Book Recommendations September 2012

These are the books I am looking forward to next month.

Midst Toil and Tribulation

(Safehold book 6) by David Weber (Tor) – uk us

After centuries of stasis, the island kingdom of Charis began to defy the edicts of the Church of God Awaiting—egged on, some say, by the mysterious warrior-monk Merlin Athawes. Now, in the wars and intrigues that have cascaded from Charis’s declaration of independence, the populous Republic of Siddermark is sliding into chaos. Vicar Clytahn of the Church of God at harvest time. King Cayleb of Charis, his queen Sharleyan, and Merlin Arthawes will have their hands full trying to stave off wholesale starvation in Siddermark while at the same time shipping in enough land combat units to fend off the “volunteers” from the Church’s Temple Lands. And while Vicar Clyntahn is hailed in the Church for his boldness and audacity, there are those who remember how dependent Church power is on money from Siddermark…and who wonder what will happen if Siddermark starves.

Great North Road

by Peter F. Hamilton (Tor UK) – uk us

This is a new book from the bestselling Science-Fiction author Peter F. Hamilton. St Libra is a paradise for Earth’s mega-rich. Until the killing begins. In Newcastle-upon-Tyne, AD 2142, Detective Sidney Hurst attends a brutal murder scene. The victim is one of the wealthy North family clones – but none have been reported missing. And the crime’s most disturbing aspect is how the victim was killed. Twenty years ago, a North clone billionaire and his household were horrifically murdered in exactly the same manner, on the tropical planet of St Libra. But if the murderer is still at large, was Angela Tramelo wrongly convicted? Tough and confident, she never waivered under interrogation – claiming she alone survived an alien attack. But there is no animal life on St Libra. Investigating this alien threat becomes the Human Defence Agency’s top priority. The bio-fuel flowing from St Libra is the lifeblood of Earth’s economy and must be secured. So a vast expedition is mounted via the Newcastle gateway, and teams of engineers, support personnel and xenobiologists are dispatched to the planet. Along with their technical advisor, grudgingly released from prison, Angela Tramelo. But the expedition is cut off, deep within St Libra’s rainforests. Then the murders begin. Someone or something is picking off the team one by one. Angela insists it’s the alien, but her new colleagues aren’t so sure. Maybe she did see an alien, or maybe she has other reasons for being on St Libra…In this stunning standalone adventure, Peter F. Hamilton blends fast-paced narrative with vividly imagined future-worlds.

The Fractal Prince

(The Quantum Thief 2) by Hannu Rajaniemi (Gollancz) – uk

Jean le Flambeur is out of prison, but still not free. To pay his debts he has to break into the mind of a living god. But when the stakes are revealed, Jean has to decide how far he is willing to go to get the job done.

The sequel to Hannu Rajaniemi’s extraordinary debut novel is set to build on the extravagant promise of one of the most exciting new voices to come out of the genre this century.

Downside Girls

(Hidden Empire anthology) by Jaine Fenn (Clarion) – uk

When Vanna Agriet accidentally spills her drink over an Angel it could spell death, but instead it leads to a rather peculiar friendship. The downsider Geal hopes for a better life topside, only to find herself embroiled in a ‘removal’ by the Angel Thiera. Downside, Isha’s brother Rakul brings a little black box home with him, and sets Isha on a journey that takes her to a meeting with the most powerful man in Kesh City. Larnia Mier, a talented topside musician and instructor, is injured after witnessing a removal first-hand. As her abilities diminish, new possibilities open up. With a foreword by Alastair Reynolds (author of ‘Revelation Space’ and the recent ‘Blue Remembered Earth’, as well as ‘On the Steel Breeze’), ‘Downside Girls’ is a standalone collection of interlinked stories by Jaine Fenn, that also shines new light on characters from ‘Principles of Angels’, Jaine’s first novel in the ‘Hidden Empire’ series. (‘Principles of Angels’, ‘Consorts of Heaven’, Guardians of Paradise’, ‘Bringer of Light’, and ‘Queen of Nowhere’).

Origin

by Jessica Khoury (Penguin) YA – uk

Helix Wars

(Helix 2) by Eric Brown (Solaris) – uk us

RETURN THE THE BESTSELLING WORLDS OF HELIX! The Helix: a vast spiral of ten thousand worlds turning around its sun. Aeons ago, the enigmatic Builders constructed the Helix as a refuge for alien races on the verge of extinction. Two hundred years ago, humankind came to the Helix aboard a great colony ship, and the Builders conferred on them the mantle of peacekeepers. For that long, peace has reigned on the Helix. But when shuttle pilot Jeff Ellis crash-lands on the world of Phandra, he interrupts a barbarous invasion from the neighbouring Sporelli who scheme to track down and exterminate Ellis before he can return to New Earth and inform the peacekeepers.

Welcome Home – Go Away

(Kris Longknife) by Mike Shepherd (Ace) – uk

An original novella in the “fast-paced, exciting military SF series”* featuring Kris Longknife.

Kris Longknife is back home from her galactic adventures, but her entire Fleet of Discovery has been annihilated. Now, humanity finds itself at war with an alien race more monstrous than anyone could have possibly imagined.

General Terrance “Trouble” Tordon, Kris’s great-grandfather, is given the task of calming the panicked politicians, some of whom blame Kris for the disaster and would like to eliminate the ever bothersome Commander Longknife.

But as “Trouble” struggles to defend his Kris, the level of uncertainty among the civilians leads to more panic and a rush to judgment that makes him believe that he’s facing a fight he’s bound to lose…

Includes a preview of the newest Kris Longknife novel, Furious, available November 2012.