Tue
Jul 30 2013 5:00pm

Fiction Affliction: August Releases in Science Fiction

Ten new releases leave a lot of empty space on the sci-fi shelves this month, but take comfort in knowing that more of the blended genres such as alt history, horror, and steampunk will be coming along tomorrow in the Genre Benders column. New SF titles this month include a new series start from Ann Aguirre and standalone titles from Steve White, Steve Alten, Ransom Stephens, and several authors whose names are not “Stephen” or one of its derivatives, including Neal Asher, whose finale to the Owner trilogy releases mid-month.

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

Heaven’s Fall (Heaven’s Shadow #3)—David S. Goyer and Michael Cassutt, (August 6, Ace)

Twenty years have passed since the Near-Earth Object nicknamed Keanu appeared in the night sky and transported an assortment of humans into its interior. There they discovered that Keanu was a long-range spaceship. They joined forces with the aliens called the Architects, who had come from a distant galaxy to seek help in fighting the Reivers. Keanu has reestablished contact with Earth, and discovered that the Reivers have taken over the planet. Rachel Stewart, who grew up in Keanu, leads a small band of human survivors in an attempt to infiltrate the massive Reiver fortress in the American West. Their only hope for victory may be somewhere inside the NEO. If the men and women still in Keanu cannot find it, humanity will be finished. And the galaxy will be next.

Pirates of the TimestreamSteve White, (August 6, Baen)

Special operations officer Jason Thanou of the Temporal Regulatory Authority must once again plunge into Old Earth’s blood-drenched past to combat the plots of the Transhumanist underground to subvert that past and create a secret history leading up to the fulfillment of their mad dream. Jason and his companions travel to the seventeenth century to encounter the real pirates of the Caribbean, including a beautiful she-pirate. To Jason’s horror, he also learns that the Teloi aliens he believed he’d successfully destroyed, are still active, and aiding the Transhumanists. Jason must somehow thwart the plans of the sinister allies and prevent reality itself from falling into chaos. He finds himself venturing into space with a totally unexpected ally: Henry Morgan.

The Omega ProjectSteve Alten, (August 6, Forge)

On the brink of a disaster that could end all human life on earth, tech genius Robert Eisenbraun joins a team of scientists in Antarctica on a mission to Jupiter’s moon Europa. As he and the rest of the team train under the ice shelf, trouble erupts, and before they embark Eisenbraun is the odd man out, put into cold sleep against his will. When Robert wakes, he finds the ship deserted and not functional. He escapes to the surface of an Earth terribly changed. He realizes that there is still a way to accomplish what his mission had set out to achieve. He also discovers that he faces a new adversary of the most unlikely sort. A foe that knows him almost as well as he knows himself. The game has changed, and Earth’s future depends on him and him alone.

The Sensory DeceptionRansom Stephens, (August 6, 47North)

Moments after venture capitalist Gloria Baradaran experiences what it’s like to be a polar bear, really be a polar bear, she knows she’s found something revolutionary. Farley Rutherford and his team, migraine-tortured neurologist Chopper Vittori and uber-geek engineer Ringo Hayes, have created sensory saturation, a virtual reality system that drops users into the psyches of endangered animals as they fight for survival. They believe the profound experience could turn the indifferent masses into avid environmentalists. The money-men want more bang for their buck, and that includes bigger, more dangerous animals, and the ability to turn the machines into profitable games. But to Farley and his team, this is anything but a game. To some, in fact, this is a cause they’d kill for.

 

WEEK TWO

Alien HunterWhitley Strieber, (August 13, Tor)

A young wife disappears in the night, never to be seen again. There is no evidence of kidnapping, in fact, everything indicates that she left on purpose. Her husband, a brilliant police detective, cannot believe this. Flynn Carroll’s lost love becomes his obsession. He begins amassing a file of similar cases nationwide. His conclusion is unavoidable: somebody is taking people and making it look like they walked out on their own. His work comes to the attention of Special Agent Diana Glass, a member of the most secret police unit on the planet. Without fully understanding what Glass and her team are doing, Flynn steps into a hidden world of extraordinary challenge and lethal danger. The job is the most difficult police assignment ever known to man: find the bad guys. Stop them.

Jupiter War (Owner #3)—Neal Asher, (August 13, Night Shade)

The third book of the Owner trilogy delivers an explosive conclusion to Neal Asher’s series chronicling the struggles for political dominance in a resource-scarce future. Power vacuums and new despots spring up across the solar system, in the wake of the events of The Departure and Zero Point. Alan Saul continues to be in the middle of the chaos and destruction that make up Jupiter War.

KingmakerChristian Cantrell, (August 13, 47North)

With no heart and immunity to cancer, Alexei Drovosek represents the next evolution of human. Alexei was raised by the state and trained to be its most effective killer. Eventually the Russian Federal Security Service’s best assassin did the most dangerous thing of all: he went rogue and disappeared. Alexei has resurfaced in a secret compound on the outskirts of Los Angeles. Nearby is the soaring headquarters of Pearl Knight Industries, an international mega-corporation whose power is beyond the reach of the law. Alexei’s closest companions are his personal AI, Emma, and a group of orphans he has spent years training. As he moves each child into play in the world’s highest-stakes game of chess, Alexei fights for what matters most: democracy and freedom.

 

WEEK THREE

No new releases.

 

WEEK FOUR

Crux (Nexus #2)—Ramez Naam, (August 27, Angry Robot)

Six months have passed since the release of Nexus 5. In the United States, the terrorists, or freedom fighters, use Nexus to turn men and women into time bombs aimed at the president and his allies. In Washington DC, a government scientist, addicted to Nexus, uncovers more than he wants to know about the forces behind the assassinations. In Thailand, Samantha Cataranes has found peace with a group of children born with Nexus in their brains. In Vietnam, Kade and Feng are on the run from bounty hunters, from the CIA, and from forces that want to use the back door Kade has built into Nexus 5. In Shanghai, a posthuman child named Ling Shu will go to dangerous and explosive lengths to free her uploaded mother. The world will never be the same.

Perdition (Dred Chronicles #1)—Ann Aguirre, (August 27, Ace)

The prison ship Perdition, a floating city where the Conglomerate’s most dangerous criminals are confined for life, orbits endlessly around a barren asteroid. Hailed as the Dread Queen, inmate Dresdemona “Dred” Devos controls one of Perdition’s six territories, bordered on both sides by would-be kings eager to challenge her claim. Keeping them at bay requires constant vigilance, as well as a steady influx of new recruits. Of the newest convicts, only one is worth Dred’s attention. The mercenary Jael, with his attitude, may be the most dangerous criminal onboard. His combat skill could give her the edge she needs, if he doesn’t betray her first. That’s what he does best. Winning Jael’s allegiance will be a challenge, but failure could be worse than death.

TranscendentalJames Edwin Gunn, (August 27, Tor)

Riley, a veteran of interstellar war, is not journeying to achieve transcendence, a vague mystical concept that has drawn everyone else on the ship to this journey into the unknown at the far edge of the galaxy. His mission is to find and kill the prophet who is reputed to help others transcend. As the ship speeds through space, the voyage is marred by violence and betrayal. Riley realizes that the ship’s journey is like a harrowing, deadly voyage on a ship of fools. He becomes friendly with a passenger named Asha, who is more than she appears. She professes to be just another pilgrim, he comes to realize that she is keeping secrets, could be the key to his assignment, or might make him question everything he thought he knew about Transcendentalism and his mission to stop it.


Author Suzanne Johnson is the author of the Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series from Tor Books, whose third release, Elysian Fields, comes out on August 13. She can be found on Facebook and her daily book blog, Preternatura.

9 comments
Christian Decomain
1. Khryss
Hmm, Neal Asher's Jupiter War is listed as August 13 on Bookish, but September 17 on Amazon. And will it be coming out at all in the US? I thought Nightshade went bust, and their web site seems defunct.

Well, if anything else fails I can order it from Tor UK...
David Holden
2. davidholden
Khryss, Night Shade Books is still "around"--they were bought out by another company, and I think they will still exist as an imprint. No comment on their website, though, haha.
RonB
3. RonB
Nightshade's assets were bought up by a publisher called Skyhorse, which is continuing to issue new books under that imprint. At least one has already come out, but some of the originally-announced publication dates for NS titles have slipped, which may account for the discrepancy you cite.
Suzanne Johnson
4. SuzanneJohnson
I check the release dates against B&N and Amazon and the author/publisher websites, but sometimes they all conflict. Not to mention the curious fact that most science fiction writers seem to have either no website at all or something impossible to navigate. One would think it would be the opposite. Now, that might be a story!
James Nicoll
5. James Davis Nicoll
My favourite study on contrasts is Fred Pohl's spartan but functional site versus John Varley's mess. Pohl was born in 1919 and Varley in 1947, which of course explains it; Pohl grew up during a period of dramatic technological change, a time when almost every part of modern life was transformed, whereas poor Varley grew up in a more static time and so is less preadapted to dealing with new technology.
Colin Bell
6. SchuylerH
@5: Didn't Varley update his website quite recently? It still isn't as good as Pohl's but the new version is nearly useable.
Melissa Shumake
8. cherie_2137
that first book... keanu? NEO? is this supposed to be some sort of weird matrix thing?
James Nicoll
9. James Davis Nicoll
@6 So he did. Thank you.

Well, there's always Ellison Webderland as an example of what not to do (although HE isn't a Boomer but from the generation immediately before it; he would have been a weeun during the big technological changes of the 1930s).
Colin Bell
10. SchuylerH
@9: Ellison Webderland is terrible but it's a fan site that he happened to adopt. Does that still count? (I used to be an Ellison fan but I have since made a full recovery.)

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