Science fiction and fantasy fans are never lacking for good books to read -- any trip to the bookstore will tell you that. The trick is to find the best picks...the books that will most likely ignite the sense of wonder in the reader. That's where these monthly roundups come in. Check out these titles when you head to the bookstores this month.
A Red Sun Also Rises by Mark Hodder
The two bright yellow suns of the planet Ptallaya mean daylight hours last as long as months. On this world, a race of mimics called the Yatsill have fashioned their society after Earth's Victorian-era London, an image direct from the mind of one of its unexpected visitors, Clarissa Stark. With her is Aiden Fleischer, a bookish priest with dark secrets. Together they learn that this seemingly benevolent society has secrets of its own when daylight ends and the red sunrise brings with it evil and destruction.
Alien vs. Alien by Gini Koch
Gini Koch's Kitty Katt series is a great example of the lighter side of science fiction. Told with clever wit and non-stop pacing, this series follows the exploits to the country's top alien exterminators in the American Centaurion Diplomatic Corps. It blends diplomacy, action and sense of humor into a memorable reading experience. In this latest installment, Jeff and Kitty Katt-Martini deal with a conspiracy uncovered thanks to some compromising pictures.
Darkship Renegades by Sarah A. Hoyt
Prometheus Award-winning author Sarah A. Hoyt returns to the universe she created in Darkship Thieves with this exciting follow-up. Here, Athena Hera Sinistra, having recued her star pilot husband, returns to the space habitat Eden to get a fresh start with her life. But upon her arrival, she is arrested for the crime of coming back alive and given a death sentence. Her only way out is to return to Earth and bring back the secret of the Powertrees -- the energy source whose technological origins have been lost to time.
Doctor Who: The Wheel of Ice by Stephen Baxter
The world's favorite time-traveling adventurer who travels in a police box sets forth on a new adventure at the hands of one of science fiction's most adept writers. When the TARDIS lands our heroes on a giant ring of ice and metal near the moon of Saturn, they discover hardships, problems and unbelievable stories about mysterious creatures. It's up to the Doctor and his companions to solve an ancient mystery that threatens this mining facility and all of their lives.
Nell Gwynne's On Land and at Sea by Kage Baker & Kathleen Bartholomew
What do you get when you combine steampunk, secret history and an exciting spy thriller? You get the women of Nell Gwynne’s, a Victorian-era, high-end brothel whose workers are superspies. Nell Gwynne’s serves as a special intelligence service for the Gentlemen Speculative Society (a proto-era version of Company in Baker's popular Company novels) and that activity puts our heroines in all sorts of trouble. But even superspies need rest. Sadly for them -- but happily for readers -- when the women go on holiday, they encounter an eccentric American whose dealings lead to trouble.
Nexus by Ramez Naam
A near-future thriller written by a distinguished computer scientist? Yes please! Nexus introduces a world where a powerful nano-drug can link together human minds. The drug Nexus is seen as a source of power and there are those who want to destroy it and those who want to control it. When a young scientist improves the drug, he is thrust into a world he has never known: one of international espionage and danger.
The Complete John Thunstone by Manly Wade Wellman
Revel in the adventurous exploits of scholar and playboy John Thunstone, who investigates mysterious supernatural events. Thunstone battles vampires, werewolves, ghosts and other supernatural forces -- all for your page-turning reading consumption. Beautifully presented (as all books by Haffner Press are) and comprehensive, The Complete John Thunstone promises to be a fun read.
The Folly of the World by Jesse Bullington
In 1421, Holland -- in the midst of a class war -- was the victim of a catastrophe: the unexpected St. Elizabeth's flood drowned thousands of people, hundreds of towns, and forever changed the face of the map. Set against this stark historical backdrop, Bullington presents the stories of three individuals who hope to profit from this disaster: a deranged thug on the edge of madness, a ruthless con man on the verge of making a fortune, and a half-feral girl who comes between them.
Want more suggestions? Consider the following enticing titles as well:
Ack-Ack Macque by Gareth L Powell
Agatha H. and the Clockwork Princess by Kaja Foglio & Phil Foglio
Andromeda's Fall by William C. Dietz
Battle: The House War by Michelle West
Dinosaur Thunder by James F. David
Fungi by edited by Silvia Moreno-Garcia and Orrin Grey
I'm Not Sam by Jack Ketchum & Lucky McKee
The Circle by Bentley Little
The Hermetic Millennia by John C. Wright
The Hunter from the Woods by Robert McCammon
The Siren Depths by Martha Wells
The Steam Mole by Dave Freer
The Very Best of Barry N. Malzberg
Virus: The Day of Resurrection by Sakyo Komatsu
John DeNardo is the editor of SF Signal, a Hugo Award-winning group science-fiction and fantasy blog featuring news, reviews and interviews. He also likes bagels.