New Science Fiction and Fantasy novels for November

This month’s selection on new Science Fiction and Fantasy novels includes two Gothic adventure stories and a new Steampunk novel titled Clockwork Lives by Kevin J Anderson and Neil Peart.

Syndetics book coverClockwork lives / Kevin J. Anderson and Neil Peart ; illustrations by Nick Robles.
“Marinda Peake is a woman with a quiet, perfect life in a small village; she long ago gave up on her dreams and ambitions to take care of her ailing father, an alchemist and an inventor. When he dies, he gives Marinda a mysterious inheritance: a blank book that she must fill with other people’s stories, and ultimately her own. Clockwork Lives is a steampunk Canterbury Tales, and much more, as Marinda strives to change her life from a mere “sentence or two” to a true epic.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverKilling Titan / Greg Bear.
“The second book in the epic interstellar War Dogs trilogy. After barely surviving his last tour on Mars, Master Sergeant Michael Venn finds himself back on earth in enforced isolation. Through a dangerous series of operations he returns to Mars to further his investigation into the Drifters, ancient artifacts suddenly reawakened on the red planet. But another front in the war leads his team to make the difficult journey to Saturn’s moon, Titan. Here, in the cauldron of war, hides new truths about the Drifters, the origin of life in our solar system and the plans of the supposedly benevolent Gurus, who have been “sponsoring” and supporting humanity in their fight against outside invaders.” (Adapted from Syndetics syummary)

Syndetics book coverThe aeronaut’s windlass / Jim Butcher.
“Since time immemorial, the Spires have sheltered humanity, towering for miles over the mist-shrouded surface of the world. Within their halls, aristocratic houses have ruled for generations, developing scientific marvels, fostering trade alliances, and building fleets of airships to keep the peace. Captain Grimm commands the merchant ship, Predator. Fiercely loyal to Spire Albion, he has taken their side in the cold war with Spire Aurora, disrupting the enemy’s shipping lines by attacking their cargo vessels. But when the Predator is severely damaged in combat, leaving captain and crew grounded, Grimm is offered a proposition from the Spirearch of Albion to join a team of agents on a vital mission in exchange for fully restoring Predator to its fighting glory.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCity of the Iron Fish / Simon Ings.
“A riveting gothic SF adventure set in a bizarre desert city, probing the very fabric of existence, to reveal a sometimes horrifying world within. Only a fool would question the strange magics that maintain the cool haven of the City of the Iron Fish in the middle of an inferno of scorching heat and splintered rock, for the well-watered streets of the city hide secrets in their shadows. Thomas Kemp is just such a fool and embarks on a journey that will take him to the limits of reality.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverEnd time / Keith Korman.
“What is happening to the country and the planet? A government bio-lab experiment goes hideously wrong, infecting people with scientifically-programmed madness. Random kidnappings of women and girls proliferate throughout the land. Some people suddenly succumb to horrifically-virulent viruses while others become able to read minds. Mysteriously summoned to confront these frightening questions, three people are thrown together on a bizarre cross-country quest: Cheryl Gibson, an LA cop; Billy Howahkan, a Lakota Sioux with seeming supernatural gifts; and Bhakti Singh, a distinguished space scientist. This unlikely group must track down a pair of children with extraordinary powers, children who will determine humanity’s fate-obliteration or salvation.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCloser to the heart / Mercedes Lackey.
“Mags was a Herald of Valdemar. But he had once lived the brutal life of a child slave. When he was Chosen by his Companion Dallen, his young life was saved, and he slowly adjusted to being well fed, educated, and treasured as a trainee in the Herald’s Collegium at Haven. Singled out by the King’s Own Herald, Mags would thrive in his secret training as a spy. His unusually strong gift, the skill to Mindspeak and Mindhear anyone, not just others who were gifted, made him a perfect undercover agent for the king” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTower of thorns / Juliet Marillier.
“Disillusioned healer Blackthorn and her companion Grim have settled quietly in Dalriada to wait out the seven years of Blackthorn’s bond to her fey mentor. But trouble has a way of seeking out Blackthorn and Grim. Lady Geiléis, a noblewoman from the northern border, has asked for the prince of Dalriada’s help in expelling a howling creature from an old tower on her land, one surrounded by an impenetrable hedge of thorns. Casting a blight over the entire district, and impossible to drive out by ordinary means, the mysterious presence threatens both the safety and the sanity of all who live nearby. As Blackthorn and Grim begin to put the pieces of the puzzle together, it becomes clear that a powerful adversary is at work.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSaturn run / John Sandford and Ctein.
“The year is 2066. A Caltech intern inadvertently notices an anomaly from a space telescope, something is approaching Saturn, and decelerating. Space objects don’t decelerate. Spaceships do. A flurry of top-level government meetings produces the inescapable conclusion: Whatever built that ship is at least one hundred years ahead in hard and soft technology, and whoever can get their hands on it exclusively and bring it back will have an advantage so large, no other nation can compete. The race is on, and a remarkable adventure begins, an epic tale of courage, treachery, resourcefulness, secrets, surprises, and astonishing human and technological discovery, as the members of a hastily thrown-together crew finds their strengths and wits tested against adversaries both of this earth and beyond.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRadiance / Catherynne M. Valente.
“Radiance is a deco-punk pulp SF alt-history space opera mystery set in a Hollywood-and solar system, very different from our own, Severin Unck’s father is a famous director of Gothic romances in an alternate 1986 in which talking movies are still a daring innovation due to the patent-hoarding Edison family. Rebelling against her father’s films of passion, intrigue, and spirits from beyond, Severin starts making documentaries, traveling through space and investigating the levitator cults of Neptune and the lawless saloons of Mars. Her latest film, which investigates the disappearance of a diving colony on a watery Venus populated by island-sized alien creatures, will be her last. Though her crew limps home to earth and her story is preserved by the colony’s last survivor, Severin will never return.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHell’s foundations quiver / David Weber.
“Centuries ago, the human race fought its first great war against an alien race-and lost. A tiny population of human beings fled to distant Safehold. Centuries later, their descendants have forgotten their history; for them, life has been an eternal Middle Ages, ruled by the Church of God Awaiting, whose secret purpose is to prevent the re-emergence of industrial civilization. But not all of Safehold’s founders were on board with this plan. Those dissidents left behind their own secret legacies. One of those is Merlyn Athrawes, cybernetic avatar of one of Earth’s long-dead defenders, now reawakened after a thousand years to restart human progress and reclaim our place in the universe.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)