The human race isn’t faring too well in this month’s science fiction releases: conflict erupts over an island piled with consumer trash in Chen Qiufan’s Waste Tide; the sun begins to die ahead of schedule in M.G. Wheaton’s Emily Eternal; a massive black hole is about to enter the solar system in Greg Egan’s Perihelion Summer; and a deadly mystery unfolds after the destruction of Earth in Atlas Alone, the fourth book in Emma Newman’s Planetfall series.
Which will 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.
Finder —Suzanne Palmer (April 2, DAW)
Fergus Ferguson has been called a lot of names: thief, con artist, repo man. He prefers the term finder.
His latest job should be simple. Find the spacecraft Venetia’s Sword and steal it back from Arum Gilger, ex-nobleman turned power-hungry trade boss. He’ll slip in, decode the ship’s compromised AI security, and get out of town, Sword in hand.
Fergus locates both Gilger and the ship in the farthest corner of human-inhabited space, a backwater deep space colony called Cernee. But Fergus’ arrival at the colony is anything but simple. A cable car explosion launches Cernee into civil war, and Fergus must ally with Gilger’s enemies to navigate a field of space mines and a small army of hostile mercenaries. What was supposed to be a routine job evolves into negotiating a power struggle between factions. Even worse, Fergus has become increasingly—and inconveniently—invested in the lives of the locals.
The Quanderhorn Xperimentations —Rob Grand and Andrew Marshall (April 9, Gollancz)
Meet Professor Quanderhorn: a brilliant, maverick scientific genius with absolutely no moral compass. Assisted by a rag-tag crew—his part-insect “son” (reputedly ‘a major breakthrough in Artificial Stupidity’), a recovering amnesiac, a brilliant scientist with a half-clockwork brain, and a captured Martian hostage—he’ll save the world.
Even if he has to destroy it in the process.
With his Dangerous Giant Space Laser, Utterly Untested Matter Transfuser Booth and Fleets of Monkey-driven Lorries, he’s not afraid to push the boundaries of science to their very limit. And far, far beyond…
Escape From The Arcadians (Asteroids #1)—Mike McCoy (April 9, Blaster Tech)
An Asteroid storm is coming.
Life and the world we know will never be the same. Millions of people will die. Colonel Cruikshank has worked to keep the coming apocalypse secret while creating underground cities for the, “Few and the Fortunate.”
Rick Munday, a struggling astrophysicist from Cal Tech is invited to a seminar. He is kidnapped and taken to the Utopian city of New Arcadia where he learns that the asteroid storm has already begun. Rick escapes New Arcadia in hopes of saving his family only to end up in the middle of Nebraska. Rick and new friends he meets along the way attempt to thwart the efforts of the Arcadians and save thousands more souls, all while dodging meteors and being chased by the evil Captain Kobalt.
We Are Mayhem (Black Star Renegades #2)—Michael Moreci (April 9, St. Martin’s Press)
Though the ragtag group of misfits known as the Black Star Renegades won a decisive battle by destroying Ga Halle’s War Hammer, the war is far from over. In response to losing the crown jewel of its fleet, the evil Praxis empire has vengefully reinforced its tyranny across the galaxy—but its rule won’t be had so easily. Led by hotshot pilot Kira Sen, a growing rebel force stands in the way of Praxis’s might. Not only do they possess the will to fight for galactic freedom, they also possess the ultimate ace in the hole: The mythical Rokura, the most powerful weapon ever known.
Too bad Cade Sura hasn’t figured out to use it.
As Kira wages an increasingly bloody war against Praxis, Cade is left with only once choice: With Ga Halle scouring every star system for the coveted weapon, Cade embarks on a dangerous mission into uncharted space to discover the Rokura’s origins. Only then can he learn how it can be wielded. Because if he doesn’t, all hope for the galaxy might be lost.
Available Light (Star Trek TNG)—Dayton Ward (April 9, Pocket Books)
Section 31, the covert organization which has operated without accountability in the shadows for more than two centuries, has been exposed. Throughout the Federation, the rogue group’s agents and leaders are being taken into custody as the sheer scope of its misdeeds comes to light. Now Starfleet Command must decide the consequences for numerous officers caught up in the scandal—including Admirals William Ross, Edward Jellico, Alynna Nechayev, and Captain Jean-Luc Picard who, along with many others, are implicated in the forced removal of a Federation president.
Meanwhile, deep in the distant, unexplored region of space known as the Odyssean Pass, Picard and the crew of the Starship Enterprise must put aside personal feelings and political concerns as they investigate a massive mysterious spacecraft. Adrift for centuries in the void, the ship is vital to the survival of an endangered civilization which has spent generations searching for a world to sustain what remains of its people. Complicating matters is a band of marauders who have their own designs on the ancient ship, with only the Enterprise standing in their way…
Winds of Marque (Blackwood & Virtue #1)—Bennett R. Coles (April 16, Harper Voyager)
In a dense star cluster, the solar winds blow fiercely. The star sailing ship HMSS Daring is running at full sheet with a letter of marque allowing them to capture enemy vessels involved in illegal trading. Sailing under a false flag to protect the ship and its mission, Daring’s crew must gather intelligence that will lead them to the pirates’ base.
Posing as traders, Daring’s dashing second-in-command Liam Blackwood and brilliant quartermaster Amelia Virtue infiltrate shady civilian merchant networks, believing one will lead them to their quarry.
But their mission is threatened from within their own ranks when Daring’s enigmatic captain makes a series of questionable choices, and rumblings of discontent start bubbling up from below decks, putting the crew on edge and destroying morale. On top of it all, Liam and Amelia must grapple with their growing feelings for each other.
Perihelion Summer —Greg Egan (April 16, Tor.com Publishing)
Taraxippus is coming: a black hole one tenth the mass of the sun is about to enter the solar system.
Matt and his friends are taking no chances. They board a mobile aquaculture rig, the Mandjet, self-sustaining in food, power and fresh water, and decide to sit out the encounter off-shore. As Taraxippus draws nearer, new observations throw the original predictions for its trajectory into doubt, and by the time it leaves the solar system, the conditions of life across the globe will be changed forever.
Master & Apprentice (Star Wars)—Claudia Gray (April 16, Del Rey)
A Jedi must be a fearless warrior, a guardian of justice, and a scholar in the ways of the Force. But perhaps a Jedi’s most essential duty is to pass on what they have learned. Master Yoda trained Dooku; Dooku trained Qui-Gon Jinn; and now Qui-Gon has a Padawan of his own. But while Qui-Gon has faced all manner of threats and danger as a Jedi, nothing has ever scared him like the thought of failing his apprentice.
Obi-Wan Kenobi has deep respect for his Master, but struggles to understand him. Why must Qui-Gon so often disregard the laws that bind the Jedi? Why is Qui-Gon drawn to ancient Jedi prophecies instead of more practical concerns? And why wasn’t Obi-Wan told that Qui-Gon is considering an invitation to join the Jedi Council—knowing it would mean the end of their partnership? The simple answer scares him: Obi-Wan has failed his Master.
When Jedi Rael Averross, another former student of Dooku, requests their assistance with a political dispute, Jinn and Kenobi travel to the royal court of Pijal for what may be their final mission together. What should be a simple assignment quickly becomes clouded by deceit, and by visions of violent disaster that take hold in Qui-Gon’s mind. As Qui-Gon’s faith in prophecy grows, Obi-Wan’s faith in him is tested—just as a threat surfaces that will demand that Master and apprentice come together as never before, or be divided forever.
Atlas Alone (Planetfall #4)—Emma Newman (April 16, Ace)
Six months after she left, Dee is struggling to manage her rage toward the people who ordered the nuclear strike that destroyed Earth. She’s trying to find those responsible, but she’s not getting very far alone.
A dedicated gamer, Dee is endeavoring to discover a mersive good enough to enable her to escape her trauma. When she is approached by a designer who asks her to play test his new game, she hopes it will be what she needs—but it isn’t like any mersive she’s played before. When a man suddenly dies in the real world, she realizes that at the same time in the game, she killed a character who bears a striking resemblance to the dead man—a man she discovers was one of those responsible for the death of millions on Earth.
Disturbed, but thinking it must be a coincidence, Dee continues the hunt for information. But when she finds out the plans for the future colony, she realizes that to save what is left of humanity, she might have to do something that risks what remains of her own.
Knight (Sibyl’s War #2)—Timothy Zahn (April 16, Tor Books)
Nicole Hammond was just trying to survive on the streets of Philadelphia, then she and her partner Bungie were abducted by a race of mysterious moth-like aliens and taken to a strange ship called the Fyrantha.
Now she is a Sibyl, a special human that has the ability to communicate with the aliens and their ship, and no one is happy. Competing factions control different parts of the Fyrantha with the humans and other sentient aliens caught in the middle. But Nicole is done being bullied, and now she has a plan to take control of the ship. She just has to outsmart war profiteers and slavers to do it.
The Book of Flora (Road to Nowhere #3)—Meg Elison (April 23, 47 North)
In the wake of the apocalypse, Flora has come of age in a highly gendered post-plague society where females have become a precious, coveted, hunted, and endangered commodity. But Flora does not participate in the economy that trades in bodies. An anathema in a world that prizes procreation above all else, she is an outsider everywhere she goes, including the thriving all-female city of Shy.
Now navigating a blighted landscape, Flora, her friends, and a sullen young slave she adopts as her own child leave their oppressive pasts behind to find their place in the world. They seek refuge aboard a ship where gender is fluid, where the dynamic is uneasy, and where rumors flow of a bold new reproductive strategy.
When the promise of a miraculous hope for humanity’s future tears Flora’s makeshift family asunder, she must choose: protect the safe haven she’s built or risk everything to defy oppression, whatever its provenance.
A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World—C. A. Fletcher (April 23, Orbit)
My name’s Griz. My childhood wasn’t like yours. I’ve never had friends, and in my whole life I’ve not met enough people to play a game of football. My parents told me how crowded the world used to be, but we were never lonely on our remote island. We had each other, and our dogs.
Then the thief came.
There may be no law left except what you make of it. But if you steal my dog, you can at least expect me to come after you. Because if we aren’t loyal to the things we love, what’s the point?
Emily Eternal—M. G. Wheaton (April 23, Grand Central Publishing)
Emily is an artificial consciousness, designed in a lab to help humans process trauma, which is particularly helpful when the sun begins to die 5 billion years before scientists agreed it was supposed to.
Her beloved human race is screwed, and so is Emily. That is, until she finds a potential answer buried deep in the human genome that may save them all. But not everyone is convinced Emily has the best solution—or the best intentions. Before her theory can be tested, the lab is brutally attacked, and Emily’s servers are taken hostage.
Narrowly escaping, Emily is forced to go on the run with two human companions—college student Jason and small-town Sheriff, Mayra. As the sun’s death draws near, Emily and her friends must race against time to save humanity. Soon it becomes clear not just the species is at stake, but also that which makes us most human.
Wild Cards IX: Jokertown Shuffle (Rox Triad #2)—George R. R. Martin (Ed.) (April 30, Tor Books)
Bloat, the boy-governor of the Rox, wanted to make Ellis Island a safe haven for Jokers, and made a choice to recruit the Jumpers, superpowered teen outcasts who could steal a man’s body in the blink of an eye.
But under the leadership of Dr. Tachyon’s psychotic grandson, the Jumpers grow more vicious and uncontrollable every day, becoming the greatest threat the Wild Cards have ever faced…
Waste Tide—Chen Qiufan (Translated by Ken Liu) (April 30, Tor Books)
Mimi is drowning in the world’s trash.
She’s a waste worker on Silicon Isle, where electronics—from cell phones and laptops to bots and bionic limbs—are sent to be recycled. These amass in towering heaps, polluting every spare inch of land. On this island off the coast of China, the fruits of capitalism and consumer culture come to a toxic end. Mimi and thousands of migrant waste workers like her are lured to Silicon Isle with the promise of steady work and a better life. They’re the lifeblood of the island’s economy, but are at the mercy of those in power.
A storm is brewing, between ruthless local gangs, warring for control. Ecoterrorists, set on toppling the status quo. American investors, hungry for profit. And a Chinese-American interpreter, searching for his roots. As these forces collide, a war erupts—between the rich and the poor; between tradition and modern ambition; between humanity’s past and its future—Mimi, and others like her, must decide if they will remain pawns in this war or change the rules of the game altogether.
War Criminals (Bastard Legion #3)—Gavin G. Smith (April 30, Gollancz)
It was the kind of dirty, violent work the Bastards were made for. Protect a bunch of colonists in the Epsilon Eridani system, whose moon had become a war zone as megacorp-backed mercenaries fought a brutal proxy war. Just the kind of fight the penal mercenary legion liked.
But a hundred headless corpses are hard to explain, even for the Bastard Legion, and soon they are on the run, abandoned by their allies, and hunted by their most dangerous foe yet… but Miska’s going to play them at her own game.