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33 SF/F Books Coming Out In April 2014 That You Need To Read

Now that Spring has arrived, you might be tempted to escape from your house and into the relative warmth and sunlight that’s coming. Don’t forget to check out the next cohort of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror books coming out in April.

1. The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison

What it’s about: The youngest, half-goblin son of the Emperor has lived his entire life in exile, distant from the Imperial Court and the deadly intrigue that suffuses it. But when his father and three sons in line for the throne are killed in an “accident,” he has no choice but to take his place as the only surviving rightful heir.

Entirely unschooled in the art of court politics, he has no friends, no advisors, and the sure knowledge that whoever assassinated his father and brothers could make an attempt on his life at any moment.

Surrounded by sycophants eager to curry favor with the naïve new emperor, and overwhelmed by the burdens of his new life, he can trust nobody. Amid the swirl of plots to depose him, offers of arranged marriages, and the specter of the unknown conspirators who lurk in the shadows, he must quickly adjust to life as the Goblin Emperor. All the while, he is alone, and trying to find even a single friend … and hoping for the possibility of romance, yet also vigilant against the unseen enemies that threaten him, lest he lose his throne–or his life.

Why you should buy it: This book’s already gotten a considerable amount of buzz, and it looks like it’s an interesting story!

Release date: 4/1/2014

2. The Bird Eater by Ania Ahlborn

What it’s about: Twenty years ago, the mysterious death of his aunt left Aaron Holbrook orphaned and alone. He abandoned his rural Arkansas hometown vowing never to return, until his seven-year-old son died in an accident, plunging Aaron into a nightmare of addiction and grief. Desperate to reclaim a piece of himself, he returns to the hills of his childhood, to Holbrook House, where he hopes to find peace among the memories of his youth. But solace doesn’t come easy. Someone—or something—has other plans.

Like Aaron, Holbrook House is but a shell of what it once was, a target for vandals and ghost hunters who have nicknamed it “the devil’s den.” Aaron doesn’t believe in the paranormal—at least, not until a strange boy begins following him wherever he goes. Plagued by violent dreams and disturbing visions, Aaron begins to wonder if he’s losing his mind. But a festering darkness lurks at the heart of Holbrook House… a darkness that grins from within the shadows, delighting in Aaron’s sorrow, biding its time.

Why you should buy it: This one has a striking cover, and it looks like it’s a really interesting horror novel.

Release date: 4/1/2014

3. Dark Eden: A Novel by Chris Beckett

What it’s about: On the alien, sunless planet they call Eden, the 532 members of the Family take shelter beneath the light and warmth of the Forest’s lantern trees. Beyond the Forest lie the mountains of the Snowy Dark and a cold so bitter and a night so profound that no man has ever crossed it.

The Oldest among the Family recount legends of a world where light came from the sky, where men and women made boats that could cross the stars. These ships brought us here, the Oldest say—and the Family must only wait for the travelers to return.

But young John Redlantern will break the laws of Eden, shatter the Family and change history. He will abandon the old ways, venture into the Dark…and discover the truth about their world.

Why you should buy it: This book won the Arthur C. Clarke Award for Best Novel, and it’s now available in the US. Everything we’ve heard about it is excellent.

Release date: 4/1/2014

4. Peacemaker by C. J. Cherryh

What it’s about: At last—Cajeiri has his young guests from the starship, three young folk entranced by weather and trees and creatures with minds of their own. It’s all he dreamed of…

But now safety is foremost: Cajeiri’s grandfather has been assassinated, hostile Assassins Guild invaded Great-uncle’s house, and now Bren Cameron, paidhi-aiji, who was sent to keep the aiji’s son safe, has more than the young guests on his mind. The aiji-dowager knows who’s to blame for the attacks, and they’re going after him.

The fact that the person responsible is in the heart of Assassins’ Guild Headquarters, the most closely guarded fortress on the continent, is not going to stop her.

Bren Cameron has the pieces now, of a decades-old plot that’s been threaded through Guild actions going back before his arrival on the continent, and more—he knows the person responsible is going to find out he knows, and find out within hours.

They have no choice. If they don’t move, the other side will.

And the lives of the boy, the guests, the entire ruling family are at stake.

Why you should buy it: Cherryh’s Foreigner series is still going strong, and this latest installment (#15!) looks like it’ll be mixing in quite a bit of action with some political intrigue.

Release date: 4/1/2014

5. The Revolutions by Felix Gilman

What it’s about: In 1893, young journalist Arthur Shaw is at work in the British Museum Reading Room when the Great Storm hits London, wreaking unprecedented damage. In its aftermath, Arthur’s newspaper closes, owing him money, and all his debts come due at once. His fiancé Josephine takes a job as a stenographer for some of the fashionable spiritualist and occult societies of fin de siècle London society. At one of her meetings, Arthur is given a job lead for what seems to be accounting work, but at a salary many times what any clerk could expect. The work is long and peculiar, as the workers spend all day performing unnerving calculations that make them hallucinate or even go mad, but the money is compelling.

Things are beginning to look up when the perils of dabbling in the esoteric suddenly come to a head: A war breaks out between competing magical societies. Josephine joins one of them for a hazardous occult exploration—an experiment which threatens to leave her stranded at the outer limits of consciousness, among the celestial spheres.

Arthur won’t give up his great love so easily, and hunts for a way to save her, as Josephine fights for survival…somewhere in the vicinity of Mars.

Why you should buy it: The opening of this book references Barsoom, and it has a really cool retro-Victorian feel to it, and it looks like it’ll be an interesting and nostalgic entry in the genre.

Release date: 4/1/2014

6. Marked: A Mindspace Investigations Novel by Alex Hughes

What it’s about: Freelancing for the Atlanta PD isn’t exactly a secure career; my job’s been on the line almost as much as my life. But it’s a paycheck, and it keeps me from falling back into the drug habit. Plus, things are looking up with my sometimes-partner, Cherabino, even if she is still simmering over the telepathic Link I created by accident.

When my ex, Kara, shows up begging for my help, I find myself heading to the last place I ever expected to set foot in again—Guild headquarters—to investigate the death of her uncle. Joining that group was a bad idea the first time. Going back when I’m unwanted is downright dangerous.

Luckily, the Guild needs me more than they’re willing to admit. Kara’s uncle was acting strange before he died—crazy strange. In fact, his madness seems to be slowly spreading through the Guild. And when an army of powerful telepaths loses their marbles, suddenly it’s a game of life or death.

Why you should buy it: Hughe’s Mindspace novels have been fun procedurals, similar to The Dresden Files, and this one looks like it’ll be delving into the characters’ past.

Release date: 4/1/2014

7. The Frangipani Hotel by Violet Kupersmith

What it’s about: A beautiful young woman appears fully dressed in an overflowing bathtub at the Frangipani Hotel in Hanoi. A jaded teenage girl in Houston befriends an older Vietnamese gentleman she discovers naked behind a dumpster. A trucker in Saigon is asked to drive a dying young man home to his village. A plump Vietnamese-American teenager is sent to her elderly grandmother in Ho Chi Minh City to lose weight, only to be lured out of the house by the wafting aroma of freshly baked bread. In these evocative and always surprising stories, the supernatural coexists with the mundane lives of characters who struggle against the burdens of the past.

Based on traditional Vietnamese folk tales told to Kupersmith by her grandmother, these fantastical, chilling, and thoroughly contemporary stories are a boldly original exploration of Vietnamese culture, addressing both the immigrant experience and the lives of those who remained behind. Lurking in the background of them all is a larger ghost—that of the Vietnam War, whose legacy continues to haunt us.

Why you should buy it: It’s not often that you see Vietnamese folk tales mixed in with fantasy, but this collection of stories looks like it’ll be an interesting and very different read for lovers of short fiction.

Release date: 4/1/2014

8. Reign of Ash by Gail Z. Martin

What it’s about: Blaine McFadden endured six long years in the brutal Velant prison colony, exiled for murder. War devastated his homeland of Donderath and destroyed the magic on which the Ascendant Kingdoms relied. Now Blaine and a small group of fellow exiles have returned to a lawless wasteland, where unrestrained magic storms wreak havoc and monsters roam free.

Yet, amidst the chaos, rumors persist of a new magic that could restore the kingdoms. But the key lies with a dangerous, ancient ritual and a group of vanished survivors. Now McFadden’s only hope is a small, desperate, quickly rallied army. Together they must make one last stand knowing that if they fail, the civilization of the Ascendant Kingdoms dies with them.

Why you should buy it: Martin has written some excellent fantasy novels, and this second volume of her The Ascendant Kingdoms Saga continues the adventures after Ice Forged.

Release date: 4/1/2014

9. Tomorrow, the Killing by Daniel Polansky

What it’s about: Once he was a hero of the Great War, and then a member of the dreaded Black House. Now he is the criminal linchpin of Low Town. His name is Warden. He thought he had left the war behind him, but a summons from up above brings the past sharply, uncomfortably, back into focus. General Montgomery’s daughter is missing somewhere in Low Town, searching for clues about her brother’s murder. The General wants her found, before the stinking streets can lay claim to her, too.

Why you should buy it: Daniel Polansky has come highly recommended from a range of authors. His next book in the Low Town series will hopefully break him out of his relative obscurity and into a wider audience.

Release date: 4/1/2014

10. Space Opera, edited by Rich Horton

What it’s about: More than five-hundred pages, over one-quarter of a million words… Space Opera spans a vast range of epic interstellar adventure stories told against a limitless cosmos filled with exotic aliens, heroic characters, and incredible settings. A truly stellar compilation of tales from one of the defining streams of science fiction, old and new, written by a supernova of genre talent.

Why you should buy it: There’s some great authors represented here: Yoon Ha Lee, James Patrick Kelly, Naomi Novik, Kage Baker, Jay Lake, Alastair Reynolds, Ian R. MacLeod and others, all of whom make this book worth the price of admission.

Release date: 4/2/2014

11. Robot Uprisings edited by Daniel H. Wilson and John Joseph Adams

What it’s about: Humans beware. As the robotic revolution continues to creep into our lives, it brings with it an impending sense of doom. What horrifying scenarios might unfold if our technology were to go awry? From self-aware robotic toys to intelligent machines violently malfunctioning, this anthology brings to life the half-formed questions and fears we all have about the increasing presence of robots in our lives. With contributions from a mix of bestselling, award-winning, and up-and-coming writers, and including a rare story by “the father of artificial intelligence,” Dr. John McCarthy, Robot Uprisings meticulously describes the exhilarating and terrifying near-future in which humans can only survive by being cleverer than the rebellious machines they have created.

Why you should buy it: John Joseph Adams has another themed anthology coming out, this time with Daniel H. Wilson (of Robopocalypse fame) and covering all aspects of robot uprisings. We can’t wait for this one.

Release date: 4/8/2014

12. Steles of the Sky by Elizabeth Bear

What it’s about: Re Temur, legitimate heir to his grandfather’s Khaganate, has finally raised his banner and declared himself at war with his usurping uncle. With his companions—the Wizard Samarkar, the Cho-tse Hrahima, and the silent monk Brother Hsiung—he must make his way to Dragon Lake to gather in his army of followers. But Temur’s enemies are not idle; the leader of the Nameless Assassins, who has shattered the peace of the Steppe, has struck at Temur’s uncle already. To the south, in the Rasan empire, plague rages. To the east, the great city of Asmaracanda has burned, and the Uthman Caliph is deposed. All the world seems to be on fire, and who knows if even the beloved son of the Eternal Sky can save it?

Why you should buy it: The final volume in Bear’s latest trilogy brings everything building up to a crescendo. Everything we’ve heard about these books is that they’re astounding, and we can’t wait to see how it ends.

Release date: 4/8/2014

13. Shipstar by Gregory Benford and Larry Niven

What it’s about: Science fiction masters Larry Niven (Ringworld) and Gregory Benford (Timescape) continue the thrilling adventure of a human expedition to another star system that is jeopardized by an encounter with an astonishingly immense artifact in interstellar space: a bowl-shaped structure cupping a star, with a habitable area equivalent to many millions of Earths. And which, tantalizingly, is on a direct path heading toward the same system the human ship is to colonize.

Investigating the Bowl, or Shipstar, the human explorers are separated—one group captured by the gigantic structure’s alien inhabitants, the other pursued across its strange and dangerous landscape—while the mystery of the Shipstar’s origins and purpose propel the human voyagers toward discoveries that transform their understanding of their place in the universe.

Why you should buy it: The sequel to the pair’s other book, Bowl of Heaven once again brings together two Space Opera giants. This one looks like it’ll continue the adventure with some classic space opera.

Release date: 4/8/2014

14. The Word Exchange by Alena Graedon

What it’s about: In the not-so-distant future, the forecasted “death of print” has become a reality. Bookstores, libraries, newspapers, and magazines are things of the past, and we spend our time glued to handheld devices called Memes that not only keep us in constant communication but also have become so intuitive that they hail us cabs before we leave our offices, order takeout at the first growl of a hungry stomach, and even create and sell language itself in a marketplace called the Word Exchange.

Anana Johnson works with her father, Doug, at the North American Dictionary of the English Language (NADEL), where Doug is hard at work on the last edition that will ever be printed. Doug is a staunchly anti-Meme, anti-tech intellectual who fondly remembers the days when people used email (everything now is text or videoconference) to communicate—or even actually spoke to one another, for that matter. One evening, Doug disappears from the NADEL offices, leaving a single written clue: ALICE. It’s a code word he devised to signal if he ever fell into harm’s way. And thus begins Anana’s journey down the proverbial rabbit hole …

Why you should buy it: Physical print is dead? No! This looks like it’ll be a burning look at our online and digital culture. Hopefully, this is a future that we won’t see.

Release date: 4/8/2014

15. The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North

What it’s about: Harry August is on his deathbed. Again.

No matter what he does or the decisions he makes, when death comes, Harry always returns to where he began, a child with all the knowledge of a life he has already lived a dozen times before. Nothing ever changes.

Until now.

As Harry nears the end of his eleventh life, a little girl appears at his bedside. “I nearly missed you, Doctor August,” she says. “I need to send a message.”

This is the story of what Harry does next, and what he did before, and how he tries to save a past he cannot change and a future he cannot allow.

Why you should buy it: This looks like an intriguing Groundhog’s Day style story of rebirth, with a character changing his fate.

Release date: 4/8/2014

16. The Adjacent by Christopher Priest

What it’s about: In the near future, Tibor Tarent, a freelance photographer, is recalled from Anatolia to Britain when his wife, an aid worker, is killed—annihilated by a terrifying weapon that reduces its target to a triangular patch of scorched earth.

A century earlier, Tommy Trent, a stage magician, is sent to the Western Front on a secret mission to render British reconnaissance aircraft invisible to the enemy.

Present day. A theoretical physicist develops a new method of diverting matter, a discovery with devastating consequences that will resonate through time.

Why you should buy it: Priest is known for The Prestige, but his other novels have come highly regarded. Now, two of his books are coming to the US for the first time.

Release date: 4/8/2014

17. The Islanders by Christopher Priest

What it’s about: The Dream Archipelago is a vast network of islands. The names of the islands are different depending on who you talk to, their very locations seem to twist and shift. Some islands have been sculpted into vast musical instruments, others are home to lethal creatures, others the playground for high society. Hot winds blow across the archipelago and a war fought between two distant continents is played out across its waters. THE ISLANDERS serves both as an untrustworthy but enticing guide to the islands, an intriguing, multi-layered tale of a murder and the suspect legacy of its appealing but definitely untrustworthy narrator.

Why you should buy it: The second Priest book released this year is highly acclaimed: it won the 2011 BSFA Award for Best Novel and co-won the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Best Science Fiction Novel in 2012.

Release date: 4/8/2014

18. Operation Shield: A Cassandra Kresnov Novel by Joel Shepherd

What it’s about: In 23 Years on Fire, Cassandra discovered that the technology that created her has been misused in her former home and now threatens all humanity with catastrophe. Returning home to Callay, she finds that Federation member worlds, exhausted by the previous thirty-year-war against the League, are unwilling to risk the confrontation that a solution may require. Some of these forces will go to any lengths to avoid a new conflict, including taking a sledgehammer to the Federation Constitution and threatening the removal by force of Cassandra’s own branch of the Federal Security Agency.

More frighteningly for Sandy, she has brought back to Callay three young children, whom she met on the mean streets of Droze, discovering maternal feelings she had not known she possessed. Can she reconcile her duty as a soldier, including what she must do as a tactician, with the dangers that those decisions will place upon her family—the one thing that has come to mean more to her than any cause she now believes in?

Why you should buy it: The latest in Shepherds series, this looks like it’s an exciting and action-packed thriller.

Release date: 4/8/2014

19. Lagoon by Nnedi Okorafor

What it’s about: When a massive object crashes into the ocean off the coast of Lagos, Nigeria’s most populous and legendary city, three people wandering along Bar Beach (Adaora, the marine biologist- Anthony, the rapper famous throughout Africa- Agu, the troubled soldier) find themselves running a race against time to save the country they love and the world itself… from itself. Lagoon expertly juggles multiple points of view and crisscrossing narratives with prose that is at once propulsive and poetic, combining everything from superhero comics to Nigerian mythology to tie together a story about a city consuming itself.

At its heart a story about humanity at the crossroads between the past, present, and future, Lagoon touches on political and philosophical issues in the rich tradition of the very best science fiction, and ultimately asks us to consider the things that bind us together – and the things that make us human.

‘There was no time to flee. No time to turn. No time to shriek. And there was no pain. It was like being thrown into the stars.’

Why you should buy it: Out in the UK, Okorafor takes us to Lagos, Nigeria for a tale that looks like an outstanding look at science fiction and popular culture, in the backdrop of a city about to be torn apart. Okorafor’s written the highly acclaimed novel Who Fears Death, and this one looks to be just as groundbreaking. We can’t wait.

Release date: 4/10/2014

20. Transhuman by Ben Bova

What it’s about: Luke Abramson, a brilliant cellular biologist who is battling lung cancer, has one joy in life, his ten-year-old granddaughter, Angela. When he learns that Angela has an inoperable brain tumor and is given less than six months to live, Abramson wants to try a new enzyme, Mortality Factor 4 (MORF4), that he believes will kill Angela’s tumor.

However, the hospital bureaucracy won’t let him do it because MORF4 has not yet been approved by the FDA. Knowing that Angela will die before he can get approval of the treatment, Abramson abducts Angela from the hospital with plans to take her to a private research laboratory in Oregon.

Luke realizes he’s too old and decrepit to flee across the country with his sick granddaughter, chased by the FBI. So he injects himself with a genetic factor that will stimulate his body’s production of telomerase, an enzyme that has successfully reversed aging in animal tests.

As the chase weaves across the country from one research facility to another, Luke begins to grow physically younger, stronger. He looks and feels the way he did thirty or forty years ago. Yet his lung cancer is not abating; if anything the tumors are growing faster.

And Angela is dying.

Why you should buy it: Bova is a mainstay in the SF literary world, and his latest takes him from his best known space novels to one that’s a bit more grounded, looking at a fairly near-future tale on genetic engineering.

Release date: 4/15/2014

21. Unwrapped Sky by Rjurik Davidson

What it’s about: A hundred years ago, the Minotaurs saved Caeli-Amur from conquest. Now, three very different people may hold the keys to the city’s survival.

Once, it is said, gods used magic to create reality, with powers that defied explanation. But the magic—or science, if one believes those who try to master the dangers of thaumaturgy—now seems more like a dream. Industrial workers for House Technis, farmers for House Arbor, and fisher folk of House Marin eke out a living and hope for a better future. But the philosopher-assassin Kata plots a betrayal that will cost the lives of godlike Minotaurs; the ambitious bureaucrat Boris Autec rises through the ranks as his private life turns to ashes; and the idealistic seditionist Maximilian hatches a mad plot to unlock the vaunted secrets of the Great Library of Caeli-Enas, drowned in the fabled city at the bottom of the sea, its strangeness visible from the skies above.

Why you should buy it: It’s always nice to see fantasy stories break away from the usual European setting and go for something a bit different. This story looks to draw heavily on Greek mythology for a really exciting story. (And a great cover!)

Release date: 4/15/2014

22. Hollow World by Michael J Sullivan

What it’s about: Ellis Rogers is a seemingly ordinary man who is about to embark on an extraordinary journey. All his life he has played it safe and done the right thing. But when he is faced with a terminal illness, Ellis is willing to take an insane gamble. He’s secretly built a time machine in his garage, and if it works, he’ll face a utopian world that challenges his understanding of what it means to be human, what it takes to love, and what the cost of paradise really might be.

Ellis could find more than a cure for his disease; he might find what everyone has been searching for since time has begun — but only if he can survive the Hollow World.

Why you should buy it: Sullivan’s done a number of epic fantasy novels recently, and this novel looks to be a bit of a change for him, with an interesting character set to travel to some interesting places.

Release date: 4/15/2014

23. The Mayflies by Sara Veglahn

What it’s about: Obsessed with bodies of water and haunted by a chorus of mysterious ladies, the unnamed protagonist desperately searches for what is real and what is a dream. A deep and vivid exploration of the passageway between life and death, The Mayflies is a lyrical and haunting look at loneliness, isolation, and moving on.

Why you should buy it: This looks to be a literary novel with some fantasy elements to it. It looks like a neat premise.

Release date: 4/15/2014

24. The Knowledge: How to Rebuild Our World from Scratch by Lewis Dartnell

What it’s about: If our technological society collapsed tomorrow, perhaps from a viral pandemic or catastrophic asteroid impact, what would be the one book you would want to press into the hands of the postapocalyptic survivors? What crucial knowledge would they need to survive in the immediate aftermath and to rebuild civilization as quickly as possible—a guide for rebooting the world?

Human knowledge is collective, distributed across the population. It has built on itself for centuries, becoming vast and increasingly specialized. Most of us are ignorant about the fundamental principles of the civilization that supports us, happily utilizing the latest—or even the most basic—technology without having the slightest idea of why it works or how it came to be. If you had to go back to absolute basics, like some sort of postcataclysmic Robinson Crusoe, would you know how to re-create an internal combustion engine, put together a microscope, get metals out of rock, accurately tell time, weave fibers into clothing, or even how to produce food for yourself?

Why you should buy it: This isn’t science fiction or fantasy, but it looks like it’ll appeal to the same folks who read such books. It’s easy to remember that *some* of what we read can potentially come true, and it’s always good to be prepared.

Release date: 4/17/2014

25. Heaven’s Queen by Rachel Bach

What it’s about: From the moment she took a job on Captain Caldswell’s doomed ship, Devi Morris’ life has been one disaster after another: government conspiracies, two alien races out for her blood, an incurable virus that’s eating her alive.
Now, with the captain missing and everyone — even her own government — determined to hunt her down, things are going from bad to impossible. The sensible plan would be to hide and wait for things to blow over, but Devi’s never been one to shy from a fight, and she’s getting mighty sick of running.

It’s time to put this crisis on her terms and do what she knows is right. But with all human life hanging on her actions, the price of taking a stand might be more than she can pay.

Why you should buy it: The final volume of Bach’s Paradox series. The first two novels have been a great amount of fun, and this final book looks to wrap up everything with just as much excitement and action.

Release date: 4/22/2014

26. Afterparty by Daryl Gregory

What it’s about: It begins in Toronto, in the years after the smart drug revolution. Any high school student with a chemjet and internet connection can download recipes and print drugs, or invent them. A seventeen-year-old street girl finds God through a new brain-altering drug called Numinous, used as a sacrament by a new Church that preys on the underclass. But she is arrested and put into detention, and without the drug, commits suicide.

Lyda Rose, another patient in that detention facility, has a dark secret: she was one of the original scientists who developed the drug. With the help of an ex-government agent and an imaginary, drug-induced doctor, Lyda sets out to find the other three survivors of the five who made the Numinous in a quest to set things right.

Why you should buy it: We had a chance to see Daryl read a part of this book at the ICFA conference recently in Orlando, Florida, and it’s a fast-paced, witty thriller that takes on near-future neuroscience and drugs.

Release date: 4/22/2014

27. The Forever Watch by David Ramirez

What it’s about: An exciting new novel from a bold up-and-coming sci fi talent, The Forever Watch is so full of twists and surprises it’s impossible to put down.

All that is left of humanity is on a thousand-year journey to a new planet aboard one ship, The Noah, which is also carrying a dangerous serial killer…

As a City Planner on the Noah, Hana Dempsey is a gifted psychic, economist, hacker and bureaucrat and is considered “mission critical.” She is non-replaceable, important, essential, but after serving her mandatory Breeding Duty, the impregnation and birthing that all women are obligated to undergo, her life loses purpose as she privately mourns the child she will never be permitted to know.

When Policeman Leonard Barrens enlists her and her hacking skills in the unofficial investigation of his mentor’s violent death, Dempsey finds herself increasingly captivated by both the case and Barrens himself. According to Information Security, the missing man has simply “Retired,” nothing unusual. Together they follow the trail left by the mutilated remains. Their investigation takes them through lost dataspaces and deep into the uninhabited regions of the ship, where they discover that the answer may not be as simple as a serial killer after all.

Why you should buy it: A new story set on a generation ship, this one has had some interesting buzz so far, and it looks to be a blend of genres deep in space.

Release date: 4/22/2014

28. Valour and Vanity by Mary Robinette Kowal

What it’s about: After Melody’s wedding, the Ellsworths and Vincents accompany the young couple on the their tour of the continent. Jane and Vincent plan to separate from the party and travel to Murano to study with glassblowers there, but their ship is set upon by Barbary corsairs while en route. It is their good fortune that they are not enslaved, but they lose everything to the pirates and arrive in Murano destitute.

Fortunately, one of the gentlemen from the ship is a local banker and arranges for a line of credit and a place to live. Relieved, the Vincents begin the work for which they have come to Italy.

All is proceeding apace until a solicitor arrives at their house and charges them with illegal trespass. Jane and Vincent produce letters from their banking friend, but they are all forgeries, and worse, he has used their forged letters to clean out their funds in England. Now, Jane and Vincent owe money to a number of people in town and are forbidden from travel. They manage to find some small work, but it is obvious to both of them that this path will not maintain them for long.

Instead, Vincent hatches a reckless plan to get their money back. The ensuing adventure is a glorious envisioning of all the best parts of heist narratives, but in a Regency setting with magic.

Why you should buy it: The latest installment in Kowal’s Glamour series, continues her Austen-esque and acclaimed fantasy with a heist thrown in.

Release date: 4/29/2014

29. Peacemaker by Marianne De Pierres

What it’s about: When an imaginary animal from her troubled teenage years reappears, Virgin takes it to mean one of two things: a breakdown (hers!) or a warning. When the dead bodies start piling up around her and Nate, she decides on the latter. Something terrible is about to happen in the park and Virgin and her new partner are standing in its path…

Virgin Jackson is the senior ranger in Birrimun Park - the world’s last natural landscape, overshadowed though it is by a sprawling coastal megacity. She maintains public safety and order in the park, but her bosses have brought out a hotshot cowboy to help her catch some drug runners who are affecting tourism. She senses the company is holding something back from her, and she’s not keen on working with an outsider like Nate Sixkiller.

Why you should buy it: This has been one of the books we’ve been excited about all year, with a near-future take on ecology and society, and those looking to hold the line.

Release date: 4/29/2014

30. Morningside Fall by Jay Posey

What it’s about: The lone gunman Three is gone.

Wren is the new governor of the devastated settlement of Morningside, but there is turmoil in the city. When his life is put in danger, Wren is forced to flee Morningside until he and his retinue can determine who can be trusted.

They arrive at a border outpost to find it has been infested with Weir in greater numbers than anyone has ever seen. These lost, dangerous creatures are harbouring a terrible secret – one that will have consequences not just for Wren and his comrades, but for the future of what remains of the world.

New threats need new heroes…

Why you should buy it: The second book in Posey’s series, this one looks to be an interesting and exciting adventure.

Release date: 4/29/2014

31. Pathfinder Tales: The Redemption Engine by James L. Sutter

What it’s about: When murdered sinners fail to show up in Hell, it’s up to Salim Ghadafar, an atheist warrior forced to solve problems for the goddess of death, to track down the missing souls. In order to do so, Salim will need to descend into the anarchic city of Kaer Maga, following a trail that ranges from Hell’s iron cities to the gates of Heaven itself. Along the way, he’ll be aided by a host of otherworldly creatures, a streetwise teenager, and two warriors of the mysterious Iridian Fold. But when the missing souls are the scum of the earth, and the victims devils themselves, can anyone really be trusted?

Why you should buy it: Sutter’s prior book, Death’s Heretic, was called one of the best fantasies of 2011 by Barnes and Noble, and this latest adventure looks to be just as excellent for Pathfinder fans.

Release date: 4/29/2014

32. XOM-B by Jeremy Robinson

What it’s about: Freeman is a genius with an uncommon mixture of memory, intelligence and creativity. He lives in a worldwide utopia, but it was not always so. There was a time known as the Grind-when Freeman’s people lived as slaves to another race referred to simply as “Master.” They were property. But a civil rights movement emerged. Change seemed near, but the Masters refused to bend. Instead, they declared war. And lost. Now, the freed world is threatened by a virus, spread through bites, sweeping through the population. Those infected change—they are propelled to violence, driven to disperse the virus. Uniquely suited to respond to this new threat, Freeman searches for a cure, but instead finds the source—the Masters, intent on reclaiming the world. Freeman must fight for his life, for his friends and for the truth, which is far more complex and dangerous than he ever imagined.

Why you should buy it: I’ve heard from a friend that this has a mix of zombies and robots. What could possibly go wrong with that?

Release date: 4/29/2014

33. Greg Egan by Karen Burnham

What it’s about: Greg Egan (1961- ) publishes works that challenge readers with rigorous, deeply-informed scientific speculation. He unapologetically delves into mathematics, physics, and other disciplines in his prose, putting him in the vanguard of the hard science fiction renaissance of the 1990s.

A working physicist and engineer, Karen Burnham is uniquely positioned to provide an in-depth study of Egan’s science-heavy oeuvre. Her survey of the author’s career covers novels like Permutation City and Schild’s Ladder and the Hugo Award-winning novella “Oceanic,” analyzing how Egan used cutting-edge scientific theory to explore ethical questions and the nature of humanity. As Burnham shows, Egan’s collected works constitute a bold artistic statement: that narratives of science are equal to those of poetry and drama, and that science holds a place in the human condition as exalted as religion or art.

The volume includes a rare interview with the famously press-shy Egan covering his works, themes, intellectual interests, and thought processes.

Why you should buy it: The latest book in the University of Illinois series, Modern Masters of Science Fiction looks to be an excellent addition to the series, all of which have been excellent thus far. Karen’s an excellent author (and knowledgeable!), so this looks to be a must buy for fans of SF Non-fiction.

Release date: 4/30/2014

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