Table of Contents
Head below for the full list of science fiction titles heading your way in October!
Keep track of all the new SFF releases here. You can also find horror titles scheduled for 2020 here. All title summaries are taken and/or summarized from copy provided by the publisher. Note: Release dates are subject to change.
WEEK ONE (October 6)
The Ministry for the Future—Kim Stanley Robinson (Orbit)
The Ministry for the Future is a masterpiece of the imagination, using fictional eyewitness accounts to tell the story of how climate change will affect us all. Its setting is not a desolate, postapocalyptic world, but a future that is almost upon us—and in which we might just overcome the extraordinary challenges we face. It is a novel both immediate and impactful, desperate and hopeful in equal measure, and it is one of the most powerful and original books on climate change ever written.
The Valkyrie Protocol (Gordian Division #2)—David Weber, Jacob Holo (Baen)
Agent Raibert Kaminski and the crew of the Transtemporal Vehicle Kleio have stumbled across a temporal implosion that has claimed two whole universes, and neither Raibert nor his crew can figure out what caused this calamity, or how to stop its spread. Meanwhile, old colleagues of Raibert’s from the Antiquities Rescue Trust, together with a version of Samuel Pepys transplanted from the 17th century into the 30th, have proposed an expedition into the past. The goal? To branch the timeline by preventing the Plague of Justinian, one of the worst pandemics in human history. And on a multidimensional level, governmental entity SysGov’s multiverse neighbor, the xenophobic Admin, is stirring. While their ambassadors put on a friendly show, the Admin is amassing a fleet of advanced, heavily armed time machines—with SysGov firmly in the crosshairs. In the midst of the temporal turmoil, time is running out for Raibert and his team to save the rest of the known universes from ceasing to exist. Navigating the paradoxes of time can be a killer task—especially when dogged by those who seek your destruction at every turn. But this isn’t the first Time Rodeo for the crew of the Kleio, and they won’t go down without a fight—no matter where—or when—the threat to the multiverse arises!
Aurora Rising (Prefect Dreyfus Emergencies #1—Alastair Reynolds (Orbit)
Tom Dreyfus is a Prefect, a law enforcement officer with the Panoply. His beat is the Glitter Band, that vast swirl of space habitats orbiting the planet Yellowstone, the teeming hub of a human interstellar empire spanning many worlds. His current case: investigating a murderous attack against one of the habitats that leaves nine hundred people dead. But his investigation uncovers something far more serious than mass slaughter—a covert plot by an enigmatic entity who seeks nothing less than total control of the Glitter Band.
Machine (White Space)—Elizabeth Bear (Saga)
Meet Doctor Jens. She hasn’t had a decent cup of coffee in fifteen years. Her workday begins when she jumps out of perfectly good space ships and continues with developing treatments for sick alien species she’s never seen before. She loves her life. Even without the coffee. But Dr. Jens is about to discover an astonishing mystery: two ships, one ancient and one new, locked in a deadly embrace. The crew is suffering from an unknown ailment and the shipmind is trapped in an inadequate body, much of her memory pared away. Unfortunately, Dr. Jens can’t resist a mystery and she begins doing some digging. She has no idea that she’s about to discover horrifying and life-changing truths
WEEK TWO (October 13)
The Tindalos Assett (Tinfoil Dossier #3)—Caitlin R Kiernan (Tor.com Publishing)
A rundown apartment in Koreatown. A Los Angeles winter. A strung out, worn out, wrecked and used government agent is scraped up off the pavement, cleaned up, and reluctantly sent out into battle one last time. Ellison Nicodemo has seen and done terrible things. She thought her only remaining quest was for oblivion. Then the Signalman comes calling. He wants to learn if she can stop the latest apocalypse. Ellison, once a unique and valuable asset, can barely remember why she ever fought the good fight. Still, you don’t say no to the Signalman, and the time has come to face her fears and the nightmare forces that almost destroyed her. Only Ellison can unleash the hound of Tindalos…
Dune: The Duke of Caladan (Caladan #1)—Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson (Tor Books)
Leto Atreides, Duke of Caladan and father of the Muad’Dib. While all know of his fall and the rise of his son, little is known about the quiet ruler of Caladan and his partner Jessica. Or how a Duke of an inconsequential planet earned an emperor’s favor, the ire of House Harkonnen, and set himself on a collision course with his own death. This is the story. Through patience and loyalty, Leto serves the Golden Lion Throne. Where others scheme, the Duke of Caladan acts. But Leto’s powerful enemies are starting to feel that he is rising beyond his station, and House Atreides rises too high. With unseen enemies circling, Leto must decide if the twin burdens of duty and honor are worth the price of his life, family, and love.
Attack Surface—Cory Doctorow (Tor Books)
Most days, Masha Maximow was sure she’d chosen the winning side. In her day job as a counterterrorism wizard for an transnational cybersecurity firm, she made the hacks that allowed repressive regimes to spy on dissidents, and manipulate their every move. The perks were fantastic, and the pay was obscene. Just for fun, and to piss off her masters, Masha sometimes used her mad skills to help those same troublemakers evade detection, if their cause was just. It was a dangerous game and a hell of a rush. But seriously self-destructive. And unsustainable. When her targets were strangers in faraway police states, it was easy to compartmentalize, to ignore the collateral damage of murder, rape, and torture. But when it hits close to home, and the hacks and exploits she’s devised are directed at her friends and family—including boy wonder Marcus Yallow, her old crush and archrival, and his entourage of naïve idealists—Masha realizes she has to choose. And whatever choice she makes, someone is going to get hurt.
Zoey Punches The Future in the Dick (Zoey Ashe #2)—David Wong (St. Martin’s Press)
In the futuristic city of Tabula Ra$a, Zoey Ashe is like a fish so far out of water that it has achieved orbit. After inheriting a criminal empire, the twenty-three year-old finds herself under threat from all sides as a rogue’s gallery of larger-than-life enemies think they smell weakness. On the eve of the world’s most lavish and ridiculous Halloween celebration, a steamer trunk-sized box arrives at Zoey’s door and she is shocked to find that it contains a disemboweled corpse. She is even more shocked when that corpse, controlled by an unknown party, rises and goes on a rampage through the house. Speaking in an electronic voice, it publicly accuses Zoey of being its murderer. This is the kind of thing that almost never happened at her old job. The city was already a ticking time bomb of publicity-hungry vigilantes with superhuman enhancements and Zoey knows this turn of events is unlikely to improve the situation. Now, she and her team of high-tech tricksters have to solve this bizarre murder while simultaneously keeping Tabula Ra$a from descending into chaos.
WEEK THREE (October 20)
Phoenix Extravagant—Yoon Ha Lee (Solaris)
Gyen Jebi isn’t a fighter or a subversive. They just want to paint. One day they’re jobless and desperate; the next, Jebi finds themself recruited by the Ministry of Armor to paint the mystical sigils that animate the occupying government’s automaton soldiers. But when Jebi discovers the depths of the Razanei government’s horrifying crimes—and the awful source of the magical pigments they use—they find they can no longer stay out of politics. What they can do is steal Arazi, the ministry’s mighty dragon automaton, and find a way to fight…
The Mirror Man—Jane Gilmartin (Mira Books)
The offer is too tempting: be part of a scientific breakthrough, step out of his life for a year, and be paid hugely for it. When ViMed Pharmaceutical asks Jeremiah to be part of an illegal cloning experiment, he sees it as a break from an existence he feels disconnected from. No one will know he’s been replaced—not the son who ignores him, not his increasingly distant wife—since a revolutionary drug called Meld can transfer his consciousness and memories to his copy. From a luxurious apartment, he watches the clone navigate his day-to-day life. But soon Jeremiah discovers that examining himself from an outsider’s perspective isn’t what he thought it would be, and he watches in horror as “his” life spirals out of control. ViMed needs the experiment to succeed—they won’t call it off, and are prepared to remove any obstacle. With his family in danger, Jeremiah needs to finally find the courage to face himself head-on.
To Hold Up the Sky—Cixin Liu (Tor Books)
In To Hold Up the Sky, Cixin Liu takes us across time and space, from a rural mountain community where elementary students must use physicas to prevent an alien invasion; to coal mines in northern China where new technology will either save lives of unleash a fire that will burn for centuries; to a time very much like our own, when superstring computers predict our every move; to 10,000 years in the future, when humanity is finally able to begin anew; to the very collapse of the universe itself. Written between 1999 and 2017 and never before published in English, these stories came into being during decades of major change in China and will take you across time and space through the eyes of one of science fiction’s most visionary writers. Experience the limitless and pure joy of Cixin Liu’s writing and imagination in this stunning collection.
WEEK FOUR (October 27)
How the Multiverse Got Its Revenge (Thorne #2)—K. Eason (DAW)
After avoiding an arranged marriage, thwarting a coup, and inadvertently kick-starting a revolution, Rory Thorne has renounced her title and embraced an unglamorous life as a privateer on the edge of human space. Her new life is interrupted when Rory and her crew–former royal bodyguards, Thorsdottir and Zhang, and co-conspirator Jaed–encounter an abandoned ship registered under a false name, seemingly fallen victim to attack. As they investigate, they find evidence of vicious technology and arithmancy, alien and far beyond known capabilities. The only answer to all the destruction is the mysterious, and unexpected, cargo: a rose plant. One that reveals themself to be sentient–and designed as a massive biological weapon. Rose seeks to escape their intended fate, but before Rory and her friends can get Rose off the derelict ship, the alien attackers return. Rory and her friends must act fast–and wisely–to save themselves, and Rose, and maybe the multiverse, too, from a war humanity cannot win.