In this edition of our monthly thematic roundup of BookLife titles, we feature sci-fi and fantasy.

Antuna’s Story (The Antunite Chronicles #1)

Terry Birdgenaw

ISBN 978-1-77815-160-6

Author statement: “Antuna’s Story is about the early survival of insects transported to a far-off planet. The insects’ struggles between aggressive and altruistic tendencies are an allegory for human frailties; the lust for power and hatred of others leads to widespread prejudice and racism. It’s a story about friendship and societal growth eclipsed by the horrors of war.”

Blood Promise

Tonya Kerrigan

ISBN 978-1-5375-9752-2

Author statement: “A streetwise, snarky psych major struggles between the realities of the natural and supernatural orders when she is marked for death by a murderous beast with a mission to eradicate her family line. While I’m a voracious reader, writing wasn’t something I had really thought about until my ex-husband and I divorced. I wondered how authors got their inspiration to write. I did a little researching and wrote a short story from a prompt. Not long after this, while sitting on the floor, folding laundry, my mind started to wander. All of a sudden, a storyline and characters literally dropped into my head.”

Dark Apprentice

Val Neil


Author statement: “A wannabe dark wizard gets more than he bargained for when he apprentices for the world’s most powerful mage, a woman who kills more students than she graduates. At its heart, Dark Apprentice is a story about two neurodivergent magic users misunderstanding one another.”

Evelyn’s Cross

S.W. Frank

ISBN 978-1-5328-0332-1

Author statement: “Evelyn has suffered a traumatic brain injury in a car accident that resulted in her visual impairment and amnesia. While recuperating, she must rely on secondhand information about herself from the only person she can remember, her friend Thaerdon. But Evelyn starts having vivid dreams about a swordsman, and he comes with dire warnings about Thaerdon and prophesies of an apocalypse.”

The Girl in the Zoo

Jennifer Lauer


Author statement: “Mirin thought she was the last human on Earth. Captured during the AI takeover, she’s being held caged in a zoo and suspects her guard, Borgie, is becoming sentient. When they introduce a feral man they want her to mate with, she realizes she’s not alone. When Mirin discovers secrets about the zoo and how she got there, she is determined to survive.

During the pandemic, I wanted to exorcise some demons about being stuck inside, away from friends and family. The story addressed the isolation I felt, that many people felt around the world, and also the apprehension of going back out into the world afterward.”

Heavy Metal Moon

Ron Lamberson


Author statement: “Will heavy metal save humanity? Can blistering punk conquer a bloodthirsty alien gangster? Garton Prog
is the greatest rock and roll guitarist on Principia. He’s also the only rock ’n’ roll guitarist—and only human—in the Trio’s star system. Now, having assembled a fledgling band of beings who resemble a giant praying mantis, a pear on legs, and a severely height-challenged Frankenstein, Garton has his sights set on winning his planet’s new battle of the bands competition. I play guitar and am a huge rock music fan. Writing this book was a
fantastic combination of my passions.”

The Hum

Michael Christopher Carter


Author statement: “The first time Lee Bennett notices the humming sound in the distance, he believes it is coming from the nearby airpark. Then he and his wife move to another town 45 miles away—and he hears it again. He soon learns thousands of people around the world have detected ‘the hum.’ The Hum was my third novel, which I indie published in 2016. Although it is fiction, the idea came from a very real phenomenon that I experienced a form of myself.”

No Heart for a Thief

James Lloyd Dulin


Author statement: “The magic system was the first part of my world that I constructed. It developed from my interest in the concept of sin eaters, beings who can literally consume sin. This morphed into people who had the ability to consume magic and how they would be treated within their society. So many fantasies focus on kings and generals—the people with power—but I was interested in exploring the consequences of colonialism and whiteness through those trying to survive it and navigate it.”

Of Wings and Shadows

Kyoko M


Author statement: “In a modern-day world teeming with marauding dragons, the United States government has decided to hold a tournament called the Wild Hunt to determine who will be responsible for the capture of wild dragons by the Knight Division. The four challengers, Noah Wilson, Charlie Howard, Su Jin Han, and Beowulf, journey through the mountains of South Carolina, the seas of Key West, the caverns of Ruby Falls, the redwood forest, and finally, the murky bayous of Louisiana. Will they succeed against their competition, or will the dragons of the Wild Hunt be too wild to tame? Of Wings and Shadows is the sixth book in the Of Cinder and Bone series.”

Paper Forests

Tegan Anderson


Author statement: “Once upon a time, Oliver wakes up in a forest full of magic and monsters, not quite dead, but not quite alive either. This book is an ode to my dreams: to fish-shaped constellations, fairytales with unhappy endings, and soft boys with bloody knuckles. It’s an ode to the child in my memories who is still made of magic and monsters and would read fairytales under a chestnut tree. And, most of all, this book is an ode to the forest.”


James Brumbaugh

ISBN 978-1-4663-0964-7

Author statement: “Shepherds is a near-future sci-fi thriller in which genetically altered humans herd tuna in the open ocean with the help of trained dolphins. But someone is killing the shepherds, and it’s hard to hide in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. I wrote this as a possible way to ensure the future of big tuna and added in an element of romance and suspense.”

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