Selected July Releases in Fantastic Fiction

Here are my picks in science fiction and fantasy for next month.


(Von Neumann Sisters 1) by Madeline Ashby (Angry Robot) – uk us

This months most interesting debut.

Amy Peterson is a self-replicating humanoid robot known as a VonNeumann.

For the past five years, she has been grown slowly as part of a mixed organic/synthetic family. She knows very little about her android mother’s past, so when her grandmother arrives and attacks her mother, Amy wastes no time: she eats her alive.

Now she carries her malfunctioning granny as a partition on her memory drive, and she’s learning impossible things about her clade’s history – like the fact that she alone can kill humans without failsafing…


(Veiled Worlds 2) by Jo Anderton (Angry Robot) – us uk

Loved Jo’s debut Debris  last year and this is the sequel.

Tanyana has chosen to help the Keeper, to stand against the Puppet Men, but has she bitten off more than she can chew?

File Under: Science Fiction


by Edward M. Lerner (Tor) – uk us

No one expected the oil to last forever. How right they were ….

A geopolitical miscalculation tainted the world’s major oil fields with radioactivity and plunged the Middle East into chaos. Any oil that remains usable is more prized than ever. No one can build solar farms, wind farms, and electric cars quickly enough to cope. The few countries still able to export oil and natural gas — Russia chief among them — have a stranglehold on the world economy.

And then, from the darkness of space, came Phoebe. Rather than divert the onrushing asteroid, America captured it into Earth orbit.

Solar power satellites — cheaply mass-produced in orbit with resources mined from the new moon, to beam vast amounts of power to the ground — offer America its last, best hope of avoiding servitude and economic ruin.

As though building miles-across structures in space isn’t challenging enough, special interests, from technophobes to eco-extremists to radio astronomers, want to stop the project. And the remaining petro powers will do anything to protect their newfound dominance of world affairs.

NASA engineer Marcus Judson is determined to make the powersat demonstration project a success. And he will — even though nothing in his job description mentions combating an international cabal, or going into space to do it.



Earth Unaware

(First Formic War 1) by Orson Scott Card & Aaron Johnston (Tor) – uk us

The mining ship El Cavador is far out from Earth, in the deeps of the Kuiper Belt, beyond Pluto. Other mining ships, and the families that live on them, are few and far between this far out. So when El Cavador’s telescopes pick up a fast-moving object coming in-system, it’s hard to know what to make of it. It’s massive and moving at a significant fraction of the speed of light.

El Cavador has other problems. Their systems are old and failing. The family is getting too big for the ship. There are claim-jumping corporate ships bringing Asteroid Belt tactics to the Kuiper Belt. Worrying about a distant object that might or might not be an alien ship seems…not important.

They’re wrong. It’s the most important thing that has happened to the human race in a million years. The first Formic War is about to begin.


Heaven’s War

(Heaven’s Shadow Trilogy book 2) by Michael Cassutt & David S Goyer (Tor) – uk us

I suspect this is another great summer read like Leviathan Wakes last year.

When it first appeared, the astronomers named the asteroid Keanu.

A Near Earth Object, from a distant constellation, it was headed directly toward our sun.

But when we went to meet it, it turned out to be far more than a huge rock hurtling through space…

The two teams of astronauts sent to explore Keanu discovered it is, in fact, a spacecraft, a giant ship with an alien crew. A ship that had headed to Earth with a mission and a message: Help Us. A brave new frontier beckons. But we are about to learn that it comes with a price…

Without warning, the aliens transport small groups of humans from the competing scientific communities of Houston, Texas and Bangalore, India to the vast interior habitats of Keanu. Their first challenge is to survive. Their second; to discover why The Architects—the unknown, unseen aliens controlling the asteroid—brought them there. And soon a third emerges: they must find a way to take control of Keanu.

Because the NEO is moving again—away from Earth. The Architects are headed home…


War Maid’s Choice

by David Weber (Baen) – uk us

David is always entertaining even if this is fantasy.

In Wind Rider’s Oath, Bahzell became a wind rider—the first hradani wind rider in history. And, even if Bahzell is the War God’s champion, because the wind riders are the elite of the elite among the Sothoii, Bahzell’s ascension is as likely to stir resentment as respect. What’s more, Baron Tellian’s daughter, the heir to the realm, seems to be thinking that he is the only man—or hradani—for her. Now, War Maid’s Choice continues the story—and things really get complicated.



(The Subterrene War 3) by T. C. McCarthy (Orbit) – uk us

I am really looking forward the conclusion here. Germline and Exogene was great.

Escaped Germline soldiers need to be cleaned up, and Stan Resnick is the best man for the job. A job that takes him to every dark spot and every rat hole he can find.

Operatives from China and Unified Korea are gathering escaped or stolen Russian and American genetics, and there are reports of new biological nightmares: half-human things, bred to live their entire lives encased in powered armor suits.

Stan fights to keep himself alive and out of prison while he attempts to capture a genetic, one who will be able to tell them everything they need to know about this new threat, the one called “Project Sunshine.”

Chimera is the third and final volume of The Subterrene War Trilogy which tells the story of a single war from the perspective of three different combatants


Iron Grey Sea

(Destroyermen 7) by Taylor Anderson (Roc) – uk us

 In Taylor Anderson’s acclaimed Destroyermen series, a parallel universe adds an extraordinary layer to the drama of World War II. Now, Lieutenant Commander Matthew Reddy, the crew of USS Walker, and their allies battle an ever-growing host of enemies across the globe in a desperate battle for freedom … War has engulfed the—other earth. With every hard-won victory and painful defeat, Matt Reddy and the Allies encounter more friends—and even more diabolical enemies. Even, at last, in the arms of the woman he loves, there is little peace for Reddy. The vast sea, and the scope of the conflict, have trapped him too far away to help on either front, but that doesn’t mean he and Walker can rest. Cutting short his “honeymoon,” Reddy sails off in pursuit of Hidoiame , a rogue Japanese destroyer that is wreaking havoc in Allied seas. Now that Walker is armed with the latest “new” technology, he hopes his battle-tested four-stacker has an even chance in a straight-up fight against the bigger ship—and he means to take her on. Elsewhere, the long-awaited invasion of Grik “Indiaa” has begun, and the Human-Lemurian Alliance is pushing back against the twisted might of the Dominion. The diplomatic waters seethe with treachery and a final, terrible plot explodes in the Empire of New Britain Isles. Worse, the savage Grik have also mastered “new” technologies and strategies. Their fleet of monstrous ironclads—and an army two years in the making—are finally massing to strike…