Speculative Fiction: SFF, Fantasy & Horror, Feb.–Mar. 2024 | Prepub Alert

Two months’ worth of otherworldly pleasures. 

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Arden, Katharine. The Warm Hands of Ghosts. Del Rey: Ballantine. Feb. 2024. 336p. ISBN 9780593128251. $28.99. FANTASY

Clark, P. Djèlí. The Dead Cat Tail Assassins. Tor.com. Mar. 2024. 208p. ISBN 9781250767042. $20.99. FANTASY

Doctorow, Cory. The Bezzle: A Martin Hench Novel. Tor. Feb. 2024. 240p. ISBN 9781250865878. $27.99. SF

Elsbai, Hadeer. The Weavers of Alamaxa. Harper Voyager. Mar. 2024. 400p. ISBN 9780063114807. $32. FANTASY

Harrison, Kim. Three Kinds of Lucky. Ace: Penguin. Feb. 2024. 464p. ISBN 9780593437476. $28. FANTASY

Huang, Justinian. The Emperor and the Endless Palace. MIRA. Mar. 2024. 240p. ISBN 9780778305231. $28.99. FANTASY

Jayatissa, Amanda. Island Witch. Berkley. Feb. 2024. 384p. ISBN 9780593549261. $28. SUPERNATURAL THRILLER

Jones, Stephen Graham. The Angel of Indian Lake. Saga: Gallery: S. & S. Mar. 2024. 496p. ISBN 9781668011669. $28.99. HORROR

Kaner, Hannah. Sunbringer. Harper Voyager. Feb. 2024. 304p. ISBN 9780063350106. pap. $18.99. CD. FANTASY

Kingfisher, T. What Feasts at Night. Tor Nightfire. Feb. 2024. 160p. ISBN 9781250830852. $19.99. HORROR

Kiste, Gwendolyn. The Haunting of Velkwood. Saga: Gallery: S. & S. Mar. 2024. 256p. ISBN 9781982172374. $26.99. HORROR

Kristoff, Jay (text) & Bon Orthwick (illus.). Empire of the Damned. St. Martin’s. Mar. 2024. 736p. ISBN 9781250245335. $32. Downloadable. FANTASY

Link, Kelly. The Book of Love. Random. Feb. 2024. 640p. ISBN 9780812996586. $31. FANTASY

Older, Malka. The Imposition of Unnecessary Obstacles. Tor.com. Feb. 2024. 224p. ISBN 9781250906793. $20.99. SF

Pulley, Natasha. The Mars House. Bloomsbury. Mar. 2024. 432p. ISBN 9781639732333. $29.99. SF

Small, David. Werewolf at Dusk: And Other Stories. Liveright: Norton. Feb. 2024. 160p. ISBN 9781324092827. $25. SF/GRAPHIC

Tchaikovsky, Adrian. House of Open Wounds. Head of Zeus. Mar. 2024. 608p. ISBN 9781035901388. $27.99. FANTASY

Utomi, Moses Ose. The Truth of the Aleke. Tor.com. Feb. 2024. 112p. ISBN 9781250849052. $24.99. FANTASY

Author of the gorgeous “Winternight” series, a personal favorite, the New York Times best-selling Arden pens the story of a World War I field nurse suspicious of news about her brother’s battlefield death and soon following rumors of haunted trenches and a mysterious figure granting oblivion amid The Warm Hands of Ghost. Working for the goddess of assassins, the undead Eveen “the Eviscerator” has no memory of her living past but is disturbed that her latest target looks just like her; with The Dead Cat Tail Assassin, Nebula/Locus winner Clark enters a new world (125,000-copy first printing). Following series starter Red Team Blues, Doctorow’s The Bezzle takes self-employed forensic accountant Martin Hench to Catalina Island, where he inadvertently (and dangerously) disrupts the schemes of the uber-rich (75,000-copy first printing). Wrapping up the duology begun with The Daughters of Izdihar, Egyptian American librarian Elsbai again blends Egyptian history and mythology in the queer fantasy The Weavers of Alamaxa, featuring two young women weavers leading the fight against the fundamentalist Ziranis. In Harrison’s series-starting Three Kinds of Lucky, Petra Grady lacks her family’s gift for magic but can handle dross, i.e., dangerous magical waste, which lands her on the team of sexy but unapproachable Benedict Strom, who’s researching how to make dross harmless. Moving from 4 BCE to 1740 in China and finally to contemporary Los Angeles, The Emperor and the Endless Palace weaves together three couples into one epic love story, blending historical figures with Chinese folklore; Huang is the VP of Creative at Sony Pictures Animation (75,000-copy first printing). The third novel from ITW Debut Award winner Jayatissa, Island Witch features Amara, the daughter of a demon-priest in a 19th-century Sri Lankan village heavily under the sway of colonizers, who intervenes when villagers blame her father after something deep in the forest threatens them. With The Angel of Indian Lake, Jones concludes his Bram Stoker Award–winning trilogy by sending Jade Daniels back to Proofrock, ID, four years after the events in Don’t Fear the Reaper—it turns out that she’s the only person gutsy enough to confront the Lake Witch there. After the internationally best-selling Godkiller, which stars professional godkiller Kissen and launches a trilogy, Kaner returns with more mayhem in Sunbringer. Having survived the awful events at the Usher mansion featured in Kingfisher’s What Moves the Dead, retired soldier Alex Easton heads to their family hunting lodge in What Feasts at Night—and does not find peace of mind (150,000-copy first printing). In the Bram Stoker Award–winning Kiste’s latest, only three girls survive The Haunting of Velkwood—the night everyone else in their suburban hometown becomes ghosts—and their struggles have just begun. Following Kristoff’s New York Times best-selling series starter, Empire of the Vampire, Empire of the Damned follows Gabriel de León as he links arms with the vampire Liathe to deliver the just-rescued Grail to the Blood Esani (150,000-copy first printing). From the Pulitzer Prize–winning Link, past master of the edgy short story, The Book of Love is a debut novel features three dead teenagers who could return to their seaside Massachusetts lives if they complete a series of magical tasks. In Hugo finalist Older’s The Imposition of Unnecessary Obstacles, Investigator Mossa and Scholar Pleiti must travel to the edge of the Jovian system to determine why 17 students and staff members have vanished unnoticed from Valdegeld University. Author of the multi-starred The Watchmaker of Filigree Street, Pulley takes us out of this world with The Mars House, with former Royal Ballet dancer January among the second-class citizens on Mars known as Earthstrongers because they haven’t adapted to its reduced gravitational pull (65,000-copy first printing). Having come to everyone’s attention with the No. 1 New York Times best-selling Stitches, multi-awarding-winning graphic novelist Small returns in Werewolf at Dusk with a passel of otherworldly stories about growing older. In House of Open Wounds, a follow-up to Tchaikovsky’s LJ-starred City of Last Chances, healer and former priest Yasnic works with a behind-the-lines unit using unsanctioned magic to save the lives of soldiers brutalized in a war meant to establish reason worldwide (30,000-copy first printing). When the Aleke-led Cult of Tutu attacks the City of Truth—the last free city still standing in the Forever Desert—Junior Peacekeeper Osi is tasked with discovering The Truth of the Aleke and destroying the cult; Nigerian American Utomi follows up his LJ-starred The Lies of the Ajungo.

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Barbara Hoffert

Barbara Hoffert (bhoffert@mediasourceinc.com, @BarbaraHoffert on Twitter) is Editor, LJ Prepub Alert; winner of ALA's Louis Shores Award for reviewing; and past president, awards chair, and treasurer of the National Book Critics Circle, which awarded her its inaugural Service Award in 2023.

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