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!
“Above” by Isla Morley
I am a secret no one is able to tell.
Blythe Hallowell is sixteen when she is abducted by a survivalist and locked away in an abandoned missile silo in Eudora, Kansas. At first, she focuses frantically on finding a way out, until the harrowing truth of her new existence settles in — the crushing loneliness, the terrifying madness of a captor who believes he is saving her from the end of the world, and the persistent temptation to give up. But nothing prepares Blythe for the burden of raising a child in confinement. Determined to give the boy everything she has lost, she pushes aside the truth about a world he may never see for a myth that just might give meaning to their lives below ground. Years later, their lives are ambushed by an event at once promising and devastating. As Blythe’s dream of going home hangs in the balance, she faces the ultimate choice — between survival and freedom.
Above is a riveting tale of resilience in which “stunning” (Daily Beast) new literary voice Isla Morley compels us to imagine what we would do if everything we had ever known was taken away. Like the bestselling authors of Room and The Lovely Bones before her, Morley explores the unthinkable with haunting detail and tenderly depicts our boundless capacity for hope.
“Black Moon” by Kenneth Calhoun
Insomnia has claimed everyone Biggs knows. Even his beloved wife, Carolyn, has succumbed to the telltale red-rimmed eyes, slurred speech and cloudy mind before disappearing into the quickly collapsing world. Yet Biggs can still sleep, and dream, so he sets out to find her.
He ventures out into a world ransacked by mass confusion and desperation, where he meets others struggling against the tide of sleeplessness. Chase and his buddy Jordan are devising a scheme to live off their drug-store lootings; Lila is a high school student wandering the streets in an owl mask, no longer safe with her insomniac parents; Felicia abandons the sanctuary of a sleep research center to try to protect her family and perhaps reunite with Chase, an ex-boyfriend. All around, sleep has become an infinitely precious commodity. Money can’t buy it, no drug can touch it, and there are those who would kill to have it. However, Biggs persists in his quest for Carolyn, finding a resolve and inner strength that he never knew he had.
Kenneth Calhoun has written a brilliantly realized and utterly riveting depiction of a world gripped by madness, one that is vivid, strange, and profoundly moving.
“Cured” by Bethany Wiggins
Now that Fiona Tarsis and her twin brother, Jonah, are no longer beasts, they set out to find their mother, with the help of Bowen and a former neighbor, Jacqui. Heading for a safe settlement rumored to be in Wyoming, they plan to spread the cure along the way — until they are attacked by raiders. Luckily, they find a new ally in Kevin, who saves them and leads them to safety in his underground shelter. But the more they get to know Kevin, the more they suspect he has ties to the raiders. He also seems to know too many details about Jacqui and her family — details that could endanger them all. For the raiders will do anything they can to destroy the cure that would bring an end to their way of life. Bethany Wiggins’s reimagining of our world after an environmental catastrophe won’t fail to stun readers.
“Dangerous” by Shannon Hale
How far would you go to save the ones you love? And how far would you go to save everyone else?
Maisie Danger Brown just wanted to get away from home for a bit and see something new. She never intended to fall in love with a boy at space camp. And she certainly never intended to stumble into a frightening plot that just might destroy everything and everyone she cares about. But now there’s no going back — Maisie’s the only thing standing between danger and annihilation. She must become the hero the world needs, before she loses her heart…and her life.
Equal parts romance and action-adventure, this explosive story is sure to leave both longtime Shannon fans and avid sci-fi readers completely breathless.
“The Haven” by Carol Lynch Williams
For the teens at The Haven, the outside world, just beyond the towering stone wall that surrounds the premises, is a dangerous unknown. It has always been this way, ever since the hospital was established in the year 2020. But The Haven is more than just a hospital; it is their home. It is all they know. Everything is strictly monitored: education, exercise, food, and rest. The rules must be followed to keep the children healthy, to help control the Disease that has cast them as Terminals, the Disease that claims limbs and lungs — and memories.
But Shiloh is different; she remembers everything. Gideon is different, too. He dreams of a cure, of rebellion against the status quo. What if everything they’ve been told is a lie? What if The Haven is not the safe place it claims to be? And what will happen if Shiloh starts asking dangerous questions?
Powerful and emotional, The Haven takes us inside a treacherous world in which nothing is as it seems. “Imagine Anna Quindlen or Sue Miller turning her attention to writing a young adult novel, and you have an idea of what Carol Lynch Williams has done for early teen readers.” (Audrey Couloumbis, author of the Newbery Honor Book Getting Near to Baby)
“Hope Rearmed” by David Drake & S.M. Stirling
Sequel omnibus edition to Hope Reborn. A young hero overcomes implacable foes to lead a planet fallen into a dark age back to the high point of its lost technological civilization. Contains The Anvil and The Steel in the General series. Series relaunched in The Heretic and continuing in The Savior.
After the collapse of the galactic Web, civilizations crumbled and chaos reigned on thousands of planets. Only on planet Bellevue was there a difference. There, a Fleet Battle Computer named Center had survived from the old civilization. When it found Raj Whitehall, the man who could execute its plan for reviving human civilization, he and Center started Bellevue back on the road leading to the stars.
Now Raj Whitehall has come close to reuniting the entire planet of Bellevue. Because of his victories and because of the way he won them, Raj is loved by the people — and his army would follow him to Hell. Even those closest to him, his band of sworn companions and his wickedly subtle but utterly loyal wife, hold him in awe.
And that’s the problem. For though Raj battles only in the name of his emperor and has proven his loyalty again and again, still the half-mad jealousy and fear of that emperor Clerett is about to give Raj no choice but to revolt or face death and the loss of all he has gained for freedom.
“Liberty 1784: The Second War for Independence” by Robert Conroy
A compelling alternate history novel by the breakout author of WW II era alternate history Himmler’s War and Rising Sun.
The British win the American Revolutionary War, and a desperate Washington and the American founders must make a last stand in an enclave called Liberty.
In 1781, George Washington’s attempt to trap the British under Cornwallis at Yorktown ends catastrophically when the French fleet is destroyed in the Battle of the Capes. The revolution collapses, and the British begin a bloody reign of terror. A group of rebels flees westward and sets up a colony near what is now Chicago. They call it Liberty. The British, looking to finish what they started, send a very large force under Burgoyne to destroy them. Burgoyne is desperate for redemption and the Americans are equally desperate to survive.
Had the Battle of the Capes gone differently, a changed, darker, New World would have been forced into existence. But even under those dire circumstances, Liberty may still find a way!
“The Memory of Sky” by Robert Reed
Diamond is an odd little boy, a seemingly fragile child – who proves to be anything but. An epic story begins when he steps into the world his parents have so carefully kept him from, a world where gigantic trees each house thousands of humans and another human species, the papio, rule its far edges. Does Diamond hold the promise to remake one species and, perhaps, change all of the Creation?
“Notes from the Internet Apocalypse” by Wayne Gladstone
When the Internet suddenly stops working, society reels from the loss of flowing data and streaming entertainment. Addicts wander the streets talking to themselves in 140 characters or forcing cats to perform tricks for their amusement, while the truly desperate pin their requests for casual encounters on public bulletin boards. The economy tumbles and the government passes the draconian NET Recovery Act.
For Gladstone, the Net’s disappearance comes particularly hard, following the loss of his wife, leaving his flask of Jamesons and grandfather’s fedora as the only comforts in his Brooklyn apartment. But there are rumors that someone in New York is still online. Someone set apart from this new world where Facebook flirters “poke” each other in real life and members of Anonymous trade memes at secret parties. Where a former librarian can sell information as a human search engine and the perverted fulfill their secret fetishes at the blossoming Rule 34 club. With the help of his friends — a blogger and a webcam girl, both now out of work — Gladstone sets off to find the Internet. But is he the right man to save humanity from this Apocalypse?
For those of you wondering if you have WiFi right now, Wayne Gladstone’s Notes from the Internet Apocalypse examines the question ‘What is life without the Web?’
“Piercing the Veil” by Mason Ian Bundschuh
Do you really want to know what’s on the other side?
Simon is a brilliant grad student eager to get ahead. So when a professor offers him a secret research position at a cutting-edge lab on the cusp of proving an impossible theory, Simon thinks it’s a dream come true. But the math doesn’t add up and the other technicians working the graveyard shift don’t seem quite right somehow.
When students start disappearing from Simon’s university, he realizes there may be a horrible connection to the research at the lab. He suspects his coworkers may not be entirely human after all. And the disappearances are getting closer to home.
“The Walking Dead: The Fall of the Governor, Part Two” by Robert Kirkman & Jay Bonansinga
The Walking Dead original novel series, set in the universe of Robert Kirkman’s iconic comic book, comes to a shattering conclusion with The Fall of the Governor — Part Two. From co-authors Kirkman, creator of the Eisner Award-winning comic as well as executive producer of AMC’s blockbuster TV series, and Jay Bonansinga, Stoker Award-finalist and internationally acclaimed author, comes this stunning finale to their ambitious chronicle of human survival amid the plague of undead, which began with The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor.
In Rise of the Governor, uber-villain Philip Blake journeyed from his humble beginnings directly into the dark heart of the zombie apocalypse, and became the self-proclaimed leader of a small town called Woodbury. In The Road to Woodbury, an innocent traveler named Lilly Caul wound up in the terrifying thrall of Phillip Blake’s twisted, violent dictatorship within Woodbury’s ever tightening barricades. In The Fall of the Governor — Part One, Philip Blake finally revealed himself to be the true monster that he is, and the battle lines were drawn between the Governor and the desperate, beleaguered inhabitants of a nearby prison.
Now, in The Fall of the Governor Part Two, the Governor’s dark journey reaches its shocking, heartrending conclusion. In a roller coaster finale, war breaks out, all of the plot lines from the previous three novels converge, tensions boil over into unthinkable mayhem, and the dark destinies of those few left standing are sealed in a series of stunning twists.