Continuing with my semi-regular piece that features some new sci-fi and fantasy releases, I found a handful of books I think I would definitely fall in love with in this month of February, where love is in the air. I’ve been reading, reading, reading from my last batch of promising books, and look forward to offering you some riveting reviews. I just reviewed Amy S. Foster’s The Rift Uprising, a book I really enjoyed that appeared on my October New Release list. February has some promising new releases, too.
Universal Harvester by John Darnielle
It’s the mid 1990s and Jeremy works at the local video store. One day, a video is returned with a weird complaint, and Jeremy investigates to find that there is something going on in his quiet, small town. This book may turn out to be horror, too, but the premise sounds like great fun. This is Darnielle’s second novel. Universal Harvester is already out and boasting some good customer reviews on Amazon.
The Stars Are Legion by Kameron Hurley
This one is totally intriguing to me. The premise revolves around a fleet of world ships, which I assume means that these people live on them their whole lives. There is no planet to call home as the Legion travels between the stars. The ships are dying, and in the tradition of the humankind, there are constant battles for control and power. The protagonist is Zan, a soldier who awakens with no memory of her past. She is being used as a weapon to take control of the one world ship that has the power to actually leave the Legion and make out on its own. The Stars Are Legion is already available and also getting pretty sweet customer reviews. Kameron Hurley has an extensive body of previous works.
All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai
If you are following along, you know that the Grumpy Geek is a fan of multiverses and dystopian novels. I may have mentioned it here and here in these recent reviews. All Our Wrong Tomorrows has a bit of both. Tom Barren lives in the version of 2016 many of us had imagined as kids. There are bases on the moon, flying cars, and even time travel. Tom accidentally ends up in a different version of 2016 – this one that we live in – and he may have caused some serious damage to the fabric of reality. So, does he fix things and go home, or does he stay here?
Revenger by Alastair Reynolds
Another totally cool concept. The history of the universe mirrors the history of Earth with empires that rise and fall, and as they fall, they leave behind alien technologies that could benefit humanity. Captain Rackamore commands a tough crew that seeks out these broken alien worlds to retrieve the hidden or forgotten technologies in order to bring them home and give humanity a chance. It’s a dangerous job filled with booby-traps and space pirates, and Rackamore has his enemies. A couple of new crew members have signed on to save their family from financial collapse, but this certainly may be way worse. Alastair Reynolds has a PhD in Astronomy and writes deep space sci-fi like a boss.
This is Grumpy’s best bet for February.
Aftermath: Empire’s End by Chuck Wendig
***Let me just point out that I am obligated by Geekiverse law as established by Grand Moth LeRoy to add anything Star Wars to my lists. Troubling times in which we live.***
Chuck Wendig brings his Aftermath Trilogy to an end with the aptly named Empire’s End. The entire trilogy has been part of the new continuity and has done a good job of filling in the 30 year gap between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens. The particular appeal of Aftermath: Empire’s End is that Wendig promised it will set up a prominent event from The Force Awakens – the Battle of Jakku, particularly dealing with that crashed star destroyer that is so visually incredible at the beginning of the movie. Worth the price of the book right there. Chuck Wendig has a bunch of Star Wars book credits to his name, as well as an entire Imperial Supply Freighter full of other books.
A lot of great sci-fi there.
What’s Grumpy reading now? I have been trying to sneak a classic in to the mix about every third or fourth book so that I can introduce younger geeks to some of the works that established science fiction as a dominant genre. I started that important mission with Michael Crichton’s The Andromeda Strain, and have Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles and Terry Brooks’ epic fantasy, The Elfstones of Shannara reviews coming soon. Right now I am reading Isaac Asimov’s Foundation, the beginning of the Foundation Trilogy. This book holds up so well. You would hardly guess it was written in 1951, as it is full of themes we are experiencing today.
What are you reading? What are you looking forward to getting into? What do you think of any of the books on this list? What do you think about anything at all? Leave the Grump a comment or question in the comments below.
Pete Herr is the author of “10 Things We Should Teach You In High School and Usually Don’t”. He is the oldest geek in the Geekiverse by a factor of two. Follow Pete Herr on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram . If you don’t he gets Grumpy. You don’t want to see him Grumpy.
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