Tuesday, February 2, 2016

New Releases 2/2/16

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A Criminal Magic by Lee Kelly

Magic is powerful, dangerous and addictive - and after passage of the 18th Amendment, it is finally illegal.

It's 1926 in Washington, DC, and while Anti-Sorcery activists have achieved the Prohibition of sorcery, the city's magic underworld is booming. Sorcerers cast illusions to aid mobsters' crime sprees. Smugglers funnel magic contraband in from overseas. Gangs have established secret performance venues where patrons can lose themselves in magic, and take a mind-bending, intoxicating elixir known as the sorcerer's shine.

Joan Kendrick, a young sorcerer from Norfolk County, Virginia accepts an offer to work for DC's most notorious crime syndicate, the Shaw Gang, when her family's home is repossessed. Alex Danfrey, a first-year Federal Prohibition Unit trainee with a complicated past and talents of his own, becomes tapped to go undercover and infiltrate the Shaws.

Through different paths, Joan and Alex tread deep into the violent, dangerous world of criminal magic - and when their paths cross at the Shaws' performance venue, despite their orders, and despite themselves, Joan and Alex become enchanted with one another. But when gang alliances begin to shift, the two sorcerers are forced to question their ultimate allegiances and motivations. And soon, Joan and Alex find themselves pitted against each other in a treacherous, heady game of cat-and-mouse.

A CRIMINAL MAGIC casts a spell of magic, high stakes and intrigue against the backdrop of a very different Roaring Twenties.

[Editor's Note: Check out my review of A Criminal Magic on Amazing Stories.]


Clockwork Chronicles: Vampire Extraordinaire by Quinn Langston

A Clockwork Army Colonel Julian Hawthorne has set in motion a maniacal plan to rule the world with a clockwork army of human automatons. And as a vampire, he has the wealth and all the time in the world to achieve his mad goal. Lord Sebastian Hawthorne is equally determined to stop his brother in his tracks. Sebastian has never forgiven Julian for making him a vampire. But unlike Julian, Sebastian sees humans as more than cattle to be dominated...and bled dry. With the help of Theodosia Ambrose, clockwork expert, he vows to thwart his brother's plans at any cost. Even his own immortal life. A Clockwork Victim In 1850s London, most mortals are not aware that vampires walk amongst them. Lord Sebastian Hawthorne, himself a vampire, intends to keep it that way. Unfortunately, when someone begins killing off well-known citizens-in gruesome ways-all signs point to a newborn vampire unable to control the bloodlust. Marcus Dwyer, a fellow vampire, admits to turning a woman for companionship, and now she's out of control. Together, Marcus, Sebastian and Theo, Sebastian's human friend, set out to catch the rogue killer before she exposes their secret.

The Custodian of Marvels: The Fall of the Gas-Lit Empire, Book Three by Rod Duncan

You’d have to be mad to steal from the feared International Patent Office. But that’s what Elizabeth Barnabus is about to try. A one-time enemy from the circus has persuaded her to attempt a heist that will be the ultimate conjuring trick.

Hidden in the vaults of the Patent Court in London lie secrets that could shake the very pillars of the Gas-Lit Empire. All that stands in Elizabeth’s way are the agents of the Patent Office, a Duke’s private army and the mysterious Custodian of Marvels.

Rod Duncan returns with the climactic volume ofThe Fall of the Gas-Lit Empire, the breathtaking alternate history series that began with the Philip K. Dick Award-nominated The Bullet-Catcher’s Daughter.

The Eterna Files by Leanna Renee Hieber

Welcome to The Eterna Files, written by Leanna Renee Hieber, "the brightest new star in literature"(True-Blood.net)

London, 1882: Queen Victoria appoints Harold Spire of the Metropolitan Police to Special Branch Division Omega. Omega is to secretly investigate paranormal and supernatural events and persons. Spire, a skeptic driven to protect the helpless and see justice done, is the perfect man to lead the department, which employs scholars and scientists, assassins and con men, and a traveling circus. Spire's chief researcher is Rose Everhart, who believes fervently that there is more to the world than can be seen by mortal eyes.

Their first mission: find the Eterna Compound, which grants immortality. Catastrophe destroyed the hidden laboratory in New York City where Eterna was developed, but the Queen is convinced someone escaped―and has a sample of Eterna.

Also searching for Eterna is an American, Clara Templeton, who helped start the project after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln nearly destroyed her nation. Haunted by the ghost of her beloved, she is determined that the Eterna Compound―and the immortality it will convey―will be controlled by the United States, not Great Britain.

Rasputin Volume 2 by Alex Grecian & Riley Rossmo

What really happened at that fateful dinner and how did Rasputin survive his plunge into the icy river in 1916? All is revealed as a new life begins for the “mad monk” at Ellis Island.

Collects RASPUTIN #6-10.

The Sea Is Ours: Tales from Steampunk Southeast Asia edited by Jaymee Goh and Joyce Chng

Steampunk takes on Southeast Asia in this anthology

The stories in this collection merge technological wonder with the everyday. Children upgrade their fighting spiders with armor, and toymakers create punchcard-driven marionettes. Large fish lumber across the skies, while boat people find a new home on the edge of a different dimension. Technology and tradition meld as the people adapt to the changing forces of their world. The Sea Is Ours is an exciting new anthology that features stories infused with the spirits of Southeast Asia’s diverse peoples, legends, and geography.


The Airship (Steam World Book 2) by Cassandra Leuthold

One treasure. One voyage. Two rivals.

In the spring of 1901, Amelia Harlow boards a revolutionary steampunk airship for its first cross-ocean flight. Her fellow passengers trade worried whispers about a paroled murderess traveling with them, but Amelia doesn’t fear her. She didn’t come for the unique experience or abundant amenities. The woman owns a singular map Amelia could sell for a fortune if she can steal it.

Running into Darius Shank poses the biggest challenge. The thieving lover who once cost Amelia everything eyes the same target. Rekindling their close but vindictive teamwork, Amelia must appease Darius while staying one step ahead of him. She doesn’t plan to leave without the map or expect a new, forbidden romance to complicate her mission.

The map’s profit would do more than set Amelia back on her feet, but eagerness could draw the wrong attention in such tight quarters. To keep Darius from hurting her innocent acquaintances or herself, Amelia plots her moves wisely. She has six days to secure a brilliant future or lose the chance of a lifetime.

Alt.History 102 edited by Samuel Peralta and Nolie Wilson

Alt.History repeats itself... From the creator of the #1 bestselling Future Chronicles anthology series comes a collection that turns the world you know upside down.

In Alt.History 102 - the follow-up to the bestselling Alt.History 101 - twelve top speculative fiction authors re-imagine the world - as one where a beautiful actress becomes a spy for the Allied forces, as one where the Internet is tightly held only by an elite few, as one where the Native American population is resistant to European diseases - and nine other compelling stories charting the histories of our world.

Enter worlds so much like our own, yet so different - where everything you know... is history.

Decisive Darkness: Part One - Majestic by Paul Hynes

In August 1945, Japan was hit with two nuclear weapons. This, along with the Soviet invasion of Manchuria, caused the government to surrender.

What if it had not?

Paul Hynes imagines a world in which a fanatical junta takes over Japan and pledges a fight to the bitter end. Using real-world plans relating to the invasion of the Home Islands, along with an extensive knowledge of American, British, Soviet and Japanese attitudes and capabilities at the time, Hynes crafts a story of harrowing losses, desperate measures, and unspeakable horror for the civilian population.

Diverge and Conquer (Look to the West Book 1) by Tom Anderson

History can turn on the smallest of things. In the history we know, King George II’s son Prince Frederick was an obscure footnote of history. Hated by his father (who threatened to exile him to the American colonies), his political career cut short when he was fatally struck by a cricket ball, of all things. The Prince never became King Fred and instead the throne passed to his inexperienced son, George III, who proceeded to lose America.

But what if one tiny slight—a trip on a coronation carpet, a misplaced laugh—had tipped George II over the edge and he had made good on his threat? What if, in the year George Washington was born, the American colonies had found themselves home to an exiled Prince stripped of his inheritance? And what if that Prince had ambitions to reclaim his birthright by any means necessary, including with the help of his colonial subjects…?

The Look to the West series begins with the story of Frederick and the very different America that results from his exile, but it is a tale that encompasses the whole world. Every action we take has unforeseen impacts: a revolutionary South America, a defeated Prussia, a divided India, a European Enlightenment transformed by phlogiston theory, Cugnot steam engines and Linnaeus’ Theory of Evolution. Diverge and Conquer covers the history of this world from the time of Frederick to the era when Europe is torn apart by a French Revolution very different to the one we know—and hints at a mysterious future to come…

The Loud Blast That Tears The Skies by Chris Nash

1908. The United Kingdom stands upon the cusp of a tumultuous century; a century of far-reaching political, social, and economic change. That change will accelerate rapidly within a few short years, as Liberals found the welfare state and reform the British constitution, and as a Sarajevo gunman plunges the world into total war.

But what if the meteor that harmlessly crashed into remote Siberian forest in the summer of 1908, had instead brought death and destruction to Edwardian London? What if the British Empire, at the height of her confidence and hubris, lost both her capital and her government? What kind of world would have emerged?

In 'The Loud Blast That Tears The Skies', Chris Nash explores a world where First World War generals rebuilt a shattered Britain, where blood is shed not in the fields of Flanders, but in the streets of London and Glasgow. A world where German engineering put a man on the Moon, and threatens mankind with annihilation. A world where British diaspora preach libertarianism from the American west, and where old Russian revolutionaries are fĂȘted in exile. Told from the perspective of a British political history, it is the tale of a world whose leaders are very different from those we knew - but yet who are sometimes strangely familiar.

Making Murder Sound Respectable by Bob Mumby

“Political language... is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.” – George Orwell

The Fascist and Communist dictatorships left a bloody stain on the 20th Century, leaving tens of millions dead in their wake and a bitter taste in the mouth for hundreds of millions more when they encounter those ideologies. But what if they had never got the opportunity to do that damage?

A world where the Russian Revolution didn’t produce a Communist superpower, and Hitler never found success at the ballot box. A world where the political fears and tensions of the 1930s continued, unmolested by the pressures of total global war.

In 'Making Murder Sound Respectable', Bob Mumby explores this world through a very different British election night, from the perspective of a group of students watching the results on television. While they worry about what kind of curry they want, events unfold in the background that reveal a glimpse of a radically different world. Communist and Fascist thugs clash in the streets, and foreign commentators pontificate on whether the Union Party has strayed too far from Oswald Mosley’s principles, while far from Britain’s shores the forces which have been contained for a century may yet be unleashed.

The Plague Policeman by Anthony Jones

Versailles 2002. Capital of the French Empire, the most powerful nation on the face of the Earth. A mysterious man found murdered in an alley close to the Palace of Versailles, the very heart of Empire, throws doubt on its security and, before long, on the very future of humanity as a species.

Njabulo ('Jab') de Voggeveen. Doctor of medicine. Hunter of diseases. Expatriate Zulu. Slightly out of his depth, but nonetheless drafted in by the French government to find the origin of the mystery man and stop those responsible for him from creating more.

Jab must search from the seedy underbelly of Paris, across the climate change-altered landscape of an Earth very different from our own, to the glittering palaces of the great and powerful of the French Empire. On the way he must overcome danger, death and corruption at all levels to fulfil his mission. It will not be easy, but it will be interesting!

With Iron And Fire by David Wostyn

The year is 1912, and the history of China takes a different turn.

The president of the newly-founded Republic of China dies suddenly, before the fledgling regime has had time to take root. As a compromise between the militarist and republican factions, a former reformist leader is chosen to replace him. But he has his own agenda…

What if the Republic of China had died in infancy? 'With Iron and Fire' is the tale of a China that might have been—one in which a new imperial dynasty takes over after a short interregnum, and the descent into warlordism and civil war that wracked the country for decades in history as we know it is pre-empted.

A stable government allows China to become a regional power once again. When the Russian revolution comes, it joins the foreign intervention on the side of the Whites—and once the dust has settled, finds itself with a client state in Eastern Siberia. But China’s very resurgence puts it on a collision course with another rising Asian power: the Empire of Japan. Their rivalry is bound to engulf Asia in flames.

To readers, authors and publishers...

Is your story going to be published in time for the next New Releases? Contact us at ahwupdate at gmail dot com.  We are looking for works of alternate history, counterfactual history, steampunk, historical fantasy, time travel or anything that warps history beyond our understanding.

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Matt Mitrovich is the founder and editor of Alternate History Weekly Update, a blogger on Amazing Stories and a Sidewise Awards for Alternate History judgeWhen not writing he works as an attorney, enjoys life with his beautiful wife Alana and prepares for the day when travel between parallel universes becomes a reality. You can follow him on FacebookTwitter and YouTube. Learn how you can support his alternate history projects on Patreon.

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