Indie Speculative Fiction of the Month for October 2023

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 and small press authors newly published this month, though some September 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, 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, portal fantasy, historical fantasy, sword and sorcery, paranormal romance, paranormal mystery, space opera, military science fiction, science fiction poetry, Steampunk, cosmic horror, wizards, gnomes, zombies, sea serpents, ancient evils, starships, space marines, mercenaries, gladiators, warrior princesses, crime-busting witches, jaunts through the Multiverse 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:

Josh and Sen Save the Multiverse by D.P. BehlingJosh & Sen Save the Multiverse by D.P. Behling:

Josh Tanner, was trying to fix his life and get back to his four-year-old daughter Sophie. Then he was pulled into the multidimensional world of the Immortals simply by being the last person on the elevator after lunch . . . and carrying a briefcase!

Senyak Marztanak needs to reacquire his immortality and his place on his family’s ruling seat. Both having been stripped away when he failed his grandfather’s trial.

Now, after being bonded through karma, Josh and Sen are forced to rise together through the levels of mortal cultivation to reach transcendence.

In a new and fully developed sci/fi-fantasy universe. Chock full of multiethnic mythology, ageless powers, saviors and treacherous villains. Josh & Sen Save the Multiverse tells the tale of two unlikely heroes pushed together by the fates, karma, and the most powerful immortals in existence. Through hilarious and life-threatening adventures, they form bonds of friendship and brotherhood. All while having to rely on each other’s unique qualities to survive eight iterations away from their universe of origin.

Follow Josh and Sen as they grow, fight, live, laugh, love and cry. They don’t know it yet . . . But for each to get home they will not only have to save their own lives . . . but the entire Multiverse!

Federation Marine Recruit by Jonathan P. BrazeeFederation Marine: Recruit by Jonathan P. Brazee:

What would you do to change your life? How far would you go? How hard would you fight?

Rather than work his bones into dust toiling away on a barren world, Ryck Lysander chooses to enlist in the Federation Marine Corps.

But as he quickly finds out, this path isn’t just a job. . . it’s a calling. . . and not everyone is suited to wear the uniform.

Like millions before him, Ryck will need to develop discipline, endurance, and strength as he’s pushed to the very limit of what he can do, all to earn his ticket off a baren world and into the stars.

But the price of failure won’t just mean going home to work the dirt fields. . . it could cost him his very life.

The time to stand is now, and Ryck will need every ounce of willpower to become what the galaxy needs. . .

He must become a Federation Marine.

Omega Force: Dead Reckoning by Joshua DalzelleOmega Force: Dead Reckoning by Joshua Dalzelle:

Mercenary life is hard.

No home. No family. Always looking over your shoulder, likely for the rest of your life.

When you find a crew that you can trust, you do anything for them. Jason Burke has a crew like that. He would kill for them… and he would die for them. Right now, they need his help and it will take all of his cunning and skill to bring them home safely. He is alone, without his powerful ship, the Phoenix, and the criminal cartels he’s going up against are some of the most ruthless in the galaxy.

For Captain Burke it’s all or nothing: bring his friends home safe… or die trying.

A Vengeful Realm by Tim FacciolaA Vengeful Realm by Tim Facciola:

Peace bought by blood seldom lasts, for vengeance knows no end. The same is true for mortals and Gods alike. Decades, centuries, eras may pass, but the cycle remains. As war and revolution rise again, Zephyrus finds himself at the center of it all. Chosen by the Gods, hailed as a prophet of liberation, and forged as a weapon to break the kingdom and restore balance to the realm, hope rests squarely on his shoulders.

If only he could remember…

Enslaved as a gladiator and thrust into a prince’s game of espionage, Zephyrus has only two clues to help unlock his shattered past: a prophecy foretelling destruction, and a letter to the enemy king, promising peace. Now Zephyrus must survive the dangers of the gladiatorial arena, the cunning fury of the Prince’s enemies, and the Gods’ torment if he is to find the truth of his identity and fulfill his fate. But to have any hope of breaking the cycle, first he must secure his freedom—and not just from his slavers.

Within this vengeful realm, a queen protecting her kingdom, a prince defending his father, and a gladiator slave haunted by a prophecy each contend for their own brand of freedom. But the Gods have an agenda of their own, and they’ll use any vessel—patrician, plebeian, or slave—to see it done.

The scales must be balanced. By peace. Or by blood.

Achy Breaky Hax by Lily Harper HartAchy Breaky Hex by Lily Harper Hart:

Hannah Hickok has a lot on her mind.

She’s engaged, with a wedding around the corner.

She and her husband-to-be Cooper Wyatt are building a house near the cosplay western town she inherited from her late grandmother.

And she’s gearing up for a fight with the witch who wants to steal her magic and kill her.

All of that falls by the wayside when Hannah realizes that people are starting to develop magical crushes…and the outcome is ugly when the fighting begins.

First up is local Sheriff James Boone’s teenage daughter. She’s overwhelmed by a spell when her latest crush’s attention is on the line.

Then the women at the bakery, all sisters, start fighting over the same man.

Then Cooper decides to come to blows for Hannah’s honor and it almost results in someone’s death.

Hannah is understandably confused. The only thing she knows without question is that there’s witchy magic afoot. Where is it coming from, though?

Hannah’s life is leading toward a specific fight. This fight, however, needs to be won before she can look to the future. Unfortunately for Hannah, the odds of winning are long.

There’s no evading the fight. So, here it comes.

Perilous Potions by Amanda M. LeePerilous Potions by Amanda M. Lee:

Luna Thorn sprang into being in the middle of the night in a downtown Detroit park years ago. She had no memory of her past and no idea what the future would hold for her. The only thing she possessed was magic…and the determination to win at all costs.

She’s finally about to get the answers she’s been looking for .

There are zombies popping up on Detroit’s mean inner city streets. They’re not normal zombies, however. They move fast and don’t go down under the usual methods. They have a mission, though, and the only thing that stops them is death.

Luna knows someone is controlling them, but who? She’s determined to find answers on her own, but the people who know her best and love her most refuse to let her fight this battle without backup.

Luna has been a loner for as long as she can remember, but her blood is running hot these days after joining with a phoenix, and news that she’s a traveler—a being that can jump through time—has her second-guessing every decision she’s ever made.

Detroit is about to be rocked by death and destruction. The question is, will Luna be the saint protecting it or the sinner bringing it down?

Things are about to change for everybody, and it’s impossible to know who will rise from the ashes.

The fight between good and evil, the past and the present, is on, and Luna will be right in the middle of it for better or worse.

The world is about to burn.

As the Cookie Crumbles by Amanda M. LeeAs the Cookie Crumbles by Amanda M. Lee:

Christmas is right around the corner, and Stormy Morgan is ready to celebrate for the first time in years. She’s been dreaming of one thing…Shadow Hills’ infamous Christmas festival.

There’s just one little problem.

When helping her new friend Easton pick out clothes in the thrift store, Stormy discovers the owner is missing. What’s worse, it looks as if there was a struggle in the back room. What happened to the married mother of one?

Stormy gets her boyfriend Hunter Ryan involved and they start searching. The only thing they can ascertain with any certainty is that there’s a hint of magic pulsing around the town, and maybe it has something to do with the disappearance.

Stormy has her hands full with gnome shifters and her old high school nemesis, so a missing person’s case isn’t something she’s looking forward to. She has no choice but to dig, though. Her conscious won’t allow the alternative.

Stormy might be new at the magic contest, but she understands winning. When another person disappears, she realizes she’s playing the wrong game.

In a world where fire rules, cold is about to claim them all. Can Stormy win? She’s about to find out. Come along for the ride.

The Horror at Pleasant Brook by Kevin LuciaThe Horror at Pleasant Brook by Kevin Lucia:

At the edge of the Adirondacks, an ancient malevolence descends upon the quiet town of Pleasant Brook, setting the stage for a chilling battle between the forgotten and an unstoppable evil.

Standing resolutely in its shadow is an unlikely alliance—the remnants, the forgotten, the outcasts, and the underestimated. As the malevolence swells, they emerge as the town’s last bastion of defense, its only hope against an ancient, remorseless force that brooks no resistance.

Yet, how can they hope to prevail against a power so ancient, so pitiless, so inexorable? The town of Pleasant Brook becomes the battleground for a confrontation between humanity’s resilience and an evil beyond imagination.

“Kevin Lucia paints in blood and dances in the viscera in a terrorized small town. Chilling and non-stop, horrifying in the best kind of way. Forget Halloween movies and pick up The Horror at Pleasant Brook instead.” —NYT bestselling author Tosca Lee

Prepare for a chilling journey into the heart of darkness with this horror novel that will grip fans of Stephen King, and Robert R. McCammon. Delve into a world of creeping dread, small-town enigmas, and suspense-laden horror that will keep you riveted from the very first page.

Discover the sinister secrets of The Horror at Pleasant Brook, a gripping addition to the pantheon of horror books and novels. Dive into the depths of horror fiction that will haunt your nightmares and captivate fans of horror and suspense books.

Bringer of the Scourge by M. Daniel McDowellBringer of the Scourge by M. Daniel McDowell:

When the end of ages comes for the empire, the princess must rescue herself.

An army of three brittle allegiances aims for the throne of Derebor, laying siege to the castle Talorr, where Vierrelyne, the last living daughter of the tyrant king, waits locked in a tower cell for the prophesied apocalypse that only she can prevent.

To escape the castle with the aid of her closest counsel, she takes a formidable ancient weapon from her family crypt: a holy suit of armor and a diadem infused with the soul of a demon prince. With this power, Vierrelyne is unstoppable, but its presence is corrosive.

Vierrelyne is haunted by what it means for her to tame the power she has been given, and by what means she might conquer the Bringer of the Scourge. For, if the prophecy she dreads is true, the weapons she wields might destroy everything she holds dear.

A (Non) Comprehensive Guide to Sea Serpents by A.J. SherwoodA (Non) Comprehensive Guide to Sea Serpents by A.J. Sherwood:

Two new apprentices. One charming engineer. A potential battle with both sea serpents and evil sorcerers.

When Sorcerer Adrien Danvers takes on a job that leads him into the slums of England, he never imagined he’d end up with not one, but two apprentices. Despite his doubts in himself, he’s the only chance the two pre-teens have to escape their hellish life.

When Sir Hugh Quartermain contracts him to deal with the mysterious circumstances surrounding his home on the Isle of Man, Adrien finds the more time they spend together, the more his walls come down around the beguiling engineer–an unusual occurrence and a terrifying prospect.

But as it turns out, this case is about to take a turn–a battle with both beast and man, the ultimate test of Adrien’s willingness to accept help. When he does, Hugh proves to be a fierce protector and friend, more so than Adrien could’ve ever bargained for, and he finds himself longing for something he shouldn’t.

Falling for his new friend is not a complication Adrien needs. (His matchmaking apprentices disagree.)

How To Navigate Our Universe by Mary Soon LeeHow To Navigate Our Universe by Mary Soon Lee:

How to Be a Star

Gravitationally collapse a nebula.
Fuse hydrogen into helium.
If desired, explode.

How-to astronomy poetry to answer vexing questions such as How to Surprise Saturn, How to Blush Like Betelgeuse, and How to Survive a Black Hole.

“Unraveling meaning from partial glimpses of the universe has preoccupied astronomers for thousands of years. Mary Soon Lee’s remarkable collection of poetry traces this journey, capturing the wonder of the celestial bodies that comprise our universe, the elegance of the rules that guide its evolution and the humanity of those who search to better our understanding.”
—Andy Connolly, Professor of Astronomy, University of Washington

Mary Soon Lee is a Grand Master of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Poetry Association, and has won the Rhysling Award, the Elgin Award, and the AnLab Readers’ Award. Her work has appeared in Science, American Scholar, Spillway, Asimov’s Science Fiction, and Strange Horizons. This is her second collection of science poetry, following on from Elemental Haiku: Poems to honor the periodic table three lines at a time. Born and raised in London, she now lives in Pittsburgh.

Raven's Flag by Glynn StewartRaven’s Flag by Glynn Stewart:

In times of peace, alliances wither and are forgotten.
In times of war, honor must reforge them in fire and steel!

The United Planets Alliance fought the Kenmiri Empire with a hundred allies at their side. Bound in common cause until genocide broke the Kenmiri—and Kenmiri schemes broke the alliance in turn—those one-time allies still left deep debts of blood and friendship behind.

Still, the UPA has forged ahead in the post-Kenmiri times, weaving new economic and military alliances despite their more limited reach. The last thing they are expecting is for a soldier of the Londu, one of those half-forgotten allies, to arrive in Sol itself and ask for help.

An unknown alien force, armed with weapons thought unique to humanity, has assaulted the Londu people. To honor debts and promises alike, Rear Admiral Henry Wong and Ambassador Sylvia Todorovich find themselves called to take a fleet farther than any human ship has gone in half a decade—and challenge an enemy they know nothing about.

If the Londu are even still there when they arrive…

The Beacon by James David VictorThe Beacon by James David Victor:

The fourth book in the epic Sentinels sci-fi adventure from Amazon All-Star author James David Victor.

The Beacon is the fourth book in the Sentinels series. If you like sci-fi adventures, space battles with complex alien invaders, and unexpected twists in humanities exploration of the stars, this could be your new favorite series.

Download The Beacon and see what happens next in this epic space adventure!

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