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!
“The Ace of Skulls: A Tale of the Ketty Jay” by Chris Wooding
The intrepid crew of the Ketty Jay have been shot down, set up, double-crossed and ripped off. They’ve stolen priceless treasures, destroyed a 10,000-year-old Azryx city and sort-of-accidentally blown up the son of the Archduke. Now they’ve gone and started a civil war.
This time, they’re really in trouble. As Vardia descends into chaos, Captain Darian Frey is doing his best to keep his crew out of it. He’s got his mind on other things, not least the fate of Trinica Dracken. But wars have a way of dragging people in, and sooner or later they’re going to have to pick a side. It’s a choice they’ll be staking their lives on.
Cities fall and daemons rise. Old secrets are uncovered and new threats revealed. When the smoke clears, who will be left standing?
“Hellhole Inferno” by Brian Herbert & Kevin J. Anderson
After the events of Hellhole Awakening, the people of Hellhole and the shadow-Xayans scramble to rally against the threat from the still-living rogue Xayans. Back on Sonjeera, the Monarchy is in an uproar after their surprising defeat and the breakaway of the Deep Zone planets. The dowager Queen decides to go to Hellhole on a diplomatic mission, hoping to keep her power. But after touring Hellhole, Queen Michella is shaken, and begins to realize that she can never have the old Monarchy back.
Before the Queen can return to Sonjeera, she’s captured by the rogue Xayans and learns the reason for their attack: the orthodox Xayans had developed their minds to the point where they could evolve and, in so doing, trigger another Big Bang, wiping out everything.
The rogue Xayans thought they succeeded in stopping the ascension, but the orthodox Xayans on Hellhole are nearly ready. Now, twenty-two huge asteroids from the outer reaches of the solar system are bearing towards Hellhole, summoned by the rogue sect as a last resort. Can all these lives and the planet itself be saved?
Hellhole Inferno is the thrilling conclusion to Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson’s Hellhole trilogy.
“Journal of the Plague Year: An Omnibus of Post-Apocalyptic Tales” by C.B. Harvey, Malcolm Cross & Adrian Tchaikovsky
The new omnibus from the Afterblight series, following the breakout successes of both School’s Out Forever and Hooded Man.
WHEN THE WORLD ENDED…
The Cull swept the world in the early years of the twenty-first century, killing billions and ending civilisation. Only a fortunate few, blessed with the right blood type, were spared. In the chaos of the Afterblight, scientists, priests — even armed robbers — may become leaders, or heroes. Three incredible writers, including the bestselling author of the Shadows of the Apt series Adrian Tchaikovsky, lead us into the apocalypse.
In Malcolm Cross’s Orbital Decay, the team in the International Space Station watch helplessly as the world is all but wiped out. Exiled from Earth by his blood-type, astronaut Alvin Burrows must solve the mystery of the ‘Pandora’ experiment, even as someone on the station takes to murdering the crew one by one…
In C. B. Harvey’s Dead Kelly, fugitive and convict ‘Dead’ Kelly McGuire returns from hiding out in the Bush to the lawless city of Melbourne. McGuire has three jobs to do: to be revenged on his old gangmates, to confront some uncomfortable truths about his past, and — ultimately — to discover his own terrible destiny…
In Adrian Tchaikovsky’s The Bloody Deluge, Katy Lewkowitz and her friend and old tutor Dr. Emil Weber, fleeing the depredations of the so-called New Teutonic Order, take refuge among the strangely anachronistic survivors at the monastery of Jasna Góra in Western Poland. A battle of faith ensues, that could decide the future of humankind…
“The 6th Extinction” by James Rollins
A remote military research station sends out a frantic distress call, ending with a chilling final command: Kill us all! Personnel from the neighboring base rush in to discover everyone already dead-and not just the scientists, but every living thing for fifty square miles is annihilated: every animal, plant, and insect, even bacteria.
The land is entirely sterile — and the blight is spreading.
To halt the inevitable, Commander Gray Pierce and Sigma must unravel a threat that rises out of the distant past, to a time when Antarctica was green and all life on Earth balanced upon the blade of a knife. Following clues from an ancient map rescued from the lost Library of Alexandria, Sigma will discover the truth about an ancient continent, about a new form of death buried under miles of ice.
From millennia-old secrets out of the frozen past to mysteries buried deep in the darkest jungles of today, Sigma will face its greatest challenge to date: stopping the coming extinction of mankind.
But is it already too late?
“Soda Pop Soldier” by Nick Cole
Call of Duty meets Diablo in this fast-paced, action-packed novel from the author of The Wasteland Saga.
Gamer PerfectQuestion fights for ColaCorp in WarWorld, an online combat sport arena where mega-corporations field entire armies in the battle for real world global advertising-space dominance. Within the immense virtual battlefield, players and bots are high-tech grunts, using drop-ships and state-of-the-art weaponry to wipe each other out.
But times are tough and the rent is due, and when players need extra dough, there’s always the Black, an illegal open source tournament where the sick and twisted desires of the future are given free rein in the Westhavens, a gothic dungeon fantasy world.
And all too soon, the real and virtual worlds collide when PerfectQuestion refuses to become the tool of a mad man intent on hacking the global economy for himself.
“The Ultra Thin Man” by Patrick Swenson
In the twenty-second century, a future in which mortaline wire controls the weather on the settled planets and entire refugee camps drowse in drug-induced slumber, no one — alive or dead, human or alien — is quite what they seem. When terrorists manage to crash Coral, the moon, into its home planet of Ribon, forcing evacuation, it’s up to Dave Crowell and Alan Brindos, contract detectives for the Network Intelligence Organization, to solve a case of interplanetary consequences. Crowell’ and Brindos’s investigation plunges them neck-deep into a conspiracy much more dangerous than anything they could have imagined.
The two detectives soon find themselves separated, chasing opposite leads: Brindos has to hunt down the massive Helkunn alien Terl Plenko, shadow leader of the terrorist Movement of Worlds. Crowell, meanwhile, runs into something far more sinister — an elaborate frame job that puts our heroes on the hook for treason.
In this novel from Patrick Swenson, Crowell and Brindos are forced to fight through the intrigue to discover the depths of an interstellar conspiracy. And to answer the all-important question: Who, and what, is the Ultra Thin Man?
“Your Face in Mine” by Jess Row
An award-winning writer delivers a poignant and provocative novel of identity, race and the search for belonging in the age of globalization.
One afternoon, not long after Kelly Thorndike has moved back to his hometown of Baltimore, an African American man he doesn’t recognize calls out to him. To Kelly’s shock, the man identifies himself as Martin, who was one of Kelly’s closest friends in high school — and, before his disappearance nearly twenty years before, skinny, white, and Jewish. Martin then tells an astonishing story: After years of immersing himself in black culture, he’s had a plastic surgeon perform ‘racial reassignment surgery’ — altering his hair, skin, and physiognomy to allow him to pass as African American. Unknown to his family or childhood friends, Martin has been living a new life ever since.
Now, however, Martin feels he can no longer keep his new identity a secret; he wants Kelly to help him ignite a controversy that will help sell racial reassignment surgery to the world. Kelly, still recovering from the death of his wife and child and looking for a way to begin anew, agrees, and things quickly begin to spiral out of control.
Inventive and thought-provoking, Your Face in Mine is a brilliant novel about cultural and racial alienation and the nature of belonging in a world where identity can be a stigma or a lucrative brand.