All The Best New Science Fiction And Fantasy Books For December

All The Best New Science Fiction And Fantasy Books For December

December is relatively light on new book releases, but you still won’t want to miss out on what the month has to offer. There’s a new Expanse book, a new entry in George R.R. Martin’s Wild Cards series, and a thoughtful new collection from the great Ursula K. Le Guin!

Cover detail from The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden. Image: Del Ray

Canto Bight: Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi by various authors

Before the release of The Last Jedi, learn more about one of its new key settings: Canto Bight. Four interconnected stories (by Saladin Ahmed, Mira Grant, Rae Carson and John Jackson Miller) explore the lives of high-rollers, desperate gamblers, and other schemers living and working in the casino city. (December 5)

Fleet Insurgent: The Under Jurisdiction Series by Susan R. Matthews

Fans of Matthews’ Under Jurisdiction novels will want to check out this collection; it’s full of novellas, novelettes, short stories, vignettes and supplemental materials tied to and drawn from her epic science fiction series. Some of the entries are long out of print, while others are brand-new. (December 5)

The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden

In this sequel to Arden’s bestselling debut, The Bear and the Nightingale, supernaturally gifted heroine Vasilisa is forced from her rural village after being accused of witchcraft. So she disguises herself as a boy and rides off to Moscow, where her continuing adventures soon involve Russia’s royal family. (December 5)

God’s Last Breath by Sam Sykes

The author wraps up his Bring Down Heaven trilogy as humans and other mortals gear up for one last battle between each other – though it may not make a difference who wins, since ancient demons are also preparing for their own rise to power. (December 5)

Hymn by Ken Scholes

The fifth and final book in the sci-fi/fantasy Psalms of Isaak series continues the saga of the post-apocalyptic Named Lands, where battles rage among enemies and family members alike. (December 5)

Mississippi Roll: A Wild Cards Novel, edited by George R.R. Martin

No Winds of Winter will blow for us this year, but fans of GRRM’s sci-fi/superhero mosaic novels can at least enjoy this latest volume. It’s set on and around the Mississippi River and features contributions by Stephen Leigh, David D. Levine, John Jos. Miller, Kevin Andrew Murphy, Cherie Priest and Carrie Vaughn. (December 5)

No Time to Spare: Thinking About What Matters by Ursula K. Le Guin

Drawn from the legendary author’s blog, this book is described as “a collection of thoughts – always adroit, often acerbic – on ageing, belief, the state of literature, and the state of the nation”. It might not be fiction, but it sounds like essential reading. (December 5)

Persepolis Rising (The Expanse) by James S.A. Corey

The excellent space opera series returns with its seventh novel, which will make for perfect holiday-season reading if you’re all caught up on the books but are waiting anxiously for season three of the kick-arse TV adaptation. Not a lot of advanced plot information for this one, but that’s to be expected. (December 5)

Mad Hatters and March Hares: All-New Stories From the World of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, edited by Ellen Datlow

This all-new collection of 18 tales – inspired by the weirder and trippier aspects of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland – features poems and stories from authors including Seanan McGuire, Catherynne M. Valente, Genevieve Valentine, Priya Sharma and Stephen Graham Jones. (December 12)

The Will to Battle by Ada Palmer

The third book in Palmer’s Terra Ignota series follows the events of Too Like the Lightning and Seven Surrenders, furthering the tale of the wandering convict Mycroft, the spiritual counsellor Carlyle, and young Baxter, whose secret power is that he can bring objects to life. (December 19)

The Man From the Diogenes Club by Kim Newman

British Intelligence agent and psychic investigator Richard Jeperson chases down Nazi zombies, poltergeists and other supernatural foes in this collection of 10 short stories, featuring appearances from characters in Newman’s Anno Dracula universe. (December 26)

Survival by Ben Bova

The third book in the Star Quest series is, as its title suggests, a tale of survival. Human scouts discover an advanced civilisation of sentient machines who’ve survived the galaxy’s devastating “death waves”, but they have no interest in helping anyone else – or letting their new human prisoners return home to tell anyone they exist. (December 26)