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.
This week’s new book releases include a new installment of James S.A. Corey’s critically acclaimed space opera series The Expanse! No, they didn’t move up the release of this summer’s fourth Expanse novel, Cibola Burn. Instead we’ve got The Churn, a new novella set in the universe of The Expanse. Here’s what’s new on the Giant Freakin’ Bookshelf!
Pick of the Week: “The Churn” by James S.A. Corey
From New York Times bestselling author James S.A. Corey…
Before his trip to the stars, before the Rocinante, Amos Burton was confined to a Baltimore where crime paid you or killed you. Unless the authorities got to you first.
Set in the hard-scrabble solar system of Leviathan Wakes, Caliban’s War, Abaddon’s Gate and the upcoming Cibola Burn, The Churn deepens James S. A. Corey’s acclaimed Expanse series.
“The Book of Silverberg” edited by William Schafer, Gardner Dozois, and Bob Eggleton
For nearly sixty years, Grandmaster Robert Silverberg has been a significant presence in the world of science fiction. As prolific as he is gifted, Silverberg has amassed a body of work unique both in its richness and its variety. That work has influenced generations of other writers and has enriched the lives of untold numbers of devoted readers.
In The Book of Silverberg, editors Gardner Dozois and William Schafer have assembled a tribute anthology fully worthy of the Master himself. The book begins with a pair of affectionate appreciations from Greg Bear and Barry Malzberg, and continues with a series of wonderfully original stories that inhabit and extend some of Silverberg’s most memorable creations. In ‘In Old Pidruid,’ the late Kage Baker turns to the world of Majipoor in a humorous and moving tale of rivalry and reconciliation. Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s ‘Voyeuristic Tendencies’ shows us the world of the 1972 novel Dying Inside from a wholly different perspective. Nancy Kress’s ‘Eaters’ provides a bleak and harrowing conclusion to the classic short story ‘Sundance.’ In ‘Silverberg, Satan, and Me or Where I Got the Idea for My Silverberg Story for This Anthology,’ the incomparable Connie Willis offers what might be the only plausible explanation for the whole Silverberg phenomenon. And elsewhere in the anthology, some of today’s most notable writers — Mike Resnick, Caitlin R. Kiernan, Elizabeth Bear, James Patrick Kelly, and Tobias S. Buckell — ring equally brilliant changes on a number of Silverberg’s signature fictions.
Funny, tragic, provocative, intelligent and always richly imagined, the stories in The Book of Silverberg are all notable accomplishments in themselves. Together, they comprise an exhilarating — and altogether fitting — celebration of one of science fiction’s indisputable masters.
“Grunt Life: A Task Force Ombra Novel” by Weston Ochse
Benjamin Carter Mason died last night. Maybe he threw himself off a bridge into Los Angeles Harbor, or maybe he burned to death in a house fire in San Pedro; it doesn’t really matter. Today, Mason’s starting a new life. He’s back in boot camp, training for the only war left that matters a damn.
For years, their spies have been coming to Earth, mapping our cities, learning our weaknesses, leaving tragedy in their wake. Our governments knew, but they did nothing — the prospect was too awful, the costs too high — and now, the horrifying and utterly alien Cray are invading, laying waste to our cities. The human race is a heartbeat away from extinction.
That is, unless Mason, and the other men and women of Task Force OMBRA, can do anything about it.
This is a time for heroes. For killers. For Grunts.
“Peacemaker” by Marianne De Pierres
When an imaginary animal from her troubled teenage years reappears, Virgin takes it to mean one of two things: a breakdown (hers!) or a warning. When the dead bodies start piling up around her and Nate, she decides on the latter. Something terrible is about to happen in the park and Virgin and her new partner are standing in its path…
Virgin Jackson is the senior ranger in Birrimun Park — the world’s last natural landscape, overshadowed though it is by a sprawling coastal megacity. She maintains public safety and order in the park, but her bosses have brought out a hotshot cowboy to help her catch some drug runners who are affecting tourism. She senses the company is holding something back from her, and she’s not keen on working with an outsider like Nate Sixkiller.
“Shanghai Sparrow” by Gaie Sebold
Shanghai Sparrow is a Far Eastern steampunk tale of espionage, distant empires and thrilling exploits, with a dynamic heroine.
Eveline Duchen is a thief and con-artist, surviving day by day on the streets of London, where the glittering spires of progress rise on the straining backs of the poor and disenfranchised. Where the Folk, the otherworldly children of fairy tales and legends, have all but withdrawn from the smoke of the furnaces and the clamour of iron.
Caught in an act of deception by the implacable Mr Holmforth, Evvie is offered a stark choice: transportation to the colonies, or an education — and utter commitment to Her Majesty’s Service — at Miss Cairngrim’s harsh school for female spies.
But on the decadent streets of Shanghai, where the corruption of the Empire is laid bare, Holmforth is about to make a devil’s bargain, and Eveline’s choices could change the future of two worlds…
“The Taking” by Kimberly Derting
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer meets The Fifth Wave. in this chilling and explosive new series from author Kimberly Derting.
The last thing Kyra Agnew remembers is a flash of bright light. She awakes to discover that five whole years have passed. Everyone in her life has moved on — her parents divorced, her boyfriend is in college and dating her best friend — but Kyra’s still the sixteen-year-old she was when she vanished. She finds herself drawn to Tyler, her boyfriend’s kid brother, despite her best efforts to ignore her growing attraction. In order to find out the truth, the two of them decide to retrace her steps from that fateful night. They discover there are others who have been ‘taken,’ just like Kyra. Only, Kyra is the first person to have been returned past the forty-eight-hour taken mark. With a determined, secret government agency after her, Kyra desperately tries to find an explanation and reclaim the life she once had…but what if the life she wants back is not her own?
“XOM-B” by Jeremy Robinson
Freeman is a genius with an uncommon mixture of memory, intelligence and creativity. He lives in a worldwide utopia, but it was not always so. There was a time known as the Grind — when Freeman’s people lived as slaves to another race referred to simply as ‘Master.’ They were property. But a civil rights movement emerged. Change seemed near, but the Masters refused to bend. Instead, they declared war.
Now, the freed world is threatened by a virus, spread through bites, sweeping through the population. Those infected are propelled to violence, driven to disperse the virus. Uniquely suited to respond to this new threat, Freeman searches for a cure, but instead finds the source — the Masters, intent on reclaiming the world. Freeman must fight for his life, for his friends and for the truth, which is far more complex and dangerous than he ever imagined.
Robinson’s lightning fast, cutting-edge novels have won over thriller, horror, science-fiction and action/adventure fans alike, and he has received high praise from peers like James Rollins, Jonathan Maberry, and Scott Sigler. XOM-B is a wildly inventive zombie novel with a high-tech twist that will keep readers guessing until the very last sentence.