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‘A Dark and Drowning Tide’ by Allison Saft | LJ Review of the Day

‘The Cottage Around the Corner’ by D.L. Soria | LJ Review of the Day

'The Naming Song' by Jedediah Berry | SFF Pick of the Month

Romantasy | Prepub Alert, January 2025 Titles

2024 Stars So Far | Science Fiction

2024 Stars So Far | Fantasy



The final installment in “The Glacian Trilogy” (after Chasm) is a worthy conclusion, intricate and surprising, and arguably the best in the series. Recommend to fantasy and romantasy readers who enjoy books with resilient heroines, such as Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros.

The Naming Song

Fans of Patricia A. McKillip’s The Forgotten Beasts of Eld or Marie Brennan’s Driftwood will be in awe of Berry’s (The Manual of Detection) wonderfully odd ode to language, story, and family.

Pride and Prejudice in Space

Lampley’s (The Onyx Vial) adult debut is an eye-catching creation that will charm Austen lovers and fans of soft sci-fi romance.

What We Sacrifice for Magic

Readers who enjoyed the witchy cross-generational squabbles in Hazel Beck’s “Witchlore” series, lovers of Alice Hoffman’s Practical Magic, and anyone who adored the setting and the family dynamics of The Lager Queen of Minnesota by J. Ryan Stradal but wished it had a touch of magic will fall hard for DeWerd’s debut, a coming-of-age and coming-into-power story about sacrifice and sisterhood.

Dark Space

This clever science-fiction novel is a perfect choice for readers looking for a perilous adventure with a dash of coziness.

New Adventures in Space Opera

SF readers used to seeing space opera as multi-doorstop series will find a lot to love in this collection of skillful short works in a popular subgenre. Fans of the featured authors will love seeing their favorites’ work in shorter forms.

The Enchanted Lies of Céleste Artois

An expansive fantasy full of vivid descriptions and a large cast of characters. Recommended for readers who enjoy lush worlds where some aspects of the plot remain gauzy like the shadows lingering throughout this book.

A Dark and Drowning Tide

Take the deadly mystery and vicious academic politics of The Mimicking of Known Successes by Malka Older, stir in the magic and the romance of the “Emily Wilde” series by Heather Fawcett (but make it sapphic), add several drops of the political shenanigans of epic fantasy, and stir with a sharp, prickly thorn of a main character to get this fraught enemies-to-lovers fantasy. YA author Saft’s (A Fragile Enchantment) adult debut is highly recommended.

The Ancients

This thought-provoking novel from Larison (Whiskey When We’re Dry) is perfect for fans of Andrew Krivak’s The Bear.

Fear the Flames

Originally self-published and now receiving a special edition with additional content from a big publisher, this debut novel and Book Tok sensation is highly recommended for romantasy lovers, especially fans of A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas and The Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros.

The Great When

This is a lavishly crafted urban fantasy tale with a caustic and colorful cast, perfect for fans of Susanna Clarke.

The Cottage Around the Corner

Soria’s newest book will wrap readers into a cozy world that they won’t want to leave. This fantasy romance is sure to enrapture readers looking for an atmospheric and lovable read, much like Legends & Lattes by Travis Baldree and Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries by Heather Fawcett.

This Will Be Fun

Recommended for fans of cozy fantasy and romance, where the stakes are not too high, and the story makes for a quick read.

The Village Library Demon-Hunting Society

Waggoner’s (The Ruthless Lady’s Guide to Wizardry) latest is recommended for readers of cozy mysteries, fantasy mysteries, and anyone looking for a gateway between the two.

Blood Over Bright Haven

Vibrant, raw, and deeply emotional, this novel is a manifesto about justice as much as it is a thrilling work of fiction. This self-published title, picked up by a big publisher, will have wide appeal beyond fans of science fiction and fantasy.


While this title may appeal to fans of 2034, the sequel doesn’t quite live up to the hype. An optional purchase for most libraries.

The Three-Body Problem

From philosophy to science to history, this winning audio has it all. Sci-fi fans and audiences of the Netflix series will devour this.

The Phoenix Keeper

MacLean has crafted a lovely sojourn in a magical world that feels both familiar and wondrous. This mix of zoology, fantasy, and sapphic romance will have readers wishing they could buy a ticket to San Tamculo.

SFF Writer & Translator


Oath of Fire

Rivera’s (“Ascendant” trilogy) combination of urban fantasy and fae-esque elements will appeal to romantasy readers who enjoy legendary love.

A Darkness Returns

Feist (Master of Furies) is a skilled author of epic fantasy, and this compelling crossover has the same adventurous spirit as his other books. He has established a sweeping and expansive world that thrives upon the elements of classic fantasy.

Black Tide Son

An impressive, swashbuckling high-seas adventure that is just as fantastic a read as the first novel. Fantasy lovers will delight at a series that adds something different to the genre and continuously exceeds expectations.

Crypt of the Moon Spider

This tale of SF horror and monstrous transformation from Ballingrud (The Strange) is the first in a projected trilogy and tells a chilling story that clearly has more frights to come.

‘Time’s Agent’ by Brenda Peynado | SFF Debut of the Month


The Ashes & the Star-Cursed King

Broadbent (The Serpent and the Wings of Night) ratchets up the action, treachery, and romance in the second installment of the “Crowns of Nyaxia” series. Perfect for fans of Rebecca Yarros’s romantasy or those who enjoyed K.A. Tucker’s “Fate & Flame” series.

The Spellshop

Durst’s (The Bone Maker) cottagecore romantasy takes place on an island of fantastical creatures and people, with romances among found family and friends and illicit spellcasting adding a dash of suspense to the mix. An excellent match for fans looking to take a break from epic fantasy for some feel-good humor and happiness.

‘The Moonlight Market’ by Joanne Harris | SFF Pick of the Month


Rumor Has It

The third outing for this alien crew is filled with action, high emotions, and hijinks.

She Who Knows: Firespitter

Readers who fell hard for Okorafor’s award-winning Who Fears Death (recently optioned by HBO, with George R.R. Martin at the helm) will be thrilled to read this novel that dives deeply into the backstory of one of the fundamental but mysterious characters in that tale. Those who enjoyed Shadow Speaker will find a story with a similar form but featuring a much-deadlier young woman who defies the rules that are intended to reduce and confine her gifts and her spirit.

The Lost Story

Readers will find this an absolutely immersive pleasure to read. Shaffer delivers an unforgettable and nostalgic experience, especially for fans of “The Chronicles of Narnia” by C.S. Lewis or fairy-tale retellings.

The Dollmakers: A Novel from the Fallen Peaks

Though the unlikable protagonist may discourage some readers, Buchanan’s novel echoes with alluring nostalgia that’s sure to ensnare others to the very end.

The Crimson Crown

Walter’s (Misrule) adoration of the villains in fairy tales once again comes to life in a queer backstory for the witch queen from “Snow White.” Her prose compels readers’ empathy as she builds the richly complex story of a young woman looking to save the one she loves most.

Full Speed to a Crash Landing

Readers looking for a wild romp of a sci-fi caper story, complete with long games, big plans, wild heists, and epically flirtatious banter, are going to fall in love with Ada Lamarr every bit as much as Agent Rian White does in this first of a projected trilogy from Revis (Museum of Magic). Perfect for fans of Valerie Valdes and Constance Fay.


Marske’s (A Power Unbound) latest may seem low-stakes, but the romantic tropes are delightful, the worldbuilding is vivid, and the cast of characters all lend a hand in creating a cozy fantasy with heat and heart.

Time’s Agent

Fans of Carmen Maria Machado will find in this debut novelist a new author to follow every bit as voraciously.

The Price of Redemption

There’s plenty to savor in this first book in the “Tides of Magic” trilogy for fans of Patrick O’Brian’s “Aubrey/Maturin” novels, readers seeking a new fantasy to fill the void left by the end of Naomi Novik’s “Temeraire” series, lovers of Our Flag Means Death, those looking for a less-cozy take on Rebecca Thorne’s Can’t Spell Treason Without Tea, and anyone who’d like to rehash the Napoleonic Wars with a compelling narrative, great characters, swashbuckling derring-do, and epic, heartbreaking betrayals.

A Song of Ash and Moonlight

The characters could be further developed, but Legrand has created a lush and atmospheric world in which magic and peril are all around, immersing readers at every turn. Fans of Sarah J. Maas might enjoy this series.

Between Dragons and Their Wrath

Madson’s (We Dream of Gods) skillful prose weaves a story of political intrigue, personal connections, and dragons. Readers will want to know where the protagonists’ destinies lead them after this first in a projected trilogy.

The Dissonance

A great pick for fans of Stephen King’s It, only with a more fantastical and angsty edge.

Blood of the Old Kings

Readers will crave further works from Kim after reading his English-language debut, the first in a trilogy. While waiting for the next installment, suggest Robert Jackson Bennett’s The Tainted Cup, Shannon Chakraborty’s The Adventures of Amina al-Sirafi, and Naomi Novik’s A Deadly Education for a similar experience.

Toward Eternity

Hur’s thought-provoking novel will appeal to readers who love gripping metaphysical science fiction, such as Adrian Tchaikovsky’s Children of Memory or Robert J. Sawyer’s Calculating God.

The Moonlight Market

This sometimes unsettling yet consistently delightful fairy tale feels like a marriage of the clever schemes of Trip Galey’s A Market of Dreams and Destiny and the metaphors of Kelly Barnhill’s The Crane Husband.

Glass Houses

Ashby (ReV) has created an eerily familiar future world and characters who are both sympathetic and horrific. Give to fans of Patricia Highsmith and Naomi Alderman.

A Song To Drown Rivers

YA author Liang’s (I Hope This Doesn’t Find You) adult debut will appeal to those who enjoy retellings blending history and myth.

This World Is Not Yours

Readers will find themselves thrilled and chilled by this planet-based monster tale from Ashing-Giwa (The Splinter in the Sky) that will appeal to readers who like sci-fi horror, such as Ghost Station by S.A. Barnes and the creepiest parts of Cassandra Khaw’s eldritch worldbuilding.

The Black Bird Oracle

Marked by Harkness’s deft evocations and appreciation of learning, this is a book to treasure. The portentous ending, rife with new story threads and threats, will leave readers hoping that she doesn’t wait another six years to continue the series.

Lady Macbeth

Reid (Juniper & Thorn) takes some interesting liberties with this renowned Shakespeare character, and centering her retelling on a woman’s point of view will draw interest. The novel’s fantastical elements, like the witches, are exciting, and the multilingual prose is historically compelling.


Those Beyond the Wall

This thrilling sequel exploring justice and change would enhance any audio sci-fi collection.

Dark Woods, Deep Water

A must-listen for fans of folklore and fantasy with an Eastern European bent. Tense and captivating.


Mournful meets ominous in this genre-bender, perfect for fans of gothic surrealism or the New Weird and narrated with compelling intimacy.★

The Book of Doors

A complex, deftly plotted novel full of brutal violence and great joy, the bonds of friendship, and unique magic. Highly recommended.

Convergence Problems

A collection of entertaining, thought-provoking speculative fiction that will send listeners searching for Talabi’s other works.

After World

An unconventional postapocalyptic story recommended for fans of Brandon Ying Kit Boey’s Karma of the Sun and Nick Fuller Googins’s The Great Transition.

The Warm Hands of Ghosts

The combination of a riveting story and excellent audio narration makes this a must-have for most libraries.

Your Utopia: Stories

A genius collection of enticing tales, sure to create more fans for both the author and the narrator.

The Tusks of Extinction

This novel is made for fans of character-driven ecofiction like Lee Mandelo’s Feed Them Silence and Octavia E. Butler’s Parable of the Sower.

River Mumma

A fast-paced tale that draws from Jamaican folklore and Canadian pop culture. Recommended for listeners seeking a layered story that interweaves past, present, and future.

The Mercy of Gods

Nail-biting suspense makes for an engaging and compulsively readable intro to yet another ambitious series from this writing team.


Kindt (Mind MGMT) and Torres (Superman ’78) draw inspiration from iconic pulp authors such as Philip K. Dick, Raymond Chandler, Robert E. Howard, and Philip José Farmer in this riveting celebration of genre storytelling.

Disciples of the Soil

Mure’s watercolor and pencil illustration brings this fantasy steeped in real-world political issues to life so vividly that readers might find themselves worrying the characters will pop up off the page and scurry away.

The Book of Love

An immersive tale of death, love, and magic, perfect for fans of twisty, mysterious fantasy. Recommended for those who enjoyed Diane Setterfield’s Once Upon a River.

The Tainted Cup

Though the performance isn’t as subtle as the clues, this lengthy audiobook entertains.


Listeners interested in folklore and fantasy will be absorbed by Chan’s strong debut and her enchanting city of Tiankawi.

Three Kinds of Lucky

Listeners ready for the next wave of urban fantasy will enjoy this series starter.

Mourning Glory

With its captivating blend of family dynamics and supernatural peril, listeners are in for a thrilling ride. Turpin’s skillful narration elevates the storytelling, ensuring an enthralling experience from beginning to end.

A Sweet Sting of Salt

A sensuous queer love story for fans of folklore and fantasy.


Recommend to fans of YA crossover romantic fantasy, including those searching for inclusive books by people of color.

The Frame-Up

An extraordinary premise with an average delivery. Recommended for existing Bond fans or die-hard fantasy crime lovers.


The perfect listen for fans of tragicomedy, the movie Barbie, and those seeking their next techno-dystopian universe. A must-listen.

Moon of the Turning Leaves

A riveting survival story set in a bleak future. Suggest to fans of Eric Barnes and James Kunstler Howard.

Kalliopee: A Princess’s Sacrifice

An optional purchase, best where interest in romantasy is high.

Past Crimes

This critique of social media culture and the widespread obsession with true crime is recommended for fans of sci-fi/thriller hybrids. Share with readers of Blake Crouch, Nick Harkaway, and Daniel Burke.

Remedial Magic

Although this audio requires an attentive ear, unanswered questions and a shocking cliffhanger may entice romantasy fans to seek out the sequel.

Consort of Fire

Solid fantasy worldbuilding alternates with a steamy, polyamorous romance plot.

Romantasy | Prepub Alert, December 2024 Titles

Science Fiction & Fantasy | Prepub Alert, December 2024 Titles

This Great Hemisphere

A stunning and compelling work of social justice speculative fiction from Askaripour (Black Buck).

Black Shield Maiden

This debut from singer/songwriter/activist Smith and screenwriter Hendel is recommended for readers of alternate and fantasy history in which women seize power and hold it in spite of the forces arrayed against them.

The Fox Wife

Highly recommended for readers of fantasy mysteries, fans of Elsa Hart’s Jade Dragon Mountain, and anyone who enjoys stories of unreliable narrators where magic is hidden in plain sight. Choo’s (The Night Tiger) latest is magical, lyrical, and utterly compelling.

Sapphic Space | SFF Mysteries

Romantasy | Prepub Alert, November 2024 Titles


L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future, Vol. 40: The Best New SF & Fantasy of the Year

The latest entry in this annual series has something for every SF and fantasy reader, from the blackness of space to the power of magic and all of the places and planes in between.

The Sword Unbound

Hanrahan’s sword-and-sorcery series is perfect for fans of The Witcher.


This compelling mix of horror, found family, and intricate mythology will appeal to those who loved Winter Tide by Ruthanna Emrys and The City We Became by N.K. Jemisin.

The Witchstone

Neff’s rollicking fantasy novel is a hilarious delight, filled with fun twists and turns and a demon to root for.

Yoke of Stars

Lemberg once again (after Geometries of Belonging) draws readers into their storyverse, playing with names, identities, and language itself. Alternating points of view show how separate paths can come together in more ways than one, highlighting the deeper connection of people, no matter their background.

Haunt Sweet Home

Pinsker’s (Lost Places) evocative prose turns an amusing reality-show backdrop into a haunting story of hiding from (and discovering) oneself.

Blackheart Man

Much like the Blackheart Man of legend, readers will be swallowed whole by this novel and reemerge completely changed.

Daughter of the Merciful Deep

Fans of Penelope’s The Monsters We Defy will be thrilled, while readers of The Deep by Rivers Solomon, In the Shadow of the Fall by Tobi Ogundiran, and The Ballad of Perilous Graves by Alex Jennings will find another novel that sings of hope and magic.


For readers who enjoy fantasy full of political and family intrigue, such as A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin, and for those who like coming-of-age stories focusing on a young man’s battles, such as The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss.

The Sky on Fire

Lyons’s (The Discord of Gods) latest will add to the dragon frenzy while also appealing to readers who enjoy heist stories and action-packed fantasy. Comparisons to Anne McCaffrey’s “Dragonriders of Pern” series are spot on.

Navigational Entanglements

Readers of SF mysteries inflected with sapphic romance and political or corporate shenanigans, such as Lady Eve’s Last Con by Rebecca Fraimow and Station Eternity by Mur Lafferty, will become entangled in the latest from de Bodard (Fireheart Tiger).

The Runes of Engagement

The collaboration by Buckell (A Stranger in the Citadel) and debuter Klecha is tons of fun and full of geeky references and in-jokes. Will be catnip to readers who love this combination of military SF, alternate history, and fantasy.

Lady Eve’s Last Con

Readers who have fallen hard for the recent run of SF caper mysteries, such as The Spare Man by Mary Robinette Kowal, Floating Hotel by Grace Curtis, and You Sexy Thing by Cat Rambo, will find similar thrills in this debut.

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