Whatever Holiday Gift Guide 2019, Day One: Traditionally Published Books

Welcome to the first day of the Whatever Shopping Guide 2019 — My way of helping you folks learn about cool creative gifts for the holidays, straight from the folks who have created them.

Today’s featured products are traditionally published books (including graphic novels and audiobooks); that is, books put out by publishers who ship books to stores on a returnable basis. In the comment thread below, authors and editors of these books will tell you a little bit about their latest and/or greatest books so that you will be enticed to get that book for yourself or loved ones this holiday season. Because, hey: Books are spectacular gifts, if I do say so myself. Enjoy your browsing, and I hope you find the perfect book!

Please note that the comment thread today is only for authors and editors to post about their books; please do not leave other comments, as they will be snipped out to keep the thread from getting cluttered. Thanks!

Authors/editors: Here’s how to post in this thread. Please follow these directions!

1. Authors and editors only, books only (including audiobooks). There will be other threads for other stuff, later in the week. Any type of book is fine: Fiction, non-fiction, graphic novels, etc. If you are not the author/editor of the book you’re posting about, don’t post. This is for authors and editors only.

2. For printed books, they must be currently in print (i.e., published before 12/31/19) and available on a returnable basis at bookstores and at least one of the following three online bookstores: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Powell’s. This is so people can find your book when they go looking for it. For audiobooks, they must be professionally published (no self-produced, self-published audiobooks) and at least available through Amazon/Audible. If your book isn’t available as described, or if you’re not sure, wait for the shopping guide for non-traditional books, which will go up tomorrow. 

3. One post per author. In that post, you can list whatever books of yours you like (as long as it meets the criteria in point 2), but allow me to suggest you focus on your most recent book. Note also that the majority of Whatever’s readership is in the US/Canada, so I suggest focusing on books currently available in North America.

4. Keep your description of your book brief (there will be a lot of posts, I’m guessing) and entertaining. Imagine the person is in front of you as you tell them about your book and is interested but easily distracted.

5. You may include a link to a bookseller if you like by using standard HTML link scripting. Be warned that if you include too many links (typically three or more) your post may get sent to the moderating queue. If this happens, don’t panic: I’ll be going in through the day to release moderated posts. Note that posts will occasionally go into the moderation queue semi-randomly; Don’t panic about that either.

6. As noted above, comment posts that are not from authors/editors promoting their books as specified above will be deleted, in order to keep the comment thread useful for people looking to find interesting books.

Got it? Excellent. Then tell the folks about your book! And tell your author friends about this thread so they can come around as well.

67 Comments on “Whatever Holiday Gift Guide 2019, Day One: Traditionally Published Books”

  1. Thanks very much for this opportunity, John. You’re a mensch!

    I’m a mild-mannered physics professor at a great Metropolitan University. I write popular science books that don’t deal with Gravity Waves or the Higgs Boson (as cool as they are) but the science that we have direct interaction with on the human scale.

    If you want to learn how the amazing technology that surrounds us in our daily lives works, see THE PHYSICS OF EVERYDAY THINGS (Crown, 2017)


    If you want to know why, in the 21st century, we don’t have jet packs and flying cars, but we DO have cell phones and laptop computers, see THE AMAZING STORY OF QUANTUM MECHANICS (Avery, 2010)


    If you want to learn ALL of physics, and simultaneously get an M.S. degree (that’s Master of Superheroes!), see THE PHYSICS OF SUPERHEROES – SPECTACULAR SECOND EDITION (Avery 2009).


    Thanks again, John and the great folks at Whatever. Face Front, Fearless Readers!

  2. Thank you, John!

    The Bone Universe trilogy, beginning with the Nebula-winning Updraft, is completely and 100% safe to read! Man-made wings! Giant, invisible, flying, carnivorous, squid! Badassery! https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/0765377845/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1575291054&sr=8-3

    The Fire Opal Mechanism & the Hugo-, Locus- & Nebula- finalist The Jewel and Her Lapidary – very bad gems, time-traveling librarians, badassery! https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/125019654X/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1575291246&sr=8-1

    And Riverland, the double-starred debut middle grade, about two sisters who rescue each other, a quest to keep nightmares out of the real world, and the magic of glass. (CW-addresses domestic violence from a 12yo pov) https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/1419733729/ref=tmm_hrd_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1575291361&sr=8-2

    Thank you for reading, sharing, and being awesome ~ Fran

  3. If you’re looking for what Booklist called “intellectual reveling at its finest,” crack open ALONG THOSE LINES: THE BOUNDARIES THAT CREATE OUR WORLD, a book which examines the lines between nations, genres, and species and the peculiar reasons they were put there. Interviews with artist/writer Ursula Vernon, sculptor Shawn Smith, falconer Tim Gallagher and many others offer new insights into how human beings delineate the calendar, and the baseball field, and the universe itself.


  4. Many thanks to John for giving us an opportunity to shout from the rooftops.

    It’s the holiday season, so of course you want to give the gift of spies in space! My second novel, The Bayern Agenda, came out in March from Angry Robot Books. After a defection mission gone wrong, covert operative Simon Kovalic walks away with a broken arm and vital intelligence pointing toward the Illyrican Empire making inroads with the Bayern corporation, a planet-sized bank. His special operations team is temporarily put under the command of his ex-wife, Commander Natalie Taylor, as they try to unravel the intrigue that might shift this Galactic Cold War to a hot one. It’s available in paperback, ebook, or audiobook.

    My first book, The Caledonian Gambit, is set in the same universe, and follows Kovalic’s recruitment of washed-up pilot Eli Brody to help track down an Illyrican superweapon that could have far-reaching implications for this galactic conflict. It’s also available in paperback, ebook, and audiobook forms from your favorite retailers.

    Thanks and happy holidays!

  5. Thanks for this!

    My novel “The Wreck of the Argyll” is a First World War children’s spy adventure set in Dundee in 1915.

    Twelve-year-old Nancy Caird is desperate to do her bit for the war. So when she suspects one of her teachers of being a German spy, she’s determined to foil his plans, and ropes in the reluctant Jamie Balfour to help her uncover the scheme.

    Midshipman Harry Melville is on his first voyage aboard HMS Argyll as it forges through the black and stormy North Sea, unaware of both hidden rocks and German plots that threaten the ship.

    When Nancy and Jamie’s suspicions are confirmed, and they discover HMS Argyll is in deadly danger, they’re drawn into a web of espionage, secrets, and betrayal, where no-one is as they seem and no-one can be trusted.

    This book is based on the real-life wreck of HMS Argyll at the Bell Rock Lighthouse in 1915, and is the winner of the Great War Dundee Children’s Book Prize.

    Available at Amazon, or any bookshop (at least in the UK) can order it.

  6. Because we all have those friends who say “but what I REALLY want to read is character-driven space opera with a military flavor”:

    THE COLD BETWEEN (Central Corps #1): In the far future, Commander Elena Shaw of the starship Galileo investigates the death of one of her crewmates, which may be related to a mysterious accident decades earlier.


    REMNANTS OF TRUST (Central Corps #2): While pursuing the perpetrators of a deadly attack, Elena and the Galileo crew must deal with a reckless starship captain devoted to revenge.


    BREACH OF CONTAINMENT (Central Corps #3): A diplomatic squabble on a colony moon reunites Elena with Galileo and her old crewmates, who find themselves abruptly isolated–and facing a galaxy-wide civil war.


    Amazon and other links at my web site.

    Thanks, John! Off to peruse other responses now…

  7. Brigid and the Butter: A Legend about Saint Brigid of Ireland. When hungry, overworked young Brigid helps someone in greater need than herself, she is unexpectedly rewarded with a miracle. A children’s picture book, this is a tale of one of the many wonders told of the life of Saint Brigid of Ireland.


    Thanks for reading!

  8. Thank you doing this, John.

    The Janet Watson Chronicles is my take on Watson and Holmes, reimagined as two black queer women, set in a near future US divided by a second civil war.

    In A Study in Honor, Dr. Janet Watson is serving in a medical unit when a sniper’s bullet shatters her arm and ends her career. She returns home to Washington, DC to rebuild her life, where she meets Sara Holmes, a mysterious covert agent who offers the doctor a place to stay. When veterans of that same war begin to die under mysterious circumstances, they join forces to investigate. (Lambda Literary Award winner, Best Lesbian Mystery, 2018)

    In The Hound of Justice, Watson and Holmes embark on a dangerous journey through the New Confederacy to clear Holmes’s name and bring their nemesis to justice for the atrocities she’s committed.

  9. Thanks for the opportunity to post.

    My Crown of Shards epic fantasy series is Gladiator meets Game of Thrones with a kick-butt heroine. KILL THE QUEEN and PROTECT THE PRINCE, books #1 and #2, are available in ebook, print, and audiobook from Amazon and all the other usual retailers: https://tinyurl.com/uu7639y

    Through Dec. 11, folks can order signed print copies through Malaprop’s Bookstore/Cafe in Asheville, N.C.

    KILL THE QUEEN — https://tinyurl.com/y82urcrh

    PROTECT THE PRINCE — https://tinyurl.com/yby7zjdm

    Happy reading and happy holidays! :-)


    This title includes chapters on Grimm, American Horror Story, Buffy, Firefly, Doctor Who, Adventury Time, Stephen Universe, the Book of Heroes, and others! The chapters are thoughtful enough to make you wonder, and interesting enough to keep you reading more. The writers are a good mix of established and new scholars, and enough non-US viewpoints to give the book and international flair.

    Available from
    * McFarland (https://mcfarlandbooks.com/product/buffy-to-batgirl/)
    * B&N (https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/buffy-to-batgirl-julie-m-still/1132324761?ean=9781476637259)
    * Amazon (https://www.amazon.com/Buffy-Batgirl-Evolving-Femininity-Science/dp/1476664463/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=buffy+to+batgirl&qid=1575295256&sr=8-1)
    and other standard online retailers

  11. Thanks so much!
    My debut novel A SPECTRAL HUE is an #ownvoices story about art, obsession, and ghosts,

    For generations, the marsh-surrounded town of Shimmer, Maryland has played host to a loose movement of African-American artists, all working in different media, but all utilizing the same haunting color. Landscape paintings, trompe l’oeil quilts, decorated dolls, mixed-media assemblages, and more, all featuring the same peculiar hue, a shifting pigment somewhere between purple and pink, the color of the saltmarsh orchid, a rare and indigenous flower.

    Graduate student Xavier Wentworth has been drawn to Shimmer, hoping to study the work of artists like quilter Hazel Whitby and landscape painter Shadrach Grayson in detail, having experienced something akin to an epiphany when viewing a Hazel Whitby tapestry as a child. Xavier will find that others, too, have been drawn to Shimmer, called by something more than art, something in the marsh itself, a mysterious, spectral hue.

    From Lambda Literary Award-nominated author Craig Laurance Gidney (Sea, Swallow Me & Other Stories, Skin Deep Magic) comes A Spectral Hue, a novel of art, obsession, and the ghosts that haunt us all.


  12. My book is called The Haunted Muse and it’s an academic book. But wait! A colleague once tried to insult my writing by calling it “compellingly readable,” which in academia is the kiss of death. I write about the curious anxieties we find in horror and gothic stories about writing in the genre and how that translates into stories about weird or misplaced reproduction. There are bits about Hawthorne and Alcott as well as chapters on King, Jackson, and Levin. One other warning: I write about books as an unabashed fan, so if you’re looking for dry academic discourse, you’ll be disappointed. Here’s the Amazon link: The Haunted Muse https://www.amazon.com/dp/1443889083/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_rzs5Db0T7QEBA

  13. The Time & Shadow series from HarperCollins…

    Agent Sam Rose signed up to protect the country from terrorists, not from time traveling serial killers or rifts in the multiverse. But here she is, with the former US Army Ranger turned morgue doctor and a giant mastiff for backup. The good news is she knows exactly when she’ll die (and where in time her body will wind up) so all that’s left to do is find her murderer. Easy, right?


  14. Two new books from me this year:

    Diary of One Who Disappeared (Epigram Books, Apr 2019): In 2040, Lucas Lehrer finds himself a fugitive in the Southeast Asian nation of Tinhau, and he discovers that his deep-seated desires are coming true. (https://jasonlundberg.wordpress.com/bibliography/books/diary-of-one-who-disappeared-a-novella/)

    Most Excellent and Lamentable (Epigram Books, Oct 2019): Let Lundberg’s imagination introduce you to an unearthly stargirl, a foul-mouthed wombat, slithering immortals, a fish with premonitions, and much more. (https://jasonlundberg.wordpress.com/bibliography/books/most-excellent-and-lamentable/)

  15. Thank you, John!

    THE WIDOWS is the first novel in my historical mystery series, set in 1920s Appalachia, and inspired by Ohio’s true first female sheriff. In THE WIDOWS, the worlds of Lily and Marvena collide as they investigate the murder of the man they both love–and work together to save their community from disaster.

    In THE HOLLOWS, forthcoming from Minotaur Books Jan. 14 2020 but available for pre-order now, Lily investigates the death of an unidentified elderly woman, and uncovers dark secrets about her community.

    My website has order and pre-order links for both books: https://jessmontgomeryauthor.com/

  16. Thank you so much for the opportunity!

    Read the adult-crossover novel inspired by the legend of a haunting at the Angel of the Sea in Cape May, NJ. Perfect for fans of AFTERLIFE by Marcus Sakey and the 90’s movie Ghost.

    With a literary nod to the movie Ghost, something Ms. Berliner acknowledges in her accompanying blurb for The Ghost Chronicles, and a certain resonance with the Odd Thomas series by the master of the genre, Dean Koontz, the story does remind us frequently that it is intended for Young Adults. And yet, the excellent plotting, precise editing, and well-projected development of story line all guarantee that the writing is also perfectly suitable for an Old Adult.” – Joel R. Dennstedt for Readers’ Favorite, 5-stars

    “…Berliner’s touches give her novel innovation…” and”…dramatic and paranormal elements give this winsome tale flavor.” – Kirkus

    Can Michael get to heaven before the devil gets him first, and if it means leaving Sarah is he sure he still wants to go?
    Michael Andrews had everything – a loving family, a great girlfriend and a promising basketball career. Now he’s a marked soul, pursued by demons and struggling to understand why he’s stuck.
    Even worse, he’s falling in love in the afterlife, where binding oneself to another soul is strictly forbidden, for it may keep one or both of the souls bound to earth for longer than they should be.
    So maybe falling in love in the afterlife isn’t such a good idea?

    Barnes & Noble –

    Amazon –

  17. Thanks for this opportunity, John! I’m a paleontologist and ichnologist who writes books for popular audiences, not just my 4-5 friends in academia (and that number might be an overestimate). “What’s an ichnologist?” Why, thank you for asking. An ichnologist is someone who studies fossil and modern traces, such as tracks, trails, burrows, and other signs animals leave behind. My latest book is ‘The Evolution Underground’ (Pegasus Books, 2017), which is a lively, fun-filled tour of burrows and burrowing animals through time (including humans) and how burrows changed our planet. Because I’m also a science-fiction fan, I throw in sci-fi pop references throughout the book and in my illustrations. So make sure you look for the “Galileo 7” shuttlecraft used for scale for a map of a Pleistocene ground sloth burrow. Thanks, and hope y’all enjoy the book! https://www.amazon.com/Evolution-Underground-Burrows-Marvelous-Subterranean-ebook/dp/B01K5J6QJO/ref=zg_bs_158629011_46?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=YGQ30AM9BN0SXT0GJDZA

  18. My most recent book is a novella, Alice Payne Rides, the sequel to the Nebula-shortlisted Alice Payne Arrives, about a time-travelling 18th century highwaywoman, her scientist girlfriend, and a war to change history. Available from Tor.com Publishing in print and ebook, and in audio from Macmillan Audio (available on Audible.)

    Publisher page for Alice Payne Rides

    Thank you, John!

  19. I first discovered John Scalzi’s books through my U.S. military friends, and I’ve read the whole list. Thanks, John!

    You can discover “The Military Guide To Financial Independence And Retirement” free at your military base library or your local public library. That includes the eBook as well as paperback.

    Parents, siblings, it makes a great stocking stuffer for your servicemember.

    Impact Publications offers bulk discounts for your troops, especially on the 4”x6” pocket guide:

    If you’re ordering it with U.S. military command funds, it’s available in the GSA Advantage catalog:

    Read the eBook from Amazon right now, or buy the paperback edition:

  20. If you like steampunk, here’s an anthology of stories based in and around Bristol, with themes of transport in particular.


    I had the great pleasure of having one of my stories in this collection – in fact my first actual credit! Don’t worry though, the other writers were all a lot better. I really enjoyed how so many of them savaged the Victorian values of the era. in their stories.

    Many thanks to John for offering the space to share this!

  21. Thanks in advance to John for putting this up. I’d like to promote two new books: one solo novel, and one just published co-written with Eric Flint.

    My solo, City By the Bay, is set in the 19th Century on the west coast of America – which is part of Tsarist Russia. The city is Saint Helena, located where we would find San Francisco, and the novel chronicles it from its founding in 1816 until the great earthquake of 1906.


    Council of Fire is set in “Arcane America”, the second published novel in the world (after 2017’s Uncharted by Anderson and Hoyt). This book tells of the Sundering, which separates the New World from the Old World and awakens magic on the continent.


  22. Thank you so much for doing this, John!

    My debut novel is THE IMAGINARY CORPSE, a fantasy novel about an ex-imaginary friend and once-and-current detective who finds himself facing off against the first serial killer of ideas. It’s about trauma and hope, pain and recovery, and also the pathos of being a stuffed triceratops. It’s available from Angry Robot Books directly, or at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other fine book retailers. The audiobook comes out from Tantor Media tomorrow, Dec. 3rd, and will be available from Audible as well as other retailers.

  23. Does the child in your life enjoy Dog Man, Cat Kid, and Captain Underpants by Dave Pilkey? Kevin J. Coolidge is not as well known, but shares some of the same fans. His books are available at From My Shelf Books & Gifts or wherever books are sold. He owns a bookstore. So, he does encourage you to use your local bookstore https://www.indiebound.org/search/book?keys=kevin+coolidge

  24. Thanks, John!
    SCOURGE OF THE SEAS OF TIME (AND SPACE) edited by Catherine Lundoff (Queen of Swords Press, 2018).
    Outlaws. Lovers. Heroes. Villains.

    With their peg legs, their parrots and the skull and crossbones flying from the mastheads of their ships, classic pirates are some of the world’s best-known and easily recognizable outlaws. Or are they? These fifteen stories spin new tales of pirates crossing dimensional barriers for revenge, fighting terrible foes in outer space and building new lives after the Trojan War. Travel to the South China Sea, then on to New York City after a climate apocalypse, then roam the Caribbean during the Golden Age of Piracy and voyage to distant and fantastical worlds. Go with them as they seek treasure, redemption, love, revenge and more. Raise the Jolly Roger and sharpen your cutlass (or recharge your raygun) and climb aboard for some unforgettable journeys.

    Available on all major platforms in print and ebook and at DreamHaven Books (http://dreamhavenbooks.com/product/scourge-seas-time-space/)

  25. Thank you John!
    Vessel by Lisa A. Nichols

    Some content was stripped by our security filters, but it should be possible for one of your Editors to embed the content for you.

    Also available via https://www.simonandschuster.com/books/Vessel/Lisa-A-Nichols/9781501168772

    “Eerie and taut storytelling.”– Newsweek, “Best Summer Books”

    Astronaut Catherine Wells returns to Earth a decade after a disastrous mission leaves the world convinced she and crew are dead. Miraculously—and mysteriously—she survived, but with little memory of what happened. Her reentry after a decade away is a turbulent one: her husband has moved on with another woman and the young daughter she left behind has grown into a teenager she barely recognizes.

    What happened out there? How did she survive? As she tries to find the answers, frightening things begin to happen, and suddenly she’s questioning everything that happened up in space: how her crewmates died, how she survived, and now, what’s happening to her back on Earth.

  26. Folks using images of their books should be aware that (probably due to my strict security settings) some people won’t see anything but a large white space where your image of your book cover should be. I could relax my various defensive arrangements, but nope. Not gonna do that.

    You guys should always have the title and ISBN number in plain old text along with any images of your cover.

  27. Hi! I’m Michael R. Johnston, mild-mannered (but very sarcastic) English teacher and SF novelist.

    THE WIDENING GYRE tells the story of Tajen Hunt, a hero of the alien-run Zhen Empire who discovers that humanity’s benevolent overlords are anything but benevolent when they murder his brother to prevent his discovery from becoming public. As Tajen hires a crew and searches for the lost human homeworld his brother claimed to have discovered, he moves ever closer to a war that could end the human race.

    Published by Flame Tree Press, The Widening Gyre is available in print, ebook, and audiobook via all major retailers. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42175982-the-widening-gyre

  28. Thank you for sharing your platform!

    If you know a reader looking for lush historical fantasy filled with political intrigue, elemental magic, a diverse world, and sassy, capable women seizing the means to shape their own destinies, then allow me to suggest FROM UNSEEN FIRE (DAW Books).

    The Dictator is dead; long live the Republic. But whose Republic will it be? A trio of patrician sisters and an ambitious senator use wit, charm, and magic to realize their dreams for Aven, an alternate-universe version of late Republic Rome poised on the brink of greatness or destruction.

    Kate Elliott calls FROM UNSEEN FIRE “exactly the novel I wanted to read.”
    ALA Booklist, in a starred review, praises it as “A spellbinding tale of political machinations” and promises that “Fans of I, Claudius and Game of Thrones are in for a treat.”
    Bookpage calls it “brilliantly imagined and plotted.”

    Available in paperback, ebook, and audio (with narration by Khristine Hvam):
    Amazon — https://www.amazon.com/Unseen-Fire-Aven-Cycle/dp/0756412242
    B&N — https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/from-unseen-fire-cass-morris/1125456861
    IndieBound — http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780756412241

  29. Thanks for doing this John!

    THIS IS HOW YOU LOSE THE TIME WAR, the novella I co-wrote with Max Gladstone, is out and available for your reading pleasure in hardcover, ebook and audiobook! Two time-travelling super spies on opposite sides of a war for the future start writing each other letters — but what begins as battlefield boasts grows more intricate and intimate. We did a Big Idea about it if you’d like to know more!

    Above link is to Indiebound, but you can also get it at the following places:

    Barnes & Noble (10% off the hardcover!)

    Happy reading!

  30. Many thanks to our generous host John Scalzi for this opportunity.

    Something a bit different–Japanese art books! These are all based on the collection of over 50,000 Japanese woodblock prints in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the largest such collection outside Japan. In mundane life, when I’m not reading SF, I’m the curator of the prints and the author (or main author) of these books, some of which are based on exhibitions.

    There are lots of genre-related elements in the prints, which mostly date from the 19th century. Since fantasy played an important role in popular entertainment, then as now, you’ll find plenty of dragons, demons, ghosts, monsters, magicians, and so on. Even the landscapes sometimes have surreal elements that play on the concept of reality versus illusion.

    Here’s what’s currently available. They are vey reasonably priced and make excellent gifts for the art lovers on your list.

    _Tattoos in Japanese Prints_ (MFA Publications, 2017)
    This was a small in-house show at the MFA, then a book, and then a larger show this past summer at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco. Here’s a recent article that CNN picked up from Artsy:

    _Kuniyoshi X Kunisada_ (2017)
    More by Kuniyoshi, the artist most famous for his prints of tattooed heroes, as well as his rival Kunisada, the top designer of actor prints. Kuniyoshi’s heroic warriors battle each other, or fabulous monsters; Kunisada’s scenes from kabuki plays include giant cat monsters and vengeful ghosts.

    _Hokusai’s Lost Manga_ (2016)
    A facsimile of hand-drawn illustrations for a book that was never published—until now! Lots of wonderful Hokusai drawings of many different subjects, including gods, mythological beings, and creatures from folklore.

    _Hokusai_ (2015)
    Published to accompany a major retrospective of the most famous of all Japanese artists; includes gorgeous paintings of fabulous creatures such as the phoenix on the cover, and prints of eerie ghosts and haunted houses.

    _Hokusai’s Landscapes: The Complete Series_ (2019)
    This is the latest offering, and I’m very pleased with the way it looks. These are our very best examples—some of which we are not allowed to exhibit, due to the legal terms of a major gift in 1921—of ALL of the great landscapes: all 46 of the 36 Views of Mount Fuji (it was such a big hit that he made extra designs), all 8 of the Waterfalls, and so on, each with explanatory text. Enjoy!

  31. Thank you for the opportunity, John!

    The first two books in the Chronicles of Ghadid, a trilogy about queer assassins saving the day, came out this year from Tor.

    THE PERFECT ASSASSIN is about a historian turned assassin turned detective who must find a murderer before his family is blamed. It’s got: rooftop fights! poison! intense research scenes! conflagrations! handholding!

    THE IMPOSSIBLE CONTRACT is what happens when you take one (1) disaster lesbian, one (1) cinnamon roll healer, one (1) narcissistic necromancer, and three (3) undead camels and send them on a quest to stop an unholy evil from rising.

  32. Thanks, John!

    If you (or someone you’re gift-shopping for) are into traditional epic fantasy about faith, found family, sarcasm&swordfights, maybe give THE PALADIN TRILOGY a shot! Here’s a link to Amazon’s Series Page, where the first book is on sale on kindle for a buck. The series is complete (and in a Starred Review, Publisher’s Weekly called Crusade “a triumphant conclusion.”


    There are also audiobooks, narrated by the incomparable Michael Kramer.


    My most recent work is a departure from fantasy; the first book in a series about a houseboat-living, cocktail-mixing, weightlifting, bad-decision-making PI in rural and suburban Maryland: BODY BROKER: A Jack Dixon Novel


    All of these books (save the audiobook versions of Paladin; those are Audible only) are available on order at your local bookstores:


    Please also know that if you purchase physical copies of any of my novels, I am happy to send signed bookplates anywhere the USPS will take them. Just track me down on the internet and let me know where to send them.

  33. Turning Darkness Into Light is a stand-alone sequel to the World Fantasy and Hugo Award-nominated Memoirs of Lady Trent. It follows Lady Trent’s granddaughter Audrey into the depths of a conspiracy involving international politics, black market antiquities smuggling, and the translation of a lost epic from the ancient Draconean civilization, and it’s accessible to readers who aren’t familiar with the Memoirs. Purchase links for many major retailers are at that link!

  34. Thank you, John! I missed this last year, so am hopping on the train this year.

    The Chronicles of Alsea is a genre-spanning series that starts out in science fiction but hits fantasy, mystery, military action, political thriller, romance, and a bit of young adult before it’s through. If you enjoy stories with competent women front and center, deep dives into character psychology, culture clashes, and world-building that sucks you in, there are two entry points for the series.

    1. Start at the beginning, when two cultures collide (literally) in THE CAPHENON.


    2. OUTCASTE is the sixth book in the series, but introduces both a new character and a new culture, making it an easy entry to explore Alsea. It’s also the best for YA readers.


  35. Thanks for the opportunity, John!

    If you’re looking for something a little spooky, my first book, DANGEROUS GAMES TO PLAY IN THE DARK, was published by Chronicle Books in September. It dives into the weird world of urban legend games, digging into the origins of 24 such games — both folkloric classics like Bloody Mary and their modern descendants — and laying out exactly how you might play them… if you’re feeling brave, of course.

    It’s available at Amazon (https://amzn.to/33KA4xc), B&N, Powell’s, etc.; additionally, if you like to shop local, the book has an IndieBound page, too (https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781452179797).

    Happy holiday season, all!

  36. Thanks for doing this, John!
    My book out this year is HOW RORY THORNE DESTROYED THE MULTIVERSE (DAW, Oct. 2019):
    Princess Leia meets The Princess Bride, in space, with a grumpy cyborg and math-magic (or: a reimagining of fairy tale tropes in a space opera with a healthy dose of let’s-take-on-the-patriarchy).

    It was a lot of fun to write, and I hope it’s a lot of fun to read. (Or to listen to, since there is also an audio version).

  37. Thank you, John!

    I’m a TV animation writer by trade, but I also have a penchant for writing Sci-Fi and Fantasy YA/MG novels. But enough about me . . .

    My book is GHOST STAR: A Sci-Fi Adventure. It’s a YA space opera with lots of action, a little heart, and a dollop of humor. Here’s a brief summary:

    “When his father and crewmates are attacked and killed by a ruthless alien commander, young Galen Bray becomes the new captain of the GHOST STAR, a notorious smuggling vessel. Barely escaping capture, Galen sets out to rescue the only other survivor of the vicious attack, his sister Trem. Along the way, he discovers a mysterious people thought wiped out long ago, his family’s surprising origins, and a destiny he never imagined . . .”


  38. Thanks John!

    If you’re looking for something to hold you over until Star Wars drops, look no further than gunrunner turned empress, Hail Bristol.

    Hail Bristol has made a name for herself as one of the most fearsome gunrunners in the galaxy. But she can’t escape her past forever: twenty years ago, she was a runaway princess of the Indranan Empire. Now, her mother’s people have finally come to bring her home.

    But when Hail is dragged back to her Indrana to take her rightful place as the only remaining heir, she finds that trading her ship for a palace is her most dangerous move yet.

    Indranan War Trilogy – ebooks
    Indranan War Trilogy – paperback

  39. Thanks for this opportunity, John.

    The Boston Globe says I write “murder with a dose of drollery.”

    The Highland Bookshop Mysteries take place on the west coast of the Scottish Highlands. Plaid and Plagiarism, book one, is available in paper, e-book, large print, and audio. So is Scones and Scoundrels, book two. Book three, Thistles and Thieves, will be out in January.

    The Haunted Yarn Shop Mysteries take place in the mountains of northeast Tennessee (with a depressed ghost). Last Wool and Testament, book one, is available in paper, e-book, large print, and audio. Books two through six are too.

  40. Thank you, John!

    Love Jessica Jones, Harry Dresden, or Dex Parios? Meet Alice, private investigator of the supernatural, and her ghost sidekick Malcolm. Alice loves tall boots, good Scotch, and swift justice.

    The first time Moses Murphy’s granddaughter killed on his orders, she was six years old.

    For twenty years, she was a prisoner of an organized crime syndicate, forced to use her magic to make Moses the most powerful and feared man on the East Coast. To escape his cruelty, she faked her own death and started a new life as Alice Worth. As a private investigator specializing in cases involving the supernatural, Alice walks a precarious line between atoning for the sins of her grandfather’s cabal and keeping her true identity hidden while seeking both justice and redemption.

    InD’Tale Magazine calls the series “urban fantasy at its best” and Publisher’s Weekly says it’s “action-packed and entertaining.”

    The Alice Worth series is available on Kindle, KU, paperback, and Audible. http://smarturl.it/AliceBoxAmz

    Join my reader community and get a free novella now: https://www.lisaedmonds.com/

  41. Love STEAMPUNK?

    Me too. I have a completed steampunk trilogy that is either young adult, new adult, or adult depending on your taste (it’s short, with a very sweet G-rated female-female romance, and several battles. Good for 12+ I reckon). And there’s magic. And it’s set mainly in Australia. And the middle book was featured in a Big Idea (https://whatever.scalzi.com/2017/10/12/the-big-idea-felicity-banks/).

    HEART OF BRASS is the first book, and if you buy it from my personal store I sign it and post it for you. I also have a middle grade series, and some unique interactive fiction. https://shootingthrough.net/store/

  42. Thanks to John for doing this.

    Do you like historic costuming? Do you write fantasy set in worlds modeled after medieval or early modern Europe? Then you will LOVE this tribute volume to costume historian Robin Netherton!
    Sumptuary laws to dressing holy statues, mislabeling artifacts to clothing in paintings…REFASHIONING MEDIEVAL AND EARLY MODERN CLOTHING: A TRIBUTE TO ROBIN NETHERTON is for you!

    My contribution, “Coping with Connoisseurship,” is all about how sexism in collecting, a crusty old woman, and a well meaning but clueless museum curator combined to hide the true purpose of a pair of centuries-old quilted capes in two New York museums. Check it out!


    Lisa Evans

  43. Thank you kindly for this opportunity, John.
    Writing a book is fun and easy–once we get out of our own way and let our natural talent and creativity take over. I’m an author and contributing editor at Writer’s Digest Magazine, and here’s my guide on writing! YOU’VE GOT A BOOK IN YOU: A STRESS-FREE GUIDE TO WRITING THE BOOK OF YOUR DREAMS. Here’s the Amazon link:

  44. Really grateful for this opportunity – thank you to John for doing this!
    As a literature professor at Columbia, I’ve written a couple of other books – but decided to go more footnote-free for my latest, a YA novel which asks the question: “If you discovered a supervillain robot suit in a secret basement in your house that might explain why your father disappeared a few years ago, what would you do?” Kirkus called it “a nifty mystery with pleasant superhero twists”; Booklist called it “perfect for fans of superhero stories in search of something new”; and my kids call it “Daddy’s robot book.” So if you’re inclined, or know someone who might be, give it a try – here’s the Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/Mayhem-Madness-Chronicles-Teenaged-Supervillain/dp/0823442551/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

  45. I have three early reader graphic novels out: HIPPPOTAMISTER, KITTEN CONSTRUCTION COMPANY: Meet the House Kittens, and the latter’s sequel KITTEN CONSTRUCTION COMPANY: A Bridge Too Fur.

    They’re all from First Second Books/Macmillan and perfect for anyone who likes stories about animals with human jobs.

  46. Out literally today!


    Father Julius, revered as a holy man by the scum of the earth, burns with the knowledge he’s a secret atheist and a fraud. When he befriends a terrified psych patient named Gordy, however, he realizes his new comrade may hold some proof of the divine. Pursuing Gordy is a powerful cult leader named Morris, who believes himself to be the world’s sole consciousness. But Gordy isn’t running from Morris.

    He claims he’s running from God.

  47. Thank you for doing this!

    CHILLING EFFECT is Mass Effect meets Firefly with pit stops at a ton of cartoons and video games and movies. It’s about spaceship captain Eva Innocente, whose sister is kidnapped by an evil organization called The Fridge. To pay the ransom and get her sister back, Eva has to drag her crew through a bunch of dangerous missions. Meanwhile, her ship is infested with psychic cats, a fish-faced emperor wants her dead for turning him down at a bar, and she’s catching feelings for her cute engineer. http://candleinsunshine.com/books/chilling-effect/

  48. Happy holidays, everyone!

    My newest for adults: THE DEEPEST BLUE is a standalone epic fantasy novel about a fearless oyster diver who must protect her island from bloodthirsty sea spirits. It has a lot of sea monsters in it. I mean, a LOT of sea monsters.

    My newest for kids (ages 8-12): SPARK is about a girl and her lightning dragon. Set in a world where storm beasts control the weather, SPARK is a story about a quiet kid. But it’s not the story of a quiet kid who learns to be loud. It’s about a quiet kid who learns she doesn’t have to change herself to change the world.

    My newest for teens (ages 12+): FIRE AND HEIST is Ocean’s Eleven with were-dragons. Sixteen-year-old Sky Hawkins must steal her first hoard to be accepted by were-dragon society, but in the process, she discovers a dark truth that could reunite her family or tear them apart forever.

    If you’re interested, there’s info on all of them on my website: http://www.sarahbethdurst.com

  49. Thanks for the chance to let others know about my work! My Menopausal Superhero series makes a great gift for superhero-loving women in your life, or readers who enjoy an unusual take on superhero stories.

    The first in the series (Going Through the Change) is on sale right now (sale ends December 3rd) along with lots of other great books by my colleagues at Falstaff Books. Falstaff Books Holiday Sale

    Paper and hardback copies can be ordered on Amazon or through your favorite bookseller. Menopausal Superheroes on Amazon

  50. Thanks for the chance.

    My latest novel is the first in a series about Wildside, Inc, a team of superhuman mercenaries. Cadre Clash is the tale of a missing persons case that leads to a vast conspiracy that includes a shadowy group of scientists, a series of break-ins, and the consequences that could effect two world.


  51. Thank you for this post and thread, John!
    My book, “Hayao Miyazaki: Exploring the Early Work of Japan’s Greatest Animator”, published in 2018 (and covered in a Big Idea post here on Whatever) originally came out in an expensive hardcover edition; this January, it’s coming out in a much cheaper, paperback edition. A bit late for Christmas, but pre-order is open at Amazon:

  52. My new novel is science fiction… in its own way. https://ifwgaustralia.com/title-the-year-of-the-fruit-cake/ The Year of the Fruitcake tells of the Earth-based life of a mostly-mindwiped alien anthropologist inhabiting a human perimenopausal body instead of her own more rational body with its capacity to change gender. This alien has definitely shaken a great intergalactic empire by sitting in cafés with her new best friends. Chocolate may or may not have played a part. Will humanity survive?

    Thank you for letting us share our books!

  53. Thank you so much for providing this opportunity every year!

    My debut novella, CATFISH LULLABY, is Southern Gothic meets weird cosmic horror, with a healthy dose of queer relationships, found family, monsters, secrets, and the power of stories.

    It’s available directly from Broken Eye Books: https://www.brokeneyebooks.com/store/c25/Catfish-Lullaby#/ and from Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/catfish-lullaby-ac-wise/1131296125?ean=9781940372297 among other places.

  54. Hi! I’ve got three new books out this holiday season.

    For the artist in your life, my graphic novel memoir GIRL ON FILM about growing up wanting to be the worlds greatest filmmaker and failing but how an art life takes you on a journey to where you need to be. https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781684154531

    For the Kid or Disney freak in your life, SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS a graphic novel retelling of the movie from Snow’s point of view. (so we get to hear her thoughts and see her agency!)

    For the comic book afficinado or fierce feminist, FEMALE FURIES it’s Jack Kirby’s Fourth World revamped with a feminist awakening movement on Apokolips. https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781401297114

  55. Need to make the light-up space marshmallow dragon queen clothes of your dreams?
    Learn how to make electronic clothes and fashion tech with Make It, Wear It: Wearable electronics for Makers, Crafters, and Cosplayers by Sahrye Cohen and Hal Rodriguez.
    Great for those with access to a makerspace who want to combine wearable electronics with 3D printing and laser cutting. Available at Barnes and Noble, Amazon, and of course, Powell’s Books.

  56. The Little Women Cookbook is written by two librarians so it’s full of all kinds of historical details but we also love to eat so it’s also full of delicious recipes!

    Some content was stripped by our security filters, but it should be possible for one of your Editors to embed the content for you.

  57. Hi there! Long-time reader, first-time poster. My debut novel published this year! SHATTER THE SKY is more affectionately known around the internet as the angry bisexual dragon YA fantasy novel, so if any of that floats your boat, you might like my book. It was an Indies Introduce and an Indies Next pick, and Tor.com called it “a compelling, inclusive, deftly written debut fantasy.”

    Signed copies are available through my local indie Porter Square Books: https://www.portersquarebooks.com/signed-shatter-sky-hardcover

    It’s also available in audiobook format (https://libro.fm/audiobooks/9781980049135-shatter-the-sky) and wherever else people generally buy books (https://www.simonandschuster.com/books/Shatter-the-Sky/Rebecca-Kim-Wells/The-Shatter-the-Sky-Duology/9781534437906).

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