Comics, Graphic Novels & Manga
Curiosities (Roz Chast’s dreams) and classics (Macbeth! Murakami! Peanuts!) will delight fans of graphic storytelling.
The Complete Persepolis
Marjane Satrapi, trans. from the French by Anjali Singh (Pantheon) $35
Two decades ago, Iranian expatriate French cartoonist Satrapi brought North America a child’s-eye view of revolution in the Middle East. This hardcover 20th anniversary edition features new cover artwork, decorative endpapers, and a new introduction from the author-illustrator. What remains unchanged: her poignant and unflinching coming-of-age account, rendered in deceptively simple art that expresses a wide range of emotion and captures subtle characterization with the bend of a line.
Luca Debus and Francesco Matteuzzi (Top Shelf) $39.99
Italian artists Debus and Matteuzzi imitate the style of Peanuts creator Charles M. Schulz in this clever reconsideration of the cartoonist and his particular genius. Structured like the newspaper funnies that inspired Schulz as a child, the story depicts his life as a working artist, covering lesser-known aspects like his Christian faith along with salient biographical details such as the family dog who served as a model for Snoopy.
The Good Asian
Pornsak Pichetshote, illus. by Alexandre Tefenkgi (Image) $39.99
A troubled, self-loathing Chinese American detective is on the hunt for a killer in 1936 San Francisco in this Eisner-winning noir collection, which tackles racial dynamics, immigration, and police violence in the wake of the first immigration ban in the U.S., the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. Bonus deluxe edition material includes character designs and richly hued variant cover illustrations.
Haruki Murakami Manga Stories
Haruki Murakami, Jean-Christophe Deveney, and PMGL, trans. from the Japanese by Cathy Layne (Tuttle) $19.99
A French comics team adapts four fantasy-tinted short stories by Murakami, bringing his vertiginous imagination to life. “What we see with our eyes is not necessarily reality,” one character warns, as these dreamlike narratives shift precipitously between reality and fantasy, the transparent and the opaque. PMGL’s art amplifies disorientation, switching styles between stories and sometimes from scene to scene. This is a must-read for Murakami fans and a quirky invitation for newcomers.
I Must Be Dreaming
Roz Chast (Bloomsbury) $27.99
New Yorker regular and National Book Critics Circle Award winner Chast reflects on the nature of dreaming and the creative process while cataloging her own vivid, loopy dreams in this delightful graphic account. She also leads readers on a trip through dream theories across the ages, from ancient Greece and Egypt to modern evolutionary neuroscience. Her loose-lined drawings, full of people with duck feet and unnerved facial expressions, perfectly capture the weird joy of dreaming.
William Shakespeare, adapted by K. Briggs (Avery Hill) $22.95
This standout graphic rendition of Shakespeare’s tragedy combines nearly a dozen artistic styles to bring fresh magic to the mystical themes of Shakespeare’s words. Creative layouts of the original script include plastic embossing labels taped across a velveteen framed collage, or calligraphy written between Renaissance-style window-pane scenes like an illuminated manuscript. Briggs layers a wealth of mixed media throughout, combining reverence for a literary classic with playful, sensuously detailed artistry.
Marry Me a Little
Rob Kirby (Graphic Mundi) $21.95 paper
Ignatz winner Kirby explores his decision to marry his husband in this touching and timely graphic memoir. He depicts personal scenes, like the couple’s moving, low-key wedding ceremony in 2013, alongside pop culture depictions of coupledom, the angst of contemporary politics, and historical moments like the 1971 marriage of gay couple Jack Baker and Michael McConnell in Minneapolis. It’s an intimate and urgent consideration of what marriage means.
The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Graphic Literature
Edited by Kelcey Ervick and Tom Hart (Rose Metal) $24.95 paper
Poet and cartoonist Ervick and Sequential Artist’s Workshop school founder Hart host a dazzling showcase of short academic essays on poetry comics, graphic narratives, and image-text hybrids. The contributors, a mix of traditional cartoonists, mixed-media artists, and writers across a range of cultural backgrounds, take a personal, empathetic approach that makes abstract theory accessible for aspiring cartoonists.
Taiyo¯ Matsumoto (Viz) $39.99
Matsumoto’s Eisner-winning manga centers on two street kids named Black and White who fight to defend their city after a yakuza-backed corporate development moves in. This 30th anniversary edition restores the original right-to-left orientation and color pages and includes a fold-out poster and a new afterword by the author.
Where I’m Coming From
Barbara Brandon-Croft (Drawn & Quarterly) $29.95
Brandon-Croft, the first Black woman with a nationally syndicated American comic strip, delivers a razor-sharp career compilation featuring a diverse cast of opinionated, wisecracking Black women relaying everyday life and unfiltered social commentary. No topic escapes critique, from education to dating woes to workplace inequality and voting The unabashed sarcasm and upbeat playfulness are infectious, and though the strip ran from 1989 through 2005, its underlying themes hold uncanny relevance to contemporary America.
Sometimes all you need is a good story, and these authors deliver.
The Covenant of Water
Abraham Verghese (Grove) $32
A breathtaking multigenerational saga spanning 1900–1977, Verghese’s follow-up to Cutting for Stone follows a Kerala family haunted by a drowning curse. The Parambil family contends with the death of a child, a penchant for prophecy, opium addiction, and more against a backdrop of scientific discovery and the political turmoil of the Naxalite movement. This Oprah’s Book Club pick is bound to
spark conversations around the dinner table.
Gone to the Wolves
John Wray (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) $28
Wray’s masterly opus of Florida metalheads follows three teens through the 1980s death metal scene, where bands like Death, Morbid Angel, and Cannibal Corpse flourish, and into the even darker challenges of adult life. The author, a Berlin Prize winner, writes about music with a fan’s enthusiasm and a critic’s precision, bringing readers an uncompromising chronicle of an extreme subculture.
Emma Cline (Random House) $28
Cline, a Granta Best Young American Novelist, offers a provocative take on a young woman losing her grip. Suddenly homeless during a summer in the Hamptons, Alex wanders between parties and pools, drawing on sex work skills to gain entry and leaving destruction in her wake. Cline tracks Alex, who moves through life like a car crash, with a keen eye for class difference and nuance; readers won’t want to look away.
The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store
James McBride (Riverhead) $28
This vibrant tale of Chicken Hill, a working-class Pottstown, Pa., neighborhood, is the latest from National Book Award winner McBride. In the 1920s, the Jewish Ludlow family helps their friends the Tamblins, who are Black, until racist white “good Christian” neighbors interfere and a two-fold tragedy occurs. Full of rich descriptions of dance hall jazz and fervent faith, the pages of this saga burst with life.
Land of Milk and Honey
C Pam Zhang (Riverhead) $27
Zhang, a National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 honoree, cooks up a delectable sophomore effort, tracking an L.A. chef trying to survive after an environmental catastrophe wrecks Earth’s biodiversity. In desperation, the chef takes a job in a secretive European community, where she finds that her new employers expect the whole world to cater to their ambitions. Zhang has prepared a captivating and emotionally raw masterpiece that readers will enjoy to the last bite.
Old Babes in the Woods
Margaret Atwood (Doubleday) $30
The stories in Atwood’s substantial latest collection run the gamut from realism to fantasy in their brilliant exploration of love and loss. Rapid reincarnation from snail to human, Atwood’s imagined interview with George Orwell, longtime couple Nell and Tig’s bonds of marriage, and the death of a loved one all serve to frame the magic of everyday life.
Anne Berest, trans. from the French by Tina Kover (Europa) $28
Actor and How to Be Parisian Wherever You Are coauthor Berest gathers stories of ancestors killed at Auschwitz in this phenomenal saga, weaving together the contemporary lives of Anne and her mother, Lélia, with a touching account of Anne’s great-grandparents Emma and Ephraïm Rabinovitz, who fled four countries before settling in a Paris suburb in 1929. A powerful look at antisemitism past and present, this smoothly translated novel was a Prix Goncourt nominee in its original French.
Ann Patchett (Harper) $30
This masterly, slow-burn family drama unspools early in the Covid-19 pandemic, when adult sisters Emily, Maisie, and Nell are sheltering in place with their parents on a cherry orchard in northern Michigan. Their mother, Lara, begins to tell them of her long-ago romance with Duke, a young actor who became a major celebrity, reshaping their understanding of her life. Patchett is at the top of her game, blending past and present with aplomb.
Nathan Hill (Knopf) $30
Family chronicle meets cultural critique in the latest from the author of The Nix. Jack and Elizabeth, a Gen-X couple who met in college in Chicago, now married with a teenage son, explore what remains of their bohemian youth and their long-ago voyeuristic romance while dealing with gentrification, toxic online culture, modern parenting, and their own assumptions. This expansive, humane novel of ideas urges readers to reexamine the narratives of their lives.
R.F. Kuang (Morrow) $30
Locus and Nebula Award winner Kuang delivers a barbed satire of publishing and cultural appropriation. Aspiring white writer June, envious of Chinese American Yale classmate Athena, steals Athena’s historical novel manuscript after the latter’s untimely death. The saga of Chinese laborers during WWI becomes a bestseller, but June faces a vociferous backlash, as well as Athena’s seeming ghost. This razor-sharp analysis of publishing’s blind spots supplies well-plotted thrills.
Mysteries & Thrillers
Atmospheric historicals, twisty contemporaries, and more hold readers’ rapt attention well into a long winter night.
Wendy Walker (Blackstone) $26.99
An autistic teen impedes a homicide investigation in Walker’s cunning thriller. Charlie Hudson, accepted to MIT, works at a sandwich shop in her small Pennsylvania town to afford tuition. After her boss, Coop, is found dead, Charlie refuses to say what she saw, hoping to protect loved ones with reasons to dislike Coop, but her silence puts her in grave danger. This twisty, urgent tale is enriched by its emotionally complex characters.
The Best Mystery Stories of the Year
Edited by Amor Towles (Mysterious) $28.95
A Gentleman in Moscow novelist Towles introduces this wide-ranging anthology with a spirited history of crime fiction. His selections, which prize quality over name recognition, include Doug Allyn’s tale of an explosives expert trying to defuse a roadside bomb in Iraq and Kerry Hammond’s homage to golden age mysteries, which evokes their tone and shocking plot twists on an Amtrak dining car.
The Christmas Guest
Peter Swanson (Morrow) $19.99
Swanson, one of the cleverest talents in contemporary genre fiction, does more with less in this punchy tale. In 2019, an unnamed narrator cleaning her New York City apartment rediscovers a diary written by Ashley Smith, an American grad student in London. The action shifts to December 1989, and Ashley’s recollection of her invitation to a colleague’s country home. Will the estate feel like “a romance novel, or maybe a murder mystery”? It quickly becomes both.
The Continental Affair
Christine Mangan (Flatiron) $27.99
An ex-gendarme pursues an enigmatic British woman in this elegant espionage romance. In the 1960s, Henri collects and delivers illegal payments for his hoodlum cousins in Spain. When Louise Barnard makes off with his latest bag, he welcomes the opportunity to give chase, tracking Louise as she travels by train from Granada to Paris and Belgrade to Istanbul. Readers will appreciate the alternating viewpoints, shifting timeline, and lush descriptions that enliven this yarn.
Danielle Arceneaux (Pegasus Crime) $26.99
This refreshingly idiosyncratic cozy series debut introduces Glory Broussard of Lafayette, La., a self-described “old, fat, Black woman” and a churchgoing small-time bookie. When her best friend, activist nun Amity Gay, dies suspiciously, Glory joins forces with her daughter, Delphine, a high-powered New York City lawyer, to investigate. Deftly avoiding genre clichés, Arceneaux works potent critiques of Southern racism into her well-oiled plot.
Hercule Poirot’s Silent Night
Sophie Hannah (Morrow) $30
Hannah’s latest whodunit featuring Agatha Christie’s iconic sleuth is a brainy pastiche for golden age mystery fans. In 1931, Poirot is preparing for a quiet Christmas alone when Cynthia Catchpool, mother of Scotland Yard inspector Edward Catchpool, summons both men to solve one murder and prevent another in a small Norfolk town. The duo launches a winding investigation that eventually puts their own lives at risk.
The League of Lady Poisoners
Lisa Perrin (Chronicle) $24.95
Gorgeous illustrations lend a note of playfulness to Perrin’s profiles of more than two dozen historical women who deliberately poisoned strangers or family members. (We’ve fiendishly snuck in a true crime work among the fiction recommendations.) These include 19th-century serial killer Mary Ann Cotton and Wu Zetian, a seventh-century Chinese ruler whose introduction is indicative of Perrin’s wry, winning voice: “The story of Wu’s rise to power is almost Cinderella-like—if the story ended with Cinderella deposing her enemies, staying in power for decades, and becoming the sole ruler of an empire entering its golden age.”
Mother-Daughter Murder Night
Nina Simon (Morrow) $30
Three generations of women bond while solving a murder in this layered, red herring–packed mystery. High-powered L.A. developer Lana Rubicon has been estranged from her daughter, Beth, for 15 years, since Beth gave birth to daughter Jack at 17. When racist police rely on flimsy testimony to accuse Jack, who is half Filipino, of murder, Lana resolves to exonerate her granddaughter and reconnect with Beth in the process.
Ragnar Jónasson and Katrín Jakobsdóttir, trans. from the Icelandic by Victoria Cribb (Minotaur) $28
Perfect for fans of Jo Nesbø, this top-shelf Scandinavian noir inspired by a real cold case was coauthored by Icelandic prime minister Jakobsdóttir and Agatha Christie translator Jónasson. In 1956, 15-year-old housemaid Lára vanishes; 30 years later, journalist Valur Róbertsson is killed just after receiving a compelling scoop about Lára’s case. His grief-stricken younger sister, Sunna, takes over the investigation, leading her to a cabal of powerful men intent on concealing a terrible secret.
Ashley Audrain (Viking/Dorman) $28
Audrain dives deep into the secret lives of women in this standout work of literary suspense. Upheaval visits an upscale neighborhood after 10-year-old Xavier Loverly falls from his bedroom window. ER physician Rebeca Parry treats Xavier while his overwhelmed corporate consultant mother, Whitney, keeps vigil at the hospital. Whitney’s best friend, Blair, and octogenarian neighbor Mara round out the chorus of narrators, whose lives turn out to be linked in ways they never suspected.
Any of these collections, which range widely in form and theme, makes for a verse-atile offering.
Before the Borderless
Dean Rader (Copper Canyon) $36
English professor and Guggenheim Fellow in poetry Rader engages the work of influential American artist Cy Twombly in a transcendent, psychic conversation. Inspired by a 2018 exhibition at Gagosian Gallery, these striking experimental poems thoughtfully consider the paintings, highlighting echoes and tensions between poetry and a painter’s canvas. The loss of Rader’s father reverberates throughout.
The Book of Tree Poems
Edited by Anna Sampson, illus. by Sarah Maycock (Laurence King) $17.99 paper
This illustrated anthology features work by celebrated poets including Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Jericho Brown, Carol Ann Duffy, Seamus Heaney, Ishion Huntchinson, and Philip Larkin. In a time of climate anxiety, the poems honor humanity’s long-standing connection to trees, featuring a variety of angles on this abiding source of inspiration and putting to rest poet Joyce Kilmer’s doubt that we should ever see “a poem lovely as a tree.”
Enheduana: The Complete Poems of the World’s First Author
Enheduana, trans. from the Sumerian by Sophus Helle (Yale Univ.) $30
These poems, written by the earliest author whose name is known to history, have been translated in their entirety for the first time. Enheduana, a high priestess and princess, lived in Mesopotamia around 2300 BCE, but her themes—storytelling, gender, violence, natural forces, and social change—are evergreen. Translator Helle provides helpful historical context for readers interested in Enheduana’s life.
Hell, I Love Everybody
James Tate (Ecco) $17.99 paper
Tate, a gifted poet and winner of the Yale Younger Poets Prize, the Pulitzer, and many others, was called a “poet of possibilities, of morph, of surprising consequences” before his death in 2015. This collection, introduced by National Book Award winner Terrance Hayes, assembles many of Tate’s imaginative, surprising, and generous poems, compiling a record of his far-sighted vision for the future of American poetry.
In the Hour of War
Edited by Carolyn Forché and Ilya Kaminsky (Arrowsmith) $22 paper
National Endowment for the Arts Fellow Forché and Academy of American Poets Fellow Kaminsky gather widely translated and less familiar voices in this timely, essential collection reflecting on language in wartime and the suffering inflicted on Ukrainians by the 2022 Russian invasion. Many poems share a powerful directness, speaking of daily life in a war-torn land, and resonate beyond their time and place.
The Lamb Cycle
David R. Ewbank, illus. by Kate Feiffer (Brandeis Univ.) $18.95
Ewbank composes a series of impersonations, adapting “Mary Had a Little Lamb” in the styles of great English poets including Alexander Pope, Alfred Tennyson, D.H. Lawrence, and T.S. Eliot. Stylishly illustrated by Kate Feiffer, this collection of covers and riffs is an imaginative extension of the canon for lovers of the tradition.
Laing F. Rikkers, illus. Kelly Leahy Radding (Collective Book Studio) $19.95
Rikkers wrote these poems in pandemic isolation, following the death of her younger sister from an undiagnosed disorder. She invites readers into her healing process and elaborates on the instrumental roles that counseling, art, and the natural world played in coming to terms with her loss. Detailed nature paintings by Radding give form to the range of emotions experienced in a period of grief.
Sam Sax (Scribner) $17 paper
James Laughlin Award winner Sax delivers a gorgeously vivid and sensuous third collection, considering the pig in all its forms. Through an exploration of queerness, filth, beauty, and capitalism, Sax turns their rumination on a familiar animal into a wide-ranging consideration of all things, uncovering the beauty in the abject and guiding the reader’s gaze toward redemption.
Sing a Black Girl’s Song
Ntozake Shange (Legacy Lit) $30
This collection of poems, essays, and plays offers a new look at the groundbreaking Black feminist writer, who died in 2018 and who is best known for her choreopoem for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf. Edited by National Book Award winner Imani Perry and with a foreword by activist Tarana Burke, these pieces describe Black life with tenderness and precision, drawing on work from Shange’s Barnard student days to her final years.
Ursula K. Le Guin: Collected Poems
Ursula K. Le Guin, edited by Harold Bloom (Library of America) $40
The poetical works of legendary speculative fiction author Le Guin (1929–2018) get the spotlight in this excellent volume. A thoughtful introduction by literary critic Bloom traces Le Guin’s Taoist influences and draws parallels between her poems and prose. Early elegiac pieces, playful lyrical experiments, and stark, political later poems add up to an imaginative and insightful collection that’s a worthy tribute to this important American writer.
Sweet stories and spicy romps will warm even the Grinchiest of hearts.
10 Things That Never Happened
Alexis Hall (Sourcebooks Casablanca) $16.99 paper
Genderqueer writer Hall spins off his fan favorite
London Calling series in this witty enemies-to-lovers rom-com with a charmingly eclectic supporting cast. Sam Becker, manager of a struggling branch of bed-and-bath retailer Splashes & Snuggles, is summoned to London by chain owner Jonathan Forest, who announces that all Sam’s employees will soon be fired. After an accident, Sam feigns amnesia, hatching a plan to use this new status quo to soften Jonathan up.
Laura Lee Guhrke (Forever) $16.99 paper
A bet thrusts a lonely spinster into high society in this enchanting mash-up of Pygmalion and “Cinderella.” In Victorian London, Max Shaw, Duke of Westbourne, drunkenly bets that he can transform “plain, unremarkable” bookstore owner Evie Harlow into a sought-after beauty. Displaced from her home, Evie agrees to let Max make her over, and Max grows increasingly intrigued. This fairy tale treat is packed with chemistry and fun.
Sophie Jordan (Avon) $19.99 paper
Jordan will have readers rooting for adultery with this risqué launch of the Scandalous Ladies of London series. Lady Gertrude “Tru” Chatham helps her daughter, Delia, navigate London’s Marriage Mart successfully, until her estranged, greedy husband demands Delia marry Jasper Thorne for money rather than love. Jasper’s on board until he meets Tru—and falls for his intended’s mother. The struggle between love and honor at the heart of this delectable romance keeps the pages flying.
Even If the Sky Is Falling
Edited by Taj McCoy (Canary Street) $18.99 paper
Six couples risk their hearts when they believe the world is ending in this linked story collection by six writers including McCoy. After a NASA scientist accidentally sets off an alarm, the world shelters in place, expecting disaster. The threat of imminent doom leads exes to reunite, rivals to realize their true feelings, and a long-simmering crush to come to a boil. Additional stories follow a pair of feuding first-year law students and other unlikely couples.
Exes and O’s
Amy Lea (Berkley) $17 paper
A social media star searches for happily ever after in Lea’s captivating influencer yarn. Bookstagrammer Tara Li Chen decides to date her exes in hopes of finding a second-chance romance. Tara’s commitment-avoidant roommate, Trevor Metcalfe, is sucked into her chaotic love life, offering advice and appearing in one of Tara’s livestreams, leading her followers to start rooting for the two to date. The resulting romance is as sensitive and swoony as it is self-aware.
The Prospector’s Only Prospect
Dani Collins (Entangled Amara) $8.99 mass market
Collins puts a humorous and delightful twist on the mail-order-bride tale, sending scandalous 19th-century divorcée Marigold Davis to take her sister’s place as Virgil Gardner’s mail-order bride. Virgil, who runs a mining company in Denver City, isn’t pleased, but he’s desperate for a caregiver for his three children. Marigold adapts to life in the mining encampment, but an unexpected visitor threatens to derail their fragile relationship.
Kayla Olson (Atria) $17 paper
YA thriller writer Olson makes her adult debut with this tantalizing behind-the-scenes, friends-to-lovers romance. Liv Latimer was a teen star on high school TV drama Girl on the Verge, a show powered by the chemistry between Liv and costar Ransom Joel. Twenty years later, Ransom is a blockbuster movie star and Liv is an indie darling. When the Verge cast reunites for the first time, the sexual tension between Liv and Ransom rushes back, too.
Stars in Your Eyes
Kacen Callender (Forever) $28
National Book Award winner Callender investigates shame and trauma in an emotional queer romance that’s more rom-dram than rom-com. Black, gay Mattie Cole is the silver screen’s up-and-coming boy next door, cast as the love interest for bisexual, biracial bad boy Logan Gray. After Logan publicly badmouths Mattie, the actors fake-date to counter negative publicity. Growing closer and exposing their vulnerabilities, Mattie and Logan begin to fall in love for real.
Jodi Thomas (Zebra) $16.95 paper
Thomas spins off her Honey Creek series, weaving together romantic story lines among the endearing residents of a close-knit Texas community. When loner Rusty O’Sullivan crashes his car, he’s rescued by Starri Knight. The two become friends as Rusty grows attracted to his doctor, Amber Adams; settles in the valley; and takes in Zack, his newly discovered teen half-brother. Starri, meanwhile, grows close to lawyer Jackson Landry, who’s responsible for bringing together Rusty and Zach. This is small-town romance done right.
Witch of Wild Things
Raquel Vasquez Gilliland (Berkley) $17 paper
Gilliland divines a sparkling mix of magical realism, sisterhood, and love. Eight years after the death of her sister Sky sent Sage running from her witchy family, she returns home to Cranberry, Va., and reconnects with her youngest sister. Sage’s magical ability to communicate with plants gets her hired at a local nursery, working side by side with first love Tennessee “Tenn” Reyes, a digital pen pal from her teenage years who doesn’t realize Sage is silvergirl0917.
Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror
Interstellar adventures, fantastical worlds, and close-to-home horror will enthrall speculative fiction fans.
Chuck Tingle (Nightfire) $25.99
Erotica author Tingle delivers an eerie but empowering horror story. In Montana, Christian sect Kingdom of the Pines runs a conversion therapy program called Camp Damascus. Autistic high school senior Rose Darling is a true believer—until she vomits up bugs and begins seeing demonic apparitions whenever she experiences queer desire. This chilling page-turner has plenty of crossover YA appeal.
A Day of Fallen Night
Samantha Shannon (Bloomsbury) $35
This action-packed standalone prequel to The Priory of the Orange Tree interweaves four connected story lines: Glorian, the queen’s teenage daughter, faces pressure to bear a child; foundling Wulfert struggles to escape the rumors of witchcraft in his mysterious past; warrior Tunuva pursues a runaway; and sheltered Dumai learns she’s the emperor’s daughter. The high-stakes queernorm fantasy is grounded in an insightful exploration of duty, autonomy, identity, and motherhood.
The Foxglove King
Hannah Whitten (Orbit) $29
Whitten’s stunning fantasy opens 500 years after the gods have died, leaving behind Mortem, a “power born of entropy” only accessible to people on the brink of death. The citizens of Dellaire take poison like a drug to experience Mortem, but 23-year-old Lore, a criminal poison runner, can channel this power naturally. Forced into espionage by Dellaire’s rulers, Lore also finds romance, leading to plenty of swoony moments in a fascinating magical universe that will keep readers hooked.
The Infinite Miles
Hannah Fergesen (Blackstone) $27.99
Harper Starling is a superfan of sci-fi TV show Infinite Odyssey and the show’s David Bowie–like hero, Miles Moonraker. Years after the disappearance of her best friend, Peggy, Harper is shocked to learn that the events of Infinite Odyssey are all true when Miles appeals to her for help saving both Peggy and the universe. Zipping from the present to 1970s New York City to far-flung alien planets, this rollicking adventure pays homage to Doctor Who and fandom itself.
Our Hideous Progeny
C.E. McGill (Harper) $30
Described by the author as “Frankenstein, but, like, with dinosaurs,” this blend of historical and science fiction brims with dark delights. In Victorian England, Victor Frankenstein’s scientist grand-niece Mary joins forces with her husband to reanimate a Plesiosaurus. McGill echoes Mary Shelley in dramatizing tensions between ethics and discovery, against the backdrop of a society in which women’s rights are limited. As Mary begins to recognize her queerness, readers will root for her success in an unfair world.
Out There Screaming
Edited by Jordan Peele and John Joseph Adams (Random House) $30
Coedited and introduced by Oscar- and Emmy-winning director Peele, this anthology of new horror stories by Black authors includes the tale of two freedom riders stranded in an uncanny corner of Alabama, a girl searching for the demon who made her an orphan, and a cop who thinks cars have large eyes in place of headlights. With an all-star lineup including N.K. Jemisin and Nalo Hopkinson alongside fascinating new voices, this anthology gives readers many thrilling
reasons to be afraid.
The Road to Roswell
Connie Willis (Del Rey) $28
Hugo and Nebula Award winner Willis offers a delightful intergalactic twist on the rom-com. Francie is headed to her college roommate’s Roswell, N.Mex., wedding, but she’s skeptical about the groom and his UFO theories, until she’s abducted by Indy, a tentacled extraterrestrial who needs her assistance. The humor, references to old westerns, and sweet budding love between Francie and a handsome con man along for the ride will make believers out of readers.
Nnedi Okorafor (DAW) $27
Worlds collide in this formerly out-of-print gem from the Hugo and Nebula–winning Okorafur. In 2074 Niger, 15-year-old Ejii Ugabe is just getting used to her mystical abilities when her father is killed. Venturing into the Sahara in search of revenge, she’s accompanied by strong-willed, secretive Dikéogu Obidimkpa on a journey full of technology, magic, and awe-inspiring nature. Also available: a brand-new sequel, Like Thunder.
The Splinter in the Sky
Kemi Ashing-Giwa (Saga) $27.99
Ashing-Giwa’s breathtaking space opera is set in the occupied province of Koriko, where Enitan Ijebu lives with her sibling, Xiang, under the thumb of the cruel Holy Vaalbaran Empire. When Xiang goes missing, Enitan maneuvers her way into the imperial capital, the Splinter, to investigate and is pressed into service as a spy. Colonialism, political intrigue, and romance power this erudite adventure.
The Wishing Pool and Other Stories
Tananarive Due (Akashic) $29.95
Due probes history, the grim present, and the not-so-distant future in 14 powerhouse, tension-packed tales. Racism haunts the protagonists of the terrifying “Last Stop on Route 9,” while in the 1960s-set “Thursday Night Shift” a girl gives up her individuality to change history. In “Attachment Disorder” and “Ghost Ship,” pandemics ring an eerie bell. Centering Black characters and Black experiences, this is a standout in both Black horror and the genre more broadly.