From Demogorgons to supernatural bands to Cain and Abel, this month’s round of genre-benders will take you on a journey! Whether you love Ursula K. Le Guin, Batman, or Weird Westerns, this list has a story you’ll want in your life.
Keep track of all the new releases here. Note: All title summaries are taken and/or summarized from copy provided by the publisher.
Stranger Things: Suspicious Minds—Gwenda Bond (February 5, Del Rey)
It’s the summer of 1969, and the shock of conflict reverberates through the youth of America, both at home and abroad. As a student at a quiet college campus in the heartland of Indiana, Terry Ives couldn’t be farther from the front lines of Vietnam or the incendiary protests in Washington.
But the world is changing, and Terry isn’t content to watch from the sidelines. When word gets around about an important government experiment in the small town of Hawkins, she signs on as a test subject for the project, code-named MKULTRA. Unmarked vans, a remote lab deep in the woods, mind-altering substances administered by tight-lipped researchers… and a mystery the young and restless Terry is determined to uncover.
But behind the walls of Hawkins National Laboratory—and the piercing gaze of its director, Dr. Martin Brenner—lurks a conspiracy greater than Terry could have ever imagined. To face it, she’ll need the help of her fellow test subjects, including one so mysterious the world doesn’t know she exists—a young girl with unexplainable superhuman powers and a number instead of a name: 008.
Amid the rising tensions of the new decade, Terry Ives and Martin Brenner have begun a different kind of war—one where the human mind is the battlefield.
Ursula K. Le Guin: The Last Interview: and Other Conversations—Ursula K. Le Guin, Edited by David Streitfeld (February 5, Melville House Publishing)
When she began writing in the 1960s, Ursula K. Le Guin was as much of a literary outsider as one can be: a woman writing in a landscape dominated by men, a science fiction and fantasy author in an era that dismissed “genre” literature as unserious, and a westerner living far from fashionable East Coast publishing circles. The interviews collected here—spanning a remarkable forty years of productivity, and covering everything from her Berkeley childhood to Le Guin envisioning the end of capitalism—highlight that unique perspective, which conjured some of the most prescient and lasting books in modern literature.
Same Same: A Novel—Peter Mendelsund (February 5, Vintage)
In the shifting sands of the desert, near an unnamed metropolis, there is an institute where various fellows come to undertake projects of great significance. But when our sort-of hero, Percy Frobisher, arrives, surrounded by the simulated environment of the glass-enclosed dome of the Institute, his mind goes completely blank. When he spills something on his uniform—a major faux pas—he learns about a mysterious shop where you can take something, utter the command “same same,” and receive a replica even better than the original. Imagining a world in which simulacra have as much value as the real—so much so that any distinction between the two vanishes, and even language seeks to reproduce meaning through ever more degraded copies of itself—Peter Mendelsund has crafted a deeply unsettling novel about what it means to exist and to create . . . and a future that may not be far off.
A People’s Future of the United States—Victor LaValle and John Joseph Adams, editors (February 5, One World)
In these tumultuous times, in our deeply divided country, many people are angry, frightened, and hurting. Knowing that imagining a brighter tomorrow has always been an act of resistance, editors Victor LaValle and John Joseph Adams invited an extraordinarily talented group of writers to share stories that explore new forms of freedom, love, and justice. They asked for narratives that would challenge oppressive American myths, release us from the chokehold of our history, and give us new futures to believe in.
They also asked that the stories be badass.
The result is this spectacular collection of twenty-five tales that blend the dark and the light, the dystopian and the utopian. These tales are vivid with struggle and hardship—whether it’s the othered and the terrorized, or dragonriders and covert commandos—but these characters don’t flee, they fight.
Your Favorite Band Cannot Save You—Scotto Moore (February 5, Tor.com Publishing)
I was home alone on a Saturday night when I experienced the most beautiful piece of music I had ever heard in my life.
Beautiful Remorse is the hot new band on the scene, releasing one track a day for ten days straight. Each track has a mysterious name and a strangely powerful effect on the band’s fans.
A curious music blogger decides to investigate the phenomenon up close by following Beautiful Remorse on tour across Texas and Kansas, realizing along the way that the band’s lead singer, is hiding an incredible, impossible secret.
The Beast of Nightfall Lodge: The Institute for Singular Antiquities Book II—SA Sidor (February 5, Watkins Media)
In this taut sequel to Fury From the Tomb, Egyptologist Rom Hardy finds himself drawn into a chilling mystery. After he’s called into action by his old friend, the bounty-hunting sniper Rex McTroy, he has to head into the mountains of New Mexico to hunt down a terrifying creature…that might just be the stuff of legends. He joins Rex and the wealthy and brilliant Evangeline Waterston for a fight against blizzards, beasts, and even the occasional mad doctor, all in pursuit of mythical prey.
The Spirit of Science Fiction: A Novel—Roberto Bolaño, Natasha Wimmer, Translator (February 5, Penguin Publishing Group)
Two young poets, Jan and Remo, find themselves adrift in Mexico City. Obsessed with poetry, and, above all, with science fiction, they are eager to forge a life in the literary world—or sacrifice themselves to it. Roberto Bolaño’s The Spirit of Science Fiction is a story of youth hungry for revolution, notoriety, and sexual adventure, as they work to construct a reality out of the fragments of their dreams.
But as close as these friends are, the city tugs them in opposite directions. Jan withdraws from the world, shutting himself in their shared rooftop apartment where he feverishly composes fan letters to the stars of science fiction and dreams of cosmonauts and Nazis. Meanwhile, Remo runs headfirst into the future, spending his days and nights with a circle of wild young writers, seeking pleasure in the city’s labyrinthine streets, rundown cafés, and murky bathhouses.
This kaleidoscopic work of strange and tender beauty is a fitting introduction for readers uninitiated into the thrills of Roberto Bolaño’s fiction, and an indispensable addition to an ecstatic and transgressive body of work.
Three Eves: The Marked Series (Eve of Darkness, Eve of Destruction, Eve of Chaos)—Sylvia Day (February 5, Tor Books)
This omnibus includes the three books of the Marked Series: Eve of Darkness, Eve of Destruction, and Eve of Chaos.
Years ago, Evangeline Hollis spent a blistering night with a darkly seductive man she can’t forget. Now Eve is thrust into a world where sinners are marked and drafted to kill demons. The series follows her as she is torn between her attractions to the brothers, Cain and Abel, tries to learn to control her new powers, and even tangles with Satan himself.
Tales from the Multiverse: Stories Beyond Your Imagination—Doug Pilley (February 10, Koehler Books)
In the multiverse there are worlds that live beyond our imaginations. Worlds where magic exists, and ghost stories are real. Where artificial intelligence is sentient, and where virtual reality is more real than reality. Each story takes you on a journey, often ending up where you least expect it. Intelligent computers carry on conversations. Magic exists in our world, and ghosts appear as harbingers of things to come. What comes after the Turing test? The nextgen AI? Wearable computers? Become an armchair astronaut and discover places you’ve never dreamed of with Tales from the Multiverse.
Rag—Maryse Meijer (February 12, Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
A man, forgotten by the world, takes care of his deaf brother while euthanizing dogs for a living. A stepbrother so desperately wants to become his stepsibling that he rapes his girlfriend. In Maryse Meijer’s decidedly dark and searingly honest collection Rag, the desperate human desire for connection slips into a realm that approximates horror. Meijer’s explosive debut collection, Heartbreaker, reinvented sexualized and romantic taboos, holding nothing back, and her novella Northwood reinvented a host of fairy tales for a modern world. In Rag, Meijer shifts her focus to the dark heart of intimacies of all kinds, and the ways in which isolated people’s yearning for community can breed violence, danger, and madness. With unparalleled precision, Meijer spins stories that leave you troubled and slightly shaken by her uncanny ability to elicit empathy for society’s most marginalized people.
The Heavens—Sandra Newman (February 12, Grove)
New York, late summer, 2000. A party in a spacious Manhattan apartment, hosted by a wealthy young activist. Dozens of idealistic twenty-somethings have impassioned conversations over takeout dumplings and champagne. The evening shines with the heady optimism of a progressive new millennium. A young man, Ben, meets a young woman, Kate—and they begin to fall in love. From their first meeting, Ben knows Kate is unworldly and fanciful, so at first he isn’t that concerned when she tells him about the recurring dream she’s had since childhood. In the dream, she’s transported to the past, where she lives a second life as Emilia, the mistress of a nobleman in Elizabethan England. But for Kate, the dream becomes increasingly real and compelling until it threatens to overwhelm her life. And soon she’s waking from it to find the world changed—pictures on her wall she doesn’t recognize, new buildings in the neighborhood that have sprung up overnight. As she tries to make sense of what’s happening, Ben worries the woman he’s fallen in love with is losing her grip on reality.
Lord—João Gilberto Noll, Edgar Garbelotto, Translator (February 12, Two Lines Press)
As Lord begins, a Brazilian author is arriving at London’s Heathrow airport for reasons he doesn’t fully understand. Only aware that he has been invited to take part in a mysterious mission, the Brazilian starts to churn with anxiety. Torn between returning home and continuing boldly forward, he becomes absorbed by fears: What if the Englishman who invited him here proves malign? Maybe he won’t show up? Or maybe he’ll leave the Brazilian lost and adrift in London, with no money or place to stay? Ever more confused and enmeshed in a reality of his own making, the Brazilian wanders more and more through London’s immigrant Hackney neighborhood, losing his memory, adopting strange behaviors, experiencing surreal sexual encounters, and developing a powerful fear of ever seeing himself reflected in a mirror. A novel about the unsettling space between identities, and a disturbing portrait of dementia from the inside out, Lord constructs an altogether original story out of the ways we search for new versions of ourselves. With jaw-dropping scenes and sensual, at times grotesque images, renowned Brazilian author João Gilberto Noll grants us stunning new visions of our own personalities and the profound transformations that overtake us throughout life.
The Cassandra—Sharma Shields (February 12, Henry Holt & Co.)
Mildred Groves is an unusual young woman. Gifted and cursed with the ability to see the future, Mildred runs away from home to take a secretary position at the Hanford Research Center in the early 1940s. Hanford, a massive construction camp on the banks of the Columbia River in remote South Central Washington, exists to test and manufacture a mysterious product that will aid the war effort. Only the top generals and scientists know that this product is processed plutonium, for use in the first atomic bombs. Mildred is delighted, at first, to be part of something larger than herself after a lifetime spent as an outsider. But her new life takes a dark turn when she starts to have prophetic dreams about what will become of humankind if the project is successful. As the men she works for come closer to achieving their goals, her visions intensify to a nightmarish pitch, and she eventually risks everything to question those in power, putting her own physical and mental health in jeopardy. Inspired by the classic Greek myth, this 20th century reimagining of Cassandra’s story is based on a real WWII compound that the author researched meticulously. A timely novel about patriarchy and militancy, The Cassandra uses both legend and history to look deep into man’s capacity for destruction, and the resolve and compassion it takes to challenge the powerful.
The Night Tiger: A Novel—Yangsze Choo (February 12, Flatiron Books)
From the author of The Ghost Bride comes a tale of loyalty and murder set in 1930s Malaysia. Ji Lin works as an apprentice dressmaker and moonlights in a dancehall to help pay down her mother’s Mahjong debt. One night, one of her dance partners leaves a terrifying token behind, and possibly gives her a clue to a series of gruesome unexplained deaths. As she begins to investigate, she crosses paths with Ren, a young houseboy in a race against time: he has only 49 days to find his former master’s finger and reunite it with his body, lest the man’s soul wander forever.
Can the two of them solve their mysteries in time to save their loved ones? Will they ever find their places in a society that would prefer they remain silent and unseen? And what of the rumors that swirl through town…that men have been transforming into tigers?
The Psychology of Time Travel: A Novel—Kate Mascarenhas (February 12, Crooked Lane Books )
In 1967, four female scientists worked together to build the world’s first time machine. But just as they are about to debut their creation, one of them suffers a breakdown, putting the whole project—and future of time travel—in jeopardy. To protect their invention, one member is exiled from the team—erasing her contributions from history. Fifty years later, time travel is a big business. Twenty-something Ruby Rebello knows her beloved grandmother, Granny Bee, was one of the pioneers, though no one will tell her more. But when Bee receives a mysterious newspaper clipping from the future reporting the murder of an unidentified woman, Ruby becomes obsessed: could it be Bee? Who would want her dead? And most importantly of all: can her murder be stopped?
All Roads End Here—David Moody (February 12, St. Martin’s Press)
The follow up to One of Us Will Be Dead by Morning, All Roads End Here is set in the world of David Moody’s Hater trilogy. For three months Matthew Dunne has fought to make it home. Everywhere he’s turned, Haters have lain in wait, and he’s barely stayed ahead of them. But now finally, he’s made it to his city—only to find a cacophonous, walled-off refugee camp. The camp only provides temporary safety, as it becomes clear that the wilderness is ever more dangerous, and Matt tries to use the skills he honed on his journey: his unique ability to predict the behavior of the Haters. But it soon becomes obvious that this skill attracts attention he doesn’t want. As the pressure mounts inside the camp, he finds himself under scrutiny from all sides.
The Burning Island—Hester Young (February 12, Penguin Publishing Group)
Journalist Charlie Cates has always believed in facts, in what can be proved–her career depends on it. Which is why she has never truly accepted the supernatural visions that guide her to children in danger. After her work on a high-profile missing-child case brings unwanted fame, she reluctantly flees to the lush Big Island of Hawaii with her best friend, Rae. Determined to avoid her disturbing visions, Charlie begins writing what seems to be a harmless interview of a prominent volcanologist, Victor Nakagawa. But her hopes for a peaceful vacation are soon dashed by haunting dreams of a local girl who went missing six weeks earlier. In the small and sleepy town of Kalo Valley, Charlie and Rae come to realize that even paradise has its ugly secrets, and the Nakagawa family is no exception. In order to find the missing teenager and stop a dangerous predator from striking again, Charlie is forced to embrace the gift she has always tried to conceal. Meanwhile, someone is watching her every move, and the closer Charlie gets to the truth, the more distant her chances of ever leaving the island alive.
The Outcast Hours—edited by Mahvesh Murad and Jared Shurin (February 19, Solaris)
A bold new anthology from the acclaimed editors of The Djinn Falls in Love and Other Stories! This collection shines a light on the stories of people who live at night: under neon and starlight, and never the light of the sun.The Outcast Hours gathers over two dozen brand-new stories from award-winning writers across genres and continents, including bold new fiction from Marina Warner, Frances Hardinge, China Miéville, Sami Shah, Omar Robert Hamilton, Kuzhali Manickavel, Will Hill, Indrapramit Das, Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Jeffrey Alan Love, Maha Khan Phillips, and more.
Collision—J.S. Breukelaar (February 19, Meerkat Press, LLC)
Given that the author of the author of American Monster and the Aurealis Award finalist, Aletheia, tends to hop across genre even within a single story, it should perhaps come as no surprise that Breukelaar’s first short story collection is full of zigs and zags. These twelve dark tales range from the alien horror of “Rogues Bay 3013” to the gothic creep of “Union Falls” to an uncanny new novella, “Ripples on a Blank Shore.”
Batman: The Court of Owls—Greg Cox (February 19, Titan Books)
The Court of Owls is a criminal secret society that has existed in Gotham City since the 1600s, led by some of the city’s wealthiest and most influential families. They employ deadly trained assassins known as Talons, taken as children from circuses such as the one where Dick Grayson’s parents were killed. These children are trained to become the assassins known as Talons. Bruce Wayne came to the Court’s attention when he announced plans to reinvigorate Gotham, threatening their control. They sentenced him to death, bringing themselves to the attention of Batman. Though they suffer defeats, the Court continues to fight to retake control of the city’s underworld – a fight that has gone on for centuries.
The Very Best of Caitlín R. Kiernan—Caitlín R. Kiernan, Introduction by Richard Kadrey (February 19, Tachyon Publications)
Caitlín R. Kiernan is one of dark fantasy and horror’s most acclaimed and influential short fiction writers. Her powerful, unexpected stories shatter morality, gender, and sexuality: a reporter is goaded by her toxic girlfriend into visiting sadistic art exhibits; a countess in a decaying movie theater is sated by her servants; a collector offers his greatest achievement to ensnare a musician who grieves for her missing sister. In this retrospective collection of her finest work—previously only available in limited editions—Kiernan cuts straight to the heart of the emotional truths we cannot ignore.
Miss Violet and the Great War (Strangely Beautiful #3)—Leanna Renee Hieber (February 26, Tor Books)
From childhood, Violet Rychman has dreamed of a coming war, of death and battle on an unimaginable scale. She has seen and heard ghosts, who have loved and guided her. Now the future she dreamed has come to pass. World War I rages across Europe. Millions of people are dying; entire villages are disappearing. A great and terrible vision sweeps over Violet, offering powers heralded by the Muses of antiquity. The ability to impact people’s memories, even shape their thoughts. To guide their souls. To pass between the world of the living and that of the dead and to bring others through that passage. These and other gifts once belonged to people Violet loved. Now they are hers, and she must use them to attempt to stop death itself.
Phoenix Falling (Wildlands Series #3)—Laura Bickle (February 26, HarperCollins Publishers)
Temperance, Wyoming, seems like a lovely, bucolic town just a bit outside Yellowstone National Park. But any town founded by a soul-stealing alchemist is going to have some issues. Petra Dee, and geologist, has tried to make a life in Temperance with her immortal husband Gabe, but when a spate of sudden wildfires seems increasingly uncanny in origin, and Gabe tells her he’s having visions of flames engulfing the sky, it becomes clear that the town is in serious trouble. Petra will need to uncover some hidden shadows in Temperance’s past—and she might just have to fight an undead alchemist.
Awakened: A Novel—James S. Murray, Darren Wearmouth (February 26, Harper Voyager)
James S. Murray, the star of the truTV show Impractical Jokers, teams up with sci-fi and horror writer Darren Wearmouth to create a creepy supernatural novel that digs under the streets of New York City. The opening of a new subway line was supposed to be an exciting occasion, finally linking New York to the cities across the Hudson River. But when the first train pulls into the station, it becomes clear that something has gone terribly wrong—all the train cars are empty. All the train cars…are covered in blood.
As the city’s residents scramble to protect themselves, an ancient horror awakens far beneath the River. It is not happy to be awake, and its one thought to wreak vengeance on the shining city that disturbed its sleep.
Chaos, A Fable—Rodrigo Rey Rosa, Jeffrey Gray, Translator (February 26, Amazon)
Mexican author Rubirosa is attending a book fair in Tangier when he reconnects with an old acquaintance, a Moroccan artist who asks one favor of his visiting friend: to access the puzzling files on a memory card. It could help fulfill the destiny of his son Abdelkrim. It could also unwittingly draw both men into irreversible events already in motion on distant shores.
In America, Abdelkrim, a brilliant aspiring astronaut deemed “too Muslim” for citizenship, has teamed up with an equally gifted young prodigy, a witness to the plight of Syrian refugees. Together, the foreign students share a vision of altering the world’s geopolitical landscape to end human suffering with a nearly inconceivable blueprint. And they can turn theory to reality. They can bring about change. But only through a technological apocalypse can there be redemption—by unleashing total chaos.
A provocative morality tale that moves with the visceral rhythms of a high-tech thriller, Chaos, A Fable is a spare and stunning triumph from one of the most celebrated Latin American authors of his generation.