Fiction Affliction: September Releases in Science Fiction

Science fiction fans will find twelve new SF-ish releases this month, including a new collaboration from Cory Doctorow and Charles Stross, a new book from John Varley, an addition to Sharon Lee and Steve Miller’s Liaden Universe series, and series additions from Ian McDonald, Steve Alten, Evan Currie, and Greg Egan. And, yes, some Young Adult offerings. Don’t shoot the messenger!

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.



Be My Enemy (Everness #2), by Ian McDonald (September 4, Pyr)

Everett Singh has escaped with the Infundibulum from the clutches of Charlotte Villiers and the Order, but at a terrible price. His father is missing, banished to one of the billions of parallel universes of the Panoply of All Worlds, and Everett and the crew of the airship Everness have taken a wild Heisenberg jump to a random parallel plane. Everett is smart and resourceful, and from the refuge of a desolate frozen Earth far beyond the Plenitude, where he and his friends have gone into hiding, he makes plans to rescue his family. But the villainous Charlotte Villiers is one step ahead of him. The action traverses three different parallel Earths: one is a frozen wasteland; one is just like ours, except that the alien Thryn Sentiency has occupied the Moon since 1964, sharing its technology with humankind; and one is the embargoed home of dead London, where the remnants of humanity battle a terrifying nanotechnology run wild. Young Adult.

Dragon Ship (Liaden Universe #15), by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller (September 4, Baen)

First Class courier pilot Theo Waitley was already known as a nexus of violence, and then she inherited the precarious captaincy of a mysterious self-aware ship designed to serve a long dead trader. Now she has a trade route to run for Clan Korval while she convinces the near mythic ghost ship Bechimo, and herself, that she wants to commit herself as the human side to their immensely powerful symbiosis. While her former lover battles a nano virus that’s eating him alive, she’s challenged to rescue hundreds of stranded pilots and crewmen from an explosive situation in near orbit around a suddenly hostile planet. Lovers, enemies, an ex roomie, and a jealous spaceship are all in peril as Theo wields power that no one in the universe is sure of, especially her.

Slow Apocalypse, by John Varley (September 4, Ace)

Despite wars with Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as 9/11, the United States’ dependence on foreign oil has kept the nation tied to the Middle East. A scientist has developed a cure for America’s addiction—a slow-acting virus that feeds on petroleum, turning it solid. But he didn’t consider that his contagion of an Iraqi oil field could spread to infect the fuel supply of the entire world…In Los Angeles, screenwriter Dave Marshall heard this scenario from a retired US marine and government insider who acted as a consultant on Dave’s last film. It sounded as implausible as many of his scripts, but the reality is much more frightening than anything he could have envisioned. An ordinary guy armed with extraordinary information, Dave hopes his survivor’s instinct will kick in so he can protect his wife and daughter from the coming apocalypse that will alter the future of Earth—and humanity…

The Eternal Flame (Orthogonal #2), by Greg Egan (September 4, Night Shade Books)

The generation ship Peerless is in search of advanced technology capable of sparing their home planet from imminent destruction. A critical fuel shortage threatens to cut their voyage short. When the astronomer Tamara discovers the Object, a meteor whose trajectory will bring it within range of the Peerless, she sees a risky solution to the fuel crisis. Meanwhile, the biologist Carlo searches for a better way to control fertility. As the scientists clash with the ship’s leaders, they find themselves caught up in two equally dangerous revolutions: one in the sexual roles of their species, the other in their very understanding of the nature of matter and energy.

The Rapture of the Nerds, by Cory Doctorow and Charles Stross (September 4, Tor)

At the dusk of the twenty-first century, earth has a population of roughly a billion hominids. They are happy with their lot, living in a preserve at the bottom of a gravity well. Those who are unhappy have emigrated, joining one or another of the swarming densethinker clades. The splintery metaconsciousness of the solar-system has largely sworn off its pre-post-human cousins dirtside, but sometimes it spams Earth’s networks with plans for cataclysmically disruptive technologies. Until the overminds bore of stirring Earth’s anthill, there’s Tech Jury Service: random humans, charged with assessing dozens of new inventions and ruling on whether to let them loose. Young Huw has been selected for the latest jury, a task he does his best to perform.



Crimson Rising (Starship Academy #2), by Nick James (September 8, Flux)

Pearlbreaker Jesse Fisher is on a mission to free as many Drifters as he can, ignoring the direct orders of Captain Alkine. When a mysterious red pearl sets Jesse free from the Skyship brig, he uses it as an opportunity to rescue Cassius from Theo, Madame’s newest protege. With Skyship agents in hot pursuit, Cassius and Jesse learn they are the children of Haven rebels, sent to Earth to continue the battle against Haven’s totalitarian regime. Outnumbered, their only hope for survival rests on an uneasy alliance with Madame and their other Earth-bound enemies. Young Adult.



Janus, by John Park (September 18, ChiZine)

Jon Grebbel arrives on the colony world of Janus, and finds himself mysteriously without memory of his life on Earth. It seems that the long journey has caused severe memory loss in many of Janus’s colonists. While Grebbel wants to start his new life, he also wants his memory back, and starts treatments to restore his past. Grebbel meets Elinda, whose lover, Barbara, vanished and then was found lying in the woods. Elinda has also lost her memories of Earth, but unlike him she has abandoned the effort to recover them. Now their meeting brings each of them a glimpse of an experience they shared back on Earth. Investigating Barbara’s fate and their own, the two find their love and their search for justice turning toward bitter self-discovery and revenge.

What’s Left of Me (The Hybrid Chronicles #1), by Kat Zhang (September 18, HarperCollins)

Eva and Addie started out the same way as everyone else, two souls woven together in one body. But as they grew, so did the worried whispers. Why aren’t they settling? Why isn’t one of them fading? The doctors ran tests, the neighbors shied away, and their parents begged for more time. Finally Addie was pronounced healthy and Eva was declared gone. Except, she wasn’t. For the past three years, Eva has clung to the remnants of her life. Only Addie knows she’s still there, trapped inside their body. They discover there may be a way for Eva to move again. The risks are unimaginable, hybrids are considered a threat to society, so if they are caught, Addie and Eva will be locked away. And yet, for a chance to smile, to twirl, to speak, Eva will do anything. Young Adult.



Helix Wars, by Eric Brown (September 25, Solaris)

The Helix, a vast spiral of ten thousand worlds turning around its sun. Aeons ago, the enigmatic Builders constructed the Helix as a refuge for alien races on the verge of extinction. Two hundred years ago, humankind came to the Helix aboard a great colony ship, and the Builders conferred on them the mantle of peacekeepers. For that long, peace has reigned on the Helix. But when shuttle pilot Jeff Ellis crash lands on the world of Phandra, he interrupts a barbarous invasion from the neighbouring Sporelli, who scheme to track down and exterminate Ellis before he can return to New Earth and inform the peacekeepers.

Phobos: Mayan Fear (The Domain Trilogy #3), by Steve Alten (September 25, Tor)

A doomsday rollercoaster ride of adventure that follows Immanuel Gabriel to the end of the world and back again for one last shot at salvation.  During Immanuel’s journey with his deceased grandfather, archaeologist Julius Gabriel, Julius reveals everything the Mayans knew and feared, from the secrets of creation that predate the Big Bang to the existence of extraterrestrials that have come to Earth to save our species. The universe is not what it seems, nor is human existence. The ticking clock of physicality that begins at conception and terminates with our final breath is neither the end nor the beginning, but an elaborate ruse constructed as a test. We are failing miserably.

The Heart of the Matter: Odyssey One (Odyssey One #2), by Evan C. Currie (September 25, 47North)

After an epic maiden voyage that introduced Earth to a larger universe, and a cosmos full of terrifying new enemies, Captain Eric Weston and the crew of the NAC spacecraft Odysseyhave spent months cooling their heels. But when Earth’s newest ally, the Priminae, strike a defense deal with the North American Confederacy, the Odysseyfinally receives her orders: return to Ranquil, the Priminae’s war-ravaged homeworld, and lend support against the invading Drasin. The Drasin are a formidable foe, but Weston suspects a powerful unseen force is waging the war. Determined to unmask the mysterious puppet masters, Weston and his crew defy NAC protocol and venture into deep space, where they will discover an enemy unlike any they have ever faced.

Welcome Home/Go Away (Kris Longknife), by Mike Shepherd (September 25, Ace, ebook only)

Kris Longknife is back home from her galactic adventures, but her entire Fleet of Discovery has been annihilated. Now, humanity finds itself at war with an alien race more monstrous than anyone could have possibly imagined. General Terrance “Trouble” Tordon, Kris’s great-grandfather, is given the task of calming the panicked politicians, some of whom blame Kris for the disaster and would like to eliminate the ever bothersome Commander Longknife. But as “Trouble” struggles to defend his Kris, the level of uncertainty among the civilians leads to more panic and a rush to judgment that makes him believe that he’s facing a fight he’s bound to lose.

Author Suzanne Johnson is a book geek with a fondness for a good dystopia. Royal Street, the first in her Sentinels of New Orleans series, is set in New Orleans during and after Hurricane Katrina. Find Suzanne on Twitter.


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