Welcome to “Indie Speculative Fiction of the Month”, a new feature on this blog.
So what is “Indie Speculative Fiction of the Month”? It’s a round-up of speculative fiction by indie authors newly published this month, though for the debut edition some December books snuck in as well. The books are arranged in alphabetical order by author. So far, all the links only go to Amazon.com, though I may add other retailer for future editions.
We have a broad spectrum of books, ranging from modern fairy tales via historical fantasy, epic fantasy, paranormal romance, urban fantasy, dystopian SF and space opera all the way to hard science fiction. There are books for all age ranges, from a collection of bedtime stories for young children to some very dark and adult works. I know all of the authors at least vaguely and have read other works by several of them. However, I haven’t read the books themselves, so Caveat emptor.
And now on to the books:
Pawn Storm by Andrew Ashling
Defying his father, ignoring his mother and leaving his brother in charge, Anaxantis and his army have crossed the borders of Great Renuvia. His aim is to keep all aggressors — his own family foremost among them — far from the Highlands he has come to regard as his home.
Easier said than done, since among the warring parties, his forces are the weakest.
Yorn still pines after the enigmatic Antybion, whose good fortune turns against him when Commander-General Meri sends him on a suicide mission at the head of two companies of convicted criminals who are as likely to murder him as follow him.
The slave Lexyntas has his own problems now that his master, Thenoclon, has decided to treat him as an equal. The boundaries between respect, friendship and love are becoming very hazy indeed.
Events turn into a maelstrom when the war between Rhonoma and Naodyma comes to a head. Meanwhile, Anaxantis invades Lorsanthia at the head of his small army…
Searching for Mercy by Stacy Claflin
It SHOULD have been the most exciting time of Kit’s life.
It was the summer before his senior year, but nothing was going as planned. He found adventure and love after moving to a new town. But his world was turned upside down after discovering a grim secret.
Mercy disappeared after learning the news. Kit is determined to find her…but does she want to be found?
The sequel to Chasing Mercy, out now.
Land of Masks and Moonlight by S.K. Falls
Three weeks on a ship to China as a stowaway. Backbreaking labor in paddy fields. A one-room shack for a house.
Vika Cannon will endure anything if it means giving her unborn child and her sister Ceres a chance to grow up. The Great Land may be fraught with dangers of its own, but it’s still safer than the grim Asylums and stinging acid rains of their poisoned home. The brutal conditions seem a small price to pay…especially with Shale Underwood to come home to.
But when a local cell of New Amanian Radicals is captured, Vika knows it’s only a matter of time before her true identity is revealed. In order to survive, she must immerse herself in an underground society where masked strangers revel in the spoils of illicit power.
A mistake now could result in her unmasking—and the obliteration of everything Vika holds dear. As the net around her cinches tighter, she begins to understand that nothing in life is free.
What will Vika trade for her family’s safety?
The sequel to World of Shell and Bone, out now.
Karma of the Silo – The Collection by Patrice Fitzgerald
Karma lives in the Silo, deep underground. She lives with a man whom she barely knows and with a name she doesn’t remember choosing. When visions come to her about another husband, another way of life, and another world, Karma struggles to discover what came before.
Outside, there is only the swirl of toxic clouds and an endless darkness broken by the rare glimpse of a faded sun or a dim star.
Slowly, Karma learns where the real power is, and how to survive in this hellish concrete cylinder. Birth, death, love, murder, uprisings and Cleanings come and go over the years, but still she carries on.
Beaten but unbowed, Karma vows to preserve her memories of life above for those who will never breathe the open air.
This is a full-length novel based on Hugh Howey’s WOOL books, and is a compilation of all five of the best-selling ebooks in the Karma series.
Immortal Lies by S.L. Grey
“Being a vampire isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Anyone who tells you otherwise is prowling for a snack.”
Tybalt Jones is not your typical creature of the night. He prefers Havana shirts to capes and his “sidekick” is a curvy faerie girl. Not a hunchback in sight. He’s been out of the vampire “scene” for years, and he’d be happy to stay out for the rest of his unlife.
But vampires connected to Tybalt are disappearing from St. Sebastian’s streets. To make matters worse, he’s on a literal deadline to clean up the city.
With a little gypsy know-how, a dab of faerie luck and a crash course in using his unusual gifts, he might just survive to restore peace.
Infiltration: A Kid Sensation Novel by Kevin Hardman
Having a surfeit of super powers is great for battling bad guys and saving the world, as Jim (aka Kid Sensation) is finding out, but less useful in dealing with day-to-day situations – like bonding with his superhero father, adjusting to a team environment, and coping with what might be perceived as a growing rivalry between himself and another teen super. On top of all that, despite having a serious girlfriend, he finds himself inexplicably drawn to a new female super he’s just met.
At the same time, some villain has just gotten himself a new toy: an unknown weapon of tremendous power that is able to strike without warning, causing unprecedented destruction and loss of life. Perhaps more terrifying, the wielders of this weapon make no demands and issue no threats; they simply attack. Even the Alpha League, the world’s greatest superhero team, is not immune, suffering an assault on their very own doorsteps.
It quickly becomes clear that the only way to stop this new evil is from within. With his unique abilities, Jim is the only person capable of infiltrating the enemy’s ranks. It’s up to him to figure out who is behind these attacks, what they want, and find a way to stop them – and their secret weapon – before they bring the entire world to its knees.
Ability III by Travis Hill
The end of the world began on YouTube…
Brian Carter wanted to create a superior recreational substance.
Garret Stewart wanted to create the next evolution in learning.
Derry Clarkson wanted her two best friends see reason.
What happens when the perfect drug meets the perfect technology?
Contains Adult Language / Adult Situations
Ambassador 2: Raising Hell by Patty Jansen
THE SECOND-QUICKEST way to get yourself killed when dealing with Coldi people of the planet Asto is to look a superior in the eye. The Coldi people possess an instinct that demands the formation of hierarchical networks in which every person has a prescribed place. These networks provide stability. They also place one person at the top.
Ezhya Palayi is that person.
After having been released by his previous employers, Cory Wilson not only depends on Ezhya Palayi for his income, but he has developed an unusually friendly relationship with this man whom people on Earth would call an absolute dictator, but whose reign is benign.
The third-quickest way to get yourself killed when dealing with Coldi people is when the leader you depended on for support is suddenly no longer there, as when he goes missing because the system society relies on for interstellar travel goes down.
In a highly-strung hierarchical society, it won’t be long before someone else tries to claim the top spot, someone less benign, someone aggressive who is likely to destabilise peace between Asto and other worlds.
But by far the quickest way to get yourself killed is, as a non-Coldi outsider, to visit Asto and try to interfere in their hierarchical system, to mess with instincts you don’t feel yourself, and people who are much stronger than you.
Oh, and did you know that the average daytime temperature is well over 50 degrees C?
The sequel to Ambassador: Seeing Red, out now.
Mask by C.C. Kelly
We created them, sought them out, attempted to enslaved them and now they’re coming for us.
Six disturbing tales of robots, aliens and mad scientists, teleportation and time travel, adventure and exploration, murder and horror, the apocalypse, totalitarian regimes and the cosmic importance of pizza will explore the questions – can we trust the machines we enslave to secure a better future or do we even have a future to consider?
Cobweb Forest by Vera Nazarian
The world is broken… A dark Goddess rises. A mortal maiden must stop her.
COBWEB FOREST is the third and final book of the intricate epic fantasy flavored by Renaissance history and the romantic myth of Persephone, about death’s ultimatum to the world.
Percy Ayren, ordinary girl from the small village of Oarclaven, and now Death’s Champion, has delivered the Cobweb Bride to Lord Death–or so she thinks!
But nothing is ever as easy as it seems. Percy and Beltain Chidair, the valiant and honorable Black Knight, discover that even more is at stake than anyone could have imagined, when ancient gods enter the fray.
It is now a season of winter darkness. Gods rise and walk the earth in unrelieved desire, and the Longest Night is without end…
Meanwhile, landmarks continue to disappear throughout the realm. The cruel Sovereign’s dead armies of the Trovadii clad in the colors of pomegranate and blood march north… As the mad Duke Hoarfrost continues to lay siege to the city of Letheburg, it is up to Claere Liguon, the Emperor’s dead daughter and the passionate Vlau Fiomarre who killed her, to take a stand against the enemy.
But Percy still has a difficult task to do, the greatest task of all… For in the end the Cobweb Bride awaits, together with the final answer.
At last all the occult mysteries are revealed in this stunning conclusion to the Cobweb Bride trilogy. Also be sure to check out book 1 Cobweb Bride, which is currently free, and book 2 Cobweb Empire.
Fairies and Fireflies: Bedtime Stories by Becca Price
In the Wide, Wild Field, friendship is bigger than fear, and can be found in the unlikeliest of places.
A butterfly fairy gets a kitten, raids a beehive, and makes friends with a firefly. Urisk the brownie gets a new home, and finds help overcoming his fear of the dark. Fireflies learn that friends come in all shapes and sizes, and let you be who you really are.
This collection includes the bonus story, Sunflower, which was also published in Dragons and Dreams.
These bedtime stories will enchant children ages 3-7.
The Sac’a’rith by Vincent Trigili
Clear across the galaxy from where Grandmaster Vydor is building his kingdom of wizards, a new darkness is rising up. Soldiers who die in battle are standing back up and switching sides. Entire space stations are being wiped clean of life and the military is powerless. One man, perhaps more dangerous than the darkness itself, is all that stands between darkness and light.
The Lost Tales of Power is an open-ended series of Science-Fantasy books set in a vast multiverse. The Sac’a’rith is the first book in a new storyline set in the Lost Tales universe.
That’s it for this month. Found something you like? I hope so.
Join us next month for the February edition.