Tag Archives: reading list

The SF Bluestocking Summer 2017 Reading List Wrap-Up

So, 2017 is a year that just keeps happening, whether we want it to or not, and it’s now the end of summer. I didn’t read nearly as much as I’d have liked, and I certainly fell very short of all my writing goals, but it hasn’t been a total disaster, either. The things I did manage to read were mostly good, and there were some real standouts in basically every category. Here are my favorites.

Best Fantasy Novel – The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin

To say N.K. Jemisin stuck the landing on this series is really an understatement; though, like the previous book, it doesn’t quite match the sheer sublime brilliance of The Fifth Season, this novel is nonetheless stratospherically fantastic, and if the Broken Earth trilogy doesn’t become a bonafide classic the genre, there really is no justice in the world. It’s a thoughtful, inventive and compulsively readable story, with strong world-building, a powerful message (or, rather, several) and a pair of iconic lead characters in Essun and her daughter Nassun.

Best Science Fiction Novel – Null States by Malka Older

I’m torn between being sad that I waited so long to read Infomocracy and its sequel and being happy that I was able to read them one right after the other (though that brings me back round to sad again that I’ve now got another full year before the next book comes out). As good as Infomocracy was, I think Null States is definitely the stronger book of the pair, and a lot of that is because of its main heroine, Roz, who was a minor character in the first book but moves to the forefront in this one, where she proves herself to be smart, tough, resourceful and empathetic. While these books have been described by some as “dystopian,” I disagree that the word applies to them at all. Personally, I found the series compelling, insightful and, above all, optimistic about the future.

Best Novella – The Black Tides of Heaven by JY Yang

Both installments of JY Yang’s new novella duology from Tor.com are well worth reading, and I can’t wait to read more books set in the Tensorate universe, but The Black Tides of Heaven is a perfectly conceived and executed introduction to an intricately lovely and highly entertaining new fantasy setting. The twins Mokoya and Akeha are well drawn and fully realized characters, the world in which they exist feels real and lived-in, and the conflict between magic and technology is both epic in scale and deeply personal to the characters. Also, just look at that gorgeous book cover. One of the best of the year, full stop.

Best Novelette – “Avi Cantor Has Six Months to Live” by Sacha Lamb

This sweet and tenderly charming novelette features a pair of trans boys, their loving families and a just enough magic to scootch the story into the category of fantasy, though one could make the argument that it’s more in magical realism territory. What I loved about i, though, is that it’s a story that is kind to its characters. Avi has troubles, but he’s also surrounded by people who care about him and wish him well. He’s going to be okay, and that’s nice.

35649628Best Magazine – FIYAH Literary Magazine, Issue 3, “Sundown Towns”

I am still slightly bummed that this issue didn’t have a vampire story in it, but it does have “The Last Exorcist” by Danny Lore, which is one of my favorite stories of 2017 so far. “Cracks” by Xen is another stand-out tale. It’s also got another incredible cover by Geneva Benton, whose vision for the magazine’s first year has gone a long way towards helping to establish the publication’s unique and distinctive identity. FIYAH just keeps getting better and better.

Best Comic – Monstress, Volume 2: The Blood

Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda continue to make magic together in this second collection, which includes issues seven through twelve. After the somewhat unrelenting darkness of Volume One, I was pleased that this one at least slightly less brutal. Volume 2 brings us a bunch of new characters and greatly expands upon the world introduced in the first volume over the course of a quest story line that enhances the overall epic feel of the series. Plus, the book itself is a thing of pure beauty; Sana Takeda’s sumptuous artwork for the series is as marvelously detailed and layered as its ever been, and every page is a joy to look at.

Best Non-SFF Read – What Happened by Hillary Clinton

Listen, I love and admire Hillary Clinton so much, and I don’t think I’ll ever not be incandescently furious that this woman isn’t our President. Her campaign memoir is every bit as erudite, well-researched, and thoughtfully put together as you would expect from Clinton’s public persona, and it’s also wryly funny and full of personal quirks and tics that provide a fuller picture than perhaps ever before of the real woman behind that public persona. I know I’m going to still be angry about the Trump administration and worried for the future of this country and the whole world for a long time, but reading this book is something of a healing experience, if only because it’s reassuring to know, well, what happened.

Best Awesome Super Hero Romance Novel – Heroine Worship by Sarah Kuhn

I binged this title and its predecessor, Heroine Complex, back to back over like a day and a half, and I loved every single minute of them. They’re whip-smart, funny, fast-paced and slightly sexy, but the real draw, for me, was the strong focus on the friendship relationship between Annie and Aveda. Each of the books is as much coming-of-age story as it is romance, and I loved reading about how these women level up together and learn to have a healthy adult friendship with each other.

Honorable Mentions:

  • The Red Threads of Fortune by JY Yang
    It’s got a lot of the same great stuff that its partner book has, but also dinosaurs.
  • Uncanny Magazine #18, Sept/Oct 2017
    This issue has a Catherynne M. Valente-penned Clockwork Orange and Cthulhu Mythos mashup.
  • A Taste of Marrow by Sarah Gailey
    More hippos, but also better character arcs and a more satisfying ending than River of Teeth.
  • An Oath of Dogs by Wendy N. Wagner
    Great worldbuilding and an interesting main idea.
  • The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter by Theodora Goss
    I love monstrous women. This one fooled me a little with its cover, which looked a bit more literary than its contents turned out to be, but it’s a great read.
  • Provenance by Ann Leckie
    Ann Leckie is one of my favorite authors of space opera right now.
  • Jane, Unlimited by Kristin Cashore
    This is a very weird book, and I don’t think it was entirely successful, but I still kind of loved it.

The SF Bluestocking 2017 Fall Reading List

It’s that time again, where I grossly/awesomely overestimate the number of books and other things I’ll be able to read in the next three months, plus include a few things I almost certainly won’t get around to reading but that I still think other folks should read and tell me about.

One thing you may notice right off is that I’m not really reading YA any longer. I’m sure it’s a temporary thing, but I just haven’t gotten into any of the YA releases that were on my radar this year, so in the interest of not stressing myself out when I fail to get around to them, I’m just not even including them. It’s just been so long since I’ve really wanted to read anything YA, and there’s so much other great stuff coming out over the next three months (well, the next couple months, since December is an especially sparse time for SFF releases this year) that I just haven’t even been paying much attention to what’s coming out for teens.

The rest of 2017 is pretty heavily front-loaded with new releases. with eight titles I’m excited about coming out just on October 3 and several more Tuesdays in October and November with two to five releases. However, there’s nothing on my calendar past December 5, so I expect to be doing a lot of catching up on things that month, since on average I’m reading just a couple books a week and there’s a lot of stuff I’m excited about this fall.

Tor.com Publishing

I’ve, kind of necessarily, relaxed my stance on reading every single Tor.com release over the last few months, skipping a couple of titles that didn’t appeal to me or that were part of series that I haven’t begun yet, but the next couple months are full of books that I’m looking forward to.

  • The Murders of Molly Southbourne by Tade Thompson – 10/3
  • A Long Day in Lychford by Paul Cornell – 10/10
    I’ve loved both of Paul Cornell’s previous Lychford novellas. The first, in particular, was a great seasonally appropriate read around this time a couple years ago, and I’m making sure to save this one for a crisp evening with a blanket a nice hot cup of tea or several.
  • Six Months, Three Days, Five Others by Charlie Jane Anders – 10/17
    I’ve read All the Birds in the Sky and enjoyed some of Anders’ other short fiction (her story in the John Joseph Adams anthology, Cosmic Powers, was fantastic), so I’m pretty hyped for this collection, each story of which is totally new to me.
  • Weaver’s Lament by Emma Newman – 10/17
    The sequel to Brother’s Ruin, which was a charming gaslamp fantasy.
  • Switchback by Melissa F. Olson – 10/24
  • The Sisters of the Crescent Empress by Leena Likitalo – 11/7
    I already read an advance copy this book right after I read The Five Daughters of the Moon, and it’s a beautiful conclusion the the duology.
  • Gluttony Bay by Matt Wallace – 11/7
    I’m certain that this penultimate Sin du Jour novella is going to be delicious.
  • Mandelbrot the Magnificent by Liz Ziemska – 11/14
    I haven’t been lucky enough to get my hands on an advance copy of this title, but it’s probably the Tor.com release I’m most looking forward to this fall aside from Gluttony Bay. Certainly, it’s the most ambitious and unique sounding thing on their schedule in the next three months.
  • Starfire: Shadow Sun Seven by Spencer Ellsworth – 11/28
    Spencer Ellsworth’s Starfire trilogy is exactly the sort of high energy retro space opera adventures I want to be reading these days. Highly recommend.
Magazines
Anthologies and Collections
  • Where the Stars Rise: Asian Science Fiction and Fantasy edited by Lucas K. Law and Derwin Mak – 10/8
    I will have a review of this anthology and possibly an interview with the editors coming out prior to its release date, but I’ll say here that you definitely want to read this book. Plus, a portion of the proceeds from its sales benefits Kids Help Phone, a Canadian counselling hotline for children.
  • The Emerald Circus by Jane Yolen
    A collection of retold classics and fairy tales from a great author.
  • Mad Hatters & March Hares edited by Ellen Datlow
    An anthology of stories inspired by Wonderland.
Non-Fiction

From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death by Caitlin Doughty – 10/3
I’ve been watching Caitlin Doughty’s YouTube channel (Ask a Mortician) for years, and I loved her first book, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes and Other Lessons from the Crematory. I’ve also been following her work with the death acceptance organization The Order of the Good Death for years, so I am super excited to read this new book about death traditions from cultures around the world.

Fiction
  • The Tiger’s Daughter by K. Arsenault Rivera – 10/3
  • Akata Warrior by Nnedi Okorafor – 10/3
    The long-awaited sequel to Okorafor’s 2011 YA novel, Akata Witch.
  • The Bloodprint by Ausma Zehenat Khan – 10/3
  • Under the Pendulum Sun by Jeannette Ng – 10/3
    Early reviews of this gothic fantasy seem promising.
  • An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon – 10/3
  • Star Wars From a Certain Point of View – 10/3
    40 popular authors (seriously, all my current faves are in here) telling 40 stories from the points of view of 40 different minor characters in the Star Wars Universe. It’s gonna be awesome.
  • The Stone in the Skull by Elizabeth Bear – 10/10
    The start of a new epic fantasy series in the same world as her Eternal Sky trilogy.
  • La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman – 10/19
    The first in a new prequel/sequel trilogy set in the world of His Dark Materials.
  • The Beautiful Ones by Silvia Moreno-Garcia – 10/24
  • The Tethered Mage by Melissa Caruso – 10/24
  • Magic of Wind and Mist by Cassandra Rose Clarke – 10/24
    An omnibus reprint of a duology.
  • Barbary Station by R.E. Stearns – 10/31
    This book had me at “lesbian space pirates.”
  • Terminal Alliance by Jim C. Hines – 11/7
  • Jade City by Fonda Lee – 11/7
  • Artemis by Andy Weir – 11/14
  • The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty – 11/14
  • Creatures of Will and Temper by Molly Tanzer – 11/14
  • Beyond the Empire by K.B. Wagers – 11/14
  • Winter of Ice and Iron by Rachel Neumeier – 11/21
  • Winterglass by Benjanun Sriduangkaew – 12/5
    Benjanun Sriduangkaew still needs to put out a collection of her short fiction, but I guess a queer take on the Snow Queen in novella form will have to do. (I’m so excited.)
  • The Will to Battle by Ada Palmer – 12/5
    The Terra Ignota series continues.
  • A War in Crimson Embers by Alex Marshall – 12/5
  • Persepolis Rising by James S.A. Corey – 12/5
    I mean, I still need to finish reading all the previous books, but I’m still looking forward to this one.

The SF Bluestocking 2017 Summer Reading List

It’s that time again, where I list all the things I wish I could be more certain I would have time and energy to read over the coming months. July, August and September are full of exciting new releases, a little light on sci-fi and heavier on fantasy than my recent tastes have been, but exciting nonetheless. Here’s what’s on my radar for the rest of the summer.

Tor.com Publishing

As always, I plan to read most of what Tor.com will be publishing. I always enjoy their novellas, though I will be skipping a couple of novels that are sequels in series I haven’t read yet (unless I somehow manage to read the rest of their respective series). Probably the titles I’m most looking forward to from Tor.com right now are that pair of JY Yang novellas at the end of September, but I’m also really hoping to finally get around to reading Infomocracy so I can read Null States when it comes out. I am bummed that there’s not another Sin du Jour book until November, though.

  • The Ghost Line by Andrew Neil Gray and J.S. Herbison – 7/11
    The concept on this one is a little ho hum, but I’m always down for another short space opera.
  • The Delirium Brief by Charles Stross – 7/11
    I won’t be reading this one because it’s about eight books deep into a series I haven’t read and am not interested in reading back that many books to get into.
  • The Five Daughters of the Moon by Leena Likitalo – 7/25
  • The Lamb Will Slaughter the Lion by Margaret Killjoy – 8/15
    “…pits utopian anarchists against rogue demon deer” is relevant to all of my interests.
  • Starfire: A Red Peace by Spencer Ellsworth – 8/22
  • A Song for Quiet by Cassandra Khaw – 8/29
  • The Ruin of Angels by Max Gladstone – 9/5 
    I keep trying, anytime I have downtime, to get into the Craft Sequence, but I’ve been unsuccessful so far. I’m not sure if I want to just skip this one or give up on reading the earlier ones and just start here since my understanding is that The Ruin of Angels stands alone just fine.
  • Acadie by Dave Hutchinson – 9/5
  • Taste of Marrow by Sarah Gailey – 9/12
    We seem to be living in an age of sequels surpassing their predecessors, so I have high hopes for this title.
  • The Twilight Pariah by Jeffrey Ford – 9/12
  • Null States by Malka Older – 9/19
    will finish Infomocracy in time to read this before release.
  • The Red Threads of Fortune by JY Yang – 9/26
  • The Black Tides of Heaven by JY Yang – 9/26

Magazines

  • FIYAH Literary Magazine, Issue 3, SUNDOWN TOWNS – 7/1
    Every issue of FIYAH is more beautiful than the one before. Just look at this gorgeous cover. I’m not familiar with any of the names on the table of contents for this one, but that only makes it more exciting.
  • Uncanny Magazine #17, July/August 2017
    I’ve already got my hands on Uncanny #17 because I’m a Kickstarter backer, and even though I haven’t dug into it yet, I can already tell it’s going to be a-MAZING. You can see the cover and table of contents at the Uncanny blog.
  • Uncanny Magazine #18, September/October 2017
  • POC Take Over Fantastic Stories
    This is, as far as I know, the final issue ever of Fantastic Stories of the Imagination, guest edited by Nisi Shawl and overflowing with stuff I am looking forward to reading.

Anthologies

2017 has been a year of trying to read more short fiction, and with that in mind I backed several anthologies on Kickstarter in the last year or so that should be coming out in the next couple of months.

  • Evil is a Matter of Perspective: An Anthology of Antagonists edited by Adrian Collins – Currently available.
    I backed this on Kickstarter because it sounded fun. The final product is a little white-dude-heavy, but I’m thinking it will work well for some light-ish reading at some point
  • Hath No Fury edited by Melanie R. Meadors and J.M. Martin – August?
    There’s not a firm release date for this Kickstarted anthology but I’m thinking mid-to-late summer.
  • Strange California edited by Jaym Gates and J. Daniel Blatt – August?
    Another kickstarted anthology with an interesting theme. I’m not from California, but my partner lived in the Bay Area for years and he was pretty interested in this book for that reason. I was excited because I’ve enjoyed stuff Jaym Gates has edited before and Strange California has a promising table of contents.
  • 2084: A Science Fiction Anthology from Unsung Stories – July?
    Another Kickstarted title with a great table of contents, although reading about dystopias gets less appealing all the time these days.
  • Sunvault: Stories of Solarpunk and Eco-Speculation edited by Phoebe Wagner and Brontë Christopher Wieland – 8/29
    I cannot wait to find out what solarpunk and eco-speculation are all about. And look at that gorgeous cover art by Likhain!

Comics and Graphic Novels

  • Victor LaValle’s Destroyer
    I’ll be buying and reading issues more or less as they are released.
  • Monstress, Volume 2: The Blood by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda – 7/11
    Hands down the trade I’m most excited for this year.
  • Angel Catbird, Volume 3: The Catbird Roars by Margaret Atwood, Johnny Christmas and Tamra Bonvillain – 7/4
    I believe this will wrap up the series.

Books

  • An Oath of Dogs by Wendy Wagner – 7/4
  • At the Table of Wolves by Kay Kenyon – 7/11
  • Bearly a Lady by Cassandra Khaw – 7/18
    I will likely be reading all the novellas and short fiction the Book Smugglers publish this year.
  • The Library of Fates by Aditi Khorana – 7/18
    I’m not reading much YA these days, but this one sounds good.
  • Sovereign by April Daniels – 7/25
    I really enjoyed Dreadnought earlier this year, but I may have to be in the right mood for this one. I’ve gone off super heroes a bit lately.
  • Strange Practice by Vivian Shaw – 7/25
  • Noumenon by Marina J. Lostetter – 8/1
  • The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin – 8/15
    The final book in Jemisin’s Broken Earth trilogy. Much anticipated.
  • The Glass Town Game by Catherynne M. Valente – 9/5
    This is a middle grade novel, which chills my interest in it a tiny bit, but I think I will always read literally everything Catherynne Valente publishes.
  • Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust – 9/5
    I’m always down for retold fairy tales, and this one is getting some excellent early reviews from people I trust.
  • An Excess Male by Maggie Shen King – 9/12
  • Shadowhouse Fall by Daniel José Older 9/12
  • Autonomous by Annalee Newitz – 9/19
  • Jane, Unlimited by Kristin Cashore – 9/19
    I’ve loved Kristin Cashore since I first read Graceling years ago, and it’s been far too long since I’ve gotten to read anything new by her. I’m still holding out hope for more Graceling Realm books, but this will definitely do in the meantime.
  • Provenance by Ann Leckie – 9/26
    New Ann Leckie. In the same universe as her Imperial Radch trilogy. I am stoked.
  • An Unkindness of Magicians by Kat Howard – 9/26
    This might be my favorite book cover of the season.
  • An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson – 9/26

The SF Bluestocking Spring Reading List

I try to keep my reading lists realistic, but the next couple of months have a frustratingly uneven distribution of books I’d like to read. For one thing, I’m usually only getting through two books or magazines a week, and there are several weeks coming up that have four to six new releases that I’m looking forward to. While having access to advance copies lets me get a head start on things, the truth is that there’s just (always, natch) far more great fiction being produced and published than I’m physically capable of reading and writing about. So this is really more of a wishlist of all the fiction coming out in April, May and June that I would read if I could.

Tor.com Publishing

I generally make an effort to read all of Tor.com’s novellas because they’re inexpensive and the variety encourages me to read things I might not normally give a chance to. I’ve also really fallen in love with the novella length; it’s long enough to feel like a book, but short enough to make for quick reading. Here’s what they’ve got coming out over the next three months.

  • Winter Tide by Ruthanna Emrys (4/4)
    This is actually a short novel, and I’m sadly thinking of skipping it in spite of having been sitting on an eARC of it for months. While it’s been well-reviewed, it’s yet another Lovecraftian book, and, frankly, I’m just Lovecraft-ed out right now.
  • Proof of Concept by Gwyneth Jones (4/11)
  • Buffalo Soldier by Maurice Broaddus (4/25)
    I’m still slowly making my way through Broaddus’s recent short story collection, Voices of Martyrs, but I’m really looking forward to this title.
  • All Systems Red by Martha Wells (5/2)
  • Killing Gravity by Corey J. White (5/9)
  • Greedy Pigs by Matt Wallace (5/16)
    On the one hand, I’m thrilled about a new Sin du Jour book. On the other hand, I’m already sad that there’s only two more coming after this one.
  • River of Teeth by Sarah Gailey (5/23)
    This book had me at “bloodthirsty feral hippos” and “mercenary cowboys.”
  • Lightning in the Blood by Marie Brennan (5/30)
    A sequel to last year’s Cold-Forged Flame.
  • Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire (6/13)
    A prequel companion to last year’s Every Heart a Doorway.
  • Mapping the Interior by Stephen Graham Jones (6/20)

Magazines

  • FIYAH Literary Magazine, Issue Two, Sipping Tea (4/1)
    I loved the first issue of FIYAH, and I have every expectation that their second issue will be excellent as well.
  • Uncanny Magazine #16 (May/June 2017)
  • Lightspeed Magazine #82, #83, #84
    My free three month subscription runs out in May, and I still haven’t gotten around to reading the March issue, just for time-constraint reasons. It’s a great magazine, and I’m hoping to get around to it, but there’s just so much else out there that I want to read.
  • Fireside Fiction
    I highly recommend supporting Fireside on Patreon so you, too, can get a convenient digital format of what they publish each month.

Comics and Graphic Novels

I had a couple of things on my winter reading list that would have been nice to read but that I never got around to. However, these are must-reads.

  • Ladycastle #2 (3/29)
  • Saga, Volume 7 (4/4)
  • Bitch Planet, Volume 2: President Bitch (5/31)
    The publication date on this has moved several times, so I may just end up grabbing the single issues.
  • Monstress, Volume 2: The Blood (6/6)

Books

  • She-Wolf and Cub by Lilith Saintcrow (3/28)
    My current read.
  • The House of Binding Thorns by Aliette de Bodard (4/4)
  • Red Sister by Mark Lawrence (4/4)
    I feel like Mark Lawrence’s work before now has been exactly the sort of thing I like to avoid, but this new series has a girl protagonist who has been compared to Arya Stark. That still puts it in the category of things I like to avoid, but Lawrence is a popular author and YOLO, so I’m thinking of trying this one out just in case I’m not going to hate it.
  • Spindle Fire by Lexa Hillyer (4/11)
  • So You Want to Be a Robot and Other Stories by A. Merc Rustad (May)
    I just discovered Rustad’s work last year, and they’ve quickly become one of my favorite short fiction writers, so I’m super excited for this release. You can pre-order it from Lethe Press now.
  • Final Girls by Seanan McGuire
  • A Tyranny of Queens by Foz Meadows (5/2)
  • A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas (5/2)
  • Wicked Wonders by Ellen Klages (5/2)
    Klages’ Tor.com novella, Passing Strange, was wonderful, so I’m looking forward to checking out more of her short fiction.
  • The Radium Girls by Kate Moore (5/2)
    I don’t read nearly as much non-fiction as I ought or as I’d like, but I’m pretty excited about this book.
  • The Guns Above by Robyn Bennis (5/9)
  • Behind the Mask: A Superhero Anthology edited by Tricia Reeks and Kyle Richardson (5/16)
  • The Refrigerator Monologues by Catherynne M. Valente (6/6)
    I would read a phone book if Catherynne M. Valente wrote it.
  • Raven Strategem by Yoon Ha Lee (6/13)
    Sequel to last year’s excellent Ninefox Gambit.
  • The Changeling by Victor LaValle (6/13)
  • The Space Between the Stars by Anne Corlett (6/13)
  • The Prey of Gods by Nicky Drayden (6/13)
    One of my most anticipated debuts of the year.
  • The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter by Theodora Goss (6/20)
  • The Waking Land by Callie Bates (6/27)
  • Amatka by Karin Tidbeck (6/27)

The SF Bluestocking 2017 Winter Reading List

I know it’s a little bit past the actual beginning of winter, but I think from now on I’m just going to break these seasonal reading lists up into more or less three month time periods and name them for the closest corresponding season. It’s just not practical to try and do a full year’s worth of books that I’m excited about, even in January, especially when there are plenty of still-to-be-announced releases for later in the year that I don’t even know about yet. So, this list will get you (and me) through March.

Magazines
I’m starting this year off with magazine subscriptions for the first time in many years. (Like, now that I think about it, I think the last time I regularly read any magazine was Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Fantasy Magazine back in the early ’90s. Yikes.) Here’s what I’m definitely reading (and recommending, natch) in the first few months of 2017:

Tor.com Novellas and Short(-ish) Novels
I plan to continue reading all of these as they are published (or as ARCs if I am lucky and they show up on NetGalley). I know I’ve been full of praise for the last couple of years for Tor.com’s novellas, but I still basically love them. The novella length (and price!) is great for quick reading, and Tor.com publishes a great variety of new and established authors in a good mix of subgenres that offers plenty that I like and enough stuff outside my usual comfort zone to keep things interesting and challenging. After 2016, there are a couple of authors that I will be avoiding in the future because I just don’t care for their books at all, but other than that I expect to keep on reading these faithfully. The first quarter of 2017 has quite a lot to be excited for.

  • Dusk or Dawn or Dark or Day by Seanan McGuire – January 10
  • Sin du Jour: The First Course by Matt Wallace – January 10 (Contains books 1-3 of the series. I probably won’t be rereading it, but if you haven’t read it at least once, you should.)
  • The Fortress at the End of Time by Joe M. McDermott – January 17
  • Passing Strange by Ellen Klages – January 24
  • Binti: Home by Nnedi Okorafor – January 31
  • Idle Ingredients by Matt Wallace – February 7
  • An Impossible War by Andy Remic – February 14 (This is one I’ll be skipping, but it’s surely a better fit for someone.)
  • Cold Counsel by Chris Sharp – February 21
  • Agents of Dreamland by Caitlin R. Kiernan – February 28
  • Standard Hollywood Depravity by Adam Christopher – March 7
  • Brother’s Ruin by Emma Newman – March 14
  • Chalk by Paul Cornell – March 21

2017-winter-tor

Everything Else
Everything else obviously is the majority of what I’ve got on my TBR list. There are a handful of things here that I’m not 100% sure about, but in order to hit my Goodreads challenge numbers I’ll have to get through most of these. I hope I can, because there’s a ton of great stuff coming out over the next couple of months.

  • Difficult Women by Roxane Gay – January 3
  • Windwitch by Susan Dennard – January 10
  • The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden – January 10
  • Kindred: A Graphic Novel Adaptation by Octavia E. Butler, John Jennings (Illustrator), Damian Duffy (Adapted by) – January 10
  • Dreadnought by April Daniels – January 24
  • Six Wakes by Mur Lafferty – January 31
  • Crossroads of Canopy by Thoraiya Dyer – January 31
  • Amberlough by Lara Elena Donnelly – February 7
  • The Stars are Legion by Kameron Hurley – February 7
  • Miranda and Caliban by Jacqueline Carey – February 14
  • Angel Catbird Volume 2: To Castle Catula by Margaret Atwood and Johnny Christmas – February 14
  • Seven Surrenders by Ada Palmer – February 21
  • Hunger Makes the Wolf by Alex Wells – March 7
  • The Djinn Falls in Love and Other Stories edited by Mahvesh Murad and Jared Shurin – March 14

2017-winter-novels

What to Read and Watch While Leaves Are Falling

Sure, I already published a fall reading list that should keep me very busy until 2017, but this is my favorite time of year. I just had a birthday (Thirty-four, eek!), the leaves are changing, the nights are getting slightly chilly (at least here in southwest Ohio), and I’m in the mood for comfort reading and watching some fall favorites. For me, that mostly means witches, obviously, though there are a few other things on here that are just more generally fall-feeling.

What are you reading and watching as the weather changes?

Stories to Pair With Pumpkin Spice Everything (Don’t Judge Me):

Witches of Lychford by Paul Cornell
I read this little gem when it came out last September, and I fell in love with it. It’s a nice, seasonally appropriate read, and Cornell has a sequel–the more wintry The Lost Child of Lychford–coming out November 1 from Tor.com. If you haven’t read Witches, now is a perfect time to enjoy it. If you have read it, it’s a perfect time to refamiliarize yourself with it ahead of its sequel.

Of Sorrow and Such by Angela Slatter
This is another of the 2015 Tor.com novellas; it’s another witch story; and it’s another great read. While you’re at it, check out her recent short story at Tor.com, “Finnegan’s Field,” which is a good, creepy changeling tale. I haven’t gotten around to reading Slatter’s couple of short story collections, yet, but her 2016 novel, Vigil, is definitely on my to-read list.

The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins
This is a book that I also read last September and really wished that I’d saved it for another month or so. It’s dark and funny and just a little scary, a great book if you’re like me and don’t usually like straight up horror but still want to get into the spirit of Halloween.

Monstrous Little Voices: New Tales from Shakespeare’s Fantasy World by Jonathan Barnes, Adrian Tchaikovsky, Emma Newman, Kate Heartfield, and Foz Meadows
It’s still the year of the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death, and this collection of novellas is a perfect way to celebrate. Foz Meadows’ Coral Bones is probably my favorite, and it can be read alone, but I enjoyed reading all five tales together. Highly recommended for reading outdoors with a cup of tea on a crisp fall evening.

Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood
Hogarth has been celebrating Shakespeare differently–by having well-known authors re-envision the Bard’s plays in novel form. Obviously, you should read everything by Margaret Atwood, always, but her retelling of The Tempest is a really exceptional examination of its themes of prison, grief, vengeance, and the transformative value of literature.

Nightmare Magazine‘s Destroy Horror! Special Issues
This year we’ve got People of Colo(u)r Destroy Horror! which is well worth checking out. If you only read one story in the issue, make sure it’s Terence Taylor’s “Wet Pain.” It’s also not too late to pick up last year’s Queers Destroy Horror! and 2014’s Women Destroy Horror! This project just gets better and better, you guys.

The Starlit Wood: New Fairy Tales edited by Dominik Parisien and Navah Wolfe
This book is brand new (literally–it’s got a 10/18 pub date), but it might be my most anticipated anthology of the year. It’s got an absolutely to-die-for table of contents–with stories by ton of my favorite authors–and a gorgeous cover. I almost never get hardcover books unless I find them at the used bookstore, but this one is a must-have for my shelf.

The Lady and Her Monsters: A Tale of Dissections, Real-Life Dr. Frankensteins, and the Creation of Mary Shelley’s Masterpiece by Roseanne Montillo
Sometimes, reality is even better than fiction, and this 2013 examination of the genesis of Frankenstein is well-researched and highly readable. Even if you haven’t read the novel, The Lady and Her Monsters offers a fascinating glimpse into the life of Mary Shelley and how she came to write a classic of horrific science fiction.

Films and Television to Watch While Curled Up Under a Blanket:

Practical Magic (1998)
I cannot go a single October without watching Practical Magic at least once. I just watched it the other night with my thirteen-year-old daughter (her first time), and was struck again by how much I love it. It’s by no means a very good movie–there’s nothing like a critical watching of it to make one aware of every absurdity and plot hole–but I will always want to watch movies about women saving each other.

Hocus Pocus (1993)
Hocus Pocus is a Halloween classic that I’ve been watching for over twenty years now, and I can’t imagine stopping anytime soon.

Sleepy Hollow (1999), The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) and Corpse Bride (2005)
This trio of Tim Burton flicks are seasonal must-watches.

Ghostbusters (2016)
loved the new Ghostbusters, and I cannot wait to rewatch it in the lead-up to Halloween. I remember enjoying the original movies as a kid, but this reboot is more fun that those ever were.

Ash vs. Evil Dead (2015-now)
This show is definitely a problematic fave, but if you like artfully splattered gore, Bruce Campbell, and Lucy Lawless, Ash vs. Evil Dead is a ton of fun.

Lost Girl (2010-2016)
This show is basically Buffy the Vampire Slayer‘s more diverse, sexier, more Canadian descendant. It definitely starts to fall apart a bit in later seasons, but the first three or four seasons are pretty solid.

Gilmore Girls (2000-2007, 2016)
With a Netflix revival of Gilmore Girls coming out on Thanksgiving, now is the perfect time to binge watch the show in preparation.

The SF Bluestocking Fall Reading List

I didn’t make it through my entire Summer Reading List, though I did better than I thought I would and even ended up reading a few things (albeit mostly comics) that weren’t on there. There’s not as much coming out over the next few months that I’m excited about, but I figure that just means more time to read some of what I missed this summer. Here’s what I have on my list:

fall2016tornovellsTor.com Novellas
I always read all of these when they come out, and I cannot recommend them enough. I love that they’re such a variety of stories, which helps me to read outside my normal genres and preferences pretty regularly (it’s good to try new things!), and the $2.99 price tag means I can buy one almost every week without breaking the bank. The only one slated to come out this fall that I may skip is Andy Remic’s The Iron Beast. I’ve read the first two books in that series and haven’t enjoyed either of them, so I think I could spend my time better elsewhere.

  • Cold-Forged Flame by Marie Brennan – September 13
  • The Warren by Brian Evenson – September 20
  • Impersonations by Walter Jon Williams – October 4
  • Hammers on Bone by Cassandra Khaw – October 11
  • Everything Belongs to the Future by Laurie Penny – October 18
  • A Taste of Honey by Kai Ashante Wilson – October 25
  • The Lost Child of Lychford by Paul Cornell – November 1
  • The Burning Light by Bradley P. Beaulieu and Rob Ziegler – November 1
  • The Iron Beast by Andy Remic – November 8, if you’re interested.

fall2016magsMagazines
I backed the Kickstarter earlier this year for Lightspeed‘s POC Destroy SF project, and POC Destroy Horror and POC Destroy Fantasy will be coming out in October and December, respectively. I also backed Uncanny Magazine‘s Year Three, and I’m looking forward to that in addition to a couple of issues I haven’t gotten around to yet from Year Two. I also bought a subscription to Fantasy & Science Fiction because it’s been on sale for $5, so I will surely be reading some issues of that as well.

Must-Read (Fiction) Books

  • Everfair by Nisi Shawl (already finished, actually)
  • The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin (halfway through)
  • Death’s End by Cixin Liu
  • Cloudbound by Fran Wilde
  • Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood
  • Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake
  • A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers
  • Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
  • The Wall of Storms by Ken Liu
  • Goldenhand by Garth Nix
  • Infomocracy by Malka Older

fall2016books

Nice-to-Read-If-I-Have-Time (Fiction) Books

  • Borderline by Mishell Baker
  • Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter
  • Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi
  • Black Wolves by Kate Elliot
  • Half-Resurrection Blues by Daniel José Older
  • Midnight Taxi Tango by Daniel José Older
  • Prudence by Gail Carriger
  • Not Your Sidekick by C.B. Lee
  • Heroine Complex by Sarah Kuhn

fall2016books2

Nonfiction That I Have No Idea How I’m Going to Fit in But That I Really Want to Read Before the End of the Year

  • How to Suppress Women’s Writing by Joanna Russ
  • Speculative Blackness: The Future of Race in Science Fiction by André M. Carrington
  • Green Planets: Ecology and Science Fiction edited by Gerry Canavan and Kim Stanley Robinson
  • My Life on the Road by Gloria Steinem
  • Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl by Carrie Brownstein

What are you reading this fall? Is there anything I’ve missed that I simply must check out?