Five books to check out this summer

Boy, I live for the summer. What follows is a list of books I’m anticipating in the next few months. The summaries and release dates (which could change) are lifted from Amazon.

April 30th
Multiverse: Exploring Poul Anderon’s Worlds

Poul Anderson (1926-2001) was one of the seminal figures of 20th century science fiction. Named a Grand Master by the SFWA in 1997, he produced an enormous body of standalone novels (Brain Wave, Tau Zero) and series fiction (Time Patrol, the Dominic Flandry books) and was equally at home in the fields of heroic fantasy and hard SF. He was a meticulous craftsman and a gifted storyteller, and the impact of his finest work continues, undiminished, to this day.

I’m still on the fence about this one because I don’t read many anthologies anymore (I have a ton I haven’t even cracked yet), but it’s worth noting I own more books by Poul Anderson than any other writer. Brain Wave and The High Crusade are two of my favorite novels ever. Greg Bear (Anderson’s son-in-law) and anthology-master Gardner Dozois edited this collection of stories paying tribute to the writer.

May 19th
Seveneves by Neal Stephenson

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Anathem, Reamde, and Cryptonomicon comes an exciting and thought-provoking science fiction epic—a grand story of annihilation and survival spanning five thousand years.

I’ll be reading this one for sure. Insanely long and no doubt full of all the amusing meanderings we expect, it’s a story in which Earth’s moon explodes for no apparent reason. Frankly, you had me at Neal Stephenson, but what a hook!

May 19th
The Scarlet Gospels by Clive Barker

The Scarlet Gospels takes readers back many years to the early days of two of Barker’s most iconic characters in a battle of good and evil as old as time: The long-beleaguered detective Harry D’Amour, investigator of all supernatural, magical, and malevolent crimes faces off against his formidable, and intensely evil rival, Pinhead, the priest of hell. Barker devotees have been waiting for The Scarlet Gospels with bated breath for years, and it’s everything they’ve begged for and more. Bloody, terrifying, and brilliantly complex, fans and newcomers alike will not be disappointed by the epic, visionary tale that is The Scarlet Gospels. Barker’s horror will make your worst nightmares seem like bedtime stories. The Gospels are coming. Are you ready?

Detective D’Amour meets Pinhead. This is history in the making, folks. It’s like Mayweather/Pacquiao for horror fans.

July 7th
Aurora by Kim Stanley Robinson

A major new novel from one of science fiction’s most powerful voices, AURORA tells the incredible story of our first voyage beyond the solar system.

I’m not sure why, but I missed out on Robinson’s 2312. I’ll try to check this one out when it hits paperback.

July 28th
Armada by Ernest Cline

It’s just another day of high school for Zack Lightman. He’s daydreaming through another boring math class, with just one more month to go until graduation and freedom—if he can make it that long without getting suspended again.

Then he glances out his classroom window and spots the flying saucer.

If it’s half as easy to read (and enjoy) as Cline’s Ready Player One, I’m all in. The eighties nostalgia angle in RPO initially turned me off, but it quickly became apparent that Cline was more genuine than gimmicky. I think back to that book more than I thought I would, but maybe that’s only because Cline seems to be everywhere these days. Nonetheless, I’m probably looking forward to this one more than the rest even though I typically don’t love lite SF. According to this Verge article, Universal Pictures has already bought the film rights.

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