There’s not a lot of space-faring SF this month, but it looks like there’s still enough to keep you spaceaholics busy. (Is that a thing?) January brings a new book from C.J. Cherryh (with Jane S. Fancher); the latest in David Weber’s Safehold series; the second Rise of Io book from Wesley Chu; the second Revenger book from Alastair Reynolds; and a new novella from Robert Jackson Bennett!
Keep track of all the new releases here. Note: All title summaries are taken and/or summarized from copy provided by the publisher.
Nightchaser—Amanda Bouchet (January 1, Sourcebooks Casablanca)
Captain Tess Bailey is in deep trouble. She and her crew are on the run, pursued by a tyrant who’ll take them dead or alive. Tess’s best hope is a tall, dark, and much-too-appealing stranger, Shade Ganavan, who says he can help her. But his motivations are far from clear… With the dreaded Dark Watch closing in, what Tess and Shade don’t know about each other might get them killed…unless they can set aside their differences and learn to trust each other before it’s too late.
Arkad’s World—James L. Cambias (January 1, Baen)
Young Arkad is the only human on a distant world, on his own among beings from across the Galaxy. His struggle to survive on the lawless streets of an alien city is disrupted by the arrival of three humans: an eccentric historian named Jacob, a superhuman cyborg girl called Baichi, and a mysterious ex-spy known as Ree. They seek a priceless treasure which might free Earth from alien domination. Arkad risks everything to join them on an incredible quest halfway across the planet. With his help they cross the fantastic landscape, battling pirates, mercenaries, bizarre creatures, vicious bandits and the harsh environment. But the deadliest danger comes from treachery and betrayal within the group as dark secrets and hidden loyalties come to light.
The Storm (Time of Heroes #2)—David Drake (January 1, Baen)
The universe has shattered into chaos and monsters. Jon, the Leader, is dedicating his life to reuniting the scattered hamlets into a Commonwealth where all humans can live protected against the darkness and the things that live in that darkness. But no man can reshape the universe by himself. Jon has Makers to build weapons and clerks to handle the business of government—but he also needs Champions to face the powers of chaos which will not listen to any argument but force. Lord Pal of Beune is one of those Champions. He has fought monsters and evil on behalf of Mankind, and he will fight them again. But now Guntram, the man who transformed Pal from an ignorant rube into a bulwark of the Commonwealth, has disappeared. Pal must locate his friend and mentor—and then he must battle an entity which may be at the core of the splintered universe!
The Fall of Io (Rise of Io #2)—Wesley Chu (January 8, Angry Robot)
When Ella Patel’s mind was invaded by the Quasing alien, Io, she was dragged into the raging Prophus versus Genjix war. Despite her reservations, and Io’s incompetence, the Prophus were determined to train her as an agent. It didn’t go well. Expelled after just two years, Ella happily returned to con artistry, and bank robberies. But the Quasing war isn’t done with them yet. The Genjix’s plan to contact their homeworld has reached a critical stage, threatening all life on Earth. To complete the project they need Io’s knowledge – and he’s in Ella’s head – so now they’re both being hunted, again.
Alliance Rising (Alliance-Union Universe)—C.J. Cherryh & Jane S. Fancher (January 8, DAW)
Years after Sol has lagged behind other great megastations like Pell and Cyteen, Alpha station receives news of an incoming ship with no identification. The denizens of Alpha wait anxiously for news on the outsiders, each with their own suspicions. Ross and Fallon, crew members of the Galway, believe the ship belongs to Pell, which has an interest in The Rights of Man, another massive ship docked at Alpha. It is under the command of the Earth Company, but it is not quite ready, and its true purpose is shrouded in mystery. James Robert Neihart is captain of Finity’s End, a Pell ship flown by one of the Families. He has heard whispers of The Rights of Man, and wonders at its design and purpose, especially as Sol struggles to rival the progress of the Farther Stars. Now stationed on Alpha, he must convince the crews that more is happening with the megastations than meets the eye. For the reasons behind the creation of The Rights of Man, and its true plans, could change everything—not just for Sol, but for the First Stars and the Beyond itself.
The Lost Puzzler (Tarkan Chronicles #1)—Eyal Kless (January 8, Harper Voyager)
More than a hundred years have passed since the Great Catastrophe brought humanity to the brink of extinction. Those who survived are changed. The Wildeners have reverted to the old ways, praying to new Gods, while others place their faith in the technology that once powered their lost civilization. In the mysterious City of Towers, the center of the destroyed Tarakan empire, a lowly scribe of the Guild of Historians is charged with a dangerous assignment. He must venture into the wilds beyond the glass and steel towers to discover the fate of a child who mysteriously disappeared more than a decade before. Born of a rare breed of marked people, Rafik—known as “The Key”—was one of a special few with the power to restore this lost civilization to glory once again. In a world riven by fear and violence, where tattooed mutants, manic truckers, warring guilds and greedy mercenaries battle for survival, this one boy may have singlehandedly destroyed humanity’s only chance for salvation—unless the scribe can figure out what happened to him.
Through Fiery Trials (Safehold #10)—David Weber (January 8, Tor Books)
Those on the side of progressing humanity through advanced technology have finally triumphed over their oppressors. The unholy war between the small but mighty island realm of Charis and the radical, luddite Church of God’s Awaiting has come to an end. However, even though a provisional veil of peace has fallen over human colonies, the quiet will not last. For Safefold is a broken world, and as international alliances shift and Charis charges on with its precarious mission of global industrialization, the shifting plates of the new world order are bound to clash. Yet, an uncertain future isn’t the only danger Safehold faces. Long-thought buried secrets and prophetic promises come to light, proving time is a merciless warden who never forgets.
The Void Protocol (Secret History #3)—F. Paul Wilson (January 8, Forge Books)
Something sits in a bunker lab buried fifty feet below the grounds of Lakehurst Naval Air Station. The product of the Lange-Tür technology confiscated from the Germans after World War II occupies a chamber of steel-reinforced ballistic glass. Despite experimentation for nearly three-quarters of a century, no one knows what it is, but illegal human research reveals what it can do. Humans with special abilities have been secretly collected—abilities that can only have come from whatever occupies the underground bunker in Lakehurst. And so it sits, sequestered on the edge of the New Jersey Pine Barrens, slowly changing the world.
Shadow Captain (Revenger #2)—Alastair Reynolds (January 15, Orbit)
Adrana and Fura Ness have finally been reunited, but both have changed beyond recognition. Once desperate for adventure, now Adrana is haunted by her enslavement on the feared pirate Bosa Sennen’s ship. And rumors of Bosa Sennen’s hidden cache of treasure have ensnared her sister, Fura, into single-minded obsession. Neither is safe; because the galaxy wants Bosa Sennen dead and they don’t care if she’s already been killed. They’ll happily take whoever is flying her ship. Shadow Captain is a desperate story of cursed ships, vengeful corporations, and alien artifacts, of daring escapes and wealth beyond imagining … and of betrayal.
Fearless (Eye of the Beholder #2)—Sarah Tarkoff (January 15, Harper Voyager)
A decade ago, Grace Luther’s life was changed by the Revelations: the moment when Great Spirit “saved” humanity and transformed the world into a place where pious behavior is rewarded with beauty, and wrongdoing results in ugliness and even death. Now, at eighteen, Grace knows that everything she believed about the Revelations is a lie—a myth constructed by the government of the Prophets to force its citizens into model behavior … and one that led to her mother’s death. She is determined to expose the deception and bring down the Prophets, even if it means aligning herself with the resistance, a group she doesn’t entirely trust. After insinuating herself into Prophet Joshua’s inner circle, the double agent gets ever closer to fulfilling her mission to destroy his mind-influencing nanotechnology. But a shocking discovery has her questioning her path, and sends her hunting for answers about her past.
All Systems Red (Murderbot Diaries #1)—Martha Wells (January 22, Tor.com Publishing)
Hardcover reissue. In a corporate-dominated spacefaring future, planetary missions must be approved and supplied by the Company. Exploratory teams are accompanied by Company-supplied security androids, for their own safety. But in a society where contracts are awarded to the lowest bidder, safety isn’t a primary concern. On a distant planet, a team of scientists are conducting surface tests, shadowed by their Company-supplied ‘droid—a self-aware SecUnit that has hacked its own governor module, and refers to itself (though never out loud) as “Murderbot.” Scornful of humans, all it really wants is to be left alone long enough to figure out who it is. But when a neighboring mission goes dark, it’s up to the scientists and their Murderbot to get to the truth.
Vigilance—Robert Jackson Bennett (January 29, Tor.com Publishing)
The United States. 2030. John McDean executive produces Vigilance, a reality game show designed to make sure American citizens stay alert to foreign and domestic threats. Shooters are introduced into a “game environment,” and the survivors get a cash prize. The TV audience is not the only one that’s watching though, and McDean soon finds out what it’s like to be on the other side of the camera.
Here and Now and Then—Mike Chen (January 29, Mira)
Kin Stewart is an everyday family man: working in IT, trying to keep the spark in his marriage, struggling to connect with his teenage daughter, Miranda. But his current life is a far cry from his previous career … as a time-traveling secret agent from 2142. Stranded in suburban San Francisco since the 1990s after a botched mission, Kin has kept his past hidden from everyone around him, despite the increasing blackouts and memory loss affecting his time-traveler’s brain. Until one afternoon, his “rescue” team arrives—eighteen years too late. Their mission: return Kin to 2142, where he’s only been gone weeks, not years, and where another family is waiting for him. A family he can’t remember. Torn between two lives, Kin is desperate for a way to stay connected to both. But when his best efforts threaten to destroy the agency and even history itself, his daughter’s very existence is at risk. It’ll take one final trip across time to save Miranda—even if it means breaking all the rules of time travel in the process.
The Smoke—Simon Ings (January 29, Titan Books)
Humanity has been split into three different species. Mutual incomprehension has fractured the globe. As humans race to be the first of their kind to reach the stars, another Great War looms. For you, that means returning to Yorkshire and the town of your birth, where factories churn out the parts for gigantic spaceships. You’re done with the pretentions of the capital and its unfathomable architecture. You’re done with the people of the Bund, their easy superiority and unstoppable spread throughout the city of London and beyond. You’re done with Georgy Chernoy and his questionable defeat of death. You’re done with his daughter, Fel, and losing all the time. You’re done with love. But soon enough you will find yourself in the Smoke again, drawn back to the life you thought you’d left behind. You’re done with love. But love’s not done with you.