Image of ARC courtesy of Paolo Bacigalupi himself.
Paolo Bacigalupi, the Hugo, Nebula, Locus, and Michael L. Printz Award winning author of The Windup Girl, Ship Breaker, and The Drowned Cities has a new young adult novel coming out. Entitled Zombie Baseball Beatdown, it is now available for pre-order on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and presumably, other online retailers. The attached description of the book:
In this inventive, fast-paced novel, New York Times bestselling and Printz Award-winning author Paolo Bacigalupi takes on hard-hitting themes–from food safety to racism and immigration–and creates a zany, grand-slam adventure that will get kids thinking about where their food comes from.
The zombie apocalypse begins on the day Rabi, Miguel, and Joe are practicing baseball near their town’s local meatpacking plant and nearly get knocked out by a really big stink. Little do they know the plant’s toxic cattle feed is turning cows into flesh-craving monsters! The boys decide to launch a stealth investigation into the plant’s dangerous practices, unknowingly discovering a greedy corporation’s plot to look the other way as tainted meat is sold to thousands all over the country. With no grownups left they can trust, Rabi and his friends will have to grab their bats to protect themselves (and a few of their enemies) if they want to stay alive…and maybe even save the world.
The novel is due for release on September 10th of this year. Needless to say, you’ll see a review on Android Dreamer
within the first week. In the meantime, check out our previous review of The Drowned Cities
, which was hands down the best sci-fi novel of 2012.
There are a handful of science fiction novels coming out in the next few months that have caught our eye, including the final entry of a trilogy that really ought to go down as one of the most entertaining and well-written science fiction series ever, the fifth book in a great military sci-fi series, and a detective story set on Mars. Here’s a quick look at the three books Android Dreamer is most excited about:
Red Planet Blues by Robert J. Sawyer – Robert J. Sawyer is one of those writers that you either love or hate, and we love everything we’ve read of his so far. Red Planet Blues is apparently a noir-ish detective story set on a future dystopian Mars extrapolated from his Hugo & Nebula Award-nominated novella “Identity Theft”, which sounds too good to pass up. To be released on March 26th.
Necessary Evil by Ian Tregillis – Although he may not be a household name yet, the Milkweed Tryptych (as the trilogy is called) is one of the most exciting and completely original works to come out of science fiction in years. The first chapter, Bitter Seeds, was among the best books of the year when it was released way back in 2010, and the middle novel, The Coldest War, definitely lived up to the thrill of the first. Raybould Marsh is one of the most memorable sci-fi heroes ever, and the series is a must read on the strength of his character alone. Necessary Evil is set to be released on April 30th.
The Human Division by John Scalzi – The fifth novel in Scalzi’s Hugo Award nominated Old Man’s War series, The Human Division is already available in individual story-length ebooks. Scalzi is a huge presence on the internet, and is also juggling being the president of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America and being a very prolific novelist. The Human Division will see release as a complete novel on May 14th.
What big science fiction & fantasy release are you looking forward to over the next few months? Which big ones did we miss?
June is steampunk month. From the first to the thirtieth, we will be covering all sorts of steampunk related material roughly 80% of the time. There will be a couple things talked about that aren’t related to clockwork and zeppelins, such as a review of John Scalzi’s novel Redshirts that comes out in June, as well as of the new film Prometheus that just begs for discussion.
As a tie-in to this month, our first pick for the Android Dreamer Book Club on Goodreads is the novel Dreadnought by Cherie Priest, which will be discussed throughout the month on our Goodreads club and will be formally reviewed here the last week of the month. You are encouraged to join the discussion and share your thoughts, which may be used (with your permission) in this very website in an article about group member reactions to the book of the month.
Among the steampunk related materials we will review are: James P. Blaylock’s Homunculus, Lavie Tidhar’s Camera Obscura, William Gibson & Bruce Sterling’s The Difference Engine, Lindsay Buroker’s Flash Gold, and more. We still intend to make Fridays into the day where we post original fiction, but are still looking for the right writers. If you have written a steampunk short story that you think is up to snuff, we encourage you to submit your work to us for consideration.
Also a part of the fun that will go on well beyond this month: starting this coming Sunday, I will be reviewing the entire Firefly series on episode at a time every Sunday until all fourteen episodes, its film, and the tie-in comic series’ are done. Whether or not Firefly is actually steampunk is irrelevant; I’m doing it anyway. If this goes well, we may pick a new series to do one piece at a time after it is done.
If you can think of a steampunk related book, movie, or otherwise you think we should review, feel free to drop us a line at androiddreamerblog (at) gmail.com. We can’t guarantee every suggestion will be read or watched, but we would love to see them anyway. Thanks for reading!
This summer looks like it will shape up to be pretty significant in terms of science fiction releases. The number of big names putting out new books over the next few months is pretty impressive, and as such it is worth taking a quick look at what we will be reading through the warmer months.
- The Drowned Cities by Paolo Bacigalupi – The hottest novelist in science fiction returns to the world he created in Ship Breaker with a new young adult novel that follows two young refugees from a war torn world, where one of them is kidnapped and the other is forced to decide between saving his friend or finally getting freedom. Was released on May 1st by Little Brown Books
- Railsea by China Mieville – A science fiction-y retelling of Melville’s Moby Dick tells the story of hunters tracking down enormous mole-like creatures with harpoons while travelling down an endless system of rails across the Railsea. They discover a derelict train that leads them to something mysterious and impossible. Was released on May 15th by Del Rey
- Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas by John Scalzi – Scalzi parodies the classic Star Trek series in a comedic novel that follows a young Ensign who begins to realize that every time a team leaves the ship, it comes back with one less lower ranked crew member while the officers always mysteriously remain in tact. Tongue-in-cheek sci-fi adventure in the typical Scalzi good humor. To be released June 5th by Tor Books
- The Apocalypse Codex by Charles Stross – Bob Howard is a computational demonologist working for the English government when a mysterious televangelist with healing powers named Ray Schiller starts to get a little too cozy with the Prime Minister. When the government dispatches a brilliant woman named Persephone Hazard to infilitrate the healer’s religious organization, Howard has to make sure everything doesn’t blow up their collective faces. To be released July 3rd
- The Coldest War by Ian Tregillis – The long awaited sequel to the brilliant Bitter Seeds, an alternate history story set in a world where the British use warlocks to fight the Nazis and their superhuman soldiers. Raybould Marsh was one of the best characters in recent science fiction memory and his re-appearance will be worth the price of the book alone. To be released July 17th by Tor Books
- Whispers Under Grounds by Ben Aaronovitch – The third novel in Aaronovitch’s series about Peter Grant, a mixed race copper and amateur wizard living in London and investigating crimes involving paranormal magic. This novel takes Grant and his allies into the subway, still on the hunt for a mysterious wizard called The Faceless Man. To be released July 31st by Del Rey
This is just a handful of the really exciting science fiction novels coming out this summer. Rest assured that your dear editor realizes that this list is a bit of a sausage fest so please let us know what we’re missing from the list that you are looking forward to in the coming months.