Continuing on from last week, another list of amazing-sounding books out this month! These are all, in fact, being released tomorrow, so there’s still time to pre-order them. (Is there anything as wonderful as waking up to all the new books on your ereader? Maybe when the postperson hands you your hard copy…but the ebooks reach you faster!)
Anyway: onwards!The Burial Club (Love Has Claws, #2) by Parker Foye
on September 10th 2019
Genres: Fantasy, Queer Protagonists
Aggy Stephenson is a funeral bidder, hand-delivering invitations to funerals in the latest fashion among city elite. His work takes him to the house of Laurel St. John, a man as handsome as he is rich, and as frequently bereaved. Despite the circumstances of their meeting, Aggy quickly falls for Laurel's strange thrall. But they stand on either side of a barrier: wealth, status—and death.
Dilettante, socialite, and vampire, little surprises Laurel—until he meets Aggy. But Laurel isn't the only creature with his eye on Aggy, and not everyone is restricted to hunting at night. When Aggy misses a delivery, Laurel wonders if his love has tired of a life of darkness. Then Aggy's name appears on the list of the nearly departed intended for Laurel's plate, and the sun isn't enough to stop Laurel's wrath.
Can Aggy and Laurel keep walking the thin line between the living and the dead? Or will the city force them to choose between existence—and each other?
The Burial Club is the second story from Love Has Claws, a speculative romance trilogy linked by the town of Lastings. They are standalone stories, but your experience may be enhanced by reading Nine Years of Silver (Love Has Claws #1).
Content Warnings: bloody violence; on- and off-screen murder; vampire-specific dub con; death, grief, and mourning; past death of a sibling; vomiting; workplace harassment; abduction.
I want to draw special attention to Burial Club as it’s a self-published novella, and thus not getting nearly as much attention as it deserves! A standalone set in the same world as Nine Years of Silver, which I adored and reviewed (at the link) earlier this year, Burial Club promises us queer vampires, baking, and defenestration (aka, throwing someone out a window). What more could you ask for?
Seriously, I am so ridiculously excited to get back to this world and revel in Foye’s beautiful writing!A Choir of Lies by Alexandra Rowland
Representation: Queer Male Protagonist, Polyamory, Genderqueer author
Published by Gallery / Saga Press on 10th September 2019
Genres: Secondary World Fantasy, Queer Protagonists
A young storyteller must embrace his own skills—and the power of stories—to save a nation from economic ruin, in the standalone sequel to A Conspiracy of Truths.
Three years ago, Ylfing watched his master-Chant tear a nation apart with nothing but the words on his tongue. Now Ylfing is all alone in a new realm, brokenhearted and grieving—but a Chant in his own right, employed as a translator to a wealthy merchant of luxury goods, Sterre de Waeyer. But Ylfing has been struggling to come to terms with what his master did, with the audiences he’s been alienated from, and with the stories he can no longer trust himself to tell.
That is, until Ylfing’s employer finds out what he is, what he does, and what he knows. At Sterre’s command, Ylfing begins telling stories once more, fanning the city into a mania for a few shipments of an exotic flower. The prices skyrocket, but when disaster looms, Ylfing must face what he has done and decide who he wants to be: a man who walks away and lets the city shatter, as his master did? Or will he embrace the power of story to save ten thousand lives?
With a memorable cast of characters, starring a fan-favorite from A Conspiracy of Truths, and a timely message, Choir of Lies reminds us that the words we wield can bring destruction—or salvation.
This is a standalone sequel to Rowland’s debut, A Conspiracy of Truths. Conspiracy was the story of one of the last Chants – wandering storytellers, although that’s simplifying their role immensely – getting locked up and using the power of stories to get himself free. Again, that’s really simplifying matters, and although it sounds like you don’t need to have read Conspiracy to enjoy Choir, I think you’re missing out if you skip it.
Choir focuses on one of the secondary characters from Conspiracy; Ylfing, the Chant-apprentice of Conspiracy‘s main character. I got to attend a panel on hopepunk when I was at Worldcon, and Alexandra Rowland was one of the speakers (which is only appropriate, since she came up with the term): she made it very clear that this is a hopepunk fantasy, and like Conspiracy, Choir promises to be a story about stories, and how those stories create meaning. This is another book I can’t wait to pounce on!The Imaginary Corpse by Tyler Hayes
Published by Angry Robot on 10th September 2019
A dinosaur detective in the land of unwanted ideas battles trauma, anxiety, and the first serial killer of imaginary friends.
Most ideas fade away when we're done with them. Some we love enough to become Real. But what about the ones we love, and walk away from? Tippy the triceratops was once a little girl's imaginary friend, a dinosaur detective who could help her make sense of the world. But when her father died, Tippy fell into the Stillreal, the underbelly of the Imagination, where discarded ideas go when they're too Real to disappear. Now, he passes time doing detective work for other unwanted ideas - until Tippy runs into The Man in the Coat, a nightmare monster who can do the impossible: kill an idea permanently. Now Tippy must overcome his own trauma and solve the case, before there's nothing left but imaginary corpses.
File Unders: Fantasy [ Fuzzy Fiends - Death to Imagination - Hardboiled but Sweet - Not Barney ]
I’m actually reading this right now, since Angry Robot was kind enough to approve me for an ARC, and I have to say that I absolutely LOVE it. It’s exactly as charmingly oddball as it sounds, and so far it’s doing justice to the incredibly awesome premise. It’s also very modern in its feel; consent and personal pronouns are intrinsic to the Stillreal’s society, which I deeply appreciate. I’ll be reviewing this one when I’m done with it, hopefully in the next few days!The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow
Published by Redhook on 10th September 2019
In the early 1900s, a young woman embarks on a fantastical journey of self-discovery after finding a mysterious book in this captivating and lyrical debut.
In a sprawling mansion filled with peculiar treasures, January Scaller is a curiosity herself. As the ward of the wealthy Mr. Locke, she feels little different from the artifacts that decorate the halls: carefully maintained, largely ignored, and utterly out of place.
Then she finds a strange book. A book that carries the scent of other worlds, and tells a tale of secret doors, of love, adventure and danger. Each page turn reveals impossible truths about the world and January discovers a story increasingly entwined with her own.
Lush and richly imagined, a tale of impossible journeys, unforgettable love, and the enduring power of stories awaits in Alix E. Harrow’s spellbinding debut–step inside and discover its magic.
This is a book about a magic book. That’s it, that’s all I need to hear: I’m already sold.
No, but for real: various sources have assured me that there are also magic doors and word magic, and also THIS is a quote from it;
But you still know about Doors, don’t you? Because there are ten thousand stories about ten thousand Doors, and we know them as well as we know our names. They lead to Faerie, to Valhalla, Atlantis and Lemuria, Heaven and Hell, to all the directions a compass could never take you, to elsewhere. My father–who is a true scholar and not just a young lady with an ink pen and a series of things she has to say–puts it much better: “If we address stories as archaeological sites, and dust through their layers with meticulous care, we find at some level there is always a doorway. A dividing point between here and there, us and them, mundane and magical. It is at the moments when the doors open, when things flow between the worlds, that stories happen.”Alix E. Harrow, The Ten Thousand Doors of January
So there are also some pretty exciting Wayward Children vibes, and seriously, I am so sold.A Song for a New Day by Sarah Pinsker
Representation: wlw or F/F
Published by Berkley Books on 10th September 2019
Genres: Queer Protagonists
In this captivating science fiction novel from an award-winning author, public gatherings are illegal making concerts impossible, except for those willing to break the law for the love of music, and for one chance at human connection.
In the Before, when the government didn't prohibit large public gatherings, Luce Cannon was on top of the world. One of her songs had just taken off and she was on her way to becoming a star. Now, in the After, terror attacks and deadly viruses have led the government to ban concerts, and Luce's connection to the world--her music, her purpose--is closed off forever. She does what she has to do: she performs in illegal concerts to a small but passionate community, always evading the law.
Rosemary Laws barely remembers the Before times. She spends her days in Hoodspace, helping customers order all of their goods online for drone delivery--no physical contact with humans needed. By lucky chance, she finds a new job and a new calling: discover amazing musicians and bring their concerts to everyone via virtual reality. The only catch is that she'll have to do something she's never done before and go out in public. Find the illegal concerts and bring musicians into the limelight they deserve. But when she sees how the world could actually be, that won't be enough.
This book interests me for a number of reasons: I’m fascinated by what the future might look like, so it’s always fun to see what writers come up with on that score; the arts are very important to me, and the cultural value of music in general is something I love to explore; as someone with social anxiety, the idea of a society where we don’t have to gather in face-to-face groups is more than a little appealing, even though it’s clearly being presented as a dystopia here. (Which, fair enough: it’s one thing when you choose not to gather in groups, but it’s something else when a higher power makes gathering illegal.) It doesn’t hurt that the lead character is apparently queer, and may have a wlw romance arc.
I’m reminded both of Mira Grant’s Newsflesh series – which is also set in a future where people avoid gathering in groups, although for very different reasons – and the Coda series by Emma Trevayne, where music is also a central theme in a future dystopia. I guess we’ll see how they compare!Gideon the Ninth (The Ninth House, #1) by Tamsyn Muir
Representation: Sapphic Fem Leads
Published by Tor.com on 10th September 2019
Genres: Science Fantasy, Queer Protagonists
Gideon the Ninth is the most fun you'll ever have with a skeleton.
The Emperor needs necromancers.
The Ninth Necromancer needs a swordswoman.
Gideon has a sword, some dirty magazines, and no more time for undead bullshit.
Tamsyn Muir's Gideon the Ninth unveils a solar system of swordplay, cut-throat politics, and lesbian necromancers. Her characters leap off the page, as skillfully animated as necromantic skeletons. The result is a heart-pounding epic science fantasy.
Brought up by unfriendly, ossifying nuns, ancient retainers, and countless skeletons, Gideon is ready to abandon a life of servitude and an afterlife as a reanimated corpse. She packs up her sword, her shoes, and her dirty magazines, and prepares to launch her daring escape. But her childhood nemesis won't set her free without a service.
Harrowhark Nonagesimus, Reverend Daughter of the Ninth House and bone witch extraordinaire, has been summoned into action. The Emperor has invited the heirs to each of his loyal Houses to a deadly trial of wits and skill. If Harrowhark succeeds she will become an immortal, all-powerful servant of the Resurrection, but no necromancer can ascend without their cavalier. Without Gideon's sword, Harrow will fail, and the Ninth House will die.
Of course, some things are better left dead.
And last but certainly not least, one of the most hyped, most anticipated books of the year: Gideon the Ninth.
If that’s not all you need to know then I seriously cannot even.
That’s it from me! Now I shall go back to counting down the hours until tomorrow…