Hello and welcome back to the Friday Fiction Feature! Series editor Tabatha here again to take you through this week’s selection of history and fantasy, starting with Vikings we’ll move through revolution, to virtual reality and a bleak future. Join us now on a literary trek across continents, centuries, and realities with this week’s Friday Fiction Feature!
(Un)chronologically we’ll start this week with Vikings in Larissa Brown’s Beautiful Wreck.
In a bleak future built on virtual reality, Ginn is a romantic who yearns for something real. She designs environments for people who play at being Vikings. But when her project goes awry, she’s stranded in the actual 10th century, on a storybook farm in Viking Iceland.
Heirik is the young leader of his family, honored by the men and women who live on his land. But he is feared and isolated because of a terrible curse. Ginn and Heirik are two people who never thought they would find a home in someone else’s heart.
When forces rise against them to keep them apart, Ginn is called on to decide—will she give up the brutal and beautiful reality of the past? Or will she have the courage to traverse time and become more of a Viking than she ever imagined? (NOTE: the cover art was done by the talented Cleveland-based artist, Arabella Proffer).
Thieftaker Chronicles–The Price of Doing Business
We move on to the revolutionary and fantastic with D.B. Jackson’s Thieftaker and a short story that debuted this week on Tor.com! The story, “The Price of Doing Business,” is s a prequel of sorts, taking place before any of the Thieftaker novels. But if you don’t know the Thieftaker novels–allow us to introduce you!
The first in the Thieftaker Chronicles introduces the readers to Boston, 1765: In D.B. Jackson’s Thieftaker, revolution is brewing as the British Crown imposes increasingly onerous taxes on the colonies, and intrigue swirls around firebrands like Samuel Adams and the Sons of Liberty. But for Ethan Kaille, a thieftaker who makes his living by conjuring spells that help him solve crimes, politics is for others…until he is asked to recover a necklace worn by the murdered daughter of a prominent family.
Suddenly, he faces another conjurer of enormous power, someone unknown, who is part of a conspiracy that reaches to the highest levels of power in the turbulent colony. His adversary has already killed—and not for his own gain, but in the service of his powerful masters, people for whom others are mere pawns in a game of politics and power. Ethan is in way over his head, and he knows it. Already a man with a dark past, he can ill afford to fail, lest his livelihood be forfeit. But he can’t stop now, for his magic has marked him, so he must fight the odds, even though he seems hopelessly overmatched, his doom seeming certain at the spectral hands of one he cannot even see.
This only starts the trouble, however, and a 3rd novel will be released later this year! In the meantime, the short story prequel awaits!
Journeys in the Winterlands
Dylan Fox, John Reppion, C. Allegra Hawksmoor
Emerging from the fantastic accounts of history, Fox, Reppion, & Hawksmoor give us a possible vision of a fantastical future with Journeys in the Winterlands.
Three writers. Three stories. The end of one world.
Nine years ago, the Earth struggled in the throes of an industrial revolution. Steam trains scythed across the countryside, and great aerostats drifted lazily across the skies. The cities swelled with factory-smoke and bilge-water while people thrived or starved in their streets.
On All Souls Day, that all changed. A great star fell into the sky, bringing a perpetual twilight that turned most of the population against each other—twisting men and women into the ferocious, sky-mad Affected. When the star finally disappeared, the world froze. Now, Callista trudges across the icy wastes in search of her mentor: everyman-turned-folk-hero The Web of the North, who might just be the last frozen glimmer of hope that she has left.
Allegra Hawksmoor, John Reppion and Dylan Fox come together for an exercise in collective storytelling and world-building that will lead you into the ruins of factories submerged beneath the ice, probe the wrecks of burned-out airships, and provide a glimpse into minds and the deranged communities of the Affected and Unaffected that struggle to survive out in the snow. Flip down the sky-guards on your goggles, and step into the Winterlands!
OLDER BUT STILL TOP SHELF:
The Book Thief
With more thieves and a different kind of magic, we invite you to read the bestseller The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, an unforgettable story about the ability of books to feed the soul.
It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still.
Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich, who scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement.
We will soon be featuring a few new titles, releasing this year! The third in Stephanie A. Smith’s War Paint chronicles, Content Burns, will be out in March. Do you have a novel soon to release? Let us know! We are happy to promote all genres!