Zoo City by Lauren Beukes - Zinzi has a Sloth on her back, a dirty online 419 scam habit – and a talent for finding lost things. But when her latest client, a little old lady, turns up dead and the cops confiscate her lastpaycheck, she’s forced to take on her least favourite kind of job: missing persons
An astonishing second novel from the author of the highly-acclaimed Moxyland.
FILE UNDER: Modern Fantasy [Black Magic Noir / Pale Crocodile / Spirit Guardians / Lost Stars]
The War That Came Early: The Big Switch by Harry Turtledove - In this extraordinary World War II alternate history, master storyteller Harry Turtledove begins with a big switch: what if Neville Chamberlain, instead of appeasing Hitler, had stood up to him in 1938? Enraged, Hitler reacts by lashing out at the West, promising his soldiers that they will reach Paris by the new year. They don’t. Three years later, his genocidal apparatus not fully in place, Hitler has barely survived a coup, while Jews cling to survival. But England and France wonder whether the war is still worthwhile.
Weaving together a cast of characters that ranges from a brawling American fighter in the Abraham Lincoln Brigade in Spain to a woman who has seen Hitler’s evil face-to-face, Harry Turtledove takes us into a world shaping up very differently in 1941. The Germans and their Polish allies have slammed into the gut of the Soviet Union in the west, while Japan pummels away in the east. In trench warfare in France, French and Czech fighters are outmanned but not outfought by their Nazi enemy. Then the stalemate is shattered. In England, Winston Churchill dies in an apparent accident, and the gray men who walk behind his funeral cortege wonder who their real enemy is. The USSR, fighting for its life, makes peace with Japan—and Japan’s war with America is about to begin.
A sweeping saga of human passions, foolishness, and courage, of families and lovers and soldiers by choice and by chance, The Big Switch is a provocative, gripping, and utterly convincing work of alternate history at its best. For history buffs and fans of big, blood-and-guts fiction, Harry Turtledove delivers a panoramic clash of ideals as powerful as armies themselves.
World of Warcraft: Thrall: Twilight of the Aspects by Christie Golden - The Hour of Twilight. She’d spoken of it at the meeting, tried to warn the others of it, but the warning had gotten lost; a little bright fragment of . . . something . . . had been briskly swept away like a broken bit of pottery beneath an industrious broom. It was—
She gnawed her lower lip, thinking.
It was the greatest challenge the dragonflights would face, but she did not know against whom they would be fighting. It might come soon . . . or aeons from now. Could it have something to do with the return of Deathwing? Surely it had to . . . did it not? This breaking of the world was one of the worst things that had ever happened to Azeroth.
How could she persuade others of the direness of the situation when she herself could not articulate it? She uttered a little noise of annoyance and frustration.
One thing she knew for certain. There were many pieces missing from this puzzle, but there was one core piece that was necessary before any of the others could fall into place. It was a very strange piece, an unlikely one at best, and she was uncertain as to how he would fit in. She only knew that he had to.
Ysera had seen him, floating in and out of her dreaming. She had thought she understood his role in things, but now, peculiar as it seemed, something—some inner certainty that even she did not fully understand—was leading her to think she had not seen the full breadth of his contribution to Azeroth.
He was not a dragon. But he had the interests of the dragonflights in his heart—whether he knew it or not. He straddled worlds—but did not seek to rule or command or destroy them. He was unique.
She tilted her head, let the wind play with her long green hair. Perhaps that was why he fit in. Even the Aspects were not singular beings, although each had unique abilities. Not one but five there had been at the beginning, when the titans had come and shared their power for the good of Azeroth. Four there were now, but there would soon be five again, when the blues determined how to choose the one who would lead them.
But there was only one like this being.
There was only one Thrall.
Star Wars: Choices of One by Timothy Zahn - From #1 New York Times bestselling author Timothy Zahn comes a brand-new Star Wars adventure, set in the time between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back and featuring the young Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Leia Organa, and the beloved Mara Jade.
The fate of the Rebellion rests on Luke Skywalker’s next move.
But have the rebels entered a safe harbor or a death trap?
Eight months after the Battle of Yavin, the Rebellion is in desperate need of a new base. So when Governor Ferrouz of Candoras Sector proposes an alliance, offering the Rebels sanctuary in return for protection against the alien warlord Nuso Esva, Luke, Leia, Han, and Chewie are sent to evaluate the deal.
Mara Jade, the Emperor’s Hand, is also heading for Candoras, along with the five renegade stormtroopers known as the Hand of Judgment. Their mission: to punish Ferrouz’s treason and smash the Rebels for good.
But in this treacherous game of betrayals within betrayals, a wild card is waiting to be played.
Bioshock: Rapture by John Shirley - It's the end of World War II. FDR's New Deal has redefined American politics. Taxes are at an all-time high. The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki has brought a fear of total annihilation. The rise of secret government agencies and sanctions on business has many watching their backs. America's sense of freedom is diminishing . . . and many are desperate to take there freedom back.
Among them is a great dreamer, an immigrant who pulled himself from the depths of poverty to become one of the wealthiest and admired men in the world. That man is Andrew Ryan, and he believed that great men and women deserve better. And so he set out to create the impossible, a utopia free from government, censorship, and moral restrictions on science--where what you give is what you get. He created Rapture---the shining city below the sea.
But as we all know, this utopia suffered a great tragedy. This is the story of how it all came to be . . .and how it all ended.
Out of the Waters by David Drake - The second novel of The Books of the Elements.
The wealthy Governor Saxa, of the great city of Carce, has generously and lavishly subsidized a theatrical/religious event. During this elaborate staging of Hercules founding a city on the shores of Lusitania, strange and dark magic turns the panoply into a chilling event. The sky darkens and the waves crash in the flooded arena. A great creature rises from the sea: a huge, tentacled horror on snake legs. It devastates the city, much to the delight of the crowd. A few in the audience, although not Saxa, understand that this was not mere stagecraft, but something much darker and more dangerous. If all signs are being read right, this illusion could signify a dreadful intrusion of supernatural powers into the real world. Saxa’s son, Varus, has been the conduit for such an event once before.
This new novel in David Drake’s chronicles of Carce, The Books of the Elements, is as powerful and elaborate as that fantastic theatrical event, a major fantasy for this year.
The Knowledge of Good & Evil by Glenn Kleier - On December 4, 1968, world-famous theologian Father Louis Merton visited the ancient Dead City of Polonnaruwa, Ceylon, entered the Cave of the Spirits of Knowledge, and experienced a vision. It’s claimed he found a backdoor to the Afterlife, that he looked into the Mind of God and escaped with a secret so powerful it could change all humanity…bring wars to a standstill…end forever the age-old hatreds between races, creeds and cultures.
Six days later as Merton prepared to announce his discovery at a religious conference, he suffered a horrific death under mysterious circumstances. But the secret did not die with him. Merton left behind a journal…
Years later, beautiful psychologist Angela Weber and her troubled fiancé, Ian Baringer, are on the hunt for Merton’s long-lost journal and its door to the Afterlife. Angela, an agnostic, wants to help Ian heal the wounds of a traumatic childhood plane crash that took the lives of his parents. Ian, a defrocked priest, no longer trusts in religion’s promise of eternal life. He must know for certain if he will ever see his parents again, and is driven to find out firsthand what lies beyond, and what it holds for mankind.
Together, Angela and Ian plunge headlong into a global chase, pursued by a shadowy cult, dead bodies and destruction in their wake. If Ian and Angela succeed, they will defy the gates of heaven and hell to learn a secret hidden from the world since the dawn of time . . .
The Knowledge of Good & Evil.
This Shared Dream by Kathleen Ann Goonan - Kathleen Ann Goonan introduced Sam Dance and his wife, Bette, and their quest to alter our present reality for the better in her novel In War Times (winner of the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Best Novel and ALA's Best Science Fiction Novel of 2008). Now, in This Shared Dream, she tells the story of the next generation.
The three Dance kids, seemingly abandoned by both parents when they were younger, are now adults and are all disturbed by memories of a reality that existed in place of their world. The older girl, Jill, even remembers the disappearance of their mother while preventing the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
Goonan has created a new kind of utopian SF novel, in which the changes in history have created a present world that is in many ways superior to our own, while in other worlds people strive to prevent their own erasure by restoring the ills to ours. This Shared Dream is certainly the most provocative SF speculation of the year, and perhaps the decade.
Half-Made World by Felix Gilman - A fantastical reimagining of the American West which draws its influence from steampunk, the American western tradition, and magical realism
The world is only half made. What exists has been carved out amidst a war between two rival factions: the Line, paving the world with industry and claiming its residents as slaves; and the Gun, a cult of terror and violence that cripples the population with fear. The only hope at stopping them has seemingly disappeared—the Red Republic that once battled the Gun and the Line, and almost won. Now they're just a myth, a bedtime story parents tell their children, of hope.
To the west lies a vast, uncharted world, inhabited only by the legends of the immortal and powerful Hill People, who live at one with the earth and its elements. Liv Alverhyusen, a doctor of the new science of psychology, travels to the edge of the made world to a spiritually protected mental institution in order to study the minds of those broken by the Gun and the Line. In its rooms lies an old general of the Red Republic, a man whose shattered mind just may hold the secret to stopping the Gun and the Line. And either side will do anything to understand how.
The Robot by Paul E. Watson - Science-loving Gabe and girl-crazy Dover are best friends. In fact, they're practically each other's only friends. So when Gabe's parents leave town for the weekend, he lets Dover convince him to break into his father's basement laboratory-even though he knows it's off-limits under penalty of lifelong grounding. Once inside, the boys make a shocking discovery, one that will turn a boring weekend into a hilarious madcap adventure: a smoking hot robot!
While Gabe and Dover argue over "Trina," the robot flees the lab. The chase is on! Before the day is over, she'll expose a traitorous plot, catapult two geeky freshmen to high school fame, and try to assassinate Dr. Phil!
Ripple by Mandy Hubbard - Lexi is cursed with a dark secret. Each day she goes to school like a normal teenager, and each night she must swim, or the pain will be unbearable. She is a siren - a deadly mermaid destined to lure men to their watery deaths. After a terrible tragedy, Lexi shut herself off from the world, vowing to protect the ones she loves. But she soon finds herself caught between a new boy at school who may have the power to melt her icy exterior, and a handsome water spirit who says he can break Lexi's curse if she gives up everything else. Lexi is faced with the hardest decision she's ever had to make: the life she's always longed for - or the love she can't live without?
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