My cover pick for SF is Echo by Jack McDevitt closely followed by Guardians of the Phoenix and Enemy Within. What would your picks be?
Volume II: Essential Tales of the Halo Universe
When humanity expanded beyond the safety of Earth to new stars and horizons, they never dreamed what dangers they would encounter there. When the alien juggernaut known as the Covenant declared holy war upon the fragile human empire, millions of lives were lost but millions of heroes rose to the challenge. In such a far-reaching conflict, not many of the stories of these heroes, both human and alien, have a chance to become legend. This collection holds eleven stories that dive into the depths of the vast Halo universe, not only from the perspective of those who fought and died to save humanity, but also those who vowed to wipe humanity out of existence.
NOVELS and COLLECTIONS
Banks, Iain M.
It begins in the realm of the Real, where matter still matters. It begins with a murder. And it will not end until the Culture has gone to war with death itself. Lededje Y'breq is one of the Intagliated, her marked body bearing witness to a family shame, her life belonging to a man whose lust for power is without limit. Prepared to risk everything for her freedom, her release, when it comes, is at a price, and to put things right she will need the help of the Culture. Benevolent, enlightened and almost infinitely resourceful though it may be, the Culture can only do so much for any individual. With the assistance of one of its most powerful - and arguably deranged - warships, Lededje finds herself heading into a combat zone not even sure which side the Culture is really on. A war - brutal, far-reaching - is already raging within the digital realms that store the souls of the dead, and it's about to erupt into reality. It started in the realm of the Real and that is where it will end. It will touch countless lives and affect entire civilizations, but at the center of it all is a young woman whose need for revenge masks another motive altogether.
Hull Zero Three
A small band of humans on a long journey wake up to find themselves lightyears from known space - on a ship that has gone mad. The ship is an unmanned terraformer - designed to bring life to dead planets, but not to transport the living. Now, five humans find themselves struggling to understand how they came to be here and just where it is they are going. Survival is their goal – they must find a way to live in these cold, dark halls. But they are not alone and their struggle to stay alive will uncover long hidden secrets best left to the empty void of space.
Guardians of the Phoenix
Global warming has taken its terrible toll. The seas have dried up and deserts cover much of the Earth's surface. Humankind has been annihilated by drought and the nuclear and biological conflicts following the Great Breakdown. Desperate bands of humans still survive. Some live far underground, away from the searing temperatures and ongoing conflicts on the surface; others scrape a living in the remains of shattered cities above ground. In Paris, Pierre lives like an animal among the sand-drifted ruins of the once great city. Near death, he faces a choice: join the strangers heading south in search of water, or remain in the city and perish. Guardians of the Phoenix tells the story of the last survivors on planet Earth, their desperate fight for survival and their last hope to save the world.
The Nemesis List (UK)
Humanity has expanded into the stars but at the price of its freedom. An autocratic and overbearing Government now rigidly controls every technical and scientific advancement. Deviation is punishable by death. Out on the edges of space, criminals thwart the law, making money out of illegal tech, their ships jumping from galaxy to galaxy to avoid detection. Ex-soldier Frank Pak doesn’t care about politics or breaking the law, he just wants to keep his ship running. When he’s offered a contract to escort a runaway back home to his loving family – he doesn’t ask questions. But his cargo is more dangerous than he realizes. Jeven Jones is no ordinary passenger. A result of illegal human experimentation, he’s a fast-tracked evolutionary leap into future. Thanks to his ability for perfect recall and a series of mental skills that he has no control over, Jones is a wanted man. The Government wants him dead. A fledgling revolution want to use him to unlock every advancement the Government has ever denied them. If Jones lives he’ll start a war. If he dies the entire future of humanity dies with him…
Alex Benedict #5
Eccentric Sunset Tuttle spent his life searching in vain for forms of alien life. Thirty years after his death, a stone tablet inscribed with cryptic, indecipherable symbols is found in the possession of Tuttle's onetime lover, and antiquities dealer Alex Benedict is anxious to discover what secret the tablet holds. It could be proof that Tuttle had found what he was looking for. To find out, Benedict and his assistant embark on their own voyage of discovery-one that will lead them directly into the path of a very determined assassin who doesn't want those secrets revealed.
Modesitt, L.E. Jr.
Empress of Eternity
In the far future, an indestructible and massive canal more than 2,000 miles long spans the mid-continent of Earth. Nothing can mar it, move it, or affect it in any fashion. At its western end, where it meets the sea, is an equally indestructible structure comprising three levels of seemingly empty chambers. Scientists from three different civilizations, separated in time by hundreds of thousands of years, are investigating the canal. In the most distant of these civilizations, religious rebellion is brewing. A plot is hatched to overthrow the world government of the Vanir, using a weapon that can destroy anything-except the canal. If used at full power it might literally unravel the universe and destroy all life forever. The lives and fates of all three civilizations become intertwined as the forces behind the canal react to the threat, and all three teams of scientists find their lives changed beyond belief.
SCIENCE FICTION ROMANCE (SFR)
An intergalactic cold war-and some heated passion- from an inventive new voice in futuristic romance. After a stint in an alien prison, Captain Ari Rose wonders why she even bothered to survive. Stripped of her command and banished to her father's scientific expedition to finish a Ph.D. she doesn't want, Ari never planned to languish quietly behind a desk. She wasn't built for it, either. But when pirates commandeer her father's ship, Ari once again becomes a prisoner. As far as pirate leader Cullin is concerned, Ari's past imprisonment puts her dead center in Cullin's sights. If she hasn't been brainwashed and returned as a spy, then he's convinced she must be part of a traitorous alliance endangering billions of lives. Cullin can't afford the desire she fires within him and he'll stop at nothing, including destroying her, to uncover the truth.
Indulgence In Death
In Death #31
When a murder disrupts the Irish vacation she is taking with her husband, Roarke, Eve realizes that no place is safe — not an Irish wood or the streets of the manic city she calls home. But nothing prepares her for what she discovers upon her return to the cop shop in New York City... A driver for a top-of-the-line limousine service is found dead — shot through the neck with a crossbow. The car was booked by an executive at a venerable security company whose identity had been stolen. Days later, a stunning, high-priced escort is found killed at Coney Island, a bayonet stuck in her heart. And again, the trail leads to a CEO whose information has been hijacked. With a method established, but no motive to be found, Eve begins to fear that she has come across that most dangerous of criminals, a thrill killer, but one with a taste for the finer things in life — and death. Eve does not know where or when the next kill will be, or that her investigation will take her to the rarefied circle that Roarke travels in — and into the perverted heart of madness...