Wed
Oct 26 2011 3:00pm

Fiction Affliction: “Genre-Benders” for November

Fiction Affliction has gotten a makeover! Check this month’s Fantasy releases post for details.

Today, we’re looking at November genre-benders, which include books that span multiple genres — this is where you’ll find alt histories, steampunk, horror, dystopian fiction… and stuff your befuddled author just isn’t sure about. There are 28 titles this month, including a veritable onslaught of Young Adult dystopian thrillers, a new historical fantasy from Diana Gabaldon, a spate of steampunks, and the reimagining of the JFK assassination with Stephen King’s 11/22/63.

 

WEEK ONE

Stone Spring, by Stephen Baxter (Nov. 1, Roc)

Ten thousand years ago, a vast and fertile plain exists, linking the British Isles to Europe. Home to a tribe of simple hunter-gatherers, Northland teems with nature’s bounty, but is also subject to its whims. Fourteen-year-old Ana calls Northland home, but her world is changing. The air is warming, the ice is melting, and the seas are rising. Then Ana meets a traveler from a far-distant city called Jericho — a city that is protected by a wall. And she starts to imagine the impossible. First in the Northland Trilogy.

Heart of Steel, by Meljean Brook (Nov. 1, Berkley)

Growing up in the dangerous world of the Iron Seas, the mercenary captain of the airship Lady Corsair, Yasmeen has learned to keep her heart hard as steel. Ruthless and cunning, her only loyalty is to her ship and her crew — until one man comes along and changes everything. Treasurehunter Archimedes Fox isn’t interested in the Lady Corsair — just the captain and the valuable da Vinci sketch she stole from him. When it attracts a dangerous amount of attention, Yasmeen and Archimedes journey to Horde-occupied Morocco. Second in the Iron Seas series. [Romance alert!]

Dark Eden, by Patrick Carman (Nov. 1, Katherine Tegen)

Fifteen-year-old Will Besting is sent by his doctor to Fort Eden, an institution meant to help patients suffering from crippling phobias. Once there, Will and six other teenagers take turns in mysterious fear chambers and confront their worst nightmares — with the help of the group facilitator, Rainsford. When the patients emerge from the chamber, they feel emboldened by the previous night’s experiences. But each person soon discovers strange, unexplained aches and pains. What is really happening to the seven teens trapped in this dark Eden? [Young Adult]

Spellbound, by Larry Correia (Nov. 1, Baen)

The Grimnoir Society’s mission is to protect people with magic, and they’ve done so — successfully and in secret — since the mysterious arrival of the Power in the 1850s, but when a magical assassin makes an attempt on the life of President Franklin Roosevelt, the crime is pinned on the Grimnoir. The knights must become fugitives while they attempt to discover who framed them. Thing go from bad to worse when Jake Sullivan, former P.I. and knight of the Grimnoir, receives a telephone call from a dead man — a man he helped kill. Second in the Grimnoir Chronicles series.

Set Me Free, by Eva Gray (Nov. 1, Scholastic)

In a terrifying future world, four girls must depend on each other if they want to survive. Maddie is ready for action. Louisa, Evelyn, and Rosie helped rescue her from the Alliance’s grasp, and she’s learned an enormous, game-changing secret: her mother is the leader of the Resistance. As Maddie and her friends set out to find the Resistance headquarters, they are relentlessly pursued by the Alliance, and members of their group have gone missing in the middle of rubble-strewn Chicago. Fourth in the Tomorrow Girls series. [Young Adult]

The Doomsday Vault, by Steven Harper (Nov. 1, Roc)

In a clockwork Brittania, Alice’s prospects are slim. At 21, her age and her unladylike interest in automatons have sealed her fate as an undesirable marriage prospect. But a devastating plague sends Alice in a direction beyond the pale — toward a clandestine organization, mad inventors, life-altering secrets, and into the arms of an intrepid fiddle-playing airship pilot.

Darker Still, by Leanna Renee Hieber (Nov. 1, Sourcebooks Fire)

New York City, 1882. Seventeen-year-old Natalie Stewart’s latest obsession is a painting of the handsome British Lord Denbury. Something in his striking blue eyes calls to her. As his incredibly lifelike gaze seems to follow her, Natalie gets the uneasy feeling that details of the painting keep changing. Jonathan Denbury’s soul is trapped in the gilded painting by dark magic while his possessed body commits unspeakable crimes in the city slums. He must lure Natalie into the painting, for only together can they reverse the curse and free his damaged soul. First in the Magic Most Foul series. [Young Adult]

Kafkaesque, edited by John Kesseland James Patrick Kelly (Nov. 1, Tachyon)

Dystopic and comedic, this anthology explores top fiction from generations of writers and artists who have drawn inspiration from Franz Kafka’s writings. The stories in this collection include Philip Roth’s alternate history in which Kafka survived into the 1940s and emigrated to America; Jorge Luis Borges’ bizarre lottery that develops into a mystical system; Carol Emshwiller’s woman seeking to be accepted as officially male by a society of men; and Paul Di Filippo’s hero who works as a magazine writer by day but is a costumed crime fighter by night. Rounding out the lineup is R. Crumb’s work, “A Hunger Artist” from Kafka for Beginners alongside a new English translation of the story itself.

The Dark Inside, by Jeyn Roberts (Nov. 1, Simon & Schuster)

Since mankind began, civilizations have always fallen: the Romans, the Greeks, the Aztecs…Now it’s our turn. Huge earthquakes rock the world. Cities are destroyed. But something even more awful is happening. An ancient evil has been unleashed, turning everyday people into hunters, killers, crazies. Four teens go on a quest for justice — but where do you turn when even the lawmakers have gone bad? Struggling to survive, clinging on to love and meaning wherever it can be found, this is a journey into the heart of darkness — but also a journey to find each other and a place of safety.

Angel Condemned, by Mary Stanton (Nov. 1, Berkley)

Representing her Aunt Cissy’s fiancé, museum curator Prosper White, in a case of fraud, attorney and celestial advocate Brianna Winston-Beaufort hopes to settle the matter out of court. But when Prosper is murdered and Cissy’s arrested for the crime, Bree will have to solve the mystery of the Cross of Justinian — an artifact of interest in both Prosper’s lawsuit and Bree’s celestial case. Fifth in the Beaufort and Company mystery series.

The Strangers on Montagu Street, by Karen White (Nov. 1, NAL)

Psychic realtor Melanie Middleton is still restoring her Charleston house and doesn’t expect to have a new houseguest, a teen girl named Nola. But the girl didn’t come alone, and the spirits that accompanied Nola don’t seem willing to leave. Third in the Tradd Street series.

 

WEEK TWO

Little Women & Me, by Lauren Baratz-Logsted (Nov. 8, Bloomsbury)

Emily is sick and tired of being a middle sister. So when she gets an assignment to describe what she’d change about a classic novel, Emily pounces on Little Women. After all, if she can’t change things in her own family, maybe she can bring a little justice to the March sisters. (Kill off Beth? Have cute Laurie wind up with Amy instead of Jo? What was Louisa May Alcott thinking?!) But when Emily gets mysteriously transported into the world of the book, she discovers that righting fictional wrongs won’t be easy. [Young Adult]

The Dead Gentleman, by Matthew Cody (Nov. 8, Knopf)

Eleven-year-old Tommy Learner is a street orphan and an unlikely protege to the Explorers, a secret group dedicated to exploring portals — the hidden doorways to other worlds. But while investigating an attercop (man-eating spider) in the basement of an old hotel, Tommy is betrayed — and trapped. And it’s then that his world collides with that of modern-day Jezebel Lemon, who — until the day she decides to explore her building’s basement — had no bigger worries than homework and boys. Now, Jezebel and Tommy must thwart the Dead Gentleman — a legendary villain whose last unconquered world is our own planet Earth. [Middle Grade]

Fighting to Survive, by Rhiannon Frater (Nov. 8, Tor)

Picking up where The First Days ends, Fighting to Survive features the further zombie-killing, civilization-saving adventures of a pair of sexy, kick-butt heroines and the men who love them. A hundred or so survivors of the zombie plague have found tenuous safety in the walled-off center of a small Texas town. Now the hard work of survival begins — finding enough food; creating safe, weather-resistant shelter; establishing laws; and fighting off both the undead who want to eat them and the living bandits who want to rob and kill them. Second in the As the World Dies series.

The Hunger Games Companion: The Unauthorized Guide to the Series, by Lois Gresh (Nov. 8, St. Martin’s Griffin)

Go deeper into the post-apocalyptic world created by Suzanne Collins than you ever thought possible — an alternative future where boys and girls are chosen from twelve districts to compete in “The Hunger Games,” a televised fight-to-the-death. This unauthorized guide takes the reader behind the stage. The Hunger Games Companion includes background facts about the action in all three books, a biography of the author, and insights into the series’ main themes and features — from the nature of evil, to weaponry and rebellions, to surviving the end of the world. [Young Adult]

11/22/63, by Stephen King (Nov. 8, Scribner)

November 22, 1963, was a rapid-fire sequence of indelible moments: Shots ringing out; a president slumped over; a race to the Dallas hospital; an announcement, blood still fresh on the First Lady’s dress. But what if President John F. Kennedy didn’t have to die; if somehow his assassin could have been thwarted? For Maine schoolteacher Jake Epping, those hypothetical what if’s become real possibilities when he walks through a portal to the past. Without special skills and still unfamiliar with his new/old surroundings, he struggles to discover a way to change the history he left.

Them or Usby David Moody (Nov. 8, Thomas Dunne)

The war that has torn the human race apart is finally nearing its end. With most towns and cities uninhabitable and the country in the grip of a savage nuclear winter, both Hater and Unchanged struggle to survive. Hundreds of Hater fighters have settled on the East Coast in the abandoned remains of a relatively undamaged town under the command of Hinchcliffe, who’ll stop at nothing to eradicate the last few Unchanged. Danny McCoyne is the exception. His ability to hold the Hate and to use it to hunt out the remaining Unchanged has given him a unique position in Hinchcliffe’s army of fighters. As the enemy’s numbers reduce, so the pressure on McCoyne increases, until he finds himself at the very center of a pivotal confrontation, the outcome of which will have repercussions on the future of everyone who is left alive. Third and final book in the Hater trilogy.

Prized, by Caragh M. O’Brien (Nov. 8, Roaring Brook)

Striking out into the wasteland with nothing but her baby sister, a handful of supplies, and a rumor to guide her, sixteen-year-old midwife Gaia Stone survives only to be captured by the people of Sylum, a dystopian society where women rule the men who drastically outnumber them, and a kiss is a crime. In order to see her sister again, Gaia must submit to their strict social code, but how can she deny her sense of justice, her curiosity, and everything in her heart that makes her whole? Second in the Birthmarked series. [Young Adult]

 

WEEK THREE

Wherever You Go, by Heather Davis (Nov. 15, Harcourt Children’s)

Seventeen-year-old Holly Mullen has felt lost and lonely since the death of her boyfriend, Rob. The fact that she has to spend most of her free time caring for her little sister and Alzheimer’s-stricken grandfather doesn’t help. But Holly has no idea that as she goes about her days, Rob’s ghost is watching over her. He isn’t happy when he sees his best friend, Jason, reach out to help Holly with her grandfather — but as a ghost, he can do nothing to stop it. Is his best friend really falling for his girlfriend? As Holly wonders whether to open her heart to Jason, the past comes back to haunt her. Literally. [Young Adult]

Circus Galacticus, by Deva Fagan (Nov. 15, Harcourt Children’s)

Trix can deal with being an orphan charity case at a snotty boarding school. She can hold her own when everyone else tells her not to dream big dreams. She can even fight back against the mysterious stranger in a silver mask who tries to steal the meteorite her parents trusted her to protect. But her life is about to change forever. The Circus Galacticus has come to town, bringing acts to amaze, delight, and terrify. And now the dazzling but enigmatic young Ringmaster has offered Trix the chance to be a part of it — if she can survive. [Young Adult]

The Always Warby Margaret Peterson Haddix (Nov. 15, Simon and Schuster)

In a war-torn future United States, fifteen-year-old Tessa, her childhood friend Gideon, now a traumatized military hero, and Dek, a streetwise orphan, enter enemy territory and discover the shocking truth about a war that began more than seventy-five years earlier. [Young Adult]

Shatter Me, by Tahereh Mafi (Nov. 15, HarperTeen)

Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days. The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal, but the world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color. The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior. First in a new series. [Young Adult]

The Other Side of Dark, by Sarah Smith (Nov. 15, Atheneum)

Since losing both of her parents, fifteen-year-old Katie can see and talk to ghosts, which makes her a loner until fellow student Law sees her drawing of a historic house and together they seek a treasure rumored to be hidden there by illegal slave-traders. Law Walker knew Katie Mullens before she was crazy. Before her mother died. Law knows Katie’s crazy now, but she’s always been talented. And she keeps filling sketch pads even though her drawings have gone a little crazy as well — dark, bloody. What Law doesn’t know is that these drawings are real. Or were real. Katie draws what she sees — and Katie sees dead people. [Young Adult]

 

WEEK FOUR

New Cthulhu: The Recent Weird, edited by Paula Guran (Nov. 22, Prime)

For more than eighty years H.P. Lovecraft has inspired writers of supernatural fiction, artists, musicians, filmmakers, and gaming. In the first decade of the twenty-first century the best supernatural writers no longer imitate Lovecraft, but they are profoundly influenced by the genre and the mythos he created. This volume presents some of the best of this new Lovecraftian fiction from authors including China Mieville, Caitlin R. Kiernan, Sarah Monette, Kim Newman, Cherie Priest, Michael Marshall Smith, Charles Stross, Rafael Tavares, and David Barr Kirtley.

Hearts of Smoke and Steam, by Andrew P. Mayer (Nov. 22, Pyr)

Sir Dennis Darby has been murdered, the Automaton has been destroyed, and Sarah Stanton has turned her back on a life of privilege and comfort to try and find her way in the unforgiving streets of New York. But Lord Eschaton, the villain behind all these events, isn’t finished with her yet. His plans to bring his apocalyptic vision of the future to the world are moving forward, but to complete his scheme he needs the clockwork heart that Sarah still holds. But she has her own plans for the Automaton’s clockwork heart — Sarah is trying rebuild her mechanical friend, and when she is attacked by The Children of Eschaton, the man comes to her rescue may be the one to make her dreams come true.

Autumn: Disintegration, by David Moody (Nov. 22, St. Martin’s Griffin)

The penultimate chapter in Moody’s horror series. Forty days have passed since the world died. Billions of corpses walk the Earth. Everything is disintegrating.  A group of eleven men and women have survived against the odds. On an almost daily basis, they attack the dead with brutal ferocity, tearing through them with utter contempt. Somewhere nearby, out of sight and out of earshot, is another group that has adopted a completely different survival strategy. Where the others have used brutality and strength, these people have demonstrated subtlety, planning, and tactics. A series of horrific events force the two groups together. Backed into a corner and surrounded by hundreds of thousands of corpses, they all know that their final battle with the dead is about to begin.

The Scottish Prisoner, by Diana Gabaldon (Nov. 29, Delacorte)

London, 1760. For Jamie Fraser, paroled prisoner-of-war in the remote Lake District, life could be worse: He’s not cutting sugar cane in the West Indies, and he’s close enough to the son he cannot claim as his own. But Jamie Fraser’s quiet existence is coming apart at the seams, interrupted first by dreams of his lost wife, then by the appearance of Tobias Quinn, an erstwhile comrade from the Rising. Like many of the Jacobites who aren’t dead or in prison, Quinn still lives and breathes for the Cause. His latest plan involves an ancient relic that will rally the Irish. Jamie is having none of it — until Lord John Grey shows up with a summons that will take him away from everything he loves — again. Soon Lord John and Jamie are unwilling companions on the road to Ireland, a country whose dark castles hold dreadful secrets, and whose bogs hide the bones of the dead.

Legend, by Marie Lu (Nov. 29, Putnam Juvenile)

What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets. [Young Adult]


Author Suzanne Johnson is a book geek with a fondness for a good dystopia. Her new urban fantasy series, scheduled to begin with the release of Royal Street in April 2012 by Tor Books, is set in New Orleans during and after Hurricane Katrina. Find Suzanne on Twitter.

5 comments
Mike G.
1. Mike G.
Holy crow, they want $18.99 for the Kindle edition of the Stephen King book.

Sorry, crazy publisher - there's way too many reasonably priced good e-books out there...

PS: I don't mean that I expected it to be 99 cents. But 9.99, or even 10.99 would be much more reasonable, since there's nothing to print (or get returned...)
Suzanne Johnson
2. Susannah Sandlin
@Mike G. LOL--yeah but SK still has to get his big paycheck :-). Those of us with big Stephen King collections will probably buy it in hardback just to keep our library complete.
Mike G.
3. Speculations
"Borges’ bizarre lottery that develops into a mystical system"

Ah, yes, that bizarre lottery. Sounds a lot like life around here.....
D.J. Gaier
4. DaVi
I admit to being interested in a China Mieville take on Lovecraft. I might have to check out the New Cthulhu book.
David Spiller
5. scifidavid
I'll be picking up Spellbound and The Doomsday Vault and maybe Hearts of Smoke and Steam.

Subscribe to this thread

Receive notification by email when a new comment is added. You must be a registered user to subscribe to threads.
Post a comment