Giant Freakin’ Bookshelf: Week Of February 17, 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!

HaloSilentiumHalo: Silentium” by Greg Bear

In the last years of the Forerunner empire, chaos rules. The Flood — a horrifying shape-changing parasite — has arrived in force, aided by unexpected allies. Internal strife within the ecumene has desperately weakened Forerunner defenses.

Too little, too late, the legal rate of Juridicals is only now investigating possible crimes by the Master Builder and others. Evidence-gathering agents known collectively as Catalog have been dispatched to collect testimony from the Librarian and both Didacts: the Ur-Didact, treacherously abandoned in a Flood-infested system, and the Bornstellar Didact, who accompanies the Librarian as she preserves specimens against the dire possibility of Halo extermination.

Facing the imminent collapse of their civilization, the Librarian and the Ur-Didact reveal what they know about the relationship between the long-vanished Precursors and the Flood.

The Precursors created many technological species, including humanity and the Forerunners. But the roots of the Flood may be found in an act of enormous barbarity, carried out beyond our galaxy ten million years before…

Because of that barbarism, a greater evil looms. Only the Ur-Didact and the Librarian — husband and wife pushed into desperate conflict — hold the keys to a solution.

Facing the consequences of a mythic tragedy, one of them must now commit the greatest atrocity of all time — to prevent an insane evil from dominating the entire universe.

This trade paperback edition of Halo: Silentium features an epilogue written by Greg and Erik Bear, appearing for the first time in print.

InfluxInflux” by Daniel Suarez

What if our civilization is more advanced than we know?

The New York Times bestselling author of Daemon — “the cyberthriller against which all others will be measured” -Publishers Weekly) — imagines a world in which decades of technological advances have been suppressed in an effort to prevent disruptive change.

Are smart phones really humanity’s most significant innovation since the moon landings? Or can something else explain why the bold visions of the 20th century — fusion power, genetic enhancements, artificial intelligence, cures for common disease, extended human life, and a host of other world-changing advances — have remained beyond our grasp? Why has the high-tech future that seemed imminent in the 1960’s failed to arrive?

Perhaps it did arrive…but only for a select few.

Particle physicist Jon Grady is ecstatic when his team achieves what they’ve been working toward for years: a device that can reflect gravity. Their research will revolutionize the field of physics — the crowning achievement of a career. Grady expects widespread acclaim for his entire team. The Nobel. Instead, his lab is locked down by a shadowy organization whose mission is to prevent at all costs the social upheaval sudden technological advances bring. This Bureau of Technology Control uses the advanced technologies they have harvested over the decades to fulfill their mission.

They are living in our future.

Presented with the opportunity to join the BTC and improve his own technology in secret, Grady balks, and is instead thrown into a nightmarish high-tech prison built to hold rebellious geniuses like himself. With so many great intellects confined together, can Grady and his fellow prisoners conceive of a way to usher humanity out of its artificial dark age?

And when they do, is it possible to defeat an enemy that wields a technological advantage half a century in the making?

LikeMightyArmyLike a Mighty Army” by David Weber

For centuries, the world of Safehold, last redoubt of the human race, lay under the unchallenged rule of the Church of God Awaiting. The Church permitted nothing new — no new inventions, no new understandings of the world.

What no one knew was that the Church was an elaborate fraud — a high-tech system established by a rebel faction of Safehold’s founders, meant to keep humanity hidden from the powerful alien race that had destroyed old Earth.

Then awoke Merlyn Athrawes, cybernetic avatar of a warrior a thousand years dead, felled in the war in which Earth was lost. Monk, warrior, counselor to princes and kings, Merlyn has one purpose: to restart the history of the too-long-hidden human race.

And now the fight is thoroughly underway. The island empire of Charis has declared its independence from the Church, and with Merlyn’s help has vaulted forward into a new age of steam-powered efficiency. Fending off the wounded Church, Charis has drawn more and more of the countries of Safehold to the cause of independence and self-determination. But at a heavy cost in bloodshed and loss — a cost felt by nobody more keenly that Merlyn Athrawes.

The wounded Church is regrouping. Its armies and resources are vast. The fight for humanity’s future isn’t over, and won’t be over soon…

David Weber’s Like a Mighty Army is the hotly anticipated seventh volume in the New York Times bestselling Safehold series.

Metro2034Metro 2034” by Dmitry Glukhovsky

The basis of two bestselling computer games Metro 2033 and Metro Last Light, the Metro books have put Dmitry Glukhovsky in the vanguard of Russian speculative fiction alongside the creator of NIGHT WATCH, Sergei Lukyanenko. A year after the events of METRO 2033, the last few survivors of the apocalypse, surrounded by mutants and monsters, face a terrifying new danger as they hang on for survival in the tunnels of the Moscow Metro. Featuring blistering action, vivid and tough characters, claustrophobic tension and dark satire, the Metro books have become bestsellers across Europe.

 
TitanStar Trek: Titan: Absent Enemies” by John Jackson Miller

A thrilling e-novella based on Star Trek: The Next Generation, following the dramatic events as chronicled in the New York Times bestselling story arc The Fall!

Newly promoted Admiral William Riker and the crew of the U.S.S. Titan are ordered to race to Garadius IV — a planet Riker knows all too well from an unsuccessful peace mission when he was still first officer of the U.S.S. Enterprise. But this time, he finds a mysterious new situation: one with the potential to imperil the entire Federation. One of the warring parties has simply vanished…

UnrememberedThe Unremembered Empire (The Horus Heresy)” by Dan Abnett

Believing Terra has already fallen to the Warmaster, Primarch Roboute Guilliman founds the Imperium Secundus.

The unthinkable has happened — Terra has fallen to the traitor forces of Warmaster Horus! Nothing else could explain the sudden disappearance of the Astronomican’s guiding light at the heart of the Imperium, or so Roboute Guilliman would believe. Ever the pragmatist, he has drawn all his forces to Ultramar and begun construction of the new empire known as Imperium Secundus. Even with many of his primarch brothers at his side, he still faces war from without and intrigue from within — with the best of intentions, were the full truth to be known it would likely damn them all as traitors for all eternity.

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