Giant Freakin’ Bookshelf: Week Of January 12, 2015

By David Wharton | 6 years ago

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!

Blackout“Blackout” by Meredith McCardle

Seventeen-year-old Amanda Obermann (code name: Iris) has more on her mind than usual. As a member of a covert government organization called the Annum Guard, which travels through time to keep history on track, Iris has been getting some particularly stressful assignments. Plus, Jane Bonner, the Guard’s iron-fisted new leader, seems determined to make life as hard as possible. Thankfully, Iris has Abe (code name: Blue), her boyfriend and fellow Guardian, who listens to her vent — and helps her cope with her mentally ill mother’s increasingly erratic behavior.

When Guardians start to disappear on their assignments, Iris makes a terrifying discovery: a ‘blackout’ squad is targeting anyone who gets in the way of a corrupt force that’s selling out both the Annum Guard’s missions and Guardian lives. Together, Iris and Blue must go undercover to untangle the Guard’s elaborate web of secrets and lies. But when Iris discovers that the terrible truth may involve her own father, a former Guardian undone by his own greed, she must decide how much she’s willing to risk to rescue her friends…and how dangerous the consequences will be for all of humanity.

A thrilling time-traveling adventure that spans from Abraham Lincoln’s assassination to the Cuban Missile Crisis and back to the present day, this pulse-pounding sequel to The Eighth Guardian reveals that playing with time can turn into a deadly game.

Deep“The Deep” by Nick Cutter

From the acclaimed author of The Troop — which Stephen King raved ‘scared the hell out of me and I couldn’t put it down…old-school horror at its best’ — comes this utterly terrifying novel where The Abyss meets The Shining.

A strange plague called the ‘Gets is decimating humanity on a global scale. It causes people to forget — small things at first, like where they left their keys, then the not-so-small things, like how to drive or the letters of the alphabet. Their bodies forget how to function involuntarily. There is no cure.

But now, far below the surface of the Pacific Ocean, deep in the Mariana Trench, a heretofore-unknown substance hailed as ‘ambrosia’ — a universal healer, from initial reports — has been discovered. It may just be the key to eradicating the ‘Gets.

In order to study this phenomenon, a special research lab, the Trieste, has been built eight miles under the sea’s surface. But when the station goes incommunicado, a brave few descend through the lightless fathoms in hopes of unraveling the mysteries lurking at those crushing depths…and perhaps to encounter an evil blacker than anything one could possibly imagine.

Drifters“Drifters” by John L. Campbell

The survivors of the Omega Virus make a desperate effort to find the living. But the walking dead aren’t done with them yet…

Helicopter pilot Vladimir Yurish is a man of his word. The last thing he wants is to abandon the safety of the U.S.S. Nimitz and his newly adopted son Ben. Still, a promise is a promise, no matter how close to death it brings him…

Angie West has fought hard to keep strangers alive, but now it’s time to tend to her own. Only, when she finds her family missing and their hideout burned and looted, she realizes the threat to her family isn’t just the undead — the living can do so much worse…

Halsey has done well for himself, given the circumstances. Between his secluded ranch and precise shooting, the plague hasn’t touched him. Until a Black Hawk crashes on his property, bringing the war to his front door…

Amid the chaos of a destroyed civilization, the survivors encounter a new threat. And these new monsters can’t be outrun — or outwitted…

Orphan“Orphan Brigade” by Henry O’Neil

The action-packed sequel to Glory Main

Life has not been easy for Lieutenant Jander Mortas since making it to the Glory Main headquarters — with a telepathic alien entity in tow. After turning down his powerful father’s offer of a desk job as an ambassador, Jander is heading back to the war zone. After joining an emergency reaction force of combat veterans known as the Orphans, Jander must work hard to get his platoon in shape for the next deployment — while learning the ropes himself. Because disaster soon strikes, and the Orphan Brigade is shipped out to Fractus, a harsh planet invaded by the enemy — the Sims.

Meanwhile, Jander’s sister, Ayliss, is on a mission of her own: to uncover a scandal that would bring an end to her father’s dubious reign as Chairman of the Emergency Senate. But Olech Mortas is hiding even more than his children could ever know…

Path“The Path” by Peter Riva

All life on earth is about to be terminated by an entity as old as the galaxy itself. To make matters worse, Simon has broken everything already.

In a future world that is run by computer systems and that is without want, how can a man find his role? Then, if the very computers he works on to try to make them more human suddenly try to kill him, revealing a secret so vast that it affects every living soul on the planet, can that man be a hero?

These are the questions that face the stumbling, comic, and certainly flawed Simon Bank. His job is to work with the System’s artificial intelligence, making it fit more perfectly into human society so that it can keep the country running smoothly. But when the System threatens the peaceful world he knows, Simon suddenly must rush to save his own life, as well as the life of everyone on earth. Forced to reassess everything that he thought he knew, he is caught within circumstances way beyond his control.

Simon’s only hope is to rely on intellect and instincts he didn’t know he had, and on new friends, not all of them human, to change himself and all humanity. And he doesn’t have much time.

RatRunners“Rat Runners” by Oisin McGann

If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear…

Four young thieves, one simple mission: Steal a black-leather box from the daughter of a murdered scientist without anyone noticing. But WatchWorld controls London now, and the organization knows everything.

Every major street is monitored with heat-sensitive and X-ray cameras. Microphones record voices from hundreds of feet away, and drones watch from the sky. Patrolling the streets are Safe-Guards — part human and part robot, they can see through walls, hear your heartbeat, and analyze your sweat.

But staying hidden is what Nimmo, Scope, Manikin, and FX do best. Using the city’s blind spots, they navigate the criminal underworld until they’re caught in a rat run of murder and deceit that might not let them out alive.

Trillion“Twenty Trillion Leagues Under the Sea” by Adam Roberts

Adam Roberts revisits Jules Verne’s classic novel in a collaboration with the illustrator behind a recent highly acclaimed edition of The Hunting of the Snark.

It is 1958 and France’s first nuclear submarine, Plongeur, leaves port for the first of its sea trials. On board, gathered together for the first time, are one of the Navy’s most experienced captains and a tiny skeleton crew of sailors, engineers, and scientists. The Plongeur makes her first dive and goes down, and down and down. Out of control, the submarine plummets to a depth where the pressure will crush her hull, killing everyone on board, and beyond. The pressure builds, the hull protests, the crew prepare for death, the boat reaches the bottom of the sea and finds nothing. Her final dive continues, the pressure begins to relent, but the depth guage is useless. They have gone miles down. Hundreds of miles, thousands, and so it goes on. Onboard the crew succumb to madness, betrayal, religious mania, and murder. Has the Plongeur left the limits of our world and gone elsewhere?

Unbreakable“Unbreakable” by W.C. Bauers

The colonists of the planet Montana are accustomed to being ignored. Situated in the buffer zone between two rival human empires, their world is a backwater: remote, provincial, independently minded. Even as a provisional member of the Republic of Aligned Worlds, Montana merits little consideration — until it becomes the flashpoint in an impending interstellar war.

When pirate raids threaten to destabilize the region, the RAW deploys its mechanized armored infantry to deal with the situation. Leading the assault is Marine Corps Lieutenant and Montanan expatriate Promise Paen of Victor Company. Years earlier, Promise was driven to join the Marines after her father was killed by such a raid. Payback is sweet, but it comes at a tremendous and devastating cost. And Promise is in no way happy to be back on her birthworld, not even when she is hailed as a hero by the planet’s populace, including its colorful president. Making matters even worse: Promise is persistently haunted by the voice of her dead mother.

Meanwhile, the RAW’s most bitter rival, the Lusitanian Empire, has been watching events unfold in the Montana system with interest. Their forces have been awaiting the right moment to gain a beachhead in Republic territory, and with Promise’s Marines decimated, they believe the time to strike is now.

Unbreakable by W.C. Bauers is character driven, military science in the tradition of John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War.

Unmade“Unmade” by Amy Rose Capetta

Cadence is in a race against time and space to save her family and friends from the Unmakers, who are tracking the last vestiges of humanity across the cosmos. As the epic battle begins, Cade learns that letting people in also means letting them go. The universe spins out of control and Cade alone must face the music in the page-turning conclusion to Entangled.

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