As before, just noting that I have read them all, without specifying my preferences.
A Desolation Called Peace, by Arkady Martine
(Three months ago, even if she’d somehow reached this exalted position in the Ministry, complete with her own tiny office with a tiny window only one floor down from the Minister herself, Three Seagrass would have been asleep in her house, and missed the message entirely. There: she’d justified clinical-grade insomnia as a meritorious action, one which would enable her to deal with a problem before anyone else awoke; that was half her work done for the day, surely.)
The Galaxy, and the Ground Within, by Becky Chambers
Roveg sat in the middle of the tableau, his abdominal legs folded properly beneath him while his thoracic legs engaged with the serious business of finishing a lengthy breakfast. A variety of foods were spread across the table in front of him, all carefully selected from the stasie that morning. He’d arranged a somewhat Aandrisk-influenced spread: grain crackers with snapfruit preserves, spicy fermented fungus paste rolled in fresh saab tesh, and a few choice slices of hot smoked river eel (this was an Aeluon addition, but it complimented the other offerings well). A bowl of tea tied the arrangement together – a delicate Laru blend, as it happened – along with a small glass of seagrass juice. The latter beverage was the only part of the meal that originated with Roveg’s own species, and though he’d had many sorts of breakfasts on many different worlds, he still swore by that hard-shelled Quelin tradition of starting the morning with a cleansing shot of the stuff. Some habits, he could never break.
Light From Uncommon Stars, by Ryka Aoki
Once common in LA’s Eisenhower years, just a few of these giant donuts remained in greater Los Angeles. There were Kindle’s Donuts, Dale’s Donuts, and Randy’s Donuts, of course. Donut King II was in Gardena. In La Puente, there was the drive-through Donut Hole.
A Master of Djinn, by P. Djèlí Clark
As she rode, her mind cataloged the night’s events. It had taken days to follow up on Khalid’s tip. Identifying the bottle. Arranging the meetup and creating her undercover persona. She’d even gotten a new suit— to perfect the look of the eccentric socialite. Things hadn’t exactly gone as planned. Then again, did they ever? Who thought that kid had it in him to summon up a Marid djinn and then demand wishes?
Project Hail Mary, by Andy Weir
“Lightning round!” yelled my students.
She Who Became the Sun, by Shelley Parker-Chan
The sunshine was warm, and Xu Da had taken off his shirt and both robes to work half- naked in his trousers. At sixteen, the hard labor had already given him a man’s body. Zhu said a little tartly, “You’re asking to die, running around like that.” Prefect Fang never hesitated to wield his bamboo on novices who violated the rules of dignified monkly attire. Twelve- year- old Zhu, who felt an existential chill whenever she was forced to acknowledge the fact of her boyish but undeniably not- male body, appreciated Prefect Fang’s strictness more than anyone realized. “You think you’re that good- looking everyone wants to see you?”