One of the great things about literature is that it offers a huge variety of suitable for anyone's particular reading tastes. The same thing can even be said when specifically talking about science fiction and fantasy literature. Speculative fiction comes in many flavors; if one book doesn't match your tastes, chances are there's another one that will. Want to see for yourself? Spin the wheel of Science Fiction & Fantasy and find the right book for you.

 

ALIENS

Netherspace by Andrew Lane and Nigel Foster takes place forty years after aliens have landed on Earth. Mankind received advanced technology from the aliens, namely faster-than-light drives that paved the way for colonizing other planets. The price: live humans. Kara, an ex-army sniper whose sister was used as a bartering chip, understandably dislikes the aliens, but is nevertheless enlisted by the organization that oversees alien trades to undertake a team mission to save colonists that have been kidnapped by aliens and taken to an uncharted planet.

Continue reading >


 

 

5.17 AmericanWar DYSTOPIA

American War by Omar El Akkad shows readers what might happen if America were to turn its most devastating policies and deadly weapons upon itself. It's some years after the Second American Civil War of 2074.  War and plague have turned the country into a dystopian nightmare. Sarat Chestnut and her family are forced to live in a refugee camp after her father is killed. There, Sarat's experiences over the years shape her destiny as a fighter for the resistance against the North.

 

EPIC FANTASY

In Brian Staveley's Skullsworn, a standalone prequel to the Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne series, readers get to see how the assassin Pyrre Lakatur came to be. Her desire was to be a priestess, but to become one she had to pass a brutal trial: Pyrre is given ten days to kill the seven people who are enumerated in an ancient song...including someone she loves.

 

5.17 dreambeforestart GENETIC ENGINEERING

In Anne Charnock's thought-provoking near-future novel Dreams Before the Start of Time, infertility is a thing of the past. Artificial wombs mean that anyone – woman or man - can have a baby. In this gripping family saga that spans five generations, readers will question their own definitions of parent, child, and family when technology claims to have all the answers but instead raises new questions.

 

MILITARY FANTASY

In Inherit the Flame by Megan E. O'Keefe, conman and all-around adventurer Detan Honding finds himself caught between two armies invading the city run by his aunt. To survive, his aunt joins forces with her enemy – the exiled commodore named Thratia – to keep the city from falling back under imperial control. This  isn't going to be easy since the invading imperial force is assisted by dark magicians. Even if Detan's aunt and Thratia defeat the invaders, where does that leave the city when the dust settles?

 

5.17 gatheringedge SPACE ADVENTURE

The Gathering Edge by Sharon Lee & Steve Miller (the twentieth book in the Liaden Universe series) sees Theo Waitley, a spaceship captain, and Bechimo, the self-aware ship to which Theo is bonded, as the targets of murder and capture, respectively. So, they retreat to "safe space," which might not be so aptly named since danger lurks there, too. Things are leaking into this universe from another universe and another time…including a blasted battleship seemingly fleeing a long-lost war and crewed by Theo's ancestors.

 

SPACE OPERA

The High Ground by Melinda Snodgrass revolves around Mercedes, the daughter of the emperor. If Mercedes is to take the throne, she must prove her mettle at the elite training academy of the Solar League's Star Command. Meanwhile, events are leading towards civil war as those who wish to gain power threaten the cadets by leveraging class conflict and provoking alien invasion.

 

5.17 sf_owl SUPERNATURAL/PARANORMAL

The "Owl" of Kristi Charish's Owl and the Electric Samurai is an antiquities thief named Alix Hiboux, who is described as a modern-day "Indiana Jane." She reluctantly navigates the supernatural world hidden to most of us thanks to the hard work of the International Archaeology Association. When the IAA opens a bounty on the two designers of World Quest, an RPG-style game that is way more than it seems, Owl tries to locate the designers before mercenaries do…all while trying to outwit an opponent who is steering events towards a civil war between two powerful supernatural factions.

 

TIME TRAVEL

Lies, Damned Lies, and History by Jodi Taylor is the latest installment of a light-hearted time travel series about a group of academic historians working for St. Mary's Institute of Historical Research. They investigate history firsthand – by being there. Oh, and they often thwart time-travelling terrorists, too. In their latest adventure, Madeleine Maxwell's antics have gone too far and her team is grounded until the end of time. Or are they? (Hint: Probably not, but seeing how is where the fun lies.)

 

URBAN FANTASY

Gin "the Spider" Blanco, the assassin heroine of Snared by Jennifer Estep, is an elemental. That is, she is able to control some of the four elements: Air, Fire, Ice, and Stone. In the southern metropolis of Ashland – where Tennessee, Virginia, and North Carolina meet – Gin tries to gain more information about the Circle, a mysterious faction that runs the city's underworld. But more urgently, Gin is tasked with finding a missing girl and the trail of clues leads to a much bigger mystery.

John DeNardo is the founding editor of SF Signal, a Hugo Award-winning science fiction and fantasy blog featuring news, reviews and interviews. You can follow him on Twitter as @sfsignal