Fiction Affliction: June Releases in Science Fiction

Technology threatens to be the end of us all this month as twenty-two science fiction titles hit the shelves in June! New series titles from, among others, Kevin J. Anderson, Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, James S.A. Corey, and Jane Lindskold. Also look for weekly installments to begin in John Scalzi’s newest serial release in his Old Man’s War series, and a new anthology from Baen of military science fiction and space opera short stories.

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

(R)evolution (Phoenix Horizon #1)P.J. Manney (June 1, 47North)

Scientist Peter Bernhardt has dedicated his life to nanotechnology. As the founder of Biogineers, he is on the cusp of revolutionizing brain therapies with microscopic nanorobots that will make certain degenerative diseases become a thing of the past. After his research is stolen by an unknown enemy, seventy thousand people die in Las Vegas in one abominable moment. He turns to an old friend, who introduces him to the Phoenix Club, a cabal of the most powerful people in the world. Peter infuses his brain with experimental technology, exponentially upgrading his mental prowess. Peter’s sense of reality begins to unravel. Do the club members want to help him, or do they just want to claim his technology? While he’s already evolved beyond mere humanity, is he advanced enough to take on such formidable enemies and win?

Blood of the Cosmos (The Saga of Shadows #2)Kevin J. Anderson (June 2, Tor)

An epic space opera of the titanic conflict of several galactic civilizations against a life-destroying force of shadows, a dark cosmic force that has swept through the undercurrents of the human interstellar empire. The humans and Ildirans, having narrowly escaped annihilation at the hands of the Shana Rei and their robot allies in Book One, are desperate to find a way to combat the black cloud of antimatter of the Shana Rei. The mysterious alien Gardeners, who had helped them previously, turn out to be a disaster in disguise and because of them, the world tree forests are again in danger. The allies believing they have found a way to stop their dreaded enemies, a new weapon is tested, but it’s a horrible failure, throwing the human race and its allies to the brink of extinction.

Deadly DesignDebra Dockter (June 2, G.P. Putnam’s Sons BYR)

Young Adult. Genetically engineered identical twins Kyle and Connor McAdams were born two years apart. Their parents figured it was safer that way, to increase their odds of survival. Connor was born first, paving an impossibly perfect path for Kyle to follow. He was the best at everything. Kyle never thought he’d be able to live up, so he didn’t even try. When Connor, 18, suddenly drops dead of a heart attack, and Kyle learns of other genetically modified kids who’ve also died on their eighteenth birthdays, he’s suddenly motivated, to save his own life. Kyle was conceived at the Genesis Innovations Laboratory, where the mysterious Dr. Mueller conducted experiments on them. Kyle searches for answers. He must unravel the clues quickly, before, he too, becomes another perfect, blue-eyed corpse.

Dragon in Exile (Liaden Universe #18)Sharon Lee and Steve Miller (June 2, Baen)

Star-trading Clan Korval, known to Terrans as the Tree-and-Dragon Family and to the locals simply as “the Dragon”, has been convicted of crimes against the homeworld. The Dragon’s allies conspired to impose a mild punishment for saving the world: banishment. Now relocated to the world of Surebleak, the Dragon is under contract to back the New Bosses in imposing law and order. All goes well until Korval discovers that the enemy they’d sought to destroy wasn’t and is more determined than ever to eradicate Korval. The clan’s efforts to stealthily recruit new allies is going haywire, and a secret death toll is rising. An active portion of Surebleak’s native population liked the Old Ways just fine, and are conspiring to take the New Bosses, and the Dragon, down. The exiled Dragon has to make an urgent choice, accept an alliance with criminals or face down each and every enemy in person, one by one.

Nemesis Games (Expanse #5)James S.A. Corey (June 2, Orbit)

A thousand worlds have opened, and the greatest land rush in human history has begun. As wave after wave of colonists leave, the power structures of the old solar system begin to buckle. Ships are disappearing without a trace. Private armies are being secretly formed. The sole remaining protomolecule sample is stolen. Terrorist attacks previously considered impossible bring the inner planets to their knees. The sins of the past are returning to exact a terrible price. And as a new human order is struggling to be born in blood and fire, James Holden and the crew of the Rocinante must struggle to survive and get back to the only home they have left.

Nova (Nova #1)Margaret Fortune (June 2, DAW)

Lia Johansen was created for only one purpose: to slip onto the strategically placed New Sol Space Station and explode. Her mission goes to hell when her clock malfunctions, freezing her countdown with just two minutes to go. With no Plan B, no memories of her past, and no identity besides a name stolen from a dead POW, Lia has no idea what to do next. Her life gets even more complicated when she meets Michael Sorenson, the real Lia’s childhood best friend. Lia starts learning what it means to live and love, and to be human. It is only when her countdown clock begins sporadically losing time that she realizes even duds can still blow up. She must find a way to unlock the secrets of her past and stop her clock. With the fate of not just a space station but an entire empire hanging in the balance, Lia races to find the truth before her time runs out.

The FoldPeter Clines (June 2, Crown)

The folks in Mike Erikson’s small New England town would say he’s just your average, everyday guy. That’s just how Mike likes it. The life he’s chosen may not be much of a challenge to someone with his unique gifts, but Mike is content with his quiet and peaceful existence. Until an old government friend presents him with an irresistible mystery, one that Mike is uniquely qualified to solve: it seems that a team of DARPA scientists has invented a device that could make teleportation a reality. Something is very wrong with the project. The personalities of the scientists who work on it are changing. People are dying. Reality itself seems to be, warping. Mike learns that the machine is not at all what it appears to be, and that its creators may have opened a doorway to something horrible that lurks just outside our world’s borders.

The Year’s Best Military SF & Space Opera, edited by David Drake and David Afsharirad (June 2, Baen)

The Year’s Best of Military and Adventure Science Fiction Stories. Book One of a new Series featuring the best stories of the year from the top magazine and online venues with a military and adventure science fiction theme. PLUS: Interactive Reader Voting. The collection will contain one story chosen via online voting from readers. The award will be presented at a major science fiction convention in Summer 2015. With an introduction by best-selling military science fiction author David Drake and selected by editor David Afsharirad from the top short story markets in the field.

Dark RunMike Brooks (June 4, Del Rey)

The Keiko is a ship of smugglers, soldiers of fortune and adventures. Travelling Earth’s colony planets searching for the next job, and nobody talks about their past. Until now. Captain Ichabod Drift is being blackmailed. He has to deliver a special cargo to Earth at a specific time and place, and no-one can know they’re there. It’s what they call a dark run.

 

WEEK TWO

Atlas 3 (Atlas #3)Isaac Hooke (June 9, 47North)

The ATLAS mechanized battle suits are the pinnacle of military technology, boasting awesome destructive power, but what is behind the armor is only human. Rade Galaal, elite soldier and ATLAS operator, has been tested, and broken—savage battles and devastating losses. The vile insectile aliens that once threatened Earth have regrouped to engineer a new apocalyptic assault on mankind, and the ATLAS mechs are called to defend the very survival of the human race. On the desolate, far-flung moons of Tau Ceti II, there will come a reckoning. Earth’s adversaries are legion, and the planet’s soldiers, for all of their rigorous training and amazing ordnance, are only flesh and blood. But they possess a defiant will to survive. Will Rade find the strength to reforge his shattered spirit and defeat the alien onslaught before all is lost?

Crash (The Game #3)Eve Silver (June 9, Katherine Tegen)

Young Adult. Miki’s life is falling apart around her. Her dad and best friend are lying in the hospital. The Game is glitching, making missions more frequent and more deadly. And someone close to her is waiting for the right moment to betray her. Miki feels like she’s hanging on by a thread and the only thing keeping her tethered is Jackson’s hand in hers. Yet telling him how much she needs him, how much she loves him, feels like the biggest challenge of all. And if Miki really wants the missions to end for everyone, she’ll have to let go and be ready to fight when the walls between the Game and reality come crashing down. Because if there’s one thing she’s learned, it’s that she’s got a whole lot left to lose.

Mindwalker (Mindwalker #1)A.J. Steiger (June 9, Knopf BYR)

Young Adult. Lain Fisher has already aced the Institute’s elite training program for Mindwalkers, therapists who use a direct neural link to erase a patient’s traumatic memories. Lain is driven by the need to save others. When Steven, a troubled classmate, asks her to wipe a horrific childhood experience from his mind, Lain’s superiors warn her to stay away. Steven’s scars are too deep, they say; the risk too great. Yet the more time Lain spends with him, the more she begins to question everything about her society. As she defies the warnings and explores Steven’s memories, it becomes clear that he’s connected to something much bigger, something the Institute doesn’t want the world to discover. Lain certainly didn’t plan on falling in love with a boy she’s been forbidden to help. She never expected to stumble into a conspiracy that could ignite a revolution.

No Harm Can Come to a Good ManJames Smythe (June 9, The Borough Press)

How far would you go to save your family from an invisible threat? ClearVista is used by everyone and can predict anything. It’s a daily lifesaver, predicting weather to traffic to who you should befriend. Laurence Walker wants to be the next President of the United States. ClearVista will predict his chances. It will predict whether he’s the right man for the job. It will predict that his son can only survive for 102 seconds underwater. It will predict that Laurence’s life is about to collapse in the most unimaginable way. (U.S. Release)

Slow BulletsAlastair Reynolds (June 9, Tachyon)

A vast conflict, one that has encompassed hundreds of worlds and solar systems, appears to be finally at an end. A conscripted soldier is beginning to consider her life after the war and the family she has left behind. But for Scur, and for humanity, peace is not to be. On the brink of the ceasefire, Scur is captured by a renegade war criminal, and left for dead in the ruins of a bunker. She revives aboard a prisoner transport vessel. Something has gone terribly wrong with the ship. Passengers, combatants from both sides of the war, are waking up from hibernation far too soon. Their memories, embedded in bullets, are the only links to a world which is no longer recognizable. And Scur will be reacquainted with her old enemy, but with much higher stakes than just her own life.

The End of All Things: The Life of the Mind (Old Man’s War #6)John Scalzi (June 9, Tor)

A down-on-his-luck Colonial Union starship pilot finds himself pressed into serving a harsh master-in a mission against the CU. But his kidnappers may have underestimated his knowledge of the ship that they have, quite literally, bound him to piloting. (Digital serial edition to be issued in weekly episodes; print and full digital edition release Aug. 11; audio release Sept. 22.)

 

WEEK THREE

Hunters in the Dark (Halo #15)Peter David (June 16, Gallery)

It is 2555, more than two years after the Master Chief went missing-in-action following a decisive conflict on Installation 00, the massive, extragalactic Forerunner construct known as the Ark, as part of the final chapter in humanity’s bloody thirty-year struggle against the forces of the Covenant. As a tenuous peace exists between the humans and the Elites, a startling scientific discovery is made, and the riddle behind its Forerunner origins could very well seal the fate of the entire galaxy within a matter of weeks. In order to unravel these dangerous secrets, a heroic, hastily formed coalition of humans and Elites must attempt to overcome their differences as they embark on a covert mission back to the Ark, an astonishing, enigmatic place beyond comprehension from which few have returned and where mortal danger awaits them all.

Belt ThreeJohn Ayliff (June 18, Harper Voyager)

Alien machines known as Worldbreakers have destroyed the solar system’s planets, but a remnant of humanity survives in the debris. Society is divided between a ‘true-born’ ruling class and a ‘tank-born’ working class. Jonas is a tank-born, but has been living as a true-born since he assumed his dead true-born lover’s identity. When he is kidnapped by a pirate and forced to aid her in her obsessive campaign against the Worldbreakers, he enters a universe of danger where humanity’s last hope might be found in the very machines that have destroyed them. (Digital; print release December 2015)

 

WEEK FOUR

The Long Utopia (The Long Earth #4)Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter (June 23, Harper)

2045-2059. Human society continues to evolve on Datum Earth, its battered and weary origin planet, as the spread of humanity progresses throughout the many Earths beyond. Lobsang, now an elderly and complex AI, suffers a breakdown, and disguised as a human attempts to live a “normal” life on one of the millions of Long Earth worlds. His old friend, Joshua, now in his fifties, searches for his father and discovers a heretofore unknown family history. The super-intelligent post-humans known as “the Next” continue to adapt to life among “lesser” humans. An alarming new challenge looms. An alien planet has somehow become “entangled” with one of the Long Earth worlds and, as Lobsang and Joshua learn, its denizens intend to capture, conquer, and colonize the new universe, the Long Earth, they have inadvertently discovered.

The Stellow ProjectShari Becker (June 23, Skyscape)

Young Adult. When a killer storm unexpectedly hits Manhattan, seventeen-year-old Lilah Stellow’s dad insists that she and her younger sister, Flori, take refuge at their cabin in the mountains. But instead of joining them with the experimental drug that keeps Lilah alive, he disappears just as news reports name him as a prime suspect in an act of ecoterrorism. As days pass without her medicine, Lilah finds herself teetering on the edge, caring for her sister, and growing increasingly certain they’re being watched. In her search for answers, Lilah is thrown into the center of a mystery involving an off-the-grid research facility and finds herself drawn in by Daniel, an intriguing boy who is the son of the lead scientist. As she dares to seek answers, Lilah slowly realizes that even the best intentions can go horribly wrong.

Artemis Invaded (Artemis Awakened #2)Jane Lindskold (June 30, Tor)

Stranded archaeologist Griffin is determined to make his way back to his home world with news of the Artemis discovery. He and his gene-modified native companion, the huntress Adara, and her psyche-linked puma Sand Shadow, set out to find another repository of the ancient technology in the hope that somehow Griffin will be able to contact his orbiting ship. In the midst of this, Adara wrestles with her complex feelings for Griffin, and with the consequences of her and Sand Shadow’s new bond with the planet Artemis. Focused on his own goals, Griffin is unaware that his arrival on Artemis has created unexpected consequences for those he is coming to hold dear. Unwittingly, he has left a trail, and Artemis is about to be invaded.

Brothers in Valor (Man of War #3)H. Paul Honsinger (June 30, 47North)

Sometimes Captain Max Robichaux fights by the book, and sometimes he throws the book away. This makes him one of the Union Space Navy’s rising stars. It’s also what has kept him and his green crew alive, thus far. When Max and his ship, the twenty-fourth-century space destroyer USS Cumberland, are boxed in by eight enemy battleships, the odds are against them at a million to one. It takes all their skill and guts just to escape, and surviving won’t get easier. Sent on a covert mission behind enemy lines, Max and his crew are poised to strike a blow so hard that, if successful, it could turn the tide of the war. But if they fail, it will cost them their lives, and the lives of every human in the galaxy.

LinesmanS.K. Dunstall (June 30, Ace)

The lines. No ship can traverse the void without them. Only linesmen can work with them. Only Ean Lambert hears their song. Most slum kids never go far, certainly not becoming a level-ten linesman like Ean. The other linesmen disdain his self-taught methods, but he’s certified and working. Then a mysterious alien ship is discovered at the edges of the galaxy. Each of the major galactic powers is desperate to be the first to uncover the ship’s secrets, but all they’ve learned is that it has the familiar lines of energy, and a defense system that, once triggered, annihilates everything in a 200 kilometer radius. The vessel threatens any linesman who dares to approach it, except Ean. His unique talents may be the key to understanding this alarming new force, and reconfiguring the relationship between humans and the ships that serve them, forever.

Suzanne Johnson is the author of the Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series, and, as Susannah Sandlin, the Penton Legacy paranormal romance series and The Collectors thriller series. You can find Suzanne on Facebook and on her website.

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