Monday, August 4, 2014

Titles to look out for: August 2014

After scouring the publisher catalogs these are the new or forthcoming book releases which have caught my eye. Books might be included in the list based on their brilliant writing, a captivating premise, the continuation of an addictive series or something as simple as the magical lure of their cover art. It's been a while since I last did one of these, so I hope I still remember how...

The Year's Best Science Fiction 31 edited by Gardner Dozois
Release: 2 August 2014 / ISBN: 9781250046215
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In the new millennium, what secrets lay beyond the far reaches of the universe? What mysteries belie the truths we once held to be self evident? The world of science fiction has long been a porthole into the realities of tomorrow, blurring the line between life and art. Now, in The Year's Best Science Fiction: Thirty-First Annual Collection the very best SF authors explore ideas of a new world. This venerable collection brings together award winning authors and masters of the field such as Robert Reed, Alastair Reynolds, Damien Broderick, Elizabeth Bear, Paul McAuley and John Barnes. And with an extensive recommended reading guide and a summation of the year in science fiction, this annual compilation has become the definitive must-read anthology for all science fiction fans and readers interested in breaking into the genre.


Seeders by A.J. Colucci
Release date: 2 August 2014 / ISBN: 9781250042897
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George Brookes, a 75-year old recluse on a small Canadian island, is plagued by guilt, afraid that his botany experiments have released a monster upon the world. He climbs to the top of a cliff and jumps to his death. Several weeks later, six people arrive on the island, heirs to George's estate: his daughter, Isabelle, and her three teenagers, Jules Beecher, a friend and fellow botanist, and Ginny Shufflebottom, a contentious Englishwoman who funded George's research. They will be isolated on the frigid island for two weeks, until the next supply boat arrives. In the laboratory, Jules reads over piles of notes and realizes that George may have achieved the most monumental breakthrough in the history of modern science: communication between humans and plants. Jules knows that the idea of plant intelligence has long been regarded as quackery among conventional scientists, but George's experiments could prove the theories that Jules has been working on all his life. However, the notes are incomplete, and it's unclear whether George's findings are real or the ramblings of a madman. In the woods, Jules begins to have disturbing visions. A fierce storm hits, the power goes out, and a night of terror begins.


The Ultra Thin Man by Patrick Swenson
Release date: 12 August 2014 /
ISBN: 9780765336941
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In the twenty-second century, a future in which mortaline wire controls the weather on the settled planets and entire refugee camps drowse in drug-induced slumber, no one-alive or dead, human or alien-is quite what they seem. When terrorists manage to crash Coral, the moon, into its home planet of Ribon, forcing evacuation, it's up to Dave Crowell and Alan Brindos, contract detectives for the Network Intelligence Organization, to solve a case of interplanetary consequences. Crowell and Brindos' investigation plunges them neck-deep into a conspiracy much more dangerous than anything they could have imagined. The two detectives soon find themselves separated, chasing opposite leads: Brindos has to hunt down the massive Helkunn alien Terl Plenko, shadow leader of the terrorist Movement of Worlds. Crowell, meanwhile, runs into something far more sinister-an elaborate frame job that puts our heroes on the hook for treason. Crowell and Brindos are forced to fight through the intrigue to discover the depths of an interstellar conspiracy. And to answer the all-important question: Who, and what, is the Ultra Thin Man?


The Godless by Ben Peek
Release date: 14 August 2014 /
ISBN: 9781447251248
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THE GODS HAVE FALLEN BUT THEIR POWERS LIVE ON ...Fifteen thousand years after the War of the Gods and their corpses now lie scattered across the world, slowly dying as men and women awake with strange powers that are derived from their bodies. While some see these powers as a gift - most call them a curse. When Ayae, a young cartographer's apprentice in the city of Mireea, is trapped in a burning building she is terrified as this dormant power comes to life within her. The flames destroy everything around her but she remains unscathed - fire cannot touch her. This curse makes her a target for the army marching on her home - an army determined to reclaim the corpse of the God Ger, who lies dying beneath the city, and harness his power for themselves. Zaifyr, a man adorned in the ancient charms, also arrives in Mireea. His arrival draws the attention of two of the 'children of the gods', Fo and Bau, powerful, centuries old beings who consider themselves immortal. All three will offer different visions for Ayae's powers - and whatever choice she makes will result in new enemies. Meanwhile, as the army approaches ever closer to Mirea, the saboteur Bueralan and Dark, his mercenary group, look to infiltrate and learn their weaknesses. Alone in a humid, dangerous land, they find themselves witness to rites so appalling they realise it would take the Gods themselves to halt the enemy's attack - and even they may not be enough.


Lock In by John Scalzi
Release date: 26 August 2014 /
ISBN: 9780765375865
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Not too long from today, a new, highly contagious virus makes its way across the globe. Most who get sick experience nothing worse than flu, fever and headaches. But for the unlucky one percent - and nearly five million souls in the United States alone - the disease causes "Lock In": Victims fully awake and aware, but unable to move or respond to stimulus. The disease affects young, old, rich, poor, people of every color and creed. The world changes to meet the challenge. A quarter of a century later, in a world shaped by what's now known as "Haden's syndrome," rookie FBI agent Chris Shane is paired with veteran agent Leslie Vann. The two of them are assigned what appears to be a Haden-related murder at the Watergate Hotel, with a suspect who is an "integrator" - someone who can let the locked in borrow their bodies for a time. If the Integrator was carrying a Haden client, then naming the suspect for the murder becomes that much more complicated. But "complicated" doesn't begin to describe it. As Shane and Vann began to unravel the threads of the murder, it becomes clear that the real mystery - and the real crime - is bigger than anyone could have imagined. The world of the locked in is changing, and with the change comes opportunities that the ambitious will seize at any cost.


Echopraxia by Peter Watts
Release date: 26 August 2014 /
ISBN: 9780765328021
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Daniel Bruks is a living fossil: a field biologist in a world where biology has turned computational, a cat's-paw used by terrorists to kill thousands. Taking refuge in the Oregon desert, he's turned his back on a humanity that shatters into strange new subspecies with every heartbeat. But he awakens one night to find himself at the center of a storm that will turn all of history inside-out. Now he's trapped on a ship bound for the center of the solar system. To his left is a grief-stricken soldier, obsessed by whispered messages from a dead son. To his right is a pilot who hasn't yet found the man she's sworn to kill on sight. A vampire and its entourage of zombie bodyguards lurk in the shadows behind. And dead ahead, a handful of rapture-stricken monks takes them all to a meeting with something they will only call "The Angels of the Asteroids." Their pilgrimage brings Dan Bruks, the fossil man, face-to-face with the biggest evolutionary breakpoint since the origin of thought itself.


Solaris Rising 3 edited by Ian Whates
Release date: 26 August 2014 /
ISBN: 9781781082096
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These stories are guaranteed to surprise, thrill and delight, and continue our mission to demonstrate why science fiction remains the most exiting, varied and inspiring of all fiction genres. In Solaris Rising 1 and 2 we showed both the quality and variety that modern science fiction can produce. In Solaris Rising 3, we'll be taking SF into the outer reaches of the universe. Nina Allan, Aliette de Bodard, Tony Ballantyne, Chris Beckett, Julie Czerneda, Ken Liu, Alex Dally MacFarlane, Ian R MacLeod & Martin Sketchley, Gareth L Powell, Adam Roberts, Benjamin Rosenbaum, Cat Sparks, Benjanun Sriduangkaew, Ian Watson and Seam Williams are just some of the names set to appear.


The Broken Eye by Brent Weeks
Release date: 26 August 2014 /
ISBN: 9780316079921
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As the old gods awaken and satrapies splinter, the Chromeria races to find its lost Prism, the only man who may be able to stop catastrophe. But Gavin Guile is enslaved on a pirate galley. Worse, Gavin no longer has the one thing that defined him -- the ability to draft.

Without the protection of his father, Kip Guile will have to face a master of shadows alone as his grandfather moves to choose a new Prism and put himself in power. With Teia and Karris, Kip will have to use all his wits to survive a secret war between noble houses, religious factions, rebels, and an ascendant order of hidden assassins, The Broken Eye.

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