Welcome to another SF Book Releases This Week post. Lots of small press titles for today’s list. You may remember hearing about Things Slip Through by Kevin Lucia from his part in our podcast interviews with Ronald Malfi.
The ground-breaking horror collection by New York author, Kevin Lucia.
Meet Chris Baker, the new sheriff of the quiet Adirondack town of Clifton Heights. As one inexplicable case after another forces him to confront the townsfolk in The Skylark Diner, it’s the furtive Gavin Patchett that hands Chris a collection of not-so-fictional short stories that tumbles him into a world of sliding monsters, ageless demons and vengeful citizens.
As Chris reads through the stories the veil starts to lift, and he soon questions what is real and what’s not, and whether he really wants to know.
Nothing will ever be the same again.
So welcome to Clifton Heights, New York, an average Adirondack town, and nice enough in its own right. Except after dark, under the pale light of the moon. Or on a road out of town that never ends, or in an old house on the edge of town with a will of its own.
Maybe you shouldn’t have left the interstate, my friend. But you saw our sign, turned down our road, figuring on a short stay. And maybe it will be.
Or maybe you’ll never leave.
While you’re here, pay a visit to The Skylark Diner. Pull up a chair and I’ll tell you about our town. It’s nice enough, honestly. Except after dark. Or on cold winter days when you’re all alone…
“An impressive debut collection from one of the horror genre’s best new authors. Lucia is a true craftsman of the horror story, with a fine sense of the genre’s best traditions.” Norman Prentiss, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of Invisible Fences and The Fleshless Man
“Lucia’s Things Slip Through serves itself up as both a short story collection and a complete, cohesive novel all at once–a chimeric concoction of honest, heartfelt, and truly frightening prose that should not be missed. Highly recommended.” Ronald Malfi, author of Floating Staircase
Xandra Vardan thought life would be simpler when she accepted the goblin crown and became their queen, but life has only become more complicated. Everyone — vampires, werewolves and humans — wants the goblins on their side, because whoever has the goblins — wins.
Queen Victoria wants her head, Alpha wolf Vex wants her heart, and she still doesn’t know the identity of the person who wanted her blood. What she does know is that a project from one of the ‘secret’ aristocrat labs has gotten free and she’s the only one who can stop the perfect killing machine — a sixteen year-old girl. With human zealots intent on ridding the world of anyone with plagued blood and supernatural politics taking Britain to the verge of civil war, Xandra’s finding out that being queen isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, and if she doesn’t do something fast, hers will be the shortest reign in history.
Marshal versus the Assassins: A Foreworld SideQuest by M. Harold Page (Amazon UK)
Sir William the Marshal, legend in his own time, has promised to go on crusade, a vow made to his Young King as he lay dying. But when the Oliphant, legendary war horn of Roland, is stolen by the lethal Assassins, he’s charged with returning the relic in order to stop the very thing he’d vowed to undertake—a crusade; this one engineered by the thieves.
With his small band of trusted companions—Sir Baldwin, his tourney compatriot; Eustace, his squire; and Henrik, the giant Norseman—William sets out to take back the relic. But treachery abounds, and when William loses two of his companions, he discovers an unlikely ally—Da’ud, an Assassin himself, bent on taking the Oliphant from the heretic faction that has stolen it. The three fight their way across land, sea, and desert, only to find themselves facing an army…and the Oliphant within their grasp.
Mr. Midnight by Allan Leverone
“Leverone has penned one of the most chilling villains in modern fiction with ‘Mr. Midnight.’ Unforgiving, intelligent, and ingenious, this monster is what nightmares are made of.” —Shannon Raab, Suspense Magazine
Given up for adoption just hours after her birth, thirty-year-old Caitlyn Connelly has longed her entire life to uncover her family history. Subject to bizarre and inexplicable visions, Cait is desperate to learn whether her biological mother can provide any insight as to the origin of her unusual ability.
When a local investigator learns Cait was born in a Boston suburb, the Tampa lawyer wastes no time booking a flight to the East Coast.
In Boston, with the city under siege by a killer known as “Mr. Midnight,” Cait’s visions intensify, morphing from merely annoying to graphic and terrifying. Worse, Cait begins to realize she shares a strange psychic connection with the depraved sociopath. A connection that may just get her killed.
As Cait and the murderer are drawn inexorably toward a violent confrontation, unraveling a decades-old mystery might be the only thing that prevents her from becoming the next victim…of Mr. Midnight.
“Mr. Midnight is what a horror novel should be…a tightly-knit tale that keeps the reader turning the page as quickly as possible” —Examiner
Lurker by Gary Fry
Meg and Harry have retreated to a remote cottage on the northeast coast of England to recuperate from the mental and physical stress of losing their baby. While exploring the ancient coastal landscape, Meg chances upon eighteenth-century quarry mines reclaimed by nature. But birds and butterflies aren’t all she finds.
When a young woman goes missing, Meg must try to make sense of her many bizarre experiences: muddy handprints on the walls, savage dreams, and a visit from a stranger who may not be what she seems.
And something else is lurking nearby, something that adapts and feeds on grief. And Meg may not be able to stop it…
“Fry’s mastery of Lovecraft’s mythos is in full display in this novella and is a fresh and original take on the themes.” —Examiner
Come one! Come all! We assure you that you’ve never encountered a circus quite like this. Marvel in a literary wonder involving ravenous snakes, psychopathic clowns, and freaks as they captivate you like never before! This could definitely be the greatest…and most bizarre show on Earth!
Break In—Zoe Adams
Circus Waltz—Alex Laybourne
Animal Memories—J.R. Roper
Final Wager—Brian Bigelow
Unleashing Knauss—Sarah Jayne Carr
I Am Freak—Catherine Stovall
Snake Dance—Andrea L. Staum
The Gossamer Veil—Emma Michaels
Burn It Down—M. Jet
The Carnival of Erebus—Liz Lambdin
House of the Dancing Shadow—Sergio Palumbo
The Company, a powerful corporate entity in the twenty-fourth century, has discovered a nearly foolproof recipe for success: immortal employees and time travel. They specialize in retrieving extraordinary treasures out of the past, gathered by cybernetically-enhanced workers who pass as ordinary people. Or at least they try to pass…
There is one rule at Dr. Zeus Incorporated that must not be broken: recorded history cannot be changed. But avoiding the attention of mortals while stealing from them? It’s definitely not in the Company manual.
History awaits, though not quite the one you remember.
Beyond the Rift by Peter Watts
Combining complex science with skillfully executed prose, these edgy, award-winning tales explore the shifting border between the known and the alien. The beauty and peril of technology and the passion and penalties of conviction merge in narratives that are by turns dark, satiric, and introspective. Among these bold storylines: a seemingly humanized monster from John Carpenter’s The Thing reveals the true villains in an Antarctic showdown; an artificial intelligence shields a biologically enhanced prodigy from her overwhelmed parents; a deep-sea diver discovers her true nature lies not within the confines of her mission but in the depths of her psyche; a court psychologist analyzes a psychotic graduate student who has learned to reprogram reality itself; and a father tries to hold his broken family together in the wake of an ongoing assault by sentient rainstorms. Gorgeously saturnine and exceptionally powerful, these collected fictions are both intensely thought-provoking and impossible to forget.
Young ex-slave Gideon Bardsley is a brilliant inventor, but the job is less glamorous than one might think, especially since the assassination attempts started. Worse yet, they’re trying to destroy his greatest achievement: a calculating engine called Fiddlehead, which provides undeniable proof of something awful enough to destroy the world. Both man and machine are at risk from forces conspiring to keep the Civil War going and the money flowing.
Bardsley has no choice but to ask his patron, former president Abraham Lincoln, for help. Lincoln retired from leading the country after an attempt on his life, but is quite interested in Bardsley’s immense data-processing capacities, confident that if people have the facts, they’ll see reason and urge the government to end the war. Lincoln must keep Bardsley safe until he can finish his research, so he calls on his old private security staff to protect Gideon and his data.
Maria “Belle” Boyd was a retired Confederate spy, until she got a life-changing job offer from the Pinkerton Detective Agency. Pinkerton respects her work, despite reservations about her lingering Southern loyalties. But it’s precisely those loyalties that let her go into Confederate territory to figure out who might be targeting Bardsley. Maria is a good detective, but with spies from both camps gunning for her, can even the notorious Belle Boyd hold the greedy warhawks at bay?
Another rollicking alternate history from Cherie Priest—Fiddlehead is the fifth book in the Clockwork Century steampunk series that started with Boneshaker.
Rebecca Rule is the sheriff of Refuge, New Hampshire. Her biggest concern is the rowdy summertime revelers making their way up from Massachusetts and New York. With most of the town’s residents in neighboring Ashland, for the Fourth of July fireworks show, Refuge is quiet. That is, until the Baptist Church’s bell starts ringing—on its own.
The bell chimes faster and faster, reaching a frenetic pace, as though rung by the Devil himself. But the bell is just the beginning. The air shimmers. The night-time sky fills with a burning red aurora. The moon, previously a crescent, is now full. And just hours after dusk, the sun returns to the sky, revealing an endless desert where there was once a mountainous pine forest.
Rule must guide the confused and frightened residents of Refuge through the first terrifying hours of acclimating to this horrifying new environment, while protecting them from inhuman dangers both inside and outside of the town’s newly clean-cut borders.
In a world gone haywire, only one thing is certain, no one in Refuge will ever forget the night of the blood sky.
REFUGE is a serialized novel, co-authored by #1 Amazon.com horror author, Jeremy Bishop, and five other authors, including Amazon.com bestsellers Kane Gilmour and David McAfee, USA Today bestseller, Robert Swartwood, and newcomer Daniel Boucher. The novel will be released in five parts, every two weeks starting November 12, 2013, but it will also be available as one complete novel as soon as the fifth episode is released. So read along as they appear or hold out for the completed novel. Either way, you’re in for a creepy ride.
Timothy C. Ward has been podcasting since 2010, first as AudioTim, and now with AISFP. His first publication, Cornhusker: Demon Gene (A Short Story), is available on Kindle for $.99. He just turned in his novel to his editor, Joshua Essoe. Kaimerus is described as “Firefly crashes on Avatar and wakes up 28 Days Later.”