August Is Here, Which Means You Can Start Reading These Amazing New Sci-Fi And Fantasy Books

August Is Here, Which Means You Can Start Reading These Amazing New Sci-Fi And Fantasy Books

It’s August, which means it’s perfect winter weather for curling up with a reading list — drawn from this selection of fresh sci-fi and fantasy books from authors such as Cixin Liu, Mary Robinette Kowal, Connie Willis and some guy named J.R.R. Tolkien.

Alternate Routes by Tim Powers

Southern California traffic is already hell — but now, the city’s freeways have become plagued by ghostly forces that fuel phantom cars and install inter-dimensional off-ramps. A driver for a supernatural-car evasion service teams up with an agent working for a shadowy government group (along with some other distinctly LA characters) to investigate the mystery. (August 7)

Bad Man by Dathan Auerbach

In this horror novel, a young man becomes obsessed with finding his younger brother who mysteriously vanished years before — so obsessed that he takes a job working at the grocery store where the child went missing. Before long, he realises there’s something very sinister lurking just below the store’s surface. (August 7)

A Gift of Griffins by V.M. Escalada

The second in the author’s Faraman Prophecy fantasy series picks up the tale of heroic Kerida Nast, who must use a combination of magical talents and military strategy to free a princess who could help save her country from fearsome invaders. (August 7)

Haven: Tales of the Aftermath by Adam Roberts

It’s the post-apocalypse and a young man plagued by mysterious visions does his best to help his family with their farm — but his abilities attract the attention of various interested parties, most of them malevolent. Can he survive, and maybe help save the world too? (August 7)

The Point by John Dixon

In the future, West Point runs an off-the-books program for “posthumans” to sharpen their talents for military use. One rebellious student, gifted with the dangerous power of controlling pure energy, finds herself at the centre of the battle when a threat from the program’s secret past makes itself known. (August 7)

Rogue Protocol by Martha Wells

Murderbot returns for another adventure, this time with the goal of staying far, far away from galactic authorities who are wondering exactly where the wandering killing machine has ended up. Man, can’t an antisocial AI just get a break from all those irritating human beings for once? (August 7)

Temper by Nicky Drayden

In southern Africa, twin brothers find their already-strained relationship further tested when one of them starts hearing evil, possibly demonic voices in his head urging him to do terrible things… which he starts acting on. (August 7)

Ball Lightning by Cixin Liu, translated by Joel Martinsen

In this stand-alone sci-fi adventure from the acclaimed author of The Three-Body Problem trilogy, a man loses his parents to a flash of ball lightning and undertakes a global quest to understand the cosmic phenomenon. (August 14)

The Million by Karl Schroeder

Most of the time, Earth is home to just one million residents who’ve inherited all of humanity’s riches — but every 30 years, 10 billion visitors arrive for a month-long wild party. One young visitor manages to stay behind, hiding his outcast status behind a false identity that’s perpetually in danger of being discovered, especially as he gets drawn into a troubling murder mystery. (August 14)

The Moons of Barsk by Lawrence M. Schoen

In this sequel to Barsk: The Elephants’ Graveyard, misfit main character Pizlo is now a teenager, but he’s still determined to source the messages he believes he’s receiving from nearby moons. Meanwhile, an intergalactic politician who’s able to speak with the dead searches for his own answers. (August 14)

Noumenon Infinity by Marina J. Lostetter

The author follows up Noumenon with a return to deep space; there, various ships that’ve become disconnected from an Earth-launched convoy must work together to discover out the true purpose of the mysterious alien megastructure they encounter on a faraway star. (August 14)

Relic by Alan Dean Foster

After a virus decimates humanity, the galaxy’s last known man is rescued by an alien race. In exchange for his help as a research subject, the aliens agree to assist him in his epic quest to find the long-lost planet Earth — where he hopes against hope to find more survivors. (August 14)

Stars Uncharted by S.K. Dunstall

When a very fortunate cargo pilot discovers an exploration ship filled with sophisticated records of previously unknown worlds, he gathers a ragtag crew for some deep-space treasure hunting. (August 14)

The Black God’s Drums by P. Djèlí Clark

Set in an alt-history version of New Orleans during the Civil War, this debut novel follows the adventures of a girl who dreams of joining the crew of an airship — and whose spiritual connection to the African god of wind and storms could both help and hurt her chances. (August 21)

Coldfall Wood by Steven Savile

When an ancient, long-forgotten god awakens in a forest outside London, children start disappearing; others become incapacitated by a paralysing illness. Two men, who don’t necessarily consider themselves heroes, are called to fight against a force that’s determined to take over everything. (August 21)

The Fated Sky: A Lady Astronaut Novel by Mary Robinette Kowal

In this follow-up to The Calculating Stars, the year is now 1961, and the goal of sending a mission to Mars has progressed. However, though the astronaut program now includes women — notably the ambitious Lady Astronaut Elma York — it has been slow to accept people of all races. If the program can’t be inclusive on Earth, how will it achieve equality among the stars? (August 21)

Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett

A gifted thief who’s made a name for herself in a city that runs on magic is tasked with snatching a strange artefact — not realising she’ll be putting herself and her city at great risk when the mysterious object’s true power is revealed. (August 21)

Ravencry by Ed McDonald

In this second entry in the Raven’s Mark series, a bounty hunter raised in a grim wasteland known as “the Misery” tracks down people known to be connected to the sinister, immortal Dark Kings. The Dark Kings have been dormant for several years, but a return looms on the horizon. (August 21)

The Stars Now Unclaimed by Drew Williams

In this far-future adventure, an agent tasked with recruiting telekinetic children to help in the fight a mysterious menace called “the Pulse” is targeted by a group of galactic zealots. (August 21)

Terra Incognita: Three Novellas by Connie Willis

This volume collects three classic novellas from the Hugo and Nebula-winning author: Uncharted Territory, about a pair of explorers on a distant planet who find themselves falling in love against the odds; Remake, set in a future Hollywood where one aspiring starlet dreams of making it big even though there’s no such thing as live-action movies any more; and D.A., about a woman who’s forced into a shadowy interstellar cadet program against her wishes. (August 21)

Vox by Christina Dalcher

In this Handmaid’s Tale-esque dystopian tale, a doctor who’s also mother to a daughter must figure out how to survive and fight back when the United States declares women may not hold jobs, read or write, and are only allowed to speak 100 words per day. (August 21)

Hollywood Dead by Richard Kadrey

Half-angel, half-human Sandman Slim returns for another supernatural noir adventure; this time, he’s back in LA after a stint in Hell. But his return to Earth comes with strings attached — and he’ll soon be back underground unless he can complete a special favour for the power broker who revived him in the first place. (August 28)

Irontown Blues by John Varley

A noir-loving former cop turned private eye (aided by his genetically-enhanced dog, Sherlock) takes on a case hunting down biohackers who’re hellbent on unleashing a sinister new virus — but he’ll have to confront some personal demons before he can solve it. (August 28)

War Cry by Brian McClellan

The author of the Powder Mage series enters a new universe with this book about a shape-shifter whose military training hasn’t really prepared him for being stranded at a remote outpost — but will surely come in handy when his platoon plots a risky survival mission that ends up revealing a high-stakes wartime secret. (August 28)

Ahab’s Return: or, The Last Voyage by Jeffrey Ford

Moby Dick’s main characters face off in this fantasy novel that imagines Ishmael as the true author of Herman Melville’s classic tale — and Captain Ahab is none too pleased about the way he’s been portrayed on the page. This time, Ahab’s epic journey leads him through the streets of New York City, hoping to track down Ishmael and set the record straight. (August 29)

The People’s Republic of Everything by Nick Mamatas

Short sci-fi, fantasy and crime stories from the past 10 years, on subjects as varied as a hitman who’s literally forced to tell the truth, a dog that can’t break its social-media habit, and “a very bad date that births an unforgettable meme”. (August 29)

The Fall of Gondolin by J.R.R. Tolkien

The legendary author’s son, Christopher Tolkien, edited this Middle-earth tale exploring the clash between the evil Morgoth and Manwë, the Lord of Waters, as well as the beautiful, hidden city of Gondolin. (August 30)