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The Ables

Recommended for adult as well as YA sf collections and fans of Ransom Riggs’s Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.

Winter's Debut of the Month, El-Mohtar/Gladstone, Forest, Hall, Huang, Thompson, Wendig, & More | SF/Fantasy, June 2019



Blumlein (All I Ever Dreamed) gives us Waiting for Godot, set in space, in succinct and intelligent storytelling.


Major (You Don’t Belong Here; Blighters) takes a unique concept and creates a compelling plot with engaging, multidimensional characters. Recommended for sf readers and mystery lovers who are willing to expand their horizons.

The Fire Opal Mechanism

This engaging stand-alone sequel to The Jewel and Her Lapidary highlights Wilde’s deft prose and fantastical imagination. Readers will enjoy the intersection of knowledge and freedom to learn twisted into something darker.

Pass of Fire

Libraries that do not have the entire series will be at a disadvantage, and new readers will have some catching up to do, but military sf enthusiasts, particularly fans of author Harry Turtledove, will be enthralled.

Green Valley

Readers will appreciate the questions raised, but this is not for the squeamish. Green Valley is not a pretty place.

Fried's Debut of the Month, plus Banker, Basu, Bear, Harrison, McGuire, Mehrota, & Many More | SF/Fantasy, March 2019

The Lesson

A compelling tale of invasive occupation and emotional uprising, Turnbull’s debut is complex and enthralling. It’s a must for all libraries, and the writer, who crafts speculative stories with black characters on par with Octavia Butler, is definitely one to watch.

LJ Reviews the 2019 Hugo Nominees

Marlon James's Dark Star Rises

Martine's Debut of the Month, Binder, Chakraborty, Le Guin, McGuire, Tarkoff, Townsend, White | SF/Fantasy Reviews, Dec. 2018

The Ruin of Kings

This stunning debut takes epic fantasy to a high level, portraying a world filled with magic, demons, gods, and dragons, in which politics and power plays are the laws of the land.


In a world where mass shootings are already a near-daily occurrence, this slim novel might be too grim and genuine for some, but Jackson's fast-paced, blistering look at how a nation's seductive myths about itself can lead to its downfall is an absolute must-read. Perfect for fans of Lauren Beukes, Richard K. Morgan, or the Netflix series Black Mirror.

The Chaos Function

Skillingstead's (Harbinger) sf thriller revolves around chaos theory, the power of choice, and the price of love. Highly recommended for readers of dystopian stories, time-travel scenarios, and endings that cause them to rethink the entire book.

Gates of Stone

Epic worldbuilding with extensive Asian influences, especially Indonesian, meets bold characters and detailed battles across land and sea. Note that scenes of rape and gore may be traumatic for some readers.

The Very Best of Caitlin R. Kiernan

Bodies, relationships, and the world are all changeable, shifting, and unstable in this collection by a master of dark fiction. Though influenced by Lovecraftian mythos, the work stands on its own and will be essential for Kiernan devotees.

The Smoke

Ings (Wolves) crafts smart alternate history that takes a deep look at belief systems and the judgment of others based on perception. The use of genetic manipulation to create superior and lesser human species speaks to the bias that exists in the real world.

The Fever King

Adults and older teens who appreciate stories with close ties among magic, science, and political machinations will find this first novel appealing.

The Very Best of the Best: 35 Years of the Year's Best Science Fiction

This anthology is another illuminating look into some of the best current sf from the last decade and more, offering a glorious range of characters, plots, and themes as well as forgotten fiction from sf's favorite authors.

A People's Future of the United States: Speculative Fiction from 25 Extraordinary Writers

A timely compilation that highlights the hope and anxiety of the current political climate.

Early Riser

Fforde's masterly, real-world, and socially conscious prose is filled with running jokes, amusing footnotes, and smart wordplay in this stand-alone novel. [See Prepub Alert, 8/27/18.]

Your Favorite Band Cannot Save You

This debut novella is a lean, quick read with no fat. The clever, exciting story mixes weird fiction with an engaging and mysterious plot.

The City in the Middle of the Night

Anders (All the Birds in the Sky) weaves an intricate tale of colonialism and evolution on both physical and social levels. The harsh world and well-developed characters combine with stunning storytelling that will capture readers' minds and hearts.

Today I Am Carey

This exploration of artificial life in the vein of Isaac Asimov's I, Robot provides fresh insight into the human experience. Recommended for all fans of sf and novels set in a near future.

Famous Men Who Never Lived

The plight of refugees gets a sf twist in this enjoyable debut from award-winning short story writer Chess. While the side plots could have been tightened, those looking for character-driven, science-light sf should give this a try.

The Test

This compact novella combines issues of immigration as well as a hostage story into a tale of incredible choices.

Witches, Psys, & Talking Goats: SF/Fantasy Previews, Jun. 2019, Pt. 2 | Prepub Alert


A Memory Called Empire

Politics and personalities blend with an immersive setting and beautiful prose in a debut that weaves threads of identity, assimilation, technology, and culture to offer an exceedingly well-done sf political thriller.

Polaris Rising

This fun debut frolics through the space opera setup with an exciting and brave new heroine.

The Fall

This sequel to The Nine is a twisting tale of science, faith, and creatures beyond imagination. Townsend's worldbuilding is rich and complex, illuminating a captivating alternate Earth.


Recommended for sf fans seeking a solid romp through a well-built universe with curious technology.

The Books of Earthsea:

With solid YA crossover appeal but highly enjoyable for all ages, this is especially recommended for admirers of J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and J.K. Rowling.

The Kingdom of Copper

With a richly immersive setting and featuring complex familial, religious, and racial ties and divides, Chakraborty's second book in the trilogy wraps readers in a lush and magical story that takes over all the senses. [See Prepub Alert, 7/23/18.]

The Haunting of Tram Car 015

This novella sequel to A Dead Djinn in Cairo keeps a tight hold through its well-crafted characters and absorbing alternate Egyptian landscape. Recommended for fans of the first book in this new series.

Bayou Born

This paranormal fantasy/mystery/romance presents a compelling plot and likable characters, promising more to follow after an addictive beginning to this new series. Perfect for fans of Darynda Jones and Patricia Briggs.

A Bad Deal for the Whole Galaxy

Compelling characters, clever plot points, and the whole of outer space to roam come together in this fast-paced, second book of the "Salvagers" series, offering a singular blend of sf and fantasy that will attract devoted genre fans.


While the plot is predictable and almost hackneyed, the social commentary of a person's looks being tied to sin is compelling. Tarkoff's (Arrow) screenwriter background may result in some interest from YA dystopian lovers in this title reminiscent of the "Divergent" series.

In An Absent Dream

McGuire's fourth in the "Wayward Children" series takes the concepts of fairness and common sense and twists them through the doorways of a portal fantasy with an amazing landscape and characters. Lyrical prose cuts with an honesty of losing childhood innocence that eases the heartache that sometimes accompanies coming of age.

Smoke and Summons

With scads of action, clear explanations of how supernatural elements function, and appealing characters with smart backstories, this first in a series will draw in fans of Cassandra Clare, Leigh Bardugo, or Brandon Sanderson.


Night Circus fans will inevitably find this a cousin of their favorite, but readers of Katharine Dunn's Geek Love or Neil Gaiman's American Gods are more likely to enjoy it.

The Absolved

An enjoyable, witty read that ponders where automation might actually take us, not just where we want it to go.

Seize the Future | Spotlight on SF/Fantasy 2018


The Changeling, Jade City Tie for World Fantasy’s Best Novel

LJ Talks to Editor John Joseph Adams | Spotlight on SF/Fantasy 2018

Atlanta Libraries, Cosplay, and New Releases at Dragon Con 2018


Rewrite: Loops in the Timescape

With a clever, twisting plot, this sequel to Timescape presents a smart sf tale of second chances. Benford takes on time travel using his own experience in physics, linking intriguing characters together through an important time in American history.

Golden State

Highly recommended for fans of dystopian fiction, especially those who enjoy classics of the genre, such as George Orwell's 1984 and Aldous Huxley's Brave New World. [See Prepub Alert, 7/9/18.]

Tomorrow Factory: Collected Fiction

Recommended for collections where works by William Gibson, Jeremy Robert Johnson, Nnedi Okorafor, and Dempow Torishima circulate.

Black City Dragon

This fantastical follow-up to Black City Demon slides Prohibition Chicago into urban fantasy territory with a fast-paced plot and intelligent characters who keep the pages turning until the very end.


This fast read picks up after the death of Julian, the protagonist of Splinterlands, and can be enjoyed as a stand-alone sequel to the first book in the series. Its sense of urgency inspires readers to keep going and a pale glimmer of hope at the end is welcome after the quick, harrowing ride.

How To Fracture a Fairy Tale

With a glowing introduction by author Marissa Meyer, and an afterword with an author's note and poem for each story, this showcase of 28 tales highlights Yolen's delightful imagination and elegant writing in both poetry and short prose form. Her fans will be excited to see the well-crafted follow-up to The Emerald Circus.

Static Ruin

This breezy, engaging read, though darker in tone, will appeal to fans of Martha Wells's "Murderbot Diaries" series.

Unholy Land

Shifting perspectives will keep readers trying to catch up with this fast-paced plot involving incredible twists on multiple realities and homecoming. This latest from Campbell and World Fantasy Award winner Tidhar (Central Station) is fascinating and powerful.

Someone Like Me

This latest from Carey (The Girl with All the Gifts) offers a dark, supernatural thriller that blurs the edges of the world we know. [See Prepub Alert, 5/23/18.]

City of Broken Magic

Described as The Hurt Locker with magic, this fascinating debut includes a handful of battles, and in between depicts the strange land and way of life Laura faces in Amicae. Readers will be antsy for the next installment.

Vita Nostra

Recommended for readers who appreciate the intensity of student bonding in extreme situations, such as in Donna Tartt's The Secret History or Lev Grossman's The Magicians, and the magical realism of Neil Gaiman, Jorge Luis Borges, and Haruki Murakami.

The Tiger Flu

The latest from Lai (When Fox Is a Thousand; Salt Fish Girl) takes on the extremes of gender, disease, and ecological devastation in a cautionary tale that readers will appreciate as fiction—for now.

A Pocketful of Crows

Harris (Chocolat) beautifully weaves folklore and inspiration from the Child Ballads into a longer story with vivid prose, lush settings, and characters who win your heart. Will appeal to fans of Seanan McGuire's "Wayward Children" series.

The Mortal Word

Cogman's witty follow-up to The Lost Plot once again provides a historical mashup of detectives, libraries, and fantasy characters revolving around time-traveling librarian spies. A delicious mix for a range of readers.

There Before the Chaos

Fans of the "Indranan War" trilogy and lovers of interstellar intrigue will be pleased.

House of Rose

Purchase where real world-meets-fantasy titles are in demand.

The Towers Still Stand

Fans of alternative history will appreciate this concept of a New York where the World Trade Center buildings still stand

The Fall of Gondolin

Every Tolkien aficionado, and they are legion, will want to read this book, both for the story it tells and as a final collaboration between this legendary father-and-son duo

"Sixth World" Series Sparks a Trailblazer's Beginning | Debut Spotlight

August Genre Reads | Wyatt's World



Thompson's (The Murders of Molly Southbourne) intriguing Afrofuturistic tale features an incredible mashup of alien contact and human-centered power, delivering a stark and gritty story that will keep readers engaged.

An Easy Death

Best-selling author Harris's ("Sookie Stackhouse" and "Midnight Crossroad" series) latest thriller combines the supernatural elements she's known for with a dose of Western flair. It's a slow starter but an intriguing genre blend resulting in a mostly seamless read. Her fans won't be disappointed.

Rogue Protocol

This third outing featuring Wells's introverted Murderbot (after All Systems Red and Artificial Condition) highlights a unique protagonist in search of a way to live, while learning about the faults and foibles of humanity. Continuing the fast pace and enjoyable interactions of the series' previous books, this latest entry is a refreshing and clever addition.

State Tectonics

Older concludes the "Centenal Cycle" trilogy with an entertaining trip into the near future while taking a sober look at the world's current state.

The Seas of Distant Stars

Recommended for fans of sf new adult narratives with strong YA crossover appeal.

I Am Behind You

Swedish sensation Lundqvist's (Let the Right One In) twisting journey into the dark corners of the mind is true psychological horror. It will keep entranced and shocked readers guessing until the very end.

Kill the Queen

This epic fantasy launch brings all of the action, magic, and smart cast of characters whom fans have come to expect from Estep ("Elemental Assassin" series). Readers of Chloe Neill, Kim Harrison, and Ilona Andrews will welcome this bright new heroine.

Street Freaks

Sf fans will applaud this fast-paced thriller, which has enough espionage, mystery, and dystopian elements to satisfy readers in these related genres.

Night and Silence

McGuire's latest tale of the changeling knight (after The Brightest Fell) weaves myriad storylines, paving a course to the forthcoming The Unkindest Tide. Urban fantasy enthusiasts should find this a must-read series, brimming with masterly characters, setting, and plots.

Zero Sum Game

This hard-to-put-down, action-packed sf debut is intelligent and entertaining. With Cas, Huang has created an indelible, flawed character who makes mathematics seem almost magical.

Worlds Seen in Passing: 10 Years of Short Fiction

A wealth of exceptional sf, fantasy, and horror spanning a decade is brought together to honor both speculative authors and their publisher. Highly recommended for all collections.

Time's Convert

Harkness's worldbuilding skills are top notch, and this latest addition is destined to join her other works as a best seller. Not to be missed by historical fantasy fans. [See Prepub Alert, 3/12/18.]

The Bus on Thursday

This book deserves to find its (cult) audience. For readers who enjoy their horror elegantly twisted.

Shades Within Us: Tales of Migrations and Fractured Borders

An engaging collection of poignant travel through time and space. Highly recommended for its breadth of stories that look at having to leave home—or discover it.

The Stars Now Unclaimed

This expansive debut for space opera enthusiasts is full of high-flying battles that readers of Becky Chambers and fans of the show Firefly will relish.

We Sold Our Souls

Hendrix's (My Best Friend's Exorcism) remarkable, immersive prose will have readers recognizing pieces of themselves in the characters' flawed thoughts and actions, which is by turns disturbing and captivating.

Jay Schiffman’s Game of the Gods | LJ Review

Who Is the Average Canadian Ebook Reader? | INFOdocket


The Wind in His Heart

To read a de Lint novel is to let yourself believe in the power of magic. Highly recommended.


This strong entry in Hamilton's long-running "Anita Blake" series (after Crimson Death), is sure to draw in urban fantasy readers, newbies, and longtime fans.

The Fated Sky

This gripping follow-up to The Calculating Stars is a near-perfect combination of real-world issues set in an alternate universe. Highlighting the racial tensions of the early 1960s with a frantic race for space colonization, Kowal's deft writing is sf at its best.


The stunning plot of Foster's (Strange Music) stand-alone novel will intrigue readers for not only the "last man in the universe" trope but also the well-developed alien species. A true first contact novel on many different levels.

Wild Hunger

Fans of Neill's "Chicagoland Vampires" series will rejoice to see the next generation in their own spin-off. Featuring her trademark snarky characters and colorful backgrounds, this is a fun and action-packed urban fantasy launch.

Game of the Gods

Schiffman's absorbing sf adventure debut will satisfy all kinds of speculative readers.


This engaging new series from Bennett ("Divine Cities" trilogy) features a masterly blend of fantastical magic with sf technology that will engage readers to the final page. [See Prepub Alert, 2/19/18].

The Point

Bram Stoker Award winner Dixon (Phoenix Island; Devil's Pocket) delivers an exciting military sf adventure with strong YA crossover appeal owing to the characters' ages and energetic story line.

One of Us

Dilouie (Suffer the Children) delivers a fresh take on the well-worn story of oppression and rebellion. Unfortunately, one-dimensional characters and clichéd dialog clog the story, leaving little room for building empathy. Still, the author's fans will want this.

The War in the Dark

A combination of James Bond, Indiana Jones, and The X-Files set in a post-World War II world, this sf/alternative history debut will appeal to fans who enjoy similar genre mashups.

Empire of Silence

The author, an assistant editor at Baen Books, pens an engrossing read that confidently blends action and political intrigue. Although stretched across a vast array of planets, the story line is often more focused on the intimate than on the expanse, giving it a wonderful emotional punch. This wow book is a must for fans of Pierce Brown and Patrick Rothfuss.

The Grey Bastards

Winner of the 2016 Self-Publishing Fantasy Blog-Off (SPFBO), this gritty debut takes the swords and sorcery trope to new heights; a must for epic fantasy enthusiasts.

Mira's Last Dance

Bujold's fans will appreciate this novella, which returns to her World of the Five Gods and beloved maturing characters.

Kill the Farm Boy

Dawson (Star Wars: Phasma) and Hearn's ("Iron Druid Chronicles") reimagining of a traditional fairy tale is reminiscent of William Goldman's The Princess Bride and William Steig's Shrek! Irreverent, funny, and full of entertaining wordplay, this will keep readers guessing until the end and eager for the sequel. [See Prepub Alert, 1/29/18.]

Spinning Silver

This masterly, immersive high fantasy tale is grounded in real-world challenges and opportunities for growth. Highly recommended for fans of Novik's previous titles or fairy-tale retellings.

The Robots of Gotham

As the violence and romance aren't explicit, this adventure is appropriate for ambitious adult and YA readers alike.

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