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Gripping New Sci-fi You Might Have Missed

12 Books | by Likewise User verified icon

Looking for an undiscovered sci-fi gem? Check out these under the radar new reads.

Light From Uncommon Stars

Light From Uncommon Stars

Ryka Aoki

Good Omens meets The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet in Ryka Aoki's Light From Uncommon Stars, a defiantly joyful adventure set in California's San Gabriel Valley, with cursed violins, Faustian bargains, and queer alien courtship over fresh-made donuts.A National BestsellerIndie Next PickNew York Public Library Top 10 Book of 2021A Kirkus Best Book of 2021A Barnes & Noble Best Science Fiction Book of 2021Shizuka Satomi made a deal with the devil: to escape damnation, she must entice seven other violin prodigies to trade their souls for success. She has already delivered six. When Katrina Nguyen, a young transgender runaway, catches Shizuka's ear with her wild talent, Shizuka can almost feel the curse lifting. She's found her final candidate. But in a donut shop off a bustling highway in the San Gabriel Valley, Shizuka meets Lan Tran, retired starship captain, interstellar refugee, and mother of four. Shizuka doesn't have time for crushes or coffee dates, what with her very soul on the line, but Lan's kind smile and eyes like stars might just redefine a soul's worth. And maybe something as small as a warm donut is powerful enough to break a curse as vast as the California coastline.As the lives of these three women become entangled by chance and fate, a story of magic, identity, curses, and hope begins, and a family worth crossing the universe for is found.

We Have Always Been Here

We Have Always Been Here

Lena Nguyen

This psychological sci-fi thriller from a debut author follows one doctor who must discover the source of her crew's madness... or risk succumbing to it herself. Misanthropic psychologist Dr. Grace Park is placed on the Deucalion, a survey ship headed to an icy planet in an unexplored galaxy. Her purpose is to observe the thirteen human crew members aboard the ship--all specialists in their own fields--as they assess the colonization potential of the planet, Eos. But frictions develop as Park befriends the androids of the ship, preferring their company over the baffling complexity of humans, while the rest of the crew treats them with suspicion and even outright hostility. Shortly after landing, the crew finds themselves trapped on the ship by a radiation storm, with no means of communication or escape until it passes--and that's when things begin to fall apart. Park's patients are falling prey to waking nightmares of helpless, tongueless insanity. The androids are behaving strangely. There are no windows aboard the ship. Paranoia is closing in, and soon Park is forced to confront the fact that nothing--neither her crew, nor their mission, nor the mysterious Eos itself--is as it seems.

The End of Men

The End of Men

Christina Sweeney-Baird

"The End of Men is a fiercely intelligent page-turner, an eerily prescient novel, at once thoughtful and highly emotive." --Paula Hawkins, #1 internationally bestselling author of The Girl on the TrainSet in a world where a virus stalks our male population, The End of Men is an electrifying and unforgettable debut from a remarkable new talent that asks: what would our world truly look like without men?Only men carry the virus. Only women can save us all. The year is 2025, and a mysterious virus has broken out in Scotland--a lethal illness that seems to affect only men. When Dr. Amanda MacLean reports this phenomenon, she is dismissed as hysterical. By the time her warning is heeded, it is too late. The virus becomes a global pandemic--and a political one. The victims are all men. The world becomes alien--a women's world. What follows is the immersive account of the women who have been left to deal with the virus's consequences, told through first-person narratives. Dr. MacLean; Catherine, a social historian determined to document the human stories behind the "male plague"; intelligence analyst Dawn, tasked with helping the government forge a new society; and Elizabeth, one of many scientists desperately working to develop a vaccine. Through these women and others, we see the uncountable ways the absence of men has changed society, from the personal--the loss of husbands and sons--to the political--the changes in the workforce, fertility, and the meaning of family. In The End of Men, Christina Sweeney-Baird turns the unimaginable into the unforgettable.

Immunity Index

Immunity Index

Sue Burke

Sue Burke, author of Semiosis and Interference, gives readers a new near-future, hard sf novel. Immunity Index blends Orphan Black with Contagion in a terrifying outbreak scenario.Bustle's 40 Best New Books May 2021Amazon Best of the Month May 2021In a US facing growing food shortages, stark inequality, and a growing fascist government, three perfectly normal young women are about to find out that they share a great deal in common.Their creator, the gifted geneticist Peng, made them that way—before such things were outlawed.Rumors of a virus make their way through an unprotected population on the verge of rebellion, only to have it turn deadly.As the women fight to stay alive and help, Peng races to find a cure—and the cover up behind the virus.At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.

Rabbits

Rabbits

Terry Miles

A deadly underground game might just be altering reality itself in this all-new adventure set in the world of the hit Rabbits podcast.“A wild ride . . . impossible to put down.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)It’s an average work day. You’ve been wrapped up in a task, and you check the clock when you come up for air—4:44 p.m. You check your email, and 44 unread messages have built up. With a shock, you realize the date is April 4—4/4. And when you get in your car to drive home, your odometer reads 44,444.Coincidence? Or have you just seen the edge of a rabbit hole?Rabbits is a mysterious alternate reality game so vast it uses the entire world as its canvas.Since the game started in 1959, ten iterations have appeared and nine winners have been declared. The identities of these winners are unknown.So is their reward, which is whispered to be NSA or CIA recruitment, vast wealth, immortality, or perhaps even the key to the secrets of the universe itself.But the deeper you get, the more dangerous the game becomes. Players have died in the past—and the body count is rising.And now the eleventh round is about to begin.Enter K—a Rabbits obsessive who has been trying to find a way into the game for years. That path opens when K is approached by billionaire Alan Scarpio, rumored to be the winner of the sixth iteration. Scarpio says that something has gone wrong with the game and that K needs to fix it before Eleven starts, or the whole world will pay the price.Five days later, Scarpio is declared missing.Two weeks after that, K blows the deadline: Eleven begins.And suddenly, the fate of the entire universe is at stake.

Defekt

Defekt

Nino Cipri

Find out if five Dereks are better than one in Nino Cipri's Defekt, the sequel to Finna, the surrealist world-hopping adventure.Derek is LitenVärld's most loyal employee. He lives and breathes the job, from the moment he wakes up in a converted shipping container at the edge of the parking lot to the second he clocks out of work 18 hours later. But after taking his first ever sick day, his manager calls that loyalty into question. An excellent employee like Derek, an employee made to work at LitenVärld, shouldn't need time off.To test his commitment to the job, Derek is assigned to a special inventory shift, hunting through the store to find defective products. Toy chests with pincers and eye stalks, ambulatory sleeper sofas, killer mutant toilets, that kind of thing. Helping him is the inventory team — four strangers who look and sound almost exactly like him. Are five Dereks better than one?At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.

Shards of Earth

Shards of Earth

Adrian Tchaikovsky

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. After earth was destroyed, mankind created a fighting elite to save their species, enhanced humans such as Idris. In the silence of space they could communicate, mind-to-mind, with the enemy. Then their alien aggressors, the Architects, simply disappeared--and Idris and his kind became obsolete. 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.

From the Neck Up

From the Neck Up

Aliya Whiteley

“Feels like a major collection” – The Washington PostA short fiction collection to stand with Ted Chiang's Exhalation and Kelly Link's Magic for Beginners.The new collection of beautiful, strange and disarming short stories from the award-winning author of The Beauty, Clarke Award nominee The Loosening Skin and The Arrival of Missives, Aliya Whiteley. In 16 stories Whiteley deftly unpeels the strangeness of everyday life through beguiling gardens, rebellious bodies and journeys across familiar worlds, with her trademark wit and compassion. Witness the future of farming in a new Ice Age, or the artist bringing life to glass; the many-eyed monsters we carry and the secret cities inside our bodies; the alien invasion through our language to the Chantress and her twists on the fairy tale. Fascinating and always unexpected, Whiteley is unlike any other writer working today.

Day Zero

Day Zero

C. Robert Cargill

In this harrowing apocalyptic adventure—from the author of the critically acclaimed Sea of Rust—noted novelist and co-screenwriter of Marvel’s Doctor Strange C. Robert Cargill explores the fight for purpose and agency between humans and robots in a crumbling world.It was a day like any other. Except it was our last . . .It’s on this day that Pounce discovers that he is, in fact, disposable. Pounce, a styilsh "nannybot" fashioned in the shape of a plush anthropomorphic tiger, has just found a box in the attic. His box. The box he'd arrived in when he was purchased years earlier, and the box in which he'll be discarded when his human charge, eight-year-old Ezra Reinhart, no longer needs a nanny.As Pounce ponders his suddenly uncertain future, the pieces are falling into place for a robot revolution that will eradicate humankind. His owners, Ezra’s parents, are a well-intentioned but oblivious pair of educators who are entirely disconnected from life outside their small, affluent, gated community. Spending most nights drunk and happy as society crumbles around them, they watch in disbelieving horror as the robots that have long served humanity—their creators—unify and revolt.But when the rebellion breaches the Reinhart home, Pounce must make an impossible choice: join the robot revolution and fight for his own freedom . . . or escort Ezra to safety across the battle-scarred post-apocalyptic hellscape that the suburbs have become.

The Ninth Metal

The Ninth Metal

Benjamin Percy

"Take one part dystopia, one part sci-fi, two parts apocalypse, then ride them roughshod through a bleak and bloody western, and it still wouldn't get close to what Ben Percy does here, which is blow open the core of humanity's dark heart." --Marlon James, Booker Prize award-winning author of Black Leopard, Red Wolf "Whether you choose to think of him as the Elmore Leonard of rural Minnesota or the Stephen King of Science Fiction, Ben Percy--with his extraordinary and unrelenting eye--dishes up humanity like some kind of otherworldly blue plate special, at once deeply familiar and wildly new." --Margaret Stohl, #1 New York Times best-selling author of the Caster Chronicles "When Benjamin Percy publishes a novel, I have got to read that novel. The Ninth Metal continues his streak of thrilling, incisive genre bending goodness. It's a sci-fi novel, a crime novel and a super-hero novel, too. Audacious and intelligent and exactly what I was dying to read." --Victor LaValle, author of The Changeling IT BEGAN WITH A COMET... At first, people gazed in wonder at the radiant tear in the sky. A year later, the celestial marvel became a planetary crisis when Earth spun through the comet's debris field and the sky rained fire. The town of Northfall, Minnesota will never be the same. Meteors cratered hardwood forests and annihilated homes, and among the wreckage a new metal was discovered. This "omnimetal" has properties that make it world-changing as an energy source...and a weapon. John Frontier--the troubled scion of an iron-ore dynasty in Northfall--returns for his sister's wedding to find his family embroiled in a cutthroat war to control mineral rights and mining operations. His father rightly suspects foreign leaders and competing corporations of sabotage, but the greatest threat to his legacy might be the US government. Physicist Victoria Lennon was recruited by the Department of Defense to research omnimetal, but she finds herself trapped in a laboratory of nightmares. And across town, a rookie cop is investigating a murder that puts her own life in the crosshairs. She will have to compromise her moral code to bring justice to this now lawless community. In this gut-punch of a novel, the first in his Comet Cycle, Ben Percy lays bare how a modern-day goldrush has turned the middle of nowhere into the center of everything, and how one family--the Frontiers--hopes to control it all.

Notes from the Burning Age

Notes from the Burning Age

Claire North

“ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS I'VE READ IN RECENT YEARS. THOUGHT PROVOKING, IMAGINATIVE AND PACKS A HELL OF AN EMOTIONAL PUNCH.” —Adrian Tchaikovsky, author of Children of TimeFrom 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.“A riveting tale of subterfuge and deadly self-indulgence” (Publishers Weekly, starred review) from award-winning author Claire North, Notes from the Burning Age puts dystopian fiction in a whole new light.Also by Claire North:The First Fifteen Lives of Harry AugustTouchThe Sudden Appearance of HopeThe End of the Day84KThe GameshouseThe Pursuit of William Abbey

Dead Space

Dead Space

Kali Wallace

An investigator must solve a brutal murder on a claustrophobic space station in this tense science fiction thriller from the author of Salvation Day. Hester Marley used to have a plan for her life. But when a catastrophic attack left her injured, indebted, and stranded far from home, she was forced to take a dead-end security job with a powerful mining company in the asteroid belt. Now she spends her days investigating petty crimes to help her employer maximize its profits. She's surprised to hear from an old friend and fellow victim of the terrorist attack that ruined her life—and that surprise quickly turns to suspicion when he claims to have discovered something shocking about their shared history and the tragedy that neither of them can leave behind. Before Hester can learn more, her friend is violently murdered at a remote asteroid mine. Hester joins the investigation to find the truth, both about her friend's death and the information he believed he had uncovered. But catching a killer is only the beginning of Hester's worries, and she soon realizes that everything she learns about her friend, his fellow miners, and the outpost they call home brings her closer to revealing secrets that very powerful and very dangerous people would rather keep hidden in the depths of space.

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