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Waiting on Wednesday: Dread Nation by Justina Ireland

Waiting on Wednesday is a bi-weekly feature created over at Breaking the Spine and now hosted at Wishful Endings as “Can’t Wait Wednesday” which spotlights upcoming, can't-wait-for-them books.

As it's still Black Speculative Fiction month, my pick for this week's Waiting on Wednesday is Dread Nation by Justina Ireland, coming next April. Although I'd be anxiously waiting for this one regardless of what month it is!

Why this book? Well, not gonna lie, I am a Justina Ireland fangirl — I actively follow her on Twitter (by which I mean I actually read her tweets), and I love what she's doing as one of the executive editors (along with Troy L. Wiggins) at Fiyah Literary Magazine, a quarterly magazine of black speculative fiction. And in a world with questionable reimaginings of the Civil War like the totally misguided Confederate, Dread Nation is an alternate history I can get behind.

It's got a kick-ass black heroine, a vision of American history that requires no side-eye, and... zombies! And any book with those things that's also described as being 'at once provocative, terrifying, and darkly subversive' is a book I need to read. I only wish it was out now, as this would be a perfect time for it!

Check it out for yourself...

New Sci-Fi & Fantasy Books: October 16 - 22

New Sci-Fi & Fantasy Books: October 16 - 22

This week's new sci-fi and fantasy books are kind of all over the place, with quite a few gift editions of classics and favorites getting a jump on the holiday season -- you won't find those listed here because I'm saving them up for a gift edition post... after Halloween, when it's actually time to think about the holiday season!

What you will find this week: quite a bit of sci-fi in both YA and adult. Weird fiction that straddles the line between horror and fantasy from Seanan McGuire and the Night Vale creators. And the start of a new epic fantasy series from the author of The Iron Druid Chronicles.

What I'm most excited for, however, is the return of Phillip Pullman, who has a new series set in the world of Lyra Belacqua and His Dark Materials. I adored this series and I'm still a little salty that The Golden Compass movie never got a sequel (at the very least). But at least we have books!

Here are your new reads in sci-fi and fantasy...

New Sci-Fi & Fantasy Books: October 8-15

New Sci-Fi & Fantasy Books: October 8-15

'Tis the season for dark, creepy fantasy . . . Like, beserkers and ancestral Viking curses. Medieval magic, murder and mayhem. A dark East Asian reimagining of The Evil Queen legend. And an epic new series from Hugo-winning author Elizabeth Bear . . . these are just a few of the new fantasies out this week.

At the sci-fi end of the bookish spectrum, you'll find new Orson Scott Card — the first Enderverse novel in years — along with the third book in Paolo Bacigalupi's acclaimed dystopian Ship Breaker series. Also, a companion to Sharon Cameron's The Forgetting, and a competition for a spot on a mysterious mission to space.

In between, there are paranormal miracles and creepy island mysteries. And, of course, horror (though not as much as I'd like) — from a modern feminist tale of assault and witchy revenge that feels super relevant given this weekend's headline news, to good old-fashioned zombies lurching together in one massive set.

Here are this week's new sci-fi and fantasy books...

Waiting on Wednesday: Children of Blood and Bone

Waiting on Wednesday: Children of Blood and Bone

I am forever discovering upcoming books that I forget all about by the time they're released, no matter how many mental notes or actual note notes I give myself. And because I suck at Goodreads, it's not really much help. I hate this, especially when I'm in a book slump, looking for something to read and nothing sounds good. I hate it because I know there are all these books in the dusty caverns of my mind, trapped like James Franco in that one movie. 

Well, I've just discovered Waiting on Wednesday, a weekly (but for this here blog, bi-weekly) meme created over at Breaking the Spine and now hosted at Wishful Endings as “Can’t Wait Wednesday” which spotlights those upcoming, can't-wait-for-it books. Perfect, right? Now I'll have an easy record of what I'm most looking forward to, no mental amputation or useless notes required. Hopefully you enjoy these upcoming books too!

ALSO, you're aware it's October now. What you may not have known is that October is Black Speculative Fiction Month. So I'm starting off this Waiting on Wednesday with Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi ― a book that literally made me squee out loud when I read the synopsis. It's #ownvoices. It's a West African fantasy, a culture we haven't seen a lot of. It's already got a movie deal, and it won't even be out until next year. And the cover... well, just take a look for yourself and tell me that's not a pretty, pretty cover!

New Sci-Fi & Fantasy Books: October 1-7

New Sci-Fi & Fantasy Books: October 1-7

Lovers of young adult SFF books, this week is for you — there's a ton of YA new releases this week. You'll find everything from lushly written magical realism and futuristic sci-fi entirely in text speak, to an urban fantasy series starter full of magic and motorcycle gangs and a utopian near-future with an alt-historical Victorian past.

This week's new releases also bring plenty of series follow ups, including the long awaited sequel to Nnedi Okorafor's striking fantasy, Akata Witch, and the third installment in Libba Bray's prohibition-era paranormal series, The Diviners.

Here are all the new sci-fi and fantasy books this week...

Spotlight On: The Panther Chronicles Urban Fantasy Series

Spotlight On: The Panther Chronicles Urban Fantasy Series

“These times we live in, girl, they are something big. Something strange.”

Sometimes, books come along and they are just the right thing you need to read for the moment. And sometimes, books come along that are actually of the moment as well. The Panther Chronicles is such a series. Set in the socio-political tumult of 1969, this urban fantasy series combines a very cool magical world with the revolutionary spirit of that time.

There are marches and protests. The main character — nineteen-year-old Jasmine, a black sorcerer from Crenshaw who now attends UC Berkeley — volunteers with the Black Panthers. And J. Edgar Hoover is a slightly unhinged ceremonial magician using dark powers and scribbled rants to control the nation. The relevance to today's political climate is all too apparent.

But I love that this series works even if you aren't politically inclined, because it's also just a really great, fun read. The serious issues aren't heavy handed, but shown as a natural part of the characters' world, much like our own. Characters have an emotional depth that I appreciated — especially Jasmine, who reminded me of me at that age. She volunteers with the Panthers, but she also questions motives and means and methods. And the revolution on the page isn't just political; there's a magical revolution brewing as well. Plus, there's an Association of Magic and Sorcery hidden in a Spanish-style mansion in the Hollywood Hills that needs to be a Real Thing.

There are so many ways to approach this series — if you care about activism and social justice issues, if you appreciate diversity, if you love books brimming with all different kinds of magic and witchcraft, or if you're just looking for a great urban fantasy read, you should check this series out! Take a look...

Book Blitz: One Shade of Gray by Monica Corwin

Book Blitz: One Shade of Gray by Monica Corwin

It's no secret that I love retellings. Fairy tales retold, story classics reimagined, beloved characters updated with a modern twist... I love them all. Which is why I got so excited when I found out about Monica Corwin's latest, One Shade of Gray. It's a contemporary retelling based on Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray — a modern Dorian Gray in all his debauched, immortal glory. Since I love that particular tale (and all things Wilde really), I'm a sucker for this already.

The tagline calls him "the original Mr. Gray," which I can't help but love even though I personally wasn't crazy about 50 Shades. But make him a hedonistic man who never ages (because I gotta have a paranormal element), and make the object of his affection a stronger, reincarnated Sybil... how can I not? I mean, it's really kind of brilliant. If you love retellings too, or any of the above, you should check this one out.

And make sure you don't miss the giveaway at the end — you could win signed copies of One Shade of Gray along with a $50 Amazon gift card!

New Sci-Fi & Fantasy Books: September 24-30

New Sci-Fi & Fantasy Books: September 24-30

Shhh... do you hear that, beneath the rustle of leaves? That's the sound of October creeping around the corner, bringing all the seasonal goodies with it. The dark, creepy stories full of fairy tale horror and ghosts. The brooding Byronic heroes updated for today, immortality intact. The atmospheric fantasies set in autumnal lands with shapeshifting ravens. Because, ravens.

With this week's new releases, you can definitely tell that fall is here and Halloween is now on its way.

But moody and creepy isn't all you'll find. There's also quite a bit for the sci-fi lover as well, from thrillers examining class and privilege that sci-fi does so well -- this week, coming in both teen and adult varieties -- to multiple time travel adventures that go as far back as ancient Rome, through America's past and present, and into a distant future 1,000+ years away. And spaceships. Obviously.

Here's what's new in sci-fi and fantasy books this week...

All The New Genre TV Shows This Fall

All The New Genre TV Shows This Fall

Remember when summer TV was a dreaded wasteland of reruns you had no desire to watch, even with commercial reminders that "if you haven't seen it, it's new to you"? Fall's arrival signaled not just the start of the best season or another school year, but meant all your favorite shows would return and finally there'd be something to watch again.

The TV landscape has certainly changed since then, now that you can watch most anything on demand (or pirated in a cloud somewhere) and both streaming sites and cable channels produce some often great original shows all year long. Even so, I still look forward to fall TV with giddy anticipation — and with this being such an awesome age for genre TV and film, it's hard not to get excited at what new shows might play on post-Labor Day screens.

To help you decide what to check out, here are sneak peeks at most of this season's upcoming new genre shows (minus those that've already premiered), plus the return dates for all your old favorites...

About the Author: Monica Corwin

About the Author: Monica Corwin

While the Secrets & Sorcery anthology has now come to an end (aren't limited editions so bittersweet?), my fellow authors from that collection are still busy little bees! Like Monica Corwin, who's gearing up for One Shade of Gray, her retelling of The Portrait of Dorian Gray that comes out next week. You know how much I love a good retelling!

Monica Corwin is a New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author. She is an outspoken writer attempting to make romance accessible to everyone, no matter their preferences. As a Northern Ohioian, she enjoys snow drifts, three seasons of weather, and a dislike of Michigan football. Monica owns more books about King Arthur than should be strictly necessary. Also typewriters... lots and lots of typewriters.

Get to know more about Monica in this Q&A...