Fiction Affliction: December Releases in Science Fiction

Thirteen new releases appear on the science fiction shelves this month, with new adult titles from, among others, William C. Dietz, Mike Resnick, Catherine Asaro, Gini Koch and J. Barton Mitchell.

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

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

Legionnaire Andromeda McKee seems to have successfully left behind her true identity of Lady Catherine “Cat” Carletto, one of the last two surviving members of the Carletto family targeted for death by Empress Ophelia. After failing at her one shot at vengeance, Andromeda had been questioning her own resolve. But now her uncle has been killed in a government raid back on Earth, leaving her as the last Carletto standing, and the family’s only chance for justice. A chance that comes when the empress’s ship crashes on a hostile planet and Andromeda is assigned to head up the rescue mission. As a legionnaire, Andromeda McKee has countless kills under her belt. But when faced with her greatest enemy, it will be Cat Carletto who has to pull the trigger on the one who really matters.

Atlas 2 (Atlas #2)—Isaac Hooke (December 2, 47North)

The desperate battle on far-flung Geronimo may have ended in a qualified victory for the elite MOTH soldiers in their devastating, atomic-powered ATLAS mechs, but the cost was a massive one, paid in blood. Rade Galaal barely survived the mission in deep space that claimed the lives of the two people he couldn’t afford to lose: a comrade who was more than a brother, and someone who was his whole world. Rade faces a new crisis when an enemy force, a terrifyingly familiar one, threatens the future of humanity itself. Entering human territory from the depths of uncharted space where Rade lost everything, this massive alien vessel wears the face of death. Once the nightmarish invader begins threatening total annihilation, can Rade and his team hope to prevail, or even survive?

Carbide Tipped Pens: Seventeen Tales of Hard Science Fiction—edited by Ben Bova and Eric Choi (December 2, Tor)

Carbide Tipped Pens is an anthology of new hard SF stories that follow the classic definition of the genre, in which some element of science or technology is so central to the plot that there would be no story if that element were removed. The aim of the editors was to collect stories which emphasize plot, character, science, originality and believability in equal measure, not only to entertain readers but also to educate and to return the sense of wonder of the Golden Age to a new generation of 21st century readers. Contributing authors include: Ben Bova, Gregory Benford, Robert Reed, Aliette de Bodard, Jack McDevitt, Howard Hendrix, Daniel H. Wilson, Leah Sloane Petersen, Gabrielle Harbowy, Kate Story, and Dirk Strassser.

Collision (The Secret World Chronicles #4)—Mercedes Lackey, Veronica Giguere, Cody Martin and Dennis Lee (December 2, Baen)

Destroying the Thulian North American Headquarters has not made life easier for ECHO, or the world. The Thulians continue their attacks, first in unpredictable incursions, then with another all-out assault on ECHO. Dominic Verdigris has not given up on his effort to obtain The Seraphym for himself. Belladonna’s duties have increased a thousand-fold, and now she has responsibility for the lives of every metahuman in ECHO on her conscience. Finding the main Headquarters is of paramount importance, but once it is found, can she manage to convince the armies of the world to follow ECHO into an all-out attack? Then Red Saviour risks everything on a gambit of her own: send her “wolves” of the CCCP to find the Thulian Headquarters. A gambit that could very well end, not in victory, but with the world in flames.

The Fortress in OrionMike Resnick (December 2, Pyr)

The Democracy is at war with the alien Traanskei Coalition. Colonel Nathan Pretorius has a record of success on dangerous behind-enemy-lines missions. He’s recruited for a near-impossible assignment that may well leave him dead. The Democracy has managed to clone and train General Michkag, one of the Traanskei’s master strategists. Colonel Pretorius and a hand-picked team must kidnap or assassinate the real Michkag and put the clone in his place, where he will misdirect the enemy’s forces and funnel information to the Democracy. Pretorius, along with Cyborg Felix Ortega, computer expert Toni Levi, contortionist Sally “Snake” Kowalski, the near-human empath Marlowe, the alien Gzychurlyx, and Madam Methuselah, the Dead Enders, must infiltrate the Fortress in Orion, accomplish their mission, and escape with their lives.

The Mammoth Book of Science Fiction Stories by Women—edited by Alex Dally MacFarlane (December 2, Running Press)

This anthology showcases science fiction stories written by women in recent decades, from classic stars like Ursula K. Le Guin and James Tiptree Jr. to science-fiction greats such Nancy Kress, Lois McMaster Bujold, and Karen Joy Fowler.

Undercity (Skolian Empire #7)—Catherine Asaro (December 2, Baen)

In the galaxy-spanning future, Major Bhaajan is a tough female P.I. who works the dangerous streets of Undercity. Major Bhaajan, a former military officer with Imperial Space Command, is now a hard-bitten P.I. with a load of baggage to deal with, and clients with woes sometimes personal, sometimes galaxy-shattering, and sometimes both. Bhaajan must sift through the shadows of dark and dangerous Undercity, the enormous capital of a vast star empire, to find answers.

Universal Alien (Katherine “Kitty” Katt #10)—Gini Koch (December 2, DAW)

Issues with Australia need to be straightened out, so the White House sends the Vice President and his wife, aka Jeff and Kitty Katt-Martini, over to handle the situation. But before Kitty can make things worse, she’s suddenly in another world, one where she’s been married to Charles Reynolds for years and aliens don’t exist. Kitty’s not the only one confused, because the Kitty from that world has taken her place in this one. Can they both save their respective days before it’s too late to go home to the universes they belong to, or will one Kitty decide to keep the other’s life, forever?

Valley of Fires (Conquered Earth #3)—J. Barton Mitchell (December 2, Thomas Dunne)

Young Adult. Earth has been conquered by an alien race known as the Assembly. The human adult population is gone, having succumbed to the Tone, a powerful, telepathic super-signal broadcast across the planet that reduces them to a state of complete subservience. The Tone only affects the population once they reach their early twenties. There is one group left to resist: Children. Mira ventures west to bargain with Van Cleef, the enigmatic leader of North America’s most infamous resistance group. Holt travels with Ravan and Avril back to the one place he swore he would never return: Faust, the dangerous desert city of the Menagerie pirate guild. If Holt wants the Menagerie’s help, he might have to help his greatest enemy in exchange.

Worlds In ChaosJames P. Hogan (December 2, Baen)

Omnibus edition. Cradle of Saturn: Discoveries made by colonists on the moons of Saturn show that the Solar System has undergone repeated cataclysms. This flies in the face of accepted scientific dogma, and is dismissed by Earth’s authorities, until the planet Jupiter suddenly emits a white-hot Earth-sized protoplanet that hurtles sunward on a collision course with Earth. The Legend That Was Earth: The alien Hyadeans have showered high-tech gifts on the population of Earth and are offering to make a paradise of the planet. Wealthy socialite Roland Cade discovers the dark underbelly of the alien presence, and learns that his ex-wife is one of the so-called terrorists who are fighting against the alien takeover, he’s forced to choose sides.

Tides of MaritiniaWarren Hammond (December 2, Harper Voyager Impulse)

Maritinia is at the far edge of the Empire, a planet with little economic value. It’s just rebelled. The people of Maritinia believe the Empire will not care that they’ve broken free. The Empire sends an agent to Maritinia with a mission: assassinate and replace one of the conspirators, and do enough to sow discord that when the soldiers do land, any opposition will be quickly crushed. Jakob finds himself immersed in the inner circle of the madman who led the rebellion. A raw recruit with only his political officer to speak with, Jakob is out of his element as an operative. While he falls deeper into the conspiracy, he begins to question everything: the despotic admiral in charge of the coup, his feelings for a native woman, and whether he still agrees with the will of the Sire. (Digital)

 

WEEKS TWO AND THREE

No new releases.

 

WEEK FOUR

Macaque Attack! (Ack-Ack Macaque #3)—Gareth L. Powell (December 30, Solaris)

In the conclusion of the Macaque Trilogy, the dangerous but charismatic Ack-Ack Macaque finds himself leading a dimension-hopping army of angry monkeys, facing an invading horde of implacable killer androids, and confronting the one challenge for which he was never prepared: impending fatherhood. Meanwhile, former journalist Victoria Valois fights to save the electronic ghost of her dead husband and reclaim his stolen soul from the sands of Mars.

The Top of the Volcano: The Award-Winning Stories of Harlan EllisonHarlan Ellison (December 31, Subterranean Press)

Twenty-three of Harlan Ellison’s best stories, brought together in a single volume.


Suzanne Johnson is the author of the Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series. You can find Suzanne on Facebook and on her website.

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