March 2016 Must Reads in Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror

Here are the  books that I’m especially looking forward to in SFF and Horror for March (so, SO, much awesome)! What are you looking forward to?


Borderline by Mishell Baker (Saga Press-March 1, 2016)

Synopsis (all synopsis are from B&N or Amazon)-A cynical, disabled film director with borderline personality disorder gets recruited to join a secret organization that oversees relations between Hollywood and Fairyland in the first book of a new urban fantasy series from debut author Mishell Baker.

A year ago, Millie lost her legs and her filmmaking career in a failed suicide attempt. Just when she’s sure the credits have rolled on her life story, she gets a second chance with the Arcadia Project: a secret organization that polices the traffic to and from a parallel reality filled with creatures straight out of myth and fairy tales.

For her first assignment, Millie is tasked with tracking down a missing movie star who also happens to be a nobleman of the Seelie Court. To find him, she’ll have to smooth-talk Hollywood power players and uncover the surreal and sometimes terrifying truth behind the glamour of Tinseltown. But stronger forces than just her inner demons are sabotaging her progress, and if she fails to unravel the conspiracy behind the noble’s disappearance, not only will she be out on the streets, but the shattering of a centuries-old peace could spark an all-out war between worlds.

No pressure.


United States of Japan by Peter Tieryas (Angry Robot-March 1, 2016)

Synopsis-Decades ago, Japan won the Second World War. Americans worship their infallible Emperor, and nobody believes that Japan’s conduct in the war was anything but exemplary. Nobody, that is, except the George Washingtons – a shadowy group of rebels fighting for freedom. Their latest subversive tactic is to distribute an illegal video game that asks players to imagine what the world might be like if the United States had won the war instead.

Captain Beniko Ishimura’s job is to censor video games, and he’s working with Agent Akiko Tsukino of the secret police to get to the bottom of this disturbing new development. But Ishimura’s hiding something… He’s slowly been discovering that the case of the George Washingtons is more complicated than it seems, and the subversive videogame’s origins are even more controversial and dangerous than either of them originally suspected.

Part detective story, part brutal alternate history, United States of Japan is a stunning successor to Philip K Dick’s The Man in the High Castle.


The Brotherhood of the Wheel by R.S. Belcher (Tor-March 1, 2016)

Synopsis-R.S. Belcher, the acclaimed author of The Six-Gun Tarot and The Shotgun Arcana launches a gritty new urban fantasy series about the mysterious society of truckers known only as, The Brotherhood of The Wheel.

In 1119 A.D., a group of nine crusaders became known as the Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon–a militant monastic order charged with protecting pilgrims and caravans traveling on the roads to and from the Holy Land. In time, the Knights Templar would grow in power and, ultimately, be laid low. But a small offshoot of the Templars endure and have returned to the order’s original mission: to defend the roads of the world and guard those who travel on them.

Theirs is a secret line of knights: truckers, bikers, taxi hacks, state troopers, bus drivers, RV gypsies–any of the folks who live and work on the asphalt arteries of America. They call themselves the Brotherhood of the Wheel.

Jimmy Aussapile is one such knight. He’s driving a big rig down South when a promise to a ghostly hitchhiker sets him on a quest to find out the terrible truth behind a string of children gone missing all across the country. The road leads him to Lovina Hewitt, a skeptical Louisiana State Police investigator working the same case and, eventually, to a forgotten town that’s not on any map–and to the secret behind the eerie Black-Eyed Kids said to prowl the highways.


The Courier by Gerald Brandt (DAW-March 1, 2016)

Synopsis-Kris Ballard is a motorcycle courier. A nobody. Level 2 trash in a multi-level city that stretches from San Francisco to the Mexican border—a land where corporations make all the rules. A runaway since the age of fourteen, Kris struggled to set up her life, barely scraping by, working hard to make it without anyone’s help.

But a late day delivery changes everything when she walks in on the murder of one of her clients. Now she’s stuck with a mysterious package that everyone wants. It looks like the corporations want Kris gone, and are willing to go to almost any length to make it happen.

Hunted, scared, and alone, she retreats to the only place she knows she can hide: the Level 1 streets. Fleeing from people that seem to know her every move, she is rescued by Miller—a member of an underground resistance group—only to be pulled deeper into a world she doesn’t understand.

Together Kris and Miller barely manage to stay one step ahead of the corporate killers, but it’s only a matter of time until Miller’s resources and their luck run out….


Into the Dim by Janet B. Taylor (HMH Books for Young Readers-March 1, 2016)

Synopsis-When fragile, sixteen-year-old Hope Walton loses her mom to an earthquake overseas, her secluded world crumbles. Agreeing to spend the summer in Scotland, Hope discovers that her mother was more than a brilliant academic, but also a member of a secret society of time travelers. And she’s alive, though currently trapped in the twelfth century, during the age of Eleanor of Aquitaine. Hope has seventy-two hours to rescue her mother and get back to their own time. Passing through the Dim, Hope enters a brutal medieval world of political intrigue, danger, and violence. A place where any serious interference could alter the very course of history. And when she meets a boy whose face is impossibly familiar, she must decide between her mission and her heart—both of which could leave Hope trapped in the past forever.

Addictive, romantic, and rich with historical detail, Into the Dim is an Outlander for teens.


On the Edge of Dawn by Corinne Duyvis (Amulet-March 1, 2016)

Synopsis-A thrilling, thought-provoking novel from one of young-adult literature’s boldest new talents.

January 29, 2035. That’s the day the comet is scheduled to hit—the big one. Denise and her mother and sister, Iris, have been assigned to a temporary shelter outside their hometown of Amsterdam to wait out the blast, but Iris is nowhere to be found, and at the rate Denise’s drug-addicted mother is going, they’ll never reach the shelter in time. A last-minute meeting leads them to something better than a temporary shelter—a generation ship, scheduled to leave Earth behind to colonize new worlds after the comet hits. But everyone on the ship has been chosen because of their usefulness. Denise is autistic and fears that she’ll never be allowed to stay. Can she obtain a spot before the ship takes flight? What about her mother and sister? When the future of the human race is at stake, whose lives matter most?


Fire Touched by Patricia Briggs (Ace-March 8, 2016)

Synopsis-Mercy Thompson has been hailed as “a heroine who continues to grow and yet always remains true to herself.”* Now she’s back, and she’ll soon discover that when the fae stalk the human world, it’s the children who suffer…

Tensions between the fae and humans are coming to a head. And when coyote shapeshifter Mercy and her Alpha werewolf mate, Adam, are called upon to stop a rampaging troll, they find themselves with something that could be used to make the fae back down and forestall out-and-out war: a human child stolen long ago by the fae.

Defying the most powerful werewolf in the country, the humans, and the fae, Mercy, Adam, and their pack choose to protect the boy no matter what the cost. But who will protect them from a boy who is fire touched?


Monstrous Little Voices by Adrian Tchaikovsky, Emma Newman, Jonathan Barnes, Foz Meadows, and Kate Heartfield (Abaddon-March 8, 2016)

Synopsis-It is the time of Shakespeare. Storms rage, armies clash, magics are done – and stories are made. Five new great and terrible tales reshape the Bard’s vision, a new set of stories that will be told and retold down through the centuries.

It is the Year of Our Lord 1601. The Tuscan War rages across the world, and every lord from Navarre to Illyria is embroiled in the fray. Cannon roar, pikemen clash, and witches stalk the night; even the fairy courts stand on the verge of chaos.

Five stories come together at the end of the war: that of bold Miranda and sly Puck; of wise Pomona and her prisoner Vertumnus; of gentle Lucia and the shade of Prospero; of noble Don Pedro and powerful Helena; and of Anne, a glovemaker’s wife. On these lovers and heroes the world itself may depend.

Monstrous Little Voices collects five of today’s most exciting names in genre fiction – Jonathan Barnes (The Somnambulist, Cannonbridge); Adrian Tchaikovsky (The Shadows of the Apt, Children of Time); Emma Newman (The Split Worlds, multiple-award-nominated Tea and Jeopardy podcast); Hugo-nominated blogger Foz Meadows (Solace & Grief, The Key to Starveldt’s); and upcoming novelist (and journalist for the Ottawa Citizen) Kate Heartfield – to delve into the world Shakespeare created for us. With wars and romances, its magics and deceptions, discover five stories he never told, but could have. Stories of what happened next or what went before, of the things unseen or simply elsewhere in the world as Shakespeare’s own tales unfolded on the stage.


The Cold Between by Elizabeth Bonesteel (Harper Voyager-March 8, 2016)

Synopsis-Deep in the stars, a young officer and her lover are plunged into a murder mystery and a deadly conspiracy in this first entry in a stellar military science-fiction series in the tradition of Lois McMaster Bujold.

When her crewmate, Danny, is murdered on the colony of Volhynia, Central Corps chief engineer, Commander Elena Shaw, is shocked to learn the main suspect is her lover, Treiko Zajec. She knows Trey is innocent—he was with her when Danny was killed. So who is the real killer and why are the cops framing an innocent man?

Retracing Danny’s last hours, they discover that his death may be tied to a mystery from the past: the explosion of a Central Corps starship at a wormhole near Volhynia. For twenty-five years, the Central Gov has been lying about the tragedy, even willing to go to war with the outlaw PSI to protect their secrets.

With the authorities closing in, Elena and Trey head to the wormhole, certain they’ll find answers on the other side. But the truth that awaits them is far more terrifying than they ever imagined . . . a conspiracy deep within Central Gov that threatens all of human civilization throughout the inhabited reaches of the galaxy—and beyond.


The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories by Ken Liu (Saga Press-March 8, 2016)

Synopsis-A publishing event: Bestselling author Ken Liu selects his award-winning science fiction and fantasy tales for a groundbreaking collection—including a brand-new piece exclusive to this volume.

With his debut novel, The Grace of Kings, taking the literary world by storm, Ken Liu now shares his finest short fiction in The Paper Menagerie. This mesmerizing collection features all of Ken’s award-winning and award-finalist stories, including: “The Man Who Ended History: A Documentary” (Finalist for the Hugo, Nebula, and Theodore Sturgeon Awards), “Mono No Aware” (Hugo Award winner), “The Waves” (Nebula Award finalist), “The Bookmaking Habits of Select Species” (Nebula and Sturgeon award finalists), “All the Flavors” (Nebula award finalist), “The Litigation Master and the Monkey King” (Nebula Award finalist), and the most awarded story in the genre’s history, “The Paper Menagerie” (The only story to win the Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy awards).

A must-have for every science fiction and fantasy fan, this beautiful book is an anthology to savor.


The Steep and Thorny Way by Cat Winters (Amulet-March 8, 2016)

Synopsis-A thrilling reimagining of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, The Steep and Thorny Way tells the story of a murder most foul and the mighty power of love and acceptance in a state gone terribly rotten.

1920s Oregon is not a welcoming place for Hanalee Denney, the daughter of a white woman and an African-American man. She has almost no rights by law, and the Ku Klux Klan breeds fear and hatred in even Hanalee’s oldest friendships. Plus, her father, Hank Denney, died a year ago, hit by a drunk-driving teenager. Now her father’s killer is out of jail and back in town, and he claims that Hanalee’s father wasn’t killed by the accident at all but, instead, was poisoned by the doctor who looked after him—who happens to be Hanalee’s new stepfather.

The only way for Hanalee to get the answers she needs is to ask Hank himself, a “haint” wandering the roads at night.


Forest of Memory by Mary Robinette Kowal (Tor.com-March 8, 2016)

Synopsis-Katya deals in Authenticities and Captures, trading on nostalgia for a past long gone. Her clients are rich and they demand items and experiences with only the finest verifiable provenance. Other people’s lives have value, after all.

But when her A.I. suddenly stops whispering in her ear she finds herself cut off from the grid and loses communication with the rest of the world.

The man who stepped out of the trees while hunting deer cut her off from the cloud, took her A.I. and made her his unwilling guest.

There are no Authenticities or Captures to prove Katya’s story of what happened in the forest. You’ll just have to believe her.


Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton (Viking Books for Young Readers-March 8, 2016)

Synopsis-“You will cheer for Amani the whole way as she escapes the bonds of oppression and finds her own power, and you will mark your calendar for the sequel.”—Rae Carson, bestselling author of the Fire & Thorns trilogy

Mortals rule the desert nation of Miraji, but mythical beasts still roam the wild and remote areas, and rumor has it that somewhere, djinn still perform their magic. For humans, it’s an unforgiving place, especially if you’re poor, orphaned, or female.

Amani Al’Hiza is all three. She’s a gifted gunslinger with perfect aim, but she can’t shoot her way out of Dustwalk, the back-country town where she’s destined to wind up wed or dead.

Then she meets Jin, a rakish foreigner, in a shooting contest, and sees him as the perfect escape route. But though she’s spent years dreaming of leaving Dustwalk, she never imagined she’d gallop away on mythical horse—or that it would take a foreign fugitive to show her the heart of the desert she thought she knew.

Rebel of the Sands reveals what happens when a dream deferred explodes—in the fires of rebellion, of romantic passion, and the all-consuming inferno of a girl finally, at long last, embracing her power.


A Man Lies Dreaming by Lavie Tidhar (Melville House-March 8, 2016)

Synopsis-The novel that stunned—and scandalized—Europe comes to America

Wolf, a low-rent private detective, roams London’s gloomy, grimy streets, haunted by dark visions of a future that could have been—and a dangerous present populated by British Fascists and Nazis escaping Germany. Shomer, a pulp fiction writer, lies in a concentration camp, imagining another world. And when Wolf and Shomer’s stories converge, we find ourselves drawn into a novel both shocking and profoundly haunting.

At once a perfectly pitched hard-boiled noir thriller (with an utterly shocking twist) and a “Holocaust novel like no other” (The Guardian), A Man Lies Dreaming is a masterful, unforgettable literary experiment from “one of our best and most adventurous writers” (Locus).


Pieces of Hate by Tim Lebbon (Tor.com-March 15, 2016)

Synopsis-During the Dark Ages, a thing named Temple slaughtered Gabriel’s family. A man with snake eyes charged him to pursue the assassin wherever he may strike next, and destroy him. Gabriel never believed he’d still be following Temple almost a thousand years later.

Because Temple may be a demon, the man with snake eyes cursed Gabriel with a life long enough to hunt him down. Now he has picked up Temple’s scent again. The Caribbean sea is awash with pirate blood, and in such turmoil the outcome of any fight is far from certain.

Free bonus novelette:

Dead Man’s Hand

In the wilderness of the American West, the assassin is set to strike again. Despite his centuries-long curse, Gabriel is still but a man, scarred and bitter. The town of Deadwood has seen many such men… though it’s never seen anything quite like the half-demon known as Temple.


A Drop of Night by Stefan Bachmann (Greenwillow Books-March 15, 2016)

Synopsis-Modern-day teenagers meet a palace of terrors locked up since the French Revolution in this haunting, genre-bending thriller from Stefan Bachmann, the internationally bestselling author of The Peculiar and The Whatnot. A Drop of Night will thrill fans of Neal Shusterman and Jessica Khoury.

Seventeen-year-old Anouk has finally caught the break she’s been looking for―she’s been selected out of hundreds of other candidates to fly to France and help with the excavation of a vast, underground palace buried a hundred feet below the suburbs of Paris. Built in the 1780’s to hide an aristocratic family and a mad duke during the French Revolution, the palace has lain hidden and forgotten ever since. Anouk, along with several other gifted teenagers, will be the first to set foot in it in over two centuries.

Or so she thought.

But nothing is as it seems, and the teens―bitter, iron-hearted Anouk, gentle Will, bubbly Lilly, and crazy Jules―soon find themselves trapped in a game far more sinister, and dangerous, than they could possibly have imagined.


Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke (Dial Books-March 22, 2016)

Synopsis-The intrigue of The Raven Boys and the “supernatural or not” question of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer coalesce in this young adult mystery, where nothing is quite as it seems, no one is quite who you think, and everything can change on a dime.

Every story needs a hero.
Every story needs a villain.
Every story needs a secret.

Wink is the odd, mysterious neighbor girl, wild red hair and freckles. Poppy is the blond bully and the beautiful, manipulative high school queen bee. Midnight is the sweet, uncertain boy caught between them. Wink. Poppy. Midnight. Two girls. One boy. Three voices that burst onto the page in short, sharp, bewitching chapters, and spiral swiftly and inexorably toward something terrible or tricky or tremendous.

What really happened?
Someone knows.
Someone is lying.


DJSturbia by David J. Schow (Subterranean Press-March 31, 2016)

Synopsis-DJSturbia is home to monsters.

All kinds of monsters, from skyscraper-sized Godzilla (twice!) to the microscopic space germ known as the Andromeda Strain.

Monsters human and inhuman, from fictional psycho killers to the real-life terrorists of 9/11.

Lovecraftian horrors. Extraterrestrial insects. Giant serpents. Gargoyles and ghosts. Gunfighters and assassins. The battlefield monstrosities known as Warbirds, the alien invaders called Black Widowers, and — oh, yes — a little critter named Bob.

Classic monsters lurk here, too: That Creature from That Lagoon. That Thing from Another World. Monsters living, monsters dead … and in-between.

David J. Schow’s newest collection features his usual lucky thirteen short stories — shoot ‘em ups, horror noir, and surprises aplenty — plus, for the first time, a poison-candy sampler of thirteen additional essays covering everything from The Crow to live snake-handling.

A World Fantasy Award winner for short fiction, DJS has come to escort you into the dark suburbs of his imagination — DJSturbia.

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