clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

New Adventures: all the best science fiction and fantasy books coming out in August

New, 15 comments

Space pirates, horror conventions, and epic fantasies

It’s a new month, which means that it’s a good time to look forward to the coming onslaught of science fiction, fantasy, and horror novels coming out in the next couple of weeks. Get ready, because there are some amazing books coming to a bookstore near you.

August 2nd

The Hike, Drew Magary

A businessman named Ben decides to take a short hike before a dinner meeting in rural Pennsylvania, and finds more than he bargained for. As he treks into the woods, he discovers that the woods aren’t willing to let him go quite so easily, and the only way out is to continue forward through a surreal and fantastic world. Magary’s latest novel is one that’s been described as a Twilight Zone-like story with as many twists and turns as a trail through the dark woods.

I Am Providence, Nick Mamatas

Horror author Colleen Danzig heads out for the first time to Summer Tetacular, an annual horror convention dedicated to the works of H.P. Lovecraft. There, she discovers a new world of authors and macabre fans, and when her annoying roommate turns up dead and missing his face, she begins investigating a crime that might have roots since the beginning of time. This meta novel comes at the perfect time: Lovecraft is an author whose reputation has been under intense scrutiny lately, and it looks like a read that will be a perfect take on his legacy.

An Accident of Stars, Foz Meadows

A young woman finds herself trapped in a magical realm about to erupt into civil war. Upon her arrival in Kena, she discovers that her fate is linked with three women, and pursued by the ruler of the empire Vex Leoden, she must flee to the safety of a nearby realm in order to save the entire world from destruction. Meadows is a regular commentator within the science fiction / fantasy fields, and has been nominated for one of the genre’s top awards: the Hugo. Her commentary and experience in the field is excellent backing for upending the typical genre tropes to provide a really great adventure.

Spiderlight, Adrian Tchaikovsky

The armies of Light and Darkness have battled one another for as long as memory serves, and a prophesy is about to unfold: priestess leading a band of misfits will defeat Dark Lord Darvezian. As they set out on their journey, they will face many dangers, betrayals and unexpected alliances. This new novella from Adrian Tchaikovsky is a solid epic fantasy that will please anyone who’s a fan of any of the fantasy greats out there.

Behind the Throne

Behind the Throne, K.B. Wagers

Hail Bristol is a feared smuggler and gun runner who has made a name for herself as one of the most dangerous in the Empire. However, she faces bigger problems when she learns that she’s the sole remaining heir to the Indranan Empire and that someone is getting ready to take down her family. This is a fast-paced space opera with some great characters and an even better world. Fans of Ann Leckie’s Ancillary trilogy or Rachel Bach’s Paradox trilogy will really love this one.

August 9th

Killfile, Christopher Farnsworth

John Smith used to work for the CIA because he had a special gift: he could read people’s minds. He’s in the private practice now, and when his billionaire client hires him to investigate former employee, he finds himself in a whole whirlwind of trouble. Farnsworth’s latest is a sharp thriller that’s a mix between James Bond and the X-Men.

The Guild Conspiracy, Brooke Johnson

The latest installment of Brooke Johnson’s Chroniker City finds its hero Petra Wade six months after her last adventure. Tasked with building a war machine, she’s been sabotaging the project to try and stave off a coming war, and her overseers are watching her every move. It’s been a while since we’ve picked up a good steampunk adventure, and this one looks like it’s just what we need.

The Last Days of New Paris, China Miéville

With books like The City and the City and Embassytown, China Miéville has written some of the strangest and brilliant novels in genre circles. The Last Days of New Paris is his second short novel this year, taking place in a radically strange and surreal Paris during the Second World War. Miéville’s works are always strange and exciting, and aren’t to be missed.

August 16th

Poisoned Blade, Kate Elliott

Elliott released the first book of her Court of Fives series last year and earned nomination for the Andre Norton award for YA fiction. In the sequel, Jessamy is a Challenger, moving up in the ranks of the Fives, and jumps at the opportunity to travel the countryside to face new competitors. When one of her companions is killed, she’s thrust into the midst of a war that could consume her world.

The Obelisk Gate, N.K. Jemisin

N.K. Jemisin’s novel The Fifth Season was hands down one of the best novels released last year. It was an amazingly creative and imaginative novel that upended fantasy literature. In its sequel, the world has ended, and Essun has escaped, only to come across Alabaster Tenring, who has a request that could seal the fate of the world forever. Early reports are saying that The Obelisk Gate is even better than its predecessor. If that’s the case, this isn’t a book that you will want to miss.

The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe, Kij Johnson

In Kij Johnson’s short novella The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe, Professor Vellitt Boe, a teacher at the Ulthar Women’s College, discovers that one of her students has left with a dreamer from the waking world, and she must go on a quest through the Dreamlands and into her own past to retrieve her. This book might be a short read, but it looks like it’s going to pack a considerable punch.

Ghost Talkers, Mary Robinette Kowal

We’re in the midst of the centennial for the First World War, and Mary Robinette Kowal’s latest fantasy novel is set right during some of the war’s early years. Ginger Stuyvesant is an American heiress engaged to a British Intelligence officer, and a medium in the Spirit Corps. Her role is to speak with recently deceased soldiers on the front, relaying their last moments to aid the war effort. In the course of her duties, Ginger discovers a that there is a traitor in their midst, one who is directly targeting the Spirit Corps.

The Last Days of Night, Graham Moore

Set in 1888 at the birth of the electrical age, it follows a young lawyer named Paul Cravath who's asked to defend industry titan George Westinghouse against a billion dollar lawsuit from inventor Thomas Edison. This novel is being adapted into a film by The Imitation Game's director, Morten Tyldum, which has us excited.

Amaryllis and Other Stories, Carrie Vaughn

Carrie Vaughn has written some incredible short stories in the last decade and a half, and she’s finally brought them together in one volume. The collection covers a range of genres, from science fiction to fantasy, including some of her best, such as Amaryllis and The Best That We Can.

Invasive, Chuck Wendig

Chuck Wendig isn’t just writing Star Wars novels these days. His latest takes us back to Earth where Hannah Stander is a consultant for the FBI. She’s a futurist who helps the agency figure out what technology will bring, and while she’s getting ready to fly home, she gets a call with a new case: a cabin full of a thousand dead bodies. Her investigation takes her from the Arizona deserts to a secret island laboratory chasing down something that could wipe humanity from the planet.

August 23rd

Breath of Earth, Beth Cato

In an alternate 1906, the United States and Japan have formed the United Pacific in an attempt to take over the world. Ingrid Carmichael, a young secretary discovers that she has incredible powers during an assassination attempt, and is forced to protect the city as tensions rise between political factions.

Spellbreaker, Blake Charlton

Leandra Weal is the Warden of Ixos, and obtains a spell that allows her to look into her own future. What she sees is shocking: she’s going to murder someone she loves, which could be any number of people. While she’s trying to get to the bottom of the mystery, her home faces natural disasters, cults, and political infighting, as well as her own troubled family. Blake Charlton’s first two fantasy novels Spellwight and Spellbound were excellent studies in the power of the written word and magic. After taking a break to finish his medical degree, Charlton is back to finish his trilogy.

August 30th

The Forgetting Moon, Brian Lee Durfee

In the first installment of a new fantasy epic, the army of Sør Sevier has invaded the Five Isles. As war looms, a knight finds himself disillusioned, a pair of royal princesses attempt to find their own way through the royal court and an orphan is taken in who might hold the key to saving the Five Isles. This novel has all the hallmarks of a dense, intriguing and exciting doorstop fantasy novel that will be sure to entertain you while you’re waiting for the next George R.R. Martin novel.