Darker Wonderlands for Longer Nights

Alice in Deadland
Alice in Deadland by Mainak Dhar

Now we have crossed into that magic time between Halloween and Christmas, it seems fitting to pay a visit to the latest in Alice-inspired fantasy fiction. Always a deep well (not to mention a dark and, at times, disturbing well), here are five books we haven’t mentioned before, all published within the last year.

Alice in Deadland
Alice in Deadland by Mainak Dhar

The Alice in Deadland Trilogy, comprising Alice in Deadland, Through the Killing Glass and Off With Their Heads, is dark fantasy written by Mainak Dhar. Dhar’s first book was An Economic History of India, since then he has published books on brand management, ancient spaceships, superhuman librarians, and Taliban zombies. What next? A post-apocalyptic Alice in Wonderland, of course. Here’s the teaser:

Civilization as we know it ended more than fifteen years ago, leaving as it’s legacy barren wastelands called the Deadland and a new terror for the humans who survived- hordes of undead Biters.

Fifteen year-old Alice has spent her entire life in the Deadland, her education consisting of how best to use guns and knives in the ongoing war for survival against the Biters. One day, Alice spots a Biter disappearing into a hole in the ground and follows it, in search of fabled underground Biter bases.

RabbitHole by V. J. Waks

Rabbit Hole by V. J. Waks was published only last week. Waks is a native New Yorker and screenwriter. Her book is set in England and has a really scary dust-jacket; to know any more we will have to wait for the reviews. Any volunteers? Here’s the blurb:

In the wake of tragedy and loss, Caspian Hythe has returned to his family’s ancestral home in England. But home is not as it should be.

No longer a place of safety or of peace, home is now a place of horror and fear. For an ancient mystery has re-awakened – bloodthirsty and unimaginable – something is killing in the town of Guildford. And the trail of blood is just the beginning.

Gears of Wonderland
Gears of Wonderland by Jason G. Anderson

Gears of Wonderland by Jason G. Anderson, as the title suggests, is a blend of steampunk and fantasy. The book has been self-published (as has the Alice in Deadland series) but that isn’t necessarily a bad sign. One reviewer from Utah says: “For folks who may still be wary of self-published fiction, Gears of Wonderland is a good place to see that not all good books come from large publishing businesses.”

James Riggs lives a normal life with a mind-numbing job, an overbearing boss, and a demanding fiancée. Then he witnesses the murder of his best friend. Saved from the murderer by a strange man in a white suit, James is cast down a hole and into a world he always believed was a kid’s story. Wonderland. But things have changed since Alice’s visit. The Knave of Hearts has seized the Heart throne, conquered all of Wonderland with his steam-powered technological marvels, and rules the land with an iron fist. Aided by the Mad Hatter’s daughter, James journeys to discover why he has been brought to Wonderland and how the tattoo on his arm could be the key to Wonderland’s salvation—or its destruction.