Giant Freakin’ Bookshelf: Week Of June 2, 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!

DarkBetween“The Dark Between the Stars” by Kevin J. Anderson

Twenty years after the elemental conflict that nearly tore apart the cosmos in The Saga of Seven Suns, a new threat emerges from the darkness. The human race must set aside its own inner conflicts to rebuild their alliance with the Ildiran Empire for the survival of the galaxy.

In Kevin J. Anderson’s The Dark Between the Stars, galactic empires clash, elemental beings devastate whole planetary systems, and factions of humanity are pitted against each other. Heroes rise and enemies make their last stands in the climax of an epic tale seven years in the making.

DarkDays“Dark Days” by Kate Ormand

The future world has been divided into sectors — each the same as the other. Surrounded by thick steel fences, there is no way in and no way out. Yet a cyborg army penetrates each sector, picking off its citizens one by one, until no one is left. Behind the sectors’ thick walls, the citizens wait to die. Few will be chosen to survive what’s coming; the rest will be left behind to suffer. A new world has been created and its rulers are incredibly selective on who will become a citizen. They want only those with important roles in society to help create a more perfect future.

Sixteen-year-old Sia lives in one of the sectors as part of a family that is far too ordinary to be picked to live. According to the digital clock that towers high above her sector, she has only fifteen days to live. Sia’s seen the reports and knows a horrific death is in store for her, but she is determined to make the most of her final days. Sia refuses to mourn her short life, instead promising herself that she’ll stay strong, despite being suffocated by her depressed mother and her frightened best friend. Just when Sia feels more alone than ever, she meets Mace, a mysterious boy. There is something that draws Sia to him, despite his dangerousness, and together, they join a group of rebels and embark on an epic journey to destroy the new world and its machines, and to put an end to the slaughter of innocent people.

Aimed at 13- to 17-year-old readers, both boys and girls, Dark Days has subtle themes of environmentalism, government corruption, and teamwork. In the similar vein of The Hunger Games series, the gravity of Sia’s situation with only fifteen days to live, will help bring some common teenage issues — friendship, self-esteem, budding romance — to the forefront. Sia is a strong female character who becomes a true leader, a good role model for teenagers.

Hungry“Hungry” by H.A. Swain

In Thalia’s world, there is no more food and no need for food, as everyone takes medication to ward off hunger. Her parents both work for the company that developed the drugs society consumes to quell any food cravings, and they live a life of privilege as a result. When Thalia meets a boy who is part of an underground movement to bring food back, she realizes that there is an entire world outside her own. She also starts to feel hunger, and so does the boy. Are the meds no longer working?

Together, they set out to find the only thing that will quell their hunger: real food. It’s a journey that will change everything Thalia thought she knew. But can a ‘privy’ like her ever truly be part of a revolution?

LuxBegin“Lux: Beginnings” by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Starting over sucks.

When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I’d pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring…until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.

And then he opened his mouth.

Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something…unexpected happens.

The hot alien living next door marks me.

You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon’s touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I’m getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades.

If I don’t kill him first, that is.

Montauk“The Montauk Monster” by Hunter Shea

It Kills…

On a hot summer night in Montauk, the bodies of two local bar patrons are discovered in the dunes, torn to shreds, their identities unrecognizable…

It Breeds…

In another part of town, a woman’s backyard is invaded by four terrifying creatures that defy any kind of description. What’s clear is that they’re hostile — and they’re ravenous…

It Spreads…

With every sunset the terror rises again, infecting residents with a virus no one can cure. The CDC can’t help them; FEMA can’t save them. But each savage attack brings Suffolk County Police Officer Gray Dalton one step closer to the shocking source of these unholy creations. Hidden on nearby Plum Island, a U.S. research facility has been running top-secret experiments. What they created was never meant to see the light of day. Now, a vacation paradise is going straight to hell.

SteelBreeze“On the Steel Breeze” by Alastair Reynolds

The award-winning author of Blue Remembered Earth continues his saga as the next generation of the Akinya family crosses interstellar space seeking humanity’s future…

Chiku Akinya, great granddaughter of the legendary space explorer Eunice and heir to the family empire, is just one among millions on a long one way journey towards a planet they hope to call their new home. For Chiku, the journey is a personal one, undertaken to ensure that the Akinya family achieves its destiny among the stars.

The passengers travel in huge self-contained artificial worlds — holoships — putting their faith in a physics they barely understand. Chiku’s ship is called Zanzibar — and over time, she will discover it contains an awesome secret — one which will lead her to question almost every certainty about her voyage, and its ultimate destiny…

Khan“Star Trek: Khan” by Mike Johnson & Claudia Balboni

Witness the shocking origin of Khan Noonien Singh from his earliest years through his rise to power during the epic Eugenics Wars! Behold the events that led to his escape from Earth aboard the Botany Bay! Learn the truth behind his re-awakening by Admiral Marcus and Section 31! It’s the origin of Star Trek‘s greatest villain!

 
 

Rebels“Rebels: City of Indra – The Story of Lex and Livia” by Kendall Jenner & Kylie Jenner

Kendall and Kylie Jenner, stars on the hit reality show Keeping Up with the Kardashians, present their debut novel — a thrilling dystopian story about two super-powered girls who embark on a journey together.

Two cities… Two girls… A shared destiny…

In a world of the far future, the great city of Indra has two faces: a beautiful paradise floating high in the sky, and a nightmare world of poverty carved into tunnels beneath the surface of the earth. Kendall and Kylie Jenner, the youngest sisters in the Kardashian dynasty, have written a gripping tale of air, fire, and a bond of blood.

Rescue“Rescue Mode” by Ben Bova & Les Johnson

Gritty and scientifically accurate science fiction adventure from New York Times best-selling author Ben Bova and NASA space scientist Les Johnson.

The first human mission to Mars meets with near-disaster when a meteoroid strikes the spacecraft, almost destroying it. The ship is too far from Earth to simply turn around and return home. The eight-person crew must ride their crippled ship to Mars while they desperately struggle to survive.

On Earth, powerful political forces that oppose human spaceflight try to use the accident as proof that sending humans into space is too dangerous to continue. The whole human space flight program hangs in the balance. And if the astronauts can’t nurse their ship to Mars and back, the voyagers will become either the first Martian colonists — or the first humans to perish on another planet.

HeinleinRobert A. Heinlein, Vol 2: In Dialogue with His Century Volume 2 – The Man Who Learned Better,” edited by William H. Patterson Jr.

The real-life story of Robert A. Heinlein in the second volume (1948–1988) of the authorized biography by William H. Patterson Jr.

Robert A. Heinlein (1907–1988) is generally considered the greatest American science fiction author of the twentieth century. His most famous and widely influential works include the Future History series (stories and novels collected in The Past Through Tomorrow and continued in later novels), Starship Troopers, Stranger in a Strange Land, and The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress — all published in the years covered by this volume. He was a friend of admirals, bestselling writers, and artists; became committed to defending the United States during the Cold War; and was on the advisory committee that helped Ronald Reagan create the Star Wars Strategic Defense Initiative in the 1980s.

Heinlein was also devoted to space flight and humanity’s future in space, and he was a commanding presence to all around him in his lifetime. Given his desire for privacy in the later decades of his life, the revelations in this biography make for riveting reading.

HighHallack“Tales from High Hallack, Vol. 2: The Collected Short Stories of Andre Norton” by Andre Norton

In the second volume of High Hallack, tales of high fantasy, science fiction and coming of age stories reach back to as far as 1943, yet are still as fresh and relevant today as when they were written. High Hallack was a place in Andre Norton’s fiction, and was also the name of her genre writer’s library she opened in Tennessee. It is a wondrous keep that she called home, and now High Hallack opens its gates and allows these amazing stories to unfold.

Wool“Wool: The Graphic Novel” by Hugh Howey, Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray & Jimmy Broxton

Wool as you’ve never read it before: The New York Times bestselling novel now told in graphic novel format, featuring full-color illustrations by Hugo Award-nominated artist Jimmy Broxton, and as adapted by fan-favorite writers Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray. This contemporary dystopian classic — hailed by Justin Cronin, New York Times bestselling author of The Passage, as ‘an epic feat of imagination’ — will captivate readers both familiar and new.

This is the story of mankind clawing for survival, of mankind on the edge. The world outside has grown unkind, the view of it limited, talk of it forbidden. But there are always those who hope, who dream. These are the dangerous people, the residents who infect others with their optimism. Their punishment is simple. They are given the very thing they profess to want: They are allowed outside.

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