Make Some Room: December

Header (text): MAKE SOME ROOM (there's always room for one more)

I had an incredibly exclusive watchlist for December releases until last week, when it doubled in size – from one book to two. Rest assured there are more than 2 SFF releases this month, but I’m focusing on a very selective handful (although yes, I’ve got more than two now I’ve done my research). If there’s always room for one more, these are the ones I’m considering…

Whenever I come up short, I assume I’ve stinted my research and am missing out on a bunch of fascinating releases. The mainstream / large publishers do seem to have quieter calendars this month – which I suspect indicates a delay to rush a some titles about before Christmas; or titles getting pushed back to next year – but if you know of exciting indie titles heading our way this month, let me know!

Bradley P Beaulieu (writing as Brendan P Bellecourt) makes the hop from fantasy to scifi with a Jazz Age utopia / dystopia. Anything billed as Inception meets Metropolis has my attention; stir in art deco debauchery and a drug that changes people in unexpected ways and consider that shimmering cover and my expectations are running very high for this one. Out from Head of Zeus on December 9.

Book cover: Cyber Mage - Saad Z Hossain

Thanks to Peat Long’s praise, I’ve been meaning to pick up Saad Z Hossain’s novella The Gurkha and the Lord of Tuesday for months; Cyber Mage may beat it to the punch. This is a stand-alone riot of cyberpunk and mythology, set in a Dhaka transformed by nanotech. Out from The Unnamed Press on December 30.

I’ve been waiting for Shea Ernshaw’s A History of Wild Places for months. In an isolated, idealistic community called Pastoral, resident begins to investigate the mysterious disappearances of two outsiders – but their discoveries threaten to reveal a cascade of dangerous truths. I’m not even sure how speculative this is, but it sounds deliciously dark. Out from Atria Books yesterday.

Book cover: A History Of Wild Places - Shea Ernshaw
Book cover: Dispatches from Anarres: tales in tribute to Ursula K Le Guin (edited by Susan DeFreitas)

Next up, a collection of short stories written in homage to Ursula Le Guin. Edited by Susan DeFreitas, this anthology promises a broad range of tales from amazing authors including Fonda Lee, David D Levine and Lidia Yuknavitch. Out from Forest Avenue Press on December 9.

I’ll close with A Marvellous Light by Freya Marske, which I’m mildly conflicted about. I love the sound of an alt Edwardian England of secret magical societies and a murderous hedge-maze; I’m cautious that I understand the balance between intrigue and romance is weighted towards the latter. Advance reviews have been uniformly positive – if you’re more enthusiastic about romance-driven narratives than me, this looks like a sure thing. Out from Tor on December 9.

Book cover: A Marvellous Light - Freya Marske

What books coming out this month are you excited for?

All release dates and publishers are for the UK unless otherwise mentioned.