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Newsletter :: August 2022

Review: Third Instar by David Gullen

Third Instar by David Gullen cover imageDavid Gullen's Third Instar was published by Eibonvale Press (it's the 7th chapbook the Eibonvale Chapbook Line).

About David Gullen:

SFF writer and editor, current Chair of the Milford SF Writer's Conference, and past judge for the James White and Arthur C. Clarke Awards.

Click here to visit his official website.

About Third Instar:

Mazehew didn’t like the Grand Parade where the kite-men flew beyond the Edge. He didn’t like the sky beyond the railings, a sky that reached up and out and also down. He didn’t like the utter absence of ground inches from his feet, the way the blue air faded to stars in the evening, up and out and also down. Most of all he didn’t like how the Edge made him feel – small, like nothing. Insignificant.

Third Instar is a vivid, evocative and ultimately dreamlike fantasy novella set in a city on the edge of the world in the most profound sense – a city filled with colour and life, against which David Gullen creates a beautifully universal tale of romance and almost mythical loss.

REVIEW: THIRD INSTAR BY DAVID GULLEN

Review: Star-Spawned: Lovecraftian Horrors & Strange Stories by Mark Howard Jones

Star-Spawned by Mark Howard JonesMark Howard Jones' Star-Spawned: Lovecraftian Horrors & Strange Stories was published by Macabre Ink in March 2022.

About Star-Spawned: Lovecraftian Horrors & Strange Stories:

In these twenty tales of the weird and twisted you will visit temples dedicated to the worship of dark gods spawned under the diseased light of long-dead stars; find yourself lost in damned places where truth and sanity vanish like mist in sunlight; meet strangers who make you pray that all you think you know is wrong; and discover that love is really just another gateway to unending despair.

You may even find confirmation of the dreadful fact that you are what you always feared you might be.

REVIEW: STAR-SPAWNED: LOVECRAFTIAN HORROR & STRANGE STORIES BY MARK HOWARD JONES

New Releases
Master of Furies (The Firemane Saga #3)
Master of Furies
(The Firemane Saga #3) by Raymond E. Feist
July 5, 2022 | fantasy > high fantasy

From King of Ashes to Queen of Storms, it's all built up to this--the thrilling conclusion to legendary New York Times bestselling author Raymond E. Feist's epic Firemane saga.

War has swept across Marquensas. Ruthless raiders have massacred the inhabitants of Beran's Hill, including Gwen, the beloved wife of Declan Smith. Hollow of heart, his hopes burned to ashes, Declan swears to track down and destroy the raiders, an ambition shared by Baron Daylon Dumarch, whose family was massacred as they fled the capital.

Meanwhile Hava, whose gift for piracy has seen her acquire the treasure ship Borzon's Black Wake and the swift Azhante sailing vessel, Queen of Storms, and won her the name of "the Sea Demon," is closing in on the whereabouts of those who unleashed the murderous hordes.

Her husband, Hatushaly, the last remaining member of the ruling family of Ithrace, the legendary Firemanes, seeks to control the magical powers he has inherited. He is able now to visualize and even travel among the filaments of energies that power all existence: the furies. But will he be able to channel his magic in time to combat the deepest, darkest threat the world of Garn has ever faced?

A Prayer for the Crown-Shy (Monk & Robot #2)
A Prayer for the Crown-Shy
(Monk & Robot #2) by Becky Chambers
July 12, 2022 | science fiction

After touring the rural areas of Panga, Sibling Dex (a Tea Monk of some renown) and Mosscap (a robot sent on a quest to determine what humanity really needs) turn their attention to the villages and cities of the little moon they call home.

They hope to find the answers they seek, while making new friends, learning new concepts, and experiencing the entropic nature of the universe.

Becky Chambers's new series continues to ask: in a world where people have what they want, does having more even matter?

Just Like Home
Just Like Home
by Sarah Gailey
July 19, 2022 | horror, thriller

Just Like Home is a darkly gothic thriller from nationally bestselling author Sarah Gailey, perfect for fans of Netflix's The Haunting of Hill House as well as HBO's true crime masterpiece I'll Be Gone in the Dark - with a twist ending that no one can predict.

Vera is used to ignorning calls from strange numbers - after all, reporters looking for a scoop on her serial killer father have been ramping up their efforts as the twenty-year anniversary of his arrest approaches. But she really shouldn't have picked up the phone this time, since now she'll have to do something she hasn't ever done: return to the house her father built.

Her childhood home is a notorious burial ground but also the heart of Vera's warm memories of her then-idolized and beloved father. Now it is a living tomb for her long-estranged, dying mother.

It's hard enough for Vera to even be there, but to make things worse, someone (or something) is stalking her, leaving creepy notes in her father's handwriting and painting fake blood all over the porch. And that's not the only unwelcome guest - a parasitical artist with delusions of granduer has moved into her mother's guest house, oozing charm and stinking of his own plans.

But there are more secrets in the foundations of the notorious Crowder House, and no one could have forseen how this last confrontation would end....

The Law (Dresden Files #17.5)
The Law
(Dresden Files #17) by Jim Butcher
July 5, 2022 | fantasy > urban fantasy

A novella. Dust jacket and interior illustrations by Vincent Chong.

Set in the months following the apocalyptic events of Battle Ground, the seventeenth novel in the worldwide bestselling Dresden Files, this powerful new novella by Jim Butcher finds wizard and Winter Knight Harry Dresden mourning incalculable losses.

The Law, though, in no way recounts the quiet period of reflection that Harry needs, no matter how much he deserves such. Taking on what at first seems to be a much smaller case than any he’s worked in years, the world’s only consulting wizard soon finds himself facing enemies far more powerful than the “invincibly stupid” pimp his client is meeting in court. And not the Unseelie Court or any of the other supernatural governing bodies Harry is used to dealing with, but a “real life” court of law in magic-wrecked Chicago.

The pimp, it turns out, is a minion of an old enemy and erstwhile ally of Harry’s and is thus under potent magical protection. Through a series of literally explosive events, Harry must depend on the cooperation and help of friends, enemies, queens, demigods, and even apparently everyday denizens of Chicago, such as one lawyer who may be more than he seems, and another who is definitely more than he seems.

Used to taking worldly and supernatural laws into his own hands, in this novella Harry’s potent abilities may not prove to be enough to right a simple wrong. Instead, he must depend on his canniness, his wits, and his friends if he wants to see justice done.

The Law is the latest entry in Jim Butcher’s Hugo-nominated Dresden Files, which have been thrilling readers for over twenty years. The series of novels and other novellas describe a secret world behind our own, one that threatens reality at every turn, but which at every turn finds a staunch defender: Harry Dresden.

Darius (Black Dagger Brotherhood #0.5)
Darius
(Black Dagger Brotherhood) by J. R. Ward
July 19, 2022 | fantasy, romance > paranormal romance

In this powerful audio exclusive, #1 New York Times bestseller J.R. Ward shares the star-crossed love story of reader favorite, and original member of the Black Dagger Brotherhood, Darius.

Darius, son of Marklon, isn’t looking for love the night destiny comes to claim him. He’s also not interested in crashing his new car. But when a human woman runs out into the road and he must swerve to avoid killing her...everything goes off course.

Disillusioned by his King’s lack of leadership and the losses in the war against the Lessening Society, Darius finds purpose in protecting a woman he cannot make his own. Love finds a way, however—until the truth of what he is comes out and she leaves him in horror.

Unbeknownst to them both, Anne is carrying his young, a female who is destined to be Queen—and after a tragic reunion, he vows to protect their daughter. Resigned to perpetual sadness, he is determined to serve the memory of his beloved no matter the cost...unless by some miracle, fate sees fit to once again bring them together.

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Coming This Month
Eversion
Eversion
by Alastair Reynolds
August 2, 2022 | science fiction

From the master of the space opera, Alastair Reynolds, comes a dark, mind-bending SF adventure spread across time and space, Doctor Silas Coade has been tasked with keeping his crew safe as they adventure across the galaxy in search of a mysterious artifact, but as things keep going wrong, Silas soon realizes that something more sinister is at work, and this may not even be the first time it's happened.

In the 1800s, a sailing ship crashes off the coast of Norway. In the 1900s, a Zepellin explores an icy canyon in Antarctica. In the far future, a spaceship sets out for an alien artifact. Each excursion goes horribly wrong. And on every journey, Dr. Silas Coade is the physician, but only Silas seems to realize that these events keep repeating themselves. And it's up to him to figure out why and how. And how to stop it all from happening again.

Ruthless (Immortal Enemies #2)
Ruthless
(Immortal Enemies #2) by Gena Showalter
August 9, 2022 | fantasy, romance > paranormal romance

Forbidden. Powerful. Ruthless. 

Micah the Unwilling, fae King of the Forgotten, can tame even the most violent of beasts. Forged on the battlefield, this iron-willed warrior considers his soldiers his family, and he will stop at nothing to reclaim their dispossessed land. Gearing for war with a sadistic enemy, he is disciplined and focused—until a feral beauty he encountered long ago wanders into his camp. 

Viori de Aoibheall wields a terrifying ability to sing monsters to life. Having spent her childhood in a forest, raising herself and her frightening creations—the only friends she’s ever known—she’s ill prepared for the scarred royal and his fearsome brutality. Not to mention the ferocity of their connection and the carnality of his touch. But the real problem? Her brother is Micah’s greatest foe. And though the sensual king makes her burn, she must stop him, whatever the cost.

Soul Taken (Mercy Thompson #13)
Soul Taken
(Mercy Thompson #13) by Patricia Briggs
August 23, 2022 | fantasy > urban fantasy, romance > paranormal romance

Mercy Thompson, car mechanic and shapeshifter, must face her greatest fears in this chilling entry in the #1 New York Times bestselling series.

The vampire Wulfe is missing. Since he’s deadly, possibly insane, and his current idea of “fun” is stalking Mercy, some may see it as no great loss. But when he disappears, the Tri-Cities pack is blamed. The mistress of the vampire seethe informs Mercy that the pack must produce Wulfe to prove their innocence, or the loose alliance between the local vampires and werewolves is over.

So Mercy goes out to find her stalker—and discovers more than just Wulfe have disappeared. Someone is taking people from locked rooms, from the aisles of stores, and even from crowded parties. And these are not just ordinary people but supernatural beings. Until Wulfe vanished, all of them were powerless loners, many of whom quietly moved to the Tri-Cities in the hope that the safety promised by Mercy and Adam’s pack would extend to them as well.

Who is taking them? As Mercy investigates, she learns of the legend of the Harvester, who travels by less-trodden paths and reaps the souls that are ripe with a great black scythe. . . .

A Taste of Gold and Iron
A Taste of Gold and Iron
by Alexandra Rowland
August 30, 2022 | fantasy > historical fantasy, romance

“A delicious tangle of romance, fealty, and dangerous politics.”—Tasha Suri

The Goblin Emperor meets "Magnificent Century" in Alexandra Rowland's A Taste of Gold and Iron, where a queer central romance unfolds in a fantasy world reminiscent of the Ottoman Empire.

Kadou, the shy prince of Arasht, finds himself at odds with one of the most powerful ambassadors at court—the body-father of the queen's new child—in an altercation which results in his humiliation.

To prove his loyalty to the queen, his sister, Kadou takes responsibility for the investigation of a break-in at one of their guilds, with the help of his newly appointed bodyguard, the coldly handsome Evemer, who seems to tolerate him at best. In Arasht, where princes can touch-taste precious metals with their fingers and myth runs side by side with history, counterfeiting is heresy, and the conspiracy they discover could cripple the kingdom’s financial standing and bring about its ruin.

Ruby Fever (Hidden Legacy #6)
Ruby Fever
(Hidden Legacy #6) by Ilona Andrews
August 23, 2022 | fantasy > urban fantasy, romance > paranormal romance

#1 New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrews is back with the newest book in the exciting Hidden Legacy series—the thrilling conclusion to her trilogy featuring fierce and beautiful Prime magic user Catalina Baylor.

An escaped spider, the unexpected arrival of an Imperial Russian Prince, the senseless assassination of a powerful figure, a shocking attack on the supposedly invincible Warden of Texas, Catalina’s boss... And it’s only Monday.

Within hours, the fate of Houston—not to mention the House of Baylor—now rests on Catalina, who will have to harness her powers as never before. But even with her fellow Prime and fiancé Alessandro Sagredo by her side, she may not be able to expose who’s responsible before all hell really breaks loose.

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