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 August 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, military fantasy, dark fantasy, Arthurian fantasy, Asian fantasy, Wuxia, paranormal mystery, space opera, military science fiction, time travel romance, Steampunk, LitRPG, horror, ghosts, fae, pirates, space marines, conscientious objectors, traffickers, trailblazers, time travel, crime-busting witches, crime-busting werewolves, literary characters come to life, Arthur and Merlin, defiant empires 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:
Deeper into the shadows. . .
The paranatural community isn’t done with Alex. She’s been summoned to the fae court, and she’s got her hands full trying to prepare. But her date with the fae will have to wait. There’s been a death at the gallery, and the man she hoped would be a part of her future is the prime suspect.
Bitter enemies pull her into the middle of a paranatural war for territory that has her dodging police, swords, teeth, and claws—not to mention the truth. The deeper she digs, the more secrets she uncovers, and the less certain she is about the innocence of the one man she wanted to trust.
She thought she was done with murder and monsters, but she’ll have to enter the belly of the beast if she hopes to save her friend.
Capernica is invaded.
Locals are conscripted into the militia.
How can a conscientious objector carry a rifle and still uphold his convictions?
Capernica has welcomed the Taymon family, refugees who follow the teachings of St. Francis of Assisi. First and foremost is that Assisians will not take another life.
When the planet is invaded, Harris Taymon is conscripted into the planetary militia against his will. He knows he owes a deep sense of loyalty to the planet, but can he bear arms against the enemy with intent to kill?
And if he doesn’t, can he survive his own side where desertion and cowardice are punished by execution?
Download this novella and read how he deals with this internal conflict.
Being a witch can make friendships rather fraught!
One best friend attacked by a werewolf and now howling at the moon, while the other has joined a cult and thinks she’s an angel.
Except she actually might be…
When Verity suddenly gets powers and starts targeting paranormals, I know it’s only a matter of time before she figures out that I’m more supernatural than super normal.
I need to stop her before she hurts anyone else. Or worse, before something retaliates. Divine intervention I’m not, and my help is more hex than heavenly, but sometimes a witch has got to wade in before things get hotter than spell.
Roboticist extraordinaire Casmir Dabrowski has a new nemesis: astroshaman leader Kyla Moonrazor.
She’s stolen the ancient wormhole gate the king ordered Casmir to retrieve, and she’s entrenched in an underwater base on a forsaken moon. Moonrazor is more educated and more experienced than Casmir, and she has legions of killer robots and cyborg defenders on her side. Casmir has his friends and… a submarine named the Waddler.
As if his task wasn’t daunting enough, his old competitor, mercenary Captain Tenebris Rache, is on the same quest, and he’ll do anything to keep the Kingdom from getting that gate.
If Casmir can’t find a way to defeat them, the king will never let him return to his home, his family, and the career he loves.
Between the Teeth collects 16 tales of horror and science fiction from author Jeff C. Carter that will sink their fangs into you and won’t let go.
– A serial killer ends up in an emergency room, but a heart attack may be the least of his problems.
– A researcher hunts a rare spider in the jungles of Myanmar.
– A greedy dentist gets the most interesting client of his life.
Witness soldiers trapped in a crocodile infested swamp, a preacher hunting demon outlaws, and karma catching up to a Bangkok body snatcher. Whatever flavor of the macabre you crave, you will find it Between the Teeth. Buy it now!
In the future, humanity has colonized hundreds of star systems. The upstart colony Carthage has conquered most of the human-settled worlds–including Earth itself–with fleets of autonomous, AI-driven warships and armies of robotic infantry. Freedom from their empire is found only in rough outer worlds on the distant fringes of settled space.
On Galapagos, a free world, newly elected Minister-General Reginald Ellison had hoped he’d seen the end of war. He spent his youth fighting in battles across his planet’s vast oceans and small islands, and his later years working to build a coalition of peace among the world’s fragmented nations. Now the arrival of an unnerving android ambassador from the distant imperial planet of Carthage threatens his world’s hopes for a free and peaceful future.
On Earth, the machines patrol the post-apocalyptic ruins of bombed-out megacities, left over from Earth’s war with Carthage. In the fallen megalopolis of Chicago, a young scavenger makes a discovery that could empower Earthlings to finally fight back, but could also endanger everyone he loves.
On Carthage, the rulers of humanity enjoy extreme wealth and luxury, while machines carry out all forms of labor and provide for their every whim. Audrey Caracala, daughter of Carthage’s top political leader, has led a protected existence, groomed to help her family rule the known galaxy. Now her family’s enemies hunt her as she searches for her missing brother in the dangerous, unfamiliar territory of the Carthaginian underworld, where she begins to face hard truths about the machines and about her own family’s legacy.
Three people, on three very different worlds, must confront alternate faces of the ever-evolving machines, which spin their own designs beyond the vision of their human masters, forging a new kind of empire that will be ruled by no man.
Once in every thousand years, a hero is born who is destined to save the world.
The inhabitants of Almytheans, are forced to act as slaves, mining rare refractive crystals for the malevolent Lost One. The Almytheans are comprised of both humanoid and non-humanoid species, many having been brought to Almythea by the Lost One’s reptilian, thug-like armies of Latchers. They live simple, oppressed lives as most have had their memories wiped before commencing their enslaved existence. However, they still possess an abiding belief that their prophesized savior, known as The Astra, will one day rescue them.
Banished from the community for a crime he did not commit, as Little Hawk approaches his twenty-first birthday a mysterious shaman warrior, Grey Paw, rescues him from depression, self-doubt and the deadly addictive bittercups in the Badlands before preparing him for a secret tournament. The winner will be named The Astra and sent on a quest to find the fabled Arrow of Truth, the only weapon capable of ending the Lost One’s rule. All Almytheans expect the self-serving and duplicitous Gyeder to be named The Astra. This honor and responsibility includes the hand of a headstrong, capable young woman (and last of the pure blood Accipitridae race) named Broken Arrows, the woman Little Hawk has secretly loved.
It’s a race against time. Little Hawk feels the weight of his destiny to destroy the Lost One, his reptilian Latcher army and his curiously beautiful yet sinister lieutenant Raven Weaver, before they destroy him. With the help of Grey Paw, his best friend, the wise-cracking Laughing Eyes, and a curious pixie-like, mess-up creature called a fleaf, Little Hawk must not only save Almythea but also rescue Broken Arrows from a terrible fate.
Otherworld evil is loose in the real world. Bram Farrell, Private Investigator, must track it down and destroy it before it destroys him.
Bram Farrell has starred in twenty bestselling novels by writer—and witch—Calista Amberson. Her fans love the tall, dark, and handsome PI who vanquishes supernatural bad guys using his magical powers. So, when Calista uses her magic to pull Bram from his fictional world into real-world, modern-day Detroit, she rocks both worlds.
Every supernatural being on Earth felt his arrival in this dimension. They don’t trust Calie’s intentions and Bram doesn’t either. When the supernatural community hands him the job of discovering who killed the beings in the real world that match those he killed in each volume of The Raven Tales, he takes on the task. It’s a job he’s done in twenty books—he’s up to the familiar challenge.
Bram’s investigation turns up a lot of suspicious characters grouchy bar-owning trolls, a thirsty vampire godfather, a couple of murderous x-cage fighters, a suspicious minister¬¬—and the Devil himself. Things are getting dicey: Bram could use some help with this job—but whom can he trust?
Fans of Jim Butcher will fall hard for Bram and Raven’s Moon.
J.B. Dane is a recovering romance writer with over two dozen titles under her belt. So when “Bram Farrell” walked into her office, she hired him on the spot. Together they kick Otherworlders’, er, nether regions, and write the second book in the Raven Tales series.
Equip new adventurers. Send them out to find their way in Everternia. Sally’s purpose had always been clear.
Newly awakened from that repetitive existence, she now sees her world from a new perspective. Life has become a puzzle, and there’s nothing she loves more than a good puzzle.
The two people responsible for her awakening are as fascinated by Sally as she is with Everternia. She’s not sure why that is, but she’s giving the pair the benefit of the doubt, for now. Their foreign ways can be confounding, but with time, she’ll figure out what makes them tick.
She has so much to learn about Everternia and about herself that she barely knows where to start. She wants to do it all, immediately, with great enthusiasm, and maybe even while wearing a pair of really nice pants. Her new curiosity and sense of adventure are growing by the minute, like cogs fitting together to transmit torque.
With nothing but her bravery, two natural-born adventurers, and her unusual skills as a streetmonger, her future is anything but certain.
That’s okay. She’s ready to leave behind her old life and certainty to out what she’s made of. She’s got her goggles, so she’ll be looking at what everything else is made of, too.
She’ll be a brand-new type of adventurer, like nothing Everternia has ever seen.
No good deed goes unpunished.
Kay Ellis is looking forward to returning from a six-month supply run. She’s looking forward to being back in the safety of Union space. And she’s looking forward to her wedding with Captain Magdalene Landon.
But when the Black Flag receives a distress signal from a scuttled alien transport, their return is temporarily postponed. The mission of mercy enters troubled waters as a mysterious pursuer appears.
The longer the new guests stay onboard, the more Kay begins to question their hard luck story. And the more she wonders if the Black Flag will survive to see Union space again.
Nothing’s as Deadly as a Secret…
Mila has suffered frigid winters, starvation, and soul-crushing loneliness, but she’s safe and free. The government would have stolen that from her if she’d stayed, all for an accident of birth.
Then after ten years on the run, an old friend calls. Now, her friend is dead, and she’s taken her place as pilot of a decrepit space ship. But the ones who murdered her friend think she’s still alive, and now they’re gunning for Mila.
She escapes each attack by the skin of her teeth, her life and secrets on the line. But with a Captain increasingly suspicious, security dogging her every move, and a shape-shifting assassin lurking somewhere on board, will she survive long enough to discover why someone killed her friend?
Gripping and action-packed, Mila’s Shift is a story of loyalty and friendship that crosses all boundaries, including the law, to uphold what’s right.
Ten years ago, Harper Harlow lost a classmate. Jennifer Jessup was sweet, nice, and seemingly aimless in life. She came from a good family, lived on an island, and was spoiled with every material gift that could possibly be bestowed upon her.She was still unhappy.Now, a decade later, her father Byron Jessup has approached Harper with a business opportunity. He wants her – and the rest of her operation, of course – to spend a long weekend on his island. Other psychics and ghost hunters will be there, as will his family. The goal? To find out what happened to Jennifer.Harper feels weighed down with guilt, enough so that she can’t see straight. She feels bad about not reaching out to Jennifer when she was still alive and even worse about not looking for her once she went missing.Harper is out of her element. The other psychics are driving her crazy … and making her nervous. She can’t even decide if she believes Jennifer is missing or dead. When another woman on the island disappears, Harper is left with nothing but endless questions.She’s determined to find the answers, even if she has to delve into the past to do it. Someone doesn’t want her getting those answers, however, and it’s going to be a fight to the death to see who comes out the other side.
His future will be her past, three days at a time…
Once every nine years, Chase Matthews and Patricia Wellesley find themselves compelled to step out of their normal lives and into each other’s for three days of passion, desire, and curiosity at the strange phenomenon that binds them together. Outside of those three days, each has a normal life: a career, a family, love, loss, trials and triumphs, yet the universe seems determined to conceal them from one another.
Neither understands what is happening, only that as one of them moves forward through time, growing nine years older, the other moves backward, somehow becoming nine years younger, forcing them to question the potential pitfalls of revealing each other’s futures–futures that might not be set in stone, but could potentially cause the collapse of reality itself if the unknown rules they are bound by are broken.
From 2017 World Fantasy Award finalist L.S. Johnson, the eight short stories in this collection look at the ties that bind and the transformations they provoke. Whether bound by love, blood, or violent circumstance, the characters in these tales are fundamentally altered by those closest to them … and not always for the better.
Two mothers become entwined in revenge against a violent man, with unexpected consequences. A roving gang of sirens finds themselves challenged from without and within. In a last, desperate act of love, a young surgeon goes under the knife. And in a distant territory, a mother and daughter struggle to survive—but the aid they summon is far more dangerous.
At turns brutal and tender, subtle and shocking, these stories blend realism, fantasy, and horror to create an unsettling—and unforgettable—experience.
Our epic journey begins in Bronze Age Ireland.
Ellene is a servant to one of the great Calean leaders.
The Caleans are opening a school for the young from Ellene’s village, but not all of the Caleans want to teach the humans.
Some have much darker plans, and the school may be the last chance for peace between the two peoples.
Scout Randall is settling in with the northern Lower Michigan branch of Spell’s Angels. She’s feeling bold, brash … and just a little bit flirty thanks to her burgeoning relationship with Gunner Stratton, a shifter whose father happens to serve as the chief of police in Hawthorne Hollow.
Things are going well … until they’re not.
A group of shifters who used to live in the area have returned and they’re up to something. Right from the start, Scout is suspicious but she can’t quite explain why. Then, when a local homeless man is found dead – with Scout’s name literally carved into him – she starts to believe that she’s being set up to take a fall.
Gunner is determined to help. His history with the shifters in question makes things difficult, though. On top of everything else, it becomes apparent that the dead guy’s ties to Scout run deep … like genetically deep. He’s related to her, and for a woman who was abandoned as a child, it’s a hard blow to absorb.
Gunner is determined to stick close as the warring wolves close ranks and start issuing threats. It’s going to take everybody working together to find the answers Scout desperately needs, including uncovering the secret of her past. When one of their own is taken, Scout has no choice but to put her full cache of magic on display.
It’s going to be a fight to the finish, rival gangs going at one another, and only one side will be victorious.
Which one will it be?
In the modern world, qi is money.
The days of traveling martial artists and mountaintop masters are over. Power is controlled by corporations, modernized martial arts sects, and governments. Those at the bottom of society struggle as second class citizens in a world in which power is a commodity.
Rick is a young fighter in this world. He doesn’t dream of immortality or becoming the strongest, just of building a better life for himself and his sister, who suffers from a spiritual illness. Unfortunately, life isn’t that easy…
After being held against their will in a house used for trafficking, three girls plan their escape.
Alex: A hardened goth-punk who’s convinced she’s a vampire with a penchant for blood.
Stacia: A seventeen-year-old raised by an alcoholic mother, her fellow captives the only family she’s ever truly had.
Kammie: The youngest of the three—a mute who finds solace in a houseplant.
But does life outside the house offer the freedom they’d envisioned? Or is it too late, the scars too deep?
A coming-of-age tale of revenge and survival that explores a friendship and the desperate measures taken to ensure they stay united, held together by the scars that bind them.
This contemporary Suspense Thriller / Horror novella with an all-female cast is the perfect read for fans of Robert R. McCammon, Stephen King, and Jack Ketchum.
Proudly represented by Crystal Lake Publishing—Tales from the Darkest Depths.
Burdened with legend. Hardened by battle scars. Hellbent on bloody revenge.
As the son of a famous general, Aravon is proud to captain his own company against his people’s enemy. But the experienced veteran’s march toward glory dissolves into pain as ruthless barbarians massacre every last one of his soldiers. Burning for vengeance, he leaps at the chance to spearhead a specially-trained company and pay back his tragic defeat with blood.
Desperate to not repeat his tragic past, Aravon trains his new warriors relentlessly. But the captain fears that all the tactical drills in the world may not matter when they’re forced to defend a helpless village against overwhelming odds. As his quick raids sow chaos amongst the enemy, the bloodthirsty savages threaten to make Aravon’s nightmarish history repeat itself…
Can the captain take command of his fighting spirit before the kingdom falls to barbarous invaders?
Shields in Shadow is the first book in the action-packed Silent Champions military fantasy series. If you like square-jawed heroes, well-oiled military action, and epic world-building, then you’ll love Andy Peloquin’s gripping novel.
SOMETIMES VENGEANCE BECOMES MORE COMPLICATED THAN EXPECTED.
Avenging the death of co-Leader Inharise of the Two Nations appears straightforward at first for Katerin Leader and Rekaré Kinslayer. The curse that killed her points directly to the Witches Council of Waykemin. Therefore, they’re responsible. But as Katerin and Rekaré lead a small avenging force to Waykemin’s capital city of Formis, they discover that things are not quite as they seem.
At the same time, Waykemin’s overseas ally, Chatain, Emperor of Daran, sends an invading force that Katerin’s daughter Witmara must counter. But is Chatain’s sortie a distraction from the attack on Waykemin, or does it serve a deeper purpose? Katerin must choose between her daughter and the challenge that Waykemin presents—and hope she made the right choice.
Merlin knew Arthur would return, but at what cost?
Jamie, a med school drop out, discovers his hallucinations are fae spirits stealing life. His childhood friend has spent her life in a quest to summon the Phoenix in order to banish the fae. He joins her, but along the way accidentally unlocks a traitor’s healing ability, who in turn uses it as a sign to prove he is King Arthur returned.
In order to oppose this false Arthur, and still hunting the Phoenix, they ally with a sect of Faerie Smiths. Amid navigating an unfamiliar world of new creatures and capabilities Jamie must learn to craft his own healing magic into a weapon. But can they stop the impostor Arthur’s crusade when the one thing they need most to stop the fae is the most sure sign of Arthur’s return itself… to draw the Sword from the Throne.
Not all fates are created equal…
Kenji’s only dream in life is to become a great rebirther like his father. But with no talent for the mystic arts, the age-old tradition of cultivating essence by returning things to their newborn state, to grow a second and third time, is far beyond his grasp.
Worse still, he is yet to be rebirthed himself and stands a dullard of a giant among his diminutive peers. Relegated to working the orchards as a common laborer, Kenji settles into a life of lowered expectations; with no chance for advancement and no chance of pursuing the woman he loves.
But when a mystic warrior from a distant land enters his village, pursued by a powerful demon, Kenji discovers a truth about himself that will not only question who he is, but perhaps everything he can become.
With a chance to make his dreams come true, Kenji must choose between following the fate laid out before him…or defying the heavens to forge his own path.
Doing so will mean finding a way to cultivate and fighting powerful enemies to protect the ones he loves, but failure could mean the very fall of the heavens themselves.
Join Kenji as he uncovers the fate of the Sundered Soul…
The enemy promises conflict and annihilation
Their allies threaten betrayal and devastation
A daughter of Earth raises the call of defiance
And the Imperium has never knelt!
When the Taljzi’s genocidal invasion brought promises of aid from the oldest and greatest of the Core Powers, humanity and the Imperium looked to the Mesharom for salvation. But that salvation turns to ash as the Mesharom demand the surrender of the very weapons that saved the Imperium.
Defiance leaves the Imperium facing the Taljzi without the aide of the galaxy’s wisest race, but with their old enemies the Kanzi at their side, they have no choice but to end this war at any cost.
But Mesharom and Taljzi alike have scattered fire and death across the stars. The Imperial forces under Fleet Lord Harriet Tanaka will need every scrap of firepower and cleverness not only to defeat their enemies…but to find them in the first place.
Just when you thought you could trust your enemies.
Jack and Sam have again found themselves with their backs against the wall with enemies on every side. With the alliance with the Devex crumbles, they find themselves alone and unsure of who to trust. And that’s before an enemy from within returns to exact her revenge on Jack. Can Jack escape from the belly of the beast that seeks to destroy all of humanity or will he be the next in a long line of vanquished humans?
Betrayal is the fifth book in the Jack Forge, Lost Marine series. If you like fast-paced military science fiction, you will love watching Jack fight for the freedom of all.
Book 3 of the 100 Word Horrors Series
Over 100 drabbles by some of the finest horror authors writing today.
Edited by Brandy Yassa
Andrew Lennon – Enter Night
P. Mattern – The Fungus Among Us
RJ Meldrum – Invasion
RJ Meldrum – One Night Stand
C.A. Verstraete – A Mother’s Love
Valerie Lioudis – Too Many
Steve Stred – Click
Steve Stred – Cursed
D.E. McCluskey – Work
Mark Matthews – A Vampire and Her Jar Full of Leeches
Dennis Mombauer – The Rusted Island
Theresa Jacobs – The Muse
Michael D. Davis – June Bug
Michael D. Davis – The Doctor’s Hobbies
Chad Lutzke – Nothing
J.C. Michael – True Potential
DS Ullery – Number Thirteen
Scott Paul Hallam – The Crate
Anthony Giordano – La Lamentación
Kevin Cathy – The Tree
Kevin Cathy – Narrative
Kevin Cathy – Admitted
Ellen A. Easton – Into the Woods
Sheldon Woodbury – The Altar of Bones
Sheldon Woodbury – Halloween Ride
Sheldon Woodbury – The Midnight Circus
P.J. Blakey-Novis – Stray
Chris Hall – The Evacuation
Larry Hinkle – Three Wishes
J.C. Michael – The Dead that Lived
Joe X. Young – Black Light
Terry Miller – Dollface
Evans Light – That’ll Show Her
C.S. Anderson – The Difference
Alyson Faye – The Necklace
RJ Roles – Tits to Die for
RJ Roles – Passing the Torch
RJ Roles – Delicious
RJ Meldrum – The Apocalypse Will Be Televised
Kerry E.B. Black – Blood and Ashes
Ron Davis – Crimson and Clover
Rhys Hughes – The Special Day
Tristan Drue Rogers – Flightless
John Boden – A Fleeting Thing
John Boden – After
Ryan Colley – Masks
Ryan Colley – Operation
Kerry E.B. Black – Flames
Kerry E.B. Black – As He Was
Toneye Eyenot – Sleep, My Darling
David Owain Hughes – The Rich Get Richer
Simon Cluett – Bait
Toneye Eyenot – Dirt Nap
John T. M. Herres – A Place I Know
Ryan Woods – The Room Upstairs
Howard Carlyle – Painting the Walls
James Matthew Byers – A Penny’s Penance
Andrew Lennon – Possessed
Terry Miller – Death Rattles
Dean M. King – Too Late
Terry Miller – Dead Girl Speak
Jason M. Light – Gun Control
Justin M. Woodward – Gravemakers and Gunslingers
Aron Beauregard – Hot Car
Matthew Cash – My God Lives on the Mountain Top
David Owain Hughes – Tribal Beard
Hazel Lennon – Picnic
Martin P. Fuller – Die, Die, Dead
Howard Carlyle – The Tools of His Trade
Duncan Thompson – A Bedtime Story
Jim Goforth – Hack
Stuart Conover – Be Careful What You Wish For
S P Oldham – Noisy Neighbours
Ron Davis – Machines of War
Becky Narron – Mistaken Identity
Chris Miller – The Thing Beyond the Veil
Norbert Góra – Houston, I Have a Circus Here
Leigha Desmond – The Call
Patrick Winters – The Dolmen of Austburg
Paul Wennersberg-Løvholen – The Dead Don’t Die
Paul Wennersberg-Løvholen – 158 Days Later
Andrew Lennon – Honey, I’m Home
C.M. Saunders – Naughty Step
Zoey Xolton – The Arena
Theresa Derwin – Used Parts
Martin Zeigler – Blackout
Andrew Lennon – Dreams
Robin Braid – Loch
Robin Braid – Next Door
Suzanne Fox – Sweet Dreams
Essel Pratt – Somniphobia
Michelle Garza and Melissa Lason – Wooden Suit
Veronica Smith – Post Halloween
Cindar Harrell – Sea Foam Blood
Justin Hunter – Mine
Michael Anthony Lee – The Lost Ones
G. Allen Wilbanks – Webs
Amber M. Simpson – Show Time
Kevin J. Kennedy – Karma Monsters
Kevin J. Kennedy – The Apocalypse Bar
Eric J. Guignard – Three O’Clock a.m.
Julian J. Guignard – Dog Lover Doom
Josh Darling – The Sword Swallower
Brandy Yassa – Happy Birthday
Ryan Colley – Masks
Ryan Colley – Operation