Sixteen new science fiction titles test the boundaries of our universe this month (be sure to check the “genre-bender” list tomorrow for some borderline SF listings). Look for several new standalone titles as well as series additions from Jack Campbell (Lost Stars), David Weber and Jane Lindskold (Honorverse), Brenda Cooper (Ruby’s Song), Neal Shusterman (Unwind Dystology), Ian Douglas (Star Corpsman), and Steven L. Kent (Rogue Clone). And don’t forget Old Mars, a new anthology to top it off, edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois.
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 remote, icy planet, the soldier known as Breq is drawing closer to completing her quest. Breq is both more than she seems and less than she was. Years ago, she was the Justice of Toren, a colossal starship with an artificial intelligence linking thousands of corpse soldiers in the service of the Radch, the empire that conquered the galaxy. An act of treachery has ripped it all away, leaving her with only one fragile human body. And only one purpose, to revenge herself on Anaander Mianaai, many-bodied, near-immortal Lord of the Radch.
Battleground—Terry A. Adams (October 1, DAW)
Hanna Bassiano, formerly known as Lady H’ana ril-Koroth of D’neera, was, like all the people of the planet D’neera a telepath. everal additional contacts had seen her firmly established as the person to spearhead this new first-contact mission. She and her handpicked team were now aboard alien contact ship Endeavor Three, to a distant world that had sent its own expedition to the human colony world New Earth two hundred years ago. Hanna began to explore the starways with her mind, seeking contact with this legendary race. Hanna could scarcely believe what she had found, a race that seemed to exist only to fight, to breed, and to die. How would they respond to a peaceful expedition of humans arriving on their world?
Scandal-plagued hacker journalist John Hawke is on the trail of the story that might save his career. James Weller, the former CEO of giant technology company Eclipse, has founded a new start-up, and agreed to let Hawke do a profile on him. After he arrives in Weller’s office in New York City, anything with an Internet connection begins to malfunction. Hawke receives a call from his frantic wife just before the phones go dead. He and a band of survivors are struggling for their lives as they find themselves thrust into the middle of a war zone. New York City is under attack from an enemy that can be anywhere and can occupy anything with a computer chip. Hawke must find a way back to his pregnant wife and son. Their lives depend upon it, and so does the human race.
Young Adult. Seventeen-year-old Cade is a fierce survivor, solo in the universe with her cherry-red guitar. Or so she thought. Her world shakes apart when a hologram named Mr. Niven tells her she was created in a lab in the year 3112, then entangled at a subatomic level with a boy named Xan. Cade’s quest to locate Xan joins her with an array of outlaws, her first friends, on a galaxy-spanning adventure. And once Cade discovers the wild joy of real connection, there’s no turning back.
“The oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown,” H.P. Lovecraft, once wrote. And the greatest unknown is the vast universe, shrouded in eternal cosmic night. What things might be on other planets, or in the dark gulfs between the stars? Giving very unsettling answers to that question in this collection are such writers as Ray Bradbury, Arthur C. Clarke, Robert Sheckley, Philip K. Dick, James. H. Schmitz, Clark Ashton Smith, Cyril M. Kornbluth, Alastair Reynolds, Neal Asher, Sarah A. Hoyt, and more.
The Company, a powerful corporate entity in the twenty-fourth century, has discovered a nearly foolproof recipe for success: immortal employees and time travel. They specialize in retrieving extraordinary treasures out of the past, gathered by cybernetically-enhanced workers who pass as ordinary people. Or at least they try to pass. There is one rule at Dr. Zeus Incorporated that must not be broken: recorded history cannot be changed. But avoiding the attention of mortals while stealing from them? It’s definitely not in the Company manual. History awaits, though not quite the one you remember.
Following a successful coup, the leaders of the rebel Midway Star System struggle to forge a government. An alien threat to humanity may turn old adversaries into uncertain allies. General Artur Drakon knows three words describe someone who confides in a Syndicate CEO: Stupid. Betrayed. Dead. He partnered with another former CEO to overthrow Syndic forces. With an enigma fleet menacing their hard-earned independence, he can ill afford to trust her. President Gwen Iceni believes Midway is humanity’s defense against the enigmas. Their plan places the Midway flotilla at great risk in hopes of greater reward. Before facing the alien advance, Drakon and Iceni must survive all-too-human threats that could jeopardize Midway’s freedom, and their own lives.
The fires are out, but the trouble’s just beginning for the treecats. On pioneer planet Sphinx, ruined lands and the approach of winter force the now Landless Clan to seek new territory. They have one big problem, there’s nowhere to go. Their efforts to find a new home awaken the enmity of the closest treecat clan, a stronger group who’s not giving up a single branch without a fight. Stephanie Harrington, the treecats’ greatest advocate, is off to Manticore for extensive training. That leaves only Stephanie’s best friends, Jessica and Anders, to save the treecats from themselves. A group of xenoanthropologists is once again after the great secret of the treecats. Jessica and Anders face problems of their own, including their growing attraction to one another.
This new anthology of fifteen science fiction stories, edited by George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois, celebrates the Golden Age of Science Fiction, an era filled with tales of interplanetary colonization and derring-do. Includes stories from Allen M. Steele, Matthew Hughes, David D. Levine, S.M. Stirling, Mary Rosenblum, Mike Resnick, Liz Williams, Howard Waldrop, James S.A. Corey, Melinda Snodgrass, Michael Moorcock, Phyllis Eisenstein, Joe R. Lansdale, Chris Roberson, and Ian McDonald.
What if a woman as strong and as complex as Eva Perón began her life as a robot repair assistant threatened by a powerful peacekeeping force that wants to take all she has from her? The discovery ship, Creative Fire, is on its way home from a multi-generational journey. They have been gone for generations, and the system they return to is home to technologies and riches beyond their wildest dreams. But they are immediately oppressed and relegated to the lowest status imaginable, barely able to interact with the technologies and people of the star station where they dock, the Diamond Deep. Ruby Martin and her partner, Joel North, must find a way to learn what they need to know and to become more than they have ever been if they are to find a way to save their people.
The Cusanus Game—Wolfgang Jeschke (October 15, Tor)
Biologist Domenica Ligrina fears her planet is dying. She might be right. An atomic disaster in Germany has contaminated Northern Europe with radioactivity. Human DNA is mutating, plant species are going extinct, and scientists are feverishly working on possible solutions. In 2052 a secret research facility in the Vatican is recruiting scientists for a mission to restore the flora of the irradiated territories. When Domenica’s sometime-lover tells her that he knows her future but that she must decide her own fate, she enlists despite his ambiguous warning. She immerses herself in the mysteries, puzzles, and peculiarities of a culture foreign to her. Perhaps there is more than one Domenica, and more than one catastrophe.
Niquette’s father dreamed of transforming the dense acreage surrounded by murky waters into a palatial compound befitting the name his beloved wife gave to it, Elysium. Ten years ago, construction workers dug into a long-hidden well, one that snaked down into the deep, black waters of the Louisiana swamp and stirred a microscopic parasite that perverts the mind and corrupts the body. Niquette is living proof that things done can’t be undone. As Niquette, Ben, and Anthem uncover the truth of a devastating parasite that has the potential to alter the future of humankind, Niquette grasps the most chilling truths of all: someone else has been infected too. This man is not content to live in the shadows. He is intent to use his newfound powers for one reason only: revenge.
Young Adult. Connor and Lev are on the run after the destruction of the Graveyard, the last safe haven for AWOL Unwinds. They’re not just running away from something. They’re running toward answers, in the form of a woman Proactive Citizenry has tried to erase from history itself. If they can find her, and learn why the figures behind unwinding are so afraid of her, they may discover the key to bringing down unwinding forever. Cam, the rewound boy, is plotting to take down the organization that created him. He knows that if he can bring Proactive Citizenry to its knees, it will show Risa how he truly feels about her. With the Juvenile Authority and vindictive parts pirates hunting them, the paths of Connor, Lev, Cam, and Risa will converge, and everyone will be changed.
No new releases.
As Bravo Company defuses a hostage crisis on an orbiting mining station, Navy Corpsman Elliot “Doc” Carlyle not only saves the lives of a wounded Marine and two extraterrestrial friendlies, he averts a terrorist strike intended to kill billions. His reward? Deployment on a recon mission into the darkest depths known to man. Abyss Deep is a foreboding ocean planet torn by extremes: boiling storm world on one side, unbroken glacier on the other. Humans established a research colony there to study the planet’s giant sea serpents. When Carlyle’s team arrives, they discover a vessel belonging to a warlike alien species hovering above the atmosphere. Below the ice lurks a mystery so chilling it will make even Elliot Carlyle’s blood run cold.
Earth, A.D. 2519. The clone soldiers of the Enlisted Man’s Empire, formerly members of the Unified Authority’s powerful military, maintain a tenuous grasp on the power they fought so hard to gain. But the U.A. will not be so easy to suppress as they had hoped. A provocateur attacks the Pentagon. Gunships converge on the penitentiary where Unified Authority war criminals are held. A clone assassin murders Admiral Don Cutter, commander in chief of the Enlisted Man’s Empire. Five minutes later, more assassins attack Wayson Harris as he prepares for a summit with delegates of Olympus Kri. With Harris missing and their most deadly enemies on the loose, the remaining officers of the Empire must uncover a plot to overthrow their government while preparing for war.
The divide between science and the human spirit is the setting for a battle for the future. When physicist Robert Strong loses his job at the Dark Matter research lab and his relationship falls apart, he returns home to Scotland. Then the dead start appearing to him, and Robert begins to question his own sanity. Victor Amos, an enigmatic businessman, arrives and recruits Robert to sabotage CERN’S Large Hadron Collider, convincing him the next step in the collider’s research will bring about disaster. Everything Robert once understood about reality, and the boundaries between life and death, is about to change forever. And the biggest change will be to Robert himself.
Author Suzanne Johnson is the author of the Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series from Tor Books, whose third release, Elysian Fields, came out on August 13. She can be found on Facebook and her daily book blog, Preternatura.