All the New Genre-Bending Books Coming Out in May

Time travel, alternate history, and mythic retellings collide in this month’s genre-bending titles! The wrong Tudor Queen is on the throne in Jodi Taylor’s Hope for the Best; a diabolical new weapon could turn the tide of an alternate World War in S.M. Stirling’s Theater of Spies; and adventure awaits in 25+ modern legends in editor Paula Guran’s Mythic Journeys.

Which will you read first?

Keep track of all the new releases here. Note: All title summaries are taken and/or summarized from copy provided by the publisher.

 

WEEK ONE

Theater of Spies (Alternate World War #2)—S. M. Stirling (May 7, Ace)

After foiling a German plot to devastate America’s coastal cities from Boston to Galveston, crack Black Chamber agent Luz O’Malley and budding technical genius Ciara Whelan go to California to recuperate. But their well-deserved rest is cut short by the discovery of a diabolical new weapon that could give the German Imperial Navy command of the North Sea.

Luz and Ciara must go deep undercover and travel across a world at war, and live under false identities in Berlin itself to ferret out the project’s secrets. Close on their trail is the dangerous German agent codenamed Imperial Sword, who is determined to get his revenge, and a band of assault-rifle equipped stormtroopers, led by the murderously efficient killer Ernst Röhm. From knife-and-pistol duels on airships to the horrors of the poison-gas factories to harrowing marine battles in the North Sea, the fight continues—with a world as the prize.

Westside: A Novel—W.M. Akers (May 7, Harper Voyager)

It’s 1921, and a thirteen-mile fence running the length of Broadway splits the island of Manhattan, separating the prosperous Eastside from the Westside—an overgrown wasteland whose hostility to modern technology gives it the flavor of old New York. Thousands have disappeared here, and the respectable have fled, leaving behind the killers, thieves, poets, painters, drunks, and those too poor or desperate to leave.

It is a hellish landscape, and Gilda Carr proudly calls it home.

Gilda follows in the footsteps of her late father, a police detective turned private eye. Unlike that larger-than-life man, Gilda solves tiny mysteries: the impossible puzzles that keep us awake at night; the small riddles that destroy us; the questions that spoil marriages, ruin friendships, and curdle joy. Those tiny cases distract her from her grief, and the one impossible question she knows she can’t answer: “How did my father die?”

 

WEEK TWO

Mythic Journeys: Retold Myths and Legends—Paula Guran (Ed.) (May 14, Night Shade)

The Native American trickster Coyote… the snake-haired Greek Gorgon Medusa, whose gaze turned men to stone… Kaggen, creator of the San peoples of Africa… the Holy Grail of Arthurian legend… Freyja, the Norse goddess of love and beauty… Ys, the mythical sunken city once built on the coast of France… Ragnarok, the myth of a world destroyed and reborn… Jason and the Argonauts, sailing in search of the Golden Fleece…

Myths and legends are the oldest of stories, part of our collective consciousness, and the source from which all fiction flows. Full of magic, supernatural powers, monsters, heroes, epic journeys, strange worlds, and vast imagination, they are fantasies so compelling we want to believe them true. This new anthology compiles some of the best modern short mythic retellings and reinvention of legend from award-winning and bestselling authors, acclaimed storytellers, and exciting new talent, offering readers new ways to interpret and understand the world. Adventure with us on these Mythic Journeys…

 

WEEK THREE

Broken Shadow (Shadowlands #2)—Jaine Fenn (May 21, Angry Robot)

Rhia Harlyn risks death for science. Accused of heresy for promoting an unorthodox cosmology, she must defend herself, her work and her House alone. If only she could rely on her feckless brother Etyan, transformed through the combination of an occult scientist’s experiments and the harsh rays of the skyland sun. But she knows she cannot.When Dej, Etyan’s half-alien lover, finally uncovers Etyan’s dark secret she runs off into the perilous skyland. She is looking for peace in a world that has rejected her; what she discovers instead will change everyone’s lives.

Meanwhile, overhead, the very stars themselves are shifting. Rhia is about to find herself proved disastrously right…

Year of the Orphan—Daniel Findlay (May 21, Arcade)

In a post-apocalyptic future where survivors scavenge in the harsh Australian Outback for spoils from a buried civilization, a girl races across the desert, holding her treasures close, pursued by the Reckoner.

Riding her sand ship, living rough in the blasted landscape, she scouts the broken infrastructure and trades her scraps at the only known settlement, a ramshackle fortress of greed, corruption, and disease known as the System. It is an outpost whose sole purpose is survival—refuge from the hulking, eyeless things they call Ghosts and other creatures that hunt beyond the fortress walls.

Sold as a child, then raised hard in the System, the Orphan has a mission. She carries secrets about the destruction that brought the world to its knees. And she’s about to discover that the past still holds power over the present. Given an impossible choice, will the Orphan save the only home she knows or see it returned to dust? Both paths lead to blood, but whose will be spilled?

 

WEEK FOUR

Darkness on the Edge of Town: An Official Stranger Things Novel (Stranger Things)—Adam Christopher (May 28, Del Rey)

Christmas, Hawkins, 1984. All Chief Jim Hopper wants is to enjoy a quiet first Christmas with Eleven, but his adopted daughter has other plans. Over Hopper’s protests, she pulls a cardboard box marked “New York” out of the basement—and the tough questions begin. Why did Hopper leave Hawkins all those years ago? What does “Vietnam” mean? And why has he never talked about New York?

Although he’d rather face a horde of demogorgons than talk about his own past, Hopper knows that he can’t deny the truth any longer. And so begins the story of the incident in New York—the last big case before everything changed…

Summer, New York City, 1977. Hopper is starting over after returning home from Vietnam. A young daughter, a caring wife, and a new beat as an NYPD detective make it easy to slip back into life as a civilian. But after shadowy federal agents suddenly show up and seize the files about a series of brutal, unsolved murders, Hopper takes matters into his own hands, risking everything to discover the truth.

The Quanderhorn Xperimentations—Rob Grand, Andrew Marshall (May 28, Gollancz)

England, 1952. A time of peace, regeneration and hope. A Golden Age.

Unfortunately, it’s been 1952 for the past 65 years.

Meet Professor Quanderhorn: a brilliant, maverick scientific genius with absolutely no moral compass. Assisted by a rag-tag crew—his part-insect “son” (reputedly ‘a major breakthrough in Artificial Stupidity’), a recovering amnesiac, a brilliant scientist with a half-clockwork brain, and a captured Martian hostage—he’ll save the world.

Even if he has to destroy it in the process.

Coming Soon: The Flood—Zvi Jagendorf (May 28, Halban Publishers)

Is Jerusalem the centre of the world or the place where it will end? For the people of this novel set around 1960 in the divided city, it is the end. There is no way out. In front of them lies the border and no man’s land; behind lies a nondescript little town and the road they won’t take away to normality and the sea.

They are a colourful crew: refugees, Jews, Christians, run-away monks, nuns, a restless polyglot kind of family – intellectual, artistic, theatrical – who, by choice or accident, find themselves living at a dead end, near or even right on top of the volatile border that cuts the city in two. The wound is still new and won’t heal. So their lives, loves and jealousies are shadowed by the ghosts of the people who, ten years before, abandoned the houses where they now live, and the instability they experience in their lives grows out of this landscape and its history.

The Eichmann trial, and preparations for it, pervades the book, as do preparations for an outdoor staging of the medieval mystery play Noah’s Flood, adapted and set in contemporary Jerusalem. The play contains a turbulent, quixotic, but also serious warning. The waters could be here any day and who knows how to build an ark?

Godzilla: King of the Monsters—The Official Movie Novelization—Greg Keyes (May 28, Gollancz)

Godzilla: King of the Monsters follows the heroic efforts of the cryptozoological agency Monarch as its members face off against a battery of god-sized monsters, including the mighty Godzilla, who collides with Mothra, Rodan, and its ultimate nemesis, the three-headed King Ghidorah. When these ancient super-species–thought to be mere myths–rise again, they all vie for supremacy, leaving humanity’s very existence hanging in the balance.

The Gameshouse—Claire North (May 28, Orbit)

Everyone has heard of the Gameshouse. But few know all its secrets…

It is the place where fortunes can be made and lost through chess, backgammon—every game under the sun.

But those whom fortune favors may be invited to compete in the higher league… a league where the games played are of politics and empires, of economics and kings. It is a league where Capture the Castle involves real castles, where hide and seek takes place on the scale of a continent.

Among those worthy of competing in the higher league, three unusually talented contestants play for the highest stakes of all…

Hope for the Best (Chronicles of St. Mary’s #10)—Jodi Taylor (May 28, Headline)

Max is no stranger to taking matters into her own hands. Especially when she’s had A Brilliant Idea. Yes, it will mean breaking a few rules, but—as Max always says—they’re not her rules.

Seconded to the Time Police to join in the hunt for the renegade Clive Ronan, Max is a long way from St Mary’s. But life in the future does have its plus points—although not for long.

A problem with the Time Map reveals chaos in the 16th century and the wrong Tudor queen on the throne. History has gone rogue, there’s a St Mary’s team right in the firing line and Max must step up.

You know what they say. Hope for the best. But plan for the worst.

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