Crisp fall nights bring bright beckoning stars and a resurgence of our old friend, the sense of wonder. Many of this fall’s most exciting books feature lyrical prose and fantastical settings that border on the surreal. Sweeping space opera and fantasy epics join impressive novellas and collections of short fiction, so there’s a little (or big) something for everyone.
SF, Fantasy & Horror Top 10
Falling in Love with Hominids
Nalo Hopkinson. Tachyon, Aug. 11
At long last, many of Hopkinson’s out-of-print short stories will be collected in this volume, along with one original tale, to delight fans of her folklore-inspired fantasy.
The Fifth Season
N.K. Jemisin. Orbit, Aug. 4
The first novel in three years from lauded fantasist Jemisin begins with a world-shaking cataclysm whose devastation is matched by personal betrayals.
Ghost Summer: Stories
Tananarive Due. Prime, Sept. 1
Fans of horror and dark fantasy will eagerly dive into the first short fiction collection from author and screenwriter Due.
The Heart Goes Last
Margaret Atwood. Doubleday/Talese, Sept. 29
Atwood tackles inequality and incarceration in this disturbing vision of a future where happiness and security come at the expense of freedom.
The House of Shattered Wings
Aliette de Bodard. Roc, Aug. 18
This intense novel depicts warring factions in a magical alternate version of 20th-century Paris, where decadence mingles with fear.
Silver on the Road
Laura Anne Gilman. S&S/Saga, Oct. 6
Gilman reworks American history and legend in her first epic fantasy novel since 2012, a richly detailed and eloquent story of magic in the Old West.
Sorcerer to the Crown
Zen Cho. Ace, Sept. 1
Cho’s glorious debut mingles magic and wonder with the class, gender, and racial tensions of an alternate historical England.
The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps
Kai Ashante Wilson. Tor.com, Sept. 1
Wilson brings his rich, graceful prose style to this novella of two men’s love in a fantasy world full of troubles and terrors. This is the launch title for the Tor.com novella imprint.
Fran Wilde. Tor, Sept. 1
This splendid debut, in which winged traders fly among the spires of a city grown from bone, is a lyrical tale of politics, secrets, family love, and personal triumph.
Jason M. Hough. Del Rey, Aug. 11
Time travel and spy action don’t often mix, but Hough makes it work in this impressive novel told in two distinct voices.
SF, Fantasy & Horror Listings
Alice by Christina Henry (Aug. 4, paper, $15, ISBN 978-0-425-26679-3). From the author of the Black Wings novels, this is the first in a mind-bending new series, inspired by the twisted and wondrous works of Lewis Carroll. 30,000-copy announced first printing.
King of Shards by Matthew Kressel (Oct. 13, paper, $17, ISBN 978-1-63023-028-9). Across the ineffable expanse of the Great Deep float billions of shattered universes: the Shards. They need Earth to survive just as plants need water. Earth itself is kept alive by 36 righteous people—36 hidden saints known as the Lamed Vav.
Midnight Taxi Tango: A Bone Street Rumba Novel by Daniel José Older (Jan. 5, mass market, $7.99, ISBN 978-0-425-27599-3). In this splashy sequel to Half-Resurrection Blues, Carlos Delacruz, a half-dead agent for New York City’s Council of the Dead, must find out who or what is behind a string of gruesome incidents.
Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho (Sept. 1, hardcover, $26.95, ISBN 978-0-425-28337-0). Zacharias Wythe, Sorcerer Royal of the Unnatural Philosophers, goes on a mission to discover why magic is running out in England. His journey alters the nature of sorcery in all of Britain—and the world at large. 30,000-copy announced first printing.
A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms by George R.R. Martin (Oct. 6, hardcover, $30, ISBN 978-0-345-53348-7). Three short stories set 90 years before the events of the Song of Ice and Fire series provide a fascinating look at some of the little-known history of Westeros.
City of Blades by Robert Jackson Bennett (Jan. 26, paper, $15, ISBN 978-0-553-41971-9) rejoins the characters of City of Stairs as they attempt to rebuild a fractured world. This densely plotted spy novel follows Gen. Turyin Mulaghesh as she executes an covert operation that has the power to change the world—or destroy it.
An Ancient Peace: Peacekeeper #1 by Tanya Huff (Oct. 6, hardcover, $24.95, ISBN 978-0-7564-0958-6). In this spinoff of Huff’s Confederation series, someone is searching for the lost weapons of the H’san: powerful tools capable of destroying entire planets. It’s up to Torin Kerr and her team to solve the problem before it explodes. 35,000-copy announced first printing.
Twelve Kings in Sharakhai: The Song of Shattered Sands, Book 1, by Brad Beaulieu (Sept. 1, hardcover, $24.95, ISBN 978-0-7564-0972-2). Çeda, like so many, prays for the downfall of the cruel, immortal kings of Sharakhai. On the holy night when tribute is taken for the kings, Çeda learns a dark secret that could be the key to free Sharakhai from the kings’ iron grip. 45,000-copy announced first printing.
Clash of Eagles: The Clash of Eagles Trilogy, Book I, by Alan Smale (Sept. 1, mass market, $9.99, ISBN 978-1-101-88530-7). In a world where the Roman Empire never fell, a legion under the command of Gen. Gaius Marcellinus invades North America. When Gaius is caught behind enemy lines, he must re-evaluate his allegiances and find a new place in this strange land.
Crosstalk by Connie Willis (Jan. 19, hardcover, $27, ISBN 978-0-345-54067-6). A new novel from SFWA Grand Master Willis is always something to celebrate.
Lightless by C.A. Higgins (Sept. 22, hardcover, $25, ISBN 978-0-553-39442-9). Althea is a young engineer whose spaceship is invaded by two mysterious men with a dark mission. Ivan is a so-called terrorist who might be a revolutionary—but his secrets run even deeper.
Zero World by Jason M. Hough (Aug. 11, hardcover, $27, ISBN 978-0-553-39126-8). Peter Caswell, a cybernetically enhanced assassin from a futuristic Earth, and Melni Tavan, a deep-cover operative from a strange incarnation of the 1950s, are two deeply complicated and conflicted spies in this thrilling action rampage.
The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood (Sept. 29, hardcover, $26.95, ISBN 978-0-385-54035-3). In the town of Consilience, no one is unemployed and everyone gets a comfortable, clean house to live in for six months out of the year. But on alternating months, residents must leave their homes and function as inmates in the Positron prison system.
Departure by A.G. Riddle (Oct. 20, hardcover, $21.99, ISBN 978-0-06-243166-0). En route to London from New York, Flight 305 suddenly loses power and crash-lands in the English countryside, plunging a group of strangers into a mysterious adventure that will have repercussions for all of humankind. 100,000-copy announced first printing.
The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2015, edited by Joe Hill; series editor, John Joseph Adams (Oct. 6, paper, $14.95, ISBN 978-0-544-44977-0). For decades, science fiction and fantasy have been popular among readers, but now they’re becoming more accepted as “literature.” This series will collect the best that this diverse genre has to offer. 20,000-copy announced first printing.
Travelers Rest by Keith Lee Morris (Jan. 5, hardcover, $27, ISBN 978-0-316-33582-9) is a dizzying, haunting fable about a hotel in Good Night, Idaho, where an unsuspecting family becomes marooned during a blizzard. 30,000-copy announced first printing.
New York Review Books
The Rim of Morning: Two Tales of Cosmic Horror by William Sloane, intro. by Stephen King (Oct. 6, paper, $16.95, ISBN 978-1-59017-906-2). These brilliant short novels from the 1930s gave a whole new meaning to cosmic horror.
We Install: And Other Stories by Harry Turtledove (Aug. 25, paper, $14.99, ISBN 978-1-5040-0942-3). This stellar collection of nine stories and three essays illuminate the broad storytelling of Turtledove, a master of alternate history.
Ancillary Mercy by Ann Leckie (Oct. 6, paper, $15.99, ISBN 978-0-316-24668-2) concludes Leckie’s space opera trilogy, which started with the Hugo, Nebula, and Arthur C. Clarke award–winning Ancillary Justice. 75,000-copy announced first printing.
The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin (Aug. 4, paper, $15.99, ISBN 978-0-316-22929-6) launches a new fantasy trilogy with this dark novel set in the Stillness, a land long familiar with catastrophe, where the power of the earth is wielded as a weapon. 25,000-copy announced first printing.
Wake of Vultures by Lila Bowen (Oct. 27, hardcover, $25, ISBN 978-0-316-26431-0) is a rich, dark fantasy of destiny, death, and the supernatural world hiding beneath the surface. 50,000-copy announced first printing.
Otherworld Secrets: An Anthology by Kelley Armstrong (Jan. 26, paper, $16, ISBN 978-0-452-29835-4) collects rare and never-published short stories featuring popular characters from the Otherworld series. 35,000-copy announced first printing.
Ghost Summer: Stories by Tananarive Due (Sept. 1, paper, $15.95, ISBN 978-1-60701-453-9). Due’s first short fiction collection includes the Kindred Award–winning “Ghost Summer” (originally published in The Ancestors) and other dark and luminous tales.
Saturn Run: A Novel of 2066 by John Sandford and Ctein (Oct. 6, hardcover, $28, ISBN 978-0-399-17695-1). In 2066, a Caltech intern notices an anomaly—something is approaching Saturn, and decelerating. Space objects don’t decelerate. Spaceships do.
Rising Tide by Rajan Khanna (Oct. 6, paper, $17, ISBN 978-1-63388-100-6). In this exciting sequel to Falling Sky, set in post-apocalyptic North America, airship pilot Ben and scientist Miranda evade pirates, battle zombies, and rescue some old friends.
The Cinder Spires: the Aeronaut’s Windlass by Jim Butcher (Sept. 29, hardcover, $27.95, ISBN 978-0-451-46680-8) opens a new fantasy series from the bestselling author of the Dresden Files urban fantasy novels. Following the return of an ancient power that once wreaked havoc on the world, humankind’s fate falls on the shoulders of a single airship’s crew. 250,000-copy announced first printing.
Inherit the Stars by Tony Peak (Nov. 3, mass market, $7.99, ISBN 978-0-451-47653-1). This epic debut is set on the edges of space. Kivita Vondir’s latest contract to hunt down a fabled gemstone is exactly the kind of adventure she craves. But the job is more than meets the eye, and Kivita will find herself the target of a massive galactic manhunt. 30,000-copy announced first printing.
The House of Shattered Wings by Aliette de Bodard (Aug. 18, hardcover, $26.95, ISBN 978-0-451-47738-5). In the late 20th century, the streets of Paris are lined with haunted ruins, the aftermath of a terrible war between arcane powers. But those who survived retain their irrepressible appetite for novelty and distraction, and the Great Houses still vie for dominion.
Brother by Ania Ahlborn (Sept. 29, paper, $16, ISBN 978-1-4767-8373-4). From the bestselling horror author of Within These Walls and The Bird Eater comes a novel of terror that follows a teenager determined to break from his family’s unconventional—and deeply disturbing—traditions.
The Drafter by Kim Harrison (Sept. 1, hardcover, $26.99, ISBN 978-1-5011-0869-3). Bestseller Harrison launches a sexy new suspense trilogy, set in a futuristic Detroit and featuring a brilliant special task agent at the top of her field.
Our Lady of the Ice by Cassandra Rose Clarke (Oct. 27, hardcover, $25.99, ISBN 978-1-4814-4426-2). A female PI goes up against a ruthless gangster, just as both humans and robots agitate for independence in an Argentinian colony in Antarctica.
The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories by Ken Liu (Nov. 3, hardcover, $24.99, ISBN 978-1-4814-4254-1). The title story of Liu’s first collection is the first work of fiction, of any length, to have swept the Nebula, Hugo, and World Fantasy Awards.
Silver on the Road by Laura Anne Gilman (Oct. 6, hardcover, $26.99, ISBN 978-1-4814-2968-9). Isobelle, upon her 16th birthday, chooses to work for the devil in his territory west of the Mississippi. His land is a wild west that needs a human touch. She agrees to be trained in the art of magic, but at what price?
The Dragon Round by Stephen S. Power (Aug. 11, e-book, $5.99, ISBN 978-1-4767-9461-7). This high fantasy epic blends swashbuckling adventure with a dark tale of vengeance. When a ship captain is stranded on a deserted island by his mutinous crew, he finds a rare dragon egg that might be the key to his salvation—and perhaps his revenge.
The Dover Demons by Hunter Shea (Sept. 1, e-book, $5.50, ISBN 978-1-61923-033-0). In 1977, Sam and his friends came upon a terrifying alien creature on a deserted country road. Decades later, Sam’s son, Nicky, is drawn to search for the infamous cryptid, only to disappear. Can Sam and his reunited friends rescue Nicky and battle a race of sinister creatures?
In the Shadow of the Towers: Speculative Fiction in the Post-9/11 World, edited by Douglas Lain (Sept. 1, paper, $15.99, ISBN 978-1-59780-839-2). This anthology compiles nearly 20 works of speculative fiction responding to and inspired by 9/11, from writers seeking to confront, rebuild, and carry on, even in the face of overwhelming emotion.
The Last Weekend by Nick Mamatas (Jan. 5, paper, $15.99, ISBN 978-1-59780-842-2). Since the zombie apocalypse, Billy, a Bay Area Rust Belt refugee, spends his time trepanning the undead, peddling his writing, and drinking. But when the secret lurking beneath City Hall emerges, will Billy be able to unearth the truth behind America’s demise and San Francisco’s survival?
Weighing Shadows by Lisa Goldstein (Oct. 6, paper, $15.99, ISBN 978-1-59780-840-8). Ann Decker, an amateur hacker, is offered a job traveling through time. But what does the company hope to gain with its new technology, and what ill effects might result from her actions? 12,000-copy announced first printing.
The Girl with Ghost Eyes by M.H. Boroson (Nov. 3, hardcover, $24.99, ISBN 978-1-940456-36-2). It’s the end of the 19th century in San Francisco’s Chinatown, and ghost hunters from the Maoshan traditions of Daoism keep malevolent spiritual forces at bay. Li-lin, the daughter of a renowned Daoshi exorcist, is a young widow burdened with yin eyes—the unique ability to see the spirit world. 12,000-copy announced first printing.
Knocking on Heaven’s Door by Sharman Apt Russell (Jan. 5, hardcover, $24.99, ISBN 978-1-63158-068-0). On a hotter and more volatile Earth in the 23rd century, humans live simply but richly, while global communication continues with solar-powered computers. Predating this utopia, however, a super-virus wiped out most human life. Will humans repeat their mistakes 150 years after the catastrophe?
Dead Ringers by Christopher Golden (Nov. 3, hardcover, $25.99, ISBN 978-1-250-05732-7). With a deep history that reaches back to the days of Aleister Crowley, the spirits of some long-dead magicians live on by possessing the bodies of others in the present day.
Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits by David Wong (Oct. 6, hardcover, $26.99, ISBN 978-1-250-04019-0). In a prosperous yet gruesomely violent near-future, superhero vigilantes battle thugs whose heads are full of supervillain fantasies. The peace is kept by a team of smooth, well-dressed negotiators called the Men in Fancy Suits. Meanwhile, a young woman is caught in the middle, and thinks the whole thing is ridiculous.
Best of Nancy Kress by Nancy Kress (Sept. 30, hardcover, $45, ISBN 978-1-59606-721-9). Praised for both her hard SF and her complex characters, Kress brings a unique viewpoint to 21 stories, the best of a long and varied career that has won her five Nebulas, two Hugos, a Sturgeon, and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award.
Teaching the Dog to Read by Jonathan Carroll (Aug. 31, hardcover, $40, ISBN 978-1-59606-725-7) is set at the intersection of the mundane and the miraculous, a place where reality itself shifts and shimmers with disconcerting suddenness.
(dist. by Legato)
Falling in Love with Hominids by Nalo Hopkinson (Aug. 11, paper, $15.95, ISBN 978-1-61696-198-5). Hopkinson’s vivid tales are an eclectic mix of modern fantasy and folklore. This collection includes numerous works unavailable in print, as well as one original story.
The Monstrous, edited by Ellen Datlow (Oct. 13, paper, $16.95, ISBN 978-1-61696-206-7). The acclaimed horror editor explores a classic horror theme: the monsters without and within. This anthology includes stories by Caitlín R. Kiernan, Sofia Samatar, Livia Llewellyn, and more.
Barsk: The Elephants’ Graveyard by Lawrence M. Schoen (Dec. 15, hardcover, $25.99, ISBN 978-0-7653-7702-9). In a distant future, no human beings remain, but their successors thrive throughout the galaxy. These are the offspring of human genius—animals uplifted into walking, talking, sentient beings.
Dragon Heart by Cecelia Holland (Sept. 1, hardcover, $25.99, ISBN 978-0-7653-3794-8). Historical novelist Holland makes an unabashed foray into fantasy with this saga of violence, destruction, and death, of love and monsters, human and otherwise.
The End of All Things by John Scalzi (Aug. 11, hardcover, $24.99, ISBN 978-0-7653-7607-7). Hugo Award–winner Scalzi returns to his bestselling Old Man’s War universe with the direct sequel to 2013’s The Human Division.
Radiance by Catherynne M. Valente (Oct. 20, hardcover, $24.99, ISBN 978-0-7653-3529-6). This decopunk pulp SF alt-history space opera mystery is set in a Hollywood—and a solar system—very different from our own. This is Valente’s first novel for adults since 2011’s Deathless.
The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson (Sept. 15, hardcover, $25.99, ISBN 978-0-7653-8072-2). A young woman from a conquered people tries to transform an empire in this richly imagined geopolitical fantasy. As Baru pursues a precarious balance between the rebels and a shadowy cabal within the empire, she orchestrates a do-or-die gambit with freedom as the prize.
Updraft by Fran Wilde (Sept. 1, hardcover, $25.99, ISBN 978-0-7653-7783-8). In a city of living bone rising high above the clouds, where danger hides in the wind and the ground is lost to legend, a young woman must expose a dangerous secret to save everyone she loves.
The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps by Kai Ashante Wilson (Sept. 1, e-book, $2.99, ISBN 978-1-4668-9191-3) is an epic story of gods, sorcerers, wizards and monsters from an impressive debut author.
Binti by Nnedi Okorafor (Sept. 22, e-book, $2.99, ISBN 978-0-7653-8446-1). Binti is the first of the Himba people ever to be offered a place at Oomza University, the galaxy’s finest institution of higher learning. But accepting the offer will mean giving up her place in her family to travel among strangers who do not share her ways or respect her customs.
(dist. by PGW)
Heraclix and Pomp: A Novel of the Fabricated and the Fey by Forrest Aguirre (Aug. 11, paper, $16, ISBN 978-1-63023-029-6). Aguirre’s first full-length novel explores the ideas of identity and immortality through the eyes of a manlike golem and a time-bending fairy who can barely grasp the idea of now, much less the dangers of what’s to come.