Fiction Affliction: Genre Benders for March

Twelve books stretch their way across genres this March, including Ken Liu’s collection of stories, new novels from Sofia Samatar and Lavie Tidhar, and the second book in Alan Smale’s Clash of Eagles series!

Fiction Affliction details releases in science fiction, fantasy, and “genre-benders.” Keep track of them all here. Note: All title summaries are taken and/or summarized from copy provided by the publisher.

 

WEEK ONE

Black Wings of Cthulhu 4S.T. Joshi, editor (March 1, Titan)
Volume four in the Black Wings of Cthulhu series offers up seventeen new masterpieces, each exploring the roots of fear employed so famously by the master himself, H. P. Lovecraft. Between these covers there lies a who’s who of the supernatural, including Fred Chappell, Jason V Brock, Gary Fry, Richard Gavin, Cody Goodfellow, Lois H. Gresh, Caitlín R. Kiernan, Charles Lovecraft, Will Murray, John Pelan and Stephen Mark Rainey, W. H. Pugmire, Ann K. Schwader, Darrell Schweitzer, Simon Strantzas, Melanie Tem, Jonathan Thomas, Donald Tyson, and Stephen Woodworth.

The Damned (The Darkest Hand #1)Tarn Richardson (March 1, The Overlook Press)
In an alternative World War I, unspeakable creatures roam the grisly trenches, and a ruthless Catholic Inquisition holds sway—still powerful, but working in the shadows. When a Father is brutally murdered in the French city of Arras, Poldeck Tacit—a determined and unhinged Inquisitor—arrives on the scene to investigate the crime. His mission: to protect the Church from those who would seek to destroy it, no matter what the cost. As the Inquisitor strives in vain to establish the truth behind the murder and to uncover the motives of other Vatican servants seeking to undermine him, a beautiful and spirited woman, Sandrine, warns British solider Henry Frost of a mutual foe even more terrible lurking beneath the killing fields—an enemy that answers to no human force and wreaks its havoc by the light of the moon.

The United States of JapanPeter Tieryas (March 1, Angry Robot)
Decades ago, Japan won the Second World War. Americans worship their infallible Emperor, and nobody believes that Japan’s conduct in the war was anything but exemplary. Nobody, that is, except the George Washingtons—a shadowy group of rebels fighting for freedom. Their latest subversive tactic is to distribute an illegal video game that asks players to imagine what the world might be like if the United States had won the war instead. Captain Beniko Ishimura’s job is to censor video games, and he’s tasked with getting to the bottom of this disturbing new development. But Ishimura’s hiding something… He’s slowly been discovering that the case of the George Washingtons is more complicated than it seems, and the subversive videogame’s origins are even more controversial and dangerous than the censors originally suspected.

Into the DimJanet B. Taylor (March 1, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Young adult. When fragile, sixteen-year-old Hope Walton loses her mom to an earthquake overseas, her secluded world crumbles. Agreeing to spend the summer in Scotland, Hope discovers that her mother was more than a brilliant academic, but also a member of a secret society of time travelers. And she’s alive, though currently trapped in the twelfth century, during the age of Eleanor of Aquitaine. Hope has 72 hours to rescue her mother and get back to their own time. Passing through the Dim, Hope enters a brutal medieval world of political intrigue, danger, and violence. A place where any serious interference could alter the very course of history. And when she meets a boy whose face is impossibly familiar, she must decide between her mission and her heart—both of which could leave Hope trapped in the past forever.

 

WEEK TWO

The Return of the WitchPaula Brackston (March 8, Thomas Dunne Books)
After five years in the Summerlands, Gideon has gained his freedom. Elizabeth knows he will go straight for Tegan, and that she must protect the girl she had come to regard as her own daughter. In the time since she the dramatic night in Batchcombe woods, Tegan has traveled the world learning from all manner of witches, and she is no longer the awkward teenager and novice spellcaster she once was. However, her skills are no match for Gideon’s dark, vengeful power, and he succeeds in capturing her. Will Elizabeth be able to find her? Will they be able to defeat their nemesis once and for all? In a breathless journey that takes them through history to the 17th and 19th centuries, witch pursues warlock. Three people steeped in magic weave a new story, but not all will survive until the end.

The Paper Menagerie and Other StoriesKen Liu (March 8, Saga Press)
The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories features many of Ken Liu’s award-winning and award-finalist stories, including: “The Man Who Ended History: A Documentary” (Finalist for the Hugo, Nebula, and Theodore Sturgeon Awards), “Mono No Aware” (Hugo Award winner), “The Waves” (Nebula Award finalist), “The Bookmaking Habits of Select Species” (Nebula and Sturgeon Award finalists), “All the Flavors” (Nebula Award finalist), “The Litigation Master and the Monkey King” (Nebula Award finalist), and the most awarded story in the genre’s history, “The Paper Menagerie” (The only story to win the Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy awards).

The Winged HistoriesSofia Samatar (March 8, Small Beer Press)
Four women, soldier, scholar, poet, and socialite, are caught up on different sides of a violent rebellion. As war erupts and their families are torn apart, they fear they may disappear into the unwritten pages of history. Using the sword and the pen, the body and the voice, they struggle not just to survive, but to make history.

Monstrous Little Voices: New Tales from Shakespeare’s Fantasy WorldAdrian Tchaikovsky, Emma Newman, Jonathan Barnes, Foz Meadows, & Kate Heartfield (March 8, Abaddon)
It is the Year of Our Lord 1601. The Tuscan War rages across the world, and every lord from Navarre to Illyria is embroiled in the fray. Cannon roar, pikemen clash, and witches stalk the night; even the fairy courts stand on the verge of chaos. Five stories come together at the end of the war: that of bold Miranda and sly Puck; of wise Pomona and her prisoner Vertumnus; of gentle Lucia and the shade of Prospero; of noble Don Pedro and powerful Helena; and of Anne, a glovemaker’s wife. On these lovers and heroes the world itself may depend. Monstrous Little Voices collects five of today’s most exciting names in genre fiction to delve into the world Shakespeare created for us. With wars and romances, its magics and deceptions, discover five stories he never told, but could have.

A Man Lies DreamingLavie Tidhar (March 8, Melville House)
Wolf, a low-rent private detective, roams London’s gloomy, grimy streets, haunted by dark visions of a future that could have been—and a dangerous present populated by British Fascists and Nazis escaping Germany. Shomer, a pulp fiction writer, lies in a concentration camp, imagining another world. And when Wolf and Shomer’s stories converge, we find ourselves drawn into a novel both shocking and profoundly haunting. At once a perfectly pitched hard-boiled noir thriller (with an utterly shocking twist) and a “Holocaust novel like no other” (The Guardian), A Man Lies Dreaming is a masterful, unforgettable literary experiment from “one of our best and most adventurous writers” (Locus).

 

WEEK THREE

Powers: The Secret History of Deena PilgrimBrian Michael Bendis with Neil Kleid (March 15, Thomas Dunne Books)
Ever since she could walk, Homicide Detective Deena Pilgrim followed in her father’s footsteps. These days, Deena won’t discuss her father or the life she left behind in Atlanta years ago, a life before she partnered with Christian Walker to investigate homicide cases in a city where perps and victims boast incredible, dangerous powers. Now, nearly a decade of bringing Powers to justice has broken down Deena’s resolve, along with the walls she erected long ago to protect herself from prying eyes. Walls that kept her from a past best left alone, and from those determined to get close and bring horrible, heartbreaking memories to the surface once more. But when a cold case reopens a series of unsolved murders that point back to Deena’s family tree, she is unavoidably reacquainted with a former boyfriend with ties to both sets of killings, along with her sordid past.

Second LifePaul Griner (March 15, Soft Skull Press)
Second Life takes us into the strange world of the second life of bodies and what happens to the physical vessel after one dies. Elena Kelly is a body broker or “corpse wrangler,” one of the best in her field. When she became too ambitious, cut too many corners and too many ethical (and legal) safeguards, she ran afoul of the law and medical profession, triggering a huge scandal in Louisville, Kentucky that quickly went national. She lost everything – and now humbled and on a strict, three-year parole, she works as coroner’s assistant in Danville. Elena is still trying to come to grips with her regret and guilt when she is unexpectedly drawn into the search for her former best friend’s missing body. Her desperate search drags her back to the underworld of the dead and pits her against a new and nefarious corpse wrangler – one more talented and deadly than she ever was.

 

WEEK FOUR

Eagle in Exile (Clash of Eagles #2)Alan Smale (March 22, Del Rey)
In A.D. 1218, Praetor Gaius Marcellinus is ordered to conquer North America and turning it into a Roman province. But outside the walls of the great city of Cahokia, his legion is destroyed outright; Marcellinus is the only one spared. In the months and years that follow, Marcellinus comes to see North America as his home and the Cahokians as his kin. He vows to defend these proud people from any threat, Roman or native. After successfully repelling an invasion by the fearsome Iroqua tribes, Marcellinus realizes that a weak and fractured North America won’t stand a chance against the returning Roman army. Marcellinus is determined to save the civilization that has come to mean more to him than the empire he once served. Only with the hearts and souls of a nation at his back can Marcellinus hope to know triumph.

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