It’s that time of the month already! Where does the time go? And here we are, with the first of two posts looking forward to the books coming out in June.
The Year’s Best Military & Adventure SF, Volume 3 edited by David Afsharirad
This annual anthology series continues with a collection of 15 tales guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat. There’s gripping adventure, derring-do, and fast-paced technological thrills coming from top writers like David Drake, Adam Roberts, Paul Di Filippo, Sharon Lee & Steve Miller, and more. And readers get to vote for the story from this anthology that will pick up the Best Military and Adventure Science Fiction Reader’s Choice Award, presented at DragonCon in Summer 2017.
Devil’s Due by Taylor Anderson
And there’s more military thrills in this novel, the latest in the Destroyermen series. A US naval destroyer has been mysteriously transported from the Pacific to another world, and the crew find themselves fighting for their lives against alien foes. Meanwhile, the mad General Kurokawa is holding Captain Reddy’s family prisoner, and the Captain has to decide whether to put his battered destroyer at even greater risk in order to rescue his family.
The Best Science Fiction of the Year, Volume 1 edited by Neil Clarke
Another volume added to the long list of science fiction’s annual best of the year anthologies, this one is edited by Neil Clarke of Clarkesworld magazine. And he brings together a stunning selection of 31 stories, by many of the best writers in the field today, including Aliette de Bodard, Seanan McGuire, Geoff Ryman, Paul McAuley, Ann Leckie, Yoon Ha Lee, David Brin, Nancy Kress, Ian McDonald and Alastair Reynolds. This looks like it’s going to be a series to watch.
Wilders by Brenda Cooper
Life in the megacity of Seacouver gives you just about everything you could want, except satisfaction. So, as soon as she is older enough, Coryn and her robot leave the city to find her sister, Lou, who fled years before to join a rewilding crew. But life outside the city is rougher and more dangerous than she could ever have imagined, and even Lou has secrets that she won’t share. But Coryn has to seek out the truth, because the whole future of Seacouver could depend on it.
The Space Between the Stars by Anne Corlett
This is a debut novel that combines the excitement of science fiction with the emotional sensibility of the mainstream. It’s the story of Jamie, who couldn’t leave the overpopulated, overcrowded Earth quickly enough. Then a virus hits the frontier world where she ended up, and suddenly Jamie is all alone. Until a garbled message from Earth suggests there may be other survivors. So begins a desperate journey through space, as Jamie and other survivors she manages to gather together set out to return home.
The Day After Gettysburg by Robert Conroy and J.R. Dunn
It seems we still can’t get enough alternate histories in which the South wins the Civil War. In reality, Gettysburg was the major turning point of the war, and after three bruising days in which his army was comprehensively beaten, Robert E. Lee withdrew across the Potomac and headed back South. But here, Lee defies expectations; even after defeat, he launches a brilliant counter-attack and leads his army towards Washington. The fate of the nation depends on two honourable soldiers, one from the North and one from the South, a young woman, and a freed slave.
Seek and Destroy by William C. Dietz
More military mayhem in the second part of Dietz’s America Rising series. In the wake of devastating meteor strikes that have flattened America, a new civil war has broken out between those attempting to restore the union and a confederacy of rich individuals who want to turn the devastation to their own advantage. In this episode, Union captain “Mac” Macintyre is sent out to defeat a ruthless warlord, but discovers he is being supplied by her own sister. Their sibling rivalry reaches a climax in the war-torn streets of New Orleans.
The Prey of Gods by Nicky Drayden
South Africa has been producing some pretty startling science fiction lately, from Zoo City by Lauren Beukes and Azanian Bridges by Nick Wood to District 9. Now comes another new writer with yet another startling and gritty take on the country. In this case, everything in the new South Africa looks good: the economy is booming thanks to genetic engineering, robots are making life easier for everyone, and renewable energy is being harnessed to improve the infrastructure. But there are still problems, including a new drug, an AI revolt, and an ancient goddess seeking blood. And the small group gathered around a young Zulu girl hardly inspires confidence.
The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter by Theodora Goss
Now for a bit of steampunk fantasy and a genre fiction mash-up. Dr Jeckyll’s daughter does in search of the infamous Mr Hyde, but instead finds his daughter. With the help of Sherlock Holmes, she continues her quest, and discovers more women created as a result of frightening experimentation: Rappaccini’s daughter, Dr Moreau’s daughter, and Dr Frankenstein’s daughter. Now it is time for the daughters to fight back against what their power-crazed parents have created.
Transformation by James Gunn
James Gunn has been writing rigorous hard sf for nearly 70 years now, which must make him one of the oldest sf writers still active. And he is still taking his work in new direstions, as with this novel which is the second part of his latest space opera series. Planets at the edge of the Federation have fallen silent. Riley and Asha, who have already been transformed into something more than human in the first novel, Transcendental, are sent to investigate. They find themselves working with a planetary AI, a member of a group that has vowed to destroy the AI, and a paranoid watchdog from the Foundation. When no one can trust anyone else, how to they come together to defeat the most powerful enemy ever?
And that’s it for now, but in a couple of days we’ll return with yet more books to look forward in June.
From Nebula and Hugo Award–nominated Carolyn Ives Gilman comes Dark Orbit, a compelling novel featuring alien contact, mystery, and murder.
Reports of a strange, new habitable planet have reached the Twenty Planets of human civilization. When a team of scientists is assembled to investigate this world, exoethnologist Sara Callicot is recruited to keep an eye on an unstable crewmate.