Indie Speculative Fiction of the Month for February 2024

Indie Speculative Fiction of the Month
It’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 and small press authors newly published this month, though some January 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 epic fantasy, urban fantasy, historical fantasy, paranormal romance, paranormal mysteries, space opera, military science fiction, dystopian fiction, horror, vampires, dragons, wizards, time travel, starships for rent, space marines, crime-busting witches, crime-busting ghosts 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:

Jonathan P. Brazee "Major"Major by Jonathan P. Brazee:

A Marine major is one of the orphan ranks, too senior to command a line company, but too junior to command a battalion.

Newly promoted to major, Ryck reports for duty as the assistant naval attaché to the Confederation of Free States, the same government whose troops he’d recently fought in the Telchines. Ryck wasn’t happy about the assignment, but he buckled down for a long and boring tour of duty.

But action seems to follow Ryck, and this is no exception.

From the diplomatic post on New Mumbai to leading one of the newly formed Raider special ops companies, Ryck continues his eventful career as a United Federation Marine.

Pursued by Dragons by Lindsay BurokerPursued by Peril by Lindsay Buroker:

The dragons of the Cosmic Realms aren’t pleased now that Azerdash has recovered a legendary galaxy blade. It makes him more of a threat in his quest to oust their kind from power. To stop him, the dragons have sent one of their own after him, a deadly assassin who likes a challenge…

Arwen wants to help Azerdash, but she has her own problems. She must track down the missing vampire alchemist, Zoltan. It’s her fault that he was kidnapped, and she can’t leave him in the hands of dark elves.

But when the dragon assassin comes after her, because of her relationship with Azerdash, Arwen must worry about far more than kidnappers.

Starship for Rent by M.R. ForbesStarship For Rent by M.R. Forbes:

When Noah sees an advertisement offering him a chance to rent a starship, he’s convinced it has to be a trick.

Already mired in the worst day of his life, he’s willing to do anything to escape, including a field trip to the middle of nowhere to follow the lead. Except there is no trick. The starship is real. And Noah’s life will never be the same.

All he has to do is sign the contract.

Joined by his wisecracking friend, a woman he met online, and the ship’s curious crew, Noah’s about to discover that the universe is more dangerous, bizarre, and magical than he ever imagined.

From tragedy to triumph. His true destiny awaits.

Ghosts of Past and Present by Rachel FordGhosts of Past and Present by Rachel Ford:

When Tennessee Evans inherited a fortune, the last thing she expected was to find her absentee family on her doorstep. But that’s exactly what happened.

Quite literally, in fact. First her dad and his new wife, then her mom and her new husband. Awkward doesn’t quite cover it.
Then her stepmom is kidnapped, and the ghosts start showing up.

Which would be bad enough on its own. But Tennessee is already juggling a complicated romance, her plans to restore the town’s downtown area, and a home renovation project.

She needs to figure out what’s going on stat. Fortunately for her, the dead are on the case, and they have a few ideas…

Another Time, edited by Jean-Paul GarnierAnother Time: An Anthology of Time Travel Stories 1942-1960, edited by Jean-Paul Garnier:

The nature of time has forever perplexed humankind. Add the many ripe paradoxes of time travel and the situation gets complicated. While science has shown us that time travel is technically possible, at least on paper, we still know little about what time actually is, or our place within it. Science fiction has long explored this theme and it has become one of the cornerstones of the genre. In this collection of stories, we find visions of what time travel could be, what could go wrong, and dive headlong into the paradoxical nature of what it might entail. Tales ranging from 1942 to 1960 bring us into these mysterious worlds and provide a window into what the writers of this era grappled with when exploring time and the possibilities of traveling within the fourth dimension. Readers will also delight in traversing another time in literature, with stories that first appeared in Worlds of IF, Astonishing Stories, Galaxy Magazine, Thrilling Wonder Stories, Startling Stories, and Imagination Stories of Fantasy & Science Fiction.

With stories by:

C. Shook
Darius John Granger
Evelyn E. Smith
Sylvia Jacobs
Rog Phillips
Miriam Allen deFord
Anthony Boucher
Henry Kuttner
Alfred Bester

and an introduction by Dr. Phoenix Alexander

Witch Mirror by A.L. HawkeWitch Mirror by A.L. Hawke:

Reflections of a wicked witch.

Bryce and I are trying to revive Alondra’s old metaphysical history class. We’re in college again, this time teaching. But It’s stressful under our former teacher’s shadow. Not only that, there’s a new demon-witch messing with my love life. So I’m going through that again. Well, at least this time I have Alondra’s magic to protect me.

Actually, not only do I have her magic, her spirit is inside me, possessing me. But don’t worry, Alondra’s ghost is a positive force here to help Hawthorne. I mean…are you good, Alondra?

A witch council is gathering at my house to reflect on ways to save us. They’re convinced Alondra is evil, but Alondra and I are unsure they know what they’re doing. Well, if I can’t hold things together—inside and outside of myself—I fear my plans of finishing graduate school at Hawthorne U. and starting a family are going to shatter.

Witchy Woman Blues by Lily Harper HartWitchy Woman Blues by Lily Harper Hart:

The final battle is here.

Hannah Hickok had high hopes for her wedding and honeymoon, but everything changes when a local politician stops by to casually drop some disturbing news. It seems Casper Creek is going to be seized by eminent domain…and there’s nothing she can do about it.

Cooper Wyatt knows that the land can’t just be taken from Hannah willy-nilly, but stopping what’s about to happen is going to take more than the sheriff on their side. They’re also going to need some magical help.

That means it’s time for Hannah’s ultimate decision on the nexus magic. She knows she can’t risk anybody getting their hands on it, especially local witch Astra Bishop, who wants to use it for evil. That means there’s no choice but to absorb it now. Is she ready, though?

Hannah wants her happily ever after. She has to take out Astra—and those she has working for her—to make it to the other side. It’s a tall order, but she’s determined to make it happen.

Casper Creek is a place of magic and love. Hannah is willing to fight to the death to keep it that way.

Will she get her wish, or will she lose everything? You’re about to find out. The end is here.

The Future Lies by John Be LaneThe Future Lies by John Be Lane:

What would youdoif you found out one day that the Artificial Intelligence that ran everything was lazy, dishonest, and not quite as bright as it seemed? That there might be a way to outwit the Network, in spite of its oppression, and maybe to find love, and something like a future, in the ruins of a desolate world? If you didn’t die trying, that is?



freaky wedding by Amanda M. LeeFreaky Wedding by Amanda M. Lee:

Wedding bells are about to ring for Poet Parker and Kade Denton. They just have to knock a few things off their list in Galveston, including getting a license, and then they will be ready to pledge themselves to one another forever.

There’s just one little problem.

On their first night, right across the water, they watch the local vampires do a ritual on the beach. They don’t sweat it too much until the police show up the next morning to ask them about the body that was found in the exact same location.

It seems the vampires are up to something, and they’re not the only ones. Trouble is back and the quiet week of rest and relaxation Poet was hoping for is about to go up in smoke.

As Poet and her motley crew of paranormals dig deeper into the Galveston lore, they find more interesting tidbits than they can shake a loa at. Something magical—something dark and dangerous—has been controlling the island for a very long time. That’s why no other paranormals can get a foothold in the area. It’s also why the vampires seem to be serving a new master. Unfortunately for Mystic Caravan, that creature is now focused on them.

Poet wants her big day. She wants a honeymoon to enjoy. It seems death is on the wedding reception menu, though, and it’s going to take everybody working together to make sure Poet and Kade get their happily ever after.

Lamias, dwarves, pixies, shifters, and loas are about to unite in a big fight. Who will win, though?

The Battle of Erathal by Joseph P. MacolinoThe Battle For Erathal by Joseph P. Macolino:

He just wanted to enjoy this time of peace. But when a familiar evil is unleashed upon the forest of Erathal, will anyone be safe?

Enjoying the time without strife, Irontail works to spread peace and unity throughout the forest of Erathal. Organizing the first ever Festival of Gratitude, he finally feels he is fulfilling his calling as the leader of his centaur village. But his plans are once again hijacked when a familiar villain escapes from imprisonment.

The felite warrior, Tel’ Shira, joins Irontail and the other heroes of Erathal as they plan their counter-offensive. But even her gift of foresight is not enough to prepare her for the upcoming battle against this malevolent foe.

With the future of Erathal on the line, will anyone survive to tell the tale?

The Battle for Erathal is the thrilling conclusion to the Evorath epic fantasy series.

Your Evil Is My Good by Robert MammoneYour Evil Is My Good by Robert Mammone:

Thirteen tales to unsettle and terrify. The beginning of a zombie apocalypse; what really happened to Amelia Earhart; ancient sorcery from the howling wastes of Pakistan; terror in the subways; messages from beyond the black rim of the galaxy. All these and more in Robert Mammone’s debut collection, Your Evil is My Good.




Arsalan the Magnificent by J.E. TolbertArsalan the Magnificent by J.E. Tolbert:

Arsalan the Magnificent is a lighthearted but poignant novel of historical fantasy fiction. In Europe and the Ottoman Empire of the early 19th century, a profession of wizards known as magical architects have achieved wealth and fame as builders of fantastical structures. Facing disgrace after his newest and greatest work collapses, Arsalan Ozdikmen, a renowned Ottoman magical architect in the prime of his career, is exiled to the Balkans. There, he undergoes a journey of reckoning and recovery, and finally redemption, when he is called to the aid of a young Bavarian princess.

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