Summertime, and the space living is easy … or not, actually. Space conflict is everywhere: Just for starters, David Levine returns to the story of Arabella Ashby with Arabella and the Battle of Venus; Jay Posey’s Sungrazer follows a force of interplanetary super-soldiers; human and alien peace is threatened in Melinda Snodgrass’s In Evil Times; and Christie Golden’s Star Wars: Inferno Squad hunt down a man we last saw in Rogue One: notorious rebel Saw Gerrera.
Keep track of all the new releases here. Note: All title summaries are taken and/or summarized from copy provided by the publisher.
The Icarus Corps—Zachary Brown (July 4, Saga Press)
Omnibus. An omnibus edition of the three Icarus Corps titles: The Darkside War, Titan’s Fall, and the newest novel, Jupiter Rising, which details the sudden involvement in a galactic war between two opposing factions that want to use humanity as cannon fodder. Nebula and World Fantasy Award–nominated author Zachary Brown created a “good old-fashioned military science fiction” (Locus) in the Icarus Corps trilogy. The always outgunned and under-equipped human soldiers known as the Colonial Protection Forces battle across the moon and the alien desert landscapes of Titan all to make one desperate attack at Jupiter to hold the invading Conglomeration forces at bay, only to have a greater threat revealed as to why the Conglomeration–Accordance war has been raging across the galaxy.
Lost in Arcadia—Sean Gandert (July 1, 47North)
The brainchild of reclusive genius Juan Diego Reyes, Arcadia is a wickedly immersive, all-encompassing social-media platform and virtual-reality interface. Although Arcadia has made the Reyes family fabulously wealthy, it’s left them—and the rest of the country—impoverished of that rare currency: intimacy. When Juan Diego mysteriously vanishes, the consequences shatter the lives of the entire Reyes clan. As matriarch Autumn struggles to hold the family together, siblings Gideon, Holly, and Devon wrestle with questions of purpose and meaning. Outside Arcadia, America has crumbled into a nation where a fundamentalist ex-preacher occupies the Oval Office, megacorporations blithely exploit their full citizenship, and a twenty-foot-high Great Wall of Freedom bestrides the US-Mexican border. The Reyes family must overcome the seduction of simulation to find the kind of authentic human connection that offers salvation for all.
Sungrazer (Outriders #2)—Jay Posey (July 4, Angry Robot)
In a new Cold War between Earth and the colonies on Mars, when devastating weapons go missing, there’s only one team you can call – the Outriders. A crack force of highly specialised super-soldiers, their clone bodies are near-immortal. When a fully-autonomous vessel with orbital strike capabilities goes missing, it’s up to the Outriders to track the untrackable. But when the trail leads them to the influential Martian People’s Collective Republic, the operation gets a lot more complicated…
Waking Hell (Station #2)—Al Robertson (July 3, Gollancz)
Leila Fenech is dead. And so is her brother Dieter. But what’s really pissing her off is how he sold his afterlife as part of an insurance scam and left her to pick up the pieces. Station is humanity’s last outpost. But this battle-scarred asteroid is also where the dead live on as fetches: digital memories and scraps of personality gathered together and given life. Of a sort. Leila won’t stop searching Station until she’s found her brother’s fetch—but the sinister Pressure Men are stalking her every move. Clearly Dieter’s got himself mixed up in something a whole lot darker than just some scam. Waking Hell is a sequel to Crashing Heaven, the novel that announced the arrival of this exciting new talent.
In Evil Times (Imperials #2)—Melinda Snodgrass (July 4, Titan)
Scholarship student Thracius “Tracy” Belmanor and Princess Mercedes de Arango have graduated from the High Ground and become officers in the Orden de la Estrella. Stung by Mercedes’ choice of Beauregard “Boho” Cullen as her consort, Tracy is glad that they are posted on battleships light years apart, but soon finds that without her protection he is nothing but a target. Meanwhile, Mercedes’ posting has its own challenges, not least her unfaithful husband.
Both young officers find themselves part of forced “assimilations” of settlers on Hidden Worlds, which lead them to doubt the intentions of the Solar League. And when Tracy witnesses an horrific event that threatens the fragile human and alien peace, Mercedes must decide where her loyalties truly lie…
The Rift—Nina Allan (July 11, Titan)
Selena and Julie are sisters. As children they were closest companions, but as they grow towards maturity, a rift develops between them. There are greater rifts, however. Julie goes missing at the age of seventeen. It will be twenty years before Selena sees her again. When Julie reappears, she tells Selena an incredible story about how she has spent time on another planet. Selena has an impossible choice to make: does she dismiss her sister as a damaged person, the victim of delusions, or believe her, and risk her own sanity in the process? Is Julie really who she says she is, and if she isn’t, what does she have to gain by claiming her sister’s identity?
Dark Sky (Keiko #2)—Mike Brooks (July 11, Saga Press)
In the sequel to Dark Run, which Publishers Weekly called “a terrific debut,” Ichabod Drift and his crew sign on for a new smuggling job that soon goes south when they are separated and caught up in a dangerous civil war. When Ichabod Drift and the Keiko crew sign on for a new smuggling job to a mining planet, they don’t realize what they are up against. The miners, badly treated for years by the corporation, are staging a rebellion. Split into two groups, one with the authorities and one with the rebels, Drift and his crew support their respective sides in the conflict. But when they are cut off from each other due to a communication blackout, both halves of the crew don’t realize that they have begun fighting themselves…
Waste of Space—Gina Damico (July 11, HMH Books for Young Readers)
Young adult. Cram ten hormonal teens into a spaceship and blast off: that’s the premise for the ill-conceived reality show Waste of Space. The kids who are cast know everything about drama—and nothing about the fact that the production is fake. Hidden in a desert warehouse, their spaceship replica is equipped with state-of-the-art special effects dreamed up by the scientists partnering with the shady cable network airing the show. And it’s a hit! Millions of viewers are transfixed. But then, suddenly, all communication is severed. Trapped and paranoid, the kids must figure out what to do when this reality show loses its grip on reality.
The Year’s Best Science Fiction: Thirty-Fourth Annual Collection—Gardner Dozois, editor (July 11, St. Martin’s Griffin)
In the new millennium, what secrets lay beyond the far reaches of the universe? What mysteries belie the truths we once held to be self-evident? The world of science fiction has long been a porthole into the realities of tomorrow, blurring the line between life and art. Now, in The Year’s Best Science Fiction: Thirty-Fourth Annual Collection, the very best SF authors explore ideas of a new world. This venerable collection brings together award-winning authors and masters of the field. With an extensive recommended reading guide and a summation of the year in science fiction, this annual compilation has become the definitive must-read anthology for all science fiction fans and readers interested in breaking into the genre.
Dichronauts—Greg Egan (July 11, Night Shade)
Seth is a surveyor, along with his friend Theo, a leech-like creature running through his skull who tells Seth what lies to his left and right. Theo, in turn, relies on Seth for mobility, and for ordinary vision looking forwards and backwards. Like everyone else in their world, they are symbionts, depending on each other to survive. In the universe containing Seth’s world, light cannot travel in all directions: there is a “dark cone” to the north and south. Every living thing in Seth’s world is in a state of perpetual migration as they follow the sun’s shifting orbit and the narrow habitable zone it creates. Cities are being constantly disassembled at one edge and rebuilt at the other, with surveyors mapping safe routes ahead. But when Seth and Theo join an expedition to the edge of the habitable zone, they discover a terrifying threat: a fissure in the surface of the world, so deep and wide that no one can perceive its limits. As the habitable zone continues to move, the migration will soon be blocked by this unbridgeable void, and the expedition has only one option to save its city from annihilation: descend into the unknown.
The Ghost Line—Andrew Neil Gray & J.S. Herbison (July 11, Tor.com Publishing)
The Martian Queen was the Titanic of the stars before it was decommissioned, set to drift back and forth between Earth and Mars on the off-chance that reclaiming it ever became profitable for the owners. For Saga and her husband Michel the cruise ship represents a massive payday. Hacking and stealing the ship could earn them enough to settle down, have children, and pay for the treatments to save Saga’s mother’s life. But the Martian Queen is much more than their employer has told them. In the twenty years since it was abandoned, something strange and dangerous has come to reside in the decadent vessel. Saga feels herself being drawn into a spider’s web, and must navigate the traps and lures of an awakening intelligence if she wants to go home again.
Sand—Hugh Howey (July 11, John Joseph Adams Books)
The old world is buried. A new one has been forged atop the shifting dunes. Here in this land of howling wind and infernal sand, four siblings find themselves scattered and lost. Their father was a sand diver, one of the elite few who could travel deep beneath the desert floor and bring up the relics and scraps that keep their people alive. But their father is gone. And the world he left behind might be next. Welcome to the world of Sand, a novel by New York Times best-selling author Hugh Howey. Sand is an exploration of lawlessness, the tale of a land ignored. Here is a people left to fend for themselves. Adjust your ker and take a last, deep breath before you enter.
Tomorrow’s Kin (Yesterday’s Kin #1)—Nancy Kress (July 11, Tor Books)
The aliens have arrived … they’ve landed their Embassy ship on a platform in New York Harbor, and will only speak with the United Nations. They say that their world is so different from Earth, in terms of gravity and atmosphere, that they cannot leave their ship. The population of Earth has erupted in fear and speculation. One day Dr. Marianne Jenner, an obscure scientist working with the human genome, receives an invitation that she cannot refuse. The Secret Service arrives at her college to escort her to New York, for she has been invited, along with the Secretary General of the UN and a few other ambassadors, to visit the alien Embassy. The truth is about to be revealed. Earth’s most elite scientists have ten months to prevent a disaster—and not everyone is willing to wait.
Bannerless—Carrie Vaughn (July 11, John Joseph Adams Books)
Decades after economic and environmental collapse destroys much of civilization in the United States, the Coast Road region isn’t just surviving but thriving by some accounts, building something new on the ruins of what came before. A culture of population control has developed in which people, organized into households, must earn the children they bear by proving they can take care of them and are awarded symbolic banners to demonstrate this privilege. In the meantime, birth control is mandatory. Enid of Haven is an Investigator, called on to mediate disputes and examine transgressions against the community. She’s young for the job and hasn’t yet handled a serious case. Now, though, a suspicious death requires her attention. The victim was an outcast, but might someone have taken dislike a step further and murdered him? In a world defined by the disasters that happened a century before, the past is always present. But this investigation may reveal the cracks in Enid’s world and make her question what she really stands for.
Exodus—Alex Lamb (July 18, Gollancz)
The Photurians—a hivemind of sentient AIs and machines—were awakened by humanity as part of a complex political trap. But they broke free, evolved, and now the human race is almost finished. Once we spanned dozens of star systems; now only four remain, and Earth is being evacuated. But the Photes can infect us, and among the thousands rescued from our home world may be enemy agents. Tiny colonies struggle to house the displaced. Our warships are failing. The end of humanity has come. But on a distant planet shielded from both humanity and the Photurians, one hope may still live. The only person who might be able to intervene. The roboteer. He is trapped in a hell of his own making, and does not know he is needed. And so a desperate rescue mission is begun. But can he be reached in time? Or will he be the last remnant of humanity in the universe?
What Goes Up—Katie Kennedy (July 18, Bloomsbury)
Young adult. Rosa and Eddie are among hundreds of teens applying to NASA’s mysterious Interworlds Agency. They’re not exactly sure what the top-secret program entails, but they know they want in. Rosa has her brilliant parents’ legacies to live up to, and Eddie has nowhere else to go–he’s certainly not going to stick around and wait for his violent father to get out of jail. Even if they are selected, they have no idea what lies in store. But first they have to make it through round after round of crazy-competitive testing. And then something happens that even NASA’s scientists couldn’t predict …
Arabella and the Battle of Venus (Adventures of Arabella Ashby #2)—David D. Levine (July 18, Tor Books)
Arabella’s wedding plans to marry Captain Singh of the Honorable Mars Trading Company are interrupted when her fiancé is captured by the French and sent to a prisoner-of-war camp on swampy Venus. Now, Arabella must find passage to an enemy-controlled planet in the middle of a war, bribe or fight her way past vicious guards, and rescue her Captain. To do this she must enlist the help of the dashing privateer, Daniel Fox of the Touchstone and build her own clockwork navigational automaton in order to get to Venus before the dread French general, Joseph Fouché, the Executioner of Lyon. Once on Venus, Arabella, Singh, and Fox soon discover that Napoleon has designed a secret weapon, one that could subjugate the entire galaxy if they can’t discover a way to stop Fouché, and the entire French army, from completing their emperor’s mandate.
Hell Divers II: Ghosts—Nicholas Sansbury Smith (July 18, Blackstone Publishing)
Ten years ago, Hell Diver Xavier “X” Rodriguez fell to Earth. Those he left behind went on without him aboard the airship he once called home. Michael Everheart—the boy once known as Tin—has grown into a man and the commander of Hell Diver Raptor Team. While Michael dives to help keep the Hive in the air, Captain Leon Jordan rules with an iron fist at the helm of the ship. But unrest stirs under his strict leadership as a prophecy of hope sweeps the lower decks.When a mysterious distress signal calls the Hell Divers to the surface, Michael and his loyal team begin to uncover long-buried truths and the secrets Captain Jordan will do anything to keep. They dive so humanity survives … but will they survive the ultimate betrayal?
Killing Is My Business (Ray Electromatic #2)—Adam Christopher (July 25, Tor Books)
Another golden morning in a seedy town, and a new memory tape and assignment for intrepid PI-turned-hitman—and last robot left in working order—Raymond Electromatic. But his skills may be rustier than he remembered in Killing Is My Business, the latest in Christopher’s robot noir oeuvre, hot on the heels of the acclaimed Made to Kill.
Sovereign (Dreadnought #2)—April Daniels (July 25, Diversion Books)
Only nine months after her debut as the superhero Dreadnought, Danny Tozer is already a scarred veteran. Protecting a city the size of New Port is a team-sized job and she’s doing it alone. Between her newfound celebrity and her demanding cape duties, Dreadnought is stretched thin, and it’s only going to get worse. When she crosses a newly discovered billionaire supervillain, Dreadnought comes under attack from all quarters. From her troubled family life to her disintegrating friendship with Calamity, there’s no lever too cruel for this villain to use against her. She might be hard to kill, but there’s more than one way to destroy a hero. Before the war is over, Dreadnought will be forced to confront parts of herself she never wanted to acknowledge. And behind it all, an old enemy waits in the wings, ready to unleash a plot that will scar the world forever.
Star Wars: Inferno Squad—Christie Golden (July 25, Del Rey)
After the humiliating theft of the Death Star plans and the destruction of the battle station, the Empire is on the defensive. But not for long. In retaliation, the elite Imperial soldiers of Inferno Squad have been called in for the crucial mission of infiltrating and eliminating the Partisans—the rebel faction once led by notorious Republic freedom fighter Saw Gerrera. Following the death of their leader, the Partisans have carried on his extremist legacy, determined to thwart the Empire—no matter the cost. Now Inferno Squad must prove its status as the best of the best and take down the Partisans from within. But the growing threat of being discovered in their enemy’s midst turns an already dangerous operation into a do-or-die acid test they dare not fail. To protect and preserve the Empire, to what lengths will Inferno Squad go … and how far beyond them?
The Punch Escrow—Tal Klein (July 25, Geek & Sundry)
It’s the year 2147. Advancements in nanotechnology have enabled us to control aging. We’ve genetically engineered mosquitoes to feast on carbon fumes instead of blood, ending air pollution. And teleportation has become the ideal mode of transportation, offered exclusively by International Transport—the world’s most powerful corporation, in a world controlled by corporations. Joel Byram spends his days training artificial-intelligence engines to act more human and trying to salvage his deteriorating marriage. He’s pretty much an everyday twenty-second century guy with everyday problems—until he’s accidentally duplicated while teleporting. Now Joel must outsmart the shadowy organization that controls teleportation, outrun the religious sect out to destroy it, and find a way to get back to the woman he loves in a world that now has two of him.
Raid—K.S. Merbeth (July 25, Orbit)
Clementine is a bounty hunter in a world gone mad. Bound and gagged in her passenger seat is the most revered and reviled raider king in the eastern wastes. She can’t cash him in and she can’t let him go, so together they cross the wasteworld, following a dying road and dodging bloodthirsty raiders who either want to free Jedediah or claim him as their own. And in a world where lawlessness reigns, a tyrant worse than they could have ever imagined emerges to take the throne.