46 New Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books to Add to Your Reading List in July

46 New Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books to Add to Your Reading List in July
Detail from the cover of Far Out: Recent Queer Science Fiction and Fantasy. (Image: Night Shade)
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It’s cold outside, possibly cold as hell depending on where you live — but one way to keep warm is to plop down in front of a heater and crack open a fresh new sci-fi or fantasy book.

We’ve got you covered this month with palace intrigue, space battles, doomsday prophecies, reinvented classics, inter-dimensional serial killers, chatty ghosts, and so much more. Read on!

Song of the Forever Rains by E.J. Mellow

A young sorceress with a magical voice goes on a dangerous undercover mission to stop a corrupt duke from stealing poison — but soon finds herself falling for the duke’s heir, who may not be entirely trustworthy. (July 1)

Across the Airless Wilds: The Lunar Rover and the Triumph of the Final Moon Landings by Earl Swift

This nonfiction book focuses on the often-overshadowed history of the lunar rover, highlighting “the men who dreamed of driving on the moon and designed and built the vehicle, troubleshot its flaws, and drove it on the moon’s surface.” (July 6)

Any Way the Wind Blows by Rainbow Rowell

The Simon Snow fantasy trilogy concludes as Simon and his magical friends return home to England and face their futures with uncertainty. (July 6)

Big Dark Hole: and Other Stories by Jeffrey Ford

The Nebula and World Fantasy Award-winning author returns with a new collection of short stories. (July 6)

Capture the Crown by Jennifer Estep

The author’s new trilogy is set in her Crown of Shards world and follows a princess who pretends to be materialistic and shallow — but is actually a spy whose undercover mission means she must join forces with a prince from a rival kingdom. (July 6)

City of Iron and Dust by J.P. Oakes

In a chaotic city reeling from a war between the goblins and the fae, a group of disparate characters (a princess, a drug dealer, an old soldier, and others) find their fates becoming intertwined over a coveted drug that restores fae magic. Read an excerpt here. (July 6)

The Empire’s Ruin by Brian Staveley

In this new fantasy set in the world of the author’s Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne, an empire on the verge of collapse grasps at its last hope: the perilous task of restoring the magical gates that allow instantaneous travel within its borders. (July 6)

Half Sick of Shadows by Laura Sebastian

The story of Avalon’s Lady of Shalott gets a retelling in this tale, bringing her story to the forefront of the King Arthur legend. (July 6)

Joker Moon edited by George R.R. Martin

The latest Wild Cards adventure follows “Aarti, the Moon Maid, who can astrally project herself onto the surface of the moon and paint projections across the lunarscape.” (July 6)

Master of Rods and Strings by Jason Marc Harris

This novella digs into the weird and dangerous world of occult puppetry. (July 6)

The Queen Will Betray You by Sarah Henning

The sequel to Princess Bride homage The Princess Will Save You finds four kingdoms battling for control over the realm of the Sand and Sky — plus an upstart bid by a princess and her true-love stable boy, who may have their own claim to the throne. (July 6)

Six Crimson Cranes by Elizabeth Lim

Fairy tales and East Asian folklore inspired this tale of a princess who tries to keep her magical powers hidden — until they disrupt her arranged marriage, and her stepmother, a sorceress, compels her into secrecy by turning her brothers into cranes. (July 6)

The 22 Murders of Madison May by Max Barry

A newspaper reporter in pursuit of a mysterious murder case accidentally follows the killer into another reality — where he kills his victim again in this new dimension. Can she hunt him down before he does it yet again? (July 6)

Map’s Edge by David Hair

An exiled sorcerer plots his return by pretending to be an Imperial Cartomancer and recruiting people to help him mine a valuable mineral stash he’s discovered on a mysterious map. He’s just starting to enjoy his false identity when royal bounty hunters track him down. (July 8)

Appleseed by Matt Bell

This novel — set in the 18th century, 50 years from now, and 1,000 years from now — takes a look at the devastating effects of climate change over time and is described as “part speculative epic, part tech thriller, part reinvented fairy tale.” (July 13)

Breeder by Honni van Rijswijk

In a dystopian future society, a 15-year-old boy struggles to overcome his designation as a “Breeder,” someone who’s born into debt they can only overcome if they reproduce. His circumstances take a turn when he meets another teen in the same situation who’s helping plot a revolution. (July 13)

The Dark by Jeremy Robinson

A 27-year-old Army veteran awakens one morning to find the world teetering on the edge of doomsday according to a hellish prophecy — and his situation only gets worse when he’s marked by an ancient rune and the people around him start disappearing. (July 13)

A Desert Torn Asunder by Bradley P. Beaulieu

The epic Song of the Shattered Sands series concludes as a deposed queen raises an elder god whose return signifies certain doom. Will the city dwellers be able to unite with the desert tribes in time to fight off this towering threat? (July 13)

The Fallen by Ada Hoffmann

The follow-up to The Outside finds the world of Jai thrown into chaos when the laws of physics on its surface suddenly change. The few survivors must fight against the AI gods that arrive in the aftermath to rule — while trying to figure out what’s caused the sudden alteration of their planet. (July 13)

Sidewinders by Robert V.S. Redick

This sequel to Master Assassins finds brothers (and wanted outlaws) Kandri and Mektu navigating a perilous magical desert in order to decipher the cure for a deadly plague. (July 13)

The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix

This “humorous thriller” pays homage to the ever-popular horror trope of the last girl left standing, introducing a group of characters who bond over their slasher survival stories but then realise they’re all being targeted by a new, very determined killer. (July 13)

Midnight, Water City by Chris Mckinney

The Water City sci-fi noir trilogy begins in 2142 as a detective travels to the underwater home of his former boss, a heroic scientist, after she reaches out for help. When he discovers she’s been murdered, he becomes hellbent on solving the crime. Read an excerpt here. (July 13)

A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers

This new series introduces us to a world where robots become self-aware and forge their own lives in the wilderness — until one day a monk encounters a robot who’s returned to seek the answer to a complicated question: “what do people need?” (July 13)

Relentless by Jonathan Maberry

The Rogue Team International series continues as a traumatized Joe Ledger tracks down the people who’ve murdered his loved ones. He soon realises he’s hunting not just regular soldiers — but mercenaries whose cybernetic and chemical enhancements have transformed them into superhumans. (July 13)

Secrets of the Force: The Complete, Uncensored, Unauthorised History of Star Wars by Edward Gross and Mark A. Altman

This comprehensive oral history of all things Star Wars taps hundreds of insiders — including actors, filmmakers, executives, toy experts, film historians, and more — to explore the franchise from its earliest beginnings to its current era. (July 13)

Sword Stone Table: Old Legends, New Voices edited by Swapna Krishna and Jenn Northington

This collection gathers “gender-bent, race-bent, LGBTQIA+ inclusive retellings” of the tales of King Arthur, Camelot, and the Knights of the Round Table, with contributions from Ausma Zehanat Khan, Ken Liu, Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Anthony Rapp, Alex Segura, and many more. (July 13)

The Taking of Jake Livingston by Ryan Douglass

This book’s teen hero is dealing with two very unpleasant situations: he’s tormented by his racist teachers, and he’s a medium forced to help dead people who realise he can see them. Just when romance sparks with a new boy at school, the ghost of a school shooter begins to haunt him with a vengeance. (July 13)

The Tide Will Erase All by Justin Hellstrom

This surreal sci-fi tale from the creator of The Great Chameleon War podcast follows a young girl named Robot as she lives through a “dream apocalypse” and bonds with other survivors. (July 13)

Wings of Shadow by Nicki Pau Preto

The Crown of Feathers trilogy concludes as Veronyka, daughter of the last queen of the Golden Empire, must face her estranged sister — who has taken a very dark and powerful path — if she wants to bring peace to the kingdom she’ll eventually rule. (July 13)

Assassin’s Orbit by John Appel

The creative book description of the month award goes to this one, which is billed as “Golden Girls meets The Expanse with a side of Babylon Five.” It’s about a private eye, police chief, and a spy who join forces to investigate an assassination that just might be part of a scheme to jump-start an interplanetary war. (July 20)

The Book of Accidents by Chuck Wendig

A husband and wife who both suffered traumatic childhoods move back to their rural hometown with their son, where he meets a strange new friend with a magical and sinister connection to the family’s past. (July 20)

Cast in Secrets and Shadow by Andrea Robertson

The Loresmith fantasy series continues as Ara and her friends travel on a journey across the kingdom searching for the Loreknights, whose help they’ll need if they have any hope of securing the rightful ruler’s place on the throne. (July 20)

Flash Fire by TJ Klune

The sequel to The Extraordinaries finds Nick mostly happy with his new superhero boyfriend, though he’s bummed that he himself lacks any superpowers. When Nova City starts seeing new superpowered people arrive, Nick and his friends set out to discover who’s a hero and who’s a villain. (July 20)

Grey by Arvind Ethan David

This novel puts a contemporary spin on Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Grey; its heroine is a millennial social media star who’s actually an immortal woman seeking violent revenge against men who harmed her decades ago. (July 20)

Mother of All by Jenna Glass

The Women’s War feminist fantasy series comes to an end with this entry. Women are finally in power and in control of their reproductive rights, but a bitter former king has turned to dark magic to try and stomp out all of their progress. (July 20)

Notes From the Burning Age by Claire North

A holy man who spent his life studying ancient texts (and keeping any secrets deemed “heretical”) is pressured by revolutionaries to translate a set of stolen writings. When he realises his beliefs might be built on falsehoods, he must grapple with his faith and his role in building the future of the world. (July 20)

A Radical Act of Free Magic by H.G. Parry

Set in the time of Napoléon Bonaparte, this entry in the author’s Shadow Histories series imagines a parallel war between vampires that rages alongside the French Revolution. (July 20)

Savage Bounty by Matt Wallace

The sequel to Savage Legion returns to the troubled utopian land where “Savages” nabbed from city streets are forced to fight in the empire’s wars — and a rebellion works behind the scenes to try and free them. (July 20)

She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan

The founding emperor of the Ming Dynasty gets a reimagining in this “bold, queer, and lyrical” fantasy. When a brother and sister are orphaned, the girl assumes his identity to enter a monastery, where she becomes determined to change her fate. (July 20)

The Summer Thieves by Paul Di Filippo

The Quinary series begins far in the future, when humans have colonised space and families run entire planets. Two prospering clans plan to join forces when their children become engaged, but circumstances shift when the groom-to-be is suddenly sent on a dangerous quest across the galaxy. (July 20)

Far Out: Recent Queer Science Fiction and Fantasy edited by Paula Guran

This collection drawn from the past decade brings together speculative fiction by LGBTQ+ authors as well as tales exploring LGBTQ+ themes, from authors including Seanan McGuire, Sam J. Miller, and Gizmodo co-founder Charlie Jane Anders. (July 27)

Gods & Monsters by Shelby Mahurin

The Serpent & Dove fantasy series ends with this entry, as Lou — a frighteningly darker version of the person her friends remember — returns home after spending most of her life running from her magical past. (July 27)

Hold Fast Through the Fire by K.B. Wagers

This follow-up to A Pale Light in the Black finds the crew of Zuma’s Ghost — part of the Coast Guard-like Near-Earth Orbital Guard — dealing with a mysterious new team member while trying to avoid a trade war. (July 27)

Small Favours by Erin A. Craig

In a small town surrounded by a thick forest, a young woman has grown up hearing stories about monsters lurking in the woods. Her idyllic (if isolated) world turns upside down when the creatures show themselves, offering to grant favours… but at what price? (July 27)

The Best of David Brin by David Brin

This anthology is described as a “major retrospective collection of shorter work,” with over 20 stories gathered from the acclaimed author’s decades-spanning career. (July 31)