It can’t be the end of January already? But there you go, the calendar does not lie. And we’re already looking forward to a bunch of great books in February.
Post by Brenda Cooper
Top YA novel of the month is probably Post by Brenda Cooper. Society has collapsed, but Sage is safe in the Oregon Botanical Gardens. Unfortunately, Sage is restless and curious and wants to find out what life is like outside the refuge. It turns out to be much more dangerous than she imagined in a world without law, but there’s no way back to the garden.
Caine’s Mutiny by Charles E. Gannon
Earlier volumes in this sequence have already earned Gannon a couple of Nebula Award nominations, so it will be interesting to see if this new novel can repeat the trick. It certainly looks like it has been designed to push all the buttons of fans of the previous Caine Riordan novels. This time he’s out to catch the raiders who are terrorising a distant planet. But his bosses have another agenda in mind, and it could end with him in front of a firing squad.
The Stars are Legion by Kameron Hurley
Kameron Hurley made a name for herself with the brutal and popular God’s War trilogy. Now she has turned her talents to space opera, and the result is every bit as grim, bloody and haunting as you’d expect. Zan has no memory of who she is, but in the middle of a genocidal war she finds she has to lead a rag-tag band of followers on a doomed attempt to take over the world-ship, Mokshi.
All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai
This is the first novel by an award-winning screenwriter, and it has all the flair for storytelling and visual images that you’d expect. Our hero, Tom, lives in the 2016 we always dreamed we’d inhabit, a utopia of flying cars and moon bases and plenty for everyone. But when he goes time travelling, something goes wrong and he finds himself stuck in our 2016, a world that is distinctly dystopian to Tom. Except that, against the odds, Tom seems to be happier here; so he faces the choice of changing history to restore utopia, or staying in a terrible world where he is happier.
Revenger by Alastair Reynolds
This came out in Britain last year, but it’s now finally appearing in the US. It’s a rollicking adventure story involving space pirates, buried treasure, phantom weapons, ancient technologies, and a quest for vengeance.
Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
This is the first novel by multi-award winning short story writer George Saunders, and he’s chosen to tell a tale that’s composed of a dazzling mixture of history and the supernatural. Little more than a year after the start of the Civil War, President Lincoln’s 11-year-old son Willie died. But in this novel Willie finds himself in the bardo, the place of transition between life and death. There, surrounded by ghosts who quarrel and seek penance, he becomes the centre of a tremendous battle for his soul, a battle that reflects the war then being fought on Earth.
A Perfect Machine by Brett Savory
Brett Savory mixes science fiction with horror in this remorseless new novel. Henry Kyllo spends his days running from the Hunters who are out to kill him. He is a member of the Inferne Cutis, a secret society that is part of a long war. The question is: what happens when a Runner achieves ascension? And is Henry Kyllo going to be that runner?
The People’s Police by Norman Spinrad
Norman Spinrad has long been one of science fiction’s more notable satirists, and this new novel is no exception. A cop trying to organise a police strike, a brothel owner and a voodoo queen are brought together in a complex tale of politics and corruption in New Orleans, in which Papa Legba himself, the gatekeeper of the voodoo world, takes a part.
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.