On March 1st, Sim Kern’s Seeds for the Swarm was released and is now available everywhere books are sold. If you loved the 2010s YA dystopias, but are looking for an updated version with radical politics and optimistic, solarpunk roots, this is for you.
What are Readers Saying about Seeds for the Swarm?
Check out some of the amazing reviews coming in about this book.
Kern doesn’t pull any punches on the environmental consequences of consumer capitalism, nor do they avoid the social and emotional impacts of living through an age of mass extinctions. The subject lends itself to nihilism, but Rylla’s commitment to family, friends, and justice provides a glimpse of hope that is badly needed in the coming fights, real and fictional. Perfect for teen readers struggling with their own feelings of despair in our own unstable world, it is also a welcome and provocative read for all fans of YA.Amy Nagopaleen for Strange Horizons
A coming-of-age story set in the Dust States in the year 2075.
Sassparylla McCracken is just another Dusty, a White girl destined to a life of working for the oil refinery or running with outlaw scrounger gangs, stealing water in drought-stricken Texas. Rylla dreams of escaping her overbearing mother by going to college and learning how to improve things in the Dust. Her opportunity comes when a video of her protesting in the State Senate against environmental destruction piques the interest of elite institution Wingates University in the Lush State of Michigan. She soon finds herself in an alien environment of wealthy, accomplished college students—and seemingly unlimited water. Wingates’ diverse student population also forces Rylla to challenge her homogeneous, socially conservative Texas upbringing: Her new friends include her White, nonbinary roommate, Magenta; Latino bioengineer Theo; chemical engineer Azam, a gay, Iranian hijabi; Nigerian and Jewish American mechanical engineer Dae-Dae; and her Latina research teammate, Ynez. Through Rylla’s Humanity major, Kern explores the ethics and morality of cutting-edge science and technology. However, whispers of a secret department and alleged sightings of military personnel build tension and suggest covert machinations afoot at Wingates. The author emphatically establishes the desperate circumstances climate change has brought to the West while drawing parallels with immigrant experiences by portraying how painful it is for Rylla to leave her home and family behind for a better life. A satisfying ecological take on the dystopian science-fiction novel.Kirkus Reviews
Learn More or Pick up a Copy
Head over to the Stelliform shop to pick up a copy of the book or read more about it. This book is available wherever books are sold, including:
We are thrilled to share with you the cover of E.G. Condé’s forthcoming novella, Sordidez, through a cover reveal on Tor.com. Click through to Tor to read more about the book, or check out the back cover blurb below.
About Sordidez by E.G. Condé
Vero has always felt at odds with his community. As a trans man in near-future Puerto Rico, he struggles to gain acceptance for his identity and his vision of an inclusive society.
After a hurricane decimates the island and Puerto Rico is abandoned by the United States, Vero leaves his home to petition the centralized government for aid and seek the truth about new colonists arriving on the island. But in the Yucatan, Vero finds a landscape ravaged by an ecological disaster of humanity’s own making—the Hydrophage, a climate technology warped into a weapon of war and released onto the land by the dictator Caudillo.
Amidst the destruction, Vero finds both desperation and hope for regrowth as he documents the lives of the survivors. Details about the colonists’ intentions emerge when Vero meets the Loba Roja, an anti-Caudillo revolutionary who imagines the renewed power of the Maya. Intrigued by her vision of the future and her unapologetic violence, Vero is faced with life-changing questions: can an Indigenous resurgence protect his beloved island? And what must he sacrifice to support it?
We are thrilled to share the cover of Sarena Ulibarri’s forthcoming novella, ANOTHER LIFE. The cover art is by Wang Xulin, who also did the AFTER THE DRAGONS cover for us in 2021. Read more about the book and its author below, and pre-order here.
About the Book
Finding out who you were in a previous life sounds like fun until you’re forced to grapple with the darkness of the past. Galacia Aguirre is Mediator of Otra Vida, a quasi-utopian city on the shores of a human-made lake in Death Valley. She resolves conflicts within their sustainable money-free society, and keeps the outside world from meddling in their affairs. When a scientific method of uncovering past lives emerges, Galacia learns she’s the reincarnation of Thomas Ramsey, leader of the Planet B movement, who eschewed fixing climate change in favor of colonizing another planet. Learning her reincarnation result shakes the foundations of Galacia’s identity and her position as Mediator, threatening to undermine the good she’s done in this lifetime. Fearing a backlash, she keeps the results secret while dealing with her political rival for Mediator, and outsiders who blame Otra Vida for bombings that Galacia is sure they had nothing to do with. But under the unforgiving sun of Death Valley, secrets have a way of coming to light.
About the Author
Sarena Ulibarri edited two anthologies of optimistic climate fiction, Glass and Gardens: Solarpunk Summers (2018) and Glass and Gardens: Solarpunk Winters (2020), and co-edited Multispecies Cities: Solarpunk Urban Futures (2021). Her short fiction has appeared in magazines such as Lightspeed, GigaNotoSaurus, and DreamForge, as well as numerous anthologies.
Another Life is now Available for Pre-Order
Sarena Ulibarri’s optimistic solarpunk novella will be published in May 2023, but is now available for pre-order here.
A perfect storm of supply chain issues has required us to implement a delayed publication date for Sim Kern’s Seeds for the Swarm. The new publication date for this book is March 1 2023.
We are sorry to disappoint those who are waiting for the book and especially those who pre-ordered. We started this press shortly before the first pandemic lockdown, so we are no strangers to the emergency pivot. But this is the first time we have had to delay a book’s scheduled release. It is our hope that we will be able to send the book out a bit early, with some goodies for those who pre-ordered to enjoy.
In the meantime, if you haven’t seen the fabulous review for Seeds over at Strange Horizons, check it out! Be aware, though, that this review contains a very thorough description of the book’s plot, including spoilers. Here’s an excerpt for the spoiler shy:
The burden of the burning world falls with a peculiar weight on the shoulders of young people: they didn’t cause it, but they carry the curse of growing up in it. Aspiring to fix it is more than coming generations should be asked to do, but the myopia of suicidal capitalists and their tendencies has put that millstone firmly around their necks. In this context, the explosion of young people’s literature exploring humans’ relationship and responsibility to nonhuman life is a positive expression of the growing awareness of—and resistance to—that inheritance.
Sim Kern’s Seeds for the Swarm brings that impulse to a genre—dystopian teen fiction—that has dominated the speculative market since The Hunger Games (2008). Like Suzanne Collins before them, Kern marshals philosophical and social arguments in the course of their characters’ trials and adventures. The result is a fast-paced, challenging first novel that confronts the betrayal of adults in making such a mess of things for the future generations, and explores the multiple reactions of communities on the brink of extinction.
As the first of a planned trilogy, Seeds for the Swarm delves into fiercely needed and relevant conversations that are poised to deepen in the coming volumes. Kern doesn’t pull any punches on the environmental consequences of consumer capitalism, nor do they avoid the social and emotional impacts of living through an age of mass extinctions. The subject lends itself to nihilism, but Rylla’s commitment to family, friends, and justice provides a glimpse of hope that is badly needed in the coming fights, real and fictional. Perfect for teen readers struggling with their own feelings of despair in our own unstable world, it is also a welcome and provocative read for all fans of YA.Amy Nagopaleen for Strange Horizons
This morning our fall newsletter went out. Check it out here for more information about our first fall release, Rebecca Campbell’s Arboreality, including how to get tickets to the upcoming launch.
Stelliform Press and several authors are on Can*Con programming (both in-person and virtual) and we’d love to see you next weekend for conversations around the blossoming solarpunk genre, genre fiction and social transformation, and of course amazing deals on Stelliform books.
For those of you who can’t make it to the event, or are online only, we’re extending a 20% discount code to our online store.