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Space Opera Sunday: Surface Detail

Book cover: Surface Detail - Iain M Banks (a dark skinned woman with patterned skin and even eyes stares over a flaring sun)There are rules governing how high tech civilisations engage with the up and coming. But there’s no stopping well-meaning meddling in a future where death need only be temporary. Now a girl who should never have been reincarnated will try to kill the most important man in her world; and a dead general must decide whether to bring a virtual War on Hell into the Real…

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The Road to Nowhere: The Book of Etta

Book cover: The Book of Etta - Meg Elison (a road winding away towards the horizon)Nowhere is a small community founded on the teachings of the Unnamed Midwife, flourishing nearly 100 years after a plague drove women to the brink of extinction. But outside Nowhere’s walls, violent men still seize what they desire. Can there be any hope for a better future?

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Space Opera Sunday: Inversions

In Haspidus, it’s unthinkable that a woman could be a doctor, much less the King’s physician. But foreigner Vosill has King Quience’s ear and more than cures in her bag of tricks. Across the mountains in Tassasen, another foreigner, DeWar, has risen to prominence to be Protector General UrLeyn’s bodyguard. But are either of them what they seem? And as tensions rise, whose loyalty can be trusted?

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Wintersong: old tune, new lyrics

Book cover: Wintersong - S Jae-Jones (a white rose in a glass ball)

Plain, dutiful Liesl has given up her dreams for her family and longs only to make music, but once she played in the woods with the Goblin King. Her beautiful sister Käthe is engaged to be wed, but dreams of a life beyond the Bavarian forest. And if the Goblin King does not take a bride the world will fall into eternal winter. Which sister will he take? Which sister will he keep?

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The Cats of Seroster know what’s best for them

Book cover: The Cats of Seroster - Robert Westall (a tall dark man with a two-handed sword glowers out, surrounded by huge golden-haired cats)Young Cam is tasked to journey to a distant city with a letter and a dagger that he can’t get rid of – no matter how he tries. Hunted through the wilderness, he realises he has been tricked into more than just carrying a message. But the city and its cats need a Seroster. Can Cam avoid the fate being forced on him?

Fantasy with cats. Need I say more?

A Darker Shade of Magic: welcome to London

Book cover: A Darker Shade of Magic - V E Schwab (silhouette of someone in a fabulously billowy cloak in black and red)London: one name, three cities in three very different worlds, each with more magic than the last. Only two men hold the power to cross between worlds, and one is about to unwittingly put them all at risk. Because there was once a fourth London – and its magic tires of being sealed away…

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Who’s afraid of the suck fairy: The Warriors of Taan

Book cover: The Warriors of Taan - Louise Lawrence (a blonde stars off-camera, concerned, against a lurid background)Rapacious Outworlders have occupied Taan for its natural resources. Tensions are rising within the local population, with the warrior caste agitating for war and the temples seeking a peaceful resolution. Hope rests on the shoulders of a rebellious young prince: will he lead his father’s troops to battle or make peace with the sisterhood?

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The Edge of the Abyss: go big or go home

Book cover: The Edge of the Abyss - Emily Skrutskie (all the red tentacles thrashing out of the sea, faced by a girl looking back over her shoulder towards the reader)Broken-hearted but out of options, Cas Leung turned her back on the shore and signed on as Santa Elena’s trainee. But abandoned Bao isn’t the only Reckoner living wild in the NeoPacific – and they’re eating the sea empty. Can Cas persuade the pirates to risk their lives for the greater good?

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Gilded Cage: not all are created Equal

Book cover: Gilded Cage - Vic James (ironwork and the silhouette of a bird in flight)In a deeply different nearly now, Britain is ruled by the Equals – those with the Skill to assert their rights. UnSkilled commoners owe ten years of their lives in slave labour, with no protection under the law. As they begin their slavedays, the Hadley siblings find themselves at the heart of the fight for the future.

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Bite-size Books: The Drowning Eyes

Book cover: The Drowning EyesTazir needs to take find a passenger to pay the bills, but when a rich girl with too much money crosses her path in Shasa’s dive bar, she quickly realises she’s taken on more than she bargained for. Shina is more than she seems – the last, best hope to defeat the marauding Dragon Ships and restore the Windspeakers’ power.

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Bite-size Books: Witches of Lychford

Book cover: Witches of Lychford - Paul Cornell (3 silhouettes walking down a misty avenue, in sepia tones)A sleepy Cotswold town faces an existential threat: a major supermarket wishes to open on the outskirts. But this is more than just a vexing question of planning permission that will set neighbour against neighbour. This is a threat to the very fabric of reality. At least, that’s what Judith says.

I must not read this as a Brexit metaphor

Victory of Eagles

Book cover: Victory of Eagles - Naomi Novik (UK hardcover, stylised woodcut design of London and dragons)Captain Will Laurence has been sentenced to death for treason. He will continue to live only so long as Temeraire, banished to the Welsh breeding grounds, continues to cooperate. With British dragondom badly depleted by sickness, Napoleon seizes his chance to invade. Can our boys earn their freedom in defence of King and country?

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