Here we are, back again, with yet more of the books that will be published in June.
The Year’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy, 2017 Edition edited by Rich Horton
Yet another of our annual Best of the Year anthologies makes its appearance this month. This is the ninth year this series has been running, so it is well into its stride now. There are thirty stories included, with contributions by writers like Charlie Jane Anders, Steven Barnes, Kameron Hurley, Ian R. MacLeod, Carrie Vaughn, Adam Roberts and Lavie Tidhar among others.
Escape Velocity by Jason M. Hough
Last month we introduced Injection Burn by Hough; this month the Dire Earth duology is completed by Escape Velocity. Having smashed through the deadly Swarm Blockade, the rival captains, Skyler Luiken and Gloria Tsandi, must now complete their mission and then find a way of getting back to Earth. Standing in their way are killer aliens with incredibly advanced weapons. And the humans are running low on supplies and luck.
A Peace Divided by Tanya Huff
Yet another action-packed military sf novel with the second volume in Tanya Huff’s Peacekeeper series. Torin was the model soldier, until she discovered the truth about the war, was declared dead, and spent time in a prison that shouldn’t exist. After that, she walked away from the military, but not from the war, gathering an elite group around her that take on missions no one else would do. But when a mission to free hostages turns out to involve a weapon that could destroy the aliens behind the war, her loyalties become strained.
Grim Expectations by KW Jeter
Thirty years ago, KW Jeter virtually invented steampunk with his novel Infernal Devices. A couple of years ago, he followed that up with Fiendish Schemes, and now he has added a third novel to the sequence. George, the watchmaker-hero, inherits a box on the death of Miss McThane. Opening it, he finds a bundle of letters from someone known only as “S”. The letters describe the search for an unknown person, and the last letter simply says: “Found him”. But that is only the start of the mystery.
Raven Stratagem by Yoon Ha Lee
Yoon Ha Lee’s first novel, Ninefox Gambit, has made it onto all sorts of award shortlists. Now there’s the sequel. Captain Kel Cheris has been possessed by the personality of the long-dead traitor general Jedao, and now Jedao has taken over the fleet that has been sent to stop the invading Hafn. The trouble is, can anyone believe Jedao when he claims to be defending the hexarchate? And will the hexarchate destroy the fleet in order to be rid of Jedao.
Shattered Minds by Laura Lam
Near-future thrillers seem to be in short supply this month, but here’s one that certainly seems to hit the spot. It’s a follow-up to Lam’s False Hearts, and it concerns biohacker Carine, who quit working for Sudice when she saw what the company was doing to its experimental subjects. Now she’s addicted to the drug Zeal, until a former co-worked sends her a series of brutal images, encrypted within which are clues to his own murder. Now Carine has the information she needs to take down the international corporation.
Dear Cyborgs by Eugene Lim
Have you ever read comic books? Have you ever wondered what it would be like to meet a superhero? Then this is the novel for you. In one reality, two Asian-American boys bond over their love of comic books. In another reality, a team of superheroes take time off from their daring missions to talk about the state of society. Involving everything from Hollywood chase scenes to protest art, from rescuing hostages to discussing resistance movements, from comic book villains to philosophy, this is a deft, adventurous, ambitious novel, by turns comic and dreamlike.
Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire
Seanan McGuire has just won the Best Novella Nebula for Every Heart a Doorway, and now we get the second volume in her Wayward Children series. This time we are given the story of Jack and Jill, or rather, Jacqueline and Jill. Jack was her mother’s princess, Jill was her father’s tom-boy, but by the time they were five they had learned that grown-ups cannot be trusted. And when they were 12 they walked down an impossible staircase into a land of mad scientists and death and all sorts of other things.
The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O. by Neal Stephenson and Nicole Galland
This is probably the most eagerly awaited novel of the month. I mean, a new novel from Neal Stephenson? Need I say more? This is more of a romp than his usual work, a fast moving adventure that begins when a linguistics expert and an intelligence operative meet at Harvard. The linguistics expert is required to work on an ancient document which suggests that magic was real until industrial technology gradually drove it out of the world. Thus is born the Department Of Diachronic Operations, which is established to bring magic back into the world and maybe to meddle with history at the same time.
Amatka by Karin Tidbeck
After the stunning success of her short story collection, Jagannath, Karin Tidbeck returns with her first novel, a book that is already drawing comparisons with Ursula Le Guin and Margaret Atwood. Vanja is sent to the remote colony of Amatka to gather intelligence for the government. Right from the start she is aware that something strange is going on here, and nothing, not even language, can be taken for granted. Slowly, as she discovers evidence of a threat to Amatka that is being covered up by the administration, she finds that reality itself is being undermined.
The Refrigerator Monologues by Catherynne M. Valente
This is obviously the month for comic book fans, because here’s another novel that plays with ideas lifted from comics. In a series of six linked stories, we are introduced to female superheroes, and the wives and girlfriends of other superheroes, women who have all been “refrigerated”, that is they have been raped or killed or lost their powers or brainwashed in order to allow the man’s story to continue. This is a sharp, witty and ferocious take on the idea of the superhero.
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.