New Science Fiction and Fantasy Books May 2012

These are my picks for next month.

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


(Lost Fleet Beyond The Frontier 2) by Jack Campbell (Ace) – uk us

I am really looking forward to this one even if the series probably gone on long enough. I like the intrigues and mysteries here. I am a sucker for wanting to know.

Admiral John “Black Jack” Geary earned his rank after being revived from cryogenic sleep to lead the Alliance to victory against the Syndicate Worlds. But his superiors question his loyalty to the regime. Now in command of the First Fleet, Geary is tasked with exploring the frontier beyond Syndic space, a mission he fears deliberately puts the fleet–and himself–in harm’s way. An encounter with the alien enigmas confirms Geary’s fears. Attacked without warning, he orders the fleet to jump star systems–only to enter the crosshairs of another hostile alien armada. Ignoring all of the First Fleet’s attempts to communicate peaceful intentions, this system’s species sends its ships into battle on suicide runs while it guards the exiting jump point with a fortress of incalculable power. Now, with a faction of his officers determined to eliminate this new threat at any cost, Geary must figure out how to breach the enemy’s defenses so the fleet can reach the jump point without massive casualties — even though the enigmas could be waiting on the other side..



by Andy Remic (Solaris)  – uk us

Andy is quite new to me, I liked Theme Planet last year and this one seems up the same alley. Planet destroying action, just the way I like it.

Welcome to Manna – the utopian galaxy where all races exist in harmony. Ruled by Shamans, perfect alien machines, Manna is a place of wisdom, technology and art. On the edge of the galaxy, away from romantic holiday cruises, hides TOX1C, a reprocessing planet run by the Company and dealing with all Manna’s waste there’s no poison the Company will not ‘recycle.’ Jenni Xi, eCo terrorist, is fighting a cleanup war against the Company. When a sabotage goes horribly wrong, she learns the future of the planet and it s far worse than she ever dreamed… Svoolzard Koolimax poet, swashbuckler, bon viveur is guest of Honour on a Masters Cruise when a violent attack leaves his Cruiser crashed in NukePuke. Horace is a torture model anarchy android, known simply as the Dentist. Horace works for the Company. Soon, he will meet Jenni and Svool and the fate of Manna will change forever…


No Going Back

(Jon & Lobo 5) by Mark L. van Name (Baen) – uk us

Jon and Lobo are likable military buddies and I have been following this series from the beginning so this is a given.

Haunted by memories of children he could not save, Jon Moore becomes so increasingly self-destructive that even his best friend, the hyper-intelligent Predator-Class Assault Vehicle, Lobo, is worried. So when Jon receives both a job offer and a message from a woman from his distant past, he and Lobo leap at the welcome diversions. That the job is illegal is the least of their problems. They’re happy to retrieve stolen artifacts from Jon’s quarantined home world, and their fee is high even for a job so highly illegal. The forces protecting their targets are formidable, and the assault team that’s chasing them is even more dangerous – but Jon and Lobo are used to that. This time, though, the knowledge that they and the others seek could spell doom for Jon!

Further: Beyond the Threshold

by Chris Roberson (47North) – uk us

hmm, I like the blurb…

The thirty-fourth century. Humankind is spread across three thousand light years in a myriad of worlds and habitats known as the Human Entelechy. Linked by a network of wormholes with Earth at its center, it is the world Captain RJ Stone awakens to after a twelve-thousand-year cryogenic suspension.

Commanding the maiden voyage of the first spacecraft to travel faster than the speed of light, Captain Stone takes the FTL Further on her maiden voyage in search of extraterrestrial intelligence. Landing on a distant planet, however, the crew is taken prisoner by the bloodthirsty Iron Mass, a religious sect exiled from the Entelechy millennia before. Now Stone and his landing party must escape while solving the riddle of the planet’s network of stone towers—possible proof of the alien intelligence they’ve come to find.

The first in critically acclaimed author Chris Roberson’s scintillating new series, Further: Beyond the Threshold is a fascinating thrill-ride to the farthest reaches of our imagination.


by Kim Stanley Robinson (Orbit) – uk us

The year is 2312. Scientific and technological advances have opened gateways to an extraordinary future. Earth is no longer humanity’s only home; new habitats have been created throughout the solar system on moons, planets, and in between. But in this year, 2312, a sequence of events will force humanity to confront its past, its present, and its future.

The first event takes place on Mercury, on the city of Terminator, itself a miracle of engineering on an unprecedented scale. It is an unexpected death, but one that might have been foreseen. For Swan Er Hong, it is an event that will change her life. Swan was once a woman who designed worlds. Now she will be led into a plot to destroy them.

The Killing Moon

(Dreamblood 1) by NK Jemisin (Orbit) – uk us

The city burned beneath the Dreaming Moon.

In the ancient city-state of Gujaareh, peace is the only law. Upon its rooftops and amongst the shadows of its cobbled streets wait the Gatherers – the keepers of this peace. Priests of the dream-goddess, their duty is to harvest the magic of the sleeping mind and use it to heal, soothe . . . and kill those judged corrupt.

But when a conspiracy blooms within Gujaareh’s great temple, Ehiru – the most famous of the city’s Gatherers – must question everything he knows. Someone, or something, is murdering dreamers in the goddess’ name, stalking its prey both in Gujaareh’s alleys and the realm of dreams. Ehiru must now protect the woman he was sent to kill – or watch the city be devoured by war and forbidden magic.


(Seven Kingdoms Trilogy 3) by Kristin Cashore (Gollancz|Dial) – uk us

Bitterblue was a long way coming…

The long-awaited companion to New York Times bestsellers Graceling and Fire

Eight years after Graceling, Bitterblue is now queen of Monsea. But the influence of her father, a violent psychopath with mind-altering abilities, lives on. Her advisors, who have run things since Leck died, believe in a forward-thinking plan: Pardon all who committed terrible acts under Leck’s reign, and forget anything bad ever happened. But when Bitterblue begins sneaking outside the castle–disguised and alone–to walk the streets of her own city, she starts realizing that the kingdom has been under the thirty-five-year spell of a madman, and the only way to move forward is to revisit the past.

Two thieves, who only steal what has already been stolen, change her life forever. They hold a key to the truth of Leck’s reign. And one of them, with an extreme skill called a Grace that he hasn’t yet identified, holds a key to her heart.


(Sookie Stackhouse 12) by Charlaine Harris (Gollancz) – uk us

Another delightful series that has been picking up the last few volumes.

Sookie has a murder investigation on her hands. A young girl has died at a vampire party – and it looks as though her lover, Eric, might be responsible. Eric swears he didn’t do it, the police don’t believe him, and even Sookie isn’t so sure. Nor is she inclined to take his word for it, not having caught him enjoying the victim’s blood minutes before she was killed. But something strange is going on. Why had Sookie been asked to come to the fateful party a few minutes early – just to catch Eric in the act? And why had the victim spiked her blood before approaching Eric? Was it simply because she wanted to be irresistible, or was it something more sinister? Sookie will have to find out . . . but it’s the worst moment to investigate, as her Fae family are having troubles of their own and Sookie is, inevitably, drawn in. And there is one last complication. The cluviel dor her grandmother left her. It will grant her one wish, which could fulfil Sookie’s heart’s desire. The only problem is, she still doesn’t know what – or who – her heart truly desires . . .


by China Mieville (Del Rey) – amazon us uk

On board the moletrain Medes, Sham Yes ap Soorap watches in awe as he witnesses his first moldywarpe hunt: the giant mole bursting from the earth, the harpoonists targeting their prey, the battle resulting in one’s death and the other’s glory. But no matter how spectacular it is, Sham can’t shake the sense that there is more to life than traveling the endless rails of the railsea–even if his captain can think only of the hunt for the ivory-coloured mole she’s been chasing since it took her arm all those years ago. When they come across a wrecked train, at first it’s a welcome distraction. But what Sham finds in the derelict—a series of pictures hinting at something, somewhere, that should be impossible—leads to considerably more than he’d bargained for. Soon he’s hunted on all sides, by pirates, trainsfolk, monsters and salvage-scrabblers. And it might not be just Sham’s life that’s about to change. It could be the whole of the railsea.

The Devil’s Nebula

(Weird Space 1) by Eric Brown (Abaddon) – uk us

Best-selling author Eric Brown has created a brand new shared world for Abaddon Books: Weird Space. This thrilling space-opera series will begin with the release of The Devil’s Nebula. Brown will introduce readers to the human smugglers, veterans and ne’erdowells who are part of the Expansion – and their uneasy neighbours, the Vetch Empire.

When an evil race threatens not only the Expansion, but the Vetch too – an evil from another dimension which infests humans and Vetch alike and bends individuals to do their hideous bidding, only cooperation between them means the difference between a chance of survival and no chance at all.