One of the books that determined my childhood was by Richard Preston The hot zone: a frightening true story. National Geographic has adapted it for a dramatic series that will start next week, and to prepare, I flipped through a few chapters to refresh my memory.
The book is the way it felt when I read it in 7th grade: it is a moving story about the horrors of Ebola and the early outbreaks that brought it to the attention of the world. The re-reading in 2019 is a good reminder that worse outbursts would occur: one in West Africa between 2013 and 2015 (Preston has a new book, Crisis in the red zone: the story of the deadliest ebola outbreak in history and the eruptions that will come, in July, about that outbreak) and another that is currently underway in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The book was roughly adapted – think of the Dustin Hoffman movie the outbreak? – but this new series seems to be better able to capture the book that kept me awake at night when I was a teenager.
If you are looking for something to read instead of look, then here are 13 books that hit stores in the second half of May. (Here are the books from earlier in the month.)
Alternis by Maurice Broaddus, Andrea Phillips, Jacqueline Koyanagi and E.C. Myers
The newest serial number from the digital publisher Serial Box dropped last week and it includes a great team of writers: Maurice Broaddus, Andrea Phillips, Jacqueline Koyanagi and E.C. Myers, with Firefly star Summer Glau who covers the spoken text. In this story, a video game developer learns that the game she is working on is part of a highly secret government project in which countries around the world compete for real resources.
You can do the first delivery free.
21st of May
Pimp My Airship by Maurice Broaddus
Maurice Broaddus not only publishes a story about Serial Box. His latest novel is Pimp My Airship, a steampunk adventure that follows a poet named Sleepy whose sole purpose is to stay out of trouble. That changes when he encounters a demonstrator called (120 degrees) knowledge Allah and an heiress named Sophine Jefferson, whose life fell apart after her father was murdered. The three are on a journey where they meet mediums and criminals and a possible battle for the heart of the country.
Read one extract.
Collect the Fortunes by Bryan Camp
The next episode of Bryan Camp & # 39; s Crescent city series Collect the Fortunes. It follows Psychopomp Renaissance Raines as she leads the dead to the seven gates of the underworld. One of her indictments, a boy named Ramses St. Cyr, escapes, and she ends up in the middle of a larger plot that threatens to undergo the world in New Orleans – and the gods are somehow involved. Kirkus reviews says it's a bit slower than the first book in the series, The city of lost fortunes, but that "the richness and inventiveness of Camp's vision and the liveliness, warmth and compassion of his leading wife keep you informed of what happens next."
triumphant by Jack Campbell
The latest installment from Jack Campbell & # 39; s The Genesis Fleet military science fiction series triumphant, set in the new colonial world of Glenlyon. After assisting the neighboring planet, Kosatka, Glenlyon has become a target. Fleet officer Rob Geary has only one destroyer to protect the planet, and he has to ward off attacks while waiting for reinforcements. Kirkus reviews says the book is "a solid entry to expand an always-reliable range."
Read one extract.
Broken Shadow by Jaine Fenn
In the continuation of last year Hidden sun, Jaine Fenn introduced readers to Rhia Harlyn, a noble woman in Shen, one of the kingdoms in the shadow lands on an alien world. (locus Journal has a good overview here.) When her brother Etyan went missing, she set out on a search to find him. It had been experimented with by a scientist and now Rhia has been accused of heresy. Etyan & Dej's girlfriend, Dej, is troubled by the changes Etyan has undergone and escapes to the dangerous airlands, to discover something that could improve their lives.
An illusion of thieves by Cate Glass
In the debut novel of Cate Glass, Romy is a courtesan of the Shadow Lord in the kingdom of Cantagna. When her brother Neri is caught with magic to steal, she intervenes and is banned as a result. She needs to rely on her own talents and forbidden magic to survive, and while trying to forge a new life in Begger & # 39; s Ring, she discovers a conspiracy to plunge the kingdom into a civil war. Fantasy Book Critic says Which An illusion of thieves is & # 39; pure fantasy pleasure, rich, fascinating, with intriguing world formation, thoughtful character development and a storyline that gets stronger with every chapter. & # 39;
Read one extract.
Her silhouette, drawn in water by Vylar Kaftan
The new novel by Vylar Kaftan follows Bee and Chela who are trapped in a distant world known as Colel-Cab and must try to survive between supply drops. They are telepaths and implanted with a chip to prevent them from using their powers. Bee has lost her memory and Chela tells her that they were responsible for killing the entire population of a spaceship. But soon Bee starts to hear another voice and starts questioning that story. Weekly publisher says that "this invigorating, cleverly introspective short story has the perfect length for his plot and themes, and his mind lingers in the reader's memory."
Vessel by Lisa A. Nichols
When astronaut Catherine Wells & spaceship loses contact with Earth after an accident in a deep space, she is supposed to be dead along with the crew. But she survived, and when she makes contact with NASA after a decade away from Earth, she discovers that people have gone further: her husband has remarried and her daughter has grown up. She also begins to experience strange things, such as waking up in limited areas of NASA, and starting to question the accident that took her memory. Publishers per week says it's one "Tense, character-driven debut."
Read one extract.
the 28th of May
The Red-Stained Wings by Elizabeth Bear
The newest episode from Elizabeth Bear & # 39; s Lotus Kingdoms series (placed in the same world as her Eternal heaven trilogy) follows the Gage and the Dead Man after sending a message from the greatest wizard of Messaline to the ruling queen of Sarathai The stone in the skull. Now that queen, Mrithuri, is besieged by a rival, Anuraja, and one of her inner circles might be a traitor. Publishers per week says that "Magic and knuckle successfully propel the characters and storylines of this rich and beautiful India-tinted fantasy."
Read one extract.
Longer by Michael Blumlein
In this short story two scientists, Gunjita and Cav, revolve around the earth as part of an experiment to make themselves younger. They have two chances to do that. Gunjita has jumped back twice, but Cav is struggling with questions about death. Kirkus reviews says that it is a & # 39; brain story about the ethics and emotional impact of extending human life & # 39 ;.
Stranger Things: Darkness at the Edge of Town by Adam Christopher
The third season of Stranger Things debuts on Netflix later this summer, but meanwhile Adam Christopher has written a new novel that follows the life of Chief Jim Hopper and his experiences before ending up in Hawkins, Indiana. During the 1984 Christmas holidays, Eleven discovers a box labeled "New York" in Hopper's basement, and is forced to explain his experiences in Vietnam and his time as a husband and father in New York City as a police detective.
Read one extract.
Ephemeris: The Questrison Saga: Book Two by J. Dianne Dotson
In the latest episode of her Questrison saga, J. Dianne Dotson follows the story of Galla-Deia, a humanoid creature discovered in space and raised in a city of androids. She has been chosen to lead the city through a natural disaster and an alien attack, but to do this, she must gain the trust of both people and non-people to bring them to safety.
The Gameshouse by Claire North
Claire North was originally published The Gameshouse as three online short stories: The snake, The thief, and The teacher. Now they are published as an independent volume. The Gameshouse is a mysterious gambling game that sometimes appears in different cities, with regular customers who seem to come from different times and places. To participate, players must gamble away parts of themselves – language, years or love. The book spans centuries, follows three characters as they try to take control of the Gamehouse itself. Kirkus reviews says it's one "Unusual, intriguing novel that is at the same time a paranoid fantasy about a world where everyone can be bought and a beastly story about what really matters if something can be thrown away."