Thirteen books reach across the aisle to bridge genre impasse this month, including new releases from, among others, Eric Flint (1636/Assiti Shards), Tanya Huff (Gale Women), Sarah Zettel (Palace of Spies), Meljean Brook (Iron Seas), Angus Donald (Outlaw Chronicles), and Jenna Black (Replica Trilogy). Also look for the third in the cross-genre Dangerous Women anthology series edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner R. Dozois.
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.
When Grantville, West Virginia was transported back to the year 1631, in the middle of the Thirty Years’ War, no less, many things happened. Many opportunities arose. It’s said that a rising tide lifts all boats. Perhaps not quite as high as the Barbie Consortium rose, however. A cabal of ten- to twelve-year-old girls? They aren’t twelve anymore. And they gave up playing with dolls some years ago, when they sold them all and started an investment consortium. A consortium that did quite well. The Barbie Consortium hits Vienna. In several different ways. The princes and princesses, dukes and duchesses, the common men and women on the street have no idea what’s about to happen. Neither do the girls, but they’re determined it’ll happen their way.
As a lady in waiting in King George’s London court, Peggy has survived a forced betrothal, royal scandals, and an attempt or two on her life. And now she has a new problem: her horrible fiancé has returned to claim her. To save her neck, or at least her hand in marriage, Peggy joins forces with her cousin Olivia and her sweetheart, Matthew. But if she doesn’t play her cards right, her career as courtier and spy might come to an end at the bottom of the river Thames.
When Auntie Catherine warns the family of an approaching asteroid, the Gales scramble to keep humans from going the way of the dinosaurs. Fortunately for the world, they’re wielding a guitar and a dragon. The Gale family can change the world with the charms they cast. When NASA and Doomsday Dan confirm Auntie Catherine’s prediction, Charlotte “Charlie” Gale turns to the family for help. Allie is unavailable because the universe seems determined to have her produce the seventh son of a seventh son of a seventh son of a Gale. All Charlie has is a guitar, and Jack. The Dragon Prince, and a Sorcerer. Charlie likes Jack just a little too much, and Jack likes Charlie a little too much in return. The Gales are going to need more to save the world from an incoming asteroid. But together there isn’t anything they can’t deal with, except possibly each other.
A former smuggler and thief, Ariq, better known as the Kraken King, doesn’t know what to make of the clever, mysterious woman he rescues from an airship besieged by marauders. Unsure if she’s a spy or a pawn in someone else’s game, Ariq isn’t about to let her out of his sight until he finds out. After escaping her fourth kidnapping attempt in a year, Zenobia Fox has learned to vigilantly guard her identity. While her brother Archimedes is notorious for his exploits, Zenobia has had no adventures to call her own, besides the stories she writes. But when she jumps at the chance to escape to the wilds of Australia and acquire research for her next story, Zenobia quickly discovers that the voyage will be far more adventurous than any fiction she could put to paper. (Previously released in serial form.)
Marius Winter doesn’t walk the road of the shaman-warrior alone. He has powerful allies in the Other Realms and in ordinary reality. His spirit guides are a Lakota war-chief and medicine man, First In Front; Tigre, a powerful feminine spirit who appears as a white tiger; and Burt, a spirit raven who channels an old Jewish bookie from the Bronx. Now Marius is targeted by a powerful sorcerer. In the battle for the souls of his friends and lover, he must storm the gates of the underworld and fight through the Seven Demi-Demons of Hell to the deepest dungeons to confront Belial himself.
Combines dozens of the best and grisliest short stories of today. This has been the world’s leading annual anthology dedicated solely to showcasing the best in contemporary horror fiction. This newest volume offers outstanding new writing by masters of the genre, such as Joan Aiken, Peter Atkins, Ramsey Campbell, Christopher Fowler, Joe R. Lansdale, John Ajvide Lindqvist, Robert Silverberg, Michael Marshall Smith, Evangeline Walton, and many others.
Young Adult. Nadia Lake and Nate Hayes find themselves at the center of a horrifying conspiracy. Paxco has a new ruler. Dorothy Hayes claims to be the secret daughter of the recently-assassinated Chairman. She also claims that Nate Hayes, the true heir and her supposed brother, was the one who murdered their father. Nate and his best friend, Nadia Lake, are the only ones who know the truth about what really happened to the Chairman, and more importantly, the truth about Dorothy. But with Dorothy in power, Nate and Nadia know their days are numbered. They have nowhere to run except the Basement, Paxco’s perilous and lawless slums. But Dorothy is far from content with driving her enemies into hiding. She wants them dead.
The Walk: A Tor.Com Original—Dennis Etchison (November 12, Tor)
A neat little horror story about the dog eat dog world of Hollywood in which a director and writer have very different ideas of how their collaboration should proceed. (Digital Short)
Young Adult. Since her father’s execution eight years ago, Jin Soling kept her family from falling into poverty. With her savings running out, she has no choice but to sell the last of her father’s possessions. While attempting to find a buyer, Soling is caught and brought before the Crown Prince. The Prince knows that the only chance of expelling the English invaders is to unite China’s cleverest minds to create fantastic weapons. He also realizes that Soling is the one person who could convince her father’s former allies to once again work for the Empire. He promises to restore her family name if she’ll help him in his cause. Soling is unsure if she can trust anyone in the Forbidden City, even if her heart is longing to believe in the engineer with a hidden past who was once meant to be her husband. (Digital)
1740. With the whole of Europe balanced on the brink of war, an Austrian regiment is sent to the furthest frontier to hold the border against the might of Prussia. Their garrison, the ancient house called Pokoj. Pokoj is already inhabited, by a company of ghosts from every age of the house’s history. Only Drozde, the quartermaster’s mistress, can see them. As these ageless phantoms tell their stories Drozde gets chilling glimpses of Pokoj’s past and of a looming menace in its future. Lieutenant Klaes pursues another mystery. The camp follower and the officer make their separate journies to the same appalling discovery, an impending catastrophe that will sweep away villagers and soldiers. To stop it would pit Klaes against his entire regiment and Drozde against the one man in the world she fears. If either prevails, it will be with the help of the restless dead. (U.S.)
Third in this cross-genre anthology collection includes stories by Sherilynn Kenyon, Joe Abercrombie, Diana Rowland, Melinda Snodgrass, and Pat Cadigan, and features an entirely new 18,000-word novella by bestselling author Brandon Sanderson, and a new story of Harry Dresden’s world by bestselling author Jim Butcher.
Once upon, once again. The dragon has been slain, but the problems have just begun for Prince Charming. Disowned by his father, the King, and abandoned by his only friend, William Pickett, Charming must find a new path in life, but he’s going to need a lot of help. His love, Liz, barely survived an assassination attempt; his former fling, Rapunzel, is in danger; and William is under an evil spell cast by Princess Gwendolyn. The fate of Castle White hangs in the balance as Charming tries to find himself, while finding new allies along the way, including an odd number of dwarfs (or is it dwarves?) and a reformed beast. But he’s running out of time to stop royally ruinous wedding bells from ringing. (Digital)
Young Adult. The flames of civil war sweep across the Shima Imperium. With their plans to renew the Kazumitsu dynasty foiled, the Lotus Guild unleash their deadliest creation, a mechanical goliath known as the Earthcrusher. The Guild marches toward a battle for absolute dominion over the Isles. Yukiko and Buruu are forced to take leadership of the Kagé rebellion. Kin’s betrayal has destroyed all trust among their allies. The traitor Kin walks the halls of Guild power, his destiny only a bloody knife-stroke away. Hana and Yoshi struggle to find their place in a world now looking to them as heroes. As the final secret about blood lotus is revealed, the people of Shima will learn one last, horrifying truth. There is nothing a mother will not do to keep her children by her side. Nothing.