One of the exciting parts of every new year (for me at least) is looking through all the great new books being released that year. And let me just tell you, 2018 is going to be a year of amazing books! So many amazing books, in fact, that there was no way I could narrow it down to my usual top 5. It would’ve been an impossible task, trust me. With that said, check out my picks for top 10 new releases of 2018!
Author: Becky Chambers
Genre: science fiction
What it’s about: When Lovey’s programming was corrupted, the factory version of the AI known as Lovelace replaced her. The problem is Lovey’s plans to (illegally) obtain a nonorganic human-like body and pass as a sapient was already in progress when Lovelace came on the scene– which means Lovelace now finds herself in a body instead of a ship, trying to pass for human in a universe which views AIs as things. With the help of her friends Pepper and Blue, she finds a new home on Port Corial. It’s all very confusing and complicated for Lovelace (who renames herself Sidra), all the more so because her programming mandates that she cannot lie. And it’s difficult to understand why the former version of herself could’ve ever wanted this when most sapients–even her new friend Tak–have trouble viewing her as anything other than her programming.
Told in alternating chapters between the present, where Sidra (with the help of Pepper, Blue, and her new friend Tak) struggles to come to terms with having a physical body and autonomy for the first time, and the past, where a young Pepper (then Jane 23) recently escaped from the factory where she was made and learns to survive in a world (and universe) she knows almost nothing about with the help of an AI named Owl.
Book: The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet
Author: Becky Chambers
What it’s about: Rosemary Harper is the newest member of the Wayfarer, an interspecies ship that specializes in hyperspace tunneling. She joins Sissix, the reptilian pilot, Dr. Chef, one of the last of his species and the ship’s chef and doctor, Kizzy and Jenks, the mechtechs, Corbin, the disagreeable algae grower, Ohan, the navigator, Lovey, the ship’s AI, and Ashby, the captain. Together, that motley bunch makes up the Wayfarer crew. They’re all in for a long mission after being offered the job of a lifetime: the chance to create a tunnel to the home planet of the newest members of the GC. But even though the crewmembers are all seasoned spacers, none of them are used to long hauls like this one, and as they travel closer and closer to Hedra Ka, the dangers of the mission begin to outweigh the odds that they’ll live to see payment.