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!
“A Vision of Fire” by Gillian Anderson and Jeff Rovin
The first novel from iconic X-Files star Gillian Anderson and New York Times bestselling author Jeff Rovin: a science fiction thriller of epic proportions.
Renowned child psychologist Caitlin O’Hara is a single mom trying to juggle her job, her son, and a lackluster dating life. Her world is suddenly upturned when Maanik, the daughter of India’s ambassador to the United Nations, starts speaking in tongues and having violent visions. Caitlin is sure that her fits have something to do with the recent assassination attempt on her father — a shooting that has escalated nuclear tensions between India and Pakistan to dangerous levels — but when teenagers around the world start having similar outbursts, Caitlin begins to think that there’s a more sinister force at work.
In Haiti, a student claws at her throat, drowning on dry land. In Iran, a boy suddenly and inexplicably sets himself on fire. Animals, too, are acting irrationally, from rats in New York City to birds in South America to ordinary house pets. With Asia on the cusp of nuclear war, Caitlin must race across the globe to uncover the mystical links among these seemingly unrelated incidents in order to save her patient — and perhaps the world.
“Ancillary Sword” by Ann Leckie
The sequel to Ancillary Justice, winner of the Hugo, Nebula, British Science Fiction, Locus and Arthur C. Clarke Awards.
Breq is a soldier who used to be a warship. Once a weapon of conquest controlling thousands of minds, now she has only a single body and serves the emperor.
With a new ship and a troublesome crew, Breq is ordered to go to the only place in the galaxy she would not agree to go: to Athoek Station to protect the family of a lieutenant she once knew — a lieutenant she murdered in cold blood.
“The Baen Big Book of Monsters” edited by Hank Davis
Trade Paperback Halloween-themed BIG MONSTER anthology. Featuring a mix of classic science fiction reprints and original stories all filled with: REALLY BIG MONSTERS! Includes legends such as Arthur C. Clark, H.P. Lovecraft, Robert Bloch, David Drake and more, as well as Baen regulars New York Times best seller Larry Correia, Wen Spencer, Sarah A. Hoyt, and more.
From the dragons of legend to Jack the Giant Killer’s colleague to King Kong and Godzilla, people have found the idea of giant creatures both scary and fascinating. Why so many should find accounts of a critter big enough to gulp down a puny human like an insignificantly small hor d’oeuvre or step on said human and leave a grease spot might be explained by the psychologists, but such yarns are undeniable fun, and here’s a book crammed full of things that you can’t outrun because they take big steps, by writers with equally large reputations, including:
David Drake, best-selling author of the Hammer’s Slammers and RCN series, describes the far future plight of an unusual descendant of present-day humans, who’s being pursued by the descendants of another species, which are much larger than they were in our time.
Robert Bloch, winner of the Hugo award and the lifetime achievement award of the World Fantasy Convention, and author of the classic horror novel Psycho, introduces an unusual orphan and aspiring thespian who was much more than he seemed and was destined to play the biggest role of anyone’s lifetime.
Philip Wylie, co-author of the SF classic, When Worlds Collide and other imaginative works, tells of the arrival of a very, very tall giant on Earth and what happened next, in a sharp-edged satiric tale.
Murray Leinster, known as the Dean of Science Fiction Writers, spins a yarn of a stranded starship whose crew must get replacement parts from an abandoned outpost in order to take off again — if they can reach the outpost through the swarming gigantic insect life of the planet.
H.P. Lovecraft, renowned master of horror, is on board with a story of a star-spawned thing which was not only huge, but invisible as well.
Plus all-new stories by New York Times best-selling author Larry Correia, and award-winning authors Sarah A. Hoyt and Wen Spencer. And much more.
“Beautiful You” by Chuck Palahniuk
‘A billion husbands are about to be replaced.’
From the author of Fight Club, the classic portrait of the damaged contemporary male psyche, now comes this novel about the apocalyptic marketing possibilities of female pleasure. Sisters will be doing it for themselves. And doing it. And doing it. And doing it some more . . . Penny Harrigan is a low-level associate in a big Manhattan law firm with an apartment in Queens and no love life at all. So it comes as a great shock when she finds herself invited to dinner by one C. Linus Maxwell, aka ‘Climax-Well,’ a software mega-billionaire and lover of the most gorgeous and accomplished women on earth. After dining at Manhattan’s most exclusive restaurant, he whisks Penny off to a hotel suite in Paris, where he proceeds, notebook in hand, to bring her to previously undreamed-of heights of orgasmic pleasure for days on end. What’s not to like? This: Penny discovers that she is a test subject for the final development of a line of sex toys to be marketed in a nationwide chain of boutiques called Beautiful You. So potent and effective are these devices that women by the millions line up outside the stores on opening day and then lock themselves in their room with them and stop coming out. Except for batteries. Maxwell’s plan for erotically enabled world domination must be stopped. But how?
“The Blood of Angels” by Johanna Sinisalo
Another haunting novel of eco-speculation from Johanna Sinisalo, the award-winning author of Troll and a powerhouse of the Finnish science fiction and fantasy scene.
It is claimed Albert Einstein said that if bees disappear from the earth, mankind has four years left. When bee-vanishings of unprecedented scale hit the United States, Orvo, a Finnish beekeeper, knows all too well where it will lead. And when he sees the queen dead in his hives one day, it’s clear the epidemic has spread to Europe, and the world is coming to an end. Orvo’s special knowledge of bees just may enable him to glimpse a solution to catastrophe: he takes a desperate step onto a path where only he and the bees know the way but it propels him into conflict with his estranged, but much-loved son, a committed animal activist. A magical plunge into the myth of death and immortality, this is a tale of human blindness in the face of devastation — and the inevitable.
“The Body Electric” by Beth Revis
The future world is at peace.
Ella Shepherd has dedicated her life to using her unique gift — the ability to enter people’s dreams and memories using technology developed by her mother — to help others relive their happy memories.
But not all is at it seems.
Ella starts seeing impossible things — images of her dead father, warnings of who she cannot trust. Her government recruits her to spy on a rebel group, using her ability to experience — and influence — the memories of traitors. But the leader of the rebels claims they used to be in love — even though Ella’s never met him before in her life. Which can only mean one thing…
Someone’s altered her memory.
Ella’s gift is enough to overthrow a corrupt government or crush a growing rebel group. She is the key to stopping a war she didn’t even know was happening. But if someone else has been inside Ella’s head, she cannot trust her own memories, thoughts, or feelings.
So who can she trust?
“A Call to Duty (Manticore Ascendant)” by David Weber
NEW SERIES FROM NEW YORK TIMES BEST-SELLING AUTHORS. Book #1 in Manticore Ascendant, a new series set in David Weber’s best-selling Honorverse from multiple New York Times best seller David Weber and #1 New York Times best seller Timothy Zahn.
Growing up, Travis Uriah Long yearned for order and discipline in his life…the two things his neglectful mother couldn’t or wouldn’t provide. So when Travis enlisted in the Royal Manticoran Navy, he thought he’d finally found the structure he’d always wanted so desperately.
But life in the RMN isn’t exactly what he expected. Boot camp is rough and frustrating; his first ship assignment lax and disorderly; and with the Star Kingdom of Manticore still recovering from a devastating plague, the Navy is possibly on the edge of budgetary extinction.
The Star Kingdom is a minor nation among the worlds of the Diaspora, its closest neighbors weeks or months away, with little in the way of resources. With only modest interstellar trade, no foreign contacts to speak of, a plague-ravaged economy to rebuild, and no enemies looming at the hyper limit, there are factions in Parliament who want nothing more than to scrap the Navy and shift its resources and manpower elsewhere.
But those factions are mistaken. The universe is not a safe place. Travis Long is about to find that out.
“The Chaplain’s War” by Brad R. Torgersen
A chaplain serving in Earth’s space fleet is trapped behind enemy lines where he struggles for both personal survival and humanity’s future.
The mantis cyborgs: insectlike, cruel, and determined to wipe humanity from the face of the galaxy.
The Fleet is humanity’s last chance: a multi-world, multi-national task force assembled to hold the line against the aliens’ overwhelming technology and firepower. Enter Harrison Barlow, who like so many young men of wars past, simply wants to serve his people and partake of the grand adventure of military life. Only, Harrison is not a hot pilot, nor a crack shot with a rifle. What good is a Chaplain’s Assistant in the interstellar battles which will decide the fate of all?
More than he thinks. Because while the mantis insectoids are determined to eliminate the human threat to mantis supremacy, they remember the errors of their past. Is there the slightest chance that humans might have value? Especially since humans seem to have the one thing the mantes explicitly do not: an innate ability to believe in what cannot be proven nor seen God. Captured and stranded behind enemy lines, Barlow must come to grips with the fact that he is not only bargaining for his own life, but the lives of everyone he knows and loves. And so he embarks upon an improbable gambit, determined to alter the course of the entire war.
“Emergent (A Beta Novel)” by Rachel Cohn
Zhara, the First. Elysia, her clone. On the surface, they are identical. But looks can be deceiving. When Zhara plays, she plays to win. She thought she had escaped the horrors of Doctor Lusardi’s cloning compound. But the nightmare is just beginning. Elysia has taken everything from Zhara — a softer, prettier version of herself and an inescapable reminder of all she’s failed at in her life. Now the man Zhara loves has replaced her with Elysia. Zhara will get her clone out of the way, no matter the cost. Elysia has finally learned the truth: she has a soul. Her First is alive. She knows it hurts Zhara to see her with Alexander, but she can’t give him up. The genetically-perfected Aquine has chosen as her as his life mate, and their days together are limited. Elysia can’t remain in the Rave Caves off the shores of Denesme forever. Revolution is brewing on the island paradise. Hundreds of soulless clones remain imprisoned like Elysia once was, slaves to the whims of their owners — wealthy human inhabitants of the island. As a group of clones and humans, led by Alexander, plot an insurrection that will turn Denesme’s world upside down, Elysia knows her place is fighting by his side. Terrible sacrifices must be made to defeat Denesme’s twisted regime. But even the greatest losses cannot prepare Elysia for the ticking time bomb built into her own programming…
“Endgame: The Calling” by James Frey and Nils Johnson-Shelton
Twelve ancient cultures were chosen millennia ago to represent humanity in Endgame, a global game that will decide the fate of humankind. Endgame has always been a possibility, but never a reality…until now. Twelve meteorites have just struck Earth, each meteorite containing a message for a Player who has been trained for this moment. At stake for the Players: saving their bloodline, as well as the fate of the world. And only one can win.
Endgame is real. Endgame is now. Endgame has begun.
Google Niantic is building a mobile location-based augmented reality videogame inextricably tied to the books and mythology, a major prize will be tied to a puzzle in each book, and Twentieth Century Fox has bought the movie rights.
Read the Books. Find the Clues. Solve the Puzzle. Who will Win?
“Falling Sky” by Rajan Khanna
Ben Gold lives in dangerous times. Two generations ago, a virulent disease turned the population of most of North America into little more than beasts called Ferals. Some of those who survived took to the air, scratching out a living on airships and dirigibles soaring over the dangerous ground.
Ben has his own airship, a family heirloom, and has signed up to help a group of scientists looking for a cure. But that’s not as easy as it sounds, especially with a power-hungry air city looking to raid any nearby settlements. To make matters worse, his airship, the only home he’s ever known, is stolen. Ben must try to survive on the ground while trying to get his ship back.
This brings him to Gastown, a city in the air recently conquered by belligerent and expansionist pirates. When events turn deadly, Ben must decide what really matters — whether to risk it all on a desperate chance for a better future or to truly remain on his own.
“The Invisible: A Brokenhearted Novel” by Amelia Kahaney
Cinder meets The Dark Knight in this riveting sequel to the darkly suspenseful, reimagined superhero story The Brokenhearted.
Since Gavin’s death, Anthem has tried to forget the heartache and betrayal, to feel normal once more. She doesn’t want to be the crime-fighting vigilante that Bedlam City needs. She just wants to go to school, practice ballet, and help nurse Ford back to health. But while he is recovering from his lifesaving surgery, the Ford she knew is slipping away.
Then a new subversive group, whose mysterious leader calls himself the Invisible, starts attacking the North Side. The danger has never been closer to home, and Anthem can’t sit idly by. Using her new strength, she begins to fight back and be the hero she was meant to be. Soon, she is the Invisible’s most sought-after enemy, and he is using everything at his disposal to have her found and captured. Will Anthem survive the biggest fight of her life?
“The Lost Stars: Imperfect Sword” by Jack Campbell
The wait is over. New York Times bestselling author Jack Campbell continues his action-packed spin-off to The Lost Fleet series as the Syndicate’s civil war threatens to spread even farther into the final frontier…
President Gwen Iceni and General Artur Drakon have successfully liberated the Midway Star System — but the former rulers of the Syndicate Worlds won’t surrender the region without a fight. The dictatorial regime has ordered the ex-Syndicate CEOs terminated with extreme prejudice and the system’s citizens punished for their defiance.
Outnumbered and led by junior officers hastily promoted in the wake of the uprising, Midway’s warships are no match for the fleet massing and preparing to strike. But the Syndicate isn’t the only threat facing Iceni and Drakon. Another former CEO has taken control of the Ulindi Star System, the first calculated move toward establishing his own little empire.
With Drakon’s ground forces dispatched to Ulindi, Midway erupts in violence as Syndicate agents and other, unknown enemies stoke a renewed revolt against Iceni’s power — leaving both her and Drakon vulnerable to trusted officers just waiting for an opportune moment to betray them…
“Orbs II: Stranded” by Nicholas Sansbury Smith
Dr. Sophie Winston and her team of survivors fend off the alien invasion in Orbs II: Stranded, the second book in Nicholas Sansbury Smith’s bestselling Orbs series.
At the end of the world, who can you trust?
The aliens have invaded, wiping out almost all life on earth. Their goal: water. Huge spaceships are draining the oceans, and the few remaining humans have been herded into farms, where their bodies are harvested to support the growing alien army.
Humanity’s last chance lies in the biospheres that have been planted secretly across the globe. But all is not peaceful in the biosphere led by Dr. Sophie Winston. With resources dwindling and tensions high, her small group of survivors is divided. Some want to fight, some want to stay hidden, and Sophie just wants to keep everyone alive.
When one of their own, eleven-year-old Jeff, is kidnapped by the Organics, Sophie is forced to pick sides. With the help of a promising new magnetic weapon, the biosphere team just might have a fighting chance to save Jeff and the world — if they live long enough to use it.
“Proxima” by Stephen Baxter
The very far future: The Galaxy is a drifting wreck of black holes, neutron stars, chill white dwarfs. The age of star formation is long past. Yet there is life here, feeding off the energies of the stellar remnants, and there is mind, a tremendous Galaxy-spanning intelligence each of whose thoughts lasts a hundred thousand years. And this mind cradles memories of a long-gone age when a more compact universe was full of light…The 27th century: Proxima Centauri, an undistinguished red dwarf star, is the nearest star to our sun — and (in this fiction), the nearest to host a world, Proxima IV, habitable by humans. But Proxima IV is unlike Earth in many ways. Huddling close to the warmth, orbiting in weeks, it keeps one face to its parent star at all times. The ‘substellar point’, with the star forever overhead, is a blasted desert, and the ‘antistellar point’ on the far side is under an ice cap in perpetual darkness. How would it be to live on such a world? Yuri Jones, with 1,000 others, is about to find out…PROXIMA tells the amazing tale of how we colonise a harsh new eden, and the secret we find there that will change our role in the Universe for ever.
“Ship of the Dead (An Omega Days Novel)” by John L. Campbell
In the weeks following the Omega Virus outbreak, survivors form desperate clusters, uniting to defend against hordes of the walking dead. But they can only hide for so long…
Father Xavier Church never wanted to be a leader. Nonetheless, he’s grown attached to his fellow survivors, and he won’t let anyone cause them harm — though he may be the one who inadvertently leads them to destruction…
Ex-con Bill Carnes may crave freedom, but he still prefers sticking with the group rather than fleeing to Mexico with his former cellmate TC. Maybe he’s changing. Or maybe the look in TC’s eyes is more dangerous than the undead…
EMT Rosa Escobedo gave up on hope after she watched the man she loved rise from the dead. But when a patient seems to start getting better, she can’t help but hope for a cure, even if it means risking her life…
As the numbers of the dead swell, the living are running out of safe havens — especially when the biggest threats lie within their own ranks.
“Spark” by John Twelve Hawks
THE MOST DANGEROUS ASSASSIN IS THE ONE WHO BELIEVES HE IS ALREADY DEAD.
A razor-sharp, high-tech, wildly imaginative new novel from internationally bestselling author John Twelve Hawks, Spark features a narrator unlike any in recent fiction — a man whose view of life and death is different from anything you’ve ever imagined.
Jacob Underwood is a contract employee of the Special Services Section, a small shadow department buried within the multinational corporation DBG, headquartered in New York City. Jacob is not a businessman…he is a hired assassin…and his job is to neutralize problems deemed unacceptable by the corporation. But Jacob is not like other employees, nor is he like other people. After a catastrophic motorcycle accident leaves him with Cotard’s syndrome — an actual condition that causes those afflicted to believe they are dead — Jacob perceives himself as nothing but a ‘Shell,’ with no emotions and no tether to the concept of right and wrong.
Emily Buchanan is a bright young second-year associate for DBG, and she has disappeared without a trace. Suspecting that Emily has stolen either vast sums of money or valuable information from the company, Ms. Holquist, Jacob’s handler at DBG, assigns him the task of tracking down the young woman and neutralizing her. Jacob’s condition allows him to carry out assignments with ruthless, logical precision, devoid of guilt, fear, or dishonor. But as his new assignment draws him inside a labyrinthine network of dark dealings, Jacob finds himself up against something he is completely incapable of understanding.
Shifting with riveting precision from New York to London, Paris to New Delhi, Spark is a thriller that delves into the surveillance state we prognosticate today…and will live in tomorrow. In the hands of master storyteller John Twelve Hawks, a unique character’s startling transformation comes to life, making Spark a thriller that resonates and satisfies on many levels.
“Time Travel: Recent Trips” edited by Paula Guran
The idea of time travel has been with us since ancient times; now, the concept of time travel seems almost… plausible. Today, tales of chrononauts are more imaginative and thought-provoking than ever before: new views, cutting-edge concepts, radical notions of paradox and possibility — state-of-the-art speculative stories collected from those written in the twenty-first century. Forward to the past, back to the future — get ready for a fascinating trip!
“The Twin Powers” by Robert Lipsyte
’A multi-world adventure starring a band of heroes that readers will want to join.” — Kirkus Reviews, of The Twinning Project
In this stand-alone sequel to The Twinning Project, thirteen-year-old twins Tom and Eddie, aware that their homes are at risk, have been waiting for a chance to save their planets. The sudden appearance of an alien both in Tom’s school lunchroom and on Eddie’s baseball field tells them that now is the time. The stakes are high, and sinister U.S. government agents want their piece of the pie. Can Tom and Eddie persuade the alien council to preserve their worlds, or will both troubled planets just go up in smoke? Middle grade space adventure? Check. Aliens who quote Mark Twain? Check. Suspense? Check. Blast off!
“Two Hundred and Twenty-One Baker Streets: An Anthology of Holmesian Tales Across Time and Space” edited by David Thomas Moore
The world’s most famous detective, as you’ve never seen him before! This is a collection of original short stories finding Holmes and Watson in times and places you would never have expected!
A dozen established and up-and-coming authors invite you to view Doyle’s greatest creation through a decidedly cracked lens.
Read about Holmes and Watson through time and space, as they tackle a witch-trial in seventeenthcentury Scotland, bandy words with Andy Warhol in 1970s New York, travel the Wild Frontier in the Old West, solve future crimes in a world of robots and even cross paths with a young Elvis Presley…
Set to include stories by Kasey Lansdale, Guy Adams, Jamie Wyman, J E Cohen, Gini Koch, Glen Mehn, Kelly Hale, Kaaron Warren, Emma Newman and more.
“Unidentified Funny Objects 3” edited by Alex Shvartsman
SCIENCE FICTION. FANTASY. HUMOR. This is the third annual volume of Unidentified Funny Objects and it contains twenty-three humorous short stories from some of the genre’s best-known authors, as well as talented up-and-comers. These are some of the unlikely characters you will encounter in the pages of this book: * Hobo Satan * Vampire novelist * Traveling robot salesman * Brain-in-a-jar superhero * Jinn trapped in a mattress