Sci-Fi Weekly Round-Up: 4.2.16-4.8.16

April 8, 2016


Space Mapping - New Galactic Details to Behold! The ATLASGAL (APEX Telescope Large Area Survey of the Galaxy), along with images from the Spitzer and Planck satellites, have produced a new, more detailed map of our galaxy. They used submillimeter light, light waves longer than infrared waves but shorter than radio waves, to penetrate the dust clouds that riddle the Milky Way.


A Spoonful of Sugar Makes the Universe go Round: Cornelia Meinert, of the University Nice Sophia Antipolis in France, reports that ribose, a simple sugar, “can form on a blend of ices that have been blasted with ultraviolet radiation.” The ices are typically found on comets and new planet interstellar dust.  Ribose is an essential component to the functionality inside a cell and is the main component of RNA, which is found in all life on Earth.


SpaceX Tries and Tries Again: The 6th time’s the charm, eh? SpaceX engineers will make another attempt to land a rocket on a 100-yd barge in the Atlantic Ocean. Sure, the “main” reason they’re launching at all is to resupply the ISS (International Space Station), BUUUUUUTTTT a successful landing means we’re closer to a future of commercial space travel...That’s big money...


Death Star Physics: A Love Story: This is a fun article by Rhett Allain. He analyzes the physics of the Death Star construction in the trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Physics was never my strong suit, but being a Star Wars fan, I found this fascinating. Check it out!


To Exoplanets and Beyond! Did you know that more than 5,000 exoplanets have been discovered in the last 20 years? An “exoplanet” is a planet outside our solar system. NASA’s K2 mission seeks to discover even more, specifically outer planet regions (similar to how far Saturn, Jupiter, and Neptune are from the Sun). They also aim to discover free-floating exoplanets, planets that aren’t attached to any stars.


Mars Can Take A Punch: It is widely known that Mars used to have running water. The terrain depicts lake beds, deltas, and river valleys. Today, the planet is icy cold and where did that water come from? Stephen Mojzsis of the University of Colorado Boulder suggests that it’s highly likely enormous comets and asteroids impacted the surface of Mars 4 billion years ago. The heat emitted from the impact likely melted it's ice and VOILA, WATER.


The Loneliest Black Hole In the Universe: Humans are fascinated by black holes. Remember when the sound of two merging broke the internet two months ago? Well, a new, distinctive black hole has been identified. It’s approximately 17 billion times bigger than the Sun...but that’s not what’s unique about it. This black hole, unlike other black holes of its magnitude, was found in a very desolate area of the universe.




Command Decision: Project Gliese 581g

AuthorS. E. Smith

Released: 4.5.16


“In a world gone crazy, it is often the humans who are at fault, seeking answers to questions we are not yet ready to understand...


When the fight between the Legion and the Gallant Order escalates to all-out war, a new rebel leader emerges from the stars that will change the galaxy, forever.”




Author: David D. Levine

Released: April 2016


“The Wild Cards universe has been thrilling readers for over 25 years. David D. Levine's "Discards" introduces Tiago Gonçalves, a teenager who scrapes collecting recyclables from the landfills of Rio de Janeiro. But after the Wild Card virus infects him, he learns to build something more.”




(The Chronicles of the Invaders, Bk 3)

Authors: John Connolly and Jennifer Ridyard

Released: April 2016


“The third thrilling Chronicles of the Invaders adventure from New York Times bestselling author John Connolly and Jennifer Ridyard mixes classic sci-fi with rich, character-driven plot, as Paul and Syl fight to save Earth from an enemy who is closer than ever."





Author: M.R. Carey

Released: 4.5.16


“Fellside is a maximum security prison on the edge of the Yorkshire Moors. It's not the kind of place you'd want to end up. But it's where Jess Moulson could be spending the rest of her life.


It's a place where even the walls whisper. And one voice belongs to a little boy with a message for Jess. Will she listen?”






Floyd 5.136

(The MAC Series, Bk 1)

Author: S F Chapman

Released: 3.29.16


“Floyd 5.136 is a thought-provoking Genetic Engineering Science Fiction novel by S F Chapman.


Who was she? Floyd stared with great interest at the slumbering young woman as she was slowly freed from the silky gray cocoon."




The Horns of Avalon
(Purge of Babylon, Book 8)

Author: Sam Sisavath

Released: April 2, 2016


"In this penultimate volume in The Purge of Babylon series, loyalties will be tested and destinies embraced, and the road to salvation will finally be revealed to those brave enough to answer the call of the Horns…”




The Kasari Nexus
(Rho Agenda Assimilation Book 1)

AuthorRichard Phillips

Released: April 5, 2016


“Jennifer Smythe escapes Earth’s invasion by the insidious Kasari race, hijacks an alien starship, and survives the deadly passage through a wormhole.

But escape is short-lived…"





Lantern City

AuthorMatthew Daley

Released: April 2016


“How far would you go to be with the person you love?Sander Jorve just wants to keep his wife and son safe. Living in the brutalized lower class of Lantern City means living in near constant darkness, the enormous walls of the city always looming overhead, while the upper class enjoys the elevated, interconnected towers and airships above. When Sander’s brother-in-law, the persuasive activist Kendal, convinces him to infiltrate the brutal ranks of the Guard, he’s set on a dangerous path that will test his abilities and beliefs, all in the name of making a difference for his family and his caste."





Author: Genevieve Valentine

Released: April 2016


“When Suyana, Face of the recently formed United Amazonia Rainforest Confederation, is secretly meeting Ethan of the United States, a potential ally for her struggling country, the last thing she expected to be was a victim of an assassination attempt. Daniel, a teen runaway turned paparazzo hoping to make a name for himself, witnesses the first shot targeted for Suyana. Without thinking, he jumps into the action telling himself it’s not selflessness, it’s the scoop. Now Suyana and Daniel are on the run—and if they don’t keep themselves one step ahead, they’ll lose it all."



The Plague Dogs

Author: Richard Adams

Released: 4.5.16


“Rowf, a shaggy black mongrel, and Snitter, a black-and-white fox terrier, are among dozens of animals being cruelly held in a testing facility in North West England. When one of the handlers fails to close Rowf’s cage properly, the two dogs make a daring escape into the English countryside, where they befriend a red fox who helps them survive in the wild. But as rumors circulate that the dogs may have been the test subjects for biological weapons and could be carrying a terrible plague, they soon find themselves targets of a great dog hunt. Local farmers, politicians, scientists, and even the military join in the search to track them down. An unforgettable tale of fantasy and adventure, a powerful exploration of the limits of human cruelty and kindness, The Plague Dogs stands as a modern-day classic.”




(Book #3 of Washington, Dead City)

Author: Brian Parker

Released: April 2016

“It will take political intrigue—and plenty of tanks—to defeat the zombies. Escaped zombies from behind The Wall have swept across the northeast, their path marked by havoc and death. Into this nightmare world are thrust several unlikely heroes."




Sekret Machines
(Book 1: Chasing Shadows)

Authors: Tom DeLonge and A.J. Hartley

Released: April 2016


“Praised as "an exhilarating thrill ride" that may never have you looking at the night sky the same way again, Chasing Shadows is the first book in the multimedia Sekret Machines franchise that will reveal fascinating secrets surrounding the true, well-documented events of Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon.  Written by award-winning creator Tom DeLonge and NYTimes bestselling academic AJ Hartley in a powerful collaboration with top government advisors that keep the truth on course in this historical thriller.”




Shooting the Rift

Author: Alex Stewart,

Released: April 2016


“Space opera with a bang, as a young castout is caught up in an interstellar war.  


Cast out by his family and exiled from the Rimward Commonwealth, Simon Forrester must make a new life for himself as an apprentice to the powerful Commerce Guild.  But others aboard the merchant vessel Stacked Deck have a hidden agenda that might lead directly to interstellar war. Now with rising tensions between the Commonwealth and the neighboring League of Democracies threatens to erupt into open war, Simon finds himself forced to choose between old and new loyalties, with the fate of an empire at stake!"



(Book #9 of Secret World Chronicle)

Authors: Mercedes Lackey and Cody Martin

Released: April 2016


Teenager Staci's father has just remarried, and now she finds herself being shunted aside by her new stepmother.  Shunted all the way to the run-down and dying Maine town of Silence, in fact, and the custody of her alcoholic mother.


But all is not as it seems in Silence. There are strange things moving beneath the shabby surface, terrible plots in play, and deadly players in the game, and Staci is about to find herself caught up in the middle of it all.”



Silicon World: Man vs. Machine
(3 Book Bundle)

Author: William Massa

Released: 4.2.16


“As the age of the singularity dawns and Artificial Intelligence begins to rival mankind, the stakes have never been higher. Will robots and androids work side by side with mankind to make the world a better place or will they become our most bitter enemy?"




Tales of the Time Scouts 2

Authors: Robert Asprin and Linda Evans

Released: April 2016


"Two Time Scout series novels in one volume!


Ripping Time:

When terrorists gun down Jenna Caddrick's fiancee, the only daughter of Senator John Caddrick is trapped in a desperate struggle to stay alive. With a pack of killers on her trail, Jenna plunges through Shangri-La Station's time touring gates-and lands in London of 1888, just in time to meet Jack the Ripper.

The House That Jack Built:

Jack the Ripper's killing spree spreads from Victorian London to Time Terminal Eighty-Six in this breath stopping sequel to Ripping Time, retired time scout Kit Carson and ex-con man Skeeter Jackson enter an unholy alliance that surprises everyone—including Skeeter and Kit."




Tracker, A Foreigner Novel 

Author: C. J. Cherryh

Released: 4.5.16

“Tracker is the sixteenth installment of CJ Cherryh’s acclaimed Foreigner series.


It’s been a year of upheaval, since Bren Cameron’s return from space—a year when he and the aiji-dowager, one of his most powerful atevi allies, returned home from their two-year interstellar mission to find the government over­thrown and their world in chaos."




Trident’s Forge

Author: Patrick S. Tomlinson

Released: 4.5.16


“They’ve made it this far. If only that increased humanity’s chances on this new planet…


Against all odds, the Ark and her thirty-thousand survivors have reached Tau Ceti G to begin the long, arduous task of rebuilding human civilization. Meanwhile, on the other side of the world,

Tau Ceti G’s natives, the G’tel, are coming to grips with the sudden appearance of what many believe are their long-lost Gods."





Author: Stephen Baxter

Released: 4.5.16


“On the planet of Per Ardua, alien artifacts were discovered—hatches that allowed humans to step across light-years of space as if they were stepping into another room. But this newfound freedom has consequences….


As humanity discovers the real nature of the universe, a terrifying truth comes to light. We all have countless pasts converging in this present—and our future is terrifyingly finite. There are minds in the universe that are billions of years old and now we are vulnerable to their plans for us…."




Visitor, A Foreigner Novel

Author: C. J. Cherryh

Released: 4.5.16

“It’s been a year of upheaval, since Bren Cameron’s return from space–a year since he and the aiji-dowager, one of his most powerful atevi allies, returned home from their two-year interstellar mission to find the government overthrown and their world in chaos. Now, at last, things on the atevi world seem to be on the right track, and Bren hopes that life may soon become much more tranquil.  


But something is coming, quietly, stealthily–just the first ominous twinkle of a new star in the heavens….”




The Wild Robot

Author: Peter Brown

Released: 4.5.16


“When robot Roz opens her eyes for the first time, she discovers that she is alone on a remote, wild island. Why is she there? Where did she come from? And, most important, how will she survive in her harsh surroundings? Roz's only hope is to learn from the island's hostile animal inhabitants. When she tries to care for an orphaned gosling, the other animals finally decide to help, and the island starts to feel like home. Until one day, the robot's mysterious past comes back to haunt her...."





A Space Program
Written By: Hailey Gates, Van Neistat, and Tom Sachs,

Wide Release Date: 4.8.16



“The artist Tom Sachs and his team of bricoleurs build a handmade space program and send two female astronauts to Mars.”





Hardcore Henry

Written By: Ilya Naishuller and Will Stewart

Release Date: 4.8.16


“A first-person action film from the eyes of Henry, who's resurrected from death with no memory. He must discover his identity and save his wife from a warlord with a plan to bio-engineer soldiers.”






None this week.




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A dystopian, action-adventure trilogy set in San Francisco.

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