New books from Shadowpaw Press

My publishing company, Shadowpaw Press, has three great titles coming out in the first two months of 2024, all of them science fiction or fantasy.

The first two, The Good Soldier by Nir Yaniv and Shapers of Worlds Volume IV, release on January 23, with The Headmasters by Mark Morton releasing two weeks later, on January 6.

Read more below, and pre-order now from your favorite online bookstore (Amazon links below) or directly from Shadowpaw Press.

The Good Soldier

By Nir Yaniv |

The Imperial Navy has long been at war. It is a well-oiled machine, a mighty galactic power in which nothing can go wrong.

Enter Pre-Private Joseph Fux, self-proclaimed Idiot, Second Class.

When Fux arrives on board the light frigate UPS Spitz, things immediately begin to go wrong. It’s not Fux’s fault. It never is. Accidents just happen when he’s around, despite the best intentions.

And as the always-cheerful Fux bungles his way through one job after another, he throws the whole ship and its orderly crew into chaos. No one is left unscathed: not the responsible and lonely Lt. Lipton, grieving for his lost love; not the mercilessly logical Doctor Nightingale, who may or may not be Lipton’s current romantic interest; not the overzealous Ensign Berseker, or the pompous political officer, Commander Kapust. Not even the hidden, monstrous Captain.

Knowingly or not, Fux is an agent of resistance, his blind stupidity the only sane response to the insanity of war. Something’s gotta give, and the tiny spanner-in-the-works that is Fux threatens at last to destroy the entire machinery of the Galactic Empire . . .

Knowingly or not, Fux is an agent of resistance, his blind stupidity the only sane response to the insanity of war. Something’s gotta give, and the tiny spanner-in-the-works that is Fux threatens at last to destroy the entire machinery of the Galactic Empire . . .

“In this amiable satire of the gung-ho heroics of military sci-fi, Yaniv (coauthor of The Tel Aviv Dossier) sets a seeming simpleton against an immense empire, and the contest is hardly fair . . . (A)n amusing alternative to the usual run of martial marvels and battle-tested warriors. Military SF fans will enjoy this gentle roasting.” – Publishers Weekly

“Drawing on a tradition of anti-war fiction and his own military experience, Nir Yaniv meshes together classical American gung-ho SF with the delightful absurdism of European literature to create an unforgettable far-future fable for our times. Think M.A.S.H. in space, and you’ll come closest to capturing the spirit of The Good Soldier, but you’ll have to enmesh yourself in the (mis)adventures of Idiot-First-Class Fux and company of the good ship Spitz to find out for yourself. This is one explosive novel you do not want to miss!” – Lavie Tidhar, award-winning author of Central Station and Neom

“A madcap dystopian satire that shoulders its way into the ranks of Bill the Galactic Hero and Catch-22, then stands sloppily at attention as it smirks in the face of an apoplectic political officer.” – Alex Shvartsman, Award-Winning Author of The Middling Affliction and Eridani’s Crown

“I really enjoyed this: a rattling, SFnal updating of The Good Soldier Švejk via Starship Troopers (as it might be: Švejkship Troopers): funny, pointed, readable, a subversive depiction of the futility of war and a satire on the perennial logic of the military mind and the structures of the army. Fux is a wonderful anti-hero: a buffoon and an idiot (‘second class’) but also an everyman. Highly recommended.” – Adam Roberts, award-winning author of Jack Glass

Shapers of Worlds Volume IV

Edited by Edward Willett |

The fourth in a series of powerhouse anthologies featuring some of today’s top authors of science fiction and fantasy

From the farthest reaches of our galaxy to the cozy-yet-mysterious spaces under beds and behind sofa cushions, from mystical realms of fantasy to the here-and-now and the very near future, the nineteen authors in this fourth collection of science fiction and fantasy by authors featured on the Aurora Award-winning podcast The Worldshapersoffer readers a kaleidoscope of fantastical adventures in the company of unforgettable characters.

The editor of tyrannical bestselling author thinks she’s finally escaped their hellish relationship when the author dies . . . but she couldn’t be more wrong. A retired ghost-hunter’s life takes an unexpected turn when an immensely valuable magical vase from the nineteenth-century vase is brought to her attention. At the end of a millennia-long journey to the edge of the galaxy, a man who has lived a hundred lifetimes is reunited with his first true love in the midst of a battle for survival. Scarecrows that appear overnight on a lonely man’s lawn prove to be far more than the teenagers’ prank he thinks them to be. A man travels back in time to confront the attacker who destroyed his life, only to make a horrifying discovery. The Monster Under the Bed finally meets his match . . .

Shapers of Worlds Volume IV has new stories by David Boop, Michaelbrent Collings, Roy M. Griffis, Sarah A. Hoyt, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Noah Lemelson, Edward M. Lerner, David Liss, Gail Z. Martin, Joshua Palmatier, Richard Paolinelli, Jean-Louis Trudel, James van Pelt, Garon Whited, and Edward Willett, plus previously published stories by James Kennedy, Mark Leslie, R.S. Mellette, and Lavie Tidhar. Each story features an illustration by Wendi Nordell.

Travel into the past, the present, and the future in stories set in our world, in deep space, in worlds scattered across the multiverse, and in worlds that exist only in the imagination, all shaped by an outstanding collection of authors, many of them bestsellers and award-winners.

An unforgettable journey awaits. All you have to do is turn the page . . .

“One of the most overall enjoyable anthologies I have had the pleasure of reading . . . I think that the editor says it best in his introduction: this collection is like a grand feast, made of many varied splendid ingredients, and you are quite sure to leave happy and satisfied when you are done . . . Overall, I highly recommend this fourth volume of Shapers of Worlds.” – Tangent Online

The Headmasters

By Mark Morton |

How do you learn from the past if there isn’t one? 

Sixty years ago, something awful happened. Something that killed everyone except the people at Blue Ring. Something that caused the Headmasters to appear. But Maple doesn’t know what is was. Because talking about the past is forbidden.

Everyone at Blue Ring has a Headmaster. They sink their sinewy coils into your skull and control you, using your body for backbreaking toil and your mind communicate with each other.

When someone dies, their Headmaster transfers to someone new. But so do the dead person’s memories, and if one of those memories surfaces in the new host’s mind, their brain breaks. That’s why talking about the past is forbidden.

Maple hates this world where the past can’t exist and the future promises only more suffering. And she hates the Headmasters for making it that way. But she doesn’t know how to fight them – until memories start to surface in her mind from someone who long ago came close to defeating the Headmasters.

But whose memories are they? Why aren’t they harming her? And how can she use them to defeat the Headmasters? Maple has to find the answers herself, unable to tell anyone what she’s experiencing or planning—not even Thorn, the young man she’s falling in love with.

Thorn, who has some forbidden secrets of his own . . .

“Mark Morton’s The Headmasters is a brilliant science-fiction debut from one of Canada’s best-loved nonfiction writers. This compelling YA novel is a spot-on updating of Robert A. Heinlein’s classic The Puppet Masters for the new millennium, with intricate world-building, a great science-fiction puzzle, and — ironic for a novel about suppressed memories — a main character you’ll never forget. I loved it.” — Robert J. Sawyer, Hugo Award-winning author of The Downloaded

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