Zero Sum Game - Tor/Forge Blog



Celebrating AAPI Heritage Month with Six Must-Read Books by AAPI Authors

This May, Tor Books is spotlighting a stellar lineup of reads from Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) authors. Got a craving for heart-pounding adventures? Dreaming of magical realms with intricate lore? Whatever your reading style, we’ve got you covered! Our selection offers a world of discovery for every kind of reader.

Check it out!

blood jadeBlood Jade by Julia Vee and Ken Bebelle (out on 7/16/2024)

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.

The Doors of MidnightThe Doors of Midnight by R.R. Virdi (out on 8/13/2024)

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 judgement, 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.

Januaries Januaries by Olivie Blake (out on 10/15/2024)

Once upon a time in a land far, far away, a wish-granting spirit rapidly approaches burnout. Meanwhile, a banished fairy answers a Craigslist ad, a Victorian orphan navigates an occult situationship, and a multiverse assassin contemplates the one who got away.

With both iconic fan-favorite stories and entirely original pieces, Januaries features modified fairy tales, contemporary heists, absurdist poetry, and at least one set of actual wedding vows. Escape the slow trudge of mortality by diving into these enchanting new worlds with a master of imagination.

the atlas complex by olivie blakeThe Atlas Complex by Olivie Blake

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.

New to the Atlas Series? Dive into the first book here!

Light From Uncommon Stars Light From Uncommon Stars by Ryka Aoki

Shizuka Satomi made a deal with the devil: to escape damnation, she must entice seven other violin prodigies to trade their souls for success. She has already delivered six. When Katrina Nguyen, a young transgender runaway, catches Shizuka’s ear with her wild talent, Shizuka can almost feel the curse lifting. She’s found her final candidate. But in a donut shop off a bustling highway in the San Gabriel Valley, Shizuka meets Lan Tran, retired starship captain, interstellar refugee, and mother of four. Shizuka doesn’t have time for crushes or coffee dates, what with her very soul on the line, but Lan’s kind smile and eyes like stars might just redefine a soul’s worth. And maybe something as small as a warm donut is powerful enough to break a curse as vast as the California coastline. As the lives of these three women become entangled by chance and fate, a story of magic, identity, curses, and hope begins, and a family worth crossing the universe for is found.

9781250749895 Zero Sum Game by  S. L. Huang

Cas Russell is good at math. Scary good. The vector calculus blazing through her head lets her smash through armed men twice her size and dodge every bullet in a gunfight, and she’ll take any job for the right price. As far as Cas knows, she’s the only person around with a superpower…until she discovers someone with a power even more dangerous than her own. Someone who can reach directly into people’s minds and twist their brains into Moebius strips. Someone intent on becoming the world’s puppet master. Cas should run, like she usually does, but for once she’s involved. There’s only one problem…
She doesn’t know which of her thoughts are her own anymore.


Female Characters Who Kick…Well, You Know

Female Characters Who Kick…Well, You Know

By Alison Bunis

Who doesn’t love a good thriller? A book fill of spine-tingling action, spine-tingling mysteries…and a truly awesome woman to figure out just what’s going on and how to stop it. Sure, there are plenty of action heroes and male tough guys. You could say the thriller genre was built on the backs of James Bond and his pals. And don’t get me wrong, I love a little Bond. But this is the 21st century, people, and women get to kick ass, too. So to satisfy everyone’s craving for smart, tough, resourceful women who could give any male spy a run for his money, here’s a quick list of some great books with truly badass heroines.

Image Place holder  of - 91The Nemesis Manifesto by Eric Van Lustbader

This is the start of a new series by the bestselling author Eric Van Lustbader, and what an incredible start. First, meet the woman at the helm of this book: Evan Ryder, a lone wolf field agent for a black-ops arm of the DOD, who has survived unspeakable tragedy and dedicated her life to protecting her country. She’s tough, she’s deadly, she’s smart…and her fellow agents are being systematically eliminated by a mysterious cabal known only as Nemesis. Evan sets out to expose the cabal and bring justice for the murdered agents, but she unearths something far larger than she’d imagined: a vast network of conspirators hell-bent on tearing the United States apart. Even Evan may not be able to uproot Nemesis before they eliminate her…and bring democracy to its knees.

Placeholder of  -45The Caitlin Strong novels by Jon Land

If you haven’t been reading Jon Land’s Caitlin Strong novels, what are you waiting for?? Caitlin is about as tough as they come: a fifth-generation Texas Ranger who hands out justice the Ranger way. She’s a guns-blazing heroine who deals with everything from drug lords to serial killers to terrorism. You can start at the beginning with Strong Enough to Die, or jump in anywhere else in the series―there are eleven books of nice, Strong goodness!

Place holder  of - 38Hover by Anne A. Wilson

So this is pretty cool: a story about Navy lieutenant and helicopter pilot Sara Denning, written by former navy pilot Anne A. Wilson. With those kinds of credentials, this navy book is bound to be authentic―and exciting. Sara’s philosophy is simple: be competent, and never do anything to stand out as a woman in a
man’s world. But when she’s requested as the exclusive pilot for a Navy SEAL team, her usually orderly world is plunged into disarray. The endgame of the SEAL’s mission is so secret, even Sara doesn’t know the reason behind her mandated participation. And as the training missions become real, she’ll have to overcome her fears―and her possible feelings for one of her fellow officers―before they plunge her into danger.

Poster Placeholder of - 5Zero Sum Game by S. L. Huang

If you want a little science fiction thrown in with your action, this is definitely the book for you. Meet Cas Russell. She’s good at math. Scary good. The vector calculus blazing through her head lets her smash through armed men twice her size and dodge every bullet in a gunfight, and she’ll take any job for the right price. As far as Cas knows, she’s the only person with a superpower…until she discovers someone who can reach directly into people’s minds and twist their brains into Moebius strips. Someone intent on being the world’s puppet master. Cas should run, like she usually does, but for once she’s involved. The problem is, she doesn’t know which of her thoughts are her own anymore. (If you love Cas, don’t worry, there are two more books in her series: Null Set and Critical Point!)

Image Placeholder of - 21Stealing from the Dead by A.J. Zerries

This one has a lot going for it: a determined New York City cop, a plot to steal millions of dollars from Holocaust survivors, and a vast terrorist conspiracy. Between 1933 and 1945, thousands of Jewish people deposited their money in Swiss banks, hoping they or their family might survive the Holocaust. But when the survivors returned to claim their money, the banks claimed the accounts never existed. Now, decades later, NYPD detective Greta Strasser, investigating the death of an elderly Jewish woman, uncovers a trail of ruthless murders connected to the list of Holocaust survivors who claimed money from those Swiss banks. And she’ll do just about anything to stop it all.

Restless by William Boyd

What would you do if you learned that everything you ever knew about your mother was a lie? In 1976, on a warm summer afternoon, Sally Gilmartin tells her daughter Ruth just that. Now a respectable widow in a picturesque Cotswold village, Sally was once Eva Delectorskaya: a rigorously trained World War II spy taught to lie, deceive, and never trust anyone. Now, decades after the war, Sally’s secrets still haunt her. Someone is trying to kill her, and she has no choice but to trust Ruth with her past. As Ruth struggles with her own life as a single mother, she and Sally dig deeper into a past that just won’t stay buried.


$2.99 eBook Sale: April 2020

$2.99 eBook Sale: April 2020

Happy April, everyone! A new month means new monthly deals—are you excited?! Check out what Tor eBooks you can grab for $2.99 throughout the entire month below:

Placeholder of  -60Leviathans of Jupiter by Ben Bova

Physicist Grant Archer led an expedition into Jupiter’s hostile planetwide ocean, attempting to study the unusual and massive creatures that call the planet their home. Unprepared for the hostile environment and crushing pressures, Grant’s team faced certain death as their ship malfunctioned and slowly sank to the planet’s depths. However one of Jupiter’s native creatures–a city-sized leviathan–saved the doomed ship. Now, several years later, Grant prepares a new expedition to prove once and for all that the huge creatures are intelligent. The new team faces dangers from both the hostile environment and from humans who will do anything to make sure the mission is a failure, even if it means murdering the entire crew.

kindlea nooka ebooksa google playa ibooks2 17 koboa

Poster Placeholder of - 61Unwrapped Sky by Rjurik Davidson

Once, it is said, gods used magic to create reality, with powers that defied explanation. But the magic—or science, if one believes those who try to master the dangers of thaumaturgy—now seems more like a dream. Industrial workers for House Technis, farmers for House Arbor, and fisher folk of House Marin eke out a living and hope for a better future. But the philosopher-assassin Kata plots a betrayal that will cost the lives of godlike Minotaurs; the ambitious bureaucrat Boris Autec rises through the ranks as his private life turns to ashes; and the idealistic seditionist Maximilian hatches a mad plot to unlock the vaunted secrets of the Great Library of Caeli-Enas.

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Place holder  of - 50Zero Sum Game by S. L. Huang 

Cas Russell is good at math. Scary good. The vector calculus blazing through her head lets her smash through armed men twice her size and dodge every bullet in a gunfight, and she’ll take any job for the right price. As far as Cas knows, she’s the only person around with a superpower…until she discovers someone with a power even more dangerous than her own. Someone who can reach directly into people’s minds and twist their brains into Moebius strips. Someone intent on becoming the world’s puppet master.


kindlec nookc ebooksc google playc koboc

Image Place holder  of - 49Nemo Rising by C. Courtney Joyner

Sea monsters are sinking ships up and down the Atlantic Coast. Enraged that his navy is helpless against this onslaught and facing a possible World War as a result, President Ulysses S. Grant is forced to ask for assistance from the notorious Captain Nemo, in Federal prison for war crimes and scheduled for execution. Grant returns Nemo’s submarine, the infamous Victorian Steampunk marvel Nautilus, and promises a full Presidential pardon if Nemo hunts down and destroys the source of the attacks. Accompanied by the beautiful niece of Grant’s chief advisor, Nemo sets off under the sea in search of answers. Unfortunately, the enemy may be closer than they realize…

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5 Books to Wrap Up Women’s History Month

5 Books to Wrap Up Women’s History Month

By Mary Halabani

We’re at the final stretch of Women’s History Month! March is a time to make sure we think about all the fierce females who fought, and keep fighting, for women’s rights. These tough women have given us so much, from voting rights to the ability to wear pants. So to help us celebrate strong women everywhere and their amazing accomplishments, here’s a list with some of Forge’s favorite leading ladies.

Of Irish Blood by Mary Pat KellyOf Irish Blood by Mary Pat Kelly
It’s the early 1900s when twenty-four-year-old progressive Nora Kelly is forced to flee her home for Paris. There she finds the centuries-old Collège des Irlandais, a good-looking scholar, an unconventional priest, and a group of Ireland’s revolutionary women who challenge Nora to honor her Irish blood and join the struggle to free Ireland.

Poster Placeholder of - 58Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered by Karen Kilgariff & Georgia Hardstark
Prioritizing self-advocating and personal safety over being “nice” or “helpful,” a conflict that so many women are faced with on a daily basis, Karen and Georgia hold nothing back in telling the stories of their biggest mistakes and deepest fears, reflecting on the depression, eating disorders, and addictions that shaped them into two of the most followed voices in the nation.

Image Place holder  of - 4Zero Sum Game by S. L. Huang
Cas Russell is not your ordinary mathematical genius. Unlike other pros, the vector calculus blazing through her head lets her smash through armed men twice her size and dodge every bullet in a gunfight, and she’ll take any job for the right price. When Cas discovers someone with powers more dangerous than her own, she must fight off the puppet master and figure out which thoughts are her own.

City of SaviorsPlaceholder of  -91 by Rachel Howzell Hall
A fast, funny, heartbreaking, and wise homicide detective, Elouise Norton encounters her toughest case yet in City of Saviors, the fourth instalment in the critically acclaimed mystery series. Seventy-three-year-old Eugene Washington is found dead, and Lou believes that something about the way he died doesn’t add up. Lou must discover the truth while facing her own demons in order to save another soul before it’s too late.

Hard Ride by Elmer KeltonPlace holder  of - 74
Nothing says “Wild West” more than a group of daring women. From an infamous female outlaw who rules her gang with a gun to a judge’s daughter determined to end local mob rule, Hard Ride is riddled with powerful women whose devotions and decisions stay with you long after the book is done. Combined with glimpses into the authentic experience American West experience, this novel is filled with a passion for life that’s as vast as the Texas prairie.


Consensual Mayhem In a Chaotic World

Our summer of Magic X Mayhem continues with a post from S.L. Huang, author of Zero Sum Game and Null Set, exploring how we use mayhem to survive in an often terrible world.

By S. L. Huang

“May you live in interesting times” is often said to be an old Chinese curse.

It is not, it seems, either old, Chinese, or a curse. It’s more likely someone labeled it that way to make it sound woo-woo and exotic (which is tremendously exhausting).

But I kind of wish it weren’t an apocryphal story.

Because I want interesting times. Many of us do. But I want to choose my own.

When I was a kid, I was the ultimate in tree-climbing, fence-walking fearlessness. The type of kid who would often court “scrapes,” as Anne of Green Gables would have put it. I was constantly scolded and called down from trees, walls, or standing on the monkey bars of swingsets.

(I indignantly chafed under these regulations. Now that I occasionally watch friends’ kids, I can only imagine the panic my non-parental-units must have experienced when they caught sight of my antics with the sure horror that they were about to return a tiny corpse to my family.)

My mother, grasping at some safety rein, once begged me to at least wear a bike helmet when I climbed on things. A few hours later, she exited the back door to see me fifty feet up at the top of the sycamore tree. “What?” I said, when she had recovered from her near-heart attack. “I wore a bike helmet!”

Happily, I never fell three stories out of a sycamore tree.

But when I was eleven, I started getting sick. Just after I turned twelve, I was diagnosed with cancer.

Like many children, I used to imagine I was a book character. I’d have fabulous adventures. I’d get hurt. My life would be in terrible danger! And then I would emerge victorious.

Cancer treatment, however, was never the right kind of life-threatening to be fun. I’d never dreamed of being the hero of someone’s contemporary YA disease romp.

Instead, I used to imagine I was being experimented on by aliens. That helped.


I’ve paraglided, wakeboarded, rappelled down buildings, galloped horses, swum with sperm whales, jumped off thirty-foot platforms, and been lit on fire. I’ve backpacked through rainforest and gotten lost at high altitudes. Skydiving, hang gliding, and getting my pilot’s license are all on the list.

I choose to take risks to my health and safety. For fun. I’d be pretty ticked if anyone ever told me I couldn’t.

A decade and a half after the first time, I got cancer again.

This story doesn’t have a moral.

I’m also a martial artist and fighter. I willingly put myself in positions where I’m getting hurt and where I’m inviting people to do violence against me, albeit in a controlled way.

I’ve gotten deep bruises and cut lips, sprained joints, been elbowed in the face. Once I got kicked in the chest so hard I couldn’t breathe for about sixty seconds.

I keep going back for more.

I like to think that if we had a perfect world where we’d eradicated all nonconsensual violence, we could still enjoy competitive sparring. Matches we enter into with the power to walk out. Places where we voluntarily give up our control and release our civilized expectations that we won’t be hit in the face.

I wonder at the psychology of it, though. Do we hunger for this only because of our fears?

I don’t think being a fighter makes me less afraid of being assaulted in real life than many other people are. The very real fear of villainous people, of being held powerless, trying to fight back and failing . . .

No secret part of me desires to be that type of protagonist.

On a meta-level, I sometimes step back and consider how much I enjoy violence. Not only in my hobbies, but also in my entertainment. I’ve been an action movie junkie all my life, long before I ever started making them. I watch every cop and forensic show on TV. My own books are intensely violent, stirring through worlds of mercenaries, criminals, and serial killers with extreme delight.

And I’m not talking meaningful, historical types of violence, but instead madcap, rousing R ratings only for entertainment’s sake.

Perhaps it’s a power fantasy fueled by my own adult fears. Perhaps violence taps into something primal in my brain, an excitement about humans facing off against each other.

Or maybe there’s no reason. Maybe I just think gunfights and explosions and stunt choreography are deliciously cool.

Or maybe … maybe it comes back to this idea of consent.

I’m allowing the story space in my brain. I’m drawing out the welcome mat for the creators and popping my popcorn, and I’m inviting them to take me on this journey with me, one of pain and danger, telling them it’s okay if they emotionally punch me in the face and trusting the thrills and emotional catharsis will make up for it. And on a more abstract level, I’m aware the actors and writers and stuntpeople and everyone else who contributed to this piece of media—they, too, stepped into this shared reality of their own will, and can step out if they so choose.

We’re all choosing to experience this story of electrifying violence together.

Consensual mayhem.

Interesting times.

We live in interesting times now. I never would have chosen them. A nightmare march of bigotry, a climate rising to kill us, real-life children dying at my country’s borders . . . I wake in the night strangled with anxiety, and I yearn for my era to be one of boredom.

In interesting times, emotional escape is more important than ever. I don’t know how much sense it makes, that I flee the real-life horror of human suffering to replace it with fake blood and fictional fields littered with bodies invented only to be broken.

Maybe it doesn’t make any sense.

But something in me thinks it’s made of the same fabric as slamming the door to the hospital and running hard away so I can climb to the top of a sycamore tree or leap out of an airplane.

I’m fleeing the mayhem I’m cursed with, and taking a huddled breath from it to make my own.

The mayhem we choose. The mayhem we create.

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Stay tuned for more #magicXmayhem all summer long!


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I’ve Been Lit on Fire Four Times. Three of Them Were on Purpose.

Is there anything that says mayhem more than being on fire? Magic X Mayhem author S.L. Huang, the mad genius behind Zero Sum Game and Null Set, tells us about her mayhem-filled days stabbing batteries, chasing storms, and setting accidental fires.

I’ve Been Lit on Fire Four Times. Three of Them Were on Purpose: The Story of My Partner In Mayhem.

By S. L. Huang

This is a story about one of my best friends.

He’s exactly the type of person you imagine when you picture someone from MIT. When I met him in college, his dorm room had computers racked ten high and he’d replaced the lock on his door with a fingerprint scanner. Now he builds bartending robots and flies helicopters as a hobby, both RC ones and real ones.

Poster Placeholder of - 17We are the exact worst friends for each other. Because every time one of us has a terrible idea, the other one does not say, “Hey, no, maybe we should think about that”, but instead, “HECK YEAH WE SHOULD TOTALLY DO THAT.”

Case study #1. When my friend was first getting into RC stuff, he visited me, and he was cautious in setting aside the drones’ lithium-ion batteries. “Careful, because if these get damaged or smashed, there’s a small chance they could explode,” he told me.

My eyes got wide. “Can we do that??!!”

No, he did not say to me. What are you talking about, that’s an awful plan, we should not purposely try to explode batteries. Instead, he cocked his head thoughtfully and said, “You know, I think I have a few extra!”

We figured out containment and I went and got my very big knife, because naturally I had a very big knife. And that was how my roommate came home to find us stabbing batteries in my apartment in LA.

She, being a sensible person, asked us what the hell we were doing.

“Stabbing batteries!” we answered cheerfully.


“To see if we can make them explode!”

(They did not explode, sadly. Only smoked a little.)

My roommate did not think this was an acceptable explanation. We were thenceforth banished to doing all experiments outside the apartment. My roommate did stand lookout for us while we set things on fire in the alleyway, though.

(I said she was sensible, not unexciting.)

I’m often asked about a tidbit I have on my website about having been lit on fire four times, three of which were on purpose. The intentional times were all in the course of doing professional stuntwork—I love fire gags—but it will surprise nobody that the accidental combustion was in the company of this same friend.

Case study #2! One year I decided to have a birthday party, and my friend came to LA to help me throw the celebration. We were standing in Costco, and one of us said, “Oh my god, there should be flaming shots!”


Right there in the frozen aisle, we pulled out our phones and looked up how to make flaming shots on the Internet.

Fast forward to midnight. I was . . . no longer sober. My friend, who had remained sober (fortunately, as we’ll see in a moment), was bartending. He made me another flaming shot, perhaps my fourth one of the night.

Which I promptly spilled on myself.

Being very much not sober, I looked down at my hands—which were very definitely, very obviously covered in flames—and giggled. “I’m on fire!” I announced, completely tickled by this fact. The fire was still only burning the alcohol, so it didn’t hurt at all. It was just very pretty!

My friend smiled, took me to the sink, and put me out before the flames got started on my skin. We may be terrible influences on each other, but he’s eminently competent in a crisis.

We’re a little older now, but not very much wiser. Just this month we were talking about a tornado warning in my area, and we happened across some great storm-chasing footage that had been captured via RC drone.

Me: “You should totally do that. I’d go with you.”

Him, fifteen minutes later: “I just looked up storm chasing. We have to plan this in advance. When are you free between next April and June?”

Me: “I’ll have to check with my publicists.”

That weekend I asked a mutual friend of ours if she wanted to come with us. She disassembles bombs for a living and rides motorcycles. “Uh . . . NO THANKS,” she said. “You guys have fun.”

I have many excellent friends. It’s either very good or very bad for me that one of them is also an excellent partner in mayhem!

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5 Badass Mathematicians in Genre Fiction

By Lisa Ickowicz

Perhaps you don’t think the terms “badass” and “mathematician” add up. But maybe you haven’t heard about S.L. Huang’s blockbuster, near-future science fiction thriller, Zero Sum Game. But the novel’s mercenary main character with superpowers isn’t the only badass mathematician in fiction.

Here’s a list with her and some others that count!

Fearless Mercenary Math Badass: Cas Russell (Zero Sum Game by S.L. Huang)

Image Placeholder of - 3Cas Russell is good at math. Very good. Using the vector calculus blazing through her head, she can smash through armed men twice her size—including whole motorcycle gangs—and dodge every bullet in a gunfight. She’s a retriever. She gets things back for people and she’ll take any job for the right price. But now she’s involved with a very dangerous person who can reach into people’s minds. She should run like she usually does, but there’s only one problem. She doesn’t know which thoughts are her own anymore.

Nazi-fighting Math Badass: Benoit Mandelbrot (Mandelbrot the Magnificent by Liz Ziemska)

Image Place holder  of - 77Benoit Mandelbrot knows mathematics and he knows monsters. He was born a Polish Jew in Warsaw and he and his family had to flee to France during the rise of Hitler. It is only through his love of mathematics that he is able to escape the cruelties of the world around him. However, his gifts do not make life easier. Jealousy from classmates and a Nazi invasion in France add up to disaster for Benoit. He must try to save his family with a secret spaces he has discovered, or his genius will destroy them all.

Intergalactic Math Badass: Hari Seldon (The Foundation Series by Isaac Asimov)

Poster Placeholder of - 62Born on the planet Helicon in the Arcturus sector, Hari Seldon showed incredible mathematical abilities at a very early age. As mathematics professor at Streeling University on the planet Trantor, Hari develops psychohistory, an algorithmic science that allows him to predict the future in probabilistic terms. On the basis of his psychohistory he is able to predict the eventual fall of the Galactic Empire and to develop a means to shorten the millennia of chaos to follow.

Fashionista Math Badass: Melanie Prescott (The Givenchy Code by Julie Kenner)

Place holder  of - 64As if a recent breakup, scrounging for rent money, and lusting after designer shoes weren’t enough, graduate student Melanie Prescott starts receiving obscure codes and clues from a menacing stranger. She attempts to solve the mysteries – she is a math major after all — with high hopes for the multimillion-dollar reward guaranteed at the end. But she can only go on a shopping spree if she survives a madman’s deadly game.

Multi-generational Math Badasses: Lawrence & Randall “Randy” Waterhouse (Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson)

Placeholder of  -30Lawrence Pritchard Waterhouse is a mathematical genius and young Captain in the U.S. Navy during WWII. Assigned to a secret outfit, Detachment 2702, his mission is to keep the Nazis ignorant of the fact that Allied Intelligence has cracked the enemy’s fabled Enigma code. It is a game, a cryptographic chess match between Waterhouse and his German counterpart.

Randy Waterhouse inherited his grandfather Lawrence’s skill of advanced mathematics. He is a crypto-hacker attempting to create a “data haven” in Southeast Asia. As governments and multinationals attack the endeavor, Randy tries to secretly salvage a sunken Nazi submarine that holds the key to keeping the dream of a data haven afloat. But the scheme brings to light a massive conspiracy with its roots in Detachment 2702.


Meet the #FearlessWomen: Cas Russell from Zero Sum Game

Image Placeholder of - 9Written by Lisa Ickowicz

Name: Cas Russell

Age: 25

Sex: Female

Eyes: Brown

Hair: Brown, Curly

Marital Status: Single

Address: Unknown

Occupation: Retriever. She gets things back for people. And will take any job…for the right price.

Strengths: Cas Russell is good at math. Too good. She’s able to bring down armed men twice her size and whole motorcycle gangs using vector calculus. Momentum, velocities, objects in motion—these are her deadly weapons of choice. Also a skilled weapons expert, she can handle a .45 caliber and a 9 millimeter better than most police officers. She collects grenades and treats her favorite gun like a cherished pet. And when guns and other hardware aren’t available, she can turn a shard of broken windowpane or a houseplant into a deadly weapon.

Weaknesses: Though Cas is ruled by logic and mathematics, she can let her emotions get the best of her. She has a deep loyalty towards her allies. Linked to a ruthless mercenary known as Rio, she will put herself in harms way if anyone threatens him. She’s also not always the best judge of character and can let money cloud her judgment. As proven when she accepts a job that gets her mixed up with someone with a power even more dangerous than her own.

Evaluation: Cas Russell is not only very intelligent, highly skilled and fiercely independent. She is fearless. She is able to use quantum mathematics to shoot around corners, drive any vehicle anywhere, and fall off of buildings without getting hurt. She possesses the powers of a modern day superhero, and as such she is also somewhat flawed. Her moral compass continually sways back and forth between being highly loyal to her allies, having a soft spot for kids, yet not hesitating to leave a trail of dead bodies in order to accomplish her goal. Although she can solve almost any math equation, the one thing that she can’t add up is her own past. So she lives in the moment, taking one retrieval job after the next—getting anything back for anyone—if the price is right. Cas has faced many frightening enemies and she is about to face her most dangerous yet. Someone who wants to become the world’s puppet master. Someone that can reach directly into Cas’ own mind. And not having control of her own thoughts may be the one thing that puts her fearlessness to the test.

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New Releases: 10/2/18

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

Everlasting Nora by Marie Miranda Cruz

After a family tragedy results in the loss of both father and home, 12-year-old Nora lives with her mother in Manila’s North Cemetery, which is the largest shantytown of its kind in the Philippines today.

When her mother disappears mysteriously one day, Nora is left alone.

With help from her best friend Jojo and the support of his kindhearted grandmother, Nora embarks on a journey riddled with danger in order to find her mom. Along the way she also rediscovers the compassion of the human spirit, the resilience of her community, and everlasting hope in the most unexpected places.

Zero Sum Game by S.L. HuangImage Place holder  of - 35

Cas Russell is good at math. Scary good. The vector calculus blazing through her head lets her smash through armed men twice her size and dodge every bullet in a gunfight, and she’ll take any job for the right price.

As far as Cas knows, she’s the only person around with a superpower…until she discovers someone with a power even more dangerous than her own. Someone who can reach directly into people’s minds and twist their brains into Moebius strips. Someone intent on becoming the world’s puppet master.

Cas should run, like she usually does, but for once she’s involved. There’s only one problem…

She doesn’t know which of her thoughts are her own anymore.


Exit Strategy by Martha Wells

Murderbot wasn’t programmed to care. So, its decision to help the only human who ever showed it respect must be a system glitch, right?

Having traveled the width of the galaxy to unearth details of its own murderous transgressions, as well as those of the GrayCris Corporation, Murderbot is heading home to help Dr. Mensah—its former owner (protector? friend?)—submit evidence that could prevent GrayCris from destroying more colonists in its never-ending quest for profit.

But who’s going to believe a SecUnit gone rogue?

And what will become of it when it’s caught?


Captain Harlock: The Classic Collection Vol. 2 Story and art by Leji Matsumoto

Crisis Girls Vol. 2 Story and art by Hiroaki Yoshikawa


Download the #FearlessWomen Fall Sampler today!

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Image Place holder  of - 19Meet this fall’s #FearlessWomen! These are the authors who are shaping new blockbuster worlds—and re-shaping our own. Highlighting major titles from bestselling authors V. E. Schwab, K Arsenault Rivera, Nancy Kress as well as titles from acclaimed and debut authors such as S.L. Huang, Fran Wilde, and Mirah Bolender we think you’ll love the stories these #FearlessWomen have to tell.

This free #FearlessWomen Sampler features the first 20 to 30 pages from each of the following titles:


Plus, make sure to use the #FearlessWomen hashtag on Twitter to learn about giveaways and other content celebrating fearless women!

Download Your Free Copy

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