Head below for the full list of science fiction titles heading your way in December!
Keep track of all the new SFF releases here. All title summaries are taken and/or summarized from copy provided by the publisher. Release dates are subject to change. Note: for December 2021 there will not be a separate list for horror and other genre-bending titles.
Week One (December 7)
1637: The Coast of Chaos — ed. Eric Flint (Baen)
Europe, 1632. It is a time of upheaval and great change, but none so great as when an unexplained temporal and spatial phenomenon known as the Ring of Fire transports the blue collar town of Grantville, West Virginia, smack dab in the middle of the Thirty Years War. When the dust settles, it becomes clear that the town of Grantville isn’t going anywhere, and the can-do Americans of the twenty-first century begin altering the course of history forever. It is now five years later, and the effects of the Ring of Fire reach from the Old World to the New. But the course of exploration and colonization will look much different than it did in our timeline. The French bought the English possessions in North America way back in 1633, but have never done much with the uncivilized backwater. Until the new king of France, Gaston I, decides that it’s time to seize the territory and establish French control over it. Here then, a new anthology, edited by Ring of Fire series creator Eric Flint, chronicling the exploits of the citizens of Grantville, their allies, and their enemies, as they venture forth onto a new continent.
No Beauties or Monsters — Tara Goedjen (Delacorte)
Rylie hasn’t been back to the military base in Twentynine Palms since her father died. She left a lot of memories out there, buried in the sand of the Mojave Desert. Memories about her dad, her old friends Nathan and Lily, and most of all, her enigmatic grandfather, a man who cut ties with Rylie’s family before he passed away. But her mom’s new work assignment has sent their family to Twentynine Palms again, and now, Rylie’s in the one place she never wanted to return to. At least her old friends are happy to welcome her home. Well, some of them, anyway. It turns out Lily is gone, vanished into the desert. To make matters worse, there are whispers around town of a mysterious killer on the loose. But it isn’t just Twentynine Palms that feels frightening—there’s something wrong with Rylie, too. She’s seeing things she can’t explain. Visions of monstrous creatures that stalk the night. Somehow, it all seems to be tied to her grandfather and the family cabin he left behind. Rylie wants the truth, but she doesn’t know if she can trust herself. Are the monsters in her head really out there? Or could it be that the deadliest thing in the desert… is Rylie herself?
Discordia (Nova Vita Protocol #3) — Kristyn Merbeth (Orbit)
Scorpia is finally back among the stars, far away from the memories of the war she and her family started—and ended—on Nibiru. Her first order as captain of the Memoria is to keep her crew safe, and she is all too happy not to get involved in dangerous political games for once. Corvus is haunted by what he experienced at the hands of the Titan attack, and he’s just as eager for a new beginning. He knows that not all Titans are built for war, and that the system can find peace, even as Deva and Pax begin to rattle their sabers. Though the Kaisers may be responsible for diverting a multi-planet war, the planetary leaders are wary of the knowledge they hold. Better to lock them up and keep their dark secrets hidden. But the Kaisers are the only ones who know the truth about the threat of the ancient world-ending alien weapons rooted in each planet—and they may be the only ones who can save the system from total annihilation.
That Was Now, This Is Then — Michael Z. Williamson (Baen)
Then: First Lieutenant Sean Elliott and nine other mixed-service U.S. soldiers on a convoy in Afghanistan suddenly found themselves and their MRAP vehicle thrown back to Earth’s Paleolithic Age. And they were not alone. Displaced Romans, Neolithic Europeans, and more showed up as well. Some would be allies. Some became deadly foes. Now: Scientists from an almost unimaginably far future need the survivors’ advice and support to reconnoiter and ultimately recover other groups displaced in time. The problem is not all of those other groups want to be recovered or even understand where they are. Prehistory is an ugly place, fascinating to visit, but no place for a civilized person to live. But the future, gorgeous as it is, has a darker side that dampens the appeal. In the end, only inventiveness, grit, and a thirst for freedom from the fickle tides of time can keep Sean and the displaced Americans alive and on a path to finally find a place—and a time—to call home.
Cyber Mage — Saad Z. Hossain (Unnamed Press)
Welcome to Dhaka, Bangladesh in 2089. A city notorious for its extreme population density has found an unexpected way to not just survive a global climate apocalypse, but thrive: pump enough biological nanotech into the neighborhood and all of the bodies together form a self-sustaining, and even temperate, microclimate. Of course, this means that millions of humans have to stay put in order to maintain a livable temperature, and people are getting restless. All of the nanotech has also led to some surprises: certain people no longer need food or water while others can live without functioning organs. So the mercenary Djibrel has to carry a machete wherever he goes. Only a swift beheading can ensure the job gets done anymore. Djibrel navigates the crowded streets, humans teeming with genetic mutations, looking for answers about what happened to the Djinn, a magical super race of genies who seem to have disappeared, or merged, with humans for survival. What Djibrel doesn’t know is that his every move is being tracked by the infamous Cyber Mage―better known to his parents as Murzak, a privileged snarky teenager who regularly works for a Russian crime syndicate with a band of elite hackers, like his best friend ReGi, who resides in North Africa’s FEZ (Free Economic Zone). Respected and feared online, Murzak is about to embark on one of his biggest challenges: attending high school IRL. But when he discovers a brand new type of AI, operating on a dark web from the abandoned Kingdom of Bahrain that he thought was just an urban myth, Murzak and Djibrel will have to face the unimaginable in an already inconceivable world.
Absynthe — Brendan Bellecourt (DAW)
Liam Mulcahey, a reclusive, shell-shocked veteran, remembers little of the Great War. Ten years later, when he is caught in a brutal attack on a Chicago speakeasy, Liam is saved by Grace, an alluring heiress who’s able to cast illusions. Though the attack appears to have been committed by the hated Uprising, Grace believes it was orchestrated by Leland De Pere–Liam’s former commander and the current President of the United States. Meeting Grace unearths long-buried memories. Liam’s former squad, the Devil’s Henchmen, was given a serum to allow telepathic communication, transforming them into a unified killing machine. With Grace’s help, Liam begins to regain his abilities, but when De Pere learns of it, he orders his militia to eliminate Liam at any cost. But Liam’s abilities are expanding quickly. When Liam turns the tables and digs deeper into De Pere’s plans, he discovers a terrible secret. The same experiment that granted Liam’s abilities was bent toward darker purposes. Liam must navigate both his enemies and supposed allies to stop the President’s nefarious plans before they’re unleashed on the world. And Grace is hiding secrets of her own, secrets that could prove every bit as dangerous as the President’s.
Note: No new SF titles for the rest of the month.