Science fiction fans will find twenty new releases this month—the most live-well-and-prosper month in recent memory. Check out new titles from Orson Scott Card, Brian Herbert/Kevin J. Anderson, Marion Zimmer Bradley/Deborah J. Ross, Greg Bear, Tom Holt, S.M. Stirling/David Drake, and the list goes on.
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.
On a near-future Earth, Good Man does not mean good at all. The term signifies a member of the ruling class, and what it takes to become a Good Man and to hold onto power is downright evil. A conspiracy hundreds of years in the making is about to be brought to light when the imprisoned son of the Good Man of Olympic Seacity escapes from his cell and returns to find his father assassinated. When Luce Keeva attempts to take hold of the reins of power, he finds that not all is as it seems: a plot for his own murder is afoot, and a worldwide conflagration looms. It is a war of revolution, and a shadowy group known as the Sons of Liberty may prove to be Luce’s only ally in a fight to throw off an evil from the past that has enslaved humanity for generations.
Although the Terran Federation has departed Darkover due to a nasty interstellar civil war, the planet’s location in the galactic arm makes it a prime hideout for smugglers, rebels, and other refugees. When smugglers start arming the warlike Dry Towners with forbidden weapons, Gareth Elhalyn, grandson of Regis Hastur and heir to the throne, takes off on a secret mission to stop them.
Things have been going pretty badly for Theo Bernstein. An unfortunate accident at work has lost him his job (and his work involved a Very Very Large Hadron Collider, so he’s unlikely to get it back). His wife has left him. And he doesn’t have any money. Before Theo has time to fully appreciate the pointlessness of his own miserable existence, news arrives that his good friend Professor Pieter van Goyen, renowned physicist and Nobel laureate, has died. By leaving the apparently worthless contents of his safety deposit to Theo, however, the professor has set him on a quest of epic proportions. A journey that will rewrite the laws of physics. A battle to save humanity itself. This is the tale of a man who had nothing and gave it all up to find his destiny, and a doughnut.
In the near future, an elderly English widow is stirred from her mundane existence by surreal omens and visitations. Centuries later, the space freighter Nova Swing takes on an illegal alien artifact as cargo, with consequences beyond reckoning. While on a distant planet, a nameless policewoman tries to bring order to an event zone where ordinary physics do not apply, only to find herself caught up in something even stranger and more sublime. U.S. release.
Raj Whitehall was a young noble of the Civil Government, the last remnant of galactic civilization on the planet Bellevue, when he came across an ancient but still functioning Fleet Battle Computer named Center. With Center’s vast fund of knowledge and strategic calculating abilities, Raj could defeat the barbarians threatening to engulf the Civil Government, and start Bellevue on the road back to the stars. The Governor, to whom Raj has sworn loyalty, nourishes a paranoid envy and mistrust that grows with every victory. Can even a battle computer of the Galactic Age be enough to counter the fury of Raj’s enemies, and the treachery of his “friends”? A young hero overcomes implacable foes to lead a planet fallen into a dark age back to the high point of its technological civilization.
Michelle Henke, Queen Elizabeth of Manticore’s first cousin, Honor Harrington’s best friend, and the commanding officer of Manticore’s Tenth Fleet, is just a bit surprised when a messenger arrives from the Mobius System to inform her that the Mobius Liberation Front is prepared to rise in rebellion against the hated regime President Svein Lombroso. As combat spreads from the initial confrontation, the entire frontier has begun to seethe with unrest. When the messenger from Mobius arrives, someone’s obviously gotten a wrong number. It’s a set-up and Michelle knows who’s behind it. No one is going to send thousands of patriots to their deaths, trusting in Manticoran help that will never come. Not on Mike Henke’s watch.
Young Adult. Sixteen-year-old Tegan is just like every other girl living in 2027: she’s happiest when playing the guitar, she’s falling in love for the first time, and she’s joining her friends to protest the wrongs of the world. On what should have been the best day of Tegan’s life, she dies, and wakes up a hundred years in the future, locked in a government facility with no idea what happened. Tegan is the first government guinea pig to be cryonically frozen and successfully revived, which makes her an instant celebrity, even though all she wants to do is try to rebuild some semblance of a normal life. The future isn’t all she hoped it would be, and when appalling secrets come to light, Tegan must make a choice: Does she keep her head down and survive, or fight for a better future? U.S. release.
Code (Virals #3), by Kathy Reichs and Brendan Reichs (March 12, Putnam Juvenile)
Young Adult. The Virals are put to the ultimate test when they find a geocache containing an ornate puzzle box. Shelton decodes the cipher inside, only to find more tantalizing clues left by “The Gamemaster.” A second, greater geocache is within reach, if the Virals are up to the challenge. But the hunt takes a dark turn when Tory locates the other box, a fake bomb, along with a sinister proposal from The Gamemaster. Now, the real game has begun: another bomb is out there, a real one, and the clock is ticking.
Halo: Silentium (The Forerunner Saga #3), by Greg Bear (March 19, Tor)
In the last years of the Forerunner empire, chaos rules. The Flood, a horrifying shape-changing parasite, has arrived in force, aided by unexpected allies. Internal strife within the ecumene has desperately weakened Forerunner defenses. Evidence-gathering agents known collectively as Catalog have been dispatched to collect testimony from the Librarian and both Didacts: the Ur-Didact, treacherously abandoned in a Flood-infested system, and the Bornstellar Didact. Only the Ur-Didact and the Librarian, husband and wife pushed into desperate conflict, hold the keys to a solution. Facing the consequences of a mythic tragedy, one of them must now commit the greatest atrocity of all time, to prevent an insane evil from dominating the entire universe.
Pandemonium, by Warren Fahy (March 19, Tor)
In an underground city carved out by slave labor during the Cold War, ancient caverns hold exotic and dangerous life-forms that have evolved in isolation for countless millennia. Cut off from the surface world, an entire ecosystem of bizarre subterranean species has survived undetected. Biologists Nell and Geoffrey Binswanger barely survived their last encounter with terrifying, invasive creatures that threatened to engulf the planet. They think the danger is over until a ruthless Russian tycoon lures them to his underground metropolis, where they find themselves confronted by a vicious menagerie of biological horrors from their past, and by entirely new breeds of voracious predators. They’re rising up from the bowels of the Earth to consume the world as we know it.
The Curve of the Earth, by Simon Morden (March 19, Orbit)
Welcome to the Metrozone—post-apocalyptic London of the future, full of homeless refugees, street gangs, crooked cops and mad cults. Enter Samuil Petrovitch: a Russian émigré with a smart mouth, a dodgy heart and a dodgier past. He’s brilliant, selfish, cocky and might just be most unlikely champion a city has ever had. Armed with a genius-level intellect, extensive cybernetic replacements, a built-in AI with god-like capabilities and a plethora of Russian swearwords, he’s saved this city from ruin more than once. He’s also made a few enemies in the process, Reconstruction America being one of them. So when his adopted daughter Lucy goes missing, he’s got a clue who’s responsible. And there’s no way he can let them get away with it.
The Gate Thief (Mithermages #2), by Orson Scott Card (March 19, Tor)
Young Adult. Here on Earth, Danny North is still in high school, yet he holds in his heart and mind all the stolen outselves of thirteen centuries of gatemages. The Families still want to kill him if they can’t control him, and they can’t control him. He is far too powerful. And on Westil, Wad is now nearly powerless, he lost everything to Danny in their struggle. Even if he can survive the revenge of his enemies, he still must somehow make peace with the Gatemage Daniel North. For when Danny took that power from Loki, he also took the responsibility for the Great Gates. And when he comes face-to-face with the mages who call themselves Bel and Ishtoreth, he will come to understand just why Loki closed the gates all those centuries ago.
Bot Wars (Bot Wars #1), by J.V. Kade (March 21, Dial)
Young Adult. Twelve-year-old Trout St. Kroix has been searching for his missing father for the last two years, after his dad disappeared while fighting in the Bot Wars. The Bot Wars began after robots became so advanced that they revolted and demanded more workers’ rights, causing the government to declare all robots terrorists and ban them from the Districts. Trout never questioned anything the government told him, even when his own nanny bot was banished, until a vid he posts about his missing dad goes viral and new information pops up. At first Trout is wrenched that his dad might be alive, but when his brother disappears, Trout learns nothing is what it seems, not even his own father.
The president of the United States vanishes from the White House. A top-secret prototype stealth fighter is destroyed during a test flight. Witnesses on the ground say that it was shot down by a craft that immediately vanished at impossible speeds. All over the world reports of UFOs are increasing at an alarming rate. And in a remote fossil dig in China dinosaur hunters have found something that is definitely not of this earth. There are rumors of alien-human hybrids living among us. Joe Ledger and the Department of Military Sciences rush headlong into the heat of the world’s strangest and deadliest arms race, because the global race to recover and retro-engineer alien technologies has just hit a snag. Someone, or something, wants that technology back.
After declaring his independence from the corrupt Constellation, rebel General Adolphus knows the crackdown is coming. Now he needs to pull together the struggling Hellhole colony, the ever-expanding shadow-Xayan settlement, and his connections with the other Deep Zone worlds. Diadem Michella Duchenet has collected a huge space fleet led by Commodore Escobar Hallholme, son of the hero who originally defeated Adolphus. Adolphus knows he’s running out of time. And when all hope seems lost, the awakened Xayans reveal information hidden even from their own followers, the existence of a bigger threat that makes even the Constellation fleet seem insignificant. Disaster has come for General Adolphus and Hellhole, and this time there is no escape.
Alex Lomax is the only private eye working the streets of New Klondike, the Martian frontier town that sprang up after Simon Weingarten and Denny O’Reilly discovered fossils on the Red Planet. On Earth the remains of alien life are the most valuable of all collectibles, so shiploads of treasure hunters stampeded to Mars in the Great Martian Fossil Rush. Lomax tracks down killers and kidnappers among the failed prospectors, corrupt cops, and a population of transfers, lucky stiffs who, after striking paleontological gold, upload their minds into immortal android bodies. When he uncovers clues to solving the murders of Weingarten and O’Reilly, along with a journal that may lead to their legendary mother lode of Martian fossils, God only knows what he’ll dig up.
Solaris Rising 2: The New Solaris Book of Science Fiction, edited by Ian Whates (March 26, Solaris)
Solaris Rising 2 brings best-selling SF authors together for a new volume of stories by Allan Steele, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Kim Lakin-Smith, Paul Cornell, Eugie Foster, Nick Harkaway, Nancy Kress, Kay Kenyon, James Lovegrove, Robert Reed, Mercurio D. Rivera, Norman Spinrad, Adrian Tchaikovsky, Liz Williams, Vandana Singh, Martin Sketchley, and more.
The Empire State is dying. The Fissure connecting the pocket universe to New York has vanished, plunging the city into a deep freeze and the populace are demanding a return to Prohibition and rationing as energy supplies dwindle. Meanwhile, in 1954 New York, the political dynamic has changed and Nimrod finds his department subsumed by a new group, Atoms For Peace, led by the mysterious Evelyn McHale. As Rad uncovers a new threat to his city, Atoms For Peace prepare their army for a transdimensional invasion. Their goal: total conquest, or destruction, of the Empire State.
Magic Highways: The Early Jack Vance, Volume Three, by Jack Vance (March 31, Subterranean Press)
Jack Vance was very much a writer of the Space Age, spanning the period bracketed by the final years of World War II and the Cassini Huygens probe reaching Saturn space in late 2004. His quest to become a “million words a year” man saw him ranging a universe criss-crossed with busy interstellar highways: a network of flourishing trade and tourist routes leading to new frontiers, far-flung colonies, alien worlds, with ample room for exotic races, travelers, traders and scoundrels, even space pirates. Magic Highways gathers sixteen of those early space adventures from that first decade.
Harry Keough, aka the Necroscope, is a master of the Mobius Continuum, a dimension existing parallel to all space and time. Two others, with powers similar to his, exist. One is the long-dead August Ferdinand Mobius. The other is Harry’s son, who has inherited the metaphysical talent by means of which the Necroscope converses with dead people in their graves. On returning home via the Mobius Continuum, he witnesses a flailing figure hurtling through the endless midnight of the Continuum. Who could this be, how can it be, that a helpless, silently protesting other is rushing meteor-like across the Continuum’s Stygian vault? Harry is sure that this is neither his son’s nor Professor Mobius’ doing. It is a mystery that only the Necroscope can solve, but at what risk?
This first career retrospective of Haldeman’s work ranges from early tales such as Hero, which provided the basis for his classic novel The Forever War to mid-career masterpieces like Seasons and The Hemingway Hoax, to very recent stories such as Sleeping Dogs and Complete Sentence. Haldeman has provided original story introductions for this new collection.