2013 has seen the release of many great books and the final month of the year promises to bring even more great reads. Here is a preview of some of the books to look forward to as 2013 marches toward its end.
As always, the two best independent presses have a slate of books to look forward to in December. DarkFuse checks in with its normal production of a novel and two novellas in December. The novel, “Lesser Creatures” by Peter Giglio, gives a new spin to the zombie genre through a unique blend of horror and science fiction that is sure to leave the reader pondering the apocalypse and the damage being done to the world through human hubris. “Whom the Gods Would Destroy” by Brian Hodge is a blend of science fiction and Lovecraftian horror about the horror the dwells in outer space and is a strong and thought-provoking novella. The second DarkFuse novella, “The Black Church” by Toby Tate, is a classic horror story about one family’s ancient curse. In addition to its normal releases, DarkFuse will also release “Missing White Girl” by Jeffrey J. Mariotte which continues the authors “The Border Trilogy” following “River Runs Red” (rereleased by DarkFuse in November) and to be concluded in “Cold Black Hearts” scheduled to be released by DarkFuse in January.
ChiZine Publications will finish the year with a bang as well with two new releases. “Things Withered” by Susie Moloney is a collection of thirteen short horror stories that are sure to keep the reader awake at night. ChiZine will also release “The Hexslinger Omnibus” in December which collects the three novels in the Hexslinger trilogy by Gemma Files. All three novels (“A Book of Tongues,” “A Rope of Thorns,” and “A Tree of Bones”) were all published by ChiZine and thrilled readers with their blend of Old West action and the supernatural that I found reminiscent of “The Dark Tower” series by Stephen King with a stronger helping of horror. As an added bonus, “The Hexslinger Omnibus” will have three new stories in addition to the three novels.
December kicks off on December 2 for the mainstream released with “The Gods of Guilt” by Michael Connelly as the fifth book starring Mickey Haller (best known as the star of “The Lincoln Lawyer”). Tom Clancy and Mark Greany check in with another Jack Ryan novel with “Command Authority” and George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois edit a collection of stories entitled “Dangerous Women.” The collection will feature 21 new stories from authors such as S.M. Stirling, Lawrence Block, Diana Gabaldon, and an all new novella by George R.R. Martin that takes place about 200 years before the start of his epic “A Game of Thrones” series.
The month gets noticeably thinner as it progresses although there are a couple books to look forward to on December 9. One is a new novel by Dean Koontz entitled “Innocence” about two outcasts who are bound together by something greater. Also on December 9 is the new novel from James Rollins and Rebecca Cantrell entitled “Innocent Blood” which is the second novel in the “Order of the Sanguine” series. The next book of any interest to me is “Hazardous Duty” by W.E.B. Griffin and William E. Butterworth IV which is the next novel in the Presidential Agent series and scheduled to be released on December 31. “The Death Trade” by Jack Higgins is also scheduled for release on the 31st and continues the adventures of Sean Dillon and Sara Gideon.
Overall, December is a light book for new releases which means it is a great chance to catch up on a couple of books you may have missed. Of course, the four DarkFuse and two ChiZine releases mean that there is still a fair amount of good new fiction. As my top pick of the month, the one book to read if you can only read one book this month, I am tempted to go with “Things Withered” by Susie Moloney as it looks like a very good collection but I will go with the known quantity and give my vote to “Lesser Creatures” by Peter Giglio. What can I say: I like zombies and “Lesser Creatures” is a very good and very original zombie novel.