Fiction Affliction: November Releases in Science Fiction

Fiction Affliction has gotten a makeover! Check this month’s Fantasy releases post for details.

Today, we’re looking at November releases in science fiction, with twelve titles including the finale to William C. Dietz’s Legion of the Damned series, a new Alex Benedict title from Jack McDevitt, and the first in a new trilogy based on Isaac Asimov’s classic I, Robot.



A Fighting Chance, by William C. Dietz (Nov. 1, Ace)

Earth has fallen. And the men, women, and cyborgs of the Confederacy must dig deep within their warrior hearts to make one final stand against an alien aggressor. On a rim world, Captain Antonio Santana is reunited with diplomat Christine Vanderveen to protect the severely wounded Ramanthian Queen, who has fled there to avoid assassination. And they’ll risk everything to save the Confederacy, billions of lives — and their future together. Finale to the Legion of the Damned series.

Firebird, by Jack McDevitt (Nov. 1, Ace)

Forty-one years ago the renowned physicist Chris Robin vanished. Before his disappearance, his fringe science theories about the existence of endless alternate universes had earned him both admirers and enemies. Alex Benedict and Chase Kolpath discover that Robin had several interstellar yachts flown far outside the planetary system where they too vanished. And following Robin’s trail into the unknown puts Benedict and Kolpath in danger. Sixth in the Alex Benedict series.

The Ninth Circle, by R.M. Meluch (Nov. 1, DAW)

On the distant world of Zoe, an expedition finds DNA-based life. When alien invaders are also discovered, Glenn Hamilton calls on the U.S.S. Merrimack for help. But the Ninth Circle and the Palatine Empire have also found Zoe. Soon, everyone will be on a collision course to determine the fate of this planet. Fifth in the Tour of the Merrimack series.

I, Robot: To Protect, by Mickey Zucker Reichert (Nov. 1, Roc)

2035: Susan Calvin is beginning her residency at a Manhattan teaching hospital, where a select group of patients is receiving the latest in diagnostic advancements: tiny nanobots, injected into the spinal fluid, that can unlock and map the human mind. Soon, Susan begins to notice an ominous chain of events surrounding the patients. When she tries to alert her superiors, she is ignored by those who want to keep the project far from any scrutiny for the sake of their own agenda. But what no one knows is that the very technology to which they have given life is now under the control of those who seek to spread only death. First in a new trilogy inspired by Isaac Asimov’s science fiction collection, I, Robot.

Wolf Among the Stars, by Steve White (Nov. 1, Baen)

A near-future Earth has shaken off the devastating colonization by alien Lokaran invaders and totalitarian rule by the alien’s puppets, the Earth First party. But now Earth is flung into galactic intrigue and war. The Lokaron empire teeters on the edge of a fratricidal meltdown and a cabal of ancient enemies hope to use Earth as a proxy to destroy the empire and rule over a new Galactic Dark Age. Now Captain Andrew Roark, the son of heroes of the rebellion and an officer trained in Lokaran space warfare tactics, joins with a highly capable Lokar who opposes the empire but wishes to see it transformed rather than destroyed. Together they must uncover a conspiracy to control Earth, and then obtain the secret key to defeating it.

The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick, by Philip K. Dick, edited by Pamela Jackson and Jonathan Lethem (Nov. 7, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

Based on thousands of pages of typed and handwritten notes, journal entries, letters, and story sketches, The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick is the final work of an author who dedicated his life to questioning the nature of reality and perception, the malleability of space and time, and the relationship between the human and the divine. Edited and introduced by Pamela Jackson and Jonathan Lethem, this is a definitive presentation of Dick’s epic final work, in which he documents his eight-year attempt to fathom what he called “2-3-74,” a postmodern visionary experience of the entire universe “transformed into information.” In this abridgment, Jackson and Lethem serve as guides, taking the reader through the Exegesis and establishing connections with moments in Dick’s life and work.



Unison Spark, by Andy Marino (Nov. 8, Henry Holt)

Everyone is obsessed with Unison, the social network that knows you better than you know yourself. Everyone who can afford it, that is. Living beneath the vast ceiling that separates Eastern Seaboard City into rich topside and poor sub-canopy zones, fifteen-year-old Mistletoe can only dream of logging in and has to make do with technological hand-me-downs. Worlds collide when Ambrose Truax, the privileged heir to the Unison empire, wanders into the dangerous sub-canopy streets and Mistletoe saves him from suspicious, uniformed men. They soon discover that they share eerily similar dreams, hinting at a significant past. Together, Ambrose and Mistletoe begin to unravel the mystery of their identities and learn that they’re pawns in a bigger game: the Unison 3.0 upgrade, a whole new kind of Friendship. [Young  Adult]



The Future of Us, by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler (Nov. 21, Razorbill)

It’s 1996, and less than half of all American high school students have ever used the Internet. Emma just got her first computer and an America Online CD-ROM. Josh is her best friend. They power up and log on — and discover themselves on Facebook, fifteen years in the future. Everybody wonders what their destiny will be. Josh and Emma are about to find out. [Young Adult]



Doctor Who: The Silent Stars Go By, by Dan Abnett (Nov. 29, Random House)

For centuries the Maintainers have worked. With no help from other worlds, they subsist on the food they can grow and that’s little enough. But their purpose, their whole life, is to maintain the machines that will one day make their world as habitable as old Earth. Life used to be hard. Now as their crops fail, livestock sickens, and the temperature drops, it’s becoming impossible. This year’s Winter Season Feast won’t be the usual celebration. It’s not a time for optimism or hope — and it’s not a time to welcome unexpected guests. The Doctor, Amy, and Rory find a society breaking apart under the strain. And then the Doctor’s old enemies, the Ice Warriors, make their move.

Lightspeed: Year One, edited by John Joseph Adams (Nov. 22, Prime)

Lightspeed is the online science fiction magazine edited by bestselling anthologist John Joseph Adams. In Lightspeed: Year One, you will find all of the fiction published in the magazine’s first year, from new stories such as Nebula Award finalists Vylar Kaftan’s “I’m Alive, I Love You, I’ll See You in Reno” and “Arvies” by Adam-Troy Castro, and Carrie Vaughn’s Hugo Award-nominee “Amaryllis,” to classic reprints by Stephen King, Ursula K. Le Guin, George R. R. Martin, and more.

Theme Planet, by Andy Remic (Nov. 29, Solaris)

Welcome to Theme Planet, an entire alien world dedicated to insane rides, excessive hedonism and dangerous adventure. Operated by the Monolith Corporation, Theme Planet is the No. 1 destination for fun-seeking human holidaymakers around the galaxy. Amba Miskalovis an Anarchy Android, an assassin/torture model fitted with a Quantell Systems v4.7 KillChip. She is beautiful, merciless and deadly, and blends perfectly with her human superiors. Sent to Theme Planet on a dangerous assassination mission, Amba stumbles upon a plot to undermine and destroy Earth’s all-powerful Oblivion Government — and its Ministers of Joy. But Amba is twisted, damaged and decadent, and this rebellion poses a problem: should she remain loyal to her creators and tormentors, should she support the enemy, or should she annihilate them all?

Winning Mars, by Jason Stoddard (Nov. 29, Prime)

Jere Gutierrez is bucking the trend at the dying art of “linear” entertainment — what we know today as TV shows. His combination of astounding stories, captured in the moment, are captivating millions. Of course, every one of his stories are fabricated and engineered and orchestrated, even though they’re sold as “real.” Unfortunately for Jere, his backers have begun to see through his tricks. Desperate for another story, one large enough to capture the attention of the world, he teams up with a retired TV executive to create an ad-supported mission to Mars, complete with corporate sponsors and extreme sports events. What Jere doesn’t know is just how captivating his “Winning Mars” will be.

Author Suzanne Johnson is a book geek with a fondness for a good dystopia. Her new urban fantasy series, scheduled to begin with the release of Royal Street in April 2012 by Tor Books, is set in New Orleans during and after Hurricane Katrina. Find Suzanne on Twitter.


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