Fiction Affliction: “Genre-Benders” for January

With seventeen new genre benders coming out in January, what are the odds that two of them would have “Six-Gun” in the titles? Exactly, and yet The Six-Gun Tarot and Six-Gun Snow White both hit the shelves this month. There’s also a new Charlie Parker novel from John Connolly, a new Society of Steam novel from Andrew Mayer, and a new Odd book from Dean Koontz.

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.



Odd Interlude: A Special Odd Thomas Adventure, by Dean Koontz (January 1, Bantam)

There’s room at the Inn. But you might not get out. Nestled on a lonely stretch along the Pacific coast, quaint roadside outpost Harmony Corner offers everything a weary traveler needs, a cozy diner, a handy service station, a cluster of cottages, and the Harmony family homestead presiding over it all. But when Odd Thomas and company stop to spend the night, they discover that there’s more to this secluded haven than meets the eye, and that between life and death, there is something more frightening than either.

Sunset of the Gods, by Steve White (January 1, Baen)

Jason Thanou: a time traveler with a past and a burning mission. When the gods of ancient Greece proved to be not only monstrously real, but totally alien, and poised to dominate humanity forever, Jason took care of the situation. Now he’s got what looks like a normal assignment: leading a time traveling expedition of scholars to the battle of Marathon. The Olympians are not done with their attempt to dominate humanity. The god Pan is afoot in Greece, a creature who may have the power to turn ancient Athens away from her budding democracy and toward a corrupt future. But not if Jason can discover Pan’s secret, thwart a conspiracy that stretches for millennia, and save the birthplace of democracy from the corruption of the gods.

Teeth, by Hannah Moskowitz (January 1, Simon Pulse)

Young Adult. Rudy’s life is flipped upside-down when his family moves to a remote island in a last attempt to save his sick younger brother. With nothing to do but worry, Rudy sinks deeper and deeper into loneliness and lies awake at night listening to the screams of the ocean beneath his family’s rickety house. Then he meets Diana, who makes him wonder what he even knows about love, and Teeth, who makes him question what he knows about anything. Rudy can’t remember the last time he felt so connected to someone, but being friends with Teeth is more than a little bit complicated. He soon learns that Teeth has terrible secrets. Violent secrets. Secrets that will force Rudy to choose between his own happiness and his brother’s life.

The Wrath of Angels (Charlie Parker #11), by John Connolly (January 1, Atria/Emily Bestler)

In the depths of the Maine woods, the wreckage of an aeroplane is discovered. There are no bodies, and no such plane has ever been reported missing, but men both good and evil have been seeking it for a long, long time. Hidden in the plane is a record of those who have struck a deal with the Devil. A battle is about to commence between those who want the list to remain secret and those who believe that it represents a weapon in the struggle against the forces of darkness. The race to secure the prize draws in private detective Charlie Parker. It lures others too: a beautiful, scarred woman with a taste for killing; a silent child who remembers his own death; and the serial killer known as the Collector. The forest depths hide other secrets. Someone has survived the crash. Some thing has survived the crash. And it is waiting. U.S. release.

The Seven Swords (Otherworld Chronicles #2), by Nils Johnson-Shelton (January 2, HarperCollins)

Across both worlds are seven legendary blades. Very soon all must be united. Spending the summer fighting dragons, rescuing wizards, and leaping through portals into the Otherworld was only the beginning for Artie and Kay Kingfisher. The two worlds remain divided, Merlin is missing, and worst of all, Qwon Onakea, their kidnapped friend, may be lost to the Otherworld forever. The only way to save both worlds, and to save his friend, is for Artie to claim his throne as King Arthur reborn. Artie must gather his knights so they can venture forth and recover each of the Seven Swords. All the video games in the world haven’t prepared Artie for the battles to come. Nor is he ready for the unexpected threat of the Peace Sword, a mysterious weapon used by the treacherous Mordred to kill the original King Arthur more than a thousand years ago.



Blind God’s Bluff: A Billy Fox Novel, by Richard Lee Byers (January 8, Night Shade)

Billy Fox, a small-time gambler on a losing streak, owes too much money to some very impatient people. When he rescues a blinded stranger from a swarm of bloodthirsty fairies, his life gets a lot more complicated. The stranger is a powerful local god who is involved in a high-stakes poker tournament against various supernatural challengers. With his eyes currently missing, he needs somebody to take his place at the gaming table. Billy finds himself playing against the likes of an Egyptian mummy, an unbearably seductive succubus, a mechanical man, an insect queen, and a cannibalistic beast-man. Magic, bloodshed, and cheating are not only expected, they’re encouraged. Everybody thinks that Billy is in way over his head. But Billy is a born gambler and, when the chips are down, he might just change his luck for good.

Power Under Pressure (The Society of Steam #3), by Andrew P. Mayer (January 8, Pyr)

The Society of Paragons is gone, destroyed from within by traitors and enemies. With the death of The Industrialist and the rebirth of the Iron-Clad as a monstrous half-human creature known as “The Shell,” Lord Eschaton now has almost everything he needs to cover the world in fortified smoke and rebuild it in his image, everything except for the mechanical heart of the Automaton. The device is nearer than he knows. Just across the East River, hiding in a Brooklyn Junkyard, Sarah Stanton is trying to come to restore the mechanical man to life. But before she can rebuild her friend, she must first discover the indomitable power of her own heart and save herself. Only then will she be able to forge a ragtag group of repentant villains, damaged Paragons, and love-mad geniuses into the team of heroes known as “The Society of Steam.”

The Crossing (Blood of the Lamb #1), by Mandy Hager (January 8, Pyr)

Maryam refused to play by the rules. Now they’re out to get her blood. The people of Onewere, a small island in the Pacific, know that they are special, chosen by the great Apostles of the Lamb to survive the deadly Tribulation that consumed the Earth. From their Holy City in the rotting cruise ship Star of the Sea, the Apostles control the population, manipulating texts from the Holy Book to implant themselves as living gods. But what the people of Onewere don’t know is this: the leaders will stop at nothing to meet their own bloodthirsty needs. When Maryam crosses from child to woman, she must leave everything she has known and make a crossing of another kind. Life inside the Holy City is not as she had dreamed. She is faced with the unthinkable: obey the Apostles and very likely die, or turn her back on every belief she once held dear. U.S. release.



The Aylesford Skull, by James P. Blaylock, (January 15, Titan)

It is the summer of 1883 and Professor Langdon St. Ives, brilliant but eccentric scientist and explorer, is at home in Aylesford with his family. However, a few miles to the north a steam launch has been taken by pirates above Egypt Bay; the crew murdered and pitched overboard. In Aylesford itself a grave is opened and possibly robbed of the skull. The suspected grave robber, the infamous Dr. Ignacio Narbondo, is an old nemesis of Langdon St. Ives. When Dr. Narbondo returns to kidnap his four-year-old son Eddie and then vanishes into the night, St. Ives and his factotum Hasbro race to London in pursuit. U.S. release.

Future Games, edited by Paula Guran, (January 22, Prime Books)

Human competition is eternal. We thrill to victory, we suffer the agony of defeat. No matter what the future brings, sports will be a part of it. But what forms will these games take? Who will be the spectator, who will play? Will aliens be our opponents or machines? Among those speculating on what swifter, higher, stronger, and winning will mean in the near and distant future are Orson Scott Card, Cory Doctorow, Louise Marley, George R.R. Martin, John Shirley, Howard Waldrop, and Scott Westerfeld.

The Six-Gun Tarot, by R.S. Belcher (January 22, Tor)

Nevada, 1869: Beyond the pitiless 40-Mile Desert lies Golgotha, a cattle town that hides more than its share of unnatural secrets. The sheriff bears the mark of the noose around his neck. His half-human deputy is kin to coyotes. The mayor guards a hoard of mythical treasures. A banker’s wife belongs to a secret order of assassins. And a shady saloon owner may know more about the town’s true origins than he’s letting on. A haven for the blessed and the damned, Golgotha has known many strange events, but nothing like the primordial darkness stirring in the abandoned silver mine overlooking the town. Bleeding midnight, an ancient evil is spilling into the world, and unless the sheriff and his posse can saddle up in time, Golgotha will have seen its last dawn, and so will all of Creation.



She Returns from War (Cora Oglesby #2), by Lee Collins (January 29, Angry Robot)

Four years after the horrific events in Leadville, a young woman from England, Victoria Dawes, sets into motion a series of events that will lead Cora and herself out into the New Mexico desert in pursuit of Anaba, a Navajo witch bent on taking revenge for the atrocities committed against her people.

Steampunk: H.G. Wells, by H.G. Wells, Zendko Basic (Illustrations), Manuel Sumberac (Illustrations) (January 29, Running Press)

No classic work lends itself better to steampunk illustrations than The Time Machine, The War of the Worlds, and The Country of the Blind, written by H.G. Wells, who many consider to be the father of steampunk itself. Basic and Sumberac’s four-color illustrations spiked with Steampunk machinery, gadgets, and fashion accompany Wells’ original text.

The Prey (The Hunt #2), by Andrew Fukuda (January 29, St. Martin’s Griffin)

For Gene and the remaining humans, or hepers, death is just a heartbeat away. On the run and hunted by society, they must find a way to survive in The Vast, and avoid the hungry predators tracking them in the dark. Gene is haunted by the girl he left behind and his burgeoning feelings for Sissy, the human girl at his side. When they discover a refuge of exiled humans living high in the mountains, Gene and his friends think they’re finally safe. A strict code of behavior is the rule, harsh punishments are meted out, young men are nowhere to be found. As life at the refuge grows more perilous, he and Sissy only grow closer. In an increasingly violent world, all they have is each other, if they can only stay alive. U.S. release.

The Winter Witch, by Paula Brackston, (January 29, Thomas Dunne)

In her small Welsh town, there is no one quite like Morgana. She has never spoken, and her silence as well as the magic she can’t quite control make her a mystery. Concerned for her safety, her mother quickly arranges a marriage with Cai Bevan, the widower from the far hills who knows nothing of the rumors that swirl around her. After their wedding, Morgana is heartbroken at leaving, but she soon falls in love with Cai’s farm and the rugged mountains that surround it, while slowly Cai himself begins to win her heart. It’s not long, however, before her strangeness begins to be remarked upon in her new village. Forced to defend her home, her love, and herself from all comers, Morgana must learn to harness her power, or she will lose everything.

Salvage and Demolition, by Tim Powers, (January 31, Subterranean)

As far as Richard Blanzac is concerned, the mysterious poetry manuscript he’s found in a beatup cardboard box of junk once owned by San Francisco poet Sophia Greenwald is probably not worth much, but if it’s not, why are people suddenly desperate to get it? Then he finds that reading just a couple of lines is enough to send him back in time to 1957 San Francisco, where a bizarre cult is hoping to use the poem to achieve “non-existence.”

Six-Gun Snow White, by Catherynne M. Valente, (January 31, Subterranean)

A plain-spoken narrator relates the history of her parents, a Nevada silver baron who forced the Crow people to give up one of their most beautiful daughters, Gun That Sings, in marriage to him. With her mother’s death in childbirth, so begins a heroine’s tale equal parts heartbreak and strength. This girl has been born into a world with no place for a half-native, half-white child. After being hidden for years, a very wicked stepmother finally gifts her with the name Snow White, referring to the pale skin she will never have.

Author Suzanne Johnson is a book geek with a fondness for a good dystopia. Her Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series is published by Tor Books. You can find Suzanne on Twitter and on her daily book blog, Preternatura.


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