IWD 2023 is all about the road to equality through equity, and how we can achieve a more inclusive society with our collective actions.
What does it mean for a woman to have agency in all she does? How do we set the precedent for women to see themselves in a range of lifestyles, roles, and opportunities? The ability to imagine the scope of such a world is something SFF has always offered, and we want to reaffirm our commitment to gender equity by highlighting the works of 10 brilliant female authors published in the last 6 months.
Wealth. Power. Murder. Magic. Alex Stern is back and the Ivy League is going straight to hell.
Find a gateway to the underworld. Steal a soul out of hell. A simple plan, except people who make this particular journey rarely come back. But Galaxy "Alex" Stern is determined to break Darlington out of purgatory, even if it costs her a future at Lethe and at Yale.
Thick with history and packed with Bardugo's signature twists, Hell Bent brings to life an intricate world full of magic, violence, and all too real monsters.
With the dangerous, erratic Princess Sophia imprisoned, Queen Charlotte decides to invoke the ancient tradition of The Beauty Trials-a series of harrowing tests meant to find the one true ruler of Orleans. Edel, who has always aspired to be more than just a Belle, decides to enter and, after promising to bind her arcana to keep from having an unnatural advantage, joins a few dozen other hopefuls intent on becoming the next Queen of Orleans.
But the trials are far worse than any of them bargained for. As the women are put through dangerous tasks meant to test their strength, many perish, and Edel is mysteriously attacked by one of the other competitors-forcing her to use her powers just to survive. Will her subterfuge cost her the crown, or is there a larger conspiracy at play?
On the other side of the Shadowpass, rebellion is brewing and refugees have begun to trickle into the city at the edge of the world. Looming high on the cliff is The Nest, a fortress full of mages who offer protection, but also embody everything the rebellion is fighting against: a strict hierarchy based on magic abilities.
When Isha arrives as a refugee, she attempts to fit in amongst the other mages, but her Kher tattoo brands her as an outcast. She can't remember her past or why she has the tattoo. All she knows is that she survived. She doesn't intend to give up now.
Tatters, who wears the golden collar of a slave, knows that this rebellion is different from past skirmishes. He was once one of the rebels, and technically, they still own him. He plans to stay in the shadows, until Isha appears in his tavern. He's never seen a human with a tattoo, and the markings look eerily familiar…
As the rebellion carves a path of destruction towards the city, an unlikely friendship forms between a man trying to escape his past and a woman trying to uncover hers, until their secrets threaten to tear them apart.
Silence has fallen. The Psy are free to feel emotion. Free to love. But Silence was never a prison for Ivan Mercant.
The biggest threat to his future lies dormant in his brain - a psychic monster that wants only to feed. And now, the brutal leash he's kept on that monster is slipping. He prepared for this day, for the end of Ivan Mercant…but that was before he met Lei.
As primal as she is human, this wild changeling brings colour into his life, laughter to his soul. Then the dream shatters in a rain of blood, in silent bodies in the snow. Lei is gone. Vanished without a trace…until Ivan meets strangely familiar eyes across a busy San Francisco street.
Soon, a deadly soldier who believes himself a monster and a broken healer might be all that stand between life and death for the entire Psy race…
Tanta and Cole may have stopped the mass murder of InTech's residents, but the cost was severe. Despite their efforts, Harlow 2.0 - the update to InTech's mind-based operating system - fed out. Now its citizens are compliant zombies, and Tanta and her crew are trapped underground.
All except for Fliss, who has no system to update. She alone can go outside, and it's Fliss the crew are relying on to help get them out.
For only then can they dismantle the damage Harlow 2.0 has done. If Tanta, Cole and InTech's residents are to truly be free, it needs to be destroyed. But Tanta knows that task will put her on a collision course with the corporation that raised her, her oldest friends, and the woman who was once her soulmate.
And this last mission might ask more of her than she's able to give.
Xích Si: bot maker, data analyst, mother, scavenger. But those days are over now-her ship has just been captured by the Red Banner pirate fleet, famous for their double-dealing and cruelty. Xích Si expects to be tortured to death-only for the pirates' enigmatic leader, Rice Fish, to arrive with a different and shocking proposition: an arranged marriage between Xích Si and herself.
Rice Fish: sentient ship, leader of the infamous Red Banner pirate fleet, wife of the Red Scholar. Now isolated and alone, Rice Fish wants Xích Si's help to find out who struck against them and why. Marrying Xích Si means Rice Fish can offer Xích Si protection, in exchange for Xích Si's technical fluency: a business arrangement with nothing more to it.
But as the investigation goes on, Rice Fish and Xích Si find themselves falling for each other, and soon they will have to make a stand-and to decide what kind of future they have together...
Terraforming – the megascale-engineering of a planet's surface to one more Earth-like - is now commonplace across the Solar System, and Pluto's is set to be the most ambitious transformation yet. Four billion miles from the Sun and two hundred degrees below zero, what this worldlet needs is light and heat. Through captured asteroids and solar mirrors, humanity's finest scientists and engineers are set to deliver them.
What nobody factored in was a saboteur – but who, and why?
From the start, terraformer Lucian is intrigued by nine-year-old Nou, silent since a horrifying incident that shook the base and upended her family into chaos. If he could reach her, perhaps he could understand what happened that day – and what she knows about the secrets of Pluto.
Nou possesses unspoken knowledge that could put a stop to the terraforming. Gripped by her fears, unable to trust her family, there is no one she can talk to. Only through Lucian's gentle friendship will she start to rediscover her voice – and what she has to say could transform our understanding of the Universe.
Delaney Meyers-Petrov is tired of being seen as fragile just because she's Deaf. So, when she's accepted into a prestigious program at Godbole University that trains students to slip between parallel worlds, she's excited for the chance to prove herself. But her semester gets off to a rocky start when she has an awkward encounter with a pretentious upperclassman, Colton Price, whom she has every intention of keeping her distance from.
Colton has been ordered to keep far away from the new girl, and the voices that call to her from the shadows. But the pull of her proves impossible to ignore, and he can't help but be fascinated by her unusual talents.
After a fellow student turns up dead, she and Colton are forced to form a tenuous alliance, plummeting down a rabbit hole of deeply buried university secrets. They soon find themselves up against something old and nameless, an enemy that threatens to tear them - and their forbidden partnership – apart.
In the immediate aftermath of the events of Winterkeep, Bitterblue and her entourage begin the journey back to Monsea with the only copies of the formulas for the zilphium weapon. Bitterblue must decide what she will do with her world-shaping power. But before they've even made it halfway home, storms drive their ship off course and then they wreck in the ice far north of the Royal Continent. The survivors must make a harrowing trek across the ice in order to make it back to Monsea.
Seasparrow is told entirely from the point of view of Hava, Bitterblue's personal spy and secret half sister. And while Bitterblue grapples with how to carry the responsibility of a weapon of mass destruction, Hava must decide what she will do with herself in the new world Bitterblue will make.
Mariel Spark is prophesied to be the most powerful witch seen in centuries of the famed Spark family, but she prefers baking to brewing potions and gardening to casting hexes. When a spell to summon flour goes very wrong, Mariel finds herself staring down a demon – one she inadvertently summoned for a soul bargain.
Ozroth the Ruthless is a legend among demons. But his reputation has suffered ever since a bargain went awry – if he can strike a deal with Mariel, he will earn back his deadly reputation. Ozroth can't leave Mariel's side until they complete a bargain, which she refuses to do.
Becoming awkward roommates quickly escalates when Mariel blurts out that she's dating Ozroth. As Ozroth and Mariel struggle to maintain a fake relationship, real attraction blooms between them. But Ozroth has a limited amount of time to strike the deal, and if Mariel gives up her soul, she'll lose all her emotions – including love – which will only spell disaster for them both.