Did everyone take advantage of that extra reading day in February? I hope so, because March promises another healthy dose of science fiction and fantasy literary goodness. Take a look at these tasty top-tier offerings...
Catch up on February's must-read SF Signal list.
And Blue Skies From Pain by Stina Leicht
Leicht's first novel, Of Blood and Honey, was universally well-received for its realistic character portrayals, its rich and textured depiction of historical Ireland, as well as its beautiful prose. In this new novel of her The Fey and the Fallen sequence, Liam Kelly (the shape-shifting, half-breed son of Fae and mortal) must prove his good intentions while being hunted by his enemies.
Crucible of Gold by Naomi Novik
In a time where dragons are used as a tool of warfare, Capt. Will Laurence and his fighting dragon Temeraire go up against the broadsides of Napoleonic forces. This is the latest in a the author's exciting series that has been described as "Master and Commander with dragons."
Emperor Mollusk Versus the Sinister Brain by A. Lee Martinez
What good is fiction as a venue for entertainment if it can't make us laugh every now and then? Martinez specializes is reinventing various tropes infused with laugh-out-loud humor. Here, the now-retired ex-Warlord of Earth, Emperor Mollusk (no, really...he's a mollusk) comes out of retirement to save the Earth from the evil machinations of a new threat: the Sinister Brain!
Hide Me Among the Graves by Tim Powers
Powers has proven himself to be a literary master of the supernatural with remarkable storytelling prowess. In Hide Me Among the Graves, he weaves a lush historical horror story with vampires, ghosts and resurrection about two estranged parents trying to rescue their daughter in the supernatural underground of Victorian London.
Range of Ghosts by Elizabeth Bear
If there's one author who can't be pinned down, it's Bear, and her versatility as a writer only seems to make her stronger. In her latest novel, Range of Ghosts—a book that early readers are already raving about—the self-exiled grandson of the Great Khan and a former Princess stand together against the hidden cult that has manipulated whole empires.
The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year, Volume 6 edited by Jonathan Strahan
Short fiction anthologies are a great way to sample a wide range of literary offerings. Here, series editor Strahan serves up 31 fantastic stories from the likes of Karen Joy Fowler, Jeffrey Ford, Neil Gaiman, Kij Johnson, Nalo Hopkinson, Margo Lanagan, Bruce Sterling, Kelly Link, Catherynne M. Valente and many more.
The Company of the Dead by David Kowalski
In a novel that combines time travel and alternate history, a mysterious man appears aboard the fateful voyage of the Titanic to save it from destruction, but inadvertently spawns a secret history of the world in which the United States never entered World War I and thus becomes co-occupied by Germany and Japan. History can only be restored by a small handful of people, including the nephew of John F. Kennedy.
The Games by Ted Kosmatka
Short-fiction extraordinaire—and real life scientist—Kosmatka offers this novel rooted in scientific plausibility and wrapped around serious ethical issues. In this amoral future, genetically engineered monsters fight to the death at public Olympic gaming events. Silas Williams, the brilliant geneticist behind the U.S. winning streak, wrestles to understand the implications of a new experimental monstrosity created by his company to distance the U.S. from the encroaching competition.
Time and Robbery by Rebecca Ore
Time and Robbery is a daring new novel by one of the field's most capable writers. It features a gay immortal named Vel who can travel through time by sheer force of will, an ability he must use to travel back to his younger self to save his future descendents.
Timeless by Gail Carriger
Carriger's Parasol Protectorate series beautifully blends together alternate history, steampunk and paranormal romance into stories that are witty, engaging and fun. In this latest installment, Alexia Tarabotti continues to apply her unique skills in Egypt where her services are requested by a mysterious vampire Queen.
As usual, getting such a meaty list of books down to a measly 10 is a difficult task. Here are some worthy runners-up that I could have included just as easily...and which I know sneak before you unnoticed (waves hand in Jedi-like manner):
Armored edited by John Joseph Adams
Autumn: Aftermath by David Moody
Body, Inc. by Alan Dean Foster
Carpathia by Matt Forbeck
Commedia della Morte by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro
Costume Not Included: To Hell and Back by Matthew Hughes
Discount Armageddon by Seanan McGuire
Exogene by T.C. McCarthy
Fair Coin by E. C. Myers
Fair Game by Patricia Briggs
Intruder by C.J. Cherryh
Jack of Ravens by Mark Chadbourn
Secrets of the Fire Sea by Stephen Hunt
Strange Divisions and Alien Territories edited by Keith Brooke
The Gathering of the Lost by Helen Lowe
The Navidad Incident: The Downfall of Matías Guili by Natsuki Ikezawa
The Outcast Blade by Jon Courtenay Grimwood
Thunder in the Void by Henry Kuttner
Wide Open by Deborah Coates
John DeNardo is the editor of SF Signal, a group science-fiction and fantasy blog featuring news, reviews and interviews.