Some pitches are irresistible. Try this one on for size: lesbian space pirates brought to you by Aliette de Bodard. Right? RIGHT? Good news – Aliette de Bodard’s novel-length space opera is flying to shelves near you this November, and I’m delighted to be part of the crew presenting The Red Scholar’s Wake gorgeous cover today.
You will be flabbergasted I’m sure to learn I am gasping with anticipation. I love Aliette de Bodard’s work, and am regularly ripped to delighted shreds by her flawed characters wrestling with deadly politics and their own treacherous hearts in intriguing, imperfect worlds. The Red Scholar’s Wake has all the hallmarks of a de Bodard classic: a sentient space ship – a terrifying pirate leader, recently widowed and seeking revenge – makes an engineer a proposition she can’t refuse. Cue drama – politics and space battles and much inner turmoil.
And feast your eyes on this stunning cover by the super-talented Alyssa Winans…
Xích Si: bot maker, data analyst, mother, scavenger. But those days are over now-her ship has just been captured by the Red Banner pirate fleet, famous for their double-dealing and cruelty. Xích Si expects to be tortured to death-only for the pirates’ enigmatic leader, Rice Fish, to arrive with a different and shocking proposition: an arranged marriage between Xích Si and herself.
Rice Fish: sentient ship, leader of the infamous Red Banner pirate fleet, wife of the Red Scholar. Or at least, she was the latter before her wife died under suspicious circumstances. Now isolated and alone, Rice Fish wants Xích Si’s help to find out who struck against them and why. Marrying Xích Si means Rice Fish can offer Xích Si protection, in exchange for Xích Si’s technical fluency: a business arrangement with nothing more to it.
But as the investigation goes on, Rice Fish and Xích Si find themselves falling for each other. As the interstellar war against piracy intensifies and the five fleets start fighting each other, they will have to make a stand-and to decide what kind of future they have together…
Save the date: The Red Scholar’s Wake gets its UK release from Gollancz on November 24th (can you say SciFiMonth? Hell yes we’re getting this for SciFiMonth!)