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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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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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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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Confessions of a bad SF fan: Up the Walls of the World

Book cover: Up the Walls of the World - James Tiptree, Jr (silhouette of a human face in profile on a field of blue)Daniel Dann doesn’t believe in ESP, but he’s monitoring telepaths on a top secret Navy project. The Navy wants to talk securely to submarines, but across the galaxy a desperate race on a dying planet latch on to the little group’s signals as their last best hope to save their children. Whatever the cost.

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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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