New SFF Books June 2011 [My Picks]

Mid May is a good time to take a look and order June’s new books. I will be revisit them on the eve of June, hopefully with more suggestions.

Please check Almanac of forthcoming SF Books for future releases.

A Dance With Dragons

(Song of Ice & Fire 5) by George R.R. Martin (Harper Voyager) – Amazon US | UK

With the fantastic Game of Thrones on TV I just had to get into the books. I am listening to the audio version of A Clash of Kings at the moment so it is probably end of summer until I get to this one but I am still going to buy it as soon as it gets out.The series has some great flawed but easy to love characters besides this book probably being one of the most anticipated fantasy books of this decade.

Dubbed “the American Tolkien” by Time magazine, George R. R. Martin has earned international acclaim for his monumental cycle of epic fantasy. Now the #1 New York Timesbestselling author delivers the fifth book in his spellbinding landmark series–as both familiar faces and surprising new forces vie for a foothold in a fragmented empire.

In the aftermath of a colossal battle, the future of the Seven Kingdoms hangs in the balance once again–beset by newly emerging threats from every direction. In the east, Daenerys Targaryen, the last scion of House Targaryen, rules with her three dragons as queen of a city built on dust and death. But Daenerys has three times three thousand enemies, and many have set out to find her. Yet, as they gather, one young man embarks upon his own quest for the queen, with an entirely different goal in mind.

To the north lies the mammoth Wall of ice and stone–a structure only as strong as those guarding it. There, Jon Snow, 998th Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, will face his greatest challenge yet. For he has powerful foes not only within the Watch but also beyond, in the land of the creatures of ice.

And from all corners, bitter conflicts soon reignite, intimate betrayals are perpetrated, and a grand cast of outlaws and priests, soldiers and skinchangers, nobles and slaves, will face seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Some will fail, others will grow in the strength of darkness. But in a time of rising restlessness, the tides of destiny and politics will lead inevitably to the greatest dance of all. . . .

The Book of Transformations

(Legends of the Red Sun 3) by Mark Charan Newton (Tor UK) – Amazon USUK

I am reading book 2 City of Ruin at the moment and like it, maybe a bit too many characters to keep track of but that is not a big issue so the third Legend of the Red Sun book The Book of Transformations is high on my expectations for this summer and Mark Charan Newton is an author to watch.

A new and corrupt Emperor seeks to rebuild the ancient structures of Villjamur to give the people of the city hope in the face of great upheaval and an oppressing ice age. But when a stranger called Shalev arrives, empowering a militant underground movement, crime and terror becomes rampant. The Inquisition is always one step behind, and military resources are spread thinly across the Empire. So Emperor Urtica calls upon cultists to help construct a group to eliminate those involved with the uprising, and calm the populace. But there’s more to The Villjamur Knights than just phenomenal skills and abilities – each have a secret that, if exposed, could destroy everything they represent. Investigator Fulcrom of the Villjamur Inquisition is given the unenviable task of managing the Knights’, but his own skills are tested when a mysterious priest, who has travelled from beyond the fringes of the Empire, seeks his help. The priest’s existence threatens the church, and his quest promises to unweave the fabric of the world. And in a distant corner of the Empire, the enigmatic cultist Dartun Sur steps back into this world, having witnessed horrors beyond his imagination. Broken, altered, he and the remnants of his cultist order are heading back to Villjamur. And all eyes turn to the Sanctuary City, for Villjamur’s ancient legends are about to be shattered …

Leviathan Wakes

(Expanse 1) by James S. A. Corey (pseudonym for Daniel Abraham & Ty Franck) (Orbit) – Amazon USUK

Leviathan Wakes is a new shiny Space Opera by James S.A. Corey (a pen name of  Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck). Space opera, big ships, interstellar travel, secrets, conspiracies, and high adventure according to Orbit books. It is the first book in The Expanse. I like it! The blurb sounds like something I would really like to read but I am not familiar with either author.

Welcome to the future. Humanity has colonized the solar system – Mars, the Moon, the Asteroid Belt and beyond – but the stars are still out of our reach.

Jim Holden is XO of an ice miner making runs from the rings of Saturn to the mining stations of the Belt. When he and his crew stumble upon a derelict ship, The Scopuli, they find themselves in possession of a secret they never wanted. A secret that someone is willing to kill for – and kill on a scale unfathomable to Jim and his crew. War is brewing in the system unless he can find out who left the ship and why.

Detective Miller is looking for a girl. One girl in a system of billions, but her parents have money and money talks. When the trail leads him to The Scopuli and rebel sympathizer, Holden, he realizes that this girl may be the key to everything.

Holden and Miller must thread the needle between the Earth government, the Outer Planet revolutionaries, and secretive corporations – and the odds are against them. But out in the Belt, the rules are different, and one small ship can change the fate of the universe.