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Every Tor Essential in 2020

We at Tor Books believe the true ‘golden age’ of science fiction and fantasy is now, but we have a lot of love for the SFF published in the past few decades. And thus, our Tor Essentials line was born, reintroducing readers to some of our favorite classics. Need to catch up? Check out this list below for a roundup of every Tor Essentials book that came out in 2020!


Poster Placeholder of - 15China Mountain Zhang by Maureen F. McHugh, introduction by Jo Walton

After the Second Great Depression and the American Liberation War, the US has been left as a satellite state of China. In this somewhat but not entirely regimented world, young New York construction engineer Zhang Zhongshan must find his way in a society that disapproves both of his cultural heritage and his sexual identity. Because not everyone can change the world—sometimes, the ultimate challenge is to find a way to live in it. China Mountain Zhang presents a macroscopic world of microscopic intensity, one of the most brilliant visions in modern science fiction.

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Placeholder of  -61Three Californias by Kim Stanley Robinson

Before Kim Stanley Robinson terraformed Mars, he wrote three science fiction novels set in Orange County, California, where he grew up. These alternate futures—one a post-apocalypse, one an if-this-goes-on future reminiscent of Philip K. Dick, and one an ecological utopia—form a whole that illuminates, enchants, and inspires–collected here as Three Californias.

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Image Placeholder of - 30Among Others by Jo Walton

Raised by a half-mad mother who dabbled in magic, Morwenna Phelps found refuge in two worlds. As a child growing up in Wales, she played among the spirits who made their homes in industrial ruins, but her mind found freedom in the science fiction novels that were her closest companions. When her mother tried to bend the spirits to dark ends, Mori was forced to confront her in a magical battle that left her crippled—and her twin sister dead.

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Image Place holder  of - 78Blindsight by Peter Watts

Two months since the stars fell. Two months of silence, while a world held its breath. Now some half-derelict space probe, sparking fitfully past Neptune’s orbit, hears a whisper from the edge of the solar system: a faint signal sweeping the cosmos like a lighthouse beam. Whatever’s out there isn’t talking to us. It’s talking to some distant star, perhaps. Or perhaps to something closer, something en route.

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Place holder  of - 91A Fire Upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge

Thousands of years in the future, humanity is no longer alone in a universe where a mind’s potential is determined by its location in space, from superintelligent entities in the Transcend, to the limited minds of the Unthinking Depths, where only simple creatures, and technology, can function. Nobody knows what strange force partitioned space into these “regions of thought,” but when the warring Straumli realm use an ancient Transcendent artifact as a weapon, they unwittingly unleash an awesome power that destroys thousands of worlds and enslaves all natural and artificial intelligence.

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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.

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The Dragon Waiting by John M. Ford

In a snowbound inn high in the Alps, four people meet who will alter fate. A noble Byzantine mercenary, a female Florentine physician, an ageless Welsh wizard and Sforza, the uncanny duke. Together they will wage an intrigue-filled campaign against the might of Byzantium to secure the English throne for Richard, Duke of Gloucester—and make him Richard III.

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The Necessary Beggar by Susan Palwick

Lemabantunk, the Glorious City, is a place of peace and plenty, bejeweled streets and glittering waterfalls. It is also a place of severe justice. Darroti, a young merchant, has been accused of the brutal murder of a highborn woman. Now, in keeping with his world’s customs, his entire family must share in his punishment: exile to the unknown world that lies beyond a mysterious gate.

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Spin by Robert Charles Wilson

One night in October when he was ten years old, Tyler Dupree stood in his backyard and watched the stars go out. They all flared into brilliance at once, then disappeared, replaced by a flat, empty black barrier. He and his best friends, Jason and Diane Lawton, had seen what became known as the Big Blackout. It would shape their lives.

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Excerpt: The Dragon Waiting by John M. Ford

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Image Place holder  of - 25In a snowbound inn high in the Alps, four people meet who will alter fate.

A noble Byzantine mercenary . . .

A female Florentine physician . . .

An ageless Welsh wizard . . .

And Sforza, the uncanny duke.

Together they will wage an intrigue-filled campaign against the might of Byzantium to secure the English throne for Richard, Duke of Gloucester—and make him Richard III. Available for the first time in nearly two decades, with a new introduction by New York Times-bestselling author Scott Lynch, The Dragon Waiting is a masterpiece of blood and magic.

Please enjoy this free excerpt of The Dragon Waitingon sale 09/29/2020.


Chapter 1

GWYNEDD

THE ROAD THE ROMANS made traversed North Wales a little way inland, between the weather off the Irish Sea and the mountains of Gwynedd and Powys; past the copper and the lead that the travel-hungry Empire craved. The road crossed the Conwy at Caerhun, the Clwyd at Asaph sacred to Esus, and the Roman engineers passed it through the hills, above the shore and below the peaks, never penetrating the spine of the country. Which is not to say that there were no ways in; only that the Romans did not find them.

From Caernarfon to Chester the road remained, and at Caerhun in the Vale of Conwy there were pieces of walls and straight ditches left where the legionary fort had held the river crossing. Roman stones, but no Romans; not for a thousand years.

Beyond Caerhun the road wound upslope for a mile, to an inn called The White Hart. Hywel Peredur lived there in this his eleventh year, the nine hundred tenth year of Arthur’s Triumph, the one thousand ninety-fifth year of Constantine’s City. This March afternoon, Hywel stood on the Roman paving below the innyard, and was King of the Romans.

Fields all his dominion rolled out forever before and below him, lined and set with trees that from the height were no more than tufts on a cloth of patchwork greens and browns. Conwy water was a broad ribbon stitched in easy curves across the cloth. The March air smelled of peat and moisture and nothing at all but its own cold cleanness on the sharp edge of spring.

The place Hywel stood was called Pen-y-Gaer, Head of the Fortress. There had been a fortress, even before the legions came; but of its builders too only stones were left, bits of wall and rampart. And the defense of the slope, a field of sharp-edged boulders set in ranks down the hill.

Hywel stood on the road and commanded the stones, soldiers without death or fear, like the warriors grown from dragon’s teeth in the story; any assault against them would break and be scattered. Then, at Hywel’s signal, his legion of horse would gallop forth from Caerhun and cut down the discomfited enemy, sparing only the nobles for ransom and tribute. His captains, in purple and gold, mounted on white horses, would drive the captive lords before him, shouting Peredur, Peredur! that all might know who was conqueror here. . . .

Not far up the road was a milestone; it was worn and half-legible, and Hywel knew no Latin, but he could read the name constanti. Constantine. Emperor. Founder of the Beautiful City. And now a god, like Julius Caesar, like Arthur King of Britain. Hywel would run his fingers in the carved letters of the name when he passed the marker, touching the figure of the god.

Three years ago, on the May kalend, he had stunned a sparrow with a sling pellet, bound its wings, and taken it to the milestone. It had trembled within his shirt, and then, when he set it down, become curiously still, as if waiting. But Hywel had had no knife, and was afraid to use his naked hands. By the time he had found two flat stones and done the thing, he could no longer remember his intended prayer.

Now, clouds drifted across the low sun, making shadow patterns on the ground. The river dulled to slate, then flashed bluesilver. The standing stones seemed to move, to march, beat spears on shields in salute. Sparrows were forgotten as Hywel moved his cohorts, as soldier and king and god.

Until dust rose, and men moved crosswise to the dream, light flashing on steel: real soldiers, on the road to the inn. Hywel watched and listened, knowing that if he were quite still they could not detect him. He heard the scrape of pikes on the paving stones, the stamp of booted feet, chains dragging. He let the breeze bring him their voices, not distinguishable words but rhythms: English voices, not Welsh. As they turned the last bend in the road, Hywel’s eyes picked out the badge they wore. Then he turned and ran lightly to the gate of The White Hart. As he crossed the innyard, a dog sniffed and raised its head for a pat that was not coming; sparrows fluttered up from the eaves.

The cruck-beamed serving hall was dim with afternoon. A little peat smoke hung in the air. Dafydd, the innkeeper, was working at the fire while Glynis, the pretty barmaid, wiped mugs. Both looked up, Glynis smiling, Dafydd not. “Well, my lord of the north, come in, do! While you’ve been with your councillors, this fire nearly—”

“Soldiers on the road,” Hywel said, in Welsh. “My lord of Ireland’s men, from Caernarfon.” He knew Dafydd’s anger was only mocking; when the innkeeper was truly angry he became deadly quiet and small-spoken.

“Well, then,” said Dafydd, “they’ll be wanting ale. Go you and draw a kettleful.”

Hywel, grinning, said, “And shall I fetch some butter?”

The innkeeper smiled back. “We’ve none that rancid. Now draw you the ale; they’ll not care to wait.”

“Ie.”

“And speak English when the soldiers can hear you.”

“Ie.”

“And give yourself a whipping, lad—I haven’t time!”

Hywel paused at the top of the cellar stairs. “There’s a prisoner with them. A wizard.”

Dafydd put the poker down, wiped his hands on his apron. “Well then,” he said quietly, “that’s bad news for someone.”

Hywel nodded without understanding and clumped downstairs. He drew the ale into a black iron kettle, put it on the lift and hoisted it up; and only then, standing in the quiet cellar, did he realize just what he’d said. He had heard the chains, right enough, but never once seen what was in them.

***

Eight men, and something else, stood in the innyard.

The men wore leather jackets, carried swords and pole axes; two had longbows across their backs. One, helmeted and officious, had a long leather pouch at his side, and a baldric from which little wooden bottles hung on strings. Charges of powder, Hywel knew, for the hand-cannon in the pouch.

The badge on the soldiers’ sleeves was a snarling dog on its hind legs; a talbot-hound, for Sir John Talbot, the latest Lieutenant of Ireland. Talbot had smashed the Côtentin rebels at Henry V’s order; it was said the mothers of Anjou quieted their children with threats of Jehan Talbó. Now that Henry was dead, long live Henry VI, and the advisors to the three-year-old King hoped the War Hound could quiet the Irish as well.

Four soldiers held chains that led to the other thing, which crouched on the ground, black and shapeless. Hywel thought it must be some great hunting-hound, a namesake talbot, perhaps, or a beast from Ireland across the sea; then it put out a pale paw, spread long fingers, and Hywel saw it was a man on hands and knees, in fantastically ruined clothes and a black cloak.

The thin hands left blood on the earth. There was a shackle, engraved with something, on each wrist and each ankle, linked to the leash-chains. The head turned, and the black hood fell back, showing dull iron around the man’s neck. The collar was engraved as well. Next to it was a straggly gray beard, a nostril with blood dry around it.

Hywel stared at a dark eye, glassy as with fever, or madness. The eye did not blink. The cracked lips moved.

“None of that, now!” shouted a soldier, and pulled the chain he held, dropping the man flat; another soldier swung the butt of his axe into the man’s ribs, and there was a hint of a groan. The first soldier bent halfway down and shook the chain. “ ’Tain’t beyond th’ law for us to have your tongue, an you try any chanteries.” To Hywel he sounded exactly like Dafydd’s wife Nansi scolding a hen that would not lay. The prone man was very still.

“Ale! Where’s ale!” cried the others, turning away from the prisoner, and Dafydd came behind Hywel with a tray of tankards, hot mulled ale topped with brown foam and steaming. “Here, Hywel. And Ogmius send us all the right words to say.” Hywel took the tray into the yard. A cheer went up—for him, he realized, and for one passing instant he was Caesar again—then the mugs were snatched from him.

“Here, boy, here.”

“Jove’s beard, that’s good!”

“Jove strike you down, it ain’t English beer.” The speaker winked at Hywel. “But it’s good anyway, eh, boy.”

Hywel barely noticed. He was staring again at the chained man, who still did not move except to breathe raggedly. A little of the cloak had blown back, showing the man’s shirt sleeve. The fabric was embroidered in complex patterns—not the Celtic work he knew, but similar, interlocking designs.

And The White Hart was an inn with good trade; Hywel had seen silk twice before, on the wives of lords.

“You have a care of our dog, there, lad,” said the soldier who had winked. His tone was friendly. “He’s an eastern sorcerer, a Bezant. From the City itself, they say.”

The City of Constantine. “What . . . did he do?”

“Why, he magicked, lad, what else? Magicked for th’ Irish rebels ’gainst King Harry, rest him. Five years he hid up in them Irish hills, sorcellin’ and afflictin’. But we ketched him, anyway. Lord Jack ketched him, an’ now he’s Talbot’s dog.”

Tom,” the serjeant said sharply, and the soldier stood to attention for a moment. Then he winked at Hywel again and tossed his empty tankard into Hywel’s hands.

“Have a look here, boy,” Tom said. The soldier reached down and grasped the manacle around the wizard’s left wrist, pulled it up as if there were no man attached to it. “See that serpent, cut there in th’ iron? That’s a Druid serpent, as has power t’ bind wizards. Old Irish Patrick drove all the snakes out of Ireland, for the good of his magic fellows. But we took some snakes with us. Snakes of leather, an’ iron.” The soldier let the shackle fall with a hollow clunk. The prisoner made no sound. Hywel stood fascinated, wondering.

“Innkeeper!” the serjeant said.

Dafydd came out, wiping his hands on his apron. “Yes, Captain?”

The serjeant did not correct his rank. “Have you a blacksmith here? This rebel’s harmless enough, but he’ll crawl off with half a chance given him. We’ll want him fixed to something with weight.”

“You’ll be staying here for a time, then?”

“We’re in no hurry. The prisoner’s to be taken to York for execution.”

A soldier said, “The Irish Sea were deep enough.”

“Not to bury his curse, man,” said the serjeant curtly. “Leave killing him to his own sort of worker.” He turned back to Dafydd. “Don’t worry about the lads, innkeeper; they’re good and they’ll obey me.” He weighted the last word slightly. “And they’re bloody tired of minding this rebel.”

“Hywel,” said the innkeeper, “run you and tell Siôn Mawr he’s wanted, with hammer and tongs.”

A high-voiced young soldier called after Hywel, “And you tell ’im this aren’t no horse wanting shod! A hammer on them chains—”

Hywel ran. He did not look back. He was afraid to. Under all the soldiers’ voices, under Dafydd’s, under his own breathing, he could hear another voice, whispering, insistent, like the beat of blood in his ears when all was still. He had heard it without pause since the sorcerer’s lips had moved without sound.

You who can hear me, it said, come to me. Follow my voice.

And as Hywel ran through the gathering dark, it seemed that hands reached after him, grasping at his limbs, his throat, trying to draw him back.

***

Nansi touched the spit-dog’s collar; it stopped walking its treadle, and Nansi carved a bit of mutton from the roasting haunch. The dog resumed turning the meat. Nansi put the mutton on a wooden plate with a spoonful of boiled corn, added a piece of soft brown bread.

“The soldiers didn’t pay for no meat for him,” said Dai, the kitchen boy.

“You needn’t tell me what they’ve not paid for,” Nansi said, tenting a napkin over the plate. “I hope he has his teeth; I daren’t send a knife. Here, Dai, go you quick, ere it’s cold.”

“Why do they beat him, if he can’t magic?”

“I’m sure I don’t know, Dai,” Nansi said, with a bitter look. “Take it, now.”

“I’ll take his dinner,” Hywel said, from the kitchen door. Dai’s mouth opened, then shut.

Nansi turned away. “I’ve drawn his water,” Hywel said. “And I’m not afraid of him. You’re afraid, aren’t you, Dai?”

Dai’s pudgy hands tightened. He was a year or so older than Hywel, and also an orphan. Dafydd and Nansi, who had no children, had taken them in together, and tried to bring them up as brothers. Hywel could no longer remember what that was like, even when he tried.

Dai said “Ie, feared enough. You feed him.” He handed the covered plate to Hywel, who took it with a nod. Hywel did not hate Dai; usually he liked Dai. But they were not brothers.

Just outside the kitchen, he picked up the hooded lantern and pot of ale he had set by the door, and crossed to the barn. Moonlight slanted across the interior. The wizard was sitting up against a post, all white and black in the light. His head turned slightly; Hywel held very still. The face was a skull’s, with tiny glints in the eye sockets.

Hywel hung the lantern from a peg and opened the shutter; the wizard winced and turned his face away.

It was all he could turn. A chain went through his collar, twice around the post and his upper body, holding him upright. The chains from his ankles were fixed to two old cart wheels. Hywel had seen Siôn Mawr the smith going home, and could not have missed the murder-black look Siôn gave him; now he understood it.

“It was you after all,” the chained man said, and Hywel nearly dropped the food. “Is that for me?”

Hywel took a step. The voice in his head was gone, but he still felt somehow drawn to the wizard. He stopped. “The soldiers say you can’t work magic, in those chains.”

“But you know better, don’t you?” His English had only a little foreign sound. “Well, they’re mostly right. I can’t do much, and I truly can’t escape. Come here, boy.” He moved his hands. Hywel turned away, not to see the sign.

“At least put my supper in reach. Then you may go. Please.”

Hywel moved closer, looked again at the wizard. The cloak was spread out beneath the man; it was lined with glossy black—more silk. Beneath the cloak he wore a dark green gown of heavy brocade, torn at every seam, showing the white silk shirt. Gown and shirt were embroidered all over with interlocking lines in gold and silver thread, with brighter colors worked between. The patterns drew Hywel’s eye despite himself.

He set the plate down in the straw, uncovered it. The man’s eyes widened, becoming very liquid, and he ran his tongue over very white teeth specked with dirt. He reached out, one-handed. Hywel saw that his wrist chains were linked behind his back. The wizard set the plate in his lap, and his delicate fingers hovered over it, talonlike, straining; there was not enough chain for his two hands to touch.

Hywel thought of offering to feed him, but could not say it.

The hands ceased to strain then. The wizard groped for and reached the napkin, shook it out, and arranged it as best he could over his shiny, filthy shirt. Then the thin fingers picked up a single kernel of corn and raised it to the swollen mouth. He chewed it very slowly.

Trying not to watch the wizard’s hands or eyes, Hywel uncapped the pot of ale. He took a twist of greasy paper from his belt pouch, opened it, and slipped the white butter within into the blood-warm ale. He stirred the pot with a clean straw and pushed it as close to the man as he dared. The wizard waited for Hywel to draw back, then picked up the ale and took a small sip. His eyes closed and he pressed his head back against the post, loosening the iron at his throat just slightly.

“Nectar and ambrosia,” he said. “Thank you, boy.” He put the ale down and picked up the mutton, took small, worrying bites.

Finally Hywel said, “You called me by magic. No one else could hear. . . . Why?”

The man paused, sighed, wiped his hands and lips. “I thought you were . . . someone else. Someone who could help.”

“You thought I was a wizard?”

“I called to the talent. . . . It spent me before I heard the answer. Hard to work with a boot in your ribs.” He reached for the bread, nibbled.

“I’m not a wizard,” Hywel said.

“No. I’m sorry. But I am glad you brought me this supper.”

They sat for a little while like that, the wizard eating slowly, Hywel crouched, watching him. To Hywel it seemed the man wanted to make his supper last all night. He said, “You thought I was a wizard.”

“I believe I explained that,” the man said patiently. “Isn’t it late for you to be awake still?”

“Dafydd doesn’t care, long as the fire doesn’t go out. You said it was somebody else you called. But I heard you. You called me.”

The man swallowed, licked his damaged lips. “I called to the talent. The power. It . . . radiates, like the light from a candle. I felt it, and answered back. That’s all.”

“Then I am a wizard,” Hywel said, breathless, triumphant.

The man shook his head, rattling iron. “Magus latens . . . no. Someday you could be, if you were taught. But now . . .” There was a noise within his throat that might have been a laugh. “Now you’re catalyzed. And I did it, now that I would not do it.”

Hywel said “Could you teach me?”

Again the choked laugh. “Why do you think I’m in chains, boy? I’d be dead now if they didn’t fear my death-curse so, and my tongue and eyes aren’t sure through tomorrow. Go to bed, boy.”

Hywel put his foot against one of the cartwheels chained to the wizard’s feet. He pushed. The chain shifted; in a moment it would be taut. It was astonishingly easy.

“Please,” the man said, “don’t.” There was no pleading in it, nor command. Hywel turned, saw the dark eyes ringed white and red, the face white as bare bone. And he stopped pushing. Perhaps if sparrows had voices . . .

“I am very tired,” the man said. “Please come tomorrow, and I will talk with you.”

“Will you tell me about magic?” Hywel’s foot was still on the wheel, but it had suddenly become very heavy and hard to move.

The man’s voice was weak, but his eyes were black and burning. “Come back tomorrow and I will tell you all I know about magic.”

Hywel picked up the plate and napkin, the ale pot. He stood, moved away backwards.

“My name,” said the wizard, “is Kallian Ptolemy. With the letter pi, if you can write.” Hywel said nothing. Everyone knew that wizards gained power by knowing names. He took the lantern from its peg, shuttered it.

Kallian Ptolemy said “Good night, Hywel Peredur.”

Hywel did not know whether to shudder or cry for joy.

Copyright © John M. Ford 2020

Pre-order The Dragon Waiting Here:

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Every Tor Book Coming This Fall

We’re dreaming of fall weather at Tor…the changing of colors, the crackle of a bonfire, the tastes of our favorite fall foods. And we can hardly contain ourselves as we wait for our fall books to finally make their way into our hands. Check out which books are coming to shelves near you this fall below:

September 8

Place holder  of - 38Architects 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.

September 15

Poster Placeholder of - 54To Sleep in a Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini

During a routine survey mission on an uncolonized planet, Kira finds an alien relic. At first she’s delighted, but elation turns to terror when the ancient dust around her begins to move. As war erupts among the stars, Kira is launched into a galaxy-spanning odyssey of discovery and transformation. First contact isn’t at all what she imagined, and events push her to the very limits of what it means to be human. While Kira faces her own horrors, Earth and its colonies stand upon the brink of annihilation. Now, Kira might be humanity’s greatest and final hope . . .

Placeholder of  -91The Hellion by S. A. Hunt

Robin Martine has destroyed witches all across the country, but since her confrontation with the demon Andras, Robin has had to deal with her toughest adversary yet: herself. While coming to grips with new abilities, she and her boyfriend Kenway make their way to the deserts of rural Texas, where new opportunities await.

September 19

Image Place holder  of - 72The Dragon Waiting by John M. Ford

In a snowbound inn high in the Alps, four people meet who will alter fate. Together they will wage an intrigue-filled campaign against the might of Byzantium to secure the English throne for Richard, Duke of Gloucester—and make him Richard III. Available for the first time in nearly two decades, with a new introduction by New York Times-bestselling author Scott Lynch, The Dragon Waiting is a masterpiece of blood and magic.

October 6

Image Placeholder of - 49The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V. E. Schwab

France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever—and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets. Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world.

October 13

Attack Surface by Cory Doctorow

Most days, Masha Maximow was sure she’d chosen the winning side. In her day job as a counterterrorism wizard for a transnational cybersecurity firm, she made the hacks that allowed repressive regimes to spy on dissidents, and manipulate their every move. The perks were fantastic, and the pay was obscene. When her targets were strangers in faraway police states, it was easy to compartmentalize, to ignore the collateral damage of murder, rape, and torture. But when it hits close to home, and the hacks and exploits she’s devised are directed at her friends and family–including boy wonder Marcus Yallow, her old crush and archrival, and his entourage of naïve idealists–Masha realizes she has to choose.

Dune: The Duke of Celadan by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson

Leto Atreides, Duke of Caladan and father of the Muad’Dib. While all know of his fall and the rise of his son, little is known about the quiet ruler of Caladan and his partner Jessica. Or how a Duke of an inconsequential planet earned an emperor’s favor, the ire of House Harkonnen, and set himself on a collision course with his own death. This is the story.

October 20

To Hold Up the Sky by Cixin Liu

In To Hold Up the Sky, Cixin Liu takes us across time and space, from a rural mountain community where elementary students must use physicas to prevent an alien invasion; to coal mines in northern China where new technology will either save lives of unleash a fire that will burn for centuries; to a time very much like our own, when superstring computers predict our every move; to 10,000 years in the future, when humanity is finally able to begin anew; to the very collapse of the universe itself.

November 17

Rhythm of War by Brandon Sanderson

After forming a coalition of human resistance against the enemy invasion, Dalinar Kholin and his Knights Radiant have spent a year fighting a protracted, brutal war. Neither side has gained an advantage. Now, as new technological discoveries begin to change the face of the war, the enemy prepares a bold and dangerous operation. The arms race that follows will challenge the very core of the Radiant ideals, and potentially reveal the secrets of the ancient tower that was once the heart of their strength.

December 1

Hollow Empire by Sam Hawke

Poison was only the beginning…. The deadly siege of Silasta woke the ancient spirits, and now the city-state must find its place in this new world of magic. But people and politics are always treacherous, and it will take all of Jovan and Kalina’s skills as proofer and spy to save their country when witches and assassins turn their sights to domination.

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