Whatever Holiday Gift Guide 2022, Day One: Traditionally Published Books

Welcome to the first day of the Whatever Shopping Guide 2022 — Our 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. Enjoy your browsing, and we 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 12/31/2022) 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 (if your book is available only in the UK or elsewhere, please note that).

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 or a URL. 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.

Tomorrow (11/29/22): Non-traditional books!

95 Comments on “Whatever Holiday Gift Guide 2022, Day One: Traditionally Published Books”

  1. Reminder: This thread is for traditionally published authors to talk about their books. All other comments will be snipped out.

    Self-pub/indie-pub/other-pub: Tomorrow’s your day!

  2. By the illustrator of “Molly, the Dog with Diabetes” and “Huck & Finn, Bookstore Cats” comes “Lucas, Service Dog. Lucas, Service Dog, is the true story of the Border Collie owned by Stephanie Webb. It’s a day in the life of Lucas, and how he helps his human every day. It’s a great way to teach children about service dogs. Comes with a list of service dogs dos and don’ts.

  3. My 2016 novel Lovecraft Country served as the basis for the popular HBO series. If you haven’t read the book yet, this holiday season is a great time to check it out—the sequel, The Destroyer of Worlds, is being published on February 21. (You can read more about Lovecraft Country here and The Destroyer of Worlds here.)

    I’d also like to recommend my most recent novel, 88 Names. Set largely in virtual reality, it’s the story of John Chu, a paid guide to online role-playing games who becomes convinced that his latest client is North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un. You can read more about it here.

  4. Hello! I’m a biological anthropologist, writing about skeletons, corsets, cyborgs, and sci-fi/horror fiction, specifically robot sex! If any of this interests you, please check out my amazon author page at amazon.com/author/rebeccagibsonbioanthro

    Thanks for looking, and thank you Scalzi!!

  5. Thank you so much, John, for doing this again. You are a Gentleman and a Scholar.

    Speaking of Scholars, if you’d like to learn the basics of physics and work on your M.S. degree (that’s Master of Superheroes), you’re in luck! THE PHYSICS OF SUPERHEROES is for you.

    If you are tired of hearing about Schrodinger’s cat, but want to know how Quantum Mechanics made this a true World of Tomorrow, then consider THE AMAZING STORY OF QUANTUM MECHANICS.

    And for those who lamented in school: “When am I ever going to use this stuff in my Real Life?,” check out THE PHYSICS OF EVERYDAY THINGS. This book follows You from the moment you awake till you go to bed at night, and explains the basic physics of ALL of the devices you come in contact with (and even the contactless ones!).

    Thanks again, John!

  6. I have two books out!
    Druid’s Moon, a paranormal romance (sweet!) featuring a modern Beauty and the Beast retelling, set on an archaeological dig in Cornwall.
    “Instead of logic, for the first time, Lyne must trust her heart…”

    Summer Fire, a travel romance (steamy!) novella featuring two Canadians in Istanbul, Turkey, part of the Dirty Bits collection from Harlequin Carina Press.
    “‘You know how it is with Canadians. We come alive in the summer.'”

  7. Our Child of the Stars and sequel, Our Child of Two Worlds. Warm, humane, thoughtful SF that brings together a threat from space and a sweet alien boy with some strange powers, and a sharp eye for human bruality. It’s 1969, there’s Joan Baez on the radio and a jowly Red-baiting President in the White House…

    “Riveting, compelling, and emotionally charged: a page turner I loved” (Annarella, Scrapping and Playing)

  8. Not certain where I fall in the category author/publisher, but I have stories (that I, myself, wrote) in these two excellent anthologies (edited by other people):
    – „Crunchy With Ketchup“ edited by Carol Hightshoe has a slew of wonderful and clever stories with badass dragons, including my very own dragon sports radio commentary „The 5102 World Championships“ https://www.wolfsingerpubs.com/product-page/crunchy-with-ketchup

    „Mirror, Mirror“ edited by Emily Barnett Kudevitz gathers fractured fairytales including my f/f Beauty and the Beast retelling set in a world inspired by the Neolithic Nile Valley. With TURTLES.

  9. Mine is an “academic book,” but it’s no dry, boring tome. It’s about films based on Thomas Hardy’s novels, and it takes readers through all aspects of British filmmaking from the early silent era to today. Great for lovers of film, literature, and film as literature.

  10. Do you like funny sci-fi detective novels narrated by a footnoting coffee machine robot, set in a mall that spans the continent?

    My latest novel is The Great American Betrayal, which New York magazine’s Vulture named one of “The Best Comedy Books of 2022.” They said it “consistently dances on the edge of absurdity; it’s a great and witty time.” You can order it anywhere paperbacks and ebooks are sold. Here’s an amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/Great-American-Betrayal-Scott-Stein/dp/194650145X/

    You might also want to check out the first book in the series, The Great American Deception (2020). In a starred review, Publishers Weekly said, “Sure to appeal to fans of Douglas Adams, this zany, uproarious mystery is a constant delight.” Available everywhere (in paperback, ebook, audio): https://www.amazon.com/Great-American-Deception-Scott-Stein/dp/1946501212/

  11. Seeing Hardy: Film and Television Adaptations of the Fiction of Thomas Hardy. This is an “academic book,” but it’s no dry, boring tome. It’s about films based on Thomas Hardy’s novels, and it takes readers through all aspects of British filmmaking from the early silent era to today. Great for lovers of film, literature, and film as literature.

  12. Vulcan’s Forge, A science-fiction Noir with movies references.
    When Pamela entered Jason Kessler’s life he thought she brought sex and forbidden film but instead it was theft, murder and the fate of the colony in his hands.
    Available from any bookseller but of course he is the Amazon link.

  13. Learning how to make a 3D game or application can be intimidating, which is why I wrote my book “Going the Distance with Babylon.js”.

    Over the course of the books’ fourteen chapters, you’ll learn all about how to use Babylon.js (https://babylonjs.com), a free, Open Source Software framework for rendering 3D in a web browser (among other capabilities). You’ll build up, piece by piece, a complete game ready to be published to an App Store, with source code branches, runnable snippets, and reusable assets standing by to help guide you every step of the way!

    Order your copy today at https://packt.link/Josh

    View and play “Space-Truckers: The Video Game!” At https://space-truckers.com

  14. Do you like witches & werewolves? Have you ever dreamt of attending magic school? Are you a fan of fantasy stories built on folklore from countries like, say, Argentina? I’m pretty sure I just heard 3 loud YES-es, so I’m going to go ahead & recommend my duology, Lobizona & Cazadora!

    While I’ve got your attention, would you like to visit another galaxy with 34 inhabited planets? Want to meet a genius teen who was raised by an android built by his late father? Are you curious what kind of world the people of each Zodiac sign would build for themselves? Then check out my ZODIAC quartet!

    All my books are available at all major booksellers; buy links can be found at rominagarber.com!

  15. Want to read a spooky story involving a dog where the dog lives? Try out my short novel, THE DOG. A grief-stricken young man stumbles into a nightmare land filled with other-worldly terror. But no one could have counted on the dog that appeared from nowhere to save his life and bring him home. Surviving the night proves to be only the first challenge, as man and dog now find themselves opposing an evil from beyond time and sanity. https://www.amazon.com/Little-Terrors-1-Brendan-Foley/dp/B094LC6KPT

  16. The Hand of the Sun King, nominated for the British Fantasy Award for Best Newcomer in 2021, is an anticolonial fantasy following a young man who chases his obsession with mastering magic into the service of an Empire – the same Empire that conquered his homeland, and which his uncle and grandmother fight against.

    A story of magic, obsession, and ambition. The Hand of the Sun King is the first book in the Pact & Pattern trilogy, praised by SFX magazine as “an exciting new voice in epic fantasy.”

    Signed copies available in the United States from Auntie’s Bookstore: https://www.auntiesbooks.com/event/hand-sun-king-jt-greathouse

  17. I wrote a chaotic and brutal genre mashup called THE BOOK EATERS.

    The story follows a single mother who eats books, and her murderous child who eats minds, on a twisted quest through the moors and cityscapes of an alternate 90s England and out to the wilds of Scotland.

    Fans say it’s “very weird” anti-fairytale, while critics say it’s a violent clusterfuck with an unlikeable main character. I would say that both of those things are true!

    This url will take you to your nearest (geographically speaking) bookstore website: https://smarturl.it/book-eaters

  18. My most recent YA fantasy novel is THE TRICKSTER. Former street kid Dilly and her loyal dog Tuc cross paths with Hedge Mage Fitch during the chaos of Winter Festival and find treason in the air. One Bookstagram reviewer called it “A less intense Game of Thrones meets Pirates of the Caribbean.”

    E-book $3.99. Paperback $14.99.

    Amazon: https://amzn.to/3ij10RL
    B&N: https://bit.ly/3ikBiMu
    Indiebound: https://bit.ly/3AUJCZV

    If you want to support a small press, buy directly from the publisher, Inspired Quill: The Trickster by Dorothy A. Winsor | YA Fantasy | Inspired Quill (inspired-quill.com) Inspired Quill is UK based but ships anywhere.

    John was also kind enough to let me do a Big Idea post about the book: The Big Idea: Dorothy Winsor | Whatever (scalzi.com)

  19. A historical fantasy set over 400 years in a haunted English garden complete with timeslips, mysterious voices, a Victorian photographer, a case of identity theft, a changeling, a grieving Land Girl, an artist with a bit of an opium addiction, a séance, and a walled garden that has a mind of its own, THREADING THE LABYRINTH came out just as we went into lockdown in 2020 (cue sad trombone) but was shortlisted for awards (cue trumpets). Think of Tom’s Midnight Garden or The Children of Green Knowe, but for adults.

    Available from Amazon US: https://tinyurl.com/mvbtmwuv

    If you’re out of the US, try Amz UK, Book Depository, or go directly to the publisher: http://www.unsungstories.co.uk/threading-the-labyrinth-by-tiffani-angus.

  20. I wrote a biography of the Episcopal priest, missionary, and explorer whose party was the first to summit Denali (aka Mt McKinley) in 1913.

    A Window to Heaven is the story of Archdeacon Hudson Stuck, author and social -justice warrior, whom the Alaska Natives admired for his work to preserve their customs and ways of life during the onslaught of the Gold Rush.

    Links at my website, patrickdean.co — thanks so much!

  21. A Half-Built Garden, a novel of work/life/first contact balance, is for the people on your list who:

    have been depressed about climate change and/or wishing for more stories of people doing something about it
    like non-humanoid aliens who really think they know what’s best for humanity
    want more parents having adventures that require taking the kid along
    want to poke at gender with a stick
    are obsessed with their local river and would like to see watershed managers run the world
    want to think about alternatives to our current clusterf***s of social media and late-stage capitalism

    My earlier books, Winter Tide and Deep Roots, might be for the people on your list who would like dark historical fantasy that’s also a love/hate letter to H.P. Lovecraft.

  22. Greetings! My newest novel is THE ECHOES, the fourth in the Kinship Historical Mystery Series, inspired by Ohio’s true first female sheriff, in the Appalachian foothills, in the 1920s. (Though this is a series, the novels can be read as stand-alones.)

    THE ECHOES explores themes of PTSD (or shell shock, as it would have been called in the 1920s), what makes a family, and how past secrets can echo in shocking ways into the present.

    You can find THE ECHOES (and my other novels) on any of the usual online vendors or at your local bookstore. It would be cool if you ordered from Bookshop.org, which supports indie bookstores.

    Link to THE ECHOES on Bookshop.org: https://bookshop.org/a/88268/9781250623423

    Link to all my books available via Bookshop.org: https://bookshop.org/lists/my-books-99c1c7f4-e226-4b61-a398-e80f172222bb

    If you would like autographed book stickers and bookmarks, email me at jessmontgomeryauthor@gmail.com

    To learn more about my books, please visit: http://www.jessmontgomeryauthor.com

    Thank you, and Happy Holidays!


  23. John, thank you very much for this opportunity!

    My novel “Kill Zone”, a near-future technothriller, is available through Amazon, B&N, Kobo, and Bookshop.


    “Set in a collapsing world and society, “Kill Zone” by Damir Salkovic is a thrilling dystopian novel. The backdrop eerily echoes the current world before it falls into decay and collapse. It is a thought-provoking story that captures and holds the reader’s attention from the first page until the last.” – Readers’ Favorite

    “Damir Salkovic creates a world where there is little hope, and one’s station in life can change before you’re aware of it. His vision of earth slowly sinking below the tides, and turning to desert anywhere that isn’t underwater is both heartbreaking and plausible.” – Grimdark Magazine

    My occult mystery novel “Always Beside You” is available via the same channels. Amazon link below:


    “The vocabulary and pacing are excellent. The author really knows how to ratchet up and diminish tension. In fact, the author barely leaves you room to catch your breath and it’s marvelous. Strong King vibes too – Insomnia and a bit like Firestarter but this story stands apart with its own, distinctive technical mastery.” — Uncomfortably Dark

    “The writing style was surprisingly literary for a contemporary horror story. The author masterfully crosses over genre borders, blending a supernatural and occult-themed thriller, with a foundation of pure horror and a twist of crime.”

  24. Call Me Stan: A Tragedy in Three Millennia (Guernica Editions)

    Longlisted for the 2022 Leacock Medal for Humour

    When the Hittites fought the Egyptians, Stan was there. When King Priam’s pregnant daughter fled the sack of Troy, Stan was there. When Yeshu of Nazareth was crucified, Stan was there – one cross over.

    As Stan tells his story, from his origins as an Anatolian sheep farmer to his custody in a Toronto police interview room, he brings a wry, anachronistic perspective to 3200 years of Eurasian history. Call Me Stan is a Biblical epic from the bleachers, a gender fluid operatic love quadrangle, and a touching exploration of what it is to outlive everyone you love.

    Or almost everyone.

    Links to purchase from online and indie booksellers at https://krwilson.ca/shop

  25. The Language of Roses (novella) – A Beauty. A Beast. A Curse. This is not the story you know.

    Alys’s fate is set when her father plucks a rose as he flees the sinister Betencourt Manor, home to a terrifying fay Beast and his seemingly icy sister. Now Alys must pay the price to save his life and allow the Beast, the once handsome Philippe, to pay court to her. Love, freely offered and freely returned, can break the curse but Alys has never understood the workings of romance and her only ally is an enchanted flower who whispers to her in her dreams in the language of roses.

    This novella re-envisions the fairy tale with an aromantic Beauty, an unredeemable Beast, and an understanding that not all happy endings are mutually compatible. (Content note for emotional abuse and violence.)

    By the author of the Alpennia historic fantasy series. Published by Queen of Swords Press.


  26. Thank you so much, John!

    My book is OBVIOUSLY, ALIENS, which was published by Queen of Swords Press (https://queenofswordspress.com/product/obviously-aliens/). It’s about a commercial artist and a professional thief who find themselves the only ones who can help a fleet of aliens headed towards earth. Some quotes from reviewers on Goodreads:

    “Well this was a blast. Entertaining, totally bonkers, part travel romp through America, part spy mystery, part sci-fi, part low-key love story.”

    “This book is a wonderful mix of aliens, spies, romance, humor, very cool technology and gadgets, and corgis. I loved it.”

    “This is definitely the sort of book that you read to have a break from the stupidity and depression of the world…I really enjoyed this, and I highly recommend it.”

    “Wildly entertaining read. Obviously, Aliens is fun, funny and adventurous!”

    It’s available everywhere, and currently on sale at Drive-Thru Fiction: https://www.drivethrufiction.com/product/376153/Obviously-Aliens.

  27. Thank you, John!

    My debut novel ASSASSIN’S ORBIT, a finalist for the 2022 Compton Crook Award, is a space opera featuring a trio of older women Getting Things Done against a background of assassinations, a coup, potential interstellar war, and the resurgence of a danger long thought gone. I pitched it as “Middle-aged women noir competence porn in space; BATTLESTAR GALACTICA meets THE GOLDEN GIRLS.”

    You can get it wherever books are sold (including audio). Signed copies are available via the Ivy Bookshop in Baltimore: https://www.theivybookshop.com/book/9781781089156

  28. Comeuppance Served Cold is a novella published by Tordotcom Books. It’s a quick read featuring a con artist, a speakeasy owner, an heiress and a vigilante group in a magical 1929 Seattle. Fans of C.L. Polk, Marie Brennan and the Miss Fisher mysteries will probably enjoy it. Mary Robinette Kowal described it as, “… a beautifully constructed magical heist in turn-of-the-century Seattle,” and I would never argue with Mary.


  29. THESE PRISONING HILLS is a novella from Tordotcom Publishing set in an Appalachia devastated by an impossible war. It considers history, memory, trauma, and loss.

    Also there’s a giant robot.


    “[Christopher] Rowe is one of the finest and most humane writers of science fiction working today. His territory lies within the ruptured space where technology, humanity, and the natural world intersect, and his subject matter is trauma and the possibility of restoration, which he addresses with both tenderness and clinical skill.”—Kelly Link

  30. Briar Girls, my YA queer fantasy fairy tale mashup starring Lena, a girl cursed to kill anyone she touches, and the mysterious stranger who invites her on a quest to wake a sleeping princess, is now out in paperback!

    And if you’re looking for a series, my YA angry bisexual dragon duology Shatter the Sky and Storm the Earth is also out in paperback and audio.

  31. My latest book, UNCANNY TIMES, came out mid-October, so thanks for the chance to spread the word, John!

    Buzzfeed called UNCANNY TIMES “an atmospheric and delightfully spooky historical fantasy that’s perfect for fall reading.”

    The year is 1913. America—and the world—trembles on the edge of a modern age. Political and social unrest shift the foundations; technology is beginning to make its mark.

    But in the shadows, things from the past still move. Things inhuman, uncanny.

    When Huntsmen Aaron and Rosemary Harker go to investigate the suspicious death of a distant relative, what they discover could turn their world upside down….

    My publisher kindly did buying link roundup: https://www.simonandschuster.com/books/Uncanny-Times/Laura-Anne-Gilman/Huntsmen/9781534415928

  32. Thank you so much for doing this.

    I have a book that may be of interest if you want a present for a writer or editor (or reader who loves understanding how writing works) and a novel. It’s about how we transmit culture in fiction, with a focus on SFF. It’s available internationally, so here’s a link to the publisher’s website https://www.lunapresspublishing.com/product-page/story-matrices
    For those of you in the US, a US online shop: https://bookshop.org/a/1838/9781913387914

    The novel has been out a little longer. The official explanation is “Something is very wrong on Earth2. The Green Children are dying. Pits full of fire and brimstone are opening in churches. Doors into a Nazi-ruled universe are appearing. The Green Children and their friends at the Offices of the Non-Natural Environment have two new tasks: to save themselves … and the world.” but The Green Children Help Out is a rather Jewish approach to superheroes. While some of the characters come from our world (or their ancestors do), it’s set on an alternate Earth with a Jewish pocket universe hiding somewhere under France.
    Here’s a link: https://bookshop.org/a/1838/9781955745031

  33. Hey, I can do this this year!

    I wrote Cosplay: A History: The Builders, Fans, and Makers Who Bring Your Favorite Stories to Life. It’s an in-depth look at the cosplay scene, where it came from, why we costume, how it’s evolved over years, and quite a bit more. You can find details here: https://www.simonandschuster.com/books/Cosplay-A-History/Andrew-Liptak/9781534455825

    I wrote a little bit about it for John’s Big Idea feature back in June: https://whatever.scalzi.com/2022/06/29/the-big-idea-andrew-liptak/

  34. Ever wondered what it would be like if the protagonist of a sci-fi story was a mom with small kids?

    Check out Apocalypse Parenting #1: Time to Play, with 4.7 stars and nearly 200 reviews on Amazon!

  35. An Alchemy of Masques and mirrors is The Three Musketeers meets the Pirates of the Caribbean, and The Princess Bride.

    Born with a physical disability, no magical talent, and a precocious intellect, Princess Isabelle des Zephyrs has lived her life being underestimated by her family and her kingdom. The only person who appreciates her true self is Jean-Claude, the fatherly musketeer who had guarded her since birth.

    All shall change, however, when an unlikely marriage proposal is offered, to the second son of a dying king in an empire collapsing into civil war.

    But the last two women betrothed to this prince were murdered, and a sorcerer-assassin is bent on making Isabelle the third. Isabelle and Jean-Claude plunge into a great maze of prophecy, intrigue, and betrayal, where everyone wears masks of glamour and lies. Step by dangerous step, Isabelle must unravel the lies of her enemies and discovers a truth more perilous than any deception.


  36. Lovers of wine and craft spirits will enjoy my two books on the production of such in Oregon. “Distilled in Oregon” (2017, History Press) is a somewhat cheeky (word used by a GoodReads reviewer) history of spirits production in the state, starting with the “Blue Ruin” distilled by fur traders. “Oregon Wine – A Deep-Rooted History” (2019, History Press) reveals wine production was occurring well before the 1960s. There’s a lot of myth busting in this one, and I must have done something right because it pissed off a lot of people.

    Both books are available at Amazon, but Powell’s needs the business more than Bezos does.



  37. Thanks for doing this John!

    You all can check out Africa Risen: A New Era of Speculative Fiction edited by myself Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki, Sheree Renee Thomas and Zelda Knight, published by Tordotcom. It was out this November and you can get it here in hardcover, ebook and audio

    It has a started review from Publishers Weekly Booklist, and positive reviews from Library Journal, Scientific American and others.

    Africa Risen has 32 short fiction works from 33 authors across Afrifa and the African Diaspora including Tananarive Due, Steven Barnes, Tobias Buckell and more.

    Created in the legacy of the seminal, award-winning anthology series Dark Matter, Africa Risen celebrates the vibrancy, diversity, and reach of African and Afro-Diasporic SFF and reaffirms that Africa is not rising—it’s already here.

  38. This year my first book came out! OUR SHARED STORM: A NOVEL OF FIVE CLIMATE FUTURES uses sci-fi to illustrate the real scenarios the IPCC uses to talk about the future of climate change.

    Set at the COP, the annual global climate negotiations, the stories run from harrowing to hopeful, remixing characters to explore how choices we make over the next few decades might lead to them becoming different people living different lives. It’s a fun, provocative primer on climate politics and climate fiction for anyone interested in getting up to speed on the most complex problem humanity has ever faced.

    (The publisher offers 30% off right now with GIFT22 promo code!)


  39. Hang with me here… don’t skip this till you read it all. I wrote a book for regular, everyday, non-technical people on computer security and privacy. I know, I know… who wants to read about that? But this stuff has never been more important. So I took great pains to make it entertaining. This book contains everything you need to protect yourself – step by step, without judgment, and with as little jargon as possible. Like wearing seat belts and sunscreen in the real world, there are dozens of simple, effective precautions we need to take in the virtual world. I structured this book to give you maximum benefit with minimum effort. If you just want to know what you need to do, each chapter includes a detailed checklist of expert tips. But the book also explains why you need to do these things, if you want to learn. While I targeted the average reader, even technically savvy readers will find many useful tips here. The 5th edition will be out in December. (Note that the pre-order cost listed will probably be lowered, too.)

  40. Thanks so much for this post, John! And happy holidays, everyone! I write books for adults, teens, and kids. The other day, I put together a gift guide to my books, and here’s a few of them:


    For the reader who watched the extended edition of The Lord of the Rings, dabbled in D&D, and/or remembers the Dragonlance books fondly… THE BONE MAKER, a standalone epic fantasy about five heroes 25 years after they defeated an evil wizard and his bone army.

    For the reader who thinks the Indy-500 would be better if the cars had a lot more teeth and tentacles… RACE THE SANDS, a standalone epic fantasy about monster racing (and smashing the patriarchy).

    For the reader who likes kickass women and very tall trees… THE QUEEN OF BLOOD, Book One of the Queens of Renthia, an epic fantasy trilogy about bloodthirsty nature spirits.

    BOOKS FOR KIDS (ages 8-12):

    For the kid who loves talking animals and baked goods… THE SHELTERLINGS, a fantasy book for kids (ages 8-12) about a squirrel named Holly and her friends at the Shelter for Rejected Familiars.

    For the kid with a sister or the kid who always wanted to walk through a portal to another world… EVEN AND ODD, a fantasy book for kids (ages 8-12) about two sisters who share magic. Also starring a unicorn named Jeremy.

    For the quiet kid or the kid who loves dragons… SPARK, a fantasy book for kids about a quiet girl and her lightning dragon who discover you don’t need to change yourself to change the world.

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

  41. Have you ever wondered what happens when psychic cats meet giant robots? Me too! So I wrote a book about it.

    Fault Tolerance is the third book in my Chilling Effect trilogy, in which the crew of La Sirena Negra tries to stop an intergalactic war with a frantic fetch quest involving huge mechs, lava monsters, space crabs and at least one really satisfying TKO.

    If you like Mass Effect, Voltron and Transformers, you may also like this book! And since the whole trilogy is out, you can gift all three books to the friend or enemy of your choice.


  42. Coming DECEMBER 13:

    An all-new Star Trek novel — continuing the legacy of the critically acclaimed Star Trek: Vanguard series!


    Captain James T. Kirk and the Enterprise crew race to save a missing Federation scientist, only to become trapped between the Klingons’ infamous Captain Kang and Starfleet’s mysterious Operation Vanguard.

    In eons long past, alien hegemons known as the Shedai ruled thousands of worlds in the Orion Arm of the Milky Way. For 100,000 years their former thralls thought the Shedai were all dead and gone. They were wrong.

    For a Starfleet landing party and a Klingon strike team, a race to capture the long-buried secrets of the Shedai turns into a fight for survival — one that can be won only by putting aside their conflicts and working together.


    (As always, thank you, John, for sharing your virtual real estate this way. You rock.)

  43. Thank you, John! I have a couple of books that might appeal.

    First, in fantasy, Water Horse, the story of Esclin Aubrinos, who for 20 years has led the people of his own Hundred Hills and their allied kingdoms against the raiders from Mannan. But this year the omens have turned against him. The one thing that prophecy says might save him is also the thing prophecy says will betray him, and every step he takes to twist free brings him closer to that doom. “Epic fantasy done right” – Publishers Weekly.
    URL: https://www.amazon.com/Water-Horse-Melissa-Scott/dp/1952456010

    If you prefer SF, there’s Finders, the story of Cassilde Sam and her partners, salvage operators who make their living recovering the fragments of Ancestral technology that their civilization needs to survive. But when Cassilde receives an unexpected Ancestral Gift, she is plunged into an underworld where such Gifts are traded in blood, and someone has found a Gift so powerful it may once again bring down human civilization. “action-packed space adventure with so much heart” – Tansy Rayner Roberts.
    URL: https://www.amazon.com/Finders-Firstborn-Lastborn-Melissa-Scott/dp/1936460882

    Like all my books, both feature queer characters and themes.

  44. My three books explore transmasculine realities and fantasies. Erotic romances Blue Water Dreams (Seattle idealists) and Heart of the Lilikoi (Hawaii based same) brought me to Lysistrata Cove.

    Jack Azevedo captains his charter sailboat in the Caribbean. Life can’t get any better, especially once he discovers a mysterious uncharted island with a sugar-sand cove for his passengers to enjoy and an intriguing, if angry, inhabitant.

    Superstar Eve La Sirena has an illicit plan to restore creative freedom to musicians worldwide…if she can keep an ocean between her public and her secrets. Jack’s arrival exposes her island retreat and jeopardizes years of work, but his sweet generosity whets her cruel appetites. 

    As a transmasculine gender explorer and BDSM bottom, Jack’s used to flouting convention, not the law. When Eve’s clandestine project draws three kinds of cops, everything he has is endangered. Will the maelstrom of emotion strip the civilized veneer from his piratical heart?


  45. It’s wonderful to see these posts (and their comments) every year!

    Me, I am best known as the author of the Memoirs of Lady Trent* (adventures of a Victorian-style field biologist studying dragons), but did you know I am also one half of M.A. Carrick? Together with my friend Alyc Helms, I am writing the Rook and Rose series, starting with The Mask of Mirrors and continuing in The Liar’s Knot, with the third and final volume due out next year (yes, really; this is not the vaporware promise of [cough] some series). These are epic fantasies packed with political intrigue, dream magic, swashbuckling, street gangs, geometric magic, found family, colonial conflict, tarot-style card magic, nightmare monsters, the occasional cute fuzzy animal, and the magic of Alyc’s ability to describe clothing in a fashion that makes you feel like you’re wearing it and look awesome.

    Off on my own, my most recent book is The Night Parade of 100 Demons, a queer supernatural mystery in a setting inspired by Japanese history. It’s related to the game Legend of the Five Rings, but requires zero knowledge of the game to understand or enjoy — just an interest in two men trying to save a rural village from strange hauntings! The sequel to that, The Game of 100 Candles, will be out in February, making this an excellent time to hop on board the series.

    *All links go to my website/the Carrick website, from which you can pick from a wide array of retailers, including some in Canada and the UK.

  46. Enjoy the intrigue and spy action in spaaaaaace that ANDOR brought? Good news, I’ve got a series for you! The Galactic Cold War books are sci-fi espionage adventures following a misfit team of spies as they attempt to stop a shooting war.

    The latest installment, THE NOVA INCIDENT, came out in 2022 and got a starred review from Publishers Weekly, as well as being lauded by many readers as the best book yet in the series.

    Pick up a copy (plus all the previous entries in the series) at the online retailer of your choice or, preferably, by supporting your local bookstore.


  47. What do get for that Beloved Weirdo for Christmas…? That one Weird Person, relative or friend who you care about but who really is pretty weird and weird-embracing…Hard to know what to buy–but wait! There’s a collection of stories organized into four parts, each section weirder than the last…No joke. A unique format. It’s REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY STORIES, yes four reallys, by John Shirley. The new edition with four new stories added. Beautifully designed by Dan Sauer. https://www.jackanapespress.com/product/really-really-really-really-weird-stories-a-new-edition-with-four-new-stories

  48. I’m the author of the Dungeons & Dragons blog THE MONSTERS KNOW WHAT THEY’RE DOING (themonstersknow.com) and the book of the same name, along with a couple of others, and I have a new book coming out tomorrow, Nov. 29, titled HOW TO DEFEND YOUR LAIR.

    Written not just for Dungeon Masters but for gamemasters of other tabletop roleplaying games as well, HTDYL is a deep dive into how to create locations where villains defend their assets using every means at their disposal—including real-world principles of building security and area defense. In addition to discussing those principles, HTDYL also includes 16 sample lairs, from a humble grung village in the rainforest to the mountain compound of a deicidal lich.

    Visit http://spyandowl.com/ht-defend-your-lair for links to all your favorite booksellers.

  49. Sweep of Stars welcomes you to the sovereign territory of Muungano, centered around a lunar outpost but whose interstellar community extends to Bronzeville (one of the Mars settlements), Saturn’s moon, Titan, and Oyigiyigi (a series of asteroid belts). It’s led by up of a coalition of weusi people, mostly a mix of Asili (natives of the Motherland, Alkebulan) and Ugenini (children of the diaspora). As their security forces begin to explore the other side of an artificially created wormhole (the Orun Gate), they face threats from within and without their community.


  50. Hi all! My debut middle grade novel Ruby Finley vs. the Interstellar Invasion is the perfect holiday gift for kids who love science, science fiction, mystery, adventure, and BUGS.

    It stars Ruby Finley, an 11-year-old Black girl who loves bugs and wants to be an entomologist someday. So when she finds the weirdest bug ever in her yard she captures it for further study (like any scientist would do, amirite?). The bug isn’t in any of her books or online; and just as she posts on twitter for help, It burns its way outside, escaping! As if that wasn’t weird enough, government men in black suits show up looking for it….

    Ruby Finley vs. the Interstellar Invasion is available in hardcover, eBook, and audiobook. This page links to all the places you can buy it: https://ktempestbradford.com/books/

    NOTE: There are two major discounts available:

    30% off the audiobook at Libro.fm with code TEMPEST (good until 12/31)
    20% off the hardcover book via Tempest’s Bookstore with code holiday2022 (good until 12/20)

  51. Thanks so much for this, John! Here’s the skinny about my latest novel:

    If Feminist Space Opera is your potential gift recipient’s thing, PERSEPHONE STATION is the book for them! The micro-pitch: Persephone Station is a gender-flipped Magnificent Seven set in the far future on the planet Persephone with six BIPOC women and one white woman who never speaks. This action-packed space opera has mecha battles, martial arts, genetic warfare, greedy corporations, Artificial Intelligences living inside clone bodies, and mysterious shape-changing aliens.

    Visit https://www.indiebound.org/search/book?keys=Persephone+Station

  52. Thank you so much for doing this!

    My short story collection When the Sky Comes Looking for You published in October.

    Nightmares stalk, dragons devour, and past ravens come home to roost. Tricksters, norns, and giants face off against new heroes and old favourites from the Thunder Road Trilogy. When the Sky Comes Looking for You expands the world of Thunder Road, collecting ten magic and myth filled tales, including the Prix Aurora Award winning “All Cats Go to Valhalla” and three new stories.

  53. Thank you, John!

    My new novel for 2022 is LAST CAR TO ANNWN STATION from Queen of Swords Press (https://queenofswordspress.com/product/last-car-to-annwn-station/) and it’s been called “the most Minneapolis Urban Fantasy since War for the Oaks.”

    One week to save the child, bargain with Death and get the girl…

    Child Protective Services Attorney Maeve Malveaux is sure that Chrysandra Arneson needs to be rescued from her rich, powerful and abusive family. But how? Her boss won’t listen to her and neither will the judge. But after she gets taken off the case and sent on involuntary leave to get her out of the way, she’s determined to find out what’s going on.

    She’s not counting on joining forces with Jill, the gorgeous law librarian from work, and a mismatched collection of fairy folk. Or getting the ghostly assistance of the long-defunct Minneapolis streetcar system. And, perhaps, even a hand from Death himself. Mae and Jill are about to be caught up in a supernatural power struggle that will take them on an adventure from the Uptown neighborhood in Minneapolis into faery realms and beyond. All they need is a dime for the streetcar fare and a little help from their new allies to be on their way. But will it be enough to save a little girl and get them where they need to go? They’ve only got a week to find out

    You can find it on Amazon, BN, and from my publisher at the above link.

  54. Thanks, John!

    My latest novel, NIGHTWATCH OVER WINDSCAR, arrived on Nov. 8. It’s the second book in The Weep duology–a mash-up of D&D with space-marine battle armor, undead galvanic constructs, and math-magic. And…there’s the Weep, a rip in the very fabric of the multiverse that threads through systems and planets, legacy of an intergalactic war, from which extradimensional monsters invade and threaten, well, everything.

    In the first book, NIGHTWATCH ON THE HINTERLANDS, templar Iari and vakari ambassador Gaer discover a separatist revolt intent on destroying the fragile peace between vakari Protectorate and the multi-species Confederation with rogue arithmancy.


    In NIGHTWATCH OVER WINDSCAR, Iari and Gaer are back, trying to track the separatists to ancient ruins in the tundras of Windscar. They’re looking for rogue arithmancers. What they find are monsters.


  55. “The Voyages of Cinrak the Dapper”
    Dapper. Lesbian. Capybara. Pirate. Cinrak the Dapper is a keeper of secrets, a righter of wrongs, the saltiest capybara on the sea and a rider of both falling stars and a great glass whale. Join her, her beloveds, the rat Queen Orvillia and the marmot diva Loquolchi, her loyal cabin kit, Benj the chinchilla, and Agnes, last of the great krakens, as they hunt for treasures of all kinds and find adventures beyond their wildest dreams.

    “No Man’s Land”
    Dorothea ‘Tea’ Gray joins the Land Service and is sent to work on a remote farm, one of many young women left to fill the empty shoes left by fathers and brothers serving in the Second World War.

    But Tea finds more than hard work and hot sun in the dusty North Otago nowhere—she finds a magic inside herself she never could have imagined, a way to save her brother in a distant land she never thought she could reach, and a love she never knew existed.

    Both books are available through the press’ website, your favourite e-tailer, and various independent bookshops.

  56. My fantasy novel, The Imaginary Corpse, is the story of Tippy, a dinosaur detective in the land of unwanted ideas, who battles trauma, anxiety, and the first serial killer of imaginary friends.

    The book can be purchased in eBook, paperback, or audiobook form from the publishers (Angry Robot Books for the paperback and ebook, Tantor Audio for the audiobook) or from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or your local bookstore. The Bookshop link for the book is here: https://bookshop.org/p/books/the-imaginary-corpse-tyler-hayes/11960422

  57. For the reader who loves a rom-com and/or wishes that what can best be called “Dan Brown shit” aka conspiracies, running across old cities, and occult minutae didn’t take itself so seriously, my apocalyptic rom-com duology is out now: NOT YOUR AVERAGE HOT GUY and THE DATE FROM HELL. Featuring a team up between a recent college grad who’s currently working at her family’s escape room business and the prince of Hell:



    And my Stranger Things prequel about Eleven’s mother Terry, SUSPICIOUS MINDS, was recently re-released with a shiny new cover:


  58. My nonfiction book Ugly Beauty: Jazz in the 21st Century came out in February. It’s a collection of critical/analytical profiles of over 40 current jazz musicians, divided into five rough categories: traditionalists who play jazz that will sound like jazz to anyone you play it for; avant-gardists whose stuff may sound like modern classical, or like people just tootling along formlessly (they’re not); “spiritual jazz” artists employing sounds from India, Africa and beyond; five trumpeters who represent that instrument’s future; and players who approach jazz from a punk/DIY angle.

    If you like jazz but haven’t kept up with the new faces, or you’d like to know more about the genre as it exists now, I hope you’ll enjoy this book.

  59. THE KILLING LOOK is a historical thriller set in 1870’s San Francisco, a time of rampant corruption, decadence, income inequality, anti-immigrant sentiment, mob violence…not that much different from our own. Into this world comes L.D. Cade, former cavalryman, who’s fetched up in San Francisco after drifting across the country seeking his fortune and a place to call home. A job as bodyguard to a flashy real estate speculator seems like just the opportunity he’s been looking for. But Gilded Age San Francisco is a dangerous place for an honest man, even one who’s as good with a gun as Cade.

    As he makes his way between the decadent chaos of the notorious Barbary Coast, the luxurious mansions of Russian Hill, and the secretive societies of Chinatown, Cade will face vicious and sadistic enemies, find allies in unexpected places, and encounter a pair of enigmatic women who will change his life forever.


    Also at Amazon: https://tinyurl.com/ymynm67b

  60. Hello lovelies! I’m the author of the Alice Worth urban fantasy/paranormal mystery series. Alice is a mage private investigator. She and her ghost sidekick Malcolm solve paranormal and supernatural mysteries while dodging crafty vampires, nosy federal agents, and Alice’s murderous crime lord grandfather. All available in KU and Audible! Free novella (ebook or audiobook) on my website. Grab Alice Book 1 on Amazon: https://smarturl.it/Alice1Amz

  61. Dear readers and writers: I’m so happy to share my first YA novel: “Tree of Pearls,” based on a true story of a girl who overcame every obstacle to become the Queen of Egypt. How does a young slave girl become free? How does she survive kidnapping and violent attacks? How does she become the chief adviser to a great ruler? How does she defeat the Crusaders? And, finally, how does she rule the whole of Egypt as its Queen? This is the extraordinary and inspiring story of Shajara al Durr, a Muslim girl who became one of the greatest leaders in history—a Queen of Egypt known as Tree of Pearls. It is a story that stretches from Baghdad to Damascus to Cairo. It is the story of a young woman who raised herself from poverty to power, educated herself, and proved able to outwit her enemies and capture the loyalty of an army. It is a story of romance and intrigue, and of courage and persistence in the face of great danger. And it is true! So proud “Tree of Pearls” has reached #2 on Amazon’s YA African Historical Fiction Bestsellers list. It’s a great gift for YA readers this season. Hope you’ll find it and share with young readers.

    Happy Holidays! — Victoria El Henawy

    Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Tree-Pearls-Victoria-El-Henawy/dp/1398442186

    Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/tree-of-pearls-victoria-el-henawy/1142359421

    Book Depository: https://www.bookdepository.com/Tree-Pearls-Victoria-El-Henawy/9781398442184?ref=grid-view&qid=1669674942943&sr=1-1

  62. With the fate of her crew balanced on a knife’s edge, a fiercely protective bounty hunter captain must decide where her loyalties lie—with the quiet, telepathic former enemy who’s been lying to her, or with the human leaders who left her squad to die on the battlefield.

    HUNT THE STARS is the first book in my new space opera trilogy. I wrote it during the early days of the pandemic and filled it with everything I love: action and adventure, romance, found family, hope, kindness, joy, and a heaping helping of science-y magic… IN SPACE!

    Read the first three chapters and find all the retailer links on my site.

    The second book, ECLIPSE THE MOON, about a chaotic sunshine hacker and a grumpy weapons expert, is also out now, and the third book comes out next year!

    Thank you for the opportunity to share!

  63. Cheers, John!

    My novel Foxhunt is set in a green and vibrant future, where wandering singer Orfeus finds herself targeted by bounty hunters and quickly gets in waaaay over her head as she tries to discover why.

    It’s very trans, very queer, full of yearning, plants, morality questions and big fights, flying motorbikes – all the good stuff. Available at the publisher Queen of Swords Press’s
    website and all the usual places!

  64. Hello may I interrupt this thread of awesome looking novels with some SCIENCE?! My debut book, Pests: How Humans Create Animal Villains, is out next week (December 6)!

    Hate rats? Mice? Pigeons? What about sparrows? Elephants? Cats? Are you, like me, here for the trash pandas? I spent two years digging (sometimes literally) into the animals that we hate, to find out why exactly we call some animals pests…and others are never pests, no matter what they might do. Pests, it turns out, are about our perspective, what we believe about where we live.

    It’s funny (at least, I think so), wide-ranging, and there are toads. And Mary Roach gave it a thumbs up emoji. https://www.harpercollins.com/products/pests-bethany-brookshire?variant=40262537379874

  65. Thank you, John, for doing this!

    Here’s a brand-new Japanese art book, very suitable as a holiday present. It’s a survey of great woodblock prints of the 18th-19th century, all from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. There are six sections, divided by subject matter, and the last one is “Fantasy.” It’s classified as hardback but is actually a traditional Japanese-style softcover-with-thread-binding in a hard slipcase, very reasonably priced for an art book.


    The same pictures were also used for a 2023 planner calendar:


    Although they are from different publishers, the two books are close in size and could be combined to make an extra-lavish present for an art lover.

  66. Delighted to remind everyone about “New Annotated Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” just out, a gorgeous volume w/over 150 illustrations, most in color, and 100s of notes explaining, well, everything! Also a unique comparison of the original manuscript, printer’s copy and published version. Links on my website!

  67. Thanks for doing this, John!!

    I’m the author of two novels and would like to share with latest, The Quarter Storm.

    Haitian-American Vodou priestess Mambo Reina Dumond runs a healing practice from her New Orleans home. Gifted with water magic since she was a child, Reina is devoted to the benevolent traditions of her ancestors.

    After a ritual slaying in the French Quarter, police arrest a fellow vodouisant. Detective Roman Frost, Reina’s ex-boyfriend—a fierce nonbeliever—is eager to tie the crime, and half a dozen others, to the Vodou practitioners of New Orleans. Reina resolves to find the real killer and defend the Vodou practice and customs, but the motives behind the murder are deeper and darker than she imagines.

    As Reina delves into the city’s shadows, she untangles more than just the truth behind a devious crime. It’s a conspiracy. As a killer wields dangerous magic to thwart Reina’s investigation, she must tap into the strength of her own power and faith to solve a mystery that threatens to destroy her entire way of life.

    Bookshop.org: https://bookshop.org/books/the-quarter-storm-9781713623908/9781713623892

    Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Quarter-Storm-Veronica-G-Henry/dp/1542033918/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1633879841&sr=8-1

  68. By Your Side: The First 100 Years of Yuri Anime and Manga, is a first-hand look at one of the newest genres of Japanese pop culture, from inside the fandom that created it and made it real.

    In this series of interlocking essays, I trace the history lesbian-themed Japanese animation and comics from early 20th century girls’ culture in Japan to modern anime and manga with queer characters and stories.

  69. A Betrayal and Other Stories.

    “A debut collection mixes horror and sci-fi short stories laden with bizarre creatures, life on other planets, and homicidal proclivities … Consistently eerie tales that readers aren’t likely to forget.”
    ~ Kirkus Reviews

    In the title story, “A Betrayal,” a doctor travels into the countryside to help a young patient, only to deliver a diagnosis with which the girl’s family vehemently disagrees. The peculiar narrator of “Sedgefield’s Diary” recoils in horror when he discovers that the hourly diary he keeps has taken on a life of its own and now threatens his very existence. The bereaved wife in “The Lake of Flies” takes matters into her own hands when she learns the truth surrounding her husband’s death. In “Barnegat Inn,” a strange visitation becomes the background for a poignant recitation on the nature of time. The themes of loss and betrayal between rival siblings are explored in “The Crystal,” a story pulsating with an ethereal, otherworldly quality. And in “A Journey Through the Wormhole,” a decades-old feud between rival scientists threatens to upend a scientific revolution.

Indiebound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781945646416

    Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Betrayal-Other-Stories-Brian-Biswas/dp/1945646446/ref=nodl_?dplnkId=a44c4fcd-8908-40d1-b204-166513c4b694

    (Thanks, John!)

  70. Do you like solving crossword puzzles? Indie crossword favorite the Inkubator was launched to embrace a diverse community of constructors, long underrepresented in the mainstream puzzle world. Our book, “Inkubator Crosswords: 100 Audacious Puzzles by Women and Nonbinary Creators,” was published in April 2022, and makes a great gift for your favorite feminist wordsmith.

    Our puzzles are fun, relatable, and often surprising with clever, original, inclusive clues. This collection includes 100 easy to challenging crosswords, complete solutions, and a section of cryptic and meta puzzles. Crossword fans of all levels are sure to love tackling these playful mind-twisters. Available from indie and mainstream retailers:


  71. Thanks, John!

    My latest is a picture book called Quacks Like a Duck, featuring delightful illustrations by Maria Lebedeva. It launched last month!

    When Petunia the platypus shows up to a costume party sans costume, no one knows quite what to make of her. If not a duck, what exactly is she? Petunia feels desperately out of place until another party guest arrives dressed up as a platypus, breaking the ice and reminding Petunia that good things can come in weird packages.


  72. They arrived on Earth by accident. Confused and bewildered, these alien beings of pure energy had only one option for surviving on this new, foreign planet. They soon find this ideal environment in humans, coexisting symbiotically. While they weave their way into the fabric of life on Earth, the boundaries of human limitations are opened up through them like never before possible.

    A complete scifi series available now ebook or paperback.


  73. “The Aliens Are Here” looks at film and TV about extraterrestrials on Earth, spotlighting some (E.T., Attack of the 50-Foot Woman, The Thing, Starman, Day the Earth Stood Still, and more), touching on others and discussing recurrent themes (othering, ambivalence about superior intelligence, aliens as immigrants, etc.).

  74. Happy Holidays, y’all!

    Draken never wanted a war with the gods but they are mean.

    A Christian soldier and a Wiccan ecoterrorist try to stop a crusade in dystopic Colorado. It goes about as well as you’d expect.

    Twins fight their ancestor, the King of Hell. Like most parental types, he ruins everything.


  75. Twinkle lights, pie, books. Funny, feminist, foodie, filmmaker. Please consider a signed copy of NORA EPHRON: A BIOGRAPHY for your holiday wishlist or book club this year. It’s been a labor of love for me to write, research, and edit for 7 years.

    Available on my website, Bookshop and Libro FM, Amazon and Audible, and at your local bookstore. Includes book club questions. Thanks for reading!

  76. Would-be songwriter Zebulon Angell stumbles onto a sex candy, launching him on an adventure that leads him inside the not-so-empty tomb of China’s first emperor. ZEBULON ANGELL AND THE SHADOW ARMY mixes sex, the supernatural, international intrigue, and sharp wit to conjure up a wild ride with a spirited finale. Get your copy of this fun #urbanfantasy on AMAZON or Barnes & Noble.

    RoyaltySphinx gives it 5 stars! “Start your journey in the world of the nouveau riche in Georgia, and then hang on for the whirlwind tour of ancient and modern wonders in China, all the while following a lucrative invention that has “aroused” interest worldwide.”

    Amazon Customer – 5 Stars! – Inventive writing and international intrigue, with a note of whimsy thrown in make this book a fun read. The writer is gifted at painting a visual picture with his words. I highly recommend this title.


    Amazon.com: Zebulon Angell and the Shadow Army eBook : Riker,Chris: Kindle Store


  77. A bit belatedly, two books! THE TANGLED STARS (DAW Books) is a far-future outer-space adventure heist tale featuring a con-man, a rogue cop, and an AI-uplifted talking cat who becomes a starship captain. Yes, it’s a humorous novel, why do you ask! https://www.amazon.com/Tangled-Stars-Edward-Willett-ebook/dp/B0B6YYJLXP/

    The second book is SHAPERS OF WORLDS VOLUME III, the third anthology feature short science fiction and fantasy story by authors who were guests on my podcast, The Worldshapers (http://www.theworldshapers.com). Book 1 in this Kickstarted series included Our Genial Host. This one includes new fiction from the likes of James Morrow and Cat Rambo, reprints from the likes of Cory Doctorow and F. Paul Wilson, and new poetry from Jane Yolen. https://www.amazon.com/Shapers-Worlds-III-featured-Worldshapers-ebook/dp/B0BCXFK51N/

    Thanks, John!

  78. CATFISHING ON CATNET and CHAOS ON CATNET. “Do you know a queer teen? Are you a queer teen? Are you an adult who misses an internet that felt kinder & purer? Did you love the Hugo-winning short story ‘Cat Pictures Please’? PLEASE do your heart the gift of acquiring & reading this beautiful book.” –Amal El-Mohtar

    Available wherever books are sold, but Uncle Hugo’s Science Fiction Books and Dreamhaven Books (both in Minneapolis) have signed copies and can provide them by mail order.

  79. Want to hear the story of a reality TV show run by mythical creatures … for mythical creatures … starring humans?

    Starr Weatherby is the first human hired on “Tune in Tomorrow,” that precise show. She’s a struggling actor and this is her big break, but it’s on a show that no one’s heard of … except on the other side of the Veil. While learning how to navigate the waters of the mythic universe’s favorite reality TV show/soap opera, she’ll have to navigate a dangerous diva who wants her gone, two potential love interests, falling furniture, an overeager writers’ room, centaur fans — and uncover the mystery: What happened to her predecessor Amelia, who vanished three decades ago?

    The book’s been called “funny as hell” (Zin E. Rocklyn) and a “bouncy castle” (C.S.E. Cooney) and has authors like Ellen Kushner crying, “I want more!” and TV experts like Andy Cohen cheering.

    It was also one of John Scalzi’s Big Ideas!

    More info & links where to buy here:

    Or pick up your copy on Amazon:

  80. Hello wonderful Whatever readers! Do you know someone who could use a tentacle (or two) of inspirational wisdom? Perhaps some monstrous motivations? Or maybe just a bit of opossum pick-me-ups? Well, good news friends, You Can Do Anything, Magic Skeleton!: Monster Motivations to Move Your Butt and Get You to Do the Thing may be just the thing you are seeking! Written by Chuck Wendig and fully illustrated by myself. It makes an adorably hilarious stocking stuffer or just a nice little pink package of positivity.

    You can find it here (affiliate link):

    Or everywhere else:

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