They are all fiction books, they are all good fun forms of escapism, and they all do (or should) have some actual serious messages embedded within their narratives.
We start with:
Title: Invasion (Blood on the Stars Book 9)
Author: Jay Allan
Series: Blood on the Stars
Release Date: September 30 2018
OK, let's get one thing right out of the way.
It's a Jay Allan book.
Anyone who has read more than three of Jay Allan's... oh... damn near forty books and short stories, knows the format. The heroes and heroines are always noble, selfless, strong-willed, and only very mildly flawed, always pushing themselves to the most extreme limits of human endurance and resilience, and always fighting under the most desperate circumstances imaginable before somehow miraculously pulling off an incredible victory by the very skin of their teeth.
And for some bizarre reason, Jay Allan insists on pretending that women can fight alongside men without any problems on either side. This defies logic, reason, and experience - but hey, it's science fiction, so supposedly it's OK.
Anyway, the point is, Jay Allan's latest book is out as of this morning, and I just downloaded it. I am quite looking forward to tearing through it. While I do not think that the Blood on the Stars series is up to par with Jay Allan's best work - which in my personal opinion was exemplified within the Far Stars series, which was truly superb - it should still be a good campy fun book to shred through on a flight.
Title: Retribution (Galaxy's Edge Book 9)
Author: Jay Anspach & Nick Cole
Series: Galaxy's Edge (Season 1)
Release Date: October 31 2018
Imagine, if you will, a STAR WARS expanded-universe novel written from the point of view of the Republic's clone troopers, by authors who truly understand what it takes to go to war, and who know how to write fast-paced, tight, powerful, nail-biting plots - whether zooming in to the viewpoint of a single ground-pounder fighting enemies in urban combat, or panning out to the viewpoint of a massive brawl in space between huge super-dreadnoughts.
In other words, imagine an SWEU novel that is actually, y'know, good.
Now imagine that novel becoming so successful that it gets turned into first three, then five, then nine books, then into a whole proper fictional universe of short stories, novellas, audiobooks, and even "seasons" of material.
That is what Jason Anspach and Nick Cole have achieved with the Galaxy's Edge series.
The latest book in the series promises to wrap up all of the cliffhanger-ending questions raised in the previous book with the destruction of the Legion, the return of the Cybar, and the actions of the sinister new Emperor Goth Sullus, as well as all of the various storylines of Kill-Team Victory and Wraith.
The previous books in the series were, and are, superb - with the notable exception of Imperator, which I found to be quite mystifying and dense and esoteric. So I have a very good feeling about this latest novel, especially since I've just cracked open the first novella a spin-off series, Order of the Centurion, and it's already looking pretty damn good.
Title: A Pillar of Fire by Night (Carrera Series Book 7)
Author: Tom Kratman
Release Date: October 23 2018
The Blue-Eyed Djinn is, indeed, back.
The last book in the series, The Rods and the Axe - which by the way is missing from the list of his books on his own website, so ya might wanna grab yer excruciator kit and go after whoever it is that revamped your site, sir - was released four long years ago, and we have been waiting for the follow-up ever since.
Unless I'm very much mistaken, the last book ended with the Balboan Legions handing out an epic ass-kicking to the various enemies of Patrick Carrera and Balboa - especially the Zhong, the Anglians, and the Taurans, who as I recall are stand-ins for the Chinese, the Brits, and the Euzis.
Anyone who has read any of LTC Kratman's work knows what to expect: well-written, complex characters involved in well-thought-out plots facing serious crises, with a certain amount of rather dry, grim humour while stuff gets blowed up around them in the midst of extremely realistic and action-packed scenes of brutal and bloody combat.
Oh, and crucifixions. Let's not forget about those. LTC Kratman seems to have quite a thing for them.
We know what to expect from the latest book in the series. It should be a good 'un.
However, there is some confusion about the release date. See, on the author's website, it says that the book is out on October 23rd. But on Amazon, the Kindle edition drops on November 6th and the hardcover on the 13th.
I suspect it's the usual case of best laid plans aft gang agley again, but at any rate, we've got another great, hardcore, military sci-fi book to look forward to. Indeed, it's not really science fiction, not exactly, since the planetary technologies involved are recognisable to us today and look like they came from the 1970s or so; it's just that there are things happening INNN SPAAAAAAACE!!!, from time to time, so there is a bit of sci-fi involved.
But, really, the Carreraverse is sort of what you might imagine would happen if an America-like country, organised on much more sensible political principles, responded to a 9/11-like attack using sound strategic and tactical decisions (and no small amount of extreme brutality), and then decided to take on the International Community Of The Ever So Caring And Sensitive by telling them to get off their damn lawn - using the business end of an MBT's main gun.
That is what makes the series such good fun to read: there is not one single gram of political correctness to be found anywhere, not one moment of sympathy for human stupidity, and not one little bit of mercy for the enemies of decency and civilisation.
So that is my round-up of some good books that are coming out soon, or are already out. In related news, if you have not already backed the ALT*HERO: Q campaign for the expanded graphic novel from Arkhaven Comics, you can still get in on some of the action with the campaign to back the adaptation of Richard Fox's epic The Ember War in graphic novel format.