Dec
16
Anticipating 2014: SFF Part 1 – Sci-Fi
This post has been sorted into "2014 Releases, Feature, New Releases" • 4 Comments

2014 is shaping up to be an exciting year in SFF releases, with Angry Robot, Tor, Del Rey, Orbit, Jo Fletcher and a few other publishers bringing out some fantastic and original SFF books to be mesmerised and lost in. They will surely be getting my money in their pockets (after I return from the US).

But as there are so many titles I am looking forward to, I decided to split Sci-Fi from Fantasy and vice versa. Today I share with you ten sci-fi books I cannot wait to read in 2014, with an equal amount of books that deserve mentions because, well, I’ve only got ten fingers (though I should really get more fingers… these books deserve fingers).

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Peacemaker-CR

Peacemaker by Marianne de Pierres, inspired by the graphic novel of the same name (illustrated by Brigitte Sutherland and created by Marianne), which combines the supernatural, the futuristic, the Wild West and the Australian landscape, will be out in May from Angry Robot books.

I can’t wait to revisit Marianne’s worlds—I’m still having withdrawals from the Burn Bright trilogy. Also… well… hmmm… Peacemaker just involves an amazing blend of genres and settings and I look forward to learning about Marianne’s world.

From Goodreads:

When an imaginary animal from her troubled teenage years reappears, Virgin takes it to mean one of two things: a breakdown (hers!) or a warning. When the dead bodies start piling up around her and Nate, she decides on the latter. Something terrible is about to happen in the park and Virgin and her new partner are standing in its path…

Virgin Jackson is the senior ranger in Birrimun Park – the world’s last natural landscape, overshadowed though it is by a sprawling coastal megacity. She maintains public safety and order in the park, but her bosses have brought out a hotshot cowboy to help her catch some drug runners who are affecting tourism. She senses the company is holding something back from her, and she’s not keen on working with an outsider like Nate Sixkiller.

I look forward to reading The Forever Watch by David Ramirez as it seems like an adult Across the Universe with a whole lot more happening—like, read this and compare: “All that is left of humanity is on a thousand-year journey to a new planet aboard one ship, The Noah, which is also carrying a dangerous serial killer…” See? Urghh, I need this.

The Forever Watch will be published by Thomas Dunne Books on April 22nd.

From Goodreads:

An exciting new novel from a bold up-and-coming sci fi talent, The Forever Watch is so full of twists and surprises it’s impossible to put down.

All that is left of humanity is on a thousand-year journey to a new planet aboard one ship, The Noah, which is also carrying a dangerous serial killer…

As a City Planner on the Noah, Hana Dempsey is a gifted psychic, economist, hacker and bureaucrat and is considered “mission critical.” She is non-replaceable, important, essential, but after serving her mandatory Breeding Duty,  the impregnation and birthing that all women are obligated to undergo, her life loses purpose as she privately mourns the child she will never be permitted to know.

When Policeman Leonard Barrens enlists her and her hacking skills in the unofficial investigation of his mentor’s violent death, Dempsey finds herself increasingly captivated by both the case and Barrens himself. According to Information Security, the missing man has simply “Retired,” nothing unusual. Together they follow the trail left by the mutilated remains. Their investigation takes them through lost dataspaces and deep into the uninhabited regions of the ship, where they discover that the answer may not be as simple as a serial killer after all.

What they do with that answer will determine the fate of all humanity in this thrilling page turner.

March 11 sees Peter Liney’s The Detainee being published by Jo Fletcher Books, an exciting new dystopian thriller. It looks as though it’s getting a number of fans pre-publication if you look at some of the reviews on Goodreads.

Someone said, “George Orwell would approve.” I hope to agree when I read The Detainee!

From Goodreads:

The Island is hopelessness. The Island is death. And it is to this place that all the elderly and infirm are shipped, the scapegoats for the collapse of society. There’s no escape, not from the punishment satellites that deliver instant judgement for any crime—including trying to get off the Island—and not from the demons that come on foggy nights, when the satellites are all but blind.

But when one of the Island’s inhabitants, aging “Big Guy” Clancy, finds a network of tunnels beneath the waste, there is suddenly hope, for love, for escape . . . and for the chance to fight back.

The Galaxy Game by Karen Lord—it’s apparently an incredible science fiction with literary prose to rival the literary gods of the standard fiction genre. I need something like this in my life, because there’s quite a lot of literary fiction that becomes popular and bestsellers at work but I just don’t find myself reading them anytime soon. But I need this, a sci-fi novel with superpowers and writing that will not release its grip around my neck until I finish.

The Galaxy Game is out on June 5 from Jo Fletcher Books (or August 5 from Del Rey for the US cover on the left).

From Goodreads

For years, Rafi Delarua saw his family suffer under his father’s unethical use of psionic power. Now the government has Rafi under close watch but, hating their crude attempts to analyse his brain, he escapes to the planet Punartam, where his abilities are the norm, not the exception. Punartam is also the centre for his favourite sport, wallrunning – and thanks to his best friend, he has found a way to train with the elite.

But Rafi soon realises he’s playing quite a different game, for the galaxy is changing; unrest is spreading and the Zhinuvian cartels are plotting, making the stars a far more dangerous place to aim. There may yet be one solution – involving interstellar travel, galactic power and the love of a beautiful game.

Or there’s an alternate description for the cover shown above:

With the literary crossover appeal of Ursula K. Le Guin and China Miéville, Karen Lord is re-envisioning sci-fi for the twenty-first century with the story of a young hero exploring the galaxy-and discovering himself.

Karen Lord returns with The Galaxy Game, a new story and a new set of characters that both enriches its predecessor and stands alone. In this new novel, Rafi — the nephew of the heroine of Best — travels the universe with an intergalactic sports team, encountering strange new worlds and alien cultures.

Lord’s bold new vision of 21st-century science fiction has appeal to both devoted genre fans and readers of literary fiction.

Oh, my does Hollow World by Michael J. Sullivan sound good. The synopsis would be the only thing needed to pull someone in, but Michael’s sort-of post on Goodreads about Hollow World makes someone—like myself—even more appealed to this book. Michael says, “…rediscovered something that had always interested me: the idea that a person’s perception forms their view of the world and that it’s possible for two people to see the same thing but in very different ways … If a person were to travel forward in time and see the future, what would matter more: what the future really was, or how the person from the past perceived it? Could someone find paradise and think it a hellish future and vice versa?” Damn. I need this book now.

Hollow World will be published on April 15th from Tachyon Publications.

From Goodreads:

The future is coming…for some, sooner than others.

Ellis Rogers is an ordinary man who is about to embark on an extraordinary journey. All his life he has played it safe and done the right thing, but when faced with a terminal illness, he’s willing to take an insane gamble. He’s built a time machine in his garage, and if it works, he’ll face a world that challenges his understanding of what it means to be human, what it takes to love, and the cost of paradise. He could find more than a cure for his illness; he might find what everyone has been searching for since time began…but only if he can survive Hollow World.

Welcome to the future and a new sci-fantasy thriller from the bestselling author of The Riyria Revelations.

Defenders by Will McIntosh. There’s no cover yet, and this is one of those cases where the description of the book is enough to get me reading it. I’ll predict that the cover will be eye-catching—because it’s Orbit that will be publishing Defender, out on May 13th. Here is the short story that Defenders was birthed from. Additionally, Defenders has been optioned for film!

Just read the following provided description from Goodreads and tell me these words exactly once you do: “Braiden, thank you for putting this on my radar. Thank you for emptying my pockets. Thank you for everything.”

When Earth is invaded by telepathic aliens, humanity responds by creating the defenders. They are the perfect warriors–seventeen feet tall, knowing and loving nothing but war, their minds closed to the aliens. The question is, what do you do with millions of genetically-engineered warriors once the war is won?

A novel of power, alliances, violence, redemption, sacrifice, and yearning for connection, DEFENDERS presents a revolutionary story of invasion, occupation, and resistance.

Another book that is yet to have a cover is Dan Abnett’s Monstercide, a concept that reminds me of both Cabin in the Woods and Pacific Rim (despite having not watched the latter yet). Monsters and warriors. Comes outs on April 1st from Angry Robot.

From Goodreads:

They started to appear, without warning, out of eternity’s gates, and one by one the great cities of humanity fell…

In the near future, the Earth is suffering a long and protracted death, savaged and mauled by leviathan entities of unknown origin, entities that can only be described as monsters. Perhaps they are the apocalyptic archetypes that have stalked mankind’s memories and nightmares since the cave.

Across the planet, mankind struggles to conceive weapons capable of driving the monsters back before the human race is extinguished entirely. At the very brink, allies are found, warriors potent enough to take the fight to the monsters.

But the warriors bring a dark secret of their own. The fate of mankind is bleaker and stranger than anyone could have imagined…

Okay, I cheat with this one—The Girl With All the Gifts by M. R. Carey—as I’m currently at about page 50 of it. And I’m loving it. Customers at work better watch out in January, as I’ll be shoving this beauty in their faces like the apocalypse is truly tomorrow. It’s also great to be Australian as Orbit/Hachette Australia will be bringing it out on shelves on January 14, whereas Orbit in the UK and US or whatever won’t be until March 27 or June 10—too confusing, all these different dates!

From Goodreads:

A terrible, wonderful, heart-breaking story about hope and humanity and a young girl who tries to save the world.

Melanie is a very special girl. Dr Caldwell calls her ‘our little genius’.

Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don’t like her. She jokes that she won’t bite, but they don’t laugh.

Melanie loves school. She loves learning about spelling and sums and the world outside the classroom and the children’s cells. She tells her favourite teacher all the things she’ll do when she grows up. Melanie doesn’t know why this makes Miss Justineau look sad.

Red Rising by Pierce Brown is another dystopia, yet one that has everyone itching for it already! In Red Rising there’s a caste-like system where people are ordered by eye colour. There’s more to it, but I just can’t… I’m just too excited so I’m going to share the synopsis now and get on with my review copy. (Estelle should have a review up in early January, and I might too.)

Red Rising is out from a few different publishers—in Australia and the UK the book is out from Hodder & Stoughton/Hachette Australia on January 16, and January 28 from Del Rey (Random House) in the US. Let’s just say it’s out in January and be done with it!

From Goodreads:

Darrow is a Helldiver, one of a thousand men and women who live in the vast caves beneath the surface of Mars, generations of people who spend their lives toiling to mine the precious elements that will allow the planet to be terraformed. Just knowing that, one day, people will be able to walk the surface of the planet is enough to justify their sacrifice. The Earth is dying, and Darrow and his people are the only hope humanity has left.

Until the day Darrow learns that it is all a lie. That Mars has been habitable – and inhabited – for generations, by a class of people calling themselves the Golds. A class of people who look down at Darrow and his fellows as slave labour, to be exploited and worked to death without a second thought.

Until the day Darrow, with the help of a mysterious group of rebels, disguises himself as a Gold and infiltrates their command school, intent on taking down his oppressors from the inside.

But the command school is a battlefield – and Darrow isn’t the only student with an agenda.

Ender’s Game meets The Hunger Games in this, the first in an extraordinary trilogy from an incredible new voice.

A third on this list to not have a cover is Pillar to the Sky by William Forstchen. And like the previous two without covers… it needs no cover to draw people in. The synopsis does enough. Pillar to the Sky seems like it will have perspectives from a number of characters, and the synopsis has “violence and heroism, love and death, spellbinding beauty and heartbreaking betrayal” and that’s all I need to read to hook me.

Pillar to the Sky will be out from Tor Books on February 11.

From Goodreads:

From William Forstchen, the New York Times bestselling author of One Second After, comes Pillar to the Sky, a towering epic to rank with Douglas Preston’s Blasphemy and Michael Crichton’s Prey…

Pandemic drought, skyrocketing oil prices, dwindling energy supplies and wars of water scarcity threaten the planet. Only four people can prevent global chaos.

Gary Morgan—a brilliant, renegade scientist is pilloried by the scientific community for his belief in a space elevator: a pillar to the sky, which he believes will make space flight fast, simple and affordable.

Eva Morgan—a brilliant and beautiful scientist of Ukranian  descent, she has had a lifelong obsession to build a pillar to the sky, a vertiginous tower which would mine the power of the sun and supply humanity with cheap, limitless energy forever.

Erich Rothenberg—the ancient but revered rocket-scientist who labored with von Braun to create the first rockets and continued on to build those of today.  A legend, he has mentored Gary and Eva for two decades, nurturing and encouraging their transcendent vision.

Franklin Smith—the eccentric Silicon Valley billionaire who will champion their cause, wage war with Congress and government bureaucracy and most important, finance their herculean undertaking.

The Goddard Space Flight Center—the novel’s pre-eminent hero, it’s enormous army of scientists, engineers and astronauts will design, machine, and build the space elevator. They will fight endless battles and overcome countless obstacles every step of the way.

This journey to the stars will not be easy—a tumultuous struggle filled with violence and heroism, love and death, spellbinding beauty and heartbreaking betrayal.  The stakes could not be higher.  Humanity’s salvation will hang in the balance.

• • •

So.

That’s ten sci-fi novels I am waiting ecstatically for.

But wait—there’s more! Though click on images to be directed to Goodreads pages, as this post is already long enough!

Honourable mentions:

    
   
On Wednesday I will be sharing what fantasy books I am most looking forward to. Until then, keep dreaming about all the goodness that 2014 will be offering us.

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