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 (often unsolicited). 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 there are three books to discuss. It’s been rather quiet here lately for various reasons, but that will be changing soon since one of those reasons is I’ve been spending a lot of my blogging time preparing for the fourth annual Women in SF&F Month, which will be starting later this week!

On to this week’s books.

Blood Sisters edited by Paula Guran

Blood Sisters: Vampire Stories by Women edited by Paula Guran

Genre: Horror/Fantasy (Anthology)
Release Date: May 5 (Paperback, Ebook)

View Table of Contents

Neither short stories nor vampires are my favorites yet I am really interested in this anthology after looking through it! It has stories by many wonderful authors—Freda Warrington, Elizabeth Bear, Tanith Lee, Tanya Huff, Nalo Hopkinson, Storm Constantine, Catherynne M. Valente—and many others I’ve heard are also wonderful such as Holly Black, Kelley Armstrong, Charlaine Harris, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, Carrie Vaughn, Caitlin R. Kiernan, and Laurell K. Hamilton. There’s also a little about the history of vampire literature in the introduction with particular focus on women’s contributions, including stories written before the publication of Dracula.


A tantalizing selection of stories from some of the best female authors who’ve helped define the modern vampire.

Bram Stoker was hardly the first author—male or female—to fictionalize the folkloric vampire, but he defined the modern iconic vampire when Dracula appeared in 1897. Since then, many have reinterpreted the ever-versatile vampire over and over again—and female writers have played vital roles in proving that the vampire, as well as our perpetual fascination with it, is truly immortal. These authors have devised some of the most fascinating, popular, and entertaining of our many vampiric variations: suavely sensual . . . fascinating but fatal . . . sexy and smart . . . undead but prone to detection . . . tormented or terrifying . . . amusing or amoral . . . doomed or deadly . . . badass and beautiful . . . cutting-edge or classic . . .

Blood Sisters collects a wide range of fantastical stories from New York Times bestsellers Holly Black, Nancy Holder, Catherynne M. Valente, and Carrie Vaughn, and critically acclaimed writers Chelsea Quinn Yarbro and Tanith Lee, all of whom have left their indelible and unique stamps on the vampire genre. Whether they are undeniably heroes and heroines or bloodthirsty monsters (or something in between), the undead are a lively lot. This anthology offers some of the best short fiction ever written by the “blood sisters” who know them best: stories you can really sink your teeth into.

Hannu Rajaniemi: Collected Fiction

Hannu Rajaniemi: Collected Fiction by Hannu Rajaniemi

Genre: Science Fiction (Short Stories)
Release Date: May 12 (Limited Hardcover)

View Table of Contents

Hannu Rajaniemi, author of the Jean le Flambeur series beginning with The Quantum Thief, has received the Tahtivaeltaja Award and the third place John W. Campbell Memorial Award.


Inside the firewall the city is alive. Buildings breathe, cars attack, angels patrol, and hyper-intelligent pets rebel.

With unbridled invention and breakneck adventure, Hannu Rajaniemi is on the cutting-edge of science fiction. His post-apocalyptic, post-cyberpunk, and post-human tales are full of exhilarating energy and unpredictable optimism.

How will human nature react when the only limit to desire is creativity? When the distinction between humans and gods is as small as nanomachines—or as large as the universe? Whether the next big step in technology is 3D printing, genetic alteration, or unlimited space travel, Rajaniemi writes about what happens after.

The Unremembered by Peter Orullian

The Unremembered: Author’s Definitive Edition (Vault of Heaven #1) by Peter Orullian

Genre: Fantasy (Epic)
Release Date: April 7 (Paperback)

Read an Excerpt (may not be the same edition)

The Unremembered is being re-released shortly before the publication of Trial of Intentions (Vault of Heaven #2) on May 26.


Peter Orullian’s epic fantasy debut The Unremembered has been critically acclaimed, earning starred reviews and glowing praise. But now it gets even better. In anticipation of the second volume in Orullian’s epic series, and for one of the few times in our publishing history, we at Tor are choosing to relaunch a title with an author’s definitive edition.

In addition to stunning updates to the original text, we’re also including an exclusive short story set in the world of Vault of Heaven as well as a sneak preview of the sequel, Trial of Intentions, and a glossary to the universe.

The gods who created this world have abandoned it. In their mercy however, they sealed the rogue god—and the monstrous creatures he created to plague mortal kind—in the vast and inhospitable wasteland of the Bourne. The magical Veil that protected humankind for millennia has become weak and creatures of nightmare have now come through. Those who stand against evil know that only drastic measures will prevent a devastating invasion.

Tahn Junell is a hunter who’s unaware of the dark forces that imperil his world, in much the same way his youth is lost to memory. But an imperious man who wears the sigil of the feared Order of Sheason and a beautiful woman of the legendary Far have shared with Tahn the danger. They’ve asked him, his sister, and his friends to embark with them on a journey that will change their lives . . . and the world . . . forever. And in the process, he’ll remember . . .