Fall 2017’s Hottest Sci-Fi & Fantasy Books: Sinkholes, Drugs, and Magic Carpets

Fall 2017’s Hottest Sci-Fi & Fantasy Books: Sinkholes, Drugs, and Magic Carpets

Itching for tales of conspiracy? Intrigued by worlds filled with magic and djinn? We’ve got you covered. This fall is delivering a fantastic crop of sci-fi and fantasy books, including titles from favorites Ann Leckie and David Wong. Not to mention that fans of Elizabeth Bear’s Eternal Sky trilogy will be delighted to get their hands on The Stone in the Skull, book one in her new series. Meanwhile, readers looking for a brand new adventure will have to decide whether they want to take a back-to-the-future ride in a Model A Ford or hop on a flying carpet in 18th century Cairo. There are ten books on this list, so you’d better start reading soon. Winter is coming.


Work, work, work, work, work

The drug Zacuity was meant to help businesses by making all work seem enjoyable. But instead, it turns users into literal workaholics. Enter the drug’s creator, Judith “Jack” Chen, who attempts to find an antidote to undo the wrong she has unleashed. She’s also trying to shake the agents from the International Property Coalition (IPC) who keep following her. What Jack doesn’t yet know is that the human IPC agent, Eliasz, and his indentured, non-gendered, military bot, Paladin, are forming an attraction, which may just complicate their search for her. In a starred review, Publishers Weekly calls Autonomous by Annalee Newitz, “a phenomenal debut that’s sure to garner significant awards attention.”

On shelves: September 19


Lost and found

In Provenance, the new standalone from Imperial Radch trilogy author Ann Leckie, Ingray Aughskold has high hopes of proving herself. With her intentions in place, she hopes to help her foster mother overcome a rival and also retrieve valuable artifacts previously stolen, by enlisting the help of the man who allegedly stole them. Her good intentions are meaningless, however, as she finds herself in over her head, thanks in part to her wiley foster brother, the brewing interstellar war, and the fact that the thief denies knowledge of the stolen artifacts. It’s not all about the heist, however. At the heart of this sci-fi thriller is the story of family and of Ingray’s own coming of age.

On shelves: September 26

Paradox Bound

Back to the future

Eli Teague, the protagonist in Paradox Bound the humorous and delightful steampunk adventure from Peter Clines, lives in a town where everything seems to stay boringly the same. What keeps him rooted are his hopes to bump into the time-traveling Harry Pritchard. Harry is known as a Searcher, a member of The Chain who is able to travel back and forth through history in her Model A Ford. Eli met Harry before, once when he was 13, and now at 29, he is pulled into her world to join her search for the literal American Dream.

On shelves: September 26

The Black Tides of Heaven

The tide is high

Twins Mokoya and Akeha are given to a monastery by their mother, the Protector, to pay a debt. Like all children in this society, they are raised ungendered until they choose a gender for themselves. As they grow, so does Mokoya’s ability to see the future, which causes their mother to come back for them so that she might use Mokoya’s powers. When the twins choose their paths and their genders, a wedge grows between them, much like the wedge that begins to form between two rival factions, the Machinists and the Tensors. But it is this very fracture that just might bring the twins back together. JY Yang’s The Black Tides of Heaven is one of two standalone introductions to the Tensorate series. The second novella, The Red Threads of Fortune, will hit shelves on the same day.

On shelves: September 26

The Tiger’s Daughter

A powerful friendship

Born a month apart and both with pine needles between their eyes, Shizuka and Barsalyya Shefali Alshar are destined to be be friends, or so believe their mothers. Through their friendship and adventures, this horsewoman and spoiled heiress learn about the powers within them that make them special and which just might help them save the world. In a starred review, Publishers Weekly raves that K Arsenault Rivera’s “immense imagination and finely detailed worldbuilding have produced a series introduction of mammoth scope.”

On shelves: October 3

What The Hell Did I Just Read

The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth

Coming after John Dies at the End and This Book is Full of Spiders, What the Hell Did I Just Read is the third installment of this horror-comedy series by David Wong. Here, Dave, John, and Amy are back and ready to investigate a kidnapping. But things go from bad to worse as the narrators appear to not be telling the truth… or are they? Is the narrative in itself a cover-up, a conspiracy? The truth lies somewhere buried in the darkly humorous tale, filled with biker gangs, paranormal beings, and memory implantation.

On shelves: October 3

The Stone in the Skull

Get the message

Elizabeth Bear grounds The Stone in the Skull, book one of a new fantasy trilogy, in the same universe as her Eternal Sky series. At the center of this sweeping drama are three characters: the Gage, an automaton created by a wizard, now dead, who holds a message from the world’s most powerful sorcerer; the Dead Man, who is the Gage’s friend and protector of the message; and Mrithuri, a priestess of a realm which is threatened by many forces and who is the intended receiver of this message. With trouble on the horizon, the Gage and the Dead Man seem to be walking into a war they have no part of, while Mrithuri’s allies are few and far between.

On shelves: October 10

It Devours!

True believers

In this sequel, Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor, authors of Welcome to Night Vale, are back in Night Vale with their latest supernatural comedy, It Devours! When sinkholes destroy a home and business in town, it’s up to town-outsider and scientist, Nilanjana Sikdar, and Darryl, a man whose faith says that redemption is in being devoured, to find something to believe in together. They must find a middle ground where science and faith can meet, where they can help to save the town from the congregation that threatens to devour it.

On shelves: October 17

The City of Brass

Seeing is believing

Talented, clever, and skeptical, Nahri, the protagonist in S.A. Chakraborty’s debut and the first novel in the Daevabad Trilogy, The City of Brass, uses the magic she doesn’t believe in to con the unwitting nobles she serves. When she accidentally summons a djinn, who lets her know she is in danger, she must go with him to save herself and also face the idea that magic might be real after all. Along the way, Nahri’s learns things about her family’s past that she never could have imagined, but which might be the key to her ability to produce real magic. Plus, she begins to have some complicated feelings for the djinn. But even magic can’t save her from a kingdom that is rife with with competing political agendas.

On shelves: November 14


The woman in the moon

The Martian author Andy Weir is back, but this time he’s taking us to the moon instead of Mars. Black marketeer, Jazz Bashara, grew up in the first and only city on the moon, Artemis. When Jazz’s best customer entices her with a too-good-to-pass up scheme, Jazz finds herself smack dab in the middle of a conspiracy to take control of Artemis. It’s going to take teamwork with friends and family to help overturn the plot she’s uncovered and get her out of hot water.

On shelves: November 14


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