Balboa takes on all comers in war, computer hackers crack the human brain, a near-immortal alien bumbles through galactic politics, and Britain’s fleets take to space once more in this week’s roundup of the newest releases in science fiction.
Bound by Honor (Vigilante #4) – Terry Mixon and Glynn Stewart
An enemy of newfound strength. A friend gone missing in the night. A threat that can be ignored no more.
Brad Madrid, Commodore of the Vikings Mercenary Company, has once again been drawn into the war against the resurgent Cadre. Called into action in battles across the Solar System, from the fogs of Venus to the ice fields of Ceres, he faces deadly enemies at every turn.
In the midst of the chaos, Brad learns that his Agency contact and partner, Kate Falcone, has gone missing before she could deliver the evidence of treason she carried. With millions of lives at stake, finding her cannot be his first priority, but he searches as he goes.
Then an old enemy shares a poisonous gift as they flee from battle: the Cadre doesn’t have Kate Falcone. They know who does, however, and the hints they give Brad lead him to the one place he thought he would never make war…
Empire Ascendant (Road To Empire #2) – Dietmar Arthur Wehr
The grand experiment of a democratic Commonwealth of Star Nations has failed. With colony after colony leaving the Commonwealth, Earth finds itself in desperate straits as ecological disaster and mass starvation looms in the near future. The collapse of the Commonwealth means there’s now a power vacuum but no shortage of ruthless egos looking to fill that vacuum. Will it be the Republic of Corona, the most prosperous and populous colony world or a resurgent Earth under a messianic leader or perhaps a power-hungry interstellar corporation?
The ten year old Tau Ceti Empire is at a critical junction. The power vacuum left over from the collapse of the Commonwealth has been filled by five multi-planet star nations, the TCE being one of them. If the other four join forces and attack the TCE, it will be overwhelmed and crushed. But the longer Empress Brandenburg waits, the bigger the difference in military strength becomes. She must make plans soon because the leaders of the other four are already making theirs.
Who will ultimately stand astride a unified human star empire?
Hard Luck Hank: Dumber Than Dead (Hard Luck Hank #7) – Steven Campbell
Hank is getting married!
The space station Belvaille has become home to a species of actors. The newest edition to the Post Colmarian Confederation are the Damakan race. As a species they are capable of “broadcast empathy.” Their acting skills are so powerful they are able to make people believe their portrayals are literally happening—even over remote transmission.
Belvaille, with its access to powerful radio telescopes, becomes an entertainment powerhouse, cranking out Damakan dramas and tragedies across the empire. As the city modifies is resources to accommodate the new cash cow, Hank is hired to protect important actors by the city’s premier talent agent: his butler Cliston.
But the good times don’t last as Damakans start getting murdered and whole productions are sabotaged and even outright attacked. The Navy threatens to get involved as their favorite tele programs are interrupted and Garm, the Adjunct Overwatch of the city, enlists Hank to find the source of the violence and put an end to it.
Hank fears his own betrothed is in danger as the city gets dragged into a gang war of which no one knows the cause.
Make Science Fiction Fun Again – Jon Del Arroz
Do you miss the days when science fiction stories meant fun, crazy ideas? When a short fiction collection would entertain you and wow you with its strange, bold worlds? Then you’ll love the leading Hispanic voice in Science Fiction’s debut short fiction collection. With influences ranging from Heinlein, to McCaffrey, to Burroughs, these short stories run a gambit of telling unique stories that couldn’t be published by a major publisher today.
Inside, you’ll find tales of fighting monsters on alien planets, Nazi soldiers stumbling into a futuristic war where all life is at stake, AI coming to life and inhabiting a sexbot’s body, baseball on the moon, and more. It also features an introduction by Castalia House blogger and fan favorite, Daddy Warpig and the first collaboration between Jon Del Arroz and S. Misanthrope in “Unsafe (In) Space”.
Read it now and together we can make science fiction full of wonder again, we can make science fiction entertaining again, and we can Make Science Fiction Fun Again!
Para Bellum (Ark Royal #13) – Christopher Nuttall
On her last mission, HMS Invincible discovered an alien threat beyond human understanding: a sentient virus that has already absorbed a number of intelligent races into its multitude and now intends to do the same to humanity. Defeat means the end of everything, the end of existence as nothing more than mindless host-bodies, the end of humanity and its alien allies alike. The stakes could not be higher.
As a deeply divided humanity struggles to prepare a defence, with enemies inside and outside the human sphere just lurking to strike, Invincible is sent deep into alien space on what should have been a simple reconnaissance mission. But, as Captain Shields and his crew begin their mission, it rapidly becomes clear that a juggernaut is bearing down on Earth …
… And, no matter what they do, they may never make it home again.
A Pillar of Fire by Night (Carerra Series #7) – Tom Kratman
Carrera’s held off his enemies coming by sea from the north, in the process dealing the naval and amphibious forces of the Zhong Empire a stinging defeat. The Zhong won’t soon forget the blood-stained waters and the heaped up bodies on the shores of Balboa’s Isla Real.
Now, though, his adopted country of Balboa is under assault from the east, from the south, from the west, from the air, and from space. The Zhong, smarting from the butchery around the island, have bounced back and forced a lodgment east of the capital. Their lodgment is still a-building but when it is done Carrera can expect several hundred thousand brave and determined Zhong to show up on his barely defended flank.
It’s beginning to look like the game is up for Balboa and Patricio Carrera.
But Carrera’s been planning this war for fifteen years. He certainly hopes his enemies think they’re winning.
The Raygin War – Larry Gerovac
In order to defend against an alien invasion by an advanced race that evolved from Carrion beetles, the military put all its hope into a single person. He’s an old school soldier who started his career as a ground pounder in the Sniper Corps. Mac has been involved in about every conflict the military has participated in.
His skill as a sniper earned him the respect of every soldier who ever worked with him. He is a self taught killer. On the battlefield he has no equal. No one knows his actual body count, but everyone has a story about his skills. Whether it was killing the opponent in hand-to-hand combat, killing them with a weapon, or just plain old out maneuvering them Mac was the best the military had ever seen. If there was a conflict somewhere in the universe you could bet Mac was in the middle of it.
In order to use Mac’s skills to the utmost the Vice Admiral reinstated the old military rank of commodore for him. In times of war a commodore out ranks the vice admiral and even the elected president of the United Federation of Planets. When the Raygin war starts Mac is forced to initiate the War Powers Act making him the most powerful human ever.
Will Mac’s experience and talent be enough to neutralize the alien invasion? All is not what it seems.
Save Point: Upload – Matthew Siege
Adam Harris’s name has just appeared on a top secret list of extraterrestrial origin. Unbeknownst to him, he’s one of a handful of individuals capable of implementing a Save Point, a static moment in time he’s able to revisit over and over upon death.
It’s a good thing, too. Brain cancer was turning into a real drag…
The government owns the list though, and they’ve wasted no time snapping him up. According to them, he has thirteen days in an alien realm to learn as much as he can before the inevitable, at which point his memories, Skill Progressions and Weapon Proficiencies will endure despite his body resetting.
Then it’s rinse and repeat.
But there are unwritten rules to the game he’s about to play, and unseen forces acting in judgment.
Adam will have to learn the hard way that dying is the easiest thing he’s going to do today.
Spyware: It’s Not What You Think – Colin Robertson
Zombies, hackers, and U.S. Senators–what could be scarier? A modern horror sci-fi satire that imagines a world where cable news, social media and other mass media is used to infect the minds of the American public!
Someone has just released a virus capable of infecting the most advanced computer of all — the human brain.
Fortunately, it has been discovered by a brilliant hacker. Unfortunately, that hacker is Eddy Pending.
Eddy isn’t your typical criminal with a dark personal past. He’s far more messed up than that. Eddy’s past a maze of madness, bizarre family members, and truly terrible life choices. So, when the Men in Rose Coloured Glasses show up at his door armed with business cards that can kill, Eddy knows the right thing to do – run! Unfortunately for Eddy, that’s just not going to work. So he might just have to fight back instead.
Uprising (Fugitive Marines Book 4) – David Ryker and Douglas Scott
Double-crossed. Imprisoned. Fighting for their lives.
For the Jarheads of Oberon, it’s just another Tuesday.
But when an old foe reveals that the world is on the brink of a final world war, Quinn realizes they have to accept an impossible mission from someone he can’t trust, to find the one person who can possibly stop the evil schemes of Morley Drake and unite the world against the coming alien invasion. But who can he trust when everyone is looking out for themselves?
Meanwhile, Chelsea’s mind is slowly being poisoned by her father, and it’s up to her friends to navigate the unreal world of cortical reality and save her – and themselves – from a fate worse than attenuation. And all the while, the newly evolved Kergan is closing in on the ultimate weapon that will allow him to create a new interstellar empire on his own – starting with Earth.