Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of April: 5 Top Picks

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A Memory Called Empire (Teixcalaan) by Arkady Martine

Mahit Dzmare is sent to the capital city of the massive Teixcalaani empire to represent her people on Lsel Station—30,000 souls living in an independent mining station on the edge of Teixcalaani space. Riding along with Mahit, in her brain, are the memories of the ambassador who preceded her, though the memories, unusually, are ten years out of date. As Mahit is swallowed by sophisticated Teixcalaani protocols and traditions, she becomes the bone that sticks in the throat—unwilling to accept not only the flimsy story around her predecessor’s untimely death but also the empire’s clear desire to assimilate Lsel Station. Mahit’s gritty spywork, diplomatic sleight-of-hand, and heightened awareness of the power and enticement of the empire’s embrace have made this book one of my favorites of 2019 so far. (Read our interview with the author, a professor of Byzantine studies.)

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