May 232017
 

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.

May 182017
 

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.

May 172017
 

Congratulations to the DMLA authors whose work was named a finalist for a 2017 Locus Award!

FANTASY NOVEL
City of Blades, Robert Jackson Bennett (Broadway)

HORROR NOVEL
The Family Plot, Cherie Priest (Tor)

FIRST NOVEL
Ninefox Gambit, Yoon Ha Lee (Solaris US; Solaris UK)

NOVELLA
Hammers on Bone, Cassandra Khaw (Tor.com Publishing)

NOVELETTE
“Foxfire, Foxfire,” Yoon Ha Lee (Beneath Ceaseless Skies 3/03/16)

SHORT STORY
“Our Talons Can Crush Galaxies,” Brooke Bolander (Uncanny 11-12/16)
“Afrofuturist 419,” Nnedi Okorafor (Clarkesworld 11/16)

May 112017
 

Publishers Weekly: This stunning sequel to the Hugo-and Nebula-nominated Ninefox Gambit contains a satisfying mixture of interstellar battles, politics, intrigue, and arcane technology.

The Hafn have invaded Hexarchate territory, and the Hexarchate military Kel Command have resorted to deploying a human weapon to take control of the response force. He is the resurrected General Shuos Jedao, and he has possessed the body of Kel infantry captain Ajewen Cheris. After subduing and releasing Lieutenant Colonel Brezan, who tries to resist him, Jedao goes rogue, still fighting the Hafn but also pursuing his own agenda. Brezan is promoted to the rank of high general and sent back to retake control of the fleet with the assassin Tseya, a member of the diplomatic Andan faction. In the background, Hexarch Shuos Mikodez maneuvers his faction’s intelligence-gathering forces; meanwhile, the leader of another faction has disappeared, and his replacement offers immortality to her peers.

With multiple characters skilled in deception, Lee is able to keep readers guessing at Jedao’s goals until the end. He never explains the Hexarchate’s “calendrical technology,” but readers who don’t mind being dropped in the deep end will savor this brilliantly imagined tale.

May 082017
 

DMLA congratulates Yoon Ha Lee! Cover for Yoon Ha Lee's Ninefox Gambit.Yoon Ha Lee’s NINEFOX GAMBIT (already a nominee for this year’s Hugo and Nebula Awards) is one of six finalists for the Arthur C. Clarke Award!

May 042017
 

Congratulations to Robert Jackson Bennett and Martha Wells on City of Miracles and All Systems Red being May picks for Amazon’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Books of the Month list!

May 032017
 

B&N SFF Blog: The landmark 20th Liaden Universe novel finds Theo Waitley, bonded to the sentient starship Bechimo, seeking an escape from the hordes of people who wish to kill her, seize her vessel, and arrest more or less her entire crew. The Bechimo suggests a vacation of sorts in “safe space.” But that safety falls into immediate question when the walls between universes and times grow thin, and things start leaking through-­including entire starships. One, a battle-scarred relic from an ancient, doomed war, is crewed by Theo’s own ancestors ­and they could use some help in the survival department. The anomalous scenario gives Theo serious choices to make, transforming the “safe space” into something much more perilous­ and much more adventurous.

May 022017
 

A murderous android discovers itself in All Systems Red, a tense science fiction adventure by Martha Wells that interrogates the roots of consciousness through Artificial Intelligence.

In a corporate-dominated spacefaring future, planetary missions must be approved and supplied by the Company. Exploratory teams are accompanied by Company-supplied security androids, for their own safety.

But in a society where contracts are awarded to the lowest bidder, safety isn’t a primary concern.

On a distant planet, a team of scientists are conducting surface tests, shadowed by their Company-supplied ‘droid — a self-aware SecUnit that has hacked its own governor module, and refers to itself (though never out loud) as “Murderbot.” Scornful of humans, all it really wants is to be left alone long enough to figure out who it is.

But when a neighboring mission goes dark, it’s up to the scientists and their Murderbot to get to the truth.

May 022017
 

A series milestone as we welcome the twentieth amazing entry in the nationally best-selling Liaden Universe series.

The luck runs rough around Theo Waitley. Not only are people trying to kill her and capture the self-aware intelligent ship Bechimo to whom Theo is bonded, they’re also trying to arrest her crew members, and throw the dignity of an important passenger, the duly-constituted norbear ambassador Hevelin, into question.

No wonder Theo and her crew felt the need of a break, and retired to what Bechimo refers to as “safe space.” Unfortunately, safe space may not be so safe, anymore.  It seems that things are leaking through from another universe, and another time. In fact, whole spaceships are coming through.  One of those ships is a blasted battleship seemingly fleeing a long-lost war. What’s more, its crew may be members of Theo’s ancient ancestral line—her relatives. It’s certain that they are in dire need of help. Theo has a choice to make. It seems that Bechimo’s “safe space” is about to become deadly perilous.