10 Most Anticipated SF and Fantasy Books of Summer

Adrian Liang on May 06, 2019
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The cups of June, July, and August runneth over with spectacular-looking new science fiction and fantasy novels. These 10 novels include both the veteran authors from whom we already expect storytelling miracles and a handful of newcomers who look promising indeed.

Dragons, evil librarians, the Grand Admiral Thrawn, sleepwalkers, space battles, and a new entry in Cixin Liu’s Three-Body Problem universe are among the books we can’t wait to crack open while we lounge in hammocks or beach chairs this summer.


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Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

A librarian-in-training becomes the main suspect in the theft of an important spell book. As she struggles to prove that she is innocent, magic, demons, possessed books, and a grumpy but handsome sorcerer all seem conspired against her. In Rogerson’s world, the greatest warriors guard against spell books running amok and unleashing horrors on the land—a surprising and delightful twist on the usual books-are-good-and-full-of-wisdom theme. (June 4, 2019)


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Fall; or, Dodge in Hell by Neal Stephenson

In early June, Stephenson unleashes another 800-plus-page novel on the world. After tech genius Dodge dies unexpectedly, his will states that he should undergo freezing or some similar type of process that saves his brain so that his thoughts can be resurrected when technology catches up to science fiction. Meditative on so much more than brain scanning, Stephenson’s newest promises to be immersive and enlightening for those who have the patience to walk the path Stephenson pens. (June 4, 2019)


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Magic for Liars: A Novel by Sarah Gailey

Gailey delighted readers in 2018 with their River of Teeth novellas featuring fetal hippos and a band of human outcasts on the Mississippi River in the late 1800s. Gailey's new full-length novel, Magic for Liars sets a gruesome murder mystery at a contemporary high school for magicians, and brings in tough PI Ivy Gamble (and twin sister to one of the mage teachers) to solve the crime. Expect Gailey to deliver a strongly voiced and compelling urban fantasy mystery as Ivy tries to unravel the complex relationships among the gifted teachers and students as well as deal with her own mixed feelings about her magical shortcomings. (June 4, 2019)

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Velocity Weapon (The Protectorate) by Megan E. O'Keefe

This space opera puts siblings Sandra and Biran Greeve in the uncomfortable position of having to save their people after they unexpectedly become separated by 230 years. Fighter Sandra and politician Biran must do the impossible, with the help of a rogue AI, in this epic SF debut. (June 11, 2019)


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Aftershocks (The Palladium Wars) by Marko Kloos

Kloos (Frontlines) launches a new SF series in July with Aftershocks. One of Kloos’ many strengths is evoking the complexities and gray areas in conflict and combat, and he promises to do so again as his protagonists struggle to rebalance their worlds after an interplanetary war has upending everyone’s lives. Even as they try to pick up the pieces for themselves and their world, a new threat appears on the horizon. Says George R.R. Martin about Aftershocks, “I gulped down the first book in a day, and I am already eager for the next one.” (July 1, 2019)


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Wanderers: A Novel by Chuck Wendig

Wendig’s newest novel is perhaps the most ambitious yet from an author who’s never afraid to push boundaries, and is already gaining comparisons to The Stand and Station Eleven. People begin succumbing to a mysterious malady in which they begin sleepwalking toward a shared destination. As the walkers and their awake guardians, known as shepherds, begin crossing the U.S., terror of succumbing to the phenomenon starts to claw away at the nation’s already precarious social foundations. (July 2, 2019)


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The Rage of Dragons (The Burning) by Evan Winter

This epic fantasy has dragons, a caste system escaped only through military service, and a line of queens in whom magic has slowly been extinguished. Young Tau knows the military life is not for him, but the increasing onslaught of warring neighbors, the crowning of a new, untried queen, and the death of loved ones force him to take up the sword and become the man he never wanted to be. The Kindle book has been available to readers since earlier this year and has gained an average rating of 4.7 stars from more than 400 customers as of May 6. (Available July 16, 2019, for hardcover and Audible audiobook; available now in Kindle book)

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The Redemption of Time: A Three-Body Problem Novel by Baoshu

Renowned sci-fi writer Baoshu reveals a new story in the universe of Cixin Liu’s Three-Body Problem, with Liu’s blessing on the project. After betraying the human race to the extraterrestrial Trisolarans, Yun Tianming is granted a chance to redeem himself even as he’s regenerated into a new body with new purpose. (July 16, 2019)


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Thrawn: Treason (Star Wars: Thrawn) by Timothy Zahn

Fans of Thrawn were thrilled when the mysterious blue-skinned military genius got his own origin novel in 2017, and Zahn followed up in 2018 with another adventure featuring the Grand Admiral. Now, on the eve of the events of Rogue One, Thrawn is faced with an impossible decision: return to his threatened home world, or cement his spot as Emperor Palpatine’s right-hand villain. (July 23, 2019)


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Do You Dream of Terra-Two? by Temi Oh

This sci=fi debut puts 10 astronauts on a ship aimed at a nearby solar system, with the goal of discovering a new earth. Four of the voyagers are seasoned astronauts; six are highly trained teenagers who will come of age during the 23-year-long trip. Described as “The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet meets The 100”, this novel promises to brim with Feelings, philosophical musings, and surprising characters with their own agendas. (August 13, 2019)

In addition to these 10 novels, we’re also looking forward to Pierce Brown’s newest Red Rising novel, Max Gladstone’s The Empress of Forever, S.L. Huang’s follow-up to Zero Sum Game, and Jackson Ford’s hilariously titled The Girl Who Could Move Sh*t with Her Mind. Happy reading!


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