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On My Radar: THE SIX by Mark Alpert/COLD IRON by Stina Leicht/WHAT WE SALVAGE by David Baillie

Here are a few books I’m looking forward to…


The Six by Mark Alpert
(Sourcebooks Fire | July 7th, 2015)


To save humanity, they must give up their own.

Adam’s muscular dystrophy has stolen his mobility, his friends, and in a few short years, it will take his life. Virtual reality games are Adam’s only escape from his wheelchair. In his alternate world, he can defeat anyone. Running, jumping, scoring touchdowns: Adam is always the hero.

Then an artificial intelligence program, Sigma, hacks into Adam’s game. Created by Adam’s computer-genius father, Sigma has gone rogue, threatening Adam’s life-and world domination. Their one chance to stop Sigma is using technology Adam’s dad developed to digitally preserve the mind of his dying son.

Along with a select group of other terminally ill teens, Adam becomes one of the Six who have forfeited their bodies to inhabit weaponized robots. But with time running short, the Six must learn to manipulate their new mechanical forms and work together to train for epic combat…before Sigma destroys humanity.

The Six is Mark Alpert’s first young adult novel, and after excellent books like Extinction and The Furies, I’m definitely excited for this one!


Cold Iron by Stina Leicht
(Saga Press| July 14th, 2015)


Fraternal twins Nels and Suvi move beyond their royal heritage and into military and magical dominion in this flintlock epic fantasy debut from a two-time Campbell Award finalist.

Prince Nels is the scholarly runt of the ancient Kainen royal family of Eledore, disregarded as flawed by the king and many others. Only Suvi, his fraternal twin sister, supports him. When Nels is ambushed by an Acrasian scouting party, he does the forbidden for a member of the ruling family: He picks up a fallen sword and defends himself.

Disowned and dismissed to the military, Nels establishes himself as a leader as Eledore begins to shatter under the attack of the Acrasians, who the Kainen had previously dismissed as barbarians. But Nels knows differently, and with the aid of Suvi, who has allied with pirates, he mounts a military offensive with sword, canon, and what little magic is left in the world.

A new fantasy by Stina Leicht (Of Blood and Honey)? That’s really all I need to know.


What We Salvage by David Baillie
(ChiZine | July 21st, 2015)


Skinheads. Drug dealers. Cops. For two brothers-of-circumstance navigating the violent streets of this industrial wasteland, every urban tribe is a potential threat. Yet it is amongst the denizens of these unforgiving alleys, dangerous squat houses, and underground nightclubs that the brothers – and the small street tribe to which they belong – forge the bonds that will see them through senseless minor cruelties, the slow and constant grind of poverty, and savage boot culture violence. Friendship. Understanding. Affinity. For two brothers, these fragile ties are the only hope they have for salvation in the wake of a mutual girlfriend’s suicide, an event so devastating that it drives one to seek solace far from his steel city roots, and the other to a tragic – yet miraculous – transformation, a heartbreaking metamorphosis from poet and musician to street prophet, emerging from a self-imposed cocoon an urban shaman, mad-eyed shaper of (t)ruthless reality. What We Salvage is a reckless, gritty, and unapologetic journey, a novel that seizes the poignant fragility of Catcher in the Rye and throws it into a merciless world reminiscent of A Clockwork Orange. It is a work that author James Morrow dubbed “postmodern punk,” a term that befits Baillie’s poetry-as-street-prose style.

This literary, post-apocalyptic novel caught by eye immediately, and it looks like the perfect fit for someone looking for something a little bit different.

About Kristin Centorcelli (842 Articles)
Kristin Centorcelli is the Associate Editor at SF Signal, proprietor of My Bookish Ways, a reviewer for Library Journal and Publisher’s Weekly, and has also written for Crime Fiction Lover, Criminal Element, and Mystery Scene Magazine. She has been reviewing books since late 2010, in an effort to get through a rather immense personal library, while also discussing it with whoever will willingly sit still (and some that won’t).

2 Comments on On My Radar: THE SIX by Mark Alpert/COLD IRON by Stina Leicht/WHAT WE SALVAGE by David Baillie

  1. Paul Weimer (@PrinceJvstin) // May 23, 2015 at 6:30 am //

    A new fantasy by Stina Leicht (Of Blood and Honey)? That’s really all I need to know.

    Flintlock fantasy no less!

  2. Muscular dystrophy is an evil disease. I tried to write a story about it once long ago when I first started writing. It was almost certainly the most depressing yarn I’ve ever spun, so it’s now well buried in my trunk. The Six sounds very similar in its premise to my old story but let’s hope Mark Alpert’s managed to avoid the pitfalls of my early attempt.

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