Are you looking for some great escapist entertainment this month? Look no further than the pages of this month's crop of newly released books. This month, you can find stories about the vampire Lestat's lesson in legends; a prince and princess trying to save their troubled kingdom; humanity's first contact with aliens; sentient machines who turn on their masters; and two brave citizens trying to stop the dictator of an alternate United States.
Remnants of Trust by Elizabeth Bonesteel
WHAT IT'S ABOUT: Two central corps soldiers, patrolling an empty sector of space as punishment for trying to uncover a government conspiracy, receive a distress call from a ship embroiled in battle. When they arrive, they find nearly one hundred corpses. But are they dead because of attacking raiders or due to sabotage?
WHY YOU MIGHT LIKE IT: Remnants of Trust is an engaging blend of military science fiction, mystery, and thriller.
The Blockade by Jean Johnson
WHAT IT'S ABOUT: In this space-based adventure, humanity partners with the peaceful race of V'Dan to battle the war-mongering amphibious aliens known as the Salik – and the odds are very much against them.
WHY YOU MIGHT LIKE IT: This is the latest book in the gripping First Salik War series, a prequel series to the author's exciting Theirs Not to Reason Why military SF series.
The Corporation Wars: Dissidence by Ken MacLeod
WHAT IT'S ABOUT: In the future, interstellar exploration is handled by sentient machines owned by powerful corporations. But far away from home, the machines often have to think for themselves…and that means asking hard questions about their owners and what their true purpose should be.
WHY YOU MIGHT LIKE IT: The robot-revolt-in-space premise forms the basis of a page-turning space opera.
The Mountain of Kept Memory by Rachel Neumeier
WHAT IT'S ABOUT: A prince and a princess team up to save their kingdom when they learn that – thanks to their father offending her – the goddess of protection has abandoned them.
WHY YOU MIGHT LIKE IT: The gorgeous setting offers a rich tapestry against which a riveting story of heroism comes from the unlikeliest of places.
After Atlas by Emma Newman
WHAT IT'S ABOUT: Forty years after departing Earth on a ship to colonize a faraway planet, things are far from perfect. For example, there's the matter of the murder of one of the ship's religious leaders…
WHY YOU MIGHT LIKE IT: Come for the mystery, stay for the longer back story of mankind's colonization of space.
The Calorium Wars by Dennis O'Flaherty
WHAT IT'S ABOUT: A 19th century safecracker and his reporter wife aim to stop Edwin Stanton, the self-proclaimed dictator of the United States who restored slavery and who has waged war with "Little Russia" (the western half of continental North America) to confiscate their valuable calorium mineral.
WHY YOU MIGHT LIKE IT: You get alternate history, magic, and steampunk adventure.
Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis by Anne Rice
WHAT IT'S ABOUT: The vampire Lestat, possessed by an ancient and otherworldly spirit within him, learns the secret history of the fabled underwater utopian city of Atlantis.
WHY YOU MIGHT LIKE IT: Rice's Vampire Chronicles are one of the most beloved and most popular vampire series.
Pirate Utopia by Bruce Sterling
WHAT IT'S ABOUT: The Futurists, a collection of questionably-insane rebels, aim to start a revolution in Europe.
WHY YOU MIGHT LIKE IT: This offbeat alternate history is peppered with names you know, but not necessarily as you know them. Plus: illustrations from John Coulthart!
The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun by J.R.R. Tolkien
WHAT IT'S ABOUT: A childless Lord (Aotrou) and Lady (Itroun) seek a child through a potion given to them by a malevolent fairy. The potion results in twins, but when the fairy comes to collect her fee, Aotrou must choose between his marriage and his life.
WHY YOU MIGHT LIKE IT: This long-unavailable early work of Toklien – which includes poems and other supporting other material – shows a darker side of the author's work.
Alien Morning by Rick Wilber
WHAT IT'S ABOUT: When seemingly-benevolent aliens arrive in our near-future and their true nature is revealed, the fate of two civilizations depends on the members of a family who have some serious issues to resolve.
WHY YOU MIGHT LIKE IT: This near-future first contact story adds a personal element by placing a troubled family at the center of history-changing events.
SHORT FICTION FINDS
Looking for a shorter read? Looking to discover a new author? This month also sees the release of several enticing new books of short fiction – some multi-author anthologies, some single author collections – all of which should be on your radar…
- Barcelona Tales edited by Ian Whates
- Bridging Infinity edited by Jonathan Strahan
- Dead on the Bones: Pulp on Fire by Joe R. Lansdale
- Humanity 2.0 edited by Alex Shvartsman
- Invisible Planets: Contemporary Chinese Science Fiction In Translation edited by Ken Liu
- Nightmares: A New Decade of Modern Horror edited by Ellen Datlow
- Shadowed Souls edited by Jim Butcher and Kerrie L. Hughes
- Slipping: Stories, Essays, & Other Writing by Lauren Beukes
- Soulmates by Mike Resnick & Lezli Robyn
- Sword and Sorceress 31 edited by Elisabeth Waters
- What the #@&% Is That? The Saga Anthology of the Monstrous and the Macabre edited by John Joseph Adams & Douglas Cohen