No one tells you how cold space is, or how lonely. You can see your planet in the distance, you’re so close to home. But are you ever truly safe? This month’s science fiction titles are all about finding out who you really are in the face of danger. Escape an alien kidnapping in K.B. Wagers’ Down Among the Dead; transfer your consciousness into another body in Anyone by Charles Soule; and read the new story in the Borne universe from Jeff VanderMeer, Dead Astronauts.
Head below for the full list of science fiction titles heading your way in December!
Keep track of all the new releases here. Note: All title summaries are taken and/or summarized from copy provided by the publisher.
WEEK ONE (December 3)
Anyone—Charles Soule (Harper Perennial)
Inside a barn in Ann Arbor, Michigan, a scientist searching for an Alzheimer’s cure throws a switch—and finds herself mysteriously transported into her husband’s body. What begins as a botched experiment will change her life—and the world—forever. Over two decades later, all across the planet, “flash” technology allows individuals the ability to transfer their consciousness into other bodies for specified periods, paid, registered and legal. Society has been utterly transformed by the process, from travel to warfare to entertainment; “Be anyone with Anyone” the tagline of the company offering this ultimate out-of-body experience. But beyond the reach of the law and government regulators is a sordid black market called the darkshare, where desperate “vessels” anonymously rent out their bodies, no questions asked for any purpose—sex, drugs, crime… or worse.
Down Among the Dead (Farian War #2)—K. B. Wagers (Orbit)
In a surprise attack that killed many of her dearest subjects, Hail Bristol, empress of Indrana, has been captured by the Shen—the most ruthless and fearsome aliens humanity has ever encountered. As she plots her escape, the centuries-long war between her captors and the Farians, their mortal enemies and Indrana’s oldest allies, finally comes to a head. When her captors reveal a shocking vision of the future, Hail must make the unexpectedly difficult decision she’s been avoiding: whether to back the Shen or the Farians. Staying neutral is no longer an option. Will Hail fight? Or will she fall?
Dead Astronauts—Jeff VanderMeer (MCD)
A messianic blue fox who slips through warrens of time and space on a mysterious mission. A homeless woman haunted by a demon who finds the key to all things in a strange journal. A giant leviathan of a fish, centuries old, who hides a secret, remembering a past that may not be its own. Three ragtag rebels waging an endless war for the fate of the world against an all-powerful corporation. A raving madman who wanders the desert lost in the past, haunted by his own creation: an invisible monster whose name he has forgotten and whose purpose remains hidden. Jeff VanderMeer’s Dead Astronauts presents a City with no name of its own where, in the shadow of the all-powerful Company, lives human and otherwise converge in terrifying and miraculous ways. At stake: the fate of the future, the fate of Earth―all the Earths.
Accepting the Lance (Liaden Universe #22)—Sharon Lee, Steve Miller (Baen)
Exiled from Liad after bombing a city to save it from The Department of the Interior’s infernal weapons and plans, Clan Korval has gone to ground on the back-water planet Surebleak, whose people are as untamed as its weather. The old Boss-controlled fiefdoms largely fell to Pat Rin yos’Phelium’s influence, but the world is restive, the influx of outworld lawyers, guns, and money a brewpot for armed dissatisfaction. Far beyond the surface of frigid Surebleak Korval’s farflung trade network needs a serious reset to recover from exile. From flagship Dutiful Passage to the experimental—if centuries old—self-aware Bechimo co-captained by the Delm’s blood-sister Theo Waitley, the clan’s ships are prowling space lanes seeking trade. Meanwhile, Old Tech from a failed universe—the ancient but revived Tinsori Light—and the machinations of the mysterious Uncle are coalescing into dangerous opportunity or nefarious trap. And the Department of the Interior is not done with Clan Korval yet. They seek a final fully reckoned revenge, with Surebleak and Korval’s ships and people everywhere in the crosshairs.
Scornful Stars (Breaker of Empires #3)—Richard Baker (Tor Books)
Now a captain, Sikander Singh North commands the destroyer Decisive, assigned to Zerzura, a haven for piracy and the next playing-board in the Great Game. The Aquilan Commonwealth and the Empire of Dremark vie for the allegiance of local ruler Marid Pasha, a competition with stakes that reach far beyond the sector’s pirate-infested limits. Sikander must stop the pirate attacks while charting his course between the ambitions of Marid Pasha, a dubious alliance with a shipping magnate, and the inexperience of Decisive’s crew… a situation that only grows more complicated when an old enemy returns.
Wild Cards X: Double Solitaire—Melinda Snodgrass (Tor Books)
Aboard his grandfather’s spaceship and fleeing the violent turmoil between Jokers, Aces, and Nats that his vicious ambition spawned, Blaise is headed for a new conquest: the plant Takis. Dr. Tachyon is left behind… but he’s lost more than his only way of returning to his home world. Blaise has stolen his body, as well—leaving Tach trapped in the pregnant body of a teenage runaway. Tachyon must sell his soul to reach Takis—and once there, confront Blaise amidst the political and military machinations of Takisian society. Treachery and treason await him. At stake is nothing less than the destiny of an entire world. Join Melinda Snodgrass, creator of Dr. Tachyon, in the first solo Wild Cards novel, Double Solitaire.
WEEK TWO (December 10)
No new titles.
WEEK THREE (December 17)
No new titles.
WEEK FOUR (December 24)
No new titles.
WEEK FIVE (December 31)
Dispel Illusion (Impossible Times #3)—Mark Lawrence (47North)
Nick Hayes’s genius is in wringing out the universe’s secrets. It’s a talent that’s allowed him to carve paths through time. But the worst part is that he knows how his story will end. He’s seen it with his own eyes. And every year that passes, every breakthrough he makes, brings him a step closer. Mia’s accident is waiting for them both in 2011. If it happens then he’s out of choices. Then a chance 1992 discovery reveals that this seeker of truth has been lying to himself. But why? It’s a question that haunts him for years. A straw he clings to as his long-awaited fate draws near. Time travel turns out not to be the biggest problem Nick has to work on. He needs to find out how he can stay on his path but change the destination. Failure has never been an option, and neither has survival. But Nick’s hoping to roll the dice one more time. And this new truth begins with a lie.
Splintegrate—Deborah Teramis Christian (Tor Books)
One of the many charms of planet Lyndir is the Between-World, home to the licensed entertainers of the Sa’adani Empire. The most famous is Kes, a professional dominatrix who has become a celebrity attraction at a palatial house of domination called Tryst. One of Kes’s most devoted clients is the crime cartel boss Janus, a major cog in the underworld on Lyndir and elsewhere. When a high-powered imperial authority decides she wants Janus out of the way, the seductive domina Kes is the most logical avenue. She’d never betray a client’s trust, but the imperial threat to her and her Between-World sisters is so great that she has no choice but to assist. Imprisoned, altered against her will, and turned into a brutal weapon by the highly experimental Splintegrate cloning technology, Kes is at war with herself as everything she holds dear falls apart around her. It will take an enormous triumph of will and help from some unlikely avenues for Kes to survive the government’s machinations and pursue the independence she’s craved her entire life.