Booklist: In Harrison’s (Demons of Good and Evil, 2023) new urban-fantasy series, Petra Grady is just a sweeper, specializing in collecting the magical waste, or dross, left behind when mages cast light spells. Like many sweepers, she has no talent for magic and is looked down upon by most of the mages as a result. As one of the best sweepers on the mages’ university campus, she’s assigned to help former classmate Benedict Strom’s research project. When the research goes terribly wrong, Benedict and Petra have to find Herm Ivaros, an exile accused of using dross to cast spells during a campus incident that resulted in the death of Petra’s father. Herm reveals that the mages’ legends are filled with lies, deliberately crafted to discourage sweepers from becoming weavers and casting spells with shadows, and that Petra, like her father, is a weaver, and a group of magical-conspiracy theorists intends to stop her. Like Harrison’s Hollows series, this first book in the Shadow Age series is action packed and will leave readers eagerly awaiting the next.
Library Journal: Recently dumped by her boyfriend and fired, Anna, a Kurdish refugee, already has enough to deal with before her close encounter with the wounded alien on her kitchen floor. Being that he’s an officer in the Joint Special Operations Command, Erik’s life mission is to bring order to chaos, and he’s sorely tested as he investigates what appears to be an alien starship. Clayton schemes in the background, willing to do anything to protect humanity. Hostile first contact brings these characters together, and then it’s a race against the clock to prevent nuclear Armageddon. Violent, vivid, vicious—this is an innovative military, sci-fi thriller that is equal parts action and introspection. It’s conceptually profound and touches upon many ethical and metaphysical subjects, including a peek into Zoroastrianism and a unique interpretation of souls. This doesn’t necessarily make for easy reading, but there’s no denying the intelligence in the writing. VERDICT This stand-alone story from Dickinson (The Tyrant Baru Cormorant) thrives on the unexpected, and while the characters aren’t necessarily likable, the way they wrestle with doing the right thing versus doing the hard thing is authentic and thought-provoking.
Library Journal: Magic users may be able to manipulate light energy, but dross—the waste left behind—is something few consider or deal with. This is where sweepers, people who can handle dross without its bad luck effects or development into the more dangerous shadow, come in, and Petra Grady is one of the best sweepers in St. Unoc. Working at the university has its perks, but when Doctor Benedict Sexy—er, Strom—wants Petra to help with a research project to render dross harmless, she knows it is the wrong decision. A horrible accident forces Petra and Benedict to go on the run, and Petra may find that her talent goes much farther than as a cleaner. Plus everything she knows about dross and shadow may be wrong. The story pace speeds along, and the twists of discovering who are friends or foes will keep readers guessing. Note that the novel includes the death of a pet. VERDICT Harrison’s (Demons of Good and Evil) new series has the same delightfully wry heroine her fans expect to see, along with an intriguing new magic system.
Library Journal: This collection contains Bishop’s (The Queen’s Price) previously published flash fiction and short stories, along with a handful of new tales. Bishop has organized her stories based on theme and provides a short introduction to each section. Her notes about the stories are intimate and often set the scene for the upcoming titles. The stories themselves consist mostly of high fantasy or dystopian science fiction and include much of her early fiction, fairy-tale retellings, and some stand-alone stories. While Bishop includes a few stories set in the worlds of her beloved series (“Black Jewels,” “A Novel of the Others”), readers can also expect a wide variety of new worlds that still contain the familiar themes of feminine power and justice. The book will likely hook her tried-and-true fans with extra stories from her successful series, but this collection’s strength lies in its other tales, with “Friends and Corpses” being the highlight.
VERDICT Recommended for fans who are curious about Bishop’s journey as a writer and are interested in reading about the inspiration and motivation behind her stories.
Congratulations to our clients appearing on the Locus 2023 Recommended Reading List!
NOVELS – SCIENCE FICTION
- System Collapse, Martha Wells (Tordotcom)
NOVELS – FANTASY
- Witch King, Martha Wells (Tordotcom)
NOVELS – HORROR
- The Reformatory, Tananarive Due (Saga; Titan UK)
- The Saint of Bright Doors, Vajra Chandrasekera (Tordotcom)
- The Wishing Pool and Other Stories, Tananarive Due (Akashic)
- No One Will Come Back For Us, Premee Mohamed (Undertow)
- Skin Thief, Suzan Palumbo (Neon Hemlock)
- The Salt Grows Heavy, Cassandra Khaw (Nightfire; Titan UK)
- Hybrid Heart, Iori Kusano (Neon Hemlock)
- The Navigating Fox, Christopher Rowe (Tordotcom)
- “At Every Door a Ghost”, Premee Mohamed (Communications Breakdown)
- “Ivy, Angelica, Bay“, C.L. Polk (Tor.com 12/8/23)
- “Those Hitchhiking Kids“, Darcie Little Badger (The Sunday Morning Transport 4/2/23)
- “Suppertime”, Tananarive Due (New Suns 2)
- “Homewrecker“, E. Catherine Tobler (Apex 11/21/23)
Bookpage: Dickinson’s obsession with detail greatly enriches the atmosphere of Exordia, which rockets across many points of view and locations as various team members look for clues to unravel the mystery. Dickinson has crafted a number of very human stories in a book ostensibly about aliens. Trauma, morality in the face of disaster, forgiveness, guilt, lost love and the bond between parents and children all find their way to the page.
…there’s no question that it will be many sci-fi fans’ favorite book of the year, especially those willing to surrender to it, and be consumed.
Also, author Seth Dickinson gives a full Q&A in Bookpage regarding EXORDIA that you don’t want to miss!
French rights to Martha Wells’ SYSTEM COLLAPSE, the newest installment in the New York Times bestselling Murderbot Diaries series, to L’Atlante, by Sarah Dray at Anna Jarota Agency in association with Michael Curry for Jennifer Jackson.
German rights to New York Times bestselling author Martha Wells’ SYSTEM COLLAPSE, the seventh installment in the Murderbot Diaries series, to Heyne, by Sarah Knofius at the Thomas Schlueck Agency in association with Michael Curry for Jennifer Jackson.
German rights to USA Today bestselling author Cassandra Khaw’s HAMMERS ON BONE and A SONG FOR QUIET, to Buchheim Verlag, by Sarah Knofius at the Thomas Schlueck Agency for Michael Curry.
Italian rights to New York Times bestselling author Martha Wells’ WITCH KING and CITY OF BONES, to Ne/oN Libris, by Stefania Fietta at Donzelli Fietta Agency in association with Michael Curry for Jennifer Jackson.
Italian rights to Katherine Addison’s THE GOBLIN EMPEROR, to Marco Rana at Edizione E/O, by Stefania Fietta at Donzelli Fietta, on behalf of Katie Shea Boutillier, for Cameron McClure.
Polish rights to New York Times bestselling author Martha Wells’ NETWORK EFFECT, the fifth book in The Murderbot Diaries, to MAG Jacek Rodek, by Milena Kaplarević at Prava i prevodi in association with Michael Curry for Jennifer Jackson.
Portuguese rights to New York Times bestselling author Martha Wells’ ALL SYSTEMS RED, the first book in The Murderbot Diaries, to Relogio d’Agua, by Amaiur Fernández at International Editors Co. in association with Michael Curry for Jennifer Jackson.
A most anticipated book of 2024 according to Goodreads, LitHub, and The New Scientist
“Anna, I came to Earth tracking a very old story, a story that goes back to the dawn of time. It’s very unlikely that you’ll die right now. It wouldn’t be narratively complete.”
Anna Sinjari—refugee, survivor of genocide, disaffected office worker—has a close encounter that reveals universe-threatening stakes. Enter Ssrin, a many-headed serpent alien who is on the run from her own past. Ssrin and Anna are inexorably, dangerously drawn to each other, and their contact reveals universe-threatening stakes.
While humanity reels from disaster, Anna must join a small team of civilians, soldiers, and scientists to investigate a mysterious broadcast and unknowable horror. If they can manage to face their own demons, they just might save the world.
Scientific American: In Seth Dickinson’s 2015 debut novel, The Traitor Baru Cormorant, a fiercely willful woman from a colonized island plots her revenge against a brutal empire. This fascination with weighing the value of specific lives against a greater good also powers his new book, a mind-shredding first-contact epic. A spaceship or weapon or something has appeared in Kurdistan, where its mysteries get puzzled over by a sprawling cast. There are nukes, alien brain locks, intergalactic warfare and a scope that keeps expanding long after the stakes seem clear. This thrilling novel grips hardest when Dickinson’s characters must reason through the science of seemingly impossible phenomena. —Alan Scherstuhl
Author of LONG PAST DUES, James J. Butcher sold two new novels in the Unorthodox Chronicles, continuing the misadventures of Grimshaw Griswald Grimsby. To be released in 2025 and 2026. Executive Editor Anne Sowards at Penguin Random House / Ace acquired world rights in a six-figure deal negotiated by Jennifer Jackson.