Chosen by Nancy Hightower for The Washington Post:
  1. "Infomocracy," by Malka Older (Tor, $24.99)
    Older presents a futuristic world with eerie parallels to current events. In this imagined reality, countries are micromanaged by centenals, mini-democracies that vote on which global government they want to join. Elections are held every 10 years so that there is “time for governing in between bouts of politics.” An organization called Information, which oversees everything from the elections to the media, is overloaded with personal data and ripe for corruption.
  2. "The Insides," by Jeremy Bushnell (Melville, $16.95)
    Everyone is after a magic knife in Bushnell’s gripping supernatural thriller. What’s so special about this shard of a sword? It can cut through space and time. The tale revolves around Ollie Krueger, a butcher at a posh New York restaurant called Carnage.
  3. "Hell’s Gate," by Bill Schutt and J.R. Finch ( (Morrow, $26.99)
    Captain R.J. MacCready is a wisecracking zoologist sent into the heart of the Brazilian jungle on a secret mission. It’s 1944, and a Japanese submarine large enough to carry bombers has run aground in the Amazon. MacCready needs all the help he can get, as this jungle is alive with all manner of sadistic creatures: Nazis, telepathic vampire bats and giant man-eating turtles.