As we say goodbye to 2011 and feast on the dregs of best-of-the-year lists, let's not forget that reading is a journey and not a destination. That means that there are more books right around the corner. And that means it's time for my monthly peek at forthcoming worthwhile science fiction and fantasy books!
Read SF Signal on December sci-fi and fantasy books.
The Fat Years by Koonchung Chan
In near-future Beijing, an entire month of history has been erased. No one has any memory of it and there are no records that it ever happened. The odd thing? Nobody cares, except for small group of friends who attempt to find out what their government is hiding.
Sisterhood of Dune by Brian Herbert & Kevin J. Anderson
The inheritors of science fictions Dune series, one of the most heralded series in science fiction, have not been shy about exploring indepth the seeds of ideas left behind by Frank Herbert. Here, fans get to take a look at the formation of the Bene Gesserit, the Mentats, the Suk Doctors and more.
Tempting the Gods: The Selected Stories of Tanith Lee Volume 1 by Tanith Lee
Lee is adept at writing inspired, atmospheric stories. This decades-spanning collection of the author's work drives that point home, with stories that offer a surprising variety of tone and imagination.
Faith by John Love
In this promising debut, Love uses a large-scale canvas to tell the story of an ancient alien ship that threatens mankind's star-spanning society...and the only hope might be a ship crewed by a group of sociopaths and psychopaths.
In the Mouth of the Whale by Paul McAuley
McAuley, known for his "big idea" science fiction, and this standalone novel can easily serve as evidence of that. In the Mouth of the Whale deals with post-humans, space colonization, gene wizards, interstellar conquest, millennia-old cults and ancient alien minds. How's that for high concept?
The Rook by Daniel O'Malley
The Rook is a thriller firmly entrenched in the fantastic. In it, a woman who is high-ranking member of a secret organization that battles supernatural forces, awakens to find that she's in someone else's body. A seemingly simple premise, but one that promises to explore the "what if" scenarios that are a hallmark of science fiction.
Judith Merril: A Critical Study by Dianne Newell & Victoria Lamont
Longtime science fiction and fantasy fans will undoubtedly recognize the name Judith Merril as one of the top anthologists of science fiction's early days. But she was an accomplished science fiction author as well, and this ecognize the name Judith Merril as one of the premiere anthoogies Tnonfiction examination of her work promises to be fascinating.
The Islanders by Christopher Priest
The Dream Archipelago is a vast network of islands, each of which has a name and purpose that is difficult to pin down, depending on who you ask. In this literary speculative fiction novel, reality is confused with illusion as a murder mystery is unraveled.
Boneyards by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
Rusch continues her wonderful series of involving Boss, a loner who salvages derelict space vessels from humanity's past. In Boneyards, Boss risks revealing the secrets of dangerous stealth tech to help a friend in need.
Shadows in Flight by Orson Scott Card
If you haven't read Ender's Game, then read that first and find out why it's a book that's still being handed to students across America. The sequels avoid getting stale by focusing on various characters from Ender's Game at different times in their lives. Card's Shadow books, of which this is the latest, focuses on Bean, his family and their desperate attempts to find a cure for the side effects of their genetic anomaly.
I'm envious of anyone who can read more than 10 books in a month. For those folks—and by folks I mean "reading machines"—here are some more titles worth a look:
- A Path to Coldness of Heart by Glen Cook
- Babylon Steel by Gaie Sebold
- Distrust That Particular Flavor by William Gibson
- Everything is Broken by John Shirley
- Expedition to the Mountains of the Moon by Mark Hodder
- In the Lion's Mouth by Michael Flynn
- It Came From Beneath the Sea...Again by Susan Griffith & Clay Griffith
- Power Play by Ben Bova
- Sex and Violence in Zero-G by Allen Steele
- Shadow Ops: Control Point by Myke Cole
- Sins of the Demon by Diana Rowland
- Skirmish by Michelle West
- Surfing the Gnarl by Rudy Rucker
- Taft 2012 by Jason Heller
- The Brownie of Bodsbeck and Other Tales (Collected Works of James Hogg) by James Hogg
- The Chalice of Death: Three Novels of Mystery in Space by Robert Silverberg
- The Great Game by Lavie Tidhar
- The Serpent Sea by Martha Wells
- The Thorn and the Blossom: A Two-Sided Love Story by Theodora Goss
- The Voice from the Edge, Volume 1: I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream by Harlan Ellison (Audiobook read by the author)
- Three Messages and a Warning: Contemporary Mexican Short Stories of the Fantastic edited by Eduardo Jimenez Mayo and Chris N. Brown
John DeNardo is the editor of SF Signal, a group science-fiction and fantasy blog featuring news, reviews and interviews.