*Note these are books sent to us by readers/frequenters of this blog. Our bringing them to your attention does not imply that we’ve read them and/or endorse them, unless we specifically say so. As with all such purchases, we recommend you download a sample and make sure it’s to your taste. If you wish to send us books for next week’s promo, please email to bookpimping at outlook dot com. One book per author per week. Amazon links only.-SAH*
FROM ARLAN ANDREWS: Silicon Blood.
In the near future, the drug cartels of South America establish their own criminal nation, Cordillera, and proceed to flood the world with cocaine and political corruption.
America responds by using the new science of nanotechnology to produce microscopic machines – “nanobots” – to eradicate such drugs once and for all. But these tiny devices can also be used to create new kinds of drugs inside a human body – a “pharm” — or to devour it from within.
After a catastrophic nano-plague, a new and powerful drug lord, El Hombre – “The Guy” – uses nanobots to set up a worldwide drug ring, harvesting new drugs from human bodies and enforcing obedience with threats of devourment.
Jerry Gade, a nano-engineer with a horrific secret, fights back.
The struggle between Gade and The Guy takes place in both the human domain and in the invisible world of their own nano-creations.
The outcome of their battle will determine the future of the human race.
FROM MARGARET BALL: An Annoyance of Grackles (Applied Topology Book 3).
Problems come not as as single corvids, but as full flocks…
Life at the Center for Applied Topology is never precisely normal, but Thalia Kostis, Brad Lensky and their coworkers have been enjoying a brief run of peace, quiet, and optimizing the theorems that allow for teleportation and camouflage. Everything is within parameters, until they get saddled with an intern who’s convinced that he’s God’s gift to math and that their applications of topology are illusory.
A rebellion is brewing – but bigger problems are afoot. Their old enemy, the Master of Ravens is back, and has teamed up with a mercenary with a grudge over the Center’s recent disruption of a profitable contract. Together, the two are planning on taking out the Center – and everyone in it!
FROM BLAKE SMITH: A Short and Sweet Regency Romance.
Marianne Stanhope is in trouble. Her family is urging her to accept the attentions of a most odious suitor, so she turns to a gentleman of her acquaintance for aid. But Mr. Firth has his own reasons for assisting Miss Stanhope, and it falls to her childhood friend Mr. Killingham to convince her that she’s made a dreadful mistake.
FROM L.A. GREGORY: Hawkwing: A Novel of the Bitterlands.
Kestrel’s land is scarred in ways its inhabitants cannot begin to understand, built on long-poisoned earth and menaced by twisted plants and animals. Farmers, hunters, and magic-users fight a long battle to create safe havens and reclaim lost ground, but their casualties mount over generations.
Kestrel knows little and cares less about the patterns that shape her world. She’s a shapechanger and healer who has spent the handful of years since reaching womanhood cleansing the wildlife of her blighted land with medicine and magic. Sure of her place and confident in her skills, she takes care of her own and doesn’t poke at things that don’t concern her. But when she returns from a routine journey with her brother to find her home ransacked and empty, Kestrel must gather her remaining family and search for new allies before old magic and older hatred rob her kin of their freedom, their lives, and possibly their souls.
FROM K.M. O’BRIEN: The Sculpted Ship.
She dreamed of adventuring across the stars as captain of her own sleek ship. Then Anailu Xindar grew up.
She didn’t lose her dream – she changed it; made it practical. She became a starship engineer; she saved her money; she earned the skills and experience a starship captain would need.
She still didn’t feel ready to go out on her own – but then her safe job went sour.
With her newly minted Imperial Shipmaster’s License in hand, Anailu just needs to find and buy a cheap, reliable freighter. Instead, she ends up making a crazy deal for an impractical, rare ship that’s long on beauty – but short a few critical components.
She’s determined to get her crippled ship back out among the stars, but her technical skills won’t be enough. Anailu will have to brave the dangers of a planet on the edge of the empire: safaris, formal dinners, rogue robots, and a fashion designer.
She may even have to make a few friends – and enemies.
The Sculpted Ship is set on the outskirts of a thousand-year interstellar empire, where a young woman with ambition, skill, and manners has a chance to achieve her dreams.
(newly edited and revised October 2017)
Vignettes by Luke, Mary Catelli and ‘Nother Mike
So what’s a vignette? You might know them as flash fiction, or even just sketches. We will provide a prompt each Sunday that you can use directly (including it in your work) or just as an inspiration. You, in turn, will write about 50 words (yes, we are going for short shorts! Not even a Drabble 100 words, just half that!). Then post it! For an additional challenge, you can aim to make it exactly 50 words, if you like.
We recommend that if you have an original vignette, you post that as a new reply. If you are commenting on someone’s vignette, then post that as a reply to the vignette. Comments — this is writing practice, so comments should be aimed at helping someone be a better writer, not at crushing them. And since these are likely to be drafts, don’t jump up and down too hard on typos and grammar.
If you have questions, feel free to ask.
Your writing prompt this week is: picture.