Must-Have Monday #89

Posted 13th June 2022 by Sia in Must-Have Mondays / 0 Comments

SIX marvellous SFF releases this week, ranging from mushroom cities to secret Nigerian schools for super-powered kids!!!

The Dawnhounds (Against the Quiet, #1) by Sascha Stronach
Genres: Queer Protagonists, Science Fantasy
Representation: Brown cast, bisexual MC, F/F, secondary trans character
Published on: 14th June 2022

Gideon the Ninth
meets Black Sun in this queer, Māori-inspired debut fantasy about a police officer who is murdered, brought back to life with a mysterious new power, and tasked with protecting her city from an insidious evil threatening to destroy it.

The port city of Hainak is alive: its buildings, its fashion, even its weapons. But, after a devastating war and a sweeping biotech revolution, all its inhabitants want is peace, no one more so than Yat Jyn-Hok a reformed-thief-turned-cop who patrols the streets at night.

Yat has recently been demoted on the force due to “lifestyle choices” after being caught at a gay club. She’s barely holding it together, haunted by memories of a lover who vanished and voices that float in and out of her head like radio signals. When she stumbles across a dead body on her patrol, two fellow officers gruesomely murder her and dump her into the harbor. Unfortunately for them, she wakes up.

Resurrected by an ancient power, she finds herself with the new ability to manipulate life force. Quickly falling in with the pirate crew who has found her, she must race against time to stop a plague from being unleashed by the evil that has taken root in Hainak.

I’ve loved Dawnhounds since the first, micropress-edition was published; this trad-published edition is EXPANDED from that one, and even queerer and weirder! And I do mean WEIRD: this is set in a city where the houses are giant mushrooms and there are drugs that make you telepathic. BUT IT’S AWESOME I PROMISE!

The Grief of Stones (The Goblin Emperor, #3) by Katherine Addison
Genres: Fantasy, Secondary World Fantasy, Queer Protagonists
Representation: Gay MC
Published on: 14th June 2022

In The Grief of Stones, Katherine Addison returns to the world of The Goblin Emperor with a direct sequel to The Witness For The Dead...

Celehar’s life as the Witness for the Dead of Amalo grows less isolated as his circle of friends grows larger. He has been given an apprentice to teach, and he has stumbled over a scandal of the city—the foundling girls. Orphans with no family to claim them and no funds to buy an apprenticeship. Foundling boys go to the Prelacies; foundling girls are sold into service, or worse.

At once touching and shattering, Celehar’s witnessing for one of these girls will lead him into the depths of his own losses. The love of his friends will lead him out again.

This is the direct sequel to last year’s wonderful Witness For the Dead, set in the same world as The Goblin Emperor. I’m so looking forward to reading about Celehar again!

Boys, Beasts & Men by Sam J. Miller, Amal El-Mohtar
Genres: Fantasy, Queer Protagonists, Sci Fi
Representation: Queer MCs
Published on: 14th June 2022

In Nebula Award-winning author Sam J. Miller’s devastating debut short-fiction collection, featuring an introduction by Amal El-Mohtar, queer infatuation, inevitable heartbreak, and brutal revenge seamlessly intertwine. Whether innocent, guilty, or not even human, the boys, beasts, and men roaming through Miller’s gorgeously crafted worlds can destroy readers, yet leave them wanting more.

“Miller’s sheer talent shines through in abundance . . . Boys, Beasts & Men is an outrageous journey which skillfully blends genres and will haunt you with its original, poetic voices as much as its victims, villains, and treasure trove of leading actors.”—Grimdark Magazine

Despite his ability to control the ambient digital cloud, a foster teen falls for a clever con-man. Luring bullies to a quarry, a boy takes clearly enumerated revenge through unnatural powers of suggestion. In the aftermath of a shapeshifting alien invasion, a survivor fears that he brought something out of the Arctic to infect the rest of the world. A rebellious group of queer artists create a new identity that transcends even the anonymity of death.

Sam J. Miller (Blackfish City, The Art of Starving) shows his savage wit, unrelenting candor, and lush imagery in this essential career retrospective collection, taking his place alongside legends of the short-fiction form such as Carmen Maria Machado, Carson McCullers, and Jeff VanderMeer.

Miller is the author of several of my favourite standalones, and this is his debut short story collection! Expect a great deal of queerness.

January Fifteenth by Rachel Swirsky
Genres: Queer Protagonists, Sci Fi
Representation: F/F
Published on: 14th June 2022

“One of the best speculative writers of the last decade.”—John Scalzi

January Fifteenth—the day all Americans receive their annual Universal Basic Income payment.

For Hannah, a middle-aged mother, today is the anniversary of the day she took her two children and fled her abusive ex-wife.

For Janelle, a young, broke journalist, today is another mind-numbing day interviewing passersby about the very policy she once opposed.

For Olivia, a wealthy college freshman, today is “Waste Day”, when rich kids across the country compete to see who can most obscenely squander the government’s money.

For Sarah, a pregnant teen, today is the day she’ll journey alongside her sister-wives to pick up the payment­­s that undergird their community—and perhaps embark on a new journey altogether.

In this near-future science fiction novella by Nebula Award-winning author Rachel Swirsky, the fifteenth of January is another day of the status quo, and another chance at making lasting change.

I’m a very big proponent of universal income, so I’m in love with this premise and excited to see how Swirsky has it all play out!

Onyeka and the Academy of the Sun by Tọlá Okogwu
Genres: Fantasy, Contemporary or Urban Fantasy
Representation: British Nigerian MC, Nigerian cast
Published on: 14th June 2022

Black Panther
meets X-Men in this action-packed and empowering middle grade adventure about a British Nigerian girl who learns that her Afro hair has psychokinetic powers—perfect for fans of Amari and the Night Brothers, The Marvellers, and Rick Riordan!

Onyeka has a lot of hair­—the kind that makes strangers stop in the street and her peers whisper behind her back. At least she has Cheyenne, her best friend, who couldn’t care less what other people think. Still, Onyeka has always felt insecure about her vibrant curls…until the day Cheyenne almost drowns and Onyeka’s hair takes on a life of its own, inexplicably pulling Cheyenne from the water.

At home, Onyeka’s mother tells her the shocking truth: Onyeka’s psycho-kinetic powers make her a Solari, one of a secret group of people with super powers unique to Nigeria. Her mother quickly whisks her off to the Academy of the Sun, a school in Nigeria where Solari are trained. But Onyeka and her new friends at the academy soon have to put their powers to the test as they find themselves embroiled in a momentous battle between truth and lies…

This was released in the UK last week, but it comes out in the USA tomorrow! And HI, I AM IN LOVE WITH ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING ABOUT IT. Including that incredible cover!!!

The Grace of Sorcerers (Those Who Break Chains, #1) by Maria Ying
Genres: Fantasy, Contemporary or Urban Fantasy, Queer Protagonists
Representation: F/F
Published on: 16th June 2022

To be a warlock in this age is to trade in powers and promises and poisons, to bind demons and men to your will, to break them as you see fit...

Viveca Hua is the warlock of her era, and she has finally obtained her enemy’s greatest weapon—the demon Yves, an entity powerful beyond imagining... and far more alluring than any mortal woman.

But each ritual has a price. Yves has her own past, one brutally intertwined with the nemesis that killed Viveca’s mother. Her secrets will make or break the hunt.

Whatever the risk to her heart or her soul, Viveca is sure of one thing: she will have victory at any cost.

The Grace of Sorcerers is a lesbian urban fantasy of smoldering shapeshifters, brooding demons, and the bloodthirsty mages who engage their services in both vengeance and lust.

Maria Ying is the penname for collaborating duo Devi Lacroix, who I do not know, and Benjanun Sriduangkaew, whose prose is always breathtaking. So I have high hopes for this one!

Will you be reading any of these? Let me know!

Leave a Reply

(Enter your URL then click here to include a link to one of your blog posts.)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.