Giant Freakin’ Bookshelf: Week Of February 10, 2014

By David Wharton | 7 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!

ConquestConquest: Book 1, The Chronicles of the Invaders” by John Connolly & Jennifer Ridyard

Earth is no longer ours…

It is ruled by the Illyri, a beautiful, civilized, yet ruthless alien species. But humankind has not given up the fight, and Paul Kerr is one of a new generation of young Resistance leaders waging war on the invaders.

Syl Hellais is the first of the Illyri to be born on Earth. Trapped inside the walls of her father’s stronghold, hated by the humans, she longs to escape.

But on her sixteenth birthday, Syl’s life is about to change forever. She will become an outcast, an enemy of her people, for daring to save the life of one human: Paul Kerr. Only together do they have a chance of saving each other, and the planet they both call home.

For there is a greater darkness behind the Illyri conquest of Earth, and the real invasion has not yet even begun…

GrasshopperGrasshopper Jungle” by Andrew Smith

In the small town of Ealing, Iowa, Austin and his best friend, Robby, have accidentally unleashed an unstoppable army. An army of horny, hungry, six-foot-tall praying mantises that only want to do two things.

This is the truth. This is history.
It’s the end of the world. And nobody knows anything about it.
You know what I mean.

Funny, intense, complex, and brave, Grasshopper Jungle brilliantly weaves together everything from testicle-dissolving genetically modified corn to the struggles of recession-era, small-town America in this groundbreaking coming-of-age stunner.

JudgeThe Judge of Ages (Count to a Trillion)” by John C. Wright

The year is 10,515 AD. The Hyades Armada, traveling at near lightspeed, will reach Earth in just four centuries to assess humanity’s value as slaves. For the last 8,000 years, two opposing factions have labored to meet the alien threat in very different ways.

One of them is Ximen del Azarchel, immortal leader of the mutineers from the starship Hermetic and self-appointed Master of the World, who has allowed his followers to tamper continuously with the evolutionary destiny of Man, creating one bizarre race after another in an apparent search for a species the Hyades will find worthy of conquest.

The other is Menelaus Montrose, the posthuman Judge of Ages, whose cryonic Tombs beneath the surface of Earth have preserved survivors from each epoch created by the Hermeticists. Montrose intends to thwart the alien invaders any way he can, and to remain alive long enough to be reunited with his bride Rania, who is on a seventy-millennia journey to confront the Hyades’ masters, tens of thousands of light-years away.

Now, with the countdown to the Hyades’ arrival nearing its end, del Azarchel and Montrose square off for what is to be their final showdown for the fate of Earth, a battle of gunfire and cliometric calculus; powered armor and posthuman intelligence.

Judge of Ages is the wildly inventive third volume in a series exploring future history and human evolution from John C. Wright.

MartianThe Martian” by Andy Weir

Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars.

Now, he’s sure he’ll be the first person to die there.

After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive — and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive.

Chances are, though, he won’t have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain-old “human error” are much more likely to kill him first.

But Mark isn’t ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills — and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit — he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?

PillarPillar to the Sky” by William R. Forstchen

From William Forstchen, the New York Times bestselling author of One Second After, comes Pillar to the Sky, a towering epic to rank with Douglas Preston’s Blasphemy and Michael Crichton’s Prey

Pandemic drought, skyrocketing oil prices, dwindling energy supplies and wars of water scarcity threaten the planet. Only four people can prevent global chaos.

Gary Morgan — a brilliant, renegade scientist is pilloried by the scientific community for his belief in a space elevator: a pillar to the sky, which he believes will make space flight fast, simple and affordable.

Eva Morgan — a brilliant and beautiful scientist of Ukranian descent, she has had a lifelong obsession to build a pillar to the sky, a vertiginous tower which would mine the power of the sun and supply humanity with cheap, limitless energy forever.

Erich Rothenberg — the ancient but revered rocket-scientist who labored with von Braun to create the first rockets and continued on to build those of today. A legend, he has mentored Gary and Eva for two decades, nurturing and encouraging their transcendent vision.

Franklin Smith — the eccentric Silicon Valley billionaire who will champion their cause, wage war with Congress and government bureaucracy and most important, finance their herculean undertaking.

The Goddard Space Flight Center — the novel’s pre-eminent hero, it’s enormous army of scientists, engineers and astronauts will design, machine, and build the space elevator. They will fight endless battles and overcome countless obstacles every step of the way.

This journey to the stars will not be easy — a tumultuous struggle filled with violence and heroism, love and death, spellbinding beauty and heartbreaking betrayal. The stakes could not be higher. Humanity’s salvation will hang in the balance.

Article5Three (Article 5)” by Kristen Simmons

Kristen Simmons’ fast-paced, gripping YA dystopian series continues in Three.

Ember Miller and Chase Jennings are ready to stop running. After weeks spent in hiding as two of the Bureau of Reformation’s most wanted criminals, they have finally arrived at the safe house, where they hope to live a safe and quiet existence.

And all that’s left is smoking ruins.

Devastated by the demolition of their last hope, Ember and Chase follow the only thing left to them — tracks leading away from the wreckage. The only sign that there may have been survivors.

With their high profile, they know they can’t stay out in the open for long. They take shelter in the wilderness and amidst the ruins of abandoned cities as they follow the tracks down the coast, eventually finding refugees from the destroyed safe house. Among them is someone from Chase’s past — someone he never thought he’d see again.

Banding together, they search for a place to hide, aiming for a settlement a few of them have heard about…a settlement that is rumored to house the nebulous organization known as Three. The very group that has provided Ember with a tiny ray of hope ever since she was first forced on the run.

Three is responsible for the huge network of underground safe houses and resistance groups across the country. And they may offer Ember her only chance at telling the world her story.

At fighting back.

WorldsThe Worlds We Make (The Fallen World Trilogy)” by Megan Crewe

When Kaelyn and her friends reached Toronto with a vaccine for the virus that has ravaged the population, they thought their journey was over — but hope has eluded them once again. Now there is a dangerous group of survivors intent on tracking them down and stealing the cure no matter the costs. Forced onto the road again, Kaelyn redoubles her efforts to find a safe haven. But when the rest of her group starts to fall apart, the chances for her success grow slim. Kaelyn’s resolve is strong, but is she willing to surrender everything in order to stay alive? Riveting action and characters full of conviction and courage will captivate readers in this final installment in the Fallen World trilogy.

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