Giant Freakin’ Bookshelf: Week Of October 15, 2013

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!

Cusanus“The Cusanus Game” by Wolfgang Jeschke

Biologist Domenica Ligrina fears her planet is dying. She might be right.

An atomic disaster near the French-German border has contaminated Northern Europe with radioactivity. Economic and political calamities are destroying the whole planet. Human DNA is mutating, plant species are going extinct, and scientists are feverishly working on possible solutions. It becomes increasingly apparent that the key to future salvation lies in the past. In 2052 a secret research facility in the Vatican is recruiting scientists for a mission to restore the flora of the irradiated territories. The institute claims to have time travel. When Domenica’s sometime-lover tells her that he knows her future but that she must decide her own fate, she enlists despite his ambiguous warning.

The Middle Ages hold Domenica spellbound. She immerses herself in the mysteries, puzzles, and peculiarities of a culture foreign to her, though she risks changing the past with effects far more disastrous than radiation poisoning. Perhaps there is more than one Domenica, and more than one catastrophe.

In the tradition of Stanislaw Lem and Philip K. Dick, Wolfgang Jeschke’s The Cusanus Game is a novel of future disaster in Europe by the grand master of German science fiction.

Fiendish“Fiendish Schemes” by K.W. Jeter

In 1986 K. W. Jeter coined the term “steampunk,” applying it to his first Victorian-era science fiction alternate-history adventure. At last he has returned with Fiendish Schemes, a tale of George Dower, son of the inventor of Infernal Devices, who has been in new self-imposed exile…accumulating debts.

The world Dower left when he went into hiding was significantly simpler than the new, steam-powered Victorian London, a mad whirl of civilization filled with gadgets and gears in the least expected places. After accepting congratulations for his late father’s grandest invention — a walking, steam-powered lighthouse — Dower is enticed by the prospect of financial gain into a web of intrigue with ominously mysterious players who have nefarious plans of which he can only guess.

If he can locate and make his father’s Vox Universalis work as it was intended, his future, he is promised, is assured. But his efforts are confounded by the strange Vicar Stonebrake, who promises him aid, but is more interested in converting sentient whales to Christianity — and making money — than in helping George. Drugged, arrested, and interrogated by men, women, and the steam-powered Prime Minister, Dower is trapped in a maelstrom of secrets, corruption, and schemes that threaten to drown him in the chaos of this mad new world.

Osiris“The Osiris Curse: A Tweed & Nightingale Adventure” by Paul Crilley

Steampunk Sherlock Holmes meets The X-Files with a dash of romantic tension and a large dose of adventure.

When Nikola Tesla is murdered and blueprints for his super weapons are stolen, Tweed and Nightingale are drawn into a global cat and mouse chase with his killers. What’s more, it seems that the people who shot Nikola Tesla are the same people responsible for Octavia’s mother’s disappearance. As the two cases intertwine, Tweed and Nightingale’s investigations lead them to a murdered archeologist and a secret society called The Hermetic Order of Osiris. Fleeing the cult’s wrath, they go undercover on the luxury airship, The Albion, setting out on her maiden voyage to Tutankhamen’s View, a five star hotel built in the hollowed-out and refurbished Great Pyramid of Giza.

In Egypt, the duo begin to unravel the terrible truth behind Tesla’s death, a secret so earth-shattering that if revealed it would mean rewriting the entire history of the world. But if the cult’s plans aren’t stopped, Britain may lose the future.

Wasteland“The The Wasteland Saga: Old Man and the Wasteland, The Savage Boy, The Road Is a River” by Nick Cole

Nick Cole sends us on a suspenseful odyssey into the dark heart of post-apocalyptic America in this three-part adventure.

Forty years after a devastating thermonuclear Armageddon, mankind has been reduced to sal-vaging the ruins of a broken world. In a style that’s part Hemingway and part Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, The Wasteland Saga chronicles the struggle of the Old Man, his granddaughter, and a mysterious boy as they try to survive the savage lands of this new American Dark Age.

With the words of the Old Man’s most prized possession—a copy of Hemingway’s classic The Old Man and the Sea — echoing across the wasteland, they journey into the unknown through three incredible tales of endurance and adventure in a land ravaged by destruction.

Compiled for the first time in print, The Wasteland Saga comprises Nick Cole’s novels The Old Man and the Wasteland, The Savage Boy, and The Road Is a River.

N-body“The n-Body Problem” by Tony Burgess

In the end, the zombie apocalypse was nothing more than a waste disposal problem. Burn them in giant ovens? Bad optics. Bury them in landfill sites? The first attempt created acres of twitching, roiling mud. The acceptable answer is to jettison the millions of immortal automatons into orbit. Soon earth’s near space is a mesh of bodies interfering with the sunlight and having an effect on our minds that we never saw coming. Aggressive hypochondria, rampant depressive disorders, irresistible suicidal thought — resulting in teenage suicide cults, who want nothing more than to orbit the earth as living dead. Life on earth has slowly become not worth living. And death is no longer an escape.

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