It might not be Monday, but it’s still time to look at new releases for March 14-20 in urban fantasy, paranormal romance, science fiction and fantasy–adult and YA. Not a huge week, but you might find something here for your “to-read” list (and I don’t know about you guys, but mine is totally out of control!). As always, I’ll have an international drawing from commenters for a Reader’s Choice giveaway. Just tell me what you want!
The Gravity Pilot, by M.M. Buckner (March 15, Tor)
It is the polluted and gritty future, saved, sort of, by technofixes. Young skydiver Orr Sitka wants no more from life in future Alaska than he already has: a woman he loves and the chance to dive. When he makes a reckless, record-breaking jump that catapults him into celebrity, he’s courted by corporations that want to exploit his talent to make him a sports media star. The dangerous jump that wins Orr infamy turns out to be a breaking point for his loving girlfriend, Dyce, who is wooed away by a promising job in the thriving underground city of Seattle, a world media center in a crumbling civilization. When Orr learns that Dyce has become addicted to virtual reality, controlled by an eccentric media billionaire and his decadent daughter, he does everything in his power to rescue her. But is Orr strong enough to get through to Dyce and break them both out of hell?
Vampires: The Recent Undead, edited by Paula Guran (March 15, Prime)
The undead are more alive today than ever. Immortal? Indeed! Nothing has sunk its teeth into 21st-century popular culture as pervasively as the vampire. Whether roaming into romance, haunting horror, sneaking into science fiction, capering into humor, meandering through mystery – no icon is more versatile than the vampire. Slack your insatiable thirst with the best sanguinary stories of the new millennium: terrifying or tender, deadly or delicious, bad-ass or beneficent, classic or cutting-edge. Features Kelley Armstrong, Holly Black, Rachel Caine, Charles De Lint, Charlaine Harris, Tanya Huff, Caitlin R. Kiernan, Nancy Kilpatrick, J.A. Konrath, Tanith Lee, Kim Newman, Susan Sizemore, Michael Marshall Smith, Jeanne C. Stein, Carrie Vaughan, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, and more.
Hellhole, by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson (March 15, Tor)
Only the most desperate colonists dare to make a new home on Hellhole. Reeling from a recent asteroid impact, tortured with horrific storms, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, and churning volcanic eruptions, the planet is a dumping ground for undesirables, misfits, and charlatans…but also a haven for dreamers and independent pioneers. Against all odds, an exiled general named Adolphus has turned Hellhole into a place of real opportunity for the desperate colonists who call the planet their home. While the colonists are hard at work developing the planet, General Adolphus secretly builds alliances with the leaders of the other Deep Zone worlds, forming a clandestine coalition against the tyrannical, fossilized government responsible for their exile.
Up Against It, by M.J. Locke (March 15, Tor)
Geoff and his friends live in Phocaea, a distant asteroid colony on the Solar System’s frontier. They’re your basic high-spirited young adults, enjoying such pastimes as hacking matter compilers to produce dancing skeletons that prance through the low-gee communal areas, using their rocket-bikes to salvage methane ice shrapnel that flies away when the colony brings in a big (and vital) rock of the stuff, and figuring out how to avoid the ubiquitous surveillance motes that are the million eyes of ‘Stroiders, a reality-TV show whose Earthside producers have paid handsomely for the privilege of spying on every detail of the Phocaeans’ lives. Life isn’t as good as it seems, though. A mysterious act of sabotage kills Geoff’s brother Carl and puts the entire colony at risk. And in short order, we discover that the whole thing may have been cooked up by the Martian mafia, as a means of executing a coup and turning Phocaea into a client-state.
Lady-Protector: Corean Chronicles 8,
by L.E. Modesitt Jr. (March 15, Tor)
A new novel of Mykella, the young woman introduced in The Lord-Protector’s Daughter. Though a bloody coup has made Mykella ruler of her land, it has left her and her two sisters bereft of family and uncertain of their friends. Worse, an examination of the nation’s accounts reveals that their country is almost destitute. Plus, there are rumblings of war along the borders. With no money and few allies, Mykella is faced with the difficult prospect of rebuilding her nation while trying to hold off a potentially devastating invasion. Fortunately for Mykella, an old magic has awakened in her; a power that gives her the ability to read the emotions of others and to spy on the movements of her enemies.
The Vampire Diaries: The Return: Midnight,
by L.J. Smith (March 15, HarperTeen)
Likely the last of the Vampire Diaries franchise that will be penned by Smith. With the help of charming and devious Damon, Elena rescued her vampire love, Stefan, from the depths of the Dark Dimension. But neither brother returned unscathed. Stefan is weak from his long imprisonment and needs more blood than Elena alone can give him, while a strange magic has turned Damon into a human. Savage and desperate, Damon will do anything to become a vampire again—even travel back to hell. But what will happen when he accidentally takes Bonnie with him?
The Best Science Fiction & Fantasy of the Year, Volume 5,
edited by Jonathan Strahan (March 15, Night Shade)
The depth and breadth of science fiction and fantasy fiction continues to change with every passing year. The twenty-nine stories chosen for this book by award-winning anthologist Jonathan Strahan carefully map this evolution, giving readers a captivating and always-entertaining look at the very best the genre has to offer.
Steel, by Carrie Vaughn (March 15, HarperTeen)
It was a slender length of rusted steel, tapered to a point at one end and jagged at the other, as if it had broken. A thousand people would step over it and think it trash, but not her. This was the tip of a rapier. Sixteen-year-old Jill has fought in dozens of fencing tournaments, but she has never held a sharpened blade. When she finds a corroded sword piece on a Caribbean beach, she is instantly intrigued and pockets it as her own personal treasure. The broken tip holds secrets, though, and it transports Jill through time to the deck of a pirate ship. Stranded in the past and surrounded by strangers, she is forced to sign on as crew. But a pirate’s life is bloody and brief, and as Jill learns about the dark magic that brought her there, she forms a desperate scheme to get home—one that risks everything in a duel to the death with a villainous pirate captain.
Chime, by Franny Billingsley (March 17, Dial)
Before Briony’s stepmother died, she made sure Briony blamed herself for all the family’s hardships. Now Briony has worn her guilt for so long it’s become a second skin. She often escapes to the swamp, where she tells stories to the Old Ones, the spirits who haunt the marshes. But only witches can see the Old Ones, and in her village, witches are sentenced to death. Briony lives in fear her secret will be found out, even as she believes she deserves the worst kind of punishment. Then Eldric comes along with his golden lion eyes and mane of tawny hair. He’s And everything starts to change. As many secrets as Briony has been holding, there are secrets even she doesn’t know.
The Screaming Season, by Nancy Holder (March 17, Razorbill)
The gutsy heroine of Possessions and The Evil Within returns for another year of boarding school at the haunted Marlwood Academy. Lindsay wakes to find herself strapped down in the infirmary. She had a breakdown and might have tried to kill her nemesis Mandy or Mandy’s boyfriend, Troy–or both. The details are hazy, but one thing is certain: she is possessed by a spirit she cannot trust. Lindsay soon realizes that nowhere on campus is safe. Then, she finds a surprising ally in her former rival. Together, Lindsay and Mandy must figure out who can be trusted–and who wants them dead.
So…what do you want to read? I can’t pass up a vampire anthology–they just suck me in (yuk yuk), but the dystopian space epic Hellhole appeals to me to, in a hellish sort of way. You know the routine. Leave a comment to win your choice of new releases–just tell me which one appeals most. +1 entry for comment, +1 for blog follow, +1 for Twitter follow, and +1 for a Tweet or RT. Go to it!