March 29, 2020

September 2013: This Month in Science Fiction

The month of September sees the balancing of light and darkness achieving an uneasy truce with the arrival of the Fall Equinox (I know, I know, Spring for the southern hemisphere), which on this year of our Lord 2013 A.D. arrives on September 22nd at 4:44 PM Eastern Daylight Saving time or 20:44 Universal Time.

But hey, it’s also the time of year that new TV shows get underway. Whilst we’re betwixt the twin movie blockbuster seasons of early summer and the winter holidays, expect such fine shows as Under the Dome, Revolution and Falling Skies to resume. CBS’s The Big Bang Theory also kicks off its 7th season this month on September 26th. Another highly anticipated new show is Marvel Comic’s The Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Dare we hope that it’s half as good as the Avengers?

And as always, keep an eye out for those noble indie sci-fi flicks that often briefly cross our radar on this time of year… for example, have you checked out Europa Report? We couldn’t resist downloading it on pre-rental from Amazon for our birthday, and now we’re glad we did! We watched it three times before it dissolved into the ether.

The next big “gotta see” flick coming up for us is Gravity starring Sandra Bullock, out in theatres on October 4th… could realistic science fiction once again be a “thing?”

Anyways, here are a baker’s half dozen plus of new science fiction tales that seek to right the balance of darkness and light:

1635: The Papal Stakes: By authors Eric Flint and Charles E. Gannon out from Baen Books comes another exciting alternate timeline adventure. Fans of this saga (and this blog) will remember our recent review of Flint & Gannon’s 1636: The Kremlin Games. In The Papal Stakes, we find time-traveler Frank Stone and his wife Giovanna stranded in Rome during a time of danger and intrigue. Rome is in the clutches of Spanish Pope-to-be Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia (real life Pope Alexander VI, of The Borgias fame) as the seated Pope Urban VII flees the city. Naturally, the transplanted United States of Europe must come through to save them, as well as the beleaguered pontiff.

But can the out-of-time residents of Grantsville deliver? Expect historical intrigue juxtaposed with alternate timeline adventure!

Dragon Ship: The appropriately titled sequel to Ghost Ship, Dragon Ship is the latest Liaden Universe adventure out from authors Sharron Lee & Steve Miller. We’ve reviewed one other Liaden Universe novel earlier this year, titled Necessity’s Child. In Ghost Ship, First Class courier pilot Theo Waitley inherits the command (and friendship) of a self aware space ship. Hey, we’ve all been there, right? But as the connection between her and the sentient vessel Bechimo grows, so does a nano-virus that is plaguing the ship’s circuitry. Things come to a head as Theo Waitley encounters rivals from the past. Expect action, intrigue and ship-board jealousy!

Wrath-Bearing Tree: Out this month from Pyr Books, Wrath-Bearing Tree by James Enge is Book Two in the Tournament of Shadows saga. The twin demonic powers of Chaos and Fate are once again ravaging the land of Kaen, and it’s up to our heroes Morlock Ambrosius and Aloe Oaij to set things to rights. But something is rotten across the lands of the Narrow Sea. As they work to protect the lands of the Graith of Guardians, Morlock and Aloe uncover more godslaying demons. Add in a necromancer named Merlin Ambrosius, a demonic being named Andhrakar and a serene but deadly dragon and you’ve got the ingredients for an original and exciting new fantasy and adventure series!

Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance: Captain Ivan Vorpatril may soon join Han Solo, Captain Kirk and Jonathan Grimes as household known names when it comes to starship captains. Well, OK, that last one of novelist A. Bertram Chandler fame isn’t a household name yet, but should be. A New Vorkosigan Novel, the latest soft cover edition of Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance is a reprint of the 2012 hardcover original that we reviewed on this very site earlier this year. Be ready for intergalactic drama, reluctant heroes, and blue-skinned alien women!

The Undead Hordes of Kan-Gul: Its Zombies versus ninjas in this latest book from author Jon F. Merz as novice warrior Ran explores the mysterious island of Nehon. Ran soon comes face to face with a legendary lord employing the legions of the undead; expect action Kung Fu Theatre-style. In his exploits, Ran also rescues the beautiful sorceress Jysal, who is also coveted by the self-appointed zombie lord Kan-Gul for her emergent healing powers.  It’s a tough choice for our hero that ultimately all zombie fighters must confront; how do you slay something that’s already dead? Read The Undead Hordes to, if nothing else, put that seminal playground question to rest once and for all: who would win in a fight between zombies and ninjas?

Under a Graveyard Sky: This one’s’ cool just for the innovative title. Under a Graveyard Sky is the latest Sci-Fi thriller out from John Ringo. Readers will remember our recent review of Ringo’s Tiger by the Tail. In an all too near future, the Smith family of Faith, Stacey, Sophia and Steven must take to the high seas to avoid a zombie plague that’s sweeping the mainland. But no safe harbor is to be found as the plague becomes airborne and begins to infect people indiscriminately. The first installment in a new and exciting saga, expect a new twist on the zombie-apocalypse genre!

And finally, in a small shameless plug of my own work, I’d like to mention the first installment of our new Solar Winds Series, entitled Scorpius Cell is now up for Kindle download on Amazon. Yes, we decided to join the legions of the self-published. Solar Winds is a space opera set in the world of 2222 A.D., as an adventurous girl joins  a group of outlaws who are not what they seem for a raid on a deep space cruise liner. Enjoy, and we’ll be working to bring you more tales from the Solar Winds universe monthly!

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