Fiction Affliction: Genre-Benders for August

Nineteen books wander between genres this month, from alternative histories to cozy paranormal mysteries. Look for series additions from, among others, Juliet Blackwell (Witchcraft Mystery), E.C. Ambrose (Dark Apostle), Steve White (Blood of the Heroes), Tom Kratman (Desert Called Peace), Bailey Cates (Magical Bakery), D.B. Jackson (Thieftaker Chronicles), Mark Hodder (Burton and Swinburne), and Harry Turtledove (The War That Came Early).

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.


The Ghost in the Electric Blue SuitGraham Joyce (August 5, Doubleday)

David takes a summer job at a run-down family resort in a dying English resort town. This is against the wishes of his family, because it was at this resort where David’s biological father disappeared fifteen years earlier. Something undeniable has called David there. A deeper otherworldliness lies beneath the surface of what we see. The characters have a suspicious edge to them, David is haunted by eerie visions of a mysterious man carrying a rope, walking hand-in-hand with a small child, and the resort is under siege by a plague of ladybugs. When David gets embroiled in a fiercely torrid love triangle, the stakes turn more and more menacing. And through it all, David feels as though he is getting closer to the secrets of his own past. (U.S. Release)

The Great Abraham Lincoln Pocket Watch ConspiracyJacopo della Quercia (August 5, St. Martin’s Griffin)

This historical thriller is an equal-parts cocktail of action, adventure, science-fiction and comedy. The book follows a globe-trotting President Taft and Robert Todd Lincoln in a race to solve a mystery stretching back to the Civil War and the Lincoln assassination. Based on true events, readers will find themselves swept into a vast conspiracy spanning four continents and three oceans during the turn of the century. Fascinating technologies will be harnessed, dark secrets revealed, true villains exposed, and some of the most famous figures in history will take the stage. With surprises lurking around every corner, and a vast cast of characters to root for, a heart-pounding adventure that only history could have made possible.

The Stolen: An American Faerie TaleBishop O’Connell (August 5, Harper Voyager Impulse)

When her daughter Fiona is snatched from her bed, Caitlin’s entire world crumbles. Once certain that faeries were only a fantasy, Caitlin must now accept that these supernatural creatures do exist, and that they have traded in their ancient swords and horses for modern guns and sports cars. Hopelessly outmatched, she accepts help from a trio of unlikely heroes: Eddy, a psychiatrist and novice wizard; Brendan, an outcast Fian warrior; and Dante, a Magister of the fae’s Rogue Court. Moving from the busy streets of Boston’s suburbs to the shadowy land of Tir na nOg, Caitlin and her allies will risk everything to save Fiona. But can this disparate quartet conquer their own inner demons and outwit the dark faeries before it’s too late? (Digital edition published July 22.)

Rings of Anubis: A Folley & Mallory Adventure (Rings of Anubis #1)E. Catherine Tobler (August 6, Masque)

As the nineteenth century turns into the twentieth, the world looks to a future of revolutionary science and extraordinary machines. Archaeologist Eleanor Folley looks back to Egypt’s ancient mysteries and her mother’s inexplicable, haunting disappearance. Agent Virgil Mallory, a man with ghosts and monsters of his own, brings evidence of a crime, taking them both on a thrilling adventure that carries them from Paris to Egypt, and from the present to the ancient past. Uncovering the truth exposes a dangerous game of life, death, and uncanny powers.

The Year’s Best Weird Fiction—edited by Laird Barron (August 6, ChiZine)

The inaugural volume of a new collection. Chiefly derived from early 20th-century pulp fiction, “weird fiction” includes ghost stories, the strange and macabre, the supernatural, fantasy, myth, philosophical ontology, ambiguity, and a healthy helping of the outre. It is not confined to one genre, but is the most diverse and welcoming of all genres. Hence, in this initial showcase of weird fiction you will discover tales of horror, fantasy, science fiction, the supernatural, and the macabre. Contributing authors include Jeffrey Ford, Sofia Samatar, Joseph S. Pulver Sr, John Langan, Richard Gavin, and W. H. Pugmire.

The Demi-Monde: Fall (The Demi-Monde Sage #4)Rod Rees (August 7, Jo Fletcher)

For thousands of years the Grigori have lain hidden, dreaming of the day when they will emerge from the darkness. Now that day draws close. Norma, Trixie and Ella fight doggedly to frustrate these plans, but they need help. Percy Shelley must lead Norma to the Portal in NoirVille so she can return to the Real World. Trixie’s father must convince her that, if she is to destroy the Great Pyramid standing in Terror Incognita, she must be prepared to die. And Vanka Maykov, though not the man she knew and loved, must guide Ella to the secret enclave of the Grigori, where she will face the most chilling of enemies. In this explosive finale to the Demi-Monde series, our heroes will come to understand that resisting evil will require courage, resolve, and sacrifice. (U.S. Release)



Season of the DragonfliesSarah Creech (August 12, William Morrow)

The Lenore women have manufactured a perfume unlike any other, and guarded the unique and mysterious ingredients. Their perfumery creates one special elixir that secretly sells for millions of dollars to the world’s most powerful-movie stars, politicians, artists, and CEOs. Willow, the Lenore family matriarch, is the brains behind the company. Her daughter Mya is its heart. She can “read” scents and envision their power. Willow’s younger daughter, Lucia, claims no magical touch, nor does she want any part of the family business. Willow is experiencing strange spells of forgetfulness. Mya is plotting a coup. A client is threatening blackmail. The unique flowers used in their perfume are dying. Lucia has begun showing signs of her own special abilities. Her return to the mountains, heralded by a swarm of blue dragonflies, may be the answer they need.

Soda Pop SoldierNick Cole (August 12, Harper Voyager)

Gamer PerfectQuestion fights for ColaCorp in WarWorld, an online combat sport arena where mega-corporations field entire armies in the battle for real world global advertising-space dominance. Within the immense virtual battlefield, players and bots are high-tech grunts, using drop-ships and state-of-the-art weaponry to wipe each other out. But times are tough and the rent is due, and when players need extra dough, there’s always the Black, an illegal open source tournament where the sick and twisted desires of the future are given free rein in the Westhavens, a gothic dungeon fantasy world. And all too soon, the real and virtual worlds collide when PerfectQuestion refuses to become the tool of a mad man intent on hacking the global economy for himself.

The Supernatural EnhancementsEdgar Cantero (August 12, Doubleday)

When twentysomething A., the European relative of the Wells family, and his companion, Niamh, a mute teenage girl, inherit the eerie estate of Axton House, in the woods of Point Bless, Virginia, it comes as a surprise to everyone, including A. himself. He never even knew he had a “second cousin, twice removed” in America, much less that the eccentric gentleman had recently committed suicide by jumping out of the third floor bedroom window, at the same age and in the same way as his father had before him. A. and Niamh quickly come to feel as if they have inherited much more than just a rambling home and a cushy lifestyle. Axton House is haunted, they know it, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the secrets they slowly uncover.

This Changes Everything (Curse Keepers 0.6)Denise Grover Swank (August 12, 47North)

Ellie Dare Lancaster is only eight years old, but the secret she carries stretches back four hundred years, to the doomed pioneer colony of Roanoke Island, and the dark pact made by her ancestor, Ananias Dare. Though her father has told Ellie of her heritage, and she knows she will one day become a Curse Keeper, she never dreamed how soon that day would come. After sharing the truth about her destiny with her best friend, Ellie fears she has summoned something dreadful. It’s her parents’ discovery of an eighteenth-century artifact, linked to the vanished North Carolina settlers, that brings fear, and murder, into their home. The unholy forces unleashed at the dawn of a new nation stir once more, to challenge another generation fated to wage the war between gods of good and evil. (Digital)



The Clockwork Sky, Volume 2Madeleine Rosca (August 19, Tor)

Sally Peppers is the niece of steambot magnate Erasmus Croach, who has supplied Britain’s factories with an endless supply of near-perfect robot employees. Unemployed people have begun to demonstrate in the streets of London and more than one near-riot has been put down by Croach’s latest and greatest invention, the steambot police-boy, Sky. Sky is troubled by dreams where he, like Pinocchio, has become a “real boy.” He meets Sally, who has run away from home, and learns of the poverty and hardships faced by these workers. Sally and Sky venture into the tunnels beneath London in search of a missing child. Sally quickly figures out the terrifying truth about her uncle’s steambot factory. Erasmus Croach has new steambots ready to deploy, and they are bigger and stronger than the heroic Sky. Can Sally’s wits and Sky’s pure heart save the day?

The Family Unit and Other FantasiesLaurence Klavan (August 19, ChiZine)

A superb group of darkly comic, deeply compassionate, largely fantastical stories set in our jittery, polarized, increasingly impersonal age. Whether it’s the tale of a corporation that buys a man’s family, two supposed survivors of a super-storm who are given shelter by a gullible couple, an erotic adventure set during an urban terrorist alert, or a nightmare in which a man sees his neighborhood developed and disappearing at a truly alarming speed, these stories are by turn funny and frightening, odd and arousing, uncanny and unnerving.

The League of SevenAlan Gratz (August 19, Starscape)

Set in an alternate 1870s America, where electricity is a dangerous and forbidden science, Native Americans and Yankees live side-by-side as a United Nations, and eldritch evil lurks in the shadows beyond the gaslights. Archie Dent knows there really are monsters in the world. His parents are members of the Septemberist Society, whose job is protect humanity from giants called the Mangleborn. Trapped in underground prisons for a thousand years, the giant monsters have been forgotten, but now they are rising again as the steam-driven America of 1875 rediscovers electricity, the lifeblood of the Mangleborn. When his parents and the rest of The Septemberists are brainwashed by one of the creatures, Archie must assemble a team of seven young heroes to save the world.

The Ripper Affair (Bannon & Clare #3)Lilith Saintcrow (August 19, Orbit)

Archibald Clare, mentath in the service of Britannia, is about his usual business, solving crimes and restoring public order until a shattering accident places him in the care of Emma Bannon, sorceress Prime, who once served, and now simply remains at home. What Clare needs now is time to recover and a measure of calm to repair his faculties of Logic and Reason. Calm and rest will not be found. There is a killer hiding in the sorcerous steam-hells of Londinium, stalking the Eastron End. Emma Bannon is pressed into service and Archibald Clare is determined to aid her. The secrets between these two old friends may give an ambitious sorcerer the means to bring down the Crown. There is still no way to reliably find a hansom when one needs it most.



Dirty Little Misery (Miss Misery #2)Tracey Martin (August 12, Samhain)

Thanks to her satyr-like power, Jessica Moore was denied her dream to join the Gryphons, the magical law-enforcement officers protecting humanity from the pred races. After the Gryphons tried to arrest her for murders she didn’t commit, Jess is no longer interested. Now that they know what she can do, they want Jess on their side. Nine people are dead. The cause? Exhaustion. The activity? Never-ending sex. Someone sold them tainted F, an illegal aphrodisiac made by satyrs. It strains her relationship with Lucen, the one satyr she counts as a friend. As Jess delves into the satyr business world, she unravels a scheme more sinister than dirty drugs, and her relationship with Lucen unravels right along with it. Only the truth will save their friendship. But not before it turns Jess into an ambitious killer’s next target. (Digital)

Faces of the DeadSuzanne Weyn (August 26, Scholastic)

Young Adult. When Marie-Thérèse Charlotte of France learns of the powerful rebellion sweeping her country, the sheltered princess is determined to see the revolution for herself. The princess sneaks out of the safety of the royal palace and into the heart of a city in strife. One boy, Henri, befriends her and has her questioning the only life she’s known. When the princess returns to the palace one night to find an angry mob storming its walls, she’s forced into hiding. Henri brings her to the workshop of Mademoiselle Grosholtz, whose wax figures seem to bring the famous back from the dead, and who looks at Marie-Thérèse as if she can see all of her secrets. The princess discovers there’s much more to the outside world, and to the mysterious woman’s wax figures, than meets the eye.

Mercy Mode (Contaminated #2)Em Garner (August 26, EgmontUSA)

Young Adult. A survival story of a strong girl rebuilding her life in a post-apocalyptic society where a contaminated drink makes victims act like zombies. Seventeen-year-old Velvet, her little sister, Opal, their mom, who is recovering from the Contamination, and Velvet’s sweet boyfriend, Dillon, are attempting to build a new life amid the rationing and regulations of the post-outbreak nation. But the outbreak isn’t over: more people turning into “Connies,” more madness erupting, more killings occurring. And what they are being told is not the truth; the truth is far darker and more threatening.

The Bullet-Catcher’s Daughter (The Fall of the Gas-Lit Empire #1)Rod Duncan (August 26, Angry Robot)

Elizabeth Barnabus lives a double life, as herself and as her brother, the private detective. She is trying to solve the mystery of a disappearing aristocrat and a hoard of arcane machines. In her way stand the rogues, freaks and self-proclaimed alchemists of a traveling circus. But when she comes up against an agent of the all-powerful Patent Office, her life and the course of history will begin to change. And not necessarily for the better.

The Island of Excess Love (Love in the Time of Global Warming #2)Francesca Lia Block (August 26, Henry Holt)

Young Adult. Pen has lost her parents. She’s lost her eye. But she has fought Kronen; she has won back her fragile friends and her beloved brother. Now Pen, Hex, Ash, Ez, and Venice are living in the pink house by the sea, getting by on hard work, companionship, and dreams. Until the day a foreboding ship appears in the harbor across from their home. As soon as the ship arrives, they all start having strange visions of destruction and violence. Trance-like, they head for the ship and their new battles begin.

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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