As Beth Bernobich said in her eloquent article “The Invisible Woman” toward the beginning of April:
Women write SF/F, but if no one talks about us, it only perpetuates the myth we don’t write in the genre. So. Tell your friends about that amazing author you discovered. Write that review on Amazon. Add that author and their books to the next Goodreads list you make. And maybe, with all the talk, the next conversation about books in the genre will include their names.
After the guest posts have all been posted, I usually write one post doing exactly this—talking about science fiction and fantasy by women. I thought a lot about which books to discuss this year. There are some excellent books written by women that I’ve read since this time last year (such as A Taste of Blood Wine by Freda Warrington, Warchild by Karin Lowachee, and The Silvered by Tanya Huff), but I kept coming back to how many great-sounding books are coming out later this year, many of which are written by women, and decided to write about upcoming 2014 releases.
Although there are many upcoming releases written by this year’s participants I’m very excited about (Tainted Blood by M. L. Brennan, Champion of the Scarlet Wolf by Ginn Hale, Gemsigns by Stephanie Saulter, Thief’s Magic by Trudi Canavan, I could go on and on!), I’m going to write about books by authors not participating this month to get some different books and names out there. Some books are by favorite authors or in favorite series and others are by authors I’ve never read before, but they all have one thing in common—they all sound wonderful! In order of release date, here is my list.
Artemis Awakening by Jane Lindskold
Release Date: May 27
I haven’t yet read any of Jane Lindskold’s books, but I’ve heard good things about them and I love the sound of Artemis Awakening. Rediscovery of a forgotten planet of legend and a psych-linked puma companion?! I have to read this book!
Artemis Awakening is the start of a new series by New York Times bestseller Jane Lindskold. The distant world Artemis is a pleasure planet created out of bare rock by a technologically advanced human empire that provided its richest citizens with a veritable Eden to play in. All tech was concealed and the animals (and the humans brought to live there) were bioengineered to help the guests enjoy their stay…but there was always the possibility of danger so that visitors could brag that they had “bested” the environment.
The Empire was shattered in a horrific war; centuries later humanity has lost much of the advanced technology and Artemis is a fable told to children. Until young archeologist Griffin Dane finds intriguing hints that send him on a quest to find the lost world. Stranded on Artemis after crashing his ship, he encounters the Huntress Adara and her psych-linked companion, the puma Sand Shadow. Their journey with her will lead Dane to discover the planet’s secrets…and perhaps provide a key to give unimagined power back to mankind.
Unexpected Stories by Octavia E. Butler
Two new stories by Octavia Butler are going to be released as an e-book next month! I’ve only read her novel Parable of the Sower, but it was excellent and I’d like to read more of her stories.
Two never-before-published stories from the archives of one of science fiction’s all-time masters
The novella “A Necessary Being” showcases Octavia E. Butler’s ability to create alien yet fully believable “others.” Tahneh’s father was a Hao, one of a dwindling race whose leadership abilities render them so valuable that their members are captured and forced to govern. When her father dies, Tahneh steps into his place, both chief and prisoner, and for twenty years has ruled without ever meeting another of her kind. She bears her loneliness privately until the day that a Hao youth is spotted wandering into her territory. As her warriors sharpen their weapons, Tahneh must choose between imprisoning the newcomer—and living the rest of her life alone.
The second story in this volume, “Childminder,” was commissioned by Harlan Ellison for his legendary (and never-published) anthology The Last Dangerous Visions™. A disaffected telepath connects with a young girl in a desperate attempt to help her harness her growing powers. But in the richly evocative fiction of Octavia E. Butler, mentorship is a rocky path, and every lesson comes at a price.
Child of a Hidden Sea by A. M. Dellamonica
Indigo Springs, A. M. Dellamonica’s debut, is supposed to be very good, and I’m quite interested in her next book and reading about a smart, determined heroine facing the challenges of politics and a conspiracy.
One minute, twenty-four-year-old Sophie Hansa is in a San Francisco alley trying to save the life of the aunt she has never known. The next, she finds herself flung into the warm and salty waters of an unfamiliar world. Glowing moths fall to the waves around her, and the sleek bodies of unseen fish glide against her submerged ankles.
The world is Stormwrack, a series of island nations with a variety of cultures and economies—and a language different from any Sophie has heard.
Sophie doesn’t know it yet, but she has just stepped into the middle of a political firestorm, and a conspiracy that could destroy a world she has just discovered… her world, where everyone seems to know who she is, and where she is forbidden to stay.
But Sophie is stubborn, and smart, and refuses to be cast adrift by people who don’t know her and yet wish her gone. With the help of a sister she has never known, and a ship captain who would rather she had never arrived, she must navigate the shoals of the highly charged politics of Stormwrack, and win the right to decide for herself whether she stays in this wondrous world . . . or is doomed to exile
One-Eyed Jack by Elizabeth Bear
Elizabeth Bear is one of my favorite authors, and her Promethean books are special to me because the first of her books I read was Blood and Iron. She had plans for a lot of different books in this setting, and a second pair of books taking place long before the first duology was released fairly soon after I read them. I enjoyed those as well and was sad when I learned no more Promethean books were forthcoming, so I am thrilled a new one is coming out this summer!
* I’m not certain what the release date for this one is since Barnes and Noble says it will have copies on June 25, Amazon says July 8, and the publisher’s website says August 13.
The One-Eyed Jack and the Suicide King: personifications of the city of Las Vegas—its history, mystery, mystical power, and heart…
When the Suicide King vanishes—possibly killed—in the middle of a magic-rights turf war started by the avatars of Los Angeles, a notorious fictional assassin, and the mutilated ghost of Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel–the King’s partner, the One-Eyed Jack, must seek the aid of a bizarre band of legendary and undead allies: the ghosts of Doc Holliday and John Henry the steel-driving man; the echoes of several imaginary super spies, decades displaced in time; and a vampire named Tribute, who bears a striking resemblance to a certain long-lost icon of popular music.
All stories are true, but some stories are truer than others
Magic Breaks by Ilona Andrews
Kate Daniels is one of my favorite series and the seventh installment is very high on my list of books I can’t wait for! The authors (Ilona Andrews is actually a husband and wife writing team) have done an amazing job of building up a character it sounds like we might finally meet in this book, and Kate is a wonderfully developed protagonist with a naturally humorous narrative voice. I cannot gush about this series and how fantastic it is enough (especially book 3)!
No matter how much the paranormal politics of Atlanta change, one thing always remains the same: if there’s trouble, Kate Daniels will be in the middle of it…
As the mate of the Beast Lord, Curran, former mercenary Kate Daniels has more responsibilities than it seems possible to juggle. Not only is she still struggling to keep her investigative business afloat, she must now deal with the affairs of the pack, including preparing her people for attack from Roland, a cruel ancient being with god-like powers. Since Kate’s connection to Roland has come out into the open, no one is safe—especially those closest to Kate.
As Roland’s long shadow looms ever nearer, Kate is called to attend the Conclave, a gathering of the leaders from the various supernatural factions in Atlanta. When one of the Masters of the Dead is found murdered there, apparently at the hands of a shapeshifter, Kate is given only twenty-four hours to hunt down the killer. And this time, if she fails, she’ll find herself embroiled in a war which could destroy everything she holds dear…
Dust and Light by Carol Berg
Carol Berg is a fantastic fantasy author, and I’m always happy to hear about a new book by her. My favorite of her books, Transformation, has both a unique world and wonderful characterization. I also very much enjoyed her Lighthouse Duet, and Dust and Light is the first book in a new duology set in the same world as that one.
National bestselling author Carol Berg returns to the world of her award-winning Flesh and Spirit and Breath and Bone with an all-new tale of magic, mystery, and corruption….
How much must one pay for an hour of youthful folly? The Pureblood Registry accused Lucian de Remeni-Masson of “unseemly involvement with ordinaries,” which meant only that he spoke with a young woman not of his own kind, allowed her to see his face unmasked, worked a bit of magic for her….After that one mistake, Lucian’s grandsire excised half his magic and savage Harrowers massacred his family. Now the Registry has contracted his art to a common coroner. His extraordinary gift for portraiture is restricted to dead ordinaries—beggars or starvelings hauled from the streets.
But sketching the truth of dead men’s souls brings unforeseen consequences. Sensations not his own. Truths he cannot possibly know and dares not believe. The coroner calls him a cheat and says he is trying to weasel out of a humiliating contract. The Registry will call him mad—and mad sorcerers are very dangerous….
Fool’s Assassin by Robin Hobb
Assassin’s Apprentice was one of the earlier fantasy books I read when I first starting reading the genre. I went on to read the rest of the Farseer novels, then Liveship Traders, and then the first Tawny Man book. This was followed by impatiently waiting for the rest of the books to come out, and I even ordered the last two books from the UK once they were available since they came out there before the US! I love these books, and I’m excited to read a new series that takes place after Tawny Man.
Nearly twenty years ago, Robin Hobb burst upon the fantasy scene with the first of her acclaimed Farseer novels, Assassin’s Apprentice, which introduced the characters of FitzChivalry Farseer and his uncanny friend the Fool. A watershed moment in modern fantasy, this novel—and those that followed—broke exciting new ground in a beloved genre. Together with George R. R. Martin, Robin Hobb helped pave the way for such talented new voices as Scott Lynch, Brandon Sanderson, and Naomi Novik.
Over the years, Hobb’s imagination has soared throughout the mythic lands of the Six Duchies in such bestselling series as the Liveship Traders Trilogy and the Rain Wilds Chronicles. But no matter how far she roamed, her heart always remained with Fitz. And now, at last, she has come home, with an astonishing new novel that opens a dark and gripping chapter in the Farseer saga.
FitzChivalry—royal bastard and former king’s assassin—has left his life of intrigue behind. As far as the rest of the world knows, FitzChivalry Farseer is dead and buried. Masquerading as Tom Badgerlock, Fitz is now married to his childhood sweetheart, Molly, and leading the quiet life of a country squire.
Though Fitz is haunted by the disappearance of the Fool, who did so much to shape Fitz into the man he has become, such private hurts are put aside in the business of daily life, at least until the appearance of menacing, pale-skinned strangers casts a sinister shadow over Fitz’s past . . . and his future.
Now, to protect his new life, the former assassin must once again take up his old one. . . .
The Mirror Empire by Kameron Hurley
Release Date: August 26
This doesn’t appear to have a cover yet, but I had to include it! I haven’t yet read any of Kameron Hurley’s books even though I’ve heard God’s War is excellent, but I’ve very much enjoyed every single blog post I’ve read by her (she is very deservedly one of this year’s Hugo nominees for Best Fan Writer and Best Related Work). Her upcoming book also sounds fantastic, and it’s been on my list of books I want to read ever since I first heard about it.
On the eve of a recurring catastrophic event known to extinguish nations and reshape continents, a troubled orphan evades death and slavery to uncover her own bloody past… while a world goes to war with itself.
In the frozen kingdom of Saiduan, invaders from another realm are decimating whole cities, leaving behind nothing but ash and ruin.
As the dark star of the cataclysm rises, an illegitimate ruler is tasked with holding together a country fractured by civil war, a precocious young fighter is asked to betray his family and a half-Dhai general must choose between the eradication of her father’s people or loyalty to her alien Empress.
Through tense alliances and devastating betrayal, the Dhai and their allies attempt to hold against a seemingly unstoppable force as enemy nations prepare for a coming together of worlds as old as the universe itself.
In the end, one world will rise – and many will perish.
Stories of the Raksura: Volume One by Martha Wells
Release Date: September 2
The Cloud Roads, the first of the Books of the Raksura, was a book I could not put down. I loved the original world and found the main character’s plight easy to sympathize with, and the other two books in the trilogy were also very good (especially the last one, my favorite of the three). More novels in this world would be great, but I’m just as happy to know I’ll soon be able to read two novellas about the Raksura!
In The Falling World, Jade, ruler of the Indigo Cloud Court, has travelled with Chime and Balm to another Raksuran court. When she fails to return, her consort Moon, along with Stone and a party of warriors and hunters, must track them down. Finding them turns out to be the easy part; freeing them from an ancient trap hidden in the depths of the Reaches is much more difficult.
The Tale of Indigo and Cloud explores the history of the Indigo Cloud Court, long before Moon came to Court. In the distant past, Indigo stole Cloud from Emerald Twilight. But in doing so, the reigning Queen Cerise and Indigo are now poised for a conflict that could ruin everything.
Stories of Moon and the shape changers of Raksura have delighted readers for years. This world is a dangerous place full of strange mysteries, where the future can never be taken for granted, and must always be fought for with wits and ingenuity, and often tooth and claw. With two brand-new novellas, Martha Wells shows that the world of Raksura has many more stories to tell…
Summer Moon by Jan DeLima
Jan was my local librarian and is my friend. Of course, I was incredibly excited for her when Ace picked up her first book, the romantic urban fantasy Celtic Moon! I enjoyed it a lot, particularly her resilient “older” heroine Sophie (36 is practically ancient in fantasy heroine years!). I’m very much looking forward to reading Summer Moon and the story of Rosa and Luc.
She won’t be ruled again……
Rosa Alban has been obedient her entire life. But when her alpha husband dies, she seizes the opportunity to flee the oppressive Guardians—the rulers of the secret shapeshifter world. Her flight instantly brands her as a pack traitor, and she has no choice but to seek protection from a neighboring tribe by marrying one of their sons.
Known as the Beast of Merin, Luc Black loyally plays the part of unwanted son and devoted brother. He realizes marrying Rosa will strengthen his tribe’s territory, but he has no intention of loving ever again. Still, he’s unprepared for the intense physical need the wild she-wolf awakens in him.
When the Guardians hone in on Rosa, Luc must fight to protect his new bride. And as war descends, the unlikely allies discover their destinies are irrevocably entwined……
The Inheritance Trilogy by N. K. Jemisin
Release Date: December 9
I’ve already read the three novels in this trilogy, but I love them and N. K. Jemisin’s book that was on my list of most anticipated books of 2014 was recently rescheduled for 2015… So I’m including this one instead! The omnibus edition will also include a new novella titled “The Awakened Kingdom” which will also be released separately as an ebook. You can read more about it in the recent announcement on N. K. Jemisin’s blog.
In this omnibus edition of N.K. Jemisin’s brilliantly original award-winning fantasy series, a young woman becomes entangled in a power struggle of mythic proportions.
A REALM OF GODS AND MORTALS.
Yeine Darr is an outcast from the barbarian north. But when her mother dies under mysterious circumstances, she is summoned to the majestic city of Sky. There, to her shock, Yeine is named an heiress to the king. But the throne of the Hundred Thousand Kingdoms is not easily won, and Yeine is thrust into a vicious power struggle.
The Inheritance Trilogy omnibus includes the novels: The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, The Broken Kingdoms, and The Kingdom of Gods.
I could make a long list of the books released this year out now that I still really want to read like The Tropic of Serpents by Marie Brennan, Half-Off Ragnarok by Seanan McGuire, Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor, Steles of the Sky by Elizabeth Bear, Turquoiselle by Tanith Lee, Night Broken by Patricia Briggs, The Gospel of Loki by Joanne Harris, and The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison. Also, there are books I’ve read published this year that I really enjoyed like Black Dog by Rachel Neumeier and Iron Night by M. L. Brennan. As mentioned previously, there are also books coming out written by authors who wrote guest posts this year that sound very interesting. These eleven books listed are just a start when it comes to the science fiction and fantasy books by women being released in 2014, and there are many more to be excited about!