This month in science fiction
Space, fairytales, genetic engineering, post apocalypse, magic… these recent picks have it all! Something to tickle every sci-fi fancy.
Beauty and the werewolf / Mercedes Lackey.
“The eldest daughter is often doomed in fairy tales. But Bella vows to escape the usual pitfalls. She dons a red cloak and ventures into the forbidden forest to consult with “Granny,” the local wisewoman. On the way home she’s attacked by a wolf– who turns out to be a cursed nobleman! Secluded in his castle, Bella is torn between her family and this strange man who creates marvelous inventions and makes her laugh– when he isn’t howling at the moon.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)
When we have wings / Claire Corbett.
“In a world divided into fliers and non-fliers, how far would you go to be able to fly? How much would you sacrifice – perhaps your own child? A beautifully written and compellingly original novel of sacrifice, betrayal and love. Flight – you’ll dream about it. ‘She had never seen the sky in all her life before. How high could she fly? What was the limit? She was already so high the earth was no longer real. Only her in the sky. Every spiral pure joy. This was Flight. It was for this she’d risked and endured so much. It had to be worth it.’ The dream of being able to fly is now physical reality but only the rich and powerful can afford the surgery, drugs, and gene manipulation to become fliers. Peri, a poor girl from the regions, will sacrifice anything to get her wings and join this elite but the price is higher than she could have imagined. So why then does she throw it all away? Feel the exhilaration and terror of flight – over vertiginous skyscrapers, into wild storms and across hypnotic wilderness – in this beautiful and daringly imaginative novel that explores the limits of self-transformation.” – (adapted from Global Books summary)
Equations of life / Simon Morden.
Equations of life is book 1 of the trilogy and the library has all three books!
“Samuil Petrovitch is a survivor. He survived the nuclear fallout in St. Petersburg and hid in the London Metrozone – the last city in England. He’s lived this long because he’s a man of rules and logic. For example, getting involved = a bad idea. But when he stumbles into a kidnapping in progress, he acts without even thinking. Before he can stop himself, he’s saved the daughter of the most dangerous man in London. And clearly saving the girl = getting involved. Now, the equation of Petrovitch’s life is looking increasingly complex. Russian mobsters + Yakuza + something called the New Machine Jihad = one dead Petrovitch. But Petrovitch has a plan – he always has a plan – he’s just not sure it’s a good one.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)
Prince of Thorns / Mark Lawrence.
“When he was nine, he watched his mother and brother killed before him. By the time he was thirteen, he was the leader of a band of bloodthirsty thugs. By fifteen, he intends to be king… It’s time for Prince Honorous Jorg Ancrath to return to the castle he turned his back on, to take what’s rightfully his. Since the day he was hung on the thorns of a briar patch and forced to watch Count Renar’s men slaughter his mother and young brother, Jorg has been driven to vent his rage. Life and death are no more than a game to him-and he has nothing left to lose. But treachery awaits him in his father’s castle. Treachery and dark magic. No matter how fierce, can the will of one young man conquer enemies with power beyond his imagining?” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)
The measure of the magic / Terry Brooks.
This is the second book in the Legends of Shannara series. “Panterra Qu, a newly anointed Knight of the Word who has been entrusted with the last black staff and its powers, must protect thousands of lives that are put in danger when centuries of protective magic disappears.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)
SpacEscape / Larry Nelson.
“He would become a warrior for the twenty-first century. He would journey where no Maori had ever gone before. Set in both 1999 and 2075, SpacEscape is about deep-space but more importantly it is about escapism. Video games guru and petty thief, Tama, and the future Scott, a nodule-growing rebel and intended victim of the giant dragon/arachnid, The Korn, join forces across time to overcome the weak hand in life that each has been dealt. Meanwhile, Tony Robertson from the discredited 2060’s starship project, Schmitt One, risks falling prey to hardened farmers of human livestock to meet his date and love of his life, Karin Carlton. Tama has his strong-minded and compassionate Emma. Scott has the virtual Mandy. All three have one slim chance for love and freedom but only if Scott and Tama can discover in time the true nature of the enigmatic creature that assaults Scott’s tortured mind and becomes the symbol for his escapism – The Korn.” – (Summary and Image from Fishpond).
The tempering of men / Sarah Monette and Elizabeth Bear.
“Bear and Monette follow 2007’s Companion to Wolves with another tale of the frozen northern lands of Iskryne inhabited by Wolfcarls and their telepathically bonded trellwolves. When wolves mate, so do their humans-leaving thoroughly heterosexual Isolfr, the bond-mate of Queen-wolf Viradechtis, in an uncomfortable position with Skjaldwulf and Vethulf, men bonded to Viradechtis’s consorts. The Wolfcarls have at long last vanquished the trolls who plagued Iskryne, but without a common enemy, their tenuous alliance with the mysterious Svartalfar has become even more fragile, while the nearby Rhean Empire turns its ambitions northwards. Vethulf and Skjaldwulf must forge a new path for their people and a new understanding in their relationship if either of them is to survive. This well-wrought tale serves as an exciting adventure as well as a thought-provoking and often disturbing deconstruction of companion animal fantasies.” – (Summary from Publisher Weekly, courtesy of Syndetics)
The children of the sky / Vernor Vinge.
“Ten years have passed on Tines World, where Ravna Bergnsdot and a number of human children ended up after a disaster that nearly obliterated humankind throughout the galaxy. Ravna and the pack animals for which the planet is named have survived a war, and Ravna has saved more than one hundred children who were in cold-sleep aboard the vessel that brought them. While there is peace among the Tines, there are those among them–and among the humans–who seek power…and no matter the cost, these malcontents are determined to overturn the fledgling civilization that has taken root since the humans landed. On a world of fascinating wonders and terrifying dangers, Vernor Vinge has created a powerful novel of adventure and discovery that will entrance the many readers of A Fire Upon the Deep. Filled with the inventiveness, excitement, and human drama that have become hallmarks of his work, this new novel is sure to become another great milestone in Vinge’s already stellar career. ” – (Summary from publisher, courtesy of Syndetics).
Soul stealers / Andy Remic.
“The land of Falanor has fallen. The renegade hero Kell is being hunted by the machine-vampires, the Vachine. On his way to recruit reinforcements to launch the counterattack, the mighty hero finds himself the prey of two beautiful but deadly vampire assassins, in this second book in the Clockwork Vampires. Original.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)