Fiction newsletter for October

Welcome to the October Fiction newsletter, where we highlight the best of our best new fiction selection for the month. This month in our ‘other genres’ category we feature Short Stories, this is a wonderful selection of recently published collections by some well-known authors. We are sure you will find many hours of pleasurable reading.

Contemporary fiction

As with all contemporary fiction, there are as many different themes, characters, set in as many different places as there as many new titles we receive. Choose just what to read first is difficult, but hopefully our selection will make this easier.

Syndetics book cover The girl who slept with God / Val Brelinski.
“The story of three sisters: young Frances, gregarious and strong-willed Jory, and moral-minded Grace. Their father, Oren, is a respected member of the community and science professor at the local college. Yet their mother’s depression and Grace’s religious fervor threaten the seemingly perfect family, whose world is upended when Grace returns from a missionary trip to Mexico and discovers she’s pregnant with, she believes, the child of God. Distraught, Oren sends Jory and Grace to an isolated home at the edge of the town. There, they prepare for the much-awaited arrival of the baby while building a makeshift family that includes an elderly eccentric neighbor and a tattooed social outcast who drives an ice cream truck.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover The flicker men : a novel / Ted Kosmatka.
“Eric Argus has one last chance. His earlier scientific work, groundbreaking and infamous, jeopardized his reputation and threatened his sanity. But an old university friend hires him at Hansen Research, a Boston laboratory that provides researchers a probationary period of free reign. Argus has a final opportunity to regain his standing and renew his faith in science. He replicates Feynman’s double-slit experiment that famously demonstrated the mysterious dual nature of light and matter. Building upon that work, Argus discovers a staggering and elemental difference between humanity and the rest of the animal kingdom: he proves the existence of the human soul.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover The house at the edge of the world / Julia Rochester.
“Twins Morwenna and Corwin are eighteen when their father falls to his death near their beloved family home in Devon. While the twins flee in opposite directions to try to begin new lives, their mother, enraged by years of unhappy marriage, seeks freedom from the family home that has oppressed her. But for all of them, the connections to the house, and family, are not so easy to break. When, seventeen years after their father’s death, Corwin returns to the house again, he will force Morwenna to confront a terrifying truth from the past, one that will destroy everything they thought they knew about their childhood home.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Graphic novels

This month’s new Graphic Novels selection covers the range of this genre, from light hearted to thought provoking, with everything in-between.

Syndetics book cover The age of selfishness : Ayn Rand, morality, and the financial crisis / Darryl Cunningham ; introduction by Michael Goodwin.
“Tracing the emergence of Ayn Rand’s philosophy of objectivism in the 1940s to her present-day influence, this graphic-nonfiction investigation leads readers to the heart of the global financial crisis of 2008. Tackling the complexities of economics by distilling them down to a series of concepts accessible to all age groups, that ultimately delivers a devastating analysis of our current economic world.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover March of the crabs. Volume 1, The crabby condition / written and illustrated by Arthur de Pins ; translation by Edward Gauvin.
“All species in the world evolve except one. Cancer Simplicimus Vulgaris, or the square crab, has suffered with the same evolutionary defect for millennia: it cannot change direction. Condemned to walk in one straight line forever, these crabs living along the Gironde estuary have largely resigned themselves to their fate. However, one seemingly ordinary summer, three crabs decide to take matters into their own claws and rebel against the straight and narrow path they have been sentenced to, upending the entire ecosystem in the process.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover The returning / written by Jason Starr ; art by Andrea Mutti.
“It’s the near future, and some people who have had Near-Death Experiences have come back “changed.” They exhibit extreme behavioral changes, becoming increasingly paranoid and violent, and no one knows why. People who have had NDE’s fall immediately under suspicion, and in some cases, are murdered by justice-seeking vigilantes. It is in this world where Beth, a quiet high school student with a bright future, will learn just how quickly friends and family will turn on her when she has the bad luck of surviving the worst night of her life.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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The selection for this month’s new mysteries includes several long standing popular writers, and as always for avid mystery readers, some new writers to try.

Syndetics book cover X / Sue Grafton
“X: The number ten. An unknown quantity. A mistake. A cross. A kiss. X: The shortest entry in Webster’s Unabridged. Derived from Greek and Latin and commonly found in science, medicine, and religion. X: The twenty-fourth letter in the English alphabet. Sue Grafton’s X : Perhaps her darkest and most chilling novel, it features a remorseless serial killer who leaves no trace of his crimes. Once again breaking the rules and establishing new paths, Grafton wastes little time identifying this sociopath. The test is whether Kinsey can prove her case against him before she becomes his next victim.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Vixen : a Nameless Detective novel / Bill Pronzini.
“When Nameless is hired by Cory Beckett, a beautiful young woman who claims to be a model, to find her missing brother, Kenneth, it seems to be a routine matter. When agency operative Jake Runyon locates and questions the frightened young man, Cory Beckett’s motives come into question and the case takes on darkly sinister complexities. A series of twists and turns drive the story to a truly shocking climax. For not until then do the detectives realize how devilish Cory Beckett really is, a femme fatale who has brought something new to the species–new, and terrible.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Ice cold / Andrea Maria Schenkel ; translated from the German by Anthea Bell.
“Set in 1930s Munich, this is another chilling novel from the author of ‘The Murder Farm‘. A rapist and murderer is at large in the city. Kathie has come to Munich looking for work, but is drawn into a world of casual sex and prostitution. As she tries to make her way in the world, it becomes clear that she is in grave danger.” (Syndetics summary)

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Science fiction/fantasy

Science Fiction and Fantasy novel readers, will not be disappointed with this month’s selection of new material almost every theme imaginable has been represented.

Syndetics book cover Straits of hell / Taylor Anderson.
“Matt Reddy’s old Asiatic Fleet destroyer USS Walker has been mysteriously transported to an alternate version of earth. Here WWII is no longer raging and Reddy and his crew have been trying to find a new place for themselves in this strange new world.Along with the felinoid Lemurians and Imperial allies, they fight to keep the reptilian Grik, a race growing in supremacy, from reconquering the Lemurians’ ancestral home on Madagascar. Reddy and his crew are exhausted, far from reinforcements, and wildly outnumbered, so the odds seem greater than ever before.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover The iron assassin, or, A clockwork Prometheus / Ed Greenwood.
“London, the capitol of the Empire of the Lion, is a filthy, crowded, fast-growing city where a series of shocking murders threatens the throne itself. Energetic young inventor Jack Straker believes he has created a weapon to defend the Crown: a reanimated, clockwork-enhanced corpse he can control. He introduces “the Iron Assassin” to the highly placed Lords who will decide if Straker’s invention becomes a weapon of the Lion, or something to be destroyed. It quickly becomes apparent that the Iron Assassin is more self-willed than Straker intended, and that the zombie’s past life is far more sinister than Straker thought.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover The library at Mount Char / Scott Hawkins.
“Carolyn’s not so different from the other human beings around her. She was a normal American herself, once. That was a long time ago, of course, before the time she calls “adoption day,” when she and a dozen other children found themselves being raised by a man they learned to call Father. Father could do strange things. He could call light from darkness. Sometimes he raised the dead. And when he was disobeyed, the consequences were terrible. In the years since Father took her in, Carolyn hasn’t gotten out much. Instead, she and her adopted siblings have been raised according to Father’s ancient Pelapi customs. They’ve studied the books in his library and learned some of the secrets behind his equally ancient power. Sometimes, they’ve wondered if their cruel tutor might secretly be God. Now, Father is missing. And if God truly is dead, the only thing that matters is who will inherit his library, and with it, power over all of creation. As Carolyn gathers the tools she needs for the battle to come, fierce competitors for this prize align against her.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Other genres

Short stories are the feature of this month’s new ‘Other Genres’ fiction, and includes New Zealand writer David McDougall’s collection titled The Abyssinian mountain lion & other stories.

Syndetics book cover Your father sends his love / Stuart Evers.
“Eleven unforgettable stories of parental love and parental mistakes. Set in the past, present and future, they are unified by their compassion, animated by the unsaid and distinguished by how beautifully they extract the luminous from the ordinary.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover The complete stories / Clarice Lispector ; translated from the Portuguese by Katrina Dodson ; introduction by Benjamin Moser ; edited by Benjamin Moser.
“For the first time in English, are all the Clarice Lispector stories that made her a Brazilian legend: from teenagers coming into awareness of their sexual and artistic powers to humdrum housewives whose lives are shattered by unexpected epiphanies to old people who don’t know what to do with themselves.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
The Abyssinian Mountain Lion The Abyssinian mountain lion & other stories / David McDougall.
“David McDougall reintroduces the reader to that most excellent thing: the good yarn. Meet the neighbour with a war history who can’t help interfering with goings-on over the fence, a woman on a train who’ll go to any lengths to clear her student debt, a bunch of mates on a hunting trip who fear dire consequences after shooting a fantail, and a retired husband whose wife irons his shorts for Valentine’s Day and leaves him perplexed about how to return the favour. These are stories of humour and melancholy, love and vice.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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