Maybe the weather will be terrible all summer. That will give me the perfect excuse to stay inside and read. Because don’t these look awesome?
After stumbling upon the algorithm that turned him and his fellow merchant bankers into vampires, Alex Schwartz was drafted by The Laundry, Britain’s secret counter-occult agency that’s humanity’s first line of defense against the forces of darkness. Dependent on his new employers for his continued existence—as Alex has no stomach for predatory bloodsucking—he has little choice but to accept his new role as an operative-in-training.
Dispatched to Leeds, Alex’s first assignment is to help assess the costs of renovating a 1950s Cold War bunker into The Laundry’s new headquarters. Unfortunately, Leeds is Alex’s hometown, and the thought of breaking the news to his parents that he’s left banking for civil service, while hiding his undead condition, is causing more anxiety than learning how to live as a vampire secret agent preparing to confront multiple apocalypses.
Alex’s only saving grace is Cassie Brewer, a drama student appearing in the local Goth Festival who is inexplicably attracted to him despite his awkward personality and massive amounts of sunblock.
But Cassie has secrets of her own—secrets that make Alex’s night life behaviors seem positively normal…
WHY IT’S ON MY RADAR:
With its IT jokes, dry humor, and Cthulhu baddies, and tentacle ridden spy thriller plot lines, I’ve been a fan of this series for years. The first handful of books in the series starred Bob Howard, and last year’s The Annihilation Score gave Bob’s wife Mo the spotlight. This new novel features Alex, whose barely been a side character in previous books. It’ll be fun to see the world of The Laundry through Alex’s eyes. I’m super curious to see what he thinks of Bob and Mo, and their insane career “choices”. Sounds like there might be some cute supernatural romance in this new one too. You know what? This really boils down to if it’s a Laundry book, I’m gonna read it.
On a cool evening in Kolkata, India, beneath a full moon, as the whirling rhythms of traveling musicians fill the night, college professor Alok encounters a mysterious stranger with a bizarre confession and an extraordinary story. Tantalized by the man’s unfinished tale, Alok will do anything to hear its completion. So Alok agrees, at the stranger’s behest, to transcribe a collection of battered notebooks, weathered parchments, and once-living skins.
From these documents spills the chronicle of a race of people at once more than human yet kin to beasts, ruled by instincts and desires blood-deep and ages-old. The tale features a rough wanderer in seventeenth-century Mughal India who finds himself irrevocably drawn to a defiant woman—and destined to be torn asunder by two clashing worlds. With every passing chapter of beauty and brutality, Alok’s interest in the stranger grows and evolves into something darker and more urgent.
Shifting dreamlike between present and past with intoxicating language, visceral action, compelling characters, and stark emotion, The Devourers offers a reading experience quite unlike any other novel.
WHY IT’S ON MY RADAR:
Indra (Indrapramit) Das has been on my radar since I read his groundbreaking short story “Muo-ka’s Child” in Clarkesworld, years ago. It was an amazing, beautiful and terrifying story of first contact and hubris. It’s one of maybe five short stories that has made such a deep impression on me. Anyways, look at this novel by Indra Das that’s coming out this summer! The synopsis is basically a list of stuff I want in a book.
The invasion of the future has begun.
Literary legends including Stephen Millhauser, Junot Diáz, Amiri Baraka, and Katharine Dunn have attacked the borders of the every day. Like time traveling mad-scientists, they have concocted outrageous creations from the future. They have seized upon tales of technology gone wrong and mandated that pulp fiction must finally grow up.
In these wildly speculative stories you will discover the company that controls the world from an alley in Greenwich Village. You’ll find nanotechnology that returns memories to the residents of a nursing home. You’ll rally an avian-like alien to become a mascot for a Major League Baseball team.
The Invaders are here. But did science fiction colonize them first?
WHY IT’S ON MY RADAR:
Because it’s really fun to see what “non-genre” authors do with genre ideas. Will the ideas in these stories be SFnal and innovative? How will the writing quality in this reprint anthology compare to my bread and butter science fiction? Only one way to find out.