Steampunk’s back with a vengeance this month, as twenty-one “genre-benders” hit the shelves, blending science fiction, fantasy, horror, and an occasional vampire or zombie into a big, messy, fun read. Releases include a new non-Discworld book from Terry Pratchett, a Monster Hunter International addition from Larry Correia, and the follow-up to Felix J. Palma’s The Map of Time.
Fiction Affliction details releases in science fiction, fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and “genre-benders.”Keep track of them all here.
Note: All title summaries are taken and/or summarized from copy provided by the publisher.
Honoria Todd has no choice. Only in the dreaded Whitechapel district can she escape the long reach of the Duke of Vickers. But seeking refuge there will put her straight into the hands of Blade, legendary master of the rookeries. No one would dare cross him, but what price would he demand to keep her safe? Ever since Vickers infected him with the craving, Blade has been quicker, stronger, almost immortal, and terrified of losing control of the monster within. Honoria could be his perfect revenge against the duke…or the salvation he never dared to dream of.
All over the world, brutal attacks are crippling entire cities. Jackson Oz, a young biologist, watches the escalating events with an increasing sense of dread. When he witnesses a coordinated lion ambush in Africa, the enormity of the violence to come becomes terrifyingly clear. With the help of ecologist Chloe Tousignant, Oz races to warn world leaders before it’s too late. The attacks are growing in ferocity, cunning, and planning, and soon there will be no place left for humans to hide.
Alex and Leslie Twisden lead charmed lives. What they don’t have is a child, and as they try one infertility treatment after the next, yearning turns into obsession. Alex and Leslie travel deep into Slovenia, where they submit to a painful and terrifying procedure that gives them what they desire, but with awful consequences. Ten years later, the twins Adam and Alice find themselves locked into their rooms every night, with sounds coming from their parents’ bedroom getting progressively louder, more violent, and more disturbing. Adam and Alice set out to learn the true nature of the man and woman who raised them. Their discovery will upend everything they thought they knew about their parents and will reveal a threat so horrible that it must be escaped, at any cost.
Monster Hunter International might be the premier monster eradication company in the business, but they’ve got competition. When hunters from around the world gather in Las Vegas for a conference, a creature left over from a World War Two weapons experiment wakes up and goes on a rampage across the desert. A not-so-friendly wager between the rival companies turns into a race to see who can bag the mysterious creature first. Only there is far more to this particular case than meets the eye, and as Hunters fall prey to their worst nightmares, Owen Zastava Pitt and the staff of Monster Hunter International have to stop an ancient god from turning Sin City into a literal hell on earth.
Aries, Clementine, Michael, and Mason have survived the first wave of the apocalypse that wiped out most of the world’s population and turned many of the rest into murderous Baggers. Aries is trying to lead, but it’s hard to be a leader when there are no easy answers and every move feels wrong. Clementine is desperate to find her brother Heath, but it’s impossible to know where he’d be, assuming he’s alive. Michael is haunted by the memories of his actions during his harrowing struggle to survive. And Mason is struggling with something far worse, the fear that he may be a danger to his friends. As the Baggers begin to create a new world order, these four teens will have to trust and rely on each other in order to survive.
A century after a devastating volcanic eruption forced Iceland’s inhabitants to abandon its shores, the island has become enshrouded in legend. But the truth behind the legends is mechanical and the mystery of the island a matter of life and death for a community of women who once spilled noble blood to secure their freedom. Five years ago, Annika unwittingly endangered that secret, but her sister Källa took the blame and was exiled. Now Annika serves on an airship, searching for her sister and longing to return home. But that home is threatened when scientific expedition leader David Kentewess comes aboard, looking to expose Annika’s secrets. Then disaster strikes, leaving David and Annika stranded on a glacier and pursued by a madman.
Erasmus Croach’s miraculous factory, Ember, has flooded London with steampowered automatons. The already suffering working class take to the streets to protest the jobs lost to these machines. Captain Thorn of Scotland Yard calls in Ember’s latest creation, the automatic police boy, Sky. Meanwhile, Sally Peppers, Croach’s niece, dreams of a life beyond manners and marriageability. When she escapes her overbearing governess and joins a no-rules road rally through the slums, Croach sends Sky to bring her back. Sally and Sky crash headlong into a mystery involving rogue automatons prowling the sewers, children disappearing without a trace, and a dark secret so big it could overturn all of London. But the biggest mystery of all is why Sky is the first robot who can dream.
A love story serves as backdropwhen New York socialite Emma Harlow agrees to marry millionaire Montgomery Gilmore, but only if he accepts her audacious challenge: to reproduce the extraterrestrial invasion featured in Wells’s War of the Worlds. What follows are three brilliantly interconnected plots to create a breathtaking tale of time travel and mystery, replete with cameos by a young Edgar Allan Poe, and Captain Shackleton and Charles Winslow from The Map of Time.
A collection of short stories portraying human reaction to dire change or extreme circumstance, combining the real, intruded upon by the fantastic or the fantastic grounded in reality, describing the world as it is, as it may be, as something impossible yet entirely acceptable.
Circus: Fantasy Under the Big Top, edited by Ekaterina Sedia and featuring stories by Peter Straub, Jessica Reisman, Genevieve Valentine, Ken Scholes, Barry B. Longyear, Kij Johnson, Amanda C. Davis, Eric Witchey, Felicity Dowker, Christopher Barzak, Neal Barrett Jr., Holly Black, Cate Gardner, Howard Waldrop, Amanda Downum, Andrew J. McKiernan, Deborah Walker, E. Catherine Tobler, Jeff VanderMeer, Douglas Smith (September 5, Prime)
Introducing stories of circuses traditional and bizarre, futuristic and steeped in tradition, joyful and heartbreaking. And among the actors you will find old friends, be they sad clowns or free-spirited gymnasts, as well as new ones—mammoths, mechanical piano men, and things best not described at all. Come in, come all, and enjoy the literary show unfolding.
No new releases.
What do you get if you combine William Young’s The Shack with Dan Brown’s Angels and Demons? The answer is Fallen Masters. A well-known psychic, John Edward has allegedly helped millions of people connect with loved ones on the Other Side. In Fallen Masters, Edward has written a novel of metaphysical suspense, a final confrontation between good and evil as it unfolds on both the Earthly plane and the Other Side.
Incarnation, by Emma Cornwall (September 18, Gallery Books)
Lucy Weston tracks down the novelist Bram Stoker in her search to reveal the dark force who made her a vampire, and regain her humanity in the process. In the steampunk world of Victorian London, Lucy seeks out Bram Stoker to discover why he deliberately lied about her in his popular novel. With Stoker’s reluctant help, she tracks the creature who transformed her from the sensual underworld where humans vie to become vampires to a hidden cell beneath a temple to madness and finally into the glittering Crystal Palace where death reigns supreme. Lucy battles her thirst for blood as she struggles to stop a catastrophic war that will doom vampires and humans alike. Ultimately, she makes a choice that illuminates for her, and for us, the true nature of what it means to be human.
Cambridge, England, 1905. Jane Porter is hardly a typical woman of her time. The only female student in Cambridge University’s medical program, she is far more comfortable in a lab coat dissecting corpses than she is in a corset and gown sipping afternoon tea. A budding paleoanthropologist, Jane dreams of traveling the globe in search of fossils that will prove the evolutionary theories of her scientific hero, Charles Darwin. When dashing American explorer Ral Conrath invites Jane and her father to join an expedition deep into West Africa, she can hardly believe her luck. Jane quickly learns that the jungle is full of secrets So is Ral Conrath. When danger strikes, Jane finds her hero, the key to humanity’s past, and an all-consuming love in one man: Tarzan of the Apes.
Something has happened in Spokane. The military has evacuated the city and locked it down. Even so, disturbing rumors and images seep out. What they show is, or should be, impossible: strange creatures that cannot exist, sudden disappearances that violate the laws of physics, human bodies fused with inanimate objects, trapped yet still half alive. Dean Walker sneaks into the quarantined city. Hooking up with a group of outcasts led by a woman named Taylor, Dean embarks on a journey into the heart of a mystery. As he falls in love with Taylor, his already tenuous hold on reality starts to come loose. Dean, Taylor, and their friends must make their way through this ever shifting maze of a city that is actively hunting them down, herding them toward a shocking destiny.
A storm. Rain-lashed city streets. A flash of lightning. A scruffy lad sees a girl leap desperately from a horse-drawn carriage, in a vain attempt to escape her captors. Can the lad stand by and let her be caught again? Of course not, because he’s Dodger. Seventeen-year-old Dodger may be a street urchin, but he gleans a living from London’s sewers, and he knows a jewel when he sees one. He’s not about to let anything happen to the unknown girl—not even if her fate impacts some of the most powerful people in England. From Dodger’s encounter with the mad barber Sweeney Todd to his meetings with the great writer Charles Dickens and the calculating politician Benjamin Disraeli, history and fantasy intertwine in adventure and mystery.
The eastern seaboard of the USA is experiencing the worst winter weather in living memory, and John Redlaw is in the cold white thick of it. He’s come to America to investigate a series of vicious attacks on vampire immigrants, targeted kills that can’t simply be the work of amateur vigilantes. Dogging his footsteps is Tina “Tick” Checkley, a wannabe TV journalist with an eye on the big time. The conspiracy Redlaw uncovers could give Tina the career break she’s been looking for. It could also spell death for Redlaw.
Katie is on the verge of her Rumspringa, the time in Amish life when teenagers are free to experience non-Amish culture before officially joining the church. But before Rumspringa arrives, Katie’s safe world starts to crumble. It begins with a fiery helicopter crash in the cornfields, followed by rumors of massive unrest and the disappearance of huge numbers of people all over the world. Unsure why they haven’t yet been attacked, the Amish Elders make a decree: No one goes outside their community, and no one is allowed in. But when Katie finds a injured young man lying just outside the boundary of their land, she can’t leave him to die. She refuses to submit to the Elder’s rule and secretly brings the stranger into her community. What else is she bringing in with him?
Phaeton Black returns to London only to get sucked into another unearthly scheme. Professor Lovecraft has been tinkering with the secrets of life and death, replacing body parts with the latest mechanical marvels. To succeed, he needs to tap the power of the fabled Moonstone, and he needs Phaeton’s help. Of course, Phaeton would prefer to investigate the more interesting body parts of Miss America Jones. The bewilderingly beautiful and gifted daughter of a Cajun witch, Miss Jones is always up for an adventure. When Phaeton is mysteriously shanghaied in Shanghai, America thinks he’s run out on her. Stranded in the Orient, she’s prepared to look under every stone for him.. This time, Miss Jones is on top and Mr. Black is at the bottom of a truly infernal plot.
A hurricane is brewing in the jungles of the Maya, and the ancient Death Lords are on the warpath. In Venice, Italy, hanging out with his blogger friend Nasty (Anastasia) Smith-Jones, Max Murphy thinks he is safe from their clutches. But when a rogue octopus pulls him off his gondola and tries to drag him down to the underworld, Max realizes that the Death Lords have not finished with him yet. Soon Max is back in Central America and reunited with the only ones who can help him in his battle, Lola, the mysterious Maya girl, and the howler monkeys Lord 6-Dog and Lady Coco. It’s up to the four of them to save the world. Max and Lola embark on a one-way journey down the blighted Monkey River. Max and Lola find themselves drawn into an ever more bizarre series of tests, culminating in a terrifying ballgame that they can never win. Young Adult.
These 10 stories were written between 1987 and 1990. In “The Dead Man’s Eyes,” a jealous husband goes on the run after the thoughtless murder of his wife’s lover. Anorexia is the means to a computer-obsessed boy’s end in “Chip Runner.” Hugo-winner “Enter a Soldier. Later: Enter Another” and “A Sleep and a Forgetting” explore the issues that might arise if scientists created the technology to recreate famous men from history. Alternate history is also represented; “To the Promised Land” considers what the 20th century would be like if the Roman Empire hadn’t fallen, and “Lion Time in Timbuctoo” examines a world where the Black Death has completely changed the fortunes of the world’s great empires.
Neal Barrett, Jr. has made a special effort to give us a number of dark, funny, and hopefully impossible views of the future. Present in this collection are “Under Old New York,” “Radio Station St. Jack,” and the much heralded “Ginny Sweethips’ Flying Circus.”
Author Suzanne Johnson is a book geek with a fondness for a good dystopia. Royal Street, the first in her Sentinels of New Orleans series, is set in New Orleans during and after Hurricane Katrina. Find Suzanne on Twitter.