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 Amazon.com, 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 epic fantasy, urban fantasy, YA fantasy, paranormal mystery, paranormal romance, science fiction mystery, space opera, military science fiction, science fantasy, post-apocalyptic fiction, dystopian fiction, horror, gaslamp fantasy, Steampunk, Dieselpunk, Cyberpunk, Biopunk, poetry (yes, poetry), werewolves, dragons, shifters, ghosts, superheroes, monsters, aliens, street gangs, demon fighters, space pirates, space cops, prisoners, amnesiacs, cursed watches, airships, dying gods 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:
Some monsters are still human.
In a magical 1899 San Francisco, the new millennium is quickly approaching. Of course, new inventions happen every day, some wondrous, some mundane while the streets produce a new murder every night.
Set against this backdrop a debutante goes missing, and socialite Helena Brandywine takes it upon herself, along with her trusted manservant, to discover what happened.
Did the woman run afoul of the Tongs in Chinatown? What horrors might she have exposed? Discover this Gilded Age while Helena uncovers her family’s secrets. The good and evil, where danger lurks around every corner. Can Helena Brandywine be prepared for the monsters she will uncover? Come search for the, Pretty Waiter Girls.
A young boy comes to terms with his father’s undead lifestyle. A caveman faces failure at the world’s first art show. A thief runs afoul of a pusher who sells death. God goes to therapy and receives a diagnosis. A tech entrepreneur creates an Internet startup based on a genie’s lamp. A secret worldwide society of dudebros meets to consider an entirely new kind of bro.
These tales and more brought to you from dimensions both strange and familiar, at the speed of imagination.
Someone stole Aurelian’s luck – and is coming for his life.
A man has been turned inside-out.
Fifty years in the future, in the sleek modern city of Bangalore, a scientist working on revolutionary bioengineering techniques has been discovered inside his own locked home, his body converted into a neat toroidal package of meat. It’s up to Police Sub-Inspector Ferron to unearth the victim’s complicated past and solve the crime, despite the best efforts of the mastermind behind the murder, aliens beaming signals from the Andromeda Galaxy, her overbearing mother, and an adorable parrot-cat who is the only witness.
Latisha, Moses and Tim are three street kids eking out a living in a dystopian future. Together, they are the Shantytown Robin Hoods, a street gang that steals from the rich and gives to – well, themselves.
“The Hole” is the hottest night club in Shantytown, where the rich and the famous can party among the less fortunate. But “The Hole” is also a favourite hangout for Latisha, Moses and Tim to find marks they can rob.
But then their latest job is derailed by a mobster with sticky fingers and a prize on his head, a teen pop sensation, a trigger-happy bodyguard and a red-haired assassin.
Soon bullets are flying in Shantytown and Latisha, Moses and Tim must keep their heads down to survive and steal another day…
This is a short dystopian crime story of 2800 words or approximately 10 print pages.
Land belonging to no-one. An anthology of speculative fiction that explores the colonisation of our Solar System and far beyond, where pioneers carve out a new existence under other stars. New worlds and new challenges bring out rich stories filled with alien races and strange technology, but against this backdrop there’s the many facets of human emotion as colonists struggle to make a new home.
This is human life on the final frontier.
Thomas J. Spargo — Jessica Rydill — K.N. Johnson — Jessica Reisman — Jonathan Oliver — Will MacMillan Jones — E. M. Eastick — John Bayliss — Gregor Hartmann — G. H. Finn — Matthew Pedersen — Steven Poore — Jill Hand
As the Demon Fighters’ Council gains more power, Clem travels to Bucharest to find their Head and destroy him. Simple, she thinks. After all, she has her newfound powers. She’s practically invincible.
But first she needs to find the Council headquarters. Then she finds out there’s a serious condition attached to killing the Head.
Meanwhile, the Council have started rounding up paranormals, innocent or not. When Nic’s pack become targets, the fight turns personal.
Even if Clem can fight the Council, she has personal demons to destroy.
This is the final book in the Clem Starr: Demon Fighter series.
Emiko thought she knew what it meant to work hard. She was wrong.
She’ll have to guard her secrets even as she battles to be at the top of her class at the Planetary Alliance Cooperative academy. Failing to become an officer is not an option. Failing to become a special ops officer isn’t even worth thinking about.
The training isn’t everything she thought it would be, though. As she struggles to learn what it truly means to be a PAC officer, she’ll discover what it takes to lead, how it feels to give up everything in the name of the PAC, and what it means to become far more than she ever dreamed.
Secrets are my specialty.
I’m Mai Fairchild — fox shifter, sister’s keeper, and bane of the local werewolf pack. In a world where different is dangerous, my sister and I must pretend to be human at all costs. Too bad I just lost the job that lets me live under the radar while putting food on my sister’s plate.
Enter an enticing werewolf who offers enough cash to upgrade our diets from ramen noodles to salami if I join him on a magical hunt. But can I afford to accept the opportunity when the risk of working closely with every fox shifter’s sworn enemy is so great?
Magic is forbidden in Atlantis City. Despite this, Anne Arnold is a prisoner of a cursed watch, constantly stuck around her wrist. Teaming up with an Alpha named Roswell, Anne is determined to be rid of the watch, all while being chased by assassins, criminals, and a city official who appears to be behind a conspiracy. In the midst of all this, Anne makes discoveries about herself and her past. She soon realizes that having a watch that belonged to one of the Grim Reapers may be the least of her worries.
Trevelyan Shield would rather fight demons and exorcise haunts than deal with debutantes, alive or dead. But when he encounters the charming but ghostly Arabella Trent, his duty is clear: send the young woman into the afterlife. Otherwise, she risks attracting the denizens of the Shadow Lands, who hunger for mortal souls.
Arabella doesn’t remember the runaway carriage that hit her and left her for dead. Nor does she know why her body was found so far from her. But something—or someone—is preventing her from returning to it, and she’s determined to find out why.
As Arabella and Trey race to unravel the mystery, a sinister plot unfolds and the boundary between the demon and mortal worlds grows thin. If they don’t act soon, Arabella won’t be the only one to fall prey to the Shadow Lands.
Mars has a pirate problem – a big one! The pirates are even attacking the Volunteer Space Rescue Service! The Service and the individuals in it have a decision to make, namely fight or give up. But it’s not just the Service that must decide – pirate victim Janet Pilgrim’s boyfriend was kidnapped by pirates. Does she sit on the sideline or go into action?
One massive shadow organization. One bad ass heroine.
Holly Drake just wants one thing: to destroy the Shadow Coalition and the evil at the heart of their business. With an endless supply of tips from the secretive man pulling her strings, Holly and her crew swoop in, break up the cash drops and steal the money. If one or two baddies die on accident, no big loss, right? They could do this forever, picking the Coalition apart till not even bones remain.
That is, until someone goes missing. In that moment, everything changes.
To save the victim, Holly and her team will put everything on the line to penetrate the mysterious Shadow Coalition and stab at their enigmatic leadership, the Hands who protect the Heart. Treacherous journeys across the 6-moon system in space-zeppelins, dangerous infiltrations of the Coalition, bartering with thieves and relying on the seedy underbelly of the 6-moons. Anything it takes.
But…is the whole set up a trap. How many snares will Holly and her crew have to spring to the save just one victim?
This is Holly Drake and her crew of thieves. If they have to, they’ll go into the hornet’s nest to get the job done. Will it be their last time?
The Hands of the Colossus features a snarky, strong, bad ass heroine fighting against the odds to save the helpless.
If you don’t like seeing a woman experience self-doubt, overcome obstacles, and then dominate, this book is not for you.
Love strong female leads, an entertaining cast of characters, and adventure? Then grab your copy today!
Planet Dismolle is supposed to be a peaceful haven. So what’s with all the gunfire?
A criminal gang has moved into Chirless, Dismolle’s second major city. Elderly residents are fed up with the loud music, noisy cars and late night parties, not to mention hold-ups, muggings and the occasional gunfight.
Chirless has no Peace Force, so Harriet Walsh of the Dismolle City branch has to help out. That puts her up against a gang of hardened criminals with only her training pistol and a few old allies to lend a hand.
And these allies aren’t just old, they’re positively ancient!
Sierra Bravo is the third novel in the Harriet Walsh series. Peace Force and Alpha Minor are already available in print and ebook.
Humans, aliens, and dragons. Who will inherit the galaxy?
They said aliens didn’t exist, until they landed on the White House lawn.
They said dragons didn’t exist, until they arrived in the galaxy . . . To turn it into cosmic dust.
A new threat from beyond the galaxy rim has emerged, taking the lives of humans and aliens across the Milky Way. They look like dragons. They sound like dragons. They burn our cities like dragons . . . and apparently our spaceships too.
Captain Rebecca Foster is no stranger to saving the galaxy from mythological beings that shouldn’t exist but do. Dealing with dragons from beyond the galactic rim is a task she and her crew are more than qualified for. The new Earth government, however, disagrees, and sends the Marines instead, grounding Rebecca and her crew until further notice.
And then things don’t go according to plan . . .
Salvation for the galaxy now lies in the hands of Rebecca’s ability to get back into the captain’s chair and show the galaxy how you slay dragons with 22nd century weapons and technology.
Science-fiction and fantasy collide with explosive results in this action-packed adventure set in the Splintered Galaxy universe.
A prisoner, a secret he can’t remember, and the military force that will destroy planets to get their hands on it.
When Fabio Velazquez arrives on the secretive military base on Jupiter’s moon Io, he knows two things: one, that he’s had his memories erased and two, that he has a secret. Except because of point one, he can’t remember what point two is.
The portents aren’t good: he’s hated by his fellow soldiers, responsible for “the greatest f***-up in military history”, traitor and human guinea pig. Yet, he managed to be trusted with a secret so big that the military has almost killed him and still haven’t gotten their hands on it. Where is it, and who does it belong to?
His nickname might be Escape Artist, but in the hostile environment of Io there is no escaping punishment. Or so the military thinks, but they’re not the only ones interested in him.
A secret group lurks in a base in the cloud tops of Jupiter. They watch. They wait. They will strike.
We will survive this, Caroline.
It has been several months since Harkworth Hall burned, and mere weeks since Joanna Chase came back into Caroline Daniels’ life. But when a stranger arrives in their village and asks to see the damaged bay, they know that word of the creature has spread. With tensions simmering between France and England, they depart in haste for Medby, where Sir Edward’s brother resides. There they hope to discover if Thomas Masterson has stepped into Sir Edward’s shoes, and now wields the monster called Leviathan.
The situation in Medby, however, is far worse than they anticipated. Claiming the French attacked his ships, the younger Masterson seems about to launch an audacious reply. But his true plans are not so straightforward and there is little time for Caroline and Jo to uncover them.
With the threat of war demanding risks in kind, Caroline and Jo must weigh their deepening affection against the greater good … and learn to trust not only their instincts, but their hearts as well.
When did I become everyone’s paranormal Miss Fixit?
When the Lords of the Icelandic Elves summon me to use my talents to find a lost Dragon’s egg, I find it hard to say no. I’ve seen what a Dragon can do, and a young, just-hatched Dragon is a being of pure destruction.
But word of the egg gets out, and the race to find it begins. Mages from many realms are in the hunt—including a Dragon—and they don’t always play well together. Unless I want to join the casualties, I need to find that egg and return it to where it belongs. Luckily, I have help, but I wish that damned golden-winged Nephilim would keep his shirt on.
Charlie Rhodes is back on her feet and ready for action. Luckily for her, The Legacy Foundation officially has its first job in weeks and they’re on the hunt for … werewolves.
It seems two campers have gone missing, the campsite littered with strange animal prints. Charlie is excited for adventure but sometimes wishes are more dangerous than they seem.
After meeting a woman and her daughter in the woods – and getting a gander inside her head – Charlie finds she’s on two missions. She wants to find a werewolf and, even more, she wants to find out what makes the secretive Zoe Lake-Winters tick. There’s something about the woman that sends Charlie’s curiosity into overdrive … and that’s not always a good thing.
The Michigan woods are full of dark surprises and Charlie is in for a few herself. She’s hiding a secret, but so are many others, and some of those secrets are worth killing for.
This outing may be one for the record books, especially when multiple mysteries reveal themselves at one time. Survival isn’t always easy, but in this instance, it will be more difficult than Charlie ever imagined.
Sit back and enjoy the show, because the secrets are going to be flying fast and furious … and so is the danger.
Look in my eyes. My bronze skin reflects the flames of the battles.
I feed on bullets and shrapnel.
I have trenches instead of veins and a bombardier’s whirring plays my favorite symphony inside my big head. This is my story, with some of my best camouflages and disguises, and you should expect your peace plans to fail. Because that’s what I do for living.
Look at my million golden teeth necklace. Ring any bells? Maybe you’re too young. I probably should have mentioned the fireworks over the Baghdad night sky, my new friend, or the live broadcast of two great skyscrapers disintegrating. You know what I’m talking about, right? So, you can call me by one of my many names: Great General, Lock-box of the Powerful, Red Rain, Lord of Steel or, more simply, WAR.
I appear as strife of many kinds, from Stalingrad to Scotland. Africa to Afghanistan, the civil war of Italy and the War Between the States, ghostly wars, drug wars, the battle of the sexes, World Wars I, II and visions of a holocaust yet to come. It’s all herein and more, with poems both collaborative and individual.
Proudly represented by Crystal Lake Publishing—Tales from the Darkest Depths.
Admiral Kayla Asher has waited her whole life for this—commanding the inaugural spaceship of the US Space Corps in a race against the Chinese to set up the first self-sustaining colony on another planet. Instead, the Explorer is diverted to rescue the Chinese astronauts after their ship is damaged.
Expecting to find the ship debilitated by an asteroid, Asher and her crew are stunned to find something far more sinister. An alien force with technology that far surpasses anything on Earth has attacked the ship, and they have a message for mankind—they aren’t interested in peace.
Now they’re headed straight for Earth, and it’s up to the Explorer to stop them before it’s too late. Fighting against bureaucracy as well as their own conflicting emotions as trained soldiers and compassionate human beings, Asher and her crew engage in an epic battle against an unknown enemy.
If you fall asleep within a twenty-mile radius of Twisted Pines without a dreamcatcher, chances are you’ll never wake up. The locals call it the sleeping death, doctors usually call it altitude-induced cardiac arrest, but it doesn’t matter, it’s still a one-way ticket to the afterlife.
Liz Lawson always slept under a dreamcatcher. She even had one hanging from the rearview mirror of her Jeep, just to be on the safe side. She had no idea where it ended up the night she hit the moose, but for the first time she didn’t need it.
Shawn Ericson, a gorgeous stranger, saved Liz from the monster trying to kill her in her dream, and changed her life forever.
Shawn said Liz wouldn’t remember the dream, but Liz always remembered hers. When Liz found out Shawn was a Knight Flyer and part of a super-secret group whose mission was to save people from the monsters plaguing their dreams, she wanted to know why he kept invading her dreams and why she was the only non-knight who remembers them.
The last few months of her junior year of high school are anything but boring as Liz battles the monsters in her dreams, learns she isn’t a typical sixteen-year-old, and deals with high school drama.
Dave Wiggins is taking a trip to his past. He doesn’t much want to—but his Ma is dying.
He intends to get in, do his duty, get out and forget about his small town roots.
But there is something back home that has been waiting for his return—something that lurks, waiting in a tumbledown boathouse in an abandoned community offshore.
Once Dave and his past meet up again, the game is on.
A hurricane, a scrimshaw chess set, beer, rum, cigarettes, old friends and past mistakes all conspire to keep Dave right where he least wants to be.
The game is on.
And it’s his move.
Could you protect your own?
Recent EMP attacks have left the country in a state of chaos and upheaval. With two of his children on the East Coast, Ben Davis has left Colorado behind, embarking on a cross-country journey with his eldest son, Joel, one of Joel’s classmates, Allie, and the family dog, Gunner.
Very few modern vehicles remain functional, but thanks to Joel’s 1972 Chevy Blazer, Ben and his crew are mobile and able to carry supplies. But that doesn’t mean they’re safe in this post-apocalyptic world.
They soon discover that life as they know it is over. Danger fills every moment of their new reality. No longer can people be trusted. Especially with resources dwindling and new threats around every bend in the road.
Survival means working together, but it also means the teenagers have to grow up fast. Ben struggles with some decisions he’s forced to make, but he refuses to let his family suffer at the hands of the desperate. Even if he has to shed blood to keep them safe.
Ben’s skills as a former Army Ranger are tested repeatedly as he fights to lead his crew across the new wasteland of America. Will there come a time when the dark road ahead is too much?
The gods are dying. But for one man, death is only the beginning.
Murdered as a ritual sacrifice, amateur thief and professional charmer Dustin Graves mysteriously survives, finding himself gifted with strange, dark magic. Then more dead bodies turn up. Some are human, but one is a god of the old world, slain at his own doorstep.
Mortal or divine, the bloodshed must end, and Dust is the mage for the job. But first he must contend with a succubus, a talking sword, a spider queen, a goddess of magic, and eldritch abominations from beyond the stars. No big deal… right?
From the ashes, he will rise.
Orphaned by an unfortunate series of catastrophic events, David is pursued by tragedy, doubt, and loneliness as he is shifted from home to home until his prestigious education and bold experiments in technology and bio-engineering bring him to the attention of the first A.I. ever created.
Morpheus opens doors David had only ever dreamed of as he explores the world and the two attempt to mitigate the destruction that corruption, men, and war have wrought over the earth and its people.
David’s intentions are pure, but as time goes on, he is forced to ever more desperate and questionable methods in order to achieve his goals and still survive.
In this thought-provoking and action-packed coming of age thriller, David faces the epic battle between good and evil that opens questions about religion, prophecy, and even his own sanity. Will he survive and be renowned for his work and all the good that he has wrought? Or were his life and fate already written in an age long past?
When Vic Frank is arrested on trumped up charges while Doc Vandal and the team are searching for a kidnapped scientist, explaining it to her mother is the least of Doc’s problems.
He’s also got to deal with… Vic’s irate girlfriend Ming… Nazis infiltrating the NYPD… and whoever just broke into the 87th floor of the Republic State Building and stole the plans for a device that can blow up the Sun!
Join Doc Vandal and the team in a fight against the Technarchy’s flying commandos, the German American Bund, and the vacuum of space itself!
Enjoy a complete pulp adventure with Nazis, talking gorillas, and Zeppelins in Spaaaace!
It’s the same old story: Time traveler meets girl, time traveler tells girl she’s the future president, time traveler and girl go on a road trip to prevent a war…
Petra Vincent is at the end of her rope – or rather, the edge of a bridge. Her world is falling apart around her and she sees no way out of the meaningless existence the future has in store. But when stranded time traveler Moses Morgan tells her that she will one day
lead the country out of the rubble of a nuclear civil war as President of the United States, she’s intrigued – and when another time traveler starts trying to pre-emptively assassinate her, she realizes Moses might be telling the truth…
Anachronism is a time-traveling, adventure-filled novella with a whole bagful of danger, twists, and snarky banter.
An anthology of science fiction and speculative stories exploring the many different reactions and experiences of people during the 24 hours leading up to the end of the world. Our base instinct is to survive, but when the end is nigh, do we simply lie down and die? Or do we celebrate our life and achievements?
Love, loss, forgiveness, revenge, or just that final goodbye…
Gaie Sebold — James Everington — Sarah Higbee — Charlotte Bond — Kim Lakin-Smith — Steve Carr — Leontii Cristea — Charlotte Strong — Tabitha Lord — Theo Graham — Adrian Faulkner — Phil Sloman — C.A. Yates — Ren Warom — Terry Grimwood — Scott Hungerford — Courtney Privett
Semper Fi, Do or Die, the Marines say. But superpowers have changed the equation.
Gunnery Sergeant Trent Helms wanted to be among the first Marines through the gateway to the stars. But as they say, no plan survives first contact. There was definitely no plan to become super-powered and discover the deadliest threat ever known.
Back on Earth, Intel Agent Shrina Collins will do whatever it takes to see the threat extinguished, but discovers a government conspiracy that changes everything. Now it’s up to these two to save the universe, or watch as it unravels.
Earth’s first journey through a gateway to the stars unlocks a great evil, but equally great potential.
What do you do when a conspiracy suppresses super powers?
Mathilda Brandt fights to keep her fellow Empowered friends and the Imbued refugees from Sanctuary alive and safe. Environmental disasters are ravaging the world. Her former master, the secretive government agency known as Support, hunts her and the other rogue Empowered and Imbued across the world, seeking to capture or kill them. Only the strange Dark-Net, an extra-dimensional road, keeps Mat and her friends free.
Mat is also desperate to find her mother, who until a few months ago Mat thought was dead. Her mother’s fate is somehow intertwined with the people hunting her, and Mat wants to learn how.
When the Dark-Net begins to fail, Mat realizes she’ll have to do the last thing she ever wanted to do: lead a desperate rebellion to save her mother and free the world.
A mage cop on his first assignment learns the world isn’t as black and white as hoped
A jump mage and a starship with matching needs turn out to be a magnet for trouble
Digging in 1940s New York City awakens a monster–and brings in the elite of the Fae
The protected heir of an interstellar dictatorship is called to a battle no one expected him to fight
An explosive collection of four novellas from science fiction and fantasy author Glynn Stewart, spanning his ONSET, Starship’s Mage, Changeling Blood and Exile universes, including two brand new urban fantasy novellas.
An anthology of science fiction and speculative stories exploring how science and technology could change what it means to be human. Bio implants, cybernetics, genetic modification, age reversal, robotics and technology…what is the human experience of undergoing these procedures, and what is the advance of technology going to bring?
What does the future hold in store for those who are pushing the definition of humanity?
Ren Warom — David Boop — Isha Crowe — Dolly Garland — Thomas J. Spargo — Elizabeth Hosang — Ron Wingrove — Sean Grigsby — Courtney M. Privett — Steve Cotterill — Anne Nicholls — David Sarsfield — Frances Kay — Alec McQuay
The Kingdom of Haverfell is sinking into darkness. A millennium ago, the High King fell into shadow, struck down by treachery at the height of his power. Corruption rules in his absence, and the throne sits empty. Now whispers of the kingdom’s former glory are punished, and the memory of the High King is blotted from the annals of history.
Kaiser Pellathor, Tenth Reaver of Northmark, is the fallen kingdom’s greatest champion. Undefeated in the arena, unbeatable on the field of battle, he carries out his orders without question, mercy, or fear. He must, for if he should he ever fail in his duties, his family will pay the price.
But for the first time in a thousand years, old powers begin to stir, and rumors of hope are voiced in secret. Tasked with crushing this dissent, Kaiser finds himself on the wrong side of justice. If he stands against tyranny, his family dies. His only other choice is to become the tyrant himself.
As the Shrouded King seeks to reclaim what was lost, Kaiser must decide where his loyalties lie…