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23 science fiction and fantasy novels to read this March

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Stories of robots, revolutions, and space empires

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It’s March, which means that there’s a whole new slate of books ready to crowd our bookshelves — books about robots, revolutions, and vast space empires to tear into.

Earlier this year, I mentioned that I’m trying to expand my reading horizons in 2017. Left to my own devices, I tend to sink into science fiction and fantasy novels, but I’ve been trying to whittle down my pile of other books lately. One book I recently knocked off the list is The Lion in the Living Room: How House Cats Tamed Us and Took Over the World by Abigail Tucker, which is an utterly fascinating look at our shared history with cats. Cats have been with us for millennia. Unlike dogs, which we domesticated, they sort of just showed up to hang out. As the servant of two cats, I thought it was an enlightening read.

Still, there are a bunch of really cool-looking science fiction and fantasy novels coming out in March that I’m looking forward to digging into.

March 7th, 2017

Talos Books

Lotus Blue by Cat Sparks

Star and Nene are orphans who are part of a caravan of traders in a post-apocalyptic world inhabited by rogue semi-sentient machinery and other monsters. When their caravan sees a satellite crash to Earth, Star ends up on a journey that takes her far from home. Aided by Quarrel, an ancient super-soldier, she has to learn to trust her unlikely allies as a long-sleeping war machine awakens in the desert, and threatens all of humanity.

Spaceman of Bohemia by Jaroslav Kalfar

In Kalfar’s debut novel, a Czech orphan grows up to become his country’s first astronaut. Offered the chance to become the first human to travel to Venus, he comes to realize the steep cost of such a mission on himself and his family. On top of that, he forms a bond with a possibly imaginary alien spider while en route to Venus, and sinks into a series of conversations about the nature of the universe with his unlikely companion.

Sins of Empire by Brian McClellan

Fantasy author Brian McClellan kicks off a new series, Gods of Blood and Powder, set in the same world as his Powder Mage trilogy. The new frontier nation of Fatrasta is facing new problems from within. Insurrection in the capital city of Landfall is in its infancy, and spy Michael Bravis, veteran Mad Ben Styke, and mercenary general Lady Vlora Flint must protect the city as even greater challenges arise.

Archangel by Margaret Fortune

The second installment of the Spectre War series, Archangel picks up with the perspective of Michael Sorenson, who appeared in the first book of the series, Nova. He’s recruited into a research and development group called Division 7, which is developing a means to kill an enemy of humanity, the Spectres. Sorenson goes into the field with new prototypes, and as they begin testing out their weapons, it’s clear that they have a saboteur in the mix, someone targeting Sorenson.

Seven Surrenders by Ada Palmer

In To Like Lightning, Ada Palmer introduced us to Mycroft Canner, a convict sentenced to wander the globe. In doing so, he learned of a conspiracy to keep the world in order, and the deaths that kept everything in balance. That balance is beginning to shift, and everything could come falling down.

Alone by Scott Sigler

Scott Sigler brings his Generations trilogy to a close. The series began with Alive and Alight, and in this final novel, a group of young adults known as the Birthday Children overthrow their creators. They were genetically engineered to live on a hostile planet and to be overwritten with the consciousnesses of others. Now, the others are coming to take their planet from them, and they must be prepared to defend their home.

Beauty and the Beast: Classic Tales about Animal Brides and Grooms from Around the World by Maria Tatar

There’s a live-action version of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast hitting theaters, and the folks at Penguin Classics have assembled a very specific anthology for the occasion: short stories from folklore about animal brides. There’s enough to fill a book, and Tatar puts together a neat collection of stories from all over the world.

Harper Voyager

A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers

I read this book last year (it was first released in the UK), and it’s a follow-up to Chambers’ fantastic novel The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet. This is an interesting sequel, in that it follows a character from that first book, but on a completely different trajectory than I expected. Chambers weaves together two distinct stories of two individuals finding themselves in the larger universe, and it’s a wonderful, heartbreaking read.

March 14th, 2017

The Wanderers by Meg Howery

A private space company, Prime Space is planning on putting astronauts on Mars for the first time, and in preparation for the mission, Helen Kane, Yoshihiro Tanaka, and Sergei Kuznetsov embark on a 17-month simulation of the trip out. Each astronaut must confront their inner demons and one another as they try to remain in control of their lives.

Pilot X by Tom Merritt

Pilot X is a member of a race called the Alendans, who can move through time and space to guard the timeline. For generations, they’ve been fighting the Sensaurians, a hive mind, and the Progons, a machine race, both of which can send messages back in time. When Pilot X discovers a secret war being waged in hidden parts of the universe, he has a hard choice to make: erase all three races from existence, or allow the universe to be destroyed.

Solaris

The Djinn Falls in Love and Other Stories by Mahvesh Murad and Jared Shurin

This anthology has stories all about Djinn (also sometimes called genies). They’re fearsome or friendly, victims and monsters, and this book imagines them all over the world. The author lineup is incredible: Neil Gaiman, Amal El-Mohta, Maria Dahvana Headley, Usman Malik, Nnedi Okorafor, and many others.

Brothers Ruin by Emma Newman

In this alternate history (and the first of a new series), Great Britain is doing well due to its Royal Society of the Esoteric Arts. Talented mages are in hot demand, but for the poor, losing a magical son can be devastating. The Gunns have two mages in their midst, their powerful daughter Charlotte and her brother Benjamin. She works to save her brother from arrest, but when she discovers a plot by a Doctor Ledbetter, she has to go all-out to save her city and her family’s secrets.

March 21st, 2017

Infinity Engine by Neal Asher

The final installment of Neal Asher’s Transformations trilogy, Infinity Engine follows Asher’s Dark Intelligence and War Factory. Following the efforts to pursue a rogue AI named Penny Royal. The hunt has intensified as criminals such as Brockle and an enigmatic alien known as the Weaver join the hunt, each with their own motives.

Phantom Pains by Mishell Baker

In Borderlines, Mishell Baker introduced the Arcadia Project, an underground group of magicians operating in Los Angeles. Millie reluctantly returned to the project after her partner Teo was killed. She came across his ghost at the site of his death, which is strange, because ghosts don’t exist. When her former boss is framed for a brutal attack, she’s forced to track down the perpetrators and stop an attack that could leave both the real and fey worlds in ruins.

Star's End by Cassandra Rose Clarke

Esme’s family owns a star system, thanks to the wealth generated by the manufacturing companies run by her father, Phillip Coromina. She will inherit his company, and as she comes of age and begins to learn about his business, she learns some shocking truths about what Phillip was engaged in.

Chalk by Paul Cornell

Paul Cornell’s novella takes us back to the midst of Margaret Thatcher’s England, in which he called his most important work. Andrew Waggoner is targeted by school bullies, who do something unforgivable and unthinkable. Something dies in Waggoner and something new is reborn, thirsting for revenge.

Orbital Cloud by Taiyo Fujii

We posted the first chapter to Taiyo Fujii’s next novel last month, and we’re excited to dig into the rest of it. In 2020, the owner of a shooting star-tracking website sees some space debris moving strangely in orbit. Then he receives information from an Iranian scientist that puts him in the midst of a much larger conflict between major governments and titans of private space industry. As the ramifications of his discovery become clearer, a new orbital space hotel, a terrorist plot, and a military investigation all factor into the equation.

Mass Effect - Andromeda: Nexus Uprising by Jason M. Hough and K.C. Alexander

Titan Books announced an incredible lineup of authors for its relaunch of the Mass Effects literary expanded universe, and the first installment, authored by Jason M. Hough and K.C. Alexander, will hit stores this month. Bioware is keeping a lid on what the books are about, but we’re interested to see how they turn out.

Relics by Tim Lebbon

In the latest horror novel from Tim Lebbon, a criminology student discovers an underground black market for arcane objects after her fiancé goes missing. As Angela searches for Vince, her searching leads her up against a crime lord dedicated to collecting objects, and she finds that some of these objects aren’t ancient at all.

New York 2140 by Kim Stanley Robinson

Kim Stanley Robinson is known for his incredible visions of the future. Now, he takes a look close to home, in a book set in New York City, just over a century from now. Rising sea levels have turned the Big Apple into a waterlogged metropolis, and Robinson follows the lives of a large cast of characters making their way in this new world.

Image: Tor Books

The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi

John Scalzi’s new space-opera novel isn’t connected to his Old Man’s War universe — it’s set in a fantastic new world. Humanity has spread to the far reaches of space, thanks to The Flow, and a new empire has arisen, the Interdependency. The Flow is beginning to move, and entire worlds are being cut off. A scientist, a starship captain, and the new empress of the Interdependency set off to try and salvage an empire about to collapse.

March 28th, 2017

Tor Books

Luna: Wolf Moon by Ian McDonald

In Ian McDonald’s Luna: New Moon, a bloody power struggle outed the Helio family from its position of power on the moon. A year and a half later, the survivors try to come to terms with their survival and imprisonment, while the missing heir to the family, Lucas, is still missing. He returns to Earth to gather allies to try and bring his family back to its former glory. Luna: New Moon was one of my favorite books of 2015, and I’m eagerly awaiting the next installment.

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

In Laini Taylor’s new novel, there was a battle between gods and mortals more than a decade ago. Mortal humans were victorious, but the gods left some children behind. Those children are growing up, and now, their hidden lives are about to be uncovered.