Fiction Affliction: June Releases in Science Fiction

Thirteen new releases reach warp speed this month, including new series additions from James S.A. Corey (Expanse); Orson Scott Card and Aaron Johnston (First Formic War); Paul Antony Jones (Extinction Point); Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter (Long Earth); and Madeline Ashby (Machine Dynasty)—plus a handful of standalone and new series starts. And now, let the arguments begin over the proper category for the Long Earth series!

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.



Abaddon’s Gate (Expanse #3), by James S.A. Corey, (June 4, Orbit)

For generations, the solar system, Mars, the Moon, the Asteroid Belt, was humanity’s great frontier. Until now. The alien artifact working through its program under the clouds of Venus has appeared in Uranus’s orbit, where it has built a massive gate that leads to a starless dark. Jim Holden and the crew of the Rocinante are part of a vast flotilla of scientific and military ships going out to examine the artifact. But behind the scenes, a complex plot is unfolding, with the destruction of Holden at its core. As the emissaries of the human race try to find whether the gate is an opportunity or a threat, the greatest danger is the one they brought with them.

Cobra Slave (Cobra Rebellion #1), by Timothy Zahn, (June 4, Baen)

Cobras: technologically-enhanced warriors bred to fight an alien menace no ordinary human can withstand. At the center of action on Cobra world Aventine: the legendary Moreau clan. In times of war, the Cobras are necessary, yet in times of peace they are often reviled by those they have saved. Now the Cobras have resisted a second invasion of the alien Troft forces, and forced the Troft to a stalemate, and even converted some thoughtful Troft into uneasy allies against their kin. Yet all is not well in the human sector of the galaxy. A supposed sister empire, the Dominion of Man, threatens the Cobra worlds with what is, in effect, enslavement, as it moves to consolidate power over all the Cobra worlds. Rebellion is at hand, and once again, Cobras lead the fight for freedom.

Earth Afire (The First Formic War #2), by Orson Scott Card and Aaron Johnston, (June 4, Tor)

One hundred years before Ender’s Game, the aliens arrived on Earth with fire and death. This is the story of the First Formic War. Victor Delgado beat the alien ship to Earth, but just barely. Not soon enough to convince skeptical governments that there was a threat. They didn’t believe that until space stations and ships and colonies went up in sudden flame. And when that happened, only Mazer Rackham and the Mobile Operations Police could move fast enough to meet the threat.

Starbounders, by Adam Jay Epstein and Andrew Jacobson, (June 4, HarperCollins)

Zachary Night is finally headed to Indigo 8, a top secret training center where future Starbounders gain skills to protect the galaxy. But being a Starbounder is no walk on the moon. No sooner has Zachary mastered the warp glove basics than a mission into space goes wrong and a plot to destroy Indigo 8 comes to light. Suddenly Zachary and his new friends are right in the line of fire. Starbounders is an outerverse adventure full of unforgettable aliens, richly imagined planets, and the kind of strong friendship that Earth kids will know well.



A Private Little War, by Jason Sheehan, (June 11, 47North)

The pilots of Flyboy, Inc., landed on the alien planet of Iaxo with a mission: In one year, quash an insurrection; exploit the ancient enmities of an indigenous, tribal society; and kill one group of natives to facilitate negotiations with the surviving group, all over 110 million acres of mixed terrain. With a ten-century technological lead on the locals, the logistical support of a powerful private military company, and aid from other outfits on the ground, it was supposed to be an easy-in, easy-out mission that would make the pilots of Flyboy, Inc., very, very rich. The natives of Iaxo had another plan, and what was once a strategic slam-dunk has become a quagmire, leaving the pilots of Flyboy, Inc., on an embattled distant planet, waiting for support and a ride home that may never come.

Exodus (Extinction Point #2), by Paul Antony Jones, (June 11, 47North)

Reporter Emily Baxter survived the alien red rain that blanketed and annihilated the human race. But after the downpour, and the lethal contagion it spread, came an even greater horror: the rampant transformation of the dead into something utterly unearthly. With a terrifying new form of life emerging from the mutated landscape, Emily’s only hope is to flee toward distant Alaska where she can unite with the survivors who have reached out to her from a remote science facility. After discovering a small family of refugees along the way, Emily’s determination to escape the unfolding catastrophe and carve out a new future is renewed. In the battle about to begin, there will be no room for mistakes or mercy, only the most ruthless instincts to survive.

Love Minus Eighty, by Will McIntosh, (June 11, Orbit)

Years in the future, dead women in cryogenic dating farms await rich, lonely suitors to resurrect them and take them home. There’s Rob, who accidentally kills a jogger, then sells everything to visit her, seeking her forgiveness but instead falling in love. Veronika, a socially-awkward dating coach, finds herself responsible for the happiness of a man whose life she saved against his will. And Mira, a gay woman accidentally placed in the heterosexual dating center near its inception, desperately seeks a way to reunite with her frozen partner as the centuries pass. The lovelorn navigate a world in which technology has reached the outer limits of morality and romance.

Rush (The Game #1), by Eve Silver, (June 11, Katherine Tegen Books)

Young Adult. When Miki Jones is pulled from her life, pulled through time and space into some kind of game, her carefully controlled life spirals into chaos. In the game, she and a team of other teens are sent on missions to eliminate the Drau, terrifying and beautiful alien creatures. There are no practice runs, no training, and no way out. Miki has only the guidance of secretive but maddeningly attractive team leader Jackson Tate, who says the game isn’t really a game, that what Miki and her new teammates do now determines their survival, and the survival of every other person on this planet. She laughs. He doesn’t. And then the game takes a deadly and terrifying turn.



The Long War (The Long Earth #2), by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter, (June 18, Harper)

Where Joshua and Lobsang once pioneered, now fleets of airships link the stepwise Americas with trade and culture. Mankind is shaping the Long Earth, but in turn the Long Earth is shaping mankind. A new “America,” called Valhalla, is emerging more than a million steps from Datum Earth, with core American values restated in the plentiful environment of the Long Earth, and Valhalla is growing restless under the control of the Datum government. The Long Earth is suffused by the song of the trolls, graceful hive-mind humanoids. The trolls are beginning to react to humanity’s thoughtless exploitation. Joshua, now a married man, is summoned by Lobsang to deal with a gathering multiple crisis that threatens Long Earth with a war unlike any mankind has waged before.



Aliens: Recent Encounters, edited by Alex Dally MacFarlane, (June 25, Prime Books)

Under the countless billions of stars in the universe, what forms will alien life take? How will they live? And what will happen when we meet them? Aliens: Recent Encounters collects answers to these questions from some of today’s best science fiction writers. From first encounters to life alongside aliens, and stories of the aliens’ own lives, here are many futures: violent and peaceful, star-spanning and personal. Only one thing is certain: alien life will defy our expectations. Contributing authors include: Catherynne M. Valente, Elizabeth Bear, Nancy Kress, Caitlin R. Kiernan, Ursula K. Le Guin, Ken Liu, Paul J. McAuley, Robert Reed and Lavie Tidhar.

iD (The Machine Dynasty #2), by Madeline Ashby, (June 25, Angry Robot)

Javier is a self-replicating humanoid on a journey of redemption. Javier’s quest takes him from Amy’s island, where his actions have devastating consequences for his friend, toward Mecha where he will find either salvation, or death.

Crash, by Guy Haley, (June 25, Solaris)

The Market rules all, plotting the rise and fall of fortunes without human intervention. The Market must expand without end. The Earth is finite, and cannot hold it. A bold venture to the stars is begun, offering a rare chance at freedom to a select few. When the colony fleet is sabotaged, a small group finds itself marooned upon the tidally locked world of Nychthemeron, a world where one hemisphere is bathed in perpetual daylight, the other hidden by eternal night. The stricken colony members must fight for survival on the hostile planet, while secrets about both the nature of their shipwreck and Nychthemeron threaten to tear their fragile society apart.

The Goliath Stone, by Larry Niven and Matthew Joseph Harrington, (June 25, Tor)

The year is 2052 and Dr. Toby Glyer has effected miracle cures with the use of nanotechnology. Glyer’s controversial nanites are living things, a new form of life, and they have more uses than just medical. They also have the potential to make everyone on Earth rich from the wealth of asteroids, if he can control them. Unfortunately, as every parent learns, when you produce a new, thinking being, the plans it makes are not necessarily your plans. And when a two-hundredgigaton asteroid that rivals the rock that felled the dinosaurs is hurtling toward Earth on a collision course, you don’t have time to argue. Will Glyer’s nanites be Earth’s salvation or destruction?

Author Suzanne Johnson is the author of the Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series from Tor Books. She can be found on Facebook and her daily book blog, Preternatura.


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