Mailbox Monday – 5/21

Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

Tell us about your new arrivals by adding your Mailbox Monday post to the linky at mailboxmonday.wordpress.com.

I might have dragged my husband to the autographing event at the SFWA Conference in Pittsburgh yesterday. I got my copy of Six Wakes signed by Mur Lafferty and picked up a bunch of books.

Head On and The Devil’s Arithmetic are both signed and I had Connie Willis sign one of her entries in Ad Astra.

Mailbox Monday – 5/21Head On by John Scalzi
Series: Lock In #2
Published by Tor Books on April 17, 2018
Source: Purchased
Genres: Science Fiction, Mystery
Pages: 335
Format: Hardcover
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John Scalzi returns with Head On, the standalone follow-up to the New York Times bestselling and critically acclaimed Lock In. Chilling near-future SF with the thrills of a gritty cop procedural, Head On brings Scalzi's trademark snappy dialogue and technological speculation to the future world of sports.

Hilketa is a frenetic and violent pastime where players attack each other with swords and hammers. The main goal of the game: obtain your opponent’s head and carry it through the goalposts. With flesh and bone bodies, a sport like this would be impossible. But all the players are “threeps,” robot-like bodies controlled by people with Haden’s Syndrome, so anything goes. No one gets hurt, but the brutality is real and the crowds love it.

Until a star athlete drops dead on the playing field.

Is it an accident or murder? FBI Agents and Haden-related crime investigators, Chris Shane and Leslie Vann, are called in to uncover the truth―and in doing so travel to the darker side of the fast-growing sport of Hilketa, where fortunes are made or lost, and where players and owners do whatever it takes to win, on and off the field.


Mailbox Monday – 5/21Devil's Arithmetic by Jane Yolen
Published by Penguin Group (USA) on August 10, 2010 (first published 1988)
Source: Purchased
Genres: Young Adult, Historical Fiction
Pages: 176
Format: Paperback
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Hannah thinks tonight Passover Seder will be the same as always. But this year she will be mysteriously transported into the past. Only she knows the horrors that await.


Mailbox Monday – 5/21Ad Astra: The 50th Anniversary SFWA Cookbook by editors Cat Rambo and Fran Wilde
Published by SFWA Inc on January 1, 2015
Source: Purchased
Genres: Cookbook
Pages: 208
Format: Paperback
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The 50th Anniversary SFWA Cookbook features dishes as creative and varied in taste as the authors who shared them. (Please do not eat actual authors.) From Alien Scones to At the Fruitcake of Madness, DOOM Cookies, Falling Cloud Cake, and Miss Murder’s Black Forest Trifle, these recipes will help you prepare the perfect celebratory spread, no matter who—or what—you’re feeding!

I bought a couple that looked good or at least amusing.

Mailbox Monday – 5/21National Cthulhu Eats Spaghetti Day by Scott King
Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform on June 10, 2015
Source: Purchased
Genres: Horror
Pages: 164
Format: Paperback
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National Cthulhu Eats Spaghetti Day (the book) is the definitive guide to celebrating National Cthulhu Eats Spaghetti Day (the holiday).

Celebrated on August 15th, or the weekend closest to it, National Cthulhu Eats Spaghetti Day is about good food, spending time with friends or loved ones, games and of course unspeakable horrors.

What is in the book?
A short story examining the origin of the holiday.
Newspaper articles explaining the founding of the holiday.
Suggested activities for celebrating the day.
Traditional Recipes (including Meatballs & Spaghetti).
Gaming Guide and tips for running a game night.
Tons of secrets for you to unravel the truth behind the holiday.

Get your copy NOW cause if you forget to get one you'll end up feeling embarrassed when everyone else is enjoying the world's most cosmically horrible holiday and you aren't.


Mailbox Monday – 5/21The Moon and the Other by John Kessel
Published by Saga Press on December 5, 2017
Source: Purchased
Genres: Science Fiction
Pages: 608
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In the middle of the twenty-second century, over three million people live in underground cities below the moon’s surface. One city-state, the Society of Cousins, is a matriarchy, where men are supported in any career choice, but no right to vote—and tensions are beginning to flare as outside political intrigues increase.

After participating in a rebellion that caused his mother’s death, Erno has been exiled from the Society of Cousins. Now, he is living in the Society’s rival colony, Persepolis, when he meets Amestris, the defiant daughter of the richest man on the moon.

Mira, a rebellious loner in the Society, creates graffiti videos that challenge the Society’s political domination. She is hopelessly in love with Carey, the exemplar of male privilege. An Olympic champion in low-gravity martial arts and known as the most popular bedmate in the Society, Carey’s more suited to being a boyfriend than a parent, even as he tries to gain custody of his teenage son.

When the Organization of Lunar States sends a team to investigate the condition of men in the Society, Erno sees an opportunity to get rich, Amestris senses an opportunity to escape from her family, Mira has a chance for social change, and Carey can finally become independent of the matriarchy that considers him a perpetual adolescent. But when Society secrets are revealed, the first moon war erupts, and everyone must decide what is truly worth fighting for.

And I picked up two from the freebie table.

Mailbox Monday – 5/21Side Life by Steve Toutonghi
Published by Soho Press on May 8, 2018
Source: Freebie
Genres: Science Fiction
Pages: 320
Format: ARC
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Vin, a down-on-his-luck young tech entrepreneur forced out of the software company he started, takes a job house-sitting an ultra-modern Seattle mansion whose owner has gone missing. There he discovers a secret basement lab with an array of computers and three large, smooth caskets. Inside one he finds a woman in a state of suspended animation. There is also a dog-eared notebook filled with circuit diagrams, beautiful and intricate drawings of body parts, and pages of code.

When Vin decides to climb into one of the caskets to see what happens, his reality begins to unravel, and he finds himself on a terrifying journey that asks fundamental questions about reality, free will, and the meaning of a human life.


Mailbox Monday – 5/21A Peace Divided by Tanya Huff
Series: Peacekeeper #2, Confederation #7
Published by Daw Books on June 6, 2017
Source: Freebie
Genres: Science Fiction
Pages: 374
Format: Hardcover
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Gunnery Sergeant Torin Kerr had been the very model of a Confederation Marine. No one who'd ever served with her could imagine any circumstance that would see her walking away from the Corps.

But that was before Torin learned the truth about the war the Confederation was fighting...before she'd been declared dead and had spent time in a prison that shouldn't exist...before she'd learned about the "plastic" beings who were really behind the war between the Confederation and the Others. That was when Torin left the military for good.

Yet she couldn't walk away from preserving and protecting everything the Confederation represented. Instead, ex-Gunnery Sergeant Torin Kerr drew together an elite corps of friends and allies--some ex-Marines, some civilians with unique skills--and together they prepared to take on covert missions that the Justice Department and the Corps could not--or would not--officially touch. But after their first major mission, it became obvious that covert operations were not going to be enough.

Although the war is over, the fight goes on and the Justice Department finds its regular Wardens unable to deal with violence and the people trained to use it. Ex-Gunnery Sergeant Torin Kerr has a solution: Strike Teams made up of ex-military personnel, small enough to maneuver quickly, able to work together if necessary. Justice has no choice but to implement her idea and Torin puts her team of independent contractors back into uniform. It isn't war, it is policing, but it often looks much the same.

When the scientists doing a preliminary archaeological dig on a Class Two planet are taken hostage, Torin's team is sent to free them. The problem of innocents in the line of fire is further complicated by the fact that the mercenaries holding them are a mix of Confederation and Primacy forces, and are looking for a weapon able to destroy the plastic aliens who'd started and maintained the war.

If Torin weren't already torn by wanting that weapon in play, she also has to contend with the politics of peace that have added members of the Primacy--former enemies--to her team. Before they confront the mercenaries, Torin will have to sift through shifting loyalties as she discovers that the line between"us" and "them" is anything but straight.

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