Fiction Affliction: Genre-Benders for December

Eleven books reach across the aisle to bridge genre gridlock this month, including new releases from, among others, Joseph Nassise, Tim Powers, Guy Adams, and Steve Perry.

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

Genocide of One: A ThrillerKazuaki Takano (December 2, Mulholland)

The president is informed of a threat to national security: a three-year-old boy named Akili, who is already the smartest being on the planet. Akili can perceive patterns and predict future events better than most supercomputers. Akili has the emotional maturity of a child, which might make him the most dangerous threat humanity has ever faced. Jonathan Yeager, leads a team of elite operatives deep into the heart of the Congolese jungle to destroy this threat to humanity before Akili’s full potential can be realized. Yeager has a very sick child, and Akili’s advanced knowledge of all things, medicine included, may be Yeager’s only hope for saving his son’s life. Yeager finds himself caught between following his orders and saving a creature with a hidden agenda, who plans to either save humanity as we know it, or destroy it. (U.S. Release)

On Her Majesty’s Behalf (The Great Undead War #2)—Joseph Nassise (December 2, Harper Voyager)

At the close of 1917, the Germans introduced a new type of gas, T-Leiche-“corpse gas”-a weapon that changed the war. Instead of killing the living, T-Leiche resurrected the bodies of the dead. The danger has only just begun for veteran Captain Michael “Madman” Burke and company. They’ve just been assigned a new mission: rescue Princess Veronica, the sole surviving member of the British royal family. Kaiser Manfred Von Richthofen, the undead Red Baron and new leader of Germany, is determined to find Veronica as well. Burke and his men will face off in an unholy battle with their most formidable opponent yet: a team led by his infected former right-hand man, Sargeant Moore. If they don’t succeed, all of Britain will fall into undead Central hands.

The James Lovegrove Collection: Volume OneJames Lovegrove (December 2, Solaris)

In two different novels James Lovegrove charts the course of Great Britain’s future. Days: Days gigastore is seven storeys high, two-and-a-half kilometres to a side. Within its walls, you can buy anything and everything. For a price… Untied Kingdom: After a series of disastrous political decisions the United Kingdom has fallen apart. Tiny communities rely on ancient traditions for their structure. In one village the mayor has styled himself the Green Man. But he is powerless to stop a raid on the village by a London-based gang.

Dangerous Games: An Anthology of the Players and Played, edited by Jonathan Oliver (December 4, Solaris)

In a world of chances, one decision can bring down the house, one roll of the dice could bring untold wealth, or the end of everything. In this anthology of all new short stories the players gather, their stories often dark, and always compelling. The players and the played, this new anthology from Jonathan Oliver brings together brand new stories from an international team of authors, each with his or her own deadly game. This collection includes Pat Cadigan, Brit Gary McMahon, Mexican Silvia Moreno Garcia, plus Tade Thompson, Rebecca Levene and more.

 

WEEK TWO

Moriarty (Sherlock Holmes #2)—Anthony Horowitz (December 9, Harper)

Days after the encounter at the Swiss waterfall, Pinkerton detective agent Frederick Chase arrives in Europe from New York. Moriarty’s death has left an immediate, poisonous vacuum in the criminal underworld, and there is no shortage of candidates to take his place, including one particularly fiendish criminal mastermind. Chase and Scotland Yard Inspector Athelney Jones, a devoted student of Holmes’s methods of investigation and deduction must forge a path through the darkest corners of England’s capital, from the elegant squares of Mayfair to the shadowy wharfs and alleyways of the London Docks, in pursuit of this sinister figure, a man much feared but seldom seen, who is determined to stake his claim as Moriarty’s successor. (U.S. Release)

ZodiacRomina Russell (December 9, Razorbill)

Young Adult. Rhoma Grace is a 16-year-old student from House Cancer with an unusual way of reading the stars. Rho looks up at the night sky and makes up stories. When a violent blast strikes the moons of Cancer, sending its ocean planet off-kilter and killing thousands of citizens, including its beloved Guardian, Rho is more surprised than anyone when she is named the House’s new leader. When more Houses fall victim to freak weather catastrophes, Rho starts seeing a pattern in the stars. She suspects Ophiuchus, the exiled 13th Guardian of Zodiac legend, has returned to exact his revenge across the Galaxy. Rho, along with Hysan Dax, a young envoy from House Libra, and Mathias, her guide and a member of her Royal Guard, must travel through the Zodiac to warn the other Guardians. Can she convince twelve worlds to unite as one Zodiac?

 

WEEK THREE

No new releases.

 

WEEK FOUR

Nobody’s Home: An Anubis Gates StoryTim Powers (December 28, Subterranean)

Tracking the murderer of her fiancee through 19th century London’s darkest warrens, Jacky Snapp has disguised herself as a boy, but the disguise fails when, trying to save a girl from the ghost of her jealous husband, Jacky finds that she has made herself visible to the ghosts that cluster around the Thames, and one of them is the ghost of her fiancee, who was poisoned and physically transformed by his murderer but unwittingly shot dead by Jacky herself. Jacky and the girl she rescued, united in the need to banish their pursuing ghosts, learn that their only hope is to flee upriver to the barge known as Nobody’s Home, where the exorcist whose name is Nobody charges an intolerable price.

For a Few Souls More (Heaven’s Gate #3)Guy Adams (Dec. 30, Solaris)

The uprising in Heaven is at an end and Paradise has fallen, becoming the forty-third state of America. Now angels and demons must learn to get along with humans. The rest of the world is in uproar. How can America claim the afterlife as its own? It’s certainly going to try as the President sets out for the town of Wormwood for talks with its governor, the man they call Lucifer. Hell has problems of its own. There’s a new evangelist walking its roads, trying to bring the penitent to paradise, and a new power is rising. Can anyone stand up to the Godkiller?

Hunter of Sherwood: The Red Hand (Guy of Gisburne #2)—Toby Venables (December 30, Abaddon)

Guy of Gisburne, knight and agent to Prince John, is all that stands between England and anarchy, fighting a shadow battle to protect the kingdom from those who would destroy it. Returning to England after foiling a plot to destroy Jerusalem, Guy of Gisburne is arrested and hauled to the Tower of London; John, England’s regent in the absence of its monstrous King, needs his knight once more. A killer has broken into the Prince’s most secure castle in the north and left a message, drawn on the skin of one of his victims: ’the circle is closing,’ signed with a handprint in blood. Is the threat genuine? Who or what is the Red Hand? Someone is killing John’s men, and the obvious culprit, the most dangerous man in the Kingdom, Hood himself, has an alibi even Guy can’t deny.

The Tejano Conflict (Cutter’s Wars #3)—Steve Perry (December 30, Ace)

At the end of the twenty-fourth century, war is fought in a civilized manner: Each side hires mercenaries to engage in combat in specifically designated areas. To the victor go the spoils, whatever they may be. After a couple of assignments involving more intrigue than the Cutter Force Initiative ever wanted, the unit is looking forward to being part of a short-term industrial war on Earth. Cutter agrees to a support role offered by an old Army comrade who’s now a general in a larger military force. What starts out as a corporate fight to occupy a valuable piece of contested territory quickly goes sideways, and once again Cutter and crew find themselves in the middle of situations in which things aren’t as they seem, and the unit must determine the truth, or lose more than just a battle.

Imaginarium 2014: The Best Canadian Speculative Writing—edited by Sandra Kasturi and Helen Marshall (December 31, ChiZine)

A reprint anthology collecting speculative short fiction and poetry (science fiction, fantasy, horror, magic realism, etc.) that represents the best work published by Canadian writers in the 2013 calendar year. (Digital. Print available July 2015)


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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