New SFF Books July 2011 [My Picks]

Soon time for holiday with lots of lazy reading days. Here is my pick of new science fiction and fantasy books in July. You might want to order your books now, I have already. Enjoy!

Please check the Almanac of forthcoming SF Books for future releases or Cybermage’s Summer Reading.

Hell Ship

by Philip Palmer (Orbit) – Amazon USUK

Philip Palmer is new to me but I have been circling him for a while. His new novel Hell Ship will be out in July. It is not set in Debatable Spaces but rather about a universe switching Flying Dutchman.

US description: There is a ship – the Hell Ship. Inside the ship is a world. On the world are thousands of alien life forms-all the last members of their race. Each and every one of them is a slave. And it was the Hell Ship and its infernal crew that destroyed their homes and slaughtered their families and imprisoned them forever.

One man, Jak, has been pursuing the Hell Ship for its crimes. Battle after battle has left Jak scarred and broken and bit by bit he has surrendered his humanity to his quest for revenge.

Now, Jak is no more than a mind in the body of a starship, bent on bloody vengeance. But when one slave finds a way to communicate with the Hell Ship’s relentless pursuer, he realizes that there is more to this mad chase than he realized. And just possibly, there’s a way to end this long, interstellar nightmare.

UK description: The Flying Dutchman (or Hellship) is a faster-than-light scout ship that was supposed to seek out habitable planets, while also cautiously observing alien civilisations to discover which of them might be a danger to mankind. But, a millennium ago, it flew into a black hole while being pursued by dangerous aliens. And it never came back. The vessel is now heavily armed and spends its days travelling from universe to universe – exploring, discovering, scouting and also killing, looting, and annihilating. For the captain and crew of the Dutchman all lost their minds and souls many years ago. They are now monsters, haunted by the remnants of their humanity, and they take sublime joy in killing. They are, in short, the bad guys. But luckily their nemesis David Bishop is idealistic, driven and has made catching the Hellship his life’s work. This is an all-action chase drama in which the hero is the last living human being from his own particular universe. You may also find it bleakly funny, richly nasty, fast-paced and exhilarating – and maybe even terrifying.


The Clockwork Rocket

by Greg Egan (Night Shade) – Amazon US | UK

Steampunk is the new black and this blurb sounds splendid. Greg Egan is a new author for me but he has published a number of books before and this sounds too good to miss.

In Yalda’s universe, light has no universal speed and its creation generates energy. On Yalda’s world, plants make food by emitting their own light into the dark night sky. As a child, Yalda witnesses one of a series of strange meteors, the Hurtlers, that are entering the planetary system at an immense, unprecedented speed. It becomes apparent that her world is in imminent danger – and the task of dealing with the Hurtlers will require knowledge and technology far beyond anything her civilization has yet achieved! Only one solution seems tenable: if a spacecraft can be sent on a journey at sufficiently high speed, its trip will last many generations for those on board, but it will return after just a few years have passed at home. The travelers will have a chance to discover the science their planet urgently needs, and bring it back in time to avert disaster.


(The Subterrene War Trilogy 1) by T.C. McCarthy (Orbit) – Amazon US | UK

This is another new to me author but the blurb sounds like the kind of military science fiction I would like. The author also seems like a nice guy so I will definitely get this one.

Germline (n.) the genetic material contained in a cellular lineage which can be passed to the next generation. Also: secret military program to develop genetically engineered super-soldiers (slang).

War is Oscar Wendell’s ticket to greatness. A reporter for The Stars and Stripes, he has the only one way pass to the front lines of a brutal war over natural resources buried underneath the icy, mineral rich mountains of Kazakhstan.

But war is nothing like he expected. Heavily armored soldiers battle genetically engineered troops hundreds of meters below the surface. The genetics-the germline soldiers-are the key to winning this war, but some inventions can’t be un-done. Some technologies can’t be put back in the box.

Kaz will change everything, not least Oscar himself. Hooked on a dangerous cocktail of adrenaline and drugs, Oscar doesn’t find the war, the war finds him.

Heaven’s Shadow

(Heaven’s Shadow Trilogy book 1) by Michael Cassutt & David S Goyer (Tor) – Amazon US | UK

There is nothing wrong with an ominous first contact scenario, rather the opposite in my mind. This is another new to me author. It is amazing how many new to me authors there is.

“Heaven’s Shadow” begins with the discovery of an object of unknown origin headed toward Earth. Speculation as to what it might be runs high, and leads to an international competition to be the first to land on it, to claim both the prestige and whatever other benefits there might be. Thus, two rival teams of astronauts begin a thrilling and dangerous race – but what they find when they reach their goal will turn out to be unlike anything they could have imagined …What they have landed on is no asteroid but a spacecraft from a civilization that has travelled tens of thousands of years to reach earth. While the team try to work out what it is they are needed for, more sinister occurrences cause them to wonder if their involvement with this alien race will lead to anything but harm for humanity.

Miserere: An Autumn Tale

by Teresa Frohock (Night Shade books) – Amazon US | UK

This one came warmly recommended by a frequent visitor to my blog and I found it alluring. It has a wonderful cover beside the intriguing blurb.

Exiled exorcist Lucian Negru deserted his lover in Hell in exchange for saving his sister Catarina’s soul, but Catarina doesn’t want salvation. She wants Lucian to help her fulfill her dark covenant with the Fallen Angels by using his power to open the Hell Gates. Catarina intends to lead the Fallen’s hordes out of Hell and into the parallel dimension of Woerld, Heaven’s frontline of defense between Earth and Hell. When Lucian refuses to help his sister, she imprisons and cripples him, but Lucian learns that Rachael, the lover he betrayed and abandoned in Hell, is dying from a demonic possession. Determined to rescue Rachael from the demon he unleashed on her soul, Lucian flees his sister, but Catarina’s wrath isn’t so easy to escape!

Other Releases of Interests

  • Vortex (Spin 3) by Robert Charles Wilson (Tor) Amazon US | UK
  • Rule 34 (Halting State 2) by Charles Stross (ACE | Orbit) Amazon US | UK
  • Flashback by Dan Simmons (Reagan Arthur Books) Amazon US | UK
  • The Mandel Files (Omnibus  Mindstar Rising (1993), A Quantum Murder (1994) and The Nanoflower (1995)) by Peter Hamilton (Del Rey) Amazon US | UK
  • Unti (Star Corpsman 1) by William Keith (Eos) 2012? Amazon US | UK