Princess Kayla turned pit fighter to hide from the empire that wants her dead. Winning the tournament to pick the empire’s next empress, the Empress Game, could gain freedom for her and her people. Can Kayla defeat the skill and treachery of the Game’s other contestants?
The game is a deadly mixture of pit battles and complex politics. Kayla’s people potentially having a nanotech plague cure creates political suspense and moral complexities. Kayla’s loyalties are challenged by the bond she develops with the honorable and handsome Empire agent Malkor. The Empress Game offers science fiction, suspense, and some romance.
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An attempt to prove her lover innocent of murder places an engineer in the midst of a conspiracy in The Cold Between by Elizabeth Bonesteel.
Edie’s skills with nanotech could free the Fringe if secrets and forced alliances don’t get her killed in Song of Scarabaeus by Sara Creasy.
Lt. Promise Paen must face dangerous secrets when invasion threatens the world she left long ago in Unbreakable by W.C. Bauers.
The scientists and crew of the Atargatis seek mermaids in the isolated Mariana Trench. They will find terror and death. What horrors lie behind the myth of beautiful mermaids?
These mermaids are gory predators which create a desire to avoid deep, isolated waters. A vaguely scientific explanation for their creepy ability to mimic their prey creates horrified curiosity about what lies deep beneath the sea. The fast paced story gives just enough time to care about the characters before the mermaids attack. Rolling in the Deep offers a fast paced tale of scientists encountering horrors from the sea.
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A marine biologist at an isolated marine institute faces a dangerous sea creature in Creature by Peter Benchley.
A paleontologist battles the creature that killed his crew mates in a previous expedition in Meg by Steve Alten.
Two scientists are sent to Long Island when people begin disappearing and dying due to mysterious attacks in Mount Misery by Angelo Peluso.
The Wersgorix thought King Edward III’s England ripe for conquest. Instead, Sir Roger Baron de Tourneville happily beats them back and dares to plot. What fate awaits brave Englishmen among the stars?
Middle Age Englishmen jollily fighting aliens and then fretting is humorous. Sir Roger cunningly uses war tactics and cuthroat political moves, but victory is uncertain. Sir Roger is an interesting blend of cunning, unpolished, brave, and arrogant. Brother Parvus muses on some serious issues while long sufferingly grappling with his duties. The High Crusade offers science fiction, alternate history, adventure, and dashes of humor.
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Grantville, West Virginia is transported to Germany in 1632 and changes history in 1632 by Eric Flint.
A group of 14th century Englishmen abducted by aliens seek their freedom in The Excalibur Alternative by David Weber.
Queen Elizabeth must free England after the Spanish invade it using alien technology in Saint Antony’s Fire by Steve White.
Irving lives for court cases, his fiancee, and solving oddities with his friend Wilson Wu. Can the duo navigate the intricacies of space and time to locate a mysterious junkyard? Can they reverse the Big Crunch so Irving has a chance at martial bliss?
Irving is like a long suffering Dr. Watson: he loyally interrupts his regular life to help his friend with matters he doesn’t entirely understand. Wu is zany with calm understanding of threatening anomalies and what must be done to fix them. This collection of connected stories has interesting math, wordplay, off the wall events, and dry humor. Numbers Don’t Lie offers humor, people pulled into the unexpected, and optional food for thought.
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Thursday Next is pulled into the stories behind stories when Jane Eyre is kidnapped in The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde.
Arthur Dent didn’t expect Earth to be destroyed for an intergalactic highway or to survive it, but his adventures have only begun in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams.
An overworked time traveler tries to find rest in Victorian England, but only finds more stress when work intrudes in To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis.
Compared to conquering Earth, retirement is a let down for the villainous Emperor Mollusk. When a sinister villain tries to wrest Earth away Mollusk refuses to allow it. Can Mollusk save Earth or will he cause its destruction?
This over the top tale includes just about every plot device from old fashioned science fiction. Dinosaur Island, aliens and other parts of old fashioned science fiction create a nonstop series of traps for the mad scientist emperor. Mollusk’s exasperated arguing with warrior Venus cop Zala show he is no redeemed hero but possibly an antihero. Emperor Mollusk offers a humorous take on science fiction plot devices and themes.
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Aliens come to Hollywood to make first contact in Agent to the Stars by John Scalzi.
In the near future countries conduct politics through their ‘Faces’. Faces are beautiful, compliant, and deceitful. Amazonian Face Suyana Supaki is rare for not being beautiful or compliant. When someone attempts to kill her will her skill at deceit be enough to save her? Faces are a politician/celebrity combination which brings out the underbelly of the public image aspect of politics. Suyana’s ties to the Amazon also bring environmental politics into the story. Her mistrust of her dangerous world brings her close to, and far from, jaded idealistic journalist Daniel Park. The result is a political thriller with conflicted protagonists. Persona is a thriller which offers a near future look at politics of the future. Want other books like Persona?
An algorithm which takes social media group sorting to the next level causes chaos in The Affinities by Robert Charles Wilson.
A woman searches for the secrets of a UN directive which controls the world after her mother is abducted in Agenda 21 by Glenn Beck.
In a near future U.S. southwest water politics get cutthroat in The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi.
Inventor Leviticus Blue’s visionary mining device turned Seattle into a zombie land in 1863. Years later, his widow Briar and teenage son Zeke are still hated for the mess Blue left behind. When Zeke journeys into Seattle’s ruins for answers Briar sets out to rescue him. Can they survive zombies and outlaws in their quest to put the past to rest?
Boneshaker is steampunk infused with horror, western, and alternate history. Seattle is a menacing underground full of ‘rotters’ and poisonous ‘blight’. The outlaws follow a code, or are utterly ruthless, and pack tough weaponry. There is also a dash of alternate history since the Civil War still rages and Seattle is quarantined. The characters give the story a fun and adventurous tone. Briar is tough, the outlaws are dangerous but some are trustworthy, and a mad scientist tries to rule. Boneshaker is a fun steampunk genreblend.
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In an alternate Tombstone, Doc Holiday fights to defend Thomas Edison from an undead outlaw in The Buntline Special by Mike Resnick.
A bounty hunter afflicted with lycanthropy searches for a rare artifact so he can reunite with his brother in Dead Iron by Devon Monk.
A prostitute struggles to save her city from an evil mind control device in Karen Memory by Elizabeth Bear.