Here’s the full list of science fiction titles heading your way in February!
Keep track of all the new SFF releases here. All title summaries are taken and/or summarized from copy provided by the publisher. Release dates are subject to change.
Beggar’s Sky — Wil McCarthy (Baen)
Trillionaire Igbal Renz has constructed a starship capable of making the twenty-year journey to Alpha Centauri. So why is he stopping at barely one-tenth that distance, with a cargo of a hundred frozen scientists and diplomats? Rumors abound that Renz Ventures, Inc., has made contact with… something. And yet, as deadly stealth ships prowl the space lanes and as the corporate space race threatens to devolve into outright warfare, the Four Horsemen of space industry are discovering firsthand that even in a limitless and lawless frontier, no one can ever be truly self-sufficient.
An Angel Called Peterbilt (Ring of Fire – Assiti Shards #5) — Eric Flint, Gorg Huff, Paula Goodlett (Baen)
Michael and Melanie Anderle are hauling a tanker full of oil with their Peterbilt eighteen-wheeler when they’re struck by a temporal irregularity that sends them, the truck, and their daughter back in time a thousand years. The bubble that transports them also grabs a chemist and her two young children, along with half a convenience store in the middle of the United States. They just want to make a decent life for themselves in this new world of the past, with their Peterbilt and its oil providing a means of transportation, a generator, and shelter. But not all the locals are willing to live and let live, and when the area shamans decide that this community of temporally displaced persons is a threat to their power, the Anderles find out what it’s like to take a Peterbilt to war.
George R. R. Martin Presents Wild Cards: Sleeper Straddle (Wild Cards #32) — ed. George R. R. Martin (Bantam)
An alien virus ravages the world, with effects as random as a hand of cards. Those infected either draw the black queen and die, draw an ace and receive superpowers, or draw the joker and are bizarrely mutated. Croyd Crenson is the Wild Card’s greatest failure—and its greatest success. Dubbed “The Sleeper,” he randomly undergoes hibernations that can span days, weeks, or even months. After each hibernation, he awakens with a new appearance and set of powers—sometimes a joker, sometimes an ace, and sometimes a combination of both—until exhaustion claims him and his next inevitable sleep shuffles the cards anew. Ever since his initial infection in 1946, he’s awoken in a singular body—until now. His latest awakening has left him split into six different incarnations, each of them a self-contained piece of the original and each with a unique look and ability. One of them, at least, recognizes this for the disaster that it is, and tasks the clever and elusive Tesla—a joker with ace powers—to locate and gather the remaining five versions of himself before sleep claims them again and leaves Croyd permanently fractured. What follows is a journey through Croyd’s long and colorful life, through the lens of some who have encountered the world’s most unusual wild carder. And as Tesla delves deeper into the investigation, he’ll have to work fast, because not every Croyd is as amiable as the first—and they’ll do whatever it takes to survive.
Sons of War 4: Soldiers — Nicholas Sansbury Smith, Tom Abrahams (Blackstone)
In the conclusion to the sweeping saga of postapocalyptic Los Angeles, Dominic Salvatore leads the Saints, a secret team of elite operatives, in a final push to purge the city of its demons. After sending their families into hiding, the Saints know that the stakes have never been higher—they will succeed decisively or perish. Broken by the death of his wife, Don Antonio Moretti seeks revenge against her killers. He embarks on a body-strewn campaign to crush his last rivals and secure the crown of Los Angeles. Nephew Vinny Moretti tires of the killings and wonders whether his uncle is going too far. Every eye is on the prize. And anyone trying to walk the fence between good and evil will have to pick a side. With either choice, hell awaits.
Plastic — Scott Guild (Pantheon)
Erin is a plastic girl living in a plastic world. Every day she eats a breakfast of boiled chicken, then conveys her articulated body to Tablet Town, where she sells other figurines Smartbodies: wearable
tech that allows full, physical immersion in a virtual world, a refuge from real life’s brutal wars, oppressive governmental monitoring, and omnipresent eco-terrorist insurgency. If you cut her, she will not bleed—but she and her fellow figurines can still be cracked or blown apart by gunfire or bombs, or crumble away from nuclear fallout. Erin, who’s lost her father, sister, and the love of her life, certainly knows plenty about death. An attack at her place of work brings Erin another too-intimate experience, but it also brings her Jacob: a blind figurine whom she comforts in the aftermath, and with whom she feels an almost instant connection. For the first time in years, Erin begins to experience hope—hope that until now she’s only gleaned from watching her favorite TV show, the surrealist retro sitcom “Nuclear Family.” Exploring the wild wonders of the virtual reality landscape together, it seems that possibly, slowly, Erin and Jacob may have a chance at healing from their trauma. But then secrets from Erin’s family’s past begin to invade her carefully constructed reality, and cracks in the facade she’s constructed around her life threaten to reveal everything vulnerable beneath.
The Imposition of Unnecessary Obstacles (Mossa and Pleiti #2) — Malka Older (Tordotcom Publishing)
Mossa has returned to Valdegeld on a missing person’s case, for which she’ll once again need Pleiti’s insight. Seventeen students and staff members have disappeared from Valdegeld University―yet no one has noticed. The answers to this case may lie on the moon of Io―Mossa’s home―and the history of Jupiter’s original settlements during humanity’s exodus from Earth. But Pleiti’s faith in her life’s work as a scholar of the past has grown precarious, and this new case threatens to further destabilize her dreams for humanity’s future, as well as her own.
Convergence Problems — Wole Talabi (DAW)
In “An Arc of Electric Skin,” a roadside mechanic seeking justice volunteers to undergo a procedure that will increase the electrical conductivity of his skin by orders of magnitude. In “Blowout,” a woman races against time and a previously undocumented geological phenomenon to save her brother on the surface of Mars. In “Ganger,” a young woman trapped in a city run by machines must transfer her consciousness into an artificial body and find a way to give her life purpose. In “Debut,” Nairobi-based technical support engineer tries to understand what is happening when an AI
art system begins malfunctioning in ways that could change the world. The sixteen stories of Convergence Problems, which include work published for the first time in this collection, rare stories, and recently acclaimed work, showcase Talabi at his creative best: playful and profound, exciting and experimental, always interesting.
Angolin – C. E. Taylor (CamCat)
The Hidden Realm of Angolin has existed in peaceful isolation for centuries, but that’s about to change. The enemy across the Abyss has discovered them and is intent on conquest. Lieutenant Dharmen Tate has a great love for his homeland and a greater understanding of its position in the world. When he discovers a plot by fellow officers to join the enemy and overthrow Angolin, he and his colleagues spring into action to defend the Hidden Realm from its foes―those without, and those within. The ensuing struggle magnifies Angolin’s vulnerability and exposes the collusion of a growing body of its citizens, signifying an uncertain and bloody future.
Vangie’s Ghosts — Paul Di Filippo (Blackstone)
Three-year-old Vangie is mute and unresponsive. She shows no interest in the people or world around her, much to the frustration of her callous foster parents. Little do they know, Vangie is otherwise occupied observing “ghosts”—an infinite number of versions of herself, in an infinite number of parallel universes. When a tornado hits their trailer and Vangie is severely injured, she makes a desperate leap into another timeline where she survives the tornado, but her foster parents do not. So begins a life of shuttling through various foster homes, cultivating her abilities to seek out alternate timelines, and making jumps calculated to better her circumstances in order to avoid the exploitation of adults who seek to harness her powers for their own means. Vangie never communicates with her avatars, until one day the “Council”—a group of Vangies—appear to her and warn her of an ominous, growing threat in the multiverse: a man they call the Massive. And thus begins an epic conflict, spanning millennia and worlds, in a brutal effort to control the fate of the multiverse.
The Bezzle (Martin Hench #2) — Cory Doctorow (Tor Books)
The year is 2006. Martin Hench is at the top of his game as a self-employed forensic accountant, a veteran of the long guerrilla war between people who want to hide
money, and people who want to find it. He spends his downtime on Catalina Island, where scenic, imported bison wander the bluffs and frozen, reheated fast food burgers cost 25$. Wait, what? When Marty disrupts a seemingly innocuous scheme during a vacation on Catalina Island, he has no idea he’s kicked off a chain of events that will overtake the next decade of his life. Martin has made his most dangerous mistake yet: trespassed into the playgrounds of the ultra-wealthy and spoiled their fun. To them, money is a tool, a game, and a way to keep score, and they’ve found their newest mark―California’s Department of Corrections. Secure in the knowledge that they’re living behind far too many firewalls of shell companies and investors ever to be identified, they are interested not in the lives they ruin, but only in how much money they can extract from the government and the hundreds of thousands of prisoners they have at their mercy.
The Oracle — Ari Juels (Talos)
Life is comfortable for a prominent, if schlubby, developer at a New York City
blockchain company. That is, until FBI Special Agent Diane Duménil seeks his help against a bewildering threat: The Delphians, worshippers of the god Apollo, have launched a rogue program on a blockchain. It’s offering a crypto bounty to assassinate a European archaeology professor. The developer brushes off the danger until he learns the next target: Himself. Mythical antiquity collides with a near-future cyberworld as The Oracle’s unassuming hero and his FBI partner race against time to dismantle the Delphians’ murderous blockchain software. Theirs is a whirlwind tale of oracles ancient and modern, vanished antiquities and conjured crypto billions, cybercriminals and digital idealists—narrated by a cynical hero normally more concerned with dark chocolate than the consequences of the technologies he’s pioneering. What happens when the crypto ideals of privacy and truth might cost human lives—especially your own?
Exit Black — Joe Pitkin (Blackstone)
Imperium is the most expensive structure ever created. Once an orbiting laboratory, it is now a space hotel for the fantastically wealthy. But as the station preps for its first group of space tourists, Dr. Chloe Bonilla, Imperium‘s resident biophysicist, finds herself questioning whether babysitting a passel of space glampers is worth the distraction from her research. A private rocket delivers a rogues’ gallery of the world’s elite to Imperium: eccentric billionaires, callow tech bros, a sponsored Instagram influencer, and a seemingly saintly philanthropist. However, posing among the staff are members of a global terrorist group who call themselves the Reckoners, hell bent on upending the economic inequality of twenty-first-century Earth—and they have a bone to pick with these scions of the 1 percent. As the Reckoners take control of Imperium and demand an $8 billion ransom from their wealthy hostages, it’s up to Dr. Bonilla to save them, and fast. Or the captives will be forced to exit the station—and there’s only one way out.
Twice Lived — Joma West (Tordotcom Publishing)
There are two Earths. Perfectly ordinary and existing in parallel. There are no doorways between them, no way to cross from one world to another. Unless you’re a shifter. Canna and Lily are the same person but they refuse to admit it. Their split psyche has forced them to shift randomly between worlds—between lives and between families—for far longer than they should. But one mind can’t bear this much life. It’ll break under the weight of it all. Soon they’ll experience their final shift and settle at last in one world, but how can they prepare both families for the eventuality of them disappearing forever?
Redsight — Meredith Mooring (Solaris)
Korinna has simple priorities: stay on the
Navitas, stay out of trouble, and stay alive. She may be a Redseer, a blind priestess with the power to manipulate space-time, but she is the weakest in her Order. Useless and outcast. Or so she has been raised to believe. As she takes her place as a navigator on an Imperium ship, Korinna’s full destiny is revealed to her: blood brimming with magic, she is meant to become a weapon of the Imperium, and pawn for the Order that raised her. But when the ship is attacked by the notorious pirate Aster Haran, Korinna’s world is ripped apart. Aster has a vendetta against the Imperium, and an all-consuming, dark power that drives her to destroy everything in her path. She understands the world in a way Korinna has never imagined, and Korinna is drawn to her against her better judgment. With the Imperium and the justice-seeking warrior Sahar hot on her heels, Korinna must choose her side, seize her power and fulfil her destiny—or risk imperiling the future of the galaxy, and destroying the fabric of space-time itself.
Moon of the Turning Leaves — Waubgeshig Rice (William Morrow)
For the past twelve years, a community of Anishinaabe people have made the Northern Ontario bush their
home in the wake of the power failure that brought about societal collapse. Since then they have survived and thrived the way their ancestors once did, but their natural food resources are dwindling, and the time has come to find a new home. Evan Whitesky volunteers to lead a mission south to explore the possibility of moving back to their original homeland, the “land where the birch trees grow by the big water” in the Great Lakes region. Accompanied by five others, including his daughter Nangohns, an expert archer, Evan begins a journey that will take him to where the Anishinaabe were once settled, near the devastated city of Gibson, a land now being reclaimed by nature. But it isn’t just the wilderness that poses a threat: they encounter other survivors. Those who, like the Anishinaabe, live in harmony with the land, and those who use violence.