Booklist: The prolific Mohamed, one of the most unique and engaging voices in genre fiction, presents a dystopian sf thriller set in her home province of Edmonton, Alberta. A post–climate disaster has ravaged the landscape. Reid, the 19-year-old protagonist, carries a strange parasite that has startling relevance to both the ongoing global pandemic as well as the climate crisis. The horrifying aspects Mohamed expertly describes will burrow into the bones of the reader. Survival has not been easy, which is an understatement in this grim universe. Some readers may struggle at times with the scientific jargon, but that does not obscure what is a pulse-pounding, compelling narrative about an impossible chance Reid has in front of her. She can choose to go to it, but in doing so, she would abandon her mother, her friends, and the community in which she lives. Science-fiction and horror readers alike will enjoy Mohamed’s novel, which will appeal to fans of Jeff VanderMeer, Kameron Hurley, and Tochi Onyebuchi.
Sturgeon Award finalist Vajra Chandrasekera’s debut THE SAINT OF BRIGHT DOORS, a richly imagined postcolonial fantasy meeting at the point between THE NAME OF THE WIND and THE GOD OF SMALL THINGS, set in an unsane metropolis brimming with history that is on the verge of eruption, to Carl Engle-Laird at Tor.com, in a six-figure deal, in a three-book deal, for publication in winter 2023, by Michael Curry (world English).
Booklist: Khaw turns the haunted house trope on its head with her latest, after The All-Consuming World (2021). The story starts off with Cat, who is celebrating at a wedding party with friends. It doesn’t take long for the group to discover that what they think is going to be a night of fun and revelry will be the exact opposite. As Cat starts to recount a fairy tale, the house takes on a life of its own. One of Cat’s friends reminds her this is a giant mansion in the middle of nowhere full of dolls and creepy things and that certain danger awaits them. As fear begins to get the better of the characters, the veneers and façades they maintain start to crack. Cat’s emotional pain radiates from the pages, making the supernatural elements more tense and frayed as the tension mounts. If Guillermo del Toro directed The Ring, it might play out something like this engaging thriller. Japanese mythological creatures come to life in this dynamic, unique tale that will satisfy horror readers eager for fresh blood.
Maya has died and been resurrected into countless cyborg bodies through the years of a long, dangerous career with the infamous Dirty Dozen, the most storied crew of criminals in the galaxy, at least before their untimely and gruesome demise.
Decades later, she and her diverse team of broken, diminished outlaws must get back together to solve the mystery of their last, disastrous mission and to rescue a missing and much-changed comrade . . . but they’re not the only ones in pursuit of the secret at the heart of the planet Dimmuborgir.
The highly evolved AI of the galaxy have their own agenda and will do whatever it takes to keep humanity from ever regaining control. As Maya and her comrades spiral closer to uncovering the AIs’ vast conspiracy, this band of violent women—half-clone and half-machine—must battle their own traumas and a universe of sapient ageships who want them dead, in order to settle their affairs once and for all.
Welcome to The All-Consuming World, the debut novel of acclaimed writer Cassandra Khaw. With this explosive and introspective exploration of humans and machines, life and death, Khaw takes their rightful place next to such science fiction luminaries as Ann Leckie, Ursula Le Guin, and Kameron Hurley.
Best Science Fiction Novel
- Machine, Elizabeth Bear (Saga)
Best Fantasy Novel (Including Paranormal)
- Battle Ground, Jim Butcher (Ace)
Best Young Adult / Middle Grade Novel
- Elatsoe, Darcie Little Badger (Levine Querido)
Publishers Weekly: When this witty, energetic, and unabashedly odd thriller from Mamatas (Sabbath) begins, hack writer Mike Karras believes that he’s doing research for his crackpot publisher exploring a persistent delusion among witnesses to multiple different mass shootings: that the killer wasn’t the only one firing during the massacre, though no trace of a lurking accomplice—or mastermind—is ever found. The people Karras interviews, however, are absolutely convinced that another person was there behind the scenes, a human shape blurred like “heat shimmer.” Rahel Alazar, survivor of a mass shooting in an Ethiopian church in Berkeley, Calif., insists that God will protect truth tellers, but Karras isn’t reassured: the more he learns, the less he trusts the “truth,” as his computer is tampered with, his cell phone is compromised, and drones surveil his actions. Chris Bennett, host of a gonzo radio program that urges listeners to distrust every bit of news as a false flag, is the most obvious plotter to interfere with Karras’s quest; the novel’s final revelation, though, is much more disturbing. However readers feel about that conclusion, it’s a smart, scary, mind-boggling ride to get there.
Booklist: Mohamed (Beneath the Rising, 2020) offers a new novella with stunning artwork by illustrator Carly A-F. The story starts with a group of courtesans, led by the protagonist, Jewel, who work in a luxurious, high-end brothel. Mix in murder, a lust for revenge, living dead girls, and rituals in an abandoned church to create a unique, lyrical story: Mohamed is skilled at combining just the right ingredients in a recipe that makes for a gothic delight. The main characters exist in a futuristic dystopia where they oversee funerary processions and funerals that mostly happen at sunrise. As it turns out, our motley band of characters has some enemies and face danger from them, but will they be able to survive? While the novella is steeped in a Victorian, Picture-of-Dorian-Gray style, it reads smoothly and has a cinematic quality. It is a fast-paced tale that fans of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman graphic novels will enjoy. The lustrous prose and lush settings will also tantalize fans of Anne Rice.
Best Horror Novel (The August Derleth Award)
Beneath the Rising, Premee Mohamed (Rebellion)
Bulgarian rights to British Fantasy Award finalist Cassandra Khaw’s NOTHING BUT BLACKENED TEETH, to Ciela Norma, by Nada Popovic at Prava i prevodi in association with Michael Curry.
German rights to New York Times Bestselling author Jim Butcher’s and Evil Hat LLC’s Dresden Files RPG Accelerated to Dominik Pielarski at Polyarchische Bruderschaft der Schwarzen Bibliothek by Jennifer Jackson.
German rights to New York Times bestselling author Tamsyn Muir’s HARROW THE NINTH, the second book in the Locked Tomb series, to Heyne, by Sarah Knofius at the Thomas Schlueck Agency in association with Michael Curry for Jennifer Jackson.
Portuguese rights to New York Times bestselling author Anne Bishop’s THE QUEEN’S WEAPONS, the latest book in her Black Jewels series, to Saída de Emergência, by Amaiur Fernández at International Editors’ Co. in association with Michael Curry for Jennifer Jackson.
Russian rights to Katherine Addison’s THE GOBLIN EMPEROR and THE WITNESS FOR THE DEAD, to AST, by Igor Korzhenevski at Alexander Korzhenevski Agency, on behalf of Katie Shea Boutillier for Cameron McClure.
Spanish rights to Nnedi Okorafor’s short story SACRED FIRE, to Crononauta, by Amaiur Fernanadez at International Editors, on behalf of Katie Shea Boutillier for Donald Maass.