The Leaning Pile of Books is a feature where I talk about books I got over the last week – old or new, bought or received for review consideration. Since I hope you will find new books you’re interested in reading in these posts, I try to be as informative as possible. If I can find them, links to excerpts, author’s websites, and places where you can find more information on the book are included.

This week brought two books in the mail and an ebook. I also downloaded an ebook I was sent a little while ago earlier this week, but since I have a giveaway for this same book scheduled in a few days, I’ll just discuss it then!

Mothership: Tales from Afrofuturism and Beyond edited by Bill Campbell and Edward Austin Hall

Mothership: Tales from Afrofuturism and Beyond edited by Bill Campbell and Edward Austin Hall

This anthology with a focus on diversity in speculative fiction will be available on October 18 (hardcover, paperback, ebook). The list of authors involved is quite impressive and includes N. K. Jemisin, Lauren Beukes, Junot Diaz, Tobias Buckell, Kiini Ibura Salaam, Nisi Shawl, and many more. More information on the anthology and the authors can be found on the original crowdfunding campaign page for the book.


Mothership: Tales from Afrofuturism and Beyond sets a bold new course by showcasing work from some of the most talented writers inside and outside of speculative fiction. These authors in this anthology (including Junot Diaz, Lauren Beukes, Victor LaValle, N.K. Jemisin, S.P. Somtow, Tobias Buckell, and more) have earned such honors as the Pulitzer Prize, the American Book Award, the Hugo, the Nebula, and the Bram Stoker, among others. They have garnered numerous accolades and have sold millions of copies around the world. Many of their names are likely to be new to you; Mothership is your invitation to get acquainted with them and their incredible writing.

A Dance with Dragons by George R. R. Martin

A Dance with Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire #5) by George R. R. Martin

A Dance with Dragons will be available in paperback for the first time on October 29. The edition I received is mass market paperback, but it appears the trade paperback will be on sale starting that day as well. There is a brief excerpt from The Winds of Winter at the end of the book.

Warning: There are spoilers for the previous books in the book description below.


In the aftermath of a colossal battle, the future of the Seven Kingdoms hangs in the balance—beset by newly emerging threats from every direction. In the east, Daenerys Targaryen, the last scion of House Targaryen, rules with her three dragons as queen of a city built on dust and death. But Daenerys has thousands of enemies, and many have set out to find her. As they gather, one young man embarks upon his own quest for the queen, with an entirely different goal in mind.

Fleeing from Westeros with a price on his head, Tyrion Lannister, too, is making his way to Daenerys. But his newest allies in this quest are not the rag-tag band they seem, and at their heart lies one who could undo Daenerys’s claim to Westeros forever.

Meanwhile, to the north lies the mammoth Wall of ice and stone—a structure only as strong as those guarding it. There, Jon Snow, 998th Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, will face his greatest challenge. For he has powerful foes not only within the Watch but also beyond, in the land of the creatures of ice.

From all corners, bitter conflicts reignite, intimate betrayals are perpetrated, and a grand cast of outlaws and priests, soldiers and skinchangers, nobles and slaves, will face seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Some will fail, others will grow in the strength of darkness. But in a time of rising restlessness, the tides of destiny and politics will lead inevitably to the greatest dance of all.

Esrever Doom by Piers Anthony

Esrever Doom (Xanth #37) by Piers Anthony

The 37th (!) Xanth book will be released on October 22 (hardcover, ebook). An excerpt from Esrever Doom can be read on


Piers Anthony’s 37th adventure in Xanth changes the Mood to one of Doom!

Kody woke up in a hospital bed, not knowing how he got there. Before his questions could be answered, he was told that he was about to undergo surgery, and that there could be some side effects…. And then he woke up again, this time in Xanth.

Kody is the only person in Xanth who has not been affected by a dreadful spell that reverses how people see each other. What was adorable is now loathsome. What was ugly is now beautiful. What was loved is now hated. Kody has clearly arrived just in time! Only he has any hope of reversing the spell, turning Esrever Doom into Reverse Mood.