Harper Voyager Year in Review (Part II)

  • Posted by Dana Trombley on Dec 21 2015

Harper-Voyager-Year in review


As editors at Harper Voyager, we often get asked: “How great is it that you get to read for your job?” And the answer is, of course “Really, really great.” And yet, a lot of our reading (and general consumption of science fiction and fantasy) is still work. Our ability to find time to experience what else is going on in the genre can sometimes feel limited.

And yet, because we love this stuff so much, we are always sure to make the time.

So while we’ve already listed our favorite books of 2015 here, we will admit to liking some things that we didn’t happen to work on for Voyager. :p

From each editor, here are our favorite sci-fi, fantasy, and horror—let’s say—moments of 2015.

Rebecca Lucash

John Scalzi lockinLock In by John Scalzi

Starting with the I-was-really-late-to-this-party books on my 2015 reading list, first is John Scalzi’s 2014 science fiction police procedural Lock In. The protagonist is a rookie FBI agent who has what’s known in this world as Haden’s syndrome – his mind is fully functional, but his body isn’t, so he exists mostly in a robotic body. When what looks like a Haden-related murder crops up, the investigation quickly turns complicated. This was a fun twist on crime fiction, and, while it’s not a world I’d want to live in, it’s certainly a (terrifyingly) plausible one.

Goblin EmperorThe Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison

Second on my late-to-the-party reading list this year was The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison. I’ll admit – at first I was hesitant, because airships are not really my thing. But if that’s the case for you too, don’t let that stop you. This story is so much more, and it’s all thanks to the amazingly complex and real characters Addison has created. Maia is the half-goblin emperor of an elven kingdom, abruptly thrust into power when his father and his father’s other heirs are all killed in an airship explosion. Maia must navigate the snarled world of politics, the expectations of his advisors, and the darker side of his family’s legacy. And the best part? He’s possibly the kindest, nicest protagonist I’ve read about in years. A lovely, intricate story I was sad to put down when it ended.

A Red Rose ChainA Red-Rose Chain by Seanan McGuire

Seanan McGuire’s October Daye series is one I automatically pre-order as soon as the title appears on the online retailers, so you can bet I was reading this one the day it went on sale. The ninth installment in the series, this story really pushed our protagonist to the limit, putting all her friends at risk as they negotiate with a rival kingdom to prevent war. Just super fun urban fantasy with a wonderful cast of characters you fall in love with from book one. I’m looking forward to seeing where the series goes next.

Sorcerer to the crownSorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho

My fourth top read this year is Zen Cho’s Sorceror to the Crown, a fantastic blend of fantasy and historic England. Like in The Goblin Emperor, this novel’s protagonist isn’t the most popular choice for his position, which only makes you root for him all the more. Great for anyone who misses Susanna Clarke’s Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, or just wants to spend a few hours lost in a much more fun Downton Abbey.

 

 

OUATOnce Upon a Time, created by Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz

I really enjoy reading fairy tale retellings, so it’s no surprise that I’m a Once Upon a Time addict. Once Upon a Time takes all our fairy tale favorites (and a ton of Disney-created characters), and sticks them in the modern world – Storybrooke, Maine. This season had a number of twists and turns I wasn’t expecting. The show is on its mid-season break, which means it’s the perfect time to start watching from episode 1 if you haven’t given this one a try yet.

 

Kelly O’Connor

Mad MaxMad Max: Fury Road:

This movie redefines “high-octane action” and when I left the theater I was overwhelmed with the desire to hijack a muscle car, spray-paint my mouth chrome, and die historic on the Fury Road. Second best to that was insisting in all-capitals texts/emails/tweets that everyone see this film. Furiosa is a total badass and I love that she is the hero – even saving Max’s hide. It’s raw, intense, and unapologetic and sets the bar for female action heroes to come. (Also, where can I get a guitar that shoots flames?!)

Bitch PlanetBitch Planet comic series by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Valentine De Landro

Speaking of badass female heroes…Kelly Sue and Valentine explore what happens when the Patriarchy literally blasts non-compliant women out of Earth’s orbit and onto a planet prison. This book is changing the game in comics, and should be declared mandatory reading ASAP. The story follows total bosses Penny Rolle and Kamau Kogo and fellow inmates as they fight to maintain their dignity, sanity, and win back their freedom in the living hell that is B Planet. If you need fuel for your righteous anger, there’s more than enough within these pages.

After the peopleAfter the People Lights Have Gone Off by Stephen Graham Jones

This is kind of a cheat, as it was published in 2014, but I didn’t get a chance to read it until this year. Beautifully written, quietly unsettling, and deeply frightening, this collection of stories is a perfect introduction to the masterful genius of Stephen Graham Jones. The title story is a ghost tale that left me shaking and turning on all the lights in my apartment; “Doc’s Story” is an incredible reinvention of werewolf lore; and “Thirteen” is a bittersweet mix of coming-of-age and haunting urban legend – but all 15 stories are must-reads.

PlanetFallPlanetfall by Emma Newman

This is an incredibly nuanced science fiction story that I haven’t stopped thinking about since I put it down (which was back when it was out on submission!). The world-building is marvelous, the characters are fully formed, and the mystery at the heart of the story will blindside you as it simultaneously breaks your heart. But don’t take my word for it – Roxanne Gay just gave it a glowing review!

Martian

 

The Martian (book & film)

I preferred the film – it was tighter and funnier, and simply incredible to see. But, when I picked up the book at the start of a long train ride, I couldn’t put it down until I found out what happened to Mark Watney. And when I realized that author Andrew Weir had researched everything to be as scientifically accurate as possible, I was totally blown away. A fascinating retooling of a deserted island tale, complete with creative cursing and a delightful amount of sarcastic humor.

 

David Pomerico

(Note: the bonus of going last is that I can see what the other editors put on their list, and then say “I loved The Martian and Fury Road this year, too—not to mention being a huge fan of The Goblin Emperor” and not having them count on my list.)

GoldenSonGolden Son by Pierce Brown

I’m always going to be a little biased about this series, having had a chance to read Red Rising back in its infancy, and as much as I loved that first book, I was blown away by Golden Son–so much so that I remember reading the last page and throwing it across the room. Not, mind you, in frustration over the ending, but over the fact that I would have to wait so long for book 3!

uprootedUprooted by Naomi Novik

Like The Goblin Emperor from last year, this was a fantasy novel that seemed to do something I hadn’t seen in a while: create an unlikely hero, and have her actually be—unambiguously—someone on the side of good. Don’t get me wrong: I love the dark fantasy that has come to be a standard in the genre (think Abercrombie, Lawrence, Lynch, and Brett), but there was something so refreshing about Uprooted that made me share it with pretty much anyone who asked me to recommend a book.

Sex CriminalsSex Criminals by Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky

My friend (see: Kelly O’Connor, above) brought me in the first issue, and I have to say I was immediately hooked. Sure, there’s something fun about reading a “risqué” comic, but I also found the writing excellent, the story fun and engaging, and the art great. As you go on and read the letters at the end of each issue, the experience is even better. I know this is my late-to-the-party entry, but definitely one of the lasting experiences of 2015 for me.

DaredevilDaredevil

Of all the Marvel movie and television properties this year, the only one I haven’t seen enough to make a full report on is Jessica Jones (but I am enjoying it a great deal so far). So that left a few movies that were decent, but didn’t come close to what Daredevil has achieved. Netflix has done a masterful job getting the periphery of New York City down, and between Charlie Cox and Vincent D’Onofrio, it will make you forget Ben Affleck ever got close to that character.

LightlessLightless by C.A. Higgins

Part of being an editor is remembering “the one that got away.” When I first read Lightless, it was on submission, and it was called something else. But it was simply one of the best sci-fi novels I had read in a long time. It reminded me of the best parts of Event Horizon–really smart and just a little bit scary. I think Higgins is a talent we’re all going to be watching out for, and I highly recommend her debut.

***

Now obviously this is just a taste of the things that captured our hearts and minds in 2015 (and we’re hoping The Force Awakens and The Expanse will be late additions), but the thing that strikes us the most is how much sci-fi and fantasy and horror there is coming out year after year. The fact is, there’s something out there for everyone—even people who say they “don’t read that stuff”—and we’re happy to give recommendations (both from the Voyager list and beyond) to connect a potential fan with something we know they’ll love.

Have a great rest of your 2015, and get ready for a whole new year of amazing sci-fi, fantasy, and horror from Voyager and more!

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Harper Voyager – Year in Review (Part I)

  • Posted by Dana Trombley on Dec 14 2015

Harper-Voyager-Year in review

Thanks for being a fan of Harper Voyager books. We’ve been pretty lucky this year, because someone has said it’s okay for us to work on science fiction, fantasy, and horror books for a living.

How ridiculous is that?

(If you answered “Very,” then we’re with you. But we’re not going to keep working as long as they don’t realize how crazy that is!)

But besides that, we’ve also gotten to partner with some amazing authors and publish some of the very best science fiction, fantasy, and horror. And sure, maybe we’re biased, but one thing you always have to remember: when an imprint publishes a book, we’ve made a conscious decision to do it—because we love it.

Well, we love all the books we publish, and we hope you do, too. But maybe you haven’t read them all. That’s possible (although just a touch disappointing…). So, to make sure you have that opportunity, we’ve put together a list of every Harper Voyager US book we published in 2015. And to further that opportunity, we’re going to pick one lucky reader to get ALL of the books we released in print this year.

It’s been a great 2015 here, and we’re excited (most of us—Nova tends not to get too excited about anything) to share our favorite books with you—best of luck!

Onward, Voyager!

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

*Please note that some of our stories have only eBook editions at the moment, and are therefore not included in the giveaway.

To be entered for a chance to win these books, sign up below for the Harper Voyager newsletter! Sign up by January 3rd to enter.

One winner will be chosen randomly on January 4, 2016 and contacted by email. US entries only.

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Three Promises is on sale now!

  • Posted by Dana Trombley on Dec 08 2015

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Three Promises, an American Faerie Tale Collection, by Bishop O’Connell is on sale now!

Promises bind, but some promises break…

From the author of The Stolen and The Forgotten comes a collection of stories between the stories, a glimpse of the American Faerie Tale series characters in a whole new light.

For more than fifty years, Elaine has lived the life of an outcast elf, stripped of her rank and title in the fae court. Surrounded by her beloved collection of stolen artwork, we may just learn the secret behind her exile, and the one promise too important to break…

It’s the day we’ve all been waiting for—Caitlin and Edward are getting married! But few weddings ever go without a hitch. Old promises were broken, and new vows will be made…

In The Stolen, Brendan vowed to help Caitlin rescue her young daughter from the Dusk Court, even if it meant sacrificing himself. Alone and in torment, he has come to accept his fate. Until an unexpected visitor finds her way into his life…

Plus, an exclusive bonus story about the mysterious Legion of Solomon.

Buy Three Promises today!

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Enemy in the Dark is on sale now!

  • Posted by Dana Trombley on Dec 01 2015

Enemy in the Dark

Enemy in the Dark, book two in the Far Stars series, is on sale now!

The second book in the Far Star series follows Blackhawk and the crew of the Wolf’s Claw as they are gradually (and unwillingly) drawn more deeply into Marshal Lucerne’s campaign to form a united power bloc in the Far Stars to resist imperial encroachment.

Successfully completing their mission to rescue Marshal Augustin Lucerne’s daughter, Astra, the crew of theWolf’s Claw are enjoying some well-deserved rest—all, that is, except Blackhawk. The space gun for hire cannot escape Lucerne’s relentless pleas for help against growing imperial control in the Far Stars. While Blackhawk deeply respects his friend, he fears that the power Lucerne offers will lead him back to his old dark ways.

His resistance crumbles, however, when Lucerne presents evidence that the imperial governor has been manipulating the conflicts in the Far Stars. Convinced of the deadly danger of imperial domination, Blackhawk and his crew board the Wolf’s Claw once more and set out to gather intelligence on the Empire’s movements—the proof Lucerne needs to unite the fractured and feuding worlds of the Far Stars into single power bloc capable of resisting imperial aggression. But deep in the sparsely populated territory of the Far Stars, he discovers that the imperial governor’s machinations are far reaching—and threaten the independence of every world this side of the Void.

A man seemingly running from himself, Blackhawk is beginning to realize he can no longer remain a prisoner to his own past while the future of the Far Stars is in jeopardy.

Buy Enemy in the Dark now!

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