Sandworms of Dune by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson
For Fans of… The original Dune novels by Herbert’s late father, Frank.
Bottom Line: After slogging through a desert’s worth of rote Star Warsisms and Sahrara-dry prose, you’ll wish Frank had been at the helm.
Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch
For Fans of… Robin Hood; Oceans Eleven; Pirates of the Caribbean.
Bottom Line: In the second installment of the Gentlemen Bastards series, Lynch’s fast-paced storytelling is slightly stalled by a propensity for clumsy romance and action-flick banter.
Spaceman Blues by Brian Francis Slattery
For Fans of… The surreal urban odyssey of Ralph Ellison’s The Invisible Man; Plan Nine From Outer Space.
Bottom Line: For all its colorful characters and gonzo thrills, Slattery’s debut is first and foremost a moving portrait of Wendell’s grief.
The Accidental Time Machine by Joe Haldeman
For Fans of… Time travel, “hard SF,” and slacker antiheroes.
Bottom Line: The comparisons may be unfair, but this smart, brisk, and even charming tale has none of the emotional or philosophical heft of Haldeman’s Forever books.