Tue
Jan 29 2013 5:00pm

Fiction Affliction: February Releases in Science Fiction

Fiction Affliction: February Releases in Science FictionScience fiction fans will find thirteen new releases this month, and more than half are not for young adults. Fans of the Liaden Universe will find installment number sixteen this month from Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, there’s a new YA title from Cory Doctorow, plus new standalone or series firsts from James Decker, Neal Asher, and James Lovegrove.

Fiction Affliction details releases in science fiction, fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal romance, 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

Homeland (Little Brother #2), by Cory Doctorow (February 5, Tor Teen)

Young Adult. California’s economy collapses, but Marcus’s hacktivist past lands him a job as webmaster for a politician who promises reform. His onetime girlfriend Masha emerges from the political underground to gift him with a thumbdrive containing a Wikileaks-style cable-dump of hard evidence of corporate and governmental perfidy. If Masha goes missing, Marcus is supposed to release it to the world. Marcus sees Masha being kidnapped by the same government agents who detained and tortured Marcus years earlier. He’s not sure that just dumping the archive onto the Internet, before he’s gone through its contents, is the right thing to do. People are beginning to shadow him, people who look like they’re used to inflicting pain until they get the answers they want.

How Dark the World Becomes, by Frank Chadwick (February 5, Baen)

A tough-as-nails hood with a heart of gold saves two alien children from assassination, and resets the balance of galactic power in the process. Sasha Naradnyo is a gangster in Crack City, a colony stuffed deep into the crust of the otherwise unlivable planet Peezgtaan. A pair of rich young Varoki under the care of a human nanny are fleeing Peezgtaan. Sasha is recruited to help. He’d rather leave the little alien lordlings to their fate, but certain considerations, make it beneficial for him to take on the job. Sasha discovers his choice has thrust him into the a political battle that could remake the galactic balance of power and save humanity from slow death by servitude. All he has to do is survive and keep his charges alive on a hostile planet undergoing its own revolution.

Necessity’s Child (Liaden Universe #16), by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller (February 5, Baen)

The kompani sees none as an enemy, and yet few as friend. Their private history is unwritten; their recall rooted in dance and dream. The humans of Clan Korval is in many ways the opposite of the kompani. The interstellar trading clan is wealthy in enemies, fortunate in friends. When representatives of Clan Korval arrive on the planet Surebleak where the kompani has lived secret and aloof, it seems to the kompani that they are borne by the very winds of change. But the arrival of Clan Korval, establishing itself upon Surebleak with its friends, its enemies, and, most of all, its plans, may bring catastrophe. The lives of three people intersect: Kezzi, apprentice to the kompani’s grandmother; Syl Vor, Clan Korval’s youngest warrior; and Rys, a man without a world, or a past.

The Burn Zone, by James K. Decker (February 5, Roc)

As part of a program that requires humans to act as surrogates to haan infants, Sam Shao has been genetically enhanced to bond with them. When three soldiers invade her apartment and arrest her guardian for smuggling a dangerous weapon into the country, Sam can sense that something isn’t right. Racing through the city slums, trying to stay one step ahead of the mysterious haan soldier, Sam tries to find the man who has been the only father she’s ever known. Could he truly have done what he is accused of? Or did he witness something both human and haan would kill to keep hidden? Fighting the clock, Sam finds an ally in Nix, a haan envoy devoted to coexisting with humans. She really needs the answers. Or else everything she knows, and everyone she loves, will burn.

The Departure: The Owners Vol. 1 (Owner Trilogy #1), by Neal Asher (February 5, Night Shade) (US)

Two worlds, one enemy. Earth. An overpopulated world is under the brutal, high-tech thumb of the Committee. Towering robot shepherds, pain-inducers, and reader guns maintain control over zero-asset citizens. Twelve billion humans must die before the Earth can be stabilized. The Argus satellite laser network is almost ready. Waking in a crate destined for an incinerator, Alan Saul intends to stop Argus and get his revenge on the Committee. Mars. Abandoned by the Committee, the Antares Base faces extinction. They will run out of resources and be dead within five years. Varalia Delex finds herself caught in a power struggle with the base’s ruthless political officers who see everyone else as expendable. Var discovers that Mars holds very new and interesting ways to die.

 

WEEK TWO

Override (Glitch #2), by Heather Anastasiu (February 12, St. Martin’s Griffin)

Young Adult. Zoe is free. She has escaped the enslavement of the Community, disconnected from the hardware that had controlled her every thought and emotion, and evaded capture by the Chancellor intent on killing her. Zoe and Adrien hide themselves from detection at the Foundation, an academy that trains teen glitchers to fight in the Resistance movement. Together, Zoe and her new team of superhuman fighters must risk their lives to rescue other glitchers and humans from the Chancellor’s control. As Zoe’s team fights against impossible odds, distrust and betrayal leads to the terrible discovery that their greatest threat could already be lurking behind the safe walls of the Foundation.

Sever (The Chemical Garden #3), by Lauren DeStefano (February 12, Simon & Schuster)

Young Adult. With the clock ticking until the virus takes its toll, Rhine is desperate for answers. After enduring Vaughn’s worst, Rhine finds an unlikely ally in his brother, an eccentric inventor named Reed. She takes refuge in his dilapidated house, though the people she left behind refuse to stay in the past. While Gabriel haunts Rhine’s memories, Cecily is determined to be at Rhine’s side, even if Linden’s feelings are still caught between them. Rowan’s growing involvement in an underground resistance compels Rhine to reach him before he does something that cannot be undone. What she discovers along the way has alarming implications for her future, and about the past her parents never had the chance to explain. Everything Rhine knows to be true will be irrevocably shattered.

The Best of All Possible Worlds, by Karen Lord (February 12, Del Rey)

A proud and reserved alien society finds its homeland destroyed in an unprovoked act of aggression, and the survivors have no choice but to reach out to the indigenous humanoids of their adopted world, to whom they are distantly related. They wish to preserve their cherished way of life but come to discover that in order to preserve their culture, they may have to change it forever. Now a man and a woman from these two clashing societies must work together to save this vanishing race, and end up uncovering ancient mysteries with far-reaching ramifications. As their mission hangs in the balance, this unlikely team, one cool and cerebral, the other fiery and impulsive, just may find in each other their own destinies, and a force that transcends all.

The Lives We Lost (Fallen World #2), by Megan Crewe (February 12, Hyperion)

Young Adult. A deadly virus has destroyed Kaelyn’s small island community and spread beyond the quarantine. No one is safe. But when Kaelyn finds samples of a vaccine in her father’s abandoned lab, she knows there must be someone, somewhere, who can replicate it. As Kaelyn and her friends head to the mainland, they encounter a world beyond recognition. It’s not only the “friendly flu” that’s a killer, there are people who will stop at nothing to get their hands on the vaccine. How much will Kaelyn risk for an unproven cure, when the search could either destroy those she loves or save the human race?

 

WEEK THREE

Domino Falls (Devil’s Wake #2), by Steven Barnes and Tananarive Due (February 19, Atria)

It began on Freak Day, that day no one could explain, when strangers and family members alike went crazy and started biting one another. Some thought the outbreak was caused by a flu shot, others that it was a diet drug gone terribly wrong. All anyone knew is that once you were bitten and went to sleep, you woke up a freak.

The Office of Mercy: A Novel, by Ariel Djanikian (February 21, Viking)

Twenty-four-year-old Natasha Wiley lives in America-Five, a high-tech, underground, utopian settlement where hunger and money do not exist, everyone has a job, and all basic needs are met. But when her mentor and colleague, Jeffrey, selects her to join a special team to venture Outside for the first time, Natasha’s allegiances to home, society, and above all to Jeffrey are tested. She is forced to make a choice that may put the people she loves most in grave danger and change the world as she knows it.

 

WEEK FOUR

Age of Voodoo, by James Lovegrove (February 26, Solaris)

Lex Dove thought he was done with the killing game. A retired British wetwork specialist, he’s living the quiet life in the Caribbean, minding his own business. Then a call comes. One last mission: to lead an American black ops team into a disused Cold War bunker on a remote island. The money’s good, which means the risks are high. How high, Dove doesn’t discover until he and his team are a hundred feet below ground, facing the fruits of an experiment in science and voodoo witchcraft gone wrong. As if barely human monsters weren’t bad enough, a clock is ticking. Deep in the bowels of the earth, a god is waiting. And his anger, if roused, will be fearsome indeed.

Dualed (Dualed #1), by Elsie Chapman (February 26, Random House)

Young Adult. The city of Kersh is a safe haven, but the price of safety is high. Everyone has a genetic Alternate, a twin raised by another family, and citizens must prove their worth by eliminating their Alts before their twentieth birthday. Survival means advanced schooling, a good job, marriage, life. Fifteen-year-old West Grayer has trained as a fighter, preparing for the day when her assignment arrives and she will have one month to hunt down and kill her Alt. But then a tragic misstep shakes West’s confidence. Stricken with grief and guilt, she’s no longer certain that she’s the best version of herself, the version worthy of a future. If she is to have any chance of winning, she must stop running not only from her Alt, but also from love, though both have the power to destroy her.


Author Suzanne Johnson is the author of the Sentinels of New Orleans series from Tor Books. She can be found on Twitter and her daily book blog, Preternatura.

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