Fiction Affliction: November Releases in Science Fiction

Forty new science fiction books have release dates in November! Where to start? Well, there’s Ken Liu’s anthology of Chinese SF; three reissued Doctor Who stories; John Crowley’s version of The Chemical Wedding; Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel, which will surely be full of hints about next month’s Star Wars spin-off film. And that’s just for starters! There’s a little bit of everything—anthologies, series titles, standalones—in this month’s books.

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

The Burning Light—Bradley P. Beaulieu & Rob Ziegler (November 1, Tor.com Publishing)
Disgraced government operative Colonel Chu is exiled to the flooded relic of New York City. Something called the Light has hit the streets like an epidemic, leavings its users strung out and disconnected from the mind-network humanity relies on. Chu has lost everything she cares about to the Light. She’ll end the threat or die trying. A former corporate pilot who controlled a thousand ships with her mind, Zola looks like just another Light-junkie living hand to mouth on the edge of society. She’s special though. As much as she needs the Light, the Light needs her too. But, Chu is getting close and Zola can’t hide forever. The Burning Light is a thrilling and all-too believable science fiction novella from Bradley P. Beaulieu and Rob Ziegler, the authors of Twelve Kings in Sharakhai and Seed.

The Operative (San Angeles #2)—Gerald Brandt (November 1, DAW)
Kris Merrill was a survivor. She’d lost her parents as a young girl, and she’d lived on the streets of San Angeles, finding refuge in the lowest level of the city. When she got the chance, Kris found a room to rent on Level 2, earning a precarious living as a motorcycle messenger, a courier delivering sensitive materials the megacorporations would not trust to any method that could be hacked. A year ago, Kris’s life changed irrevocably when a delivery went terribly wrong, and she was targeted for termination by a powerful megaconglomerate, the Meridian corporation. Salvation came in the form of Ian Miller, who rescued Kris from certain death, recruiting her for the underground resistance group of which he was a part. Since then, Kris has been hidden with the resistance, training to become an operative. Just as her training with the anti-corporate movement is nearing its end, their compound is destroyed by surprise attack. Ready or not, Kris and the other trainees are recalled to the dangerous metropolis of San Angeles. But their transport is shot down and Ian, the man she loves, is captured. Someone, it seems, is using him to get to Kris. With the help of a retired operative with PTSD, and the mysterious man who fled the scene when Kris’s parents were killed, Kris searches for any sign of Ian. As the corporations battle civil unrest—and each other—the city slowly shuts down. Kris and San Angeles are running out of time….

Willful Child: Wrath of Betty (Willful Child #2)—Steven Erikson (November 1, Tor Books)
These are the voyages of the starship A.S.F. Willful Child. Its ongoing mission: to seek out strange new worlds on which to plant the Terran flag, to subjugate and if necessary obliterate new life-forms, to boldly blow the… And so we join the not-terribly-bright but exceedingly cock-sure Captain Hadrian Sawback and his motley crew on board the starship Willful Child. The New York Times bestselling author of the acclaimed Malazan Book of the Fallen series has taken his lifelong passion for Star Trek and transformed it into a smart, inventive, and hugely entertaining spoof on the whole mankind-exploring-space-for-the-good-of-all-species-but-trashing-stuff-with-a-lot-of-high-tech-gadgets-along-the-way, overblown adventure. The result is a science fiction novel that deftly parodies the genre while also paying fond homage to it.

A Million Worlds With You (Firebird #3)—Claudia Gray (November 1, HarperTeen)
Young adult. Ever since she used the Firebird, her parent’s invention, to cross through alternate dimensions, Marguerite has been at the center of a cross-dimensional feud. Now she has learned that the evil Triad Corporation plans to destroy hundreds of universes, using their ultimate weapon: another dimension’s Marguerite who is wicked, psychologically twisted, and always one step ahead. Even though her boyfriend Paul has always been at Marguerite’s side, the Triad’s last attack has left him a changed man, and he may never be the same again. Marguerite alone must stop Triad and prevent the destruction of the multiverse. It’s a battle of the Marguerites … and only one can win. In the epic conclusion to the sweeping series that kicked off with A Thousand Pieces of You, fate and family will be questioned, loves will be won and lost, and the multiverse will be forever changed.

The Diabolic—S.J. Kincaid (November 1, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)
Young adult. A Diabolic is ruthless. A Diabolic is powerful. A Diabolic has a single task: Kill in order to protect the person you’ve been created for. Nemesis is a Diabolic, a humanoid teenager created to protect a galactic senator’s daughter, Sidonia. The two have grown up side by side, but are in no way sisters. Nemesis would give her life for Sidonia. She would also take as many lives as necessary to keep Sidonia safe. When the power-mad Emperor learns Sidonia’s father is participating in a rebellion, he summons Sidonia to the Galactic court to serve as a hostage. Now, there is only one way for Nemesis to protect Sidonia. She must become her. Disguised as  Sidonia, Nemesis travels to the court disguised as Sidonia—a nest of vipers with threats on every side. Nemesis must keep her true abilities a secret or risk everything. As the Empire begins to fracture and rebellion looms closer, Nemesis learns there is something more to her than just deadly force. She finds a humanity truer than what she encounters from most humans. Amidst all the danger, action, and intrigue, her humanity just might be the thing that saves her life—and the empire.

Invisible Planets—Ken Liu, editor & translator (November 1, Tor Books)
Readers at Tor and around the SF world have recently become familiar with Ken Liu and his Chinese translation work via the bestselling and award nominated novel The Three-Body Problem, by acclaimed Chinese author Cixin Liu. Readers who have developed a taste and excitement for Chinese SF by these means will be excited to hear that Ken Liu, the translator of that volume, is assembling, translating, and editing an anthology of Chinese science fiction short stories. The thirteen stories in this collection are a strong and diverse representation of Chinese science fiction, including two by Liu Cixin. Some have won awards in translation, some have garnered serious critical acclaim, some have been selected for Year’s Best anthologies, and some are simply Ken Liu’s personal favorites. To round out the collection, there are several essays from Chinese scholars and authors, plus an illuminating introduction by Ken Liu.

Doctor Who and the Zarbi—Bill Strutton (November 1, BBC Books)
Reissue. The first Doctor is trapped on Vortis by the Zarbi, in a new facsimile edition of the long-out-of-print original 1960s edition. The Zarbi, huge ant-like creatures with metallic bodies and pincer claws, are waiting for TARDIS when it materializes on the cold and craggy planet Vortis. They capture the Doctor, Ian, and Vicki and take them to their weird headquarters, a city of web-like organic matter. In the final thrilling chapters, the Doctor and his crew encounter the power which controls both the Zarbi and the living Web City. How can they defeat this strange bladder of dazzling light which draws in and absorbs all who come into its presence?

Shadow of Victory (Honor Harrington #19)—David Weber (November 1, Baen Books)
Sometimes things don’t work out exactly as planned. The Mesan Alignment has a plan—one it’s been working on for centuries. A plan to remake the galaxy and genetically improve the human race—its way. Until recently, things have gone pretty much as scheduled, but then the Alignment hit a minor bump in the road called the Star Empire of Manticore. So the Alignment engineered a war between the Solarian League, the biggest and most formidable interstellar power in human history. To help push things along, the Alignment launched a devastating sneak attack which destroyed the Royal Manticoran Navy’s industrial infrastructure. And in order to undercut Manticore’s galaxy-wide reputation as a star nation of its word, it launched Operation Janus—a false-flag covert operation to encourage rebellions it knows will fail by promising Manticoran support. The twin purposes are to harden Solarian determination to destroy the Star Empire once and for all, and to devastate the Star Empire’s reputation with the rest of the galaxy. But even the best laid plans can have unintended consequences, and one of those consequences in this case may just be a new dawn of freedom for oppressed star nations everywhere.

Doctor Who and the Crusaders—David Whitaker (November 1, BBC Books)
Reissue. The first Doctor meets Richard the Lionheart in the Third Crusade, in a new fascimile edition of the long out-of-print original 1960s edition. When Barbara is captured by the Saracens and later kidnapped by the monstrous El Akir, Ian appeals to Richard for help, but despite having achieved a splendid victory over Saladin at Arauf the English King has his own troubles and cannot assit. So Ian sets out to rescue Barbara alone while the Doctor becomes involves in the intrigues of the English court.

Doctor Who and the Daleks—David Whitaker (November 1, BBC Books)
Reissue. The first Doctor, his first encounter with the Daleks, in a new facsimile edition of the long-out-of-print original 1960s edition. A thick fog and a girl in distress are just the things that Ian Chesterton needs to escape from a life of dull routine. He has no idea that this is merely a prelude to an advernture quite beyond any normal conception of the word. Both he and the girl he tries to help, Barbara Wright, are transported to a distant planet named Skaro by a mysterious old man known to them as the Doctor. With his grand-daughter Susan, the Doctor sets them down in a world all but destroyed by atomic warfare, the only survivors being a peace-loving and cultured people called the Thals and their bitter enemies the Daleks, horribly mutated both in body and mind.

 

WEEK TWO

Remnants of Trust (Central Corps #2)—Elizabeth Bonesteel (November 8, Harper Voyager)
Six weeks ago, Commander Elena Shaw and Captain Greg Foster were court-martialed for their role in an event Central Gov denies ever happened. Yet instead of a dishonorable discharge or time in a military prison, Shaw and Foster and are now back together on Galileo. As punishment, they’ve been assigned to patrol the nearly empty space of the Third Sector. But their mundane mission quickly turns treacherous when the Galileo picks up a distress call: Exeter, a sister ship, is under attack from raiders. A PSI generation ship—the same one that recently broke off negotiations with Foster—is also in the sector and joins in the desperate battle that leaves ninety-seven of Exeter’s crew dead. An investigation of the disaster points to sabotage. And Exeter is only the beginning. When the PSI ship and Galileo suffer their own “accidents,” it becomes clear that someone is willing to set off a war in the Third Sector to keep their secrets, and the clues point to the highest echelons of power … and deep into Shaw’s past.

The Mad Scientist’s Daughter—Cassandra Rose Clarke (November 8, Saga Press)
When Cat Novak was a young girl, her father brought Finn, an experimental android, to their isolated home. A billion-dollar construct, Finn looks and acts human, but he has no desire to be one. He was programmed to assist his owners, and performs his duties to perfection. His primary task now is to tutor Cat. Finn stays with her, becoming her constant companion and friend as she grows into adulthood. But when the government grants rights to the ever-increasing robot population, Finn struggles to find his place in the world. As their relationship goes further than anyone intended, they have to face the threat of being separated forever.

The Infinity of You and Me—J.Q. Coyle (November 8, St. Martin’s Griffin)
Young adult. Almost fifteen, Alicia is smart and funny with a deep connection to the poet Sylvia Plath, but she’s ultimately failing at life. With a laundry list of diagnoses, she hallucinates different worlds—strange, decaying, otherworldly yet undeniably real worlds that are completely unlike her own with her single mom and one true friend. In one particularly vivid hallucination, Alicia is drawn to a boy her own age named Jax who’s trapped in a dying universe. Days later, her long-lost father shows up at her birthday party, telling her that the hallucinations aren’t hallucinations, but real worlds; she and Jax are bound by a strange past and intertwining present. This leads her on a journey to find out who she is while trying to save the people and worlds she loves.

The Door That Led to Where—Sally Gardner (November 8, Delacorte Press)
Young adult. AJ Flynn has just failed all but one of his major exams, and at almost seventeen years old, he sees a future that’s far from rosy. So when he’s offered a junior clerk position at a London law firm, he hopes his life is about to change—and it does, but he could never have imagined how much. While on the job, AJ finds an old key labeled with his birth date, and he’s determined to find the door it will open. When he does just that, AJ and his group of scrappy friends begin a series of amazing journeys to the past—1830, to be exact. And they quickly realize that hardship, treachery, and love haven’t changed too much in almost two hundred years. When they discover a crime that only they can solve, the boys go from wayward youths to intrepid young men with a purpose in life. But with enemies all around, can they unravel the mysteries of the past before the past unravels them?

Cyber World: Tales of Humanity’s Tomorrow—Jason Heller & Joshu Viola, editors (November 8, Hex)
Cybernetics. Neuroscience. Nanotechnology. Genetic engineering. Hacktivism. Transhumanism. The world of tomorrow is already here, and the technological changes we all face have inspired a new wave of stories to address our fears, hopes, dreams, and desires as Homo sapiens evolve—or not—into their next incarnation. Cyber World presents diverse tales of humanity’s tomorrow, as told by some of today’s most gripping science fiction visionaries. Includes stories by Nisi Shawl, Alyssa Wong, Saladin Ahmed, Paolo Bacigalupi, and many more.

Jeroun—Zachary Jernigan (November 8, Night Shade)
Omnibus. Collected in a single omnibus edition, both novels set in Zachary Jernigan’s critically-acclaimed, genre-bending world of fierce sensuality, dangerous alchemy, and awakening gods. The Needle extends over the heads of all who live upon Jeroun. Composed of iron spheres massive enough to affect the tides, it is the god Adrash’s ultimatum to the people on the planet below: Prove yourselves worthy, or be destroyed. Vedas is a member of the Black Suits, an order of men and women who show their opposition to Adrash by staging battles in the streets. After witnessing the death of a child in his care, knowing himself to be responsible, he sets off on a journey to the decennial fighting tournament in Danoor. Traveling with him across the continent are Churls, a mercenary haunted by the ghost of her daughter, and Berun, a constructed man possessed by the soul of his creator. Both come to understand that Vedas’s victory would start an all-out religious war. Unbeknownst to these three travelers, the aristocratic outbound mage Ebn and her protégé Pol use powerful alchemy to travel into space. Their plan: engage Adrash in ways that threaten to bring the god’s wrath down upon the world. Meanwhile, one of the world’s deepest secrets is gradually revealed. A madman, insisting he is the link to an ancient world, a pantheon of forgotten gods, offers the most tempting lie of all… Hope. Jeroun collects the two novels No Return and Shower of Stones in a single new omnibus edition.

After Atlas (Planetfall #2)—Emma Newman (November 8, Ace)
Gov-corp detective Carlos Moreno was only a baby when Atlas left Earth to seek truth among the stars. But in that moment, the course of Carlos’s entire life changed. Atlas is what took his mother away; what made his father lose hope; what led Alejandro Casales, leader of the religious cult known as the Circle, to his door. And now, on the eve of the fortieth anniversary of Atlas’s departure, it’s got something to do why Casales was found dead in his hotel room—and why Carlos is the man in charge of the investigation. To figure out who killed one of the most powerful men on Earth, Carlos is supposed to put aside his personal history. But the deeper he delves into the case, the more he realizes that escaping the past is not so easy. There’s more to Casales’s death than meets the eye, and something much more sinister to the legacy of Atlas than anyone realizes…

The Calorum Wars—Dennis O’Flaherty (November 8, Night Shade)
A quick-witted Irish safecracker juggles alchemy and automatons in the action-packed follow-up to the nineteenth-century United States steampunk adventure, King of the Cracksmen. Liam McCool, the premier safecracker in 1877 New York, isn’t the type to hang around fairy circles on the Celtic day of the dead. But an invitation from his Gram leaves the “King of the Cracksmen” possessed by the spirit of Finn McCool, the great hunter-warrior of ancient Ireland and a mighty magical force. Just in time, too. Edwin Stanton, once Lincoln’s Secretary of War but now a self-proclaimed dictator, has restored slavery in the United States, and conscripted every able-bodied white male to fight in the war he’s waging against Little Russia, made up of all the continental North America west of the Mississippi, sold to Russia by Andrew Jackson fifty years earlier. Stanton needs Little Russia’s calorium, a mineral used to power America’s airships, factories, and humanoid automatons. But Liam and the love of his life, world-famous reporter Becky Fox, mean to stop him. Joined by Crazy Horse, the Sioux war chief and medicine man, and Ambrose Chen, a Taoist sorcerer and alchemist, Liam and company embark on a wild series of adventures from New Petersburg, where revolutionaries are fighting to overthrow the government, to the Bear Flag Republic, a California enclave governed by P. T. Barnum.

Bridging Infinity—Jonathan Strahan, editor (November 8, Solaris)
The latest volume in the Hugo award-winning Infinity Project series, showcasing all-original hard science fiction stories from the leading voices in genre fiction. Sense of wonder is the lifeblood of science fiction. When we encounter something on a truly staggering scale—metal spheres wrapped around stars, planets rebuilt and repurposed, landscapes transformed, starships bigger than worlds—we react viscerally. Fear, reverence, admiration—how else are we to react to something so grand? Bridging Infinity puts humanity at the heart of these vast undertakings—as builder, as engineer, as adventurer—reimagining and rebuilding the world, the solar system, and even the entire universe. This continuation of the award-winning Infinity Project anothology series features bold new stories from Stephen Baxter, Elizabeth Bear, Gregory Benford, Zachary Brown, Pat Cadigan, Kameron Hurley, Scott Lynch, Vonda N. McIntyre, Hannu Rajaniemi, Allan Steele, and many more.

A Trail Through Time (Chronicles of St. Mary’s #4)—Jodi Taylor (November 8, Night Shade)
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 Trail Through Time, Max and Leon are reunited and looking forward to a peaceful lifetime together. Sadly, that doesn’t even last until lunchtime. The action races from seventeenth-century London to Ancient Egypt and from Pompeii to fourteenth-century Southwark as the historians are pursued up and down the timeline, playing a perilous game of hide-and-seek before seeking refuge at St. Mary’s—where new dangers await them. Overwhelmed, outnumbered, and with the building crashing down around them, will this spell the end of St. Mary’s?

At the Sign of Triumph (Safehold #9)—David Weber (November 8, Tor Books)
The Church of God Awaiting’s triumph over Charis was inevitable. Despite its prosperity, the Charis was a single, small island realm. How could it possibly resist total destruction? The Church had every reason to be confident of a swift, crushing victory, an object lesson to other rebels. But Charis had something far more powerful than simple numbers. It had a king, a crown prince, and a navy prepared to die where they stood in its defense. It had the Brethren of Saint Zherneau, who knew the truth about Safehold’s founding. Who knew that the Church of God Awaiting was a monstrous lie. And it had Merlin Athrawes, last survivor of long-vanished Earth. Merlin, the cybernetic avatar of a woman dead over a thousand years, who was determined to break the Church’s grip upon the human mind and soul. So after eight years of war, it is not Charis but the Church that stands upon the brink of defeat. But the Church still commands immense resources, and—faced with the unthinkable—it’s decided that it, too, must embrace the forbidden technology which has carried Charis so far. In the end, it is simple, for only one can survive. The lines are drawn, the navies and armies have been raised, and all of Safehold is poised for the final battle between those who believe in freedom and those who would crush it forever.

Alien Morning—Rick Wilber (November 8, Tor Books)
Peter Holman is a freelance sweeper. The year 2030 sees a new era in social media with sweepcasting, a multisensory interface that can convey every thought, touch, smell, sight, and sound, immersing the audience in another person’s experience. By fate, chance, or some darker design, Peter is perfectly positioned to be the one human to document the arrival of the aliens, the S’hudonni. The S’hudonni offer advanced science in exchange for various trade goods from Earth. But nothing is as simple as it seems. Peter finds himself falling for Heather Newsome, a scientist chosen by the S’hudonni to act as their liaison. Engaged to his brilliant marine biologist brother, Tom, Heather is not what she seems. But Peter has bigger problems. While he and his brother fight over long-standing family troubles, another issue looms: a secret war among the aliens, who are neither as benevolent nor as unified as they first seemed. Peter slowly learns secrets he was never meant to know, about the S’hudonni, and about his own family. Realizing that he has been used, he can only try to turn his situation around, to save what he can of his life and of the future of Earth.

StarCraft: Evolution—Timothy Zahn (November 8, Del Rey)
After nearly a decade of brutal warfare, three mighty factions—the enigmatic protoss, the savage zerg, and the terrans, humanity’s descendants in the sector—have entered a cease-fire, but the peace is tenuous at best. When the sudden restoration of an incinerated planet is brought to light, tensions erupt. Neutrality swings back to hostility, and old enemies are accused of developing biological weapons to reignite the bitter conflict. An expedition of terran and protoss soldiers and researchers is deployed to investigate the mysterious zerg planet and its inhabitants’ intentions. But the lush alien landscape is host to other denizens, creatures shrouded in shadow, and should they be unleashed, they will change the fate of the entire galaxy.

 

WEEK THREE

The Chemical Wedding—Johann Valentin Andreae, in a new edition by John Crowley (November 15, Small Beer Press)
Often described as an alchemical allegory, John Crowley instead decided The Chemical Wedding is “the first science fiction novel.” After all “it’s fiction; it’s about the possibilities of a science; and it’s a novel.” No matter what else it might be, it’s definitely “one of the great outlandish stories in Western literature.” With eight appropriately weird and fascinating black and white woodcuts by Theo Fadel.

Assassin’s Creed: Heresy—Christie Golden (November 15, Ubisoft)
Simon Hathaway, member of the Templar Inner Sanctum, brings a cool head and detached manner to his new role as Head of Abstergo Industry’s Historical Research Division. But Simon also has an insatiable curiosity, and is fascinated by the thought of experiencing history first-hand through his ancestor–Gabriel Laxart, who fought alongside the legendary Joan of Arc. When he enters the newly-designed Animus for its initial project, Simon finds himself unprepared for what he discovers: How deep the conflict between the Templars and the Assassins goes. What Gabriel will do for the woman he both loves and reveres. And the most dangerous truth of all: Who is the heretic…and who is the true believer.

Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel—James Luceno (November 15, Del Rey)
The must-have prequel novel to Rogue One: A Star Wars Story—the upcoming film, set before the events of Star Wars: A New Hope, that reveals the untold story of the rebel effort to steal the plans to the Death Star!

Flashfall—Jenny Moyer (November 15, Henry Holt Books for Young Readers)
Young adult. Orion is a Subpar, expected to mine the tunnels of Outpost Five, near the deadly flash curtain. For generations, her people have chased cirium—the only element that can shield humanity from the curtain’s radioactive particles. She and her caving partner Dram work the most treacherous tunnel, fighting past flash bats and tunnel gulls, in hopes of mining enough cirium to earn their way into the protected city. But when newcomers arrive at Outpost Five, Orion uncovers disturbing revelations that make her question everything she thought she knew about life on both sides of the cirium shield. As conditions at the outpost grow increasingly dangerous, it’s up to Orion to forge a way past the flashfall, beyond all boundaries, beyond the world as she knows it.

Pirate Utopia—Bruce Sterling (November 15, Tachyon)
Who are these bold rebels pillaging their European neighbors in the name of revolution? The Futurists! Utopian pirate warriors of the diminutive Regency of Carnaro, scourge of the Adriatic Sea. Mortal enemies of communists, capitalists, and even fascists (to whom they are not entirelyunsympathetic). The ambitious Soldier-Citizens of Carnaro are led by a brilliant and passionate coterie of the perhaps insane. Lorenzo Secondari, World War I veteran, engineering genius, and leader of Croatian raiders. Frau Piffer, Syndicalist manufacturer of torpedos at a factory run by and for women. The Ace of Hearts, a dashing Milanese aristocrat, spymaster, and tactical savant. And the Prophet, a seductive warrior-poet who leads via free love and military ruthlessness. Fresh off of a worldwide demonstration of their might, can the Futurists engage the aid of sinister American traitors and establish global domination?

Extreme Makeover—Dan Wells (November 15, Tor Books)
Lyle Fontanelle is the chief scientist for NewYew, a health and beauty company experimenting with a new, anti-aging hand lotion. As more and more anomalies crop up in testing, Lyle realizes that the lotion’s formula has somehow gone horribly wrong. It is actively overwriting the DNA of anyone who uses it, turning them into physical clones of someone else. Lyle wants to destroy the formula, but NewYew thinks it might be the greatest beauty product ever designed–and the world’s governments think it’s the greatest weapon. New York Times bestselling author Dan Wells brings us a gripping corporate satire about a health and beauty company that could destroy the world.

Beyond Earth: Our Path to a New Home in the Planets—Charles Wohlforth & Amanda R. Hendrix (November 15, Pantheon)
Nonfiction. From a leading planetary scientist and an award-winning science writer: a propulsive account of the developments and initiatives that have transformed the dream of space colonization into something that may well be achievable. We are at the cusp of a golden age in space science, as increasingly more entrepreneurs—Elon Musk, Richard Branson, Jeff Bezos—are seduced by the commercial potential of human access to space. But Beyond Earth does not offer another wide-eyed technology fantasy: instead, it is grounded not only in the human capacity for invention and the appeal of adventure, but also in the bureaucratic, political, and scientific realities that present obstacles to space travel—realities that have hampered NASA’s efforts ever since the Challenger fiasco. In Beyond Earth, the authors offer groundbreaking research and argue persuasively that not Mars, but Titan—a moon of Saturn with a nitrogen atmosphere, a weather cycle, and an inexhaustible supply of cheap energy; where we will be able to fly like birds in the minimal gravitational field—offers the most realistic, and thrilling, prospect of life without support from Earth.

 

WEEK FOUR

Apes and Angels (Star Quest #3)—Ben Bova (November 22, Tor Books)
Humankind headed out to the stars not for conquest, nor exploration, nor even for curiosity. Humans went to the stars in a desperate crusade to save intelligent life wherever they found it. A wave of death is spreading through the Milky Way galaxy, an expanding sphere of lethal gamma radiation that erupted from the galaxy’s core twenty-eight thousand years ago and now is approaching Earth’s vicinity at the speed of light. Every world it touched was wiped clean of all life. But it’s possible to protect a planet from gamma radiation. Earth is safe. Now, guided by the ancient intelligent machines called the Predecessors, men and women from Earth seek out those precious, rare worlds that harbor intelligent species, determined to save them from the doom that is hurtling toward them. The crew of the Odysseus has arrived at Mithra Gamma, the third planet of the star Mithra, to protect the stone-age inhabitants from the Death Wave. But they’ll also have to protect themselves.

The Vindication of Man (Eschaton Sequence #5)—John C. Wright (November 22, Tor Books)
Menelaus Montrose, having renewed his enmity with his immortal adversary, Ximen del Azarchel, awaits the return of the posthuman princess Rania, their shared lost love. Rania brings with her the judgment of the Dominions ruling the known cosmos, which will determine the fate of humanity, once and for all. Vindication or destruction? And if it is somehow both, what manner of future awaits them?

 

WEEK FIVE

Confluence (Linesman #3)—S.K. Dunstall (November 29, Ace)
While the Crown Princess of Lancia seeks to share the new technology, her father, the Emperor, has other plans. His latest political maneuverings seem to be tilting the balance of control to Lancia’s favor—a move that not all members of the New Alliance are looking upon favorably. As tensions mount, Ean and his former shipmates must unite to avert a disastrous conflict: the princess working within the tumultuous Alliance, Ean seeking the help of the impatient alien ships, and Ean’s close friend and bodyguard, Radko, embarking on a mysterious and perilous mission. But the biggest threat comes from an unexpected source. Someone is trying to take down the New Alliance from within—and will use anything, even the lines themselves, to ensure its destruction…

The Haunting of Barry Allen (The Flash)—Susan and Clay Griffith (November 29, Titan)
Following the supercharged, crime-fighting super hero with the power to move at superhuman speeds, this first Flash adventure pits the Scarlet Speedster against the villains who comprise his metahuman Rogues Gallery. But when The Flash’s own abilities begin to fail him, he must seek help from his closest ally—The Arrow. This two part adventure will cross directly into the next Arrow novel.

The Blockade (First Salik War #3)—Jean Johnson (November 29, Ace)
Though committed to helping their V’Dan cousins, the Terrans resent how their allies treat them. The V’Dan in turn feel the Terrans are too unseasoned to act independently. And the other nations fear that ending the Salik War means starting a Human Civil War. Even as Imperial Prince Li’eth and Ambassador Jackie MacKenzie struggle to get their peoples to cooperate, they still face an ethical dilemma: How do you stop a ruthless, advanced nation from attacking again and again without slaughtering them in turn?

Her Brother’s Keeper—Mike Kupari (November 29, Baen Books)
It’s been years since Catherine Blackwood left the stodgy, repressive colony world of Avalon. Now the captain of the privateer vessel Andromeda, she is the master of her own destiny. But Catherine soon finds herself back on Avalon after receiving a plea for help from a most unlikely source: her estranged father, esteemed Avalon Council member Augustus Blackwood. It seems Catherine’s brother, the heir to the Blackwood fortune, has gone off in search of treasure on the failed, chaotic world of Zanzibar. But Cecil Blackwood’s plans have gone very, very wrong, and he has been taken hostage and held for ransom by a fearsome local warlord. Augustus, knowing his daughter is the only one who can be trusted to return his son safely, swallows his pride and hires Catherine to bring her brother home. Catherine takes the job—but it won’t be easy. Just getting to Zanzibar proves treacherous. And once she arrives, things only get worse. If she is to save her brother, Catherine Blackwood must face down danger at every turn and uncover a mystery four million years in the making.

Star Trek: The Hall of Heroes (Prey #3)—John Jackson Miller (November 29, Pocket Books/Star Trek)
The Klingon Empire stands on the precipice. In the wake of violence from the cult known as the Unsung, paranoia threatens to break Chancellor Martok’s regime. Klingons increasingly call for a stronger hand to take control…one that Lord Korgh, master manipulator, is only too willing to offer. But other forces are now in motion. Assisted by a wily agent, the Empire’s enemies secretly conspire to take full advantage of the situation. Aboard the USS Titan, Admiral William T. Riker realizes far more than the Federation’s alliance with the Klingons is in danger. With the Empire a wounded animal, it could either become an attacker—or a target. Yet even as hostilities increase, Commander Worf returns to the USS Enterprise and Captain Jean-Luc Picard with a daring plan of his own. The preservation of both the Empire and the Federation alliance may hinge on an improbable savior leading a most unlikely force….

Aliens vs Predator Omnibus—Steve Perry, S.D. Perry, & David Bischoff (November 29, Titan)
In Steve Perry’s Prey, Machiko Noguchi accepted the supervision of the ranching colony of Ryushi as a challenge. Little did she know that she would defend it with her life. For the entire unarmed human settlement lies smack between two varieties of monster, one spider-like, one human-like, but infinitely stronger. On David Bischoff’s Hunter’s Planet, populated by genetically engineered creatures of all kinds, it seems that Predators have begun to seed Aliens. This is bad, real bad, for business, which is why Machiko Noguchi is sent in to confront the Predators she once considered friends. The only way for her to win is to take control of the most deadly planet in known space. And in S.D. Perry’s War, Machiko Noguchi is an outcast being tracked by the Predators who used to be her hunting band. Jess, Lara, and Ellis are the remnants of a bug-hunting team that wiped out an infestation in a Company space station. All four humans must join a desperate fight on the swamp planet Bunda, where fearsome Predators are at war with a ferocious colony of aliens.

Scythe—Neal Shusterman (November 29, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)
Young adult. A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery: humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now Scythes are the only ones who can end life—and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control. Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe—a role that neither wants. These teens must master the “art” of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own. Scythe is the first novel of a thrilling new series by National Book Award–winning author Neal Shusterman in which Citra and Rowan learn that a perfect world comes only with a heavy price.

The Ace of Skulls (A Novel of the Kitty Jay)—Chris Wooding (November 29, Titan)
The intrepid crew of the Ketty Jay have been shot down, set up, double-crossed and ripped off. They’ve stolen priceless treasures, destroyed a 10,000-year-old Azryx city and sort-of-accidentally blown up the son of the Archduke. Now they’ve gone and started a civil war. This time, they’re really in trouble. As Vardia descends into chaos, Captain Darian Frey is doing his best to keep his crew out of it. He’s got his mind on other things, not least the fate of Trinica Dracken. But wars have a way of dragging people in, and sooner or later they’re going to have to pick a side. It’s a choice they’ll be staking their lives on.

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