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 Awoken City (Rites of Resurrection #3) – Marshall J. Moore
The Dead Are Waking Up.
For three hundred years the Republic of Albastine’s dead have been resurrected as mindless servants who labor and wage war so that the living may focus on higher matters. Yet these Attendants are no longer the unthinking, unfeeling slaves they once were.
Called from the duties of new parenthood to examine reports of malfunctioning Attendants, necromancer Cassius Calvus discovers that his actions the previous year have inadvertently called the spirits of the dead back into the bodies of the Attendants, resulting in self-aware revenants. Led by the silently charismatic being who calls himself Wraith, these Awoken threaten the Republic’s orderly society with their very existence.
But the Awoken are not the only undead in the Pale City who are more than they appear. Throughout Albastine, a sinister force has been quietly gathering power in the shadows, corrupting the Attendants to its own ends. Hounded by an enemy long thought vanquished, Cassius and his allies are drawn into an epic battle for the fate of the Republic—and every soul within, living and dead alike.
The Bloodless War (Blade and Bone #4) – D. K. Holmberg
War comes. Magic can either save them—or destroy everything.
The team has splintered, but they still fight the same war.
Honaaz and Lily sail north, where they find a dangerous new threat that threatens more than the coast.
Finn and Morgan make their way to bring a warning to the king so that what happened in Sanaron does not happen in Rayend.
And Kanar travels into the Alainsith lands where he learns the truth of the war, and that it might be already too late to stop.
Defenders Rise (Four Horsemen Sagas #10) – Mike Jack Stoumbos
The once-prosperous Planet Haven has become a warship graveyard, its landscape littered with ship carcasses and craters. Though dangerous, these remains are worth fighting and dying for. And, for the employees of the Salvage Mill—toiling under the watchful gaze and disciplinary claws of the ruling Pushtal—dying is all too common.
Rev, an elSha engineer with no ties to the many species on the surface, works for his own survival and the opportunity to escape. Before he can put his plans into motion, though, an encounter with a ravenous predator forces Rev underground where he discovers a long-buried find: a crate of CASPers.
Though the suits of oversized armor might be better used as bargaining chips than weapons against the Salvage Mill, witnesses to the find have other ideas in mind, and to protect his interests, Rev enters a symbiotic arrangement with several past and current Mill workers. As Rev gathers more unlikely allies and learns to operate the machines, the new community grows stronger… strong enough to draw the notice of the Pushtal rulers.
And, for the first time in years, Rev has something other than salvage that’s worth fighting and dying for.
He Who Fights with Monsters #9 – Travis Deverell
With the Builder threat behind them, the time has finally come for Jason and his team to hit the road.
Eager to get back to the adventuring he’s been longing for, Jason is excited to not be at the center of world-changing events. But before he goes, one last attempt to pull him into politics has him leaving Rimaros with a strong final impression.
With new places to visit and new people to meet, the remnants of recent events have scarred the land and left lingering dangers behind. It’s a busy time for adventurers willing and able to fight with monsters. Threats that once loomed in the background start coming to the fore, and the team prepares to join the fight. Their angelic new adversaries are patient, powerful, and remorseless, using such unconscionable strategies that mass slaughter is only the beginning.
Jason is forced to confront that his growing power may give him more in common with his foes than his friends. While this opens a path to uncovering the methods and objectives of their enemies, it also brings him to their attention. To them, this makes him yet another tool to be used. But when conflict spills into epic battle, they’ll be the latest to discover that challenging Jason Asano is a very bad idea.
War for Empire: Legacy – Chris Pourteau
Power, politics, and intergalactic war… Admiral Stone just wanted to retire.
Xenophobia and itchy trigger fingers nearly ended the Sol Alliance. War—avoidable yet inevitable—ensued with the Arcoenum, an exotic alien species with overwhelming mental abilities. The Alliance survived thanks to the quick thinking of a brash, young starship officer, Nick Stone.
A half-century of peace followed, and Stone spends the rest of his life reluctantly accepting the endless accolades of a grateful humanity. Now, at 75, he’s not only ready to retire—he’s desperate to.
“S-O-S. All ships and stations. My name is Alice Keller…”
When a distress call goes out from Drake’s World, newly elected Alliance President Piers Bragg pressures Stone into one final mission: rescue the young girl marooned on the planet, then sail triumphantly into retirement.
But when Alice demonstrates amazing psychokinetic abilities, everything changes. And Bragg will stop at nothing to exploit her abilities as he prepares for a war of revenge against what’s left of the Arcoenum.
Anvil: Iron Age Magazine – a crowd funding campaign by IronAge Media
In this age of derivative and propagandistic mainstream media, creators across mediums and genres have begun pushing back. ANVIL celebrates and highlights those artists and authors drawing inspiration from the roots of comics and pulp. Heralding the rediscovery and refocus on quality over ideology which is already underway, and gaining momentum.
ANVIL is the first official step into the world of publishing by IronAge.Media, a site focused on connecting Iron Age creators with new fans. The dedication and growth from the community surrounding this site has allowed me to pull together a fantastic team to bring this magazine to fruition. Daniel P. Riley, of Whimsyland as Editor and Jacob Calta of 365 Infantry as Designer. Together with the fantastic Iron Age authors and artists we’ve collaborated with, the first issue is over a hundred pages of pure talent guaranteed to blow you away.
Catch an early glimpse of RazörFist and George Alexopoulos’ upcoming Hellfire and Brimstone Western comic!
The crowd-funded campaign will close on 2 May, 2023.
Ghost of the Badlands – a crowd funding campaign by Razorfist and George Alexopoulos
Who is the Ghost? Man or myth? Flesh or phantom? Is he a ghostly stranger who wandered out of the Arizona desert to deal divine judgment upon the modern Gomorrah of Canyon Diablo? Or is he a survivor of godless effrontery… plucked from his grave by beings unknown, to visit upon evil men the ravages to which they subject the weak? Whatever his origin, the result is the same: Gunfight after gunfight, body after body, coffin after coffin, legend soon grows of this phantom of the high desert.
The badlands swirl with whispers of a lone pistoleer. A one-man vendetta ride, wielding a mechanical weapon of the Old World, to cleanse the heathen with hails of gunfire. Rumors soon circulate of an entire army, cloaked in shadow, his faceless foot soldiers. Eventually, folk find a name for this mute, masked missionary of death…
THE GHOST OF THE BADLANDS.
Inspired by storytelling traditions both East & West, the team will be pleased to release TWO versions of this first edition: A Softcover inspired by manga, and Hardcover inspired by Bande Desinee.
The crowd-funded campaign will close on 21 May, 2023.