You never know what you’ll find in the Genre Benders aisle, and this month’s fifteen new releases that defy categorization are no exception. There are series additions from Cherie Priest, Alexander Gordon Smith, Stephen Baxter, Sherwood Smith, and Steven Harper, while Philip Pullman tells fairy tales, A.J. Colucci lets us all get eaten by mutant ants, and bulbous airships float overhead. Sounds like a crazy family Thanksgiving!
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.
Centuries have passed. The wall that Ana’s people built has long outlasted her and history has been changed. The British Isles are still one with the European mainland and Doggerland has become a vibrant and rich land. So rich that it has drawn the attention of the Greeks. An invasion is mounted and soon Greek Biremes are grinding ashore on a coastline we never knew and the world will be changed forever. U.S. release.
Young Adult. Dak, Sera, and Riq might be in over their heads when they attempt to stop a Viking invasion! Hundreds of ships carrying thousands of warriors are laying siege to medieval Paris. The Parisians are holding their own, but the stalemate can only last so long. And that’s bad news, especially since Dak has been captured, forced to work alongside the Vikings while Sera and Riq defend Paris from within. No matter which side wins, the kids lose.
Amelia Darcy has no interest in marrying well. Her heart belongs to the sky and the dirigibles that swoop over Victorian England. But when her father, an eccentric inventor, dies, the Darcy siblings are left with not a penny to their names. Their only hope is to embark on a contest to discover an invention of historical importance. Armed with only her father’s stories of a forgotten da Vinci workshop, a mechanically enhanced falcon, and an Italian cook, Amelia takes flight for Florence, Italy. Her quest is altered when her kitecycle crashes into the air ship of ex-Air Marshal Tucker Gentry. Challenged by a devious sky pirate and their own sizzling attraction, Amelia and Tuck are dragged into an international conspiracy that could change the course of history, again.
Kim is happily planning her wedding when she finds herself pulled two centuries back in time. It’s 1795, the rise of Napoleon, and Kim is now a guardian spirit for a twelve-year-old kid who will either become Kim’s ancestor, or the timeline will alter and Kim will vanish, along with Dobrenica. The child called Aurelie de Mascarenhas must get to Dobrenica, or more than the Dsaret family will vanish. From Jamaica to England to the Paris of the early 1800s, Kim and Aurelie travel, sharing adventures and learning more about Vrajhus, the Blessing, and the Nasdrafus than is known in Dobrenica’s modern times. Along the way to wedding bells or annihilation, Kim makes a shocking discovery.
Gavin Ennock has everything a man could desire, except time. As the clockwork plague consumes his body and mind, it drives him increasingly mad and fractures his relationship with his fiancée, Alice, Lady Michaels. Their only hope is that the Dragon Men of China can cure him. But a power-mad general has seized the Chinese throne in a determined offensive to conquer Asia, Britain, and indeed, the entire world. He has closed the country’s borders to all foreigners. The former ruling dynasty, however, is scheming to return the rightful heir to power. Their designs will draw Gavin and Alice down a treacherous path strewn with intrigue and power struggles. One wrong step will seal Gavin’s fate and determine the future of the world.
An alternate 1895, a world where Charles Babbage and Ada Lovelace perfected the Difference engine. Steam and Tesla-powered computers are everywhere. Automatons powered by human souls venture out into the sprawling London streets. It is in this claustrophobic, paranoid city that seventeen-year-old Sebastian Tweed and his conman father struggle to eke out a living. A murderous, masked gang has moved into London, spreading terror through the criminal ranks. A single name comes to be uttered in fearful whispers. Professor Moriarty. When Tweed’s father is kidnapped by Moriarty, he is forced to team up with information broker Octavia Nightingale to track him down. But he soon realizes that his father’s disappearance is just a tiny piece of a political conspiracy.
A child receives the body of Saint Lucia of Syracuse for her seventh birthday. A rebelling angel rewrites the Book of Judgement to protect the woman he loves. A young woman discovers the lost manuscript of Jane Austen written on the inside of her skin. A 747 populated by a dying pantheon makes the extraordinary journey to the beginning of the universe. Lyrical and tender, quirky and cutting, Helen Marshall’s debut collection weaves the fantastic and the horrific alongside the touchingly human in fifteen modern parables about history, memory, and cost of creating art.
Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm: A New English Version, by Philip Pullman (November 8, Viking Adult)
Two hundred years ago, Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm published the first volume of Children’s and Household Tales. Now, at a veritable fairy-tale moment, witness the popular television shows Grimm and Once Upon a Time and this year’s two movie adaptations of “Snow White,” Philip Pullman recasts the immortal tales of the Brothers Grimm. From much-loved stories like “Cinderella” and “Rumpelstiltskin,” “Rapunzel” and “Hansel and Gretel” to lesser-known treasures like “Briar-Rose,” “Thousandfurs,” and “The Girl with No Hands,” Pullman retells his fifty favorites.
Young Adult. In a city where humans and Darklings are now separated by a high wall and tensions between the two races still simmer after a terrible war, sixteen-year-olds Ash Fisher, a half-blood Darkling, and Natalie Buchanan, a human and the daughter of the Emissary, meet and do the unthinkable, they fall in love. Bonded by a mysterious connection that causes Ash’s long-dormant heart to beat, Ash and Natalie first deny and then struggle to fight their forbidden feelings for each other, knowing if they’re caught, they’ll be executed, but their feelings are too strong. When Ash and Natalie then find themselves at the center of a deadly conspiracy that threatens to pull the humans and Darklings back into war, they must make hard choices that could result in both their deaths.
Young Adult. Alex Sawyer has escaped his underground nightmare to discover the whole world has become a prison, and Alfred Furnace is its master. Monsters rule the streets, leaving nothing but murder in their wake. Those who do not die become slaves to Furnace’s reign of cruelty. Alex is a monster too. He is the only one who can stop Furnace, but in doing so he could destroy everything. Is he the executed or the executioner? Who will die? All Alex knows is that one way or another, it all ends now. U.S. release.
A series of attacks have been sweeping New York City. A teacher and two sanitation workers are found dead, their swollen bodies nearly dissolved from the inside out. The predator is a deadly supercolony of ants, an army of one trillion soldiers with razor-sharp claws and stinging venom that liquefies its prey. The desperate mayor turns to the greatest ant expert in the world, Paul O’Keefe. But Paul is baffled by the ants. Paul calls on the one person he knows can help destroy the colony, his ex-wife Kendra Hart. Kendra finds herself working side by side with her ex-husband and a military officer hell-bent on stopping the insects with a nuclear bomb. When the ants launch an all-out attack, Paul and Kendra hit the streets of New York, searching for a coveted queen.
Rector “Wreck ‘em” Sherman was orphaned as a toddler in the Blight of 1863. Wreck has grown up, and on his eighteenth birthday, he’ll be cast out of the orphanage. He’s also pretty sure he’s being haunted by the ghost of a kid he used to know, Zeke Wilkes, who almost certainly died six months ago. Wreck can’t take it anymore, so he sneaks over the wall. The walled-off wasteland of Seattle is every bit as bad as he’d heard. Rector’s pretty certain that whatever attacked him was not at all human, and not a rotter, either. Known to the locals as simply “The Inexplicables.” It seems some outsiders have decided there’s gold to be found in the city and they’re willing to do whatever it takes to get a piece of the pie unless Rector and his posse have anything to do with it.
Young Adult. As a new threat arises from outside the walls of the City, the warring Truants and Educators must join forces or be destroyed. The fate of the City is determined at last in this long-awaited conclusion to the Truancy trilogy.
Steampunk: An Illustrated History of Fantastical Fiction, Fanciful Film and Other Victorian Visions, by Brian J. Robb, James P. Blaylock and Jonathan Clements (November 17, Voyageur Press)
Steampunk is the hottest science fiction counterculture, alive in fantasy novels, films, arts and crafts, fashion, comic books, music, computer games, even architecture. Enter a world of Victorian technology, where steam power meets space travel. From Jules Verne and H. G. Wells to Alan Moore, Hayao Miyazaki, and Philip Pullman, the genre has captured imaginations around the globe. Here’s the first grand, illustrated history of the counterculture movement in a book fittingly stylish in its design, package, and artwork. From the fastest dirigibles and steam-powered ray guns to fashionistas Lady Gaga and Alexander McQueen, the whole story of the gaslight romance is here.
This is the story Harry Ransom. If you know his name it’s most likely as the inventor of the Ransom Process, a stroke of genius that changed the world. Or you may have read about how he lost the battle of Jasper City, or won it, depending on where you stand in matters of politics. Friends called him Hal or Harry, or by one of a half-dozen aliases. If you’re reading this in the future, Ransom City must be a great and glittering metropolis, with a big bronze statue of Harry Ransom in a park somewhere. You might be standing on its sidewalk and not wonder in the least of how it grew to its current glory. Here is its story. It all starts with the day that old Harry Ransom crossed paths with Liv Alverhyusen and John Creedmoor, two fugitives running from the Line, amidst a war with no end.
Urban fantasy author Suzanne Johnson is a book geek with a fondness for a good dystopia. River Road, the second in her Sentinels of New Orleans series, will be released on November 13 by Tor books. Find Suzanne on Twitter.