Every week, the Castalia House Blog spotlights some of the many new releases in independent, pulp, and web novel-influenced science fiction and fantasy.
The Alliance (The Survivors #21) – Nathan Hystad
A wedding. A mysterious entity. A dangerous lineage.
Jules is ready to get married. If only things were that simple.
Dean is contacted by someone known only as Friend and told about a drifting vessel on the edges of Alliance space. What he finds on board is a shock to everyone.
When Jules appears on an alien world with one of Earth’s most notorious criminals, she must fight to survive and find her way home.
The Alliance may be the Survivors biggest test yet, but with Jules and Dean, they always have the answers. At least, they used to…
The Altar of Hate – Vox Day
Vox Day is one of the most intelligent, most eclectic, and most dangerous writers of his generation. With a literary range that spans from philosophy and economic commentary to epic fantasy and science fiction, he has been banned from every major social media platform and is forbidden by name from setting foot inside Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, California.
“Vox Day rises all the way to ‘downright evil’. “
-Patrick Nielsen Hayden, Tor Books
THE ALTAR OF HATE is a collection of his short fiction that is unrelated to his ARTS OF DARK AND LIGHT or his QUANTUM MORTIS series. The stories include tales of blood feuds in Venice, diplomatic assassinations, scientific genocide, cyberpunk, magical journeys into the distant past, and the selling of infernal machines.
Cozy Isekai Craftsman 2: Loyalties – Blaise Corvin and C. Cheesecake
After being transported to a fantasy world full of supernatural beauty and weirdness, Joe has forged himself a place in the community of Lockwood. Now he has a home, a place he belongs, and people he cares about. After finding loopholes in the strange ability conferred by the goddess Quinn, he has enriched and delighted his new friends.
However, despite solving local problems ranging from sanitation to monster attacks, Joe’s work is not done. There are powers in the world who are seeking Joe. Some might be friendly, some not so friendly.
Some of those around him are also hiding secrets. Some need help. Some might even help him when he needs it most. And most of all, Joe is about to learn that his deal with the Goddess Quinn will complicate his life in ways he could have never anticipated.
Phantom Chamber (Shattered Legacy #2) – Andrew Rowe and Kayleigh Nicol
After the Tortoise Spire climb claims three members of Team Guiding Star Legacy, surviving combat experts Nieve and Hane—teammates by chance if not by choice—cope with their losses by joining another delving group to ascend Tiger Spire. Allied with bickering siblings Rose and Mason, an Architect and a Transmuter, and the Biomancer Lief, they’re led by Odette, an Analyst, who has meticulously studied the spire’s scenarios to locate the mythical Vault of Shadows and claim its priceless treasures.
Their quest takes them aboard a train transporting rare cargo, but their mission is vague. Odette believes they’re either supposed to protect the cargo or capture someone. As the team splits into factions to solve the mystery, they encounter the notorious thief known as the Magpie. Sa’rhi Nereux is a Controller, commanding powerful minions to help them steal a creature capable of granting life or death with a single bite.
Even if the adventurers are victorious, greater threats await them within the spire if they’re to unearth the Vault of Shadows. Nieve, still grieving her lost companions, wants to befriend her new team to face these threats together. But Hane prefers distance, even from Nieve, leaving her to bond instead with a being of unimaginable power . . .
Rise of the Automated Empire: Final Assembly – Dennis M. Myers
The perfect society holds the perfect killer.
Dawn Sheffield is an ordinary citizen of Luna, but when an aerial accident becomes a viral meme, a series of events on the other side of Luna twist her fate and the fate of humanity. Dawn’s place in the universe is altered beyond recognition, and at a terrible price.
Elliot Humboldt is the second most powerful executive at the second most powerful organization in the Corporate Federation. Second place isn’t good enough for him, though, and he makes his move to advance. Along the way he discovers a small mystery, with huge implications.
Captain Tong Sianothai and the crew of the Pang Yu are on their way home from a routine mission near Ganymede when they are diverted to intimidate the largest corporate entity not a part of the Federation. They are one ship, against all of Luna.
Even the most advanced societies have their darker members, and the post-scarcity civilization on Luna provides people with opportunities for any sort of creativity. It also provides ample hunting grounds for a sadistic serial killer.
Rune Seeker – J. M. Clarke and C. J. Thompson
Hiral is the Everfail, the weakest person on the flying island of Fallen Reach. He trains harder than any warrior. Studies longer than any scholar.
But all his people are born with magic powered by the sun, flowing through tattoos on their bodies. Despite having enormous energy within, Hiral is the only one who can’t channel it; his hard work is worth nothing.
Until it isn’t.
In a moment of danger, Hiral unlocks an achievement with a special instruction: Access a Dungeon to receive a Class-Specific Reward.
It’s his first—and maybe last—chance for real power. Just one problem: all dungeons lay in the wilderness below the flying islands that humanity lives on, and there lay secrets and dangers that no one has survived.
New powers await, but so do new challenges. If he survives? He could forge his own path to power.
If he fails? Death will be the least of his problems.
The Burned Book (The Arkwright Saga) – a crowdfunding campaign by Brian Niemeier
An outcast boy with a terrible secret …
A disillusioned priest seeking release from fate …
The restless son of a fading race seeking his destiny …
Thrown together by chance, their historic quest will span a continent. And change all worlds forever.
Zebrin wanders the human-dominated mainland, having fled his people’s rigid island refuge. Alone in barbaric lands, he yearns to find himself in those his race shuns.
But when an ambitious emperor drafts him for a harrowing mission to the farthest ends of the world, will he discover and embrace his divine calling? Or will the kingdom he was ordained to save fall?
The answer lies in the Burned Book.
This crowdfunding campaign will remain open until 2 November, 2023.
Michael Tierney’s Wild Stars: Orphan of the Shadowy Moons – a Kickstarter campaign from Cirsova Publishing
He led Mankind on its first exodus to the stars when Atlantis fell 75,000 years ago, but who is the Ancient Warrior? Old beyond reckoning, his true identity has been forgotten by all, on Earth and in the Wild Stars—including himself!
While on the run from the fleet of Artomique Dreadnoughts, Daestar and Bully Bravo take the Ancient Warrior to one of the Extragalactic worlds where his memories can be unsealed. At last, the origins of the Ancient Warrior can be told!
Abandoned on a savage flooded planet as an infant to die of exposure, a young golden child is found and adopted by a powerful warlord and raised to be his heir. The orphan boy is given the name Strazis—same as the Shadowy Moon under which he was found.
Growing up in the household of the most powerful man on the planet, Strazis finds himself at the center of countless intrigues and machinations of both the Worldlord’s biological children and a mysterious faction of assassins who are somehow connected to the strange appearance of abandoned golden children, including Phaedra: the most beautiful girl young Strazis has ever seen.
When Strazis narrowly escapes raiders who murder many of the Worldlord’s other heirs, he must quickly grow and learn what it means not only to be the Worldlord’s son but be a Worldlord himself.
This crowdfunding campaign will remain open until 6 November, 2023.