Hello 2020! Have some reading recs.

Hello, friends!

It is January 22nd and I have officially survived 2019! The year took about three weeks longer than usual, alas, because I spent half of December nursing a dreadful wisdom tooth extraction. Sacrifices were made to the bone gods, then partially rejected by the bone gods, then many prayers and promises of atonement followed, and at last my face holes healed in time to eat a Christmas dinner.

Despite the harrowing woes of toothageddon, I did manage to make my 2019 holiday card, and it was a very good year if I do say so myself. *_*

NOW FOR SOME READING RECS. These are all 2019 releases, if you’re reading for awards, and they are some of my faves of the year, if you’re reading for the joy of reading!


Desdemona and the Deep by C.S.E. Cooney. Beautiful and strange, in the way I always want faerie stories to be beautiful and strange. I wish it had been longer.

The Light Brigade by Kameron Hurley. A timey-wimey military scifi. The end comes together so satisfyingly I literally did a finger kiss.

Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir. It’s on everyone’s list AND WITH REASON. Come for the skeleton memes, stay for the surprisingly emotional character arcs and well-fleshed cast (pun intended).


Sisters of the Vast Black by Lina Rather. It’s about an order of nuns in space and it holds SO much heart, just read it, all right??

This is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone. Another one that’s everywhere with good reason. Two agents on opposing sides of a time war…fall in loooorve.

Short Stories:

“We Are Here to Be Held” by Eugenia Triantafyllou. All I have to say is: “The first time your mother swallows you whole you don’t really see it coming.” In Strange Horizons.

“Boiled Bones and Black Eggs” by Nghi Vo. In which the owner of an inn that serves the living and the dead is trying to get rid of a difficult customer. In Beneath Ceaseless Skies.

“Due By the End of the Week” by Brandon O’Brien. A super cute superhero story AND ALSO an entertaining unreliable narrator story. In Fireside Magazine.

ETA: I have a longer, still growing list of 2019 recs at http://samtasticbooks.com/2020/01/23/2019-reading-roundup/. Enjoy!

Next time on Samtastic News:

I have a short story coming out in Translunar Travelers Lounge next month! “Kiki Hernández Beats the Devil,” in which Kiki Hernández, rock legend of the Southwest, takes a gig that might be too much for her. I’ll have the live link next newsletter.

Till then!