“There are other worlds than these,” as Jake Chambers notes in The Gunslinger, and sixteen of those worlds show up on the science fiction new-release shelf in February. Look for series additions from, among others, Ian McDonald (Everness), James K. Decker (Haan), John Ringo (Black Tide Rising), David Weber (Safehold), Rachel Bach (Paradox), and Bob Mayer (Area 51: The Nightstalkers).
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.
Young Adult. Two years ago, the aliens made contact. Handpicked to host the first-ever L’eihr exchange student, Cara thinks her future is set. She’ll have inside information about the mysterious L’eihrs that every journalist would kill for. Cara isn’t sure what to think when she meets Aelyx. Humans and L’eihrs have nearly identical DNA, but cold, infuriatingly brilliant Aelyx couldn’t seem more alien. When Cara’s classmates get swept up by anti-L’eihr paranoia, Midtown High School suddenly isn’t safe anymore. Cara finds support in the last person she expected. Aelyx has been hiding the truth about the purpose of his exchange, and its potentially deadly consequences. Cara will be in for the fight of her life, not just for herself and the boy she loves, but for the future of her planet.
Area X has been cut off from the rest of the continent for decades. The first expedition returned with reports of a pristine, Edenic landscape; all the members of the second expedition committed suicide; the third expedition died in a hail of gunfire as its members turned on one another; the members of the eleventh expedition returned as shadows of their former selves, and all died of aggressive cancer. This is the twelfth expedition. Their mission is to map the terrain and collect specimens and, above all, to avoid being contaminated by Area X itself. They discover a massive topographic anomaly and life forms that surpass understanding, but it’s the surprises that came across the border with them that change everything.
Roger Ramius MacClintock was young, handsome, athletic, an excellent dresser, and third in line for the Throne of Man. It wasn’t too surprising that someone in his position should react by becoming spoiled, self-centered, and petulant. Warships of the Empire of Man’s worst rivals force his crippled vessel out of space and Roger is shipwrecked on the planet Marduk, whose jungles are full of deadly predators and barbarian hordes. All Roger has to do is hike halfway around the entire planet, then capture a spaceport from the Bad Guys, commandeer a starship, and then go home to Mother for explanations. Roger has an ace in the hole: Bravo Company of Bronze Battalion of The Empress’ Own Regiment. If anyone can get him off Marduk alive, it’s the Bronze Barbarians.
Young Adult. The airship Everness makes a Heisenberg Jump to an alternate Earth. Everett, Sen, and the crew find themselves above a plain that goes on forever in every direction without any horizon. There they find an Alderson Disc, an astronomical megastructure of incredibly strong material. They meet the Jiju, the dominant species on a plane where the dinosaurs didn’t die out. War between their kingdoms is inevitable, total and terrible. Everness has jumped right into the midst of a faction fight between rival nations, the Fabreen and Dityu empires. The airship is attacked, but then defended by the forces of the Fabreen, who offers the Everness crew protection. The crew of the Everness is divided in a very alien world, a world fast approaching the point of apocalypse. (U.S. Release)
Sam Shao has found out too much about the haan—accident. All humans have to get along with them, we owe them our lives, and Sam even counts a haan among her best friends. But the more she learns, the less she trusts them. It doesn’t help that the building of new haan colonies seems to be coinciding with a rash of missing persons cases. Sam and her hacker friends are determined to reveal the truth about the haan, before it’s too late. The aliens are still promising salvation, and they seem set to deliver, but with things already spinning out of control Sam is confronted with a possibility no one wants to admit, that what salvation means to humankind and what it means to the haan may be two horribly different things.
With human civilization annihilated by a biological zombie plague, a rag-tag fleet of yachts and freighters known as Wolf Squadron scours the Atlantic, searching for survivors. Within every abandoned liner and carrier lurks a potential horde, safety can never be taken for granted, and death and turning into one of the enemy is only a moment away. One and two from lifeboats, a dozen from a fishing village, a few hundred wrenched by fury and fire from a ship. Now Wolf Squadron must take on another massive challenge: clear the assault carrier USS Iwo Jima of infected before the trapped Marines and sailors succumb to starvation. If Wolf Squadron can accomplish that task, an even tougher trial waits: an apocalyptic battle to win a new dawn for humanity.
Young Adult. The Earth has been invaded by the Illyri, a civilized, yet ruthless alien race. Humanity has been conquered, but still it fights the invaders. The Resistance grows stronger, for it is the young people of Earth who are best equipped to battle the Illyri. Syl Hellais is the oldest alien child on Earth, the first to reach sixteen years of age. Syl has hidden gifts, powers that even she does yet fully understand. The Illyri are at war among themselves, and the sinister Nairene Sisterhood has arrived on Earth, hungry for new blood. When Syl helps a pair of young Resistance fighters to escape execution, she finds herself sentenced to death, pursued by her own kind, and risks breaking the greatest taboo of her race by falling in love with a human. Syl is about to learn, the real invasion has not yet begun. (U.S. Release)
Pandemic, drought, skyrocketing oil prices, dwindling energy supplies, and wars of water scarcity threaten the planet. Only four people can prevent global chaos. Gary Morgan, a scientist who believes in a space elevator: a pillar to the sky, which he believes will make space flight fast, simple and affordable. Eva Morgan, a scientist with a lifelong obsession to build a pillar to the sky. Erich Rothenberg, the rocket-scientist who labored with von Braun to create the first rockets and continued on to build those of today. Franklin Smith, the eccentric Silicon Valley billionaire who will champion their cause. The Goddard Space Flight Center, the pre-eminent hero, its army of scientists, engineers and astronauts will design, machine, and build the space elevator. The stakes could not be higher.
Young Adult. After their home burns down, fourteen-year-old Nick, his younger brother, and their father move into a Victorian house they’ve inherited. When Nick opens the door to his attic room, he’s hit in the head by a toaster. That’s just the beginning of his weird experiences with the old junk stored up there. Nick figures out that the attic is a strange magnetic vortex, which attracts all sorts of trouble. Nick learns that the genius Nikola Tesla placed the items, his last inventions, in the attic as part of a larger plan that he mathematically predicted. The task is fraught with peril, in addition to the dangers inherent in Tesla’s mysterious and powerful creations, a secret society of physicists, the Accelerati, is determined to stop Nick and alter destiny to achieve its own devious ends.
The world of Safehold, last redoubt of the human race, lay under the unchallenged rule of the Church of God Awaiting. What no one knew was that the Church was an elaborate fraud, a high-tech system meant to keep humanity hidden from the alien race that had destroyed old Earth. Then awoke Merlyn Athrawes, cybernetic avatar of a warrior a thousand years dead, felled in the war in which Earth was lost. Merlyn has one purpose: to restart the history of the too-long-hidden human race. The island empire of Charis has declared its independence from the Church. Charis has drawn more and more of the countries of Safehold to the cause of independence and self-determination. The wounded Church is regrouping. The fight for humanity’s future isn’t over, and won’t be over soon.
Particle physicist Jon Grady is ecstatic when his team achieves what they’ve been working toward for years. Their research will revolutionize the field of physics. Then, his lab is locked down by a shadowy organization whose mission is to prevent the social upheaval technological advances bring. This Bureau of Technology Control uses the advanced technologies they have harvested to fulfill their mission. Presented with the opportunity to join the BTC and improve his technology in secret, Grady balks, and is thrown into a high-tech prison built to hold rebellious geniuses. Can Grady and his fellow prisoners conceive of a way to usher humanity out of its artificial dark age? Is it possible to defeat an enemy that wields a technological advantage half a century in the making?
Devi Morris has a lot of problems. And not the fun, easy-to-shoot kind either. After a mysterious attack left her short several memories and one partner, she’s determined to keep her head down, do her job, and get on with her life. But even though Devi’s not actually looking for it, trouble keeps finding her. She sees things no one else can, the black stain on her hands is growing, and she is entangled with the cook she’s supposed to hate. But when a deadly crisis exposes far more of the truth than she bargained for, Devi discovers there’s worse fates than being shot, and sometimes the only people you can trust are the ones who want you dead.
The Great Spa sits on the edge of London. The power of Britain on the world stage rests in its monopoly on “The Treatment,” a medical procedure which can transform the richest and most powerful into a state of permanent physical youth. In this most important and secure of facilities, a murder of one of the guests threatens to destabilise the new order, and DCI Oates of the Metrolpolitan police is called in to investigate. Oates must unravel the secrets behind the Treatment and the long ago disappearance of its creator, passing through a London riven with disorder and corruption, where adverts are transmitted directly into the imagination. He moves towards a final climax which could lead to the destruction of the Great Spa, his own ruin, and the loss of everything he holds most dear.
Ever since the first Rift opened in Area 51 in 1947, exposing the world to deadly beings of pure energy, only the Nightstalkers have stood between humanity and complete annihilation. Whatever power controls the Rifts seems to be getting smarter, as if refining an ultimate plan, An old ally alerts the Nightstalkers to a resurgence of Rifts in Tennessee, near one of the team’s first major skirmishes with the seemingly inexhaustible threat. The Nightstalkers know there’s no one else remotely prepared to battle these intrusions into our world. They’re intent on closing down the Rifts once and for all. They’ll have to finally face the truth behind the Rifts? origins. They say that those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it. But what if the past has already doomed us all?
Young Adult. Sixteen-year-old Mia Kish has always been afraid of the dark. She’s baby Mia, the one who fell down a well. When her classmates and teachers at ritzy Westbrook Academy start dying of old age from a bizarre and frightening virus that ages its victims years in a matter of hours, Mia becomes haunted by a lot more than the dark. Mia and her small crew must break quarantine and outrun armed soldiers who shoot first and ask questions later. There’s only one place to go, the Cave, aka Fenton Electronics. Mia knows it’s somehow connected and hopes her dad, Director of Fenton Electronics, has the answers she needs, and more importantly a cure to save everyone. It’s not answers Mia discovers, but something far more treacherous and impossible than even the virus itself.
Retired Colonel Ray Longknife and Marine Captain Terrence “Trouble” Tordon come to Savannah via different routes. What they find is the same. One bully strongman is intent on keeping power no matter what the new rules are for peace. He’s got the population cowered by thugs, and tanks at the ready. He expects to win the coming elections handily. He doesn’t expect trouble. Or, in this case, Mrs. Trouble, aka Ruth Tordon, a Marine wife on a mission to find the drug lords that almost killed her and her husband and put them out of business, and she’s not about to be stopped by some barely trained roughnecks. The heavy armor gets ready to roll into town over anybody in their way. Ray Longknife, Trouble and Ruth are standing in their way, and nothing is going to flatten them.
Author Suzanne Johnson is a book geek with a fondness for a good dystopia. She writes the Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series, whose third book, Elysian Fields, was released this fall. You can find Suzanne on Facebook and on her daily book blog, Preternatura.