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Throwback Thursday: Lock In

Book cover: Lock in - John Scalzi (red and white figurines on a white background)The flupocalypse didn’t wipe us out, but it left 1 in 100 people paralysed – or ‘locked in’. One of them was the POTUS’s wife, so we gave a shit. But 25 years later, a new US government is stripping away the life lines that keep Hadens in touch with the physical world, and there’s a killing to be made… literally.

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The Space Between The Stars: the future is what you choose

Book cover: The Space Between The Stars - Anne Corlett (a woman's silhouette against a pale blue sky)The virus had a long incubation period. By the time it started killing, it had already spread across the stars. Those who survived the second day lived. The rest burnt up, 99.9999% of the human race reduced to piles of dust. Now the few survivors – scattered across planets – must try to reconnect, regroup and choose their future. Should Jamie try to rebuild what she’s lost or choose a fresh start?

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Throwback Thursday: A Natural History of Dragons

Book cover: A Natural History of Dragons - Marie Brennan (a dragon, half anatomical study, half scales)Isabella isn’t a model young lady. She has an unnatural interest in dragons, so she’ll surely die an impoverished spinster. Can a young lady of intelligence and determination find a husband who will support her in pursuing her heart’s desires? Of course she can. Let’s study dragons, darling.

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All Good Things: but what sort of end will they come to?

Book cover: All Good Things - Emma Newman (purple background with line art and embellished font)Emma Newman’s conclusion to her Split Worlds sequence is full of surprises as Cathy and Sam receive a shocking proposal from Bea, Lucy reveals her true purpose in Albion, the Gargoyle forces Max to confront his loyalties and Will finds new and deplorable ways to make me shout NO WILL NO. Inevitably, spoilers for previous instalments.

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Bite-size Books: Extracurricular Activities

Book cover: Extracurricular Activities - Yoon Ha Lee (A manform with their back to you ascends some stairs, staring off at an angle against a background of pink carp painting or wallpaper)A Shuos graduate is rare in Kel command, but Shuos Jedao has earned his stripes. Still, his latest assignment is a mission better suited to his former career: go undercover in a rival empire to rescue a captured ‘trade’ vessel captained by a former classmate.
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Rotherweird: quirky, light-hearted portal fantasy

Book cover: Rotherweird - Andrew Caldecott (a hand drawn map of a city in a meander)When inexperienced Jonah Oblong is hired to teach history at Rotherweird School, the laws are clearly laid down: nothing before 1800 and no digging into local history. But Sir Veronal Slickstone, new owner of Rotherweird Manor, intends to turn all the town’s regulations upside down – and God help those who get in his way.

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Spellslinger: the magical art of confidence

Book cover: Spellslinger - Sebastian de Castell (styled like a playing card, with a magical young man at either end)Kellen is 15, the astonishingly untalented son of the Jan’Tep’s greatest mage. Struggling to cast even the simplest spells, he’s the butt of jokes and school yard bullying. Worse, if he can’t pass his mage trials before he turns 16, he’ll be relegated to the Sha’Tep servant class – reliant on his obnoxious little sister’s charity if he’s lucky, sent down the mines if he’s not.

Spoiler free

Throwback Thursday: Rivers of London

Book cover: Rivers of London - Ben Aaronovitch (a snarkily contextual map of London, with a suggestively bloodstained West End)Easily distracted, PC Peter Grant is a probationary officer with a dull future of tedious admin ahead of him – until he takes a witness statement from a ghost in Covent Garden and finds himself recruited into the Met’s little-advertised supernatural division…

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A Conjuring of Light: the consequence of delay

Book cover: A Conjuring of Light - V E Schwab (a silhouette of a man in a cloak)A Conjuring of Light is the finale of the Shades of Magic trilogy, picking up right where A Gathering of Shadows left off: Red London under threat, Kell captured, Rhy dying, Lila desperate and ready to find out whether she is what we’ve all come to suspect she may be. So, err, spoilers, right? Right.

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Bite-size Books: Of Sight, Of Mind, Of Heart

Of Sight, Of Mind, Of Heart is one of those short stories that should come with a warning: don’t read in public; guaranteed to make you cry. Guaranteed to make me cry, anyway, and it’s a pretty solid rule that I do love a story that grabs my heart strings and embarrasses me in public.

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Confessions of a bad SF fan: no resisting a sequel

earthseaWhen the High Priestess dies, the lesser priestesses leave the Tombs of Atuan and go in search of the newborn she has become. If she grows healthy and unblemished, she is fed to the Nameless Ones, keeper of their rituals, heir to their secrets. Could such a child ever turn her back on the Dark?

Revisiting The Tombs of Atuan

The Djinn Falls In Love

Book cover: The Djinn Falls in Love and other stories - ed. Mahvesh Murad and Jared Shurin (white smoking text on dark background)When Allah created man out of clay, he created djinn out of fire. Ephemeral spirits that tempt us, trick us, and sometimes grant our wishes, these creatures of folklore take centre stage in excellent Mahvesh Murad & Jared Shurin’s anthology, The Djinn Falls in Love.

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