You’ve got your alternate history; you’ve got your classic retellings; you’ve got your appearances of the Old Testament God and your talking Jesus and Mary lawn ornaments (in two different books!). You’ve got a new take on Sherlock Holmes and an annoying sibling who happens to be a superhero—and you’ve got a murder at Comic Con. Which do you read first?
Keep track of all the new releases here. Note: All title summaries are taken and/or summarized from copy provided by the publisher.
Thoreau’s Microscope—Michael Blumlein (July 1, PM Press)
The politics and terrors of biotech, human engineering, and brain science are highlighted in this selection of short stories with Michael Blumlein’s signature mix of fantasy, science fiction, horror, and wicked humor. The title piece, “Thoreau’s Microscope,” is a stunning mix of hypothesis and history, in which the author inhabits Thoreau’s last days to explore the politics of impersonal science and personal liberation—a journey as illuminating as it is disturbing.
Black Chamber—S.M. Stirling (July 3, Ace)
1916. The Great War rages overseas, and the whole of Europe, Africa, and western Asia is falling to the Central Powers. To win a war that must be won, Teddy Roosevelt, once again the American president, turns to the top secret Black Chamber organization’s cunning and deadly spy, Luz O’Malley Aróstegui. On an airship voyage, Luz poses as an anti-American Mexican revolutionary to get close to a German agent. She’ll need every skill at her disposal to get him to lead her deep into enemy territory. In the mountains of Saxony, concealed from allied eyes, the German Reich’s plans for keeping the U.S. from entering the conflict are revealed: the deployment of a new diabolical weapon upon the shores of America…
The World is a Narrow Bridge—Aaron Thier (July 3, Bloomsbury)
Young Miami couple Murphy and Eva have almost decided to have a baby when Yahweh, the Old Testament God, appears to Eva and makes an unwelcome demand: He wants her to be his prophet. He also wants her to manage his social media presence. Yahweh sends the two on a wild road trip across the country, making incomprehensible demands and mandating arcane rituals as they go. He gives them a hundred million dollars, but he asks them to use it to build a temple on top of a landfill. He forces them to endure a period of Biblical wandering in the deserts of the southwest. Along the way they are continually mistaken for another couple, a pair of North Carolina society people, and find themselves attending increasingly bizarre events in their names. At odds with their mission but helpless to disobey, Murphy and Eva search their surroundings for signs of a future they can have faith in.
The Supervillain and Me—Danielle Banas (July 10, Swoon)
Young adult. In Abby Hamilton’s world, superheroes do more than just stop crime and save cats stuck in trees—they also drink milk straight from the carton and hog the television remote. Abby’s older brother moonlights as the famous Red Comet, but without powers of her own, following in his footsteps has never crossed her mind. That is, until the city’s newest vigilante comes bursting into her life. After saving Abby from an attempted mugging, Morriston’s fledgling supervillain Iron Phantom convinces her that he’s not as evil as everyone says, and that their city is under a vicious new threat. As Abby follows him deeper into their city’s darkest secrets, she comes to learn that heroes can’t always be trusted, and sometimes it’s the good guys who wear black.
Heart of Granite (Blood & Fire 1)—James Barclay (July 10, Gollancz)
The world has become a battleground in a war which no side is winning. But for those determined to retain power, the prolonged stalemate cannot be tolerated so desperate measures must be taken. Max Halloran has no idea. He’s living the brief and glorious life of a hunter-killer pilot. He’s an ace in the air, on his way up through the ranks, in love, and with his family’s every need provided for in thanks for his service, Max has everything … right up until he hears something he shouldn’t have, and refuses to let it go. Suddenly he’s risking his life and the lives of all those he cares about for a secret which could expose corruption at the highest levels, and change the course of the war. One man, one brief conversation … a whole world of trouble…
Latchkey (Archivist Wasp #2)—Nicole Kornher-Stace (July 10, Mythic Delirium)
Isabel, once known as Wasp, has become leader of the teen girl acolytes who are adjusting to a new way of life after the overthrow of the sadistic Catchkeep-priest. They live in an uneasy alliance with the town of Sweetwater—an alliance that will be tested to its limits by the dual threats of ruthless raiders from the Waste and a deadly force from the Before-time. Years ago Isabel befriended a nameless ghost, a supersoldier from the Before-time with incredible powers even after death, and their adventure in the underworld gave her the strength and knowledge to change the brutal existence of the Catchkeep acolytes for the better. To save Sweetwater, Isabel will have to unlock the secrets of the twisted experimental program from centuries gone by that created the supersoldier and killed his friends: the Latchkey Project.
Metamorphica—Zachary Mason (July 10, Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
In the tradition of his bestselling debut novel The Lost Books of the Odyssey, Zachary Mason’s Metamorphica transforms Ovid’s epic poem of endless transformation. It reimagines the stories of Narcissus, Pygmalion and Galatea, Midas and Atalanta, and strings them together like the stars in constellations—even Ovid becomes a story.
Dreamfall—Amy Plum (July 10, HarperTeen)
Young adult. Seven teenagers who suffer from debilitating insomnia agree to take part in an experimental new procedure to cure it because they think it can’t get any worse. But they couldn’t be more wrong. When the lab equipment malfunctions, the patients are plunged into a terrifying dreamworld where their worst nightmares have come to life—and they have no memory of how they got there. Hunted by monsters from their darkest imaginations and tormented by secrets they’d rather keep buried, these seven strangers will be forced to band together to face their biggest fears. And if they can’t find a way to defeat their dreams, they will never wake up.
Game of the Gods—Jay Schiffman (July 10, Tor Books)
Max Cone wants to be an ordinary citizen of the Federacy and leave war and politics behind. But he’s too good a military commander, and too powerful a judge, to be left alone. War breaks out, and Max becomes the ultimate prize for the nation that can convince him to fight again. When one leader gives the Judge a powerful device that predicts the future, the Judge doesn’t want to believe its chilling prophecy: The world will soon end, and he’s to blame. But his wife and children are taken. His friends are falsely imprisoned. His closest allies are killed. Worst of all, the world descends into a cataclysmic global war. In order to find his family, free his friends, and save the world, the Judge must become a lethal killer willing to destroy anyone who stands in his way.
The Con Artist—Fred Van Lente (July 10, Quirk Books)
Comic book artist Mike Mason arrives at San Diego Comic-Con, seeking sanctuary with other fans and creators—and maybe to reunite with his ex—but when his rival is found murdered, he becomes the prime suspect. To clear his name, Mike will have to navigate every corner of the con, from zombie obstacle courses and cosplay flash mobs to intrusive fans and obsessive collectors, in the process unraveling a dark secret behind one of the industry’s most legendary creators.
Spill Zone: The Broken Vow (Spill Zone #2)—Scott Westerfeld, Alex Puvilland (July 10, First Second)
Young adult. Three years ago an event destroyed the small city of Poughkeepsie, forever changing reality within its borders. Strange manifestations and lethal dangers now await anyone who enters the Spill Zone. Addison got close enough to the Spill Zone to touch it, literally. She survived the encounter, but came back changed. It turns out she’s not alone. North Korea has its own Spill Zone, and a young man named Don Jae is the only one who made it out alive. Alive, but changed. Now Addison, Don Jae, and, curiously, a rag doll named Vespertine, share an unholy bond and uncanny powers.
The Wrong Heaven—Amy Bonnafons (July 17, Little, Brown)
In The Wrong Heaven, Bonnaffons draws us into a delightfully strange universe, in which her conflicted characters seek to solve their sexual and spiritual dilemmas in all the wrong places. The title story’s heroine reckons with grief while arguing with loquacious Jesus and Mary lawn ornaments that come to life when she plugs them in. In “Horse,” we enter a world in which women transform themselves into animals through a series of medical injections. In “Alternate,” a young woman convinces herself that all she needs to revive a stagnant relationship is the perfect poster of the Dalai Lama. While some of the worlds to which Bonnaffons transports us are more recognizable than others, all of them uncover the mysteries beneath the mundane surfaces of our lives.
The Cloven (The Vorrh #3)—B. Catling (July 17, Vintage)
The young Afrikaner socialite Cyrena Lohr is mourning the death of her lover, the cyclops Ishmael, when she rekindles a relationship with famed naturalist Eugène Marais. Before departing down his own dark path, Marais presents her with a gift: an object of great power that grants her visions of a new world. Meanwhile, the threat of Germany’s Blitz looms over London, and only Nicholas the Erstwhile senses the danger to come. Will he be able to save the man who saved him? And as Nazi forces descend upon Africa, will the Vorrh finally succeed in enacting its revenge against those who have invaded and defiled it?
One of Us—Craig DiLouie (July 17, Orbit)
They call it the plague: A generation of children born with extreme genetic mutations. They call it a home: But it’s a place of neglect and forced labour. They call him a Freak. But Dog is just a boy who wants to be treated as normal. They call them dangerous. They might be right.
Mad Amos Malone—Alan Dean Foster (July 17, Del Rey)
Strange things lurk up in the mountains and out in the plains and deserts of the West, but few are as unique as the giant mountain man named Amos Malone, who some call “Mad Amos”—though not to his face. Atop his unnatural steed, Worthless, Mad Amos is prepared to step into any fray and set things right, albeit in his own unusual way. Now all of his uncanny exploits—including the brand-new story “Stuck”—are collected together for the first time. For this special edition, Alan Dean Foster has also penned original introductions to the series and to each individual adventure.
The Mere Wife—Maria Dahvana Headley (July 17, MCD)
From the perspective of those who live in Herot Hall, the suburb is a paradise. But for those who live surreptitiously along Herot Hall’s periphery, the subdivision is a fortress guarded by an intense network of gates, surveillance cameras, and motion-activated lights. For Willa, the wife of Roger Herot (heir of Herot Hall), life moves at a charmingly slow pace. She flits between mommy groups, playdates, cocktail hour, and dinner parties, always with her son, Dylan, in tow. Meanwhile, in a cave in the mountains just beyond the limits of Herot Hall lives Gren, short for Grendel, as well as his mother, Dana, a former soldier who gave birth as if by chance. Dana didn’t want Gren, didn’t plan Gren, and doesn’t know how she got Gren, but when she returned from war, there he was. When Gren, unaware of the borders erected to keep him at bay, ventures into Herot Hall and runs off with Dylan, Dana’s and Willa’s worlds collide.
The War in the Dark—Nick Setchfield (July 17, Titan)
Europe. 1963. And the true Cold War is fought on the borders of this world, at the edges of the light. When the assassination of a traitor trading with the enemy goes terribly wrong, British Intelligence agent Christopher Winter must flee London. In a tense alliance with a lethal, mysterious woman named Karina Lazarova, he’s caught in a quest for hidden knowledge from centuries before, an occult secret written in a language of fire. A secret that will give supremacy to the nation that possesses it.
The Expert System’s Brother—Adrian Tchaikovsky (July 17, Tor.com Publishing)
After an unfortunate accident, Handry is forced to wander a world he doesn’t understand, searching for meaning. He soon discovers that the life he thought he knew is far stranger than he could even possibly imagine. Can an unlikely saviour provide the answers to the questions he barely comprehends?
A Study in Honor—Claire O’Dell (July 31, Harper Voyager)
Dr. Janet Watson knows firsthand the horrifying cost of a divided nation. While treating soldiers on the battlefields of the New Civil War, a sniper’s bullet shattered her arm and ended her career. Honorably discharged and struggling with a semi-functional mechanical arm, she returns to the nation’s capital. Homeless and jobless, Watson is uncertain of the future when she meets another black and queer woman, Sara Holmes, a mysterious covert agent who offers the doctor a place to stay. Watson’s readjustment to civilian life is complicated by the infuriating antics of her strange new roommate. But the tensions between them dissolve when Watson discovers that soldiers from the New Civil War have begun dying one by one—and that the deaths may be the tip of something far more dangerous. Joining forces, Watson and Holmes embark on a thrilling investigation to solve the mystery—and secure justice for these fallen soldiers.