link salad (client edition)

* There are only a couple more days to get StoryBundle’s Urban Fantasy bundle, which includes Elizabeth Bear’s Whiskey and Water (a Promethean Age book) and Jim Butcher’s Working for Bigfoot (three never-before-collected short cases from the Dresden Files).

* Congratulations to Mary Robinette Kowal for her nomination in the inaugural Voice Arts Awards in the category of Outstanding Audio Book Narration – Author Performance for her work on the audio book of Valour and Vanity.

* Read Saladin Ahmed’s short story about Islam and knights and allegorical poetry, Without Faith, Without Law, Without Joy.

* SF Signal interviews Martha Wells about the Raksura and her Three Worlds Universe: “I wanted to do something that was very different from my other books. I wanted a world where, as the characters traveled through it, the reader would have no idea what was over the next hill. I wanted scope to do things I hadn’t ever done before with magical cities, characters, and environments.”

* Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files: Ghoul Goblin comic series is now available in collected electronic form. It’s also available for purchase in physical form at your favorite local comics shop, Dynamite.com, and various online retailers through the Jim-Butcher.com store.

happy release day!

Today is the official release date for the new novel in Mike Shepherd’s best-selling Kris Longknife series: Tenacious.

There’s no rest for a Longknife—even if you’re a newlywed. Vice Admiral Kris Longknife’s honeymoon gets cancelled when she hears that the space raider’s home world may have been discovered. Finding where the raiders came from could be the key to saving humanity. If only uncovering their secrets was that easy.

As Kris returns home, she ends up tangling with a mutinous crew determined to take off on their own. The dissident group leads Kris straight into a new mess—a system filled with strange, deadly enemies poised to wipe another sentient civilization out of existence. Kris and her squadron are ready to prevent total annihilation, but the mutineers have other plans

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Also, now out in paperback Star Wars: Razor’s Edge by Martha Wells.

Times are desperate for the Rebel Alliance. Harassment by the Empire and a shortage of vital supplies are hindering completion of a new secret base on the ice planet Hoth. So when Mid Rim merchants offer much-needed materials for sale, Princess Leia Organa and Han Solo lead an Alliance delegation to negotiate a deal.

But when treachery forces the rebel ship to flee into territory controlled by pirates, Leia makes a shocking discovery: the fierce marauders come from Leia’s homeworld of Alderaan, recently destroyed by the Death Star. These refugees have turned to pillaging and plundering to survive—and they are in debt to a pirate armada, which will gladly ransom the princess to the vengeful Empire . . . if they find out her true identity.

Struggling with intense feelings of guilt, loyalty, and betrayal, Leia is determined to help her wayward kinspeople, even as Imperial forces are closing in on her own crippled ship. Trapped between lethal cutthroats and brutal oppressors, Leia and Han, along with Luke, Chewbacca, and a battle-ready crew, must defy death—or embrace it—to keep the rebellion alive.

release day!

Today is the official release date for The Last Plane to Heaven: The Final Collection by Jay Lake.

The prolific Lake’s death in 2014, after a long, harrowing, and very public battle with cancer, gives extra weight to these 32 epitaphs. Lake’s command of language is strong and sincere, and his stories of everyday heartaches, filled with secret fears and self-delusion, whisk readers from inner geographies of mind to limitless gulfs of space. Lake’s characters emotionally embody the doomed heroism of Nordic gods sneering at grim fates, finding bittersweet redemption in dark byways of human ignorance. Reality is shattered when an alien controls a hardened mercenary’s dreams in the darkly romantic “Last Plane to Heaven: A Love Story.” Cynical humor greets oblivion in “The Speed of Time.” In surprisingly intelligent space opera (“Permanent Fatal Errors”) and a visit to the City Imperishable (“Promises”), revelations eschew oversentimentality for moral complexity. “Such Bright and Risen Madness in Our Names” injects pathos into the Cthulhu mythos, questioning identity and raising hackles. Malevolent faeries face metaphysical annihilation in a dying young woman’s cancer cells in “Her Fingers Like Whips, Her Eyes Like Razors.” And in “The Cancer Catechism,” Lake discovers faith in the inevitability of death. As he states, “In the end, words are all that survive us”; his fans and friends may find some comfort in the hope that his words will live on forever. — Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

happy release day!

priest-maplecroftToday is the official release date for Cherie Priest’s Maplecroft, the first in an exciting new series from the author of Boneshaker.

Lizbeth “Lizzie” Andrew Borden wields her axe against Lovecraftian entities in this terrifying and powerful series launch by fan favorite Priest (the Clockwork Century series). Two years after Lizzie infamously slew her mother and stepfather, she and her consumptive, scholarly older sister, Emma, remain in their hometown of Fall River, Mass., in an isolated and modified home called Maplecroft. Lizzie spends countless hours in her basement laboratory, trying to understand what transformed the Bordens into horrifying creatures, while protecting and caring for Emma and conducting a love affair with actress Nance O’Neil. Then Emma, who poses as “Dr. E.A. Jackson” to contribute to the men-only world of science, sends a biological sample to colleague Phillip Zollicoffer at Miskatonic University, with terrible consequences. Readers will be intrigued by the weird monsters and 19th-century science, but the story is really carried by the characters’ emotional dynamics, especially those between the Borden sisters. — Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

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wells-storiesofraksuravol1The ebook and audiobook of Martha Wells’ Stories of the Raksura: Volume One: The Falling World & The Tale of Indigo and Cloud also drops today with the print version shipping later this month. Pre-order here.

Two novellas and two short stories expand the setting of Wells’s dreamlike fantasy novels. In “The Falling World,” a vanished envoy triggers a diplomatic crisis between two courts, and investigation reveals a long-forgotten tragedy. “The Tale of Indigo and Cloud” sets two queens against each other, with an unhappy consort as the prize. Familiar characters appear in “The Forest Boy,” a prequel to The Cloud Roads that examines a brief encounter between Moon and forest dwellers, and “Adaptation,” in which Chime deals with an unwanted transformation and its disquieting implications. Wells is adept at suggesting a long, complex history for her world with economy, and, while her protagonists may not be human as we understand it, they are definitely people, sympathetic figures constrained but not defeated by their environments. Longtime fans and new readers alike will enjoy Wells’s deft touch with characterization and the fantastic. — Publishers Weekly

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Also now available in paperback: Kalimpura by Jay Lake

In this introspective sequel to Green and Endurance, Lake continues the tale of Green, a former courtesan and assassin now attempting to settle down following the birth of her twins. Unfinished business and old enemies take Green and her allies back to the city of Kalimpura, where she must keep a low profile while trying to find two kidnapped girls. However, discretion is difficult with multiple gods taking interest in her doings and several factions out for her blood. There’s something both uplifting and melancholy in this fantasy adventure’s tone, which 16-year-old Green narrates with a world-weary old soul’s experience, emotional weight hanging from every page. Thoughtful fantasy readers will appreciate Green’s newfound perspective and the lush details derived from a mixture of Eastern cultures, as well as the sheer audacity of a killer bisexual nonwhite teen mom protagonist. The pace drags occasionally, but it’s worth it in the long run. –Publishers Weekly

happy release day!

Today is the official release date for Herb of Grace by Adina Senft, launching a brand new trilogy!

Senft is a talented author and her research on various herbs is a welcome surprise to readers. The story incorporates facts about herbs, what each of them can be used for and what will happen if used incorrectly. This sweet romance has a believable storyline with a lot of heart.

Amish widow Sarah Yoder knows her herbs, but she’s hesitant to work with the local Amish. Instead, she wants to concentrate on her two sons, whom she fears will soon leave the nest and leave her all alone. Henry Byler is back in Willow Creek only because he’s inherited the family farm. He left the Amish a long time ago. Should he stay in town and try to make a living with his pottery, or sell the property and go back to the world he’s been living in? Sarah and Henry share a common bond and help each other get over their fears, but will it be enough for them to see the true path God has planned for them? — RT Book Reviews, 4 stars