Giant Freakin’ Bookshelf: Week Of November 17, 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!

AfterWhiteout“After Whiteout” by Scott Nicholson

AFTER: WHITEOUT The fourth book in the bestselling post-apocalyptic thriller series.

In the harsh winter of a post-apocalyptic landscape, Rachel Wheeler and her companions hole up in an Appalachian compound established by her notorious grandfather.

A rogue military platoon plans to seize the compound and control the small band of survivors. At the same time, violent mutants organize into a tribe that threatens to wipe out the human race. Rachel is caught in the middle as she undergoes mutations herself, driven by an urge to kill those around her while drawn to the mysterious Zapheads.

Rachel soon discovers the mutants are more than they appear to be. But will she remain human long enough to use their secrets against them?

Herbert“The Collected Stories of Frank Herbert” by Frank Herbert

Frank Herbert, the New York Times bestselling author of Dune, is one of the most celebrated and commercially successful science fiction writers of all time. But while best known for originating the character of Paul Atreides and the desert world of Arrakis, Herbert was also a prolific writer of short fiction. His stories were published individually in numerous pulps and anthologies spanning decades, but never collected. Until now.

Frank Herbert: Collected Stories is the most complete collection of Herbert’s short fiction ever assembled — thirty-seven stories originally published between 1952 and 1979, plus one story, ‘The Daddy Box,’ that has never been appeared before.

DireEarth“The Dire Earth: A Novella” by Jason M. Hough

Jason M. Hough goes back to the beginning with this eBook exclusive novella, the prequel to the New York Times bestseller The Darwin Elevator. An indispensable introduction to a trilogy wrought with action, imagination, and mystery, The Dire Earth is sure to thrill new readers and diehard fans alike.

In the middle of the twenty-third century, an inexplicable disease engulfs the globe, leaving a trail of madness and savagery in its wake. Dutch air force pilot Skyler Luiken discovers he is immune to the disease when he returns from a mission to find the world in chaos, but he soon realizes that he’s not the only one to have endured the apocalypse. Elsewhere, the roguish Skadz, the cunning Nigel, and the tough-as-nails Samantha each make their way toward the last remaining bastion of sanity: Darwin, Australia, home to a mysterious alien artifact that may hold the key to the survival of the human race.

MindGap“Mind the Gap” by Tim Richards

Darius Ibrahim is not having a good week.

He’s been threatened by a knife-wielding maniac on a London train, interrogated by a mysterious warrior woman beneath the city’s streets, pursued by a military death squad in Melbourne, had his new girlfriend kidnapped and held hostage in Prague, and been captured and taken to another world.

And it’s barely been three days since his life started to fall to pieces.

On top of all this, he’s developed a bizarre ability that allows him to teleport in quite unusual circumstances — an ability that several deadly enemies will do anything to gain control of.

In a desperate struggle involving alternate worlds, Egyptian mythology, ancient prophecy, malevolent felines, underground railway stations and the power of dreams, can Darius long survive the arrival of his newfound power?

SteampunkSoldiers“Steampunk Soldiers: Uniforms & Weapons from the Age of Steam” by Philip Smith & Joseph McCullough

Steampunk Soldiers is a unique pictorial guide to the last great era of bright and colorful uniforms, as well as an important historical study of the variety of steam-powered weaponry and equipment that abounded in the days before the Great War of the Worlds.

Between 1887 and 1895, the British art student Miles Vandercroft travelled around the world, sketching and painting the soldiers of the countries through which he passed. In this age of dramatic technological advancement, Vandercroft was fascinated by how the rise of steam technology at the start of the American Civil War had transformed warfare and the role of the fighting man. This volume collects all of Vandercroft’s surviving paintings, along with his associated commentary on the specific military units he encountered.

SA“Superheroes Anonymous” by Lexie Dunne

Everybody in Chicago has a ‘superhero sighting’ story. So when a villain attacks editorial assistant Gail Godwin and she’s rescued by superhero Blaze, it’s a great story, and nothing more. Until it happens again. And again. Now the media has dubbed her Hostage Girl, nobody remembers her real name, and people are convinced that Blaze is just her boyfriend, Jeremy, in disguise.

Gail’s not so sure. All she knows is that when both Jeremy and Blaze leave town in the same week, she’s probably doomed. Who will save her now?

Yet, miraculously, the villains lose interest. Gail is able to return to her life…until she wakes up strapped to a metal table by a mad scientist who hasn’t read the news. After escaping — now more than human herself — she’s drawn into a secret underground world of superheroes. She’ll have to come to terms with her powers (and weaknesses) to make it in the new society, and it’s not easy. After all, there’s a new villain on the rise, and she has her sights set on the one and only Hostage Girl.

Unhappening“The Unhappening of Genesis Lee” by Shallee McArthur

What would it feel like to never forget? Or to have a memory stolen?

Seventeen-year-old Genesis Lee has never forgotten anything. As one of the Mementi — a small group of genetically enhanced humans — Gena remembers everything with the help of her Link bracelets, which preserve them perfectly. But Links can be stolen, and six people have already lost their lives to a memory thief, including Gena’s best friend.

Anyone could be next. That’s why Gena is less than pleased to meet a strange but charming boy named Kalan who claims not only that they have met before, but also that Gena knows who the thief is.

The problem is that Gena doesn’t remember Kalan, she doesn’t remember seeing the thief, and she doesn’t know why she’s forgetting things — or how much else she might forget. As growing tensions between Mementi and ordinary humans drive the city of Havendale into chaos, Gena and Kalan team up to search for the thief. And as Gena loses more memories, they realize they have to solve the mystery fast…because Gena’s life is unhappening around her.

WhereTrains“Where the Trains Turn” by Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen

I don’t like to think about the past. But I cannot stop remembering my son.

Emma Nightingale prefers to remain grounded in reality as much as possible. Yet she’s willing to indulge her nine year-old son Rupert’s fascination with trains, as it brings him closer to his father, Gunnar, from whom she is separated. Once a month, Gunnar and Rupert venture out to follow the rails and watch the trains pass. Their trips have been pleasant, if uneventful, until one afternoon Rupert returns in tears. ‘The train tried to kill us,’ he tells her.

Rupert’s terror strikes Emma as merely the product of an overactive imagination. After all, his fears could not be based in reality, could they?

Published here for the first time in English, ‘Where the Trains Turn’ won first prize in the Finnish science-fiction magazine Portti’s annual short story competition and then went on to win the Atorox Award for best Finnish science fiction or fantasy short story.

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