Author of THE GRAVE TENDER and forthcoming THE UNREMEMBERED GIRL, Eliza Maxwell’s THE WIDOW’S WATCHER, about a woman who loses her entire family and is ready to end it all when an unlikely savior gives her reason to live again as she untangles the mystery of his children’s disappearance, to Chris Werner and Danielle Marshall at Lake Union Publishing, by Katie Shea Boutillier.
Spanish rights to Nalo Hopkinson’s Locus Award-winning BROWN GIRL IN THE RING, to Apache Libros, by Maru de Montserrat at International Editors in association with Katie Shea Boutillier and Michael Curry.
French rights to USA Today bestselling author Kaira Rouda’s forthcoming BEST DAY EVER, to Charleston Noir, a new imprint of Leduc, at auction, by Victoria Villemur at Anna Jarota Agency in association with Katie Shea Boutillier.
German renewal rights to New York Times bestselling author Jim Butcher’s CURSOR’S FURY and CAPTAIN’S FURY, the 3rd and 4th books in the Codex Alera series, to Blanvalet, by Bastian Schlück at the Thomas Schlück Agency in association with Jennifer Jackson.
German rights to NYT bestselling author Annika Martin’s “The Ski Mask,” to Lyx, by Julia Aumüller at Thomas Schlück Agency in association with Katie Shea Boutillier and Michael Curry.
Audio rights to Nebula-nominated Martha Wells’ ALL SYSTEMS RED and ARTIFICIAL CONDITION, the first two installments in The Murderbot Diaries, to Brian Sweany at Recorded Books, by Jennifer Jackson and Michael Curry.
UK rights to Emily Winslow’s LOOK FOR HER (previously titled STILL LIFE), her fourth Keene and Frohmann mystery novel set in Cambridge, a tightly wound story of psychological suspense about three woman whose lives collide when new evidence on a 40-year-old cold case comes to light, to Susie Dunlop at Allison and Busby for publication in fall 2017, by Cameron McClure.
B&N SFF Blog: This debut, out in June, has something for every SFF reader, and we’re not just saying that. It welds together urban fantasy, epic fantasy, horror, and science fiction in the futuristic South African city of Port Elizabeth. A hallucinogenic drug (possibly fueled by deific powers), a robot uprising, a little girl with every right to be angry at the world, and an ancient goddess looking to win followers and regain her rightful place in the world (that would be ruling it), even if it takes the blood and bone of all the humans around her to do it—Nicky Drayden is throwing everything at the wall, and you won’t believe how much of it sticks. The characters will enchant you, the bloodthirsty goddess and the closeted trans government official and the young queer boy and the gentle A.I. alike, and the vibrance of the setting and the velocity of the storytelling will knock your socks off. This novel is going to blow up. Pre-order it, and say you read it when.
Locus: What Bennett [has] delivered here is something along the lines of Neal Stephenson’s REAMDE: a brainy political thriller with non-mimetic trappings, an unnatural engine at its heart.
B&N SFF Blog: The sheer amount of work packed into in these books is staggering; in the two earlier novels, Bennet balanced frankly huge amounts of worldbuilding with intensely deep character studies, interrogated political, social, and economic effects between national powers on a global and divine scale, and puzzled together plots both micro and macro with what seems like relative ease. His novels are never anything less than perfectly oiled machines, moving between layers and levels of narrative with elegance and precision. Impossibly, the sheer weight on these books has increased with each new installment—and I’m not talking about page count. They just keep getting better as they go: their politics murkier, their plots more labyrinthine and compelling. This is epic fantasy on a whole new level.
Library Journal: Once a demigoddess of immense powers, Sydney schemes to return to her rightful place while working in a beauty salon in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. When she hears about a new street drug that produces vivid hallucinations and strange abilities, awakening slumbering godlike powers in humanity, she plots to use it to her advantage. Meanwhile, 16-year-old Muzi and his best friend (and tentative love interest) Elkin also try the drug. As Nomvula, a young Zulu girl in a nearby township, is coming into powers of her own, Muzi, along with a pop star, a cross-dressing politician, and a newly sentient AI, must stop Sydney before her reign of terror can really begin. Drayden’s first novel is set in a near future with personal robots, making the magical elements unusual yet effective.
VERDICT: Fans of Lauren Beukes and N.K. Jemisin will want to check out this winning mashup that mixes genres and moods with gleeful abandon, heralding a fresh new talent. It also has a truly fantastic cover.
B&N SFF Blog: Veteran fantasist Wells proves her sure hand at sci-fi as she imagines a future dominated by corporations, in which the twin imperatives of bureaucratic adherence to policies and the need to award all contracts to the lowest bidder result in every planetary mission being required to be accompanied by a company-supplied SecUnit, an artificially intelligent android built from cheap parts, and as likely to malfunction as all of the other shoddy equipment the expeditions are counting on to, oh, keep them breathing. The SecUnit narrating the story has hacked its own Governor Module, attaining sentience and free will; it would despise the humans it protects if it didn’t find them so boring, but it nevertheless refers to itself as Murderbot. When its humans are attacked by something outside of the experience provided by its data banks, however, Murderbot must turn its prickly, near-omniscient mind towards not just the survival of its humans, but itself. This slim read is both surprisingly funny and packed with intriguing future worldbuilding, all the more reason to celebrate the sequel due later in the year.
City of Blades, Robert Jackson Bennett (Broadway)
The Family Plot, Cherie Priest (Tor)
Ninefox Gambit, Yoon Ha Lee (Solaris US; Solaris UK)
Hammers on Bone, Cassandra Khaw (Tor.com Publishing)
“Foxfire, Foxfire,” Yoon Ha Lee (Beneath Ceaseless Skies 3/03/16)
“Our Talons Can Crush Galaxies,” Brooke Bolander (Uncanny 11-12/16)
“Afrofuturist 419,” Nnedi Okorafor (Clarkesworld 11/16)