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Every Tor Paperback Coming this Winter

Love books? Us too! So much that we’re rounding up every paperback coming from Tor Books this winter, right here. Check it out!


The Atlas Paradoxthe atlas paradox by olivie blake by Olivie Blake

Six magicians were presented with the opportunity of a lifetime. Five are now members of the Society. Two paths lay before them. All must pick a side. Alliances will be tested, hearts will be broken, and The Society of Alexandrians will be revealed for what it is: a secret society with raw, world-changing power, headed by a man whose plans to change life as we know it are already under way.

Stations of the Tidestations of the tide by michael swanwick by Michael Swanwick

From author Michael Swanwick—one of the most brilliantly assured and darkly inventive writers of contemporary fiction—comes the Nebula award-winning masterwork of radically altered realities and world-shattering seductions. The “Jubilee Tides” will drown the continents of the planet Miranda beneath the weight of her own oceans. But as the once-in-two-centuries cataclysm approaches, an even greater catastrophe threatens this dark and dangerous planet of tale-spinners, conjurers, and shapechangers. A man from the Bureau of Proscribed Technologies has been sent to investigate. For Gregorian has come, a genius renegade scientist and charismatic bush wizard. With magic and forbidden technology, he plans to remake the rotting dying world in his own evil image-and to force whom or whatever remains on its diminishing surface toward a terrifying, astonishing confrontation with death and transcendence.

The Cage of Dark Hoursthe cage of dark hours by marina lostetter by Marina Lostetter

Krona and her Regulators survived their encounter with Charbon, the long-dead serial killer who returned to their city, but the illusions of their world were shattered forever. Allied with an old friend they will battle the elite who have ruled their world with deception, cold steel, and tight control of the magic that could threaten their power, while also confronting beasts from beyond the foggy barrier that binds their world. Now they must follow every thread to uncover the truth behind the Thalo, once thought of as only a children’s tale, who are the quiet, creeping puppet masters of their world.

Red Team Bluesred team blues by cory doctorow by Cory Doctorow

Martin Hench is sixty-seven years old, single, and successful in a career stretching back to the beginnings of Silicon Valley. He’s a—contain your excitement—self-employed forensic accountant, a veteran of the long war between people who want to hide their money and people who want to find it. He’s made some pretty powerful people happy in his time, and he’s been paid pretty well. It’s been a good life. He’s always been on the red team, the attacking side, hunting down grifters, fraudsters, and crooks. In this kind of combat, the defenders, the blue team, have to win 100% of the time, while the red team needs to win only once. But now, Martin’s been roped into a job that’s more dangerous than anything he’s ever done before, and worse, he’s playing on the blue team. It’ll take every ounce of his skill to get out alive.

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?

The Mystery at Dunvegan Castlethe mystery at dunvegan castle by t l huchu by T. L. Huchu

Ropa Moyo is no stranger to magic or mysteries. But she’s still stuck in an irksomely unpaid internship. So she’s thrilled to attend a magical convention at Dunvegan Castle, on the Isle of Skye, where she’ll rub elbows with eminent magicians. For Ropa, it’s the perfect opportunity to finally prove her worth. Then a librarian is murdered and a precious scroll stolen. Suddenly, every magician is a suspect, and Ropa and her allies investigate. Trapped in a castle, with suspicions mounting, Ropa must contend with corruption, skulduggery and power plays. Time to ask for a raise?

Tsalmothtsalmoth by steven brust by Steven Brust

First comes love. Then comes marriage… 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…

Cascade Failurecascade failure by l m sagas by L. M. Sagas

There are only three real powers in the Spiral: the corporate power of the Trust versus the Union’s labor’s leverage. Between them the Guild tries to keep everyone’s hands above the table. It ain’t easy. Branded a Guild deserter, Jal “accidentally” lands a ride on a Guild ship. Helmed by an AI, with a ship’s engineer/medic who doesn’t see much of a difference between the two jobs, and a “don’t make me shoot you” XO, the Guild crew of the Ambit is a little . . . different. They’re also in over their heads. Responding to a distress call from an abandoned planet, they find a mass grave, and a live programmer who knows how it happened. The Trust has plans. This isn’t the first dead planet, and it’s not going to be the last. Unless the crew of the Ambit can stop it.

The Wardenthe warden by daniel m. ford by Daniel M. Ford

Only the extraordinary are chosen. Only the cunning survive. An explosive return to the library leaves the six Alexandrians vulnerable to the lethal terms of their recruitment. Old alliances quickly fracture as the initiates take opposing strategies as to how to deal with the deadly bargain they have so far failed to uphold. Those who remain with the archives wrestle with the ethics of their astronomical abilities, while elsewhere, an unlikely pair from the Society cohort partner to influence politics on a global stage. And still the outside world mobilizes to destroy them, while the Caretaker himself, Atlas Blakely, may yet succeed with a plan foreseen to have world-ending stakes. It’s a race to survive as the six Society recruits are faced with the question of what they’re willing to betray for limitless power—and who will be destroyed along the way.

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Our Ongoing Series of 2024

2024 is a big year with a lot of big books! Many of them take place in big worlds established in books that came before. Here’s all of our series that are getting a new entry this year, right here.


the atlas complex by olivie blakeThe Atlas Complex by Olivie Blake

The Atlas Complex marks the much-anticipated, heart-shattering conclusion in Olivie Blake’s trilogy that began with the New York Times bestselling phenomenon, The Atlas Six.

Only the extraordinary are chosen.

Only the cunning survive.

An explosive return to the library leaves the six Alexandrians vulnerable to the lethal terms of their recruitment.

Old alliances quickly fracture as the initiates take opposing strategies as to how to deal with the deadly bargain they have so far failed to uphold. Those who remain with the archives wrestle with the ethics of their astronomical abilities, while elsewhere, an unlikely pair from the Society cohort partner to influence politics on a global stage.

And still the outside world mobilizes to destroy them, while the Caretaker himself, Atlas Blakely, may yet succeed with a plan foreseen to have world-ending stakes. It’s a race to survive as the six Society recruits are faced with the question of what they’re willing to betray for limitless power—and who will be destroyed along the way.

On Sale 1/7/24


kinning by nisi shawlKinning by Nisi Shawl

Kinning, the sequel to Nisi Shawl’s acclaimed debut novel Everfair, continues the stunning alternate history where barkcloth airships soar through the sky, varied peoples build a new society together, and colonies claim their freedom from imperialist tyrants.

The Great War is over. Everfair has found peace within its borders. But our heroes’ stories are far from done.

Tink and his sister Bee-Lung are traveling the world via aircanoe, spreading the spores of a mysterious empathy-generating fungus. Through these spores, they seek to build bonds between people and help spread revolutionary sentiments of socialism and equality—the very ideals that led to Everfair’s founding.

Meanwhile, Everfair’s Princess Mwadi and Prince Ilunga return home from a sojourn in Egypt to vie for their country’s rule following the abdication of their father King Mwenda. But their mother, Queen Josina, manipulates them both from behind the scenes, while also pitting Europe’s influenza-weakened political powers against one another as these countries fight to regain control of their rebellious colonies.

Will Everfair continue to serve as a symbol of hope, freedom, and equality to anticolonial movements around the world, or will it fall to forces inside and out?

On Sale 1/23/24


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

L. E. Modesitt, Jr. continues the Saga of Recluce, the long-running, best-selling epic fantasy series. In a new story arc, From the Forest follows the early life of a man known by many names depending on who you ask—hero, tyrant, emperor.

Alayiakal, who will one day be known by many names —not all of them flattering—has to climb the ranks of Cyador’s Mirror Lancers, fighting against unforeseen weapons and ancient technology.

Alayiakal, however, has secrets of his own to protect: his ties to the Great Forest and his magus abilities. He must silently pretend to be a conventional soldier favored by fate—until that very same fate forces him to choose.

On Sale 1/23/24


heartsong by tj kluneHeartsong by TJ Klune

The Bennett family has a secret: they’re not just a family, they’re a pack. Heartsong is Robbie Fontaine’s story.

All Robbie Fontaine ever wanted was a place to belong. After the death of his mother, he bounces around from pack to pack, forming temporary bonds to keep from turning feral. It’s enough—until he receives a summons from the wolf stronghold in Caswell, Maine. Life as the trusted second to Michelle Hughes—the Alpha of all—and the cherished friend of a gentle old witch teaches Robbie what it means to be pack, to have a home. But when a mission from Michelle sends Robbie into the field, he finds himself questioning where he belongs and everything he’s been told.

Whispers of traitorous wolves and wild magic abound—but who are the traitors and who the betrayed? More than anything, Robbie hungers for answers, because one of those alleged traitors is Kelly Bennett—the wolf who may be his mate.

The truth has a way of coming out. And when it does, everything will shatter.

On Sale 1/30/24


the bezzle by cory doctorowThe Bezzle by Cory Doctorow

New York Times bestseller Cory Doctorow’s The Bezzle is a high stakes thriller where the lives of the hundreds of thousands of inmates in California’s prisons are traded like stock shares.

The year is 2006. Martin Hench is at the top of his game as a self-employed forensic accountant, a veteran of the long guerrilla war between people who want to hide money, and people who want to find it. He spends his downtime on Catalina Island, where scenic, imported bison wander the bluffs and frozen, reheated fast food burgers cost $25. Wait, what? When Marty disrupts a seemingly innocuous scheme during a vacation on Catalina Island, he has no idea he’s kicked off a chain of events that will overtake the next decade of his life.

Martin has made his most dangerous mistake yet: trespassed into the playgrounds of the ultra-wealthy and spoiled their fun. To them, money is a tool, a game, and a way to keep score, and they’ve found their newest mark—California’s Department of Corrections. Secure in the knowledge that they’re living behind far too many firewalls of shell companies and investors ever to be identified, they are interested not in the lives they ruin, but only in how much money they can extract from the government and the hundreds of thousands of prisoners they have at their mercy.

A seething rebuke of the privatized prison system that delves deeply into the arcane and baroque financial chicanery involved in the 2008 financial crash, The Bezzle is a sizzling follow-up to Red Team Blues.

On Sale 2/20/24


lyorn by steven brustLyorn by Steven Brust

All The World’s A Happy Stage. Until the knives come out… Lyorn is the next adventure in Steven Brust’s bestselling Vlad Taltos series

Another Opening…Another Cataclysm?

Vlad Taltos is on the run. Again. This time from one of the most powerful forces in his world, the Left Hand, who are intent on ending his very lucrative career. Permanently.

He finds a hidey-hole in a theatre where the players are putting on a show that was banned centuries ago…and is trying to be shut down by the House that once literally killed to keep it from being played.

Vlad will take on a number of roles to save his own skin. And the skins of those he loves.

And along the way, he might find a part that was tailor-made for him.

One that he might not want…but was always his destiny.

On Sale 4/9/24


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

A riotous new novel takes readers deeper into the politics and intrigue of the New York Times bestselling Malazan Empire.

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.

Falar itself is far from defenseless. Its priests possess a weapon rumored to be a gift from the sea god, Mael—a weapon so terrifying it has not been unleashed for centuries. But two can play at that game, for the Emperor’s flagship is also believed to be not entirely of this world.

These are turbulent, treacherous and bloody times for all caught up in the forging of an Empire and so, amongst the Ice Wastes and in the archipelago of Falar, the Malazans must face two seemingly insurmountable tests, each one potentially the origin of their destruction . . .

On Sale 4/9/24


necrobane by daniel m. fordNecrobane by Daniel M. Ford

Aelis de Lenti, Lone Pine’s newly assigned Warden, is in deep trouble. She has just opened the crypts of Mahlgren, releasing an army of the undead into the unprotected backwoods of Ystain.

To protect her village, she must unearth a source of immense Necromantic power at the heart of Mahlgren. The journey will wind through waves of undead, untamed wilderness, and curses far older than anything Aelis has ever encountered. But as strong as Aelis is, this is one quest she cannot face alone.

Along with the brilliant mercenary she’s fallen for, her half-orc friend, and a dwarven merchant, Aelis must race the clock to unravel mysteries, slay dread creatures, and stop what she has set in motion before the flames of a bloody war are re-ignited.

On Sale 4/23/24


the daughters war by christopher buehlmanThe Daughter’s War by Christopher Buehlman

Enter the fray in this luminous new adventure from Christopher Buehlman, set during the war-torn, goblin-infested years just before The Blacktongue Thief.

The goblins have killed all of our horses and most of our men.

They have enslaved our cities, burned our fields, and still they wage war.

Now, our daughters take up arms.

Galva — Galvicha to her three brothers, two of whom the goblins will kill — has defied her family’s wishes and joined the army’s untested new unit, the Raven Knights. They march toward a once-beautiful city overrun by the goblin horde, accompanied by scores of giant war corvids. Made with the darkest magics, these fearsome black birds may hold the key to stopping the goblins in their war to make cattle of mankind.

The road to victory is bloody, and goblins are clever and merciless. The Raven Knights can take nothing for granted — not the bonds of family, nor the wisdom of their leaders, nor their own safety against the dangerous war birds at their side. But some hopes are worth any risk.

On Sale 6/25/2024


blood jade by julia vee & ken bebelleBlood Jade by Julia Vee & Ken Bebelle

The follow-up to Ebony Gate, the critically acclaimed debut of Vee and Bebelle’s Phoenix Hoard series.

IT TAKES A KILLER TO CATCH A KILLER

Emiko Soong, newly minted Sentinel of San Francisco, just can’t catch a break. Just after she becomes the guardian for a sentient city, a murder strikes close to home. Called by the city and one of the most powerful clans to investigate, she traces the killer whose scent signature bears a haunting similarity to her mother’s talent.

The trail will lead her back to Tokyo where the thread she pulls threatens to unravel her whole world and bring dark family secrets to light.

Meanwhile, the General rises in the East and Emiko must fight the hidden enemies of his growing army who are amped up on Blood Jade, while keeping her promises to her brother Tatsuya as he prepares for his tourney.

Her duties as Sentinel and her loyalties collide when she must choose between hiding her deepest shame or stopping the General’s relentless march.

On Sale 7/16/24


gravity lost by l m sagasGravity Lost by L. M. Sagas

L. M. Sagas follows her fast-paced sci-fi adventure Cascade Failure with an equally explosive sequel, Gravity Lost. Everyone’s favorite fierce, messy, chaotic space fam is back with more vibrant worlds, and the wildest crew since Guardians of the Galaxy.

After thwarting a space station disaster and planetary destruction, the Ambit crew thought turning Isaiah Drestyn over to the Union would be the end of their troubles. Turns out, it’s only the start.

Drestyn is a walking encyclopedia of dirty secrets, and everyone wants a piece of him—the Trust, the Union, even the Guild. Someone wants him bad enough to kill, and with the life of one of their own on the line, the Ambit crew must jail-break the very man they helped capture and expose some of the secrets he’s been keeping before it’s too late.

In the Spiral, everything has a price. In their fight to protect what they love, Eoan, Nash, Saint, and Jal will confront some ugly truths about their enemies, and even uglier truths about their friends. But nothing will come close to the truths they’ll learn about themselves.

You can’t always fix what’s broken … and sometimes, it’s better that way.

On Sale 7/23/24


brothersong by tj kluneBrothersong by TJ Klune

The Bennett family has a secret: They’re not just a family, they’re a pack. Brothersong is Carter Bennett’s story.

In the ruins of Caswell, Maine, Carter Bennett learned the truth of what had been right in front of him the entire time. And then it—he—was gone. Desperate for answers, Carter takes to the road, leaving family and the safety of his pack behind, all in the name of a man he only knows as a feral wolf. But therein lies the danger: wolves are pack animals, and the longer Carter is on his own, the more his mind slips toward the endless void of Omega insanity. But he pushes on, following the trail left by Gavin.

Gavin, the son of Robert Livingstone. The half-brother of Gordo Livingstone.

What Carter finds will change the course of the wolves forever. Because Gavin’s history with the Bennett pack goes back further than anyone knows, a secret kept hidden by Carter’s father, Thomas Bennett. And with this knowledge comes a price: the sins of the fathers now rest upon the shoulders of their sons.

On Sale 7/30/24


the doors of midnight by r r virdiThe Doors of Midnight by R.R. Virdi

Myths begin, and a storyteller’s tale deepens, in the essential sequel to R.R. Virdi’s breakout Silk Road-inspired epic fantasy debut, The First Binding.

Some stories are hidden for a reason. All tales have a price. And every debt must be paid.

I killed three men as a child and earned the name Bloodletter. Then I set fire to the fabled Ashram. I’ve been a bird and robbed a merchant king of a ransom of gold. And I have crossed desert sands and cutthroat alleys to repay my debt.

I’ve stood before the eyes of god, faced his judgment, and cast aside the thousand arrows that came with it. And I have passed through the Doors of Midnight and lived to tell the tale.

I have traded one hundred and one stories with a creature as old as time, and survived with only my cleverness, a candle, and a broken promise.

And most recently of all, I have killed a prince, though the stories say I have killed more than one.

My name is Ari. These are my legends.

And these are my lies.

On Sale 8/13/24


breath of oblivion by maurice broaddusBreath of Oblivion by Maurice Broaddus

Maurice Broaddus returns with Breath of Oblivion, the second book in his Astra Black trilogy, that explores the struggles of an empire. Epic in scope and intimate in voice, it follows members of the Muungano empire—a far-reaching coalition of city-states that stretches from Earth to Titan – as it faces renewed threats to their progress.

On Sale 8/27/24


somewhere beyond the sea by tj kluneSomewhere Beyond the Sea by TJ Klune

Featuring gorgeous golden yellow sprayed edges! Somewhere Beyond the Sea is the hugely anticipated sequel to TJ Klune’s The House in the Cerulean Sea, one of the best-loved and best-selling fantasy novels of the past decade.

A magical house. A secret past. A summons that could change everything.

Arthur Parnassus lives a good life built on the ashes of a bad one.

He’s the headmaster of a strange orphanage on a distant and peculiar island, and he hopes to soon be the adoptive father to the six dangerous and magical children who live there.

Arthur works hard and loves with his whole heart so none of the children ever feel the neglect and pain that he once felt as an orphan on that very same island so long ago. He is not alone: joining him is the love of his life, Linus Baker, a former caseworker in the Department in Charge of Magical Youth. And there’s the island’s sprite, Zoe Chapelwhite, and her girlfriend, Mayor Helen Webb. Together, they will do anything to protect the children.

But when Arthur is summoned to make a public statement about his dark past, he finds himself at the helm of a fight for the future that his family, and all magical people, deserve.

And when a new magical child hopes to join them on their island home—one who finds power in calling himself monster, a name that Arthur worked so hard to protect his children from—Arthur knows they’re at a breaking point: their family will either grow stronger than ever or fall apart.

Welcome back to Marsyas Island. This is Arthur’s story.

On Sale 9/10/24


rumor has it by cat ramboRumor Has It by Cat Rambo

The crew of the You Sexy Thing navigates the aftermath of facing down a pirate king and the relationships that they have created with one another in Cat Rambo’s action adventure science fiction Rumor Has It, the third book in the Disco Space Opera.

The crew of the You Sexy Thing have laid a course for Coralind Station, hoping the station’s famed gardens will provide an opportunity to regroup, recoup, and mourn their losses while while finding a way to track down their enemy, pirate king Tubal Last.

All Niko wants to do is pry their insurance money from the bank and see if an old friend might be able to help them find Last. Unfortunately, old friends and enemies aren’t the only unreliable elements awaiting her and the crew at Coralind.

Each will have to face themselves—the good and the bad—in order to come together before they lose everything

On Sale 9/24/24


monstrous nights by genoveva dimovaMonstrous Nights by Genoveva Dimova

Dive into the breakneck conclusion to the Slavic folklore-inspired Witch’s Compendium of Monsters series, which began with Foul Days.

With her magic reclaimed and her role in the community of Chernograd restored, Kosara’s life should finally be back to normal—but, of course, things can’t possibly be that simple.

She is now in possession of twelve witch’s shadows, which belonged to a series of young, magically powerful women lured into the deadly marriage with the Zmey that Kosara only narrowly escaped as a young woman. Holding them may grant her unprecedented power, but that doesn’t mean they’re always willing to do her bidding.

Across the wall in Belograd, Asen chases the only lead on his latest case, one of several unsolved witch murders, even against the orders of his direct superior and the mayor. He’s convinced the smuggling kingpin Konstantin Karaivanov is behind them, and follows his trail to an underground monster auction—which leads him right back to Chernograd.

There, sinister events follow one after another: snow falls in midsummer, a witch with two shadows is found dead, monsters that should only appear during the Foul Days have been sighted, and cracks appear in the sky that only Kosara seems able to see. The barrier between worlds thins… and Kosara can’t help but feel her actions are the cause.

On Sale 10/22/24


usurpation by sue burkeUsurpation by Sue Burke

After her rollicking standalone Dual Memory, Sue Burke returns to her Semiosis series and the world of Pax in Usurpation, which combines the thrill of M. Night Shyamalan’s The Happening with the eco-empowerment of VanderMeer’s Dead Astronauts.

Steveland, the dominant sentient lifeform of Pax, has clandestinely sent some of its progeny to Earth. To explore, to spread, to report back.

Since their germination, Earth has been a powder keg. Human rebellion, robot uprisings, and global pandemics have created chaos, distrust, and deaths.

As more and more conflicts break out across Earth, Stevland’s children work in the background, in an attempt to control human behavior and perhaps, bring peace to the planet. Stevland took control of Pax. Earth shouldn’t be too difficult…

On Sale 10/29/24


the relentless legion by j s dewesThe Relentless Legion by J. S. Dewes

J. S. Dewes is back with her acclaimed and action packed Divide series (The Last Watch, The Exiled Fleet) where The Expanse meets the Night’s Watch.

The Sentinels have rallied under the leadership of Adequin Rake, and Cavalon Mercer has uncovered the horrifying genetic solution his grandfather is about to unleash on the unsuspecting outer colonies.

Both Rake and Cavalon race against time to save the universe once again. They’ll need every resource, every ally who might answer the call.

It may not be enough.

On Sale 11/12/24


witch queen of redwinter by ed mcdonaldWitch Queen of Redwinter by Ed McDonald

Witch Queen of Redwinter is the third book in Ed McDonald’s Redwinter Chronicles, 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 11/12/24


overcaptain by l e modesitt, jrOvercaptain by L. E. Modesitt, Jr.

L. E. Modesitt, Jr. continues the Saga of Recluce, the long-running, best-selling epic fantasy series. Overcaptain, the sequel to From the Forest, continues to follow the early life of a man known by many names depending on who you ask—hero, tyrant, emperor.

Alyiakal, overcaptain in the Mirror Lancers of Cyador, has completed his tour of duty as officer-in-charge of a small, remote post. He just wants to finish and see his best friend consorted and assume his next post assignment. If only it were that easy.

He discovers corruption in the Merchanter Clans of Cyador, but investigating Mirror Lancer officers end up dead. Before he can go on leave, he has to replace one of these officers, close a post, dodge an attempt on his life, and an investigation from Magi-i.

At Lhaarat, Alyiakal is assigned as a deputy commander to a post that never had one, and the commander doesn’t want one—and that’s just the beginning of Alyiakal’s problems.

On Sale 11/12/24


The Fate of Silent Godsthe fate of silent gods by scott drakeford by Scott Drakeford

The Fate of Silent Gods continues Scott Drakeford’s epic Age of Ire series that began with Rise of the Mages, where a young warrior and his improbable band of allies faced impossible odds as they sought to rescue his brother from the servants of the Fallen God.

On Sale 11/19/24


wind and truth by brandon sandersonWind and Truth by Brandon Sanderson

The long-awaited explosive climax to the first arc of the #1 New York Times bestselling Stormlight Archive.

Dalinar Kholin has challenged the evil god Odium to a contest of champions, and the Knights Radiant and the nations of Roshar have a mere 10 days to prepare for the worst. The fate of the entire world—and the Cosmere at large—hangs in the balance.

On Sale 12/6/24

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Excerpt Reveal: The Bezzle by Cory Doctorow

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the bezzle by cory doctorow

New York Times bestseller Cory Doctorow’s The Bezzle is a high stakes thriller where the lives of the hundreds of thousands of inmates in California’s prisons are traded like stock shares.

The year is 2006. Martin Hench is at the top of his game as a self-employed forensic accountant, a veteran of the long guerrilla war between people who want to hide money, and people who want to find it. He spends his downtime on Catalina Island, where scenic, imported bison wander the bluffs and frozen, reheated fast food burgers cost 25$. Wait, what? When Marty disrupts a seemingly innocuous scheme during a vacation on Catalina Island, he has no idea he’s kicked off a chain of events that will overtake the next decade of his life.

Martin has made his most dangerous mistake yet: trespassed into the playgrounds of the ultra-wealthy and spoiled their fun. To them, money is a tool, a game, and a way to keep score, and they’ve found their newest mark—California’s Department of Corrections. Secure in the knowledge that they’re living behind far too many firewalls of shell companies and investors ever to be identified, they are interested not in the lives they ruin, but only in how much money they can extract from the government and the hundreds of thousands of prisoners they have at their mercy.

A seething rebuke of the privatized prison system that delves deeply into the arcane and baroque financial chicanery involved in the 2008 financial crash, The Bezzle is a sizzling follow-up to Red Team Blues.

Please enjoy this free excerpt of The Bezzle by Cory Doctorow, on sale 2/20/24


1

Avalon is a chocolate-box town on an enchanted island, twenty-two miles from the Port of Los Angeles. Catalina Island: the redoubt of the Wrigley chewing-gum fortune, acquired by William Wrigley Jr. in 1919, and developed as the chic spot for Hollywood’s smart set.

For years, starlets, leading men, producers, and directors plied the channel on wooden ships out of Long Beach, drinking cocktails on the three-hour crossing, vomiting discreetly over the railings.

They caroused at Old Man Wrigley’s “Casino”: the largest building on the island, a twelve-story art deco roundhouse with a ground-floor cinema with its own pipe organ, and, above it, the largest ballroom in the USA, known to a glamour-hungry nation as the source of a weekly broadcast live from “high atop the Casino on beautiful Catalina Island.”

The one thing the Casino didn’t have? Gambling. Wrigley fancied himself a sophisticate, and his casino took its name from the Italian word for “gathering place.” The fact that this confused everyone who visited, for the rest of time, only reinforced Wrigley’s superiority.

There was no gambling at the Catalina Casino, because gambling leads to crime, and there’s no crime in Avalon. That’s what the tourist brochures tell you. It’s what the four thousand year-round locals tell you. It’s what the two-thousand-odd beautiful people who own summer homes on the island tell you. If you’re one of the members of the thirty-five-thousand-strong July Fourth weekend crowd, you’ll come home and tell it to your friends.

There’s no crime in Avalon.

━━ ˖°˖ ☾☆☽ ˖°˖ ━━━━━━━

Scott Warms brought me to Avalon in 2006, one year after he sold InterPoly to Yahoo! and became a millionaire at twenty-three. Scott had been forced into the sale by his investors, and I’d helped him, a little, untangling their creative accounting so he didn’t get crammed at the sale time and lose the equity he’d bargained hard for at twenty-one, when he founded the company.

Scott didn’t want to work at Yahoo!, and truth be told, Yahoo! didn’t want Scott working there. But Scott’s Yahoo! shares wouldn’t fully vest for three more years. He was already a millionaire, but if he hung in—or got fired—he’d be a decimillionaire. Corollary: if he quit, he’d lose tens of millions of dollars. At twenty-three years of age, three years felt like an eternity to Scott, but he had plans for those remaining millions—$20 mil if Yahoo!’s share price held, maybe more if it went up.

So Scott and Yahoo! were playing chicken. He wanted them to fire him, but not for cause, and so he became an expert on California employment law—Scott could become an expert on any subject in six months. California employment law only took him two. He made sure that he engaged in precisely as much fuckery as the law allowed and not one nanogram more.

Which is how he ended up on Avalon. Scott was formally a vice president, as was typical for the CEOs of the dozens of companies Yahoo! bought with billions pumped into it by SoftBank’s Masayoshi Son. That meant that he was entitled to five weeks of paid vacation every year, which no Yahoo! exec came close to taking. Not even the French ones.

Scott took every single day he was entitled to. Twenty-five days of paid leave translated into 12.5 four-day weekends per year. Add in federal and state holidays and sick days, and that number went up to twenty-four four-day weekends per year. Then there were the conferences, off-sites, and team-building retreats, at least one of those every month, and then the time off in lieu of the travel days and overnights, and Scott was taking thirty-two short weeks per year, plus two weeks at Christmas.

He was entitled to a plush office, which he generously allowed other teams to book as a meeting room or getaway space, because it was so often empty. Scott liked microbrewed beer, and his grateful coworkers often brought by a bottle of something they’d taken home from a brewpub or made in their garage, and they’d put it in his grocery-store-style glass-door refrigerator with a post-it of thanks and tasting notes.

Scott was part of an executive committee that was supposed to evaluate possible acquisition targets, companies like InterPoly. The only times Scott came close to quitting Yahoo! and forfeiting his $20 mil were when a really promising start-up came through the door. The combination of a smart founder and a great product made Scott pine for all the time he was wasting. Even worse was his dreadful knowledge that if he gave an honest assessment of the start-up he’d just heard pitched, he’d trap some other naïf like him in the Yahoo! quicksand.

He had a good nose for this stuff, and he’d use the preliminary documents to schedule his long weekends, making sure he was in town and present only for meetings where they were hearing from stupid companies making stupid products. He found it physically painful to sit through their pitches without tongue-flaying their founders. But at least he could honestly sit down with the rest of the committee afterward and recommend that the company stay the hell away from the wretched start-ups they’d heard from that day. Generally, the committee would all agree with him.

The sole exception was CabCandi, a start-up that wanted to fill taxi drivers’ trunks with candy and use a web-based dispatch to turn major metros’ cabdrivers into a circulating snack-delivery service for hungry stoners. Scott correctly pointed out that this was a profoundly stupid idea. The other committee members pointed out that CabCandi had much better fundamentals than its rivals, the successors to Kozmo.com. Scott replied that Kozmo had collapsed and the post-Kozmo stoner-snack dot-coms would do no better. The committee overrode his objections and offered a term sheet to CabCandi, $7 million on $12 million, pre-money. But they were outbid by Battery Ventures, who offered $9 on $14. After CabCandi, Scott decided to use one of his sick days and go to Avalon, and he invited me down for the long weekend.

“Fly into Long Beach, Marty, and we’ll chopper over.” He was deliberately breezy, clearly wanting to impress me. I’d been in helicopters. They’re noisy. But Scott was as eager as a puppy and he just wanted me to have a good time.

“It’s a date,” I said. “Let me check Expedia for flights from Oakland.”

“Southwest is your best bet. They’re not on Expedia, and they’ve got a website that doesn’t suck.”

It didn’t suck, which was quite an accomplishment for an airline, to be frank. I caught the 5:15 and we touched down in Long Beach at 6:07, four minutes ahead of schedule. Scott met me at the baggage carousel, bouncing on his toes with excitement.

“Marty Fuckin’ Hench!” He grabbed me in a big hug. He was still ninety-eight pounds soaking wet, tall and bony. He’d gotten rid of his ponytail and gotten a millionaire’s haircut, something that transformed his cheekbones and prominent teeth from skull-like to aquiline, and he’d replaced his crooked wire-rim glasses with a pair of aviators with clear lenses, which was a statement, though I couldn’t tell you what it was trying to say.

He released me from the hug. “Scott Fucking Warms,” I replied. “You’re looking good.” Sky-blue Hugo Boss blazer with turned-up cuffs, striped shiny lining, and orange satin accents at the slash pockets; obligatory Japanese denim as stiff as cardboard; some kind of designer sandals that looked like something Salvador Dalí would put on Jesus’ feet.

“I’m so, so, so glad you came, buddy. Catalina is crazy, like nowhere I’ve been before. They’ve got bison. Oh, here are the bags!” There’d only been eight people on my flight, and only four bags spilled onto the belt. I grabbed for mine, but Scott got it before me and shot the handle. “Come on!” He took off for the private airfield.

I followed him out the door and into the cool, sea-scented Long Beach night, across a couple of crosswalks and then up to a gate where a private security guard checked his ID and mine against a list on his screen.

I was just a forty-something forensic accountant back then, with a good line in unwinding high-tech scams, and I was far from a rich man, but I’d flown private a few times—sometimes clients claim they can only fit in a meeting on their bizjet—but I didn’t see the attraction, not then, when it just convinced me that I was working for someone with more dollars than sense, and not much later in life, when a big score set me up with enough money to fly private any time I want.

I keep waiting for the day when private fliers are subject to even one percent of the indignities of a TSA checkpoint, but every time I fly, it’s the same. I could have brought a wheelie-bag full of C-4 and packing nails through that checkpoint and they wouldn’t have known about it.

I sure hoped no one mentioned this to Osama bin Laden.

The helicopter was waiting for us, Scott’s bag already aboard. We climbed in using the little running board, and the pilot—a grey-hair with the bearing of an ex-military pilot gone to fat— welcomed us aboard and showed us to our headphones, giant earmuffs with curly-cable umbilici that plugged into armrest one-eighth-inch jacks, reminding me of my old high-school hi-fi set. Once we snapped into our five-point harnesses and opened our complimentary mineral waters, Scott toggled some switches on an overhead panel and we were on a channel with the pilot.

“We’re all ready, Captain,” he said.

“Roger that,” the pilot said in perfect air force monotone.

“Going private now, Captain,” Scott said.

The pilot gave us a thumbs-up and kicked in the engines and my whole skeleton began to buzz with the chopper’s roar. We lifted off and Scott let out a whoop! and drummed his thighs.

“Oh, buddy, I can’t tell you how bad I needed this,” he said. “And it’s so good to see you.”

“It’s good to see you too, Scott. How’s life in the punctuation factory?” That’s what we called Yahoo!, in tribute to that asinine exclamation point.

“Don’t ask. Let’s talk about this weekend instead. Normally I stay at a friend’s place; there’s about a half dozen people I know with summer places there and they’ve all got guest rooms, but I thought it might be awkward for you to crash with a stranger, so I booked us rooms at the Zane Grey Hotel.”

“As in the author?” Zane Grey pretty much invented the cowboy novel. My old man had dozens of his books and would always circle the TV Guide listings for the movie adaptations—there were more than a hundred of them, and he loved every one, but insisted that none of them came close to the books.

“Yeah! It’s his old house! He built a summer place there, old Pueblo style, and just kept adding on to it every time he got a fat check. It’s a hotel now. Gorgeous. I got us the penthouse. Four balconies, a patio, harbor views.”

Maybe I made a face. My business did just fine. The dot-com bubble had sucked in billions for every harebrained scheme you could imagine, and some of that money disappeared into creative spreadsheets. Hardly a month went by without my being called upon to find a couple of million that had been made to disappear through a black hole in one of those spreadsheet cells. My take was 25 percent of whatever I recovered, and I recovered a lot. But even so, I didn’t have punctuation factory money. This Zane Grey place sounded pricey.

“It’s on me,” he said. “My invitation, my tab. I insist. I’ve wanted to stay at this place since I first laid eyes on it. Man, I can’t wait.”

We were high over the channel now. The deepest channel off any coast, anywhere. It’s a crime scene. There’s no crime in Avalon, but just offshore?

That channel is the final resting place of tens of thousands of barrels of DDT, dumped there by Montrose Chemical in steel that was thoroughly, utterly incapable of maintaining its integrity at the bottom of a three-thousand-foot saltwater channel.

Down in those depths, there’s crimes whose perps belong in front of the International Court of Justice for crimes against humanity.

The sun was just setting, right in our eyes, the Pacific-blue sky turning the color of fresh blood, then dried blood, and then— that flash of green, just as the sun dipped over the horizon.

“There it is!” Scott pointed and bounced a little in his seat. From the air, Catalina Island was a rugged Mediterranean hillscape with a picture-postcard seaside village nestled in its little harbor, where ranked yachts bobbed and a ferry backed and filled to turn around. The towering Casino anchored the town to the right: a cream-colored squat cylinder topped with a dark rice-paddy hat of a roof whose red-brick color flared in the last rays of the sun. To the left, the harbor turned into a beach road that girded a cliff. We banked that way and there was the helipad, lit up with spotlights.

The pilot angled us in, leveled off, and sank down, both skids kissing the ground at the same moment. A couple of ground crew in hi-viz ran out to tie us down, and then the pilot unbuckled, stepped into the passenger area, and opened the door, stretching out his arm in an “after you” gesture. We stepped out into the Catalina night.

Copyright © 2024 from Cory Doctorow

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Tor’s Drastically Off-Kilter Spring Books Quiz

by a cat

Attentive readers might recall our Severely Unmoored Winter Holiday Quiz. 

Well.

New year, new us, and we’re going to keep these seasonally wild quizzes churning until the heat death of the universe (And maybe beyond. It’ll depend on engagement).

Take this drastically off-kilter quiz to find out what you should read this spring!



And while you’ve got books on the brain, One for My Enemy by Olivie Blake just released. It rocks. You should read it.

Order One for My Enemy Here:

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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


Placeholder of  -31King 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 - 55 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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Cory Doctorow on Writing Silicon Valley’s Greatest Forensic Accountant

Red Team Blues by Cory DoctorowAnyone on the Internet (hi! if ur reading this now, ur here) knows that this place is scary. The wild digital west—where some of humanity’s most lucrative heists, among all manner of other shady business, are executed at the tap of a clicky keyboard. It’s a tried, true tactic in the fraudster’s playbook to leverage lack of knowledge of the virtual landscape to turn the fun place where we read blog posts about books into dangerous financial snares. To that end, Cory Doctorow, who knows a lot about tech things, has dedicated his writing career to bridging that knowledge gap with his readers by way of page-turnin’ techno-thrillers.

We have him here today to chat about his upcoming novel, Red Team Blues.

Enjoy : )


I am literally a-tremble with excitement at the thought of people reading Red Team Blues because it writing it was amazing. I write when I’m anxious. During the lockdown, I wrote and wrote and wrote. Red Team Blues battered its way out of my fingertips in five weeks flat, *blam*, there on the page, the hard-boiled adventures of Marty Hench, Silicon Valley’s greatest forensic accountant, who has seen every tech industry money-scam in his 40 year career.

Marty was so much fun to write, because he was a perfect counter to the “shield of boringness,” scam economy’s way of making fraud plausible to devour your savings. Finance bros call it MEGO (“my eyes glaze over”) – a financial arrangement that is so dull, no one can read the fine-print without slipping into a coma.

For 20 years, my artistic and professional vocation has been figuring out how to make people understand complicated, dangerous things before those things destroy them. Those complicated, dangerous things are often embodied in spreadsheets, but while everyone else who discovered spreadsheets immediately started figuring out how to hide money with them, Marty decided he’d use spreadsheets to find dirty money.

The usual hard-boiled detective is a reactionary, yearning for the days when men were men and everyone else knew their place. Marty’s also melancholy for the past—but he pines for a time when making things and doing things was more important than manipulating balance sheets. It’s a feeling a lot of us share.

Sometimes, you can’t tell if anyone’s going to like the book you’re writing. Sometimes, you’re not even sure if you like it (see above, re: anxiety). But sometimes, you just know. I just knew when I was writing Little Brother and I just knew when I was writing Red Team Blues. If there was any doubt, it was incinerated when I woke up at 2 a.m. to find the bedside light on and my wife sitting up reading.

“Why are you awake?” I groaned.

“I had to find out how it ended,” she said.

Honestly, what writer could be mad about that?

I hope you’ll give it a shot.

Cory

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5 New Series Dropping in 2023

It’s a whole new year and y’all know what that means: New Year’s Resolutions. But what’s our resolution? Why, to deliver all the best new Science Fiction & Fantasy series!

Check out the bold new series starters we’ve got coming up this year, and if you’re interested in series that are currently ongoing or soon to be finished, check out those lists too!


Place holder  of - 62The Warden by Daniel M. Ford

There was a plan. It was simple: become one of the only female necromancers, pass as many certifications as she could, get a post near the capital, then… profit. The funny thing about plans is that they are seldom under your control. Now Aelis, a daughter of a noble house and a trained Magister of the Lyceum, finds herself in the far-removed village of Lone Pine. Mending fences and delivering baby goats, 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. Old magics are restless, and an insignificant village on the furthest border of the kingdom might hold secrets far beyond what anyone expected. Aelis might be the only person standing between one of the greatest evils ever known and the rest of the free world.

On Sale 4.18.23


Placeholder of  -6Red 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. He’s made some pretty powerful people happy in his time, and he’s been paid pretty well. 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


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


Poster Placeholder of - 71Wolfsong by TJ Klune

Ox Matheson was twelve when his father taught him a lesson: Ox wasn’t worth anything and people would never understand him. Then he left. Ox was sixteen when the energetic Bennett family moved in next door, harbouring a secret that would change him forever. For the family are shapeshifters, who 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. He also finds an ally in Joe, the youngest Bennett boy. Joe is charming and handsome, but haunted by scars he cannot heal. 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 – and Ox can no longer ignore the song that howls between them.

On Sale 7.4.23


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?

On Sale 7.11.23

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Excerpt: Red Team Blues by Cory Doctorow

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Image Place holder  of - 28New York Times bestseller Cory Doctorow’s Red Team Blues is a grabby next-Tuesday thriller about cryptocurrency shenanigans that will awaken you to how the world really works.

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. He knows his way around good food and fine drink. He likes intelligent women, and they like him back often enough.

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’s as comfortable with social media as people a quarter his age, and he’s a world-level expert on the kind of international money-laundering and shell-company chicanery used by Fortune 500 companies, mid-divorce billionaires, and international drug gangs alike. 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. He’s not famous, except to the people who matter. He’s made some pretty powerful people happy in his time, and he’s been paid pretty well. It’s been a good life.

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.

Please enjoy this free excerpt of Red Team Blues by Cory Doctorow, on sale 4/25/23.

4


Sit in the same Walmart parking lot long enough and eventually every RV bum you’ve ever known will show up. The Sectoral Balance, Raza’s tour bus, was one spot away from the Unsalted Hash, freshly detailed and proudly emblazoned with its name and a stylized Kasey the Kangaroo logo.

Raza had cranked out her pop-outs and unfolded her back deck, thus neatly skirting Walmart’s prohibition on setting up lounge furniture and a grill. She was slow-cooking something meaty and fragrant, augmented by applewood chips that were puffing away like a roomful of teenage vapers.

I parked my Leaf and plugged it into the charger, then walked back to the RV parking. She saw me coming and poured me a bourbon. She liked the artificial stuff, which was all right by me. The number of organic chemists that were replicating wood extracts and blending them with pure grain alcohol had shot up over the past couple of years, and competition was fierce to produce the most surprising and smooth varietals.

“Look who it is,” I said. “Thought you were still in the Midwest.”

“I was, I’m not. Come on up and I’ll tell you about it.”

She did something to her grill and then unlocked the RV doors. I climbed up the stairs and threaded my way through her living room and back onto her deck.

I’d known Wilma Razafimandimby for thirty years. She’d been the sole voice of sanity at the first conference on virtual currencies (“e-gold,” God help us all) and forensic accounting, speaking in her soft Malagasy accent with infinite patience and even more firmness, telling the audience of goldbug cranks that money came from taxes, not gold.

“Gentlemen,” she’d told her nearly all-male audience at the closing panel on the first day, “if the government taxes your money first and spends it second, where does your money come from?”

The derision was palpable and also pretty close to openly racist (is it really a dog whistle if a human can hear it?), and her co-panelists had refused to engage with her. If it weren’t for the angry dudes in the audience who’d called her out during the Q and A, she wouldn’t have had the chance to say another word. As it was, she’d dominated the last thirty minutes of the panel and stepped off the stage with her head held high.

She got her own miniature table and four people’s worth of hors d’oeuvres to herself. I went to the hotel bar—eschewing the crowded open bar in the back of the conference room—and got two glasses of passable French Burgundy and brought them to her little Coventry. I handed her one and told her how much I’d appreciated her interventions, making it as clear as I knew how that I wasn’t trying to get her up to my room. A beautiful friendship was born.

“They say Missouri is part of the South,” she said as she set out a dish of pistachios and a saucer for the shells. “But that’s only from May to September. The rest of the year, it is definitely part of the Midwest. I told my UMKC colleagues that all my future residencies would have to be timed with the Southern months. I’m an old lady now, and it gets into my bones.”

If you got up early enough and the weather was nice, you could see Raza doing yoga out on her deck. I’d seen her do things to her body that I was pretty sure I’d never been supple or strong enough to match. But if she wanted to chalk the end of her patience with midwestern winters up to senescence, I wouldn’t argue with her.

“I was heading to San Diego, but I thought I’d look up some old friends in the Bay Area. When I saw the Hash here, I knew it had to be serendipity. You socializing or working?”

“That,” I said, “is a long story.”

“I brought Kansas City ribs and rub,” she said. “They’ve been slow-cooking for, oh, ten hours now. Why don’t you and I discuss it over dinner?”

………

She set the tone for the evening with a huge tub of wet wipes, followed swiftly by platters of meat that literally fell off the bone on the way to my mouth, staining the jeans and holey dot-com T-shirt I’d changed into in anticipation of such an event. Soon, we were in the midst of a glorious murder scene, our hands and wrists and mouths smeared with red, drifts of tomato-stained wipes on the pop-out deck, and everywhere bones, bones, bones.

“I think you’ll find him,” Raza said.

“Well, I’m glad one of us thinks so,” I said. “I’ve missed your optimism.”

“Oh,” she said, tipping two more fingers of bourbon in a glass, “I’m not optimistic. Your boy won’t have the keys.”

“All right, Watson, explain.”

“Watson?” She sipped her bourbon and gave me a cool look. The sun was down, and the Walmart parking lot lamps made everything look like a bleached-out Polaroid. It turned her greenish and me mustard-colored.

“Okay, Sherlock, if you must. I never claimed to be smart, just diligent.”

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how an accountant brags.” She poured me more bourbon. “Follow me here. Your boy, Alex?”

“Ales,” I said. “It’s Czech.”

Ales. He’s a kid. That’s the most important clue of all. He’s not a criminal mastermind. He’s a kid who likes making goofy synthesizers and who got a high-security job because everyone who’s actually qualified to do those jobs already has a job. Someone offered him money to get those keys, enough that a life underground for him and his girl sounded like a fair trade. Now these two are Silicon Valley techies, so they don’t impress easily. I’m guessing it’s in the tens of millions, at least.”

“I got that far, too.”

“Right, so your Ales, he cooks up a plan to get away clean. I’m sure he’s erased all his old social media posts by now.”

Yup.”

“Of course he has. But what he can’t do is erase all his friends’ social media posts. What you want to do is find those friends and comb back through them for any kind of remote place where he might go to ground for a while, while things cool off. There’s no way his clients made payment in full, not yet. They’re going to want to validate the keys, then make sure that they can get away with whatever they were planning.”

“Why wouldn’t he wait somewhere far from U.S. law enforcement? Venezuela? Cuba? Hell, Tonga?”

She smiled. “Because he doesn’t know anything or anyone in those places. The kinds of people who contracted with him for this gig, they’re powerful and ruthless. If things go wrong, he’s going to want to be close enough to whatever kind of power bloc he can summon: college friends whose parents are lawyers. His girl’s at Stanford, right? That puts her three handshakes from a congressional majority and two from the senator whip, tops.”

“Okay, so he’s close by. Call it somewhere on the continental U.S.”

“California,” she said. “The farther he drives, the more of a trail he leaves. The boy is good at information security. So he’s close by.”

“Where?”

“That’s where social media comes in. College kids go places. Beach houses. Lake houses. Campsites. Deserts. Burning Man. He’s been to some places with a big group of friends for epic weekends, and he saw how empty and isolated they are when the kids go home. Of course they’re isolated; no one wants to be next door to a party lake-house full of synthesizer hackers partying for four straight days.

“If I were you, I’d get into that boy’s friends’ social media archives and look for places where they tagged him in during long weekends. Those parameters should make it quick: tagged photos from long weekends with two or more of his friends present. Piff, paff, pouf.”

I thought about it. “You are a very smart person,” I said. “I don’t know that I could have come up with that on my own. Maybe I’m getting too old for this job.”

She waved her hand at me. “Foolishness. Keeping up with children is easy. You just need to guest-teach some undergrads for a semester every year. You’ve never bothered because children don’t usually steal enough to make it worth your while.”

Now you’re in my territory. Raza, young people in their twenties steal like crazy. They know the deck is stacked against them, and they’re bright, and they have no executive function. Cryptocurrency lights up those tender pleasure centers like cocaine.”

“All right, Marty, I concede the point. Can we say that children don’t steal enough and get away with it to be worth your while?”

“That’s an excellent friendly amendment.” I scooped up my drift of red wipes and stuffed them into the trash bag she’d tied to the porch railing. “I guess I’ve got some social media scraping to do.”

………

Of course, I don’t scrape social media. I’ve got subcontractors for that, in several time zones. I got some bright folks in Amsterdam on the line and gave them Raza’s parameters, telling them to build a social graph for Ales by pulling the intersection of digital laptop reggae, synthesizer manufacturing, SFU, and Jia’s computer science class at Stanford. The Dutch kids spoke better English than I do, and they grasped the project’s scope quickly. I could hear keys clattering before I hung up.

Then it was just me, washing up in the Unsalted Hash’s little bathroom, checking the tanks and noting that I’d need to sludge it soon. I brushed my teeth and turned back the sheets and did all the usual things before you go to bed, and then I just . . . lay there.

Sleep used to come easily. In the heady early days, when there was always a good reason to work a seventy-hour week, sleep was something you filled the corners with—rolling up a jacket as a pillow and commandeering an empty office at a client site, reclining the passenger seat in your car and parking in a dark corner of the lot, checking into an airport hotel for two hours’ rest before catching a flight.

Now, sleep eludes me. It’s not just the 2:00 a.m. piss-call (or the 3:00 a.m. one, or the 4:00 a.m. curtain call). It’s not just the rib I got busted for me once when I happened upon a client’s CFO in a supposedly empty office, taking a high-speed drill to a stack of hard drives. I was lucky: I kicked the drill cord out of the wall before he saw me and then kicked the drill out of his hands when he whirled around.

Sleep eludes me because I am fraught. The compartments I once housed my work in while I slumbered have long rotted away. Everything mixes now, a greatest-hits reel of my worries, my fears, my regrets. Those most of all.

I practice good sleep hygiene and set the do-not-disturbs on all my devices when I turn in, but you don’t need an audible alert when you get up from bed and check your device every twenty minutes.

The Dutch kids took two hours to build up a dossier of eight places where Ales had gone to weekend-long parties since his junior year in high school. As soon as I caught sight of the list, my brain entered a recursive problem-solving mode, trying to find an optimal traveling-salesman route between all eight spots. Then I got to the seventh spot and realized I didn’t need the route plan. There was only one place I was likely to find him.

After that, I slept just fine.

Copyright © 2023 from Cory Doctorow

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