Head below for the full list of fantasy titles heading your way in October!
Keep track of all the new SFF releases here. All title summaries are taken and/or summarized from copy provided by the publisher. Note: Release dates are subject to change.
To End in Fire (Crown of Slaves #4) — David Weber, Eric Flint (Baen)
The Solarian League lies in defeat, crushed by the Grand Alliance of Manticore, Haven, and Grayson. Obedient to the Alliance’s surrender demands, the League is writing a new Constitution, to prevent the reemergence of out-of-control bureaucrats, like the “Mandarins” who led it to disaster. Frontier Security has been disbanded, the Outworlds’ have regained control of their own economic destinies, and multiple star systems will soon secede from the League entirely. Yet the League is—and will remain—the largest, most economically powerful human star nation in existence, and despite the overwhelming evidence that their unelected political leaders were the driving force behind the war, many League citizens deeply resent the fashion in which their star nation—the Solarian League—has been humbled. And those who most resent the Grand Alliance continue to blame Manticore for the nuclear bombardment of the planet Mesa after its surrender. They refuse to accept that the League—and the members of the Grand Alliance—could have been manipulated by a deeply hidden interstellar conspiracy called the Mesan Alignment. The Alignment is only an invention of the Grand Alliance, no more than a mask, a cover, for its own horrific Eridani Violations. Those Solarians will never accept the “war guilt” of the League, because they know the Grand Alliance was just as bad. Because they deeply resent the way in which the Grand Alliance pretends to be the innocent “good guys.” And in the fullness of time, those Solarians will seek vengeance upon their enemies. Not all Solarians feel that way, but even some of those who accept that there was an interstellar conspiracy cherish doubts about its origins. But it is still out there, and now defeated Solarians and agents of the victorious Alliance must join forces to find it. Even if they don’t believe in it, it believes in them. They must find it and identify it, to prove to revanchist Solarians that there was a conspiracy. And they must find it and destroy it to end its evil—once and for all!
Destroyer of Light — Jennifer Marie Brissett (Tor Books)
Having destroyed Earth, the alien conquerors resettle the remains of humanity on the planet of Eleusis. In the four habitable areas of the planet—Day, Dusk, Dawn, and Night—the haves and have nots, criminals and dissidents, and former alien conquerors irrevocably bind three stories: A violent warlord abducts a young girl from the agrarian outskirts of Dusk leaving her mother searching and grieving. Genetically modified twin brothers desperately search for the lost son of a human/alien couple in a criminal underground trafficking children for unknown purposes. A young woman with inhuman powers rises through the insurgent ranks of soldiers in the borderlands of Night. Their stories, often containing disturbing physical and sexual violence, skate across years, building to a single confrontation when the fate of all—human and alien―balances upon a knife’s-edge.
Tales from the Cafe (Before the Coffee Gets Cold #2) — Toshikazu Kawaguchi (Hanover Square)
In a back alley in Tokyo, there is a café that has been serving carefully brewed coffee for more than one hundred years. Local legend says that this shop offers something else besides coffee—the chance to travel back in time. With faces both familiar and new, Tales from the Cafe follows the story of four patrons who visit to take advantage of café Funiculi Funicula’s time-traveling offer and revisit moments with family, friends and lovers. Each one must face up to the past to move on with their lives. Kawaguchi’s wistful and heartwarming new novel once again invites the reader to ask themselves, “What would you do if you could travel back in time?”
Truth of the Divine (Noumena #2) — Lindsay Ellis (St. Martin’s)
The human race is at a crossroads; we know that we are not alone, but details about the alien presence on Earth are still being withheld from the public. As the political climate grows more unstable, the world is forced to consider the ramifications of granting human rights to nonhuman persons. How do you define “person” in the first place? Cora Sabino not only serves as the full-time communication intermediary between the alien entity Ampersand and his government chaperones but also shares a mysterious bond with him that is both painful and intimate in ways neither of them could have anticipated. Despite this, Ampersand is still keen on keeping secrets, even from Cora, which backfires on them both when investigative journalist Kaveh Mazandarani, a close colleague of Cora’s unscrupulous estranged father, witnesses far more of Ampersand’s machinations than anyone was meant to see. Since Cora has no choice but to trust Kaveh, the two must work together to prove to a fearful world that intelligent, conscious beings should be considered persons, no matter how horrifying, powerful, or malicious they may seem. Making this case is hard enough when the public doesn’t know what it’s dealing with—and it will only become harder when a mysterious flash illuminates the sky, marking the arrival of an agent of chaos that will light an already-unstable world on fire.
Glimmer — Marjorie B Kellogg (DAW)
It’s 2110, the Earth’s glaciers have melted, and there’s no climate fix in sight. As refugees stream inland from the inundated coasts, social structures and national economies are stressed to the point of fracture. Food production falters. Pandemics rage. Rising sea level and devastating superstorms have flooded much of Manhattan and wrecked its infrastructure. Its residents have mostly fled, but a few die-hards have bet their survival on the hope that digging in and staying local is a safer strategy. As the weather worsens, can a damaged population of poor folk, artists, misfits, and loners work out their differences in time to create a sustainable long-term society? In a lawless city, where the well-armed rich have appropriated the high ground, can an ex-priest find a middle road between non-violence and all-out war? The lives of his downtown band of leftovers will depend on it. Sheltering among them, a young girl named Glimmer struggles to regain a past lost to trauma. As her memory returns, she finds she must choose who and how to be, and who and what to believe in, even if it means giving up a love she has only recently found herself able to embrace.
Nightwatch on the Hinterlands (Weep #1) — K. Eason (DAW)
THE TEMPLAR: When Lieutenant Iari hears screams in the night, she expects to interrupt a robbery or break up a fight. Instead she discovers a murder with an impossible suspect: a riev, one of the battle-mecha decommissioned after the end of the last conflict, repurposed for manual labor. Riev don’t kill people. And yet, clearly, one has. Iari sets out to find it. THE SPY: Officially, Gaer is an ambassador from the vakari. Unofficially, he’s also a spy, sending information back to his government, unfiltered by diplomatic channels. Unlike Iari, Gaer isn’t so sure the riev’s behavior is just a malfunction, since the riev were created using an unstable mixture of alchemy and arithmancy. As Gaer and Iari search for the truth, they discover that the murderous riev is just a weapon in the hands of a wielder with wider ambitions than homicide—including releasing horrors not seen since the war, that make a rampaging riev seem insignificant.
Femlandia — Christina Dalcher (Berkley)
Miranda Reynolds always thought she would rather die than live in Femlandia. But that was before the country sank into total economic collapse and her husband walked out in the harshest, most permanent way, leaving her and her sixteen-year-old daughter with nothing. The streets are full of looting, robbing, and killing, and Miranda and Emma no longer have much choice—either starve and risk getting murdered, or find safety. And so they set off to Femlandia, the women-only colony Miranda’s mother, Win Somers, established decades ago. Although Win is no longer in the spotlight, her protégé Jen Jones has taken Femlandia to new heights: The off-grid colonies are secluded, self-sufficient, and thriving—and Emma is instantly enchanted by this idea of a safe haven. But something is not right. There are no men allowed in the colony, but babies are being born—and they’re all girls. Miranda discovers just how the all-women community is capable of enduring, and it leads her to question how far her mother went to create this perfect, thriving, horrifying society.
Shadows of Eternity — Gregory Benford (Saga)
Shadows of Eternity is a novel set two centuries from now. Humanity has established a SETI library on the moon to decipher and interpret the many messages from alien societies we have discovered. The most intriguing messages are from complete artificial intelligences. Ruth, a beginner Librarian, must talk to alien minds—who have aggressive agendas of their own. She opens doors into strangeness beyond imagination—and in her quest for understanding nearly gets killed doing it.
Far From the Light of Heaven — Tade Thompson (Orbit)
The colony ship Ragtime docks in the Lagos system, having traveled light-years to bring one thousand sleeping souls to a new home among the stars. But when first mate Michelle Campion rouses, she discovers some of the sleepers will never wake. Answering Campion’s distress call, investigator Rasheed Fin is tasked with finding out who is responsible for these deaths. Soon a sinister mystery unfolds aboard the gigantic vessel, one that will have repercussions for the entire system—from the scheming politicians of Lagos station, to the colony planet Bloodroot, to other far-flung systems, and indeed to Earth itself.
The Wandering Earth — Cixin Liu (Tor Books)
These ten stories, including five Chinese Galaxy Award-winners, are a blazingly original ode to planet Earth, its pasts, and its futures. Liu’s fiction takes the reader to the edge of the universe and the end of time, to meet stranger fates than we could have ever imagined. With a melancholic and keen understanding of human nature, Liu’s stories show humanity’s attempts to reason, navigate, and above all, survive in a desolate cosmos.
Trashlands — Alison Stine (Mira Books)
A few generations from now, the coastlines of the continent have been redrawn by floods and tides. Global powers have agreed to not produce any new plastics, and what is left has become valuable: garbage is currency. In the region-wide junkyard that Appalachia has become, Coral is a “plucker,” pulling plastic from the rivers and woods. She’s stuck in Trashlands, a dump named for the strip club at its edge, where the local women dance for an endless loop of strangers and the club’s violent owner rules as unofficial mayor. Amid the polluted landscape, Coral works desperately to save up enough to rescue her child from the recycling factories, where he is forced to work. In her stolen free hours, she does something that seems impossible in this place: Coral makes art. When a reporter from a struggling city on the coast arrives in Trashlands, Coral is presented with an opportunity to change her life. But is it possible to choose a future for herself?
Winders — Ryan O’Nan (JAB books)
Juniper Trask is a prodigy, raised under the Council’s strict Code, which allows Winders to exist in secret among average humans. After the shocking murder of her mentor, she is chosen to take his seat on the Council. But as Juniper settles into her new role, cracks of dissension are forming around her, and she uncovers the dark truth behind their power. Juniper has just become a pawn in a game no one knows is being played, and as she begins to question the Code for the first time, her life spirals into a world of danger. Charlie Ryan always knew he was different, ever since he saved his mother from a horrible car wreck that no one but him remembers. After meeting a mysterious man who claims he has the same ability, Charlie leaves home to chase him for answers. But the world Charlie’s stepped into is more dangerous than he could have imagined. Charlie’s powers are special, and there are those who would kill to get their hands on him. Now, Juniper and Charlie need each other if they are going to survive the future—no matter which future that may be.
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