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Giant Freakin’ Bookshelf: Week Of October 8, 2013

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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 hitting shelves in a given week. Here’s what’s new on the Giant Freakin’ Bookshelf!

BillionYearsAcross a Billion Years” by Robert Silverberg

Graduate student Tom Rice is thrilled to embark on his first deep-space archeological expedition. He is part of a team from Earth, venturing out in search of artifacts from a civilization that ruled the universe many millennia ago. Called the High Ones, the members of this long-gone society left tantalizing clues about their history and culture scattered throughout space. One such clue, a “message cube” containing footage of the ancient ones, is more interesting than all of the others combined. It seems to indicate that the High Ones aren’t extinct after all — and just like that, Tom Rice’s archeological mission has become an intergalactic manhunt, one filled with ever-increasing danger that will send the explorers hurtling headlong into the greatest adventure — and peril — of their lives.

WintersEndAt Winter’s End (The New Springtime” by Robert Silverberg

After seven hundred thousand years underground, one tribe emerges to explore the new world.

The time of falling death stars ushered in the Long Winter — eons of cold that caused plants and animals to vanish from Earth and drove people to take refuge in underground cocoons. Human ingenuity had never faced a greater challenge. For seven hundred thousand years, generation after generation was born and died below the Earth’s surface. But now, one small tribe is sensing change. Chieftain Koshmar is sure that the New Springtime is near, so she leads her people above ground to explore the new world that awaits. The unfamiliar Earth, still a frozen shell of its former self, will test their mettle in every way, leading the people of the tribe to the brink of their destiny — or to their doom.

At Winter’s End is the first book of the New Springtime series, which continues with The Queen of Springtime.

ApocZDark Days (Apocalypse Z)” by Manel Loureiro and Pamela Carmell

The electrifying sequel to international best seller Apocalypse Z

The Russian-spawned virus that kills swiftly then ghoulishly resurrects its victims as ravenous cannibals has breached international borders.

The infernal progression…

From outbreak to epidemic and pandemic to sheer panic, the virus has shredded global civilization. Promised safe havens become deathtraps, lawlessness crumbles any remaining symbol of authority, and political violence in Spain threatens to erupt in civil war.

Trapped…

In the thick of the deadly madness, the young lawyer finds himself escaping to the Canary Islands in a stolen chopper with a motley crew made up of his Persian cat Lucullus, Ukrainian pilot Viktor “Prit” Pritchenko, 17-year-old beautiful distraction Lucia, and Sister Cecilia, who was trained as a nurse. The distant isle of Lanzarote is rumored to be the only refuge out of the virus’s reach. But with relentlessly multiplying hordes of the living dead—and equally fatal human treachery — blocking their every move, their quest for survival is quickly becoming a suicide mission.

DiamondDeepThe Diamond Deep (Ruby’s Song)” by Brenda Cooper

What if a woman as strong and as complex as Eva Perón began her life as a robot repair assistant threatened by a powerful peacekeeping force that wants to take all she has from her?

The discovery ship, Creative Fire, is on its way home from a multi-generational journey. But home is nothing like the crew expected. They have been gone for generations, and the system they return to is home to technologies and riches beyond their wildest dreams. But they are immediately oppressed and relegated to the lowest status imaginable, barely able to interact with the technologies and people of the star station where they dock, the Diamond Deep.

Ruby Martin and her partner, Joel North, must find a way to learn what they need to know and to become more than they have ever been if they are to find a way to save their people.

OldMarsOld Mars” edited by George R.R. Martin, Gardner Dozois, Michael Moorcock, Joe R. Lansdale, and James S.A. Corey

Burroughs’s A Princess of Mars. Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles. Heinlein’s Red Planet. These and so many more inspired generations of readers with a sense that science fiction’s greatest wonders did not necessarily lie far in the future or light-years across the galaxy but were to be found right now on a nearby world tantalizingly similar to our own — a red planet that burned like an ember in our night sky…and in our imaginations.

This new anthology of fifteen all-original science fiction stories, edited by George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois, celebrates the Golden Age of Science Fiction, an era filled with tales of interplanetary colonization and derring-do. Before the advent of powerful telescopes and space probes, our solar system could be imagined as teeming with strange life-forms and ancient civilizations — by no means always friendly to the dominant species of Earth. And of all the planets orbiting that G-class star we call the Sun, none was so steeped in an aura of romantic decadence, thrilling mystery, and gung-ho adventure as Mars.

Join such seminal contributors as Michael Moorcock, Mike Resnick, Joe R. Lansdale, S. M. Stirling, Mary Rosenblum, Ian McDonald, Liz Williams, James S. A. Corey, and others in this brilliant retro anthology that turns its back on the cold, all-but-airless Mars of the Mariner probes and instead embraces an older, more welcoming, more exotic Mars: a planet of ancient canals cutting through red deserts studded with the ruined cities of dying races.

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