Science Fiction and Fantasy - February 7, 2018

 

Science Fiction and Fantasy

 

Science Fiction and Fantasy

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

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New Books

Under the Pendulum Sun
by Jeannette Ng

Catherine Helstone's brother, Laon, has disappeared in Arcadia, legendary land of the magical fae. Desperate for news of him, she makes the perilous journey, but once there, she finds herself alone and isolated in the sinister house of Gethsemane. At last there comes news: her beloved brother is riding to be reunited with her soon - but the Queen of the Fae and her insane court are hard on his heels.

The Gone World
by Tom Sweterlitsch

Shannon Moss, part of a secret division within NCIS, is assigned to solve the murder of a Navy SEAL’s family and the disappearance of his teenage daughter in 1997. She soon discovers that the SEAL was an astronaut aboard the spaceship Libra—a ship assumed lost in the dark currents of Deep Time. Moss knows from experience that time travel can cause mental trauma, and she suspects that the SEAL’s experience with the future has triggered this violence. Trying to make sense of the case, Shannon travels forward in time. To her horror, the future reveals that it's not only the fate of a family that hinges on her work, for what she witnesses hurtling toward the present is the Terminus: the terrifying and cataclysmic end of humanity itself.

City of Ghosts
by J.H. Moncrieff

On the day the villagers were forced to flee Hensu, not everyone got out alive. Jackson Stone is touring the abandoned Chinese city when he slips away from the group to spend the night, determined to publish an account of his ghostly experiences there. Then he meets Yu Ehai, a strange, soft-spoken woman who can tell him the city's secrets--secrets the Chinese government would kill to keep hidden.

The Philosopher's Flight
by Tom Miller

Young Robert Weekes is a practitioner of empirical philosophy--an arcane, female-dominated branch of science used to summon the wind, shape clouds of smoke, heal the injured, and even fly. When a deadly accident puts his philosophical abilities to the test, Robert rises to the occasion and wins a scholarship to study at Radcliffe College, an all-women's school. There, he hones his skills and strives to win the respect of his classmates, a host of formidable, unruly women. Robert falls hard for Danielle Hardin, a disillusioned young war hero turned political radical. However, Danielle's activism and Robert's recklessness attract the attention of a fanatical anti-philosophical group. With their lives in mounting danger, Robert and Danielle band together with a team of unlikely heroes to fight for Robert's place among the next generation of empirical philosophers--and for philosophy's very survival against the men who would destroy it.

Ambiguity Machines and Other Stories
by Vandana Singh

In her first North American collection, Vandana Singh's deep humanism interplays with her scientific background in stories that explore and celebrate this world and others and characters who are trying to make sense of the people they meet, what they see, and the challenges they face. An eleventh century poet wakes to find he is as an artificially intelligent companion on a starship. A woman of no account has the ability to look into the past. In "Requiem," a major new novella, a woman goes to Alaska to try and make sense of her aunt's disappearance. Singh dives deep into the vast strangeness of the universe without and within and with her unblinking clear vision she explores the ways we move through space and time: together, yet always apart.

Gunpowder Moon
by David Pedreira

Caden Dechert thought he had escaped carnage when he became chief of U.S. mining operations near the Moon’s Sea of Serenity. It's 2072, and lunar helium-3 mining is powering the fusion reactors that are bringing Earth back from environmental disaster. But competing for the richest prize in the history of the world has destroyed the oldest rule in space: Safety for All. When a bomb kills one of Dechert's diggers on Mare Serenitatis, the haunted veteran goes on the hunt to expose the culprit before more blood is spilled. He soon discovers that this murder has links to two global powers and a conspiracy that could start a full-on lunar war, wipe out his crew—and plunge the Earth back into darkness.

The Merry Spinster: Tales of Everyday Horror
by Mallory Ortberg

Sinister and inviting, familiar and alien all at the same time, The Merry Spinster updates traditional children's stories and fairy tales with elements of psychological horror, emotional clarity, and a keen sense of feminist mischief.

Binti: The Night Masquerade
by Nnedi Okorafor

Binti has returned to her home planet, believing that the violence of the Meduse has been left behind. Unfortunately, although her people are peaceful on the whole, the same cannot be said for the Khoush, who fan the flames of their ancient rivalry with the Meduse. Far from her village when the conflicts start, Binti hurries home, but anger and resentment has already claimed the lives of many close to her. Once again it is up to Binti and her intriguing new friend Mwinyi to intervene and try to prevent a war that could wipe out her people, once and for all.

Gnomon
by Nick Harkaway

In the world of Gnomon, citizens are ceaselessly observed and democracy has reached a pinnacle of "transparency." When suspected dissident Diana Hunter dies in government custody during a routine interrogation, Mielikki Neith, a trusted state inspector, is assigned to the case. Immersing herself in neural recordings of the interrogation, she finds a panorama of characters and events that Hunter gave life to in order to forestall the investigation: a brilliant alchemist in ancient Carthage confronting the unexpected outcome of her invention; an expat Ethiopian painter in London designing a controversial new video game, as well as several others. In the static between these mysterious visions, Neith begins to catch glimpses of the real Diana Hunter--and, alarmingly, of herself, the staggering consequences of which will reverberate throughout the world.

A Time of Dread
by John Gwynne

The Ben-Elim, a race of warrior angels, once vanquished a mighty demon horde. Now they rule the Banished lands. But their dominion is brutally enforced and their ancient enemy may not be as crushed as they thought. In the snowbound north, Drem, a trapper, finds mutilated corpses in the forests - a sign of demonic black magic. In the south, Riv, a young, tempestuous soldier, discovers a deadly rift within the Ben-Elim themselves. Two individuals with two world-changing secrets. But where will they lead? And what role will Drem and Riv play in the Banished Land's fate? Difficult choices need to be made. In the shadows, dark forces are gathering, waiting for their time to rise. . .

Zero Limit
by Jeremy K. Brown

For war hero Caitlin Taggart, mining work on the Moon is dirty, low pay, and high risk. But no risk seems too extreme if it helps her return to Earth and the daughter she loves more than life itself. Offered a dangerous, long-shot chance to realize that dream, Caitlin will gamble with more than just her life. By leading a ragtag crew of miners on a perilous assignment to harvest an asteroid, Caitlin could earn a small fortune. More importantly, it would give her clearance to return to Earth. But when an unexpected disaster strikes the mission, Caitlin is plunged into a race to save not only herself, but every human being on Earth.

The Two of Swords
by K. J. Parker

A soldier with a gift for archery. A woman who kills without care. Two brothers, both unbeatable generals, now fighting for opposing armies. No-one in the vast and once glorious United Empire remains untouched by the rift between East and West, and the war has been fought for as long as anyone can remember. Some still survive who know how it was started, but no-one knows how it will end.