Fiction Affliction: January Releases in Science Fiction

Science fiction fans will find thirteen new releases this month, more than half in the Young Adult subgenre. Which begs the question: when the world domination of YA finally occurs, what will the adults read? Thanks to Peter F. Hamilton, John Ringo, John Helfers, James Smythe, Mark Teppo, M.C. Planck, and Cassandra Rose Clarke, the over-21 set still has a few options this 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.



Great North Road, by Peter F. Hamilton (January 1, Del Rey)

Humanity has solved its energy shortages, cleaned up the environment, and created far-flung colony worlds. The keys to this empire belong to the powerful North family, composed of successive generations of clones. The branches of the family are now not so friendly rivals more than allies. That’s what the murder of a North clone in the English city of Newcastle suggests to Detective Sidney Hurst. The circumstances of the murder bear an uncanny resemblance to a killing that took place years ago. The convicted slayer, Angela Tramelo, has always claimed her innocence. Angela also claims that the murderer was an alien monster. Sid must hunt down a brutal killer poised to strike again. Angela joins a mission to hunt down the elusive alien, only to learn that the line between hunter and hunted is a thin one. U.S. release.

Tiger by the Tail (Paladin of Shadows #6), by John Ringo and John Helfers (January 1, Baen)

After saving America from Middle Eastern terrorists, even Mike Harmon and the Keldara could use a vacation. Of course, the Kildar’s idea of a vacation includes taking down pirates in the Singapore Straits. When he finds computer chips designed to run nuclear reactors in the pirate booty, Harmon has a new mission thrust upon him: discover how thieves got their hands on top-secret technology. The chips are headed for newly democratic Myanmar, a country vital to American interests in the region. From glittering Hong Kong to the slums of Thailand to the swamps of Myanmar, Harmon and his Keldara team follow a trail of death and deceit. Harmon must devise a way to prevent the overthrow of a nation’s capital by totalitarian tyrants. If there’s one thing Mike and the Keldara specialize in, it’s doing what it takes to give freedom a chance.

Altered (Altered #1), by Jennifer Rush (January 2, Little, Brown Books)

Young Adult. Everything about Anna’s life is a secret. Her father works for the Branch at the helm of its latest project: monitoring and administering treatments to the four genetically altered boys in the lab below their farmhouse. There’s Nick, Cas, Trev and Sam—who’s stolen Anna’s heart. When the Branch decides it’s time to take the boys, Sam stages an escape, killing the agents sent to retrieve them. Anna is torn between following Sam or staying behind. Her father pushes her to flee, making Sam promise to keep her away from the Branch. Sam and the boys don’t remember anything before living in the lab, not even their true identities. Anna soon discovers that she and Sam are connected in more ways than either of them expected. If they’re going to survive, they must piece together the clues of their past before the Branch catches them and steals it all away.

The Explorer, by James Smythe (January 2, Harper Voyager)

When journalist Cormac Easton is selected to document the first manned mission into deep space, he dreams of securing his place in history as one of humanity’s great explorers. But in space, nothing goes according to plan. The crew wake from hypersleep to discover their captain dead in his allegedly fail-proof safety pod. They mourn, and Cormac sends a beautifully written eulogy back to Earth. The word from ground control is unequivocal: no matter what happens, the mission must continue. But as the body count begins to rise, Cormac finds himself alone and spiraling towards his own inevitable death, unless he can do something to stop it.



Doomed, by Tracy Deebs (January 8, Walker)

Young Adult. Pandora’s just your average teen, until the day her long-lost father sends her a link to a mysterious site featuring twelve photos of her as a child. Unable to contain her curiosity, Pandora enters the site, where she is prompted to play her favorite virtual-reality game, Zero Day. This unleashes a global computer virus that plunges the whole world into panic: suddenly, there is no Internet. No cell phones. No utilities, traffic lights, hospitals, law enforcement. Pandora teams up with handsome stepbrothers Eli and Theo to enter the virtual world of Zero Day. Simultaneously, she continues to follow the photographs from her childhood in an attempt to beat the game and track down her father, her one key to saving the world as we know it.

Earth Thirst (The Arcadian Conflict #1), by Mark Teppo (January 8, Night Shade)

The Earth is dying. Humanity, over-breeding, over-consuming, is destroying the very planet they call home. Multinational corporations despoil the environment, market genetically modified crops to control the food supply, and use their wealth and influence and private armies to crush anything, and anyone, that gets in the way of their profits. Nothing human can stop them. But something unhuman might. Once they did not fear the sun. Once they could breathe the air and sleep where they chose. But now they can rest only within the uncontaminated soil of Mother Earth, and the time has come for them to fight back against the ruthless corporations that threaten their immortal existence. They are the last guardians of paradise, more than human but less than angels. They call themselves the Arcadians.

Revolution 19, by Gregg Rosenblum (January 8, Harper Teen)

Young Adult. Twenty years ago, the robots designed to fight our wars abandoned the battlefields. Then they turned their weapons on us. Only a few escaped the robot revolution of 2071. Kevin, Nick, and Cass are lucky, they live with their parents in a secret human community in the woods. Then their village is detected and wiped out. Hopeful that other survivors have been captured by bots, the teens risk everything to save the only people they have left in the world, by infiltrating a city controlled by their greatest enemies.

The Kassa Gambit, by M.C. Planck (January 8, Tor)

Centuries after the ecological collapse of Earth, humanity has spread among the stars. Under the governance of the League, our endless need for resources has driven us to colonize hundreds of planets, all of them devoid of other sentient life. Then comes the sudden, brutal decimation of Kassa by a mysterious attacker. The few survivors send out a desperate plea for aid, which is answered by two unlikely rescuers. Prudence Falling is the young captain of a tramp freighter. Lt. Kyle Daspar is a police officer from the wealthy planet of Altair Prime. They discover what could be the most important artifact in the history of man: an alien spaceship, crashed and abandoned during the attack. Together, they discover the cruel truth about the destruction of Kassa, and that an imminent alien invasion is the least of humanity’s concerns.



Shades of Earth (Across the Universe #3), by Beth Revis (January 15, Razorbill)

Young Adult. Amy and Elder have finally left the oppressive walls of the spaceship Godspeed behind. They’re ready to start life afresh, to build a home, on Centauri-Earth, the planet that Amy has traveled 25 trillion miles across the universe to experience. But this new Earth isn’t the paradise Amy had been hoping for. There are giant pterodactyl-like birds, purple flowers with mind-numbing toxins, and mysterious, unexplained ruins that hold more secrets than their stone walls first let on. Godspeed’s former passengers aren’t alone on this planet. And if they’re going to stay, they’ll have to fight. Amy and Elder must race to discover who or what is out there if they are to have any hope of saving their struggling colony and building a future together. If the colony collapses, then everything they have sacrificed, friends, family, life on Earth, will have been for nothing.

Ravage (Deviants #3), by Jeff Sampson (January 22, Balzer + Bray)

Young Adult. Since she first came into her mysterious new superpowers, Emily has watched one of her packmates disappear through an interdimensional portal; she’s been hunted by body-snatching Shadowmen; she’s managed to form an alliance with the same telekinetic cheerleaders who once tried to take her down; and she’s discovered that her believed-to-be-dead mother is one of the BioZenith scientists responsible for her strange abilities. Now it’s up to the Deviants to put together the last pieces of the puzzle. Emily fears the answer is far more sinister than anyone thought. Emily forms a plan with the Deviants: Destroy BioZenith before anyone can use the knowledge within the facility to aid the Shadowmen. That’s only if BioZenith, or something worse, doesn’t capture them first.



Prodigy (Legend #2), by Marie Lu (January 29, Putnam)

Young Adult. June and Day arrive in Vegas just as the unthinkable happens: the Elector Primo dies, and his son Anden takes his place. With the Republic edging closer to chaos, the two join a group of Patriot rebels eager to help Day rescue his brother and offer passage to the Colonies. They have only one request, June and Day must assassinate the new Elector. It’s their chance to change the nation, to give voice to a people silenced for too long. But as June realizes this Elector is nothing like his father, she’s haunted by the choice ahead. What if Anden is a new beginning? What if revolution must be more than loss and vengeance, anger and blood, what if the Patriots are wrong?

The Mad Scientist’s Daughter, by Cassandra Rose Clarke (January 29, Angry Robot)

“Cat, this is Finn. He’s going to be your tutor.” Finn looks and acts human, though he has no desire to be. He was programmed to assist his owners, and performs his duties to perfection. A billion-dollar construct, his primary task now is to tutor Cat. As she grows into a beautiful young woman, Finn is her guardian, her constant companion. and more. But when the government grants rights to the ever-increasing robot population, however, Finn struggles to find his place in the world.

The Madman’s Daughter (The Madman’s Daughter #1), by Megan Shepherd (January 29, Balzer + Bray)

Young Adult. Sixteen-year-old Juliet Moreau has built a life for herself in London, trying not to think about the scandal that ruined her life. After all, no one ever proved the rumors about her father’s experiments. When she learns he is continuing his work on a remote tropical island, she is determined to find out if the accusations are true. Accompanied by her father’s assistant, Montgomery, and an enigmatic castaway, Edward, Juliet travels to the island. Her father has experimented on animals so that they resemble, speak, and behave as humans. One of the creatures has turned violent and is killing the island’s inhabitants. Juliet knows she must end her father’s dangerous experiments. As the island falls into chaos, she discovers the extent of her father’s genius, and madness, in her own blood. U.S. release.

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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