science fiction/fantasy

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The Last Colony by John Scalzi

Former planet-hopping soldiers John Perry and his wife Jane Sagan have retired to administrative positions on a peaceful colonial planet when they entertain a visit from a former commander who makes a proposal: they are the perfect candidates to lead a promising colony of citizens from ten worlds in the Colonial Union. But after they accept things deteriorate dramatically as they discover that they are pawns in a galactic chess game.

Talulla Rising by Glen Duncan

Duncan’s new novel picks up on the threads of the romantic entanglements of now deceased werewolf Jake Marlowe. His love, Talulla Demetriou, has survived the hunt described at the end of ‘The Last Werewolf’. Talulla is now coming to terms with being a werewolf, possibly the only one left. As she struggles with her new identity, the same forces that were after Jake now are coming after her.

Amped by Daniel H. Wilson

What starts out as a plan to help people with medical issues by giving them implants to help their problems, grows into something much more. Some peoples skills are so amplified that they seem superhuman. Wilson’s book starts with a Supreme Court decision banning ‘Amps’ from full rights as citizens. The results of which are catastrophic and threaten to start a new civil war. We follow the story of one special Amp and his struggle in this new America. An excellent, fast paced sci-fi thriller.

Pure by Julianna Baggott

There are those inside the Dome, and then there is everyone else. Pressia wasn’t one of those lucky enough to make it into the Dome before the Detonations. Now, like her fellow survivors, she bears the scars of the Detonations, both with her physical deformities, and her mental strife. Now, Pressia is on the run, trying to escape from a militia, and this is when she discovers a Pure.  Patridge has escaped from the Dome and as a Pure, has already escaped the physical scars of the Detonation.  Now, the two are thrust together, trying to survive in a harsh new world.

The Fear Index by Robert Harris

Over a span of 24 hours, brilliant, yet eccentric, physicist Alex Hoffman suspects that he is losing his mind. He can’t remember sending ominous emails supposedly sent by him. People die. He is brutally assaulted. And Alex might be the cause of cataclysmic worldwide stock market crash that threatens global financial institutions. He’s invented a computer algorithm that begins to “think” for itself (and the fortunate few investors who have thrown their cash in Alex’s direction), starts to move the markets and doesn’t care what the collateral damage might be. Can it be stopped?

Expedition to the Mountains of the Moon by Mark Hodder

In the dizzying third (and probably not the last) installment of a steampunk/alternative-universe/time-travel saga, polymath explorer extraordinaire Sir Richard Burton returns with his trusty sidekick poet Algernon Swinburne to pre-empt a royal assassination, prevent world war, recover a set of psychoactive diamonds deposited by a now-extinct non-human race of super beings, and defeat the powers of evil. Burton hops between alternative realities in an enthralling tale replete with an encyclopedic grasp of period detail. Thoroughly engrossing.

The Curious Case of the Clockwork Man by Mark Hodder.

Continuing and expanding on the adventure, steampunkery and general Victorian madness of The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack Hodder’s protagonists Sir Francis Burton and his assistant poet Algernon Swinburne deal with catastrophic threats to "life as we know it". A seemingly routine robbery leads to a dubious claim on an aristocrat’s estate and quickly morphs into wraith-induced rioting in the streets of London.

The Demi-Monde: Winter by Rod Rees

Welcome to the Demi-Monde.  In the year 2018, the Demi-Monde is the most sophisticated, complex and unpredictable computer simulation ever created.  Rees’ book is one of the most entertaining alternate reality/sci-fi books created in some time.  Rees populates the Demi-Monde, originally designed as a military training ground, with some of the worst villains from history.  We enter the Demi-Monde in search of a missing person, who is stuck in the simulation and cannot get out.  Once I started reading, I didn’t want to leave. 

The Hobbit, or There and Back Again by J. R. R. Tolkien

"In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit." From "The Unexpected Party" in the Shire to "The Last Stage" home again we journey with the far-wandering Mr. Bilbo Baggins across Middle Earth as he is reluctantly caught up in the quest for unimaginable treasure. With thirteen dwarves the hobbit faces bickering trolls, evil orcs, terrifying Wargs, hideous spiders, deception and, finally, the dragon Smaug. Bilbo is chosen by the wizard Gandalf as the burglar necessary to complete the expedition to the Lonely Mountain.

Earthbound by Joe Haldeman

Hugo and Nebula award winner Haldeman's space opera trilogy (Marsbound, Starbound) arcs to its stunning conclusion. The god-like Others (for reasons only they can fathom) have destroyed the earth's moon and created a barrier to human space travel. Humanity pushes back and the Others turn off the power. All of the power. In the blink of an eye. Aircraft drop out of the sky. Telecommunication disappears. Civilization rapidly begins to unravel.

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© 2011 Thomas Crane Public Library

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