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All Systems Red: The Murderbot Diaries By Martha Wells Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780765397539
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tordotcom - May 2nd, 2017

All System's Red (The Murderbot Diaries #1)
by Martha Wells

A cyborg rent-a-cop hacks its own control module to prevent itself from going on a killing rampage (again). Murderbot, as it takes to calling itself, is constantly paranoid of being found rogue and scrapped, so it continues to go through the motions as a cog in a galaxy-spanning corporate dystopia. It mostly uses its newfound autonomy to nurse a raging television addiction, resigned to dissociating its way through life. That is until it's assigned to a group of surveyors from some utopian system outside the Corporate Rim. These hippies can't wrap their heads around the mundane cruelties of life on a corporate world--the daily, deadly pitfalls of espionage, fraud, and systemic neglect all fueled by endless greed. It's hardly Murderbot's fault if they wind up dead, but it can't seem to help but play mother goose trying to keep them alive.

Light, but with multiple entries in the series it will feel like marathoning reruns of beloved sci-fi TV. I was remined of Neuromancer's hack-counterhack tech action, but upgraded and Wi-Fi enabled. Wells also pushes a welcome cultural updates to the milieu of cyberpunk SF (once saturated in exoticism and hypersexuality) by including a believably diverse human cast and playing with the identity of her protagonist in novel ways.


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This Is How You Lose the Time War By Amal El-Mohtar, Max Gladstone Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781534430990
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: S&S/Saga Press - March 17th, 2020

In a conflict where future societies from opposing eventualities are fighting to control all of time and space, two rival agents become ever more entangled in each other's plots and thoughts playing an escalating game of tit for tat and tête-à-tête that slowly becomes about more than just winning. After all, when you are the best of the best across all time, when the whole universe folds willingly to your touch, what else could hold your interest and obsession but another of equal skill?

A classic love story of "viny-hivey elfworld" girl meets "techy-mechy dystopia" gal. Perfect for fans of Doctor Who who hate Steven Moffat (imagine lesbian Time Lord / Cyberman slash fiction written by dueling poets).


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Earthlings By Sayaka Murata, Ginny Tapley Takemori (Translator) Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780802157010
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Grove Press - September 21st, 2021

Natsuki is convinced she is an alien. Or perhaps a witch. She's definitely from another planet--her plushie hedgehog Piyyut, who's actually a telepathic fairy, told her so. She knows she'll never fit in with the Humans, nor does she want to. She has a wand, a transformation mirror, and no one understands why she's in love with her cousin Yuu even though he's the only one who believes in her. She's determined to escape the "Factory" that turns kids into obedient workers and stupid parents churning out more helpless children. Will Natsuki ever escape the Factory, or will cruel Humans crush her spirit and rob her of her powers forever?

Dreamlike, challenging, and riveting. Earthlings is a fascinating study on nonconformity, transgression, trauma, and living beyond the periphery of society. I read it in a fevered day and a half, and it left me reeling.

Trigger warnings abound, though like me you might have a hard time putting it down regardless.

!Spoilers!

TW: incest, child sexual abuse, dissociation, murder, cannibalism, self mutilation


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Carmilla By Carmen Maria Machado (Editor), Joseph Sheridan Lefanu Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781941360385
Availability: Usually Available in 2-5 Days
Published: Lanternfish Press - November 26th, 2019

Carmilla
by Sheridan Le Fanu

Home in a gothic castle amid the woods of Styria, the lonely Laura is contrived by fate to host the mysterious Carmilla, a young beauty of captivating charm and secretive repute. Her new "friend" showers her with the most queer affections and, more strangely ... bears the face of a spectre that visited Laura's childhood nightmares.

Also known as the lesbian Dracula! (Though it predates Stoker's opus by a quarter century.) While hardly an earnest depiction of a lesbian relationship, Carmilla's pursuit of Laura is nonetheless compelling both to the object of her desire and the reader -- it's clear why she is cited as a source of awakening to this day.

Pair with:
Fiction - Two Virgins in the Attic, Yoshiya Nobuko
Film - Jennifer's Body (2009), Ginger Snaps (2000)
Discourse - Foucault's History of Sexuality, Vol. 1 p. 1 "We Other Victorians"
Wine - Kadarka (a Hungarian red)


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Gideon the Ninth (The Locked Tomb Series #1) By Tamsyn Muir Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781250313188
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tordotcom - July 14th, 2020

The Locked Tomb Series {Gideon the Ninth, Harrow the Ninth, Nona the Ninth, Alecto the Ninth (forthcoming)}

Do you miss listening to your goth butch friends talk about undeath and spells over the lunch table while trying to decode the undertones of dyke drama going on behind the scenes? Well, I also didn't live that experience, but The Locked Tomb series makes me yearn for it. Tamsyn Muir writes like she is trying to give you a caffeine migraine, then give you eight shots of espresso to the brain stem. Within: A cast of characters who I want to be my best friends, lovers, and mortal enemies; a world with aesthetics ranging from the lofty and macabre of the Baroque to the gruesome and brutal of the Warhammer 40k universe; themes of hubris and the perversion of death worthy of gothic epics like Frankenstein; and so much GAY. All to say, I'm obsessed with this series and will not know peace until you are too.

In Gideon, a sword jock pretends to be a bodyguard for lifelong rival while the latter tries to untangle the dark secrets of necromantic sainthood; Harrow is about our goth queen of darkness dealing with the consequences of apotheosis--if you survive the plot twists, tonal shift, and gut-wrenching character development, it will rewire your brain (too); Nona is my newest favorite slice-of-life anime about characters living through the apocalypse; and you can't convince me Barbenheimer wasn't an ARG promo campaign for Alecto.


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Harrow the Ninth (The Locked Tomb Series #2) By Tamsyn Muir Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781250313218
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tordotcom - September 21st, 2021

The Locked Tomb Series {Gideon the Ninth, Harrow the Ninth, Nona the Ninth, Alecto the Ninth (forthcoming)}

Muir's genre-shaking space opera belies its own depth. Beneath the veneer of quick wit and breakneck action, Muir leaves tantalizing clues to mysteries revealed incrementally through twists both bombastic and sinisterly subtle. Reader beware, Muir is constantly obfuscating some critical detail, and doling out confirmations in irregular, habit-forming fashion. You may find yourself, like me, hopelessly hooked, and waiting all to eagerly for hell to break loose at last in the forthcoming conclusion, Alecto. But fear not, there is plenty of fix to be had in what is out now, as the series is infinitely re-readable: diabolically, the rabbit hole only ever seems to go deeper, with each installment urging you to retrace your steps and plaster your walls with sticky notes and red string (fans actually do this).

In short: you won't want off Mrs. Bones' Wild Ride.


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Nona the Ninth (The Locked Tomb Series #3) By Tamsyn Muir Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781250899132
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tordotcom - September 12th, 2023

The Locked Tomb Series {Gideon the Ninth, Harrow the Ninth, Nona the Ninth, Alecto the Ninth (forthcoming)}

Listen, if you're an established fan of the series you probably already bought the Nona hardcover. But we all know you need a second copy to pass around the queer friend group/polycule.

The new short story in this edition is a 31-page play (I know, right?) where everyone's favorite tumblr sexyman Palamedes tries to solve the riddles three of leather-clad Lemongrab woman Ianthe. I got three quarters through before needing to reread passages with later context, of course. How does Muir manage that with just a short story? She has done the thing yet again, and you can't miss it.