There is an exciting selection of new Science Fiction and Fantasy novels this month. Included is the first novel in a trilogy by the multiple awards winning Chinese writer Cixin Liu, titled The Three-body Problem. Also we have the most recent work from popular writers Sherrilyn Kenyon, John Scalzi, Robert Charles Wilson and David Wingrove. There is much to enjoy.
The shotgun arcana / R. S. Belcher.
“Golgotha, Nevada, a bustling frontier town that hides more than its fair share of unnatural secrets. 1870. A haven for the blessed and the damned, including a fallen angel, a mad scientist, a pirate queen, and a deputy who is kin to coyotes, Golgotha has come through many nightmarish trials, but now an army of thirty-two outlaws, lunatics, serial killers, and cannibals are converging on the town, drawn by a grisly relic that dates back to the Donner Party, and the dawn of humanity. Sheriff Jon Highfather and his deputies will be as never before and some of them will never be the same.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Ascendance / John Birmingham.
“New York is on fire, the streets are overrun, and the Demon Horde is feasting. With the world’s greatest city in chaos, all eyes are on Dave Hooper, the superhero destined to save mankind. But hero or not, Dave is just one man and he’s short of allies. He soon finds himself relying on Karen Warat: art dealer and Russian deep cover agent. Smart, dangerous and armed with a magic sword, Dave knows not to trust her. He also knows that without her, New York will fall.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
The invisible library / Genevieve Cogman.
“Irene must be at the top of her game or she’ll be off the case, permanently. Irene is a professional spy for the mysterious Library, which harvests fiction from different realities. And along with her enigmatic assistant Kai, she’s posted to an alternative London. Their mission is to retrieve a dangerous book. But when they arrive, it’s already been stolen. London’s underground factions seem prepared to fight to the very death to find her book. Adding to the jeopardy, this world is chaos-infested, the laws of nature bent to allow supernatural creatures and unpredictable magic. Irene’s new assistant is also hiding his secrets.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Born of defiance / Sherrilyn Kenyon.
“Born an Outcast, Talyn Batur has spent the whole of his life fighting against the prejudice of his people. An Andarion without a father is not something anyone wants to be. But when his companion’s brother draws him into a plot against the Andarion crown, he finds himself torn between the loyalty to their planetary government that his mother has beaten into him and his own beliefs of justice and right. Now, he must decide for himself to remain a pawn of their government or to defy everything and everyone he’s ever known to stand up to tyranny.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
The three-body problem / Cixin Liu ; translated by Ken Liu.
“Set against the backdrop of China’s Cultural Revolution, a secret military project sends signals into space to establish contact with aliens. An alien civilization on the brink of destruction captures the signal and plans to invade Earth. Meanwhile, on Earth, different camps start forming, planning to either welcome the superior beings and help them take over a world seen as corrupt, or to fight against the invasion.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Low town : a novel / Daniel Polansky.
“Drug dealers, hustlers, brothels, dirty politics, corrupt cops and sorcery. Welcome to Low Town. In the forgotten back alleys and flophouses that lie in the shadows of Rigus, the finest city of the Thirteen Lands, you will find Low Town. It is an ugly place, and its cham¬pion is an ugly man. Disgraced intelligence agent, forgotten war hero, an independent drug dealer, a man known as the Warden leads a life of crime, addicted to cheap violence and expensive drugs. Every day is a constant hustle to find new customers and protect his turf from low-life competition like Tancred the Harelip and Ling Chi, the enigmatic crime lord of the heathens. The Warden’s life of drugged iniquity is shaken by his dis¬covery of a murdered child down a dead-end street, set¬ting him on a collision course with the life he left behind.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
The human division / John Scalzi.
“The people of Earth now know that the human Colonial Union has kept them ignorant of the dangerous universe around them. For generations the CU had defended humanity against hostile aliens, deliberately keeping Earth an ignorant backwater and a source of military recruits. Now the CU’s secrets are known to all. Other alien races have come on the scene and formed a new alliance against the Colonial Union. And they’ve invited the people of Earth to join them. For a shaken and betrayed Earth, the choice isn’t obvious or easy. It will take diplomatic finesse, political cunning and a brilliant “B Team,” centered on the resourceful Lieutenant Harry Wilson that can be deployed to deal with the unpredictable and unexpected things the universe throws at you when you’re struggling to preserve the unity of the human race.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
A darker shade of magic / V. E. Schwab.
“Kell is one of the last Travelers-magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel universes, connected by one magical city. There’s Grey London, dirty and boring, without any magic, and with one mad king-George III. Red London, where life and magic are revered and where Kell was raised alongside Rhys Maresh, the rougish heir to a flourishing empire. White London-a place where people fight to control magic, and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. And once upon a time, there was Black London. But no one speaks of that now. Officially, Kell is the Red Traveler, ambassador of the Maresh empire, carrying the monthly correspondences between the royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see. It’s a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
The affinities / Robert Charles Wilson.
“Set in the near future, The Affinities , is a process supercharged by new analytic technologies, genetic, brain-mapping, behavioral. To join one of the twenty-two Affinities is to change one’s life. It’s like family, and more than family. Your fellow members aren’t just like you, and they aren’t just people who are likely to like you. They’re also the people with whom you can best cooperate in all areas of life creative, interpersonal, even financial. At loose ends both professional and personal, young Adam Fisk takes the suite of tests to see if he qualifies for any of the Affinities, and finds that he’s a match for one of the largest, the one called Tau. It’s utopian at first. Problems in all areas of his life begin to simply sort themselves out, as he becomes part of a global network of people dedicated to helping one another and to helping him. But as the differing Affinities put their new powers to the test, they begin to rapidly chip away at the power of governments, of global corporations, of all the institutions of the old world. Then, with dreadful inevitability, the different Affinities begin to go to war, with one another. What happens next will change Adam, and his world, forever.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
The ocean of time / David Wingrove.
“The War For Time Continues. From the frozen tundra of 13th Century Russia to the battle of Paltava in 1709 and beyond, Otto Behr has waged an unquestioning, unending war across time for his people. But now a third unidentified power has joined the game across the ocean of time, and everything Otto holds dear could be unmade.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)