It may be approaching summer in the Land of Tor Dot Com, but it is—we assume—very climate-controlled on spaceships, which you can read about in many of this month’s science fiction releases, including Rob Boffard’s Adrift and Peter Watts’s The Freeze-Frame Revolution, as well as the third and final book in Yoon Ha Lee’s Machineries of Empire series, Revenant Gun! Not that space is the only flavor of SF this month has for you: there’s also a new vampire plague, some nice easy time travel (this is a joke; the time travelers made us make it), some entirely peaceful robots, and the latest tome in the Wild Cards universe. For starters.
Keep track of all the new releases here. Note: All title summaries are taken and/or summarized from copy provided by the publisher.
Adrift—Rob Boffard (June 5, Orbit)
Sigma Station. The ultimate luxury hotel, in the far reaches of space. For one small group, a tour of the Horsehead Nebula is meant to be a short but stunning highlight in the trip of a lifetime. But when a mysterious ship destroys Sigma Station and everyone on it, suddenly their tourist shuttle is stranded. They have no weapons. No food. No water. No one back home knows they’re alive. And the mysterious ship is hunting them.
Grantville Gazette VIII (The Ring of Fire #8)—Eric Flint & Walt Boyes, editors (June 5, Baen Books)
When an inexplicable cosmic disturbance hurls your town from twentieth century West Virginia back to seventeenth century Europe—and into the middle of the Thirty Years War—you’d better be adaptable to survive. And the natives of that time period, faced with American technology and politics, need to be equally adaptable. Here’s a generous helping of more stories of Grantville, the American town lost in time, and its impact on the people and societies of a tumultuous age. These are stories that fill in the pieces of the Ring of Fire series begun with Flint’s novel 1632. The setting has become a political, economic, social and cultural puzzle as supporting characters we meet in the novels get their own lives, loves and life-changing stories. The future and democracy have arrived with a bang—an historical explosion with a multitude of unforeseen consequences.
Free Chocolate—Amber Royer (June 5, Angry Robot)
Latina culinary arts student Bo Benitez, becomes a fugitive when she’s caught stealing a cacao pod from one of the heavily-defended plantations that keep chocolate, Earth’s sole valuable export, safe from a hungry galaxy. Forces array against her including her alien boyfriend and a reptilian cop. But when she escapes onto an unmarked starship things go from bad to worse: it belongs to the race famed throughout the galaxy for eating stowaways! Surrounded by dangerous yet hunky aliens, Bo starts to uncover clues that the threat to Earth may be bigger than she first thought.
Koko Uncaged—Kieran Shea (June 5, Titan)
Surviving job loss, an unsettled vendetta, a submarine wreck, heartbreak, and mortal carnage on a tokusatsu scale, Koko P. Martstellar (ex-corporate mercenary and saloon/brothel owner) is trying to reassemble what’s left of her life. Being hired to protect global industrialist Bogart Gong seems like as good a place to start as any, but bodyguard work isn’t the cakewalk Koko thought it’d be. Throw in some autocratic malfeasance, a hatchet man with a flair for the dramatic, a South American despot, lovers back from the grave, and a high-speed race at a prison, and you’ve a brain-melting cocktail of cyberpunk satire that’s impossible to put down.
A People’s History of the Vampire Uprising—Raymond Villareal (June 5, Mulholland)
The body of a young woman found in an Arizona border town, presumed to be an illegal immigrant, disappears from the town morgue. To the young CDC investigator called in to consult with the local police, it’s an impossibility that threatens her understanding of medicine. Then, more bodies, dead from an inexplicable disease that solidified their blood, are brought to the morgue, only to also vanish. Soon, the U.S. government—and eventually biomedical researchers, disgruntled lawmakers, and even an insurgent faction of the Catholic Church—must come to terms with what they’re too late to stop: an epidemic of vampirism that will sweep first the United States, and then the world. With heightened strength and beauty and a steady diet of fresh blood, these changed people, or “Gloamings,” rapidly rise to prominence in all aspects of modern society. As new communities of Gloamings arise, society is divided, and popular Gloaming sites come under threat from a secret terrorist organization. But when a charismatic and wealthy businessman, recently turned, runs for political office—well, all hell breaks loose.
Close Your Eyes—Paul Jessup (June 12, Apex Book Company)
Language is a virus. Open this book. Read the words. Feel them infect you. Identity is a disease. Flip the pages. Stay up all night. Watch it transform you. You cannot deny it. You cannot close your eyes and shut out the changes. You know you want to. You really want to. But it’s too late. You can’t. Critically acclaimed author of weird fiction Paul Jessup sends puppets to speak and fight for their masters. Welcome to a far future universe that stretches the imagination to breaking, where a ragtag crew of post-human scavengers rage and love on a small ship in the outer reaches of space, and moon-sized asylums trap the unwary in a labyrinth of experimentation in both identity and sanity. Welcome to Close Your Eyes, a surrealistic space opera that not only includes the out-of-print Open Your Eyes, but takes it to whole new level. Go ahead. Pick it up. Read it. Let it infect you.
The Darwin Variant—Kenneth Johnson (June 12, 47North)
When the icy shards of a rogue comet fall to Earth, they bring an unknown virus that accelerates evolution to extremes. Suddenly, infected plants grow stronger, choking out those uninfected. Animals turn aggressive and deadly. The eyes of loved ones go cold, and infected neighbors begin exhibiting signs of brutal domination. In a small Georgia town, fourteen-year-old Katie McLane sees her neighbors changing, one by one. Dr. Susan Perry, an epidemiologist at the CDC, uncovers the frightening scope of the menace. The infected aren’t just evolving. They’re conspiring to alter the very nature of what it means to be human. Katie and Susan become fugitives because of what they know, encountering bitter betrayals and lethal dangers, but also loves ignited and inspiring camaraderie, as they fight to prevent a viral conspiracy from creating a terrifying brave new world.
Revenant Gun (Machineries of Empire #3)—Yoon Ha Lee (June 12, Solaris)
When Shuos Jedao wakes up for the first time, several things go wrong. His few memories tell him that he’s a seventeen-year-old cadet—but his body belongs to a man decades older. Hexarch Nirai Kujen orders Jedao to reconquer the fractured hexarchate on his behalf even though Jedao has no memory of ever being a soldier, let alone a general. Surely a knack for video games doesn’t qualify you to take charge of an army? Soon Jedao learns the situation is even worse. The Kel soldiers under his command may be compelled to obey him, but they hate him thanks to a massacre he can’t remember committing. Kujen’s friendliness can’t hide the fact that he’s a tyrant. And what’s worse, Jedao and Kujen are being hunted by an enemy who knows more about Jedao and his crimes than he does himself…
Low Chicago (Wild Cards #17)—George R.R. Martin (June 12, Tor Books)
The stakes were already high enough at Giovanni Galante’s poker table that night in Chicago. Poker. Dealer’s choice. Seven players. A million-dollar cash buy-in. But after a superpowered mishap, the most high-profile criminals in the city are scattered throughout the past and their schemes across time threaten the stability of the world. Low Chicago is an all-new time travel adventure that highlights the criminal underworld of 1920s Chicago, featuring a fresh cast of characters from the Wild Cards universe. Edited by #1 New York Times bestselling author George R. R. Martin, Low Chicago features the writing talents of Saladin Ahmed, Paul Cornell, Marko Kloos, John Jos. Miller, Mary Anne Mohanraj, Christopher Rowe, Kevin Andrew Murphy, and Melinda M. Snodgrass.
SuperMoon—H. A. Swain (June 12, Feiwel & Friends)
Young adult. Sol is the month between June and July on the thirteen-month Moon calendar. It’s the only time teenagers have to themselves between rigorous scientific training and their ultimate lab assignments in their colony on the Moon. Their families emigrated from Earth to build better lives; but life on the Moon is far from perfect, as Uma learns on the eve of Sol. Uma meets an Earthen girl who becomes a fast friend, and much more. What Uma doesn’t know is that the girl is assigned to infect Uma with a plague that a rogue faction of Earthen scientists hope will wipe out Moon soldiers. Will Uma be the cause of a pandemic? Whom can she trust, and moreover, whom does she love?
The Freeze-Frame Revolution—Peter Watts (June 12, Tachyon Publications)
She believed in the mission with all her heart. But that was sixty million years ago. How do you stage a mutiny when you’re only awake one day in a million? How do you conspire when your tiny handful of potential allies changes with each shift? How do you engage an enemy that never sleeps, that sees through your eyes and hears through your ears and relentlessly, honestly, only wants what best for you? Sunday Ahzmundin is about to find out.
The Synapse Sequence—Daniel Godfrey (June 19, Titan)
In a future where crime is predicted by the algorithms of AIs, Anna Glover hopes to create a new way of catching criminals by combining witness memories in a virtual reality simulator. A new case appears simple: a foster child put in a coma by a brutal assault. But when the boy’s sister disappears and Anna’s own actions are called into question, it is clear that there are those who do not want her to succeed…
The Privilege of Peace (Peacekeeper #3)—Tanya Huff (June 19, DAW)
Warden Torin Kerr has put her past behind her and built a life away from the war and everything that meant. From the good, from the bad. From the heroics, from the betrayal. She’s created a place and purpose for others like her, a way to use their training for the good of the Confederation. She has friends, family, purpose. Unfortunately, her past refuses to grant her the same absolution. Big Yellow, the ship form of the plastic aliens responsible for the war, returns. The Silsviss test the strength of the Confederation. Torin has to be Gunnery Sergeant Kerr once again and find a way to keep the peace.
The Robots of Gotham—Todd McAulty (June 19, John Joseph Adams Books)
After long years of war, the United States has sued for peace, yielding to a brutal coalition of nations ruled by fascist machines. One quarter of the country is under foreign occupation. Manhattan has been annexed by a weird robot monarchy, and in Tennessee, a permanent peace is being delicately negotiated between the battered remnants of the U.S. government and an envoy of implacable machines. Canadian businessman Barry Simcoe arrives in occupied Chicago days before his hotel is attacked by a rogue war machine. In the aftermath, he meets a dedicated Russian medic with the occupying army, and 19 Black Winter, a badly damaged robot. Together they stumble on a machine conspiracy to unleash a horrific plague—and learn that the fabled American resistance is not as extinct as everyone believes.
Blue Shift—Jane O’Reilly (June 19, Piatkus)
2187: Earth is cold, dead and divided. The rich hide away while the rest will do anything to survive. Humanity have only one hope: crossing hostile alien territory to reach a habitable planet. It’s lucky that for some, fighting their way through space is just a way of life. Jinnifer Blue is on the run. An expert pilot, she apprehends criminals on behalf of the government and keeps her illegal genetic modifications a closely guarded secret. But when a particularly dangerous job goes south, Jinn is left stranded on a prison ship with one of the most ruthless criminals in the galaxy. Now she must decide if she can trust her co-prisoner – because once they discover what the prison ship is hiding, she definitely can’t trust anyone else…
Drop By Drop (Step By Step #1)—Morgan Llywelyn (June 26, Tor Books)
In this first book in the Step By Step trilogy, global catastrophe occurs as all plastic mysteriously liquefies. All the small components making many technologies possible—navigation systems, communications, medical equipment—fail. In Sycamore River, citizens find their lives disrupted as everything they’ve depended on melts around them, with sometimes fatal results. All they can rely upon is themselves. And this is only the beginning …
Fugitive Six (Lorien Legacies Reborn #2)—Pittacus Lore (June 26, HarperCollins)
Young adult. The Human Garde Academy was created in the aftermath of an alien invasion of Earth. It was meant to provide a safe haven for teens across the globe who were suddenly developing incredible powers known as Legacies. Taylor Cook was one of the newest students and had no idea if she’d ever fit in. But when she was mysteriously abducted, her friends broke every rule in the book to save her. In the process, they uncovered a secret organization that was not only behind Taylor’s kidnapping but also the disappearance of numerous teens with abilities. An organization that has dark roots in the Loric’s past, untold resources, and potentially even a mole at their own school. Now these friends, who have become known to other students as the “Fugitive Six,” must work together to bring this mysterious group to an end before they can hurt anyone else.
Gate Crashers—Patrick Tomlinson (June 26, Tor Books)
Humankind ventures further into the galaxy than ever before… and immediately causes an intergalactic incident. In their infinite wisdom, the crew of the exploration vessel Magellan, or as she prefers “Maggie,” decides to bring the alien structure they just found back to Earth. The only problem? The aliens are awfully fond of that structure. A planet full of bumbling, highly evolved primates has just put itself on a collision course with a far wider, and more hostile, galaxy that is stranger than anyone can possibly imagine.
A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe—Alex White (June 26, Orbit)
Boots Elsworth was a famous treasure hunter in another life, but now she’s washed up. She makes her meager living faking salvage legends and selling them to the highest bidder, but this time she got something real–the story of the Harrow, a famous warship, capable of untold destruction. Nilah Brio is the top driver in the Pan Galactic Racing Federation and the darling of the racing world–until she witnesses Mother murder a fellow racer. Framed for the murder and on the hunt to clear her name, Nilah has only one lead: the killer also hunts Boots. On the wrong side of the law, the two women board a smuggler’s ship that will take them on a quest for fame, for riches, and for justice.