From Undead to Reborn: 10 Must-Read Sci-Fi & Fantasy Books for Fall 2018

From Undead to Reborn: 10 Must-Read Sci-Fi & Fantasy Books for Fall 2018

Autumn is here. The days are shorter and there’s a notable nip in the air, but this fall’s must-read sci fi and fantasy books will help keep you cozy all season long. To help you decide what to read first, we’ve rounded up some of the season’s most highly anticipated books, including the latest from fan favorites V. E. Schwab, Seth Dickinson, and N. K. Jemisin. From schools for magic to alien biodomes, and from alternate histories to terrifying visions of the near future, we’ve got the books to feed your sci-fi and fantasy addiction.

Rosewater by Tade Thompson

This first novel in the Wormwood trilogy is a speculative science fiction thriller. Set in mid-21st century Nigeria, Rosewater tells the story of government agent Kaaro, a former criminal with psychic abilities and a dark past. When his psychic peers begin to die under mysterious circumstances, Kaaro goes looking for the cause. On his search, he travels to a place he hoped never to return to: the alien biodome on the outskirts of Rosewater. Though the residents of Rosewater are willing to live near the biodome because of its healing powers, Kaaro uncovers a secret there that shakes him to his core.

On shelves: September 18

We Sold Our Souls by Grady Hendrix

Paperbacks from Hell author Grady Hendrix returns with another horror novel with a funny bone, which follows the story of former heavy metal guitarist Kris Pulaski. Now working in a hotel, she was once part of the up-and-coming band Dürt Würk. The band seemed bound for success until the lead singer Terry Hunt left for a solo career which shot him to stardom, leaving his former bandmates in the dust. When Terry’s next tour is announced, Kris learns that his success may have come from a deal with the devil where he traded his bandmates’ souls in exchange for his own glory. Kris sets out to reunite her former band to try to take back what she lost.

On shelves: September 18

Vengeful by V. E. Schwab

Vengeful, V.E. Schwab’s much-anticipated sequel to Vicious, is the second book in the Villains series. Victor Vale is an ExtraOrdinary person, which means when he dies, he can be resurrected. It’s been five years since Sydney Clarke brought Victor back from the dead. But resurrection comes with a price, and Victor is still figuring out just what rebirth has cost his body. In this taut novel, Victor tries to repair his death-damaged body and maintain his power, and a new ExtraOrdinary named Marcella is bent on avenging her death at the hands of her adulterous husband. In a starred review, Kirkus raved, “Readers won’t be able to put down this dark and riveting tale of power and revenge.”

On shelves: September 25

The Sisters of the Winter Wood by Rena Rossner

Fairytale lovers are sure to be enchanted by this story of Liba and Laya, Jewish sisters who live in a remote village on the border of Moldova and Ukraine. The sisters have recently learned a family secret: Like their father, Liba can transform into a bear, and like their mother, Laya can transform into a swan. When independence-seeking Laya becomes fascinated by the Holvins, a mysterious group of peddlers, Liba feels it’s her duty to protect her younger sister. She also must help the townspeople who live in fear of a creature in the woods who may be responsible for several recent disappearances. The sisters turn to their magical inheritance to use it for the greater good.

On shelves: September 25

An Easy Death by Charlaine Harris

The first book in Charlaine Harris’ Gunnie Rose series is set in the United States, but not a version we’d recognize. In this alternate history, Franklin D. Roosevelt was assassinated before he took office and the continental U.S. as we know it is split between the U.S., Mexico, Canada, and Russia. Hired gun Lizbeth Rose lives in a southwestern country known as Texoma. When two Russian wizards hire her to help save their tsar, Lizabeth sets out on a dangerous journey. While enemies of the tsar try to block their mission, gunnie Lizbeth fights to continue her quest.

On shelves: October 2

Exit Strategy by Martha Wells

That lovable A.I. killing machine Murderbot is back in the final installment of Martha Wells’ Murderbot Diaries novella series. Murderbot doesn’t have friends, but if it did, it would count Dr. Mensah as one. After all, Dr. Mensah is the only human to ever treat Murderbot with respect. When Dr. Mensah is abducted by the evil GrayCris Corporation, it’s up to Murderbot to save its former owner. With help from some familiar faces, Murderbot might just save Dr. Mensah and the rest of the world at the same time. While this story arc is wrapping up, it’s not quite the end for this sci-fi adventure series, as a full-length novel is on the horizon.

On shelves: October 2

The Monster Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson

Picking up where The Traitor Baru Cormorant left off, this is the highly anticipated second book in the geopolitical fantasy Masquerade series. The series began with Baru watching as her island home of Taranoke was conquered by the Empire of Masks. It was then that she vowed to avenge her people. Triumphant at the end of the first book, Baru is now a secret lord of the empire, hoping to destroy it from within. But with her new power comes the painful realization that liberating her home may not be possible because of her supposed allegiance to Tain Hu. Seth Dickinson’s worldbuilding shines once again.

On shelves: October 30

Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri

Prepare to be dazzled by this epic fantasy debut. Set in a world inspired by medieval India, Empire of Sand follows Mehr, the daughter of a noble and an Amrithi woman. The Amrithi possess the power to control desert spirits, and Mehr has inherited her mother’s abilities. This magic also makes the Amrithi victims of persecution throughout the Ambham Empire. When Mehr’s powers are discovered by mystics who would use them for evil, she must find a way to save herself.

On shelves: November 13

Vita Nostra by Sergey Dyachenko and Marina Dyachenko

This dark fantasy is set in a terrifying school called the Institute of Special Technologies. There, 16-year-old Sasha Samokhina and the other students perform odd tasks and study nonsensical things without knowing why. What they do know is that if they make any mistakes, one of their loved ones will die. In a starred review, Publishers Weekly wrote of Sasha: “Readers will gladly follow her fascinating, disturbing story to its transcendent conclusion.” A bestseller in Russia, this newly translated novel is sure to captivate American audiences with its blend of magic and psychological suspense.

On shelves: November 13

How Long ’til Black Future Month? by N. K. Jemisin

Earlier this year, N. K. Jemisin made history as the first writer to ever win the Hugo Award for best novel three years in a row. Fans are eagerly waiting to see what she’ll come out with next, and thankfully the wait won’t be long at all. This fall Jemisin breaks new ground with her first collection of short stories, including the Hugo Award-winning novella “The City Born Great.” In one story, post-Katrina New Orleans is haunted by vicious spirits. In another, fey inhabit the Jim Crow South and a black mother must save her daughter from their empty promises. Each story stands alone, but they all examine modern society through the lens of speculative fiction.

On shelves: November 27

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