Giant Freakin’ Bookshelf: Week Of May 12, 2014

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!

BestSFv8The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year: Volume Eight” edited by Jonathan Strahan

The best of the year’s Science Fiction and Fantasy stories as selected by the multiple award-winning editor Jonathan Strahan. The series moves to its new publishing home, Solaris, with this eighth annual volume of the celebrated and popular series.

DISTANT WORLDS, TIME TRAVEL, EPIC ADVENTURE, UNSEEN WONDERS AND MUCH MORE!

The best, most original and brightest science fiction and fantasy stories from around the globe from the past twelve months are brought together in one collection by multiple award winning editor Jonathan Strahan. This highly popular series now reaches volume eight and will include stories from both the biggest names in the field and the most exciting new talents.

Previous volumes have included stories from Neil Gaiman, Stephen King, Cory Doctorow, Stephen Baxter, Elizabeth Bear, Joe Abercrombie, Paolo Bacigalupi, Holly Black, Garth Nix, Jeffrey Ford, Margo Lanagan, Bruce Sterling, Adam Robets, Ellen Klages, and many many more.

With this volume the series comes to a new home at Solaris, publishers of Jonathan Strahan’s award-winning original Infinities SF anthologies and the and Fearsome fantasy anthologies.

BirdBoxBird Box” by Josh Malerman

Written with the narrative tension of The Road and the exquisite terror of classic Stephen King, Bird Box is a propulsive, edge-of-your-seat horror thriller, set in an apocalyptic near-future world — a masterpiece of suspense from the brilliantly imaginative Josh Malerman.

Something is out there

Something terrifying that must not be seen. One glimpse and a person is driven to deadly violence. No one knows what it is or where it came from.

Five years after it began, a handful of scattered survivors remain, including Malorie and her two young children. Living in an abandoned house near the river, she has dreamed of fleeing to a place where they might be safe. Now, that the boy and girl are four, it is time to go. But the journey ahead will be terrifying: twenty miles downriver in a rowboat — blindfolded — with nothing to rely on but her wits and the children’s trained ears. One wrong choice and they will die. And something is following them. But is it man, animal, or monster?

Engulfed in darkness, surrounded by sounds both familiar and frightening, Malorie embarks on a harrowing odyssey — a trip that takes her into an unseen world and back into the past, to the companions who once saved her. Under the guidance of the stalwart Tom, a motely group of strangers banded together against the unseen terror, creating order from the chaos. But when supplies ran low, they were forced to venture outside — and confront the ultimate question: in a world gone mad, who can really be trusted?

Interweaving past and present, Josh Malerman’s breathtaking debut is a horrific and gripping snapshot of a world unraveled that will have you racing to the final page.

DefendersDefenders” by Will McIntosh

A new epic of alien invasion and human resistance by Hugo Award-winning author Will McIntosh.

Our Darkest Hour.

Our Only Hope.

The invaders came to claim earth as their own, overwhelming us with superior weapons and the ability to read our minds like open books.

Our only chance for survival was to engineer a new race of perfect soldiers to combat them. Seventeen feet tall, knowing and loving nothing but war, their minds closed to the aliens.

But these saviors could never be our servants. And what is down cannot be undone.

FreeFallFree to Fall” by Lauren Miller

From the author of Parallel comes a high-stakes thriller set in the near-future where everyone’s lives are seamlessly orchestrated by their personal electronic devices.

Fast-forward to a time when Apple and Google have been replaced by Gnosis, a monolith corporation that has developed the most life-changing technology to ever hit the market: Lux, an app that flawlessly optimizes decision-making for the best personal results. Just like everyone else, sixteen-year-old Rory Vaughn knows the key to a happy, healthy life is following what Lux recommends. When she’s accepted to the elite boarding school Theden Academy, her future happiness seems all the more assured. But once on campus, something feels wrong beneath the polished surface of her prestigious dream school. Then she meets North, a handsome townie who doesn’t use Lux, and begins to fall for him and his outsider way of life. Soon, Rory is going against Lux’s recommendations, listening instead to the inner voice that everyone has been taught to ignore — a choice that leads her to uncover a truth neither she nor the world ever saw coming.

KrakenProjectThe Kraken Project (Wyman Ford Series)” by Douglas Preston

Wyman Ford is back again in The Kraken Project, the thrilling new novel from New York Times bestselling author Douglas Preston.

NASA is building a probe to be splashed down in the Kraken Mare, the largest sea on Saturn’s great moon, Titan. It is one of the most promising habitats for extraterrestrial life in the solar system, but the surface is unpredictable and dangerous, requiring the probe to contain artificial intelligence software. To this end, Melissa Shepherd, a brilliant programmer, has developed ‘Dorothy,’ a powerful, self-modifying AI whose true potential is both revolutionary and terrifying. When miscalculations lead to a catastrophe during testing, Dorothy flees into the internet.

Former CIA agent Wyman Ford is tapped to track down the rogue AI. As Ford and Shepherd search for Dorothy, they realize that her horrific experiences in the wasteland of the Internet have changed her in ways they can barely imagine. And they’re not the only ones looking for the wayward software: the AI is also being pursued by a pair of Wall Street traders, who want to capture her code and turn her into a high-speed trading bot. Traumatized, angry, and relentlessly hunted, Dorothy has an extraordinary revelation — and devises a plan. As the pursuit of Dorothy converges on a deserted house on the coast of Northern California, Ford must face the ultimate question: is rescuing Dorothy the right thing? Is the AI bent on saving the world… or on wiping out the cancer that is humankind?

RagingStarRaging Star (Dust Lands)” by Moira Young

Saba is ready to seize her destiny and defeat DeMalo and the Tonton…until she meets him and he confounds all her expectations with his seductive vision of a healed earth, a New Eden. DeMalo wants Saba to join him, in life and work, to create and build a healthy, stable, sustainable world…for the chosen few.

Jack’s choice is clear: to fight DeMalo and try to stop New Eden. Still uncertain, her connection with DeMalo a secret, Saba commits herself to the fight. Joined by her brother, Lugh, anxious for the land in New Eden, Saba leads an inexperienced guerilla band against the powerfully charismatic DeMalo, in command of his settlers and the Tonton militia. What chance do they have? Saba must act. And be willing to pay the price.

Raging Star is the stunningly beautiful conclusion to the Dust Lands Trilogy, which has been called ‘better than The Hunger Games’ by MTV’s Hollywood Crush.

RebelRebel (Reboot 2)” by Amy Tintera

The sequel to the action-packed Reboot is a can’t-miss thrill ride, perfect for fans of James Patterson, Veronica Roth, and Marie Lu.

After coming back from death as Reboots and being trained by HARC as soldiers, Wren and Callum have finally escaped north, where they hope to find a life of freedom. But when they arrive at the Reboot Reservation, it isn’t what they expected. Under the rule of a bloodthirsty leader, Micah, the Reboots are about to wage an all-out war on the humans. Although Wren’s instincts are telling her to set off into the wilderness on their own and leave the battle far behind, Callum is unwilling to let his human family be murdered. When Micah commits the ultimate betrayal, the choice is made for them. But Micah has also made a fatal mistake…he’s underestimated Wren and Callum.

The explosive finale to the Reboot duology is full of riveting action and steamy love scenes as Wren and Callum become rebels against their own kind.

RenegadeMILA2Renegade (MILA 2.0)” by Debra Driza

This suspenseful, heart-wrenching follow-up to Debra Driza’s MILA 2.0 will leave readers racing to turn the last page.

Mila is back on the run — this time with potential boyfriend Hunter by her side. As they search for a man who might know more about her mysterious past, Mila must rely on her android abilities to protect them from the people who want her dead. But embracing her identity as a machine leads her to question the state of her humanity, as well as Hunter’s true intentions.

Fans of books filled with mystery and intrigue, like The Bourne Identity and I Am Number Four, will find everything they’re looking for in this exciting series, including several unexpected surprises.

SaltSalt” by Colin F. Barnes

In 2014 humanity didn’t stand a chance. A series of fatal climatic disasters struck, entirely drowning the planet. Now, just one hundred and twenty-five souls remain, surviving on a flotilla of damaged ships. But their survival isn’t guaranteed. Facing severe threats to their numbers by a fatal bacterium and increasingly warring factions, they discover a serial killer within their midst.

When the murderer targets Eva Morgan’s friend, her investigations draw her into a deadly mystery and a race against time before the killer’s actions destroy the fragile existence on the flotilla. The further she digs, the more secrets she uncovers, and the truth becomes a pawn in a game for ultimate survival.

With humankind on the brink of extinction, the story of SALT will take you on a thrill ride of intense emotions and incredible revelations.

SFPerplexedScience Fiction: A Guide for the Perplexed” by Sherryl Vint

From its beginnings in the works of H.G. Wells and Jules Verne to the virtual worlds of William Gibson’s Neuromancer and The Matrix, Science Fiction: A Guide for the Perplexed helps students navigate the often perplexing worlds of a perennially popular genre. Drawing on literature as well as example from film and television, the book explores the different answers that criticism has offered to the vexed question, ‘What is science fiction?’

Each chapter of the book includes case studies of key texts, annotated guides to further reading and suggestions for class discussion to help students master the full range of contemporary critical approaches to the field, including the scientific, technological and political contexts in which the genre has flourished. Ranging from an understanding of the genre through the stereotypes of 1930s pulps through more recent claims that we are living in a science fictional moment, this volume will provide a comprehensive overview of this diverse and fascinating genre.

Starbounders2Starbounders #2: Rebellion” by Adam Jay Epstein

Zachary Night and the Starbounders are back, in the sci-fi adventure series Pseudonymous Bosch calls ‘a great ride and a great read,’ from Adam Jay Epstein and Andrew Jacobson, authors of the Familiars series.

Zachary Night may have saved Earth, but back at Indigo 8, he’s still just a Starbounder-in-training. And unlike his fellow trainees, who are having a blast gearing up for the annual Indigo Games, Zachary has more important things on his mind. He has yet to decipher the cryptic warning Professor Olari left him, and it looks like someone is trying to beat him to it.

When all the clues start pointing to a larger conspiracy, Zachary and his friends must once again leave Indigo 8 behind and take matters into their own hands. Their investigation will lead them through the far reaches of space, and it will test their friendship, too. And, oh yeah, did they mention the fate of the outerverse hangs in the balance?

With the ‘winning combination of action and humor’ (SLJ, starred review) that earned The Familiars an Indie Next List Pick and eight state-award nominations, Starbounders: Rebellion catapults readers out of this world and onto a deep-space journey that’s thrilling from beginning to end.

TadWilliamsThe Very Best of Tad Williams” by Tad Williams

This career retrospective from beloved author Tad Williams (Otherland; Tailchaser’s Song; Shadowplay) demonstrates why he is one of fantasy’s most enduring icons. The Very Best of Tad Williams collects Williams’ finest work in multiple genres, including epic fantasy, urban fantasy, and YA. These superlative tales, many of which were previously available only in limited editions, introduce dragons, wizards, assassins, heroes, and fools — even a few cyberpunks and super-soldiers.

Readers only familiar with Williams’ internationally bestselling novels and series will be delighted that in his short fiction he explores myriad new possibilities and adventures. Here are the stories that showcase the exhilarating breadth of Williams’ imagination, hearkening back to such classic fantasists as J. R. R. Tolkien, Ray Bradbury, Peter S. Beagle, and beyond.

WhiteListThe White List” by Nina D’Aleo

Chapter 11 is watching you.

Silver is an intelligence operative working for an agency that doesn’t officially exist-beyond any government and above the law. Chapter 11 is the kind of place a person can join but never leave. And it keeps a third of the world’s population under constant surveillance. At work. On the street. In their homes.

Why? Because of Shaman syndrome.

One in three people are born with Shaman syndrome, which endows them with abilities they cannot control and do not even know they have. It is Chapter 11’s responsibility to cap and surveil these walts — as they are known-to ensure their talents don’t turn ugly for the ordinary people around them.

After Silver’s partner, Dark, is seriously injured by a walt, Silver is driven to investigate. What starts as a routine investigation isn’t as clear-cut as it seems, especially when she discovers there’s a price on her head.

Chapter 11 might be watching the world, but it can’t see the division in its own ranks. Someone wants the white list-the list of every known walt that Chapter 11 has capped-but for what purpose? Silver needs to find out the secret behind Shaman syndrome, before it’s too late.

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