Indie Speculative Fiction of the Month for June 2017

Indie Speculative Fiction of the MonthIt’s that time of the month again, time for “Indie Speculative Fiction of the Month”.

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 some May books I missed the last time around snuck in as well. The books are arranged in alphabetical order by author. So far, most links only go to, though I may add other retailers for future editions.

Once again, we have new releases covering the whole broad spectrum of speculative fiction. This month, we have urban fantasy, epic fantasy, post-apocalyptic fiction, space opera, military science fiction, paranormal romance, horror, anthologies, non-fiction, dragons, elves, quests, Russian witches, magical princesses, space marines, officers, galactic empires, planetstriders, intergalactic prison breaks, killer virusses, repentant pickpockets and much more.

Don’t forget that Indie Speculative Fiction of the Month is also crossposted to the Speculative Fiction Showcase, a group blog run by Jessica Rydill and myself, which features new release spotlights, guest posts, interviews and link round-ups regarding all things speculative fiction several times per week.

As always, I know the authors at least vaguely, but I haven’t read all of the books, so Caveat emptor.

And now on to the books without further ado:

Into the North by Annie BelletInto the North by Annie Bellet:

The mute elven archer known only as Killer. Azyrin, a half Winter-orc shaman and his human swordswoman bride, Makha. Drake, the charming, swashbuckling rogue. The fireball-slinging pixie-goblin, Rahiel, and her mini-unicorn, Bill. These are the Gryphonpike Companions.

Taking on their most dangerous quest yet, Killer fears she won’t survive to break her curse. Tasked with finding the source behind a magical winter without end far to the north on the isolated island of Imaldor, Killer and her companions sail north. There they must face off against the elements and an unknown foe to end the deadly winter before it ends them and all hope Killer has of ever going home.

This is the final adventure fantasy novella in the Gryphonpike Chronicles series.

Orphans in the BlackOrphans in the Black: A Space Opera Anthology by Lindsay Buroker, Amy J. Murphy and others

We’re all Orphans in the Black …

Strap yourself in for nineteen thrilling short stories of space pirates, time travelers, aliens, AI, and more! Meet determined heroes forging their own path through the universe, men and women who won’t go down without a fight.

Be transported to nineteen fantastical new worlds by award winning and bestselling authors. Download this exclusive collection today.


Foreshadow by Cynthia Joyce ClayForeshadow by Cynthia Joyce Clay:

“I am Princess Royal Burta, and I call out your challenger!”

In a time when dragons and gods seduce mortals, greedy kings plot to overthrow the tiny, impoverished kingdom of Allsongs, tempted by the promise of its future. It is said the hope and best defense of Allsongs lies in the person of a small child, Tristabé-airta, the Princess Royal, whose magic always works. Yet, it is the king and sword souled dragon born children whom the enemy kings fear will usurp their kingdoms. An assassin is sent to kill them. One of these children is surely a threat, Princess Burta who trains in arms for the day she can snatch the Allsongs kingdom from Tristabé-airta. While Tristabé-airta knows Burta hates her, Tristabe-airta must do what she can to save her or Allsongs will fall when they come of age.

Press the Line by Chris FoxPress the Line by Chris Fox:

Imperalis has been lost. The Nameless Ones have returned. The Coalition refuses to fight, leaving the Ganog to wage a war they cannot win.

Betrayed and cut off, Khar and Zakanna struggle to survive. Nolan and Burke bring Alpha Company to reinforce the Nyar home world, only to be overwhelmed by the mighty Void Wraith Omegas. Fizgig and Takkar are captured by the sadistic Kthul fleet leader, Azatok.

Only one guttering flame of hope remains. On Nyar, Nolan finds an ancient Void Wraith Omega, weathered and damaged. If he can restore it, they might just have a weapon strong enough to fight back.

Chameleon's Challenge by B.R. KingsolverChameleon’s Challenge by B.R. Kingsolver:

Libby’s chameleon mutation has led to a lucrative career as a thief and assassin. She normally doesn’t worry about the comfort of corporate executives, but when she stumbles onto the grisly murder of a rich man’s mistress, it gets her attention.

The murder leads Libby to believe her best friend’s life is in danger, and she vows to protect her. The killings continue, some in broad daylight, but no one ever sees the killer.

For a chameleon assassin, the scenario feels uncomfortably familiar.

Cut Down to Size by Eugene Kirk and Garan MadCut Down to Size by Eugene Kirk and Garan Mad:

Someone is killing people in the name of profit . . . and it’s up to Tina and Doc to stop them.

A year into their contract with Imperial East Africa, Tina and Doc have gained some measure of notoriety. But when they’re sent into IEA Madagascar with only sketchy intel, they find themselves defending more than just their professional reputation.

Outmanned and outgunned, their only chance for survival is to call a shaky truce based upon an even shakier mercenary code of honor. But when a compromise can’t be reached, the future of both their company and their client hangs in the balance. Pushed to the edge, Tina doubles down with a risky business move that could either see them raking in millions or winding up dead broke, if not just plain dead.

With the stakes higher than ever, just how far will Tina go to win? Will she pull it off at the risk of compromising everything she believes in?

Or will she be the one finally cut down to size . . .

Through the Abyssal Gates by Brian J.W. LeeThrough the Abyssal Gates by Brian J.W. Lee:

From the author of The Keeper of Pulau Purba, sixteen new dimensions of horror emerges.

You stand before a series of dark portals, each of which will take you to a reality worse than the next.

Step into the shoes of a modern day technician, who discovers a strange hatch in a rarely-used and secluded toilet.

Cower with a teenager who’s all grown up, as a strange new neighbour moves in next to him, bringing along strange barrels of vinegar and mannerisms.

Join a woman and her boyfriend as they run an ultra-marathon, only to discover that something has been pursuing them.

Wake up to find yourself on an island city as overpopulated as it is futuristic, where a waitress clings on to her traditions even as everything is grasping to take it away.

Or enter a world rife with ancient artifacts and deadly creatures, where a young man must risk all to save his father.

Many more worlds await, and once you enter the abyssal gate, there is no turning back.

In a collection of eight short stories and eight flash fictions amounting to 120,000 words, there’s always a little something for everyone beyond the threshold.

Oh, and watch your head.

The Goddess's Choice by Jamie MarchantThe Goddess’s Choice by Jamie Marchant:

In a world where the corrupt church hides the truth about magic, the fate of the joined kingdom falls on the shoulders of two young people from opposite ends of the social hierarchy.

Crown Princess Samantha’s life begins to fall apart when she starts seeing strange colors around her potential suitors. She fears that she’s going insane–or worse that she’s defying the Goddess’s will. Robrek is a lowly farm boy with incredible magical powers. He has been biding his time waiting to get revenge on those who call him a demon.

Thrown together by chance, they must overcome their differences to fight their common enemy Duke Argblutal, who, with dark magic, is slowly poisoning the king’s mind and turning him against his own daughter. Time is running out for those chosen by the Goddess to prevent the power mad duke from usurping the throne and plunging the joined kingdoms into civil war.

Breakout by Dominique MondesirBreakout by Dominique Mondesir:

He has one shot–to get out, to save himself, and to protect his family.

Looking for a major payoff, Phoenix Jones will do anything to save the people he cares about. With his brother and sister suffering in a hospital, he needs money–and fast. But when his temper lands him in prison light years from home, everything changes.

Now all he’s ever known and loved is on the line. It’s up to Phoenix to break out of jail and battle vicious aliens he never knew existed. But can he save the only place he’s ever called home before it’s too late?

Shade of Honor by T.S. Paul and Taki DrakeShade of Honor by T.S. Paul and Taki Drake:

Bereft of their elders in magic, hired out to strangers to feed their families. Survival was a constant battle for the Russian Witches. Despised by other witches for their rigid focus on contracts, they were without a moral compass, honorless. That was not good enough for some. For the young witch, Zhanna, life was not worth living without honor – or her magic. Could she find both in her homeland? Would her desire and drive be enough to locate her shade of honor?



Coins for Charon by P.J. PostCoins for Charon by P.J. Post:

The people of Freemont have always fought for their own, and the end of the world hasn’t changed a thing. They opened up the armory, fueled the World War II trucks and even got the old generators working. They turned on the lights. For the survivors of the War, Freemont is a beacon of hope.

Five days ago Lane went searching for the missing kids, and now he’s brought them here, to the rendezvous, to Freemont, only to find Cart People, Crayton Mercenaries and thousands of townsfolk fighting through the streets and neighborhoods, for their city and for the lives of the millions of refugees that have found salvation.

Sam’s down there, somewhere.

And so is the Button Eye plague.

Retribution by Guy RiessenRetribution by Guy Riessen:

Brian Lockewood grew up knowing the pain of abuse and loss, but his own turn toward hatred and violence will teach him that retribution is a dish best served cold…and wet…and filled with rats.

A Dark Psychological Supernatural Horror Novelette




The Officer, edited by Alasdair ShawThe Officer, edited by Alasdair Shaw:

Being an officer means balancing many conflicting demands. Making the wrong decision can have serious consequences. It takes a special kind of person to cope with the responsibility.

The Officer is an anthology of eleven science fiction short stories by writers from across the globe. It is part of the Newcomer series of scifi anthologies.



Lock by Hollis ShilohLOCK by Hollis Shiloh:

Drew leads an ordinary, boring life—until one day the ESRB assigns him a bodyguard because he’s in danger. They don’t know why, only that he is.

It’s the most exciting thing that’s ever happened to Drew. Naturally, he develops a massive crush on his bodyguard, Neal, as the two try to figure out why he’s in danger and what it has to do with the ESRB.

When Drew turns out to have an unexpected—and rare—talent, things take a turn for the worse. Because Neal might not be enough to keep him safe after all.


Syndicate Wars: First StrikeSyndicate Wars: First Strike by Justin Sloan, Kyle Noe and George S. Mahaffey Jr.

With an alien invasion and survival of the human race at stake, service in the Marines was no longer simply about honor and duty, it was a matter of life and death.

This was especially true for Quinn, a Marine sergeant who was hell-bent on ensuring that her young daughter had a world to grow up in. But one thing separates Quinn from the others:

She’s a certifiable badass.

And as the aliens will learn, it’s tough to keep a good woman down.

The Job: A Darklight Chronicle by Greg L. Turnquist:

What if a pickpocket had a change of heart?

Snitch and her partner in crime decide to knock over a pawn shop. But something goes wrong. What should she do next?




Rocket Surgeon by A.E. WilliamsRocket Surgeon by A.E. Williams:

A.E. Williams presents his thoughts on a variety of subjects of interest to thinking persons.

Bringing together a lifetime of experience as a science fiction author, former aerospace materials engineer, cyber-security expert and irascible genius, Williams provides big picture views on our place in the Universe.

Based on a series of blog articles written for the “Speculative Fiction Showcase” and including material reviewed while performing research for his series “Terminal Reset”, Williams explores and questions some of the most basic precepts of science and physics.

The recent popularization of physics in television and movies has opened up this field to the ordinary lay person.

In these articles, Mr. Williams looks at why we, as a species, crave to leave the Mother planet, and venture out into the hostile territories of uncharted space.

Williams explains, with his own unique and perceptive worldview, just how the Space Race, once the core being of America’s science programs, has defined the processes and bureaucracy of space exploration today.

Williams provides a narrative of his own experiences, working on high-tech and cutting edge programs that led to the technological marvels we take for granted today.

From jet engines to smart phones, from “Star Trek” to “Interstellar”, Williams helps readers to understand just how much the world has been impacted science and technology.

Is a Mission to Mars or other form of manned space flight our future?

Can we afford to spend our resources on these efforts, at the expense of other critical problems facing us today?

Follow Williams down the Rabbit Hole, as he looks at Fake News, the Presidential Election, AGW and other contentious events in our world, and body-slams them using logic and the Scientific Method!

A.E. Williams makes a compelling argument that manned space exploration is not just viable, but necessary to the survival of the species.

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