It is time to check your orders for new books in August. Here is my picks for August.
This is not an agent Cormac novel but it takes place om Masada, a planet that figures in almost all books in that series. I love the Cormac books, so it would be hard to sit this one out. It is also on my 13 SF books for the rest of 2010 list.
The Theocracy has been dead for twenty years, and the Polity rules on Masada. But the Tidy Squad consists of rebels who cannot accept the new order. Their hate for surviving theocrats is undiminished, and the iconic Jeremiah Tombs is at the top of their hitlist.
Escaping his sanatorium Tombs is pushed into painful confrontation with reality he has avoided since the rebellion. His insanity has been left uncured, because the near mythical hooder called the Technician that attacked him all those years ago, did something to his mind even the AIs fail to understand. Tombs might possess information about the suicide of an entire alien race.
The war drone Amistad, whose job it is to bring this information to light, recruits Lief Grant, an ex-rebel Commander, to protect Tombs, along with the black AI Penny Royal, who everyone thought was dead. The amphidapt Chanter, who has studied the bone sculptures the Technician makes with the remains of its prey, might be useful too.
Meanwhile, in deep space, the mechanism the Atheter used to reduce themselves to animals, stirs from slumber and begins to power-up its weapons.
Title: The Way of Kings
Series: The Stormlight Archives book 1
Author: Bandon Sanderson
Genre: Science Fantasy
Hardcover: 1008 pages
Widely acclaimed for his work completing Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time saga, Brandon Sanderson now begins a grand cycle of his own, one every bit as ambitious and immersive.
Roshar is a world of stone and storms. Uncanny tempests of incredible power sweep across the rocky terrain so frequently that they have shaped ecology and civilization alike. Animals hide in shells, trees pull in branches, and grass retracts into the soilless ground. Cities are built only where the topography offers shelter.
It has been centuries since the fall of the ten consecrated orders known as the Knights Radiant, but their Shardblades and Shardplate remain: mystical swords and suits of armor that transform ordinary men into near-invincible warriors. Men trade kingdoms for Shardblades. Wars were fought for them, and won by them.
One such war rages on a ruined landscape called the Shattered Plains. There, Kaladin, who traded his medical apprenticeship for a spear to protect his little brother, has been reduced to slavery. In a war that makes no sense, where ten armies fight separately against a single foe, he struggles to save his men and to fathom the leaders who consider them expendable.
Brightlord Dalinar Kholin commands one of those other armies. Like his brother, the late king, he is fascinated by an ancient text called The Way of Kings. Troubled by over-powering visions of ancient times and the Knights Radiant, he has begun to doubt his own sanity.
Across the ocean, an untried young woman named Shallan seeks to train under an eminent scholar and notorious heretic, Dalinar’s niece, Jasnah. Though she genuinely loves learning, Shallan’s motives are less than pure. As she plans a daring theft, her research for Jasnah hints at secrets of the Knights Radiant and the true cause of the war.
The result of over ten years of planning, writing, and world-building, The Way of Kings is but the opening movement of the Stormlight Archive, a bold masterpiece in the making.
Speak again the ancient oaths,
Life before death.
Strength before weakness.
Journey before Destination.
and return to men the Shards they once bore.
The Knights Radiant must stand again.
The Prescot family were miners. At one time, they were contracted to develop technology for a mineral rich but uninhabitable system. Gradually, all the investors shied away. Then the Prescots broke through with the technology needed to exploit entire planets, and incidentally develop domed playgrounds for the perversely rich, including indoor ski slopes and cable cars over megavolcanos, casinos and rides. This created the economic problem of being the richest people in the universe, having more money than most governments and effectively unlimited resources. Money is a small blessing when enemies are quite willing to spend billions for the chance at trillions. Bryan Prescot and his daughter might as well have targets painted on their backs for the thugs, kidnappers, and assassins their competitors would throw at them. Bodyguards were necessary – highly trained bodyguards who could be bought once and be utterly loyal no matter the circumstances. Caron Prescot has only six bodyguards against an army, but she has two aces in the hole: The miners are on her side, and Elke, Ripple Creek’s psychotic demolition expert, has a nuke. The problem with Elke having a nuke is that Elke WILL use it!
It is also on my 13 SF books for the rest of 2010 list.
It is the future. Earth is overpopulated and running out of food. Starvation is rife. Everywhere society is disintegrating, with wars and civil unrest. The need to find new worlds to colonise is paramount.
A new planet is discovered, surveyed, found to be suitable, and the first wave of colonists arrive, joined by the survey scientist, Linstrom. Initially, he is resented as an outsider, especially by the colonists’ leader, Jon Williams, who sees him as a possible rival. The colony quickly expands, felling trees and planting crops, hunting and fishing and exploring the hinterland. The colonists also begin to use newly developed human-cloning techniques to rapidly expand the population.
Also on this planet, but unknown to the settlers, are the Monitors, intelligent clones left behind by a departed civilisation to safeguard the planet’s ecology and protect it from despoliation and development. They have the new colony under observation, and they do not like what they see …
The Colony belongs in the classic tradition of science fiction grounded in real scientific and technological knowledge and expertise, but enriched with true story-telling art. It marks the debut of a new, exciting talent.
It is also on my 13 SF books for the rest of 2010 list.
The long-awaited and much-demanded sequel to A PLAGUE OF ANGELS, continuing the story of Abasio, once a farmboy, now, so Blue, his talking horse, is happy to inform people, a man who goes hither and thither helping orphans in this world where renascent mythical beasts and fairy tale ‘archetypes’ now live. . . . And when he comes agross little Xulai from Tingawan, one of the Ten Thousand Islands, far across the western Sea, she informs him that she too is an orphan, and implores his help carrying out the last request of the Princess Xu-i-lok, who has been dying since the day she married Duke Justinian, who refused the royal order to marry Alicia, the Prince’s sister. Xulai is Princess Xu-i-lok’s Soul Carrier, and the task she must complete means visiting the scary forest in the dead of night – but it is the only thing that will bring the princess a measure of peace. Abasio, helper of orphans, promises though she must do this alone, he will be near, to aid her if necessary . . . and it is, for there are dark things abroad . . . And Xulai’s job is not yet done, for with the princess now dead, the grieving Duke is left a widower – and Alicia, Duchess Altamont, still wishes to marry him. It’s not just the man she wants, but his lands too . . . and her plans do not bode well for anyone except her . . .
Other Books of Interest
I have not read any of her books but it does sound intriguing.
A near-future techno-thriller from New York Times bestselling author Diane Duane.
In an increasingly wired and computer-friendly world, massive multiplayer online games have become the ultimate form of entertainment. And the most popular gaming universe of all is Omnitopia, created by genius programmer Dev Logan. For millions of people around the world, Omnitopia is an obsession, a passionate pastime, almost a way of life. But there’s a secret to Omnitopia, one that Dev would give his life to protect-the game isn’t just a program or a piece of code. It’s become sentient-alive. And it’s Dev’s job to keep it that way…
This is a series I have been thinking of taking up for quite a while.
Avery Cates is in better shape than ever with the top-class augments the army’s fitted him with. Pity he’s no more than a puppet then, because they’ve also got a remote that can fry his brain at any second. And now a corrupt colonel is selling his controls to the highest bidder. Avery has visions of escape and bloody revenge – until he realises just who’s bought him. Because the highest bidder is Canny Orel himself, Avery’s oldest enemy. And as the System slides into chaos, Canny wants Cates to do one last job. Avery just needs one chance to get back at the old gunner – but this time, it’s Canny who’s holding all the cards.
I love singularity related books, and this one had an interesting description.
One of the best brain doctors of his time, Nathi lost his own brain five centuries ago when he became a post-human. He is now called upon to save a comatose girl. The damage is extensive, so he decides to map his own mind into her brain in order to replace the damaged part. But something unexpected awaits him within the girls brain. She is a carrier of a Wish Fairy, an enigmatic sentient cyberbeing whose only purpose is to kill the Wish, a virus used to enslave all post-human minds, including Nathis. Liberated, Nathi forms a symbiotic union with the girl, discovers the true cause of her brain injury, and finds a way to break out of the Castle, their high-tech prison, and into the Martian polar night. But once outside, the real chase begins. It is a battle that must be fought both in the physical world and that of the mind.
There are many people excited by this release, it concludes an epic series. There is also a Tor UK/PanMacmillan release in September
An innovator praised as one of the inventors of “the new space opera,” Peter F. Hamilton has also been hailed as the heir of such golden-age giants as Heinlein and Asimov. His star-spanning sagas are distinguished by deft plotting, engaging characters, provocative explorations of science and society, and soaring imaginative reach. Now, in one of the most eagerly anticipated offerings of the year, Hamilton brings his acclaimed Void trilogy to a stunning close.
Exposed as the Second Dreamer, Araminta has become the target of a galaxywide search by government agent Paula Myo and the psychopath known as the Cat, along with others equally determined to prevent—or facilitate—the pilgrimage of the Living Dream cult into the heart of the Void. An indestructible microuniverse, the Void may contain paradise, as the cultists believe, but it is also a deadly threat. For the miraculous reality that exists inside its boundaries demands energy—energy drawn from everything outside those boundaries: from planets, stars, galaxies . . . from everything that lives.
Meanwhile, the parallel story of Edeard, the Waterwalker—as told through a series of addictive dreams communicated to the gaiasphere via Inigo, the First Dreamer—continues to unfold. But now the inspirational tale of this idealistic young man takes a darker and more troubling turn as he finds himself faced with powerful new enemies—and temptations more powerful still.
With time running out, a repentant Inigo must decide whether to release Edeard’s final dream: a dream whose message is scarcely less dangerous than the pilgrimage promises to be. And Araminta must choose whether to run from her unwanted responsibilities or face them down, with no guarantee of success or survival. But all these choices may be for naught if the monomaniacal Ilanthe, leader of the breakaway Accelerator Faction, is able to enter the Void. For it is not paradise she seeks there, but dominion.
New Re Releases
I love the Bolos series.
Controlled by their tireless electronic brains which were programmed to admit no possibility of defeat, the gigantic robot tanks known as Bolos were almost indestructible, and nearly unstoppable. Their artificial intelligences were designed to make them selflessly serve and protect humans throughout the galaxy and made each Bolo the epitome of the knight sans peur et sans reproche, and often far more noble than the humans who gave them their orders. Created by Keith Laumer, the saga of the Bolos has been extended by several of the best writers in science fiction. Now, the best stories of the saga are collected in one Omni-Trade volume, including work by New York Times best-selling writers David Weber, Mercedes Lackey, and S. M. Stirling, military science fiction grand master David Drake, and Laumer himself, who recount the exploits of the dauntless Bolos in Their Finest Hour.