Mon. Sep 26th, 2022
Ars To-Be-Read: Our Most Anticipated Books for the Second Half of 2019

Valentina Palladino

Authors, publishers, and book geeks flock to New York City for Book Expo America in late May every year, and this year Ars was there to dig through some of the stories. The convention showcases all kinds of books – fiction, non-fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, historical fiction, YA, graphic novels, comics and everything in between – making it an excellent opportunity to learn about already anticipated titles and new ones. discover releases debuting in the coming months.

After speaking with numerous publishers and hearing some authors speak (including Star Trek’s George Takei – check out the first pick in our list), we highlight some of our most anticipated books for the rest of 2019. Most fit into the non-fiction, sci-fi, and fantasy genres, but some spill over into other genres too. Add to your TBR list, e-reader, library app or Audible wish list so you don’t miss any of these exciting upcoming releases.

Note: Ars Technica may earn compensation through affiliate programs for sales of links on this post.

They called us enemy by George Takei, Justin Eisinger, Steven Scott, Harmony Becker (artist)

Most know George Takei for his work on Star Trek or for his witty, progressive comebacks on social media† But many may not know about the Japanese-American actor and activist’s early life—a life marked by a painful, difficult period for his entire family. In They called us enemyTakei tells his family’s story of life in American concentration camps during World War II, when the country rounded up and imprisoned thousands of Japanese Americans as tensions between the US and Japan escalated.

As a young boy, Takei did not understand the meaning behind his family’s sudden “vacation” to a place called Arkansas. As an adult, Takei looks back on that time, which was full of discoveries through the eyes of his child, but full of fear and dread of adults like his parents. Speaking to a crowd at Book Expo, Takei recalled how terrifying and angry that time was for his father. The elder Takei bore most of the burden of his family’s captivity—despite his desire to speak out and fight back, he knew that remaining docile was the best way to keep himself and his family alive. They called us enemy promises both a sobering look at a difficult period in American history and an illuminating glimpse into Takei’s early life.

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The lesson by Cadwell Turnbull

This debut novel puts a sci-fi spin on the US Virgin Islands. The lesson follows the inhabitants of Water Island who have been living with a mysterious alien race called the Ynaa for five years. What exactly the Ynaa are “investigating” no one really knows. The aliens are mostly benevolent, but any transgression of boundaries is met with furious rage, making the relationship between the inhabitants of Water Island and their new neighbors difficult.

Everything takes a turn when a young boy is murdered by the Ynaa. His death sends three families into chaos, and they are forced to face a conflict they never dreamed of. Told from multiple points of view, including that of an alien leader, The lesson promises a unique twist on sci-fi’s alien invasion trope in addition to commenting on how humans have treated (and continue to treat) those who are different from them.

dr. Space Junk vs the Universe: Archeology and the Future by Alice Gorman

MIT Press

The study of space artifacts is for Alice Gorman. In dr. Space Junk vs. the Universe, the space archaeologist now affectionately known as Dr. Space Junk takes readers on a journey to discover the many things humans have left behind in the cosmos during their space travels. Space enthusiasts may already know this, but novices will be intrigued to find out that space contains many strange but harmless objects that humans have left behind, either intentionally or unintentionally. Likewise, many objects have come to Earth from space, and Gorman is looking at those, too — everything from dead satellites, forgotten cable ties, a recognizable American flag, and more.

Gorman also explains how she got into space archeology and became a pioneer. From an early age, growing up on a farm in Australia, Gorman was fascinated by both the very new and the very old – things like space travel and fossils – and that led her to a career in archaeology. But longing for even more science in her life, she was drawn to astrophysics, space and the like – eventually creating her own field of expertise in the world of discovery. dr. Space Junk vs. the Universe will be a delightful and educational read for anyone interested in the idiosyncrasies of space and how artifacts from the past can tell us a lot about our future.

Monster, She Wrote: The Women Who Pioneered Horror and Speculative Fiction by Lisa Kröger and Melanie R. Anderson

Many mischaracterize science fiction, horror, speculative fiction, and similar genres as “male-dominated,” but those genres wouldn’t be what they are today without pioneering female writers. Monster, she wrote takes a look at some of the key writers in the often overlooked horror and speculative fiction spaces. Mary Shelley might get all the accolades for Frankensteinbut numerous other female writers have produced genre-defining works that have influenced respected male writers such as HP Lovecraft.

Margaret Cavendish, Violet Paget and Gertrude Barrows Bennett are just some of the female writers getting their well-deserved moment in the spotlight in Monster, she wrote, and the book delves into their underrated published works and their personal lives. In addition to highlighting writers of the past, the book also looks at emerging writers in the horror and speculative genres who wouldn’t be as successful or challenging as they are without the work of female writers who came before them.

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