July brings twenty-five new science fiction books, from the best of Ben Bova to The Year’s Best Science Fiction, Star Trek to Star Wars, new series kickoffs and series finales. Jeff and Ann VanderMeer present The Big Book of Science Fiction (it’s truly giant), Chuck Wendig continues his Star Wars: Aftermath trilogy, and Pauline Gedge’s Stargate gets reissued. Your summer reading is definitely here.
Fiction Affliction details releases in science fiction, fantasy, and “genre-benders.” Keep track of them all here. Note: All title summaries are taken and/or summarized from copy provided by the publisher.
Best of Bova: Vol. 2—Ben Bova (July 5, Baen)
Selected stories from Bova’s amazing career at the center of science fiction and space advocacy. He is the creator of the New York Times bestselling Grand Tour science fiction series, a six time Hugo award winner, and past president of the National Space Society. These stories span the five decades of Bova’s incandescent career. Here are tales of star-faring adventure, peril, and drama. Here are journeys into the mind-bending landscapes of virtual worlds and alternate realities. Here you’ll also find stories of humanity’s astounding future on Earth, on Mars and in the Solar System beyond—stories that always get the science right.
The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet—Becky Chambers (July 5, Harper Voyager)
Rosemary Harper doesn’t expect much when she joins the crew of the aging Wayfarer. While the patched-up ship has seen better days, it offers her a bed, a chance to explore the far-off corners of the galaxy, and most importantly, some distance from her past. An introspective young woman who learned early to keep to herself, she’s never met anyone remotely like the ship’s diverse crew. Life aboard the Wayfarer is chaotic and crazy—exactly what Rosemary wants. It’s also about to get extremely dangerous when the crew is offered the job of a lifetime. To survive, Rosemary’s got to learn how to rely on this assortment of oddballs—an experience that teaches her about love and trust, and that having a family isn’t necessarily the worst thing in the universe.
The Year’s Best Science Fiction—Gardner Dozois, editor (July 5, St. Martin’s)
In the new millennium, what secrets lay beyond the far reaches of the universe? What mysteries belie the truths we once held to be self evident? The world of science fiction has long been a porthole into the realities of tomorrow, blurring the line between life and art. Now, in The Year’s Best Science Fiction: Thirty-Third Annual Collection, the very best SF authors explore ideas of a new world. This venerable collection brings together award-winning authors and masters of the field. With an extensive recommended reading guide and a summation of the year in science fiction, this annual compilation of short stories has become the definitive must-read anthology for all science fiction fans and readers interested in breaking into the genre.
Stargate—Pauline Gedge (July 1, Chicago Review)
Reissue. In the earliest years of the history of the universe, the Worldmaker has turned against his creations with unaccountable malice. One by one the ruling sun lords of each solar system have fallen, succumbing to the lure of forbidden knowledge. The terrible punishment for their crime is isolation—the Gates connecting their worlds to the rest of the cosmos are sealed off. Their innocence lost, their civilizations hopelessly corrupted, the immortal sun people are condemned to languish with their subjects in an eternity of solitude. With courageous and often desperate measures the remaining sun lords now prepare themselves and their subjects for a battle unlike any they have ever imagined. First published in 1982 but long out of print, Stargate is destined to be rediscovered and treasured as a major classic of fantasy literature.
The Traveler—David L. Golemon (July 5, St Martin’s)
267,000 BCE. The continent was its own world, untouched by the planet-wide catastrophe that ended the reign of the dinosaurs over sixty-five million years before. A traveler arrives in the jungles of this ancient world who will fight to survive carnivorous creatures in a land never meant for human kind. In another time and in a land far distant, men and women struggle to recover from the loss of so many of their own in a battle. Inside of this Group, Colonel Jack Collins has summoned the best of the best from the most secretive organization in the United States government, The Event Group, to help him in his quest. The new mission is to recover one of their own: to bring home a lost soldier from a world that existed in the distant past.
In the Shadow of Frankenstein: Tales of the Modern Prometheus—Stephen Jones, editor (July 5, Pegasus)
The most infamous doctor of the Gothic Era once again delves into the forbidden secrets of the world, when literature’s most famous creature lives again … Frankenstein. His very name conjures up images of plundered graves, secret laboratories, electrical experiments, and reviving the dead. Within these pages, the maddest doctor of them all and his demented disciples once again delve into the Secrets of Life. Here are collected twenty-four electrifying tales of cursed creation that are guaranteed to spark your interest—with classics from the pulp magazines by Robert Bloch and Manly Wade Wellman, modern masterpieces from Ramsey Campbell, David J. Schow, and R. Chetwynd-Hayes, and new contributions from Graham Masterson, Guy N. Smith, Kim Newman, Paul J. McAuley, Roberta Lannes, Michael Marshall Smith, Nancy Kilpatrick, Brian Mooney and Lisa Morton.
Alliance of Equals (Liaden Universe #19)—Sharon Lee & Steve Miller (July 5, Baen Books)
Beset by the angry remnants of the Department of the Interior, challenged at every turn by opportunists on their new homeworld of Surebleak, and somewhat low on funds, Clan Korval desperately needs to reestablish its position as one of the top trading clans in known space. To this end, Master Trader Shan yos’Galan, aboard Korval’s premier trade ship, Dutiful Passage, is on a mission to establish new business associations and to build a strong primary route that links well with existing Loops and secondary routes. But reestablishing trade and preserving the lives of the few remaining members of the clan aren’t all of Korval’s problems.
The High Ground (Imperials #1)—Melinda Snodgrass (July 5, Titan)
Emperor’s daughter Mercedes is the first woman ever admitted to the High Ground, the elite training academy of the Solar League’s Star Command, and she must graduate if she is to have any hope of taking the throne. Her classmate Tracy has more modest goals—to rise to the rank of captain, and win fame and honor. But a civil war is coming and the political machinations of those who yearn for power threatens the young cadets. In a time of intrigue and alien invasion, they will be tested as they never thought possible.
The Doomed City—Arkady & Boris Sturgatsky (July 1, Chicago Review)
The novel that was Russian science fiction masters Arkady and Boris Strugatsky’s own favorite, The Doomed City was so politically risky that the Strugatsky brothers kept its existence a complete secret even from their best friends for years after its completion. It was only published in Russia in the late 1980s, the last of their works to see publication. It now appears in English in a major new translation by Andrew Bromfield. The Doomed City is set in an experimental city bordered by an abyss on one side and an impossibly high wall on the other. Its sole inhabitants are people who were plucked from Earth’s history and left to govern themselves under conditions established by Mentors whose purpose seems inscrutable. Andrei Voronin, a young astronomer plucked from Leningrad in the 1950s, is a diehard believer in the Experiment, even though he’s now a garbage collector. And as increasingly nightmarish scenarios begin to affect the city, he rises through the political hierarchy, with devastating effect.
Panacea—F. Paul Wilson (July 5, Tor Books)
Medical examiner Laura Hanning has two charred corpses and no answers. Both bear a mysterious tattoo but exhibit no known cause of death. Their only connection to one another is a string of puzzling miracle cures. Her preliminary investigation points to a cult in the possession of the fabled panacea—the substance that can cure all ills—but that’s impossible. Laura finds herself unknowingly enmeshed in an ancient conflict between the secretive keepers of the panacea and the equally secretive and far more deadly group known only as 536, a brotherhood that fervently believes God intended for humanity to suffer, not be cured. A reclusive, terminally ill billionaire hires Laura to research the possibility of the panacea. The billionaire’s own bodyguard, Rick Hayden, a mercenary who isn’t who he pretends to be, has to keep her alive as they race to find the legendary panacea before the agents of 536 can destroy it.
The Cobra War Trilogy—Timothy Zahn (July 5, Baen)
Omnibus. Cobra warriors: technologically enhanced and implanted with an arsenal of covert weaponry to fight against alien foes and evil humans. Three complete novels together for the first time: Cobra Alliance, Cobra Guardian, and Cobra Gamble.
Time Siege—Wesley Chu (July 12, Tor Books)
Having been haunted by the past and enslaved by the present, James Griffin-Mars is taking control of the future. Earth is a toxic, sparsely inhabited wasteland—the perfect hiding place for a fugitive ex-chronman to hide from the authorities. James has allies, scientists he rescued from previous centuries: Elise Kim, who believes she can renew Earth, given time; Grace Priestly, the venerated inventor of time travel herself; Levin, James’s mentor and former pursuer, now disgraced; and the Elfreth, a population of downtrodden humans who want desperately to believe that James and his friends will heal their ailing home world. James also has enemies. They include the full military might of a benighted solar system ruled by corporate greed and a desperate fear of what James will do next.
Arabella of Mars—David D. Levine (July 12, Tor Books)
Since Newton witnessed a bubble rising from his bathtub, mankind has sought the stars. When William III of England commissioned Capt. William Kidd to command the first expedition to Mars in the late 1600s, he proved that space travel was both possible and profitable. Now, one century later, a plantation in a flourishing British colony on Mars is home to Arabella Ashby, a young woman who is perfectly content growing up in the untamed frontier. But days spent working on complex automata with her father or stalking her brother Michael with her Martian nanny is not the proper behavior of an English lady. That is something her mother plans to remedy with a move to an exotic world Arabella has never seen: London, England. However, when events transpire that threaten her home on Mars, Arabella decides that sometimes doing the right thing is far more important than behaving as expected.
Rebellion (Elysium Chronicles #3)—J.A. Souders (July 12, Tor Teen)
Back in Elysium at last, Evie has finally found her true self hidden under layers and layers of false memories implanted by the woman she knew as Mother. Thanks to the intervention of her father, she knows the horrible truth about Mother and her insidious plans for the city. With the help of the love of her life, Gavin, and her best friend, Asher St. James, Evie is determined to free her people from the cruel dictatorship of Mother’s laws. But how do you free people who don’t know they need rescuing? Working with the growing Underground rebellion, Evie tries to remove Mother from her position by force–with disastrous results. As the body count rises, Evie must find a way to save Elysium before Mother destroys them all.
Drowned Worlds—Jonathan Strahan, editor (July 12, Solaris)
The new anthology from multi-award winning editor Jonathan Strahan featuring stories set in futures wracked by the deluge, from some the best writers in SF, including Kim Stanley Robinson, Ken Liu, Paul McAuley, Kathleen Ann Goonan, Charlie Jane Anders, Lavie Tidhar, Jeffrey Ford, and James Morrow. We stand at the beginning of one of the greatest ecological disasters in the time on Man. The world is warming and seas are rising. We may deny it, but we can’t hide when the water comes. And yet where one thing is wiped away, another rises in its place. There has always been romance and adventure in the streets of a drowned London or on gorgeous sailing cities spanning a submerged world, sleek ships exploring as land gets ever rarer. Drowned Worlds looks at the future we might have if the oceans rise, good or bad.
A Symphony of Echoes (Chronicles of St. Mary’s #2)—Jodi Taylor (July 12, Night Shade)
Behind the seemingly innocuous facade of St. Mary’s Institute of Historical Research, a different kind of academic work is taking place. Just don’t call it “time travel”—these historians “investigate major historical events in contemporary time.” And they aren’t your harmless eccentrics either; a more accurate description, as they ricochet around history, might be unintentional disaster-magnets. In the sequel to Just One Damned Thing After Another, Max and company visit Victorian London in search of Jack the Ripper, witness the murder of Archbishop Thomas Becket in Canterbury Cathedral, and discover that dodos make a grockling noise when eating cucumber sandwiches. But they must also confront an enemy intent on destroying St. Mary’s—an enemy willing to destroy history itself to do it.
The Big Book of Science Fiction—Jeff & Anne VanderMeer, editors (July 12, Vintage)
Quite possibly the greatest science fiction collection of all time—past, present, and future! What if life was neverending? What if you could change your body to adapt to an alien ecology? What if the pope were a robot? Spanning galaxies and millennia, this must-have anthology showcases classic contributions from H. G. Wells, Arthur C. Clarke, Octavia E. Butler, and Kurt Vonnegut, alongside a century of the eccentrics, rebels, and visionaries who have inspired generations of readers. Within its pages, you’ll find beloved worlds of space opera, hard SF, cyberpunk, the New Wave, and more. Learn about the secret history of science fiction, from titans of literature who also wrote SF to less well-known authors from more than twenty-five countries, some never before translated into English.
Star Wars: Aftermath: Life Debt (Aftermath #2)—Chuck Wendig (July 12, Del Rey)
The Emperor is dead, and the remnants of his former Empire are in retreat. As the New Republic fights to restore a lasting peace to the galaxy, some dare to imagine new beginnings and new destinies. For Han Solo, that means settling his last outstanding debt by helping Chewbacca liberate the Wookiee’s homeworld of Kashyyyk. Meanwhile, Norra Wexley and her band of Imperial hunters pursue Grand Admiral Rae Sloane and the Empire’s remaining leadership across the galaxy. But the hunt for Sloane is cut short when Norra receives an urgent request from Princess Leia Organa. The attempt to liberate Kashyyyk has carried Han Solo, Chewbacca, and a band of smugglers into an ambush—resulting in Chewie’s capture and Han’s disappearance. Breaking away from their official mission and racing toward the Millennium Falcon’s last known location, Norra and her crew prepare for any challenge that stands between them and their missing comrades. But they can’t anticipate the true depth of the danger that awaits them—or the ruthlessness of the enemy drawing them into his crosshairs.
The Race—Nina Allan (July 19, Titan)
Set in a future Great Britain scarred by fracking and ecological collapse, The Race opens in the coastal town of Sapphire, dominated by the illegal sport of smartdog racing: greyhounds genetically modified with human DNA. For Jenna, the latest Cup meet bears a significance far beyond the simple hunger for victory. Christy’s life is dominated by fear of her brother, a man she knows capable of monstrous acts and suspects of hiding even darker ones. Desperate to learn the truth, she contacts Alex, a stranger she knows only by name. Raised at the Croft, a secret government programme focussing on smartdogs, Maree has to undertake a journey through shipping lanes haunted by the enigmatic and dangerous Atlantic whale. What she discovers en route will change her world forever. The story of four damaged people whose lives are inextricably linked, The Race is a novel of tender nuances, brutality, insight and great ambition.
Flying—Carrie Jones (July 19, Tor Teen)
People have always treated 17-year-old Mana as someone in need of protection. As her mother’s babying gets more stifling than ever, she’s looking forward to cheering at the big game and getting out of the house for a while. But that night, Mana’s life goes haywire. The hot guy she’s been crushing on at school randomly flips out and starts spitting acid during the game. Then they get into a knockdown, drag-out fight in the locker room, during which Mana finds herself leaping around like a kangaroo on steroids. By the time she gets home and finds her house trashed and an alien in the garage, Mana starts to wonder if her mother had her reasons for being overprotective. It turns out, Mana’s frumpy, timid mom is actually an alien hunter, and now she’s missing. Now, on her own for the first time, Mana will have to find a way to save her mother—and maybe the world—and hope she’s up to the challenge.
Orbs II: Stranded—Nicholas Sansbury Smith (July 19, Simon & Schuster/ Simon451)
When one of their own is captured, Dr. Sophie Winston and her team of survivors must exit the safety of their biosphere and fight off the growing horde of aliens. The Organics are still draining the oceans, raising temperatures worldwide, and the few remaining humans have been herded into farms, where the water in their bodies is harvested to support the growing alien army. Humanity’s last chance lies with the biospheres that the mysterious New Tech Corporation has planted across the globe. With resources dwindling, and a new, more terrifying form of alien hunting humans down, not all the biospheres will make it. But there is still hope. In Sophie’s biosphere, her team has managed to create a magnetic weapon that just might give the human resistance a fighting chance—if they can live long enough to use it.
Indomitable (Chronicles of Promise Paen #2)—W.C. Bauers (July 26, Tor Books)
Lieutenant Paen barely survived her last encounter with the Lusitanian Empire. She’s returned home to heal. But the nightmares won’t stop. And she’s got a newly reconstituted unit of green marines to whip into shape before they deploy. Light-years away, a massive vein of rare ore is discovered on the mining planet of Sheol, igniting an arms race and a proxy war between the Republic and the Lusitanians. Paen and Victor Company are ordered to Sheol, to reinforce the planet and hold it at all costs. On the eve of their deployment, a friendly fire incident occurs, putting Paen’s career in jeopardy and stripping her of her command. When the Lusitanians send mercenaries to raid Sheol and destabilize its mining operations, matters reach crisis levels. Disgraced and angry, Promise is offered one shot to get back into her mechsuit. But she’ll have to jump across the galaxy and possibly storm the gates of hell itself.
Paycheck and Other Classic Stories—Philip K. Dick (July 26, Kensington)
Readers worldwide consider Philip K. Dick to have been the greatest science fiction writer on any planet. This collection draws from the writer’s earliest short and medium-length fiction (including several previously unpublished stories), written during the years 1952-1955, and features such fascinating stories as “Paycheck,” “Beyond Lies the Wub,” “The Short Happy Life of the Brown Oxford,” “The Variable Man,” and many others. Here, readers will find Dick’s initial explorations of the themes he so brilliantly brought to life in his later work.
Supernova (Lightless #2)—C. A. Higgins (July 26, Del Rey)
Once Ananke was an experimental military spacecraft. But a rogue computer virus transformed it—her—into something much more: a fully sentient artificial intelligence, with all the power of a god—and all the unstable emotions of a teenager. Althea, the ship’s engineer and the last living human aboard, nearly gave her life to save Ananke from dangerous saboteurs, forging a bond as powerful as that between mother and daughter. Now she devotes herself completely to Ananke’s care. But teaching a thinking, feeling machine—perhaps the most dangerous force in the galaxy—to be human proves a monumental challenge. When Ananke decides to seek out Matthew Gale, the terrorist she regards as her father, Althea learns that some bonds are stronger than mortal minds can understand—or control.
Best Defense (Star Trek Legacies #2)—David Mack (July 26, Pocket)
A debt of honor: One brave woman ventures alone into a parallel universe to save her old shipmates, exiled there decades earlier by a mysterious device called the Transfer Key. She soon learns the alternate universe harbors not just an alien invasion force, but a secret that underpins its very existence. A mission of peace: A long-awaited Klingon-Federation peace conference convenes, led by Ambassador Sarek of Vulcan and Councillor Gorkon of Qo’noS. But both sides have enemies who would prefer the two great powers remain at war—and who will do anything to make certain hate wins the day. An errand of justice: Captain Kirk and his crew seek the stolen Transfer Key that opens a door between universes, but their hunt is cut short by Ambassador Sarek’s plea for help. The Enterprise crew soon becomes targets in a deadly crossfire—one whose outcome will decide the fate of two universes.