“Science-fiction balances you on the cliff. Fantasy shoves you off.” — Ray Bradbury
There are a lot of books out there. Some ones that may be interesting:
The Wall of Night series by Helen Lowe
Book One: The Heir of Night; Book Two: The Gathering of the Lost (due out in April)
New Zealand author Lowe serves up a secondary world, multiverse tale of alien guardians against demonic monsters. When the guardians are overrun due to treachery, one young woman has to navigate a complicated land of rival clans and discover the secrets of her people to knit worlds back together. Multiverses and portal structures are coming back to secondary world fantasy with larger frequency in a number of ways, and this series combines a traditional hold against the dark idea with a wider universe that sounds a bit reminiscent of Robert Silverberg’s Lord Valentine’s Castle and is being compared to Barbara Hambly’s Darwarth trilogy.
Artic Rising by Tobias S. Buckell
Science fiction author Buckell offers a highly relevant near future, hard SF environmental thriller. With global warming in full swing, changing the Artic landscape and global politics drastically, an Earth-saving solar invention that could be the deadliest weapon ever collides with an international investigation into a stolen nuclear missile. Environmental crises have obviously become a subject of fascination to SF authors this last decade, and this looks to be a doozy in Nebula nominee Buckell’s very capable hands.
Royal Street by Suzanne Johnson
Wide Open by Deborah Coates
Real world events are increasingly points on which contemporary fantasy mysteries are being hung, not unlike their non-SFF counterparts, and these are two in that mold that sound interesting. Johnson’s urban fantasy thriller posits an Earth in which wizards guard places from supernatural incursions and problems, a favorite of fantasy stories. An apprentice wizard in New Orleans hasn’t much to do, until Hurricane Katrina hits the city, ripping the boundaries between worlds, and her mentor, the city’s chief guardian, disappears. Magazine writer Johnson is a long time New Orleans resident who helped in the rebuilding efforts, so this is a debut fantasy novel liable to ring true for a lot of people.
Deborah Coates also debuts with a ghost story about a sergeant stationed in Afghanistan who returns home on compassionate leave to be greeted by her sister’s ghost, a suicide the woman then believes is really a murder. An investigation turns up more ghosts, sabotage, and an enemy possibly controlling an ancient power. Coates is well known for her short fiction, so this look at the fall out from the war mixed with a ghostly mystery could be interesting.
Faith by John Love
Retired music industry exec Love debuts with a funky military SF tale of battling spaceships. In a far future where humans have spread out among the stars, a giant alien ship nicknamed Faith once came and destroyed an empire. Many years later, Faith has returned and the Commonwealth that has risen in the empire’s place is determined not to bear the same fate. A fleet of ships, built in secret, totally without law, and run by crews of convicts and psychopaths whose special talents fit the mission, begin a battle that will change human understanding of the universe they inhabit, particularly for the crew of one of the ships, the — wait for it — Charles Manson. Yes, he went there. The thriller definitely is drifting into Peter Watts territory with its themes and ideas and so I’m kind of intrigued. It’s definitely not your usual space opera battle saga.