SF Book Releases This Week: Nov. 5, 2013

Welcome to another SF Book Releases post! The first one on our list, Burning Paradise, by Robert Charles Wilson, is at the top of my currently reading queue. The alien race that he’s created is very interesting, and the alternate history US where these aliens have prevented war for a century makes for a unique backdrop and tension driver. I won’t spoil where the tension comes from aside from just that the war is about to begin. I’m also excited to see today’s Kindle Daily Deal for Scifi and Fantasy is The Daedalus Incident, by Michael J. Martinez. He is one of the famed Night Shade Books authors who has undergone a change in publishers, but is riding the wave. His sequel will be out sometime after March of 2014. I like the premise and idea of how he’s mixing Fantasy with his Scifi setting. Not many independent authors on this list. They’re the hardest to track. If you have a book releasing this week or even this month, comment below and I’ll try and add it in.

Night Shade Books/Skyhorse
The Daedalus Incident by Michael J. Martinez (Kindle Daily Deal - $1.99 on 11/5/13)

Mars is supposed to be dead…
a fact Lt. Shaila Jain of the Joint Space Command is beginning to doubt in a bad way.

Freak quakes are rumbling over the long-dormant tectonic plates of the planet, disrupting its trillion-dollar mining operations and driving scientists past the edges of theory and reason. However, when rocks shake off their ancient dust and begin to roll—seemingly of their own volition—carving canals as they converge to form a towering structure amid the ruddy terrain, Lt. Jain and her JSC team realize that their realize that their routine geological survey of a Martian cave system is anything but. The only clues they have stem from the emissions of a mysterious blue radiation, and a 300-year-old journal that is writing itself.

Lt. Thomas Weatherby of His Majesty’s Royal Navy is an honest 18th-century man of modest beginnings, doing his part for King and Country aboard the HMS Daedalus, a frigate sailing the high seas between continents…and the immense Void between the Known Worlds. Across the Solar System and among its colonies—rife with plunder and alien slave trade—through dire battles fraught with strange alchemy, nothing much can shake his resolve. But events are transpiring to change all that.

With the aid of his fierce captain, a drug-addled alchemist, and a servant girl with a remarkable past, Weatherby must track a great and powerful mystic, who has embarked upon a sinister quest to upset the balance of the planets—the consequences of which may reach far beyond the Solar System, threatening the very fabric of space itself.

Set sail among the stars with this uncanny tale, where adventure awaits, and dimensions collide!

Tor
Burning Paradise by Robert Charles Wilson

From Robert Charles Wilson, the author of the Hugo-winning Spin, comes Burning Paradise, a new tale of humans coming to grips with a universe of implacable strangeness.

Cassie Klyne, nineteen years old, lives in the United States in the year 2015—but it’s not our United States, and it’s not our 2015.

Cassie’s world has been at peace since the Great Armistice of 1918. There was no World War II, no Great Depression. Poverty is declining, prosperity is increasing everywhere; social instability is rare. But Cassie knows the world isn’t what it seems. Her parents were part of a group who gradually discovered the awful truth: that for decades—back to the dawn of radio communications—human progress has been interfered with, made more peaceful and benign, by an extraterrestrial entity. That by interfering with our communications, this entity has tweaked history in massive and subtle ways. That humanity is, for purposes unknown, being farmed.

Cassie’s parents were killed for this knowledge, along with most of the other members of their group. Since then, the survivors have scattered and gone into hiding. Cassie and her younger brother Thomas now live with her aunt Nerissa, who shares these dangerous secrets. Others live nearby. For eight years they have attempted to lead unexceptional lives in order to escape detection. The tactic has worked.

Until now. Because the killers are back. And they’re not human.

Twenty-First Century Science Fiction by David G. Hartwell and Patrick Nielson Hayden

Twenty-First Century Science Fiction is an enormous anthology of short stories—close to 250,000 words—edited by two of the most prestigious and award-winning editors in the SF field and featuring recent stories from some of science fiction’s greatest up-and-coming authors.

David Hartwell and Patrick Nielsen Hayden have long been recognized as two of the most skilled and trusted arbiters of the field, but Twenty-First Century Science Fiction presents fans’ first opportunities to see what their considerable talents come up with together, and also to get a unique perspective on what’s coming next in the science fiction field.

The anthology includes authors ranging from bestselling and established favorites to incandescent new talents including Paolo Bacigalupi, Cory Doctorow, Catherynne M. Valente, John Scalzi, Jo Walton, Charles Stross, Elizabeth Bear, and Peter Watts, and the stories selected include winners and nominees of all of the science fiction field’s major awards.

Orbit
Fortune’s Pawn (Paradox Series) by Rachel Bach

Devi Morris isn’t your average mercenary. She has plans. Big ones. And a ton of ambition. It’s a combination that’s going to get her killed one day – but not just yet.

That is, until she just gets a job on a tiny trade ship with a nasty reputation for surprises. The Glorious Fool isn’t misnamed: it likes to get into trouble, so much so that one year of security work under its captain is equal to five years everywhere else. With odds like that, Devi knows she’s found the perfect way to get the jump on the next part of her Plan. But the Fool doesn’t give up its secrets without a fight, and one year on this ship might be more than even Devi can handle.

If Sigouney Weaver in Alien met Starbuck in Battlestar Galactica, you’d get Deviana Morris — a hot new mercenary earning her stripes to join an elite fighting force. Until one alien bite throws her whole future into jeopardy.

A Dance of Blades (Shadowdance) by David Dalglish

It’s been five long years since the city learned to fear…

The war between the thief guilds and the powerful allegiance known as the Trifect has slowly dwindled. Now only the mysterious Haern is left to wage his private battle against the guilds in the guise of the Watcher – a vicious killer who knows no limits. But when the son of Alyssa Gemcroft, one of the three leaders of the Trifect, is believed murdered, the slaughter begins anew. Mercenaries flood the streets with one goal in mind: find and kill the Watcher.

Peace or destruction; every war must have its end.

Fantasy author David Dalglish spins a tale of retribution and darkness, and an underworld reaching for ultimate power.

Penguin (DAW, Roc, and Ace books)
The Silvered by Tonya Huff

From the author of the bestselling Blood books, a brilliant new tale of shape-changers, mages, soothsayers,and a power-mad emperor.

The Empire has declared war on the small, were-ruled kingdom of Aydori, capturing five women of the Mage-Pack, including the wife of the were Pack-leader. With the Pack off defending the border, it falls to Mirian Maylin and Tomas Hagen—she a low-level mage, he younger brother to the Pack-leader—to save them. Together the two set out on the kidnappers’ trail, racing into the heart of enemy territory. But with every step the odds against their survival, let alone their success, grow steeper…

Masks by E.C. Blake

Masks, the first novel in a mesmerizing new fantasy series, draws readers into a world in which cataclysmic events have left the Autarchy of Aygrima—the one land blessed with magical resources—cut off from its former trading partners across the waters, not knowing if any of those distant peoples still live. Yet under the rule of the Autarch, Aygrima survives. And thanks to the creation of the Masks and the vigilance of the Autarch’s Watchers, no one can threaten the security of the empire.

In Aygrima, magic is a Gift possessed from birth by a very small percentage of the population, with the Autarch himself the most powerful magic worker of all. Only the long-vanquished Lady of Pain and Fire had been able to challenge his rule.

At the age of fifteen, citizens are recognized as adults and must don the spell-infused Masks—which denote both status and profession—whenever they are in public. To maintain the secure rule of the kingdom, the Masks are magically crafted to reveal any treasonous thoughts or actions. And once such betrayals are exposed, the Watchers are there to enforce the law.

Mara Holdfast, daughter of the Autarch’s Master Maskmaker, is fast approaching her fifteenth birthday and …

[For] whatever the reason, her Mask has labeled her a traitor and now she has lost everything, doomed to slavery in the mines until she dies. And not even her Gift can show Mara the future that awaits her—a future that may see her freed to aid a rebel cause, forced to become a puppet of the Autarch, or transformed into a force as dangerous to her world as the legendary Lady of Pain and Fire.

The Misfortune Cookie: An Esther Diamond Novel by Laura Resnick

Esther Diamond’s year gets off to a rocky start when NYPD’s Detective Connor Lopez, who slept with her and then didn’t call, shuts down her current place of employment and gets her arrested. Once she’s out of handcuffs, and with no paying work on the frigid horizon, Esther takes a small role in a grad student’s film project in Chinatown—where her friend semi-retired hit man Lucky Battistuzzi, who escaped Lopez’s sweep at the Little Italy restaurant where Esther works between acting jobs, is hiding out in a Chinese-Italian mortuary.

Esther and Lucky soon realize that something strange is going on in Chinatown, where beautifully handcrafted fortune cookies are inflicting deadly mystical curses on the hapless victims who receive them as gifts—and before long, Esther learns that Detective Lopez is one of the recipients. As preparations for Chinese New Year heat up in the ice-covered neighborhood, when the streets will be filled with costumed lion dancers, firecrackers, and dense crowds, Esther and Lucky summon the help of their friend Max, a semi-immortal mage and semi-solvent bookseller, to help them save Chinatown and Lopez (with whom Esther is not on speaking terms) from a mystical murderer of maniacal menace.

Tour of the Merrimack: Volume Two by R.M. Meluch

Earth’s space forces, spearheaded by the United States, have long been at war with the forces of the Palatine Empire, a neo-Roman culture that broke away from Earth’s control long ago. The pride of the U.S. space fleet is the battle-class starship, the U.S.S. Merrimack, commanded by Captain John Farragut. But when the alien life-form known as the Hive–a biological force whose only imperative is to seek and devour–begins wreaking destrution aross the galaxy, the Romans are forced to turn to Earth for help. But can these two longtime enemies keep from fighting each other long enough to destroy the Hive and save mankind?

Tour of the Merrimack: Volume Two contains the third and fourth books, The Sagittarius Command and Strength and Honor, of R.M. Meluch’s thrilling and acclaimed Tour of the Merrimack series.

Iron Winter: The Northland Trilogy (Northland series) by Stephen Baxter

Praised as “not only a gifted storyteller but also a master of speculative fiction” (Library Journal), bestselling author Stephen Baxter brings his epic Northland trilogy to a close as a once-thriving civilization faces winter without end….

Many generations ago, the Wall was built to hold back the sea. A simple dam, it grew into a vast linear city, home to scholars, builders, and merchants. Northland’s prosperity survived wars and unrest—and brought the whole of Europe together.

But now darkness is falling. Days grow shorter, temperatures colder, and in the wake of long winters come famine, destruction, and terror. As a mass exodus to warmer climes threatens to fracture Northland, one man believes he can outwit the cold, and even salvage some scraps of the great civilization—before interminable gloom settles over the land; before the fires of war lay waste to an empire; before the ice comes….

Royal Airs (An Elemental Blessings Novel) by Sharon Shinn

Master storyteller Sharon Shinn created the thrilling and enchanting world of Welce in her acclaimed novel Troubled Waters. Return with her to that elemental universe in this tale of secrecy, romance, and a battle for power…

Josetta is a princess of one of the Five Families. But she is far from the throne, so she is free to spend her days working in the poorest sections of the city.

Rafe Adova, an outcast since he was born, lives the life of a career gambler in those slums. He has no ambition other than cheating at the card tables—until the night he decides to help a girl named Corene, who looks like she’s stumbled into the wrong bar.

She, too, is a princess—sister to Josetta, who finds her with Rafe. He fascinates her. Josetta has never encountered anyone like him—someone seemingly devoid of elemental blessings.

He is drawn to her, though he thinks they are unlikely to ever meet again—but their connection grows strong when she nurses him back to health after he is assaulted by foreign mercenaries. And when they learn the reason he’s being hunted, they know that the truth about his history could endanger not only their love but also their very lives…

Starhawk (A Priscilla Hutchins Novel) by Jack McDevitt

Priscilla Hutchins has been through many experiences.
This is the story of her first unforgettable adventure…

Priscilla “Hutch” Hutchins has finally realized her lifelong dream: She’s completed a nerve-bending qualification flight for a pilot’s license.

Her timing is far from optimal, however. Faster-than-light travel has only recently become a reality, and the World Space Authority is still learning how to manage long-range missions safely. To make matters worse, efforts to prepare two planets for colonization are killing off native life-forms, outraging people on Earth.

So there’s not a lot of demand for space pilots. Priscilla thinks her career may be over before it has begun. But her ambition won’t be denied, and soon she is on the bridge of an interstellar ship, working for the corporation that is responsible for the terraforming.

Her working conditions include bomb threats, sabotage, clashes with her employers—and a mission to a world, adrift between the stars, that harbors a life-form unlike anything humanity has ever seen. Ultimately, she will be part of a life-and-death struggle that will test both her capabilities and her character…

Hell Bent: A Broken Magic Novel by Devon Monk

Instead of the deadly force it once was, magic is now a useless novelty. But not for Shame Flynn and Terric Conley, “breakers” who have the gift for reverting magic back to its full-throttle power. In the magic-dense city of Portland, Oregon, keeping a low profile means keeping their gifts quiet. After three years of dealing with disgruntled magic users, Shame and Terric have had enough of politics, petty magic, and, frankly, each other. It’s time to call it quits.

When the government discovers the breakers’ secret—and its potential as a weapon—Shame and Terric suddenly become wanted men, the only ones who can stop the deadly gift from landing in the wrong hands. If only a pair of those wrong hands didn’t belong to a drop-dead-gorgeous assassin Shame is falling for as if it were the end of the world. And if he gets too close to her, it very well could be….

Magic and Loss: A Novel of Golgotham by Nancy A. Collins

Located on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, Golgotham has been the city’s supernatural district for centuries. Populated by creatures from myth and legend, the neighborhood’s most prominent citizens are the Kymera, a race of witches who maintain an uneasy truce with the city’s humans…

It has been several months since Tate Eresby developed her new magical ability to bring whatever she creates to life, but she is still learning to control her power. Struggling to make a living as an artist, she and Hexe can barely make ends meet, but they are happy.

That is until Golgotham’s criminal overlord Boss Marz is released from prison, bent on revenge against the couple responsible for putting him there. Hexe’s right hand is destroyed, leaving him unable to conjure his benign magic. Attempts to repair the hand only succeed in plunging Hexe into a darkness that can’t be lifted—even by news that Tate is carrying his child.

Now, with her pregnancy seeming to progress at an astonishing rate, Tate realizes that carrying a possible heir to the Kymeran throne will attract danger from all corners, even beyond the grave…

Kris Longknife: Defender by Kris Longknife

Kris Longknife is back in the good graces of the brass—and to demonstrate that, they’ve promoted her to Admiral. Now her mission is to find the home base of the space pirates who are plaguing the fringes of the galaxy.

But no mission is ever simple when your name is Longknife. And this time the complications range from the military to the personal, as Kris finds herself—reluctantly—having to make some command decisions about her future…

 

 

Daylighters: The Morganville Vampires by Rachel Caine

While Morganville, Texas, is often a troubled town, Claire Danvers and her friends are looking forward to coming home. But the Morganville they return to isn’t the one they know; it’s become a different place—a deadly one…

Something drastic has happened in Morganville while Claire and her friends were away. The town looks cleaner and happier than they’ve ever seen it before, but when their incoming group is arrested and separated—vampires from humans—they realize that the changes definitely aren’t for the better.

It seems that an organization called the Daylight Foundation has offered the population of Morganville something they’ve never had: hope of a vampire-free future. And while it sounds like salvation—even for the vampires themselves—the truth is far more sinister and deadly.

Now, Claire, Shane and Eve need to find a way to break their friends out of Daylighter custody, before the vampires of Morganville meet their untimely end…

Pyr
Contagion (Toxic City) by Tim Lebbon

Jack and his friends are in a race against time to save the remaining inhabitants of a postapocalyptic London from a nuclear bomb.

Two years after London is struck by a devastating terrorist attack, it is cut off from the rest of the world, protected by a large force of soldiers (known as Choppers) while the rest of Britain believe that their ex-capital is a toxic, uninhabited wasteland. But that’s not true. Jack and his friends know that the truth is very different–and incredible: the few remaining survivors in London are changing; developing strange, fantastic powers; evolving. And the Chopper force guarding London is treating the ruined city as its own experimental ground.

Now, Jack’s powers are growing. His friend Lucy-Anne’s powers are developing too, and Nomad–that mysterious woman who started it all–is close by. But the Choppers have initiated their final safeguard–a huge nuclear bomb that will wipe out London, and everyone still within its boundaries. Jack and his friends must spread the news of the bomb and save everyone they can. Before that can happen, Jack must face his father, the deadly Reaper, in their final showdown.

The God Tattoo: Untold Tales from the Twilight Reign by Tom Llyod

A short story collection fleshing out the world of the critically-acclaimed Twilight Reign series, a tremendous work of mature epic fantasy.
The history of the Land may remember the slaughter at Moorview or the horror of Scree’s fall, but there were other casualties of the secret war against Azaer–more tales surrounding those bloody years that went unrecorded. In the shadow of memorials to the glorious dead, these ghosts lie quiet and forgotten by all but a few.

A companion collection to the Twilight Reign quintet, these eleven stories shine a rather different light on the Land. Look past the armies and politics of the Seven Tribes and you will find smaller moments that shaped the course of history in their own way. But even forgotten secrets can kill. Even shadows can have claws.

Independent
The Haunting Season by Michelle Muto

Siler House has stood silent beneath Savannah’s moss-draped oaks for decades. Notoriously haunted, it has remained empty until college-bound Jess Perry and three of her peers gather to take part in a month-long study on the paranormal. Able to talk to ghosts, Jess quickly bonds with her fellow test subjects, who have their own “gifts.” One is possessed. Another just wants to forget. The third is a guy who knows how to turn up the August heat, not to mention Jess’s heart rate…when he’s not resurrecting the dead.

The study soon turns into something far more sinister when they discover that Siler House and the dark forces within are determined to keep them forever. To escape, Jess and the others must open themselves up to the true horror of Siler House and channel the very evil that seeks to hold them in.

Little, Brown Books
Curtsies & Conspiracies (Finishing School) by Gail Carriger

Does one need four fully grown foxgloves for decorating a dinner table for six guests? Or is it six foxgloves to kill four fully grown guests?

Sophronia’s first year at Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality has certainly been rousing! For one thing, finishing school is training her to be a spy–won’t Mumsy be surprised? Furthermore, Sophronia got mixed up in an intrigue over a stolen device and had a cheese pie thrown at her in a most horrid display of poor manners.

Now, as she sneaks around the dirigible school, eavesdropping on the teachers’ quarters and making clandestine climbs to the ship’s boiler room, she learns that there may be more to a field trip to London than is apparent at first. A conspiracy is afoot–one with dire implications for both supernaturals and humans. Sophronia must rely on her training to discover who is behind the dangerous plot-and survive the London Season with a full dance card.

In this sequel to New York Times bestselling Etiquette & Espionage, class is back in session with more petticoats and poison, tea trays and treason. Gail’s distinctive voice, signature humor, and lush steampunk setting are sure to be the height of fashion this season.

Angry Robot Books
The Deaths of Tao by Wesley Chu

The sequel to The Lives of Tao.

The Prophus and the Genjix are at war. For centuries they have sought a way off-planet, guiding humanity’s social and technological development to the stage where space travel is possible. The end is now in sight, and both factions have plans to leave the Earth, but the Genjix method will mean the destruction of the human race.

That’s a price they’re willing to pay.

It’s up to Roen and Tao to save the world. Oh, dear…

File Under: Science Fiction [ Manning Up | A Long Journey | Bye-Bye Mankind | Personal Space ]

Strange Chemistry
Katya’s War (Russalka Chronicles) by Jonathan L. Howard

The battle lines have been drawn. The people of Russalka turn upon one another in a ruthless and unwavering civil war even while their world sickens and the deep black ocean is stained red with their blood. As the young civilisation weakens, its vitality fuelling the opposing militaries at the cost of all else, the war drums beat louder and louder.

Katya Kuriakova knows it cannot last. Both sides are exhausted – it can only be a matter of days or weeks before they finally call a truce and negotiate. But the days and weeks pass, the death toll mounts, and still the enemy will not talk.

Then a figure from the tainted past returns to make her an offer she cannot lightly refuse – a plan to stop the war. But to do it she will have to turn her back on everything she has believed in, everything she has ever fought for, to make sacrifices greater even than laying down her own life. To save Russalka, she must become its greatest enemy.

Harper Voyager
Dead Set: A Novel by Richard Kadrey

Acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Richard Kadrey creates a wonderful, stand-alone dark fantasy

After her father’s funeral, Zoe moved to the big city with her mother to start over. But change always brings trials, and life in the city is not so easy. Money is tight, and Zoe’s only escape, as has always been the case, is in her dreams—a world apart from her troubled real life where she can spend time with her closest companion: her lost brother, Valentine.

But something or someone has entered their dreamworld uninvited. And a chance encounter at a used record store, where the vinyl holds not music but lost souls, has opened up a portal to the world of the restless dead. It’s here that the shop’s strange proprietor offers Zoe the chance to commune with her dead father. The price? A lock of hair. Then a tooth. Then . . .

HarperCollins
Twinmaker by Sean Williams

M. T. Anderson meets Cory Doctorow in this teen debut from #1 New York Times bestseller Sean Williams, who also coauthors the Troubletwisters series with Garth Nix.

When a coded note promises improvement—the chance to change your body any way you want, making it stronger, taller, more beautiful—Clair thinks it’s too good to be true, but her best friend, Libby, falls into a deadly trap.

With the help of the school freak and a mysterious stranger, Clair races against the clock and around the world to save Libby, even as every step draws her deeper into a deadly world of cover-ups and conspiracies.

Action and danger fuel this near-future tale of technology, identity, and the lengths one girl will go to save her best friend.

Kickstarter

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Timothy C. Ward
Executive Producer

Timothy C. Ward has been podcasting since 2010, first as AudioTim, and now with AISFP. His first publication, Cornhusker: Demon Gene (A Short Story), is available on Kindle for $.99. He just turned in his novel to his editor, Joshua Essoe. Kaimerus is described as “Firefly crashes on Avatar and wakes up 28 Days Later.”

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4 Responses to “SF Book Releases This Week: Nov. 5, 2013”

    • Haha, Carl. I read your latest blog post on starting too many books. It kind of spun my head around thinking of having all those books started, even though I have a similar problem. I also started reading Throne of the Crescent Moon this morning, making that like number seven on my list of currently reading. I’m reading that though because of a personal “crisis” of whether to include God or not in my new Fantasy novel, and I want to see how Saladin did it. So, I have books I’m reading for pure pleasure (Rise Again: Below Zero ARC), those for pleasure and upcoming release/interview (Burning Paradise), those obligated by review copies, but which I’m enjoying enough to keep reading (Cambodian Book of the Dead), and for help in my writing, (Throne of the Crescent Moon). There’s more in between–Three Parts Dead comes to mind as almost too good to put down. Anyway, I feel you. It’s an interesting dilemma aspiring authors and avid readers face, and I wonder how it will shape out. I’ve tried saying I wouldn’t start anymore until x is finished, but that doesn’t work, or until I read this list of books I already bought, then you have daily deals, which made me buy two books in the last week.

      • Whether or not to include God in your new novel, Tim. A dilemma. When you consider that Phillip Pullman (who is in a different camp from you vis-a-vis Christianity) had God in his Dark Materials Trilogy, and that God was removed from the adaptation of the first book, The Golden Compass, it makes one realise the issue can be sensitive. His book’s subtext was the death of God, of course. My own feeling is you should put in what you feel is right for you, and your book.

        In terms of the new releases, I loved Wilson’s Spin, and rate Tim Lebbon highly, so I would recommend both of those authors to those who haven’t tried them before.

        • Thanks, John. I’ve gone back and forth on this, but ultimatley, I write the stories I want to write. This one seems hinged on God’s inclusion as the third power source, Order, Chaos, and Creation. If I’m telling a story about characters finding strength in God, because that’s what I am dealing with, then I guess so be it. Fiction is kind of therapeutic like that for me. I’m making this story go through an outline, so we’ll see how it turns out.

          I have the go ahead to send Wilson questions for a written interview if you have any you’d like to ask or collaborate on it with me. I’ll email you.

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