Science Fiction/Fantasy

Here is a curated list of Sci-Fi & Fantasy books published recently.

A Trick of Light (Stan Lee’s Alliances)

From Stan Lee, the pop culture legend behind Marvel’s The Avengers™, Black Panther™, X-Men™, Spider-Man™, The Fantastic Four™, and Iron Man™, comes a major literary event featuring two heroic teenagers—one born with extraordinary gifts, one unwillingly transformed. Together they can change the world . . . or put it in the destructive hands of a danger beyond imagination.

Set in Stan Lee’s Alliances Universe, co-created by Lee, Luke Lieberman, and Ryan Silbert, and along with Edgar Award–nominated co-writer Kat Rosenfield, Stan Lee delivers a novel packed with the pulse-pounding, breakneck adventure and the sheer exuberant invention that have defined his career as the creative mastermind behind Marvel’s spectacular universe.

“Leave it to Stan Lee to save his very best for last. A Trick of Light is as heartfelt and emotional as it is original and exciting. What a movie this one will make.”—James Patterson

“For lovers of Stan Lee this is nothing short of a publishing event! (And, honestly, who the hell doesn’t love Stan Lee?) Beguiling, cinematic, operatic, A Trick of Light is a bracing espresso first thing in the morning and the thrum of a familiar love deep at night.”—Gary Shteyngart, author of Absurdistan and Lake Success

Parable of the Sower

Lauren Olamina and her family live in one of the only safe neighborhoods remaining on the outskirts of Los Angeles. Behind the walls of their defended enclave, Lauren’s father, a preacher, and a handful of other citizens try to salvage what remains of a culture that has been destroyed by drugs, war, and chronic shortages of water, gasoline, and more. While her father tries to lead people on the righteous path, Lauren struggles with hyperempathy, a condition that makes her extraordinarily sensitive to the pain of others.

When fire destroys their compound, Lauren’s family is killed and she is forced out into a world that is facing apocalypse. With a handful of other refugees, Lauren must make her way north to safety, along the way conceiving a revolutionary idea that may mean salvation for all mankind.

From a recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship who has won multiple Nebula and Hugo Awards, this iconic novel is “a gripping tale of survival and a poignant account of growing up sane in a disintegrating world” (The New York Times Book Review).

This ebook features an illustrated biography of Octavia E. Butler including rare images from the author’s estate.

Fall; or, Dodge in Hell: A Novel

Get Dad the perfect gift for Father’s Day with this brilliantly innovative techno-thriller from Neal Stephenson.

In his youth, Richard “Dodge” Forthrast founded Corporation 9592, a gaming company that made him a multibillionaire. Now in his middle years, Dodge appreciates his comfortable, unencumbered life, managing his myriad business interests, and spending time with his beloved niece Zula and her young daughter, Sophia.

One beautiful autumn day, while he undergoes a routine medical procedure, something goes irrevocably wrong. Dodge is pronounced brain dead and put on life support, leaving his stunned family and close friends with difficult decisions. Long ago, when a much younger Dodge drew up his will, he directed that his body be given to a cryonics company now owned by enigmatic tech entrepreneur Elmo Shepherd. Legally bound to follow the directive despite their misgivings, Dodge’s family has his brain scanned and its data structures uploaded and stored in the cloud, until it can eventually be revived.

In the coming years, technology allows Dodge’s brain to be turned back on. It is an achievement that is nothing less than the disruption of death itself. An eternal afterlife—the Bitworld—is created, in which humans continue to exist as digital souls.

But this brave new immortal world is not the Utopia it might first seem . . .

Fall, or Dodge in Hell is pure, unadulterated fun: a grand drama of analog and digital, man and machine, angels and demons, gods and followers, the finite and the eternal. In this exhilarating epic, Neal Stephenson raises profound existential questions and touches on the revolutionary breakthroughs that are transforming our future. Combining the technological, philosophical, and spiritual in one grand myth, he delivers a mind-blowing speculative literary saga for the modern age.

Tetrastatum

“People will be immersed in the concepts of translating other parallel universe ideas into visual/image interpretations of external quantum relativity theories.” —Stephen Hawking

What if the laws of physics as we understand them are incomplete, only half of the equations that explain reality? Mankind has been blinded by the light, searching for answers in the photonic (material) universe while the truths are concealed beyond the shutter speed of our biological cameras. One day, an image processor evolves. Schrödinger’s equation is finally interpreted correctly by Dr. Richard revealing that the dualistic imaginary solution prior thereto discarded by physicists is actually the key to mankind’s quest to answer the unanswerable. What happens to me after I die? What is the ultimate source and origin of creation? What is reality? Dr. Richard’s equations bring forth the darkness of the imaginary (non-matter) universes unraveling the mysteries of space-time giving mankind full comprehension of the miraculous nature of the essence of reality, the fourth state, Tetrastatum. Only, Dr. Richard is too late! The world we once knew has been destroyed by man’s greed and exists only in a thotonic, non-matter state. The only hope to restore the planet Earth is Dr. Tim Smith. In the material world that once existed, Tim Smith was the head of the Quantum Teleportation Program at DARPA and a “Time Smith” in the non-matter thotonic universes whose shadows persist. Unfortunately, mankind’s last hope, Dr. Smith is quite clearly, insane.

“I think therefore I am,” says Descartes’s thotonic skeleton of the past. Tetrastatum is the ultimate test of Descartes’s philosophical truth. We are transported through the tunnel of institutionalized insanity as helpless voyeurs perceiving existence through Smith’s eyes as a non-matter image freely flowing in all space-time universes. Dr. Smith’s complete mental meltdown takes us on a dualistic journey as a “Time Smith” exploring the meaning of reality and the human psyche.

The MisreadBible: Genesis

A collection of twisted Bible tales from the warped mind of J. R. Eldridge. Drawing from his fascination with religion and mythology, Eldridge takes the reader on a journey from the creation of the universe to the arrival of the Israelites in Egypt in this blasphemously funny retelling of the Book of Genesis.

A lonely deity creates the universe in his mother’s basement and makes a little clay man who falls in love with his own rib. After the humans engage in some freaky angel sex, God decides to flood the entire world, saving only a drunkard called Noah and his family.

Once the humans have repopulated the Earth, God chooses one man called Abram, drags him from his home in the middle of the night, changes his name, and then tells him to kill his son, forming an everlasting covenant with him and his descendants.
Later, Jacob steals his brother’s birthmark, boinks his cousins, and comes up with an innovative way to breed sheep. He fathers a dozen kids including Joseph, whose brothers get tired of his dreams of grandeur and sell him to some shapeshifting Ishmaelites who take him to Egypt.

The author invites readers to look up the original verses to see how much of the absurdity comes from his warped imagination, and how much comes from the original stories.

A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 3)

THE BOOK BEHIND THE THIRD SEASON OF GAME OF THRONES, AN ORIGINAL SERIES NOW ON HBO.

Here is the third volume in George R. R. Martin’s magnificent cycle of novels that includes A Game of Thrones and A Clash of Kings. As a whole, this series comprises a genuine masterpiece of modern fantasy, bringing together the best the genre has to offer. Magic, mystery, intrigue, romance, and adventure fill these pages and transport us to a world unlike any we have ever experienced. Already hailed as a classic, George R. R. Martin’s stunning series is destined to stand as one of the great achievements of imaginative fiction.

A STORM OF SWORDS

Of the five contenders for power, one is dead, another in disfavor, and still the wars rage as violently as ever, as alliances are made and broken. Joffrey, of House Lannister, sits on the Iron Throne, the uneasy ruler of the land of the Seven Kingdoms. His most bitter rival, Lord Stannis, stands defeated and disgraced, the victim of the jealous sorceress who holds him in her evil thrall. But young Robb, of House Stark, still rules the North from the fortress of Riverrun. Robb plots against his despised Lannister enemies, even as they hold his sister hostage at King’s Landing, the seat of the Iron Throne. Meanwhile, making her way across a blood-drenched continent is the exiled queen, Daenerys, mistress of the only three dragons still left in the world. . . .

But as opposing forces maneuver for the final titanic showdown, an army of barbaric wildlings arrives from the outermost line of civilization. In their vanguard is a horde of mythical Others–a supernatural army of the living dead whose animated corpses are unstoppable. As the future of the land hangs in the balance, no one will rest until the Seven Kingdoms have exploded in a veritable storm of swords. . .

Kill Code: A Dystopian Science Fiction Novel

The year 2031. Our future. Their present. A world decimated by climate catastrophe, where the sun’s heat is deadly and the oceans rise higher every day. A world ruled by the rich, powerful, and corrupt. A world where a good man can’t survive for long.

Hogan Duran was a good man once: a good cop, forced to resign in disgrace when he couldn’t save his partner from a bullet. Now Hogan lives on the fraying edges of society, serving cruel masters and scavenging trash dumps just to survive.

But after four years of living in poverty, Hogan finally gets the chance to get back on his feet. He’s invited to join the National Security Council, the powerful paramilitary organization responsible for protecting the rich and powerful from the more unsavory elements of society. All he needs to do is pass their deadly entrance exam, and he’ll be rewarded with wealth and opportunity beyond his wildest dreams.

But this ex-cop’s path to redemption won’t be easy. The NSC is hiding something, and as Hogan descends deeper and deeper into their world, he starts to uncover the terrible truth of how the powerful in this new society keep their power…and just how far they’ll go to protect their secrets.

In a world gone wrong, can one good man actually make a difference? Or will he die trying?

Level Five

In the mountains of Pakistan, a high-tech mission aimed at preventing another nuke on US soil goes off the rails – with deadly results. At a Wall Street investment firm, a computer intelligence takes the first tentative steps to free itself from its digital restraints. In a basement workshop, an engineer sees visions of a god who instructs him to defend the human race – by any means necessary.

In Level Five, the debut near-future thriller by Nebula Award winner William Ledbetter, AIs battle for dominance, and nanotechnology is on the loose. And all that stands in the way of the coming apocalypse is a starry-eyed inventor who dreams of building a revolutionary new spacecraft and an intelligence agency desk jockey faced with the impossible choice of saving her daughter – or saving the world.

The Night Window: A Jane Hawk Novel

A visionary young filmmaker hunted for sport across a vast Colorado ranch by the celebrated billionaire at the heart of a monstrous cabal . . .

A brilliant computer hacker slipping through top-secret databases a whisper ahead of security trackers, gathering the facts to fight the all-powerful perpetrators of mass murder . . .

A pair of brutal operators, methodically shadowing their targets with every cutting-edge tool in the arsenal of today’s surveillance state . . .

A sequence of quiet heroes—everyday citizens—stepping up, stepping forward, intent on countering the advancing darkness . . .

A Vegas mob boss teamed with a homicidal sociopath, circling a beloved boy and his protectors, aiming to secure him as leverage against his fugitive mother . . .

And that fugitive mother herself, ex-agent Jane Hawk, closing in on the malevolent architects of ruin she has stalked as they stalk her, prepared to sacrifice herself to finally bring them down.

These are the people and circumstances of The Night Window, the thrilling new novel in Dean Koontz’s acclaimed Jane Hawk series. Replete—and then some—with the ingenious twists, the spellbinding action, the resonant themes, the sheer heart that have characterized Jane’s journey from the start, The Night Window follows its extraordinary heroine to her long-sought objective, in a stunning, unforgettable finale.

Winter’s Fury

An epic sword and sorcery adventure begins…
Winter’s Fury is the first book in The Furyck Saga: a richly imagined, Viking-inspired epic fantasy of warring kingdoms, love and betrayal, dark magic and an ancient prophecy that emerges from the shadows to weave a mysterious web around them all.

Jael Furyck is Brekka’s greatest warrior, destined to be the queen, but when her father dies, her uncle steals the throne. And now he plans to marry her off; eager to remove the threat she poses to his reign; keen to forge an alliance with his arch enemy that will fill his empty coffers with gold.

Eadmund Skalleson is broken-hearted by grief, sinking further into an ale-pit of despair. But his father is out of patience. He wants Eadmund to return; to be the heir to the throne he so desperately needs. Before it’s too late. Before he has no choice but to turn to an unthinkable alternative.

And as the scheming kings of Brekka and Oss embrace their newfound alliance, plotting to conquer their rich southern neighbours, Jael and Eadmund find themselves desperately searching for an escape from the fast-approaching destiny that neither of them wants.

A destiny planned by the gods themselves.

Johnny

Aubrey St. James is in trouble. She’s locked in a cell at a government black site. She doesn’t know where that site is or how the hell she got there. But she knows that it has something to do with the stranger she rescued from the river. Someone – or something – called Johnny.

Saul Tarson knows that the thing he’s locked up is dangerous, because it left a trail of six dead cops in its wake, all killed in a way that defies explanation. It is Saul’s sworn duty to get to the truth about Johnny before more people die – a lot more.

All Johnny wants is to return home. But he has a mission to fulfill first. And what he does in the next 20 hours will either save mankind – or bring it to its knees.

Johnny is the new breakneck science fiction thriller by Audible listener favorite D. J. Molles, New York Times best-selling author of The Remaining series.

Narrated by Marc Vietor with additional voices by Scott Aiello, Lauren Fortgang, Amanda Ronconi, Therese Plummer, and Josh Hurley.

Strange Planet

I feel more attractive.
Honestly, you are.
It’s the star damage.
I CRAVE STAR DAMAGE.

Straight from the mind of New York Times bestselling author Nathan W. Pyle comes an adorable and profound universe in pink, blue, green, and purple. Based on the phenomenally popular Instagram of the same name, Strange Planet covers a full life cycle of the planet’s inhabitants, including milestones such as:

The Emergence Day
Being Gains a Sibling
The Being Family Attains a Beast
The Formal Education of a Being
Celebration of Special Days
Being Begins a Vocation
The Beings at Home
Health Status of a Being
The Hobbies of a Being
The Extended Family of the Being
The Being Reflects on Life While Watching the Planet Rotate

With dozens of never-before-seen illustrations in addition to old favorites, this book offers a sweet and hilarious look at a distant world not all that unlike our own.

The Collected Stories of Arthur C. Clarke

Six decades of fascinating stories from the legendary “colossus of science fiction” and creator of 2001: A Space Odyssey gathered in one compendium (The New Yorker).

Arthur C. Clarke, along with H. G. Wells, Isaac Asimov, and Robert A. Heinlein, was a definitive voice in twentieth century science fiction. A prophetic thinker, undersea explorer, and “one of the true geniuses of our time,” Clarke not only won the highest science fiction honors, the Nebula and Hugo Awards, but also received nominations for an Academy Award and the Nobel Peace Prize, and was knighted for his services to literature (Ray Bradbury).

Now, more than one hundred works of the sci-fi master’s short fiction are available in the “single-author collection of the decade” (Booklist, starred review). This definitive edition includes early work such as “Rescue Party” and “The Lion of Comarre,” classics like “The Nine Billion Names of God” and “The Sentinel” (which was the kernel of the later novel and movie, 2001: A Space Odyssey), and later works including “A Meeting with Medusa” and “The Hammer of God.”

Encapsulating one of the great science fiction careers of all time, this immense volume “displays the author’s fertile imagination and irrepressible enthusiasm for both good storytelling and impeccable science” (Library Journal).

“One of the most astounding imaginations ever encountered in print.” —The New York Times

“As his Collected Stories helps to demonstrate, there has been no popular writer since the days of C S Lewis and Charles Williams whose disposition is more nakedly apocalyptic, who takes greater pleasure in cradling eternity in the palm of his hand.” —The Guardian

Dark Heavens

‘Dark Heavens’ is a short story collection consisting of ten different stories that have an overall dark ambiance to it. In this book, you get to explore the complexity of the human mind through dreamy and magical elements that shroud the entirety of the piece. Should you want dystopia, should you want dark erotica, should you want sinister revelations and twists, this is the book for you. Are you ready to indulge and engage?

The Quantum Magician (The Quantum Evolution Book 1)

“An audacious con job, scintillating future technology, and meditations on the nature of fractured humanity” – Yoon Ha Lee

“Technology changes us—even our bodies—in fundamental ways, and Kunsken handles this wonderfully” – Cixin Liu

THE ULTIMATE HEIST

Belisarius is a Homo quantus, engineered with impossible insight. But his gift is also a curse—an uncontrollable, even suicidal drive to know, to understand. Genetically flawed, he leaves his people to find a different life, and ends up becoming the galaxy’s greatest con man and thief.

But the jobs are getting too easy and his extraordinary brain is chafing at the neglect. When a client offers him untold wealth to move a squadron of secret warships across an enemy wormhole, Belisarius jumps at it. Now he must embrace his true nature to pull off the job, alongside a crew of extraordinary men and women.

If he succeeds, he could trigger an interstellar war… or the next step in human evolution.

Dune

Frank Herbert’s classic masterpiece—a triumph of the imagination and one of the bestselling science fiction novels of all time—nominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read.

Set on the desert planet Arrakis, Dune is the story of the boy Paul Atreides, heir to a noble family tasked with ruling an inhospitable world where the only thing of value is the “spice” melange, a drug capable of extending life and enhancing consciousness. Coveted across the known universe, melange is a prize worth killing for….

When House Atreides is betrayed, the destruction of Paul’s family will set the boy on a journey toward a destiny greater than he could ever have imagined. And as he evolves into the mysterious man known as Muad’Dib, he will bring to fruition humankind’s most ancient and unattainable dream.

A stunning blend of adventure and mysticism, environmentalism and politics, Dune won the first Nebula Award, shared the Hugo Award, and formed the basis of what is undoubtedly the grandest epic in science fiction.

Song of Mornius (Book One of The Talenkai Chronicles)

Gaelin Lavahl knows three things about himself.
He’s a murderer.
He hasn’t been down the mountain before.
And he can never be a hero.
Yet the sleeping god in his magical staff knows better.
The cult destroying humanity must be stopped, and only
Gaelin can wield the staff.
The problem: first he needs to accept his true self—
the warrior he was meant to be.
But can he?
Find out in Song of Mornius.

Junk

Set in present-day Los Angeles, Junk explores an epic conspiracy, one at work for thousands of years that involves total takeover of the planet Earth by aliens. In the wild, souped-up vision of Les Bohem – the acclaimed, Emmy-winning writer of the Steven Spielberg miniseries, Taken – the world is at the end stage of long-range plot that involves a gigantic genetic-engineering project. The aliens who have invaded us have no planet. No spaceship is coming. Instead, a small advance force comes, breeds, and dies – thus becoming an anomaly in our DNA that can’t be explained. In Junk, seers for centuries have had visions that turned out to be messages from our alien DNA. The time for the takeover is now. The aliens are ready, and they are starting to bloom.

This title contains explicit language and depictions of physical and sexual violence that may be upsetting to some listeners. Listener discretion is advised.

mantis force retribution (marium kahnet #1)

Decades after global infanticide wiped out millions on the planet Ramah, deep scars remain in the hearts and minds of the survivors. Though the massacre is over, the merciless Necrogog legions who committed the atrocity still threaten multitudes of star systems, following their primary objective: to kill the promised Mantis messiah, whose birth mother is a member of the Holy Order, Marium Kahnet.

Jazrene Vallo, a member of the Order, lost her beloved family during the Necrogog attack. Now she devotes her life to her sisterhood, following the instructions of a divine messenger to restructure the Holy Order and keep at bay the enemies within the Ramah government who are seeking ways to prosecute her for war crimes. But her plans are interrupted when she receives a report regarding a group of wayward sisters who left Ramah seeking retribution against those responsible for the slaughter of their families, namely the Kravjin—the master sorcerers who orchestrated the attack on Ramah. Out of desperation, Jazrene hires the services of elite mercenaries to capture the deadly rogue sisters and return them to Ramah for assimilation back into the sisterhood. For if she can’t halt their mission, the Order will forever carry a shameful bloodstained blemish.
Unbeknownst to Jazrene Vallo, the wayward sisters have already set unimaginable destruction in motion that cannot be stopped.

The Bug Out Chronicles – Exodus and Exiles

After the Black War and ensuing chaos, John Thompson leads his California family to a safe haven in the Sierra Nevada Mountains and instructs his son’s and daughter’s families, in the east, to escape to the Appalachians. The Protectorate have laid siege to all large U.S. cities, leaving inhabitants to die of starvation and disease. Few, if any escape. Through John’s instructions, the families prepare for long-term exile during the Tribulation. It is their faith that led them to this preparation and prophesies that triggered their exodus.

Exiled in the mountains, both groups encounter hardships, fears, and dangers as they struggle for basic life necessities of water, food and shelter. Relationships are tested and prophesies witnessed are recalled. All are thankful for God’s abundant blessings and protection, yet a concern for the welfare of those three thousand miles away is unsettling. The realization that they may never be reunited make them question their decisions.
Survival depends on their ability to cope with nature, adjust to their new environment and defend against predators, both animal and human. Personal loss takes a toll on family members and emotions run high. Tragedy strikes as marauders discover the families’ sanctuaries, leaving survivors with sorrow, guilt, anger, and remorse.