When planets collide, it must be time for November science fiction, with twenty-eight new titles this month. Look for new titles from, among others, Paul Antony Jones (Extinction Point), Kim Stanley Robinson, Mike Kupari, Adam Christopher, L.E. Modesitt Jr., Julie E. Czerneda, Ben Bova, Mira Grant, and Liana Brooks.
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.
Clearwater Station is home to Victor Clearwater, inventor of the artificial life technologies that changed the world, and his ward Elsa Witherspoon. When Frederick arrives with the goal of stealing Clearwater’s research to pay back his father’s debts, he discovers the lovely young Elsa is not what she appears, and Clearwater Station is a house of secrets and lies. People want to use Elsa for their own gain, but first Frederick must figure out who and what she truly is in order to save her, and himself. (Digital)
It was supposed to be a simple proof of concept. The physics were sound. Over one hundred teleportation experiments had already been successfully performed. Debate rages over whether the Reidier Test’s disastrous outcome resulted from human error, government conspiracy, or sabotage. No one has actual knowledge of the truth. But hidden from the public eye, there exists a government report commissioned from criminal psychologist Dr. Hilary Kahn, chronicling the events that took place. Dr. Kahn disappeared without a trace. Now her son Danny has unearthed and revealed the report, fueling controversy over the details of Reidier’s quest to reforge the fabric of reality and hold his family together. Exposed with little chance of finding his mother, Danny goes underground to investigate. But nothing can prepare him for what he discovers.
Young Adult. In the near future, one corporation, Blackstone Technologies, has changed the world. Blackstone has the impunity to destroy, or create, as it sees fit. Infinity “Finn” Blackstone is the daughter of Blackstone’s reclusive CEO, but she’s never even met him. When disturbing dreams about a past she doesn’t remember begin to torment her, Finn knows there’s only one person who can provide answers: her father. After Finn and an elite group of peers are invited to Blackstone’s top-secret HQ, Finn realizes she may have a chance to confront her father. When a sophisticated company AI morphs into a killing machine, the trip descends into chaos. Finn and her friends are at the mercy of an all-seeing intelligence that will destroy everything to get to her. Finn’s dream-memories may be the only chance of survival. Will she remember in time to save her own life and the lives of those around her?
Young Adult. Ever since she used the Firebird, her parents’ invention, to cross into alternate dimensions, Marguerite has caught the attention of enemies who will do anything to force her into helping them dominate the multiverse, even hurting the people she loves. She resists until her boyfriend, Paul, is attacked and his consciousness scattered across multiple dimensions. Marguerite has no choice but to search for each splinter of Paul’s soul. The hunt sends her racing through a war-torn San Francisco, the criminal underworld of New York City, and Paris where another Marguerite hides a shocking secret. Each world brings Marguerite one step closer to rescuing Paul. With each trial she faces, she begins to question the destiny she thought they shared.
Far in the future, mankind endures the relentless onslaught of alien oppressors, an ancient battle whose tide has begun to turn through the efforts of the Cerberus rebels. This remarkable band of warriors fights an elusive enemy, traveling through dangerous portals of time and space, where reality and un-reality collide in stunning, deadly purpose. The diamond mines of the Congo are ground zero for a calculated new power grab by an ancient Mesopotamian god. Darkened and depraved, Nergal intends to harness the power of light to lock humanity in the blackness of eternal damnation. But Nergal’s ability to blind his opponents is only the beginning. The Cerberus rebels will have to find the human who’s pulling Nergal’s strings, which means venturing into the gaping mouth of hell itself.
After an alien invasion devastates humanity, a battered group of survivors huddles in a remote outpost, fighting to endure in a hostile world. Resources are dwindling, and internal power struggles threaten to tear apart human society. Emily Baxter remains haunted by vivid dreams of Earth’s new masters. With these nightmares comes concern for her son, Adam, the posthuman world’s firstborn child, a child who is ominously marked with red-flecked eyes. Emily is accused of committing an unthinkable crime and resolves to clear her name by journeying, along with her stepdaughter and their dog, Thor, into the alien wilderness that was once Earth. All around Emily lurk mysterious new dangers that threaten her and her companions. Are these perils the final stages of an apocalyptic invasion or the harbinger of something even worse yet to come?
James Shelley has left his lover, Delphi, and his companion-in-arms, Jayne Vasquez, with a fortune acquired from a fallen oligarch. They believe him to be dead, and he doesn’t try to set the record straight. His long-running question has been answered: There are other soldiers like him who have served the purposes of the Red, and he has accepted his place among them. As a soldier of the Red he pursues covert missions designed to nudge history away from existential threats, but that doesn’t mean the world is growing more orderly. It’s only in the froth of a “managed chaos” that human potential can grow and thrive. Shelley’s missions eventually take him into orbit, and into conflict with those he loves, Delphi and Jaynie, who are determined to escape the influence of the Red.
Omnibus. More than a decade ago, Kim Stanley Robinson began a groundbreaking series of near-future eco-thrillers: Forty Signs of Rain, Fifty Degrees Below, and Sixty Days and Counting, that grew increasingly urgent and vital as global warming continued unchecked. Now, condensed into one volume and updated with the latest research, this trilogy gains new life as Green Earth, a chillingly realistic novel that plunges readers into great floods, a modern Ice Age, and the political fight for all our lives.
It’s been years since Catherine Blackwood left the repressive colony world of Avalon. Now the captain of the privateer vessel Andromeda, she is the master of her own destiny. Catherine soon finds herself back on Avalon after receiving a plea for help from a most unlikely source: her estranged father, Avalon Council member Augustus Blackwood. It seems Catherine’s brother, has gone off in search of treasure on the chaotic world of Zanzibar. But Cecil Blackwood’s plans have gone very, very wrong, and he has been taken hostage and held for ransom by a fearsome local warlord. Augustus swallows his pride and hires Catherine to bring her brother home. Just getting to Zanzibar proves treacherous. If she is to save her brother, Catherine Blackwood must face down danger at every turn and uncover a mystery four million years in the making.
Young Adult. Clair’s world has been destroyed, again. The only remaining hope of survival is for her and Q to enter the Yard, a simulation as detailed, and as real, as the home they have lost. But in the Yard there are two Clair Hills. The other Clair is headstrong, impulsive, suspicious, just like Clair herself used to be, and their very existence is causing cracks. As Clair searches for a solution, a surprising new ally emerges from the ashes. Together they fight their way through the digital and political minefield in the hope of saving Jesse, her friends and the whole of humanity.
Wanderlust runs in Kivita Vondir’s blood. She dreamed of salvaging like her father when she was young, and now it’s her addiction, distracting her from her broken heart. Her latest contract to hunt down a fabled gemstone is exactly the kind of adventure she craves. But this job is more than meets the eye. Her duplicitous employer has hired rebel Sar Redryll, Kivita’s former lover, to stop her at any cost. Kivita’s recovery of the relic unleashes in her powerful new abilities. Abilities that everyone in the Cetturo Arm, human, alien, and in-between, desperately wishes to control. Kivita teams up with two unlikely allies: Sar and his enigmatic new partner. Only, as the gem’s mysteries are revealed and danger draws near, Kivita begins to wonder if her ex has truly changed, or if he’s just waiting for the right moment to betray her once again.
Ray is good at the job, too, not only does nobody suspect the world’s last robot is a hit man, his fame allows the Electromatic Detective Agency to continue as the perfect front. With a twenty-four-hour memory limit, he sure can keep a secret. When a woman arrives at the agency wanting to hire Ray to investigate the brutal murder of a priest, his attempts to dissuade her are overruled when she produces a lucrative advance payment. Ray accepts the job, even though the woman demands total anonymity. She tells them not to try to reach her, she’ll call when the time is right. Ray’s investigation leads him into a dark world of Hollywood intrigue, where the glamorous jet set societies are under the spell of a mysterious bandage-swathed man. The man and his circle of followers conduct Satanic rituals behind Hollywood’s façade, rituals that lead to murder.
Anthology. Science fiction writers imagine the future of space exploration with NASA no longer dominant. Will private companies rule the stars or will new governments take up the call? From Brazilians to Russians to Chinese, the characters in these stories deal with everything from strange encounters, to troubled satellites and space ships, to competition for funding and getting there first. Nineteen stories of what-if spanning the gamut from Mercury to Pluto and beyond. With stories by: Jack McDevitt, Alex Shvartsman, Lezli Robyn, Robert Silverberg, Michael F. Flynn, Brenda Cooper, Michael Capobianco, Sarah A. Hoyt, Mike Resnick, David D. Levine, James Gunn and more.
The multi-species crew of the Veracity are enjoying some well-deserved R&R after informing the galaxy about the spread of the time-bending Messiah drug. Now that the galaxy has been saved again, the crew begin to see each other in a new light. Unfortunately, in the Veracity’s wake lie a string of crimes, and someone has got to pay. Former assassin Raena Zacari is hauled back to the weapons-free pleasure planet Kai to answer charges of kidnapping, murder, and the theft of an Imperial-era diplomatic transport: the Veracity itself. In the meantime, something is moving in the undersea city Raena destroyed on the Thallian homeworld. Has the worst mass-murderer the galaxy has ever known been cloned back from the dead? Can the Veracity’s crew lay the ghosts to rest without Raena’s lethal skills?
Onyx Javelin (A Fury of Aces #3)—Steve Wheeler (November 3, Harper Voyager)
There is life everywhere throughout the Milky Way Galaxy. It takes forms that will astonish and frighten, that will challenge and terrify as they exist within the greater fight of existence: Eat or be eaten. But to the crew of the frigate Basalt, those alien life forms that exist in the near vacuum of interplanetary space only serve to be of fascination in the crew’s quest for knowledge. However, there is a vicious conflict brewing as the octopoids test the occupants of an outer planet of humanity, in all its varied forms, probing and looking for the weaknesses of the marshalled forces. But who is the enemy really?
Renata Ghali believed in Lee Suh-Mi’s vision of a world far beyond Earth, calling to humanity. A planet promising to reveal the truth about our place in the cosmos. Ren believed in that vision enough to give up everything to follow Suh-Mi into the unknown. Twenty-two years have passed since Ren and the rest of the faithful established a colony at the base of an enigmatic alien structure where Suh-Mi has since resided, alone. Ren has worked hard as the colony’s 3-D printer engineer, creating the tools necessary for human survival in an alien environment, and harboring a devastating secret. Then a stranger appears, far too young to have been part of the first planetfall, a man who bears a remarkable resemblance to Suh-Mi. The truth Ren has concealed since planetfall can no longer be hidden. And its revelation might tear the colony apart.
Smuggler and mercenary Arkarin Blackhawk and the crew of the Wolf’s Claw are freelance adventurers who live on the fringe of society in the Far Stars. A veteran fighter, Blackhawk is a man haunted by a dark past. Sent to rescue the kidnapped daughter of his friend Marshal Augustin Lucerne, Blackhawk and his crew find themselves drawn into one deadly fight after another. When the Wolf’s Claw is damaged, they are forced to land on a remote planet subsumed by civil war. They uncover disturbing information about secret imperial involvement that could upset the plans of Lucerne. For the Marshal is determined to forge a Far Stars Confederation to eliminate all imperial influence and threats. He needs a warrior like Blackhawk on his side, but the mercenary refuses to join the cause. Soon, though, he and his crew will have to take a stand.
You can’t militarize space. This one rule has led to decades of peaceful development of space programs worldwide. Resource scarcity and a changing climate on Earth is causing some parties to militarize, namely India, the North American Union, and the Sinese Federation. The discovery of a strange artifact by Dr. Alayna Wong precipitates a crisis. What appears to be an undiscovered comet is soon revealed to be an alien structure on a cometary trajectory toward the sun. There is a race between countries to see who can study and control the artifact dubbed the “Solar Express”. Leading the way for the North American Union is Alayna’s friend, Captain Christopher Tavoian. As the alien craft gets closer, it begins to alter the surface of the sun in strange new ways, ways that could lead Alayna to revolutionary discoveries, provided Chris can prevent war from breaking out as he navigates among the escalating tensions between nations.
Humankind has escaped a dying Earth and set out to find a new home among the stars aboard an immense generation ship, the Ark. Bryan Benson is the Ark’s greatest living sports hero, enjoying retirement working as a detective in Avalon, his home module. The hours are good, the work is easy, and the perks can’t be beat. But when a crewmember goes missing, Bryan is thrust into the center of an ever-expanding web of deception, secrets, and violence that overturns everything he knows about living on the Ark and threatens everyone aboard. As the last remnants of humanity hurtle towards their salvation, Benson finds himself in a desperate race to unravel the conspiracy before a madman turns mankind’s home into its tomb.
I’d lived on a starship long enough to value the small sounds the Fox made: the whoosh of air through vents, the bone-deep growl of lift engines, and the reassuring almost-whine that meant not only gravity, but that we were moving through subspace under power. Sound meant we were safe and all was well. Silence meant the opposite.
Ann Decker fixes computers for a living, and in the evenings she passes the time sharpening her hacking skills. One day she’s contacted with a job offer for a company called Transformations Incorporated. None of her coworkers have heard of it before. TI has invented technology to travel in time. Soon Ann is visiting a matriarchy in ancient Crete, and then a woman mathematician at the Library of Alexandria. But TI remains shrouded in mystery. Who are Transformations Incorporated, and what will they use this technology to gain? When a coworker turns up dead, Ann’s superiors warn her about a covert group called Core out to sabotage the company. Ann is sent to a castle in the south of France, nearly a thousand years in the past. As the armies of the Crusade arrive to lay siege, Ann will discover the startling truth, not just about the company that sent her there, but also about her own past.
Young Adult. When Lucas Marshall tests positive for the M0A1 gene, a genetic abnormality believed to predispose humans toward violence, he is shipped off to a government facility to undergo a battery of psychological tests. Having survived their tests and proven his mental stability, Lucas is labeled safe to return home. Any hope Lucas has of returning to a normal life is shattered when the van transporting him is forced off the road by a group of radicals intent on accessing the facility and exposing it’s dehumanizing practices. Lucas is their ticket through the front door. Lucas and his bunk mate, Chris, agree to infiltrate the testing facility’s inner sanctum. Lucas’s plans begin to unravel, and he’s forced to seek help from a group of kids he neither knows nor trusts. When every genetic test claims your only allies are hardwired to become the next Charles Manson, it’s impossible to know who has your back.
Rocket with a group of intergalactic explorers to the Ringworld, a massive artificial world looped like a giant ribbon the size of Earth’s orbit around the sun. They soon discover that what was once conceived as a Garden of Eden has now reverted to savagery. Civilization has disappeared, leaving powerful machines in charge. Vast ruins litter the surface where mighty floating cities fell from the sky, deadly plants use sunlight to kill, terrifying hurricanes the size of worlds swallow everything in their paths, while roaming gangs of native humanoids stand ready to attack. Louis must now face the greatest challenge of his life. What happened to the extraordinary treasures of this world? What kind of powerful alien could destroy the mightiest of the universe’s worlds? What happened to the legendary engineers who built the Ring?
The Night Clock—Paul Meloy (November 10, Solaris)
Phil Trevena’s patients are dying and he needs answers. One of the disturbed men in his care tells him that he needs to find Daniel, that Daniel will be able to explain what is happening. But who is Daniel? Daniel was lost once, broken by the same force that has turned its hatred on Trevena. His destiny is greater than he could ever imagine. Drawn together, Trevena and Daniel embark on an extraordinary journey of discovery, encountering The Firmament Surgeons in the Dark Time, the flux above our reality. Whoever controls Dark Time controls the minds of humanity. The Firmament Surgeons, aware of the approach of limitless hostility and darkness, are gathered to bring an end to the war with the Autoscopes, before they tear our reality apart.
Jordan Kell led the first human mission beyond the solar system. They discovered the ruins of an ancient alien civilization. One alien AI survived, and it revealed to Jordan Kell that an explosion in the black hole at the heart of the Milky Way galaxy has created a wave of deadly radiation, expanding out from the core toward Earth. Unless the human race acts to save itself, all life on Earth will be wiped out. When Kell and his team return to Earth, they find that their world has changed beyond recognition. Not only has a second wave of greenhouse flooding caused sea levels to rise, but society has been changed by the consequences of the climate shift. Few people want to face Jordan Kell’s news. He must convince Earth’s new rulers that the human race is in danger of extinction unless it acts to forestall the death wave coming from the galaxy’s heart.
Young Adult. Michael used to live to game, but the games he was playing have become all too real. Only weeks ago, sinking into the Sleep was fun. The VirtNet combined the most cutting-edge technology and the most sophisticated gaming for a full mind-body experience. And it was Michael’s passion. But now every time Michael sinks, he risks his life. The games are over. The VirtNet has become a world of deadly consequences, and Kaine grows stronger by the day. The Mortality Doctrine, Kaine’s master plan, has nearly been realized, and little by little the line separating the virtual from the real is blurring. If Kaine succeeds, it will mean worldwide cyber domination. And it looks like Michael and his friends are the only ones who can put the monster back in the box, if Michael can figure out who his friends really are.
The outbreak has spread, tearing apart the foundations of society, as implanted tapeworms have turned their human hosts into a seemingly mindless mob. Sal and her family are trapped between bad and worse, and must find a way to compromise between the two sides of their nature before the battle becomes large enough to destroy humanity, and everything that humanity has built, including the chimera. The broken doors are closing. Can Sal make it home?
Agent Samantha Rose has already died once, and knows the exact date she’ll die again. Having taken down a terrorist organization bent on traveling through time to overthrow the government, Sam figured she was done dealing with the unbelievable. Finally out of backwater Alabama, she’s the senior agent in a Florida district, and her life is back on track. Until a scientist is found dead. And then an eco-terrorist. And then a clone of herself, again. As the pieces start to fall together, they paint a picture that seems to defy everything we know about time and physics. But the bodies are all too real, and by partnering up with Agent MacKenzie once more, they might just figure out what’s going on. And when. (Digital)
Suzanne Johnson is the author of the Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series, with a new novella in the Dark Secrets anthology out this month. You can find Suzanne on Facebook and on her website.