Fiction Affliction: Genre-Benders for March

Fewer books seem to be suffering from genre-identity crises this month, with ten titles going all apocalyptic and steampunk on us. Look for new titles from, among others, Robert Conroy, Terry Pratchett (Discworld), and Philippa Ballantine and Tee Morris, plus anthologies edited by Ann VanderMeer and Jeff VanderMeer and by Ellen Datlow.

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.

WEEK ONE

Hanging Judge (Deathlands)James Axler (March 4, Gold Eagle)

In the Deathlands, the game of survival offers no reprieve. There’s nothing to win in nuke-blasted America except the chance to fight another day. Still, Ryan Cawdor and his fellow travelers hope for sanctuary. They face each dawn as if it’s their last. Justice is a damning word in what used to be called Oklahoma, thanks to a sadistic baron known as the Hanging Judge. Crazy, powerful and backed by a despotic sec crew, the judge drops innocents from the gallows at will. When Jak narrowly escapes wearing his own rope as a necktie, a rift among the companions sends them deep into the mutie-infested wilderness outside the ville. Time is running out for the survivors to realize they’re stronger together than they are alone, before a madman brings them to the end of their rope.

Liberty 1784: The Second War for IndependenceRobert Conroy (March 4, Baen)

The British win the American Revolutionary War, and a desperate Washington and the American founders must make a last stand. In 1781, George Washington’s attempt to trap the British under Cornwallis at Yorktown ends catastrophically when the French fleet is destroyed in the Battle of the Capes. The British begin a bloody reign of terror. A group of rebels flees westward and sets up a colony near what is now Chicago. They call it Liberty. The British send a very large force under Burgoyne to destroy them. Burgoyne is desperate for redemption and the Americans are equally desperate to survive. Had the Battle of the Capes gone differently, a changed, darker, New World would have been forced into existence. Even under those dire circumstances, Liberty may still find a way.

 

WEEK TWO

I Can See Right Through You: A Tor.Com OriginalKelly Link (March 12, Tor)

“I Can See Right Through You” is an off-kilter ghost story (or not) about an estranged couple who have remained friends long after they were originally paired in a vampire movie that made them famous. Now the demon lover searches out his former lover in Florida while she is in the middle of filming a tv episode about ghost hunting. (Digital)

 

WEEK THREE

Citadel (Languedoc #3)Kate Mosse (March 18, William Morrow)

France, 1942. While war blazes at the front lines of Europe, in the walled southern city of Carcassonne, a group of courageous women is engaged in an equally lethal battle. Like their ancestors who fought northern invaders seven hundred years before, these members of the French Resistance, code-named Citadel, fight to liberate their home from the Nazis. Led by a daring eighteen-year-old, Sandrine Vidal, and her elder sister, Marianne, the women of Citadel work quickly to sabotage their German occupiers, safeguard their neighbors and smuggle refugees over the mountains into neutral territory. Their struggle will reveal an older, darker combat being fought in the shadows, one meant to protect an ancient secret that, if it fell into the wrong hands, could change the course of history. (U.S.)

Raising Steam (Discworld #40) Terry Pratchett (March 18, Doubleday)

Steam is rising over Discworld, driven by Mister Simnel, the man with a flat cap and a sliding rule. He has produced a great clanging monster of a machine that harnesses the power of all of the elements, earth, air, fire, and water, and it’s soon drawing astonished crowds. To the consternation of Ankh-Morpork’s formidable Patrician, Lord Vetinari, no one is in charge of this new invention. Who better than the man he has already appointed master of the Post Office, the Mint, and the Royal Bank: Moist von Lipwig. Moist is not a man who enjoys hard work, unless it is dependent on words. Moist will have to grapple with gallons of grease, goblins, a fat controller with a history of throwing employees down the stairs, and some angry dwarfs if he’s going to stop it all from going off the rails. (U.S.)

The Rich and the DeadLiv Spector (March 18, William Morrow)

On New Year’s Day 2015, twelve powerful people were found dead in a lavish Star Island estate. In 2018, the murderer remains at large. As a detective and lead investigator on the case of the century, Lila Day was consumed by her hunt for the Star Island Killer. That was before she was pushed out of the force. Lila is approached by billionaire Teddy Hawkins. He wants her to solve the Star Island murders. How do you solve a crime when all the leads have grown cold? He is going to send her back in time. Lila travels back in time to 2014, to stop the Star Island killer. She must gather the evidence to bring the murderer to justice in her own time, without trying to save anyone. Lila must be willing to say good-bye, or risk setting into motion events that could change the future forever.

The Time Traveler’s Almanac—edited by Ann VanderMeer and Jeff VanderMeer (March 18, Tor)

The most definitive collection of time travel stories ever assembled. This book compiles more than a century’s worth of literary travels into the past and the future that will serve to reacquaint readers with classics of the time travel genre and introduce them to contemporary innovations. This volume includes nearly seventy journeys through time from authors such as Douglas Adams, Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, William Gibson, Ursula K. Le Guin, George R. R. Martin, Michael Moorcock, H. G. Wells, and Connie Willis, as well as helpful non-fiction articles original to this volume. Covering millions of years of Earth’s history from the age of the dinosaurs through to strange and fascinating futures, spanning the ages from the beginning of time to its very end.

Fearful Symmetries—edited by Ellen Datlow (March 19, ChiZine)

This is an unthemed horror anthology project that ChiZine Publications and Ellen Datlow raised money for on Kickstarter. Most of the authors in the volume have been invited to participate, including Laird Barron, Kaaron Warren, Elizabeth Hand, Lucius Shepard, Sarah Pinborough, Jeffrey Ford, and Joe. R. Lansdale, with two slots available for open submissions.

 

WEEK FOUR

Dawn’s Early Light (Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences #3)Philippa Ballantine and Tee Morris (March 25, Ace)

After being shipped out of England following their participation in the Janus affair, Braun and Books are ready to prove their worth as agents. What starts as a simple mission in the States suddenly turns into a scandalous and convoluted case that has connections reaching as far as Her Majesty the Queen. Even with the help of two American agents from the Office of the Supernatural and the Metaphysical, Braun and Books have their work cut out for them. Their chief suspect in a rash of nautical and aerial disasters is none other than Thomas Edison. Between the electric machines of Edison, the eccentricities of MoPO consultant Nikola Tesla, and the machinations of a new threat known only as the Maestro, they find themselves in far worse danger than they ever have been in before.

Last God StandingMichael Boatman (March 25, Angry Robot)

When God decides to quit and join the human race to see what all the fuss is about, all Hell breaks loose. Sensing his abdication, the other defunct gods of Earth’s vanquished pantheons want a piece of the action He abandoned. Meanwhile, the newly-humanised deity must discover the whereabouts and intentions of the similarly reincarnated Lucifer, and block the ascension of a murderous new God. How is he ever going to make it as a stand-up comedian with all of this going on?


Suzanne Johnson is the author of the Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series. You can find Suzanne on Twitter and on her daily blog, Preternatura.

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