May 30, 2020

July 2013: This Month in Science Fiction

The mid-point of the year, and with it the middle of the summer blockbuster season, is nigh. This year has brought no less than three each smashed moon sightings in the films Oblivion, Star Trek: Into Darkness and Man of Steel. Just what is it that Hollywood has against planetary companions, anyway? It almost seems that having a smashed moon is mandatory these days, whether the planet of discussion is Qo’noS (I say Kronos), Krypton or Earth. Krypton does get a pass, as Superman fans know that the Kryptonian supervillian Jax-Ur smashed its moon long before it was cool to do so. But hey, you’re here as the smart and savvy science fiction shopper to hear tales of what’s new and hip in all that is Sci-Fi. Here are just some of the hot new July titles to watch out for;

The Forerunner Factor: A 1980s classic, The Forerunner Factor collects two classic tales by Andre Norton in one edition, Forerunner and Forerunner, The Second Venture. Simsa is an orphan and an outcast on the planet Kuxortal. Her voyage of discovery and belonging amid grief and loss also has huge implications for civilizations across the galaxy. You’ll never forget the Forerunner saga!


Dog & Dragon: It’s back to the realm of the Lyonesse in this sword and sorcery adventure by Dave Freer. Dog & Dragon tells the tale of Young Meb, cast as the reluctant heroine, and the great Dragon Fionn. Shadow armies, evil rulers, wizardry, and yes, lots of dragons are in store in this epic summer adventure.


Future Imperfect: Do you fear the impeding clone apocalypse? Author Keith Laumer will give you one more reason to worry at night. Future Imperfect is a full-length novel plus short stories by the master. Mal is being pursued by entities that aren’t entirely human in a post-apocalyptic America. What’s happening to the face of the Earth? Who is vying for control over its shattered remnants? Be prepared for clones, alien invaders, organ-stealing gangs and more!


Spellbound: Magic meets mystery in this Book II of the Grimnoir Chronicles. The Knights of the Grimnoir have protected the Earth for almost a century… but happens when an assassination attempt on the life of president Franklin Delano Roosevelt is blamed on them? The mystery places private eye Jake Sullivan, who is also a card carrying Knight of the Order of the Grimnoir, at the center of the political maelstrom. Can he clear his name and the magical order’s good standing? And to make matters worse, the Power that spawned this magical alternate reality has just called it quits because a world shattering predator has just made its presence known… standby for the ultimate showdown!


Monster Hunter Legion: It’s a hard life, being a Monster Hunter for Hire… but that’s just what fans crave in this latest installment from the best-selling series by Larry Correia. Monster Hunter Legion tells the tale of a Las Vegas Convention of Monster Bounty Hunters gone bad, as a secret experiment from the halcyon days of World War II is unleashed into the wild. Even Godzilla would be stopped dead in his tracks as Monster Hunters International, led by veteran bounty hunter Owen Zastava Pitt must save Sin City in a memorable desert showdown.


When Diplomacy Fails: Political intrigue of galactic proportions is in store in this latest action novel by Michael Z. Williamson. When diplomacy fails, Alex Marlow of Ripple Creek Security jumps into action. That’s fine by the good people at Ripple Creek; hey, they could use the publicity. And you can always count on the political powers that be to schedule a high profile diplomat in such a way as to have every galactic assassin awaiting their visit. The politician in question is Joy Herman Highland, and thrills and action abound as Alex must not only protect Joy, but unravel a conspiracy of star-spanning implications.


Constellation: Fans of the Liaden Universe can rejoice as short tales created over the years by co-authors Sharon Lee & Steve Miller are collected for the first time under one cover. It’s all here; the world building and the immersive adventure that followers of the Liaden universe have come to adore. Devotees of this space will also remember our recent review of Necessity’s Child, also from the same saga. Contained within are 17 stories that not only serve as a great gateway primer, but also gain long-time fans new insight to all that is Liaden.


Noah’s Boy: The sequel to Draw One in the Dark and Gentleman Takes a Chance, Noah’s Boy by Sarah A. Hoyt tells the tale of shape shifters in a time of Dragons. Lion-shifter Rafiel Trall must walk the fine line between the realms of the humans and the shape shifters. But the balance of power is set to be tipped when his friend and dragon-shifter Tom Ormson finds himself appointed as the new Great Sky Dragon. This brings our shape-shifting heroes and heroines at odds with the Dragon Syndicate and the seductive female dragon Iam. Expect intrigue, magic, dragons and more!


Wolf in Shadow: A startling mystery lies in wait deep below the storied streets of London’s East End. Beneath this global power hub, daemons and monsters bide their time, vying for world domination. But as the above ground body count mounts, the Commission must send in its top agents to deal with the growing menace. Enter enforcers Karla and Jameson into this dangerous underground world. The key to the puzzle; Rhian, a down on her luck Welsh girl who finds herself at the center of the power struggle in this bizarre universe. Expect swashbuckling action and romantic twists in this latest opus by John Lambshead!


Beginnings: Devotees of the Honorverse can rejoice as author David Weber returns to the award-winning saga with Worlds of Honor #6. Beginnings contains no less than five new Honorverse novellas by Timothy Zahn, Joelle Presby, Charles E. Gannon and two by David Weber himself. Action and adventure abound in this flagship saga in the very latest in military science fiction. First pioneered by Robert Heinlein in classic novels such as Starship Troopers, Beginnings makes a great summer read to add to your list, both as a standalone intro to the saga, and for longtime Honorverse fans.

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