It might still be cold and dark in February, but it’s probably still nicer than space. So snuggle up with some science fictional adventures, from Sue Burke’s alien-plant debut, Semiosis, to the latest Vatta’s Peace book from Elizabeth Moon, to a whole host of stories about bad things happening to spaceship crews. (They’ll be okay. Right?)
Keep track of all the new releases here. Note: All title summaries are taken and/or summarized from copy provided by the publisher.
The Outer Earth Trilogy—Rob Boffard (February 6, Orbit)
Omnibus. Welcome to Outer Earth: a vivid, dangerous world where every day is a desperate struggle for survival. Who said in space no one can hear you scream? Outer Earth is a huge space station orbiting the ruins of our planet. Dirty, overcrowded and inescapable, it’s humanity’s last refuge … and possibly its final resting place. For there are dark forces at work on the station: forces that seek to unleash chaos. If they succeed, there will be nowhere left to run. This omnibus edition contains all three of Rob Boffard’s adrenaline-fuelled Outer Earth novels: Tracer, Zero-G, and Impact.
Semiosis—Sue Burke (February 6, Tor Books)
Human survival hinges on an bizarre alliance in Semiosis, a character driven science fiction novel of first contact. Colonists from Earth wanted the perfect home, but they’ll have to survive on the one they found. They don’t realize another life form watches…and waits… Only mutual communication can forge an alliance with the planet’s sentient species and prove that humans are more than tools.
Your One and Only—Adrianne Finlay (February 6, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers)
Young adult. Jack is a walking fossil. The only human among a sea of clones. It’s been hundreds of years since humanity died off in the slow plague, leaving the clones behind to carry on human existence. Over time they’ve perfected their genes, moving further away from the imperfections of humanity. But if they really are perfect, why did they create Jack? While Jack longs for acceptance, Althea-310 struggles with the feeling that she’s different from her sisters. Her fascination with Jack doesn’t help. As Althea and Jack’s connection grows stronger, so does the threat to their lives. What will happen if they do the unthinkable and fall in love?
1637: The Volga Rules (Ring of Fire #25)—Eric Flint, Paula Goodlett, Gorg Huff (February 6, Baen Books)
It’s been five years since a cosmic incident known as The Ring of Fire transported the modern day town of Grantville, West Virginia, through time and space to 17th century Europe. The course of world history has been forever altered. And Mother Russia is no exception. Inspired by the American up-timers’ radical notion that all people are created equal, Russian serfs are rebelling. The entire village of Poltz, led by blacksmith Stefan Andreevich, pulls up stakes to make a run for freedom. Meanwhile, Czar Mikhail has escaped house arrest and made his way to the village of Ufa, intending to set up a government-in-exile. The serfs of Poltz are heading are heading to Ufa as well. The path is dangerous—but the worst threat are those in the aristocracy who seek to crush the serfs and execute the czar in a bid to drive any hope for Russian freedom under their Parisian-crafted boot heels.
The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza—Shaun David Hutchinson (February 6, Simon Pulse)
Young adult. Sixteen-year-old Elena Mendoza is the product of a virgin birth. This can be scientifically explained, but what can’t be explained is how Elena is able to heal Freddie, the girl she’s had a crush on for years, from a gunshot wound in a Starbucks parking lot. Or why the boy who shot Freddie, David Combs, disappeared from the same parking lot minutes later after getting sucked up into the clouds. What also can’t be explained are the talking girl on the front of a tampon box, or the reasons that David Combs shot Freddie in the first place. As more unbelievable things occur, and Elena continues to perform miracles, the only remaining explanation is the least logical of all—that the world is actually coming to an end, and Elena is possibly the only one who can do something about it.
dotmeme—Mike A. Lancaster (February 6, Sky Pony Press)
Young adult. After preventing conservative MP Victor Palgrave from engineering a human mind-controlled teenage army, Joe Dyson and Ani Lee, operatives for a secret youth division of British Intelligence, have probably earned a rest. But bizarre new developments are popping up across the UK and the world. While busting a group that’s pressing teen runaways into slave labor building tech, Joe discovers a computer component not yet on the market, linked to a very popular, but highly secretive gaming company. Meanwhile, Ani works her way into a hacking ring intent on using viral social media to bring the truth to the world and bring world governments to their knees. Their method: rewriting reality, virtually, so that the world never knows the difference. As Ani’s and Joe’s missions draw closer together, they realize that they have been corralled into a real-life video game—one where the levels are constantly being rewritten, and the stakes are constantly shifting.
Into the Fire (Vatta’s Peace #2)—Elizabeth Moon (February 6, Del Rey)
Ky beats sabotage, betrayal, and the unforgiving elements to lead a ragtag group of crash survivors to safety on a remote arctic island. And she cheats death after uncovering secrets someone is hell-bent on protecting. But the worst is far from over when Ky discovers the headquarters of a vast conspiracy against her family and the heart of the planet’s government itself. With their base of operations breached, the plotters have no choice but to gamble everything on an audacious throw of the dice. Even so, the odds are stacked against Ky. When her official report on the crash and its aftermath goes missing—along with the men and women she rescued—Ky realizes that her mysterious enemies are more powerful and dangerous than she imagined. Now, targeted by faceless assassins, Ky and her family—along with her fiancé, Rafe—must battle to reclaim the upper hand and unmask the lethal cabal closing in on them with murderous intent.
Paris Adrift—E.J. Swift (February 6, Solaris)
Paris was supposed to save Hallie. Now … well, let’s just say Paris has other ideas. There’s a strange woman called The Chronometrist who will not leave her alone. Garbled warnings from bizarre creatures keep her up at night. And there’s a time portal in the keg room of the bar where she works. Soon, Hallie is tumbling through the turbulent past and future Paris, making friends, changing the world—and falling in love. But with every trip, Hallie loses a little of herself, and every infinitesimal change she makes ripples through time, until the future she’s trying to save suddenly looks nothing like what she hoped for…
Bringers of Hell (Tau Ceti Agenda #6)—Travis S. Taylor (February 6, Baen Books)
Despite unprecedented victories on the part of humanity, the war with the alien Chiata Horde drags on. Intelligence suggests that the Chiata Invasion is at hand, and with numbers sure to overwhelm humankind. But hope has come from an unlikely source: the Thgreet, long-dead inhabitants of a world ground under the heels of the Chiata millennia ago. In the crumbled ruins of their homeworld is a map—and it may lead to victory. Meanwhile, Alexander Moore’s daughter, Deanna, now known by the callsign “Phoenix,” wages a personal war on the Chiata. Grievously wounded in the battle for Thgreet and rebuilt with state-of-the-art cybernetics, she leads a group of mecha-suited Marines known as “The Bringers of Hell.” Once a tough-as-nails Marine, she has been reborn as an implacable scourge to the Chiata. And nothing will stand in the way of her mission: to make the aliens pay.
Blood Binds the Pack—Alex Wells (February 6, Angry Robot Books)
War is coming to Hob Ravani’s world. The company that holds it in monopoly, TransRift Inc, has at last found what they’re looking for—the source of the power that enables their Weathermen to rip holes in space and time, allowing the interstellar travel all of human society now takes for granted. And they will mine every last grain of it from Tanegawa’s World no matter the cost. Since Hob Ravani used her witchy powers to pull a massive train job and destroy TransRift Inc’s control on this part of the planet, the Ghost Wolves aren’t just outlaws, they’re the resistance. Mag’s miner collective grows restless as TransRift pushes them ever harder to strip the world of its strange, blue mineral. Now Shige Rollins has returned with a new charge—Mr Yellow, the most advanced model of Weatherman, infused with the recovered mineral samples and made into something stranger, stronger, and deadlier than before. And Mr Yellow is very, very hungry.
Honor Among Thieves—Rachel Caine & Ann Aguirre (February 13, Katherine Tegen Books)
Young adult. Petty criminal Zara Cole has a painful past that’s made her stronger than most, which is why she chose life in New Detroit instead moving with her family to Mars. In her eyes, living inside a dome isn’t much better than a prison cell. Still, when Zara commits a crime that has her running scared, jail might be exactly where she’s headed. Instead Zara is recruited into the Honors, an elite team of humans selected by the Leviathan—a race of sentient alien ships—to explore the outer reaches of the universe as their passengers. Zara seizes the chance to flee Earth’s dangers, but when she meets Nadim, the alien ship she’s assigned, Zara starts to feel at home for the first time. But nothing could have prepared her for the dark, ominous truths that lurk behind the alluring glitter of starlight.
Gunpowder Moon—David Pedreira (February 13, Harper Voyager)
The Moon smells like gunpowder. Every lunar walker since Apollo 11 has noticed it. Caden Dechert, the chief of the U.S. mining operation on the edge of the Sea of Serenity, thinks the smell is just a trick of the mind—a reminder of his harrowing days as a Marine in the war-torn Middle East. It’s 2072, and lunar helium-3 mining is powering the fusion reactors that are bringing Earth back from environmental disaster. But competing for the richest prize in the history of the world has destroyed the oldest rule in space: Safety for All. When a bomb kills one of Dechert’s diggers on Mare Serenitatis, the haunted veteran goes on the hunt to expose the culprit before more blood is spilled. Caught in the crosshairs of two global powers spoiling for a fight, Dechert knows his life and those of his crew are meaningless to the politicians. In his desperate attempts to save his crew and prevent catastrophe, the former Marine uncovers a dangerous conspiracy that could ignite a full lunar war, wipe out his team … and perhaps plunge the Earth back into darkness.
Shatter—Aprilynne Pike (February 13, Random House Books for Young Readers)
Young adult. Danica planned to use beauty, blackmail, and a glittering drug to control her own fate. Her escape from the twisted world of the Palace of Versailles was perfectly orchestrated and paid for. Or so she thought. Betrayed by the man who had promised her freedom, Dani is now married to the murderous king. It’s a terrifying position to be in … and yet it’s oddly intoxicating. Power may be an even stronger drug than Glitter—a drug Dani can’t resist, in the form of secrets, manipulation, and sabotage. In her new position at the head of the court, Dani must ask herself who she really is. Can she use her newfound power to secure her real love, Saber’s freedom, and a chance at a life together outside the palace? Or is being queen too addictive to give up?
When Light Left Us—Leah Thomas (February 13, Bloomsbury)
Young adult. When the Vasquez siblings’ father left, it seemed nothing could remedy the absence in their lives … until a shimmering figure named Luz appeared in the canyon behind their house. Luz filled the void. He shot hoops with 17-year-old Hank’s hands. He showed 14-year-old Ana cinematic beauty behind her eyelids. He spoke kindly to 8-year-old Milo. But then Luz left, too, and he took something from each of them. As a new school year begins, Hank, Ana, and Milo must carry on as if an alien presence never altered them. But how can they ever feel close to other people again when Luz changed everything about how they see the world and themselves?
Active Memory (Mirador #3)—Dan Wells (February 13, Balzer + Bray)
Young adult. Even in a world where technology connects everyone’s minds, some secrets can still remain hidden. For all the mysteries teen hacker Marisa Carneseca has solved, one has always eluded her: When she was two years old, she was in a car accident in which she lost her arm and a mob boss’s wife, Zenaida de Maldonado, lost her life. No one can tell her what she was doing in that car, or how it led to the feud between the Carnesecas and the Maldonados. The secrets from the past rise violently to the surface when Zenaida’s freshly severed hand shows up at the scene of a gangland shooting. If Zenaida is—or was—still alive, there’s even more about Marisa’s past that she doesn’t know. And when everyone from Los Angeles gangs to the world’s largest genetic engineering firms becomes involved in the case, it’s clear there’s more happening under the surface than anyone cares to admit.
Nexus (Zeroes #3)—Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan, Deborah Biancotti (February 13, Simon Pulse)
Young adult. X-Men meets Marissa Meyer’s Renegades when New York Times bestselling author of the Uglies series Scott Westerfeld teams up with award-winning authors Margo Lanagan and Deborah Biancotti in the final book of an explosive trilogy about six teens with unique abilities. After the shocking conclusion to Swarm, the zeroes are scattered, on the run, and desperate. They’re up against challenges from within and from the world around them, and one thing is certain—an epic showdown is guaranteed.
Pitch Dark—Courtney Alameda (February 20, Feiwel & Friends)
Young adult. Lost to time, Tuck Morgan and his crew have slept in stasis aboard the USS John Muir for centuries. Their ship harbors a chunk of Earth, which, unbeknownst to them, is the last hope for the failing human race. Laura Cruz is a shipraider searching the galaxy for the history that was scattered to the stars. Once her family locates the John Muir and its precious cargo, they are certain human civilization is saved. When Tuck’s and Laura’s worlds collide—literally—the two teens must outwit their enemies, evade brutal monsters that kill with sound, and work together to save the John Muir … and the whole human race.
Blood of a Thousand Stars—Rhoda Belleza (February 20, Razorbill)
Young adult. With a revolution brewing, Rhee is faced with a choice: make a deal with her enemy, Nero, or denounce him and risk losing her crown. Framed assassin Alyosha has one goal in mind: kill Nero. But to get his revenge, Aly may have to travel back to the very place he thought he’d left forever—home. Kara knows that a single piece of technology located on the uninhabitable planet Wraeta may be the key to remembering—and erasing—the princess she once was. Villainous media star Nero is out for blood, and he’ll go to any means necessary to control the galaxy.
Battle Hymn (America Rising #3)—William C. Dietz (February 20, Ace)
The Second Civil War continues to rage as Union president Samuel T. Sloan battles to keep America whole and, more than that, to restore the country to its former greatness. Following a fateful battle between Union Army major Robin “Mac” Macintyre and her sister, the New Confederacy places a price on Mac’s head, and bounty hunters are on her trail. But there’s work to be done, and Mac is determined to help Sloan reunify the country by freeing hundreds of Union POWs from appalling conditions in Mexico and capturing a strategic oil reserve that lies deep inside Confederate territory. However, to truly have peace it will be necessary to capture or kill the New Confederacy’s leadership, and that includes Mac’s father, General Bo Macintyre.
Outpost—W. Michael Gear (February 20, DAW)
Donovan is a world of remarkable wealth, a habitable paradise of a planet. But Donovan’s wealth comes at a price. When the ship Turalon arrives in orbit, Supervisor Kalico Aguila discovers a failing colony, its government overthrown and the few remaining colonists now gone wild. Planetside, Talina Perez is one of three rulers of the Port Authority colony. With the Corporate ship demanding answers about the things she’s done in the name of survival, Perez could lose everything, including her life. Dan Wirth, a psychopath with a death sentence looming over his head, will make one desperate play to grab a piece of the action—no matter who he has to corrupt, murder, or destroy. As the situation in Port Authority deteriorates, Corporate enforcer Captain Max Taggart is faced with tough choices to control the wild Donovanians. Just as matters spiral out of control, the Freelander, appears in orbit. Missing for two years, she arrives with a crew dead of old age, and reeks of a bizarre death-cult ritual. And in the meantime, a brutal killer is stalking all of them, for Donovan plays its own complex and deadly game. The secrets of which are hidden in Talina Perez’s very blood.
The One—John Marrs (February 20, Hanover Square Press)
A simple DNA test is all it takes. Just a quick mouth swab and soon you’ll be matched with your perfect partner—the one you’re genetically made for. That’s the promise made by Match Your DNA. A decade ago, the company announced that they had found the gene that pairs each of us with our soul mate. Since then, millions of people around the world have been matched. But the discovery has its downsides: test results have led to the breakup of countless relationships and upended the traditional ideas of dating, romance and love. Now five very different people have received the notification that they’ve been “Matched.” They’re each about to meet their one true love. But “happily ever after” isn’t guaranteed for everyone. Because even soul mates have secrets. And some are more shocking than others…
Embers of War—Gareth L. Powell (February 20, Titan)
The sentient warship Trouble Dog was built for violence, yet following a brutal war, she is disgusted by her role in a genocide. Stripped of her weaponry and seeking to atone, she joins the House of Reclamation, an organisation dedicated to rescuing ships in distress. When a civilian ship goes missing in a disputed system, Trouble Dog and her new crew of loners, captained by Sal Konstanz, are sent on a rescue mission. Meanwhile, light years away, intelligence officer Ashton Childe is tasked with locating the poet, Ona Sudak, who was aboard the missing spaceship. What Childe doesn’t know is that Sudak is not the person she appears to be. A straightforward rescue turns into something far more dangerous, as Trouble Dog, Konstanz and Childe find themselves at the centre of a conflict that could engulf the entire galaxy. If she is to save her crew, Trouble Dog is going to have to remember how to fight…
Zero Day (Hatching #3)—Ezekiel Boone (February 27, Emily Bestler Books)
The world is on the brink of apocalypse. Zero Day has come. The only thing more terrifying than millions of spiders is the realization that those spiders work as one. But among the government, there is dissent: do we try to kill all of the spiders, or do we gamble on Professor Guyer’s theory that we need to kill only the queens? For President Stephanie Pilgrim, it’s an easy answer. She’s gone as far as she can—more than two dozen American cities hit with tactical nukes, the country torn asunder—and the only answer is to believe in Professor Guyer. Unfortunately, Ben Broussard and the military men who follow him don’t agree, and Pilgrim, Guyer, and the loyal members of the government have to flee, leaving the question: what’s more dangerous, the spiders or ourselves?
Starfire: Memory’s Blade (Starfire #3)—Spencer Ellsworth (February 27, Tor.com Publishing)
At the heart of the Dark Zone, a duel for the universe rages. In an ancient Jorian temple, Jaqi faces John Starfire, the new ruler of the Empire. He has set all the worlds aflame in his quest to destroy humankind. Jaqi has sworn to stop him. Problem is, Jaqi isn’t much of a fighter. Meanwhile, the sun-eating cosmic spiders, the Shir, have moved out of the Dark Zone and are consuming the galaxy. Araskar knows that he must hold them back, but to do that, he has to give himself over to the Resistance, under the command of John Starfire’s wife. And she wants him dead more than she wants the stars to live. If Jaqi and Araskar can fight their way out, they can use a secret at the heart of the Dark Zone to free the galaxy, and end John Starfire’s new tyranny. They lose, and every star in the sky will go dark.
Heart of Iron—Ashley Poston (February 27, Balzer + Bray)
Young adult. Seventeen-year-old Ana is a scoundrel by nurture and an outlaw by nature. Found as a child drifting through space with a sentient android called D09, Ana was saved by a fearsome space captain and the grizzled crew she now calls family. But D09—one of the last remaining illegal Metals—has been glitching, and Ana will stop at nothing to find a way to fix him. Ana’s desperate effort to save D09 leads her on a quest to steal the coordinates to a lost ship that could offer all the answers. But at the last moment, a spoiled Ironblood boy beats Ana to her prize. He has his own reasons for taking the coordinates, and he doesn’t care what he’ll sacrifice to keep them. When everything goes wrong, she and the Ironblood end up as fugitives on the run. Now their entire kingdom is after them—and the coordinates—and not everyone wants them captured alive. What they find in a lost corner of the universe will change all their lives—and unearth dangerous secrets.