Let’s hear it for the free-wheeling world of the genre benders this month, with fifteen genre-defying books ranging from the Weird West to the just plain weird (in a good way, of course). There’s a new anthology of western-themed steampunk (Weird West), mad vaudevillians (The Troupe), undead Jane Austen (Jane Vows Vengeance), and Jack London’s secret diaries (The Sea Wolves). Oh, and if you don’t think the poor lost souls aboard Titanic have suffered enough, check out Carpathia.
Fiction Affliction details releases in science fiction, fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and “genre-benders.” Keep track of them all here.
Alaska, 1920: a brutal place to homestead, and especially tough for recent arrivals Jack and Mabel. Childless, they are drifting aparthe breaking under the weight of the work of the farm; she crumbling from loneliness and despair. In a moment of levity during the season’s first snowfall, they build a child out of snow. The next morning the snow child is gone, but they glimpse a young, blond-haired girl running through the trees.This little girl, who calls herself Faina, seems to be a child of the woods. But in this beautiful, violent place things are rarely as they appear, and what they eventually learn about Faina will transform all of them.
New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C., have been abandoned.There are no more policeinstead, there are soldiers. Seventeen-year-old Ember Miller is old enough to remember that things weren’t always this way. Ember has perfected the art of keeping a low profile. She knows how to get the things she needs, like food stamps and hand-me-down clothes, and how to pass the random home inspections by the military. Her life is as close to peaceful as circumstances allow. That is, until her mother is arrested for noncompliance with Article 5, and one of the arresting officers is none other than Chase Jennings the only boy Ember has ever loved. Young Adult.
Business is booming at Harlow Jane Cassidy’s custom dressmaking boutiqueeven with her great-grandmother’s ghost hanging around the shop. But when a local golf pro is found stabbed with dressmaking shears, the new town deputy suspects Harlow. Now she has to clear her name before the next outfit she designs is a prison jumpsuit. Second in the Magical Dressmaking mystery series.
From a Western circus where monsters and heroes collide, to a Civil War robot that clanks into battle, to a mining family that encounters parallel universes, Westward Weird features thirteen original stories that open the Old West to new frontiers of science fiction and fantasy. Stories by Kerrie Hughes, Jay Lake, Larry D. Sweazy, Anton Strout, Seanan McGuire, Brenda Cooper, Christopher McKitterick, Steven Saus, Dean Wesley Smith, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Jennifer Brozek, J. Steven York, Jeff Mariotte, and Jody Lynn Nye.
Everything Aoife thought she knew about the world was a lie. There is no Necrovirus. And Aoife isn’t going to succumb to madness because of a latent strainshe will lose her faculties because she is allergic to iron. Aoife is a changelinghalf human and half from the land of Thorn. And time is running out.When Aoife destroyed the Lovecraft engine she released the monsters from the Thorn Lands into the Iron Lands and now she must find a way to seal the gates and reverse the destruction she’s ravaged on the world that’s about to poison her. Second in the Iron Codex steampunk series. Young Adult.
Jocelyn’s twin brother Jack was the only family she had growing up in a world of foster homesand now he’s dead. Then she gets a cryptic letter from Jason Decemberthe code name her brother used when they were children at Seale House, a terrifying foster home that they believed had dark powers. Only one other person knows about Jason December: Noah, Jocelyn’s childhood crush and their only real friend among the troubled children at Seale House.But when Jocelyn returns to Seale House and the city where she last saw Noah, she gets more than she bargained for. Young Adult.
When four old University friends set off into the Scandinavian wilderness of the Arctic Circle, they aim to briefly escape the problems of their lives and reconnect with one another. But when Luke, the only man still single and living a precarious existence, finds he has little left in common with his well-heeled friends, tensions rise. With limited fitness and experience between them, a shortcut meant to ease their hike turns into a nightmare scenario that could cost them their lives. Lost, hungry, and surrounded by forest untouched for millennia, Luke figures things couldn’t possibly get any worse. But then they stumble across an old habitation. Ancient artefacts decorate the walls and there are bones scattered upon the dry floors. The residue of old rites and pagan sacrifice for something that still exists in the forest. Something responsible for the bestial presence that follows their every step. And as the four friends stagger in the direction of salvation, they learn that death doesn’t come easy among these ancient trees. U.S. release.
Survivors of the Cull, a Plague that wiped out people without the blood type O-neg, struggle in the floating Sargasso City jigsawed together with ships, submarines, barges and oil tankers off the coast of what was once known as California.Separated by demarcations of turf, ethnicity and fear, it’s not so much living as existing. High above it all swing the Pali Boys: descendants of Hawaiian warriors, they desire to lift themselves and the spirits of the residents below by performing an increasingly impossible series of extreme stunts, designed to test their manhood, and demonstrate the vibrancy humanity once had. But as a conspiracy of murder unfolds and blood attacks increase, Kavika a single under-sized Pali Boy must strive to overcome his lowly status and the condemnation of his peers in order to save them all from an enemy living within.
Vaudeville: mad, mercenary, dreamy, and absurd, a world of clashing cultures and ferocious showmanship and wickedly delightful deceptions. But sixteen-year-old pianist George Carole has joined vaudeville for one reason only: to find the man he suspects to be his father, the great Heironomo Silenus. Yet as he chases down his father’s troupe, he begins to understand their performances are strange even for vaudeville: for wherever they happen to tour, the very nature of the world seems to change.
Rhine and Gabriel have escaped the mansion, but danger is never far behind. Running away brings them into a trap, in the form of a twisted carnival whose ringmistress keeps watch over a menagerie of girls. Just as Rhine uncovers what plans await her, her fortune turns again. The two are determined to get to Manhattan, to relative safety with Rhine’s twin brother, Rowan. But the road there is long and perilous – and in a world where young women only live to age twenty and young men die at twenty-five, time is precious. Worse, they can’t seem to elude Rhine’s father-in-law, Vaughn, who is determined to bring Rhine back to the mansionby any means necessary. Second in the Chemical Garden series. Young Adult.
Alexia Tarabotti, Lady Maccon, has settled into domestic bliss. Of course, being Alexia, such bliss involves integrating werewolves into London High society, living in a vampire’s second-best closet, and coping with a precocious toddler who is prone to turning supernatural willy-nilly. Even Ivy Tunstell’s acting troupe’s latest play cannot put a damper on Alexia’s enjoyment of her new London lifestyle.Until, that is, she receives a summons from Alexandria that cannot be ignored. With husband, child, and Tunstells in tow, Alexia boards a steamer to cross the Mediterranean. But Egypt may hold more mysteries than even the indomitable Lady Maccon can handle. Fifth in the Parasol Protectorate series.
What really happened to the survivors of the Titanic?When they are picked up by the passenger steamship Carpathia, they thought their problems were over. But something’s sleeping in the darkest recesses of the ship. Something old. Something hungry.
How will Jane Austen break the news to her fiancé that she’s not only undead, but also a two-hundred-plus-year-old literary icon? In sleepy upstate New York, Jane’s wedding preparations have taken on a bloodsucking intensity. So when Walter suggests they ditch it all and combine their marriage and honeymoon with a house tour of Europe, Jane jumps at the chance to flee Lord Byron and the lingering threat of Charlotte Brontë. But to Jane’s chagrin, more than one secret from her past is about to resurface. Third in the Jane Fairfax series.
The world knows Jack London as a writer who lived his own real-life adventures. But there are some parts of his life that have remained hidden for many years, things even he couldn’t set down in writing. Terrifying, mysterious, bizarre, and magicalthese are the Secret Journeys of Jack London. Clinging to life after he is captured in an attack by savage pirates, Jack is unprepared for what he faces at the hands of the crew and their charismatic, murderous captain, Ghost. For these mariners are not mortal men but hungry beasts chasing gold and death across the North Pacific. Jack’s only hope lies with Sabinea sad, sultry captive of Ghost’s insatiable hunger. Second in the Secret Journals of Jack London. Middle Grade.
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 on April 10 by Tor Books, is set in New Orleans during and after Hurricane Katrina. Find Suzanne on Twitter.