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On the Nature of Magic

Fans of the first volume or patient readers who can accept a level of fogginess in their narrative may enjoy this one.

Hybrid Heart

Give this to fans of manga and anime for an insightful, speculative glimpse into Japanese pop culture.

The Lost War

Originally self-published by Anderson (Carpet Diem) and now being released by a big publisher, this exciting novel manifests as fierce and fresh epic fantasy with DnD undertones. Perfect for fans of Anthony Ryan.

The Thorns Remain

This gripping, folkloric tale of the Scottish fae will keep readers thoroughly engrossed and transport them to this fairy tale realm. Fans of Rebecca Ross, Heather Fawcett, and Sarah J. Maas will enjoy the latest from Harwood (The Shadow in the Glass).

Display Shelf | Short SFF Reads


Multiverses: An Anthology of Alternate Realities

The collection’s wide range of international authors means it has something to offer everyone. Recommended for libraries with strong SFF collections and readers who enjoy short fiction.


Fans of intricate worldbuilding, urban fantasy, and apocalyptic stories will be hooked. An excellent addition to any audio fantasy collection.

The First Men in the Moon

This charming listen is perfect for libraries looking to add classic sci-fi to their collections.

Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries

This is The Love Story of Missy Carmichael with fairies and snow. A sure win for believers in the value of story.

The World We Make

Listeners of the series’ prior audiobook will already be clamoring for this one. Purchase multiple copies, and rest assured that patrons will be delighted.

A Fractured Infinity

A fast-paced, character-driven queer sci-fi romance that shows how far someone will go to be with the one they love.


This book will appeal to science fiction readers who appreciate meticulous worldbuilding and learning about societies that are governed by a set of axioms. This impressive audio is a must-add for any science fiction collection.

Even Though I Knew the End

An essential buy for modern-fantasy collections. Share with fans of Emily Tesh’s Silver in the Wood or Ellen Klages’s Passing Strange.

All the Horses of Iceland

With a run time of slightly over two hours, there is little risk and great reward for trying out this audio gem.

No Gods for Drowning

Piper’s world has a deep backstory to wade through, but the thriller elements, plus the drama of multiple encroaching disasters, keep the novel sailing to a thought-provoking and satisfying conclusion.

The Union

Although the narrative occasionally feels forced, the story is uplifted by the emotionally affective narration, which brings out the nuances in Vernon’s engaging characters.

Fourth Wing

A good selection for fans of Naomi Novik’s “Scholomance” series; will fly off the shelves.

Not Alone

Ecologist Jackson makes her debut with this engrossing postapocalyptic cli-fi thriller that will have readers anxiously turning the pages and questioning their use of plastic.

A Crown of Ivy and Glass

Best-selling YA author Legrand’s (Lightbringer) first novel for adults is full of high stakes for her characters and detailed fantasy worldbuilding with interesting mythology for readers. It will appeal to older teens and adults.

The Archive Undying

Will appeal to readers who like their giant robots paired with explorations of emotional intimacy and moving forward after trauma. A good purchase for large SFF collections.

Fractal Noise

Those daunted by the 800+ pages of the first in this series, To Sleep in a Sea of Stars, will find this a comparably brief read, and it works well as an excellent starting point for the series as a whole.

The Bone Shard War

Stewart’s final book in “The Drowning Empire” trilogy (following The Bone Shard Emperor) is an epic and emotional end to the series.

Spring’s Arcana

There’s much to savor here for readers looking for a deeper dive into the same legends as those in The Witch and the Tsar by Olesya Salnikova Gilmore, but in a more contemporary setting. Also a good choice for readers seeking stories imbued with the sensibilities of urban fantasy, like The Book of Night by Holly Black.

Whether Violent or Natural

Calder (The Offset) tells a unique tale that will appeal to many cli-fi fans, though some may be put off by the leisurely pacing and introspective storytelling.

The Blood Gift

“The Blood Gift” duology concludes with a dramatic, action-filled story (a sequel to The Blood Trials).

The Way Home: Two Novellas from the World of The Last Unicorn

A lovely duology that invokes the charm of The Last Unicorn while extending the magic of the original into a bigger world. Highly recommended for lovers of Beagle’s classic, who are legion.

Heir of Uncertain Magic

Recommended for fans of the first book.

Engines of Chaos

Constant peril and charged action sequences propel this high-octane steampunk thriller forward at break-neck speed. The solid writing and engaging plot establish a fully realized world with diverse magic systems mixed with artifice. Perfect for fans of Brian McClellan and Tyler Whitesides.

Demons of Good and Evil

The latest in the “Hollows” series, after Trouble with the Cursed, contains all the magical action, emotional tension, and snippy dialogue that fans adore.

The Shadow Cabinet

The second book of the series, after Her Majesty’s Royal Coven, is filled with witty dialogue, pop culture references, and features the bonds of childhood, sisterhood, and fighting for what one believes in.

Not of This World

A blast for urban-fantasy readers looking for a broken fourth wall riddled with dry-witted commentary, evil getting its just deserts, and the good walking away to fight the good fight.


Will keep audiences enthralled to the end. Highly recommended for readers of alternate history, those who enjoy re-examinations of classics, and fans of Cogman’s “Invisible Library” series.


Like a Mission Impossible or a Minority Report with the addition of time-travel. Readers of sci-fi will enjoy this new take on a classic idea from Bellin (Scarred City).

March’s End

The battles of politics and war give a real feeling of tension and life to this novel. Readers who enjoy the political complexity and epic battles of A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin as well as the classic fantasy of The Nutcracker will enjoy this stand-alone.

Twice Cursed: An Anthology

Some of the stories merely sidle up to the line between dark fantasy and horror, and some stake their oozing, bleeding hearts with it, but all bring a shiver of fear, dread, or understanding.

The First Bright Thing

Dawson mashes up history, fantasy, and the magic of the circus in an emotionally immersive, character-driven story.

For the First Time, Again

The final volume of Neuvel’s generational alien conflict (following Until the Last of Me) takes the space race in new directions.

The Heavy Bright

Malkasian’s “once upon a time” parable infuses a Handmaid’s Tale–type set-up with surrealistic charm and bittersweet resolution, reminiscent of Studio Ghibli’s work. Highly recommended for fantasy connoisseurs.

Never Too Old To Save the World: A Midlife-Calling Anthology

Highly recommended for lovers of woman-forward SF/F and any reader still waiting for that wardrobe to open.

The Cleaving

McKenna (The Green Man’s Gift) tells a compelling new story from an old tale that is timely, giving the women of Arthur’s heroic tale a voice and place in this world. Give to fans of Michael J. Sullivan and David Dalglish who appreciate stories with swordplay, revenge, and medieval adventure.

Dual Memory

This rollicking thriller from Burke (Immunity Index) moves at a fast pace but manages to maintain its focus on the true threats of climate change and human hubris, all the while keeping readers riveted and entertained.

Witch King

After the rousing success of “The Murderbot Diaries,” Wells has returned to her fantasy roots in a tale of revolt, rebellion, and betrayal. Readers looking for more Murderbot may be disappointed, but fantasy readers looking for new worlds and characters to explore will be enthralled.

The Warden

Ford (Cheap Heat) begins an appealing new fantasy series filled with adventure, action, and old magic.

Backpacking Through Bedlam

Following on Spelunking Through Hell, this latest installment in the “InCryptid” series continues to highlight the fast action, delightful cryptids and the gloriously dysfunctional family dynamics the Prices are known for. Urban fantasy fans will rejoice.

The Thick and the Lean

The two storylines in Porter’s (The Seep) latest, particularly Beatrice’s story of accepting herself for who she is and what she loves in spite of everything, will make readers hunger for more.

The Golden Enclaves

Should satisfy Novik’s many fans and appeal to mature fans of Harry Potter, dark-fantasy lovers, and those who enjoyed Lev Grossman’s The Magicians.

On the Marble Cliffs

More than a mere roman à clef about Hitler or Stalin (or both), Jünger’s vivid and evocative narrative transcends its moment in capturing the ageless struggle between our individuality and creative wonder, and the darkness and terror sure to follow when people abandon themselves to belief, even if only to a belief in nothing.

I Keep My Exoskeletons to Myself

The beautiful, spare narration from Kris as she struggles with grief and motherhood delivers a deep emotional punch, lightened by dry humor and the hope in human connection. For fans of Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven and Veronica Roth’s Poster Girl.

The Deep Sky

Readers will be engaged by the mystery and suspense and find familiarity and connection in the humanity of Asuka and the journey of The Phoenix.

Head Cleaner

Once it gets going, Keaton’s (She Was Found in a Guitar Case) novel is a nonstop thrill ride blending science fiction, horror, and a lot of humor. For readers who enjoy Chuck Palahniuk and Lauren Beukes.

Spells for Forgetting

In her adult debut, YA novelist Young (“Fallen City” duology; Sky in the Deep) combines romance and mystery on an island with mystical powers in a story that is sure to appeal to current fans and new readers.

Hel’s Eight

Holborn’s blend of gritty Western and science fiction set in the stark landscape of a barren moon is the sequel to Ten Low that fans have been waiting for. Certainly the novel’s centerpiece are its action sequences, but its heart lies in Ten, her ragtag band, and their redemptive and hopeful attempts at survival.

Blind Spots

A gritty, dystopian story and an all too real and possible exploration of the dangers of continuous surveillance and the spread of disinformation.

A Touch of Moonlight

Ray and Larimar’s romance is lovely, as is the inclusion of Dominican lore, culture, and recipes.

American Mermaid

Langbein explores what it means to belong, how the shape of identity can morph and change, and just how hard it can be to hold onto the core of your being when everyone around you is pushing you to change.


The three timelines and the compelling stories of each of the women intertwine and are layered with the natural magic that runs through the female line of the Weyward family

The Ice Sings Back

Jackson’s eco-thriller conveys the claustrophobia and power of the wilderness in which Amelia is lost and creates a creeping dread as each woman picks through her piece of the puzzle.

The Winter Knight

Battis (Bleeding Out) gives Arthurian retellings a new twist with this queer urban fantasy.

To Shape a Dragon’s Breath

Blackgoose blends Indigenous history with fantastical beasts, taking themes of inequality and social agency in new directions. An excellent crossover novel for adults and young adults alike.

Quantum Radio

Eclectic author Riddle (Lost in Time) combines science and history to create a riveting thriller.

The Surviving Sky

This Hindu-inspired sci-fi fantasy is a transcendent debut, full of cosmic magic and set in an exquisitely glorious and treacherous world. Such a daring ecological and metaphysical endeavor is perfect for fans of Wesley Chu and Brandon Sanderson.

Infinity Gate

This will appeal to science fiction readers of all ages.

The Cage of Dark Hours

Fans of the first book in the series will want to read this next installment as more myths are unveiled, building toward the final book.

Poor Man’s Sky

The story combines the thrill of nascent space exploration with the challenge of a murder mystery to excellent effect.

In the Lives of Puppets

Readers who loved Klune’s (Under the Whispering Door) previous works will find plenty of the author’s trademark charm, heart, and bittersweetness, while those looking for more hopeful robot stories, like A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers, will find this interpretation of a robot-future different but just as compelling.

Antimatter Blues

A nonstop SF adventure from beginning to end.


Skye creates an atmospheric world that allows readers to immerse themselves in Elodie’s struggle to survive. Great for fans of Kiera Cass’s “The Selection” series and Victoria Aveyard’s “The Red Queen” series.

The Meister of Decimen City

Zinging one-liners, familiar superhero tropes with hilarious twists, and defying the world’s expectations to be your authentic self combine to make this an appealing tale for older teens and adults. Be prepared to giggle at dinosaur antics and get teary-eyed as Rex comes into her own.

Wings Once Cursed & Bound

Drake’s (Fighting Kat) new novel is highly recommended for lovers of fantasy romance and urban fantasy rooted in myths and legends.

Nothing but the Rain

Recommended for readers who prefer their apocalypses amorphous and like their chills of horror to come from the implications of the unknown.

The Immortal Detective

Unevenly joining a slow-paced police procedural with a vampire dramedy of manners and blood, this novel isn’t an essential purchase.


The Fairy Bargains of Prospect Hill

A bold story of sisterhood, societal expectations, and the lengths women may be willing to travel for love and freedom. Fans of Alix E. Harrow’s The Once and Future Witches will find this fierce and folkloric tale a terrific read.


This is a thrilling combination of traditional SF space travel and forward-thinking examinations of what “humanity” will mean in the future. With its blend of science fiction and social justice concepts, this will appeal to advanced teen and adult readers alike who enjoy progressive science fiction.

Loki’s Ring

A purchase for large SFF collections, Leicht’s (Persephone Station) latest may appeal to fans of the “NeoG” series from K.B. Wagers.

Camp Zero

An enjoyable read for those who like eco-dystopian novels. Give this to fans of Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel and Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood.

A Portrait in Shadow

Jarvis brings the city of Florence to life, including many of its well-known residents. However, fantasy readers will wish she had spent more time building the magical aspects of her world. A good choice for fans of historical fiction authors such as Susan Vreeland and Tracy Chevalier.

Red Team Blues

This absorbing and ruthless cyberpunk thriller from Doctorow (Attack Surface) tackles modern concerns involving cryptocurrency, security, and the daunting omnipotence of technology. Great for fans of Charles Stross.

The Iron Princess

As she attempts to redeem her world, the adventures of the Iron Princess will keep readers engrossed in this cleverly plotted novel. Fans of fantasy and particularly of Hambly’s (Prisoner of Midnight) complex and often enchanting style are certain to enjoy this imaginative story and its heroine.

The Queen’s Price

A fine continuation of the “Black Jewels” series, keeping the legacy alive with its tangled web of family and power. Bishop’s devoted fans will devour this, while readers of Nalini Singh and Ilona Andrews who enjoy high fantasy may want to start this series from the beginning.

The Foxglove King

Whitten’s (For the Throne) new novel showcases her witty dialogue and captivating prose. Romantic fantasy fans will enjoy this and await the next in the series.

Conquer the Kingdom

Estep lands solidly with her last book of the “Gargoyle Queen” trilogy (after Tear Down the Throne), capping off a delightful romantic fantasy in her growing world.

Liar City

This promising series opener is packed with action, interesting metaphysical abilities, and a fully realized world with political divisions that feel relevant to the current political climate. The developing romance is likely too subtle for romance readers, but urban fantasy fans will be thrilled with the possibilities for future entries.

Dead Country

Gladstone (Ruin of Angels) launches a new series that will end his Craft saga (begun with the “Craft Sequence” series). This will not only be relished by fans of the previous books but might also make a terrific starting point for new readers.


An exciting story where the undiscovered wonders of Earth prove as exciting as those out in the galaxy.


Howey’s imaginative novel, which brings to mind the wrecked world of Mad Max, should appeal to fans of Paolo Bacigalupi’s The Windup Girl and C.A. Fletcher’s A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World.

Best SF/Fantasy of 2022


Barrow of Winter

This novel from Long (Temple of No God) is a self-contained story that can be read without reading the previous titles set in the same universe, but readers will definitely want to seek out the others. Fans of character-centric fantasy with a well-built world will find much to love about Thray, the Hall of Smoke world, and its denizens.

The Phantom Scientist

A puzzle, a panopticon, and an invitation to seek answers even as obstructions abound, this is an engaging, dryly funny read for armchair philosophers, disillusioned academics, and the unceasingly curious.

The Extraordinary Part, Book One: Orsay’s Hands

A fast-paced, unpredictable, and utterly original story rendered in delicate linework and vibrant color.

The Last Unicorn

This enchanting book is perfect for readers who love The Princess Bride, Ella Enchanted, and other whimsical fantasy stories. Filled with heroes, noble quests, magical creatures, curses, and unforgettable characters, it is an unforgettable listen for all ages.

The Book Eaters

This is the type of dark fantasy that breaks out of the genre and into popular culture. Beautiful and intense, it is a must-listen.

The Witch and the Tsar

Kapustin’s deft narration combined with Gilmore’s intriguing rendition of the often maligned Baba Yaga makes for an enchanting listen.

Drunk on All Your Strange New Words

Recommend to Robson’s fans and anyone who delights in bizarre but thoughtful sci-fi.


Outstanding narration and an enchanting story line make this book a must-buy for all audio collections. Recommend to listeners who enjoy fiction with a fairy tale twist, such as that found in Rena Rossner’s The Sisters of the Winter Wood or Olesya Salnikova Gilmore’s The Witch and the Tsar.

The Awoken

This audiobook is a disappointment to sci-fi fans but may interest some patrons hoping to dip their toes into a new genre.

Her Majesty’s Royal Coven

Readers looking to start an engaging fantasy series filled with magic, friendship, and feminism should start here. Dawson’s following among YA readers promises strong crossover appeal.

A Strange and Stubborn Endurance

Recommended for readers looking for an absorbing queer fantasy, complete with intricate world-building, tantalizing mystery, and a slow-burn, tender romance.

House of Hunger

Recommend to fans of gothic horror and paranormal LGBTQIA+ romance.

High Times in the Low Parliament

Recommended for fans of fantasy, quirky characters, and political satire.

Intergalactic Exterminators, Inc

This largely misses the mark. Libraries may want to take a pass.

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