Mix up your reading with 15 genre-benders this month, from anthologies to political futures, magical knives to steampunky undersea railroads, alternate history to future Australia. Get a sneak peek at Ghostbusters with the official novelization, read the end of Stephen King’s latest trilogy, take your pick of two books involving submarines, head on a road trip with a fictional former TV star… the possibilities are all over the map!
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.
The Best Horror of the Year Vol. 8—Ellen Datlow, editor (June 7, Titan Books)
For over three decades, Ellen Datlow has been at the center of horror. Bringing you the most frightening and terrifying stories, Datlow always has her finger on the pulse of what horror readers crave. Now, with the eighth volume of the series, Datlow is back again to bring you the stories that will keep you up at night.
Mash Up—Gardner Dozois, editor (June 7, Titan Books)
Pride and Prejudice meets Macbeth by way of The Wizard of Oz and a dollop of the speculative, in this entertaining anthology where authors get inspiration for short stories from the first lines of famous works of literature. Edited by respected anthologist Gardner Dozois, the collection features Mary Robinette Kowal’s Hugo Award-winning story “The Lady Astronaut of Mars.”
End of Watch (Bill Hodges #3)—Stephen King (June 7, Scribner)
In Room 217 of the Lakes Region Traumatic Brain Injury Clinic, something has awakened. Something evil. Brady Hartsfield, perpetrator of the Mercedes Massacre, where eight people were killed and many more were badly injured, has been in the clinic for five years, in a vegetative state. According to his doctors, anything approaching a complete recovery is unlikely. But behind the drool and stare, Brady is awake, and in possession of deadly new powers that allow him to wreak unimaginable havoc without ever leaving his hospital room. Retired police detective Bill Hodges, the unlikely hero of Mr. Mercedes and Finders Keepers, now runs an investigation agency with his partner, Holly Gibney—the woman who delivered the blow to Hartsfield’s head that put him on the brain injury ward. When Bill and Holly are called to a suicide scene with ties to the Mercedes Massacre, they find themselves pulled into their most dangerous case yet.
Infomocracy— Malka Older (June 7, Tor.com Publishing)
It’s been twenty years and two election cycles since Information, a powerful search engine monopoly, pioneered the switch from warring nation-states to global micro-democracy. The corporate coalition party Heritage has won the last two elections. With another election on the horizon, the Supermajority is in tight contention, and everything’s on the line. With power comes corruption. For Ken, this is his chance to do right by the idealistic Policy1st party and get a steady job in the big leagues. For Domaine, the election represents another staging ground in his ongoing struggle against the pax democratica. For Mishima, a dangerous Information operative, the whole situation is a puzzle: how do you keep the wheels running on the biggest political experiment of all time, when so many have so much to gain?
Hell’s Gate—Bill Schutt & J.R. Finch (June 7, William Morrow)
1944. As war rages in Europe and the Pacific, Army Intel makes a shocking discovery: a 300-foot Japanese sub marooned and empty, deep in the Brazilian interior. A team of Army Rangers sent to investigate has already gone missing. Now, the military sends Captain R. J. MacCready, a quick-witted, brilliant scientific jack-of-all-trades to learn why the Japanese are there. Parachuting deep into the heart of Central Brazil, Mac is unexpectedly reunited with his hometown friend and fellow scientist Bob Thorne. A botanist presumed dead for years, Thorne lives peacefully with Yanni, an indigenous woman who possesses mysterious and invaluable skills. Their wisdom and expertise are nothing short of lifesaving for Mac as he sets out on a trail into the unknown.
MEG: Nightstalkers (MEG #5)—Steven Alten (June 14, Tor Books)
Nighstalkers picks up where MEG: Hell’s Aquarium left off. Bela and Lizzy, the dominant Megalodon siblings from Angel’s brood, have escaped the Tanaka Institute to roam the Salish Sea in British Columbia. While Jonas Taylor and his friend Mac attempt to either recapture or kill the “sisters,” Jonas’s son, David, embarks on his own adventure, motivated by revenge. Having witnessed his girlfriend’s gruesome death, David has joined a Dubai Prince’s ocean expedition, tracking the 120-foot, hundred-ton Liopleurodon that escaped from the Panthalassa Sea. Haunted by night terrors, David repeatedly risks his life to lure the Lio and other prehistoric sea creatures into the fleet’s nets, while battling his own suicidal demons.
The Insides—Jeremy Bushnell (June 14, Melville House)
Ollie Krueger’s days as a punk kid practicing street magic are are mostly behind her. Now she’s a butcher at Carnage, a high-end restaurant offering deconstructed takes on meat, and on the busiest nights of the week she and her partner, Guychardson, race to see who can produce more finished cuts. Ollie’s the better butcher, but somehow Guychardson almost always wins. And Ollie thinks maybe it’s because the mysterious knife he uses is magic. Before she knows it, Ollie’s interest in the knife has thrown her square in the path of a dangerous ex-marine called “Pig” and his hired psychic, Maja, who are on the hunt for the knife too—who want it so badly, in fact, that they might kill for it.
The Transatlantic Conspiracy—G.D. Falksen (June 14, Soho Press)
Young adult. The year is 1908. Seventeen-year-old Rosalind Wallace’s blissful stay in England with her best friend, Cecily de Vere, has come to an abrupt end. As a publicity stunt, her industrialist father has booked Rosalind on the maiden voyage of his fabulous Transatlantic Express, the world’s first railroad to travel under the sea—without asking. Rosalind is furious. But lucky for her, Cecily and her handsome older brother, Charles, volunteer to accompany her home. Fun turns to worry when Charles disappears on the station platform. Oddly, Cecily isn’t concerned about her brother. When Cecily and her housemaid are found stabbed to death, Rosalind is trapped on the train, in a deadly fight to clear herself of her friend’s murder and to thwart a sinister enemy whose ambitions she can only imagine.
Polaris—Todd Tucker (June 14, Thomas Dunne Books)
Pete Hamlin regains consciousness deep inside the nuclear submarine Polaris. He’s got a gun in his hand, a fire raging outside his door, and a dead man at his feet. Soon Pete discovers that the ship is in the middle of a mutiny—and he has no idea what side he’s on. He finds the ship is now commanded by the beautiful but volatile Hana Moody. She’s locked the former captain, Finn McCallister, inside a steel trunk, accusing him of treason. Frank Holmes is Moody’s loyalist, an imposing physical presence who shares Moody’s unquestioning devotion to the cause of the Alliance. The ship’s feckless doctor hovers in the background, unable to help Pete find out the truth. And outside the ship’s steel hull lurks another submarine, a presence that might be either friend or deadly foe.
Disappearance at Devil’s Rock—Paul Tremblay (June 21, William Morrow)
Late one summer night, Elizabeth Sanderson receives the devastating news that every mother fears: her 13-year-old son, Tommy, has vanished without a trace. Josh and Luis, the friends who were the last to see Tommy before he vanished, may not be telling the whole truth about that night in Borderland State Park, when they were supposedly hanging out a landmark the local teens have renamed Devil’s Rock. Living in an all-too-real nightmare, Elizabeth is wholly unprepared for the strange series of events that follow. She believes a ghostly shadow of Tommy materializes in her bedroom. Then, random pages torn from Tommy’s journal begin to mysteriously appear—entries that reveal an introverted teenager obsessed with the phantasmagoric; the loss of his father, killed in a drunk-driving accident a decade earlier; a folktale involving the devil and the woods of Borderland; and a horrific incident that Tommy believed connects them.
Judenstaat—Simone Zelitch (June 21, Tor Books)
On April 4th, 1948, the sovereign state of Judenstaat was created in the territory of Saxony, bordering Germany, Poland, and Czechoslovakia. Forty years later, Jewish historian Judit Klemmer is making a documentary portraying Judenstaat’s history. She is haunted by the ghost of her dead husband, Hans, a Saxon, shot by a sniper as he conducted the National Symphony. With the grief always fresh, Judit lives a half-life, until confronted by a mysterious, flesh-and-blood ghost from her past who leaves her controversial footage on one of Judenstaat’s founding fathers—and a note: “They lied about the murder.” Judit’s research into the footage, and what really happened to Hans, embroils her in controversy and conspiracy, collective memory and national amnesia, and answers far more horrific than she imagined.
Ghostbusters (Official Movie Novelization)—Nancy Hodder (June 28, Tor Books)
After Dr. Erin Gilbert is disgraced at a job interview for her belief in ghosts, she is roped into investigating a haunting by her former colleague, Abby Yates, and Abby’s new co-worker, Jillian Holtzmann. MTA employee Patty Tolan finds that New York City’s subway tunnels are becoming a hive of ghostly apparitions. She calls on Erin, Abbey, and Jillian to investigate, revealing that paranormal activity across New York City is swiftly becoming a disaster of near-biblical proportions. Together, these four would-be paranormal investigators are determined to find out what’s going on, save their city, and maybe make a profit while they’re at it.
A Hundred Thousand Worlds—Bob Proehl (June 28, Viking)
Valerie Torrey took her son, Alex, and fled Los Angeles six years ago—leaving both her role on a cult sci-fi TV show and her costar husband after a tragedy blew their small family apart. Now Val must reunite nine-year-old Alex with his estranged father, so they set out on a road trip from New York, Val making appearances at comic book conventions along the way. As they travel west, Val and Alex are drawn into the orbit of the comic-con regulars. For Alex, this world is a magical place where fiction becomes reality, but as they get closer to their destination, he begins to realize that the story his mother is telling him about their journey might have a very different ending than he imagined.
And I Darken—Kiersten White (June 28, Delacorte Press)
Young adult. No one expects a princess to be brutal. And Lada Dragwlya likes it that way. Ever since she and her gentle younger brother, Radu, were wrenched from their homeland of Wallachia and abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman courts, Lada has known that being ruthless is the key to survival. Lada despises the Ottomans and bides her time, planning her vengeance; Radu longs only for a place where he feels safe. When they meet Mehmed, the defiant and lonely son of the sultan, Radu feels that he’s made a true friend—and Lada wonders if she’s finally found someone worthy of her passion. But Mehmed is heir to the very empire that Lada has sworn to fight against. Together, Lada, Radu, and Mehmed form a toxic triangle that strains the bonds of love and loyalty to the breaking point.
The Swan Book—Alexis Wright (June 28, Atria Books)
Oblivia Ethelyne was given her name by an old woman who found her deep in the bowels of a gum tree, tattered and fragile, the victim of a brutal assault by wayward local youths. These are the years leading up to Australia’s third centenary, and the woman who finds her, Bella Donna of the Champions, is a refugee from climate change wars. Bella Donna takes Oblivia to live with her on an old warship in a polluted dry swamp. Fenced off from the rest of Australia by the Army, its traditional custodians left destitute, the swamp has become “the world’s most unknown detention camp” for Indigenous Australians. When Warren Finch, the first Aboriginal president of Australia, invades the swamp with his charismatic persona and the promise of salvation, Oblivia agrees to marry him, becoming First Lady, a role that has her confined to a tower in a flooded and lawless southern city.