It’s pretty bleak out there right now. You’re gonna want to avoid the news at all costs in fact. Why not get lost in a good book? And regular fiction ain’t gonna cut it; it’s time to get lost in the worlds of speculative fiction. I’m talking about a healthy dose of science fiction and fantasy, so here are some great new and forthcoming stories to take you away from all the bad stuff.
From sci-fi master Peter F. Hamilton and Gareth F. Powell comes a fun little novella that packs the same epic story power of a long novel. Our main character is Amahle who is one of the eponymous light chasers and spends her time traveling the universe, all alone except for her accompanying AI, as she trades trinkets for memory collars and getting the most she can vicariously from these past lives. But there is a voice she hears more than once that appears to be talking directly to her somehow.
From bestselling author, Gene Wolfe comes the first two books of the tetralogy collected in Shadow & Claw. In The Shadow of the Torturer: on the world of Urth there is the Guild of Torturers where a young man named Severian is apprenticed to them, but his world is completely upended when he commits the ultimate wrong of the guild by showing mercy to a victim. In the second book, The Claw of the Conciliator, Severian continues with his banishment when he learns of an ancient relic he must find because it is his destiny.
James Rollins has delighted mystery-thriller readers for over a decade and now he returns to the fantasy world he used to write in with The Starless Crown. There are four characters mysteriously drawn together: an imprisoned thief, a drunken prince, a broken soldier, and a gifted student who predicts an oncoming apocalypse. How can they stop? Will they be able to? And who will claim the starless crown?
Al MacBharrais is a magician of ink and sigil magic who can cast powerful spells, but he is also one of a number of sigil agents to seek to protect those in need from demons and monsters across the world. When a fellow agent goes missing, it’s up to Al to leave the comfort and familiarity of Glasgow and travel down under to Australia to pick up the trail and see if he can find out what befell his comrade and solve the mystery behind the disappearance.
Aris is a scientist living in a world very different than ours. The Last War destroyed most of her planet and what remained was able to rebuild a little in four cities across the globe. But their goal is never to repeat the mistakes of the past and so every four years everyone undergoes “tabula rasa” where their minds are wiped and they begin life anew. Aris is a huge supporter of tabula rasa and looks forward to her new existence each time, but she keeps having this recurring dream that seems like it might be something from her distant past, so she must begin her quest to find what it is all about.
A hard reboot can mean a couple of things: it can be something you do to your computer when you are having problems and everything crashes, or it can mean state-sponsored battle-droid prizefights. The book from Django Wexler is, fortunately, the latter. Kas, through ignorance and some bad choices, has ended up wagering a large some of not her money on the result of an arena battle featuring manned robots, and she soon finds herself pulled into a world she never intended to get into.