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Giant Freakin’ Bookshelf: Week Of December 2, 2013

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!

AlienResearchAlien Research” by Gini Koch

When rumors of a new super-drug surface, the FBI comes to Jeff and Kitty Katt-Martini for help. It becomes quickly apparent that the drug is merely the tip of a deadly iceberg and a much more insidious plan is underway involving Titan Security, Gaultier Enterprises, and YatesCorp.

As newly discovered A-Cs and hybrids begin to surface, each with expanded and deadly talents, more and more signs point to a new evil genius who’s using the A-Cs and their enemies both as guinea pigs. Then Area 51 and the Dulce Science Center go silent while Alpha Team, Airborne, and most of the worldwide A-C Security team are there for training. And if that’s not bad enough, Centaurion Division is hit with more bad, and deadly, news: Chernobog the Ultimate, isn’t a hacker myth, he’s a real person — and he’s on the bad guys’ side.

Now Kitty and company must find the real Dr. Feelgood and stop him or her before the latest version of Surcenthumain hits the streets and more people they love are harmed, or worse. But when the inconceivable happens, Kitty’s focused on two things only: reviving the ACE entity before their enemies realize Earth’s best protection isn’t actually active…and revenge.

AndromedaAndromeda’s Choice” by William C. Dietz

Andromeda McKee rebuilt her life in the violent embrace of the Legion of the Damned in the days when cyborgs were first being introduced. Now she must choose between her conscience and her desire for vengeance…

In a different world, Lady Catherine “Cat” Carletto would never have left her pampered life behind. But when Princess Ophelia became Empress Ophelia in a coup that claimed the lives of the princess’s brother and all who supported him, including the Carletto family, Cat had to hide — or die.

She became Legionnaire Andromeda McKee, and now she’s a battle-scarred veteran who knows how to kill.

Summoned to Earth to receive the Imperial Order of Merit from the empress herself, Andromeda learns that she isn’t the sole surviving Carletto — her uncle Rex is not only still alive but also the leader of a resistance group determined to overthrow Ophelia.

Caught up in a web of intrigue, Andromeda realizes that the moment is coming when her revenge will be at hand. But will she be able to act, or will she be betrayed by those she has come to trust?

AscensionAscension” by Jacqueline Koyanagi

Alana Quick is the best damned sky surgeon in Heliodor City, but repairing starship engines barely pays the bills. When the desperate crew of a cargo vessel stops by her shipyard looking for her spiritually-advanced sister Nova, Alana stows away. Maybe her boldness will land her a long-term gig on the crew. But the Tangled Axon proves to be more than star-watching and plasma coils. The chief engineer thinks he’s a wolf. The pilot fades in and out of existence. The captain is all blond hair, boots, and ego . . . and Alana can’t keep her eyes off her. But there’s little time for romance: Nova’s in danger and someone will do anything — even destroying planets — to get their hands on her!

 

ChosenSeedThe Chosen Seed” by Sarah Pinborough

The tables have turned, and now Detective Inspector Cass Jones is a wanted man on the streets of London. Framed for murder and hunted by his former colleagues, Cass needs every ally he can get — including a very unexpected figure from his past.

While detectives Hask and Ramsey search for the killer behind the lethal Strain II virus, Mr. Bright continues to pull strings from the shadows, and there are dire warnings of a final battle that could tear everything apart.

As he searches for his kidnapped nephew while eluding his own pursuers, Cass is determined to find the answers — even if he has to confront the darkest secrets of the history of humanity to do it.

DangerousWomenDangerous Women,” edited by George R.R. Martin & Gardner Dozois

All new and original to this volume, the 21 stories in Dangerous Women include work by twelve New York Times bestsellers, and seven stories set in the authors’ bestselling continuities — including a new “Outlander” story by Diana Gabaldon, a tale of Harry Dresden’s world by Jim Butcher, a story from Lev Grossman set in the world of The Magicians, and a 35,000-word novella by George R. R. Martin about the Dance of the Dragons, the vast civil war that tore Westeros apart nearly two centuries before the events of A Game of Thrones.

Also included are original stories of dangerous women — heroines and villains alike — by Brandon Sanderson, Joe Abercrombie, Sherilynn Kenyon, Lawrence Block, Carrie Vaughn, S. M. Stirling, Sharon Kay Penman, and many others.

Writes Gardner Dozois in his Introduction, ‘Here you’ll find no hapless victims who stand by whimpering in dread while the male hero fights the monster or clashes swords with the villain, and if you want to tie these women to the railroad tracks, you’ll find you have a real fight on your hands. Instead, you will find sword-wielding women warriors, intrepid women fighter pilots and far-ranging spacewomen, deadly female serial killers, formidable female superheroes, sly and seductive femmes fatale, female wizards, hard-living Bad Girls, female bandits and rebels, embattled survivors in Post-Apocalyptic futures, female Private Investigators, stern female hanging judges, haughty queens who rule nations and whose jealousies and ambitions send thousands to grisly deaths, daring dragonriders, and many more.’

SupervolcanoSupervolcano: Things Fall Apart” by Harry Turtledove

An explosion of incalculable magnitude in Yellowstone Park propelled lava and ash across the landscape and into the atmosphere, forever altering the climate of the entire continent. Nothing grows from the tainted soil. Stalled and stilled machines function only as statuary.

People have been scraping by on the excess food and goods produced before the eruption. But supplies are running low. Natural resources are dwindling. And former police officer Colin Ferguson knows that time is running out for his family — and for humanity…

 

AlphaCentauriVoyage to Alpha Centauri” by Michael D. O’Brien

Set eighty years in the future, this novel by the best-selling author Michael D. O’Brien is about an expedition sent from the planet Earth to Alpha Centauri, the star closest to our solar system. The Kosmos, a great ship that the central character Neil de Hoyos describes as a “flying city”, is immense in size and capable of more than half light-speed. Hoyos is a Nobel Prize winning physicist who has played a major role in designing the ship.

Hoyos has signed on as a passenger because he desires to escape the seemingly benign totalitarian government that controls everything on his home planet. He is a skeptical and quirky misanthropic humanist with old tragedies, loves, and hatreds that are secreted in his memory. The surprises that await him on the voyage-and its destination-will shatter all of his assumptions and point him to a true new horizon.

Science fiction and fantasy literature are genres that have become dominant forces in contemporary worldwide culture. Our fascination with the near-angelic powers of new technology, its benefits and dangers, its potential for obsession and catastrophe, raises vital questions that this work explores about human nature and the cosmos, about man’s image of himself and where he is going-and why he seeks to go there.

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