Nebula finalist Martha Wells will write two more Murderbot Diaries to follow on the popular ALL SYSTEMS RED (released in May of this year) and the forthcoming ARTIFICIAL CONDITION, arriving in January 2018. The third entry of the Murderbot Diaries ROGUE PROTOCOL and the fourth untitled book will also be published later in 2018. The Murderbot Diaries books were acquired by Tor.com Publishing’s senior editor, Lee Harris from Jennifer Jackson.
- Etched in Bone by Anne Bishop
- All Systems Red by Martha Wells
- City of Miracles by Robert Jackson Bennett
- Raven Stratagem by Yoon Ha Lee
B&N SFF Review: Yoon Ha Lee blew up like a supernova last year with the release of his debut novel, Ninefox Gambit, earning a double fistful of award nominations (among them the Hugo, Nebula, and Clarke awards) for a brainy, intricate space opera as much about identity, the politics of empire, and grief, as it is about flashy space battles and a revolution within a mathematically constructed super-empire known as the Hexarchate.
Lee’s ability to balance high science fiction concepts, worlds, cultures, and weapons-with a deep examination of character-tragic flaws, noble purpose, and societal ideas is nigh unprecedented in space opera.
Raven Stratagem more than lives up to the promise of its predecessor, continuing the intriguing double-sided story of Shuos Jedao, the enigmatic tactician reborn and looking to make things right once and for all. It is a challenging read, but it’s not all philosophizing and waxing poetically about scattering of stars in the Hexarchate. There’s a ton of action, and when it hits, it hits hard. There’s literally a climactic battle in which two space fleets just throw math at each other, and it’s spectacular. Only a mad genius could pull off that maneuver in style and that madman’s name is Yoon Ha Lee.
Tor.com: The action-mystery-adventure element to All Systems Red is a lot of fun. Wells has a really tight grasp of tension and pacing, and a truly polished skill with turning a phrase. The language in All Systems Red draws no attention to itself, but Wells has a knack for making even unobtrusive prose slide into a vivid line that brings a whole paragraph to life. But the real appeal of All Systems Red is the voice…All Systems Red is a really fun piece of science fiction adventure with compelling characters and great pacing.
RT Book Reviews: You’ll need to clear your schedule as soon as you get your hands on a copy of Drayden’s debut novel! Taking place in a near-future South Africa, Drayden introduces us to a diverse and endearing cast of characters and mind-blowingly cool concepts. She expertly blends together science fiction and fantasy for a wild ride that gives readers both a robot uprising and a vengeful demigoddess craving power. LGBT characters are also introduced organically, and their personal stories will leave readers cheering. Drayden has certainly made herself an author to watch out for.
In South Africa, the future looks promising. Personal robots are making life easier for the working class. The government is harnessing renewable energy to provide infrastructure for the poor. And in the bustling coastal town of Port Elizabeth, the economy is booming thanks to the genetic engineering industry which has found a welcome home there. Yes—the days to come are looking very good for South Africans. That is, if they can survive the present challenges:
A new hallucinogenic drug sweeping the country . . .
An emerging AI uprising . . .
And an ancient demigoddess hellbent on regaining her former status by preying on the blood and sweat (but mostly blood) of every human she encounters.
It’s up to a young Zulu girl powerful enough to destroy her entire township, a queer teen plagued with the ability to control minds, a pop diva with serious daddy issues, and a politician with even more serious mommy issues to band together to ensure there’s a future left to worry about.
Fun and fantastic, Nicky Drayden takes her brilliance as a short story writer and weaves together an elaborate tale that will capture your heart . . . even as one particular demigoddess threatens to rip it out.
War. Heresy. Madness.
Shuos Jedao is unleashed. The long-dead general, preserved with exotic technologies as a weapon, has possessed the body of gifted young captain Kel Cheris.
Now, General Kel Khiruev’s fleet, racing to the Severed March to stop a fresh enemy incursion, has fallen under Jedao’s sway. Only Khiruev’s aide, Lieutenant Colonel Kel Brezan, is able to shake off the influence of the brilliant but psychotic Jedao.
The rogue general seems intent on defending the hexarchate, but can Khiruev—or Brezan—trust him? For that matter, can they trust Kel Command, or will their own rulers wipe out the whole swarm to destroy one man?
Locus: Lee’s world building remains fascinating and complex, with a great deal implied in what is not said. The narrative of Raven Stratagem is a twisty one… It feels intricate, like a piece of clockwork in which every cog and gear has a job: it feels deeply thought, and powerful. Lee deepens here his interrogation of the themes that came so strongly to the surface of Ninefox Gambit: loyalty and trust, free will and self-determination, the personal costs involved in doing a right thing, and the problems of empire. Raven Stratagem offers an argument rather than an answer, and is more effective for it. If you liked Ninefox Gambit, this is a really great sequel, and an excellent novel in its own right.
Locus: “Murderbot,” as the sardonic first-person narrator in Martha Wells’s All Systems Red refers to itself, would simply prefer to be left in peace to watch serialized entertainments in its own high-tech suit. Sadly, given that the planetary expedition Murderbot is part of goes horribly wrong when one of the scientists is almost eaten by the local fauna, it isn’t going to get its wish.
All Systems Red is a light but interesting story about a creation that is half human (maybe) and half non-organic parts, who is learning to deal with actual humans. Murderbot resists being pulled into the circle of fleshy creatures around it. Really, it would just as soon stay on the outside.
The humans, too, aren’t so sure what to make of Murderbot, who was foisted upon them by the corporation who owns exploration rights to the planet they are on. They don’t trust it or its motivations, all of which are complicated by its unreadable responses. Add to that inherent tension Wells’s brisk pacing, an intriguing enough mystery, and lucid action sequences, and this story is a great kick-off for a continuing series of Murderbot Diaries, which are being planned. With this novella Wells, who is better known for her fantasy work, proves that she can play in a science fictional world as well.
Washington Post: Nicky Drayden’s debut novel “The Prey of Gods” (Harper Voyager) is delightfully unlike most science fiction out there. Drayden mixes folklore, urban fantasy and science fiction in her futuristic South Africa to dazzling effect.
In this entertaining tale, a new drug called Godspeed hits the street. It causes users to hallucinate, to see themselves as animal creatures; sometimes it draws out peculiar powers. Teenage Muzi, grappling with his sexuality and his heritage, finds that the drug lets him manipulate people. His path, and that of his personal AI bot, crosses that of a pop star at the pinnacle of her career, a young politician who dreams of stardom and a little girl from a poor village learning to control her awesome power. Together, they must stop a goddess hungry for world-domination. The plot can get a bit (too) twisty and complex—memories! gods! AI revolutions! But it showcases characters not often seen in popular fiction, and amid the fast-paced action, touches on relevant race and class issues.