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!
“Alien Shores” by Vaughn Heppner
Humanity put all its fading hopes in New Eden, a pristine star system 230 light-years from the ravaged Earth. But upon arrival, the would-be colonists encountered the Kresh — a diabolical alien race who quickly captured the human starship and tortured its inhabitants in hopes of learning the coordinates of Earth.
Street-smart Cyrus Gant managed to escape, crashing to the surface of a nearby moon terraformed by the Kresh and inhabited by primitive humans. Now Cyrus pursues a desperate hope bound up in a single boy, a prophesized psionic named Klane — already in the clutches of the Kresh. Soon Cyrus finds himself torn between tracking down this so-called savior and escaping back into space before it’s too late. Yet as he gathers allies and firepower, he’s desperate to find a way back to Earth and warn them of this alien menace…only to discover an even greater danger to the future existence of the human race.
The electric interstellar action that began in Alien Honor continues in Alien Shores.
“Cobra Slave” by Timothy Zahn
New York Times #1 best-selling author Timothy Zahn continues his Cobra SF adventure series with the latest entry in a new Cobra saga, Cobra Rebellion. Cobra warriors: technologically enhanced and implanted with an arsenal of covert weaponry fight against alien foes and evil humans.
Book One of the Cobra Rebellion Saga, and a new entry in New York Times #1 best seller Timothy Zahn’s legendary Cobra series.
Cobras: technologically-enhanced warriors bred to fight an alien menace no ordinary human can withstand. At the center of action on Cobra world Aventine: the legendary Moreau clan. In times of war, the Cobras are necessary, yet in times of peace they are often reviled by those they have saved. Now the Cobras have resisted a second invasion of the alien Troft forces, and forced the Troft to a stalemate — and even converted some thoughtful Troft into uneasy allies against their kin.
Yet all is not well in the human sector of the galaxy. A supposed sister empire, the Dominion of Man, threatens the Cobra worlds with what is, in effect, enslavement, as it moves to consolidate power over all the Cobra worlds. The plan on Aventine: to extort from the Moreau family the location of the home planet of a mysterious human ally that may be more powerful than the Dominion: the Qasaman empire.
Meanwhile, Cobra Merrick Moreau is on a secret mission of his own to a world of humans enslaved by Troft masters. It is a world of barbaric cruelty where every human is slave chattel to Troft gamblers. There the Troft force whole villages, even children, into life and death struggles served up for Troft entertainment.
But the totalitarian Dominion of Man and the Troft game-masters are in for a rude surprise: Cobras are not merely technological marvels. They are far more. For within each Cobra, bred by close family ties and hard testing in battle, there beats the heart of a warrior and the burning conviction that a Cobra will be slave to no one. Rebellion is at hand, and once again, Cobras lead the fight for freedom.
“The Color of Paradox” by A.M. Dellamonica
’The Color of Paradox’, by A.M. Dellamonica, is a science fiction story about one of a series of time travelers sent back to the past in order to buy more time for the human race, which in the future is on the verge of extinction.
“Forsaking Home” by A. American
They survived the collapse, but can they survive the aftermath?
Morgan Carter has weathered the weeks after the collapse of the nation’s power grid, reuniting with his family and ensuring their safety, but his struggle isn’t over yet. Carter must focus on survival in an increasingly unstable society — but the challenges he faces are beyond his wildest imagination.
Meanwhile, the enclosed quarters of the nearby government-run refugee camp make for an environment where injury, assault and murder are the norm. As Jess creates trouble within the camp, Sarge and his crew plot to take down the entire establishment.
From the author of the hit Survivalist Series books, Forsaking Home is an action-packed adventure that depicts the harrowing possibilities of a world gone awry, and the courage it takes to protect what matters most.
“The Garden of Darkness” by Gillian Murray Kendall
The Garden of Darkness explores the journey of four children who, after surviving a disease that seems to infect all but one adult, hope to find meaning by joining forces with this sole remaining grownup — who says he possesses a cure. These children discover, however, that the greatest meaning of all lies in the friendships they forge during the journey itself. This groundbreaking Young Adult novel — shaded with despair like that in The Road and hope and renewal like that found in The Hunger Games — shows the courage, tenacity and, finally, love necessary to create a new world from the ashes of the old.
Their families dead from the pandemic SitkaAZ13, known as ‘Pest,’ 15-year-old cheerleader Clare and 13-year-old chess club member Jem, an unlikely pair, are thrown together and realize that, if either of them wishes to reach adulthood, they must find a cure. A shadowy adult broadcasting on the radio to all orphaned children promises just that — to cure children once they grow into Pest, then to feed them and to care for them.
Or does this adult have something else in mind?
Against a hostile landscape of rotting cities and of a countryside infected by corpses and roamed by voracious diseased survivors, Jem and Clare make their bid for life and, with their group of fellow child-travelers growing, embark on a journey to find the grownup they believe holds the cure. Their only weapon is Clare’s dog, Bear.
But Clare and Jem, as well as their followers, are hampered by the knowledge that everything in this new child-led world had become suspect — the love of diseased adults, alliances, trust, hope. As Clare and Jem learn to stitch wounds, skin deer and survive in the ashes of the old world perhaps it is no surprise that they begin to find that friendship is as redemptive as anything they seek — that friendship has its own kind of healing power. And, at the end of their journey, in the face of the ultimate betrayal, they discover that out of friendship can come love.
“In the End (Starbounders)” by Demitra Lunetta
The thrilling conclusion to In the After, the survival story of Amy and Baby, set in a near future where Earth has been overrun by vicious, predatory creatures. Perfect for fans of New York Times bestsellers like The 5th Wave and Across the Universe.
It’s been three months since Amy escaped New Hope, and she’s been surviving on her own. Then one day Amy gets a call from Kay and hears the four words she had hoped she would never hear: Dr. Reynolds has Baby. Now it’s a race against time, for Baby is in imminent danger, her life threatened by the malevolent doctor who had helped start the end of the world. Amy must make her way to Fort Black, a prison turned survivor colony, where she will need to find Ken, Kay’s brother, who holds the key to Baby’s survival.
One small slipup on this quest might not only cost Baby and Amy their lives but could also threaten the survival of the people in the After.
“The Madonna and the Starship” by James Morrow
Only Uncle Wonder can save us from the death beam of…
THE DIABOLICAL LOBSTERS FROM OUTER SPACE!
New York City, 1953. The golden age of television, when most programs were broadcast live. Young Kurt Jastrow, a full-time TV writer and occasional actor, is about to have a close encounter of the apocalyptic kind.
Kurt’s most beloved character (and alter ego) is Uncle Wonder, an eccentric tinkerer whose pyrotechnically spectacular science experiments delight children across the nation. Uncle Wonder also has a more distant following: the inhabitants of Planet Qualimosa. When a pair of his extraterrestrial fans arrives to present him with an award, Kurt is naturally pleased — until it develops that, come next Sunday morning, these same aliens intend to perpetrate a massacre.
Will Kurt and his colleagues manage to convince the Qualimosans that Earth is essentially a secular and rationalist world? Or will the two million devotees of NBC’s most popular religious program suffer unthinkable consequences for their TV-viewing tastes? Stay tuned for The Madonna and the Starship!
“Star Trek: The Next Generation – The Light Fantastic” by Jeffrey Lang
Returning to the story begun in the novel Immortal Coil and continuing in the bestselling Cold Equations trilogy, this is the next fascinating chapter in the artificial life of one of Star Trek’s most enduring characters.
He was perhaps the ultimate human achievement: a sentient artificial life-form — self-aware, self-determining, possessing a mind and body far surpassing that of his makers, and imbued with the potential to evolve beyond the scope of his programming. And then Data was destroyed. Four years later, Data’s creator, Noonien Soong, sacrificed his life and resurrected his android son, who in turn revived the positronic brain of his own artificial daughter, Lal. Having resigned his commission, the former Starfleet officer now works to make his way on an alien world, while also coming to grips with the very human notion of wanting versus having a child. But complicating Data’s new life is an unexpected nemesis from years ago on the U.S.S. Enterprise — the holographic master criminal Professor James Moriarty. Long believed to be imprisoned in a memory solid, Moriarty has created a siphon into the ‘real’ world as a being of light and thought. Moriarty wants the solid form that he was once told he could never have, and seeks to manipulate Data into finding another android body for him to permanently inhabit…even if it means evicting the current owner, and even if that is Data himself.
“Unexpected Stories” by Octavia E. Butler
Two never-before-published stories from the archives of one of science fiction’s all-time masters
The novella ‘A Necessary Being’ showcases Octavia E. Butler’s ability to create alien yet fully believable ‘others.’ Tahneh’s father was a Hao, one of a dwindling race whose leadership abilities render them so valuable that their members are captured and forced to govern. When her father dies, Tahneh steps into his place, both chief and prisoner, and for twenty years has ruled without ever meeting another of her kind. She bears her loneliness privately until the day that a Hao youth is spotted wandering into her territory. As her warriors sharpen their weapons, Tahneh must choose between imprisoning the newcomer — and living the rest of her life alone.
The second story in this volume, ‘Childfinder,’ was commissioned by Harlan Ellison for his legendary (and never-published) anthology The Last Dangerous Visions. A disaffected telepath connects with a young girl in a desperate attempt to help her harness her growing powers. But in the richly evocative fiction of Octavia E. Butler, mentorship is a rocky path, and every lesson comes at a price.
“Vicky Peterwald: Target” by Mike Shepherd
Her Imperial Highness the Grand Duchess Victoria Maria Teresa Inez Smythe-Peterwald, daughter of wealth and power, was raised to do little except be attractive and marry well. Then everything changed — her brother, her father’s favorite and the heir apparent, was killed in battle by Lieutenant Kris Longknife, daughter of the Peterwald’s longtime enemies. Vicky vowed revenge, but her skill set was more suitable for seduction than assassination, and she failed. Angry and disappointed, her father decided she needed military training and forced her to join the Navy.
Now Ensign Vicky Peterwald is part of a whole new world, where use of her ample charms will not lead to advancement. But her father is the Emperor, and what he wants he gets. What he wants is for Vicky to learn to be efficiently ruthless and deadly.
Though the lessons are hard learned, Vicky masters them — with help from an unexpected source: Kris Longknife.