Fiction Affliction: Genre-Benders for April

Nineteen books cross and blend genres in April, including M.R. Carey’s ghost story Fellside, an anthology inspired by the music of Rush, the first of Lian Hern’s Tale of Shikanoko, the English translation of Thomas Olde Heuvelt’s HEX, and Manuel Gonzalez’s The Regional Office is Under Attack!

Fiction Affliction details releases in science fiction, fantasy, 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

The Empire of Time (Roads to Moscow #1)—David Wingrove (April 1, Random House UK/Trafalgar Square)
Otto Behr is a German agent, fighting his Russian counterparts across three millennia, manipulating history for moments in time that can change everything. Only the remnants of two great nations stand and for Otto, the war is life itself, the last hope for his people. But in a world where realities shift and memory is never constant, nothing is certain, least of all the chance of a future with his Russian love.

The Broken Hours: A Novel of H.P. Lovecraft—Jacqueline Baker (April 5, Talos)
In the cold spring of 1936, Arthor Crandle, down-on-his luck and desperate for work, accepts a position in Providence, Rhode Island, as a live-in secretary/assistant for an unnamed shut-in. He arrives at the gloomy colonial-style house to discover that his strange employer is an author of disturbing, bizarre fiction. Health issues have confined him to his bedroom, where he is never to be disturbed. But the writer, who Crandle knows only as “Ech-Pi,” refuses to meet him, communicating only by letters left on a table outside his room. Soon the home reveals other unnerving peculiarities. There is an ominous presence Crandle feels on the main stairwell. Light shines out underneath the door of the writer’s room, but is invisible from the street. It becomes increasingly clear there is something not right about the house or its occupant. Haunting visions of a young girl in a white nightgown wandering the walled-in garden behind the house motivate Crandle to investigate the circumstances of his employer’s dark family history. Meanwhile, the unsettling aura of the house pulls him into a world increasingly cut off from reality, into black depths, where an unspeakable secret lies waiting.

Fellside—M.R. Carey (April 5, Orbit)
The unmissable and highly anticipated new literary thriller from the author of the international phenomenon The Girl with all the Gifts. Fellside is a maximum security prison on the edge of the Yorkshire Moors. It’s not the kind of place you’d want to end up. But it’s where Jess Moulson could be spending the rest of her life. It’s a place where even the walls whisper. And one voice belongs to a little boy with a message for Jess. Will she listen?

SeptimaniaJonathan Levi (April 5, Overlook Press)
On an spring afternoon in 1978 in the loft of a church outside Cambridge, England, an organ tuner named Malory loses his virginity to a dyslexic math genius named Louiza. When Louiza disappears, Malory follows her trail to Rome. There, the quest to find his love gets sidetracked when he discovers he is the heir to the Kingdom of Septimania, given by Charlemagne to the Jews of eighth-century France. In the midst of a Rome reeling from the kidnappings and bombs of the Red Brigades, Malory is crowned King of the Jews, Holy Roman Emperor and possibly Caliph of All Islam. Over the next fifty years, Malory’s search for Louiza leads to encounters with Pope John Paul II, a band of lost Romanians, a magical Bernini statue, Haroun al Rashid of Arabian Nights fame, an elephant that changes color, a shadowy U.S. spy agency and one of the 9/11 bombers, an appleseed from the original Tree of Knowledge, and the secret history of Isaac Newton and his discovery of a Grand Unified Theory that explains everything. It is the quest of a Candide for love and knowledge, and the ultimate discovery that they may be unified after all.

BurningDanielle Rollins (April 5, Bloomsbury)
Young adult. Tucked away, deep in the woods, Brunesfield Correctional Facility’s cold walls and empty hallways keep dangerous girls away from the world … girls like Angela Davis, whose fate was determined by one bad decision. After a few years in juvie, Angela is finally close to her release, but everything changes the day a new warden with dark plans takes over. Angela knows evil when she sees it, and as strange disappearances and frightening incidents happen more and more frequently, it becomes clear that Brunesfield could be the end of them. Angela and her friends must find a way to get out, but how can they save themselves from very place keeping them locked away?

 

WEEK TWO

The People in the CastleJoan Aiken (April 12, Small Beer Press)
Here is the whisper in the night, the dog whose loyalty outlasted death, the creak upstairs, that half-remembered ghost story that won’t let you sleep, the sound that raises gooseflesh, the wish you’d checked the lock on the door before dark fell. Here are tales of suspense and the supernatural that will chill, amuse, and exhilarate. Features a new introduction by the late author’s daughter, Lizza Aiken. Best known for The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, Joan Aiken wrote over a hundred books and won the Guardian and Edgar Allan Poe awards.

2113: Stories Inspired By the Music of Rush—edited by Kevin J. Anderson & John McFetridge (April 12, ECW Press)
The music of Rush, one of the most successful bands in history, is filled with fantastic stories, evocative images, and thought-provoking futures and pasts. In this anthology, notable, bestselling, and award-winning writers each chose a Rush song as the spark for a new story, drawing inspiration from the visionary trio. Most of these tales are science fiction, but some are fantasies, thrillers, even edgy mainstream. Many of Rush’s big hits are represented, as well as deeper cuts … with wonderful results. 2113 contains stories by New York Times bestselling authors Kevin J. Anderson, Michael Z. Williamson, David Mack, David Farland, Dayton Ward, and Mercedes Lackey, and more.

The Regional Office is Under Attack!Manuel Gonzalez (April 12, Riverhead)
In a world beset by amassing forces of darkness, one organization—the Regional Office—and its coterie of super-powered female assassins protects the globe from annihilation. At its helm, the mysterious Oyemi and her oracles seek out new recruits and root out evil plots. Then a prophecy suggests that someone from inside might bring about its downfall. And now, the Regional Office is under attack. Recruited by a defector from within, Rose is a young assassin leading the attack, eager to stretch into her powers and prove herself on her first mission. Defending the Regional Office is Sarah—who may or may not have a mechanical arm—fiercely devoted to the organization that took her in as a young woman in the wake of her mother’s sudden disappearance. On the day that the Regional Office is attacked, Rose’s and Sarah’s stories will overlap, their lives will collide, and the world as they know it just might end.

A Fierce and Subtle PoisonSamantha Mabry (April 12, Algonquin)
Young adult. Everyone knows the legends about the cursed girl—Isabel, the one the senoras whisper about. They say she has green skin and grass for hair, and she feeds on the poisonous plants that fill her family’s Caribbean island garden. Some say she can grant wishes; some say her touch can kill. Seventeen-year-old Lucas lives on the mainland most of the year but spends summers with his hotel-developer father in Puerto Rico. He’s grown up hearing stories about the cursed girl, and he wants to believe in Isabel and her magic. When letters from Isabel begin mysteriously appearing in his room the same day his new girlfriend disappears, Lucas turns to Isabel for answers–and finds himself lured into her strange and enchanted world. But time is running out for the girl filled with poison, and the more entangled Lucas becomes with Isabel, the less certain he is of escaping with his own life.

Merciless Reason (Wildenstern Saga #3)—Oisin McGann (April 12, Open Road)
Young adult. It’s been three years since Nathaniel Wildenstern left Ireland and his ruthless family behind. But no one turns his back on the Wildensterns, the powerful family controlling what was once the British Empire. While Nate’s been gone, one of his maniacal cousins has been hard at work researching engimals—the bizarre living machines with the brains of animals—with the intent of creating the ultimate new species. When Nate learns what his cousin has been up to, he knows he must return and put a stop to it. But in his absence, his clan has become even more despised for its merciless hunger for power. For Nate to succeed, he’ll have to return in secret—because wherever the Wildensterns go, violence and betrayal are sure to follow.

Thirst—Benjamin Warner (April 12, Bloomsbury)
On a searing summer Friday, Eddie Chapman has been stuck for hours in a traffic jam. There are accidents along the highway, but ambulances and police are conspicuously absent. When he decides to abandon his car and run home, he sees that the trees along the edge of a stream have been burnt, and the water in the streambed is gone. Something is very wrong. When he arrives home, the power is out and there is no running water. The pipes everywhere, it seems, have gone dry. Eddie and his wife, Laura, find themselves thrust together with their neighbors while a sense of unease thickens in the stifling night air. As violence rips through the community, Eddie and Laura are forced to recall secrets from their past and question their present humanity.

 

WEEK THREE

Almost InfamousMatt Carter (April 19, Talos)
Eighteen-year-old Aidan Salt isn’t a superhero. With his powerful (and unpredictable) telekinetic abilities, he could be one if he wanted to, but he doesn’t. He’s unambitious, selfish, and cowardly, and he doesn’t want to have to deal with all the paperwork required to become a professional superhero. But since the money, fame, and women that come with wearing the cape are appealing, he decides to become the first supervillain the world has seen in more than twenty years: Apex Strike. While half the world’s heroes seem to want him dead, the other half want to hire him as their own personal villain to keep them relevant. Choosing the latter course, Aidan enters a world of fame, fortune, and staged superhero fights that is seemingly everything he ever dreamed of … at least until he sees what truly hides behind the cape-and-mask lifestyle.

The Emperor’s RailroadGuy Haley (April 19, Tor.com Publishing)
Global war devastated the environment, a zombie-like plague wiped out much of humanity, and civilization as we once understood it came to a standstill. But that was a thousand years ago, and the world is now a very different place. Conflict between city states is constant, superstition is rife, and machine relics, mutant creatures and resurrected prehistoric beasts trouble the land. Watching over all are the silent Dreaming Cities. Homes of the angels, bastion outposts of heaven on Earth. Or so the church claims. Very few go in, and nobody ever comes out. Until now…

The Everything BoxRichard Kadrey (April 19, Harper Voyager)
22000 B.C. A beautiful, ambitious angel stands on a mountaintop, surveying the world and its little inhabitants below. He smiles because soon, the last of humanity who survived the great flood will meet its end, too. He’s going to play a big part in it. Our angel usually doesn’t get to do field work, and if he does well, he’s certain he’ll get a big promotion. The angel reaches into his pocket for the instrument of humanity’s doom. Must be in the other pocket. Then he frantically begins to pat himself down. Dejected, he realizes he has lost the object. Looking over the Earth at all that could have been, the majestic angel utters a single word: “Crap.” 2015. A thief named Coop—a specialist in purloining magic objects—steals and delivers a small box to the mysterious client who engaged his services. Coop doesn’t know that his latest job could be the end of him—and the rest of the world. Suddenly he finds himself in the company of The Department of Peculiar Science, a fearsome enforcement agency that polices the odd and strange. The box isn’t just a supernatural heirloom with quaint powers, they tell him. It’s a doomsday device. They think. And suddenly, everyone is out to get it.

Hystopia—David Means (April 19, Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
At the bitter end of the 1960s, after surviving multiple assassination attempts, President John F. Kennedy has created a vast federal agency, the Psych Corps, dedicated to maintaining the nation’s mental hygiene by any means necessary. Soldiers returning from Vietnam have their battlefield traumas “enfolded”—wiped from their memories through drugs and therapy—while veterans too damaged to be enfolded roam at will in Michigan, evading the Psych Corps and reenacting atrocities on civilians. This destabilized, alternate version of American history is the vision of the twenty-two-year-old veteran Eugene Allen, who has returned from Vietnam to write the book at the center of Hystopia, the long-awaited first novel by David Means. Outlandish and tender, funny and violent, timely and historical, Hystopia invites us to consider whether our traumas can ever be truly overcome.

 

WEEK FOUR

Emperor of the Eight Islands (Tale of Shikanoko #1)—Lian Hearn (April 26, Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
In the opening pages of the action-packed Book One of Lian Hearn’s epic Tale of Shikanoko series—all of which will be published in 2016—a future lord is dispossessed of his birthright by a scheming uncle, a mountain sorcerer imbues a mask with the spirit of a great stag for a lost young man, a stubborn father forces his son to give up his wife to his older brother, and a powerful priest meddles in the succession to the Lotus Throne, the child who is the rightful heir to the emperor barely escaping the capital in the arms of his sister. And that is just the beginning. As destiny weaves its rich tapestry, a compelling drama plays out against a background of wild forests, elegant castles, hidden temples, and savage battlefields. This is the medieval Japan of Lian Hearn’s imagination, where animal spirits clash with warriors and children navigate a landscape as serene as it is deadly.

HEXThomas Olde Heuvelt (April 26, Tor)
Whoever is born here, is doomed to stay ’til death. Whoever settles, never leaves. Welcome to Black Spring, the seemingly picturesque Hudson Valley town haunted by the Black Rock Witch, a seventeenth century woman whose eyes and mouth are sewn shut. Muzzled, she walks the streets and enters homes at will. She stands next to children’s bed for nights on end. Everybody knows that her eyes may never be opened or the consequences will be too terrible to bear. The elders of Black Spring have virtually quarantined the town by using high-tech surveillance to prevent their curse from spreading. Frustrated with being kept in lockdown, the town’s teenagers decide to break their strict regulations and go viral with the haunting. But, in so doing, they send the town spiraling into dark, medieval practices of the distant past.

Red Knight Falling (Harmony Black #2)—Craig Schaefer (April 26, 47North)
FBI agent Harmony Black and her team, Vigilant Lock, always heard the Red Knight was an urban legend: in 1954, three years before Sputnik launched, a mysterious satellite was sighted circling Earth, though no power on the planet had such technology. But the Red Knight is real, and what’s more, it’s inextricably linked to a supernatural force no one yet understands. Like a moth to a flame, this dark presence collides annually with the airborne satellite. Except this year the Red Knight is on course to crash-land … in Oregon. Vigilant Lock sets out to find the crash site and secure the remnants before the mysterious power is drawn to Earth. But they soon discover the mission is far from straightforward—and they aren’t the only ones tracking the Red Knight.

Barren Cove—Ariel S. Winter (April 26, Atria/Emily Bestler Books)
Sapien is a relic of a bygone age, searching for meaning in a world where his outdated allegiances to a time long past have left him isolated and hopeless. Seeking peace and quiet, he retires to a beach house at Barren Cove, a stately Victorian manor even more antiquated than he. He becomes increasingly fascinated with the family whose lives are entwined with the home—angry and rebellious Clark; flamboyant Kent; fragile, beautiful Mary; and most of all, Beachstone, the mysterious man whose history may hold all the answers Sapien has been searching for. As Sapien unlocks their secret loves and betrayals, the dangerous past of Barren Cove will indelibly change him…and who he is fated to become.

citation

1 Comment

Subscribe to this thread

Post a Comment

All comments must meet the community standards outlined in Tor.com's Moderation Policy or be subject to moderation. Thank you for keeping the discussion, and our community, civil and respectful.

Hate the CAPTCHA? Tor.com members can edit comments, skip the preview, and never have to prove they're not robots. Join now!

Our Privacy Notice has been updated to explain how we use cookies, which you accept by continuing to use this website. To withdraw your consent, see Your Choices.