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Giant Freakin’ Bookshelf: Week Of January 26, 2015

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As much as we love science fiction on TV, on the big screen, on the comics page, and in video game form, there’s just something irreplaceable about digging into a good book. There’s no shortage of new sci-fi adventures hitting shelves on a regular basis, but GFR is your one-stop shop to keep up with what’s new in a given week. Here’s what’s new on the Giant Freakin’ Bookshelf!

After“After: Red Scare” by Scott Nicholson

‘One of the most thrilling writers working today. Miss him at your own peril.’ — Blake Crouch, The Wayward Pines Trilogy

‘Always surprises and always entertains.’ — Jonathan Maberry, Patient Zero

In a post-apocalyptic world, Rachel Wheeler is caught between who she is and who she’s becoming. A bizarre mutation has her humanity hanging by a thread, especially when the Zaphead inside her wants to kill her friends and lover.

As the mutant Zapheads form a social order and shape a new world in the wake of catastrophic solar storms, the few remaining humans band together in a struggle for survival. But not everyone shares the same goal: a rogue military unit plans to attack the mutant settlement while Rachel’s group seeks a remote, peaceful life beyond their notice. And the Zapheads have a special role for her that could save the human race at the cost of her own identity.

Torn between two possible futures, will Rachel sacrifice herself to prevent the extinction of her kind?

Deadeye“Deadeye (The Mutant Files)” by Wiliam C. Dietz

The national bestselling author of the Legion of the Damned novels, ‘a must-read for any fan of Mil Fic,’ (Archaeologist’s Guide to the Galaxy) begins a brand new science fiction police procedural series…

In the year 2038, an act of bioengineered terrorism decimated humanity. Those who survived were either completely unaffected or developed horrible mutations. Across the globe, nations are now divided between areas populated by “norms” and lands run by “mutants”…

Detective Cassandra Lee of Los Angeles’s Special Investigative Section has built a fierce reputation taking down some of the city’s most notorious criminals. But the serial cop killer known as Bonebreaker—who murdered Lee’s father — is still at large. Officially, she’s too personally involved to work on the Bonebreaker case. Unofficially, she’s going to hunt him to the ends of the earth.

In the meantime, duty calls when the daughter of Bishop Screed, head of the Church of Human Purity, is kidnapped by mutants and taken into the red zone to be used for breeding. Assigned to rescue her, Lee must trust her new partner — mutant lawman Deputy Ras Omo — to guide her not only through the unfamiliar territory but through the prejudicial divisions between mutants and norms…

GreatZoo“The Great Zoo of China” by Matthew Reilly

In the blockbuster and bestselling tradition of Jurassic Park comes the breakneck new adventure from the New York Times and #1 internationally bestselling author Matthew Reilly whose imaginative, cinematic thrillers ‘make you feel like a kid again; [they’re] a blast’ (Booklist).

It is a secret the Chinese government has been keeping for forty years. They have proven the existence of dragons — a landmark discovery no one could ever believe is real, and a scientific revelation that will amaze the world. Now the Chinese are ready to unveil their astonishing findings within the greatest zoo ever constructed.

A small group of VIPs and journalists has been brought to the zoo deep within China to see these fabulous creatures for the first time. Among them is Dr. Cassandra Jane ‘CJ’ Cameron, a writer for National Geographic and an expert on reptiles. The visitors are assured by their Chinese hosts that they will be struck with wonder at these beasts, that the dragons are perfectly safe, and that nothing can go wrong.

Of course it can’t…

SilverBox“Inside a Silver Box” by Walter Mosley

Walter Mosley’s talent knows no bounds. Inside a Silver Box continues to explore the cosmic questions entertainingly discussed in his Crosstown to Oblivion. From life’s meaning to the nature of good and evil, Mosley takes readers on a speculative journey beyond reality.

In Inside a Silver Box, two people brought together by a horrific act are united in a common cause by the powers of the Silver Box. The two join to protect humanity from destruction by an alien race, the Laz, hell-bent on regaining control over the Silver Box, the most destructive and powerful tool in the universe. The Silver Box will stop at nothing to prevent its former master from returning to being, even if it means finishing the earth itself.

MasterSarge“Master Sergeant: The Makaum War, Book One”

They call it The Green Hell. A maze of tangled jungle, the planet Makaum is one of the most dangerous places in the universe. And for Terran Military Master Sergeant Frank Sage, it is now home.

The war between the Terrans and the Phrenorians rages, and both sides have their sights set on Makaum. If the planet’s rich resources fall into enemy hands it could mean devastation for the Terran Army. To ensure that doesn’t happen, Sage is sent to assess the Makaum troops and bring them in line with Terran Military standards. But soon after arriving at his post, he realizes the Phrenorians are not the only threat. Heading up a small but fearless unit, Sage must stop a brewing civil war with the power to unleash a galactic cataclysm unlike anything ever seen.

Takedown“Star Trek: The Next Generation – Takedown” by John Jackson Miller

An all-new novel of Star Trek: The Next Generation — one of the most popular Star Trek series of all-time, featuring the adventures of Captain Jean-Luc Picard and the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise!

When renegade Federation starships begin wreaking destruction across the Alpha Quadrant, Captain Jean-Luc Picard and the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise are shocked to discover that the mastermind behind this sudden threat is none other than Picard’s protégé and friend: Admiral William T. Riker. The newly minted admiral is on board the U.S.S. Aventine as part of a special assignment, even as the mystery deepens behind his involvement in the growing crisis. But the Aventine is helmed by Captain Ezri Dax — someone who is no stranger to breaking Starfleet regulations — and her starship is by far the faster vessel…and Riker cannot yield even to his former mentor. It’s a battle of tactical geniuses and a race against time as Picard struggles to find answers before the quadrant’s great powers violently retaliate against the Federation…

Innsmouth“Weirder Shadows Over Innsmouth” edited by Stephen Jones

Respected horror anthologist Stephen Jones edits this collection of 17 stories inspired by the 20th century’s master of horror, H.P. Lovecraft’s ‘The Shadow Over Innsmouth,’ in which a young man goes to an isolated, desolate fishing village in Massachusetts, and finds that the entire village has interbred with strange creatures that live beneath the sea, and worship ancient gods.

 
Zombified“Zombified” by Adam Gallardo

What’s that low-pitched groaning sound?

My name is Courtney, and I don’t sell Vitamin Z at the Bully Burger anymore. These days my friends and I spend our after-school hours kicking zombie butt. Half the school is mad at me, even though I’m the one keeping their gray matter off the menu. And my dad won’t let me talk about going to Columbia next year, even though the Army’s clearing shufflers out of NYC.

These fast new super-zombies are pretty scary, and if it wasn’t for the new guy’s awesome moves we’d be toast. Between him, my maybe-boyfriend Phil, and my Z-head ex Brandon, stupid boys are going to lead the undead right to my doorstep. They can chase me all they want — whatever else happens, I am going to get the Z out of Zomburbia.

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Patrick Stewart Had This Great Response To Reprising His Star Trek Role

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Patrick StewartWhenever a beloved series gets cancelled, it opens up the doorway for the would-you-be-interested-in-more conversation. It feels like cast members of shows like Star Trek, The X-Files, Firefly, and others are destined to be asked this question in damn near every interview they do from now until the day they die. And I’m sure it has come up before, but someone recently asked Patrick Stewart if he’d be down for reprise his Star Trek: The Next Generation role of Jean-Luc Picard, and his answer is just about perfect.

Pumping up his new film, Match, where he apparently does a lot of cocaine, he took part in a Q&A session on Facebook. The topic of whether or not he’d be interested in revisiting the role he played for 176 episodes and a handful of movies came up, of course, and he gave this cheerful answer:

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Watch Elon Musk Play Himself On The Simpsons In These Two Clips

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Elon Musk has his very own electric car company, plans to walk on Mars before the end of his life, is a key part of the press to privatize space travel, wants to build a rapid transit system that will make the trip from Los Angeles to San Francisco in just 30 minutes, and, you know, PayPal. He’s basically spent his career trying to make all the stuff we see in science fiction movies a reality. (If anyone is going to build an Iron Man suit, it’s totally going to be Musk.) And he’s doing what every celebrity worth his salt before him has done, he’s going to be on The Simpsons, and now you can check out these two clips from his episode.

Even though I haven’t regularly kept with Fox’s beloved animated family for a few years now, it’s still the barometer that I use to truly gauge celebrity. You’re not really famous until you’ve been on an episode of The Simpsons, that’s the measuring stick I use in that regard.

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5 Sci-Fi Films We’re Stoked To See From Sundance 2015

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zforzachariah2014 was a big year for science fiction. There were massive blockbusters like Guardians of the Galaxy and Godzilla that stormed through the box office, but there was also a nice crop of smaller, independent, idea-driven genre films that surfaced. Many of these made the festival rounds, and a handful, movies like The Signal and I Origins, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. The annual gathering has been the marquee American film festival for years, and though it is widely known for a certain free-spirited aesthetic that usually often involves left-of-center interpersonal dramas, there are usually at least a handful of interesting sci-fi pictures in the mix.

If you’ve perused the Sundance lineup, you’ll notice that 2015 is no exception to this rule. Though we won’t be in attendance when these movies premiere in the snowy mountains, we’re keeping an especially close eye on a handful of these titles. And here are five of our most anticipated sci-fi entries in the fest, and you can bet if they build a good head of steam coming out of Park City, we’ll be seeing them in theaters or on VOD sometime later on this year.

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This Avengers: Age Of Ultron Character May Be A Bridge To Guardians Of The Galaxy 2

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Avengers Age of UltronWith the massive success of Guardians of the Galaxy this past year, and the gargantuan hype leading up to Avengers: Age of Ultron, there’s been endless talk about a possible crossover between the two Marvel franchises. Most of us expect them to come together in some capacity eventually, despite James Gunn’s protestations that Guardians does not exist solely to serve the Avengers world, but that ball might get rolling sooner than we thought. Like maybe this May, when Ultron drops.

Possible spoilers below.

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Westworld Wants To Exploit Your Anxieties About Artificial Intelligence, Here’s How

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WestworldThere’s a tidal wave of potentially incredible science fiction coming to our TVs over the next year or so, and one that we’re super excited for around these parts is HBO’s upcoming adaptation of Michael Crichton’s Westworld. It has a fantastic cast, the resources to pull off an ambitious project like this, and a strong creative team working behind the scenes. As it moves along, we’re seeing more and more pieces in the light of day, and learning more about what to expect.

Entertainment Weekly just revealed this grim new still of Ed Harris’ villainous Man in Black, a role originally played by Yul Brynner in 1973. They also sat down to chat with the husband and wife producers and writers Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy discuss their project.