Fiction Affliction: December Releases in Science Fiction

What’s that in the December night sky? Santa? Reindeer? Perhaps…aliens? Ten new science fiction titles join the clamor for your holiday dollars in December, including series additions from Gini Koch (Kitty Kat), Sarah Pinborough (Forgotten Gods), and William C. Dietz (Legion of the Damned), plus standalones from K.M. Ruiz, Steve Perry, Ben Bova, and Joseph Wallace. Also look for a new volume set in Larry Niven’s Man-Kzin universe.

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.

WEEK ONE

Alien Research (Katherine “Kitty” Kat #8)Gini Koch (December 3, DAW)

When rumors of a new super-drug surface, the FBI comes to Jeff and Kitty Katt-Martini for help. An insidious plan is underway involving Titan Security, Gaultier Enterprises, and YatesCorp. As newly discovered A-Cs and hybrids begin to surface, more and more signs point to a new evil genius who’s using the A-Cs and their enemies both as guinea pigs. Centaurion Division is hit with more bad news: Chernobog the Ultimate, isn’t a hacker myth, he’s a real person, and he’s on the bad guys’ side. Kitty and company must find the real Dr. Feelgood and stop him or her before the latest version of Surcenthumain hits the streets and more people are harmed. Kitty’s focused on reviving the ACE entity before their enemies realize Earth’s best protection isn’t actually active, and revenge.

Andromeda’s Choice (Legion of the Damned Prequel #2)William C. Dietz (December 3, Ace)

In a different world, Lady Catherine “Cat” Carletto would never have left her pampered life behind. But when Princess Ophelia became Empress Ophelia in a coup that claimed the lives of the princess’s brother and all who supported him, including the Carletto family, Cat had to hide, or die. She became Legionnaire Andromeda McKee, and now she’s a battle-scarred veteran who knows how to kill. Summoned to receive the Imperial Order of Merit from the empress herself, Andromeda learns that she isn’t the sole surviving Carletto, her uncle Rex is not only still alive but also the leader of a resistance group determined to overthrow Ophelia. The moment is coming when her revenge will be at hand. Will she be able to act, or will she be betrayed by those she has come to trust?

Invasive SpeciesJoseph Wallace (December 3, Berkley)

There can only be one dominant life form on Earth. In the remote African wilderness, a rainforest is dying. But something else has come to life: A newly evolved predator that has survived the depredations of mankind, only to emerge from its natural habitat faster, stronger, and deadlier than anything humanity has ever faced. And it is no longer man.

Man-Kzin Wars XIV—edited by Larry Niven (December 3, Baen)

Includes hard-hitting tales from a host of contributors: Hal Colebatch, Matthew Joseph Harrington, Alex Hernandez, Jessica Q. Fox, and more. The catlike alien Kzin, formerly invincible conquerors of all they encountered, must learn to compromise with humans if they wish to survive and prosper once again as a species. The kzin, formerly invincible conquerors of all they encountered, had a hard time dealing with their ignominious defeat by the leaf-eating humans. Some secretly hatched schemes for a rematch, others concentrated on gathering power within the kzin hierarchy, and some shamefully cooperated with the contemptible humans, though often for hidden motives. In war and in uneasy peace, kzin and humans continue their adventures.

Mars, Inc.: The Billionaire’s ClubBen Bova (December 3, Baen)

How do you get to the Red Planet? Not via a benighted government program trapped in red tape and bound by budget constrictions. What it will take is a helping of adventure, science, corporate powerplays and money, money, money. Art Thrasher knows this. He is a man with a driving vision: send humans to Mars. The government has utterly failed, but Thrasher has got the plan to accomplish such a feat: form a “club” of billionaires to chip in one billion a year until the dream is accomplished. Thrasher is different from the other dreamers in an important regard: he’s a billionaire himself, and the president of a successful company. The man for the job has arrived. Art Thrasher is prepared to do whatever it takes to put humans on Mars, or die trying.

Proxy (Avalon #0.5)Mindee Arnett (December 3, Balzer + Bray)

Young Adult. Proxy is an action-packed introduction to a world like nothing readers have seen before, and it sets a spark to the powder keg that will explode. If you need something stolen from any star system in the Confederation, you need look no further than the Shades. Jeth Seagrave and his band of teenage mercenaries have been making a name for themselves for being able to steal anything, and for disappearing before anyone is the wiser. Their latest job, a jewel heist on Grakkus, should be no different. But when Jeth’s boss replaces a key member of his crew just before takeoff, and Jeth discovers a betrayal within his own ranks, he begins to suspect that not everyone is going to be coming back from his job alive. Digital.

The Chosen Seed: The Forgotten Gods: Book Three (The Dog-Faced Gods #3)Sarah Pinborough (December 3, Ace)

The tables have turned, and now Detective Inspector Cass Jones is a wanted man on the streets of London. Framed for murder and hunted by his former colleagues, Cass needs every ally he can get, including a very unexpected figure from his past. While detectives Hask and Ramsey search for the killer behind the lethal Strain II virus, Mr. Bright continues to pull strings from the shadows, and there are dire warnings of a final battle that could tear everything apart. As he searches for his kidnapped nephew while eluding his own pursuers, Cass is determined to find the answers, even if he has to confront the darkest secrets of the history of humanity to do it. (U.S.)

 

WEEK TWO

Her Husband’s Hands and Other StoriesAdam-Troy Castro (December 11, Prime)

A utopia where the most privileged get to do whatever they want to do with their lives, indulging their slightest whims via the bodies whose wombs they occupy; a soldier’s wife tries to love a husband who is little more than backup memory; a society in which the citizens all make merry for nine remarkable days, and on the tenth get a taste of hell; the last ragged survivors of an expedition to a savage backwater world hunt down an infamous war criminal; a divorcing couple confront their myriad troubles to gain resolution, reason, respect, but not without sacrifice.

 

WEEK THREE

StrykersK.M. Ruiz (December 24, St. Martin’s Griffin)

250 years after nuclear war, the dregs of humanity fight to survive on a ruined Earth while the rich and powerful plan to secretly ascend to another planet. But the enslaved soldiers of the elite rulers are a deadly new kind of human who are desperate for freedom and plan on fighting back against their masters. Threnody Corwin, a psion, is a soldier for the human government. Threnody and her team of Strykers are recruited by an unknown enemy: Lucas Serca, one of the most powerful psions alive, who is masquerading as human. When a new kind of psion power is discovered that could reshape the wasted planet, the renegades must race to save society before it destroys itself, but the cost is high and in the end, there is no such thing as compromise.

 

WEEK FOUR

The Vastalimi GambitSteve Perry (December 31, Ace)

At the close of the twenty-fourth century, a series of revolutions has caused the galaxy to descend into chaos. With the Galactic Union Army stretched thin, mercenary units have arisen for those who have the need to hire them. Kay, the alien member of the Cutter Force Initiative, has returned to her brutal home world of Vast on a mission of mercy. Her skills are sorely needed. Hundreds of Vastalimi, including her blood-kin, are dying mysteriously. Is the plague a work of nature? Or is it a bioengineered virus, purposefully unleashed? Kay and Doc Wink will have to find out the hard way. With the Cutter Force light-years away, the two find the odds against them, and on a planet like Vast, where violence abounds and life is cheap, they may be facing a foe they can’t defeat.


Author Suzanne Johnson is a book geek with a fondness for a good dystopia. She writes the Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series, whose third book, Elysian Fields, was released this fall. You can find Suzanne on Facebook and on her daily book blog, Preternatura.

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