Weekly Book List: Week 42 (Science Fiction)

The Water Knife / Paolo Bacigalupi

Severe water shortages across the American Southwest fuel cutthroat competition between independent city-states for scarce resources. On one end of the spectrum is Las Vegas, a lush, high-tech “arcology” of fountains and gardens; on the other is Phoenix, devastated by drought yet inundated with refugees from bone-dry Texas. Against this vividly rendered backdrop, a diverse cast of characters do what they must to survive. (FIC BACIGALUPI)

Power Surge / Ben Bova

Dr. Jake Ross, the science advisor to a newly elected freshman senator, must figure out how Washington really works when his comprehensive energy plan runs afoul of special interests, cynical bureaucrats, and a powerful U.S. senator. (FIC BOVA)


The Machine Awakes / Adam Christopher

“A far future space opera set in the universe of Burning Dark. In the decades since the human race first made contact with the Spiders–a machine race capable of tearing planets apart–the two groups have fought over interstellar territory. But the war has not been going well for humankind, and with the failure of the Fleet Admiral’s secret plan in the Shadow system, the commander is overthrown by a group of hardliners determined to get the war back on track. (FIC CHRISTOPHER)

The Book of Strange New Things / Michael Faber

Called to perform missionary work on a world light years away where the natives are fascinated by the concepts he introduces, man of faith Peter Leigh finds his beliefs tested when he learns of natural disasters that are tearing Earth apart. (FIC FABER)


Lightless / C.A. Higgins

A female engineer, Althea, fights for her life when her small spacecraft is invaded by two mysterious terrorists on a dark mission, one of whom is a revolutionary harboring deep secrets. (FIC HIGGINS)


The Witch of Hebron / James Howard Kunstler

In a post-oil America with no electricity, no Internet, dwindling resources, and little civic order, the residents of the small town of Union Grove, New York, must deal with roving bandits and a sinister cult that threatens to shatter the hamlet’s stability. (FIC KUNSTLER)


Station Eleven / Emily St. John Mandel

An actor playing King Lear dies onstage just before a cataclysmic event changes the future of everyone on Earth. What will be valued and what will be discarded? Will art have a place in a world that has lost so much? What will make life worth living? (FIC MANDEL)


The Curse of Jacob Tracy / Holly Messinger

Developing an overwhelming ability to see ghosts after nearly dying on the battlefield at Antietam, Civil War veteran Jacob Tracy accepts a job helping a wealthy Englishwoman retrieve a dead friend’s legacy in exchange for helping him control his powers. (FIC MESSINGER)


The Last Centurion / John Ringo

In the wake of dual catastrophes that strike Earth in the second decade of the twenty-first century–a mini ice age and a devastating plague–an American Army officer becomes caught up in the desperate struggle to rebuild the world. (FIC RINGO)


Positive / David Wellington 

Nineteen-year-old Finn is part of the so-called second generation, born after a zombie outbreak claimed 99% of the U.S. population. He lives in a Manhattan whose 50,000 inhabitants have been zombie-free for the past 15 years. When his mother’s latent zombie-virus infection is triggered, Finn is tattooed with the symbol indicating that he is a potential carrier. That status exiles him from the city, but the expected next step—transport to a government medical center for “positives ”—is thwarted when his escort is murdered. Finn struggles to survive in a world where humans are as much a threat as the walking dead. (FIC WELLINGTON)

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