Friday, June 2, 2023

The 2023 Pride Bundle

As in past years, Aqueduct has titles in the year's Pride Bundle. For those of you who read e-book editions, this is a great deal. Here's the scoop:

 We're back with another queer-themed bundle to celebrate Pride! This year, we have a total of seventeen books on offer, with eight in the main bundle and another nine in the bonus. It's a big bundle, but it was still hard to narrow it down: every year, there are more and more writers out there who are creating intelligent, nuanced, and queer SF/F.

Because this is for Pride, we looked for books that depicted queerness in all its aspects. You'll find profoundly hopeful work as well as darker themes, but what you won't find is stories in which being queer means you're evil, nor any in which it's a purely doomed and tragic fate. Instead, these are stories that showcase the myriad ways that queerness manifests — the many ways that we have chosen to be.

You can read more about the bundle here, and make sure to click on each cover for a synopsis, reviews and preview of each book!



  • Support awesome authors by paying however much you think their work is worth!
  • Pay at least $20 to unlock another 12 bonus books, for a total of 17!
  • Read all our books on just about any tablet, ereader, laptop or
    even your smartphone.


The Unbalancing by R. B. Lemberg

[STARRED REVIEW] "Lovingly crafted with a deep and rewarding world full of complex characters who are often LGBTQIA+ and/or neurodiverse, this is an outstanding novel from a rising star in fantasy fiction."

– Booklist

The Bruising of Qilwa by Naseem Jamnia

[STARRED REVIEW] "Naseem Jamnia's brilliant and insightful novella, The Bruising of Qilwa, explores questions of identity and belonging in a nuanced medical mystery. . . . Jamnia has built an intricate, multi-layered world full of magic and queerness."

– Shelf Awareness

Boys, Beasts & Men by Sam J. Miller

[STARRED REVIEW] "Highly recommended for any reader interested in speculative fiction that concerns itself with queer themes, particularly messy or emotional ones."

– Booklist

Martha Moody by Susan Stinson

"This 'speculative western' first came out in 1995 but was just reissued. The first sentence is magnificent in the way it's a microcosm of the whole book, as well as a glimpse at the way Stinson writes so beautifully about fat bodies: 'I was crouched next to the creek baiting my hook with a hunk of fat when I heard a rustling on the bank upstream.'"

– Alison Bechdel, Elle Magazine

Fire Logic by Laurie J. Marks

"Fire Logic is a delightful, feminist fantasy epic featuring a ragtag bunch of misfits, swashbuckling, romance, and some weird elemental magic."

– Bustle

Our Fruiting Bodies by Nisi Shawl

"Nisi Shawl's Our Fruiting Bodies is a wilderness of untamed magic to explore, ever changing underfoot, beauty thorned and fertile with meaning, nurtured by the most talented of keepers. Shawl trusts their readers to be attuned to the mysteries of the imagined, rather than sated by formula or convention."

– Indrapramit Das, author of The Devourers

We're Here - The Best Queer Speculative Fiction 2021 by L.D. Lewis and series editor Charles Payseur

"With this lovely anthology, Lewis and Payseur collect 15 speculative shorts that range widely in tone and genre, but all circle themes of love and identity...There's something here for any reader of speculative fiction to admire."

– Publishers Weekly

Uncommon Charm by Kat Weaver and Emily Bergslien

"An enchanting and poignantly subtle story told with deft humor and thoughtful absences, where the initiation into mysteries is both esoteric and deeply personal."

– Caitlin Starling, author of The Death of Jane Lawrence

Night Sky Mine by Melissa Scott

"Mature, balanced, absorbing work, with a richly detailed, enchanting backdrop: something of a breakthrough in overall technique, and Scott's best so far."

– Kirkus Reviews

The Silences of Ararat by L. Timmel Duchamp

"Duchamp tells the story in straightforward style, using a setting only slightly removed from the here-and-now and characters many of us will recognize as drawn from some of our neighbors. The magical component, while crucial to the plot, doesn't divert attention from the relevance of the story to the world we see on the nightly TV news. Not always a comfortable read—nor is it meant to be—but well worth tracking down."

– Asimov’s On Books by Peter Heck

Queer Weird West Tales by Julie Bozza

"a varied and entertaining set of stories … Bound to be something for everyone to enjoy."

– Matt the Womble, Runalong the Shelves

The Feast of Panthers by Sean Eads

"…If you love history with a twist, I highly recommend "A Feast of Panthers," an incredible story with paranormal aspects that are at times gruesome and frightening…"

– Queer Sci Fi

The Dragon Eater by J. Scott Coatsworth

"The only thing wrong with this book is that it ended. Scott Coatsworth has produced an adventure that is a rich mélange of science fiction and fantasy, creating the world of Tharassas and its denizens with vivid detail... It's going to be hard to wait for book two. Five stars."

– Ulysses, Liminal Fiction

Perishables by Michael G. Williams

"Stephen Colbert meets Stephen King."

– Book Nerd's Brain Candy

Unfinished Business by Catherine Lundoff

"And we are here in October where the weather and season turns; the nights darken as we start to feel more comfortable at home rather than wandering in the dark. Like many of you at times like this, I love to hear tales of ghosts and the things that go bump in the night. Queen of Swords Press has just launched a new series of mini-collections of short stories and novella collections. In Unfinished Business, this starts with the work of Catherine Lundoff and provides a smart, scary and progressive set of horror tales – perfect for a dark and stormy night."

– Runalong the Shelves Book Blog

In the Deep by Kelly Jennings

"…as gritty and complex as the first novel-length adventure… // Strongly reminiscent of C.J Cherryh at her best."

– Gwyneth Jones, author of the Aleutian trilogy, winner of the World Fantasy, Clarke, Dick, and Tiptree awards
Get the Pride Bundle at

Thursday, June 1, 2023

Susan diRende's Knife Witch



I'm pleased to announce the release, in both print and e-book editions, of Knife Witch, Susan diRende's debut fantasy novel. It's available now from Aqueduct Press at


 Read a sample at



A village kitchen girl has few choices in life until a slip of her knife causes invading barbarian pirates to think she’s a witch. They kidnap her to get the “witch” bounty offered by their home coven. She goes willingly enough with only the clothes on her back and her favorite boning knife.

Dubbed “Knife Witch” by the barbarian captain, Volzh, and his crew, she saves the ship—twice—thanks to what they insist is magic and she protests is nothing more than an itchy disposition and her mad skills at carving and filleting. They start to think of her as “their” witch, and she starts feeling responsible for them as if she actually had the power to protect them. Which is not what she wants. She doesn’t see herself as capable of defeating anything larger than a chicken headed for the soup pot. That she manages to skewer a kraken before it sinks them all does not help her case. Side note: the kraken is telepathic and develops an amorous fascination with her.

Claiming she’s just a kitchen girl, she goes on to wreak havoc with the evil coven, an even evil-er Empire, the kraken determined to marry her, a world-breaking volcano, and the gods themselves.

Be as must be. 

Advance Praise

Knife Witch by Susan diRende offers seafaring, kraken-haunted adventure centered on a kitchen maid from a coastal village whose “luck” turns out to be witchery. She soon endears herself to a band of pirate raiders and to the reader. It’s pure pleasure to discover, along with diRende’s spiky narrator, how magic and other forces work in this novel’s archipelago universe. Thoughtful readers will appreciate diRende’s dissections of monstrousness and barbary, but the tale itself is primary: you have to root for this sharp young woman with knives stashed in her hair as she outwits every power ranged against her, from small-town bullies and corrupt witch councils to far greater natural—and supernatural—entities.”
 —Lesley Wheeler, author of Unbecoming and Poetry’s Possible Worlds

“Susan diRende’s unique voice marries funny to fantasy in this rollicking feminist tale of a kitchen worker who discovers she’s a powerful witch after she’s captured by pirates. She takes on krakens and kings, not to mention other witches, all while protecting others (including a dog and the pirates) and doing good (mostly). And she does it her way.
   Anyone who thinks feminism — or, for that matter, fantasy — can’t be funny needs to read Susan diRende.”
 —Nancy Jane Moore, author of For the Good of the Realm