February Books: Hackers, Guns-for-Hire, and Supernatural Cops

What's new for February? Cherie Priest tries her hand at bad-ass bloodsuckers. There's also paranormal police, feminist hackers, and an ARG that sparks a revolution that may overturn a whole government.


February Books: Hackers, Guns-for-Hire, and Supernatural Cops

Midnight Riot, Ben Aaronovitch (Del Rey)
This urban fantasy from Doctor Who alum Aaronovitch introduces Peter Grant, aspiring detective inspector of London's Metropolitan Police. His odds don't look too good, though, because his supervisor is in the process of assigning him to the most boring unit imaginable. But Peter has an ace in the hole: It turns out he can speak to the recently dead, an invaluable asset to the supernatural wing of the force. Detective Chief Inspector—and wizard—Thomas Nightingale takes notice and snags Grant as an apprentice to help deal with London's paranormal crimes. A crisis promptly erupts.


February Books: Hackers, Guns-for-Hire, and Supernatural Cops

Bloodshot, Cherie Priest (Del Rey)
Cherie Priest leaves behind the steampunk Wild West for modern-day vampires with her latest release, Bloodshot. She introduces Raylene Pendle, AKA Chesire Red, daring extralegal acquirer of things, former flapper, and under-the-radar vampire. She takes a job tracking down some sensitive government info for a fellow vampire who's been wronged by Uncle Sam and stumbles onto some serious military sketchiness.


February Books: Hackers, Guns-for-Hire, and Supernatural Cops

God's War, Kameron Hurley (Night Shade Books)
Nyx is bounty hunter on a far-future planet (settled long ago by Muslims spacefarers and running on insect-based tech) wracked with a war that's raged for ages with no end in sight, fought by magicians and assassins and guns for hire. But she's also a former government assassin, and her old bosses want her to track down a powerful off-world technology that could end the fighting.


February Books: Hackers, Guns-for-Hire, and Supernatural Cops

Deep State, Walter Jon Williams (Orbit)
The last couple of weeks have made Walter Jon Williams's sequel to This Is Not A Game eerily prescient. He brings back Dagmar Shaw, who's in near-future Turkey, running a massive alternate reality game and staying out of trouble with the heavy-handed authorities. Then a friend approaches her with a new project—an ARG meant to start a revolution. Read Wiliams' essay about the book here.


February Books: Hackers, Guns-for-Hire, and Supernatural Cops

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Sausages, Tom Holt (Orbit)
There's another trippy, madcap Tom Holt adventure hitting the shelves this month. Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Sausages follows poor Polly Mayer, who might or might not be going crazy. Things like her coffee and her dry cleaner are vanishing into thin air. Maybe someone's gaslighting her, or maybe there's some sort of interdimensional craziness going on, involving a hyper-intelligent pig and a magic ring.


February Books: Hackers, Guns-for-Hire, and Supernatural Cops

The World House, Guy Adams (Angry Robot)
Got a taste for weirdness? Guy Adams offers up a strange house full of secrets, rooms containing forests and animals and objects come to life.


February Books: Hackers, Guns-for-Hire, and Supernatural Cops

Pack of Lies, Laura Anne Gilman (LUNA)
In the sequel to Hard Magic, Bonita Torres and the team at Private Unaffiliated Paranormal Investigations land a tough new case that threatens to spark all-out war between the humans and nonhumans. The situation requires PUPI to walk the fine political line, even as the team tries to get to the bottom of a brutal attempted rape.


February Books: Hackers, Guns-for-Hire, and Supernatural Cops

Trouble and Her Friends, Melissa Scott (Tor)
Tor is reissuing this old-school feminist work of cyberpunk, originally published in 1994. The novel follows ex-hackers and former lovers Cherise and Trouble in the wake of a massive government crackdown on the Internet. Trouble quit hacking 3 years ago, but someone is using her name as a cover for their online crimes. So she and Cherise hook back up to get this little problem sorted out. Among other accolades, Trouble and Her Friends won the 1995 Lambda Literary Awards.


February Books: Hackers, Guns-for-Hire, and Supernatural Cops

Golden Reflections, Fred Saberhagen (Baen)

Golden Reflections packages The Mask of the Sun, one of the many science fiction tales of Fred Saberhagen, with tributes from authors like David Weber and Walter Jon Williams. Though most famous for his Berserker stories, this particular novel follows Mike Gabrieli as he attempts to rescue his trouble-prone brother and finds himself skipping between times and universes, thanks to some Incan plot to stop Pizarro. Grandfather paradoxes ensue.


February Books: Hackers, Guns-for-Hire, and Supernatural Cops

The Iron Thorn, Caitlin Kittredge (Delacorte Books)

This debut steampunk YA novel posits an alternative America, Victorian in flavor and powered by an oppressive combination of the Engine and the rigid Proctors. Our heroine is Aoife Grayson, sole female matriculant at the School of Engines of Lovecraft Academy. She's desperate for a cure to the insanity that's already taken her mother and her brother and is scheduled to strike on her 17th birthday, so she sets out into the magical, untamed wilderness.