The Four Horsemen. The Republic of Cinnabar Navy. The Imperium of Man. Tyler Barron’s Confederation. The Abh Empire. Black Jack Geary’s Alliance. Classic space navies of the past and present loom large in this week’s constellation of the newest releases in science fiction.
Crest of the Stars #1 – Hiroyuki Morioka
In the far-distant future, mankind has traversed the stars and settled distant worlds. But no matter how advanced the technology of the future becomes, it seems the spacefaring nations cannot entirely shed their human nature.
Jinto Lin finds this out the hard way when, as a child, his home world is conquered by the powerful Abh Empire: the self-proclaimed Kin of the Stars, and rulers of vast swaths of the known universe. As a newly-appointed member of the Abh’s imperial aristocracy, Jinto must learn to forge his own destiny in the wider universe while bearing burdens he never asked for, caught between his surface-dweller “Lander” heritage and the byzantine culture of the Abh, of which he is now nominally a member. A chance meeting with the brave-but-lonely Apprentice Starpilot Lafier aboard the Patrol Ship Goslauth will lead them both headfirst down a path of galaxy-spanning intrigue and warfare that will forever change the fate of all of humankind.
Earth Unleashed (Earthside #12) – Daniel Arenson
It begins. The final battle between man and machine.
Earth burns. The Dreamer, a cruel artificial intelligence, brutalizes our world. His robots reduce our cities to ash. His cyborgs march by the millions. Humanity is now an endangered species.
But we still fight!
A band of heroes undertakes a dangerous quest. Some call it a suicide mission. They fly to a computerized world, deep in space, where the Dreamer dwells.
There humanity will face an electric god. There we will fall . . . or rise higher than ever before.
The Eve of War (Ruins of the Galaxy #1) – Christopher Hopper
He’d never do this again.
But she was pretty.
And it was his job to follow orders, right?
Still, this kind of woman was trouble. The type that ended careers. That got Republic Marines killed.
All he needed to do was keep her close and get her to the top of the building. But his gut told him she wasn’t going to make it easy.
That victory cigar was a long day away.
The Feeding of Sorrows (Four Horsemen Tales #11) – Rob Howell
Once is an accident. Twice is a coincidence. Three times is enemy action.
When Zuul-led thugs attack members of the Queen Elizabeth’s Own Foresters leaving the Lyon’s Den, the battles on Cimaron 283133-6A and Peninnah become enemy action, not simply mercs fulfilling contracts. What the Foresters don’t realize is that these attacks have been planned for years as part of an even larger series of plots aided by members of the Mercenary Guild.
Unlikely allies appear, including a Peacemaker who doesn’t like being used, an electronic intelligence specialist with a past that’s heavily redacted, and the strangest recruit in the Foresters’ history, but will their aid be enough against foes who seek the unit’s complete and utter destruction? And more importantly—who is funding the intelligence specialist’s special toys?
Answers will be found as the Foresters battles across the stars and in alien jungles—but will the answers only bring more questions?
Only two things are certain. Alliances will shift. And sorrows will be fed.
The Others (Blood on the Stars #13) – Jay Allan
From the deepest darks of unknown space, evil comes…
Admiral Tyler Barron and the Confederation navy face a new threat, darker and deadlier than any that have come before.
The Confederation has just concluded its war with the Hegemony, but now that power, so long the hated enemy, is calling for help, for the Confederation to join it to face a deadly invasion, one likely to subjugate all humanity.
Barron must overcome his own resentments, and the resistance of the Senate, and find a way to lead his forces into battle once more. The odds are long, but the stakes couldn’t be higher, no less than a choice between survival and freedom…and slavery and death.
Barron and his people will find the strength, somehow, to face the invincible enemy, to find some way to fight, to overcome the darkness.
Or at least to survive to fight another day.
The Solar War (The Horus Heresy: Siege of Terra #1) – John Fench
After seven years of bitter war, the end has come at last for the conflict known infamously as the Horus Heresy. Terra now lies within the Warmaster’s sights, the Throneworld and the seat of his father’s rule. Horus’ desire is nothing less than the death of the Emperor of Mankind and the utter subjugation of the Imperium. He has become the ascendant vessel of Chaos, and amassed a terrible army with which to enact his will and vengeance. But the way to the Throne will be hard as the primarch Rogal Dorn, the Praetorian and protector of Terra, marshals the defences. First and foremost, Horus must challenge the might of the Sol System itself and the many fleets and bulwarks arrayed there. To gain even a foothold on Terran soil, he must first contend the Solar War. Thus the first stage of the greatest conflict in the history of all mankind begins.
READ IT BECAUSE: The final act of the long-running, bestselling series starts here, with a brutal and uncompromising look at the first stage of the Siege of Terra, the war to conquer the solar system. Armies will fall, heroes will rise and legends will be written…
To Clear Away the Shadows (RCN Series #13) – David Drake
The truce between Cinnabar and the Alliance is holding, and the Republic of Cinnabar Navy is able to explore regions of the galaxy without the explorers being swept up in great power conflict.
The Far Traveller is probing sponge space to open routes for Cinnabar traders—and for RCN warships if war breaks out again. But besides astrogation, the Far Traveller is to survey and catalog life forms on the worlds it touches.
Harry Harper has just been posted to the Traveller. He’s an RCN officer by convention, a scientist by training—and a member of one of leading aristocratic families on Cinnabar by birth.
Lieutenant Rick Grenville would rather serve on a warship in the heart of battle, but peace and the whim of the Navy Board have put him on an exploration vessel instead. He finds that the dangers on the fringes of civilization are just as great as those from missiles and gunfire that he expected to face.
As internal struggles cause the Alliance to relax its iron grip, regional forces are attempting to increase their own power—and they’re not fussy about the means they use.
Besides the biological answers that officials on Cinnabar expect the Far Traveller to find, the ship’s Director of Science, Doctor Veil, has her own agenda: to learn more about the Archaic Spacefarers who roamed the universe tens of thousands of years before humans reached the stars.
The crew of the Far Traveller is poised to clear more of the shadows away from the deep past than ever before in human history—if they survive.
Triumphant (Genesis Fleet #3) – Jack Campbell
The recently colonized world of Glenlyon has learned that they’re stronger when they stand with other star systems than they are on their own. But after helping their neighbor Kosatka against an invasion, Glenlyon has become a target. The aggressive star systems plan to neutralize Glenlyon before striking again.
An attack is launched against Glenlyon’s orbital facility with forces too powerful for fleet officer Rob Geary to counter using their sole remaining destroyer, Saber. Mele Darcy’s Marines must repel repeated assaults while their hacker tries to get into the enemy systems to give Saber a fighting chance.
To survive, Glenlyon needs more firepower, and the only source for that is their neighbor Kosatka or other star systems that have so far remained neutral. But Kosatka is still battling the remnants of the invasion forces on its own world, and if it sends its only remaining warship to help will be left undefended against another invasion. While Carmen Ochoa fights for the freedom of Kosatka, Lochan Nakamura must survive assassins as he tries to convince other worlds to join a seemingly hopeless struggle.
As star systems founded by people seeking freedom and autonomy, will Kosatka, Glenlyon and others be able to overcome deep suspicions of surrendering any authority to others? Will the free star systems stand together in a new Alliance, or fall alone?
We Dare – edited by Chris Kennedy and Jamie Ibson
All I need is an edge! As long as humans have competed with each other (for food, profit, and love), people have looked for ways to get an edge on the competition—how to be better, faster, and smarter than the opposition. With better science and technology, many things are now possible, and there will be many more in the future! Gene splicing will augment your abilities. Implants will make you smarter. Cybernetic systems will make you stronger.
Edited by Jamie Ibson and Chris Kennedy, “We Dare” is a collection of 15 all-new stories that explores the use of augmented humanity in the near future. From getting a new personality loaded with the skills you need for a mission to nanobots that keep you from being killed to creating an indestructible tank, anything is possible!
But just because we can augment humanity doesn’t necessarily mean we should, and there are cautionary tales inside as well. Along with the “good” that might be possible, there is also the potential for augmentation to be used for more…nefarious…ends. Will augmentation make better criminals? What happens when someone with implants has their mind taken over?
One thing is certain, though—people will dare to augment themselves to get an edge. Our authors dared to write these stories of augmented humanity; will you now dare to read them?