Cocktails at Seven, Apocalypse at Eight: The Derby Cavendish Stories by Don Bassingthwaite. Urban Fantasy Collection, ChiZine

I’m Derby Cavendish—that’s pronounced Derby with an “ar” sound, not an “er”: remember it for later. Ever since I was a boy, the forces of the otherworldly have been drawn to me like divas to a spotlight. But I’m ready for them. Bring it on, bitches. It’s Supernatural meets Queer Eye for the Straight Guy in this collection of stories fromWizards of the Coast author Don Bassingthwaite.

Exploded View by Sam McPheeters. Science Fiction, Talos

It’s 2050, and LAPD Detective Terri Pastuzka has drawn the short straw with her first assignment of the new decade. Someone has executed one of the city’s countless immigrants, and no one (besides the usual besieged advocacy groups) seems to much care. Even Terri herself is already looking ahead to her next case before an unexpected development reveals there’s far more to this corpse than meets the eye. And a lot already meets the eye. In a city immersed in augmented reality, the LAPD have their own superior network of high-tech eyewear—PanOpts, the ultimate panopticon—allowing Terri instant access to files and suspects and literal insertion into the crime scene using security footage captured from every angle the day the murder occurred. What started as a single homicide turns into a string of unsolved murders that tie together in frightening ways, leading Terri down a rabbit hole through Los Angeles’s conflicting realities—augmented and virtual, fantastically rumored and harrowingly true—towards an impossible conclusion.

Gemina (Illuminae Files #2) by Jay Kristoff & Amie Kaufman. YA Science Fiction, Knopf Books for Young Readers

Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter; Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. While the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy’s most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion. When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station’s wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival; the fate of everyone on the Hypatia—and possibly the known universe—is in their hands. But relax. They’ve totally got this. They hope.

Isis Orb (Xanth #40) by Piers Anthony. Fantasy, Open Road

In Xanth, everyone has a talent. But that doesn’t mean everyone loves his talent, and no one understands that better than Hapless. Endowed with the ability to conjure any instrument he wants, Hapless could be an extraordinary musician if only he could play a tune that didn’t fall ear-piercingly flat. His one desire is to find an instrument he can play—and maybe a girlfriend or three. But like music, women have never been his forte. When the Good Magician hears about Hapless’s desperate desire, he sends the young man on a quest to find the elusive Isis Orb, a magical talisman that could fulfill his wish. But the mysterious Egyptian goddess for whom the orb is named guards the enchanted object and won’t let anyone see it—let alone use it. Setting out to achieve the impossible, Hapless meets an eclectic mix of creatures that join him on his journey. Like the musically challenged Hapless, they all have wishes they hope the Isis Orb will grant. But the only way they can control the orb is to capture the five totems from the regions of Xanth: Fire, Earth, Air, Water, and the Void. Together, this motley crew will heroically fight dragons, a six-headed griffin, and even a beautiful, seductive water gorgon who tries to rain on Hapless’s parade.

 

The Mammoth Book of Kaiju by Sean Wallace, editor. Anthology, Prime

Giant monsters whose every roar and footstep shakes the earth, whose simple stroll through a city wreaks havoc: KAIJU! Though humankind has never really seen such monsters, we tremble at the thought of them and love to shiver as their screen versions make mayhem. Now, for the first time, a definitive anthology that gathers a wide range of larger-than-life short fiction with creatures that run a gargantuan gamut: the stealthy gabbleduck of Neal Asher’s Polity universe; Gary McMahon’s huge sea-born terror; An Owomoyela’s incredibly tall alien invaders; Frank Wu’s city-razing, eighty-foot-high, fire-breathing lizard; Lavie Tidhar’s titanic ship-devouring monstrosity; a really big Midwest US smackdown related by Jeremiah Tolbert … and many more mega-monster stories to feed your need for killer kaiju!

Moon Chosen: Tales of a New World by P.C. Cast. Fantasy, St. Martin’s Griffin

Mari is an Earth Walker, heir to the unique healing powers of her Clan, but she has cast her duties aside—until she is chosen by a special animal ally, altering her destiny forever. When a deadly attack tears her world apart, Mari reveals the strength of her powers and the forbidden secret of her dual nature as she embarks on a mission to save her people. It is not until Nik, the son of the leader from a rival, dominating clan strays across her path, that Mari experiences something she has never felt before. Now, darkness is coming, and with it, a force, more terrible and destructive than the world has ever seen, leaving Mari to cast the shadows from the earth. By forming a tumultuous alliance with Nik, she must make herself ready. Ready to save her people. Ready to save herself and Nik. Ready to embrace her true destiny … and obliterate the forces that threaten to destroy them all.

 

Sun Born (North America’s Forgotten Past) by W. Michael Gear & Kathleen O’Neal Gear. Historical Fantasy, Tor Books

A thousand years ago, the mighty Cahokian civilization dominated the North American continent from its capital near modern St. Louis. From Wisconsin to the Gulf of Mexico, settlers and priests carried word of the power of their gods. People who wouldn’t bow to that power were conquered or slaughtered. At the heart of the empire stood a vast city, teeming with tens of thousands. Power rested in one being, Morning Star, a god resurrected in the body of a living man. With Sun Born, W. Michael Gear and Kathleen O’Neal Gear take readers back to this amazing place with a tale of murder, magic … and the battle for a people’s very soul. An old enemy has returned to Cahokia, bringing with him emissaries from a civilization that rivals Cahokia. It becomes apparent to the gods-possessed Lady Night Shadow Star, human sister of Morning Star, that they could be conquered by this technologically advanced culture. The fact that the living god, Morning Star, is unwilling—or unable—to play a role in the outcome is a conundrum with horrific possibilities.

 

 

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