New Science Fiction and Fantasy Books April 2012

These are my picks forApril.

For a look longer into upcoming releases see my almanac of forthcoming books.

Alien Diplomacy

(Katherine “Kitty” Katt 5) by Gini Koch (Daw) – uk us

Being newlyweds and new parents is challenging enough. But Jeff and Kitty Martini are also giving up their roles as super-being exterminators and Commanders in Centaurion Division while mastering the political landscape as the new heads of Centaurion’s Diplomatic Corps. Enter a shadowy assassination plot and a new set of anti-alien conspirators, and nothing will ever be the same…

The Road of Danger 

(RCN 9) by David Drake (Baen) – uk us

Captain Daniel Leary with his friend–and spy–Officer Adele Mundy are sent to a quiet sector to carry out an easy task: helping the local admiral put down a coup before it takes place. But then the jealous admiral gets rid of them by sending them off on a wild goose chase to a sector where commerce is king and business is carried out by extortion and gunfights.

With anarchy and rebellion in the air, a rogue intelligence officer plots the war that will destroy civilization and enlists the help of a brute whom even torturers couldn’t stomach.

And, of course, it’s up to Leary and Mundy to put a stop to the madness.

Immobility

by Brian Evenson (Tor) – amazon uk us

When you open your eyes things already seem to be happening without you. You don’t know who you are and you don’t remember where you’ve been. You know the world has changed, that a catastrophe has destroyed what used to exist before, but you can’t remember exactly what did exist before. And you’re paralyzed from the waist down apparently, but you don’t remember that either.

A man claiming to be your friend tells you your services are required. Something crucial has been stolen, but what he tells you about it doesn’t quite add up. You’ve got to get it back or something bad is going to happen. And you’ve got to get it back fast, so they can freeze you again before your own time runs out.

Before you know it, you’re being carried through a ruined landscape on the backs of two men in hazard suits who don’t seem anything like you at all, heading toward something you don’t understand that may well end up being the death of you.

Welcome to the life of Josef Horkai….

A Song Called Youth 

by John Shirley (Prime) – uk us

In a near-future dystopia, a limited nuclear strike has destroyed portions of Europe, bringing the remaining nation-cities under control of the Second Alliance, a frighteningly fundamentalist international security corporation with designs on world domination. The only defense against the Alliance’s creeping totalitarianism is the New Resistance, a polyglot team of rebels that includes Rick Rickenharp, a retro-rocker whose artistic and political sensibilities intertwine, and John Swenson, a mole who has infiltrated the Alliance. As the fight continues and years progress, so does the technology and brutality of the Alliance… but ordinary people like the damaged visionary Smoke, Claire Rimpler on FirStep, and Dance Torrence and his fellow urban warriors on Earth are bound together by the truth and a single purpose: to keep the darkness from becoming humankind’s Total Eclipse – or die trying! John Shirley was cyberpunk’s patient zero, first locus of the virus, certifiably virulent.”-William Gibson. An omnibus of all three novels-revised by the author-of the prophetic, still frighteningly relevant cyberpunk masterpieces: Eclipse, Eclipse Penumbra, and Eclipse Corona. With an introduction by Richard Kadrey and biographical note by Bruce Sterling.

Starters

by Lissa Price (Doubleday) – uk us debut

In the future, teens rent their bodies to seniors who want to be young again. One girl discovers her renter plans to do more than party–her body will commit murder, if her mind can’t stop it. Sixteen-year-old Callie lost her parents when the genocide spore wiped out everyone except those who were vaccinated first–the very young and very old. With no grandparents to claim Callie and her little brother, they go on the run, living as squatters, and fighting off unclaimed renegades who would kill for a cookie. Hope comes via Prime Destinations, run by a mysterious figure known only as The Old Man. He hires teens to rent their bodies to seniors, known as enders, who get to be young again. Callie’s neurochip malfunctions and she wakes up in the life of her rich renter, living in her mansion, driving her cars, even dating Blake, the grandson of a senator. It’s a fairy-tale new life . . . until she uncovers the Body Bank’s horrible plan. . . .

Other titles of interests

     

  • The Wind Through the Keyhole (The Dark Tower 8) by Stephen King (Scribner) – uk us
  • Shadow Blizzard (Chronicles of Siala 3) by Alexey Pehov (Simon & Schuster) – uk
  • Ride the Star Winds (John Grimes Saga 4) by A. Bertram Chandler (Baen) – uk us
  • Lost Everything by Brian Francis Slattery (Tor) – uk us
  • Constellation Games by Leonard Richardson (Candlemark & Gleam)