Fiction Affliction: Genre-Benders for December

Santa’s saving his genre-benders until January, as only eight books span space and genre this month. Look for three new anthologies: the annual Nebula Awards Showcase edited by Greg Bear; A Paula Guran-edited anthology devoted to Warrior Women; and a collection of author “Detours” edited by Brian James Freeman.

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

Clockwork Samurai (The Gunpowder Chronicles #2), by Jeannie Lin, (December 1, InterMix)

Jin Soling can see that the Emperor is cracking, relying on Opium to drown his troubles. The Ch’ing Empire is failing, and war with the British is imminent, but the man to whom Soling was once engaged has a bold idea to save it. A leader within the Ministry of Engineering, Chang-wei suggests an alliance with Japan, whose scientists claim to have technical advancements that will turn the tide of the war. Japan has kept itself in isolation for the last two hundred years, cutting all diplomatic ties with the Ch’ing Empire. Chang-wei must enter the island nation in disguise to seek an alliance forbidden by the Japanese shogunate. Soling arranges her own passage on the airship to Japan. Once they land, they become targets of the shogunate’s armored assassins. Caught between two empires, in a land distrustful of foreigners, the deadly war machines are the least of their worries. Digital.

Tales of the Time Scouts, by Robert Asprin and Linda Evans, (December 1, Baen)

Omnibus. Two novels of time-traveling adventure. Includes Time Scout and Wagers of Sin. When an experiment on an orbiting space station went wrong, bad wrong, ripples in time washed over the Earth bringing global disaster. The survivors, beginning to rebuild, learned that they were now able to travel into the past, utilizing the remnant time strings. But first, the time strings had to be mapped. That was the job of the brave pioneers known as time scouts. Their occupation was only slightly less dangerous than front line combat, and when it was discovered that a time traveler who wasn’t extremely careful could zap himself out of existence, elaborate rules to prevent that evolved, and it was the job of the time scouts to enforce them.

The Rising (The Alchemy Wars #2), by Ian Tregillis, (December 1, Orbit)

Jax, a rogue Clakker, has wreaked havoc upon the Clockmakers’ Guild by destroying the Grand Forge. Reborn in the flames, he must begin his life as a free Clakker, but liberation proves its own burden. Berenice, formerly the legendary spymaster of New France, mastermind behind her nation’s attempts to undermine the Dutch Hegemony, has been banished from her homeland and captured by the Clockmakers Guild’s draconian secret police force. Meanwhile, Captain Hugo Longchamp is faced with rallying the beleaguered and untested defenders of Marseilles-in-the-West for the inevitable onslaught from the Brasswork Throne and its army of mechanical soldiers.

 

WEEK TWO

A Dream of Ice (EarthEnd Saga #2), by Gillian Anderson and Jeff Rovin, (December 8, Simon & Schuster/Simon451)

After uncovering a mystical link to the ancient civilization of Galderkhaan, child psychologist Caitlin O’Hara is left with strange new powers. She can heal her young patients with her mind and see things from other places and other times. As she learns more about her powers, she also realizes that someone is watching her, perhaps hunting her, and using her son to do it. Mikel Jasso, a field agent for a mysterious research organization, is searching for Galderkhaani ruins in Antarctica. After falling down a crevasse, he discovers the entire city has been preserved under ice and that the mysterious stone artifacts he’s been collecting are not as primitive as he thought. As Mikel and Caitlin work to uncover the mysteries of the Galderkhaani, they realize that the person hunting Caitlin and the stones may be connected in ways they never knew possible.

Nebula Awards Showcase 2015, edited by Greg Bear, (December 8, Pyr)

Anthology. The Nebula Awards Showcase volumes have been published annually since 1966, reprinting the winning and nominated stories of the Nebula Awards, voted on by the members of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA). This anthology includes the winners of the Andre Norton, Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master, Rhysling, and Dwarf Stars Awards, as well as the Nebula Award winners, and features Ann Leckie, Nalo Hopkinson, Rachel Swirsky, Aliette de Bodard, and Vylar Kaftan, with additional articles and poems by authors such as Robin Wayne Bailey, Samuel R. Delany, Terry A. Garey, Deborah P Kolodji, and Andrew Robert Sutton.

Warrior Women, edited by Paula Guran, (December 8, Prime)

Anthology. From fantastic legends and science fictional futures come compelling tales of powerful women-or those who discover strength they did not know they possessed-who fight because they must, for what they believe in, for those they love, to simply survive, or who glory in battle itself. Fierce or fearful, they are courageous and honorable-occasionally unscrupulous and tainted-but all warriors worthy of the name. Contributing authors include: Rachel Acks, Elizabeth Bear, Aliette de Bodard, Mary Gentle, Theodora Goss, Nalo Hopkinson, Tanya Huff, Kameron Hurley, Elaine Isaak, Caitlín R. Kiernan, Nancy Kress, Tanith Lee, Yoon Ha Lee, Ken Liu, Seanan McGuire, George R. R. Martin, Sharon Lee & Steve Miller, Elizabeth Moon, An Owomoyela, Robert Reed, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Jessica Reisman, Carrie Vaughn, and Jane Yolen.

 

WEEK THREE

Time and Time Again, by Ben Elton, (December 22, Thomas Dunne)

Ex-soldier Hugh Stanton learns from a Cambridge academic that time travel is possible and decides to return to June 1914 to prevent the First World War. It’s the 1st of June 1914 and Hugh Stanton, celebrated adventurer, is quite literally the loneliest man on earth. No one he has ever known or loved has been born yet. Perhaps now they never will be. Stanton knows that a great and terrible war is coming. A collective suicidal madness that will destroy European civilization and bring misery to millions in the century to come. He knows this because, for him, that century is already history. Somehow he must change that history. He must prevent the war. A war that will begin with a single bullet. But can a single bullet truly corrupt an entire century? And, if so, could another single bullet save it? (U.S. Release)

 

WEEK FOUR

Detours, edited by Brian James Freeman, (December 31, Cemetery Dance)

Anthology. Every now and then your favorite author takes a detour while writing a new novel: a chapter gets chopped, a connected short story is dreamed up, an essay about the book’s origins is composed, or an oddity is created on a day off. Collected here together for the first time are detours by Stephen King, William Peter Blatty, Dean Koontz, Clive Barker, Peter Straub, Kelley Armstrong, Michael Koryta, David Morrell, Michael Marshall and Michael Marshall Smith, Chet Williamson, Poppy Z. Brite, Stewart O’Nan, and Owen King.

Suzanne Johnson is the author of the Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series, and, as Susannah Sandlin, the Penton Legacy paranormal series and the upcoming Wilds of the Bayou suspense series. You can find her on Facebook and on her website.

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