Release Week: Chimera, vN, and Zelazny’s Chronicles of Amber from Juliani and Wheaton

July goes out with quite a bang this release week, with two of my long-anticipated sf titles and an unexpectedly fantastic surprise with the Audible Frontiers release of Roger Zelazny’s The Chronicles of Amber series under two all-star narrators.

Being quite a fan of the first and second books in the series, I’m already digging into Chimera: The Subterrene War, Book 3 By T. C. McCarthy, Narrated by John Pruden for Blackstone Audio: “Escaped Germline soldiers need to be cleaned up, and Stan Resnick is the best man for the job – a job that takes him to every dark spot and every rat hole he can find. Operatives from China and Unified Korea are gathering escaped or stolen Russian and American genetics, and there are reports of new biological nightmares: half-human things bred to live their entire lives encased in powered armor suits. Stan fights to keep himself alive and out of prison while he attempts to capture a genetic – one who will be able to tell them everything they need to know about this new threat, the one called Project Sunshine. Chimera is the third and final volume of the Subterrene War trilogy, which tells the story of a single war from the perspective of three different combatants.” While I don’t have a release day review of the audiobook for you, Publishers Weekly’s starred review says: “Breathtaking and heartrending, this is the future of military science fiction.” And my own early thoughts are: “McCarthy writing the disaffected Resnick is coming from a darker place than the self destructive fame chasing or nihilism of the journalist in book one; definitely a huge change from the nearly optimistic young voice of Exogene’s protagonist. And seeing the monitored and predicted automated US home here recalls both Big Brother and Minority Report. Here we get to see a much wider view of the world of The Subterrene War; one where Sydney and LA are nuclear wastelands, being half-heartedly resettled as a (and here is a paraphrase from memory, because I don’t have the text) ‘band-aid, to show that as much could be done was being done, and if people could just hold on until space colonization and mining finally take hold…’”

 

Speaking of the (further) future, my other much-anticipated new release today is vN: The First Machine Dynasty By Madeline Ashby, Narrated by Christina Traister for Angry Robot on Brilliance Audio. The title is listed a bit surprisingly to me under Teens, but coming with praise from Cory Doctorow (“Ashby’s debut is a fantastic adventure story that carries a sly philosophical payload about power and privilege, gender and race. It is often profound, and it is never boring”) and Peter Watts (“vN might just be the most piercing interrogation of humanoid AI since Asimov kicked it all off with the Three Laws.”) — Here’s the pitch: “For the past five years, she has been grown slowly as part of a mixed organic/synthetic family. She knows very little about her android mother’s past, so when her grandmother arrives and attacks them, young Amy wastes no time: she eats her alive. Now she’s on the run, carrying her malfunctioning granny as a partition on her memory drive. She’s growing quickly, and learning too. Like the fact that in her, and her alone, the failsafe that stops all robots from harming humans has stopped working… Which means that everyone wants a piece of her, some to use her as a weapon, others to destroy her.”

The surprise comes in the form of a beloved classic series coming to audio from a pair of all-star narrators, that series being Roger Zelazny’s Chronicles of Amber and those narrators being Alessandro Juliani (SyFy’s Battlestar Galactica reboot, and an Audie nomination for his work on Solaris: The Definitive Edition) for the first five of the ten books: Nine Princes in Amber: The Chronicles of Amber, Book 1, The Guns of Avalon: The Chronicles of Amber, Book 2, Sign of the Unicorn: The Chronicles of Amber, Book 3, The Hand of Oberon: The Chronicles of Amber, Book 4, and The Courts of Chaos: The Chronicles of Amber, Book 5:

 

And Wil Wheaton (who needs no introduction, surely?) on the remaining five: Trumps of Doom: The Chronicles of Amber, Book 6, Blood of Amber: The Chronicles of Amber, Book 7, Sign of Chaos: The Chronicles of Amber, Book 8, Knight of Shadows: The Chronicles of Amber, Book 9, and Prince of Chaos: The Chronicles of Amber, Book 10.

ALSO OUT TUESDAY:

EARLIER THIS WEEK:

SEEN BUT NOT HEARD:

  • Angel And You Dogs: Stories by Kathleen Ann Goonan (PS Publishing)
  • Report from Planet Midnight by Nalo Hopkinson (PM Press)
  • Jack Glass by Adam Roberts (Gollanz, Jul 26, 2012 — UK only?)
  • Trinity Rising by Elspeth Cooper (Gollanz, Jul 26, 2012 — UK only?) — The Wild Hunt #2 after Songs of the Earth
  • The Last Summoner by Nina Munteanu (Starfire World Syndicate, Jul 27) — “In 1410, on the Eve of the Battle of Grunwald between the warrior monks of the Teutonic Order and their oppressed Prussian slaves, a young girl has a vision… a vision of a different battle … and a different world …” (update: a book trailer)
  • Anthology: Galactic Creatures edited by Elektra Hammond (Dark Quest, LLC, July 27)
  • Closed Horizon by Peter Lantos (Arcadia Press, July 28) — “set in 2032, Mark Chadwick is a brilliant psychiatrist who is on the verge of a major scientific breakthrough. By combining functional imaging of the brain with computer technology, he can not only predict intentions but also decode human thought processes.”
  • Shadows Before the Sun by Kelly Gay (July 31, Pocket Books) — no audio news — the next book in Gay’s Charlie Madigan series
  • Dragon Justice by Laura Ann Gilman (July 24, Luna)
  • The Crown of the Usurper by Gav Thorpe (Angry Robot, Jul 31, 2012)
  • Blood and Feathers by Lou Morgan (Solaris, July 31) — “Morgan’s promising first novel features Alice, a seemingly normal woman with an uneventful life. That is, until she is visited by angels who not only inform her of the war between the angels and the Fallen, but also that she is to play an integral part in helping the angels win. Guided by a disgraced angel named Mallory, Alice comes to learn about her own history—secret even to herself—and why the angels must send her to hell.” (via Kirkus Reviews)
  • An Officer’s Duty (Theirs Not to Reason Why #2) by Jean Johnson (Ace, July 31) — “An Officer’s Duty is the second book in the Theirs Not to Reason Why series, an exciting military science fiction series featuring the tough-as-nails female protagonist named Ia. The first book, A Soldier’s Duty, was a Philip K. Dick award nominee. What sets this series apart from other military sf series is that Ia can foresee all the possible futures of mankind, and in all but one of them, her home galaxy will be destroyed. The series depicts her attempts to steer human history to that one golden future. The catch: she cannot tell anyone about her abilities or all will be lost.” (via Kirkus Reviews)
  • Whispers Under Ground by Ben Aaronovitch (Del Rey, July 31, 2012)
  • Carry the Flame by James Jaros (Harper Voyager, July 31)
  • Exile: The Outcast Chronicles by Rowena Cory Daniells (Solaris, July 31)
  • The Wanderers (Veiled Isles Trilogy) by Paula Brandon (Spectra, July 31)
  • Collection: Confessions of a Five-Chambered Heart by Caitlin R. Kiernan (Subterranean, July 31)
  • Collection: The Incarceration of Captain Nebula and Other Lost Futures by Mike Resnick (Subterranean, July 31)
  • Collection: The Woman Who Married a Cloud: The Collected Short Stories of Jonathan Carroll by Jonathan Carroll (Subterranean, July 31)
  • Anthology: Extreme Zombies edited by Paula Guran (Prime Books, July 31)
  • Anthology: Future Lovecraft edited by Silvia Moreno-Garcia and Paula R. Stiles (Prime Books, July 31)

LATER THIS WEEK:

NEXT WEEK (Aug 7):

TWO WEEKS (Aug 14):

THREE WEEKS (Aug 21):

FOUR WEEKS (Aug 28):

FIVE WEEKS (Sep 4):

  • Monstrous Beauty by Elizabeth Fama (FS&G, September 4) — “Fierce, seductive mermaid Syrenka falls in love with Ezra, a young naturalist. When she abandons her life underwater for a chance at happiness on land, she is unaware that this decision comes with horrific and deadly consequences.”
  • The Kingmakers by Clay and Susan Griffith (Pyr, September 4) — the conclusion of their Vampire Empire series which began with 2010’s The Greyfriar and 2011’s The Rift Walker — book one came to audio earlier this year from Buzzy Multimedia, read by James Marsters, and the remaining books will be coming along eventually
  • The Fractal Prince by Hannu Rajaniemi (Tor UK, Sep 4, 2012) — Tor US release in October
  • Punk: An Aesthetic by Jon Savage, William Gibson, Linder Sterling and Johan Kugelberg (Rizzoli, Sep 4, 2012) — this “heavily illustrated” book is not a good match for audio, but it’s on my list anyway, well, because Gibson. So there.
  • Teen: Origin by Jessica Khoury (Razorbill, Sep 4)
  • Ashes of Honor (October Daye, #6) by Seanan McGuire (Brilliance Audio, September 6, 2012)

SIX WEEKS (Sep 11):

SEVEN WEEKS (Sep 18):

  • The Forge of Darkness by Steven Erikson — begins a new trilogy “that takes place millennia before the events of the Malazan Book of the Fallen and introduces readers to Kurald Galain, the warren of Darkness.”
  • Midst Toil and Tribulation (Safehold)by David Weber (Tor, Sep 18)
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