Fiction Affliction: January Releases in Science Fiction

The recent outbreak of Young Adult science fiction spreads the January releases to seventeen—or maybe eighteen, depending on what you’re hearing about the U.S. release of Rod Rees’ second Demi-Monde novel, The Demi-Monde: Spring. It releases in the U.K. on January 5.

In the meanwhile, we have new books from Ben Bova, Greg Bear, Orson Scott Card, and Kristine Kathryn Rusch, and a new Dune outing from Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson. The YA set will be lining up for A Million Suns, the follow-up to Beth Revis’ best-selling Across the Universe. (For steampunk and alt history, see the “Genre-Benders” column coming up tomorrow.)

Fiction Affliction details releases in science fiction, fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and “genre-benders.” Keep track of them all here.



Halo: Primordium, by Greg Bear (Jan. 3, Tor)

In the wake of apparent self-destruction of the Forerunner empire, two humans—Chakas and Riser—are like flotsam washed up on very strange shores. Captured by the Master Builder, they find themselves on an inverted world where horizons rise into the sky, and where humans are trapped in a cycle of horror and neglect as both research animals and strategic pawns in a cosmic game whose madness knows no end. In the company of a young girl and an old man, Chakas begins an epic journey across a lost and damaged Halo in search of a way home, an explanation for the warrior spirits rising up within, and for the Librarian’s tampering with human destiny. Second in the Forerunner Saga.

Keep an eye on on Wednesday morning for an exclusive excerpt!

Power Play, by Ben Bova (Jan. 3, Tor)

Jake Ross, a university astronomer, wants nothing more than to teach a few classes each semester and continue on his research. However, he is being aggressively recruited to be the science advisor to Frank Tomlinson, an ambitious politician with his eye on the U.S. Senate.Tomlinson is in need of an edge that will allow him to defeat his opponent at the polls, and Dr. Ross can contribute just that: magnetohydrodynamics, which will allow electricity to be generated efficiently and cheaply. Never mind the deadly risks.

Eve: Templar One, by Tony Gonzales (Jan. 3, Tor)

New Eden: the celestial battleground of a catastrophic war that has claimed countless lives.The immortal starship captains spearheading this epic conflict continue their unstoppable dominance, shaping the universe to their will and ensuring a bloody, everlasting stalemate. But a powerful empire is on the verge of a breakthrough that could end the war and secure their rule over mankind forever. For deep in a prison reclamation camp, a secret program is underway—one that will unlock dangerous secrets of New Eden’s past.

Sisterhood of Dune, by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson (Jan. 3, Tor)

It is eighty-three years after the last of the thinking machines were destroyed in the Battle of Corrin, after Faykan Butler took the name of Corrino and established himself as the first Emperor of a new Imperium. Great changes are brewing that will shape and twist all of humankind. So many decades after the defeat of the thinking machines, which begins to sweep across the known universe in mobs, millions strong, destroying everything in its path, fate rests with one small group who will become enmeshed in the contest between Reason and Faith. All of them will be forced to choose sides in the inevitable crusade that could destroy humankind forever.

You can read an excerpt from the new Dune book here.

Cinder, by Marissa Meyer (Jan. 3, Feiwel & Friends)

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg, a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. YA

For an idea of the style of this book, check out the original prequel story, “Glitches,” right here on

Under the Never Sky, by Veronica Rossi (Jan. 3, HarperCollins)

Aria is a teenager in the enclosed city of Reverie. When she is forced out of the pod for a crime she did not commit, she believes her death is imminent. The outside world is known as The Death Shop, with danger in every direction. As an Outsider, Perry has always known hunger, vicious predators, and violent energy storms from the swirling electrified atmosphere called the Aether. They come together reluctantly, for Aria must depend on Perry, whom she considers a barbarian, to help her get back to Reverie, while Perry needs Aria to help unravel the mystery of his beloved nephew’s abduction by the Dwellers. YA

Tribulations, by Ken Shufeldt (Jan. 3, Tor)

An asteroid storm has obliterated the Earth. Billy and Linda West have built enough space-going arks to save a small number of people who now roam the void in search of a new home. Desperate to find a safe haven, Billy makes a dangerous attempt to exceed the speed of light. When his plans go terribly wrong, the Wests’ severely-damaged ship is separated from the fleet and left drifting near a mysterious planet. This world’s conditions are hospitable—but its inhabitants? Not so much.

Cobra Gamble, by Timothy Zahn (Jan. 3, Baen)

Cobras warriors, genetically enhanced and implanted with an arsenal of covert weaponry, are the most dangerous guerilla fighters humanity has ever produced. For Jin Moreau Broom, the war is the culmination of a lifetime of Cobra service. But it is also the height of danger for herself and her family as they struggle to survive a war that none of them ever expected to see. The Troft invasions of Qasama and the Cobra Worlds has had at least one result: it has turned long-time antagonists into uneasy and unwilling allies. As the aliens battle to consolidate their conquered territories, a small group of Cobras and Qasaman Djinn work together to create a victory that will rock the invaders to the core. Now one young Cobra must forge a new political order as a devastating alien enemy strikes. Third in the Cobra War series.

Run: A Subject Seven Novel, by James A. Moore (Jan. 5, Razorbill)

The Failures are on the road and heading toward Evelyn Hope. According to Joe Bronx, Evelyn is the only one with the answers that can save them. Meanwhile, the Successes are preparing for attack. And this time, they won’t stop until they annihilate the Failures. But the Failures have another enemy: themselves. They’re physically destroying their human alter egos each time they mutate. There can be only one group of survivors in this epic battle—and the humans don’t seem to stand a chance. YA



A Million Suns, by Beth Revis (Jan. 10, Razorbill)

Godspeedwas fueled by lies. Now it is ruled by chaos.It’s been three months since Amy was unplugged. The life she always knew is over. And everywhere she looks, she sees the walls of the spaceship Godspeed. But there may just be hope: Elder has assumed leadership of the ship. He’s finally free to enact his vision—no more Phydus, no more lies. But when Elder discovers shocking news about the ship, he and Amy race to discover the truth behind life on Godspeed. They must work together to unlock a puzzle that was set in motion hundreds of years earlier, unable to fight the romance that’s growing between them and the chaos that threatens to tear them apart. The second Across the Universe book. YA



Shadows in Flight, by Orson Scott Card (Jan. 17, Tor)

At the end of Shadow of the Giant, Bean flees to the stars with three of his children—the three who share the engineered genes that gave him both hyper-intelligence and a short, cruel physical life. The time dilation granted by the speed of their travel gives Earth’s scientists generations to seek a cure, to no avail. In time, they are forgotten—a fading ansible signal speaking of events lost to Earth’s history. But the Delphikis are about to make a discovery that will let them save themselves, and perhaps all of humanity.Third in the Shadow “subseries.”

Tempest, by Julie Cross (Jan. 17, St. Martin’s Griffin)

The year is 2009. Nineteen-year-old Jackson Meyer is a normal guy—he’s in college, has a girlfriend, and he can travel back through time. But it’s not like the movies. Nothing changes in the present after his jumps, there’s no space-time continuum issues or broken flux capacitors—it’s just harmless fun.Until the day strangers burst in on Jackson and his girlfriend, Holly, and Holly is fatally shot. In his panic, Jackson jumps back two years to 2007, but this is not like his previous time jumps. Now he’s stuck in 2007 and can’t get back to the future. Piecing together the clues about his father, the Enemies of Time, and himself, Jackson must decide how far he’s willing to go to save Holly—and possibly the entire world. YA

In the Lion’s Mouth, by Michael Flynn (Jan. 17, Tor)

It’s a big Spiral Arm, and the scarred man, Donavan buigh, has gone missing in it, upsetting the harper Mearana’s plans for a reconciliation between her parents. Bridget, a Hound of the League, doubts that reconciliation is possible or desirable, but nonetheless has dispatched agents to investigate. The powerful Ravn Olafsdottr, a Shadow of the Names, slips into Clanthompson Hall to tell mother and daughter of Donovan’s fate. In the Long Game between the Confederation of Central Worlds and the United League of the Periphery, Hound and Shadow are mortal enemies; yet a truce descends between them so that the Shadow may tell her tale.

Faith, by John Love (Jan. 17, Night Shade)

Faith is the name humanity has given to the unknown, seemingly invincible alien ship that has begun to harass the newly emergent Commonwealth—and it’s not the first time. Eventually it reaches Sakhra, now an important Commonwealth possession, and it seems like history is about to repeat itself. But this time, something is waiting: an Outsider, one of the Commonwealth’s ultimate warships. One system away from Earth, the Outsider ship Charles Manson makes a stand, and Commander Foord waits with his crew of miscreants and sociopaths, hoping to accomplish what no other human has been able to do—destroy Faith.

Truth, by Julia Karr (Jan. 19, Speak)

Nina Oberon’s life has changed enormously in the last few months. When her mother was killed, Nina discovered the truth about her father, the leader of the Resistance. And now she sports the same Governing Council–ordered tattoo of XVI on her wrist that all sixteen-year-old girls have. The one that announces to the world that she is easy prey to predators. But Nina won’t be anyone’s stereotype. And when she joins an organization of girls working within the Resistance, she knows that they can put an end to one of the most terrifying secret programs the GC has ever conceived. Second in the XVI series. YA



Boneyards, by Kristine Kathryn Rusch (Jan. 24, Pyr)

Rusch’s popular character Boss returns in a new adventure that takes her far outside her comfort zone, to a sector of space she’s never seen before. Searching for ancient technology to help her friends find answers to the mystery of their own past, Boss ventures into a place filled with evidence of an ancient space battle, one the Dignity Vessels lost. Meanwhile, the Enterran Empire keeps accidentally killing its scientists in a quest for ancient stealth tech. Boss’s most difficult friend, Squishy, has had enough. She sneaks into the Empire and destroys its primary stealth tech research base. But an old lover thwarts her escape, and now Squishy needs Boss’s help. Should Boss take a Dignity Vessel to rescue Squishy and risk losing everything to the Empire? Or should Boss continue on her mission for her other friends and let Squishy suffer her own fate?



Mass Effect: Deception, by William C. Dietz (Jan. 31, Del Rey)

The universe is under siege. Every fifty thousand years, a race of sentient machines invades our galaxy to harvest all organic life-forms. They are the Reapers.Two people who know the truth are desperately searching for a way to stop the cycle: Navy admiral David Anderson and his partner, Kahlee Sanders. They have uncovered grisly evidence proving that the Reaper threat is real. But in so doing they have exposed the machinations of Cerberus, a secretive paramilitary organization, and its mysterious leader, the Illusive Man—putting David and Kahlee in mortal danger. For Cerberus will stop at nothing to protect its secrets.


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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