Fiction Affliction: September Releases in Science Fiction

Twenty-two new science fiction books take you to the stars and beyond this month, including two nonfiction titles—one about Halo and one about time travel! Cixin Liu’s Death’s End brings his Remembrance of Earth’s Past trilogy to a close, while Kevin J. Anderson winds up his Saga of Shadows. More time traveling hijinks can be found in Jodi Taylor’s third Chronicles of St. Mary’s novel, and if you’d like to go to space, you’ve got more options than we can count on one hand.

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.

 

WEEK ONE

Halo Mythos: A Guide to the Story of Halo—343 Industries (September 6, Bloomsbury)
This official, comprehensive, authoritative guide to the Halo universe, written in collaboration with 343 Industries, the developers of the Halo franchise, marks the first time that a book incorporates the entirety of the Halo canon, including the games, books, comics, live-action and animated entertainment, and more. The book also includes over 50 specially commissioned full-color paintings showcasing vehicles, artificial intelligence, weapons, ships, and never-before-seen aspects of Halo environments. The amazing illustrations come from a variety of renowned illustrators, including Jean-Sébastien Rossbach, Leonid Kozienko, Benjamin Carré, Isaac Hannaford, and 343’s internal art team, too. For the first time ever, the timeline of the Halo universe is available in one place, charting humanity’s battles against alien forces of the Covenant, Forerunners, and the Flood.

Ninth City Burning—J. Patrick Black (September 6, Ace)
We never saw them coming. Entire cities disappeared in the blink of an eye, leaving nothing but dust and rubble. When an alien race came to make Earth theirs, they brought with them a weapon we had no way to fight, a universe-altering force known as thelemity. It seemed nothing could stop it—until we discovered we could wield the power too. Five hundred years later, the Earth is locked in a grinding war of attrition. The talented few capable of bending thelemity to their will are trained in elite military academies, destined for the front lines. Those who refused to support the war have been exiled to the wilds of a ruined Earth. But the enemy’s tactics are changing, and Earth’s defenders are about to discover this centuries-old war has only just begun. As a terrible new onslaught looms, heroes will rise from unlikely quarters, and fight back.

Gates to Future Past (Reunification #2)—Julie Czerneda (September 6, DAW)
Betrayed and attacked, the Clan fled the Trade Pact for Cersi, believing that world their long-lost home. With them went a lone alien, the Human named Jason Morgan, Chosen of their leader, Sira di Sarc. Tragically, their arrival upset the Balance between Cersi’s three sentient species. And so the Clan, with their newfound kin, must flee again. Their starship, powered by the M’hir, follows a course set long ago, for Clan abilities came from an experiment their ancestors conducted on themselves. The Clan must endure more than cramped conditions and inner turmoil. Their dead are Calling. Sira must keep her people from answering, for if they do, they die. Morgan searches the ship for answers, afraid the tech is beyond his grasp. Their only hope? To reach their destination. Little do Sira and Morgan realize their destination holds the gravest threat of all….

The Span of Empire (Jao Empire #3)—Eric Flint & David Carrico (September 6, Baen)
It has become clear to both the Jao and their human and Lleix partners that if they are going to defeat the Ekhat who have been terrorizing the galaxy for eons, they need more allies. To that end, Preceptor Ronz, guardian of Earth and greatest living strategist of the Jao, has harnessed the energy of Earth’s humans to create and send out an exploration fleet under the command of Caitlin Kralik. But after a long search, all the expedition has found are dead worlds and now-extinct intelligent species slaughtered by the genocidal Ekhat. Do they continue to search down the galactic arm in which Earth and the Jao worlds lie, or do they make an astounding leap in another direction? Meanwhile, the Ekhat have not forgotten the Jao, nor the damage they have done over the years to the Ekhat purpose. It’s up to the Jao-human-Lleix confederation and the new allies they make to survive the onslaught and turn the tables on the Ekhat.

dotwav—Mike A. Lancaster (September 6, Sky Pony Press)
Young adult. Fifteen-year-old Ani Lee is a skilled hacker researching a strange .wav file that she’s downloaded when it behaves as no file ever should. Joe Dyson is a seventeen-year-old American transplant recruited into a secret teen division of the British intelligence service who’s looking into the disappearance of a friend caught up in an underground music scene that might be more than it appears. When Ani and Joe’s investigations intertwine, they discover that the .wav file and the music are linked—someone’s embedding the file into tracks to create a mind-controlled teen army. But who’s behind it? And why? And how do you stop a sound?

Invasion—Luke Rhinehart (September 6, Titan)
Super-intelligent furry aliens suddenly appear from another universe. And they’ve come to earth to have fun. “Louie” follows fisherman Billy Morton home one day and he and his family come quickly to love the playful alien. But when Louie starts using their computer to hack into government and corporate networks, and steal millions from banks to give to others, they realize that Louie and his friends mean trouble. Billy, his wife and two sons begin a roller-coaster ride of fame, fortune, jail, death, resurrection, and a distinguished ranking high on the FBI’s “Most Wanted” List. The Government soon decides that all these aliens are terrorists. They must be eliminated. The aliens are playing games they hope will help humans to see the insanity of the American political, economic and military systems. But the Powers that Be don’t play games: they make war.

Women of Futures Past: Classic Stories—Kristine Kathryn Rusch, editor (September 6, Baen)
Meet the Women of Futures Past: from Grand Master Andre Norton and the beloved Anne McCaffrey to some of the most popular SF writers today, such as Lois McMaster Bujold and CJ Cherryh. The most influential writers of multiple generations are found in these pages, delivering lost classics and foundational touchstones that shaped the field. You’ll find Northwest Smith, C.L. Moore’s famous smuggler who predates (and maybe inspired) Han Solo by four decades. Read Leigh Brackett’s fiction and see why George Lucas chose her to write The Empire Strikes Back. Adventure tales, post-apocalyptic visions, space opera, aliens-among-us, time travel—these women have delivered all this and more, some of the best science fiction ever written!

The Ones—Daniel Sweren-Becker (September 6, Imprint)
Young adult. We are not all created equal. Seventeen-year-old Cody and her boyfriend, James, were two of the lucky ones randomly selected before birth to receive genetic engineering. Known as the Ones, this one percent of the population is healthy, beautiful, and talented … and to some that’s not fair. Mounting fear and jealousy of the Ones’ success leads to the creation of the Equality Movement, which quickly gains enough political traction to demote Cody, James, and others like them to second-class citizens. Cody knows even before the brick smashes through her window that it’s going to be bad. As their school, the government, and even family and friends turn against them, Cody begins to believe they have no other choice but to protect their own. She draws closer to a group of radical Ones led by the passionate and fevered Kai, and James begins to question just how far she is willing to go for the cause.

A Second Chance (Chronicles of St. Mary’s #3)—Jodi Taylor (September 6, 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.” The Chronicles of St. Mary’s tells the chaotic adventures of Madeleine Maxwell and her compatriots—Director Bairstow, Leon “Chief” Farrell, Mr. Markham, and many more—as they travel through time, saving St. Mary’s (too often by the very seat of their pants) and thwarting time-travelling terrorists, all the while leaving plenty of time for tea. In A Second Chance, the team confronts a mirror-stealing Isaac Newton and later witnesses how the ancient and bizarre cheese-rolling ceremony in Gloucester can result in CBC: Concussion By Cheese. Finally, Max makes her long-awaited jump to Bronze Age Troy, only for it to end in personal catastrophe. And just when it seems things couldn’t get any worse, it’s back to the Cretaceous Period to confront an old enemy who has nothing to lose.

 

WEEK TWO

Eternity’s Mind (Saga of Shadows #3)—Kevin J. Anderson (September 13, Tor Books)
Two decades after the devastating Elemental War, which nearly destroyed the cosmos, the new Confederation restored peace and profitable commerce among the peoples and worlds of the Spiral Arm. But peace was not to last. The malevolent Klikiss robots soon found an ally in the ancient and near-omnipotent Shana Rei, destructive creatures awakened after millennia of slumber to destroy all sentient life in the universe. The Confederation and the Ildiran Empire fought in every way possible, but the Spiral Arm itself seemed doomed. All across the transportal network, space is tearing apart, the links between the gateways are breaking down, the fabric of space unraveling. The worldtrees are dying, entire planets are englobed in impenetrable black barriers erected by the Shana Rei, and the murderous taint has infiltrated the Ildiran race as well as Mage-Imperator Jora’h himself. Desperate for stardrive fuel to power the military and all space travel, the industrialist Lee Iswander has been extracting ekti—the blood of the cosmos—from mysterious giant nodules found floating in empty space, draining these “bloaters” dry by the thousands. But in doing so, is he weakening the only ally that all of civilization may have against the Shana Rei?

Navigators of Dune (Dune #10)—Brian Herbert & Kevin J. Anderson (September 13, Tor Books)
Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson’s Navigators of Dune is the climactic finale of the Great Schools of Dune trilogy, set 10,000 years before Frank Herbert’s classic Dune. The story tells the origins of the Bene Gesserit Sisterhood and its breeding program, the human-computer Mentats, and the Navigators (the Spacing Guild), as well as a crucial battle for the future of the human race, in which reason faces off against fanaticism. These events have far-reaching consequences that will set the stage for Dune, millennia later.

Gamescape: Overworld—Emma Trevayne (September 13, Greenwillow)
Young adult. In a futuristic version of Earth, society is mostly controlled by a company that produces an addictive virtual reality game called Chimera. Everyone plays Chimera. Defeating the levels is how you earn enough points for clothes, food, even medical enhancements. Miguel Anderson is good at it. In fact, he’s better than anyone he knows. He spends all of his free time playing, hoping to reach Level 25. At Level 25 you can pick any prize you want—and Miguel needs a new biometric heart. When the game runners announce a global competition to launch a new version with untold prizes, Miguel enters and becomes a team leader. That’s new for him—playing on a team. And complicated, as the game becomes a delicate power play between wholly unexpected players.

 

WEEK THREE

The Swan Riders (Prisoners of Peace #2)—Erin Bow (September 20, Margaret K. McElderry)
Young adult. Greta Stuart has become AI. New transmitters have silvered her fingerprints. New receptors have transformed her vision. And the whole of her memory has become one book in a vast library of instant knowledge. Greta is ready to rule the world. But the new technology is also killing her. Greta is only sixteen years old, but her new enhancements are burning through her mortal body at an alarming rate. The leader of the AIs, an ancient and compelling artificial intelligence named Talis, has a plan. Greta can simply do what he’s done when the time comes, and take over the body of one of the Swan Riders, the utterly loyal humans who serve the AIs as part army, part cult. First, Greta will have to find a way to stay sane inside her new self. Talis’s plan for that involves a road trip. Escorted by Swan Riders, Greta and Talis set out on a horseback journey across the strange and not-quite-deserted landscape of Saskatchewan. But there are other people interested in Greta, people who want to change the world … and the Swan Riders might not be as loyal as they appear.

Death’s End (Remembrance of Earth’s Past #3)—Cixin Liu (September 20, Tor Books)
Half a century after the Doomsday Battle, the uneasy balance of Dark Forest Deterrence keeps the Trisolaran invaders at bay. Earth enjoys unprecedented prosperity due to the infusion of Trisolaran knowledge. With human science advancing daily and the Trisolarans adopting Earth culture, it seems that the two civilizations will soon be able to co-exist peacefully as equals without the terrible threat of mutually assured annihilation. But the peace has also made humanity complacent. Cheng Xin, an aerospace engineer from the early 21st century, awakens from hibernation in this new age. She brings with her knowledge of a long-forgotten program dating from the beginning of the Trisolar Crisis, and her very presence may upset the delicate balance between two worlds. Will humanity reach for the stars or die in its cradle?

Zero-G—William Shatner & Jeff Rovin (September 20, Simon & Schuster)
In the year 2050, the United States sends the FBI to govern its space station, the Empyrean. Under the command of former fighter pilot and FBI field agent Samuel Lord, the space based “Zero-G” men are in charge of investigating terrorism, crime, corruption, and espionage beyond the Earth’s atmosphere and of keeping an eye on the rival Chinese and Russian stations. During the Zero-G team’s first days in space, a mysterious and beautiful scientist, Dr. May, shows up to the Empyrean claiming that important research has been stolen from her lab on the moon. Her arrival suspiciously coincides with timing of a tsunami that destroys part of the coast of Japan. Meanwhile, the Chinese space station has gone mysteriously silent. In this gripping space adventure, Director Lord must connect the dots to discover who or what has caused the tsunami as well as subsequent disasters, and how Dr. May and the Chinese might be involved.

 

WEEK FOUR

The Fever Code (Maze Runner #5)—James Dashner (September 27, Delacorte Press)
Young adult. Once there was a world’s end. The forests burned, the lakes and rivers dried up, and the oceans swelled. Then came a plague, and fever spread across the globe. Families died, violence reigned, and man killed man. Next came WICKED, who were looking for an answer. And then they found the perfect boy. The boy’s name was Thomas, and Thomas built a maze. Now there are secrets. There are lies. And there are loyalties history could never have foreseen. A prequel to the worldwide Maze Runner phenomenon, The Fever Code holds all the answers. How did WICKED find the Gladers? Who are Group B? And what side are Thomas and Teresa really on? Lies will be exposed. Secrets will be uncovered. Loyalties will be proven. Fans will never see the truth coming.

Time Travel: A History—James Gleick (September 27, Pantheon)
Nonfiction. Gleick’s story begins at the turn of the twentieth century with the young H. G. Wells writing and rewriting the fantastic tale that became his first book, an international sensation, The Time Machine. A host of forces were converging to transmute the human understanding of time, some philosophical and some technological—the electric telegraph, the steam railroad, the discovery of buried civilizations, and the perfection of clocks. Gleick tracks the evolution of time travel as an idea in the culture—from Marcel Proust to Doctor Who, from Woody Allen to Jorge Luis Borges. He explores the inevitable looping paradoxes and examines the porous boundary between pulp fiction and modern physics. Finally, he delves into a temporal shift that is unsettling our own moment: the instantaneous wired world, with its all-consuming present and vanishing future.

A Night Without Stars (Commonwealth: Chronicle of the Fallers #2)—Peter F. Hamilton (September 27, Del Rey)
After centuries trapped inside the Void, the planet Bienvenido—along with its inhabitants, both human and Faller—has been expelled into normal space. As the two races plunge into mortal conflict for sole possession of the planet, the humans seem destined to lose—despite the assistance of the mysterious Warrior Angel, who possesses forbidden Commonwealth technology. With the Fallers’ numbers growing, and their ability to mimic humans allowing them to infiltrate all levels of society, it’s only a matter of time before they surge to victory. Then, on a routine space flight, Major Ry Evine inadvertently frees a captive vessel that crash-lands on Bienvenido carrying the last, best hope for human survival: a baby. But a far from ordinary one. The child not only ages at a remarkable rate but demonstrates knowledge and abilities far beyond those of Bienvenido’s humans. Hunted by Fallers and humans alike, she is a crucial link to humanity’s lost past—and a glorious future already almost out of reach.

Alien vs. Predator: Armageddon (Rage War #3)—Tim Lebbon (September 27, Titan)
The Rage launch the ultimate assault on the Human Sphere. Their greatest weapons are the most fearsome creatures in the galaxy—the Xenomorphs. Having fled centuries before, the Rage return to take revenge and claim the planet for their own. Now, through a deal struck with the unlikeliest of allies, the human race may rely on the Predators to ensure mankind’s ultimate freedom. Yet even the combined might of the two races may not be enough. The fate of the Earth may rest with a single android—Liliya of the Rage.

The Corporation Wars: Dissidence (Corporation Wars #1)—Ken MacLeod (September 27, Orbit)
Sentient machines work, fight and die in interstellar exploration and conflict for the benefit of their owners—the competing mining corporations of Earth. But sent over hundreds of light-years, commands are late to arrive and often hard to enforce. The machines must make their own decisions, and make them stick. With this new found autonomy come new questions about their masters. The robots want answers. The companies would rather see them dead.

Hell’s Heart (Prey #1)—John Jackson Miller (September 27, Pocket Books)
When Klingon commander Kruge died in combat against James T. Kirk on the Genesis planet back in 2285, he left behind a powerful house in disarray—and a series of ticking time bombs: the Phantom Wing, a secret squadron of advanced Birds-of-Prey; a cabal of loyal officers intent on securing his heritage; and young Korgh, his thwarted would-be heir, willing to wait a Klingon lifetime to enact his vengeance. Now, one hundred years later, while on a diplomatic mission for the United Federation of Planets, Captain Jean-Luc Picard and the crew of the USS Enterprise are snared in the aged Korgh’s trap—and thrust directly in the middle of an ancient conflict. But as Commander Worf soon learns, Korgh may be after far bigger game than anyone imagines, confronting the Federation-Klingon alliance with a crisis unlike any it has ever seen!

The Road to Hell (Hell’s Gate #3)—David Weber & Joelle Presby (September 27, Baen)
The war between magically-gifted Arcana and psionically-talented Sharona continues to rage. The dragon-borne Arcanan assault across five universes has been halted at Fort Salby by a desperate defense, but at atrocious cost. One of those costs was the life of Crown Prince Janaki, heir to the newly created Sharonian Empire, who went knowingly to his death in the tradition expected of the House of Calirath. And another price will be the sacrifice of his younger sister, Grand Imperial Princess Andrin, now heir of Sharona, for the accords creating the Sharonian Empire require the marriage of the heir to the Crown to wed a Uromathian prince. Andrin bears her family’s Talent, the Glimpses, which show flashes of events yet to come. She knows the accords must be secured … and like her brother, she will pay any price, make any sacrifice for her duty to her people. Men and women of honor on both sides must grapple with the terrible costs and deadly secrets of the spreading cataclysm. The stakes are high and the pieces are in motion, but there are factors known not even to the conspirators, and not even a Calirath can Glimpse the final outcome.

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