15 Highly Anticipated New Science Fiction and Fantasy Books for Summer

Adrian Liang on June 04, 2018
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Summer 2018 features a thrilling mix between debut novels and eagerly awaited books in a continuing series. One book, Vox, tops multiple magazines' "most anticipated" lists, and Ilona Andrews' Magic Triumphs won a spot on Amazon's 10 Most Anticipated Novels of Summer, based on customer preorders.

From kids with extreme genetic mutations in the 1980s to a monster-slayer protecting the Navajo nation to space colonists struggling with whether to settle on planets or not, these speculative novels will power up a fantastic summer.

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Ball Lightning by Cixin Liu - Cixin Liu, the Hugo Award-winning author of the Three-Body Problem trilogy, returns with a novel about a man who discovers that ball lightning has unusual powers he might be able to harness...but he can't foresee how those powers will be used. (August 14)

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So Say We All: The Complete, Uncensored, Unauthorized Oral History of Battlestar Galactica by Edward Gross - I'm a sucker for oral histories because of all the delicious details they reveal, and So Say We All is a great chance to listen again to my favorite actors—this time when they're finally speaking their own lines instead of the lines that have been written for them. (August 21)

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Dreadful Company by Vivian Shaw - Book two after Strange Practice returns readers to the world of Dr. Greta Helsing, doctor to the undead, as she travels to Paris to learn more about zombies. Yoon Ha Lee called out Strange Practice as one of his favorite debut books of 2017. (July 31)

Vox by Christina Dalcher - One of the most anticipated books of the season—within and outside of SF— Vox imagines a world in which women are limited by the government to 100 words a day. This chilling novel is perfect for readers of The Handmaid's Tale and The Power. (August 21)

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The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal - An asteroid forces humanity to evacuate Earth. The problem (beyond the obvious)? This novel takes place in the early 1950s, and we have never even left the planet. The cover is evocative of Hidden Figures, for good reason: female mathematician and pilot Elma York has her work cut out for her as she tries to convince the good-ole-boy network that she and other underappreciated minds can help save the world. (July 3)

Thrawn: Alliances (Star Wars) by Timothy Zahn - A year after Thrawn returned in Zahn's 2017 novel, Star Wars devotees will revel in new adventures and challenges that face the inscrutable blue-skinned military tactician who has his own agenda beyond the Empire's. (July 24)

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One of Us by Craig DiLouie - Set in 1984, this novel of children born with extreme genetic mutations (like having the head of a dog) asks what it means to be human. And the answer isn't pretty. Dark and troubling, this novel will twist up your insides. (July 17)

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Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse - After rising waters have reshaped the world, both gods and monsters walk the earth again. When monster-killer Maggie Hoskie is asked to find a missing girl, she uncovers a new danger to the Navajo people she protects even as the darkness inside Maggie grows with each monster she kills. An exciting new author perfect for happy readers of Ilona Andrews, Faith Hunter, and Patricia Briggs. (June 26)

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Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers - Chambers returns readers to her popular Wayfarers series with book three, in which space colonists living on their ship struggle with the question of their relevance within a community that has, for the most part, settled again on planets. (July 24)

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik - The author of Uprooted uses another fairy tale as the jumping-off point for a twisty, fascinating historical fantasy, this time pitting a Jewish moneylender against a supernatural ice lord who covets her ability to turn silver into gold. (July 10)

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Magic Triumphs by Ilona Andrews - One of the 10 most preordered books of the summer, Magic Triumphs puts Kate Daniels in the hot seat again as her tentative truce with her powerful, near-immortal father, Roland, begins to fray. But the only one who can help her protect her family and her city is an ally she dares not trust. Husband-and-wife writing team Ilona Andrews also launch a brand-new series at the end of June with Iron and Magic. (August 28)

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City of Lies by Sam Hawke - A secret apprentice to a royal master poisoner becomes the throne's last line of defense in this debut epic fantasy. I hope this novel lives up to its marvelously evocative cover. (July 3)

Age of War by Michael J. Sullivan - Sullivan's fans will flock to the third book in his five-book epic fantasy series, which is sure to combine magic, realism, and a good dose of humor. And if you're an audiobook fan, narrator Tim Gerard Reynolds is frequently cited as among the best. (July 3)

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Revenant Gun by Yoon Ha Lee - Lee concludes his complex, edge-of-the-seat science fiction series that began with Ninefox Gambit. When war criminal and military genius Shuos Jedao comes awake, he's not in a body he recognizes and cannot remember any details of his life as a soldier and general. But his enemies won't wait for him to get his wits back before it attacks…. (June 12)

The Book of M by Peng Shepherd - One of our top 10 books of June, this modern-day speculative novel imagines a world in which our shadows go away...and our memories of who we are fade soon after. But there may be hope for the survivors—and for the shadowless as well. A great read for those who loved Station Eleven. (June 5)


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