November: Native American Heritage Month

November is Native American Heritage Month!  I realize it’s also Sci-Fi month, and I would have loved to do a post dedicated just to Native American Science Fiction, but sadly I could only find a couple of authors, so I am broadening this to include Fantasy.

I do plan to read a couple books this month by Native American authors- and I wanted to share some of the ones on my TBR, and a couple books I’ve already read, in case anyone else is planning on checking out some Native American authors also.

Storm of Locusts by Rebecca Roanhorse

Storm of Locusts by Rebecca Roanhorse – This is the second book in Roanhorse’s Sixth World series.  I did struggle a bit with Trail of Lightning, there were some things I wanted explained a little better and the plot was more loose than I would have liked, but the world building and mythology were all really cool!  Maggie Hoskie is a monster hunter in a post apocalyptic world.  I would like to continue the series some time.  I do suggest everyone check out Roanhorse’s short story, Welcome to Your Authentic Indian Experience, which is one of the more brilliant works of short fiction I’ve read in the past couple years.

Love Beyond Body Space and Time by Hope Nicholson

Love Beyond Body, Space & Time Edited by Hope Nichols – This is an anthology about Native American two-spirit characters.  I will be honest and say I’m not sure if 100% of the stories are #ownvoices, but I believe at least one of them is.  It was put up for a couple of literary awards last year, which is how it made it on to my radar.

The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline

The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline – This has also been on my radar for a year or so.  It’s a YA novel set in a future world ravaged by climate change.  Everyone with the exception of Native Americans have lost the ability to dream, and their marrow holds the cure for the non-dreamers.  Now they are being hunted down and made into unwilling marrow donors.  I think I’ve been putting it off, because it sounds really dark, but it’s fairly highly rated on GoodReads, and has won several literary awards.

Future Home of the Living God by Louise Erdrich

Future Home of the Living God by Louise Erdrich – Another #ownvoices book about a world where babies are stillborn due to genetic deformities making them very large and difficult to birth.  The term the book used is “reverse evolution”.  We are shown the story of Cedar Hawk Songmaker as she is pregnant, and must hide it from the wider world, lest she be abducted and her (hopefully healthy) baby stolen.  Unfortunately, this wasn’t a good book for me, because the ending was largely ambiguous, which I dislike, but I wanted to share because it has the potential to be an excellent book for someone else.

Almanac of the Dead by Leslie Marmon Silko

Almanac of the Dead by Leslie Marmon Silko – This is also #ownvoices!  I have no excuse for not having read it yet, since I actually do own this one.  This is a fantasy retelling of the history of Native American people told from the POV of Native people.

Mapping the Interior by Stephen Graham Jones

Mapping the Interior by Stephen Graham Jones – Stephen Graham Jones has been popping up on my radar quite a bit with his upcoming release: The Only Good Indians (which looks amazing!).  In the meantime, I plan to read this novella about a boy haunted by the ghost of his father.

Flight by Sherman Alexie

Flight by Sherman Alexie – About a young boy of Native American heritage that is flung backward through time as he is about to commit an act of violence.  I am hoping to get to this sometime this month, along with a couple others mentioned above.

Are you planning on reading any of these?  Do you have any other Native American authors to recommend?

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated Releases

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Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

This top ten Tuesday is about my most anticipated upcoming releases.  I don’t know if I’ll make it to 10 for only the first half of 2019, but I’ll put up as many as I can.

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10. The Lost Puzzler by Eyal Kless; release date: January 8, 2019 – As of right now I’m a little on the fence about this one.  There aren’t many reviews out for it yet, and it’s being published by HarperVoyager.  Why it isn’t more highly publicized is kind of a red flag to me.  But it seems like a nice blend of sci-fi and fantasy, and I love puzzles.  So I’ll keep an eye on it for a bit.  (Also- that cover is gorgeous!)  Blurb can be found here.

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9. Storm of Locusts by Rebecca Roanhorse; release date: April 23, 2019 – This is a sequel to last year’s Trail of Lightning (review here).  I felt pretty lukewarm about Trail of Lightning.  It had a lot of issues.  The romance in particular was not good.  (And just so we are clear, I actually like the romance genre even though I don’t read it often.  I only ask that it be done well.)

But what I loved was the Native American cultural elements Roanhorse worked into her story.  The sad truth is, there aren’t enough Native American voices in fantasy or science fiction today and those aspects of the book were so good, I think I am willing to give Storm of Locusts a shot.

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8. The Luminous Dead by Caitlin Starling; release date: April 2, 2019 – Soo.. Everyone who knows me knows I love to gush about Jurassic Park, Godzilla, The Meg, Anaconda… for better or worse, I love me a good a monster movie.  I don’t care how bad or corny the actors are.  I don’t care if it stars Jason Statham or a couple of Baywatch extras… I really don’t.  Give me lots of teeth and some blood and gore and I’m there.  I don’t even know if there are monsters in this book, but the cover looks sinister enough that I’m willing to give it a go.

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7. Golden State by Ben H. Winters; release date: January 22, 2019 – Mr. Winters has a pretty dedicated and loyal fan base out there.  I’ve only read his The Last Policeman (review here) but I fully intend to finish the series.  Fellow SFF lovers always seem to speak very highly of it.  I think what’s put me off for so long is that I already know how it ends (right?!).  So when I saw this new release from Winters, I was pretty stoked.  I do like his writing and it featured this tagline: A shocking vision of our future that is one part Minority Report and one part Chinatown.  I was sold at Minority Report.  I feel like The Minority Report was the sequel to 1984 I never knew I needed.  So if what I get here is an modern, more high tech Minority Report, I’ll be a very happy girl.

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6. A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine; release date: March 26, 2019 – I actually won this one in a GoodReads Giveaway but I haven’t received it yet.  Condensed blurb from GoodReads:

Ambassador Mahit Dzmare arrives in the center of the multi-system Teixcalaanli Empire only to discover that her predecessor…has died…Mahit might be next to die, during a time of political instability in the highest echelons of the imperial court….Now, Mahit must discover who is behind the murder, rescue herself, and save her Station from Teixcalaan’s unceasing expansion–all while navigating an alien culture that is all too seductive, engaging in intrigues of her own, and hiding a deadly technological secret–one that might spell the end of her Station and her way of life–or rescue it from annihilation.

A political science fiction murder mystery?  Sign me up!  I discovered over the past couple years that political science fiction really is one of my favorite sub-genres.  The one thing that makes me nervous about this book and blurb, is the crazy names!  Authors why do you do this to your readers?  Please don’t take away from the awesomeness of your book by baffling me with your names.  Is it ma-hit? Ma-heet? Z-Mare?  Z-Mar-EE? Is the goddamn Z silent?  Cut me a break here!  I really hope there is a pronunciation guide because I will not be pleased if I have to pause and try to sound out this name every time I read it.

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5.  Ancestral Night by Elizabeth Bear; release date: March 2019 – Elizabeth Bear is a surprisingly prolific author, and she has a ton of novels on my TBR because everything she writes sounds crazy inventive and original to me.  To date I’ve only read her Carnival, but I thought overall it was pretty fantastic (review here).  Here is the blurb:

Haimey Dz thinks she knows what she wants.  She thinks she knows who she is.  She is wrong.

A routine salvage mission uncovers evidence of a terrible crime and relics of powerful ancient technology. Haimey and her small crew run afoul of pirates…and find themselves on the run and in possession of universe-changing information…Authorities prove corrupt…To save everything that matters, she will need to uncover the secrets of ancient intelligences lost to time—and her own lost secrets, which she will wish had remained hidden from her forever.

Ancient alien technologies, space pirates, corrupt authorities, and deep, dark personal secrets?  Yes Please!  The best part is, I already have an ARC.  I’m trying to hold off on reading it so that my review coincides with the release date, but it will be a tough wait.

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4.  The Raven Tower by Ann Leckie; release date: February 26, 2019 – For the most part I really enjoy Ann Leckie.  Ancillary Sword was a little disappointing to me, so I haven’t actually gotten to Ancillary Mercy yet, but I enjoyed both Ancillary Justice and Provenance, so I’m excited to see what she can do in the realm of fantasy.  The blurb is pretty long, and Leckie is pretty well known, so I’ll just link to the blurb here if you haven’t heard of this one yet.

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3.  The Wolf in the Whale by Jordanna Max Brodsky; release date: January 29, 2019 – I am SO SO SO excited for this one.  First of all- if you’ve been following along you’ll likely have noticed that I’ve worked a mention of vikings into every post possible.  I love everything about viking history and norse mythology.  I honestly can’t get enough of it.  So when I read this tagline: The heroic journey of an Inuit shaman and a Viking warrior in an epic tale of survival, love, and clashing gods in the frozen Arctic of 1000 AD.  I honestly might have squealed out loud.  This might even be something I pick up on release day. (For full blurb or to preorder- check it out here.)

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2.  Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James; release date: February 5, 2019 – Own voices fantasy!!  I heard about this one from buddies over in the Sci-fi Fantasy book club.  Generally speaking, this club is on point when it comes to new releases and recommendations.  Granted- I don’t think any of them have read it yet, but they’ve never steered me wrong before and I’ve picked up quite a few things I would never have read otherwise based on their picks and recs (Too Like the Lightning comes to mind).  Here is a condensed blurb:

Tracker is known far and wide for his skills as a hunter: “He has a nose,” people say. Engaged to track down a mysterious boy who disappeared three years earlier, Tracker breaks his own rule of always working alone when he finds himself part of a group that comes together to search for the boy. The band is a hodgepodge, full of unusual characters with secrets of their own, including a shape-shifting man-animal known as Leopard.

As Tracker follows the boy’s scent–from one ancient city to another; into dense forests and across deep rivers–he and the band are set upon by creatures intent on destroying them. As he struggles to survive, Tracker starts to wonder: Who, really, is this boy? Why has he been missing for so long? Why do so many people want to keep Tracker from finding him? And perhaps the most important questions of all: Who is telling the truth, and who is lying?

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1. Moon Rising by Ian McDonald; release date: March 19, 2019 – This is my number one most anticipated release.  Seriously, if you haven’t read the first two books in the series, New Moon and Wolf Moon, WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH YOUR LIVES?

Haha- just kidding (not really though, go get them).  First of all, Ian McDonald writes a really diverse cast.  Race, sexuality, he leaves nothing out.  Secondly, I described the plot of the first book as Capone vs. O’Banion ON THE MOON.  Instead of bootleg alcohol the turf war is over Helium-3.  Most of the characters are wonderfully gray.  The world building is absolutely superb, and the plot is intense.  I wouldn’t even mind a re-read of the first two books prior to release.  Assuming I can find the time.

And there it is!  I think I made it through all 10.  What about you?  What are your most anticipated releases?