New Science Fiction Books for January 2013
Wow, it is almost as if we were once again in a golden age for new science fiction books. This year promises to be even richer as genre fiction really takes off with more eBooks available than ever. I love that even the old gems of the sub-genres like space opera get a new polishing with the latest crop of killer science fiction writers. I tried to narrow it down to around 5 or 6 that I felt really shined. But, I will tell you it was hard, there are some real amazing stories out there. Here are my picks for the cream of the crop for January 2013’s best of the new science fiction books released.
A fantastic blend of old-fashion murder thriller with a sci-fi bend, award-winning writer Hamilton just delivers solid storytelling. In a distant future much of the world’s problems have been solved through science, primarily when mankind devised a way to travel light years in seconds. The primary powers that control much of this technology are the North family, a family of clones. The three primary brothers who created the various branches of cloned North members have gone down different paths, ones that may have led to rivalries.
When the viscous murder of a clone is linked to a mass-murder 20 years earlier on another planet, a mystery begins to spin out. Angela, originally charged with the first murder, is determined to prove an alien being is the real murderer. That is if she can stay alive long enough as the hunter soon finds herself prey. Slow to build, the plot soon moves at lightning speed as you find yourself turning pages with bated breath. You can grab your copy of Great North Road by either downloading the Kindle version or ordering a Hardcover copy for delivery.
If you loved the thrill of Ocean’s Eleven and are a Star Wars fan, particularly if you love Hans Solo (as I do) this is a really fun new science fiction book. Hans is, as we know he often was, a bit on the broke side. The action takes place between Star Wars Episodes IV and V, when Hans was still weighing his chances when it comes to the Rebel Alliance. He needed to pay off his debt to Jabba the Hut, so he takes on an option to steal some stolen credits back from the Black Sun for a share of their value. It is a classic caper told with wit and style and many obvious nods to Ocean’s Eleven.
Of course, Hans has to assemble a team since he is hardly the expert at being a thief, he is after all a smuggler. Amongst his band of scoundrels are of course Chewie and the familiar Lando Calrissian. For anyone following the books, Winter and Kell will be familiar characters. The rest are new to the Star Wars universe but each have their place in the caper. If you are looking for space opera shoot’em ups, this one ain’t it. But if you love a good caper, this is one done right. Layers of characterization, twists and turns in the plot and the perfect ending all add up to a fun read. You can download the Kindle version for immediate satisfaction or order the Hardcover for delayed pleasure.
Not being a huge fan of Twilight, I was surprised to find out how much I loved The Host. There are times when science fiction sets out to explore some difficult questions, like what makes us human and how does love connect us. These are the kinds of questions raised and examined in The Host. The earth had been invaded by alien beings, but in a slow and more insidious way. For these “souls” as they call themselves, invade slowly over the years, taking over the planet one human at a time. They infiltrate like a parasite until they completely control the human and all that is left is the host shell of a human body and its alien awareness.
But when Wanderer came into her host body something very different happened. Melanie Stryder whose body she has taken on won’t give in and stays aware even if she can’t always control her body. She refuses to give in and we slowly watch Wonderer become enmeshed in the relationships with Melanie’s brother and a lover that were left behind. The conflict begins when Melanie/Wanderer decide they must find the hidden band of humans, and we soon discover more about these aliens.
We find they are not necessarily the evil beings at first conceived and there may be more to the tangle of emotions we call relationships than we think. A beautifully told tale, The Host will make you both think and appreciate. Kudos to Meyer for writing a new science fiction books that is a stand-alone novel that leaves Twilight in the dust. I agree with several reviewers who said this is science fiction for readers who don’t read science fiction. You can grab your copy of The Host in either Kindle or paperback formats.
For anyone that has enjoyed Coorlim’s fun steampunk adventures of Bartleby and James in And They Called Her Spider, we get to return to that steampunk London with a new heroine. This time we are introduced to Aldora Fisk, a determined gentlewoman who is not about to take London’s current problems with a simper. The fact that she is the fiancée of Bartleby means we are treated to a short cameo of our two favorite adventurers of steampunk London and of course Aldora is spunky and resourceful.
London is under siege from two enormous airships. The poor are starving and on the verge of rebellion, while even the rich feel the pinch of the blockade as food becomes scarce and tempers flare. Our plucky heroine feels she cannot stand idly by and so makes a secret journey to America to enlist the aid of Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla. Will their scheming be enough to bring down the airships and end the blockage before London erupts into violence? It is a fun ride, even if it is a short one. Like And They Called Her Spider, this is a novella written to introduce a new character and in fact a new spin-off series. If this is any indication of what we can expect I am truly looking forward to the first full novel later this year. You can grab your quick read of Sky Pirates Over London in either Kindle or paperback and read it for yourself!
This is the fifth book in the excellent military-themed science-fiction series, The Seafort Saga. The series centers on the evolving adventures of Captain Nicholas Seafort . Suffice to say that I would not recommend jumping into this series mid-stream, but if you have been following the series, you will love this one. The action returns to the world of Hope and in many ways this is a return to the roots of the legend. We see the tale through the eyes of 14 year-old Randy Carr and this POV gives us some insight into Seafort you couldn’t get before when the story was always told from his viewpoint. An angry Randy blames Nick Seafort for the death of his father, Derek Carr, and perhaps even rightly so. The importance of the church’s role comes to the foreground here, and the aliens claim they are now allies and seem willing to prove it. Lots of action and of course plenty of twists and turns throughout this fast-paced action adventure. If this sounds intriguing, like your kind of new science fiction book, I suggest beginning at the start with Midshipmen’s Hope. You won’t be sorry. If you have been following the series all along, you will want to jump in now with your Kindle or paperback edition of Children of Hope.