So what is “Indie Speculative Fiction of the Month”? It’s a round-up of speculative fiction by indie and small press authors (as well as the occasional Big 5 book) newly published this month, though some September 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 urban fantasy, epic fantasy, historical fantasy, dark fantasy, young adult fantasy, paranormal mysteries, paranormal romance, science fiction romance, space opera, military science fiction, young adult science fiction, post-apocalyptic fiction, dystopian fiction, biopunk, agripunk, time travel, weird western, historical horror, gothic horror, humorous horror, vampires, demons, dragons, dinosaurs, ghosts, zombies, gods, androids, alien invasions, interstellar wars, space marines, superheroes, renegades, crime-busting witches, crime-busting psychics 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:
They took his daughter, so Micah comes to take their kingdom. Fifty thousand gun-toting paladins march behind him, all baptized in angel blood, thirsty to burn unbelievers.
Only the janissaries can stand against them. Their living legend, Kevah, once beheaded a magus amid a hail of ice daggers. But ever since his wife disappeared, he spends his days in a haze of hashish and poetry.
To save the kingdom, Kevah must conquer his grief and become the legend he once was. But Micah writes his own legend in blood, and his righteous conquest will stop at nothing.
When the gods choose sides, a legend will be etched upon the stars.
1956: On the surface, Rosemary Wilson is a happily married wife and mother, enjoying a perfect life in the quiet suburb of Shady Groves. But the house on Azalea Avenue harbours a dark secret, for Rosemary’s husband Don is an abusive drunk, who vents his frustrations on Rosemary and their three children.
After nine years of abuse, Rosemary finally decides to leave Don. But her plans of escape are interrupted, first by Don coming home early from a weekend hunting trip and then by the appearance of a flying saucer from outer space in the sky above Shady Groves…
This is a novelette of 10400 words or approx. 38 pages in the The Day the Saucers Came… series, but may be read as a standalone.
Content warning for domestic violence.
1956: Bernie Stetson is a burglar, robbing suburban homes while their owners are not at home.
Bernie’s latest raid takes him to the subdivision of Shady Groves. But things quickly go wrong. First, the house Bernie is robbing turns out to be not as deserted as he thought. And then, a flying saucer from outer space appears in the sky above Shady Groves…
This is a short story of 3600 words or approx. 14 print pages in the The Day the Saucers Came… series, but may be read as a standalone.
1956: The elderly farmer couple Bob and Mary Graham are crushed by debt and about to lose the family farm to a greedy developer.
But on the day they are supposed to be evicted, a flying saucer from outer space appears in the sky above Willowbrook Farm…
This is a short story of 2700 words or approx. 10 print pages in the The Day the Saucers Came… series, but may be read as a standalone.
The Netherlands in the year of the Lord 1571: The young widow Ann lives alone with her little son Florentijn in a house at the edge of the woods.
From childhood on, Ann has been told to never ever go alone into the woods. But when her little son runs away, Ann has no choice. She must venture into the forest to save Florentijn from the creatures that live in the woods surrounding the village of Doodenbos.
This is a historical horror short story of 3000 words or approx. 12 pages.
Every morning, Brett finds blood on his sheets and mysterious puncture wounds on his body. But as he tries to trap the “night pricker”, as he calls his unseen assailant, he’s in for a surprise…
The house at Green Corner has been standing there for fifty years now, surrounded by a tall fence and even taller hedges. And at dawn, bats flutter around the overgrown garden. No one has ever seen the owner of the house, let alone spoken to them. But early one morning, paper girl Maddie decides to venture beyond the tall hedges on a dare and finds something very unexpected…
Two modern vampire tales by Hugo finalist Cora Buhlert of 5000 words or approx. 18 print pages altogether.
When observing a magical ritual in the woods, make sure to take precautions…
If you try to summon a demon to grant you your heart’s fondest desire, you’d better get your Latin right…
When studying ancient grimoires, it’s never a good idea to actually read the contents out loud or you might just cause the end of the world…
Following your grandma’s heirloom recipe might just conjure up something other than marinara sauce…
Four short humorous horror tales of rituals gone very wrong by Hugo finalist Cora Buhlert of 5800 words or approx. 20 print pages altogether.
Rhonda Wray: Raptor Wrangler is about a teenage girl who was innocently trying to listen to some live music … her favorite boy band happened to be playing a festival on a dinosaur planet … when bad things suddenly happened. Now she and her trusty robot are all alone in the wilderness, picking up survival skills and looking for her favorite singer, Sebastian Rose, just in case he needs to be rescued.
There’s hard science, explosions, plenty of dinosaurs (with feathers), diversity, no sex (although there are a few references to it), less violence than many dinosaur stories, cliffhangers galore, and a little bogus science just to honor the fine tradition of speculative fiction (what if raptors had syrinxes and could sing like birds?).
A new queen. An ancient feud. A succession bought in blood.
The world changed in the blink of an eye. Once an estranged cousin to the king, Aria is now heir apparent to the South. With her nation still in the midst of an unjust war, torn by Byzantine politics and rampant treachery, the inheritance seems a curse. Not least of all because peacemaking between the distant branches of the royal family means marriage: her marriage.
Among the sycophants and assassins, politicians and spies, Aria knows who to trust: no one. She doesn’t trust her intended, Augustus. She doesn’t trust his smart talking half-sister, Terese. But when the young woman saves her life, the queen’s guard begins to slip.
Which is a problem. Because if she crosses the rest of the royal family, it won’t just be a war with the North she’ll have to contend with; it’ll be civil war.
Humanity’s First Interstellar War
Earth has had a year to recover from their first clash with the savage Tigris. A year they have put to incredible use. Over thirty vessels have been outfitted with the new Helios Drives, which allow them to enter our sun and emerge elsewhere in the galaxy, as the cats did when they attacked us.
For the first time we can take the fight to them.
Commander Dryker, now of the U.F.C, serves as first officer aboard the very first vessel to be retrofitted, the UFC Johnston. His mission…explore the six target worlds where they believe ancient Primo tech can be recovered. Without it mankind is doomed to a protracted war of attrition with a superior foe.
Meanwhile, Pride Leonis has never been in so precarious a position. Mighty Fizgig must aid the man she most hates in his rise to power, or risk her people’s ultimate destruction. Doing so will cost her everything, but make her a legend in the eyes of her people.
Unbeknownst to either the insidious Void Wraith are quietly returning, and preparing the next Eradication.
Clara has it all, a swanky new job, a hot robot babe, and even a time machine. Paradise all comes crashing down when she realizes her ticket to the future was stolen.
She wakes up in a world that has been reshaped by the whim of a time traveler with a strange obsession with bison and chicken wings. Now she has to fix the timeline, or everyone she knows and loves will be wiped from existence.
There’s also a lot of flightless birds.
Find out how it all fits together in The Bison Agenda, the not anticipated sequel of Time Burrito.
To protect the human race, 6T9 evolved with the flip of a switch and a few lines of code.
But he’s made himself a killer as well as a protector. The programming that may save humanity has driven him from Volka, the woman he loves. In the heart of the Dark’s first strike against the Republic, 6T9 must discover what he has become, who he wants to be, and who he wants to be with.
Slowly and almost unnoticed, Volka has been evolving, too. Heartbroken by 6T9’s departure, she is torn between love and duty. Accepting the latter, she takes a mission that will lead her to the edge of the universe. There, she will be tested, and her evolution will pass a point where there will be no turning back.
An android who has become more than a sex ‘bot, a mutant who has developed startling abilities, 6T9 and Volka have become more than human. The changes they’ve endured may save the galaxy, but have driven them further apart.
Will they find a way forward together, or will the bond between them wind up another casualty of the Dark?
Wealth. Privilege. Superpowers. Valene has it all… except any mercy from the person trying to kill her.
For the first time in her life, Valene Blackwood has peace. She’s been aboard her own private space station for a year, removed from the sonic duress of the world that she suffers due to her superhuman ability to hear everything, everywhere. When her father dies, she must return and take over the family business – selling superhuman protection for profit.
With her father gone, challengers emerge for control of Great Power. Valene is young, unproven, and wanting only to go back to her sanctuary in the sky. She struggles to stay focused, knowing the future of the company is at stake. The future of the Empowered. Before she has a chance to get her feet on the ground, someone tries to kill her.
Advanced technology nearly rips Valene right out of her own skin. Technology only one person in the world could have invented: the woman she left behind by going up to the space station. Kit Baldwin. But Kit is a hero. Is someone setting her up? Is someone trying to ruin them both?
Valene sets out to find the truth, and for the first time in her life, she has to listen. She has to stay in the world. She has to be the hero she never wanted to be.
If she can survive.
LINA MUST AGAIN PUT ON HER MASK AND ASSUME HER IDENTITY AS THE BLACK ROSE.
The Black Rose discovers that a small mission on the border of Texas and Mexico has been raided by someone locals call “The Beast.”
Many are dead but most of the women and children are missing. The trail of the kidnappers leads the Black Rose into Mexico, into a hidden valley where “The Beast” is raising an army to restore the Aztec Empire. “The Beast,” known by his followers as “El Tigre,” is human but something of a physical mutant whose face resembles that of a Jaguar.
The Black Rose will face an army with only a good sword arm and a fast gun between her and death for them all on a bloody altar.
Hannah Hickok is struggling. After the death of one of her workers, a woman who had been making life difficult, Hannah finds she is awash in a myriad of feelings she can’t quite put a name to. Things don’t get better when, following a romantic dinner with her boyfriend Cooper Wyatt, magic and mechanics collide in a multi-vehicle accident that looks to have been caused by a dark shadow. One of the survivors, a young teenager, could be shuffled into the system if someone doesn’t step up.
Sheriff Boone is the one who swoops in and brings the girl home, but all is not well. It seems something dark is chasing the girl, and it’s not of the human variety.
Hannah doesn’t know much – her knowledge as a witch is still growing – but she’s certain she needs to help the girl. It won’t be as easy as she hopes, though, because dark clouds are brewing and more than one storm is about to descend.
Hannah couldn’t save her employee and she’s haunted. She vows this girl will be different, even if she has to sacrifice herself to keep her safe.
Casper Creek has a long and storied past and old players are about to become new threats. Saddle up, because it’s going to be a bumpy ride.
The Hype is real!
Hyperia Jones is at the top of her game, and she knows it. By day, a glamorous pro-rasseler who dominates the TwistCube world of FIRE–the Federation of Interstellar Rassling Entertainment. By night, the daring, resourceful, and entirely unscrupulous Tekuani, master thief.
But when the law catches up with her unexpectedly, she’s forced to accept a dangerous mission working for the very people who’ve been trying to catch her for years, and steal evidence against a powerful drug smuggling operation that reaches deep into the elite levels of Seventeen Realms society.
Now it’s a battle on all fronts. Hyperia must put everything on the line and decide what means the most to her: the lives of her fellow rasslers or her freedom.
Hell-bent on confronting God after the death of wife Kate, Paul gate-crashes Heaven. With immigration problems and a wall, Heaven turns out to be nowhere near as welcoming as expected. Both Heaven and Hell are modern and militarized, and the cold war that exists between them is about to heat up, with him in the middle of it. Caught on the wrong side of Heaven, Paul faces an impossible choice if he’s to have any hope of seeing his wife again.
Death doesn’t stand a chance against love.
“The men go mad eventually – unable to separate themselves from the cats they control. The women? They fare little better…”
The words from Lin’s journal haunt Mika as she gains her Medici qualifications. Left homeless by his death, she tries to escape her grief by burying herself in her work, only to discover both old and new enemies waiting in the wings.
The events in this book take place about five years after those in “Blood Lore”, Book Two of The Medici Chronicles.
A voice in the dark, “You have taken my Consort. You’ll give her up and take me instead, Kalmár.”
It has been ten years since Tina was kidnapped by Kalmár and she has settled into the twilight world of vampires and their pets. However circumstances and her own body are changing faster than she realises, leaving her vulnerable to those who would take advantage.
A different reality intrudes as she stumbles across her daughter, now a young woman, forcing her to make hard choices between the two worlds, both inimical to each other. To survive she must gamble with those most precious to her, while fighting to keep her both her sanity and humanity intact.
The only witch in the world? It might feel like it to Stormy Morgan but she knows better.
Twenty minutes away, in a town called Hemlock Cove, witches have taken over. Sure, the bulk of the town is made up of frauds looking to shore up their tourism industry, but there are real witches, too. There’s a family, last name of Winchester, and they’re notorious. Stormy wants to meet them but she has a myriad of problems darkening her doorstep.
The first is Hunter Ryan, her childhood love who is back in her life and ready to take the next step, which is formal dating … just as soon as he’s given proper respect to his previous relationship. While Stormy is waiting for that to happen, she runs to the aid of customer at the family diner when the older woman collapses as she’s leaving after breakfast. Before Stormy can offer even a dollop of help, though, the woman is dead and there are more questions than answers.
When the cause of death is determined to be poison, Stormy and Hunter have to follow a tangled trail of clues … and it leads them straight to the senior center. It seems the victim was a regular visitor there, and one of the better euchre players at the lauded weekly tournaments. Is that a motive for murder, though?
Stormy has her hands full with out-of-control euchre madness, magic she is trying to control, and hormones that are threatening to run rampant. When she finally makes it to Hemlock Cove, her nerves threaten to get the best of her.
She needs help. This is a world she doesn’t understand. The truth has to come out, but is she ready? It might not matter because a murderer has marked Stormy for death. It’s up to her and her motley crew of friends and family to save the day … if they can all come together as a team.
That will be easier said than done.
Someone wants Dr. Rhett “Jack” Jackson dead.
After surviving a vicious attack from a dragon in his own home, Jack and Dr. Kamala Anjali investigate who sent the dragon to kill him. Unfortunately, their list of enemies is long. Plenty of people have an axe to grind with the two scientists responsible for the rebirth of the previously extinct dragons that are now flourishing on every continent of the planet. Jack and Kamala rejoin with their team at the Knight Division to hunt down the culprit and put an end to their revenge scheme once and for all.
But will it cost them everything?
Of Fury and Fangs is the fourth novel in the Amazon and USA Today bestselling Of Cinder and Bone series, following Of Cinder and Bone, Of Blood and Ashes, and Of Dawn and Embers.
Brother Rordan came to at a monks’ temple with no memory of who he was or where he’d been, and he’s content to leave his forgotten life in the past. All that matters is his future as a monk in service to the all-knowing stars.
Dasha Caron crash-landing at his temple changes everything for him: she makes him question his beliefs and monk’s lifestyle. She also brings the devastating news that he’s really a cyborg, and he has a price on his head.
What if the chosen one was kind of a dirtbag?
Quilliam J. Abernathy is the Chosen of Asmodeus, destined to become demonkind’s greatest weapon against heaven and humanity. Honing his arcane gifts in both modern California and the depths of hell, Quill is a prideful, powerful sorcerer, his magic surging with every tome he adds to his arcane collection.
But a botched mission incurs Asmodeus’s wrath, and Quill is stripped of his sorcery, protections, even his beloved books. Oh, and a duo of deadly angels wants him dead, too. Quill must decide. Either obey Asmodeus, reclaim his magic, and embody the apocalypse… or rebel against hell.
Spoiler alert: We’re doomed either way.
Demon Prints is the first adventure in the Infernal Inheritance urban fantasy series, set in the same universe as Darkling Mage and Sins of the Father. Witness Quilliam’s unholy ascent in an intense supernatural suspense series filled with demons, devilry, and danger.
The interstellar bridges provide a lifeline for billions.
To save humanity the Darkspace Renegades must tear them all down.
Unjustly kicked out of the Consortium Security Force, Hallam Knight has been reduced to working as a gunner, defending the precious Randenite fuel tankers from notorious extremists, the Darkspace Renegades.
Hell-bent on ending bridge travel for good, the Darkspace Renegades threaten to tear down the interstellar travel network that supports billions of lives, across a dozen worlds.
The Darkspace Renegades are outlaws and radicals. Or so Hallam thought.
When a violent encounter with infamous mercenary group, the Blackfire Squadron, almost costs him his life, Hallam Knight finds himself at the mercy of the Darkspace Renegades and their mysterious and enigmatic leader.
Hallam Knight discovers that everything he thought he knew was a lie. Far from being the enemy, the Darkspace Renegades are humanity’s only hope – they just don’t know it yet.
The Consortium taught Hallam that no good deed goes unpunished. They’re about to find out that karma’s a bitch.
Sandi and Ash never set out to be heroes.
She joined the Fleet to please her mother, the Admiral.
He signed up to escape the grinding poverty of the Housing Blocks.
And the unlikely friends envisioned boring, peacetime careers as shuttle pilots. The Tahni Imperium had other ideas…
Caught in the desperate fury of the Battle for Mars, the two young pilots wind up the last defense against an alien armada, but their war is just beginning. Recruited to fly the Fleet’s newest weapon in this new war, they take the fight deep into the heart of the Imperium and battle not just against the enemy but against incompetent leadership and ineffectual tactics.
Can the unconventional strategies of a pair of hotshot young pilots change the course of the war? And when the time comes that a choice has to be made between duty to command and loyalty to a friend, which of the two will be willing to make one last flight alone…
An angel has returned to Paris. But is it the Angel of Music…or Death?
Two years have passed since Christine fled the opera house, put the memories and the horror behind her. And yet, in her dreams, she still hears his voice, feels his moth-light touch on her throat.
The rumors involving the legendary Opera Ghost are merely newspaper sensationalism. The Opera Ghost is dead. His tragic life, his epic opera, his obsession with her voice…ended. But with a slow, heart-pounding dread, Christine lets a lie slip from her lips, and heads for Paris. Alone. Because she has to know if Erik is dead. Or if he’s alive…and wreaking his vengeance.
YOU CAN’T ESCAPE THE INHERITANCE OF THE PAST…OR CAN YOU?
Rancher Ruby Barkley and her ex-husband Gabe Ramirez are competing head-to-head for the AgInnovator game show’s new one-shot award, the Ag Superhero. The winner walks away with $3.75 million per year for five years, with no accountability or need to re-earn the Superhero, unlike the Innovator’s other awards.
But issues beyond those raised by their long-ago acrimonious divorce face Ruby and Gabe. Fence cutting. Rogue biobots destructively ranging beyond programmed parameters. Physical attacks. And the realization that they may need to reunite to save their son Brandon from indentured servitude.
Then the secret shadow of Gabe’s hidden inheritance reveals itself. Will he step up to the Martiniere Legacy—and what role will Ruby accept in any future they may share?
Her strength is her greatest weakness.
Protecting others has always been Aurora Hawke’s defining characteristic — until a fierce battle with her mortal enemy creates devastating results, proving she’s more weapon than human.
Haunted by apocalyptic visions of her future and pursued by the ghosts of her past, she makes the only logical decision.
Abandoning her ship and crew goes against everything she holds dear, but it’s the only way to safeguard those she loves from the greatest threat of all — herself.
Fifty thousand years ago, the Precursors broke the universe.
Now great powers and small alike fight over their wreckage.
But in the midst of the chaos, there is a question no one asks…
Morgan Casimir, commander of the A!Tol Imperial cruiser Defiant, has seen the works of the Precursor aliens known as the Alava. She has seen their accidents threaten worlds and consume entire star fleets.
Charged by her Empress to prevent a conspiracy of profiteers from finding and using a lost fleet of Alava warships, she knows unimaginable catastrophe looms if she fails. With her lover, xenoarcheologist Dr. Rin Dunst, at her side, she is sent to a hot zone on the edge of war to once again achieve the impossible.
But as they search along a border flaring in violence, Morgan discovers that if the worst comes to pass, her orders are to destroy the ships rather than allow them to be taken…and she realizes that there just might be a reason seemingly godlike aliens lost an entire fleet.
Commander Titus Barnes struggles to save his ship.
War brews on the horizon and the crew of the TCN Triton get caught in the middle. When they answer a distress call from one of their colonies on the edge of their space, they end up outmatched and outgunned by an unknown force. This conflict may well push humanity into a new age…or spell the beginning of the end for their race.
Meanwhile, two archaeologists work to uncover evidence of alien life on a far off planet. As they make what might be the biggest discovery of the human race, their activities trigger an alert, drawing dangerous forces to investigate. Cut off from any quick help and on their own, they must use every trick at their disposal to stay alive.
If the storm must taketh, it must surely giveth, too?
Their numbers are dwindling, the storm shows no sign of relenting. Yet, at the edge of the Drumtrie Forest, a strange phenomenon is occurring: dozens of the pale white beasts standing guard.
Cody is gone; missing in the white. Tori has reunited with her sister, but it wasn’t the celebration she planned. Karl is lost to the wants and desires of the Masked Ones.
And, from out of the storm, comes a stranger who may hold all the answers to unravelling the mystery once and for all…
If the wendigos will let her.
Honors student, Emma Edgin, never thought she’d be a superhero, but she never thought she’d fail a class or be diagnosed autistic either.
After a strange craft flies over the West Coast, Emma sneezes a fireball and starts flying.
Emma doesn’t want to be a hero. She’s got to focus on passing English and keeping the new Super Commission agent from noticing her.
Too bad so many people need saving.
Geek Fire is the first novel in the Dragon Girl Series. If you like nerdy heroes and conspiracies, then you’ll love this series!
Psychic Reg Rawlins is hoping to get her life back to normal, or some semblance of it. With the gems she was given by the fairies for saving Calliopia’s life, she doesn’t need to worry about money. Maybe never again. She can just relax, get the sleep she needs, and not have to worry about hustling a living.
Life is better with money. Maybe she’ll even take up a hobby. Travel. Visit Erin.
But the rest of the world seems to have other ideas. Reg senses that all is not well in Black Sands. She is plagued by nightmares and visions, but her ability to consciously access her powers is limited.
A fun, full-length paranormal cozy mystery with a captivating cat, drop-dead gorgeous warlock, and magical races as you’ve never read them before.