My SciFi TBR is getting ridiculously long, so long that its earliest books are in danger of falling off a great cliff into some realm of oblivion. And that’s just the SciFi list. There are all the older reading projects that line my bookshelves and fill my house. The SciFi TBR is mostly on Kindle or Goodreads where its invisibility makes it all too easy to forget what the titles are as I am continually attracted to the latest gems that glitter in the advance review copy realm.
But now I need to take on the SciFi TBR and make a commitment to read the forthcoming titles that publishers have been kind enough to let me have. So here is a first post in a new series, Taking On My SciFi TBR, and we’ll see how well I do in reading and reviewing these forthcoming titles. This is a short list so I shouldn’t have a problem. I’ve already started reading Notes from the Burning Age and can’t put it down. Lavie Tidhar and Adrian Tchaikovsky are great favorites of mine so I’m sure to read their latest. Though I read lots of David Brin’s novels when I was first getting into science fiction, I have yet to read his shorter works. Premee Mohammed and Marina Lostetter are new to me so I have a lot to look forward to with their new books.
Notes from the Burning Age by Claire North
Pub Date 20 July 2021
From one of the most imaginative writers of her generation comes an extraordinary vision of the future…
“Ven was once a holy man, a keeper of ancient archives. It was his duty to interpret archaic texts, sorting useful knowledge from the heretical ideas of the Burning Age—a time of excess and climate disaster. For in Ven’s world, such material must be closely guarded so that the ills that led to that cataclysmic era can never be repeated.
But when the revolutionary Brotherhood approaches Ven, pressuring him to translate stolen writings that threaten everything he once held dear, his life will be turned upside down. Torn between friendship and faith, Ven must decide how far he’s willing to go to save this new world—and how much he is willing to lose.”
And What Can We Offer You Tonight by Premee Mohammed
Pub Date 20 July 2021
“In a far future city, where you can fall to a government cull for a single mistake, And What Can We Offer You Tonight by Premee Mohamed tells the story of Jewel, established courtesan in a luxurious House. Jewel’s world is shaken when her friend is murdered by a client, but somehow comes back to life. To get revenge, they will both have to confront the limits of loyalty, guilt, and justice.”
The Best of David Brin
Pub Date 31 July 2021
“One doesn’t have to know the world perfectly, in order to know it better. That lesson—first taught by Galileo—dwells at the core of both science and science fiction, according to legendary author David Brin. Dangers and great challenges confront the characters of his stories and award-winning novels such as The Uplift War and The Postman. But even when the odds are steep and disaster looms, there remain possibilities…
… Here, in more than twenty stories representing the best work of a masterful writer, readers will find an entire orchard of ideas, rooted in guarded optimism and stretching skyward towards a multitude of possible worlds”
Shards of Earth
by Adrian Tchaikovsky
Pub Date 3 Aug 2021
“The Arthur C. Clarke award-winning author of Children of Time brings us an extraordinary space opera about humanity on the brink of extinction, and how one man’s discovery will save or destroy us all.
The war is over. Its heroes forgotten. Until one chance discovery . . .
Idris has neither aged nor slept since they remade him in the war. And one of humanity’s heroes now scrapes by on a freelance salvage vessel, to avoid the attention of greater powers.
… Now, fifty years later, Idris and his crew have discovered something strange abandoned in space. It’s clearly the work of the Architects—but are they returning? And if so, why? Hunted by gangsters, cults and governments, Idris and his crew race across the galaxy hunting for answers. For they now possess something of incalculable value, that many would kill to obtain.”
Activation Degradation by Marina Lostetter
Pub Date 28 September 2021
“The Murderbot Diaries makes first contact in this new, futuristic, standalone novel exploring sentience and artificial intelligence through the lenses of conflicted robot hero Unit Four, from Marina Lostetter, critically acclaimed author of Noumenon, Noumenon Infinity, and Noumenon Ultra.
When Unit Four—a biological soft robot built and stored high above the Jovian atmosphere—is activated for the first time, it’s in crisis mode. Aliens are attacking the Helium-3 mine it was created to oversee, and now its sole purpose is to defend Earth’s largest energy resource from the invaders in ship-to-ship combat.
… Determined to fulfill its directives, Unit Four launches its ship and goes on the attack, but it has no idea it’s about to get caught in a downward spiral of misinformation, reprograming, and interstellar conflict.
The Escapement by Lavie Tidhar
Pub Date 24 Sep 2021
“In this dazzling new novel evoking Westerns, surrealism, epic fantasy, mythology, and circus extravaganzas, World Fantasy Award winner Lavie Tidhar (Central Station) has created an incomparable dreamscape of dark comedy, heartbreak, hope, and adventure. Chronicling a lone man’s quest in parallel worlds, The Escapement offers the archetypal darkness of Stephen King’s The Gunslinger within the dark whimsy of a child’s imagination.
Into the Escapement rides the Stranger, a lone gunman on a quest to rescue his son in a strange parallel reality. But it is easy to lose one’s way on an endlessly shifting, unpredictable landscape. Especially in a place full of dangerous mirror-images of a child’s beloved things: lawless heroes, giants made of stone, downtrodden clowns, spectacular symbol storms, and an endless war between gods and shadowy beings.
… In his most compelling work to date, Lavie Tidhar has delivered a multicolored tapestry of dazzling imagery. The Escapement is an epic, wildly original chronicle of the extraordinary lengths to which one will go for love.”