I can’t think what’s coming out in March, I thought. Must be a quiet month, I thought. Calm before the storm, I thought. Ahahaha, no, I just hadn’t been paying attention. Reinforce your shelves, friends, because March releases are on their way to tantalise you. Get ready to make some room for more than just one more.
I am soft for the combination of magic and food, so the most exciting title in my March line-up is a new translation of The Book Of Perilous Dishes by acclaimed Romanian author Doina Rusti. In 18th century Bucharest, a famed slave-chef is so sought after he’s stolen by the Prince; cooking up recipes that taste sublime but may damage sincerity, cause forgetfulness and stimulate foresight. Young Pâtca sets out to recover the witch’s recipe book from him – but nothing is ever that easy. Her adventure begins on March 3rd, courtesy of Neem Tree Press.
Could any fan of Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal resist The Shadow Glass? Josh Winning’s debut sees a son forced to confront his feelings about his film director father when he inherits dad’s collection of movie memorabilia… and the puppets start talking to him. Between the pitch perfect concept and that font, it seems my Jim Henson feels are in safe hands; plus you can join the author each Friday night for a nostalgic rewatch and livetweet through some classic fantasy movies. The Shadow Glass is unleashed by Titan Books on March 22nd.
Yes, it’s fan service (it me, I’m the fan) all the way down, because next up is The Carnival of Ash by Tom Beckerlegge, a Renaissance fantasy set in the City of Words. Cadenza is run by poets and dominated by libraries, its heartbeat the sound of printing presses. But Cadenza is on the cusp of change, weakened by the death of its leader and threatened by its rival Venice – what? Oh, sorry, was I squeaking again? Yes. Well. Fantastical literary intrigue in Renaissance Italy does that to me. Out from Solaris on March 17th (warning: squeaking may intensify).
Lizz Huerta’s debut The Lost Dreamer caught my eye with that arresting cover. Two girls whose dreams foretell the future face terrible threats in a patriarchal kingdom where the new king is determined to wipe out the Dreamers. Indir’s secrets could damn her; Saya is only just realising her entire life is a lie. But can they survive the violence wracking the country? This YA fantasy is released on March 1st by Farrar, Straus & Giroux (Macmillan).
What? No, I didn’t group books by colour again this month (yes, yes, I did. But not intentionally) but let’s look at four books whose cooler-hued covers are particularly beautiful.
The Cartographers is another concept I simply can’t resist: magical maps. Peng Shepherd’s new book starts with a death – or was it a murder? – and a woman digging into the secrets her estranged father kept from her. Conspiracies, secrets and cartomancy? I can’t wait to get my hands on this. Out from Orion on March 17th (and yes I’m peeved that this is going to the Goldsboro Premier subscribers, not the SF Fellowship. Lucky them).
An icy landscape and a good font are a great way to turn my head; Elizabeth Bonesteel’s Arkhangelsk follows it up with a hostile world whose inhabitants believe they are the last humans left alive. When a starship from Earth arrives in orbit, it invites questions about the repressive regime that has been considered essential to humanity’s survival. I’m not sure whether this will be a tense political thriller or introspective social science fiction, but I’m curious to find out. Self-published (as far as I can tell) on March 8th.
Sarah Tolmie is back with another haunting cover (and I still haven’t read The Stone Boatmen or The Fourth Island, aiii) in a historical novella weaving the mythological origins of All The Horses Of Iceland into a literary saga. I suspect this will be rather more literary and rather less fantasy, but Icelandic horses are badass (just ask any car insurer) and I’m here for it either way. Out from Tor.com on March 1st.
If you enjoyed my recent stroll through the stories of Sinopticon, watch out for The Way Spring Arrives And Other Stories, edited by Yu Chen and Regina Kanyu Wang. This anthology translates Chinese science fiction and fantasy stories from female and nonbinary authors and got a big thumbs up from Sahi over at A World of Books. Out from Tor.com on March 8th.
The early twentieth century is all the rage this month: Marion Deeds brings us a magical Twenties Seattle where everybody is sure to get their just desserts… eventually. Comeuppance Served Cold follows multiple strands as shady characters get up to no good in a hard-boiled historical fantasy that matches glamour with criminality. Out from Tor.com on March 22nd.
I hesitated to include Francesca May’s debut Wild and Wicked Things because the heavy hints of romance have me suspecting this won’t be my jam after all. However, it may be yours, and it does sound delicious (and the cover is fab). It’s the early Twenties, and illicit parties are a gateway to a wilder world of magic and blood debts for Annie Mason. A gothic fantasy out from Orbit on March 29th.
John Scalzi needs no additional promo from the likes of me but AAAAAH DIMENSION-HOPPING TO SAVE KAIJU. That is all. Out from Tor on March 17th.
Likewise James S A Corey, but you know I’m a huge Expanse fangirl, so I’m super excited for the collected edition of the various short stories and novellas that round out the series (and which I’ve never read). Memory’s Legion will be leaping onto my shelves on March 15th (Orbit).
Last up, our 2021 Subjective Chaos Kind of Award winner for Best SF gets a paperback release from Hodder on March 17th – The Space Between Worlds is Micaiah Johnson’s excellent debut of parallel worlds, intersecting lives and much, much baggage. Can Cara survive the last 8 worlds that haven’t (yet) killed her? Laure Eve’s Blackheart Knights – an Arthurian urban fantasy where the Knights of the Round Table ride motorbikes and joust on TV – is nominated for Best Fantasy this year; it too gets a paperback on March 17th, from Jo Fletcher Books.
What books coming out this month are you excited for?
All release dates and publishers are for the UK unless otherwise mentioned.