And here we go with the second part of our long list of new books for April.
Blood Enemies by Susan R. Matthews
Ever since An Exchange of Hostages, Susan R. Matthews has been building up a long, bloody and complex series of space operas centred on the doctor turned reluctant torturer, Andrej Koscuisko. Now, in the latest volume in the Under Jurisdiction series, Andrej has been trying to escape his past as a torturer, but when he finds himself accidentally caught up in a mission to defeat the most brutal terrorist organisation in the empire, he may just have to take up his former occupation once more.
Cold Welcome by Elizabeth Moon
Elizabeth Moon’s first new sf novel in nearly a decade is a new adventure in her popular Vatta’s War sequence. In this novel, Ky Vatta is called back to her home planet, but finds herself cut off from the outside world, commanding unfamiliar troops in a deadly environment with sabotaged gear. This is a dramatic and very welcome return to one of the best military sf series out there.
The End of the Day by Claire North
Claire North made an immediate impact with her award-winning debut, The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August, and she followed that up with more mind-boggling stories that disturb our notions of identity and continuity. And she’s doing it again in this new novel. It’s the story of Charlie, who can turn up anywhere at any time, in a hospital or a war zone. The only thing you can be sure of is that when Charlie turns up, Death won’t be far behind. But what do you do when you meet Charlie?
Off Rock by Kieran Shea
Hundreds of years in the future and thousands of miles out in space you come upon a pocket of gold. What do you do. For Jimmy, there isn’t really much choice; he’s been down on his luck lately and there’s no chance that things are going to get better. The only question is: how do you smuggle the gold off the mining asteroid where Jimmy is working? This is the story of a heist that goes wrong, and as Jimmy gets deeper and deeper into trouble and the body count rises, you’ll find yourself laughing all the way.
Avengers of the Moon by Allen Steele
Want to relive the glory days of space opera, when Captain Future bestrode the spaceways? Well, now you can. With the permission of Edmond Hamilton’s estate, Allen Steele has revived the greatest of the pulp sf heroes. Ever since the murder of his parents, Curt Newton has been raised in secret by an unlikely trio of a robot, an android, the the disembodied brain of a famous scientist. But now his nose for trouble leads Curt to uncover a fiendish plot to assassinate the President of the Solar Coalition. The only way he can defeat the evil mastermind is if he becomes Captain Future.
The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year, Volume 11 edited by Jonathan Strahan
It’s that time of the year again, and the annual Best Of anthologies are starting to appear. First up is Jonathan Strahan, with a selection of stories by Joe Abercrombie, Nina Allan, Yoon Ha Lee, Paul McAuley, Theodora Goss, Alice Sola Kim, Paolo Bacigalupi, N.K. Jemisin, Ian R. MacLeod, Aliette de Bodard, Geoff Ryman, and a host of others, big names and exciting newcomers alike. This has got to be a brilliant place to start if you want to discover the best short fiction of 2016.
Change Agent by Daniel Suarez
Imagine if a criminal gang had the ability to genetically edit any living person. That’s what Interpol agent Kenneth Durand is up against, the cutting edge of crime where genetic engineering and human trafficking converge. But then Wyckes, the criminal mastermind behind it all, manages to inject Durand with a radical new change agent, and when Durand comes to he finds he’s been transformed into Wyckes. How do you track down someone when you yourself are the person all the world’s police forces are hunting? That’s the intriguing premise behind this sophisticated near-future thriller.
Borne by Jeff VanderMeer
It’s finally here: one of the most eagerly anticipated new novels of the year. It’s set in the dangerous ruins of an abandoned city littered with discards left behind by a derelict biotech company. Here Rachel and her partner Wick lead a precarious life scavenging among the ruins, until Rachel finds Borne. At first Borne is nothing more than a shapeless green lump, and she has no idea what it could be, except that she finds it strangely attractive. But Borne grows and learns to speak, and things become more dangerous than ever, particularly when it turns out that the biotech company may not be defunct after all.
The Memoirist by Neil Williamson
This is the final book in the first series of novellas from NewCon Press, and it’s a fitting conclusion to a fine series. When Rhian is hired to write the memoirs of a faded rock star she has no idea of the trouble in store. Because a lot of powerful people are determined that one particular incident from that performer’s life should be wiped out of history forever. And the more Rhian discovers about that one particular gig, the more she realises that the whole course of human history could be changed forever.
Kokoro by Keith Yatsuhashi
This is a curious combination of science fiction and Japanese mythology. On the planet Higo a religious civil war is starting, when the prince of Higo is exiled for causing the death of his mother. As he goes, he steals a sentient suit of armour, which he uses to open a portal to another world, a world that seems like magic to him, a world called Earth. The sequel to Yatsuhashi’s earlier novel, Kojiki, this is the sort of novel that takes you into ever more surprising territory.
The Book of Joan by Lidia Yuknavitch
The Earth has been reduced to a radioactive wasteland, and the few survivors now cluster on a mysterious platform hovering above their former home. Among these isolated and sexless beings, a charismatic and bloodthirsty leader has emerged. But against his police state a rebel army arises, inspired by the child-warrior, Joan. When Joan is martyred, the consequences are beyond what anyone could have imagined. A surreal, futuristic take on the legend of Joan of Arc, this is a profound novel that raises all sorts of questions about sex and the nature of humanity.
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.