The blog still doesn’t seem to be behaving itself, but I’m sure you’ll excuse us if we’re limited to a more stripped-down appearance for a while. After all, it’s the end of the month, time to look forward to what’s on offer in February. It may be the shortest month, but there’s no shortage of new titles to look forward to. So this is the first of three posts loaded with goodies …
Blood of a Thousand Stars by Rhoda Belleza
This is the sequel to Empress of a Thousand Skies, and tells the story of a high-stakes battle for control of the galaxy. On the one side there’s Nero, ambitious media star who’ll do anything to win; facing him is the Empress, Rhee, who has to make a choice between cutting a deal with her enemy or possibly losing her crown. And between the two, there’s the assassin, Aly, out for revenge even if it takes him to a place he never wanted to go back to, and the Princess Kara seeking the one piece of technology that will allow her to remember, and erase, who she is.
Outer Earth by Rob Boffard
Earth is in ruins. The last refuge for humanity is the vast space station known as Outer Earth, a place that is overcrowded and filthy, and a place from which there is no escape. But all is not well on Outer Earth; there are dark forces at work that threaten chaos, and if they succeed there is no place left to run. This this breathless, high-octane space adventure is an omnibus edition that contains all three of Boffard’s Outer Earth novels, Tracer, Zero-G and Impact.
Semiosis by Sue Burke
This debut novel is a first contact story unlike any you’ve read; and it’s already winning praise from such luminaries as David Brin, James Patrick Kelly and Adrian Tchaikovsky. Colonists from Earth have found a new world. It’s not perfect, but they don’t have much choice, so they settle down to make the best of it. What they don’t realise, at first, is that there is another intelligent species already living there. Is there a way of opening communication, so that they can forge an alliance that will benefit both humans and aliens?
Memory’s Blade by Spencer Ellsworth
It is the concluding part of Spencer Ellsworth’s gritty Starfire trilogy, and John Starfire, tyrannical ruler of the empire, has to be stopped before he carries out his plan to destroy humankind. Meanwhile, the alien Shir have emerged from the Dark Zone and are busy destroying the galaxy’s suns. The only way that Araskar can hold them back is to join with the Resistance, led by John Starfire’s wife, and she wants him dead. The very survival of the galaxy is at stake in this rip-roaring space opera.
Outpost by W. Michael Gear
Donovan is a paradise, a beautiful planet that offers everything the colonists could want. So why, when Supervisor Kalico Aguila arrives on Donovan, does she find that the colony has failed, the government overthrown, and the surviving colonists gone wild? And what has all of this got to do with the ship Freelander that turns up in orbit having been missing for two years, and how come the whole crew are dead of old age? And just to make things more complicated, there’s a brutal killer on the loose. Solving the mystery of Donovan could make Aguila the most powerful woman in the solar system; or it could kill her.
How to Stop Time by Matt Haig
It’s not easy, living forever. Tom has had an illustrious past, acting with Shakespeare, exploring with Captain Cook, carousing with F. Scott Fitzgerald. But there are times when you just want a quiet, ordinary life. So Tom moves back to London and becomes a history teacher. Which is all well and good, until he meets the French teacher. There’s a secret society that looks after people like Tom, it’s called the Albatross Society and it has a lot of rules. One of the rules is: don’t fall in love. That’s the rule Tom is about to break, with extraordinary consequences.
Mission to Methone by Les Johnson
2065, and surveyers studying an asteroid that may be suitable for mining make a remarkable discovery: it is really a derelict alien spaceship. For the first time, humanity knows that we are not alone in the universe. Unfortunately, what we do not know is that, across the galaxy, alien races have been at war with each other for millennia. And that war could be coming to our solar system. But Methone, a tiny egg-shaped moon of Saturn, may hold the answer; if we can get there first.
Pride and Prometheus by John Kessel
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley and Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen were published with five years of each other, so it is perhaps no great stretch to imagine that Mary Bennet might encounter the enigmatic Victor Frankenstein when he travels to England to fashion a bride for his Creature. But as Frankenstein seeks out a female body he can use for the Creature’s mate, Mary tries to penetrate the dark secret she senses that Victor is keeping from her. John Kessel’s latest novel is a remarkable mash-up of Gothic horror and Regency romance.
Aliens Abroad by Gini Koch
The latest in Gini Koch’s ongoing series featuring the alien adventures of Katherine “Kitty” Katt is another blend of sf action and steamy romance. The discovery of a new planet at the opposite end of the galaxy that seems to be the twin of Earth could just provide the much-needed answer to the growing number of alien refugees arriving on Earth. But the planet has problems of its own, which is why Kitty and her husband, Jeff, find themselves swept away on a mission they weren’t supposed to be part of aboard the spaceship Distant Voyager.
Read more: bestsciencefictionbooks.com