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‘Someone You Can Build a Nest In’ by John Wiswell | SFF Debut of the Month

‘The Dead Cat Tail Assassins’ by P. Djèlí Clark | SFF Pick of the Month


Nothing Special, Vol. One: Through the Elder Woods

Cook (My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic) offers a fine idyll through a fabulistic world that’s an appealing read for cozy fantasy fans.

Godzilla: Here There Be Dragons

Author Tieri (Multiversity: Harley Quinn Screws Up the DCU) and illustrator Miranda (We Live: Coming of Age) spin a thrilling adventure featuring the world-renowned King of the Monsters.


Author Sebela (Crowded Vol. 1) and illustrator Laming (Star Wars: Doctor Aphra Omnibus) present a riveting science fiction thriller examining how hope can inspire heroism, or become an excuse for monstrousness, in the face of desperation.

Army of One, Vol. 1

Despite an overabundance of exposition and worldbuilding, this is an intriguing initial offering from Lee (Hope Falls) in an ongoing sci-fi adventure, starring a charismatic queer teenager.

Void Rivals, Vol. 1

Kirkman (Firepower) and illustrators De Felici (Oblivion Song Compendium) and Lopes craft a fantastic space opera centered on a fascinatingly complex pair of protagonists.

The Metabarons: Second Cycle Finale

Not a particularly great starting point for new readers, but so packed with magnificent action and trippy notions about human nature that even the uninitiated are likely to find something to enjoy in this operatic science fiction epic.

The Day Tripper

Goodhand’s (Man Down) adult debut is a compelling look at the way decisions, good and bad, build up over time to create a life. Recommended for fans of The Midnight Library by Matt Haig and readers who enjoy time-travel narratives.

Lake of Souls: The Collected Short Fiction

This complete volume of Leckie’s short stories will be much appreciated by her fans, particularly as the “Imperial Radch” universe is award-winning and popular; the volume’s new story set there should be a welcome addition to that world.

Archangels of Funk

This cross between Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler and Kiki’s Delivery Service by Eiko Kadono deserves a place in every library.


The second book in the “Fallen Gods” series delves more deeply into Godkiller’s characters and world, with human vs. divine battles and a found family that will appeal to fans of The Witcher.

When Among Crows

Roth’s (Arch-Conspirator) novella is filled with Polish folklore, imaginative storytelling, and depictions of how family forms people but doesn’t have to define them. Fans of contemporary fairy tales and fantastical stories should pick this one up.

The Fireborne Blade

Recommended for readers who love to see a familiar tale turned on its head so hard that the entire story becomes different and even more fascinating.

The Brides of High Hill

A highly recommended entry in Vo’s series, one where the familiar erupts in surprise, a shower of blood, and all the horrors of Cassandra Khaw’s Nothing But Blackened Teeth, leaving Chih with yet another fascinating tale to tell.

The Dead Cat Tail Assassins

This wildly surprising caper fantasy from Clark (A Master of Djinn) will keep readers on the edge of their seats working out who “dunit,” and how and why, as they explore the gritty underbelly of this world of living contracts, dead gods, and legal necromancy, reminiscent of Max Gladstone’s “Craft Sequence” and “Craft Wars” series. This will appeal to all lovers of urban fantasy.


The sequel to Ford’s Warden is a delightful epic fantasy, filled with strong worldbuilding and a great cast of characters.

Court of Wanderers

Highly recommended for readers who fell in love with Remy and his journey in Silver Under Nightfall. Also suggest Chupeco’s duology to anyone who loves fantasy filled with courtly glitter, epic betrayals, and bloody battles with friends and monsters alike.

The Wings Upon Her Back

Mills’s debut novel is complex and haunting, filled with beautiful prose and timely themes of political and religious upheaval and personal journeys.

The Bound Worlds

The last of O’Keefe’s “Devoured Worlds” trilogy, following The Fractured Dark, brings as much action and as many thought-provoking character arcs as the previous books.

The Gilded Crown

A beautiful fantasy full of quests, court intrigue, and star-crossed lovers, Gordon’s debut is the first of a duology, recommended for fans of Samantha Shannon’s The Priory of the Orange Tree.

Welcome to Forever

Tavares’s (A Fractured Infinity) worldbuilding is complex and fascinating in this kaleidoscope of a novel. The high-stakes science fiction is sharp and tragic, hopeful and thrilling.

Someone You Can Build a Nest In

Wiswell’s debut is the ultimate monster slayer story, if the monster is just a misunderstood creature searching for love. This romantic fantasy has a great balance of grimness and humor that will appeal to fans of T. Kingfisher’s fantasy titles.

Relics of Ruin

The strengths of the first book continue in the second of Evans’s “Books of the Usurper” series, with sophisticated prose, a richly detailed world, a clandestine and conspiratorial atmosphere, and fascinating elemental magic. Great for fans of Richard Swan.

The Familiar

Bardugo (Hell Bent) masterfully weaves magical realism with historical fiction and romance, which makes this book impossible to put down. Great for fans of Rebecca Ross, Heather Fawcett, and Holly Black.

The Book That Broke the World

This is a wonderfully immersive fantasy whose meta message, about the power of books to change the world, is not to be missed.

Lost Ark Dreaming

Okungbowa (Warrior of the Wind) offers readers an amazing, character-driven story set in a vivid, dystopian world.

Read-Alikes for ‘House of Flame and Shadow’ by Sarah J. Maas | LibraryReads

Science Fiction & Fantasy | Prepub Alert, July 2024 Titles

These Fragile Graces, This Fugitive Heart

Recommended for SF readers who love a good mystery, can’t resist a queer romance, and adore seeing a corporate conspiracy unraveled and undone.

A Flame in the North

Saintcrow (The Salt-Black Tree) steps away from her usual urban fantasy with this epic Norse-inspired fantasy, emulating the writing style of traditional epic poems and tales with fantastic attention to detail. Recommend to readers who enjoy the high-fantasy writing style of authors such as J. R. R. Tolkien and those who appreciate Norse mythology.

I Feel Awful, Thanks

Written from the heart and personal experience, Pickle’s debut is a compelling effort to help young adults feel seen through an imaginative delve into familiar psychological challenges.

Display Shelf | Cozy Fantasy

Display Shelf | Hopepunk


Lore of the Wilds

Sbrana’s worldbuilding is richly detailed, with much of the action taking place in the final third of the book, and the cliffhanger ending will have readers breathlessly anticipating the sequel. Cozy fantasy readers should take note.

The Book of Doors

Brown’s debut is an immersive and enchanting story of friendship, defining one’s future, and the mystery that life can hold. Fans of Alix E. Harrow will find this novel delightful.

Can’t Spell Treason Without Tea

Like the tea they serve and the company they keep, this is a read to soothe and comfort, with sprayed book edges adding to the delight.


Chan offers readers a gorgeous first novel in the “Drowned World” series, chock full of political intrigue, complex family relationships and secrets, hot romance, water dragons, sea witches, sirens, kelpies, and more. Highly recommended for readers who enjoy Fonda Lee’s “Green Bone Saga.”

‘A Short Walk Through a Wide World’ by Douglas Westerbeke | SFF Debut of the Month

‘Mal Goes to War’ by Edward Ashton | SFF Pick of the Month


Assistant to the Villain

A possibility for listeners seeking a grumpy-sunshine romantasy, but an otherwise optional purchase.

Big Time

A fast-paced and thought-provoking speculative thriller with well-drawn and relatable characters. Give this one to fans of Blake Crouch and Mike Chen.

Space Holes: First Transmission

Louis (Pray for Evolution) gives readers a ship barely hanging together, a bumbling wannabe hero, and a capable-in-spite-of-themselves crew that readers will root for in spite of themselves, but whether it’s an enjoyable read may depend on how well they can weather the over-the-topness of the novel.

Mal Goes to War

Ashton (Antimatter Blues) offers a technothriller with heart that will appeal to fans of the “Murderbot Diaries” from Martha Wells but also to readers looking for more AI-led stories like Day Zero by C. Robert Cargill and Emergent Properties by Aimee Ogden.

Grand Tour

In the sequel to The Brass Queen, the vivid worldbuilding and delightful characters create an epic setting. Chatsworth pushes the dialogue and banter to extremes, leading to a fast-paced and humorous steampunk tale.

Dragon Rider

Matharu’s (The Champion) debut adult fantasy is an excellent choice for readers who are enjoying the resurgence of dragon stories.

The Other Valley

This gripping speculative novel will make for wonderful book club discussions.

A Short Walk Through a Wide World

Readers of The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab and Life of Pi by Yann Martel will fall in love with Aubry. Librarian Westerbeke’s debut is highly recommended for anyone who enjoys armchair travel and stories that open wide to embrace every experience, even the sad ones.

A Feather So Black

YA author Selene (Diamond & Dawn) makes her adult debut with this story featuring the fae and a main character torn between two men and the worlds they represent. Recommend to readers looking for a new romantasy series.

Those Beyond the Wall

Set 10 years after The Space Between Worlds, this novel provides a new protagonist, returning characters, and a multiverse of paths for all of them. Johnson’s tense sci-fi thriller is exciting and immersive.


In this noir-tinged urban fantasy, Huston (Skinner) has created a world that is completely engrossing and full of wonder, imagination, and a good dose of music history. Give to fans of Neil Gaiman and Leigh Bardugo.

Moon of the Turning Leaves

Rice renders an achingly realistic portrayal of a broken, post-apocalyptic world that still manages to contain hope and beauty. While this story can be read as a stand-alone, readers will likely want to seek out Moon of the Crusted Snow, which is set at the beginning of the blackout.

To Gaze Upon Wicked Gods

Chang has crafted her own magic with this must-read, genre-bending debut novel, skating between fantasy, science fiction, and historical commentary.

Floating Hotel

Readers who loved the combination of shipboard mystery, secrecy, and entertainment featured in recent novels (such as The Spare Man by Mary Robinette Kowal, You Sexy Thing by Cat Rambo, and The Sol Majestic by Ferrett Steinmetz) will be happy to board the Grand Abeona and share her final journey in the latest book from Curtis (Frontier).

The Emperor and the Endless Palace

Huang’s opulent debut novel is a queer m/m reimagining of Chinese folklore that tells a mystical story of star-crossed lovers who chase true love and atonement across thousands of lifetimes.

The Mars House

Exquisitely layered and entertaining, Pulley’s (The Half Life of Valerie K) latest novel is a queer tale of planetary refugees, politics, and populist views (and mammoths).

Past Crimes

Despite its weaknesses, this sci-fi thriller from Pinter (A Stranger at the Door) is recommended for fans of Ernest Cline and the crime thrillers of James Patterson and Lee Goldberg.

Wicked Problems

Gladstone’s second “The Craft Wars” book increases the action and devastation, bringing together familiar characters from across the world of the Craft as the battle for survival continues.

Of Starlight and Midnight

This spin-off of Kuivalainen’s “Firebird Faerie Tales” is best for those who’ve enjoyed the previous books in that series.

The Weavers of Alamaxa

Readers looking for fantasy inspired by the wide world of voices out there will find this story’s incorporation of Egyptian history fascinating, while those who love feminist fantasy such as Jenna Glass’s “Women’s War” series will dig right into this fight.

Science Fiction & Fantasy | Prepub Alert, June 2024 Titles

Debuts | Science Fiction & Fantasy

‘Fifty Beasts To Break Your Heart’ by GennaRose Nethercott | SFF Pick of the Month

Best SF/Fantasy of 2023


Sons of Darkness

This tome of a book is a slow-burning and sprawling epic where the reader’s patience is well-rewarded by the fluid prose, the complex geo-political intrigue, and the harrowing war sequences. The saga is equal parts valor and depraved desperation, and the bleak violence is by no means for the faint of heart, though it will appeal to fans of Joe Abercrombie and Steven Erikson.


The legions of fans for this popular, long-running series will eat this entry up with a spoon and then hold out their bowls and beg for more stories in a world that thankfully exhibits no sign of ending.

The Canopy Keepers

Henry’s (The Foreign Exchange) near-future fantasy world is interesting and beautiful, with lush descriptions of the forest and the fantastical world hidden within.

The Butcher of the Forest

The latest from Mohamed (No One Will Come Back for Us) is recommended for readers of magical-bargain and forest-journey novels, such as Emily Tesh’s “Greenhollow” duology and Peter S. Beagle’s The Way Home.

Cascade Failure

Sagas’s debut combines galactic and personal stakes in an entertaining series starter that leaves plenty of space for future adventures.

A Vicious Game

After a slow start, the latest “Halfling Saga” book returns to form with hard-fought battles, exciting magic, and sexy scenes, all set in Blair’s enchanting faeland. There are also plenty of surprises that will leave readers eager for the next installment.

The Book of Love

Lovers of magical coming-of-age stories will find the protagonists’ journeys compelling, while anyone who believes that love is the greatest magic of all will find the redemptive power of love (of all types) imbued in every single page.

To Cage a God

May’s (Seven Mercies) Russian-inspired fantasy is filled with deadly magic, political machinations, and the balance of familial bonds and desire for power.

The Truth of the Aleke

Utomi’s searing, thought-provoking fantasy novella (the second in “The Forever Desert” series, set in an environment inspired by the Sahara) has heartbreaking parallels in the present and is highly recommended.


Healy’s debut is an excellent read for anyone who has an appetite for fairy tales, folklore, monsters, and stories with women protagonists who stand firmly rooted in their own strength.


Recommended for lovers of goth-tinged speculative fiction like Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir and The Luminous Dead by Caitlin Starling.

That Time I Got Drunk and Saved a Demon

This a serious fantasy quest that doesn’t take itself so seriously and is perfect for readers who love Legends & Lattes by Travis Baldree and Can’t Spell Treason Without Tea by Rebecca Thorne, but who wish that the romances at the heart of those cozy fantasies had been considerably more explicit.

Three Kinds of Lucky

Harrison’s (Demons of Good and Evil) new series has the same delightfully wry heroine her fans expect to see, along with an intriguing new magic system.

The Frame-Up

Hand Bond’s new crime caper fantasy (which follows her recent espionage-themed paranormal romance Mr. & Mrs. Witch) to readers who like their magic set in the real world or who enjoy heist novels based around a found-family crew.

A Fate Inked in Blood

Jensen (“Bridge Kingdom” series) has rooted the first entry in her “Saga of the Unfated” in Norse mythology, giving readers a glimpse into a cold, violent society, but she doesn’t skimp on the heat. This reads like the love child of Genevieve Gornichec’s The Witch’s Heart and Sarah J. Maas’s A Court of Silver Flames. Romantasy fans will be ravenous for more.

The Bezzle

Readers who love heist and caper stories will fall under Marty’s spell.

Fifty Beasts To Break Your Heart: And Other Stories

Sometimes a bit Strange Beasts of China by Yan Ge, sometimes When Women Were Dragons by Kelly Barnhill, but consistently reminiscent of the lush language of Patricia A. McKillip.

Shigidi and the Brass Head of Obalufon

Interesting new godpunk with some rough edges.

Dark Water Daughter

A great addition to the recent spate of pirate-themed fantasy, such as S.A. Chakraborty’s The Adventures of Amina al-Sirafi.

Labyrinth’s Heart

Recommended for those who enjoy fantasy in the vein of Lee Bardugo’s Six of Crows, Foz Meadows’s “Tithenai Chronicles,” or E.E. Holmes’s “Riftmagic Saga” series.


Brimming with Brown’s cinematically described action and complex, layered characters, this audiobook will appeal to science fiction fans on a scale that matches Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn and George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” series.

The Dragon Reborn

A superior creation to be purchased by libraries that have acquired Pike’s new recordings of the first two books or those looking to provide a version for fans of the popular television series.

Fit for the Gods: Greek Mythology Reimagined

Highly recommended to those who loved Madeline Miller’s Circe, Natalie Haynes’s Stone Blind, or Genevieve Gornichec’s The Witch’s Heart for giving voices to the ignored and maligned.


Jarhead meets All You Need Is Kill in a refreshing look at near-future warfare. A superb recommendation for military sci-fi fans.

A Tidy Armageddon

In this unique twist on postapocalyptic science fiction, the suspense and action seamlessly entwine, capturing the audience’s imagination with every turn. An excellent addition to any audio sci-fi collection.

The Water Outlaws

This exciting and often amusing martial-arts adventure is an excellent recommendation for readers interested in high fantasy that addresses wealth disparities and abuse of power. Share with readers of Neon Yang’s The Black Tides of Heaven.

The Great Transition

This hopeful and intriguing climate fiction debut makes an impact.

The Shadow Cabinet

With outstanding narration and a captivating storyline, this is a fantasy audio to treasure. Best for those familiar with the first book in the series.

Starling House

Harrow weaves an intricately plotted gothic fairy tale featuring emotionally complex characters, brought to life through Naudus’s skillful narration. Fans of T. Kingfisher’s gothic fiction, dark academia like Leigh Bardugo’s Ninth House, and grim fairy tales in the vein of Angela Carter’s The Bloody Chamber will find themselves right at home.

Masters of Death

Fans of Christopher Moore who don’t mind sifting through multiple layers of backstory should enjoy the immortal gameplay in this fantastical romp.


Both heart-wrenching and hopeful, this gripping production takes listeners on a nerve-wracking nautical odyssey. A suspenseful and scientifically accurate survival thriller further enhanced by the outstanding audio experience.

Immortal Longings

Share with adult fans of The Hunger Games who like their stories more graphic; a recommended purchase where tales of dystopian battles and political intrigue are popular.

Medusa’s Sisters

An excellent addition to retellings of ancient myths and perfect for fans of Madeline Miller and Pat Barker.

The Possibilities

Goldstein-Love delivers an inventive and satisfying blend of genres and narrative elements exploring the anxieties of parenthood alongside quantum physics. Recommended for fans of fiction integrating science in a manner similar to Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time or Octavia E. Butler’s Kindred.

Fairy Fantasy | Two Novels Featuring Characters from the Fae Realm


Tales of the Celestial Kingdom

Tan’s compilation of stories allows readers more insight into the characters from Daughter of the Moon Goddess and Heart of the Sun Warrior, allowing their perspectives to expand the view of this wonderful series.

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