Science Fiction and Fantasy - August 7, 2017

 

Science Fiction and Fantasy

 

Monday, August 7, 2017

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New Books

The Stone Sky
by N. K. Jemisin

The Moon will soon return. Whether this heralds the destruction of humankind or something worse will depend on two women. Essun has inherited the power of Alabaster Tenring. With it, she hopes to find her daughter Nassun and forge a world in which every orogene child can grow up safe. For Nassun, her mother's mastery of the Obelisk Gate comes too late. She has seen the evil of the world, and accepted what her mother will not admit: that sometimes what is corrupt cannot be cleansed, only destroyed. Jemisin brings her acclaimed post-apocalyptic trilogy to a close with The Stone Sky.

Heroine Complex
by Sarah Kuhn

Evie Tanaka is the put-upon personal assistant to Aveda Jupiter, her childhood best friend and San Francisco's most beloved superheroine. She's great at her job, but not nearly as together when it comes to running her own life, standing up for herself, or raising her tempestuous teenage sister, Bea. But everything changes when Evie's forced to pose as her glamorous boss for one night, and her darkest secret comes out: she has powers, too. Now it's up to her to contend with murderous cupcakes, nosy gossip bloggers, and supernatural karaoke battles--all while juggling unexpected romance and Aveda's increasingly outrageous demands. And when a larger threat emerges, Evie must finally take charge and become a superheroine in her own right... or see her city fall to a full-on demonic invasion.

Reincarnation Blues
by Michael Poore

First we live. Then we die. Repeat 10,000 times. In Milo’s world, one has thousands of chances to get Life right—figure out the Big Question, Achieve Wisdom, etc. He’s on try 9,995 and only has five more chances to earn a place in the cosmic soul, or else face permanent oblivion. But all Milo really wants is to fall forever into the arms of Death. Or Suzie, as he calls her. Suzie is literally his reason for living--as he dives into one new existence after another, praying for the day he'll never have to leave her side again. But every journey from cradle to grave gives Milo one more piece of the cosmic puzzle until he might become something bigger than infinity—and find himself away from Suzie forever.

Tropic of Kansas
by Chris N. Brown

The United States of America is no more. Broken into warring territories, its center has become a wasteland DMZ known as "the Tropic of Kansas." Though this gaping geographic hole has no clear boundaries, everyone knows it's out there--that once-bountiful part of the heartland, broken by greed and exploitation, where neglect now breeds unrest. Two travelers appear in this arid American wilderness: Sig, the fugitive orphan of political dissidents, and his foster sister Tania, a government investigator whose search for Sig leads her into her own past--and towards an unexpected future.

An Oath of Dogs
by Wendy N. Wagner

Kate Standish has been on the forest-world of Huginn less than a week and she's already pretty sure her new company murdered her boss. But the little town of mill workers and farmers is more worried about eco-terrorism and a series of attacks by the bizarre, sentient dogs of this planet, than a death most people would like to believe is an accident. That is, until Kate's investigation uncovers a conspiracy which threatens them all.

Strange Practice: A Dr. Greta Helsing Novel
by Vivian Shaw

Dr. Greta Helsing has inherited the family's highly specialized, and highly peculiar, medical practice. She treats the undead for a host of ills - vocal strain in banshees, arthritis in barrow-wights, and entropy in mummies. It's a quiet, supernatural-adjacent life, until a sect of murderous monks emerges, killing human and undead Londoners alike. As terror takes hold of the city, Greta must use her unusual skills to stop the cult if she hopes to save her practice, and her life.

The Year's Best Science Fiction: Thirty Fourth Annual Collection
edited by Gardner R. Dozois

This year’s volume highlights some of the best science fiction stories published in 2016, including such luminaries as Stephen Baxter, Charlie Jane Anders, Paolo Bacigalupi, Ken Liu and more.

An Alchemy of Masques and Mirrors
by Curtis Craddock

Princess Isabelle des Zephyrs may have been born without the sorcery that is her birthright, but her perspicacious intellect has served her well. She’ll need it, as she is betrothed to the second son of a dying king in an empire collapsing into civil war—a man whose previous two fiancées were murdered. Her marriage promises to stave off a terrible conflict and put her in a position of influence—and Isabelle is determined it should happen. Aided and defended by her loyal musketeer, Jean-Claude, Isabelle plunges into a great maze of prophecy, intrigue, and betrayal, where everyone wears masks of glamour and lies. Step by dangerous step, she unravels the lies of her enemies and discovers a truth more perilous than any deception.

Ball Lightning
by Cixin Liu

When Chen's parents are incinerated before his eyes by a blast of ball lightning, he devotes his life to cracking the secret of mysterious natural phenomenon. The more he learns, the more he comes to realize that ball lightning is just the tip of an entirely new frontier in particle physics. His reasons for chasing his elusive quarry come into conflict with soldiers and scientists who have motives of their own. The race is on to harness new discoveries—but what of their possible consequences?

Yesterday
by Felicia Yap

Imagine a stratified society where classes are divided not by wealth or birth, but by memory. Elite Duos have two days of memories while plebeian Monos only have one day. Claire and Mark are in surprisingly functional mixed marriage; Claire a Mono and careful housewife and Mark an MP Duo with political ambitions. When a woman who is Mark’s mistress is discovered murdered, their life begins to fall apart. How can one find a murderer when everyone’s memory is reset after only two days? Told from the perspectives of Mark, Claire, the victim and an investigating detective, the race is on to find the killer before there’s nothing left to remember.

Sungrazer
by Jay Posey

In a new Cold War between Earth and the colonies on Mars, when devastating weapons go missing, there's only one team you can call - the Outriders. A crack force of highly specialized super-soldiers, their clone bodies are near-immortal. When a fully-autonomous vessel with orbital strike capabilities goes missing, it's up to the Outriders to track the untrackable. But when the trail leads them to the influential Martian People's Collective Republic, the operation gets a lot more complicated...

Daughter of Destiny
by Nicole Evelina

In war-torn fifth century Britain, young Guinevere leaves her home at Northgallis to seek help for the terrible visions that haunt her. She travels to Avalon, where she becomes a priestess and falls deeply in love with a man who is fated to be her greatest mistake. Tragedy forces her back home, but Guinevere knows that her former home is a dangerous one for someone with her pagan faith, outspokenness and proficiency in the magical and military arts. Cast out on her own, Guinevere must survive in the world of a new High King where unmarried women are commodities and a single misstep can have devastating consequences.

Provenance
by Ann Leckie

A power-driven young woman has just one chance to secure the status she craves and regain priceless lost artifacts prized by her people. She must free their thief from a prison planet from which no one has ever returned. Ingray and her charge will return to her home world to find their planet in political turmoil, at the heart of an escalating intergalactic conflict. Together, they must make a new plan to salvage Ingray's future, her family, and her world, before they are lost to her for good.

A Fading Sun: Book One of the Sunpath Cycle
by Stephen Leigh

Voada Paorach can see the dead. It is a family trait, but one that has had to remain hidden since Mundoan Empire conquered her people's land three generations ago. But this ghost isn't the same as the others she has glimpsed, the lost souls she has helped to find their way to the land beyond life. This ghost demands that Voada follow a new path, one that will mean leaving behind everything and everyone she has known and loved. Voada will come to understand the power that her people possess, but she will also learn the steep price that must be paid for such a gift.