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18 science fiction and fantasy books to pick up this November

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It’s November, which means it’s getting colder outside: the perfect excuse to curl up with a good book. Fortunately, there’s a whole pile of new books coming out this month for you to check out and add to your to-read list.

Here's what you should load up your bookshelves with this November:

November 1st

What the #@&% Is That?: The Saga Anthology of the Monstrous and the Macabre by John Joseph Adams by Douglas Cohen

While Halloween might be behind us, the fall is the perfect time to sink into a good horror story. John Joseph Adams and Douglas Cohen have put together a really intriguing, spooky anthology from Saga Press, featuring an incredible table of contents that includes Laird Barron, Maria Dahvana Headley, Seanan McGuire, Christopher Golden, and many others.

The Burning Light by Bradley P. Beaulieu, Rob Ziegler

In this short novella, Bradley P. Beaulieu and Rob Ziegler follow the story of a government operative, Colonel Chu, who is exiled to the remains of New York City, where something called The Light is infecting users. Her task is to eliminate the threat, which includes tracking down a Light junkie named Zola, who might hold the key to what Chu is looking for.

The Voynich Manuscript edited by Raymond Clemens; introduction by Deborah Harkness

The Voynich Manuscript was originally discovered by a rare book dealer named Wilfrid Voynich, who found it in the library of the Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II. The volume has confounded scholars for decades with its indecipherable text, and strange and fantastic illustrations. This volume is a reproduction from Yale University Press, and includes additional essays and material.

The Lost Child of Lychford by Paul Cornell

In this sequel to Cornell’s 2015 novella Witches of Lychford, Lizzie is working on putting things back into order after an evil conglomerate tried to open a portal to another world. However, the appearance of a small boy who comes to Lizzie and her two fellow witches threaten to throw everything into disarray once again.

The Weaver by Emmi Itäranta

Eliana is a weaver in the House of Webs, and harbors a secret: she can dream, an ability that is forbidden on her home island. She’s kept it a secret until now, when a young girl is found outside of her house, unconscious and bleeding. As Eliana delves into the mystery behind the girl’s assault, she uncovers a web of conspiracies and must risk it all to save herself when she is targeted.

Invisible Planets: Contemporary Chinese Science Fiction in Translation by Ken Liu

Ken Liu has established himself as an exemplary translator for Chinese science fiction novels — look no further than his work on The Three Body Problem or Death’s End. In addition to those novels, he’s been working to bring short fiction to English, and has collected the stories of modern Chinese SF authors into one anthology.

Literary Wonderlands: A Journey Through the Greatest Fictional Worlds Ever Created edited by Laura Miller

This incredible book is an encyclopedia of some of the greatest speculative fiction stories ever put to paper. Including contributors such as Lev Grossman, Laurie Penny, John Clute, Kat Howard, and many others, the book traces the literary history of speculative fiction from ancient stories such as The Epic of Gilgamesh all the way up to Ann Leckie’s Imperial Radch trilogy.

Things from the Flood by Simon Stålenhag

I love Simon Stålenhag’s artwork. Hailing from Sweden, he focuses on an incredible, alternative retrofuture world where the mundane meets the fantastic. He includes hulking ruins, giant robots, and the decaying remains of the future amidst the countryside of his home country. This art book follows up his first, Tales from the Loop.

November 8th

Remnants of Trust: A Central Corps Novel by Elizabeth Bonesteel

Bonesteel released her first novel earlier this year: The Cold Between, introducing us to Commander Elena Shaw of the Central Corps. Court-martialed after their actions in that book, she and Captain Greg Foster are sent to patrol an empty region of space. While there, they come across a distress call from their sister ship, Exeter, which is under attack from raiders. An investigation turns up sabotage, and it becomes clear that someone is trying to spark a conflict that will keep all eyes away from the real conspiracy.

The Mountain of Kept Memory by Rachel Neumeier

Long ago, the world’s last goddess, Kieba raised a mountain in Carastind, from where she protects the world from harm. When the heir to the throne of the kingdom delves into the world’s history, he begins to suspect that the goddess withdrew her protection after an insult from his father. As danger looms from around the kingdom, Gulien and his sister Oressa must figure out what price they’re willing to pay in order to save their home.

After Atlas by Emma Newman

Emma Newman made a huge splash with her novel Planetfall last year, and her latest is a standalone novel that takes place in the same world. Carlos Moreno was an infant when the generation ship Atlas departed from Earth, and 40 years after its departure, the leader of a religious cult, Alejandro Casales is found dead, and Moreno is in charge of the investigation. As he delves into discovering Casales’s killer, he finds that the legacy of the Atlas is more pertinent than he thought.

Alien Morning by Rick Wilber

In this first contact novel, freelance journalist Peter Holman is in the right place at the right time to cover the arrival of aliens, the S’hudonni. The civilization has come to offers scientific advances in exchange for a variety of goods from Earth. As Holman falls for a brilliant scientist chosen by the S’hudonni as their liaison, he finds that there might be more to the aliens than meets the eye.

Starcraft: Evolution by Timothy Zahn

Timothy Zahn is tackling a new franchise: Starcraft. Set after the events of Starcraft II: Legacy of the Void, the three major factions — the protoss, the zerg, and the terrans have entered into a cease fire after a decade of war. When it’s discovered that an incinerated planet has been restored, an expedition journeys to the planet to discern the zerg’s intentions, only to discover that there’s a greater danger that could change the galaxy.

November 15th

Assassin's Creed: Heresy by Christie Golden

Assassin’s Creed is making the jump from game to film this year, and this new novel explores the story of Simon Hathaway, the head of Abstergo Industry’s Historical Research Division. His ancestor fought alongside Joan of Arc, and when he goes into the Animus, he finds that there was more to the conflict between the Templars and Assassins than he thought.

Catalyst by James Luceno

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is debuting in theaters next month, and veteran Star Wars author James Luceno’s new novel helps set the stage. Set decades before the film, Orson Krennic is working to keep the Emperor’s Death Star project on track, and recruits an old friend Galen Erso to help complete the project. In Krennic’s debt after being rescued from Separatists during the Clone Wars, the Erso family feels the empire’s grip tighten as the project progresses forward.

November 17th

Iraq + 100: Stories from Another Iraq edited by Hassan Blasim

This anthology starts with an interesting premise: what will Iraq look like in 2103, a century after the American / British invasion of 2003? Editor Hassan Blasim has recruited a number of Arabic writers to imagine what the future of their country might look like, and provides an outstanding introduction to the world of Middle Eastern science fiction.

November 18th

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay by J.K. Rowling

J.K. Rowling had a hit on her hands earlier this year when she released the script for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Now, she’s releasing her script for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which will follow Magizoologist Newt Scamander and his misadventures in New York City.

November 22nd

Apes and Angels by Ben Bova

Ben Bova continues his Star Quest trilogy with Apes and Angels, picking up after the first installment, Death Wave. Humanity is headed to the stars in an altruistic effort to save intelligent life in the galaxy from a deadly wave of gamma radiation that erupted from the galactic core. The crew of the Odysseus have arrived at the planet Mithra, where they begin work to protect the Stone Age inhabitants from doom, and will have to fight to protect themselves as well.

What books are you looking forward to the most?