Happy Monday! It’s that time again–
You probably know the drill, but if you’re new ’round these parts, you might wonder what Reader’s Choice is. Below are some of the new releases from this week that I thought would most interest readers of this site. It’s a pretty light week. Leave a comment as to which one of these you’d most like to read and one person will win it (or another book of their choice). International, as always. You also can pick any of my books if you wish except those that haven’t yet been released.
Now, here’s what I considered the most interesting from among the new books releasing this week. Your mileage may vary.
Extinction (Alien Invasion #6), by Johnny B. Truant and Sean Platt, July 19, Sterling & Stone. The ending has begun. The arrival of a metropolis-sized Astral vessel (the so-called “Eternity ship”) sounds the opening bell for the beginning of humanity’s end. Judgment is over, and now the Horsemen have come to restart the planet’s clock. As the final countdown begins, Meyer and his crew find themselves with only two options: stay in the city and die, or run into the coming apocalypse and take their chances. But Clara is still missing, and she’s found new and powerful friends. A Stranger has arisen with odd magic on his hands, keeping secrets that even the overlords don’t know. Viceroys in the remaining capitals are tasked with eight disturbing challenges to decide who among humanity lives or dies. Seven new leaders arise, each with their own unseen talents for the end of days. And as the deathbringers lay waste to the planet and herald the start of a new epoch, a new force brews out of nothing … one that even the Astrals never saw coming.
Fallout (The Hot War #2), by Harry Turtledove, July 19, Del Rey. The novels of Harry Turtledove show history balancing on single moments: One act of folly. One poor decision. One moment of rage. In his astounding new series, the unthinkable has come to pass. The Cold War turns hot—and the United States and the Soviet Union unleash their nuclear arsenals upon each other. Millions die. Millions more are displaced. Germans battle side by side with Americans, Polish freedom fighters next to Russian fascists. The genie is out of the bottle. And there’s no telling what fresh hell will come next….At the heart of Fallout are Harry Truman and Josef Stalin. Even as Joe McCarthy rises in power, the U.S. president is focused elsewhere, planning to cut off the head of the Soviet threat by taking out Stalin. It’s a daring gambit, but the Soviets have one of their own. Meanwhile, Europe’s weak sisters, France and Italy, seem poised to choose the winning side, while China threatens to overrun Korea. With Great Britain ravaged and swaths of America in ruins, leaders are running out of options. When the United States drops another series of bombs to slow the Russian advance in Europe, Stalin strikes back—with horrifying results….These staggering events unfold through the eyes of a sprawling cast of characters: a Holocaust survivor in a displaced persons camp in Washington; the wife of a bomber pilot and her five-year-old daughter starting a new existence; a savage Soviet fighter waging war by his own rules; a British pub owner falling in love with an American pilot. In the masterly hands of Harry Turtledove, this epic chronicle of war becomes a story of human struggle. As the armies of the world implode, the next chapter will be written by the survivors—those willing to rise up for an uncertain future.
Imprudence (The Custard Protocol #2), by Gail Carriger, July 19, Orbit. London is in chaos. Rue and the crew of The Spotted Custard returned from India with revelations that shook the foundations of the scientific community. There is mass political upheaval, the vampires are tetchy, and something is seriously wrong with the local werewolf pack. To top it all off, Rue’s best friend Primrose keeps getting engaged to the most inappropriate military types. Rue has got personal problems as well. Her vampire father is angry, her werewolf father is crazy, and her obstreperous mother is both. Worst of all, Rue’s beginning to suspect what they all really are… is frightened. When the Custard is ordered to Egypt, transporting some highly unusual passengers, Rue’s problems go from personal to impossible. Can she get Percy to stop sulking? Will she find the true cause of Primrose’s lovesickness? And what is Quesnel hiding in the boiler room?
Nightshades, by Melissa F. Olson, July 19, tor.com. Alex McKenna is the new Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago office of the Bureau of Paranormal Investigations—the division tasked with investigating crimes involving shades. Or vampires, as they’re more widely known. Children have been going missing, and agents are routinely being slaughtered. It’s up to McKenna, and some unlikely allies, to get to the bottom of the problem, and find the kids before it’s too late. Nightshades is a new gritty urban fantasy from Melissa F. Olson.
Not So Much, Said the Cat, by Michael Swanwick, July 18, Tachyon. The master of short science-fiction follows up his acclaimed collection The Dog Said Bow-Wow with feline grace, precision, and total impertinence. Michael Swanwick takes us on a whirlwind journey across the globe and across time and space, where magic and science exist in possibilities that are not of this world. These tales are intimate in their telling, galactic in their scope, and delightfully sesquipedalian in their verbiage. Join the caravan through Swanwick’s worlds and into the playground of his mind. Discover a calculus problem that rocks the ages and robots who both nurture and kill. Meet a magical horse who protects the innocent, a confused but semi-repentant troll, a savvy teenager who takes on the Devil, and time travelers from the Mesozoic who party till the end of time…
Something Happened Here, But We’re Not Quite Sure What It Was, by Paul McAuley, July 20, tor.com. Something Happened Here, But We’re Not Quite Sure What It Was by Paul McAuley is a complex sf story about politics and xenophobia when human colonists on an Earth-like planet are faced with the possibility of reaching out to alien cultures, especially when a big organization that has previously done harm is in charge of the operation.
The Dragon Lords: Fool’s Gold (Dragon Lords #1), by Jon Hollins, July 19, Orbit. A brand new adventure fantasy: imagine Guardians of the Galaxy planning a heist on Smaug’s gold, for fans looking for something with a modern twist and some humor. Guardians of the Galaxy meets The Hobbit in this rollicking fantasy adventure. It’s not easy to live in a world ruled by dragons. The taxes are high and their control is complete. But for one group of bold misfits, it’s time to band together and steal back some of that wealth. No one said they were smart.
The Dragon Round, by Stephen S. Power, July 19, Simon & Schuster. He only wanted justice. Instead he got revenge….Jeryon has been the captain of the Comber for over a decade. He knows the rules. He likes the rules. But not everyone on his ship agrees. After a monstrous dragon attacks the galley, the surviving crewmembers decide to take the ship for themselves and give Jeryon and his self-righteous apothecary “the captain’s chance”: a small boat with no rudder, no sails, and nothing but the clothes on his back to survive on the open sea….Fighting for their lives against the elements, Jeryon and his companion land on an island that isn’t as deserted as they originally thought. They find a baby dragon that, if trained, could be their way home. But as Jeryon and the dragon grow closer, the captain begins to realize that even if he makes it off the island, his old life won’t be waiting for him and in order get justice, he’ll have to take it for himself.
Unwanted (Elemental Assassin #14.5), by Jennifer Estep, July 18, Pocket Star. The New York Times bestselling Elemental Assassin series continues with a new e-novella–from the point of view of Finnegan Lane, the foster brother of Gin Blanco, and a fan favorite of readers of the series. The fallout from his disastrous “family reunion” in Bitter Bitehas left Finn feeling hurt, angry, and depressed. He can barely stand to look at himself in the mirror, much less eat any of the delicious barbecue from Gin’s famed Pork Pit restaurant. But when the funeral for a slain security guard at his bank turns into a showdown with some nasty underworld giants, Finn knows that he must act in order to protect an innocent family. Finnegan Lane might be the most unwanted man in Ashland these days, but he’s determined to try to make amends for his past mistakes…
So…what do you want to read? Which of these appeals to you most? Remember, regardless of what you say in your comment you also can pick a different book or any one of my books (except the two that are currently out of print, The Consort and Christmas in Dogtown), without regard to the $15 limit. If you’re in the U.S. or Canada, I will sign the books.