Angels and Aliens Meet on Your February Bookshelf

Aliens are reading email, Godzilla is still shooting fire, and angels live in floating cities - and that's just the beginning of what you'll find out this month when you visit your favorite bookstore.

Shambling Towards Hiroshima, James Morrow
Shambling towards Hiroshima is billed as a playful romp and a parable of the dawn of the nuclear era, one that blends, tongue-in-cheek, Godzilla, World War II Japan and genetic engineering gone wrong as the U.S. Navy attempts to breed large fire-breathing iguanas, hiring B-Movie actor Syms Thorley in an attempt to film some propaganda to try and force the Japanese to end the war.

The Walls of the Universe, Paul Melko
Paul Melko's latest book is his second, based off of an Asimov's short story by the same name. This story is set largely between two worlds in the Multiverse, following John, a young high school senior on a journey across worlds. Encountering an alternative version of himself, he finds that he has been tricked while the other profits from his absence, but ends up on a voyage of self-discovery.

Principles of Angels, Jaine Fenn
Jaine Fenn's first novel, Principles of Angels brings together the interesting world of Khesh City, floating above Vellern. Society is split between the upper rich, while the Undertow is far more seedy and dangerous. The story follows Taro, a prostitute who's Aunt, a member of the Angels, a state-sponsored killer, is murdered. To find the killer, he must go down below, where he comes across Elarn, a musician, while their fates intertwine and the entire city is put into danger.

Angels and Aliens Meet on Your February Bookshelf

The Caryatids, Bruce Sterling
In 2060, the world has fallen to three major powers, the high tech Dispensation, the green utopia Acquis, and China. From this political environment comes Caryatids, four surviving clones from a mad scientist who has since escaped to a space station. The four women are scattered around the world, and as an environmental cataclysm looms, the four are are gathered together to help save what is left of the world.

Steal Across the Sky, Nancy Kress
Steal Across the Sky, Nancy Kress's latest novel, is a science fiction thriller that begins as first contact is made through the internet, via this message:

We are an alien race you may call the Atoners. Ten thousand years ago we wronged humanity profoundly. We cannot undo what has been done, but we wish humanity to understand it. Therefore we request twenty-one volunteers to visit seven planets to Witness for us. We will convey each volunteer there and back in complete safety. Volunteers must speak English. Send requests for electronic applications to witness@Atoners.com.

Three humans visit the Atoners on their world, and see just what the crime was, and return to change civilization completely.

Biogenesis and Other Stories, Tatsuaki Ishiguro
This collection of short stories by Tatsuaki Ishiguro is described as being told through scientific reports. In "Biogenesis," Two professors research the rare winged mouse and how the genetic makeup of the creatures pointed to their eventual extinction. The discover that upon mating, both the male and female of the species died. The professors try to clone the winged mice without success, so they breed the remaining pair in captivity, noting the procedure, which includes a vibration of the creatures' wings, what appeared to be kissing, and the shedding of tears—composed of the same substance as their blood—until their eventual death.

Angels and Aliens Meet on Your February Bookshelf

Cyberabad Days, Ian McDonald
Cyberbad Days is a return to McDonald's future India, last seen in River of Gods, in a collection of seven stories, two of which have already been nominated for or won the prestigious Hugo Award. It's an amazing collection which tells the stories of (among other things) lovelorn AI, robotwallahs, and family feuds fought with tailor-made genetic weapons.

The Solaris Book of New Science Fiction Volume 3, Edited by George Mann
Solaris, the science fiction and fantasy publisher, has released its third anthology of new science fiction, containing stories from authors such as Alastair Reynolds, Stephen Baxter, and Ken MacLeod.

Crypic: The Best Short Fiction of Jack McDevitt, Jack McDevitt
This large volume (38 stories) covers the best stories of SF author Jack McDevitt, ranging from alien conspiracies, the beginnings of life on earth, astronomers broadcasting mysterious signals from space stations before being fried, time travelers, artificial intelligence, and intergalactic wars.