Fiction Affliction: February Releases in Science Fiction

A neat dozen science fiction novels are here for your intergalactic delight this February, from Kameron Hurley’s anticipated The Stars Are Legion to the final book in Chuck Wendig’s Star Wars: Aftermath trilogy, Empire’s End. (What do you think’ll happen in that one?) The latest Wild Cards reissue arrives, along with Seven Stories’ striking pair of Octavia Butler reissues. Though this list may be the smallest this month, it is most certainly mighty.

Fiction Affliction details releases in science fiction, fantasy, and “genre-benders.” Keep track of them all here. Note: All title summaries are taken and/or summarized from copy provided by the publisher.

 

WEEK ONE

Empress of a Thousand Skies—Rhoda Belleza (February 7, Razorbill)
Young adult. Rhee, better known as Crown Princess Rhiannon Ta’an, is the sole surviving heir to a powerful dynasty. She’ll stop at nothing to avenge her family and claim her throne. Aly has risen above his war refugee origins to find fame as the dashing star of a holo-vision show. But when he’s falsely accused of killing Rhee, he’s forced to prove his innocence to save his reputation – and his life. With planets on the brink of war, Rhee and Aly are thrown together to confront a ruthless evil that threatens the fate of the entire galaxy. Rhoda Belleza crafts a powerful saga of vengeance, warfare, and the true meaning of legacy in her exhilarating debut, perfect for fans of Marissa Meyer and Pierce Brown.

The Stars Are Legion—Kameron Hurley (February 7, Saga Press)
On the outer rim of the universe, a galactic war has been waged for centuries upon hundreds of world-ships. But these worlds will continue to die through decay and constant war unless a desperate plan succeeds. Anat, leader of the Katazyrna world-ship and the most fearsome raiding force on the Outer Rim, wants peace. To do so she offers the hand of her daughter, Jayd, to her rival. Jayd has dreamed about leading her mother’s armies to victory her whole life—but she has a unique ability, and that makes her leverage, not a leader. As Anat convinces her to spend the rest of her life wed to her family’s greatest enemy, it is up to Jayd’s sister Zan—with no stomach for war—to lead the cast off warriors she has banded together to victory and rescue Jayd. But the war does not go at all as planned… In the tradition of The Fall of Hyperion and Dune, The Stars are Legion is an epic and thrilling tale about familial love, revenge, and war as imagined by one of the genre’s most imaginative new writers.

Starfall (Starflight #2)—Melissa Landers (February 7, Disney-Hyperion)
Young adult. After two years hiding as a ship hand, Princess Cassia Rose is finally returning to her beloved home, but not in the way she imagined. Shackled by bounty hunters, she is violently dragged back to account for her crimes. Her only solace is that the Banshee crew managed to evade capture, including Kane Arric, her best friend … with occasional benefits. Meanwhile, Kane and the rest of the crew of the Banshee plan a desperate rescue mission. But when they arrive on Eturia, Cassia isn’t exactly in need of heroics—she’s claimed her birthright as Eturia’s queen, but has inherited a war-torn planet simmering with rebellion. Cassia must make alliances, and Kane, the bastard son of a merchant, isn’t a choice that will earn her any friends. When the outer realm is threatened by the dangerous Zhang mafia, Cassia, Kane and the rest of the Banshee crew uncover a horrifying conspiracy that endangers the entire universe.

A Perfect Machine—Brett Savory (February 7, Angry Robot)
Henry Kyllo is a Runner, a member of a secret society called the Inferne Cutis. Every day he is chased through the city by Hunters whose goal is to fill him with bullets. It is a secret war steeped in history, tradition, and mutual fear. Rumours abound about what happens when a Runner achieves ascension, but it has supposedly never happened before, so no one knows for sure. Except that it has happened before. And it is happening again. This time, to Henry Kyllo.

The Beauty of Destruction—Gavin G. Smith (February 7, Gollancz)
In the far future, after the Loss of Earth, war has begun and an unknowable alien race has awakened, intent on the destruction of everything. Here and now, the end of the world has come. And the only way our species will survive is if two augmented humans can fight their way through apocalypse to a faint glimmer of hope. Long ago, the seeds of that apocalypse were resisted by the warrior tribes of Britain, with devastating consequences for them and their lands. And all three of these times will meet on another world …

 

WEEK TWO

The Man With the Speckled Eyes—R.A. Lafferty (February 14, Centipede Press)
With most of his brilliant and original work now out-of-print, this is the fourth volume in Centipede Press’ series of the short fiction of R. A. Lafferty, one of science fiction’s most highly-regarded authors. Volume four features a new introduction by esteemed science fiction and fantasy author Richard A. Lupoff, an afterword by John Pelan, and art by Jacob McMurray. The Man with the Speckled Eyes includes nearly twenty stories, many of which have never before been collected in book form.

Ones and Zeroes (Mirador #2)—Dan Wells (February 14, Balzer + Bray)
Young adult. Overworld. It’s more than just the world’s most popular e-sport—for thousands of VR teams around the globe, Overworld is life. It means fame and fortune, or maybe it’s a ticket out of obscurity or poverty. Marisa Carneseca is on the hunt for a mysterious hacker named Grendel when she receives word that her amateur Overworld team has been invited to Forward Motion, one of the most exclusive tournaments of the year. For Marisa, this could mean anything—a chance to finally go pro and to help her family, stuck in an LA neighborhood on the wrong side of the growing divide between the rich and the poor. But Forward Motion turns out to be more than it seems—rife with corruption, infighting, and danger—and Marisa runs headlong into Alain Bensoussan, a beautiful, dangerous underground freedom fighter who reveals to her the darker side of the forces behind the tournament. It soon becomes clear that, in this game, winning might be the only way to get out alive.

 

WEEK THREE

Parable of the Sower & Parable of the Talents—Octavia Butler (February 21, Seven Stories Press)
Reissues. Parable of the Sower is the Butlerian odyssey of one woman who is twice as feeling in a world that has become doubly dehumanized. The time is 2025. The place is California, where small walled communities must protect themselves from hordes of desperate scavengers and roaming band of people addicted to a drug that activates an orgasmic desire to burn, rape, and murder. When one small community is overrun, Lauren Olamina, an eighteen-year-old black woman with the hereditary trait of “hyperempathy”—which causes her to feel others’ pain as her own—sets off on foot along the dangerous coastal highways, moving north into the unknown. Parable of the Talents celebrates the classic Butlerian themes of alienation and transcendence, violence and spirituality, slavery and freedom, separation and community, to astonishing effect, in the shockingly familiar, broken world of 2032. Talents is told in the voice of Lauren Olamina’s daughter—from whom she has been separated for most of the girl’s life—with sections in the form of Lauren’s journal. Against a background of a war-torn continent, and with a far-right religious crusader in the office of the U.S. presidency, this is a book about a society whose very fabric has been torn asunder, and where the basic physical and emotional needs of people seem almost impossible to meet.

Humans Bow Down—James Patterson (February 20, Little, Brown)
The Great War is over. The Robots have won. The humans who survived have two choices—they can submit and serve the vicious rulers they created or be banished to the Reserve, a desolate, unforgiving landscape where it’s a crime to be human. And the robots aren’t content—following the orders of their soulless leader, they’re planning to conquer humanity’s last refuge. With nothing left to lose, Six, a feisty, determined young woman whose family was killed with the first shots of the war, is a rebel with a cause. On the run for her life after an attempted massacre, Six is determined to save humanity before the robots finish what the Great War started and wipe humans off the face of the earth, once and for all.

Star Wars: Aftermath: Empire’s End (Aftermath #3)—Chuck Wendig (February 21, Del Rey)
Following Star Wars: Aftermath and Star Wars: Life Debt, Chuck Wendig delivers the exhilarating conclusion to the New York Times bestselling trilogy set in the years between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens.

 

WEEK FOUR

Wild Cards VI: Ace in the Hole—George R.R. Martin, editor (February 28, Tor Books)
Reissue. Rights to develop Wild Cards for TV have been acquired by Universal Cable Productions, the team that brought you The Magicians and Mr. Robot, with the co-editor of Wild Cards, Melinda Snodgrass, as executive producer. Since a strange alien virus created the superhuman beings known as Aces and Jokers four decades ago, they have struggled for respect and recognition. Now they are key players in a presidential convention torn by hatred and dissent. Assassins stalk the halls of the convention and one of the candidates plans to use his secret Wild Card power for evil. Travel on a journey of intrigue and adventure in this collaborative novel edited by #1 New York Times bestselling author George R. R. Martin and written by five of science fiction’s most imaginative talents: Stephen Leigh, Victor Milan, Walton Simons, Melinda M. Snodgrass, and Walter Jon Williams.

Revenger—Alastair Reynolds (February 28, Orbit)
The galaxy has seen great empires rise and fall. Planets have shattered and been remade. Amongst the ruins of alien civilizations, building our own from the rubble, humanity still thrives. And there are vast fortunes to be mad, if you know where to find them. Captain Rackamore and his crew do. It’s their business to find the tiny, enigmatic worlds which have been hidden away, booby-trapped, surrounded by layers of protection—and to crack them open for the ancient relics and barely-remembered technologies inside. But while they ply their risky trade with integrity, not everyone is so scrupulous. Adrana and Fura Ness are the newest members of Rackamore’s crew, signed on to save their family from bankruptcy. Only Rackamore has enemies, and there might be more waiting for them in space than adventure and fortune: the fabled and feared Bosa Sennen in particular.

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