What's that you say? You're wondering what science fiction, fantasy and horror books will be arriving on bookstore shelves in March? Have I got an article for you!  There are more than a hundred new speculative fiction releases this month. Here are the best picks.

 

Murder of Crows by Anne Bishop

WHAT IT'S ABOUT: A woman with special abilities sets out to solve the mystery that threatens to destroy both the humans and the supernatural entities that coexist alongside each other.

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WHY YOU SHOULD READ IT: Bishop's world, with two species in constant tension with one another, is intriguing.

 

Last God Standing by Michael Boatman

WHAT IT'S ABOUT: God decides to quit his job as a deity and join the human race, an opportunity that does not go unnoticed by Earth’s other, vanquished-but-not-gone pantheons.

WHY YOU SHOULD READ IT: Michael Boatman (yes, the one from Spin City) uses a clever premise to tell the story of a cosmic power struggle interlaced with the right amount of humor.

 

The Tropic of Serpents: A Memoir by Lady Trent by Marie Brennan

WHAT IT'S ABOUT: Isabella, a young woman who established herself as the world's premier dragon naturalist, recounts her days on an expedition to research all manner of things draconian.

WHY YOU SHOULD READ IT: The prequel, A Natural History of Dragons, was well-received—a telltale sign that this one's worth the read, as well.

 

Night Broken by Patricia Briggs

WHAT IT'S ABOUT: Mercy Thompson fights a deadly supernatural foe and a threat to her relationship when her mate's ex-wife seeks protection from a dangerous stalker.

WHY YOU SHOULD READ IT: The latest book in the Mercy Thompson series promises lots of action amidst its strange love triangle.

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The Fell Sword by Miles Cameron

WHAT IT'S ABOUT: The Red Knight attempts to free the Emperor, who has been taken hostage.

WHY YOU SHOULD READ IT: This sequel to The Red Knight combines political intrigue, magic and romance into one ambitious story. 

 

The Burning Dark by Adam Christopher

WHAT IT'S ABOUT: Strange goings-on at a space station may put Captain Abraham Idaho Cleveland (a hero who once defeated a machine intelligence) back in the limelight if he can figure out what's haunting the station.

WHY YOU SHOULD READ IT: Who doesn't love a good space mystery?

 

The Pilgrims by Will Elliott

WHAT IT'S ABOUT: A 26-year-old journalist and a homeless drunk in modern day London enter a doorway and become pilgrims into a land called Levaal, where a mountain-sized dragon lives underneath a castle ruled by a cruel Lord who has his sights set on immortality.

WHY YOU SHOULD READ IT: This alternate-world fantasy is the first of a trilogy that seems to focus on what might lie beyond the wall that surrounds Levaal.

 

Kindred of Darkness by Barbara Hambly

WHAT IT'S ABOUT: The baby of James and Lydia Asher is kidnapped by the Master Vampire of London.

WHY YOU SHOULD READ IT: This is not your average vampire story, and in this one the Ashers have another vampire on their side.

 

Truth and Fear by Peter Higgins

WHAT IT'S ABOUT: An alternate history in which an investigator tries to solve the mysteries of the strange world in which he lives, like the Pollandore (a "world within a world") and the enigmatic Angels—all while he is on the run from the police in a totalitarian state.

WHY YOU SHOULD READ IT: This sequel to The Wolfhound Century offers yet more compelling mystery set in an alternate history that masterfully also combines myth and legend.

 

Ghost Train to New Orleans by Mur Lafferty

WHAT IT'S ABOUT: A travel-guide writer set her literary sites on New Orleans, which also happens to be where she'll find the only person who can save her boyfriend from becoming a zombie.

WHY YOU SHOULD READ IT: Life isn't always superserious and neither is fiction. This is a light-hearted romp in which zombies and other supernatural beings are part of everyday society.

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The Lascar's Dagger by Glenda Larke

WHAT IT'S ABOUT: A seemingly simple priest is wounded in the line of duty by a Lascar sailor's blade, which then proceeds to guide him on an adventure.

WHY YOU SHOULD READ IT: This "simple priest" is, in reality, a spy for the head of his faith—a set-up that spells trouble any way you look at it.

 

Hyde by Daniel Levine

WHAT IT'S ABOUT: Remember Robert Louis Stevenson's classic The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde? Well, there's two sides to every story. This is Hyde's.

WHY YOU SHOULD READ IT: This fresh, thoughtful look at Stevenson's classic will have you wanting to once again read the original on which it was based.

 

Age of Shiva by James Lovegrove

WHAT IT'S ABOUT: A team of godlike superpowered beings are assembled to battle demons and aliens.

WHY YOU SHOULD READ IT: It's mythological gods meets superheroes. 'Nuff said.

 

Code Zero by Jonathan Maberry

WHAT IT'S ABOUT: Joe Ledger—hired by the Department of Military Sciences to stop terrorist bio-chemical threats—and his team must stop a master criminal who has acquired plagues, weaponized pathogens and genetically modified viruses from the DMS itself.

WHY YOU SHOULD READ IT: If you read any of the previous Joe Ledger bio-terrorism thrillers, you'd already know why.

 

Half-Off Ragnarok by Seanan McGuire

WHAT IT'S ABOUT: Human bodies that have been turned to stone begin appearing at the zoo. Alex Price, who works there overseeing a basilisk breeding program, investigates.

WHY YOU SHOULD READ IT: McGuire's InCryptid novels are fast-moving and fun.

 

Raising Steam by Terry Pratchett

WHAT IT'S ABOUT: Pratchett's latest Discworld novel takes on steampunk and involves a (what else?) lazy man named Moist von Lipwig to oversee a huge machine that harnesses the power of all of the elements.

WHY YOU SHOULD READ IT: What part of Discworld did you not get?

 

The Memory of Sky by Robert Reed

WHAT IT'S ABOUT: An epic story about a young boy named Diamond, who lives on a fantastic world where humans live in enormous trees and huge beasts float down from the sky, and who is the key to remaking an entire species.

WHY YOU SHOULD READ IT: This is set in Reed's Great Ship universe, which never cease to evoke sense of wonder. Even better: This is a trilogy of stories in one massive volume.

 

Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson

WHAT IT'S ABOUT: The work of a mysterious assassin continues to disrupt any hope of peace in a land already torn apart by war and vengeance.

WHY YOU SHOULD READ IT: This second book in The Stormlight Archive sequence, an epic saga that has 10 volumes planned. Get in on the saga now, if you haven't already.lockstep

 

Lockstep by Karl Schroeder

WHAT IT'S ABOUT: A 17-year-old boy named Toby gets lost in space and awakens 14,000 years later in a future where cryosleep is the norm and his own family rules an empire.

WHY YOU SHOULD READ IT: It's a clever space opera that pits brother against brother when long-lost Toby is found and lays claim to the family inheritance.

 

Blood and Iron by Jon Sprunk

WHAT IT'S ABOUT: A shipwrecked soldier washes up on the shores of the enemy, where he is made a slave. But after it is discovered that he is a latent sorcerer, he is catapulted to the halls of power where he plans to free himself and the empire's caste of slaves.

WHY YOU SHOULD READ IT: Sprunk's sword-and-sorcery storytelling is compelling and populated with interesting characters.

 

Emilie and the Sky World by Martha Wells

WHAT IT'S ABOUT: Young Emilie joins an airship expedition to investigate a ship from another aetheric plane that might be a friendly explorer, or something far more sinister.

WHY YOU SHOULD READ IT: Sometimes reading is about adventure, and this book is filled with it.

 

SHORT FICTION

 You can look at short fiction as the tasty treats between the meals of novels, or as a short, sharp shock of the fantastic. Either way, here are some worthwhile short fiction books out this month that are worth a look:

¨  Dead Americans and Other Stories by Ben Peek

¨  Minding the Stars: The Early Jack Vance Volume 4 edited by Terry Dowling & Jonathan Strahan

¨  Notes from the Internet Apocalypse by Wayne Gladstone

¨  Questionable Practices: Stories by Eileen Gunn

¨  The Compleat Crow by Brian Lumley

¨  The End is Nigh edited by Joseph Adams

¨  The Time Traveler's Almanac edited by Ann VanderMeer & Jeff VanderMeer

 

John DeNardo is the editor of SF Signal, a Hugo Award-winning group science-fiction and fantasy blog featuring news, reviews and interviews. You can follow him on Twitter as @sfsignal.