Fiction Affliction: Genre-Benders for October

Twenty-eight new titles straddle the genre lines this month! Collections dominate, with eight anthologies and collections covering everything from the worlds of Outlander to Wild Cards to Edgar Allan Poe. Also look for new releases from, among others, Jaime Lee Moyer, James Frey and Nils Johnson-Shelton, David Barnett, Gregory Maguire, and Viola Carr.

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

Imaginarium 4: The Best Canadian Speculative Writing—edited by Sandra Kasturi and Jerome Stueart (October 1, ChiZine)

Speculative short fiction and poetry (science fiction, fantasy, horror, magic realism, etc.) that represents the best work published by Canadian writers in the 2014 calendar year. Contributing authors include: Margaret Atwood, Kelley Armstrong, Courtney Bates-Hardy, Greg Bechtel, Jocko Benoit, Jeremy Butler, Siobhan Carroll, Peter Chiykowski, Eric Choi, Suzanne Church, David Clink, A.M. Dellamonica, Corey Doctorow, Puneet Dutt, Amal El-Mohtar, Gemma Files, Zsuzsi Gartner, Neile Graham, Lisa L. Hannett, Shivaun Hoad, Ada Hoffmann, Nalo Hopkinson, Louisa Howerow, Matthew Hughes, Matthew Johnson, Michael Libling, Catherine MacLeod, Helen Marshall, Matt Moore, Silvia Moreno-Garcia, David Nickle, Rhonda Parrish, Tony Pi, Ranylt Richildis, Holly Schofield, Trevor Shikaze, Kate Story, Jean-Louis Trudel, Peter Watts, A.C. Wise and Rio Youers.

nEvermore!: Tales of Murder, Mystery and the Macabre—edited by Nancy Kilpatrick and Caro Soles (October 1, Edge)

This anthology consists of 22 original tales that blend supernatural and mystery elements in re-imaginings of Edgar Allan Poe’s stories. Contributing authors include: Colleen Anderson, Kelley Armstrong, Margaret Atwood, Robert Bose, Jane Petersen Burfield, Rick Chiantaretto, J. Madison Davis, Barbara Fradkin, Nancy Holder, Michael Jecks, Tanith Lee, Robert Lopresti, Richard Christian Matheson, David McDonald, Lisa Morton, William Nolan (with Jason Brock, Sunni Brock), Loren Rhoads, Christopher Rice, Thomas S. Roche, Uwe Sommerlad, Carol Weekes & Michael Kelly and Chelsea Quinn Yarbro.

Against a Brightening Sky (Delia Martin #3)Jaime Lee Moyer (October 6, Tor)

By 1919 the Great War has ended. Delia Martin, apprentice practitioner of magical arts, and her husband, Police Captain Gabriel Ryan, face the greatest challenge of their lives when fragments from the war descend on San Francisco. As Delia prepares to meet friends at a St. Patrick’s Day parade, the ghost of a European princess appears in her mirror. Her pleasant outing becomes a nightmare as the ghost reappears moments after a riot starts, warning her as a rooftop gunman begins shooting into the crowd. Delia and Gabe realize all the chaos and bloodshed had one purpose, to flush Alina from hiding, a young woman with no memory of anything but her name. As Delia works to discover how the princess ghost’s secrets connect to this mysterious young woman, and Gabe tracks a ruthless killer around his city, they find all the answers hinge on two questions: Who is Alina, and why can’t she remember?

Carry OnRainbow Rowell (October 6, St. Martin’s Griffin)

Young Adult. Simon Snow just wants to relax and savor his last year at the Watford School of Magicks, but no one will let him. His girlfriend broke up with him, his best friend is a pest, and his mentor keeps trying to hide him away in the mountains where maybe he’ll be safe. Simon can’t even enjoy the fact that his roommate and longtime nemesis is missing, because he can’t stop worrying about the evil git. Plus there are ghosts. And vampires. And actual evil things trying to shut Simon down. When you’re the most powerful magician the world has ever known, you never get to relax and savor anything.

Faux Paw (A Magical Cats Mystery #7)Sofie Kelly (October 6, NAL)

Normally, the arrival of an art exhibition at the Mayville Heights library would be cause for celebration. But thanks to the overbearing curator and high-tech security system that comes with it, Kathleen’s life has been completely disrupted. Even Owen and Hercules have been affected, since their favorite human doesn’t seem to have a spare moment to make their favorite fish crackers or listen to Barry Manilow. But when Kathleen stops by the library late one night and finds the curator sprawled on the floor, and the exhibition’s most valuable sketch missing, it’s suddenly time to canvass a crime scene. Now Kathleen, her detective boyfriend Marcus, and her clever cats have to sniff out a murderous thief, before anyone else has a brush with death.

Ghostly: A Collection of Ghost StoriesAudrey Niffenegger (October 6, Scribner)

Collected and introduced byAudrey Niffennegger, including her own new illustrations for each piece, and a new story, this is an anthology of some of the best ghost stories of all time. From Edgar Allen Poe to Kelly Link, M.R. James to Neil Gaiman, H. H. Munro to Audrey Niffenegger herself, Ghostly reveals the evolution of the ghost story genre with tales going back to the eighteenth century and into the modern era, ranging across styles from Gothic Horror to Victorian, with a particular bent toward stories about haunting, haunted children, animals, houses.

Night Music (Nocturnes #2)John Connolly (October 6, Atria/Emily Bestler)

A decade after Nocturnes first terrified and delighted readers, John Connolly gives us a second volume of tales of the supernatural. From stories of the monstrous for dark winter nights to fables of fantastic libraries and haunted books, from a tender account of love after death to a frank, personal, and revealing account of the author’s affection for myths of ghosts and demons. Night Music: Nocturnes 2 also contains two novellas: the multi-award-winning The Caxton Private Lending Library & Book Depository and The Fractured Atlas.

Onward Drake!—edited by Mark L. Van Name (October 6, Baen)

In this all-original collection that appears as author David Drake turns 70, a stellar lineup of writers pays tribute with stories as broad in range as his own fiction. The book also features two new pieces from Drake himself: a comic historical fantasy, and Save What You Can, the first new Hammer Slammers story in nearly a decade. Contributing authors include: Eric S. Brown, Larry Correia, Tony Daniel, Hank Davis, Tom Doherty, David Drake, Eric Flint, Cecelia Holland. Mur Lafferty, John Lambshead, Barry N. Malzberg, T.C. McCarthy, Mark L. Van Name and Sarah Van Name.

Silver on the Road (The Devil’s West #1)Laura Anne Gilman (October 6, Saga)

Isobel, upon her sixteenth birthday, makes the choice to work for the devil in his territory west of the Mississippi. But this is not the devil you know. This is a being who deals fairly with immense, but not unlimited, power, who offers opportunities to people who want to make a deal, and they always get what they deserve. But his land is a wild west that needs a human touch, and that’s where Izzy comes in. Inadvertently trained by him to see the clues in and manipulations of human desire, Izzy is raised to be his left hand and travel circuit through the territory. As we all know, where there is magic there is chaos, and death.

Sky Key (Endgame #2)James Frey and Nils Johnson-Shelton (October 6, HarperCollins)

Twelve Players. Nine players remain. Three keys. Two keys are left to be found. One ultimate prize. At stake for the Players: not only their lives but the fate of the world. At stake for readers: a real-world interactive puzzle-based hunt for a gold prize worth $1 million. In this sequel to Endgame: The Calling, the world is populated by twelve ancient bloodlines. In each line, a Player trains for a catastrophic event that has not yet happened, until the Calling. Once they were called, the Players set off on a journey in search of three ancient keys that will save not just their line, but the world. The first key was found in The Calling, but the remaining players must still hunt for the final two before the Event draws near.

The Best American Science Fictiion and Fantasy 2015—edited by Joe Hill and John Joseph Adams (October 6, Mariner)

A diverse and vibrant collection of stories published in the previous year. Featuring writers with deep science fiction and fantasy backgrounds, along with those who are infusing traditional fiction with speculative elements, these stories uphold a longstanding tradition in both genres, looking at the world and asking, What if . . . ? Authors include: Kelly Link, Neil Gaiman, Karen Russell, T. C. Boyle, Sofia Samatar, Jo Walton, Cat Rambo, Daniel H. Wilson, Seanan McGuire, Jess Row, and others.

The Sand MenChristopher Fowler (October 6, Solaris)

Lea, Roy and their 15 year-old daughter Cara live in a gated community reserved for foreign workers. Lea finds herself a virtual prisoner in a land where Western women are regarded with indifference and suspicion. At least there are a few friendly outsiders who don’t enjoy the conformity of the ex-pat community, until one night, when the most outspoken one dies in a suspicious accident Lea’s neighbors start to blame migrants, locals and even each other. Lea is convinced that deliberate acts of cruelty are being committed, but is there a real threat to her life, or is she becoming paranoid? And what if the thing she fears most is really happening? What happens in a world where only the rich are important? Welcome to a future that’s five minutes away, where rebellion against conformity can lead to the unthinkable.

 

WEEK TWO

Boundary Lines (Boundary Magic #2)Melissa F. Olson (October 13, 47North)

Fitting into the Old World isn’t going very well for Boulder boundary witch Allison “Lex” Luther: she may have earned a place in a vampire’s service, but now it seems as if every supernatural creature in town has found a reason to hate her. And when Lex and her partner are assigned to investigate the suspicious disappearance of two vampires during the night of the full moon, they find themselves with more questions than answers. Was it murder, or mutiny? The crusade for answers will lead Lex all over the Colorado Old World, from a prison cell for a broken werewolf to a haunted Denver brothel. And when Lex determines the responsible party, the hunt is just beginning: something has been awakened in Boulder, something as old and powerful as it is terrifying. Only the woman with death in her blood can stop what’s coming.

Gideon Smith and the Mask of the Ripper (Gideon Smith #3)David Barnett (October 13, Tor)

In an alternate nineteenth century where a technologically advanced Britain holds sway over most of the known world and the American Revolution never happened, young Gideon Smith is firmly established as the Hero of the Empire. Gideon and his colleagues: journalist Aloysius Bent, airship pilot Rowena Fanshawe, and Maria, the mechanical girl to whom Gideon has lost his heart, are dragged into a case that is confounding the Metropolitan Police. For the city is on the edge of mass rioting due to the continuing reign of terror by the serial killer known only as Jack the Ripper. A villain from their past strips Gideon Smith of his memory and is cast adrift in the seedy underbelly of London. With mob rule threatening to engulf London, the Empire has never needed its hero more, but where is Gideon Smith?

Newt’s EmeraldGarth Nix (October 13, Katherine Tegen)

Young Adult. Lady Truthful will inherit her family’s most valued heirloom on her eighteenth birthday. Until the Newington Emerald is stolen. Lady Truthful, nicknamed “Newt” by her boy cousins, discovers that the people closest to her have been framed for the theft. Her plan is simple: go to London to recover the missing jewel. Newt and her aunt devise a plan, one that entails men’s clothing and a mustache. Truthful encounters major Harnett, who volunteers to help find the missing emerald under the assumption that she is a man, Henri de Vienne. Truthful realizes something else is afoot: the beating of her heart. The stolen emerald is no ordinary heirloom, it is the source of the family’s luck and has the power to yield vast magic. It would be disastrous if it fell into the wrong hands. The fate of England depends on Truthful securing the emerald. (U.S. Release)

The Society of Blood (Obsidian Heart #2)Mark Morris (October 13, Titan)

Transported through time to the dank streets of Victorian London, Alex Locke seeks to unravel the mysteries of the Obsidian Heart, the enigmatic object to which his fate is inextricably bound. When a string of grisly murders takes place across the capital, Alex follows a trail that will lead him through the opium dens of Limehouse into the dark and twisted world of the Society of Blood, and ever closer to unlocking the secret of the Heart.

Variations on an Apple: A Tor.Com OriginalYoon Ha Lee (October 14, Tor)

A few words need to be said about the apple at this point. It had no fragrance of fruit, or even flowers, or worm-rot. It smelled of diesel hearts and drudgery and overcrowded colonies; of battery acid gone bad and bromides and foundered courtships. Intoxicating, yes, but in the way of verses etched unwanted upon the spirit’s cracked windows. The smell was so everywhere, pervasive that, once the apple showed up in the room, it was hard to imagine life without it. Not inaccurate, really. (Digital)

 

WEEK THREE

The Explorers Guild: Volume One: A Passage to ShambhalaKevin Costner and Jon Baird (October 20, Atria)

Behind the staid public rooms of an old world gentlemen’s club operates a more mysterious organization: The Explorers Guild, a clandestine group of adventurers who bravely journey to those places in which light gives way to shadow and reason is usurped by myth. The secrets they seek are hidden in mountain ranges and lost in deserts, buried in the ocean floor and lodged deep in polar ice. The aim of The Explorers Guild: to discover the mysteries that lie beyond the boundaries of the known world. Set against the backdrop of World War I, with Western Civilization on the edge of calamity, this story concerns the Guild’s quest to find the golden city of Buddhist myth. The search will take them far and wide before the fabled city finally divulges its secrets and the globe-spanning journey plays out to its startling conclusion.

The Further Adventures of Ebenezer ScroogeCharlie Lovett (October 20, Viking)

On a hot summer day some twenty years after he was famously converted to kindness, Ebenezer Scrooge still roams the streets of London, spreading Christmas cheer, much to the annoyance of his creditors, nephew, and his employee Bob Cratchit. However, when Scrooge decides to help his old friend and former partner Jacob Marley, as well as other inhabitants of the city, he will need the assistance of the very people he’s annoyed. He’ll also have to call on the three ghosts that visited him two decades earlier. By the time they’re done, they’ve convinced everyone to celebrate Christmas all year long by opening their wallets, arms, and hearts to those around them.

The Many Lives of John StoneLinda Buckley-Archer (October 20, Simon & Schuster BYR)

Young Adult. Stella Park (Spark for short) has found summer work cataloging historical archives in John Stone’s remote and beautiful house in Suffolk, England. She wasn’t quite sure what to expect, and her uncertainty about living at Stowney House only increases upon arriving: what kind of people live in the twenty-first century without using electricity, telephones, or even a washing machine? Additionally, the notebooks she’s organizing span centuries, they begin in the court of Louis XIV in Versailles, but are written in the same hand. Something strange is going on for sure, and Spark’s questions are piling up. Who exactly is John Stone? What connection does he have to these notebooks? And more importantly, why did he hire her in the first place?

Wolf by Wolf (Wolf by Wolf #1)Ryan Graudin (October 20, Little, Brown BYR)

Young Adult. The year is 1956, and the Axis powers of the Third Reich and Imperial Japan rule the world. To commemorate their Great Victory over Britain and Russia, Hitler and Emperor Hirohito host the Axis Tour: an annual motorcycle race across their conjoined continents. The victor is awarded an audience with the reclusive Adolf Hitler at the Victor’s ball. Yael, who escaped from a death camp, has one goal: Win the race and kill Hitler. A survivor of human experimentation, Yael has the power to skinshift and must complete her mission by impersonating last year’s female victor, Adele Wolfe. This deception becomes more difficult when Felix, Adele twin’s brother, and Luka, her former love interest, enter the race and watch Yael’s every move. Can Yael bring herself to be as ruthless as she needs to be to avoid discovery and complete her mission?

 

WEEK FOUR

After AliceGregory Maguire (October 27, William Morrow)

When Alice toppled down the rabbit-hole 150 years ago, she found a Wonderland as rife with inconsistent rules and abrasive egos as the world she left behind. But what of that world? How did 1860s Oxford react to Alice’s disappearance? Ada, a friend of Alice’s mentioned briefly in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, is off to visit her friend, but arrives a moment too late, and tumbles down the rabbit hole herself. Ada brings to Wonderland her own imperfect apprehension of cause and effect as she embarks on an odyssey to find Alice and see her safely home from this surreal world below the world. If Euridyce can ever be returned to the arms of Orpheus, or Lazarus can be raised from the tomb, perhaps Alice can be returned to life. Either way, everything that happens next is After Alice.

Haunt Couture and Ghosts Galore (A Haunted Vintage Mystery #3)Rose Pressey (October 27, Kensington)

A hot-ticket charity fashion show is the perfect chance for Cookie Chanel, proud owner of It’s Vintage Y’All, to show off her stylistic savvy for a good cause. But when a famous fashionista is fatally flattened, and the ghost of a former private investigator asks for Cookie’s help, she has to scurry to sew up a solution. With clever clues from Wind Song, her psychic cat, and sassy suggestions from Charlotte, her ghost-in-residence, Cookie must unravel the sinister stitches of a deadly design, before she becomes the next fashion victim.

The Devious Dr. Jekyll (Electric Empire #2)Viola Carr (October 27, Harper Voyager)

Solving the infamous Chopper case has helped crime scene physician Dr. Eliza Jekyll establish her fledgling career in Victorian law enforcement. There is the mercurial Royal Society agent and wolf man Remy Lafayette. Though Eliza is uncertain about Remy, her dark and jealous shadow self, Lizzie, wants to steal the magnetic and persistent agent, and usurp Eliza’s life. It’s impossible to push Remy away when he tempts her with the one thing she can’t resist: a bizarre crime. The search for a bloodthirsty ritual torturer dubbed the Pentacle Killer draws them into a world of spies, art thieves, and evil alchemy, where the price of immortality is madness, or damnation, and only Lizzie’s dark ingenuity can help Eliza survive. As Eliza and Remy race to thwart a foul conspiracy involving the sorcerous French, they must also overcome a sinister enemy who is all too close: the vengeful Lizzie, determined to dispose of Eliza for good.

The Monstrous—edited by Ellen Datlow (October 27, Tachyon)

Take a terrifying journey with literary masters of suspense, visiting a place where the other is somehow one of us. These electrifying tales redefine monsters from mere things that go bump-in-the-night to inexplicable, deadly reflections of our day-to-day lives. Whether it’s a seemingly-devoted teacher, an obsessive devotee of swans, or a diner full of evil creatures simply seeking oblivion, the monstrous is always there, and much closer than it appears. Contributing authors include: Caitlín R. Kiernan, Peter Straub, Christopher Fowler, Kim Newman, Sofia Samatar, Jeffrey Ford, Livia Llewellyn and John Langan.

The Outlandish Companion, Volume 2: The Companion to The Fiery Cross, A Breath of Snow and Ashes, An Echo in the Bone, and Written in My Own Heart’s BloodDiana Gabaldon (October 27, Delacorte Press)

This compendium is bursting with generous commentary and juicy insider details, including: a complete chronology of the series thus far; full synopses of A Fiery Cross, A Breath of Snow and Ashes, An Echo in the Bone, and Written in My Own Heart’s Blood; recaps of the Lord John Grey novels: Lord John and the Private Matter, Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade, Lord John and the Hand of Devils, and The Scottish Prisoner; a who’s who of the cast of Outlander characters, cross-referenced by book; detailed maps and floor plans; a bibliographic guide to research sources; essays on subjects as wide ranging as Outlandish controversies regarding sex and violence, the unique responsibilities of a writer of historical fiction, and Gabaldon’s writing process; a guided tour of the clothes, food, and music of the eighteenth century; a Scottish glossary and pronunciation guide; personal photos from the author taken on the set of the Starz Outlander series.

Wild Cards V: Down and Dirty—edited by George R.R. Martin (October 27, Tor)

Let the secret history of the world be told, of the alien virus that struck Earth after World War II, and of the handful of the survivors who found they now possessed superhuman powers. Some were called Aces, endowed with powerful mental and physical prowess. The others were Jokers, tormented by bizarre mind or body disfigurements. Some served humanity. Others caused terror. And now, forty years later, as a gang war between the Shadow Fists and the mafia rages out of control in the streets of Jokertown, Aces and Jokers go underground-to wage their own war against the powers of the netherworld. Here, in the fifth volume, ten science fiction writers take readers on a journey of wonder and excitement in an alternate history. Featuring the talents of John J. Miller, Roger Zelazny, Leanne C. Harper, Arthur Byron Cover, Melina C. Snodgrass, Edward Bryant, Stephen Leigh, Pat Cadigan, Walter Jon Williams, and George R. R. Martin.

Some Gods of El Paso: A Tor.Com OriginalMaria Dahvana Headley (October 28, Tor.com)

A short fantasy story of a couple on the run from the law for stealing and illegally trading in strong emotions in 1920s U.S. (Digital)

Suzanne Johnson is the author of the Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series, and, as Susannah Sandlin, the Penton Legacy paranormal romance series and The Collectors thriller series. You can find Suzanne on Facebook and on her website.

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