9 August 2022 – Locus Online

Adlakha, Sarah: Midnight-on-the-Marne

(Tor/Forge 978-1-250-77459-0, $26.99, 368pp, formats: hardcover, ebook, audio, August 9, 2022)

Alternate history/time loop fantasy novel. A soldier’s action changes the outcome of WWI, and he gets a chance to go back and set things right.

Chu, Wesley: The Art of Prophecy

(Penguin Random House/Del Rey 978-0-593-23763-2, $28.99, 544pp, formats: hardcover, ebook, audio, August 9, 2022)

Fantasy novel, the first book in the War Arts Saga trilogy, about what happens when a prophesied hero is not the chosen one after all—but still has to try to save the kingdom anyway.

Dahlin, Allyson: Cake Eater

(HarperTeen 978-0-06-309677-6, $18.99, 464pp, formats: hardcover, ebook, audio, August 9, 2022)

Young-adult SF novel reimagining the life of Marie Antoinette in 3070.

Dean, Sunyi: The Book Eaters

(Tor 9781250810182, $26.99, 304pp, formats: hardcover, ebook, audio, August 2, 2022)

Dark fantasy novel about people who eat books and take in the content as they do so. Devon, raised on women’s fare of fairytales and cautionary stories, has a son who hungers for human minds.

Hossain, Rockaya: Sultana’s Dream and Padmarag

(Penguin Random House/Penguin Classics 9780143137054, $15.99, 240pp, formats: trade paperback, ebook, audio, August 9, 2022)

Omnibus of two feminist SF utopian stories by a pioneering feminist in India at the beginning of the 20th century. Sultana’s Dream is about a Muslim woman in early 20th century India, who falls asleep and wakes in a future where men, not women, run the home; novella “Padmarag” is a feminist and anti-colonial tale about a women-run school and welfare center.

Howes, Katelyn Monroe: The Awoken

(Penguin Random House/Dutton 978-0-593-18528-5, $26.49, 416pp, formats: hardcover, ebook, audio, August 9, 2022)

Dystopian SF novel. A cryogenically preserved woman wakes up 100 years later and discovers she’s illegal, brought by an underground militia fighting for the rights of the Awoken.

Jamnia, Naseem: The Bruising of Qilwa

(Tachyon Publications 978-1-61696-378-1, $15.95, 176pp, formats: trade paperback, ebook, August 9, 2022)

Fantasy novel. A nonbinary refugee practitioner of blood magic discovers a strange disease causing political rifts.

The Bruising of Qilwa is the first novel by non-binary Persian-American author Naseem Jamnia, who last year received the first Samuel R. Delany Fellowship, sponsored by CatStone Books, to recognize SFF writers from “a community that has been traditionally marginalized in speculative fiction,” according to their website.

—Gary K. Wolfe locationJuly 2022

Levin, Adam: Mount Chicago

(Penguin Random House/Doubleday 978-0-385-54824-3, $30.00, 592pp, formats: hardcover, ebook, audio, August 9, 2022)

Grimly humorous metafictional novel about being survivors. A giant sinkhole swallows much of Chicago, leading a Jewish writer/comedian and his most-devoted fan of him to become involved with the mayor’s plan for a music festival to aid recovery efforts, interspersed with asides from the author.

Lewis, Britney: The Undead Truth of Us

(Disney/Hyperion 978-1-368-07583-1, $17.99, 368pp, formats: hardcover, ebook, audio, August 9, 2022)

Young-adult zombie horror novel. Teen Black dancer Zharie sees her mother de ella turn into a zombie and die.

Marshall, Kate Alice: These Fleeting Shadows

(Penguin Random House/Viking 978-0-593-40511-6, $18.99, 368pp, formats: hardcover, ebook, audio, August 9, 2022)

Young-adult horror novel with a queer romance, about a young woman who will inherit a fortune if she can stay at the ancestral home, Harrowstone Hall, a place that haunts her dreams.

Modesitt, LE, Jr.: counselor

(Tor 978-1-250-81445-6, $29.99, 528pp, formats: hardcover, ebook, audio, August 9, 2022)

Gaslamp political fantasy novel, second in The Grand Illusion series. Amid growing social unrest, one new councilor is an Isolate, invulnerable to the empaths. Dodging assassination attempts, he works toward needed political reform.

Penelope, Leslie: The Monsters We Defy

(Orbit US/Redhook 978-0-316-37791-1, $17.99, 384pp, formats: trade paperback, ebook, audio, August 9, 2022)

Historical fantasy novel set in 1925 Washington, DC. A woman able to communicate with spirits must assemble a ragtag crew to pull off a daring heist to save her community.

Porter, Brielle D.: Jester

(CamCat Books 9780744305586, $19.99, 320pp, formats: hardcover, ebook, audio, August 9, 2022)

Young-adult fantasy novel. Liesette’s father was executed for assassinating the king, leaving her alone, disgraced, and without the magic she was supposed to inherit.

Robson, Kelly: High Times in the Low Parliament

(Tordotcom 978-1-250-82302-1, $14.99, 160pp, formats: trade paperback, ebook, audio, August 9, 2022)

Historical fantasy novella set in a magical 18th-century London with flirtatious scribes, irritable fairies, and endless debates at Parliament, where a hung vote will cause Parliament to flood and the return of endless war.

It could be that what modern fantasy needs, from time to time, is a good jolt of old-fashioned goofiness. Few ideas I’ve seen recently are as goofy as the notion of trying to weave a romantic fairy fantasy around the struggles of a legislative body that can’t get anything done because of arcane voting procedures. This is basically the premise of Kelly Robson‘s delightful High Times in the Lower Parliament, set in an alternate London of what appears to be the early 18th century.

—Gary K. Wolfe locationJuly 2022

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