Last week I was swamped with new books for your SFF BOOKS THIS CENTURY AND ONGOING. This week, however, the list is more reasonable but no less exciting. These are your SFF BOOKS THIS WEEK and you won’t need to take a whole year off of work to read them all.
Now onto thecopypasta: If you are an indie or small press author and would like your book included in this list, email us at adventuresinscifipublishing [at] gmail [dot] com. If you love free books, reviews, and podcasts, sign up to our AISFP Wormhole newsletter.
2113: Stories Inspired by the Music of Rush
edited by Kevin J Anderson and John McFetridge
18 stories, featuring 16 new stories and two reprints from famed authors, inspired by the music of Rush. The authors include:
- Ron Collins
- Larry Dixon
- David Farland
- Rick Foster
- Brian Hodge
- Mercedes Lackey
- Tim Lasiuta
- Mark Leslie
- Fritz Leiber
- Steven Savile
- Brad Torgersen
- Dayton Ward
- David Niall Wilson
- Michael Z Williamson
- Greg van Eekhout
- David Mack
The Apocalypse Ark (Book of Cross 3)
by Peter Roman
In the third Cross book, the immortal angel killer Cross faces his most dangerous enemy yet: Noah. For ages Noah has sailed the seas, seeking out all of God’s mistakes and imprisoning them on his ark. Noah is not humanity’s saviour but is instead God’s jailer. But he has grown increasingly mad over the centuries, and now he is determined to end the world by raising the mysterious Sunken City. Only one person can stop him: Cross.
The Apocalypse Ark is an epic chase around the world and through history and myth as Cross races to stop Noah from finding the Sunken City. He’s joined by a few old friends, such as Alice from the Alice in Wonderland tales, and several new characters make memorable appearances as well: Captain Nemo and his crew of Atlanteans aboard the submarine the Nautilus; the sorcerous pirate Blackbeard, who has sworn revenge upon Cross; the devilish angel Sariel, whose sacred duty is to protect God’s Bible; and the eerie and mysterious Ishmael, who may be the key to the world’s salvation—or its damnation. Cross must find a way to bring them all together to stop Noah or the world will drown in madness.
Bloodmage (Age of Darkness 2)
by Stephen Aryan
The people of Perizzi have survived the battlemage war, but their future is looking darker than ever.
Byrne is a Guardian of the Peace, investigating a series of murders in which the corpses were drained entirely of life.
Fray’s expertise with magic is needed to catch the killer, but working with the Guardians destroyed his father, years before.
Choss, renowned as a fighter, must work for peace, to diffuse a war in the underworld that threatens to turn the streets red with rivers of blood.
Katja must use her skills as a spy to try to prevent a massacre that will topple two dynasties and destroy the fragile peace in the city for ever.
Guardians and spies, assassins and criminals will clash on the streets in this magic-fuelled adventure from the author of Battlemage.
The Book of David
by Robert Boyczuk
The Spheres of the Apostles: an artificial world consisting of massive concentric spheres. A millennium has passed since the Spheres were first seeded by the Catholic Church and few remember the persecution from which they fled; even fewer are aware of the systems quietly functioning and malfunctioning around them. The world is simply the world as God has made it and so beyond their ken. Angels, a genetically modified elite, have trapped themselves in Lower Heaven and can only observe as the world slowly comes undone, while men scratch out a meagre existence in Spheres below, afflicted with the violence that accompanies the disintegration of religious authority. In an attempt to wrest scarce resources from the Angels, the Papacy has declared war on Lower Heaven, while below, an army of the poor and dispossessed gathers, readying to march on Rome . . .
At the behest of the Archangel Zeracheil, Thomas descends into this chaos, his only solace a book that contains all the stories ever written. Accompanied by his unborn son, who speaks to him through drug-induced visions, and a Catharsist, an artificial man with a soul, Thomas begins his journey to Hell, in the hope that he might staunch the flow of God’s blood, and, in doing so, redeem the human Spheres.
The Book of Forbidden Wisdom
by Gillian Murray Kendall
In a world of blood and betrayal, love is the only redemption
But that knowledge can only be reached by means of magic and a journey, by way of a confrontation with feelings that are hard to understand or bear.
On Angel’s sixteenth birthday, her younger sister, Silky, wakes her to prepare her for a marriage to Leth, a man she likes but does not love. Trey, her oldest childhood friend who is secretly in love with her, watches helplessly.
But Angel’s brother, Kalo, interrupts the wedding ceremony. He wants her dowry, and he also believes Angel can lead him to The Book of Forbidden Wisdom. In a world where land is everything, this book promises him wealth. In the night, Kalo goes to Angel’s room to threaten her, but Trey has rescued both Angel and Silky, and the three of them joined by an itinerant singer themselves seek The Book of Forbidden Wisdom. While Kalo believes the book contains land deeds, they believe it harbors great power.
Always just a step ahead of Kalo, Angel, Silky, Trey, and the Bard finally arrive at the place of The Book. But things have changed now: Angel knows her own heart at last. Confronted by evil, at the end of the known world, Angel and her companions turn and fight. Together. And in so doing, they find that love contains a power of its own.
Champions of Aetaltis
edited by Marc Tassin
More than three hundred years have passed since the fall of the Atlan Alliance, and the people of Aetaltis have finally brought order to their fractured world. Fledgling nations have grown into powerful kingdoms, thriving merchant states have re-established old trade routes, and the priests of the Enaros have rebuilt their great temples.
But in this time of hope, the shadow of an ancient evil has emerged from the darkness to threaten the world once again.
Includes stories from:
- John Helfers
- Erin M. Evans
- Ed Greenwood
- Larry Correia
- Elizabeth A Vaughan
- Steven S Long
- Jean Rabe
- Lucy A. Snyder
- Aaron Rosenberg
- Melanie Meadors
- Richard Lee Byers
- Cat Rambo
- Dave Gross
- David Farland
- Elaine Cunningham
- Mel Odom
- Mitchell Malloy
- Mike Schley
- Shawn T. King
Dissension (Echo Hunter 367 #1)
by Stacey Berg
For four hundred years, the Church has led the remnants of humanity as they struggle for survival in the last inhabited city. Echo Hunter 367 is exactly what the Church created her to be: loyal, obedient, lethal. A clone who shouldn’t care about anything but her duty. Who shouldn’t be able to.
When rebellious citizens challenge the Church’s authority, it is Echo’s duty to hunt them down before civil war can tumble the city back into the dark. But Echo hides a deadly secret: doubt. And when Echo’s mission leads her to Lia, a rebel leader who has a secret of her own, Echo is forced to face that doubt. For Lia holds the key to the city’s survival, and Echo must choose between the woman she loves and the purpose she was born to fulfill.
by Steve Stanton
When Simara Ying crash-lands on the desert planet Bali, she finds herself trapped in a cave-dwelling culture with no social network for support. Her rescuer, Zen Valda, is yanked into a new universe of complications he can scarcely grasp and into an infinite network of data he never knew existed. When brash V-net anchorman Roni Hendrik starts investigating how Simara became the subject of an interplanetary manhunt, he finds a dangerous emergence in the network that threatens all human life.
by Michelle Meyers
A man wakes up in a living room he doesn’t recognize, unable to remember anything about himself. All he has are the few remnants of his identity scattered throughout the house―clues to his past. He soon learns that he is Charles Lang, a brilliant scientist whose wife, Julie, and daughter, Jess, mysteriously disappeared several years ago. Soon, he begins to recover memories―memories that may or may not be his own―and as he does, he realizes that only by uncovering the details of his former life will he have any hope of being reunited with Julie and Jess.
World of Warcraft: Illidan
by William King
Illidan Stormrage is one of the most powerful beings ever to walk the lands of Azeroth. He is also one of the least understood. Behind his legend, beneath his enigmatic mission, lies a brilliant mind whose machinations are comprehended by few—and trusted by even fewer. Illidan’s righteous reign of justice and vengeance has begun.
Long ago, the night elf sorcerer Illidan infiltrated the demonic Burning Legion to ward off its invasion of Azeroth. Instead of hailing him as a hero, his own kind branded him the Betrayer, questioning his intentions after he appeared to aid the demon lords. For ten thousand years, he languished in prison—vilified, isolated, but never forgetting his purpose.
Now the Legion has returned, and there is only one champion who can truly stand against it. Released from his bonds, Illidan prepares for the final confrontation in the alien realm of Outland, gathering an army of grotesque fel orcs, serpentine naga, cunning blood elves, and twisted demon hunters to his side. He alone knows what deeply hidden motives guide his hand; he alone understands the price that must be paid to defeat the enemies of creation. Yet as before, he is assailed by those who see his schemes as a cynical quest for power, including the night elf Maiev Shadowsong, his former jailor. Warden Shadowsong and her Watchers have pursued the Betrayer to Outland to exact retribution for his crimes, and she will not rest until Illidan is in her custody . . . or in his grave.
by Colleen M. Story
Loreena Picket thinks she knows herself. A blind young woman who lives with her uncle, a reverend at a small-town church, she’s a dutiful niece and talented pianist for the congregation.
But they’re both hiding a terrible secret. Loreena can kill people with the touch of her hand.
While her uncle sees her as an angel of mercy, helping usher the terminally ill members of his flock into the afterlife, Loreena has her doubts.
Torn between doing her uncle’s bidding and the allure of the fleeting moments when her eyesight returns on the journey to the other side, Loreena cooperates with her uncle until her troubled older brother returns to town. When she reveals her power by saving him from a local drug dealer, she is drawn into a sinister and dangerous world that will test the true nature of her talent and force her to consider how far she is willing to go to survive.
Masks and Shadows
by Stephanie Burgis
The year is 1779, and Carlo Morelli, the most renowned castrato singer in Europe, has been invited as an honored guest to Eszterháza Palace. With Carlo in Prince Nikolaus Esterházy’s carriage, ride a Prussian spy and one of the most notorious alchemists in the Habsburg Empire. Already at Eszterháza is Charlotte von Steinbeck, the very proper sister of Prince Nikolaus’s mistress. Charlotte has retreated to the countryside to mourn her husband’s death. Now, she must overcome the ingrained rules of her society in order to uncover the dangerous secrets lurking within the palace’s golden walls. Music, magic, and blackmail mingle in a plot to assassinate the Habsburg Emperor and Empress–a plot that can only be stopped if Carlo and Charlotte can see through the masks worn by everyone they meet.
by Sheri Lewis Wohl
Circe Latham’s secret has always set her apart from everyone, but these days she uses it to bring home those whose lives are stolen too soon. Alongside her search dog, Zelda, she is able to make a difference, and the chance to work a case with Deputy Sheriff Diana Erni is an exciting challenge. Until the case takes a deadly turn and her own life hangs in the balance. In order to save herself, Circe must do the one thing she swore never to do again: share her secret. Will her trust in Diana be strong enough to save her life or will she too fall victim to a killer?
New Charity Blues
by New Charity Blues
In the wake of a devastating plague, two communities emerge as bastions of survival. One is called the City, and its people scrabble for scraps in the wasteland. The other, New Charity, enjoys the bounty of its hydroelectric dam and refuses City denizens so much as a drop of precious water. When City-dweller Cressyda inherits her father’s ranch within New Charity, she becomes intent on opening the dam to all—no matter the cost.
But when Syd reunites with her old best friend, Casandra, a born seer and religious acolyte, she realizes that her plans could destroy the fragile lives they’ve built in order to survive. What’s more, the strange magic securing the dam’s operations could prove deadly if disturbed. Yet when Syd discovers evidence that her father might have been murdered, she is more determined than ever to exact revenge on New Charity’s corrupt.
Pitted against Cas, as well as her own family, Syd must decide how to secure the survival of both settlements without tipping them over the brink to utter annihilation. In this intense and emotional reimagining of the Trojan War epic, two women clash when loyalty, identity, community, and family are all put to the ultimate test.
The Regional Office is Under Attack!
by Manuel Gonzales
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.
Weaving in a brilliantly conceived mythology, fantastical magical powers, teenage crushes, and kinetic fight scenes, The Regional Office Is Under Attack! is a seismically entertaining debut novel about revenge and allegiance and love.
A Shadow All of Light
by Fred Chappell
Fred Chappell’s A Shadow All of Light, a stylish, episodic fantasy novel, follows the exploits of Falco, a young man from the country, who arrives in the port city of Tardocco with the ambition of becoming an apprentice to a master shadow thief. Maestro Astolfo, whose mysterious powers of observation would rival those of Sherlock Holmes, sees Falco’s potential and puts him through a grueling series of physical lessons and intellectual tests.
Springtime: A Ghost Story
by Michelle de Kretser
When Frances met Charlie at a party in Melbourne, he was married with a young son. Now that the couple has moved to subtropical Sydney, a lusher and more chaotic city, Frances has an unshakable sense that the world has tipped on its axis. Everything seems alien, and exotic—and Frances is haunted by the unknowability of Charlie’s previous life. A young art historian studying the objects in paintings–the material world–Frances takes mind-clearing walks around her neighborhood with her dog. Behind the fence of one garden, she thinks she sees a woman in an old-fashioned gown, but something is not right. It’s as if the garden exists in a vacuum suspended in time, “at an angle to life.”
Stellaris: Infinite Frontiers
Hayden Quinn’s entire life has been about listening. He is the first to hear the signal, a distress call from the stars that answers the ultimate question once and for all: we are not alone. The Commonwealth of Man is divided by his discovery. Some see it as salvation for their dying world, others insist that answering the call will expose them to advanced alien species and a future of slavery in their thrall. Some are willing to go to extreme lengths to make sure that doesn’t happen. The first mission is a catastrophic failure, huge ark ships burning in the skies over Unity Prime. The brightest and best-scientists, warriors, historians-are all lost in the fires. The mission is set back years, and the grim truth is that any new crew Unity can muster will always be second best. But they can’t give up. The signal is still strong. Carson Devolo, captain of the colony ship Terella, has a simple mission objective: find the Source. But can he trust his crew? And what discoveries await if they reach their final destination?
edited by Paula Guran
Streets are more than thoroughfares. Cobblestone or concrete, state of mind or situation―streets are catalysts for culture; sources of knowledge and connection, invisible routes to hidden levels of influence. In worlds where magic is real, streets can be full of dangerous shadows or paths to salvation. Wizards walk such streets, monsters lurk in their alleys, demons prowl or strut, doors open to places full of delightful enchantment or seething with sorcery, and truly dead ends abound. This selection of stories―some tales may be rediscoveries, others never encountered on your fictional map―will take you for a wild ride through many realms of imagination.
- Elizabeth Bear
- Jim Butcher
- Neil Gaiman
- Simon R. Green
- Caitlin R. Kiernan
- Scott Lynch
- Catherynne M. Valente
- and more!
by Benjamin Warner
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 stream-bed 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.
Thirst takes place in the immediate aftermath of a mysterious disaster–the Chapmans and their neighbors suffer the effects of the heat, their thirst, and the terrifying realization that no one is coming to help. As violence rips through the community, Eddie and Laura are forced to recall secrets from their past and question their present humanity. In crisp and convincing prose, Ben Warner compels readers to do the same. What might you do to survive?
Byron Dunn is an AISFP contributor, a friend to werewolves, and has recently returned from a world whose direcions are medium logic and low virtue but, surprisingly, high whimsy. He might go back but Earth is home.