March is finally here. I had hoped that the new month would mean an end to a seemingly endless winter. It is still supposed to get down to around 15 below zero in Minnesota tonight, so winter is not at an end. The publishing schedule, however, is heating up a little bit so at least there will be some good books in March to curl up with while keeping warm while waiting for sunnier days.
March is a great month for the best independent publishers. DarkFuse is set to release four books in March. “Nightcrawlers” by Tim Curran, scheduled for release on March 4th, is DarkFuse’s novel for March and is a scary and fun book full of monsters and mayhem. Keith Deininger’s “Marrow’s Pit” is a dark and disturbing blend of science fiction and horror about a society that exists inside of a giant machine. “Red Cells” by Jeffrey Thomas is a great new novella set in the world of Thomas’s “Punktown” and featuring Jeremy Stake who has appeared in a couple other “Punktown” books. This novel is set in an existing world but it is not necessary to read those other books to enjoy this novella (but you can catch up on some of the fun as DarkFuse released a Kindle reissue version of “Punktown” just about a week ago). Lastly from the publisher in March is “DarkFuse #1” edited by Shane Ryan Staley which a novella length collection of short stories that is set to be the first book in a quarterly anthology series. If that does not get you excited, then you have never read an anthology edited by Staley before.
ChiZine Publications will also check in with 2 books in March. “Get Katja” by Simon Logan is a return to the world of “Katja from the Punk Band” and takes the reader on a bizarre and frantic ride as seemingly every oddball with an axe to grind is out to get Katja as she prepares for gig with her band. “Dead Americans” by Ben Peek is a collection of surreal and dark short stories by the upcoming author.
The books being released by the major publishing houses that catch my interest are relatively few in March. The only book on my radar for March 4th is “The Bootlegger” by Clive Cussler and Justin Scott which continues the adventures of Isaac Bell. March 11th has an intriguing entry with the release of “Full-Blood Half-Breed” by Cleve Lamison. While the ebook only release sounds interesting, it has also caught my attention as it is a part of the Random House Hydra imprint which will publish ebook exclusive horror and science fiction and which had come under fire for the terms of its author contracts (which have since been revised). I am interested to see the quality of the imprint and I just received a review copy of the book but have not had time to read it yet. Jeffrey Archer also checks in on March 11 with the 4th book in the Clifton Chronicles series, “Be Careful What You Wish For” and “Ruins” by Dan Wells sounds like it could be an intriguing apocalyptic novel.
March 18th brings the release of four books of note highlighted by a historical fiction novel, “The Auschwitz Escape,” by Joel C. Rosenberg as well as the continuation of the Jason Bourne series, “The Janson Option,” by Paul Garrison (based on the characters created by Robert Lludlum). Harlan Coben’s “Missing You” is the story of a New York detective who stumbles across a dating site profile belonging to her ex-fiance, who has been missing for 18 years, but who may not be who he seems to be. The last book of note for March 18th is Terry Pratchett’s return to Discworld in “Raising Steam.” March 25th brings the month to a quiet close with the only book of note being “NYPD Red 2” by James Patterson and Marshall Karp.
That wraps up the upcoming releases for March. My book of the month pick this month was a very difficult decision. My first inclination was to go with “DarkFuse #1” which is a very strong anthology but I decided in the end that the pick would have to go to “Get Katja” by Simon Logan. This book was just an absolute blast to read and I had a hard time putting it down once I started.