op 10 Tuesday is a weekly book tag that was run by The Broke and the Bookish but has now moved to That Artsy Reader Girl. Each week she provides a different bookish theme those deep-seated desires to list! Anyone is welcome to join in on their blog, in the comments or any other way.
– Top 10 Recent Discoveries –
Once again I’m straying away from the weekly prompt, this week it was villains, to talk about books that I’ve recently discovered instead as there’s only so much I can talk about the books I’ve read! Although I try to keep my Goodreads TBR shelf in tip top shape, to stop it getting as out of control as it used to be, over the past few months I’ve come across some books that have really peaked my interest and just had to be added. Here are 10 of my favourites and ones I can’t wait to read.
The Little Homo Sapiens Scientist by S.L Huang
Dr. Cadence Mbella is the world’s most celebrated scholar of the atargati: sentient, intelligent deep-water beings who are most definitely not mermaids. When Cadence decides to release a captive atargati from scientific experimentation and interrogation, she knows her career and her life is forfeit. But she still yearns for the atargati–there is still so much to know about their physiology, their society, their culture. And Cadence would do anything to more fully understand the atargati… no matter what the cost.
I discovered this last week in a post by Alexa and immediately had to add it to my TBR. I’m not a huge fan of retellings but this idea sounds SO GOOD and the cover just completely captivated me.
Rosewater by Tade Thompson
Rosewater is a town on the edge. A community formed around the edges of a mysterious alien biodome, its residents comprise the hopeful, the hungry and the helpless—people eager for a glimpse inside the dome or a taste of its rumored healing powers.
Kaaro is a government agent with a criminal past. He has seen inside the biodome, and doesn’t care to again—but when something begins killing off others like himself, Kaaro must defy his masters to search for an answer, facing his dark history and coming to a realization about a horrifying future.
I have been hearing great things about Tade Thompson and Rosewater. I am currently reading a chapter by him in an anthology that I am so far really enjoying and fully intend to get my hands on Rosewater soon so I can read more of Thompson’s work!
Mechanical Animals: Tales at the Crux of Creatures and Tech edited by Lauren Beaukes
A speculative fiction safari that riffs on the traditional ideals of automata to explore our strange and competitive relationship with the natural world. Biomimicry is no stranger to literature, with canonical authors like Nathaniel Hawthorne, Hans Christian Anderson, and Jules Verne setting the tone for a trope that has expounded and expanded upon what exactly separates humans from the animal kingdom as well as the boundary between machines and living beings. Featuring 15 original stories by today’s top science fiction and fantasy authors and contextual mecha-fauna essays by artist and Insect Lab Studio maker, Mike Libby, and SF encyclopedist and author Jess Nevins, Mechanical Animals presents a biomimicry menagerie of animalistic machines that will blur the lines between what is and isn’t nature’s design.
Anyone who knows me should know that I am all about human-animal relations, and especially love when I find fiction which explores this. I think I discovered this fantastic anthology when looking for more work by Aliette de Bodard, who has a chapter in this, so there was even more of a reason to auto-add this!
Ariadnis by Josh Martin
Joomia and Aula are Chosen. They will never be normal. They can never be free. On the last island on Erthe, Chosen Ones are destined to enter Ariadnis on the day they turn eighteen. There, they must undertake a mysterious and deadly challenge. For Joomia and Aula, this means competing against each other, to end the war that has seethed between their cities for nine generations.
As the day draws nearer, all thoughts are on the trial ahead. There’s no space for friendship. No time for love. However much the girls might crave them. But how you prepare for a task you know nothing certain about? Nothing, except that you must win, at whatever cost, or lose everything.
I came across Josh Martin at YALC this year when he was on a panel about YA LGBTQ fiction. After pushing the authors to spend a few moments talking about trans characters and loving what Josh had to say both during the panel and in a conversation after, I went straight into the book shop and bought both of his books, Ariadnis and Anassa.
Dark Eden by Chris Beckett
On the alien, sunless planet they call Eden, the 532 members of the Family shelter beneath the light and warmth of the Forest’s lantern trees. Beyond the Forest lie the mountains of the Snowy Dark and a cold so bitter and a night so profound that no man has ever crossed it.
The Oldest among the Family recount legends of a world where light came from the sky, where men and women made boats that could cross the stars. These ships brought us here, the Oldest say—and the Family must only wait for the travelers to return.
But young John Redlantern will break the laws of Eden, shatter the Family and change history. He will abandon the old ways, venture into the Dark…and discover the truth about their world.
Already remarkably acclaimed in the UK, Dark Eden is science fiction as literature; part parable, part powerful coming-of-age story, set in a truly original alien world of dark, sinister beauty–rendered in prose that is at once strikingly simple and stunningly inventive.
I can’t even remember where I first encountered Dark Eden but I am 95% sure I added it because of the cover and the Goodreads description…
Semiosis by Sue Burke
Only mutual communication can forge an alliance with the planet’s sentient species and prove that mammals are more than tools.
Forced to land on a planet they aren’t prepared for, human colonists rely on their limited resources to survive. The planet provides a lush but inexplicable landscape–trees offer edible, addictive fruit one day and poison the next, while the ruins of an alien race are found entwined in the roots of a strange plant. Conflicts between generations arise as they struggle to understand one another and grapple with an unknowable alien intellect.
Another one that was partly a cover TBR addition but also because I love the sound of this! I’m really into things that deal with sentience, emotion, and xeno-relations which this sounds like it has plenty of. Plus, it has the seal of approval from Adrian Tchaikovsky which is a good indication that it’s something to look forward to.
Queen’s Shadow by E.K Johnston
When Padmé Naberrie, “Queen Amidala” of Naboo, steps down from her position, she is asked by the newly-elected queen to become Naboo’s representative in the Galactic Senate. Padmé is unsure about taking on the new role, but cannot turn down the request to serve her people. Together with her most loyal handmaidens, Padmé must figure out how to navigate the treacherous waters of politics and forge a new identity beyond the queen’s shadow.
Another one that I’m not sure about where I found it but omg I have never added something to my Goodreads TBR so fast before. Padme is my favourite character from Star Wars and I think she is hugely underrated. She introduced me to and inspired me to learn about politics and diplomacy. This comes out in 2019 and I would die if I ever found an ARC of this!
Junk Mage by Elliot Cooper
When technomancer Quillian Defote crash lands on remote planet Marutuk, he has limited time to repair his ship and get off world. If he fails, he’ll forfeit his position as professor of mechanical transmutation at the prestigious Ivy Arcanarium, and ruin his employment prospects in yet another sector.
Hunter, a cyborg guarding a junkyard that holds what Quill needs, is charmed by the wayward mage and wants to help him. But Hunter is bound by honor to dutifully guard his mistress and her possessions, no matter how cruelly she treats him.
Together Quill and Hunter stand a chance of starting a new life together if carnivorous wildlife, a violent necromancer, and stubborn pride don’t keep them apart.
I saw this featured on another book blogger’s blog a while ago and the cover really caught my attention. I also love the sound of it! A book with a technomancer, a cyborg, and a m/m relationship with loads of cyberpunk elements. Yes, please!
Young Explorer’s Adventure Guide, Volume 5 edited by Corie and Sean Weaver
“This anthology offers new, vividly futuristic adventures featuring diverse characters, including humans from all over Earth as well as ET kids from other planets. One of the qualities that makes this yearly anthology such a treat to read is the wide range of futuristic possibilities that planet Earth and its occupants may encounter, realities that will keep readers wondering long after the book is closed. A few stories present poignant discourse about Earth’s sustainability, mixing neatly with adventures that give kids agency to navigate and ponder their own realities in different worlds.
“This stellar collection will appeal to both teens and grown-ups who dream of future worlds.” Kirkus Review of Books, for the 2018 Young Explorer’s Explorer’s Guide
I’ve seen previous installments of the Young Explorer’s Adventure Guide floating around on Goodreads before and jumped at the opportunity to read this one via Netgalley. As a child, I didn’t come across much science fiction that was designed specifically for children so I am always enthusiastic about books that aim to do that!
Creatures: The Legacy of Frankenstein edited by David Thomas Moore
Victor Frankenstein was the first to unlock the key to life, but he would not be the last. Through two centuries of scientific enquiry and relentless advancement, five more minds found the secret, and five more creatures were made. Five more stories ended in tragedy.
From the 1840s to the modern day, from the race to publish the first anatomy to the desperate search for weapons to win the Second World War, telling the stories of the creatures that never were.
When I saw Rebellion Publishing talking about this on their Twitter, I knew I had to read it and they very kindly sent me a copy to review! I really love the idea behind the anthology and there’s a chapter by Emma Newman in it so it’s safe to say I’m very excited about this (and currently reading it!)
I’d love to hear if you’ve read any of these or if you discovered any new books which have peaked your interest from my TTT today ❤
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