In our latest selection of new science fiction and fantasy picks: the legendary sword Excalibur is wielded by a London Private Detective, the Knights of Camelot are on the rampage, and the saga of an American West Virginian town transported back to the 17th century continues. Have a browse.
The heroes / Joe Abercrombie.
“Set in the same world as Abercrombie’s First Law trilogy, but a standalone story. Over three bloody days of battle, the fate of the North will be decided. But with both sides riddled by intrigues, follies, feuds and petty jealousies, it is unlikely to be the noblest hearts, or even the strongest arms that prevail. Three men. One battle. No heroes.” (Library Catalogue)
Hull Zero Three / Greg Bear.
“An amnesiac starship crew member just released from a deep hibernation state called Dreamtime. Naked, disoriented, and forced by extreme temperature and gravity fluctuations to find safety somewhere among a confusing network of passageways, the man eventually receives help from an odd assortment of fellow Dreamtime refugees. Taking stock of their surroundings, while avoiding onboard killing machines, the gang quickly realizes the starship has given them each a unique role to play, including discovering collectively why the ship has been seriously damaged and cast aside from its mission to seek out habitable worlds.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)
Leviathans of Jupiter / Ben Bova.
“To prove that the massive symbionts, named Leviathans, that inhabit Jupiter’s atmosphere possess intelligence, physicist Grant Archer readies a deep-pressure manned probe for immersion in the giant planet’s deadly cloud cover. Equally anxious to thwart his attempt, millionaire Katherine Westfall seeks to outmaneuver Archer in her bid for the top spot in the International Astronautical Authority (IAA) by any means possible, including murder.” (Book cover)
1636 : the Saxon uprising / Eric Flint.
“King Gustavus of Sweden orders General Mike Stearns of West Virginia to go to Saxony and restore order. Gretchen has been arrested there and is likely to be executed. The revolutionary groups which she has been working with are not about to let that happen, and suddenly there’s rioting in the streets and Saxony’s ruthless General Baner is determined to suppress the uprising. Eric Flint’s latest in the Grantville Ring of Fire series.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Hidden cities / Daniel Fox.
“The conclusion of Fox’s trilogy set in a magical version of ancient China (Dragon in Chains; Jade Man’s Skin). The emperor is exiled, and his pregnant beloved is being targeted by assassins. Rebels battle for control of the nation. An island-dwelling dragon is linked to the boy Han in ways neither understands, and an old man bargains with the dragon for access to the sea in which she was once imprisoned. While some try remaking the dragon’s chains, others learn that the best way to escape their own bonds is to relax.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)
A hard day’s knight / Simon R. Green.
“P.I. John Taylor has a special talent for finding lost things in the dark and secret center of London known as the Nightside. He’s also the reluctant owner of Excalibur, the legendary sword. To find out why he must wield the sword, John consults the Last Defenders of Camelot, a group of knights who dwell in a place that some find more frightening than the Nightside. London Proper. It’s been years since John’s been back and there are good reasons for that.” (from Book cover)
Echo / Jack McDevitt.
“Through eight millennia of star travel, humans have discovered only one other intelligent species. Twenty-five years after the death of intrepid explorer and alien enthusiast Sunset Tuttle, a tablet with strange, indecipherable markings comes to the attention of antiquarian Alexander Benedict. He seeks more information from its current possessor and Tuttle’s former lover, Rachel Bannister, but is rebuffed. Benedict’s attempts to discover more about the mysterious tablet and the elusive Bannister lead him on a journey that proves both enlightening and deadly.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)
The wise man’s fear / Patrick Rothfuss.
“Lute-playing adventurer and arcanist Kvothe, now the unassuming keeper of the Waystone Inn, continues to share his astounding life story, a history that includes saving an influential lord from treachery, defeating a band of dangerous bandits, and surviving an encounter with a legendary Fae seductress. He also offers glimpses into his life’s true pursuit: figuring out how to vanquish the mythical Chandrian, a group of seven godlike destroyers that brutally murdered his family and left him an orphan. But while Kvothe recalls the events of his past, his future is conspiring just outside the inn’s doors.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)
Deep state / Walter Jon Williams.
“Dagmar Shaw is one of the world’s hottest designers of alternate reality games. She is the Puppetmaster and thousands of gamers are dancing on her strings. But when the campaign she is running in Turkey comes into conflict with the new, brutal regime, she realises that games can have very real consequences. When an old friend approaches Dagmar with a project so insane, so ambitious, she can’t possibly say no, she is plunged into a world of spies and soldiers.” (Amazon)
Home fires / Gene Wolfe.
“Chelle and Skip have been separated by Chelle’s tour of duty in a war against aliens from distant solar systems. They find their relationship complicated by time differentials that cause an injured and war-weary Chelle to age only a few months while Skip reaches his forties.” (Book cover)