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LJ Talks to SFF Writer Denise Crittendon About ‘Where It Rains in Color’

PREMIUM

Untethered Sky

This slim novella packs a punch as it explores the emotional journey of one woman’s feelings of vengeance and devotion, as wild as the creatures that she must face.
PREMIUM

Frontier

This western-inspired, post-apocalyptic tale is an adventurous science-fiction story, filled with a high-action quest and intimate looks at what people will do to survive.
PREMIUM

Hopeland

An eccentric and adventurous love story mixed with a rich and picturesque family saga. The popping action sequences reinforce McDonald’s (The Menace from Farside) swift and distinctive writing style. Perfect for fans of Stephen Baxter.
PREMIUM

A Fire Endless

Ross (A River Enchanted) creates a magical story with lyrical prose that draws the reader into the tale and its setting. Recommend this series to fans of Jeffe Kennedy, Susanna Clarke, and Terry Brooks.
PREMIUM

Feed Them Silence

Supported by Mandelo’s (Summer Sons) characteristic, melancholic prose, this novella may not be for every reader, but it will appeal to those who appreciate delving into thorny ethical dilemmas and will make readers consider their own beliefs regarding ethics, research, technology, and relationships.
PREMIUM

The Mimicking of Known Successes

Recommended for readers who enjoy a bit of mystery mixed with their SF (like Mary Robinette Kowal’s recent The Spare Man and Eddie Robson’s Drunk on All Your Strange New Words) and anyone who cannot resist a Sherlock Holmes pastiche.
PREMIUM

The Strange

Ballingrud, whose story collection North American Lake Monsters was adapted as the Hulu TV series Monsterland, makes his full-length novel debut with this Wild West frontier story on Mars that edges into horror.
PREMIUM

The Daughters of Izdihar

Elsbai’s debut feminist fantasy, inspired by modern Egyptian history, provides an in-depth exploration of a society on the edge of revolution and war. The fight for women’s rights is centered here, but it is clear that more is yet to come in book two of this projected duology.
PREMIUM

A Brief History of Living Forever

The post-apocalyptic setting makes Kalfar’s (Spaceman of Bohemia) latest an excellent addition to SF collections, but it’s also an interesting story of an adopted adult reuniting with her birth family.
PREMIUM

The Basilisk Throne

Keyes’s (Realms of the Deathless) high seas, epic fantasy is fast-paced, contains exceptional worldbuilding, and offers multiple intricate plots woven together to create a marvelous adventure that will appeal to Game of Thrones fans. Readers will eagerly await future volumes.
PREMIUM

Wild Massive

The latest from Moore (Battle of the Linguist Mages) is perfect for those who enjoy offbeat sci-fi where the weak stand up to the strong.

The Shamshine Blind

This science-fictional noir will appeal to readers who have fallen hard for the upswing in blended SF/mysteries such as John Scalzi’s “Lock In” and “Dispatcher” series. The blend brings a new twist to both parts of its equation, with the mystery and all its delicious red herrings set in a world not quite like the present. Curtida fits right into the mold of the noir detective while giving Sam Spade and company an entirely different perspective as a neuro-atypical Latinx protagonist. Highly recommended.
PREMIUM

Summer’s End

Van Stry’s nuts-and-bolts approach to spaceships, mixed with a fascinating and complex portrait of future-Earth politics and society, will appeal to fans of James Corey’s “Expanse” series.
PREMIUM

VenCo

Dimaline’s latest adult work (after Empire of Wild) will appeal to readers looking for feminist tales of women hexing the patriarchy.

The Wall

Haushofer’s thought-provoking masterpiece stands as a touchstone for popular literary post-apocalypses by such authors as Emily St. John Mandel and Ling Ma and is certain to be a life-changing read for many.
PREMIUM

The Book of Gothel

McMyne’s interweaving of Hildegarde, Snow White, Little Red Riding Hood, and Rapunzel is unique and well done. Fans of Spinning Silver, The Wolf and the Woodsman, Malice, and other fairy tale retellings will enjoy this.

The Magician’s Daughter

Highly recommended for fans of heroine’s journeys, steampunk alternate worlds, and stories about what happens after the magic goes away.

The Faithless

The sequel to The Unbroken extends the deliberate journey towards independence from an empire and the past, and the love in two women’s hearts.
PREMIUM

Into the West

Lackey combines an epic journey with political adventures, deadly misadventures, encounters with old friends and new enemies, along with a touch of a coming-of-age story in this marvelous read that will please long-time Valdemar fans with its tale of the creation of this beloved place and its world.

The Blighted Stars

O’Keefe’s (Catalyst Gate) latest has the intrigue, surprises, and high stakes of her previous novels.
PREMIUM

Rubicon

Many recent novels are also grappling with the ethics of AI, and Dewes’s novel shines in the field. Witty and readable, it features an endearing cast of characters and fast-paced action and will have broad appeal to fans of sci-fi beyond its MilSF genre.
PREMIUM

Arch-Conspirator

Roth uses the familiar tale of Antigone as a vehicle to tell a story about desperation, hubris, tyranny, and revolution. Combined with the dystopian setting of the dying planet and the tyrannical rule of the surviving city state, the story gives readers a heroine to root for, a despot to revile, and a thought-provoking ending.

Heart of the Sun Warrior

Tan’s sequel to Daughter of the Moon Goddess is a beautiful story inspired by Chinese mythology, serving up both exquisite worldbuilding and emotional characters.
PREMIUM

The Keeper’s Six

The latest from Elliott (Servant Mage) is a rollicking magical adventure with a beating heart. Recommended for readers who like their portal fantasies to step through actual portals and especially for those who fell in love with the hidden linked worlds of Ilona Andrews’s “Innkeepers Chronicles” series.
PREMIUM

The Crane Husband

Beyond retelling a folktale, Barnhill (When Women Were Dragons) constructs nuanced characters with conflicting motivations and loyalties. The plot is sometimes slow-moving as readers wait for the narrator to catch up, but it arrives at a thought-provoking conclusion.

Lost in the Moment and Found

The eighth book (after Where the Drowned Girls Go) of McGuire’s “Wayward Children” series is a haunting adventure about the loss of childhood innocence and ultimately, about finding strength and belonging.
PREMIUM

The God of Endings

Holland’s well-crafted debut features atmospheric prose and excellent character development. Great for fans of Anne Rice’s Interview with a Vampire and V. E. Schwab’s The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue.
PREMIUM

Mr. Breakfast

At its heart, this is an arresting and imaginative meditation on life. Perfect for fans of magical realism with a free-flowing style like that of David Mitchell and Toshikazu Kawaguchi.
PREMIUM

Nocturne

This adult debut from YA author Weeks (The Waking Forest) is perfect for fans of Erin Morgenstern and fairy tale retellings, with great character development and a mystery that will keep readers on the edge of their seats.

The Terraformers

An incredibly emotional and action-packed novel deftly taking on personhood, corporate ownership, and terraforming.
PREMIUM

Vampire Weekend

Chen’s latest (after Light Years from Home) is an ode to a love for vampires, music, and family, where darker memories can be revealed in the light of the present day.
PREMIUM

The Children of Gods and Fighting Men

Lawless’s absorbing debut sets the stage for an enticing new historical fantasy series. Perfect for readers who enjoy mythological retellings that are cunning, brutal, and full of feeling.
PREMIUM

The Ivory Tomb

Ryx’s arc is satisfying, and her strengths come alive as she navigates the world and her values. Caruso completes a solid epic fantasy series that will appeal to fans of Sarah J. Maas and Rowenna Miller’s complex schemes.

The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches

Mandanna’s enchanting fantasy will have wide appeal and is a must-buy for all public library collections.
PREMIUM

Haunted by the Past

The 11th book in Green’s fantastical mystery series (following Buried Memories) pokes fun at the genre, with fun and plenty of cathartic resolution for readers who like rueful chuckles with their chills. Recommended for those who like antiheroes with more than a bit of snark.

To Each This World

This stand-alone from Aurora Award–winning Czerneda (Spectrum) is highly recommended for SF readers looking for hopepunk in the midst of both alien and human conspiracies.
PREMIUM

Nightwatch Over Windscar

Eason successfully melds a multiverse full of technology, arithmancy, and alchemy in this engaging military space opera that should be read in series order.

The World We Make

Highly recommended for readers who loved the deep dive into myth and roots of American Gods by Neil Gaiman, those fascinated with conspiracy theories about politics and corruption, and anyone who loves a good adventure where plucky underdogs rise up and triumph in spite of themselves.

Geometries of Belonging

Lemberg once again presents their complex, beautiful Birdverse world in a collection of mostly previously published short works. Fans will enjoy having them all in one volume, while new readers will be introduced to a delightful fantasy anthology.
PREMIUM

Africa Risen: A New Era of Speculative Fiction

These stories are entrancing and provide a welcome introduction to speculative writers from the African continent and the African diaspora.

Audiobook SFF Starred Reviews | Colin Mace and Janelle Monáe Read The Season's Top Picks

Silver Under Nightfall

Readers who love sinking their teeth into an absorbing story of vampire politics along with the perils of romancing the undead will find much to savor in this adult debut from YA novelist Chupeco (An Unreliable Magic). The epic saga will hold appeal for both horror and fantasy readers.

Read-Alikes for 'Fairy Tale' by Stephen King | LibraryReads

The Memory Librarian: And Other Stories of Dirty Computer

This is no mere, dark reflection of the world. This audiobook offers the listener stories with the timely and timeless message that appears repeatedly in great science fiction: the world may seem dark now, but everyone can strive to make the future better.
PREMIUM

Cold as Hell

Recommend for listeners who enjoy Western tropes and supernatural horror. Perfect for fans of Jim Butcher, Jonathan Maberry, and Mike Resnick.

Baltimore; or, The Steadfast Tin Soldier and the Vampire

Hellboy fans will love this story, which also provides a great introduction to the tragic hero Lord Baltimore, whose only purpose in life is to battle what lurks in the dark.
PREMIUM

Juniper & Thorn

Suggest to fans of horror and dark fantasy.
PREMIUM

The Lost Witch

Those who like Irish folklore may enjoy.
PREMIUM

Uncanny Times

Fans of Supernatural, Sherlock Holmes, and smart canine companions will find Gilman’s (The Cold Eye) new series to be an entertaining read.
PREMIUM

Neom

Old and new fans alike will adore this fascinating new addition to Tidhar’s future Earth universe, and science fiction buffs would do well to put Tidhar on their radar of must-read authors.

Ocean’s Echo

This stand-alone set in the same universe as Winter’s Orbit is an exciting, fast-paced sci-fi adventure with great worldbuilding and complex characters. Fans of Jessie Mihalik and J. S. Dewes will enjoy.
PREMIUM

HellSans

A smart and unique dystopian thriller that is especially fun for fans of graphic design and fonts. Give this one to readers who like their heroes morally ambiguous.
PREMIUM

Kaikeyi

Patel’s reimagining takes listeners on a fantastical journey and introduces them to gods.
PREMIUM

Child Zero

Despite the slight letdown of the exciting beginning evolving into a procedural style story, the latest from Holm (Red Right Hand) will be popular with fans of the Bourne adventures.
PREMIUM

When Women Were Dragons

Listeners will be exhilarated as they see Alex growing from a naïve girl into a woman who abandons the prejudices of her parents and embraces female empowerment.
PREMIUM

External Forces

Fay has written a thoroughly enjoyable magical thriller set in 1950s Britain. Readers can dip their toes into this installment without having read the first in the series, while “Marrowbone” fans will appreciate Paul’s new adventures.
PREMIUM

A Fractured Infinity

Multiverse stories are popular right now, and Tavares’s first novel will appeal to fans of the concept, along with readers who enjoy science fiction that digs into characters’ relationships in a setting that spans worlds. Recommended.
PREMIUM

The Atlas Paradox

Recommend Blake’s gripping series to fans of Naomi Novik, Erin Morgenstern, and Katherine Arden.
PREMIUM

Wormhole

Brown (Murder Most Vile) and Brooke (Harmony) offer a compelling genre blend of hard science fiction and murder mystery that will appeal to fans of Jeff VanderMeer and Peter F. Hamilton.
PREMIUM

The Stars Undying

In Robin’s debut, fans of immersive space opera will find all the wide interstellar and on-planet action they desire, along with intimate emotional journeys for the characters.
PREMIUM

Night of Demons and Saints

Fans of the first “Sisters Grimm” book will enjoy returning to Everwhere and the poetic prose van Praag weaves. This series will appeal to anyone who enjoys finding magic in everyday life and wants to get lost in beautiful language.
PREMIUM

Tread of Angels

Fans of “Weird West” tales and angel–demon conflicts will find Celeste’s world fascinating in Roanhorse’s stand-alone novella.

A Restless Truth

Highly recommended for lovers of urban fantasy that’s mixed with wit, danger, and romance.
PREMIUM

The Serpent in Heaven

The fourth “Gunnie Rose” novel (after The Russian Cage) moves the setting from the rural west to an urban city, but contains just as much intrigue and action as the previous books.
PREMIUM

The Two Doctors Górski

Either the magic-academy plot or the splitting-the-self plot, both classics in their own right, would have made an excellent story. Together, they coexist uneasily and are a bit unfulfilled side by side, much like the Doctors Górski themselves. Readers will wish that both stories had come to more satisfying conclusions.
PREMIUM

Ordinary Monsters

Listeners looking for a sweeping fantasy series with a lot of moving parts and different timelines might enjoy this novel.
PREMIUM

Time Shelter

Jeff Harding’s narration is best listened to sped-up for full effect, but this audiobook is a must-have for science fiction and humanities collections.
PREMIUM

The Blood Trials

Davenport’s debut weaves together elements of classic military/academy sci-fi from the likes of Elizabeth Moon and David Weber and infuses it with fantasy, romance, and biting social commentary, providing plenty of cross-genre appeal and proving itself a worthwhile addition to libraries expanding their science fiction audio collections.
PREMIUM

A Mirror Mended

Fans of fairy tale retellings who are familiar with the premises established in the first book will most enjoy this quick, fun listen. An essential purchase for collections where the previous installment circulates well.

Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries

While the pacing starts off slow, Fawcett grabs readers’ attention by drawing them into the folklore as well as the surrounding world. She does a fantastic job building complex characters, and the academic-prose style of Emily’s journal entries works well for the story. A great read for fans of Sarah J. Maas and Erin Morgenstern.

Even Though I Knew the End

Readers who fell into recent Jazz Age urban fantasies such as Desideria Mesa’s Bindle Punk Bruja and fans of time-travel or fantasy romances with tragic endings, like Audrey Niffenegger’s The Time Traveler’s Wife, will love Polk’s latest.

PREMIUM

Empire of Exiles

An excellent new fantasy series by Evans (The Devil You Know), perfect for fans of Katherine Addison or those who enjoy slow-burning and complex court intrigue.
PREMIUM

The Last Hero

The finale to Lewis’s “First Sister” trilogy sticks the landing to complete a dynamic, action-filled story.
PREMIUM

What Song the Sirens Sang

The latest in Green’s “Gideon Sable” series (after A Matter of Death and Life) features a crew of criminals with hearts of gold and one of the snarkiest antiheroes to ever front an urban fantasy series, turning the murder and mayhem up to 11 while telling a story where disaster is always just on the other side of the door. Readers will be fondly reminded of the TV series Leverage, where the good guys are bad guys.
PREMIUM

Pulling the Wings Off Angels

Readers with fond memories of C. S. Lewis’s classic The Screwtape Letters as well as fans of Parker’s “Prosper’s Demon” series will find much to consider.
PREMIUM

Book of Night

Listeners who enjoy real-world fantasy such as Leigh Bardugo’s Ninth House will delight in Black’s latest.

PREMIUM

Saturnalia

A masterfully told tale of unchecked ambition, greed, and healing set in a rich and inventive near-future. Give this one to fans of The Ninth House, by Leigh Bardugo, and The City of Lost Fortunes, by Bryan Camp.
PREMIUM

The Genesis of Misery

An interesting start to this expected trilogy and a definite must-add for science fiction collections.

The Immortality Thief

Hunt’s debut is fun, fast-paced, cutting-edge, and full of epic twists, with a highly accessible writing style. Fans of Andy Weir and Martha Wells will love it.
PREMIUM

The Registration

Lawson delivers a compelling dystopian near-future tale with plenty of meaty subject matter and slightly inconsistent pacing. For readers who enjoy their sci-fi with a side of moral quandary.

Into the Riverlands

Vo’s (The Chosen and the Beautiful; Siren Queen) latest is highly recommended for readers of the previous books in the series and anyone who likes high fantasy inspired by Imperial China or wuxia movies and stories.

Self-Portrait with Nothing

Pokwatka’s debut is a unique and well-plotted story with many twists and turns. Recommended for science fiction fans, but it will also appeal to a wider audience.
PREMIUM

Deploying Dragons

Full of thrilling invention and discovery and show-stealing dragons, this one is for every reader who’s ever dreamed of riding or at least training their very own winged beast.

The Spare Man

Kowal’s comedy-of-manners SF mystery is a rollicking case of knowing when to throw decorum out the window in order to get results. Highly recommended for fans of the author’s Regency fantasy series “The Glamourist Histories,” as well as anyone who loves a good mystery in an out-of-this-world setting.

Station Eternity

Lafferty (Hugo-nominated for Six Wakes) creates a clever and suspenseful sci-fi mystery, with intriguing characters and attentive worldbuilding.
PREMIUM

The Mountain in the Sea

Drawing on decades of experience in overseas service (including time with the United States Consulate in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam), Nayler infuses his debut novel with fantastic elements grounded in real contemporary topics and tackles moral issues related to artificial and animal intelligence without sacrificing plot or pacing. This is a classic sci-fi thriller that’s easy to read and will have broad appeal for fans of speculative fiction.
PREMIUM

One Dark Window

A finely detailed magical system enriches Gillig’s debut; fantasy readers will enjoy.

Thistlefoot

Replete with beautiful metaphors and lyrical prose, poet and folklorist Nethercott’s (The Lumberjack’s Dove) debut novel deploys her poetic storytelling powers to spotlight the struggle against oppression. This modern-day fairy tale will ignite greater understanding of an individual’s ability to incite change with the stories they tell.
PREMIUM

Ledge

McEwan, a popular figure on BookTok, has written an ambitious fantasy debut. The plot and worldbuilding are thoroughly fleshed out and make this novel a great start to the “Glacian Trilogy.”
PREMIUM

The Stardust Thief

Abdullah has written a deeply appealing novel infused with enchantment. The audio edition does not uniformly match her achievement, but for readers who prefer to listen to stories, this is one not to miss.

The Witch and the Tsar

 Gilmore’s immersive prose steeps readers in this wonderfully epic folktale fantasy full of magic and myth.

PREMIUM

The River of Silver: Tales from the Daevabad Trilogy

This story compilation is a must-have in library collections that own Chakraborty’s Hugo-nominated trilogy, as it showcases her amazing characters and lush world one more time.
PREMIUM

Dead Man’s Hand

This debut from Butcher (son of “Dresden Files” novelist Jim Butcher) hits all the right notes for an entertaining urban fantasy series. Readers will want to see what happens next.

Be the Serpent

The latest reveals from the ever-expanding history of McGuire’s world still hold surprises, while previous plot threads are closed off to prepare for the latest cliff-hanger. This action-filled urban fantasy series shows no signs of slowing down.
PREMIUM

Intergalactic Exterminators, Inc.

Bishop’s sci-fi debut is recommended for readers who think Larry Correia’s “Monster Hunter International” series should go intergalactic, those who enjoy stories featuring the people who get the dirty jobs done, and especially anyone who wishes that Martha Wells’s Murderbot would become a superhero.
PREMIUM

Lark Ascending

The not-too-distant dystopia of House’s (Southernmost) latest becomes a vehicle for the author to tell a compelling story about a refugee crisis. Because House takes the story out of a contemporary context, readers can more easily empathize with the novel’s refugees rather than focusing on real-world quandaries.
PREMIUM

Notorious Sorcerer

Evans’s debut is a high fantasy full of excellent worldbuilding, with an enjoyable magic system and strong characters.
PREMIUM

The Unbalancing: A Birdverse Novel

Lemberg’s first full-length novel in their lauded “Birdverse” (following the novella The Four Profound Weaves) showcases elegant and lyrical prose to create an immersive romantic fantasy.
PREMIUM

Keeper of Enchanted Rooms

Reminiscent of Mary Stewart’s period romances, but with a touch of magic and murder. Holmberg’s fantasy is enjoyable but doesn’t stand out, and the magical system is only cursorily laid out in this series launch.
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