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On My Radar: THE BIG SHEEP by Robert Kroese/WAYPOINT KANGAROO by Curtis C. Chen/THE DOOMED CITY by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky

Yeahhhh, I know these are coming up next summer, but I’m just THAT excited about them!

The Big Sheep by Robert Kroese
(Thomas Dunne Books | June 28th, 2016)


Los Angeles of 2039 is a baffling and bifurcated place. After the Collapse of 2028, a vast section of LA, the Disincorporated Zone, was disowned by the civil authorities, and became essentially a third world country within the borders of the city. Navigating the boundaries between DZ and LA proper is a tricky task, and there’s no one better suited than eccentric private investigator Erasmus Keane. When a valuable genetically altered sheep mysteriously goes missing from Esper Corporation’s labs, Keane is the one they call.

But while the erratic Keane and his more grounded partner, Blake Fowler, are on the trail of the lost sheep, they land an even bigger case. Beautiful television star Priya Mistry suspects that someone is trying to kill her – and she wants Keane to find out who. When Priya vanishes and then reappears with no memory of having hired them, Keane and Fowler realize something very strange is going on. As they unravel the threads of the mystery, it soon becomes clear that the two cases are connected – and both point to a sinister conspiracy involving the most powerful people in the city. Saving Priya and the sheep will take all of Keane’s wits and Fowler’s skills, but in the end, they may discover that some secrets are better left hidden.

Kroese’s novel is perfect for fans of Philip Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, Terry Pratchett’s Guards! Guards!, and Scalzi’s Old Man’s War.

As if you had to ask! Future LA, conspiracy, SHEEP! Also, that title. I LOVE that title.

Waypoint Kangaroo by Curtis C. Chen
(Thomas Dunne Books | June 21st, 2016)


Kangaroo isn’t your typical spy. Sure, he has extensive agency training, access to bleeding-edge technology, and a ready supply of clever (to him) quips and retorts. But what sets him apart is “the pocket.” It’s a portal that opens into an empty, seemingly infinite, parallel universe, and Kangaroo is the only person in the world who can use it. However, Kangaroo can’t help but feel the agency only keeps him around to exploit his superpower.

After he bungles yet another mission, he gets sent away on a mandatory “vacation:” an interplanetary cruise to Mars. While trying to make the most of it, two passengers are found dead, and Kangaroo has to risk blowing his cover. But, it turns out Kangaroo isn’t the only spy on this ship–and he’s just starting to unravel a massive conspiracy which threatens the entire Solar System.

Now, Kangaroo has to stop a disaster which would shatter the delicate peace that’s existed between Earth and Mars ever since the brutal Martian Independence War. A new interplanetary conflict would be devastating for both sides. Millions of lives are at stake. Weren’t vacations supposed to be relaxing?

This intergalactic thriller marks Chen’s debut. Chen has an extensive network of connections to prominent sci-fiction authors, and has studied under John Scalzi, James Patrick Kelly, and Ursula K. LeGuin.

It’s an intergalactic spy thriller. ‘Nuff said.

The Doomed City by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky
(Chicago Review Press | July 1st, 2016)


Arkady and Boris Strugatsky are widely considered the greatest of Russian science fiction masters, and their most famous work, Roadside Picnic, has enjoyed great popularity worldwide. Yet the novel that was their own favorite, and that readers worldwide have acclaimed as their magnum opus, has never before been published in English. The Doomed City was so politically risky that the Strugatsky brothers kept its existence a complete secret even from their best friends for sixteen years after its completion in 1972. It was only published in Russia in the late 1980s, the last of their works to see publication. It was translated into a host of major European languages, and now appears in English in a major new translation by acclaimed translator Andrew Bromfield. The Doomed City is set in an experimental city bordered by an abyss on one side and an impossibly high wall on the other. Its sole inhabitants are people who were plucked from Earth’s history and left to govern themselves under conditions established by Mentors whose purpose seems inscrutable. Andrei Voronin, a young astronomer plucked from Leningrad in the 1950s, is a diehard believer in the Experiment, even though he’s now a garbage collector. And as increasingly nightmarish scenarios begin to affect the city, he rises through the political hierarchy, with devastating effect.

First time published in English. YES.

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).

4 Comments on On My Radar: THE BIG SHEEP by Robert Kroese/WAYPOINT KANGAROO by Curtis C. Chen/THE DOOMED CITY by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky

  1. Chen’s book sounds good, although I feel like his publisher is really reaching to try to establish some bona fides in that last sentence. (eyeroll) But the book sounds cool!

  2. fyi – The Big Sheep amazon link goes to Judenstaat by Simone Zelitch.

  3. M. Robinson // December 5, 2015 at 10:13 pm //

    I’ve been a sheep fan since reading John Brunner, but I’ve never read ‘Electric Sheep.

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