Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Indie Speculative Fiction of the Month for November 2016

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 authors newly published this month, though some Oktober 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. We have a whole lot of horror this month, but also urban fantasy, portal fantasy, YA fantasy, space opera, military science fiction, post-apocalyptic science fiction, dystopian fiction, paranormal romance, gay werewolves, aliens, ghosts, FBI witches, aliens, southern monsters, sentient zombies, pods, starships, newcomers, clockwork alchemists and much more.

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:

Southern Monsters by Cora BuhlertSouthern Monsters by Cora Buhlert:

Three tales of monsters and terror in the Louisiana bayous.

When a young bride goes missing on her wedding day in Acadiana, the locals blame the Terror, the legendary monster that stalks the Crimson Bayou.

Remy Theriault does not believe in the Terror and he’s pretty sure the bride has done a runner. But the groom is his cousin and family is family. So Remy goes out to look for the runaway bride, only to find that sometimes, the old legends are true…

When their car crashes into the bayou on a dark Louisiana night, the swamp creature known only as Big Puffball might just be one family’s salvation…

When fishing boats go missing on the Mississippi River Delta, few people link these disappearances to the mysterious light that lit up the Louisiana sky only weeks before. But an astronomer from Tulane University makes the connection and discovers the horror that is the sphere that ate the Mississippi delta.

This is a collection of three short horror stories of 7700 words or approximately 27 print pages altogether.

End Game by Lindsay BurokerEnd Game by Lindsay Buroker:

Alisa Marchenko has reunited with her daughter, and even though she hasn’t figured out how to get Jelena to accept Leonidas yet, she dreams of the three of them starting a new life together. They can return the Star Nomad to its original purpose of running freight and staying out of trouble (mostly).

Before that can happen, Alisa must fulfill the promise she made to Jelena: that she and her crew will retrieve young Prince Thorian, the boy who has become Jelena’s best friend. But Thorian was kidnapped by the rogue Starseer Tymoteusz, the man who wants to use the Staff of Lore to take over the entire system—and the man who may have the power to do it. Alisa doesn’t know why he kidnapped Thorian, but Tymoteusz once promised to kill the prince, so she fears they don’t have much time.

Unfortunately, Tymoteusz hasn’t left a trail of breadcrumbs. Finding him will be difficult, and even if they’re successful, facing him could be suicidal. To have a chance of surviving, Alisa will have to come up with her greatest scheme yet.

Haunted by Stacy ClaflinHaunted by Stacy Claflin:

The summer after graduation SHOULD have been the most exciting time of Mercy’s life.

Instead, on the way to an exciting overseas trip, she’s the only survivor of a tragic accident that claims the rest of her family. Then at her family’s memorial service, a ghostly hooded figure begins to follow her.

Her gorgeous new neighbor, Kit, who happens to run a paranormal blog, helps her discover what the hooded figure is hiding. Mercy thinks he’s angry that she survived the accident.

Could she be right?

Secret of the Master by Robert J. FluegelSecret of the Master by Robert J. Fluegel:

It’s been two weeks since Tommy Travers broke a deadly curse in his town, one he accidentally brought with him from the World of Books. Being trained how to control his new power is more important than ever.

As Tommy enters a book under the guidance of his trainer Amelia, however, the repercussions of the curse are not yet over. A wizard escaped from the World of Books read Tommy’s mind and he knows where the Gifted are. If the evil wizard finds a way to unlock his magic, the warehouse, the Gifted—the world—will be his.

Tommy and his new friends must find a way to gain back all they’ve lost. But time is running out, and there’s something Amelia hasn’t told him. A secret—one that makes him, an amateur Gifted who’s hardly begun training, the only one who can defeat Mephitis before it’s too late.

In this sequel to Gift of the Master, join Tommy as he finds his true place among the Gifted and braves his most dangerous book yet.

Generation by J.J. GreenGeneration by J.J. Green:

Humankind entered the age of deep space travel two decades ago, and Earth’s megacorps rushed to exploit the rich resources to be found on unclaimed planets. Prospecting starships roam the galaxy, racing to be the first to lay their hands on the new-found source of wealth.

But unknown horrors lie at the reaches of the great expanse, ready to be awakened by unsuspecting starship crews.

Chief Security Officer Jas Harrington’s job is to protect her shipmates from hostile aliens on new worlds. For the efficient if quick-tempered Jas, that hasn’t been too hard up till now. But her captain is drug-addled, and he’s hungry for the bonuses he gets from finding valuable resources.

When the captain won’t listen to Jas’ fears about a mysterious planet, he is compromised by contact with a strange life form—a life form that threatens to take over the entire ship and return to Earth, where it can spread its deadly infection.

Now Jas is in a race against time, struggling to quarantine the alien infection and prevent the aliens from achieving their goal: Generation. She doesn’t realize it yet, but as she fights to save her crew, the future of all humanity hangs in the balance.

Generation is the first of ten books in the Shadows of the Void space opera serial.

PODS! by D.F. HollandPODS! and Other Supernatural Tales by D.F. Holland:

PODS AND OTHER SUPERNATURAL TALES will take you on a spine-tingling voyage, where you’ll encounter deadly sea creatures, cursed objects, custom-made Hells, alien killers and other worlds – all in the blink of a gargoyle’s eye!

Hang on tightly as you read this collection of chilling, supernatural horror and fantasy – from the author of TALES FROM THE BEAUMONT HOUSE.

Magical Probi by T.S. PaulMagical Probi by T.S. Paul:

Probitionary FBI Agent Agatha Blackmore has just finished three grueling years at the FBI Academy at Quantico. She mastered every skill and task they laid before her. She now begins an Internship of sorts working for the Magical Crimes Division. Assassination, Murder, and Betrayal await her. How will she do in the real world? Will her Magick be enough to save her? 

Clockwork Alchemist by Sara C. RoethleClockwork Alchemist by Sara C. Roethle:

Arhyen is the self-declared finest thief in London. The mission was simple. Steal a journal from Fairfax Breckinridge, one of the greatest alchemists of the time.

Arhyen hadn’t expected to find Fairfax himself, with a dagger in his back. Nor had he expected his automaton daughter, Liliana. Suddenly entrenched in a mystery too great for him to fully comprehend, he must rely on the help of a wayward detective, and an automaton who claims she has a soul, to piece together the clues laid before them. Will Arhyen uncover the true source of Liliana’s soul in time, or will London plunge into a dark age of nefarious technology, where only the scientific will survive?

The Newcomer by Alasdair ShawThe Newcomer: Twelve Science Fiction Short Stories, edited by Alasdair Shaw:

From a young couple struggling to look after their baby to a new captain’s reluctance to take command of her ship, and from a sun-addled stranger’s appearance in town to the emergence of a sentient AI, the twelve tales presented here explore the central theme of an arrival by someone or something new.
There’s even an alien puppy.

The stories are:
Tithe by Griffin Carmichael
Exodus by Alec Hutson
First Bonding by Tom Germann
Ice Dreamer by J J Green
The Nanny by Cindy Carroll
Right Hand by Jonathan C Gillespie
What Make is Your Cat? by Richard Crawford
Kaxian Duty by Cherise Kelley
Lessons Learned by J Naomi Ay
The Humra by Laura Greenwood
The Hawk of Destiny’s Fist by James S Aaron
Repulse by Alasdair Shaw

Journey by Hollis ShilohJourney by Hollis Shiloh:

From the moment they meet, Nat feels a strong connection with the injured wolf…and later with the same gorgeous man. Nat is just an ordinary cop, with his own problems and insecurities, but if he can help Journey in any way, he’d love to.

He’d also love to date the sweet, handsome shifter, although that might be more complicated than he first thought. Two men navigate the waters of learning to trust, love, and accept themselves and each other, as
they work to build a life together.

A Shifters and Partners Novel

Daughters of Death by Josiah UptonDaughters of Death by Josiah Upton:

In Zaul’s mind, the game is over. After giving himself up to the APA, his true identity now lays bare before the walls of the nation’s largest Hybrid Reanimate facility, where he will rot for the rest of his undead days under the watch of cruel containment officers. No more disguises, no more deceptions, no more pretending to be human… And no future with the girl he loves.

But Genny cannot accept this new reality as easily. Compelled to repay his sacrifice, she searches for any way possible get Zaul out of the Facility, allying with both the living and the undead to make it happen. Zaul also forges unlikely friendships when he joins the Brains Club, a privileged group of higher-functioning containees who enjoy a better diet, recreational opportunities, contact with the opposite sex – and unsettling attention from the Assistant Director of the APA.

As Genny’s world unravels, Zaul’s becomes stranger. But only one constant is guaranteed: Caesar Ortega is hell-bent on destroying them both. When death and temptation are around every corner, can you keep who you were alive?

Monday, November 28, 2016

The Cursed Arm of Driftwood Beach (Hallowind Cove, Book 2) by Cora Buhlert

Release date: November 16, 2016
Subgenre: Horror comedy, ghost stories

About The Cursed Arm of Driftwood Beach:

 

A disembodied arm terrifies a seaside town…

Strange things keep happening in the permanently fog-shrouded seaside town of Hallowind Cove, earning it the nickname "Harbour of the Weird".

When a beachcomber finds a giant wooden arm on the beach, the people of Hallowind Cove are excited about a new addition to the town museum’s collection.

But the wooden arm has a mind of its own – and the tendency to go walkabout by night…

This is a short story of 2400 words or approximately 10 pages in the Hallowind Cove series, but may be read as a standalone.

Excerpt:

 

Near the fog shrouded seaside town of Hallowind Cove, commonly known as the harbour of the weird, lay a stretch of shore named Driftwood Beach. It was called that because due to a quirk of the currents, half the flotsam and jetsam in the ocean tended to wash ashore at Driftwood Beach.
The people of Hallowind Cove had been taking advantage of the curious properties of Driftwood Beach for centuries, collecting the flotsam and jetsam that washed onto their shores. Of course, most of it was junk — driftwood, kelp, sea beans and drift seeds, fishing nets and bits of rope, torn sails and broken bottles, seashells and sea glass polished by the waves and the sand and — in modern times — a lot of plastic junk. But occasionally, something useful would wash onto the Driftwood Beach, such as the cargo of a ship lost at sea or even a whole wreck, only to be promptly salvaged by the good people of Hallowind Cove.
In day of old, a few of the not so good people of Hallowind Cove decided to increase the supply of useful flotsam and jetsam washing ashore and created some wrecks of their own via false lights on the cliff tops. In time, the people of Hallowind Cove stopped engaging in wrecking, since the practice gave the town a bad name. And should they ever be tempted to start again, there was a vengeful and undead sea captain prowling the docks by night to discourage anyone who might try.
But even if the people of Hallowind Cove had given up wrecking, they never gave up combing Driftwood Beach for anything useful to salvage. And so you could spot beachcombers at Driftwood Beach almost every morning, as soon as the sun had pierced the blanket of fog that enveloped the town and its surroundings far enough that you could actually make out the treasures the waves had deposited ashore overnight.
The most successful beachcomber by far in Hallowind Cove was Don Holbrook. Every morning, steady as clockwork, Don was out at Driftwood Beach, hoping to find a treasure among the trash that had piled during the night.
Over the years, Don had found many a treasure. He’d found dozens of lifesavers and life vests, wine crates — both empty and full, chocolate cookies — sadly stale, cracked china plates, a flock of plastic rubber duckies — remnants of the great rubber ducky spill of ‘92 — dozens of sneakers, only the left ones unfortunately, hockey gloves and basketballs, car parts and diapers, cigarettes and packages of cocaine — dutifully turned over to the local police, of course — an airplane propeller, gutta-percha plates from Indonesia, the Meerschaum pipes of Dutch sailors and Spanish gold doubloons, both now on display at the Hallowind Cove Museum, and a birdcage with a dead parrot still inside. Once, Don had even found a cracked container that contained three brand new, chromium-gleaming motorcycles. Now that had been a really good day.
But of all the things Don had found in his many years of beachcombing, none was stranger than the giant wooden arm.

Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Apple | Smashwords | Scribd | DriveThru | OmniLit | 24symbols 

 

About Cora Buhlert:

Cora Buhlert was born and bred in North Germany, where she still lives today – after time spent in London, Singapore, Rotterdam and Mississippi. Cora holds an MA degree in English from the University of Bremen and is currently working towards her PhD. 
Cora has been writing, since she was a teenager, and has published stories, articles and poetry in various international magazines. She is the author of the Silencer series of pulp style thrillers, the Shattered Empire space opera series, the In Love and War science fiction romance series, the Helen Shepherd Mysteries and plenty of standalone stories in multiple genres. When Cora is not writing, she works as a translator and teacher.

 

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Friday, November 25, 2016

Speculative Fiction Links of the Week for November 25, 2016

Here is our weekly round-up of interesting links about speculative fiction from around the web, this week with discussion about Arrival, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Moana, the return of the sad puppies as well as the usual mix of awards news, writing advice, interviews, reviews, awards news, con reports, crowdfunding projects, science articles and free online fiction. 

Speculative fiction in general:

Comments on Arrival:

Comments on Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them:

Comments on Moana

Awards:

Writing, publishing and promotion:

Interviews:

Reviews:

Crowdfunding:

Con reports:

Science and technology:

Free online fiction:

Odds and ends: 

Saturday, November 19, 2016

PODS! And Other Supernatural Tales by D.F. Holland

Release date: November 11, 2016
Sub-genre: Horror, short stories


About PODS!:


PODS AND OTHER SUPERNATURAL TALES will take you on a spine-tingling voyage, where you’ll encounter deadly sea creatures, cursed objects, custom-made Hells, alien killers and other worlds – all in the blink of a gargoyle’s eye!

Hang on tightly as you read this collection of chilling, supernatural horror and fantasy - from the author of TALES FROM THE BEAUMONT HOUSE.


Excerpt: 


How did the sky have the audacity to look beautiful while hovering over such a grim scene? The sky was a bright, cheerful blue with barely any clouds within sight. How did the sun dare to come out that day?

The blue-green water sparkled under the massive, white cruise ship. It was a Tropical Island Ship; one the largest and most expensive of its kind. The interior was modern and magnificent, furnished with plush, white carpeting and silver and black accents. The deck had imported velvet-like lounge chairs which surrounded the pool. There were four pools in total. The cabins were luxuriously furnished as well as the many elegant dining rooms; dripping with sparkling chandeliers and atmosphere. Everything was top of the line including the food. Chefs had been imported from around the globe. From a distance the scene was breathtaking. But closer, it was quite a different story. Although passengers were aboard there wasn’t a single sound except for the cry of seagulls above. Their wailing was the only sound that suited this ghastly scene.

A smaller ship approached, breaking the silence and the green water. It had been sent because there had been no communication from the Tropical Island Ship; nothing at all from the Captain, crew or passengers. The families had not heard from their loved ones for quite a while and all were worried. As the crew stepped on board to explore the ship, their jaws dropped open in shock as they viewed perfect skeletons laying aboard lounge chairs, surrounding one of the pools. The stunned crew scattered to search the ship only to find more skeletons. Some seated in dining rooms with food still fresh on their plates. The waiter skeletons remained standing with large trays of food still atop. Others sat as if viewing the menus; as if their skulls contained eyes. Some were in their cabins and others were in gift shops, standing in place. The Captain was at the helm; at least his skeletal remains were. It was like a dinosaur museum-display, where the skeletal remains are posed. There was no blood aboard the ship, not even a blood spatter. It didn’t appear that any type of attack took place. They searched with great caution and with guns pointed as they tip-toed through the massive ship.
Whatever had caused this could have remained on board. They carefully searched the luxury liner and spoke in whispers while their hearts pounded. Only skeletal remains were found; there was nothing left alive on the Tropical Island Ship.

The dazed crew contacted the Coast Guard and they, in turn, contacted other agencies. A helicopter landed on the ship containing police, a forensic expert and a detective. They took several hours to explore the entire cruise ship, taking photos and notes. They gathered on the deck afterwards among the skeletal sun-bathers.



About D.F. Holland




D.F. Holland is a longtime admirer of the Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits, the works of Ira Levin and other works of fantasy, sci-fi and horror. TALES FROM THE BEAUMONT HOUSE is the author's first novel. Holland was born and resides in New York and is currently working on a new project.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Speculative Fiction Links of the Week for November 18, 2016

Here is our weekly round-up of interesting links about speculative fiction from around the web, this week with Doctor Strange and Arrival as well as the usual mix of awards news, writing advice, interviews, reviews, awards news, con reports, crowdfunding projects, science articles and free online fiction. 

Speculative fiction in general:

Comments on Doctor Strange:

Comments on Arrival:

Awards:

Writing, publishing and promotion:

Interviews:

Reviews:

Crowdfunding:

Con reports:

Science and technology:

Free online fiction:

Odds and ends: 

Friday, November 11, 2016

Speculative Fiction Links of the Week for November 11, 2016

Here is our weekly round-up of interesting links about speculative fiction from around the web, this week with Doctor Strange, Arrival, lots of movie trailers as well as the usual mix of awards news, writing advice, interviews, reviews, awards news, con reports, crowdfunding projects, science articles and free online fiction. 

Speculative fiction in general:

Comments on Doctor Strange:

Awards:

Writing, publishing and promotion:

Interviews:

Reviews:

Crowdfunding:

Con reports:

Science and technology:

Free online fiction:

Odds and ends: