With my debut novel SQUEAKY CLEAN coming out on 2nd March (Pushkin Vertigo), I wanted to highlight a few other books publishing in the same month which I’m excited for.
The Space Between Us by Doug Johnstone (Orenda Books) – 2 March
Renowned Scottish crime writer Doug Johnstone – known for his excellent series about the Skelf family of undertakers/private detectives and author of one of my favourite novels, The Ossians – takes his first foray into science fiction with The Space Between Us, released on the same day as Squeaky Clean. An honour!
A strange meteor seen over Edinburgh causes three strangers to have severe strokes which they miraculously recover from. When an octopus-like creature washes up on shore near where the meteor crashed, the three decide they must protect it from the government. I love the shades of John Wyndham, and the beached octo-alien getting called ‘Sandy’.
Freeze by Kate Simants (Viper Books) – 2 March
Also sharing a book birthday, Freeze by Kate Simants has an incredible cover and an even better premise:
A reality TV show set on a boat in the freezing waters off the coast of Greenland where eight contestants must push themselves to the limit for a £100,000 prize. Then, one of them is found dead.
I love everything about this set up. Isolated, freezing cold location where no help can be reached? I’m in. Locked room murder mystery? I’m there. A group of strangers turning against each other as the tension ratchets up? Yes please! Cannot wait for this.
Thirsty Animals by Rachelle Atalla (Hodder & Stoughton) – 16 March
In a future where the world is running out of water, Aida and her mum living in rural Scotland are just about scraping by. But when the taps run out and strangers come calling, they must decide how much they can afford to share.
Atalla’s second novel, Thirsty Animals sounds very intense, the kind of speculative pressure-cooker situation which saw her shortlisted for Scottish Fiction Book of the Year 2022 for her debut The Pharmacist.
I’m already really keen to see Scotland described without rain!
Hel’s Eight by Stark Holborn (Titan Books) – 21 March
I loved Ten Low, Stark Holborn’s SF wild west adventure from 2021, so I’m delighted March will see the publication of its sequel, Hel’s Eight.
In the first book, title character Ten Low – a medic with a shady past – is living on barren desert planet Factus, far away from the authorities. Hardscrabble towns and dive bars are strewn here and there among a wasteland haunted by something invisible which feeds on chaos. It’s equal parts grim and fun, with colourful characters and vivid descriptions.
The second book sees Ten getting the band back together to take on a tycoon who is buying up entire planets. I’m already looking forward to heading back to Factus for some more snake wine.