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Page-Turning Books with a Magical Twist

By Jennifer McClelland-Smith

Do you believe in magic? Summer is the perfect time to escape into a fun read with a magical twist. We’ve got great suggestions no matter what kind of reader you are!


South of the Buttonwood Tree by Heather Webber

Image Placeholder of - 84Fans of Heather Webber’s book club favorite Midnight at the Blackbird Cafe can tell you, no one does a sweet Southern story with a touch of enchantment like she does. Two women at a crossroads, an abandoned baby girl, and a very special Buttonwood tree that dispenses wisdom make this another heartwarming tale you’ll want to talk about. 

Other People’s Pets by R.L. Maizes

Placeholder of  -39A family story unlike any you’ve ever read. What to do when you’re an animal empath with an absent mother and criminal father? Rob the houses of pets whose maladies you can sense, naturally! Equal parts quirky and heartwarming, this book explores the very meaning of family and what we choose to hold on to or let go of. 

 

Empire of Lies by Raymond Khoury

Poster Placeholder of - 97Thriller fans will not be able to put down Raymond Khoury’s gripping adventure, which dashes across continents and centuries. It’s Paris in 2017: The Ottoman Empire was never defeated in 1683, and Islamic Europe is on the brink of war with the Christian Republic of America. Does a mysterious stranger who appears on the banks of the Seine have all the answers? An international thriller powered by time travel and alternate history, it’s a book that makes you see the world differently.

Or What You Will by Jo Walton

Image Place holder  of - 29Get ready for a real mind-bender. In this unforgettable novel, the main character is a character–no, really. He’s a character in the mind of Sylvia, an award-winning author who is nearing the end of her life. He’s been a scholar, a warrior, a lover, and a thief…now all he wants to do is survive. Will he convince her to take the ultimate risk and jump into immortality?  

Remembrance by Rita Woods

Place holder  of - 65Another compelling read that challenges the limits of time and space. Sweeping from Haiti in 1791 to New Orleans in 1857 to modern-day Ohio, this haunting novel tells the story of a safe haven on the Underground Railroad, the powerful thread that links generations and the magic women conjure when trying to protect their own. Fans of historical fiction and speculative fiction will not be let down by this utterly unique novel.

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On the (Digital) Road: Tor Author Events in July

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

Katherine Addison (The Angel of the Crows) and Jo Walton (Or What You Will)

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Tuesday, July 7
A Room of One’s Own, authors in conversation
Crowdcast
8:00 PM ET

Katherine Addison, The Angel of the Crows

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Thursday, July 2
Schuler Books
Zoom
7:00 PM CT

Monday, July 6
Magers & Quinn
Facebook Live
7:00 PM CT

John Scalzi, The Last Emperox

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Wednesday, July 8
In conversation with Sarah Gailey and Michael Zapata
Eventbrite
3:00 PM ET

Jo Walton, Or What You Will

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Friday, July 10
Argo Bookshop
Zoom
7:00 PM ET

Ryan Van Loan, The Sin in the Steel

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Tuesday, July 14
Tor After Dark
Instagram Live
7:00 PM ET

S. A. Hunt (I Come With Knives), Alaya Dawn Johnson (Trouble the Saints), and Ryan Van Loan (The Sin in the Steel)

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Monday, July 20
Loyalty Books
Crowdcast
6:00 PM ET

L. E. Modesitt, Jr., Quantum Shadows

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Tuesday, July 21
Borderlands Bookstore
Zoom
7:00 PM PT

Mary Robinette Kowal, The Relentless Moon

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Tuesday, July 14
Parnassus Bookstore: Book Launch Party with Anthony Rapp
Zoom
6:00 PM CT

Wednesday, July 15
Anderson’s Books, in conversation with representative from Adler Planetarium
Register here
7:00 PM CT

Thursday, July 16
Brookfield Library
Zoom
7:00 PM CT

Saturday, July 18
Interabang Books: Dallas Library FanCentral guest appearance
Zoom and Facebook Live
1:00 PM CT

Saturday, July 18
Quail Ridge Books in conversation with Katie Mack
Zoom
7:00 PM ET

Tuesday, July 21
Worldbuilder’s Charity, signing livestream
Twitch
2:00 PM ET

Tuesday, July 21
Tor After Dark
Instagram Live
7:00 PM ET

Monday, July 27
The King’s English Bookshop, in conversation with Martha Wells
Zoom
8:00 PM ET

Tuesday, July 28
Old Firehouse Books
Zoom
9:00 PM ET

Wednesday, July 29
Left Bank Books
Zoom
7:00 PM CT

Kit Rocha, Deal with the Devil

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Friday, July 24
Loyalty Bookstore, author chat with Alyssa Cole, MIla Vane/Meljean Brook
Register here
7 PM ET

Tuesday, July 28
The Ripped Bodice, Reading / Q&A
Facebook Live

Wednesday, July 29
Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore, Reading / Q&A with Jacqueline Carey
Instagram Live
7:00 PM PT

Friday, July 31
Love’s Sweet Arrow, Reading / Q&A with Beverly Jenkins
Eventbrite
8:00 PM ET

Kate Elliott, Unconquerable Sun

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Tuesday, July 7
Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore, in conversation with N. K. Jemisin
Instagram Live
7:00 PM PT

Wednesday, July 15
Astoria Bookshop in conversation with Ken Liu
Facebook
7:00 PM ET

Alaya Dawn Johnson, Trouble the Saints

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Tuesday, July 28
Historical Novel Society Presents: “Story Telling as Advocacy”
Register Here
6:00 PM ET

Ferrett Stenmetz, Automatic Reload

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Tuesday, July 28
Cuyahoga County Library, Reading / In-Conversation / Q&A
Facebook Live

Thursday, July 30
Tubby & Coo’s Mid-City Book Shop
Bookstream
7:00 PM ET

Friday, July 31
Borderlands Books
Crowdcast

Daniel Kraus, The Living Dead

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Tuesday, July 28
Tor After Dark
Instagram Live
7:00 PM ET

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Excerpt: Or What You Will by Jo Walton

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Poster Placeholder of - 77Or What You Will is an utterly original novel about how stories are brought forth from Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy Award-winning author Jo Walton.

He has been too many things to count. He has been a dragon with a boy on his back. He has been a scholar, a warrior, a lover, and a thief. He has been dream and dreamer. He has been a god.

But “he” is in fact nothing more than a spark of idea, a character in the mind of Sylvia Harrison, 73, award-winning author of thirty novels over forty years. He has played a part in most of those novels, and in the recesses of her mind, Sylvia has conversed with him for years.

But Sylvia won’t live forever, any more than any human does. And he’s trapped inside her cave of bone, her hollow of skull. When she dies, so will he.

Now Sylvia is starting a new novel, a fantasy for adult readers, set in Thalia, the Florence-resembling imaginary city that was the setting for a successful YA trilogy she published decades before. Of course he’s got a part in it. But he also has a notion. He thinks he knows how he and Sylvia can step off the wheel of mortality altogether. All he has to do is convince her.

Please enjoy this extended excerpt of Or What You Will, available 7/7/2020. 


1

The Bone Cave

 

She won’t let me tell all the stories. She says it’ll make them all sound the same. She’s had too much of my tricks and artfulness, she says. I have been inspiration, but now she is done with me. So I am trapped inside this cave of bone, this hollow of skull, this narrow and limited point of view that is all I am allowed, like a single shaft from a dark lantern. She has all the power. But sometimes she needs me. Sometimes I get out.

“I have been” is a very Celtic way to begin a self introduction. (I have been a Celt.) It’s as if the best way to present yourself is with an interlocking set of riddles, a negotiation of images and history and shared knowledge, creating a relationship between us where instead of information being imparted from me to you, you are instead asked to invoke your own wisdom and cunning and information stores to involve yourself in a guess. “I have been” in those long Celtic poems often gives way to “I am” more riddles, often boasting, phrased as sets of opposite qualities.

I have been too many things to count. I have been a dragon with a boy on his back. I have been a scholar, a warrior, a lover, and a thief. I have been dream and dreamer. I have been a god. I have stood by the wind-wracked orchard, near the storm coast. I have been guardian of the good water. I am wise, but sometimes reckless. I am famed for my fast answers, but I would never proclaim that I am witty. You see, I am not modest. The sun my brother will never catch me napping, nor the lazy sunbeam warm my pillow. I am friend to monsters, companion to bees. I have been a stormbringer and a stormtamer. My silver tongue runs up and down, on and back, oh yes, I have been a poet. My prison now is the skull of a poet. I am deathless, but I have spent time on death’s many paths. (Yes, time can be currency, especially now that I have so much of it that I can be profligate.) I have been a boy with a book, burning, burning. I have been a shepherd, and a fierce bearded goat looking down from a high path.

What am I? What am I? Figment, fakement, fragment, furious fancy free form. I have been the spark that ignites in a cold winter. I have been the swell of a warm penis in the darkness. I have been laughter at daybreak, and tears before bedtime. I have been a quick backanswer. I have been too clever for my own good.

Especially that last.

I have been a character, and I have been a narrator, but now I don’t know what I am.

She doesn’t want to let me out again, that’s the problem. I think she may be afraid, but she doesn’t say that. She says she’s used me too much and wants a change. When I say I can change, that I can be whatever she wants (I have been the roar of a lion. I have been a weaver, and torn cobweb blowing in the wind, and moonbeams enlightening a chink in a wall, and summer fields full of sprouting mustard seed…) then she says she needs to make up the world first. Imagine that power, to make worlds! I can make and shape and take no worlds. I slide myself into the worlds I am given and find myself, frame myself, tame myself into the space there where I can see to be me. I slither like quicksilver, fast flowing to fill up the form. But now she says she doesn’t want me to. So I don’t know what to do. I’m lonely. I miss you.

There are other people in here, so I am not quite solitary, but unless she will open for me the door into worlds, I am beating the bounds of a prison of bone, contemplating all I have been.

I have been a word on the tongue. I have been a word on the page. And I hope I will be again.

She says she is afraid she is going mad, talking to me. She says she used to do both sides of the conversation, but not any more. She does, however, still talk to me. I take consolation in that. If she didn’t, if she left me in the dark in the bone cage for long enough without light, then might I in time dissolve back into the grey mist? I have seen it happen to others.

That mist is one of the oldest things in her head, one of the oldest things she ever thought of, when she was a child. She walks into it when she wants a character, and it swirls around her. “Just make one up, just make me up!” the mist voices plead, and as she listens the tendrils thicken and solidify and take form and colour and follow her out into such solidity as she chooses to set them. I might have come from that mist, long ago, though that is not how either of us remember my origin. Still, I avoid the place where the mist pools, for fear of being lost and forgotten, for fear of drowning, or dissolving into the stuff of subcreation. There were others here with me before, almost as solid as I am, who are now only shadows and murmurs, ones who surged like the sea in spate who are only a whisper of waves on the distant shore. It would take a lot to invoke them, now, a full blooded sacrifice to call back no more than their hollow moth-voices. She has half-forgotten them, and I dare not summon them forth. I husband such power as I have. Though I know enough to be aware it is wrong to be selfish, still I have to protect myself. I must fasten my own oxygen mask before attempting to assist others.

I have been a runner quivering on the instant. I have been an imaginary friend. And a real friend, that too! I have been bound here, waiting, ready to do service.

She asks if that’s really how I’m going to describe it, the deepest most numinous part of her head, the wellspring of everything? It isn’t just mist, she says, grumpily. It’s a place, a place swirling with potentiality. It’s huge, and though you can’t ever see far you feel as if the twining tendrils of mist thinned you might find unexpected vistas opening before you. It’s the source, the foundation, the origin. It’s the valley of the shadow, and the dreamcrossed twilight. It’s Ginnungagap, where nothing is and all things start. (I have been a thief of words and so has she, though she might not as readily admit it.) The mist that is the essence of creation is of all colours and densities of grey and silver, from dark stormcloud to blown breath on a bright winter morning. It never stops moving, eddying, surging, and nobody can tell what is mist and what is shadow, not until shadow and mist transform and are shaped to become solid and walk beside you. She has been there many times but it has never become tame, there is always a risk, going in, of becoming lost, losing your way out, losing your very self into those drifts of being and becoming. There are cliffs, she says, huge cliffs, shaping the bounds of the space. When she goes into the mist she is always aware of walking between cliffs, and that is the way she comes out again, between the cliffs, but now in company. If you go too deep, she says, you might find yourself on the top of those cliffs, and drawing too close to the edge.

How would I know? I stay as far away from it as possible.

She says besides, any normal person talking about the inside of her head would speak of her as “I” and of me as “he”. But no, she’s wrong there. A normal person would not speak of me at all, would grant me neither pronoun not any least mote of reality. I have stood beside her in a circle of standing stones and at the top of the CN Tower, and yet to any eye she was alone. It is true I have seen with her eyes, but has she not seen with mine? I have been the flicker of fire that brings warmth. I have been a threshold.

I have been cocky. I have been assured. I have learned from Pythagoras himself, and from the masters of Bluestone Caves. I have knowledge and tools and a unique way of seeing. I have been a dragon in a university. I know more than Apollo. But I am afraid. I no longer want to escape to Constantinople, escape fate, escape her. I want her to make a world for me, for all that I am and could be, for me seen whole, not one where I have to pour as much of myself as will fit into an aspect she has shaped for me. “No,” she says. “No. It would be too meta. Nobody would want that. The poor reader would recoil in horror. Anyway, all of what you are would not fit within the bounds of any page, the shape of any story. Besides,” she says, when I don’t answer, “What would it be about?”

“I could save you,” I suggest, uncharacteristically tentative. Making up stories has always been her job, not mine. I simply tell them and act in them. She has always dealt with the question of what they are about.

“Save me? What from?”

“Some real world thing,” I say, casually, but too fast, and she is wary.

“Oh, so it’s the real world you want? You want to be real in the real world?”

“Like Pinocchio,” I say. “Like the Velveteen Rabbit. Like the robot in The Silver Metal Lover.” (Can you believe that there’s a sequel?) But this is all the flick and flash and razzmatazz of distraction, and this time it doesn’t work.

“That’s not in my power,” she says, and she is not laughing, not at all, she is dead serious.

For what, after all, could I save her from? Think about that, because we’re going to have to face it now. She is the poet and I am trapped in her head. What I need to save her from has to be death. Because when she dies, where am I then? This bone cave is bounded in more than one way, for it is also bounded in time.

“Could I save you from mortality?” I offer, putting it out there plainly, still tentative, still careful, grateful she is speaking to me at all, that I am at least that far real, that she is giving me consideration. I don’t want to frighten her away again.

She hesitates, there is a long pause, here in the darkness where we speak poised in space, two jewel-bright voices set in no setting, with nothing around us, not even the wisps of mist, neither heat nor cold nor scent nor touch nor taste, nothing but the expectation of electrical excitation, like the oldest poetry where simile stands in for senses. And she speaks, her words filling the silence, the blankness: “You don’t understand. You’re not real, you only think you are. And even if I acknowledge you are in any sense real, a real subcreation, you’re still not a real god. Your powers are only in my worlds, in story, not in the real world, the outer world where I live and where I must… die.”

“And if you die, must I die with you?” I ask.

“You’ll live on in the stories,” she says, but she doesn’t sound certain.

“Then make me a new one, for all that I am,” I ask, again.

“No. I have used you too much. I’m getting stale. Now I want to write this alternate Florence book, and it doesn’t have you in it.”

“But I love Florence!” I insist, which is the whole and holy truth. She doesn’t answer. There’s nothing I can do when she doesn’t answer.

I am the egg of aspiration. I am the spaceship in the sunrise. I am hope, lurking amid the evils. At least, I hope I am. I’m getting desperate in here.

Copyright © 2020 by Jo Walton

Pre-Order Your Copy

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Every Tor Book Coming This Summer

It’s almost time for summer weather and that means…SUMMER BOOKS! Due to COVID-19, we shuffled some of our on sale dates around, so check here for the most up to date list of when you can get your hands on some of the most highly anticipated books of the season:

June 16

The Unconquered CityImage Place holder  of - 58 by K. A. Doore

Seven years have passed since the Siege—a time when the hungry dead had risen—but the memories still haunt Illi Basbowen. Though she was trained to be an elite assassin, now the Basbowen clan act as Ghadid’s militia force protecting the resurrected city against a growing tide of monstrous guul that travel across the dunes. Illi’s worst fears are confirmed when General Barca arrives, bearing news that her fledgling nation, Hathage, also faces this mounting danger. How much can she sacrifice to protect everything she knows from devastation?

GloriousPoster Placeholder of - 13 by Gregory Benford and Larry Niven

Audacious astronauts encounter bizarre, sometimes deadly life forms, and strange, exotic, cosmic phenomena, including miniature black holes, dense fields of interstellar plasma, powerful gravity-emitters, and spectacularly massive space-based, alien-built labyrinths. Tasked with exploring this brave, new, highly dangerous world, they must also deal with their own personal triumphs and conflicts.

June 23

Place holder  of - 30The Angel of the Crows by Katherine Addison

In an alternate 1880s London, angels inhabit every public building, and vampires and werewolves walk the streets with human beings in a well-regulated truce. A fantastic utopia, except for a few things: Angels can Fall, and that Fall is like a nuclear bomb in both the physical and metaphysical worlds. And human beings remain human, with all their kindness and greed and passions and murderous intent. Jack the Ripper stalks the streets of this London too. But this London has an Angel. The Angel of the Crows.

June 30

Placeholder of  -50Interlibrary Loan by Gene Wolfe

E. A. Smithe is a borrowed person, his personality an uploaded recording of a deceased mystery writer. Smithe is a piece of property, not a legal human. As such, Smithe can be loaned to other branches. Which he is. Along with two fellow reclones, a cookbook and romance writer, they are shipped to Polly’s Cove, where Smithe meets a little girl who wants to save her mother, a father who is dead but perhaps not. And another E.A. Smithe… who definitely is.

July 7

Image Placeholder of - 79Unconquerable Sun by Kate Elliott

Princess Sun has finally come of age. Growing up in the shadow of her mother, Eirene, has been no easy task. The legendary queen-marshal did what everyone thought impossible: expel the invaders and build Chaonia into a magnificent republic, one to be respected—and feared. But the cutthroat ambassador corps and conniving noble houses have never ceased to scheme—and they have plans that need Sun to be removed as heir, or better yet, dead.

Or What You Will by Jo Walton

He has been too many things to count. He has been a dragon with a boy on his back. He has been a scholar, a warrior, a lover, and a thief. He has been dream and dreamer. He has been a god. But “he” is in fact nothing more than a spark of idea, a character in the mind of Sylvia Harrison, 73, award-winning author of thirty novels over forty years. But Sylvia won’t live forever, any more than any human does. And he’s trapped inside her cave of bone, her hollow of skull. When she dies, so will he.

Little Brother & Homeland by Cory Doctorow

Cory Doctorow’s two New York Times-bestselling novels of youthful rebellion against the torture-and-surveillance state – now available in a softcover omnibus

 

July 14

In the Kingdom of All Tomorrows by Stephen R. Lawhead

Conor mac Ardan is now clan chief of the Darini. Tara’s Hill has become a haven and refuge for all those who were made homeless by the barbarian Scálda. A large fleet of the Scálda’s Black Ships has now arrived and Conor joins Eirlandia’s lords to defeat the monsters. He finds treachery in their midst…and a betrayal that is blood deep. And so begins a final battle to win the soul of a nation.

The Relentless Moon by Mary Robinette Kowl

Elma York is on her way to Mars, but the Moon colony is still being established. Her friend and fellow Lady Astronaut Nicole Wargin is thrilled to be one of those pioneer settlers, using her considerable flight and political skills to keep the program on track. But she is less happy that her husband, the Governor of Kansas, is considering a run for President.

July 21

Trouble the Saints by Alaya Dawn Johnson

Phyllis LeBlanc has given up everything—not just her own past, and Dev, the man she loved, but even her own dreams. Still, the ghosts from her past are always by her side—and history has appeared on her doorstep to threaten the people she keeps in her heart. And so Phyllis will have to make a harrowing choice, before it’s too late—is there ever enough blood in the world to wash clean generations of injustice?

 The Sin in the Steel by Ryan Van Loan

Buc and Eld are the first private detectives in a world where pirates roam the seas, mages speak to each other across oceans, mechanical devices change the tide of battle, and earthly wealth is concentrated in the hands of a powerful few. It’s been weeks since ships last returned to the magnificent city of Servenza with bounty from the Shattered Coast. Disaster threatens not just the city’s trading companies but the empire itself. When Buc and Eld are hired to investigate, Buc swiftly discovers that the trade routes have become the domain of a sharp-eyed pirate queen who sinks all who defy her.

Quantum Shadows by L. E. Modesitt, Jr. 

On a world called Heaven, the ten major religions of mankind each have its own land governed by a capital city and ruled by a Hegemon. That Hegemon may be a god, or a prophet of a god. Smaller religions have their own towns or villages of belief. Corvyn, known as the Shadow of the Raven, contains the collective memory of humanity’s Falls from Grace. With this knowledge comes enormous power. When unknown power burns a mysterious black image into the holy place of each House of the Decalivre, Corvyn must discover what entity could possibly have that much power. The stakes are nothing less than another Fall, and if he doesn’t stop it, mankind will not rise from the ashes.

Uranus by Ben Bova

Humans can’t live on the gas giants, making instead a life in orbit. Kyle Umber, a religious idealist, has built Haven, a sanctuary above the distant planet Uranus. He invites ”the tired, the sick, the poor“ of Earth to his orbital retreat where men and women can find spiritual peace and refuge from the world. The billionaire who financed Haven, however, has his own designs: beyond the reach of the laws of the inner planets Haven could become the center for an interplanetary web of narcotics, prostitution, even hunting human prey.

I Come With Knives by S. A. Hunt

Robin – now armed with new knowledge about mysterious demon terrorizing her around town, the support of her friends, and the assistance of her old witch-hunter mentor – plots to confront the Lazenbury coven and destroy them once and for all. Robin must handle new threats on top of the menace from the Lazenbury coven, but a secret about Robin’s past may throw all of her plans into jeopardy.

July 28

Deal with the Devil by Kit Rocha

Nina is an information broker with a mission—she and her team of mercenary librarians use their knowledge to save the hopeless in a crumbling America. Knox is the bitter, battle-weary captain of the Silver Devils. His squad of supersoldiers went AWOL to avoid slaughtering innocents, and now he’s fighting to survive. They’re on a deadly collision course, and the passion that flares between them only makes it more dangerous. They could burn down the world, destroying each other in the process…Or they could do the impossible: team up.

The Baron of Magister Valley by Steven Brust

The salacious claims that The Baron of Magister Valley bears any resemblance to a certain nearly fictional narrative about an infamous count are unfounded (we do not dabble in tall tales. The occasional moderately stretched? Yes. But never tall). Our tale is that of a nobleman who is betrayed by those he trusted, and subsequently imprisoned. After centuries of confinement, he contrives to escape and prepares to avenge himself against his betrayers. A mirror image of The Count of Monte Cristo, vitrolic naysayers still grouse? Well, that is nearly and utterly false.

Automatic Reload by Ferrett Steinmetz

Meet Mat, a tortured mercenary who has become the perfect shot, and Silvia, and idealistic woman genetically engineered to murder you to death. Together they run for the shadiest corporation in the world… and realize their messed-up brain chemistry cannot overpower their very real chemistry.

August 4

The Living Dead by George A. Romero and Daniel Kraus

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.

Space Station Down by Ben Bova and Doug Beason

When an ultra-rich space tourist visits the orbiting International Space Station, NASA expects a $100 million win-win: his visit will bring in much needed funding and publicity. But the tourist venture turns into a scheme of terror. Together with an extremist cosmonaut, the tourist slaughters all the astronauts on board the million-pound ISS—and prepares to crash it into New York City at 17,500 miles an hour, causing more devastation than a hundred atomic bombs. In doing so, they hope to annihilate the world’s financial system.

Sorcery of a Queen by Brian Naslund

Driven from her kingdom, the would-be queen now seeks haven in the land of her mother, but Ashlyn will not stop until justice has been done. Determined to unlock the secret of powers long thought impossible, Ashlyn bends her will and intelligence to mastering the one thing people always accused her of, sorcery. Meanwhile, having learned the truth of his mutation, Bershad is a man on borrowed time. Never knowing when his healing powers will drive him to a self-destruction, he is determined to see Ashlyn restored to her throne and the creatures they both love safe.

A Chorus of Fire by Brian D. Anderson

A shadow has moved across Lamoria. Whispers of the coming conflict are growing louder; the enemy becoming bolder. Belkar’s reach has extended far into the heart of Ralmarstad and war now seems inevitable. Mariyah, clinging to the hope of one day being reunited with Lem, struggles to attain the power she will need to make the world safe again.Lem continues his descent into darkness, serving a man he does not trust in the name of a faith which is not his own. Only Shemi keeps his heart from succumbing to despair, along with the knowledge that he has finally found Mariyah. But Lem is convinced she is being held against her will, and is determined to free her, regardless the cost.

August 11

The Tyrant Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson

Baru’s enemies close in from all sides. Baru’s own mind teeters on the edge of madness or shattering revelation. Now she must choose between genocidal revenge and a far more difficult path—a conspiracy of judges, kings, spies and immortals, puppeteering the world’s riches and two great wars in a gambit for the ultimate prize. If Baru had absolute power over the Imperial Republic, she could force Falcrest to abandon its colonies and make right its crimes.

The Last Uncharted Sky by Curtis Craddock

Isabelle and Jean-Claude undertake an airship expedition to recover a fabled treasure and claim a hitherto undiscovered craton for l’Empire Celeste. But Isabelle, as a result from a previous attack that tried to subsume her body and soul, suffers from increasingly disturbing and disruptive hallucinations. Disasters are compounded when the ship is sabotaged by an enemy agent, and Jean-Claude is separated from the expedition.

By Force Alone by Lavie Tidhar

Everyone thinks they know the story of King Arthur and his knights of the Round Table. The fact is they don’t know sh*t.

Arthur? An over-promoted gangster. Merlin? An eldritch parasite. Excalibur? A shady deal with a watery arms dealer. Britain? A clogged sewer that Rome abandoned just as soon as it could.

The Shadow Commission by David Mack

November 1963. Cade and Anja have lived in hiding for a decade, training new mages. Then the assassination of President Kennedy trigger a series of murders whose victims are all magicians—with Cade, Anja, and their allies as its prime targets. Their only hope of survival: learning how to fight back against the sinister cabal known as the Shadow Commission.

The Wizard Knight by Gene Wolfe

A young man in his teens is transported from our world to a magical realm consisting of seven levels of reality. Transformed by magic into a grown man of heroic proportions, he takes the name Sir Able of the High Heart and sets out on a quest to find the sword that has been promised to him, the blade that will help him fulfill his ambition to become a true hero—a true knight. Inside, however, Sir Able remains a boy, and he must grow in every sense to survive what lies ahead…

August 25

The Memory of Souls by Jenn Lyons

Now that Relos Var’s plans have been revealed and demons are free to rampage across the empire, the fulfillment of the ancient prophecies—and the end of the world—is closer than ever. To buy time for humanity, Kihrin needs to convince the king of the Manol vané to perform an ancient ritual which will strip the entire race of their immortality, but it’s a ritual which certain vané will do anything to prevent. Including assassinating the messengers.

Architects of Memory by Karen Osborne

Terminally ill salvage pilot Ash Jackson lost everything in the war with the alien Vai, but she’ll be damned if she loses her future. Her plan: to buy, beg, or lie her way out of corporate indenture and find a cure. When her crew salvages a genocidal weapon from a ravaged starship above a dead colony, Ash uncovers a conspiracy of corporate intrigue and betrayal that threatens to turn her into a living weapon.

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