Fiction Affliction: Genre-Benders for May

Fourteen new genre-benders are flowering in May, including new series additions from Steven Harper (Clockwork Empire), Lilith Saintcrow (Bannon and Clare), and Kady Cross (Steampunk Chronicles), a slew of new short fiction from the folks here at, and new series starts in the YA world from Margarel Stohl, Kelley Armstrong and Melissa Marr, Amy Tintera, and Rick Yancey.

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.

[Read about this month’s releases.]



Zombie Versus Fairy Featuring Albinos, by James Marshall, (May 1, ChiZine)

In a perfect world where everyone destroys everything and eats human flesh, one zombie has had enough: Buck Burger. When he rebels at the natural disorder, his marriage starts deteriorating and a doctor prescribes him an anti-depressant. When Buck meets a beautiful, green-haired pharmacist fairy named FAIRY_26, he quickly becomes a pawn in a Cold War between zombies and supernatural creatures. Does sixteen-year-old spiritual leader and pirate Guy Boy Man make an appearance? Are there mind-controlling albinos? Is there hot zombie-on-fairy action?

Icons (Icons #1), by Margaret Stohl, (May 7, Little, Brown Books)

Young Adult. Everything changed on The Day. The day the windows shattered. The day the power stopped. The day Dol’s family dropped dead. The day Earth lost a war it didn’t know it was fighting. Since then, Dol has been hiding from the one truth she can’t avoid. She’s different. She survived. Why? When Dol and her best friend, Ro, are captured and taken to the Embassy, they find only more questions. While Ro and fellow hostage Tima rage against their captors, Dol finds herself drawn to Lucas, the Ambassador’s privileged son. The four teens are more alike than they might think. The timing of their meeting isn’t a coincidence. It’s a conspiracy. Within the Icon’s reach, Dol, Ro, Tima, and Lucas discover that their uncontrollable emotions may actually be their greatest strengths.

Loki’s Wolves (Blackwell Pages #1), by K.L. Armstrong and M.A. Marr, (May 7, Little, Brown)

Young Adult. In Viking times, Norse myths predicted the end of the world, an event called Ragnarok, that only the gods can stop. The gods died a long time ago. Matt Thorsen knows every Norse myth, saga, and god as if it was family history, because it is family history. Most people in the modern-day town of Blackwell, South Dakota, in fact, are direct descendants of either Thor or Loki, including Matt’s classmates Fen and Laurie Brekke. Knowing the legends and believing them are two different things. When the rune readers reveal that Ragnarok is coming and kids, led by Matt, will stand in for the gods in the final battle, he can hardly believe it. Matt, Laurie, and Fen’s lives will never be the same as they race to put together an unstoppable team to prevent the end of the world.

Reboot (Reboot #1), by Amy Tintera, (May 7, Harper Teen)

Young Adult. Five years ago, Wren Connolly was shot three times in the chest. After 178 minutes she came back as a Reboot. The longer Reboots are dead, the less human they are when they return. Wren 178 is the deadliest Reboot in the Republic of Texas. Now seventeen years old, she serves as a soldier for HARC. Wren’s favorite part of the job is training new Reboots, but her latest newbie is the worst she’s ever seen. As a 22, Callum Reyes is practically human. When Callum refuses to follow an order, Wren is given one last chance to get him in line, or she’ll have to eliminate him. Wren has never disobeyed before and knows if she does, she’ll be eliminated, too. She has also never felt as alive as she does around Callum. The perfect soldier is done taking orders.

Shadow Chaser (Son of Angels #3), by Jerel Law, (May 7, Thomas Nelson)

Young Adult. Many months have passed since part angel siblings Jonah, Eliza, and Jeremiah Stone began their angelic training. As part angels, or “quarterlings,” the siblings joined other children of nephilim to begin honing their special powers. In this third installment in the Son of Angels series, Jonah’s story comes to resemble a modern-day Job as he’s faced with trials that affect his health, strength, relationships, and most-prized possessions. As he and the other quarterlings prepare for mid-term exams, their powers are tested once again in the most fierce battle against Abaddon’s forces yet. Will Jonah’s faith in Elohim continue to persevere as he fights Abaddon in his hardest battle yet?

Storm (Swipe #3), by Evan Angler, (May 7, Thomas Nelson)

Young Adult. In a future United States, everyone gets the Mark at age thirteen. The Mark allows citizen to shop, go to school, and even get medical care, without it, you are on your own. Few refuse to get the Mark. Those who do, disappear. Logan Langly went in to get his Mark, but he backed out at the last minute. He’s been on the run from government agents and on a quest to find his sister Lily, who disappeared when she went to get her Mark. His journey leads him to befriend the Dust, a network of Markless individuals who dissent against the rule of the government. While some Markless are fighting Chancellor Cylis’ army, the Dust is busy trying to find a cure for a horrible epidemic sweeping through the Marked. A storm is brewing that is bigger than any of them could have ever imagined.

The 5th Wave (The Fifth Wave #1), by Rick Yancey, (May 7, Putnam Juvenile)

Young Adult. After the first wave, only darkness remains. After the second, only the lucky escape. And after the third, only the unlucky survive. After the fourth wave, only one rule applies: trust no one. Now, it’s the dawn of the fifth wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother, or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.

The Daedalus Incident, by Michael J. Martinez, (May 7, Night Shade Books)

Mars is supposed to be dead. Bizarre quakes are rumbling over the long-dormant tectonic plates of the planet, disrupting its trillion-dollar mining operations. Rocks shake off their ancient dust and begin to roll, carving canals as they converge to form a towering structure amid the ruddy terrain. The only clues stem from the emissions of a mysterious blue radiation, and a 300-year-old journal that is writing itself. Lt. Thomas Weatherby of His Majesty’s Royal Navy is an honest 18th-century man, aboard the HMS Daedalus, a frigate sailing the high seas between continents and the immense Void between the Known Worlds. Weatherby must track a great and powerful mystic, who has embarked upon a sinister quest to upset the balance of the planets.

The Havoc Machine (Clockwork Empire #4), by Steven Harper, (May 7, Roc)

Thaddeus Sharpe’s life is dedicated to the hunting and killing of clockworkers. When a mysterious woman named Sofiya Ekk approaches him with a proposition from a powerful employer, he cannot refuse. A man who calls himself Mr. Griffin seeks Thad’s help with mad clockwork scientist Lord Havoc, who has molded a dangerous machine. Mr. Griffin cares little if the evil Lord lives or dies; all he desires is Havoc’s invention. Upon Thad’s arrival at Havoc’s laboratory, he is met with a chilling discovery. Havoc is not only concealing his precious machine; he has been using a young child by the name of Nikolai for cruel experiments. Locked into a clockwork web of intrigue, Thad must decipher the truth surrounding Nikolai and the chaos contraption before havoc reigns.

The Summer Man, by S.D. Perry, (May 7, 47North)

Amanda Young grew up in Port Isley, a seaside community perched on the outermost shores of Washington. She’s watched as, each summer, the tight-knit small village braces for the invasion of vacationers. Soon after the season begins, a teenage girl’s mutilated body is found in a local park. The police declare it a random act of violence. Amanda’s not so sure, because how can she explain that she had a premonition of the crime just hours before it happened? Or that the neighbors she’s known forever inexplicably are beginning to change, into lustful, violent shadows of themselves? Amanda knows it has something to do with the sinister stranger who’s come to town. Can she uncover his dark secret in time to stop him, and in time to save the souls of Port Isley?

Tunnel Out of Death, by Jamil Nasir, (May 7, Tor)

Heath Ransom, former police psychic turned machine-enhanced “endovoyant” private investigator, is hired to find the consciousness of Margaret Biel and return it to her body. Tracking her through the etheric world, he comes upon a terrifying object that appears to be a tear in the very fabric of reality. He falls into it, and into an astonishing metaphysical shadow-play. Margaret is a pawn in a war between secret government agencies and a nonhuman entity known only as “Amphibian.” Their battlefield is a multi-level reality. Heath learns to move back and forth between two different versions of his life, and begins to realize that everyone around him may be a super-realistic android—the beginning of a wholesale deconstruction of reality that threatens more than his sanity.



No new releases.



The Red Plague Affair (Bannon and Clare #2), by Lilith Saintcrow, (May 21, Orbit)

Emma Bannon, Sorceress Prime in service to Queen Victrix, has a mission: to find the doctor who has created a powerful new weapon. Her friend, the mentath Archibald Clare, is only too happy to help. A spot of Miss Bannon’s excellent hospitality and her diverting company may be just what he needs. Their quarry is a fanatic, and his poisonous discovery is just as dangerous to Britannia as to Her enemies. A single man has set Londinium ablaze, and Clare finds himself in the middle of distressing excitement, racing against time and theory to find a cure. Miss Bannon, of course, has troubles of her own, for the Queen’s Consort Alberich is ill, and Her Majesty unhappy with Bannon’s loyal service. And there is still no reliable way to find a hansom when one needs it most.



Life on the Preservation, by Jack Skillingstead, (May 28, Solaris)

Inside the Seattle Preservation Dome it’s always the Fifth of October, the city caught in an endless time loop. “Reformed” graffiti artist Ian Palmer is the only one who knows the truth, and he is desperate to wake up the rest of the city before the alien Curator of this human museum erases Ian’s identity forever. Small town teenager Kylie is one of the few survivors to escape both the initial shock wave and the effects of the poison rains that follow. She must make her way across the blasted lands pursued by a mad priest and menaced by skin-and-bone things that might once have been human. Her destination is the Preservation, and her mission is to destroy it. But once inside, she meets Ian, and together they discover that Preservation reality is even stranger than it already appears.

The Girl With the Iron Touch (Steampunk Chronicles #3), by Kady Cross, (May 28 Harlequin Teen)

Young Adult. When mechanical genius Emily is kidnapped by rogue automatons, Finley Jayne and her fellow misfits fear the worst. What’s left of their archenemy, The Machinist, hungers to be resurrected, and Emily must transplant his consciousness into one of his automatons, or forfeit her friends’ lives. With Griffin being mysteriously tormented by the Aether, the young duke’s sanity is close to the breaking point. Finley turns to Jack Dandy, but trusting the master criminal is as dangerous as controlling her dark side. Sam is searching everywhere for Emily, from Whitechapel’s desolate alleyways to Mayfair’s elegant mansions. Emily must confront The Machinist’s ultimate creation, an automaton more human than machine. She must summon a strength even she doesn’t know she has.

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 Facebook and on her daily speculative fiction blog, Preternatura.


Back to the top of the page


This post is closed for comments.

Our Privacy Notice has been updated to explain how we use cookies, which you accept by continuing to use this website. To withdraw your consent, see Your Choices.