I’m joining the 20 Books of Summer 2017 Challenge, hosted by 746 Books. It’s a simple challenge – read 20 books this summer. I’m joining it because it’s a chance to bond with some of my fellow bloggers. (Thanks to Grab the Lapels for introducing me to it! You can find her list here. )
So here are the 20 Books of Summer that I’ll be reading from now until September 3rd. (Maybe this will help me catch up on my Science Fiction Challenge and my Netgalley list.) – Covers link to Goodreads and to make this fair, none of these are books I’ve already started on before today.
I’ll cross through the title once I’ve read it.
Check it out on Twitter with the #20BooksofSummer hashtag.
20 Books of Summer
Something virulent. Something evil. Something new. And it is infecting the town of Falls Breath.
Carried to Earth in a freak meteor shower, an alien virus has infected the animals. Pets and wildlife have turned rabid, attacking without warning. Dogs and cats terrorize their owners, while deer and wolves from the neighboring woods hunt in packs, stalking and killing their human prey without mercy.
As the town comes under siege, Lauren searches for her boyfriend, while her policeman father fights to restore some semblance of order against a threat unlike anything he has seen before. The Natural Order has been upended completely, and nowhere is safe.
…and it is spreading.
Soon, the city will find itself in the grips of mass hysteria.
To survive, humanity will have to fight tooth and nail.
The Punch Escrow by Tal M. Klein – From Netgalley
It’s the year 2147. Advancements in nanotechnology have enabled us to control aging. We’ve genetically engineered mosquitoes to feast on carbon fumes instead of blood, ending air pollution. And teleportation has become the ideal mode of transportation, offered exclusively by International Transport—a secretive firm headquartered in New York City. Their slogan: Departure… Arrival… Delight!
Joel Byram, our smartass protagonist, is an everyday twenty-fifth century guy. He spends his days training artificial intelligence engines to act more human, jamming out to 1980’s new wave—an extremely obscure genre, and trying to salvage his deteriorating marriage. Joel is pretty much an everyday guy with everyday problems—until he’s accidentally duplicated while teleporting.
Now Joel must outsmart the shadowy organization that controls teleportation, outrun the religious sect out to destroy it, and find a way to get back to the woman he loves in a world that now has two of him.
The Graveyard Shift by Michael F. Haspil – From Netgalley
Alex Menkaure, former pharaoh and mummy, and his vampire partner, Marcus, who was born in ancient Rome, once hunted evil vampires for UMBRA, a super-secret unit of the NSA. That was before the discovery of a blood substitute and a Supreme Court ruling allowed thousands of vampires to integrate into society.
Now, Alex and Marcus are vice cops in a special police unit. They fight to keep the streets safe from criminal vampires, shape-shifters, blood-dealers, and anti-vampire vigilantes.
When someone starts poisoning the artificial blood, race relations between vampires and humans deteriorate to the brink of anarchy. While the city threatens to tear itself apart, Alex and Marcus must form an unnatural alliance with a vigilante gang and a shape-shifter woman in a desperate battle against an ancient vampire conspiracy.
If they succeed, they’ll be pariahs, hunted by everyone. If they fail, the result will be a race-war bloodierthan any the world has ever seen.
The Han Agent by Amy Rogers – From Netgalley
In the 1930s, Japanese scientists committed heinous crimes in their quest for the ultimate biological weapon.
The war ended. Their mission did not.
Eighty years later, Japanese-American scientist Amika Nakamura won’t let rules stand between her and scientific glory. When the ambitious young virologist defies a ban on the genetic manipulation of influenza, she’s expelled from the university. Desperate to save her career, she accepts a position with a pharmaceutical company in Tokyo. Soon after, a visit to a disputed island entangles her in a high-profile geopolitical struggle between Japan and China. Applying her singular expertise with bird flu in a risky experiment may be the only way out. Little does she know that Japanese ultranationalists and a legacy of unpunished war crimes lurk in the shadows, manipulating people, politics, and science.
But DNA doesn’t lie. Amika uncovers a shocking truth: a deadly virus is about to put the “gene” in genocide.
What Mad Universe by Fredric Brown – From Decades of Sci-Fi Challenge
The editor of a sci-fi pulp magazine is accidentally transported to a parallel universe where space travel is common, Earth is at war with creepy aliens, New York City isn’t safe after dark, and his girlfriend is with someone else.
The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury – From Decades of Sci-Fi Challenge
The Martian Chronicles tells the story of humanity’s repeated attempts to colonize the red planet. The first men were few. Most succumbed to a disease they called the Great Loneliness when they saw their home planet dwindle to the size of a fist. They felt they had never been born. Those few that survived found no welcome on Mars. The shape-changing Martians thought they were native lunatics and duly locked them up.
But more rockets arrived from Earth, and more, piercing the hallucinations projected by the Martians. People brought their old prejudices with them – and their desires and fantasies, tainted dreams. These were soon inhabited by the strange native beings, with their caged flowers and birds of flame.
Starship Troopers by Robert A. Heinlein – from Wired into Sci-Fi Challenge
In one of Robert Heinlein’s most controversial bestsellers, a recruit of the future goes through the toughest boot camp in the Universe–and into battle with the Terran Mobile Infantry against mankind’s most frightening enemy.
New York 2140 by Kim Stanley Robinson – For Coolthulhu Reads Science Fiction Book Club in September
It is 2140.
The waters rose, submerging New York City.
But the residents adapted and it remained the bustling, vibrant metropolis it had always been. Though changed forever.
Every street became a canal. Every skyscraper an island.
Through the eyes of the varied inhabitants of one building, Kim Stanley Robinson shows us how one of our great cities will change with the rising tides.
And how we too will change.
The Slant Six by Christopher F. Cobb – Review Submission
The year is 2252 and Loman Phin is in trouble. A washed-up channelship racer turned freelancer, he hits pay dirt with his latest mission: a fortune is on the line if he can transport forty-three kilograms of human skin to a remote villa on Pluto’s moon, Nix. Little does he know his very life is at stake when he gets caught up in an ancient feud, chased by a space vampire, and forced into a death-race by the king of Ceres. Meanwhile, danger is always hot on his heels in the form of a massive space freighter out for Loman’s blood. With just his wits, his friends, and his beat-up cruiser, the Slant Six, Loman sets out on the most dangerous adventure of his life.
The Genius Plague by David Walton – Review Submission #1
What if the pandemic you thought would kill you made you more intelligent instead? In the Amazon jungle, a disease is spreading. To those who survive, it grants enhanced communication, memory, and pattern recognition. But the miracle may be the sinister survival mechanism of a fungal organism, manipulating the infected into serving it.
Paul Johns, a mycologist, is convinced the fungal host is the next stage of human evolution, while his brother Neil, an analyst at the NSA, is committed to its destruction. Is the human race the master in this symbiotic relationship, or are we becoming the pawns of a subtly dominating and utterly alien intelligence?
Echo of the Cliffs – Juniper Sawfeather #3 – by D.G Driver – Review Submission
Three warriors asked the sun to grant them wishes of immortality to protect their people forever. One was turned into a merman, another was turned into a tree, and final warrior was turned into a stone.
Juniper Sawfeather has learned there is truth to this American Indian legend. She knows how it connects the mermaids she saved from an oil spill and the ancient spirit that trapped her in the branches of an Old Growth tree. Now she wants to find out if the final part of this legend is true: that some kind of magical stone exists. A lone mermaid finds her and shares a vision of a cliff along the ocean shore. This must be the place, and June knows she needs to find it.
Tragedy happens when her parents take Carter and her on a mission to the San Juan Strait to collect evidence of construction run-off pollution, and they are attacked by a killer whale. June is convinced that the killer whale was led by mermaids, and she is desperate to find out why they attacked and where they are hiding. Once again, Juniper is on a heroic mission, the most frightening adventure yet. A thrilling ending to this award-winning trilogy!
The Girl Who Talks to Ghosts by J.H. Moncrieff – Review Submission
Would you risk everything to save a stranger?
Off the coast of Venice lurks Poveglia, the world’s most haunted isle, steeped in centuries of innocent blood. A deranged doctor who took great joy in torturing his patients in life continues to rule his abandoned asylum after death.
Few go to Poveglia willingly, but medium Kate Carlsson has no choice. It’s her job.
While struggling to retrieve a young girl’s soul, Kate uncovers some shocking truths about the evil on the island that challenges her own convictions and morals—and even her life.
Is saving Lily worth making a deal with the infamous Doctor of Death, or is the price too high to pay?
The Planck Factor by Debbi Mack – from Netgalley
On a dare, grad student Jessica Evans writes a thriller, creating a nightmare scenario based upon the theory that the speed of light is not a constant—one that has a dark application. Her protagonist (the fiancé of a scientist killed in a car crash) is pursued by those who want to use the theory to create the world’s most powerful weapon.
However, Jessica is soon running for her life when events mimic that of her protagonist. She’s threatened by terrorist conspirators who intend to use the knowledge to create an event that causes mass destruction—even threatens the global extinction of all life. As the clock ticks down, Jessica must outwit the enemies and avert an apocalypse.
Ghost Story by Peter Straub – Random Grab
What was the worst thing you’ve ever done?
In the sleepy town of Milburn, New York, four old men gather to tell each other stories—some true, some made-up, all of them frightening. A simple pastime to divert themselves from their quiet lives.
But one story is coming back to haunt them and their small town. A tale of something they did long ago. A wicked mistake. A horrifying accident. And they are about to learn that no one can bury the past forever…
The Ceiling Man by Patricia Lillie – Random Grab
Carole knows there can be no tie between her autistic daughter and the strange events in Port Massasauga. It’s not logical. It’s not possible.
The Ceiling Man has picked up other watchers in his travels, but they all dismissed him as a nightmare. The girl is different. She knows he’s real.
Teenage Abby is an innocent. The stranger only she sees and hears introduces her to evil. When Carole falls under the stranger’s sway, Abby must solve the puzzle of The Ceiling Man and save them both.
Kaiju Deadfall by JE Gurley – Random Grab
Death from space. The first meteor landed in the Pacific Ocean near San Francisco, causing an earthquake and a tsunami. The second wiped out a small Indiana city. The third struck the deserts of Nevada. When gigantic monsters- Ishom, Girra, and Nusku- emerge from the impact craters, the world faces a threat unlike any it had ever known – Kaiju . NASA catastrophist Gate Rutherford and Special Ops Captain Aiden Walker must find a way to stop the creatures before they destroy every major city in America..
Life by Gwyneth Jones – From the Wired Into Sci-Fi Challenge
Life is a richly textured fictional biography of the brilliant Anna Senoz, a scientist who makes a momentous discovery about the X and Y chromosomes. Anna’s discovery provokes widespread sexual rage and cruelly impacts her career, her marriage, and her child. Ultimately, Anna faces a challenge that the practice of science alone cannot meet.
The novel takes place in the “North American Confederation” of 1992, where civilians regularly travel to the Moon, and psi phenomena are common. The novel’s protagonist, Joe Chip, is a debt-ridden technician for Glen Runciter’s “prudence organization”, which employs people with the ability to block psychic powers (like an anti-telepath, preventing a telepath from reading a mind) to help enforce privacy. Runciter runs the company with the assistance of his deceased wife Ella, who is kept in a state of “half-life”, a form of cryonic suspension that gives the deceased limited consciousness and the ability to communicate.
The Long Tomorrow by Leigh Brackett – from the Wired Into Sci-Fi Challenge
Two generations after destruction rained down upon America’s cities, the population is scattered into small towns. Cities are forbidden by law, as is scientific research.
Rumors abound of a secret place known as “Bartorstown”, where science is untrammelled by interference or hatred. A youth named Len Colter, developing an unhealthy thirst for knowledge exacerbated by the discovery of a forbidden radio, sets out on a long road. During this journey, he will change his mind many times before determining the correct direction for himself, and the benighted America in which he lives.
Dreamfall by Amy Plum – Random Grab
Cata Cordova suffers from such debilitating insomnia that she agreed to take part in an experimental new procedure. She thought things couldn’t get any worse…but she was terribly wrong.
Soon after the experiment begins, there’s a malfunction with the lab equipment, and Cata and six other teen patients are plunged into a shared dreamworld with no memory of how they got there. Even worse, they come to the chilling realization that they are trapped in a place where their worst nightmares have come to life. Hunted by creatures from their darkest imaginations and tormented by secrets they’d rather keep buried, Cata and the others will be forced to band together to face their biggest fears. And if they can’t find a way to defeat their dreams, they will never wake up.
Now, the creator of this challenge says its okay to swap out, so this might not be the exact list I end up reading, but…we shall see.
What about you? Are you in the 20 Books of Summer Challenge?