After a relatively light February, March has a full slate of books with something for everybody. Sci-fi, horror, epic and urban fantasy, alternate history and plenty of steampunk highlight this busy month for book lovers. Here’s a rundown of some of the coolest books hitting shelves in March.
Heir to the Jedi— Kevin Hearne (LucasBooks)
Forget everything you’ve read about Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars Expanded Universe, it’s non-canon now. But urban fantasy favorite Kevin Hearne is tackling the ginormous challenge of telling a new story from Luke’s POV. This tale, filled with Hearne’s trademark wit, takes place between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back as Luke embarks on a series of covert missions for the Rebellion and attempts to come to terms with the Force and his growing powers.
Old Venus — Gardner Dozois and George R.R. Martin, eds. (Bantam)
George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois have delivered some mighty fine anthologies over the year, like their fantasy-themed ones like Rogues or the twisted love stories of Songs of Love and Death. Old Venus is a companion to 2013’s Old Mars, celebrating the pulp sci-fi vision of Venus. Contributors include Joe Haldeman, David Brin and Elizabeth Bear.
Vision in Silver — Anne Bishop (Roc)
The third entry in Bishop’s “Others” series promises to be one of the hottest urban fantasy titles this year. Set in a world where humans are prey to the titular Others, supernatural lycanthropes and vampires, the story follows Meg, a “blood prophet” who can predict the future when she cuts herself. Other leader Simon enlists her aid in trying to discover a threat to human and other alike.
The Mechanical — Ian Tregillis (Orbit)
Steampunk from this up-and-coming author. Jax is a “clakker”, a clockwork soldier created by the Dutch to help them conquer the world. But Jax longs for freedom, and is joined by a pair of spies in an attempt to overthrow the Clockwork Throne. This novel kicks off the “Alchemy Wars” trilogy.
The Doll Collection — Ellen Datlow, ed. (Tor)
Are you scared of dolls? If so, Ellen Datlow has a new horror anthology guaranteed to keep you up at night. The Doll Collection features stories about puppets, ventriloquist dummies and three-faced baby dolls. Featured authors include Seanan McGuire, Richard Kadrey and Joyce Carol Oates, all accompanied by photos of creepy dolls.
Prudence — Gail Carriger (Orbit)
More steampunk for March. Carriger kicks off her new “Custard Protocol” series with this tale of a dirigible-flying, globetrotting team of vampire and werewolf hunters. The novel follows Prudence, the daughter of Alexia Maccon from the “Parasol Protectorate” series, as she leads the team to India in search of trouble and the perfect cup of tea.
Clash of Eagles — Alan Smale (Del Rey)
Picking up the story from his 2010 novella of the same name, Clash of Eagles, Smale imagines a world where the Roman Empire never fell, and attempted to colonize the New World in the 13th Century with the aid of Viking longships. It follows their war with the Native American Moundbuilders in an attempt to bolster Rome’s strength against the invading Chinese.
Harrison Squared — Daryl Gregory (Tor)
The prequel to Gregory’s magnificent novella We Are All Completely Fine, Harrison Squared tells the story of how Harrison Harrison became the famous teenage monster hunter, in a Lovecraftian YA tale set in a mysterious fishing village filled with creepy, Cthulhu worshippers and snarky, agnostic fish boys.
The Fifth Heart — Dan Simmons (Little Brown)
The sci-fi master behind the acclaimed “Hyperion” and “Endymion” series delves into alternate history with this Gaslamp mystery. Sherlock Holmes, in hiding after faking his death at Reichenbach Falls, teams up with author Henry James (The Turn of the Screw) to investigate the suicide of Clover Adams, the wife of historian Henry Adams (Democracy: An American Novel).
Voyage of the Basilisk — Marie Brennan (Tor)
The third entry in Brennan’s regency fantasy series “Natural History of Dragons” finds Lady Isabella Trent and her son Jake circumnavigating the globe to catalog the variety of dragons throughout the world. Joining them on the good ship Basilisk is a foreign archeologist who helps them cope with storms, shipwrecks and other calamities as they seek to discover the origin of the mighty and ancient species.
The Skull Throne — Peter V. Brett (Del Rey)
The fourth entry in Brett’s “Demon Cycle,” where humans struggle against night-stalking demons, finds the world fracturing as assorted sons of the missing Jardir vie for the seat of the Skull Throne of Krasia. Civil War is brewing and without a leader to unify humanity the demonic corelings are becoming a greater threat.