5 New Science Fiction Books to Watch Out For

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The Book of Joan by Lidia Yuknavitch (18 April 2017)
The bestselling author of The Small Backs of Children offer a vision of our near-extinction and a heroine a reimagined Joan of Arc poised to save a world ravaged by war, violence, and greed, and forever change history, in this provocative new novel.

In the near future, world wars have transformed the earth into a battleground. Fleeing the unending violence and the planet s now-radioactive surface, humans have regrouped to a mysterious platform known as CIEL, hovering over their erstwhile home. The changed world has turned evolution on its head: the surviving humans have become sexless, hairless, pale-white creatures floating in isolation, inscribing stories upon their skin.

Out of the ranks of the endless wars rises Jean de Men, a charismatic and bloodthirsty cult leader who turns CIEL into a quasi-corporate police state. A group of rebels unite to dismantle his iron rule galvanized by the heroic song of Joan, a child-warrior who possesses a mysterious force that lives within her and communes with the earth. When de Men and his armies turn Joan into a martyr, the consequences are astonishing. And no one not the rebels, Jean de Men, or even Joan herself can foresee the way her story and unique gift will forge the destiny of an entire world for generations.

A riveting tale of destruction and love found in the direst of places even at the extreme end of post-human experience Lidia Yuknavitch s The Book of Joan raises questions about what it means to be human, the fluidity of sex and gender, and the role of art as a means for survival.

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Borne by Jeff VanderMeer (25 April 2017)
Am I a person or a weapon? Borne asks Rachel, in extremis.
Yes, you are a person, Rachel tells him. But like a person, you can be a weapon, too.

In Borne, the epic new novel from Jeff VanderMeer, author of the acclaimed, bestselling Southern Reach Trilogy, a young woman named Rachel survives as a scavenger in a ruined, dangerous city of the near future. The city is littered with discarded experiments from the Company a biotech firm now seemingly derelict and punished by the unpredictable attacks of a giant bear. From one of her scavenging missions, Rachel brings home Borne, who is little more than a green lump plant or animal? but exudes a strange charisma. Rachel feels a growing attachment to Borne, a protectiveness that she can ill afford. It s exactly the kind of vulnerability that will upend her precarious existence, unnerving her partner, Wick, and upsetting the delicate balance of their unforgiving city possibly forever. And yet, little as she understands what or who Borne may be, she cannot give him up, even as Borne grows and changes . . . He was born, but I had borne him.

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Walkaway by Cory Doctorow (25 Apr 2017)
Hubert, Seth and Natalie are way too old to be at a Communist party. But in a world wrecked by climate change, in a society owned by the ultra-rich, in a city hollowed out by industrial flight, they have nowhere else to be and nothing better to do.

But there is another way. After all, now that anyone can design and print the basic necessities of life – food, clothing, shelter – from a computer, there is little reason to toil within the system. So, like thousands of others in the mid-21st century, the three of them turn their back on the world of rules, jobs, the morning commute and … walkaway.

It’s a dangerous world out there, the empty lands are lawless, hiding predators – animal and human alike. Still, when the initial pioneer walkaways flourish, the thousands become hundreds of thousands, building what threatens to beome a post-scarcity utopia. But then the walkaways discover the one thing the ultra-rich have never been able to buy: how to beat death.

And now it’s war – a war that will turn the world upside down.

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Void Star by Zachary Mason (27 April 2017)
Not far in the future the seas have risen and the central latitudes are emptying but it’s still a good time to be rich in San Francisco where weapons drones patrol the skies to keep out the multitudinous poor. Irina isn’t rich, not quite, but she does have an artificial memory that gives her perfect recall, and lets her act as a medium between her various employers and their AIs, which are complex to the point of opacity. It’s a good gig, paying enough for the annual visits to the Mayo Clinic that keep her from ageing.

Kern has no such access; he’s one of the many refugees in the sprawling drone-built favelas on the city’s periphery, where he lives like a monk, training relentlessly in martial arts, scraping by as a thief and an enforcer. Thales is from a different world entirely – the mathematically-inclined scion of a Brazilian political clan, he’s fled to L.A. after the attack that left him crippled and his father dead.

A ragged stranger accosts Thales and demands to know how much he can remember. Kern flees for his life after robbing the wrong mark. Irina finds a secret in the reflection of a laptop’s screen in her employer’s eyeglasses. None are safe as they’re pushed together by subtle forces that stay just out of sight.

Vivid, tumultuous and propulsive, Void Star is Zachary Mason’s mind-bending follow-up to his bestselling debut The Lost Books of the Odyssey.

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The Boy on the Bridge by M. R. Carey (4 May 2017)
Once upon a time, in a land blighted by terror, there was a very clever boy.
The people thought the boy could save them, so they opened their gates and sent him out into the world.
To where the monsters lived.

In The Boy on the Bridge, M. R. Carey returns to the world of The Girl With All the Gifts, the phenomenal word-of-mouth bestseller which is now a critically acclaimed film starring Sennia Nanua, Glenn Close, Gemma Arterton and Paddy Considine.

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10 thoughts on “5 New Science Fiction Books to Watch Out For

  1. Thank you for a headsup. These are clearly worth tracking down – I LOVED The Girl With All the Gifts! And Jeff VandeMeer’s writing is awesomely disturbing, while I really enjoyed Makers by Cory Doctorow. Yep. I need to get some extra Easter pressies:).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Sunday Post – 9th April 2017 | Brainfluff

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