Twenty-three science fiction books clamor for your attention this month, including a new edition of David Drake’s Redliners; a collection of pieces exploring and appreciating the work of Poul Anderson; the second volume of the Star Trek oral history The Fifty-Year Mission; and ever so much more!
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.
Highway to Hell (Can You Survive the Zombie Apocalypse #2)—Max Brallier (August 2, Gallery Books)
You’ve probably read your fair share of zombie stories. But this time it’s different. In a horrific and hilarious cross-country road trip (or rather, suicide mission), you must overcome obstacles of every kind to save zombified America from utter collapse. You’re inside your prison cell, waiting to be released. Your name is Jimmy El Camino, and you’re a badass—in fact, you’re a supreme badass. Your mission? Drive your heavily armed 1967 El Camino from New York City to San Francisco in order to save the world. Along the way, you’ll encounter Ring’s Most Wonderful Circus Show; you’ll battle zombies gladiator-style; you’ll be forced to deal with lunatics. And every step of the way, an army of drivers in armored vehicles is hot on your tail—because there is one man, the mayor of New York, who will stop at nothing to keep this apocalypse of the undead alive.
The Swarm (The Second Formic War #1)—Orson Scott Card & Aaron Johnston (August 2, Tor Books)
China has been devastated by the Formic’s initial efforts to eradicate Earth life forms and prepare the ground for their own settlement. The Scouring of China struck fear into the other nations of the planet; that fear blossomed into drastic action when scientists determined that the ship that wreaked such damage was merely a scout ship. a mothership out beyond the Solar System’s Kuiper Belt is heading into the system. Earth has been reorganized for defense. A Hegemon is now responsible for keeping all the formerly warring nations in line, and a Polemarch organized all the military forces of the planet into the new International Fleet. But within, there is an enemy as old as human warfare: ambition and politics. Greed and self-interest. Will Bingwen, Mazer Rackam, Victor Delgado and Lem Juke be able to divert those very human enemies in time to create a weapon that can defend humanity in the inexorable Second Formic War?
Ghosts of War (Virtues of War #2)—Bennett R. Coles (August 2, Titan)
The Terran military has defeated the invading fleet, but the war is far from over. As a covert agent embeds himself on Earth, advanced Centauri technology enables him to pry into the military’s most secure files, accessing secrets that could lead to millions of deaths. Lieutenant Commander Thomas Kane, Lieutenant Katja Emmes, and Sublieutenant Jack Mallory again find themselves at the forefront of the planet’s defenses. Yet terrorism isn’t the only threat they face. Given what they’ve experienced, their greatest challenge may be defeating the memories of war.
Redliners 20th Anniversary Edition—David Drake (August 2, Baen)
A new edition of David Drake’s military science fiction masterpiece, with an all-new introduction by the author! They were the toughest fighters in the galaxy—until they got used up. Major Arthur Farrell and the troops of Strike Force Company C41 had seen too much war with the alien Kalendru. They had too many screaming memories to be fit for combat again, but they were far too dangerous to themselves and others to be returned to civilian life. The bureaucracy that administered human affairs arranged a final mission with the same ruthless efficiency as it conducted the war against the Kalendru. C41 would guard a colony being sent to a hell planet. But when the mission goes horribly wrong, Art Farrell and his troops find their lives on the line as never before, protecting civilians to whom bureaucratic injustice is a new experience, and death in war only a remote possibility. Until now.
Seoul Survivors—Naomi Foyle (August 2, Jo Fletcher Books)
In Seoul Survivors, praised for its “impeccable plotting” by The Guardian, global warming has wreaked havoc on the planet. There is only one safe place to be: in the mountains above Seoul, glamorous Korean-American bioengineer Dr. Kim Da Mi is convinced she has found the perfect solution to save the human race. But her methods are strange and her business partner, Johnny Sandman, is a, unsavory character with many secrets. When impetuous aspiring model Sydney flies to Seoul at the behest of her boyfriend, Johnny Sandman, and meets Dr. Kim Da Mi, she doesn’t know that the scientist is engaged in a secret power struggle with Johnny that will threaten her own life. Seduced by the visionary scientist, Sydney begins helping Kim Da Mi create a new breed of human beings to staff a revolutionary theme park: VirtuWorld. As the Winter Solstice looms, the Internet is rife with rumors that a devastating meteor called Lucifer’s Hammer is heading straight toward Earth. VirtuWorld would be a haven from eco-apocalypse, but its success demands a sacrifice—just whose blood will spill is far from certain until the final pages of this tense cyber-thriller.
Through Fire (Darkship #4)—Sarah A. Hoyt (August 2, Baen)
Against all odds, spaceship mechanic Zen Sienna finds herself in a fairytale palace, being courted by the ruler of vast lands. But when revolution erupts and heads start to roll, Zen finds that the life of a storybook princess is not be all fancy balls and happy endings. Swept up in a whirlwind of fire and blood, Zen must earn her citizenship on Earth and find her place in a world on the brink of revolution.
On to the Asteroid—Travis S. Taylor & Les Johnson (August 2, Baen)
It’s the beginning of a new golden age of space exploration. Finally, humanity is taking the commercialization of space to the next level—mining asteroids. The new gold rush of the commercial space era has begun. Another commercial venture, an attempt to put a hotel on the Moon, is seeking the space tourism gold of the ultra wealthy. And it seems as if the dream of finally sending people to Mars is finally going to happen using a ship propelled by a powerful nuclear rocket. But space travel isn’t cut and dry, and there is nothing routine about it. In order to mine an asteroid the goal is to bring it closer to Earth, but orbital mechanics are tricky and close to Earth proves to be far too close for comfort—with looming destruction from space about to become a grim reality. Now astronauts, scientists, engineers, and people in all the burgeoning space businesses must team together to stop the asteroid before it is too late for humanity and the planet it calls home.
Behind the Throne—K.B. Wagers (August 2, Orbit)
Hail Bristol has made a name for herself in the galaxy for everything except what she was born to do: rule the Indranan Empire. When she is dragged back to her home planet to take her rightful place as the only remaining heir, she finds that trading her ship for a palace is her most dangerous move yet.
Welcome to Deadland—Zachary Tyler Linville (August 9, Nerdist)
A widespread disease has ravaged humanity—symptoms include: animalistic rage, violent outbursts, and a ravenous hunger for human flesh. The few people left are thrust together to fight for their lives. Asher, Wendy, and Rico try to reach an abandoned theme park, hoping for sanctuary. Although fear of the infected is ever-present, the group finds themselves facing some very human concerns, as well as new adversaries. Asher is Wendy’s only friend, and she fears that she’ll lose him if he ever discovers the dark secret she’s been harboring. Reeling from heartbreak, Asher clings to Wendy as he struggles to heal. Rico is a seventeen-year-old rebel used to ditching school and partying all night—but can he outgrow his debauched behavior in order to protect a six-year-old boy who has suddenly fallen under his care? These three will have to overcome their own demons in order to save not only themselves, but the last vestiges of humanity.
The End of the End—Paul Kane, Simon Guerrier & Cavan Scott (August 9, Abaddon)
When the world ended, we tried to rebuild. For years after the Cull, we strove—we fought the slavers and exploiters, we stamped out the crazies, we broke the soil again and farmed like our ancestors. Could it ever be enough? History has broken, the old orders and certainties have lost their hold. Now it seems bad, cruel men will always rise, and chaos will always return. Journal of the Plague Year brought you three tales from the first days of the Cull; now The End of the End revisits old friends, years after their adventures, as they still struggle to shout their defiance against the darkness. Includes Fall Out by Simon Guerrier; Children of the Cull by Cavan Scott; and Flaming Arrow by Paul Kane.
Strays (Primal Age Chronicles #2)—Justin Kassab (August 16, Akashic Books)
Kade and his group of survivors find out the hard way that the end of the world is more populated than they had previously assumed. When two of his friends are captured by a former National Guard detachment in DC, Kade is forced to turn to his greatest enemy for help. But help comes at a price as seeds of distrust are sown through the group, breaking some of the strongest bonds in the family dynamic and threatening to tear the group apart. With new external threats and internal jealousy—not to mention the growing pack of foamers living on the group’s doorstep—the question becomes not just will anyone survive without scars, but will anyone survive at all?
Dancing in Dreamtime—Scott Russell Sanders (August 15, Breakaway Books)
Fans today may be surprised to learn Scott Russell Sanders was previously one of the brightest science-fiction newcomers of the 1980s. In Dancing in Dreamtime, he returns to his roots, exploring both inner and outer space in a speculative collection of short stories. At a time when humankind faces unprecedented, global-scale challenges from climate change, loss of biodiversity, dwindling vital resources, and widespread wars, this collection of planetary tales will strike a poignant chord with the reader. Sanders has created worlds where death tolls rise due to dream deprivation, where animals only exist in mechanical form, and where poisoned air forces people to live in biodomes. Never before has Sanders’s writing been so relevant and never before have the lessons in these stories been so important.
Orbs III: Redemption—Nicholas Sansbury Smith (August 16, Simon451)
With the alien armies growing stronger, Sophie’s biosphere decides to join forces with the team from NTC’s submarine. Using data from a surviving satellite, they discover strange, alien poles at each of the world’s seven highest summits: alien technology that the survivors believe may hold the key to shutting down the alien ships once and for all. But before the two teams can launch an offensive, the biosphere must deal with sabotage from within and a strange nanotechnology that has infected several of the survivors. As tensions rise, Sophie and team must decide whether their new discovery is worth abandoning the biosphere. The more the team learns, the more they realize that Earth may be beyond saving and that salvation may require leaving the planet forever.
Vicarious—Paula Stokes (August 16, Tor Teen)
Young adult. Winter Kim and her sister, Rose, have always been inseparable. Together the two of them survived growing up in a Korean orphanage and being trafficked into the United States. Now they work as digital stunt girls for Rose’s ex-boyfriend, Gideon, engaging in dangerous and enticing activities while recording their neural impulses for his Vicarious Sensory Experiences, or ViSEs. Whether it’s bungee jumping, shark diving, or grinding up against celebrities in the city’s hottest dance clubs, Gideon can make it happen for you—for a price. When Rose disappears and a ViSE recording of her murder is delivered to Gideon, Winter is devastated. But when the clues she uncovers conflict with the digital recordings her sister made, Winter isn’t sure what to believe. To find out what happened to Rose, she’ll have to untangle what’s real from what only seems real, risking her own life in the process.
Multiverse: Exploring the Worlds of Poul Anderson—Greg Bear & Gardner Dozois (August 23, Baen)
A tribute to the late great science fiction icon Poul Anderson, and a wonderful collection of stories by some of the genre’s top writers! Authors include Tad Williams, Terry Brooks, Greg Bear, Raymond Feist, Larry Niven, and Eric Flint. Poul Anderson was one of the seminal figures of 20th century science fiction. Named a Grand Master by the SFWA in 1997, he produced an enormous body of stand-alone novels and series fiction and was equally at home in the fields of heroic fantasy and hard SF. He was a meticulous craftsman and a gifted storyteller, and the impact of his finest work continues, undiminished, to this day. Here is a rousing, all-original anthology that stands both as a significant achievement in its own right and a heartfelt tribute to a remarkable writer and equally remarkable man.
Scavenger of Souls—Joshua David Bellin (August 23, Margaret K. McElderry Books)
Young adult. Querry and the members of Survival Colony 9 have defeated a whole nest of Skaldi, creatures who can impersonate humans even as they destroy them. But now the colony is dangerously low in numbers and supplies. Querry’s mother is in command, and is definitely taking them somewhere—but where? Some secret from her past seems to be driving her relentlessly forward. When they do finally reach their destination, Querry is amazed to discover a whole compound of humans—organized, with plenty of food and equipment. But everything about the colonists is questioned, especially by Mercy, the granddaughter of the compound’s leader. Mercy is as tough a fighter as Querry has ever seen But the more Querry learns about Mercy and the others, the more he realizes that nothing around him is as it seems. And it’s up to Querry to unearth the past and try to save the future in this gripping conclusion to the Survival Colony novels.
Things From Outer Space—Hank Davis, editor (August 23, Baen)
As we all know, in space, no one can hear you scream. Which doesn’t mean that anyone is safe just because they’re standing on the soil of planet Earth, because if a thing from out there drops in, screaming probably won’t save you. Earth has spawned myriad unpleasant life forms which are bad news for humans, ranging in size from the Ebola virus to the great white shark up to the Tyrannosaurus Rex (extinct, fortunately for us)—and that’s just one planet. What even more deadly life forms might the billions of planets in our galaxy have spawned? And suppose the things are intelligent and capable of crossing space and coming here … Considering that very possibility are the masters of science fiction starring in this book, including Robert Silverberg, David Drake, Sarah A. Hoyt, James H. Schmitz, Fritz Leiber, Robert Sheckley, Murray Leinster and John W. Campbell.
Syndicate’s Pawns: A Tale of the Jinxed Thirteenth—Davila LeBlanc (August 23, Harper Voyager Impulse)
A month has passed since the eclectic crew of the Covenant Patrol vessel Jinxed Thirteenth endured a harrowing mission on the abandoned space station of Moria 3 and rescued its sole surviving crew member. During the mission, Moria 3’s deranged AI all but crippled the Jinxed Thirteenth, and the crew is now desperately trying to get it repaired. Waking from millennia of cryo-sleep, Jessie Madison’s worst fears are confirmed. She is the last surviving member of the human race, surrounded by the descendants of mankind in a world she knows nothing about. When the merchant vessel Althena arrives on the scene, its captain offers to sell Captain Morwyn the parts he needs. As guards are lowered on the Jinxed Thirteenth and repairs get underway, it becomes evident that a cunning foe has managed to infiltrate the ship. A deadly game of deception begins to play out, with a sinister foe setting its sights set on capturing Jessie.
The Fifty-Year Mission: The Next 25 Years: From The Next Generation to J. J. Abrams: The Complete, Uncensored, and Unauthorized Oral History of Star Trek—Edward Gross & Mark A. Altman (August 30, Thomas Dunne Books)
Nonfiction. This is the true story behind the making of a television legend. There have been many books written about Star Trek, but never with the unprecedented access, insight and candor of authors Mark A. Altman and Edward Gross. Having covered the franchise for over three decades, they’ve assembled the ultimate guide to a television classic. The Fifty-Year Mission: Volume Two is an incisive, no-holds-barred oral history telling the story of post-Original Series Star Trek, told exclusively by the people who were there, in their own words—sharing the inside scoop they’ve never told before. The Fifty-Year Mission: Volume Two includes the voices of hundreds television and film executives, programmers, writers, creators, and cast, who span from the beloved The Next Generation and subsequent films through its spin-offs: Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and Enterprise, as well J.J. Abrams’ reimagined film series.
High Stakes (Wild Cards #23)—George R.R. Martin, editor (August 30, Tor Books)
After the concluding events of Lowball, Officer Francis Black of Fort Freak, vigilante joker Marcus “The Infamous Black Tongue” Morgan, and ace thief Mollie “Tesseract” Steunenberg get stuck in Talas, Kazahkstan. There, the coldblooded Baba Yaga forces jokers into an illegal fighting ring, but her hidden agenda is much darker: her fighters’ deaths serve to placate a vicious monster from another dimension. When the last line of defense against this world weakens, all hell breaks loose, literally. The Committee in New York sends a team of aces to investigate. One by one, each falls victim to evil forces—including the dark impulses within themselves. Only the perseverance of the most unlikely of heroes has a chance of saving the world before utter chaos erupts on Earth. Edited by George R. R. Martin, High Stakes features the writing talents of Melinda M. Snodgrass, John Jos. Miller, David Anthony Durham, Caroline Spector, Stephen Leigh, and Ian Tregillis.
The Thousandth Floor—Katharine McGee (August 30, HarperCollins)
Young adult. Welcome to Manhattan, 2118. A hundred years in the future, New York is a city of innovation and dreams. But people never change: everyone here wants something … and everyone has something to lose. Leda Cole’s flawless exterior belies a secret addiction. Eris Dodd-Radson’s beautiful, carefree life falls to pieces when a heartbreaking betrayal tears her family apart. Rylin Myers’s job on one of the highest floors sweeps her into a world—and a romance—she never imagined? Watt Bakradi is a tech genius with a secret: he knows everything about everyone. But when he’s hired to spy by an upper-floor girl, he finds himself caught up in a complicated web of lies. And living above everyone else on the thousandth floor is Avery Fuller, the girl genetically designed to be perfect. The girl who seems to have it all—yet is tormented by the one thing she can never have.
Lazarus War: Origin (Lazarus War #3)—Jamie Sawyer (August 30, Orbit)
For someone who has died and come back as many times as Conrad Harris, the nickname Lazarus is well-deserved. His elite military teams are specialists in death—running suicide missions in simulant bodies to combat the alien race known as the Krell. But now the Krell Empire has wreaked such devastation that military command is desperate for a new strategy. And Harris and his team are being sent on a mission that could finally turn the tide of the war.
Purgatory’s Key (Star Trek: Legacies #3)—Dayton Ward & Kevin Dilmore (August 30, Pocket Books)
The conclusion to the epic trilogy that stretches from the earliest voyages of the Starship Enterprise to Captain Kirk’s historic five-year-mission—and from one universe to another—just in time for the milestone 50th anniversary of Star Trek: The Original Series! Eighteen years ago, the Starship Enterprise thwarted an alien invasion from another universe, and Captain Robert April took possession of the interdimensional transfer device that made it possible. Since then, each captain of the Enterprise, from Christopher Pike to James T. Kirk, has guarded this secret with his life. Now, Romulan agents have succeeded in stealing the device and using it to banish Ambassador Sarek and Councillor Gorkon to an unknown realm in the midst of their groundbreaking Federation-Klingon peace negotiations. With time running out as interstellar war looms in one universe—and alien forces marshal in another—will Captain Kirk and his crew preserve the tenuous peace and reclaim the key between the dimensions?