17 new science fiction and fantasy books to check out this November

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Halloween has come and gone, but I’ve always been fascinated by the holiday. Wanting to learn more about it, I picked up Lisa Morton’s book Trick or Treat: A History of Halloween. Morton, a noted horror author, delves deeply into the origins of the holiday for a fun, fact-filled read.

Morton first goes through the holiday’s origins as an agricultural event, its injection into the United States with Irish immigrants, and up through the modern day, as a celebration of all things pop culture and horror. What fascinated me the most was how the iconography of the day changed with time — how companies adopted the colors of orange and black that we associate with the day, not to mention the images of witches, black cats, and ghosts that seem like permanent fixtures. It’s a holiday that’s changed immensely since its earliest days, and already, it has me thinking about what changes we might get in the coming years.

Now that November is here, here are 17 new science fiction and fantasy books hitting stores this month that you should pick up.

Nov. 5th

the monstrous citadel book cover featuring a broken gem smoking from the crack Tor Books

In her debut novel, City of Broken Magic, Mirah Bolender introduced readers to 20-year-old Laura Kramer, the apprentice to a sweeper in the island city of Amicae. Her world is plagued by an infestation, unleashed centuries ago by magicians. She’s part of a team that helped contain the threat, and ended up saving the city. In this sequel, Laura discovers that there are new, more dangerous threats to the city in the form of belligerent bureaucracy, and criminals. To save the city once again, she and her friend Okane must travel to Rex to confront the heart of the problem, and confront a long-simmering conspiracy behind the infestation. Publishers Weekly says the novel is “Intricately crafted and exhilarating, this is a worthy continuation of the series with a denouement that promises more danger to come.”

Read an excerpt.


fate of the fallen book cover featuring a man with an axe standing between two hedges Tor Books

In this new, epic fantasy series Shroud of Prophecy, Kel Kade follows the adventures of Mathias, a young man who discovers that he’s prophesied to save the world. Mathias eagerly accepts the task, with his reclusive friend Aaslo in tow. Once they’re on their adventure, they discover that it’s harder than they expected, and not at all like the stories. When Aaslo gets separated, he has to figure out how to move forward on his own to save the world. Publishers Weekly says that “Kade’s exciting disregard for convention makes for a world where everything is possible and no one is safe.”

Read an excerpt and listen to another excerpt.


novice dragoneer cover with a girl standing in the outline of a dragon Penguin Random House

E.E. Knight kicks off a new fantasy series, following 14-year-old Ileth, an orphan who dreams of working with dragons. She eventually runs away to the Serpentine Academy, where she earns her place to become a novice dragoneer at the Serpentine Academy. There, she’s forced to fight for her place at the school, fending off her wealthier classmates. Over the years, she steadily rises through the ranks, and faces new challenges when she’s sent off to become a hostage for a prisoner of war. Publishers Weekly says that the book is a “promising series opener.”

Read an excerpt.


fortuna book cover with a shadowy spaceship and pilot in front of a sunrise Orbit Books

Fortuna by Kristyn Merbeth

Scorpia Kaiser is a pilot for a run-down cargo ship called the Fortuna, when her brother heads off to fight in a distant war. When he leaves, she suddenly finds herself inheriting her family’s smuggling operation. But when he returns, she and her brother face a challenge: they have to figure out how to contend with their family’s role in a planet-wide genocide. Kirkus Reviews said that the book’s “The nonstop action and varying levels of tension make this an unarguable page-turner, and the ending, while satisfying, is a perfect jumping-off point to another much larger adventure to come.”

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Read an excerpt.


Starless Sea cover with several keys strewn about a grey background Penguin Random House

Erin Morgenstern made a huge splash with her debut novel The Night Circus back in 2012. Seven years later, she’s back with a new novel, Starless Sea, about Zachary Ezra Rawlins, a graduate student in Vermont who discovers a strange book in a library. As he reads, he recognizes a story from his own childhood, and begins to track down clues as to where the book came from, eventually ending up in an ancient library hidden beneath New York City. Kirkus Reviews gave the book a starred review, saying that it’s “a love letter to readers as much as an invitation: Come and see how much magic is left in the world” and that “Fans of Neil Gaiman and V.E. Schwab, Kelly Link and Susanna Clarke will want to heed the call.”

Read an excerpt.


the book of lost saints cover with pastel pink flowers against a light blue background Imprint

In the midst of the Cuban Revolution, a woman named Marisol disappeared without a trace. Decades later, her spirit haunts her nephew, Ramón, now living in New Jersey. Her ghost hopes that he’ll be moved to dig through his family’s history to give her the rest that she deserves. Along the way, he comes up against gangers and the souls that helmed Marisol when she was imprisoned.

Read an excerpt.


the cover for star wars: resistance reborn with Poe, Leia, Rey, and Finn positioned in heroes poses Del Rey

Rebecca Roanhorse has earned considerable acclaim for her fantasy novels Trail of Lightning and Storm of Locusts, earning nominations for the Nebula, Hugo, and World Fantasy Awards, and the Astounding Award for Best New Writer. Now, she’s taking on a new universe: Star Wars. Resistance Reborn picks up in the days following The Last Jedi, and shows how Leia and her allies begin rebuilding the Resistance movement after their devastating defeat. This book feels like a classic Star Wars novel, and shows just how hard it is to stomp out the spark of resistance.

Read excerpts from the novel here, here, here, here, and here.


the cover for disaster’s children which has the title in bold against a verdant forest Little A

Marlo has grown up in a community of well-funded survivalists in post-apocalyptic Oregon. Outside of the range is a chaotic world wrecked by climate change. She’s long been curious about that outside world, and when she plans to leave, a community newcomer named Wolf entices her to stay. But she soon becomes wary of his intentions, and as her home begins to feel like a prison, she’s presented with a choice: stay in the only home she’s known, or flee.


the deep cover with a merman swimming to the surface past a whale Simon & Schuster

The Deep by Rivers Solomon, Daveed Diggs, William Hutson and Jonathan Snipes

In 2017, This American Life commissioned hip-hop group clipping to produce an original song for its episode about Afrofuturism, The Deep. Now, author Rivers Solomon has turned that song into a novella. The book follows Yetu, whose ancestors were pregnant African women thrown overboard by slavers crossing the Atlantic ocean. She’s a historian for her underwater community, wajinru, and is responsible for remembering their collective, traumatic past. Overcome, she flees to the surface, but at terrible cost to her community. Publishers Weekly gave the book a starred review, and says that “Solomon interrogates the devastations of slavery without ever showing a white perspective, in a tour de force reorientation of the storytelling gaze.”

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made things cover with two wooden puppets hiding on a workshop table Tor Books

I fell in love with Adrian Tchaikovsky’s space opera novel Children of Time, a phenomenal story about uplifted spiders deep in space. His next is a novella that’s a return to usual territory for him: fantasy. Made Things is set in Fountains Parish, a rough neighborhood where crime is rampant. Coppelia is a thief who has some extra help: some puppet-like “friends” that she’s made. They don’t entirely trust her, but they have a relationship that works. But a new discovery changes her entire world, and they all must reexamine how they understood the world, and save their city from disaster. Civilian Reader says that it’s an “excellent short fantasy novella, one that introduces us to a new world, with interesting magic and politics.”


Nov. 12th

the killing light cover with a female knight’s face hovering above a bloody battle Tor Books

Fantasy author Myke Cole brings his grim, epic fantasy Sacred Thrones trilogy to a close with The Killing Light. In the preceding installments, The Armored Saint and The Queen of Crows, Heloise and her family etched out a meager existence in their village until the oppressive Order came and upended things. Now, she’s the leader of a growing revolution, and in this finale, she and her allies march on the Imperial Capital. She has to hold her growing movement together, a task made all the more difficult when demons begin to pour into her world, forcing her to make unexpected alliances in the face of certain destruction. Publishers Weekly says that “Cole has brought this trilogy home with hard insight, maintaining the high standard set from the start.”

Read an excerpt.


The IMpossible Contract cover with a beautiful black woman with a flowing purple robe Tor Books

With The Perfect Assassin, K.A. Doore followed the story of a trained assassin named Amastan who was thrown out of his job when his home city banned the profession. He’s pulled into his former life when his family is targeted, and is forced to solve their murders to clear his name. In her follow-up, Doore focuses on Thana Basbowen, the leader of Ghadid’s assassin clan, who picks up a lucrative contract to kill an ambassador. But there’s more to the contract than meets the eye, and the ambassador, Heru Sameket, is more than a match for those who threaten him. Library Journal gives the book a starred review, saying that the novel “continues the lush worldbuilding and inclusive characters of the first, while establishing exciting action- and emotion-filled sequences that will keep readers engaged.”

Read an excerpt.


revolution cover with green plants on it Penguin Random House

In this second installment of W.L. Goodwater’s Cold War Magic series, American magician Karen O’Neil is sent to Cuba to track down a young girl who’s gone missing in the midst of the country’s revolution. Karen is dealing with her own, newly-developed powers, and as she searches for the girl, she’s watched by both the USSR and CIA, and discovers a deeper conspiracy is afoot that could change the balance of power in the world. Publishers Weekly calls the book a “humorous, suspenseful, and deeply disquieting” read that it “will keep readers on the edges of their seats.”

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The Menace from Farside cover has four people in space suits walking on an ice planet Tor Books

Ian McDonald’s Luna trilogy (New Moon, Wolf Moon, and Moon Rising) is one of the best works of science fiction to come out in recent years, about a complicated struggle for power on the Moon. His next work is a novella set in the same world, The Menace from Farside, about a young woman, Cariad Corcoran, and her rivalry with her newly-arrived stepsister, Sidibe Sisay. The pair and two companions head out to the Sea of Tranquility to try and locate the original Apollo 11 landing site. It’s part of a ploy to undermine Sidibe, but the Moon is a harsh place, and it might kill them first. .


Nov. 14th

the andromeda evolution cover Harper Collins

Fifty years ago, Michael Crichton burst onto the technological thriller scene with his debut (at least under his own name) novel, The Andromeda Strain, about an extraterrestrial microorganism that threatened to wipe out humanity if not stopped in time. Now, Robopocalypse author Daniel H. Wilson pens a sequel to the book, The Andromeda Evolution. Researchers have continued to study the Andromeda organism, and an initiative known as Project Eternal Vigilance has for decades kept watch for it to reappear. As the project is about to be shut down, there are indications that the organism might have reappeared in Brazil. As researchers descent on the hot spot, it becomes clear that Andromeda has changed, and that it could be worse than before.

Publishers Weekly says that Wilson “fans of the original techno-thriller won’t be disappointed,” and that he “employs his expertise to add depth and credibility to the advanced technology the scientists use, trusting the reader to keep up with his technical terminology.”


Nov. 19th

sabbath cover featuring a skull engraved sword with flames around it and skyscrapers in the background Tor Books

Sabbath by Nick Mamatas

Nick Mamatas’ latest book is a loose adaptation of Matt Tamao’s graphic novel Sabbath: All Your Sins Reborn. It follows the story of Hexen Sabbath, an 11th century English knight who is killed during the Battle of Assandun, and is saved by a creature that claims to be an Angel. He’s abruptly dropped in to modern-day Manhattan with an assignment: he has to track down and kill the personifications of the seven deadly sins — pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath and sloth — before they can bring about the end of the world.

Read an excerpt.


silver cover has a sleek silver spaceship flying in front of an alien planet Mythic Island

Silver by Linda Nagata

Linda Nagata has turned to self-publishing to return to her Nanotech Succession series. She kicked off Edges, the first installment in her Inverted Frontier series earlier this year, and now follows up with her next, Silver. In Edges, humanity has been attacked by a fleet of robotic aliens, and an explorer named Urban is dispatched to a distant colony called Deception Well. That mission didn’t go well, and Urban has lost control of his ship, Dragon, driven out by an entity known as Lezuri. The god-like entity is desperate to return home to recover his memories, and Urban’s only hope for survival is to beat the alien to its ringworld home to find a way to stop him.

Read an excerpt.

Content courtesy of Polygon.com published on , original article here.

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