8 highly anticipated science fiction and fantasy novels of fall

Adrian Liang on August 26, 2019
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Leaves changing color, jack-o'-lanterns on front porches, and the addition of stew to the dinner menu... These are among the many things to look forward to in the fall. But these eight new science fiction and fantasy books are what I'm really anticipating.

Margaret Atwood's sequel to The Handmaid's Tale, two explosive series finales, three very different series-starters, and Rebecca Roanhorse's foray into the Star Wars universe are among the books I can't wait to spend quality time with in the upcoming months.


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The Testaments: The Sequel to The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood’s sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale is heavily under wraps, though the judges for the UK’s Booker Prize must’ve gotten their hands on it, because The Testaments is already longlisted for that award. Set 15 years after Offred disappears, the story is told through the eyes of three female narrators from Gilead. Says Atwood, “"Dear Readers: Everything you've ever asked me about Gilead and its inner workings is the inspiration for this book. Well, almost everything! The other inspiration is the world we've been living in." Buckle yourself in. (September 10)


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Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

Leigh Bardugo’s adult debut is a departure from her young-adult Grisha world books in more ways than one. When Alex, the sole survivor of a multiple homicide, is offered free tuition at Yale, there’s only one catch: she has to spy on the school’s secret societies on the behalf of her benefactors. What could go wrong? Bardugo’s young adult books are often deliciously dark and unsettling, so I can’t wait to see what she does with Ninth House. (October 8)


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A Little Hatred (The Age of Madness) by Joe Abercrombie

Joe Abercrombie unleashes a new fantasy series with A Little Hatred and a cast of characters battling for power, influence, or simply survival. While battles rage among the towns and villages, the factories of Adua are breaking lives in their own ways. Complex, action-packed, but also funny and thoughtful, Abercombie’s latest should suck readers into his new trilogy. (September 17)


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Resistance Reborn (Star Wars): Journey to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker by Rebecca Roanhorse

Roanhorse, the author of Trail of Lightning and Storm of Locusts, brings her rip-roaring action writing to the Star Wars universe. Set between the events of Episode 8/The Last Jedi and the upcoming Episode 9/The Rise of Skywalker, our heroes who barely survived the last onslaught by the First Order are among the last of the Resistance. To defeat the First Order, new allies must be found. Hopefully, given the final scenes of The Last Jedi, we’ll see new young Jedi entering training, too. (November 5)


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The Burning White (Lightbringer) by Brent Weeks

The concluding novel in Brent Weeks’ five-book-strong fantasy series promises to answer the question, Will the Lightbringer come? As the final trap is sprung by the White King, Kip Guile rallies his companions to defend all they hold dear, even knowing that they will likely not survive. (October 22)

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Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir

Sword fighting, necromancy, space ships, mysterious laboratories, and a kill-them-all-off plot reminiscent of Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None combine to concoct one of the most memorable—and, yes, bonkers—novels of the year. Promising to be the cavalier to her house’s top necromancer at a meeting of the high houses, Gideon just wants to get her duty done and then get out. But when the meeting-goers are stranded on a planet, and then something starts killing off the cavaliers and necromancers, Gideon realizes that long-warring houses might need to forge new alliances if they have even a hope of surviving. (Sept 10)


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Supernova Era by Cixin Liu

From the author of The Three-Body Problem comes a new-to-the-US novel in which the Hugo Award-winner again asks if humanity has the backbone needed to survive. When the world discovers that soon everyone over the age of 13 is going to die, the race is on to teach the youngsters the basics on how to sustain civilization after the adults are dead. But will the children listen? Or will they refashion the world into their own vision in a near-future version of Lord of the Flies? (October 22)

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The Queen of Nothing (The Folk of the Air) by Holly Black

Black delivers the final book in her Folk of the Air trilogy, with exiled Jude clandestinely returning to the land of Faerie in order to help her twin sister, Taryn. But Jude must be careful: she has many enemies in the Faerie Court, not least of which is her husband, Cardan, who banished her in the first place. When a new, dangerous force threatens Faerie, Jude must decide which is her true home: the moral world where she was born, or the Faerie world where she came into her own but made so many mistakes. (November 19)


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