Covers by Matt Griffin
“Joel Dane” is the pseudonym of an author of over 20 novels who launched an intriguing new military SF trilogy in August. The opening novel Cry Pilot followed a recruit with a secret drawn into a desperate war against lampreys, biological horrors created by the terra fixing process remaking a ruined Earth. Publishers Weekly raved, summing it up as “Riveting action paired with a sharp psychoemotional landscape.. the explosive launch of a futuristic trilogy.” In a review titled “The Closest Thing to an Immersive Cyberpunk FPS Video Game Between Two Covers,” S. Qiouyi Lu at The B&N Sci-Fi and Fantasy Blog said:
Terrafixing gives abandoned machines and technology a new life, turning them into violent creatures that are both organic and inorganic — a fusion of weapon and mutated animal. After proving himself as a cry pilot, Kaytu becomes part of a squad training to defend against the latest of these threats (not to mention the most dire to date) — mysterious, ruthless creatures called lampreys hell-bent on destruction. With no known weaknesses and a casualty count mounting higher and higher, the pressure is on Kaytu and his squad to keep their reflexes quick and use all their training to fight against this seemingly unbeatable foe…
Cry Pilot… is a vivid, immersive novel that leans strongly into its military science fiction identity. Its main asset is its voice: Kaytu’s strong personality and first-person narration creates an intimate reading experience… Cry Pilot feels like a high-definition cyberpunk first-person shooter video game, with sleek, polished graphics and tons of lore to explore. If that’s your thing, suit up and dive in — this book will take you for a hell of a ride.
Hot on the heels of Cry Pilot comes Burn Cycle, with the third volume Kill Orbit already in the pipeline for July 2020. Here’s all the details.
First up, catch up with our coverage of Cry Pilot back in July:
And here’s the publisher’s description for Burn Cycle.
An unbeatable enemy. A planet on the brink. And a squad with a taste for revenge.
In this incendiary new military science fiction novel, an infantry squad crisscrosses the globe on a search-and-destroy mission against a relentless foe.
After cry pilot Maseo Kaytu’s white-knuckled victory over the mysterious lampreys at Ayko Base, military command develops new weapons and a new strategy. The updated mission is simple: pinpoint the Hatchery, the “spawn point” of the lampreys, and blast it into a fine powder. Kaytu’s battle-tested squad tracks the enemy from remote bases to elegant cities to subterranean caverns, but the lampreys start hitting harder and faster. While the squad is winning battles, Earth is losing the war.
When the search for the Hatchery shines a light on Kaytu’s insurgent past, he faces a terrible truth. There is no line he won’t cross to protect his squad. Then a vicious counterattack teaches him another lesson: you can’t save everyone. In the end, all you can do is the job.
And Kill Orbit.
A hostile fleet. A planet killer. And one shot to make it right.
In this gripping new military science-fiction novel, a battle-tested infantry squad pursues an inhuman enemy into the vacuum of space.
Maseo Kaytu’s squad is yanked from a much-deserved furlough by an emergency deployment off-planet. But why is Command sending grunts into the “Big Empty”? Without CAVs, without backup — hell, without gravity — the squad is more vulnerable than ever. Tasked with a mission that only they can complete, they track the enemy across the killing vastness of space, from a bizarre interplanetary warehouse to the hidden heart of a research habitation…and beyond.
But the enemy is tracking them, too. Scanning, calculating, preparing. Kaytu joined the military to redeem the bad choices of his past, yet now–trapped in hostile territory — he learns that soldiers face the hardest choices of all.
And here’s the publishing details for all three.
Cry Pilot (392 pages, $17 in trade paperback/$9.99 digital, August 6, 2019)
Burn Cycle (371 pages, $17 in trade paperback/$9.99 digital, February 4, 2020)
Kill Orbit ($17 in trade paperback/$9.99 digital, July 7, 2020)
All three are from Ace Books, with covers by Matt Griffin.
Check out all our coverage of the best new science fiction and fantasy series here.