SFF Book Releases – May 17, 2016

There’s something for everyone in the SFF BOOK RELEASES THIS WEEK, and we mean everyone! Your new favorite book is waiting for you below. Guaranteed or your money back.*

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The entries that follow have been copied or adapted from their original publisher descriptions.


Apparitions: The Strange Guests at the Mallard Hotel
by Briar Lee Mitchell

Skeptical reporter Martin Stewart, along with his fiancé Seville, journey to the old Mallard hotel to join a ghosthunting investigation. After a series of horrific events, Seville disappears. To find his fiancé, Martin soon learns he’ll have to put aside his fears and mistrust to help the ghosthunters do battle with whatever is haunting the Mallard and find Seville—no matter what the cost.

Company Town
by Madeline Ashby

New Arcadia is a city-sized oil rig off the coast of the Canadian Maritimes, now owned by one very wealthy, powerful, byzantine family: Lynch Ltd.

Hwa is of the few people in her community (which constitutes the whole rig) to forgo bio-engineered enhancements. As such, she’s the last truly organic person left on the rig–making her doubly an outsider, as well as a neglected daughter and bodyguard extraordinaire. Still, her expertise in the arts of self-defense and her record as a fighter mean that her services are yet in high demand. When the youngest Lynch needs training and protection, the family turns to Hwa. But can even she protect against increasingly intense death threats seemingly coming from another timeline?

Meanwhile, a series of interconnected murders threatens the city’s stability and heightens the unease of a rig turning over. All signs point to a nearly invisible serial killer, but all of the murders seem to lead right back to Hwa’s front door. Company Town has never been the safest place to be–but now, the danger is personal.

A brilliant, twisted mystery, as one woman must evaluate saving the people of a town that can’t be saved, or saving herself.

Fractured State (Fractured State 1)
by Steven Konkoly

In 2035, the southwestern United States is ravaged by drought, reeling from an environmental catastrophe that has left the landscape a chaotic, depleted ruin. California, still viably inhabitable due to its oppressive social controls, marshals state-of-the-art surveillance technology and totalitarian policies to preserve its fragile hold on rapidly dwindling resources and an increasingly unsettled population.

After a prominent California congresswoman is assassinated for her support of the state’s secession from the United States, Nathan Fisher—accidental witness to a clandestine military-style operation—is drawn into an unraveling conspiracy that reaches the highest levels of power and threatens the lives of Fisher and his family.

Hunted by ruthless killers seeking to ensure his silence, suspected by the authorities, and aided only by a loyal Marine officer with a mysterious agenda, Fisher and his loved ones must somehow stay a step ahead of their relentless pursuers, navigating a ruined world in a desperate search for sanctuary.

The God Wave (God Wave 1)
by Patrick Hemstreet

For decades, scientists have speculated about the untapped potential of the human brain. Now, neuroscientist Chuck Brenton has made an astonishing breakthrough. He has discovered the key—the crucial combination of practice and conditioning—to access the incredible power dormant in ninety percent of our brains. Applying his methods to test subjects, he has stimulated abilities that elevate brain function to seemingly “godlike” levels.

These extraordinary abilities can transform the world, replacing fear and suffering with tranquility and stability. But in an age of increasing militarization, corporate exploitation, and explosive technological discovery, a group of influential power brokers are determined to control Brenton’s new superbeings for their own manipulative ends—and their motives may be far from peaceful.

Letters to Kevin
by Stephen Dixon

Rudy, a goodhearted fellow in New York, has been trying to phone Kevin Wafer, a kid he knows in Palo Alto, California. Only trouble is, one thing or another keeps getting in the way. For starters, Rudy doesn’t have a phone in his apartment, and he can’t manage to get a dial tone on his pillow or his alarm clock. When he tries to use a pay phone, the phone booth gets carried off by a crane, deposited in a warehouse, and left with Rudy trapped inside. What’s worse, the only repairman who shows up can’t help because he’s due to leave on his vacation and won’t be back for a month. Rudy tries to call for help, but all he can get on the line are other people locked inside other phone booths located other in warehouses all over the world. The only sensible thing for Rudy to do is to sit down with his trusty portable typewriter and write Kevin a letter, telling him what’s happened.

The Pitchfork of Destiny (Charming Tales 3)
by Jack Heckel

Life in the Kingdom of Royaume has been happily ever for King William Pickett and his fiancee, Lady Rapunzel. But when Volthraxus, the Great Dragon of the North, returns looking for the love of his life, the Great Wyrm of the South, it becomes clear that some fairy tales never end.

After Volthraxus discovers his love was slain by the newly crowned king, he seeks his revenge by kidnapping Rapunzel. Once again, Will teams up with Edward Charming, the only man in all the kingdom with the skill, ego, and dashing good looks to fight a dragon. Our heroes fates depend on finding a weapon re-forged in dragon blood the Pitchfork of Destiny.

Roses and Rot
by Kat Howard

What would you sacrifice for everything you ever dreamed of?

Imogen has grown up reading fairy tales about mothers who die and make way for cruel stepmothers. As a child, she used to lie in bed wishing that her life would become one of these tragic fairy tales because she couldn’t imagine how a stepmother could be worse than her mother now. As adults, Imogen and her sister Marin are accepted to an elite post-grad arts program—Imogen as a writer and Marin as a dancer. Soon enough, though, they realize that there’s more to the school than meets the eye. Imogen might be living in the fairy tale she’s dreamed about as a child, but it’s one that will pit her against Marin if she decides to escape her past to find her heart’s desire.

Runtime
by S.B.Divya

The Minerva Sierra Challenge is a grueling spectacle, the cyborg’s Tour de France. Rich thrill-seekers with corporate sponsorships, extensive support teams, and top-of-the-line exoskeletal and internal augmentations pit themselves against the elements in a day-long race across the Sierra Nevada.

Marmeg Guinto doesn’t have funding, and she doesn’t have support. She cobbled her gear together from parts she found in rich people’s garbage and spent the money her mother wanted her to use for nursing school to enter the race. But the Minerva Challenge is the only chance she has at a better life for herself and her younger brothers, and she’s ready to risk it all.

Scarlet Rain (The Escaped 2)
by Kristin Cast

Alek, immortal son of the Furies, has been charged to save his home and recapture the souls of the damned, evil creatures who escaped Tartarus into the Mortal Realm. He can’t, however, do it alone…

Eva has discovered that she has been both blessed and cursed with powers beyond her comprehension. With a destiny to fulfill, she cannot escape the beings who will stop at nothing to destroy her.

Now the Nosoi―spirits of plague―have been unleashed on the Mortal Realm, releasing a pandemic as clever and adaptable as it is insidious. Alek and Eva must capture and banish the Nosoi back to their Underworld prison―but Eva has yet to harness the abilities needed to defeat such a powerful enemy, and Alek sustains catastrophic wounds in the attempt. They must rely on detective James Graham, and Eva’s best friend Bridget, if they are to even slow down the plague. But can mere mortals come through in the face of such overwhelming peril?

Shadows in Summerland
by Adrian Van Young

Boston, 1859. A nation on the brink of war.

Confidence men prowl the streets for fresh marks. Mediums swindle the newly bereaved. Into this world of illusion and intrigue comes William Mumler, a manipulating mastermind and criminal jeweler. Mumler hopes to make his fortune by photographing spirits for Boston’s elite. The key to his venture: a shy girl named Hannah who sees and manifests the dead and washes up on Boston’s harbor along with her strange, intense mother, Claudette.

As Mumler and Hannah’s fame grows throughout Boston, everybody wants a piece: Bill Christian, a brothel tough; Algernon Child, a drunken rival; Fanny A. Conant, a sly suffragette; and William Guay, a religious fanatic. These rogues among a host of others, including the great spirit rapper Kate Fox, form powerful bonds with the spirit photographers, one of which will end in murder. Mumler’s first and last mistake: the dead cannot be made to heel.

The Sudden Appearance of Hope
by Claire North

My name is Hope Arden, and you won’t know who I am. But we’ve met before-a thousand times.

It started when I was sixteen years old. A father forgetting to drive me to school. A mother setting the table for three, not four. A friend who looks at me and sees a stranger. No matter what I do, the words I say, the crimes I commit, you will never remember who I am.

That makes my life difficult. It also makes me dangerous.

The Summon Stone (The Gate of Good and Evil 1)
by Ian Irvine

The Merdrun, a cruel race embittered by an ancient betrayal and blooded by thousands of years of war, are gathering on Cinnabar, a barren worldlet in the void.

On Santhenar their long-hidden summon stone is waking, corrupting good people as well as bad, and turning arcane places into magically polluted wastelands. If it is not destroyed it will gather enough power to create a portal and call the Merdrun through.

In a nightmare, a nine-year-old girl, Sulien, sees the Merdrun leader, Gergrig – and he sees her. Gergrig orders Sulien killed and brings the invasion forward, to the night of the triple moons.

If Karan and Llian are to save their daughter and their world, Karan must find a way to stop Gergrig, the greatest warrior in the void. Llian has to destroy the summon stone before the night of the triple moons, though he has no idea where it is.

But soon the summon stone will call the Merdrun through and only four flawed people stand in their way:

Karan, now hunted relentlessly by a former friend.
Llian, framed for murder and forced to betray an ally’s darkest secret.
Wilm, a feckless youth who doesn’t yet know anything; and
Aviel, a crippled seventh sister – and the unluckiest girl in all the world.

Throneworld (Warhammer 40,000 – The Beast Arises 5)
by Guy Haley

The Imperium’s situation has never been more grim – an ork attack moon hangs over Terra, and ork armadas ravage human space.The Adeptus Astartes, armed with the knowledge of how to defeat the greenskins, must now travel back to Terra through a galaxy teaming with orks.

The Imperium’s situation has never been more grim – an ork attack moon hangs over Terra, and ork armadas ravage human space. To make matters even worse, eldar strike at the heart of the Imperial Palace, forcing humanity’s defenders to fight on two fronts at once. Though it seems nothing can stop the orks – neither brute force, science, nor faith – an unlikely alliance in the furthest reaches of space uncovers the first clue how to defeat the greenskins. The Adeptus Astartes now face an almost impossible task – taking news of this discovery back to Terra through a galaxy teaming with orks.

The Tower of Swallows (The Witcher 4)
by Andrzej Sapkowski

The world has fallen into war. Ciri, the child of prophecy, has vanished. Hunted by friends and foes alike, she has taken on the guise of a petty bandit and lives free for the first time in her life.

But the net around her is closing. Geralt, the Witcher, has assembled a group of allies determined to rescue her. Both sides of the war have sent brutal mercenaries to hunt her down. Her crimes have made her famous.

There is only one place left to run. The tower of the swallow is waiting…

Triad Blood
by Nathan Burgoine

The law of three is unbroken: three vampires form a coterie, three demons make a pack, and three wizards are a coven. That is how it has always been, and how it was always to be. But Luc, Anders, and Curtis-vampire, demon, and wizard-have cheated tradition. Their bond is not coterie, pack, or coven, but something else. Thrust into the supernatural politics ruling Ottawa from behind the shadows, they face Renard, a powerful vampire who harbors deadly secrets of his own and wishes to end their threat. The enemy they know conjures fire and death at every turn. The enemies they don’t know are worse. Blood, soul, and magic gave them freedom. Now they need to survive it.

War and Lies(Citadel Seven 2)
by Yuan Jur

War is brewing on the violent world of Tora. But beyond this local struggle an intercosmos war is brewing, with control of all existence at stake. Superverse wardens Uniss and Dogg have fought such a war before, but this time, they know that their human charge Ben is somehow the crux of the impending conflict.

As unseen forces push Tora’s war to its flashpoint, Ben’s own ominous secret stirs, and it’s clearly the key to either victory or complete oblivion for the Superverse.

Warlock Holmes – A Study in Brimstone
by G.S.Denning

Sherlock Holmes is an unparalleled genius. Warlock Holmes is an idiot.

A font of arcane power, certainly. But he’s brilliantly dim. Frankly, he couldn’t deduce his way out of a paper bag. The only thing he has really got going for him are the might of a thousand demons and his stalwart companion.

Thankfully, Dr. Watson is always there to aid him through the treacherous shoals of Victorian propriety… and save him from a gruesome death every now and again.


Byron Dunn is an AISFP contributor, a friend to werewolves, and is a french fry addict.

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