Thirty-two books take us to space, the future, and beyond in October, including Laurie Penny’s novella Everything Belongs to the Future; E.K. Johnston’s Star Wars: Ahsoka, about the fan-favorite character; and the second Illuminae Files book, Gemina. The month also brings new books from Wesley Chu, Mira Grant, and Walter Jon Williams, so get reading already!
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.
Savant—Nik Abnett (October 4, Solaris)
The Shield is Earth’s only defence. Rendering the planet invisible from space, it keeps humanity safe from alien invasion. The Actives maintain the shield—no one is sure how—but without them, the Shield cannot function. When an Active called Tobe finds himself caught in a probability loop, the Shield is compromised. Soon, Tobe’s malady spreads among the Active. Earth becomes vulnerable. Tobe’s assistant, Metoo, is only interested in his wellbeing. Earth security’s paramount concern is the preservation of the Shield. As Metoo strives to prevent Tobe’s masters from undermining his fragile equilibrium, the global danger escalates. The Shield must be maintained at all costs…
The Rise of Io—Wesley Chu (October 4, Angry Robot)
Ella Patel—thief, con-artist and smuggler—is in the wrong place at the wrong time. One night, on the border of a demilitarized zone run by the body-swapping alien invaders, she happens upon a man and woman being chased by a group of assailants. The man freezes, leaving the woman to fight off five attackers at once, before succumbing. As she dies, to both Ella and the man’s surprise, the sparkling light that rises from the woman enters Ella, instead of the man. She soon realizes she’s been inhabited by Io, a low-ranking Quasing who was involved in some of the worst decisions in history. Now Ella must now help the alien presence to complete her mission and investigate a rash of murders in the border states that maintain the frail peace. With the Prophus assigned to help her seemingly wanting to stab her in the back, and the enemy Genjix hunting her, Ella must also deal with Io’s annoying inferiority complex. To top it all off, Ella thinks the damn alien voice in her head is trying to get her killed. And if you can’t trust the voices in your head, who can you trust?
Into the Guns (America Rising #1)—William Dietz (October 4, Ace)
On May Day, 2018, sixty meteors entered Earth’s atmosphere and exploded around the globe with a force greater than a nuclear blast. Earthquakes and tsunamis followed. Then China attacked Europe, Asia, and the United States in the belief the disaster was an act of war. Washington D.C. was a casualty of the meteor onslaught that decimated the nation’s leadership and left the surviving elements of the armed forces to try and restore order as American society fell apart. As refugees across America band together and engage in open warfare with the military over scarce resources, a select group of individuals representing the surviving corporate structure makes a power play to rebuild the country in a free market image as The New Confederacy…
Remember Yesterday (Forget Tomorrow #2)—Pintip Dunn (October 4, Entangled Teen)
Young adult. Sixteen-year-old Jessa Stone is the most valuable citizen in Eden City. Her psychic abilities could lead to significant scientific discoveries—if only she’d let TechRA study her. But after they kidnapped and experimented on her as a child, cooperating with the scientists is the last thing Jessa would do. But when she discovers the past isn’t what she assumed, Jessa must join forces with budding scientist Tanner Callahan to rectify a fatal mistake made ten years ago. She’ll do anything to change the past and save her sister—even if it means aligning with the enemy she swore to defeat.
The Rift Uprising—Amy S. Foster (October 4, Harper Voyager)
Normal seventeen-year-old girls go to high school, binge watch TV shows all weekend, and flirt with everyone on the face of the Earth. But Ryn Whitaker is trying to save it. Ryn and her fellow Citadels were specially chosen and trained to guard a Rift—one of fourteen unpredictable tears in the fabric of the universe that serve as doorways to alternate Earths. Unbeknownst to her family, Ryn leaves for school each day and then reports for duty as an elite, cybernetically-altered soldier who can run faster, jump farther, and fight better than a Navy SEAL—which comes in handy when she’s not sure if axe-wielding Vikings or any number of other scared and often dangerous beings come through the Rift. But that’s all about to change. When a young man named Ezra is pulled through the Rift, Ryn finds herself immediately drawn to him. What starts as a physical attraction quickly grows deeper, and Ezra’s curiosity throws Ryn off balance when he starts questioning the Rifts, the mysterious organization that oversees them, and the Citadels themselves—questions that lead Ryn to wonder if the lies she’s been telling her family are just the surface of a much bigger lie told to her.
Feedback (Newsflesh #4)—Mira Grant (October 4, Orbit)
We had cured cancer. We had beaten the common cold. But in doing so we unleashed something horrifying and unstoppable. The infection spread leaving those afflicted with a single uncontrollable impulse: FEED. Now, twenty years after the Rising, a team of scrappy underdog reporters relentlessly pursue the facts while competing against the brother-and-sister blog superstars, the Masons. Surrounded by the infected, and facing more insidious forces working in the shadows, they must hit the presidential campaign trail and uncover dangerous truths. Or die trying. Feedback is a full-length Newsflesh novel that overlaps the events of the acclaimed first novel in the series, Feed, and offers a new entry point to this thrilling and treacherous world.
Spare and Found Parts—Sarah Maria Griffin (October 4, Greenwillow)
Young adult. Nell Crane has never held a boy’s hand. In a city devastated by an epidemic, where survivors are all missing parts—an arm, a leg, an eye—Nell has always been an outsider. Her father is the famed scientist who created the biomechanical limbs that everyone now uses. But she’s the only one with her machinery on the inside: her heart. Since the childhood operation, she has ticked. Like a clock, like a bomb. And as her community rebuilds, everyone is expected to contribute to the society’s good . . . but how can Nell live up to her father’s revolutionary ideas when she has none of her own?
Then she finds a lost mannequin’s hand while salvaging on the beach, and inspiration strikes. Can Nell build her own companion in a world that fears advanced technology? The deeper she sinks into this plan, the more she learns about her city—and her father, who is hiding secret experiments of his own.
Fleet Inquisitor—Susan R. Matthew (October 4, Baen Books)
Omnibus. Three critically acclaimed epic science fiction novels together for the first time from the Under Jurisdiction series by John W. Campbell award finalist Susan R. Matthews. This volume includes series entries An Exchange of Hostages, Prisoner of Conscience, and Angel of Destruction. Volume Two, Fleet Renegade, will be followed by the new Under Jurisdiction novel Blood Enemies.
Replica—Lauren Oliver (October 4, HarperCollins)
Young adult. Replica is a “flip book” that contains two narratives in one: Turn the book one way and read Lyra’s story; turn the book over and upside down and read Gemma’s story. The stories can be read separately, one after the other, or in alternating chapters. Lyra’s story begins in the Haven Institute, a building tucked away on a private island off the coast of Florida that from a distance looks serene. In truth, Haven is a clandestine research facility where thousands of replicas, or human models, are born, raised, and observed. When a surprise attack is launched on Haven, two of its young experimental subjects—Lyra, or 24, and the boy known only as 72—manage to escape. Gemma has been in and out of hospitals for as long as she can remember. A lonely teen, her life is circumscribed by home, school, and her best friend, April. But after she is nearly abducted by a stranger claiming to know her, Gemma starts to investigate her family’s past and discovers her father’s mysterious connection to the secretive Haven research facility. Hungry for answers, she travels to Florida, only to stumble upon two replicas and a completely new set of questions.
Way Down Dark—J.P. Smythe (October 4, Quercus)
Seventeen-year-old Chan’s ancestors left a dying Earth hundreds of years ago, in search of a new home. Generations later, they are still searching. Every day aboard the interstellar transport ship Australia is a kind of hell. Fiercely independent and entirely self-sufficient, Chan has learned to keep her head down as much as possible, careful not to draw attention to herself amidst the mayhem. For the Australia is a ship of death, filled with murderous gangs and twisted cults, vying for supremacy in a closed environment with limited resources and no hope. And then one day Chan makes an extraordinary discovery—there may be a way to return the Australia to Earth. But doing so will only bring her to the attention of the fanatics and murderers who control life aboard the ship, putting her and everyone she loves in terrible danger. Is it worth endangering her life and the lives of her few friends and loved ones for an uncertain return to a home world that may be uninhabitable? Especially since to do so she must descend into the deep dark in the bowels of the ship, which is piled high with the bodies and the secrets of the dead …
Impersonations—Walter Jon Williams (Ocotber 4, Tor.com Publishing)
Nebula Award-winning author Walter Jon Williams returns to the sweeping space opera adventure of his Praxis universe with Impersonations, an exciting new novel featuring the hero of Dread Empire’s Fall! Having offended her superiors by winning a battle without permission, Caroline Sula has been posted to the planet Earth, a dismal backwater where careers go to die. But Sula has always been fascinated by Earth history, and she plans to reward herself with a long, happy vacation amid the ancient monuments of humanity’s home world. Sula may be an Earth history buff, but there are aspects of her own history she doesn’t want known. Exposure is threatened when an old acquaintance turns up unexpectedly. Someone seems to be forging evidence that would send her to prison. And all that is before someone tries to kill her. If she’s going to survive, Sula has no choice but to make some history of her own.
Totem (Dystopian Cluster #3)—Darin Bradley (October 11, Underland Press)
Once the capital of a global empire, Aer is now only a global protectorate. One of the eight wonders of the ancient world, Aer is a cradle of civilization, preserved by international aid and foreign interest, primarily Worldview, an international media network. Worldview has wired Aer so thoroughly that subscribers around the world can interact with every facet of daily life in the ancient city. Pinhole lenses and mobile cameras and embedded microphones export the challenges, dramas, and simple joys of Aeri life to those whose donations keep it alive. Because, without them, the Aeri will die.
The Book of the Unnamed Midwife—Meg Elison (October 11, 47North)
When she fell asleep, the world was doomed. When she awoke, it was dead. In the wake of a fever that decimated the earth’s population—killing women and children and making childbirth deadly for the mother and infant—the midwife must pick her way through the bones of the world she once knew to find her place in this dangerous new one. Gone are the pillars of civilization. All that remains is power—and the strong who possess it. A few women like her survived, though they are scarce. Even fewer are safe from the clans of men, who, driven by fear, seek to control those remaining. To preserve her freedom, she dons men’s clothing, goes by false names, and avoids as many people as possible. But as the world continues to grapple with its terrible circumstances, she’ll discover a role greater than chasing a pale imitation of independence. After all, if humanity is to be reborn, someone must be its guide.
Star Wars: Ahsoka—E.K. Johnston (October 11, Disney-Lucasfilm)
Young adult. Fans have long wondered what happened to Ahsoka after she left the Jedi Order near the end of the Clone Wars, and before she re-appeared as the mysterious Rebel operative Fulcrum in Rebels. Finally, her story will begin to be told. Following her experiences with the Jedi and the devastation of Order 66, Ahsoka is unsure she can be part of a larger whole ever again. But her desire to fight the evils of the Empire and protect those who need it will lead her right to Bail Organa, and the Rebel Alliance.
Frost—M.P. Kozlowsky (October 11, Scholastic)
Young adult. 16-year-old Frost understands why she’s spent her entire life in an abandoned apartment building. The ruined streets below are hunting grounds for rogue robots and Eaters. She understands why she’s never met a human besides her father. She even understands why he forbids her to look for medicine for her dying pet. But the thing is, it’s not her real father giving the orders. It’s his memories. Before he died, Frost’s father uploaded his consciousness into their robot servant. But the technology malfunctioned, and now her father fades in and out. So when Frost learns that there might be medicine on the other side of the ravaged city, she embarks on a dangerous journey to save the only living creature she loves. With only a robot as a companion, Frost must face terrors of all sorts, from outrunning the vicious Eaters … to talking to the first boy she’s ever set eyes on. But can a girl who’s only seen the world through books and dusty windows survive on her own?
The Promise of the Child (Amaranthine Spectrum #1)—Tom Toner (October 11, Night Shade)
It is the 147th century. In the radically advanced post-human worlds of the Amaranthine Firmament, there is a contender to the Immortal throne: Aaron the Long-Life, the Pretender, a man who is not quite a man. In the barbarous hominid kingdoms of the Prism Investiture, where life is short, cheap, and dangerous, an invention is born that will become the Firmament’s most closely kept secret. Lycaste, a lovesick reclusive outcast for an unspeakable crime, must journey through the Provinces, braving the grotesques of an ancient, decadent world to find his salvation. Sotiris, grieving the loss of his sister and awaiting the madness of old age, must relive his twelve thousand years of life to stop the man determined to become Emperor. Ghaldezuel, knight of the stars, must plunder the rarest treasure in the Firmament—the object the Pretender will stop at nothing to obtain.
The Walking Dead: Search and Destroy—Jay Bonansinga (October 18, Thomas Dunne Books)
For one brief moment, it seems Lilly and her plague-weary band of survivors might just engineer a better tomorrow. Banding together with other small town settlements, they begin a massive project to refurbish the railroad between Woodbury and Atlanta. The safer travel will begin a new post-apocalyptic era of trade, progress, and democracy. Little do they know, however, that trouble is brewing back home. Out of nowhere, a brutal new faction has attacked Woodbury while Lilly and the others have been off repairing the railroad. Now the barricades are burning. Adults have been murdered, children kidnapped. But why? Why subject innocent survivors to such a random, unprovoked assault? Lilly Caul and her ragtag posse of rescuers will soon discover the chilling answers to these questions and more as they launch a desperate mission to save the kidnapped children. And as always, the walkers will prove to be the least of Lilly’s problems. It’s what the human adversaries have in store for her that will provide Lilly’s greatest challenge yet.
The Rains—Gregg Hurwitz (October 18, Tor Teen)
Young adult. The first young adult page-turner from New York Times bestselling author Gregg Hurwitz. In one terrifying night, the peaceful community of Creek’s Cause turns into a war zone. No one under the age of eighteen is safe. Chance Rain and his older brother, Patrick, have already fended off multiple attacks from infected adults by the time they arrive at the school where other young survivors are hiding. Most of the kids they know have been dragged away by once-trusted adults who are now ferocious, inhuman beings. The parasite that transformed them takes hold after people turn eighteen–and Patrick’s birthday is only a few days away. Determined to save Patrick’s life and the lives of the remaining kids, the brothers embark on a mission to uncover the truth about the parasites–and what they find is horrifying. Battling an enemy not of this earth, Chance and Patrick become humanity’s only hope for salvation.
Gemina (Illuminae Files #2)—Jay Kristoff & Amie Kaufman (October 18, Knopf Books for Young Readers)
Young adult. Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter; Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. While the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy’s most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion. When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station’s wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival; the fate of everyone on the Hypatia—and possibly the known universe—is in their hands. But relax. They’ve totally got this. They hope.
Exploded View—Sam McPheeters (October 18, Talos)
It’s 2050, and LAPD Detective Terri Pastuzka has drawn the short straw with her first assignment of the new decade. Someone has executed one of the city’s countless immigrants, and no one (besides the usual besieged advocacy groups) seems to much care. Even Terri herself is already looking ahead to her next case before an unexpected development reveals there’s far more to this corpse than meets the eye. And a lot already meets the eye. In a city immersed in augmented reality, the LAPD have their own superior network of high-tech eyewear—PanOpts, the ultimate panopticon—allowing Terri instant access to files and suspects and literal insertion into the crime scene using security footage captured from every angle the day the murder occurred. What started as a single homicide turns into a string of unsolved murders that tie together in frightening ways, leading Terri down a rabbit hole through Los Angeles’s conflicting realities—augmented and virtual, fantastically rumored and harrowingly true—towards an impossible conclusion.
Everything Belongs to the Future—Laurie Penny (October 18, Tor.com Publishing)
Time is a weapon wielded by the rich, who have excess of it, against the rest, who must trade every breath of it against the promise of another day’s food and shelter. What kind of world have we made, where human beings can live centuries if only they can afford the fix? What kind of creatures have we become? The same as we always were, but keener. In the ancient heart of Oxford University, the ultra-rich celebrate their vastly extended lifespans. But a few surprises are in store for them. From Nina and Alex, Margo and Fidget, scruffy anarchists sharing living space with an ever-shifting cast of crusty punks and lost kids. And also from the scientist who invented the longevity treatment in the first place. Everything Belongs to the Future is a bloody-minded tale of time, betrayal, desperation, and hope that could only have been told by the inimitable Laurie Penny.
The Mammoth Book of Kaiju—Sean Wallace, editor (October 18, Prime)
Giant monsters whose every roar and footstep shakes the earth, whose simple stroll through a city wreaks havoc: KAIJU! Though humankind has never really seen such monsters, we tremble at the thought of them and love to shiver as their screen versions make mayhem. Now, for the first time, a definitive anthology that gathers a wide range of larger-than-life short fiction with creatures that run a gargantuan gamut: the stealthy gabbleduck of Neal Asher’s Polity universe; Gary McMahon’s huge sea-born terror; An Owomoyela’s incredibly tall alien invaders; Frank Wu’s city-razing, eighty-foot-high, fire-breathing lizard; Lavie Tidhar’s titanic ship-devouring monstrosity; a really big Midwest US smackdown related by Jeremiah Tolbert … and many more mega-monster stories to feed your need for killer kaiju!
Boy Robot—Simon Curtis (October 25, Simon Pulse)
Young adult. There once was a boy who was made, not created. In a single night, Isaak’s life changed forever: His adoptive parents were killed, a mysterious girl saved him from a team of soldiers, and he learned of his own dark and destructive origin. An origin he doesn’t want to believe, but one he cannot deny. Isaak is a Robot: a government-made synthetic human, produced as a weapon and now hunted, marked for termination. He and the Robots can only find asylum with the Underground—a secret network of Robots and humans working together to ensure a coexistent future. To be protected by the Underground, Isaak will have to make it there first. But with a deadly military force tasked to find him at any cost, his odds are less than favorable. Now Isaak must decide whether to hold on to his humanity and face possible death…or to embrace his true nature in order to survive, at the risk of becoming the weapon he was made to be.
Altered Starscape (Andromedan Dark #1)—Ian Douglas (October 25, Harper Voyager)
2162. Thirty-eight years after first contact, Lord Commander Grayson St. Clair leads the Tellus Ad Astra on an unprecedented expedition to the Galactic Core, carrying more than a million scientists, diplomats, soldiers, and AIs. Despite his reservations about their alien hosts, St. Clair is deeply committed to his people—especially after they’re sucked into a black hole and spat out four billion years in the future. Civilizations have risen and fallen. The Andromeda Galaxy is drifting into the Milky Way. And Earth is most certainly a distant memory. All that matters now is survival. But as the ship’s Marines search for allies amid ancient ruins and strange new planetary structures, St. Clair must wrap his mind around an enemy capable of harnessing a weapon of incomprehensible power: space itself.
Cloak of War (The Empress Game #2)—Rhonda Mason (October 25, Titan Books)
The bloody tournament to determine the new empress of the intergalactic empire may be over, but for exiled princess Kayla Reinumon, the battle is just beginning. To free her home planet from occupation, Kayla must infiltrate the highest reaches of imperial power. But when a deadly nanovirus threatens to ravage the empire, it will take more than diplomacy to protect her homeworld from all-out war.
Weird Space: The Star of the Sea—Una McCormack (October 25, Abaddon)
Its name is Stella Maris, the “star of the sea,” a small world beyond the edge of the human Expansion, where a few men and women—Vetch and human alike—have made their homes. Fleeing persecution or oppression on their own worlds, here they have found peace and plenty, in communion with the otherworldly Weird. A few weeks ago, that harmony was threatened: Delia Walker came seeking hope for the future, hunted by her enemies in the Expansion, and went into the portal. Now, impossibly, her daughter has walked out, a grown woman, and demanded passage to the Expansion’s capital. As more ships land on Stella Maris, bringing an end to the quiet obscurity the settlers have long cherished, a desperate race to carry Cassandra Walker to her destiny, and a resistance against those who would exploit Stella Maris for their own ends.
Faller—Will McIntosh (October 25, Tor Books)
Day One: No one can remember anything—who they are, family and friends, or even how to read. Reality has fragmented and Earth consists of an islands of rock floating in an endless sky. Food, water, electricity—gone, except for what people can find, and they can’t find much. Faller’s pockets contain tantalizing clues: a photo of himself and a woman he can’t remember, a toy solider with a parachute, and a mysterious map drawn in blood. With only these materials as a guide, he makes a leap of faith from the edge of the world to find the woman and set things right. He encounters other floating islands, impossible replicas of himself and others, and learns that one man hates him enough to take revenge for actions Faller can’t even remember.
The Jackal’s Trick (Star Trek: Prey #2)—John Jackson Miller (October 25, Pocket)
The Klingon-Federation alliance is in peril as never before. Lord Korgh has seized control of the House of Kruge, executing a plot one hundred years in the making. The Klingon cult known as the Unsung rampages across the stars, striking from the shadows in their cloaked Birds-of-Prey. And the mysterious figure known as Buxtus Cross launches a scheme that will transform the Klingon Empire forever. Into danger flies Admiral William T. Riker and the USS Titan, charged with protecting the peace forged nearly a century before during the Khitomer Accords. Aided by Captain Jean-Luc Picard and the USS Enterprise, Riker and his officers scour the stars, seeking to find the Unsung and uncover the truth behind the conspiracy before time runs out. Yet even as Commander Worf departs on a deeply personal mission of honor, hidden sinister forces seek to turn the crisis to their advantage.
Wandering Star (Zodiac #2)—Romina Russell (October 25, Razorbill)
Young adult. Orphaned, disgraced, and stripped of her title, Rho is ready to live life quietly as an aid worker in the Cancrian refugee camp on House Capricorn. But news has spread that the Marad—a group of unbalanced Risers determined to overturn harmony in the Galaxy—could strike any House at any moment. Then, unwelcome nightmare that he is, Ochus appears to Rho, bearing a cryptic message that leaves her with no choice but to fight. Now Rho must embark on a high-stakes journey through an all-new set of Houses, where she discovers that there’s much more to her Galaxy—and to herself—than she could have ever imagined. And just when Rho has started to come to terms with the pain of losing Mathias, the stars deliver their most shocking surprise yet.
Kris Longknife: Bold (Kris Longknife #14)—Mike Shepherd (October 25, Ace)
Despite her role as a fleet admiral and protector of a planetary system, Kris is still beholden to her great grandfather King Raymond’s commands. She has been personally selected for a mission that, should she succeed, will save millions of lives. The Peterwald Empire is in the midst of civil war. On one side is the tyrannical Empress, on the other is the last person Kris ever wants to see again—Grand Duchess Vicky Peterwald. Due to their shared history, the Emperor believes Kris can mediate between the factions and bring about peace. But before Kris even begins her mission, she survives multiple assassination attempts on her family home world. Someone doesn’t want her interfering in the Empire’s affairs. Kris immediately suspects Vicky or the Empress, only to learn that it could also be a traitor among her own people…
This Way to the End Times: Classic Tales of the Apocalypse—Robert Silverberg, editor (October 25, Three Rooms Press)
From little-known, brilliant tales by sci-fi legends Jules Vernes and Olaf Stapledon, to intense short works by sci-fi masters Ursula K. Le Guin, Connie Willis, Jack Vance, and Brian W. Aldiss, to haunting works by contemporary authors Dale Bailey, Alvaro Zinos-Amaro, Karen Haber and Megan Arkenberg, This Way to the End Times paves the road to the fantastical future, alternating humor with grit and hope with ghastly post apocalyptic visions. Guest editor Robert Silverberg—beloved sci-fi master—hand-picked each story, and offers an introduction to each, as well as an introduction to the anthology as a whole.
Bionic—Suzanne Weyn (October 25, Scholastic)
Young adult. Mira has always almost had it all … until it all crashes and burns. She’s hurt in a horrible car accident, and the only way the doctors can help is to try experimental prosthetics and chips that are implanted directly into her brain. It’s a huge risk, but after months of testing and therapy, Mira is back, and better than ever. But soon her friends turn against her as their parents call her on unfair advantages and get her cut from lacrosse and the scholarships she was depending on for college. And with her enhanced hearing, she knows how many people in her school and her town are calling her a robot, a cyborg. Is that true? Is Mira human, or is she somehow something other? How can she overcome the ways people see her and just be herself … especially if she’s not really sure who that is anymore?