Tuesday, August 1, 2017

New Books Spotlight

Welcome to another edition of the New Books Spotlight, where each month or so we curate a selection of 6 forthcoming books we find notable, interesting, and intriguing. It gives us the opportunity to shine a brief spotlight on some stuff we're itching to get our hands on.

What are you looking forward to? Anything you want to argue with us about? Is there something we should consider spotlighting in the future? Let us know in the comments!

Gailey, Sarah. Taste of Marrow [Tor.com Publishing, 2017]

Publisher's Description:
Campbell finalist Sarah Gailey's hippo mayhem continues in Taste of Marrow, the sequel to rollicking adventure River of Teeth.

A few months ago, Winslow Houndstooth put together the damnedest crew of outlaws, assassins, cons, and saboteurs on either side of the Harriet for a history-changing caper. Together they conspired to blow the dam that choked the Mississippi and funnel the hordes of feral hippos contained within downriver, to finally give America back its greatest waterway.

Songs are sung of their exploits, many with a haunting refrain: "And not a soul escaped alive."

In the aftermath of the Harriet catastrophe, that crew has scattered to the winds. Some hunt the missing lovers they refuse to believe have died. Others band together to protect a precious infant and a peaceful future. All of them struggle with who they've become after a long life of theft, murder, deception, and general disinterest in the strictures of the law. 
Why We Want It: The follow up to Gailey's excellent River of Teeth. We loved it.  We want more of it. At this point we've moved beyond the awesomeness of just having hippos in America and we need the story to be excellent. Gailey delivered the goods in River of Teeth and I have no doubt she'll deliver the goods again in Taste of Marrow.

Howard, Kat. An Unkindness of Magicians [Saga Press, 2017]

Publisher's Description
There is a dark secret that is hiding at the heart of New York City and diminishing the city’s magicians’ power in this fantasy thriller by acclaimed author Kat Howard.

In New York City, magic controls everything. But the power of magic is fading. No one knows what is happening, except for Sydney—a new, rare magician with incredible power that has been unmatched in decades, and she may be the only person who is able to stop the darkness that is weakening the magic. But Sydney doesn’t want to help the system, she wants to destroy it.

Sydney comes from the House of Shadows, which controls the magic with the help of sacrifices from magicians.

Why We Want It: Howard's debut, Roses and Rot, just missed out on being in my top 9 novels of 2016. It was a stunning debut, assured and confident and - not to put too fine a point on it, magical. I'm excited to see what Howard has in store for us next.

Leckie, Ann. Provenance [Orbit, 2017]

Publisher's Description:
Following her record-breaking debut trilogy, Ann Leckie, winner of the Hugo, Nebula, Arthur C. Clarke and Locus Awards, returns with an enthralling new novel of power, theft, privilege and birthright. 

A power-driven young woman has just one chance to secure the status she craves and regain priceless lost artifacts prized by her people. She must free their thief from a prison planet from which no one has ever returned.

Ingray and her charge will return to her home world to find their planet in political turmoil, at the heart of an escalating interstellar conflict. Together, they must make a new plan to salvage Ingray's future, her family, and her world, before they are lost to her for good. 
Why We Want It: Ancillary Justice (my review) won the Hugo, Nebula, Clarke, and Locus awards. Ancillary Sword and Mercy were finalists for each of those awards (and both winning the Locus Award for Science Fiction). The good news is the novels more than lived up to the hype and that Leckie has more than earned the accolades she has earned for her fiction. A new novel from Ann Leckie is a cause for celebration, and - I believe this is set in her Imperial Radch milieu, though not specifically tied to the previous three novels.

Newitz, Annalee. Autonomous [Tor, 2017]

Publisher's Description
The highly anticipated science fiction debut from the founder of io9! 

Earth, 2144. Jack is an anti-patent scientist turned drug pirate, traversing the world in a submarine as a pharmaceutical Robin Hood, fabricating cheap scrips for poor people who can’t otherwise afford them. But her latest drug hack has left a trail of lethal overdoses as people become addicted to their work, doing repetitive tasks until they become unsafe or insane.

Hot on her trail, an unlikely pair: Eliasz, a brooding military agent, and his robotic partner, Paladin. As they race to stop information about the sinister origins of Jack’s drug from getting out, they begin to form an uncommonly close bond that neither of them fully understand.

And underlying it all is one fundamental question: Is freedom possible in a culture where everything, even people, can be owned? 
Why We Want It: Since Newitz does not yet have a track record as a science fiction novelist, I fall back to the answer I could give to each work on this list: It looks awesome and I think I'd like to read it. There's been a certain amount of hype building for Autonomous and my hope is that the book will live up to it.

Older, Malka. Null States [Tor.com Publishing, 2017]
Publisher's Description:
Null States continues Campbell Award finalist Malka Older's Centenal Cycle, the trilogy beginning with Infomocracy 

The future of democracy is about to implode.

After the last controversial global election, the global infomocracy that has ensured thirty years of world peace is fraying at the edges. As the new Supermajority government struggles to establish its legitimacy, agents of Information across the globe strive to keep the peace and maintain the flows of data that feed the new world order.

In the newly-incorporated DarFur, a governor dies in a fiery explosion. In Geneva, a superpower hatches plans to bring microdemocracy to its knees. In Central Asia, a sprawling war among archaic states threatens to explode into a global crisis. And across the world, a shadowy plot is growing, threatening to strangle Information with the reins of power.
Why We Want It: Infomocracy was on my list of the top books of 2016. Null States is the sequel. I loved Older's concept of micro-democracy and Information, and I immediately wanted to start on Null States after finishing Informocracy. I'll have the chance this September.

Strahan, Jonathan (editor). Infinity Wars [Solaris, 2017]
Publisher's Description

We have always fought. War is the furnace that forges new technologies and pushes humanity ever onward. We are the children of a battle that began with fists and sticks, and ended on the brink of atomic Armageddon. Beyond here lies another war, infinite in scope and scale.

But who will fight the wars of tomorrow? Join Elizabeth Bear, Indrapramit Das, Aliette de Bodard, Garth Nix, An Owomoyela, Peter Watts, and many, many more in an exploration of the furthest extremes of military science fiction… 
Why We Want It: With his Infinity Project, Jonathan Strahan has been putting out solid anthology after solid anthology. Infinity Wars is the sixth and presumably penultimate entry in the Infinity Project (so presumed because next year's title is Infinity's End) and after Meeting Infinity and Bridging Infinity, I can't wait to see what stories Strahan has gathered together for Infinity Wars.

POSTED BY: Joe Sherry - Co-editor of Nerds of a Feather, 2017 Hugo Award Finalist for Best Fanzine. Writer / Editor of the mostly defunct Adventures in Reading since 2004. Minnesotan.