Just finished reading the first book of 2012, the pretty much unknown novel Brotherhood of the Stars (1994) by Kirby Greene.
It's a rather dark blend of space-opera, noir and cult story. It starts out as a sort of quest adventure, with Ree Barsac, a career spacer who works on interstellar freighters, taking some shore leave on the seedy planet Glaurus. His real mission is to reconnect with Zigmunn, a long-lost friend whom he hasn't seen in ten years.
Needless to say, it doesn't go well for Barsac. And then it really doesn't go well.
And then things start to get grim.
I was surprised by the escalating violence and overall psychological bleakness, all the way to the rather devastating ending. Still, it was an interesting read.