New Science Fiction Books in October 2010

This is my pick of books for October. I have taken a look at them and ordered for next month. I will return at the beginning of October with an updated version.

Nowadays I also have an Almanac of forthcoming SF Books where you can check even further. The current Almanac goes to September next year.

Let me start with the books I have on order.

On Order

Title: Cryoburn

Series: Miles Vorkosigan book 12
Author: Lois McMaster Bujold
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Baen 19 October 2010

Order from: Amazon USUKB&N | sfbok

Miles Vorkosigan is one of those lovable rascals, crippled at birth in a society that used to kill babies like him, he still overcome and surpass the obstacles in his way. Too creative for the armed forces he is appointed Imperial Auditor. He is often a frustration for his leaders and seldom asks for permission. Many times he accomplishes a resolution in an unconventional way that frustrates the people around him. In the The last Vorkosigan Novel Diplomatic Immunity he went on a honeymoon with Ekaterin. I am so embedded with this series that I wouldn’t miss this one for the world.

Miles Vorkosigan is back!

Kibou-daini is a planet obsessed with cheating death. Barrayaran Imperial Auditor Miles Vorkosigan can hardly disapprove—he’s been cheating death his whole life, on the theory that turnabout is fair play. But when a Kibou-daini cryocorp—an immortal company whose job it is to shepherd its all-too-mortal frozen patrons into an unknown future—attempts to expand its franchise into the Barrayaran Empire, Emperor Gregor dispatches his top troubleshooter Miles to check it out.

On Kibou-daini, Miles discovers generational conflict over money and resources is heating up, even as refugees displaced in time skew the meaning of generation past repair. Here he finds a young boy with a passion for pets and a dangerous secret, a Snow White trapped in an icy coffin who burns to re-write her own tale, and a mysterious crone who is the very embodiment of the warning Don’t mess with the secretary. Bribery, corruption, conspiracy, kidnapping—something is rotten on Kibou-daini, and it isn’t due to power outages in the Cryocombs. And Miles is in the middle—of trouble!

Title: Redoubtable

Series: Kris Longknife book 8
Author: Mike Shepherd
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: ACE 26 Oct 2010

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Kris Longknife is a formidable woman with a knack for getting in trouble and getting out. She is one of them Longknifes and if life wasn’t enough complicated being an officer in the navy; the society of humanity dissolve and her grandpa is named King making her a reluctant princess. The Peterwald family with their long standing grudge with the Longknife set up their own little pocket empire and starts to make life for Kris and her family difficult. Lots of humor and fantastic characters. I love this series and the characters in them so this is a must.

Upcoming after this one is Daring in October 2011 and Furious in 2012. The titles are only preliminary expect changes,Redoubtable changed name at least once the last year.

Lieutenant Commander Kris Longknife has precise orders: seek out, engage, and destroy pirates, slavers, and drug lords operating beyond the rim of human space-without interfering in Peterwald family affairs. But when slavers kidnap a twelve-year-old girl, Kris’s mission becomes personal. And if destroying the pirate compound flattens some Peterwald interests-well, to hell with politics.

Title: Hellhole

Series: Hell hole Trilogy book 1
Author: Kevin J. Anderson & Brian Herbert
Hardcover:650 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster 1 Oct 2010

Order from: Amazon US | UK

I am a bit ambivalent about this one. It seems to be the first book in a series so I will give it a try.

Only the most desperate of Constellation colonists would ever dare to make a new home on Hellhole, a planet ravaged by natural disasters. Persistent volcanic eruptions, destructive storms and recent damage inflicted by significant asteroid impact make the planet a dumping ground for undesirables, misfits and charlatans. But its location out on the wild frontiers of the Constellation, among the Deep Zone worlds, makes it the final refuge for those fleeing from the rule of Diadem Michella Duchenet – a tyrant with a sweet face, but a blackened, shrivelled heart. General Adolphus, the military leader who was exiled to the planet when he was defeated in the first abortive revolution against the Diadem, is determined to transform Hellhole into a place of real opportunity for the inhabitants. While the colonists are diligently working to develop the planet, the General is forging secret alliances with the leaders of the other Deep Zone worlds. He dreams of turning his prison into the centre of a new coalition of planets free from the Diadem’s iron grip. Back on the decadent capital planet of Sonjeera, surrounded by corruption and consumed by the plots and feuds of the Old Guard nobles, Diadem Michella is confident that the General has been neutralized. She has no idea of the revolt growing in the Deep Zone …or does she? But what no one knows is this: the planet Hellhole, though damaged and volatile, hides secrets of historic magnitude. Lurking beneath the surface are the remnants of an obliterated alien civilization, detailing an unrecorded past, which, if unearthed, could tear the fragile human civilization apart.

Title: Bones of Empire

Series: Legion of the Damned book 2
Author: William C. Dietz
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: ACE 5 Oct 2010

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I recently finished book one in this series and it was entertaining ‘military’ science fiction about a future cop.

In a far-distant future, the Uman Empire has conquered and colonized worlds. Once thought invincible, its reign is now fragile as alien subjects and enemies conspire against it.

On holiday in the capital city, cop Jack Cato gets a glimpse of the Emperor-and realizes what he’s looking at is a supposedly dead shape- shifter. His mortal enemy is still alive and once again on the run. And the fate of the Empire-and Cato’s own honor-are at stake…

Title: Damage Time

Author: Colin Harvey
Paperback: 432 pages
Publisher: Angry Robot 1 Oct 2010

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I enjoyed his previous novel Winter Song very much so this one I picked because I want to read something more of Colin Harvey. I have started to read this one. I haven’t gotten very far yet but I can tell you it is a very different kind of story.

Rock-hard SF Thriller from the author of Winter Song: no-one here gets out alive. It’s 2050 and sea-levels have swamped today’s coastal regions. New York City is protected by tidal barriers and the USA is bankrupt. Detective Pervez (Pete) Shah serves with the NYPD’s Web Crimes Division as a Memory Association Specialist. When he’s accused of murdering a glamorous woman in a bar, he must find the killer, save himself … and the world.

Title: Empress of Eternity

Author: L. E.  Modesitt Jr
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Tor October 2010

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After reading Haze recently I want another Modesitt

In the far future, an indestructible and massive canal more than 2,000 miles long spans the mid-continent of Earth. Nothing can mar it, move it, or affect it in any fashion. At its western end, where it meets the sea, is an equally indestructible structure comprising three levels of seemingly empty chambers.

Scientists from three different civilizations, separated in time by hundreds of thousands of years, are investigating the canal. In the most distant of these civilizations, religious rebellion is brewing. A plot is hatched to overthrow the world government of the Vanir, using a weapon that can destroy anything-except the canal. If used at full power it might literally unravel the universe and destroy all life forever. The lives and fates of all three civilizations become intertwined as the forces behind the canal react to the threat, and all three teams of scientists find their lives changed beyond belief.

Older Books in new Releases on Order

Title: Zones of Thought

Omnibus: A Fire Upon the Deep, A Deepness in the Sky
Author: Vernor Vinge
Paperback: 800
Publisher: Gollancz 21 Oct 2010

Order from:  Amazon UK

I have never read A Fire upon the Deep or A Deepness in the Sky and it is time to rectify that hole in my reading.

The Hugo Award winning A FIRE UPON THE DEEP and its epic companion novel A DEEPNESS IN THE SKY, set in the same universe but 20,000 years earlier, were benchmarks for SF in the last decade of the 20th century. In FIRE ‘Vinge presents a galaxy divided into Zones – regions where different physical constraints allow very different technological and mental possibilities. Earth remains in the “Slowness” zone, where nothing can travel faster than light and minds are fairly limited. The action of the book is in the “Beyond”, where translight travel and other marvels exist, and humans are one of many intelligent species. One human colony has been experimenting to find a path to the “Transcend”, where intelligence and power are so great as to seem godlike. Instead they release the Blight, an evil power, from a billion-year captivity.’ Publisher’s Weekly In DEEPNESS, ‘the story has the same sense of epic vastness despite happening mostly in one isolated solar system. Here there’s a world of intelligent spider creatures who traditionally hibernate through the “Deepest Darkness” of their strange variable sun’s long “off” periods, when even the atmosphere freezes. Now, science offers them an alternative. Meanwhile, attracted by spider radio transmissions, two human starfleets come exploring–merchants hoping for customers and tyrants who want slaves. Their inevitable clash leaves both fleets crippled, with the power in the wrong hands, which leads to a long wait in space until the spiders develop exploitable technology. Over the years Vinge builds palpable tension through multiple storylines and characters.’ Dave Langford

Other Books of Interest

Title: Surface Details

Series: Culture book 9
Author: Iain M. Banks
Hardcover: 640 pages
Publisher: Orbit

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This is also a book I might order. Banks is a bit on the darks side compared to my comfort zone but we will see.

It begins in the realm of the Real, where matter still matters.

It begins with a murder.

And it will not end until the Culture has gone to war with death itself.

Lededje Y’breq is one of the Intagliated, her marked body bearing witness to a family shame, her life belonging to a man whose lust for power is without limit. Prepared to risk everything for her freedom, her release, when it comes, is at a price, and to put things right she will need the help of the Culture.

Benevolent, enlightened and almost infinitely resourceful though it may be, the Culture can only do so much for any individual. With the assistance of one of its most powerful – and arguably deranged – warships, Lededje finds herself heading into a combat zone not even sure which side the Culture is really on. A war – brutal, far-reaching – is already raging within the digital realms that store the souls of the dead, and it’s about to erupt into reality.

It started in the realm of the Real and that is where it will end. It will touch countless lives and affect entire civilizations, but at the center of it all is a young woman whose need for revenge masks another motive altogether.

Title: 1635: The Eastern Front

Series: Ring of Fire 9 | 1632
Author: Eric Flint
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Baen 5 Oct 2010
Snippets: Chapter 1-24

Order from: Simon & Schuster | Amazon USUK | B&N | sfbok

I like the RIng of Fire books but I have so many books to read.

The Thirty Years War continues to ravage 17th century Europe, but a new force is gathering power and influence: the United States of Europe, a new nation led by Gustavus Adolphus, King of Sweden, and the West Virginians from the 20th century led by Mike Stearns who were hurled centuries into the past by a mysterious cosmic accident. While the old entrenched rulers and manipulators continue to plot against this new upstart nation, everyday life goes on in Grantville, even under the shadow of war, as this lost outpost of American freedom and justice must play David against a 17th century Goliath of oppressive feudalism.

Title: Version 43

Author: Philip Palmer
Paperback: 496 pages
Publisher: Orbit 7 Oct 2010

Order from:  Amazon USUK | B&N | sfbok

This one is enticing. I might order this one.

The Exodus Universe.

Your odds of surviving quantum teleportation are, more or less, fifty/fifty. The only ones crazy enough to try it are the desperate, the insane, and those sentenced to exile for their crimes.

Belladonna is home to the survivors of the fifty/fifty– and is therefore a planet run by criminals and thieves. But when a horrific and improbable murder catches the attention of the Galactic Police force, one cyborg cop — Version 43 — is sent to investigate.

Version 43 has been here before and has old friends and older enemies lying in wait. The cop was human once, but now, he is more program than man and will find a way to clean up this planet once and for all.

Title: Lightborn

Author: Tricia Sullivan
Paperback: 464 pages
Publisher: Orbit 7 Oct 2010

Order by: Amazon UK | sfbok

Lightborn, better known as ‘shine’, is a mind-altering technology that has revolutionised the modern world. It is the ultimate in education, self-improvement and entertainment – beamed directly into the brain of anyone who can meet the asking price. But in the city of Los Sombres, renegade shine has attacked the adult population, resulting in social chaos and widespread insanity in everyone past the age of puberty. The only solution has been to turn off the Field and isolate the city. Trapped within the quarantine perimeter, fourteen-year-old Xavier just wants to find the drug that can keep his own physical maturity at bay until the army shuts down the shine. That’s how he meets Roksana, mysteriously impervious to shine and devoted to helping the stricken. As the military invades street by street, Xavier and Roksana discover that there could be hope for Los Sombres – but only if Xavier will allow a lightborn cure to enter his mind. What he doesn’t know is that the shine in question has a mind of its own …

New Releases of Old Books

Title: Fantastic Planet

Author: Stephan Wul
Paperback: 160 pages
Publisher: Creation Oneiros 1st English (1st French 1957)

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Now published for the very first time in English, Stephan Wul’s Fantastic Planet (Oms En Série) is a classic of Science Fiction and the inspiration for the award-winning 1973 animated film La Planète Sauvage (Fantastic Planet). The last surviving humans are taken from Earth to the wild planet Ygam by the traags, a race of blue-skinned, red-eyed giants. Here they become known as oms, used as lowly servants and regarded as savages. But little by little, led by a young man of superior intelligence named Terr, the oms regain their thirst for liberty and rise up against the draags to affirm their humanity in the face of oppression. This deceptively simple story-line is vividly depicted by author Wul with fantastic detail and a stirring mythopoeic resonance. The film Fantastic Planet won the Grand Prix at the 1973 Cannes Film Festival and remains a mind-bendingly entertaining touchstone of counterculture art; at last, English-language readers can enjoy the classic Sci-Fi novel that it was based on.