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 November 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 epic fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal mystery, paranormal romance, science fiction romance, space opera, military science fiction, dystopian fiction, post-apocalyptic science fiction, time travel, witches, werewolves, vampires, dragons, cyborgs, fugitives, angels, demons and demon slayers, assassins, Christmas in space 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:
There is no turning back from war now.
The Fringe Liberation Campaign has sparked protests and rebellions across the Collective. Can the fringe unite into a single front before the Collective Unified Forces send everything they’ve got to destroy the Campaign and kill every last torrent?
Hope is a luxury traitors can’t afford.
To say Rebecca has some doubts about her personal choices would be underestimating the situation. In this second installment of the Collaborator series, Rebecca finds herself being chased by Blackout officers, border patrol, military intelligence, and surveillance drones.
Rebecca still isn’t sure she can trust any of these people who’d escaped the exploding station, but what choice does she have? She is a fugitive and a certain Blackout officer wants her back.
Eight-year-old Libby has come with her parents to spend a year at the newly established colony on the planet Iago Prime. Libby’s parents believe that this is a great opportunity for all of them, but Libby is unhappy on Iago Prime. There are no other children on Iago Prime and Libby can’t go anywhere, because she doesn’t even have a space suit. Worst of all, they will spend Christmas on Iago Prime, where there aren’t even any Christmas trees.
However, Libby’s parents, with a little help from Santa Claus himself, conspire to give Libby an unforgettable Christmas on Iago Prime.
This is a science fictional Christmas story of 6600 words or approx. 22 print pages.
Dragons have been gone from the world for over a thousand years. Now they’re back.
Telryn “Trip” Yert has always been a little odd, with hunches that are too accurate to explain. Magic is feared and forbidden in Iskandia, so he’s struggled his whole life to hide his eccentricities. As a boy, he was forced to watch his mother’s execution. Her crime? Witchcraft.
Understandably, Trip wants nothing to do with the power that lurks within him, always threatening to reveal itself. Instead, he dedicates himself to serving as an officer in the king’s army, to battling pirates and imperial conquerors. He longs to become a soldier as respected and renowned as the legendary General Zirkander.
But his country is in need of more than a soldier.
After disappearing for over a thousand years, dragons have returned to the world. A few of them are willing to be allies to mankind, as they were millennia before, but far more want to destroy or enslave humans and claim the world for themselves.
There are few people left with the power to fight dragons. For reasons he doesn’t understand, Trip may be one of those people. But if he chooses to learn more about his heritage and the power he can wield, he risks losing everyone he loves and everything he longs to be.
A heart-warming story about Christmas, elves, Santa Claus…and a really mad witch.
There are many things Cinnamon Mercy Claus is struggling with this holiday season: the memories of long forgotten holidays when the Christmas season was about family; that she’s just found out her grandfather is Santa Claus; and that her grandmother is a witch—who is bent on destroying Christmas for them all.
This is a 30,000-word novella with a dose of Hallmark warmth and crazy witch mayhem!
It is a ‘clean’ read with no cursing. Situations should be appropriate for all ages.
Earth’s days are numbered.
Two very different women race to prepare for the battle to come. The future of Earth is in their hands.
One struggles to resurrect her ruined ship so she can navigate the politics at the galactic core in a desperate bid to recruit allies.
The other strives to master alien technology to supply the forces of Earth with the tools needed to defend themselves against the ravenous Swarm.
Between them, Jane and Zara offer humanity its best chance at survival, but the odds are stacked against them and their best may not be good enough.
Together again, and ready to bring the system to its knees.
Karin Makos has spent the last two months running from one thing or another—but all that’s about to change. Her sister’s back, and Nomiki’s ready to grab their problems by the horns, throw them on their backs, and rip into them with her modified carbon steel blades.
With the backing of the Fallon Empire and a promising new lead, the two are determined to reach down into the mystery of their past and pull out its secrets, once and for all.
But they aren’t the only ones on the move. And looking may uncover more than even they could have bargained for.
For a thousand years, vampires ruled the earth. They bent men to their will and molded cities into hotbeds of depravity.
Ha! Just kidding. Vampires are weaklings that catch fire if you push them into sunlight. As soon as humans found out they existed, they captured the suckers, enslaved them, and put the pallid creatures to work.
So, imagine my surprise when a free vampire strolled into Joe’s Bar just before closing. Fair enough if he’s ditched his chains but walking around in public? That does not compute. As an escapee cyborg with a bounty on her head, I don’t want to dig for trouble. Don’t see, don’t tell is the motto for survival on the empire’s rough streets.
If it weren’t for my best friend, I’d turn a blind eye. But I owe that thirteen-year-old vampire my freedom and most probably my life. If something is changing for his species, then he deserves to know.
Sure, this investigation might open a seething can of bother, but if trouble comes for me, I’m ready. My body is 34% titanium, my skin is silicone polymer, and I’ve got nerves of steel.
Axel Ryan is running for his life.
Pursued by bounty hunters with a price on his head, he should disappear into the stars to hide and continue his search for Stardrives. But his soulmate, Element Cruz, has resurfaced and after spending the last six months searching for her with no luck, finding her again is worth gambling his life. She’s putting her own in danger by infiltrating an illegal slave auction where the Star Keeper of Endaria is being sold; a woman with empathic abilities, worth more credits then Axel can legally gather.
It should be an easy mission. Crash the auction, save his girl, and fly off into the galaxy to live happily ever after together. But the universe has another destiny in store for Axel, one he’ll need to embrace to save them all, or die trying.
The dream to travel to the stars has become the nightmare to escape from them.
Rebecca’s passion for space exploration made her a captain. Living through an alien invasion made her strong enough to endure the harshness of the galaxy.
Rebecca has been given the opportunity of a life time, command of the ESRS Carl Sagan an exploration and colonization starship. She along with her trusted crew embark on an expedition to establish the human race’s most remote colony located in the heart of the Sirius system.
Upon awaking from their multiyear cryostasis sleep, Rebecca and her crew quickly discovers that what exists in the Sirius system isn’t what scientists had predicted.
Not even remotely close.
Their journey to the brightest star in the skies of Earth has now become a dreadful catastrophe with the potential to reach Earth if left unchecked. With innocent colonists at risk and no means of communicating with Earth, Rebecca must abandon her primary mission of exploration in order to take on a new one, survival.
Meet Carmen Rebello – Rune Witch, owner of the best magic store in Barcelona, and black sheep of her family.
When Carmen successfully removes a spell from a bewitched human, she never thought she would get ensnared in an ongoing Supernatural Bureau of Investigation case. Her life is already complicated by trying to stay hidden from her powerful family members, Carmen can’t afford the attention of joining the investigation but the SBI insist on her involvement. Add an annoying (but hot) SBI agent and her life is getting more difficult by the day. Can she help the SBI without exposing her identity?
Magic Runes is the intriguing first novel in the Magic Runes series. If you enjoy stories filled with supernatural creatures, magic and mystery, and a sprinkle of romance in an urban fantasy setting, this is the book for you!
What will you do when they come for your children?
The world has turned inward, away from the sun, in the wake of a mysterious disease that has altered the human race. No longer able to bear healthy human children, our mothers and daughters have brought vampire-like hybrids into the world, and with it a new order. Now that reproduction has been banned, those left with young children face a terrible and devastating decision – turn your babies over to the government or pay the price. For young Freya, keeping her brother hidden is the only real option.
Enemies of the state, Freya must stand between her family and the forces of a fearful world. Although her brother may not be human, there is little else separating her and those of the blue skin.
Choices will be made. Lines will be drawn. The battle for humanity has only just begun.
BLUE SKIN is the first book in a 5 part vampire dystopian, thriller horror series.
Douglas Oliver loves to play games.
Playing games is in his blood.
Douglas Oliver’s ancestors were genetically engineered to be perfect soldiers for the Imperial armies. The Empire has been gone for 3000 years but it’s legacy remains. Strong, fast, smart and aggressive, the people of Illyria relish competition of every sort.
In Meridien, the richest nation on Illyria, the greatest game of all is the Game of Life, and in the Game of Life, keeping score is simple. Status, riches and power mean that you’re winning, but the rulers of Meridien know that too much competition can destroy everything. The Guilds and the Guild Council ensure that the rules of the Game are followed.
Douglas Oliver is nowhere near the most powerful player in the Game, but he’s young and he’s successful. He has time. He understands the rules and he isn’t afraid of being challenged, until a challenge arrives from an unknown agent and suddenly, the Game is no longer just a game. It’s an all-out war with Douglas Oliver at its center, a war that threatens everything and everyone that he loves.
Even a chameleon can be a target.
Libby makes her money as a thief and an assassin, but a girl has to have a cover. To her surprise, her business installing security systems in 23rd century Toronto is taking off, as is her romance with Wil—North America’s top cop.
Then an insurance company hires her to recover a fortune in stolen art and jewelry. Bring them the stolen goods and they’ll pay an outrageous fee, no questions asked.
The Vancouver art scene is hot, in more ways than one. Billionaires compete for bragging rights, and they aren’t picky who they deal with.
With big money and reputations on the line, Libby is on a collision course with the super-rich. When too many questions make the art thieves uncomfortable, one of the world’s top assassins is hired to eliminate those who know too much—including Libby.
“Primal forest, dim light and the muscular grace of a large predator sliding through the undergrowth. Mika twitched, caught up in her dream. Gnats swarmed above the moss coated pools. The crashing of beasts in the distance and the humming of bees. She threaded her way through, blinking in the green light.”
Fifteen year old Mika is to be married to a foreign boy she has only met once, despite her family mourning the recent disappearance of her twin brother, Kaylan. Forced to live in a strange land, far from her home in Cassai, she is resigned to her life as a lady until the day she discovers her new family dead around her. Mika escapes the city and disguises herself to travel to Ackbarr, certain she will discover the real reason for her brother’s disappearance.
Meanwhile, her dreams are filled with a predator stalking the forests of her homeland. Dreams that leave her trembling with the taste of blood.
Arthur Winter’s job at the Ministry of Detection used to be simple: track down the humanoid alien hybrids and lock them up.
But after a botched operation, he finds himself on a different kind of assignment. One that’s off the books and very hush-hush.
Mary Haddon, eminent scientist and daughter of a senior politician, is missing and its Winter’s job to find her.
But when Winter discovers Mary’s history of communication with illegal alien hybrids, he realizes that his assignment is about more than just a missing woman. As he gets deeper, he finds questions going in every direction.
If Mary ran, who is chasing her? Why is her disappearance a matter of secrecy? And what is Project Cocoon?
The only thing Winter knows for sure is this is definitely above his pay grade.
Seer and demon slayer Jordan Amador has had it rough lately: separated from her husband the archangel Michael, hated by the angels who think she betrayed them, hunted by demons who want her dead or enslaved, and rejected by her friends and family for lying to them. Disgraced and miserable, she’s all but ready to lay down and die until another Seer named Myra Bennett saves her life. Myra gives Jordan a new mission: to wipe out a nest of demons that are terrorizing her family as well as the innocent people of Houston, Texas. Jordan goes undercover to infiltrate the demons’ nest and figure out how to eliminate them. Meanwhile, she’s locked in a deadly game with the archdemon Belial, who constantly visits her night after night in her dreams to convince her to give him her soul. Between the insanely gorgeous, but dangerous archdemon poking around in her head and the vicious creatures surrounding her, she’s not sure how much longer she can survive.
Back to Black takes place between She Who Fights Monsters and The Holy Dark in the Black Parade
Writers never really die; their stories live on, to be found again, to be told again, to scare again.
In Victorian London, a select group of writers, led by Arthur Conan Doyle, Bram Stoker and Henry James held an informal dining club, the price of entry to which was the telling of a story by each invited guest.
These are their stories, containing tales of revenant loved ones, lost cities, weird science, spectral appearances and mysteries in the fog of the old city, all told by some of the foremost writers of the day. In here you’ll find Verne and Wells, Tolstoy and Checkov, Stevenson and Oliphant, Kipling, Twain, Haggard and Blavatsky alongside their hosts.
Come, join us for dinner and a story.
It’s Eoin and Angie’s first Christmas together and he wants to make it special. But his dragoness is lacking holiday spirit and doesn’t want anything to do with celebrating. Does Angie think Eoin is the type of dragon who could ignore her unhappiness? Clipping on his jingle bells and grabbing the mistletoe, Eoin is on a mission.
Fourteen years ago, Christmas hit Walkerville with a bang. Or, rather, a big ball of fire.
When a local group home for orphaned children goes up in smoke right before the holidays, Tillie Winchester volunteers her family to take in some kids – even though her arch nemesis Margaret Little is dead-set against it. Of course, that’s part of the appeal for Tillie so she’s considering it a win.
Three boys – all of them with a little attitude – have no idea what to expect from the Winchester household. No matter what, Tillie is sure they’re about to get more than they bargained for. In short order, they’re welcomed into the family at the same time the town is on edge due to a second fire.
Tillie is determined to prove the boys are innocent while also finding them a forever home … even if she has to take on a local judge and declare all out war to do it.
So, hang your stockings by the fire and sit back for another Christmas with the Winchesters. You’ll never be the same again.
Note: This is a 28,000-word novella set in the Wicked Witches of the Midwest world. It’s set back in the past so it can be read in any order.
Time-Traveling adventurers Simon and Elizabeth Cross return in an all-new Christmas novella!
Along with their young daughter, Charlotte, the Crosses travel back to 1937 New York City to visit an old friend, Charlie Blue. But Charlie’s in trouble — holiday-sized trouble — and their plans for a pleasant little Christmas vacation soon fly out the window.
Christmas in New York is the fast-paced and heartwarming tale of the true meaning of Christmas — and the importance of the people we share it with.
A Christmas without warmth…
Rachel hates her life in Alaska. She hates the weather, but even more, she hates her job which requires her to stay in the sodden state even for the holidays! Instead of going to visit her family in sunny California, she will be spending the holidays alone in the cold north. But when she encounters an unconscious, golden alien on the way home from work – amidst a massive snowstorm to top it all off – it looks like the holidays might not end up as boring as she’d thought after all!
A dragon paralyzed by cold…
Captain Erro of Traag never thought to go down in a battle. Even less did he think to find his mate on the surface of the planet he crashes on! Trapped in the planet’s frozen wasteland, Erro can hardly function in the cold climate. He’s a dragon, for heaven’s sake! He needs some heat! And yet, despite the icy weather seeping into his bones, every time the strangely beautiful alien female smiles at him, his inner flame burns stronger than ever. She is his mate, there is no question about that.
Now, if only he could understand what the hell she was saying…
Snowed in with the Alien Dragon is a standalone sci-fi romance novella with a scorching hot dragon, a HEA and no cliffhangers. Intended for mature audiences only.
Krampus, haunter of the dark winter’s nights before Yule, comes bearing a switch to beat ‘bad children’…
Young Snoefrith, daughter of the Erl-King, leaves her homeland on a quest to find her lost mother…and a life. As she travels in wild, unfamiliar lands, she is accosted by Old Nickor, a red-robed goblin who flies the wintry skies in a sleigh pulled by coal-black deer, and his bestial companion, Krampus. Nickor sets Krampus upon Snowfrith, seeking to capture her to sell to the Kobold King who dwells under the mountains.
Rescued by Red Roo, a feisty girl who is the best archer in the Wandron tribe, Snoefrith believes she is now safe.
But Krampus is determined to capture his prey and please his master, Nickor. Under cover of darkness, he destroys the Wandron’s caravans and sends Snoefrith and Red Roo fleeing into the forest and beyond.
Soon they learn that they cannot flee forever.
The hunted must become the hunters….
A short fantasy novelette for all ages, 15,000 words.
What do flesh-eating cell phones, brain-enhancing tacos, and a real live dead foot have in common?
They’re all tools in the destruction of our world, and a weapons-grade team of heavily-armed Miskatonic University nerds may be humanity’s last hope.
Something is ripping holes in the Veil of energy that separates our world from that of the ancient evils writhing just beyond what we think is reality. Time is running out for Professors Derrick LeStrand, Howard Strauss and their team of researchers as they race to hunt down a mysterious Frenchman who wields Necromantic Death Magic unlike anything they’ve seen before.
Tearing open psychological wounds from Derrick’s past, the cabalistic sorcerer is gathering ancient icons of power to pierce the Veil and bring down the only thing shielding mankind from the relentless horrors beyond.
If they fail, the only questions that will remain are who will live in servitude to the Great Old Ones and who will die…and who will supply Derrick with tacos?
Set against the backdrop of a world where H.P. Lovecraft was not a fiction writer, but a Sweep, a special operative trained to protect the collective sanity of the human race with misinformative blends of fact and fiction … where the Dungeons and Dragons Monster Manual is little more than a slightly skewed Audubon Field Guide, and the monster movies you grew up with are more documentary than not.
It’s Lovecraftian Lethal Weapon cranked to eleven.
There’s mistletoe growing out of the walls, it’s snowing inside the space station, and a sex scandal is brewing that could bring down the monarchy. Must be Joyeux!
Joyeux on Paris Satellite is a seven day festival of drunken bets, poor decision-making, religious contemplation and tinsel. But mostly, poor decision-making. Athos and Porthos aren’t going to sleep together. Aramis is breaking up with her girlfriend because it’s that or marry her. Athos is not ready to deal with the ghost of his ex-husband. Oh, and no one wants Prince Alek to break his marriage contract by hooking up with a sexy Ambassador…
It’s down to the Musketeers and the Red Guard to save the space station and the solar system from disaster. So… that’s not going to end well.
This novella is a festive prequel to Musketeer Space, a genderflipped space opera retelling of The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas.
When a starship decides to play Santa Claus…
Ahab is a mLa’an artificial intelligence embedded in the starship, Orion.
The campaign for AIs to be recognized as full citizens of Galaxy Proper is within reach of its extraordinary goal. The only thing that could stop it now is if an AI did something foolish…like take a space station hostage to save eight orphaned children.
And this is the letter to Santa that starts it all:
I don’t know if yourreindeers work in space. But if you have room in your sleigh after you finishdelivering presents to the lucky kids with parents and homes, can you come and getme and my friends? Please?
We’ve been good. Well,we haven’t been really bad. We’re on Station Elphame, in the junkyard, and Zoeis sick. She’s bad sick. I think she’d be better on a planet. We don’t needpresents. We just need a way out of here. Ollie tried to sneak onto atrampship…he died.
Please, Santa, I don’twant any more of my friends to die.