Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books we are adding to our shelves, whether they be physical or digital. This includes books bought (my wife would say I buy too many), borrowed (a rare occurrence), and received for review (which I’m trying to reign in).
At long last, it’s finally here! The paperback hasn’t arrived yet, but ebook copies of Silk & Steel: A Queer Speculative Adventure Anthology edited by Janine A. Southard were released to backers early this morning.
There are many ways to be a heroine.
Princess and swordswoman, lawyer and motorcyclist, scholar and barbarian: there are many ways to be a heroine. In this anthology, seventeen authors find new ways to pair one weapon-wielding woman and one whose strengths lie in softer skills.
“Which is more powerful, the warrior or the gentlewoman?” these stories ask. And the answer is inevitably, “Both, working together!”
Herein, you’ll find duels and smugglers, dance battles and danger noodles, and even a new Swordspoint story!
From big names and bold new voices, these stories are fun, clever, and always positive about the power of love.
Ellen Kushner \ Aliette de Bodard | Yoon Ha Lee | Neon Yang | Jennifer Mace | Django Wexler | Freya Marske | Claire Bartlett | K.A. Doore | Alison Tam | Ann LeBlanc | Cara Patterson | Chris Wolfgang | Elaine McIonyn | Elizabeth Davis | S.K. Terentiev | Kaitlyn Zivanovich
Just the one new review title this week – Weed by Joseph D’Lacey.
Fortescue Hall – the palatial stately home of Lady Cynthia Fortescue and the hub of her global business empire. The Hall is a pressure cooker, simmering with the secret resentments of abused staff and her rival sons, Jacob and Herbert.
On her birthday, Jacob and Herbert vie for their mother’s favour with lavish gifts, one of which is a rare and unusual seedling. Pincher, Her Ladyship’s cannabis-cultivating head gardener, is fascinated by the new plant but it goes missing before he can inspect it more closely. Then people begin disappearing.
It soon becomes clear that Fortescue Hall is infected with a genetically enhanced parasitic organism – a species of plant which uses humans as hosts and food.
As the Hall is overtaken by sentient growth, the Fortescue’s and their staff find themselves in a fight not only for their lives but for the future of the world. Could it be that mild-mannered Pincher is the only one who can save them all?
New Acquisitions: Paperback Treasures
Just the one purchase this week, a thrift store find in Enigma Tales by Una McCormack. I was rather disappointed by the last DS9 tale I read from her, and I wasn’t fond of her portrayal of Dr. Pulaski, but the allure of Elim Garak is hard to resist. Seriously, I’m not sure there has ever been a more compelling secondary character in all of Star Trek.
I’m seriously kicking myself for passing on The Kingdom of Gods by N. K. Jemisin, though, which would complete my mass market paperback collection of her Inheritance Trilogy, so I’m going to head back this weekend and hope it’s still there.
New Acquisitions: Digital Titles
A handful of digital downloads this week…
The Lost Ancients collects the first 3 books of The Lost Ancients series by Marie Andreas, in which a high fantasy archeologist who specializes in elvish ruins becomes a bounty hunter, she unearths a dangerous underworld of warring crime lords, demonic squirrels, and a long-lost elven artifact capable of unleashing a hell on earth.
Highmage’s Plight by D.H. Aire has a lot going on, being a portal fantasy about an archaeology professor who finds himself in a world of trolls and elves, where a starship once crash landed, bringing about a war between magic and science, confronted by a demon intent on destroying all life, and plagued by a sarcastic computer.
Lost Sword, the first Swapped Hero book by L.M. Gregory, just sounds like a good bit of erotic fantasy fun. “A hero wanders north to seek women and adventure. Unfortunately for him, the woman he finds decides she’d rather have his body. Permanently!” Enough said, I’m in!
Love Potion 69 is another fun new book from Queer Creatures Publishing featuring a lonely researched uncomfortable in his own skin, a strange slug with a mucus coating that can turn people into the opposite sex, and a search for love that threatens to unleash more dangers than just his darkest sexual desires.
Finally, Flesh Trade is a departure from Taedis‘ usual giantess/shrinking stories, slipping into the realm of erotic body swapping instead. I’d read it just because I love their stuff, but a certain wink-and-a-nod reference in the cover blurb made this a must-read.