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!
“Afrofuturism: The World of Black Sci-Fi and Fantasy Culture” by Ytasha L. Womack
In this hip, accessible primer to the music, literature, and art of Afrofuturism, author Ytasha Womack introduces readers to the burgeoning community of artists creating Afrofuturist works, the innovators from the past, and the wide range of subjects they explore. From the sci-fi literature of Samuel Delany, Octavia Butler, and N. K. Jemisin to the musical cosmos of Sun Ra, George Clinton, and the Black Eyed Peas’ will.i.am, to the visual and multimedia artists inspired by African Dogon myths and Egyptian deities, the book’s topics range from the “alien” experience of blacks in America to the “wake up” cry that peppers sci-fi literature, sermons, and activism. With a twofold aim to entertain and enlighten, Afrofuturists strive to break down racial, ethnic, and social limitations to empower and free individuals to be themselves.
“Ancillary Justice” by Ann Leckie
On a remote, icy planet, the soldier known as Breq is drawing closer to completing her quest. Breq is both more than she seems and less than she was. Years ago, she was the Justice of Toren–a colossal starship with an artificial intelligence linking thousands of corpse soldiers in the service of the Radch, the empire that conquered the galaxy. An act of treachery has ripped it all away, leaving her with only one fragile human body. And only one purpose — to revenge herself on Anaander Mianaai, many-bodied, near-immortal Lord of the Radch.
“Battleground” by Terry A. Adams
Hanna Bassiano, formerly known as Lady H’ana ril-Koroth of D’neera, was, like all the people of the planet D’neera a telepath. Mutated from true-human stock, the D’neerans had claimed a world of their own to escape persecution, and started a flourishing civilization there. Now, accepted by true-humans, some like Hanna had ventured out into the wider universe, using their talents to the benefit of all. Hanna herself had become humanity’s expert in first contact with other sentient races. And though her very first mission had nearly ended in her death and could have resulted in a devastating interstellar war, both Hanna and humanity had survived.
Several additional contacts had seen her firmly established as the person to spearhead this new first-contact mission. She and her handpicked team were now aboard alien contact ship Endeavor Three, following a centuries’ cold trail to a distant world that had sent its own expedition to the human colony world New Earth two hundred years ago.
Long before Endeavor reached the planet they came to know as Battleground, Hanna began to explore the starways with her mind, seeking contact with this legendary race. But when at last she managed to touch the minds she sought, Hanna could scarcely believe what she had found — a race that seemed to exist only to fight, to breed, and to die.
How could they survive for all these years? How had they come to be like this? And how would they respond to a peaceful expedition of humans arriving on their world?
This brand-new science fiction novel follows The D’neeran Factor, an omnibus of Sentience and The Master of Chaos, and continues the adventures of Hanna Bassiano, human telepath and first-contact specialist aboard the spaceship Endeavor.
“Borderlands: Gunsight” by John Shirley
Mordecai and Daphne have gotten themselves in a tough spot near the highly dangerous town of Gunsight, one of the most remote outposts on the planet Pandora, out in the boonies of the boonies of the Borderlands. Daphne has been taken prisoner by Jasper, a local warlord who controls the area around Gunsight…except for that other settlement, the former mining town Tumessa. There’s some kind of big secret operation going on in Tumessa — another warlord, a particularly mutated Psycho named Reamus, is somehow making money. And he’s been relentlessly raiding Gunsight and kidnapping Jasper’s people. Jasper may be scum, but he needs those people for raids on other towns, so it all has to balance out. Mordecai needs to negotiate for Daphne’s release, but now the only way he’ll ever see her alive again is to kill his way into Tumessa, find out what’s going on there, and report back to Jasper — only then will Mordecai get a paycheck and the girl. Mordecai doesn’t want the job, but he is pretty devoted to Daphne…and somehow, he just might be able to turn this entire mess to his advantage…
“Day One: A Novel” by Nate Kenyon
THE FUTURE IS HERE AND IT DOESN’T NEED YOU
In Nate Kenyon’s Day One, scandal-plagued hacker journalist John Hawke is hot on the trail of the explosive story that might save his career. James Weller, the former CEO of giant technology company Eclipse, has founded a new start-up, and he’s agreed to let Hawke do a profile on him. Hawke knows something very big is in the works at Eclipse — and he wants to use the profile as a foot in the door to find out more.
After he arrives in Weller’s office in New York City, a seemingly normal day quickly turns into a nightmare as anything with an Internet connection begins to malfunction. Hawke receives a call from his frantic wife just before the phones go dead. Soon he and a small band of survivors are struggling for their very lives as they find themselves thrust into the middle of a war zone — with no obvious enemy in sight.
The bridges and tunnels have been destroyed. New York City is under attack from a deadly and brilliant enemy that can be anywhere and can occupy anything with a computer chip. Somehow Hawke must find a way back to his pregnant wife and young son. Their lives depend upon it… and so does the rest of the human race.
“Doctor Who: Death’s Deal (Destiny of the Doctor)” by Darren Jones
Continuing the series celebrating 50 years of Doctor Who, this is a brand new adventure for the Tenth Doctor. It is written by Darren Jones and performed by Catherine Tate (who played the Doctor’s companion Donna in the original TV series) and Duncan Wisbey. The Destiny of the Doctor series features all eleven Doctors in 11 thrilling original stories, with music and sound effects.
“In Space No One Can Hear You Scream” edited by Hank Davis
THE UNIVERSE MAY NOT BE A NICE NEIGHBORHOOD…
“The oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown,” the grand master of horror, H.P. Lovecraft, once wrote. And the greatest unknown is the vast universe, shrouded in eternal cosmic night. What things might be on other planets — or in the dark gulfs between the stars?
Giving very unsettling answers to that question are such writers as Arthur C. Clarke, Robert Sheckley, James. H. Schmitz, Clark Ashton Smith, Neal Asher, Sarah A. Hoyt, Tony Daniel and more, all equally masters of science fiction and of terror.
One might hope that in the void beyond the earth will be found friendly aliens, benevolent and possibly wiser than humanity, but don’t be surprised if other worlds have unpleasant surprises in store for future visitors. And in vacuum, no one will be able to hear your screams — as if it would do any good if they could…
“Iron Guard (Warhammer 40,000)” by Mark Clapham
An Imperial Guard regiment must fight to uncover the mystery of Belmos VII The 114th Mordian Iron Guard, pride of their world, renowned for their heroic actions at the Siege of Defure, are deployed to the mining world of Belmos VII, unaware that a terrible affliction plagues the local populace. As the Guardsmen attempt to track down the source of the corruption, panic spreads and the brave men of Mordian soon find themselves surrounded by enemies, both from within the Belmosian population and from without…
“The Last Man Standing” by Davide Longo
GQ (Italy) called Davide Longo, “the most talented and intense Italian novelist of his generation.” In this dystopian, post-apocalyptic literary novel, Italy is on the brink of collapse: borders are closed, banks are refusing to distribute money to their clients, the postal service is shuttered, and food supplies are running short. Armed gangs of drug-fueled youth rampage through the countryside as the nation descends into chaos.
Leonardo was once a famous writer and professor before a sex scandal ended his marriage and his career. With society collapsing around them, his ex-wife leaves their daughter and son in his care as she sets off in search of her new husband, who is missing. Ultimately, Leonardo is forced to evacuate and take his children to safety, but to do so he will have to summon a quality he has never exhibited before: courage.
“The Lost Stars: Perilous Shield” by Jack Campbell
A thrilling spin-off from Jack Campbell’s The Lost Fleet series, The Lost Stars: Tarnished Knight delivered “excellent tales of space battles and struggles against tyrants and aliens.”* Now the New York Times bestselling author returns with the next chapter in the overthrow of the Syndicate Worlds’ oppression…
Following a successful coup, the leaders of the rebel Midway Star System struggle to forge a government free enough to please its citizens yet strong enough to secure power. But in a world where former rulers have become new foes, an alien threat to humanity may turn old adversaries into uncertain allies.
General Artur Drakon knows three words describe someone who confides in a Syndicate CEO: Stupid. Betrayed. Dead. Despite his misgivings, he partnered with another former CEO to overthrow Syndic forces. Now, with an enigma fleet menacing their hard-earned independence, he can ill afford to trust her — or lose her support.
President Gwen Iceni believes Midway is humanity’s defense against the enigmas. Syndicate training taught her self-preservation in a crisis, yet she’s determined to fight for the star system’s fate…even if it means joining forces with Drakon — and an officer of the hated Alliance.
Their plan places the Midway flotilla at great risk in hopes of greater reward: recruiting the personnel necessary to man warships against the enigmas. But before facing the alien advance, Drakon and Iceni must survive hidden dangers closer to home: all-too-human threats that could jeopardize Midway’s freedom…and their own lives.
“Star Wars Volume 1: In The Shadow of Yavin” by Brian Wood
The first collection of Dark Horse’s excellent Star Wars comic series, set in the immediate aftermath of the events seen in A New Hope.
“Tour of the Merrimack: Volume One” by R.M. Meluch
The U.S.S. Merrimack was the finest battleship class spaceship in Earth’s fleet, able to stand up against the best the Palatine Empire could throw at them. They were even able to survive an attack by the deadly swarms of the seemingly unstoppable Hive. Only her sister ship, the Monitor, was her equal. However, with the Palatine forces preparing a massive offensive, and the Hive targeting every living organism in the galaxy for destruction, even these two great battleships may fall….
This omnibus edition includes the first two novels of R.M. Meluch’s acclaimed Tour of the Merrimack series, The Myriad and Wolf Star.