Welcome to the future, or to alternate versions of this reality. If you want to really get away from it all this summer, why not try some of our new speculative fiction books, coming out in the next couple of weeks?
Let’s start with the nature of reality itself. In Beyond Redemption, by Michael R. Fletcher, belief defines reality, and so the people with the strongest delusions are able to warp reality to match their delusions. If you’re thinking, “How would religion work in such a world?”, you’re thinking along the right track. High Priest Konig shapes the beliefs of his followers, focusing on turning a young man, Mogen, into a god, a god he can control. Of course, there are other people who would like to control this would-be god, and time is running out. The author has been compared to Neil Gaiman, which is a powerful recommendation by itself.
Or we could turn to urban fantasy with Trailer Park Fae, by Lilith Saintcrow, which arrives on our shelves on June 23. In this world, the fae (fairies) interact with a somewhat gritty world of trailer parks, diners and dive bars. A half-fae, Jeremiah Gallow, is minding his own business, working in a garage, trying to forget his past with the other world, his closeness to the Summer Queen, the tattoos on his arms that could transform into weapons. Naturally, he will not be allowed to remain a semblance of an ordinary man, as he is dragged back into the Fairy world, the fate of which depends on him, by a woman who looks disturbingly like his late wife. A quirky beginning to a new series by a prolific writer.
In a similar vein, The Devil’s Only Friend, by Dan Wells, brings us to a world where the FBI hires our protagonist, John Wayne Cleaver, to hunt and kill demons and other monsters, at which he’s very skilled and has been very successful so far. Of course it’s cost him: demons have killed his neighbors, his family, and the girl he loved, and his best friend is locked away in a mental institution. He’s not thrilled to be bossed around by the FBI, either, and when all hell breaks loose (literally), it’s his job to serve and protect, like it or not.
The title of Ghost Fleet: A Novel of the Next World War, by P. W. Singer and August Cole, gives a hint of what this book is about. In 2026, a new Cold War has turned very hot, with China, the United States and Russia battling it out on land, sea, air and in cyberspace, with drones, battleships, veterans as insurgents, teenage hackers, Silicon Valley billionaires and even a serial killer all playing their parts in a war for the survival of America, written by experts in modern warfare. It’s been billed as a futuristic Hunt for Red October and should be a page-turner that will make our current political climate seem almost quaint.