Cherie Priest’s latest novel, Fiddlehead is one of three new Steampunk novels are included in this month’s selection of New Science Fiction and Fantasy novels. Highly recommended is the new Mickey Zucker Reichert novel, titled, Isaac Asimov’s I, Robot: to obey.
Masks / E. C. Blake.
“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.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Red rising / Pierce Brown.
“All 16-year-old Darrow knows is mining for helium-3 deep below the surface of Mars, believing, as do all those of the Red clan, that they are the first peoples of Mars who sacrifice their lives to create a habitable planet for the inhabitants of an overpopulated dying Earth. But when his equally young wife is hanged for singing a forbidden song of freedom, Darrow follows her to the gallows only to be saved by members of a higher clan who want to use him to overthrow those in power. Surgically altered to resemble a ‘Gold’, the highest, most powerful clan on Mars, Darrow undergoes a demanding training and education regime in an effort to attain admittance into the Institute from which the future leaders of Mars are chosen. It is only after he is chosen as one of the top 100 most promising students that he and his classmates discover just how vicious the ruling classes are as they are forced to fight one another in war games where only the most intelligent and the most ruthless can survive and rise.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Breath of iron : a novel of the Clockwork Agents / Kate Cross.
“As chief surgeon for the Wardens, Evelyn Stone fears her own life is on the line when she is kidnapped by a band of pirates, only to discover that the airship captain is Gavin “Mac” MacRae, her former lover. The man whose life she once saved. The man she abandoned. Since Evelyn left, Mac made his mark as both a pirate and a pilot. But his true allegiance isn’t known. So when he asks Evie for help with a wounded woman onboard, he tells Evie that the woman is his wife, even if his feelings for Evie have never waned. As the days pass, however, the unease between Evie and Mac gives way to the old comfort they used to have. Yet, their newly ignited romance is complicated by conflicting loyalties and desires, and a betrayal that may cost them both their love and their lives.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
The Aylesford skull / James P. Blaylock.
“Professor Langdon St. Ives, brilliant but eccentric scientist and explorer, is at home in Aylesford with his family. Not far away a steam launch is taken by pirates, the crew murdered, and a grave is possibly robbed of the skull. The suspected grave robber, the infamous Dr. Ignacio Narbondo, is an old nemesis of St. Ives. When Narbondo kidnaps his son Eddie, St. Ives races into London in pursuit.” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk)
The golden city / J. Kathleen Cheney.
“As one of the sereia, or sea folk, Oriana is banned from the Golden City. For two years, however, she has worked as a spy for her people, disguising her webbed hands with gloves and hiding her gills beneath high-necked clothing, while in the employ of the upper-class Paredes family. When she and Isabel Paredes are kidnapped, Oriana watches helplessly, as Isabel drowns, getting away only after the tragedy. Keeping her escape secret, Oriana tries to track down Isabel’s killer and encounters Duilio Ferreira, a gentleman acting as police consultant. Oriana does not completely trust him, but they work together to solve a mystery that grows increasingly complex and dangerous.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Moon’s artifice / Tom Lloyd.
“After an unremarkable career Narin finally has the chance of promotion to the hallowed ranks of the Lawbringers, guardians of the Emperor’s laws and bastions for justice in a world of brutal expediency. Joining that honoured body would be the culmination of a lifelong dream, but it couldn’t possibly have come at a wrong time. Demon-spirits now haunt the shadows and Gods watch from the sky, while Narin and a handful of uncertain friends begin to uncover a horrifying conspiracy. To save his own life and those of untold thousands Narin must understand the key to it all, Moon’s Artifice, the poison that could destroy an empire.” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk)
Fiddlehead / Cherie Priest.
“The U.S. Civil War has continued for 20 years because an inventor knocked out Seattle with his Boneshaker engine and stirred up a poisonous gas that is still creating zombies. In Washington, DC, Gideon Bardsley’s new Fiddlehead computational engine has just predicted that the zombies will eventually destroy the human race if the North and South don’t make peace and immediately eradicate the threat. But evil profiteers want to continue the war by spreading the zombie plague and forcing Europe to enter the conflict on the side of the otherwise battle-weakened Confederate States of America. It’s a diabolical plan that just might work.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Isaac Asimov’s I, Robot : to obey / Mickey Zucker Reichert.
“2036: Robotic technology has evolved into the realm of self-aware, sentient mechanical entities. But even as humanity contends with the consequences of its most brilliant creation, there are those who have their own designs for the robots: enslavement or annihilation.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Limit / Frank Schätzing ; translated by Shaun Whiteside, Jamie Lee Searle and Samuel Wilcocks.
“In 2025, Earth is transitioning from energy scarcity to one of limitless consumption owing to the discovery of helium-3 on the moon. Julian Orley is the multibillionaire responsible for bringing the resource back to Earth through a space elevator that not only transports the resource but connects to a hotel in space and another new one on the moon. He invites several of the world’s richest people on a trip to the new lunar hostelry to convince them to finance a second elevator. Meanwhile, on Earth, virtual detective Owen Jericho investigates an elusive hacker and discovers a world of intrigue that puts Orley, his space empire, and his potential investors in danger.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Like a mighty army / David Weber.
“For centuries, the world of Safehold, last redoubt of the human race, lay under the unchallenged rule of the Church of God Awaiting. The Church permitted nothing new, no new inventions, no new understandings of the world. What no one knew was that the Church was an elaborate fraud, a high-tech system established by a rebel faction of Safehold’s founders, meant to keep humanity hidden from the powerful alien race that had destroyed old Earth. Then awoke Merlyn Athrawes, cybvernetic avatar of a warrior a thousand years dead, felled in the war in which Earth was lost. Monk, warrior, counsellor to princes and kings, Merlyn has one purpose: to restart the history of the too-long-hidden human race. Now the fight is thoroughly underway.” (Adapted from Book cover)