and ignored the voice.

After a long time he heard the key in the lock. Two uniformed policemen entered, followed by the thin man Saul had seen in his father’s flat. The man was dressed in the same brown suit and ugly tan raincoat. He stared at Saul, who returned his gaze from beneath the dirty blanket, forlorn and pathetic and aggressive. When the thin man spoke his voice was much softer than Saul would have imagined.

“Mr. Garamond,” he said. “I’m sorry to have to tell you that your father is dead.”

Saul gazed at him. That much was obvious surely, he felt like shouting, but tears stopped him. He tried to speak through his streaming eyes and nose, but could issue nothing but a sob. He wept noisily for a minute, then struggled to control himself. He sniffed back tears like a baby and wiped his snotty nose on his sleeve. The three policemen stood and watched him impassively until he had controlled himself a little more.

“What’s going on?” he croaked.

“I was hoping you might be able to tell us that, Saul,” said the thin man. His voice remained quite impassive. “I’m Detective Inspector Crowley, Saul. Now, I’m going to ask you a few questions . . .”

“What happened to Dad?” Saul interrupted. There was a pause.

“He fell from the window, Saul,” Crowley said. “It’s a long way up. I don’t think he suffered any.” There was a pause. “Did you not realize what had happened to your dad, Saul?”

“I thought maybe something . . . I saw in the garden . . . Why am I here?” Saul was shaking.

Crowley pursed his lips and moved a little closer. “Well, Saul, first let me apologize for how long you’ve been waiting. It’s been very hectic out here. I had hoped someone might come and take care of you, but it seems no one has. I’m sorry about that. I’ll be having a few words.

“As to why you’re here, well, it was all a bit confused back there. We get a call from a neighbor saying there’s someone lying out front of the building, we go in, there you are, we don’t know who you are you can see how it all gets out of hand. Anyway, you’re here, long and short of it, in the hope that you can tell us your side of the story.”

Saul stared at Crowley. “My side?” he shouted. “My side of what? I’ve got home and my dad’s.”

Crowley shushed him, his hands up, placating, nodding.

“I know, I know, Saul. We’ve just got to understand what happened. I want you to come with me.” He gave a sad little smile as he said this. He looked down at Saul sitting on the bed; dirty, smelly, in strange clothes, confused, pugnacious, tear-stained and orphaned. Crowley’s face creased with what looked like concern.

“I want to ask you some questions.”

Copyright © 2000 from China Miéville

Pre-order King Rat Here:

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New Releases: 5/1/18

Happy New Release day! Here’s what went on sale today.

A Dog’s Way Home by W. Bruce Cameron

Image Placeholder of - 39 Lucas Ray is shocked when an adorable puppy jumps out of an abandoned building and into his arms. Though the apartment he shares with his mother, a disabled veteran, doesn’t allow dogs, Lucas can’t resist taking Bella home.

Bella is inexplicably drawn to Lucas, even if she doesn’t understand the necessity of games like No Barks. As it becomes more difficult to hide her from the neighbors, Lucas begins to sneak Bella into the VA where he works. There, Bella brings joy and comfort where it is needed most.

Ban This Book by Alan Gratz

Image Place holder  of - 57 In Ban This Book by Alan Gratz, a fourth grader fights back when From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg is challenged by a well-meaning parent and taken off the shelves of her school library. Amy Anne is shy and soft-spoken, but don’t mess with her when it comes to her favorite book in the whole world. Amy Anne and her lieutenants wage a battle for the books that will make you laugh and pump your fists as they start a secret banned books locker library, make up ridiculous reasons to ban every single book in the library to make a point, and take a stand against censorship.

Medusa Uploaded by Emily Devenport

Place holder  of - 96 My name is Oichi Angelis, and I am a worm.

A generation starship can hide many secrets. When an Executive clan suspects Oichi of insurgency and discreetly shoves her out an airlock, one of those secrets finds and rescues her. Officially dead, Oichi begins to rebalance power one assassination at a time and uncovers the shocking truth behind the generation starship and the Executive clans.

The Military Science of Star Wars by George Beahm

Placeholder of  -42 The first ever in-depth analysis of the tactics and equipment used by the heroes and villains of the Star Wars universe has arrived! Spanning all of the films, this comprehensive book goes in to detail about the various guerrilla tactics of the Rebel Alliance and the awe-inspiring might of the Grand Army of the Republic and Darth Vader’s Empire.

Including detailed examples from Earth’s military history, bestselling author George Beahm illustrates how a merciless empire managed to subdue a galaxy with the application of overwhelming force and technology, and how a ragtag group of rebels could cobble together enough of a punch to topple a seemingly-unbeatable enemy.

 

NEW FROM TOR.COM

Black Helicopters by Caitlin R. Kiernan

Poster Placeholder of - 53 Just as the Signalman stood and faced the void in Agents of Dreamland, so it falls to Ptolema, a chess piece in her agency’s world-spanning game, to unravel what has become tangled and unknowable.

Something strange is happening on the shores of New England. Something stranger still is happening to the world itself, chaos unleashed, rational explanation slipped loose from the moorings of the known.

NEW IN PAPERBACK

And Into the Fire by Robert Gleason

Give Your Heart to the Hawks by Win Blevins

Gone to Dust by Matt Goldman

King Rat by China Mieville

Pawn by Timothy Zahn

Tiassa by Steven Brust

NEW IN MANGA

Arifureta: From Commonplace to World’s Strongest (Light Novel) Vol. 2 Story by Ryo Shirakome; Art by Takaya-ki

If It’s for My Daughter, I’d Even Defeat a Demon Lord Vol. 1 Story by Chirolu, Art by Hota

Lord Marksman and Vanadis Vol. 7 Story by Tsukasa Kawaguchi; Art by Nobuhiko Yanai

Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid Vol. 6 Story and art by coolkyousinnjya

Nameless Asterism Vol. 2 Story and art by Kina Kobayashi

Yuuna and the Haunted Hot Springs Vol. 1 

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