Okay, are we all caught up with adding books to our reading lists that were previewed in Part 1 and Part 2 of this lookahead to 2018's science fiction fantasy and horror books? Good. Because there's another batch of tantalizing reads coming at you in the final months of the year…

 

AUGUST

 

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As of this writing, there are nine books currently on the slate for August. First up is John Varley's noir science fiction novel, Irontown Blues. It features a detective who's looking for a cure for a dangerous new disease by hunting down the biohackers who created it. Meanwhile, a new frontier in particle physics is the battleground between scientific inquiry and the desire for more powerful weaponry in Cixin Liu's standalone military science fiction adventure Ball Lightning. After the rest of future mankind destroys itself, the last human alive searches the lonely galaxy for companionship in Relic by Alan Dean Foster. In S.K. Dunstall's new space adventure, Stars Uncharted, a motley space crew are looking to make the biggest score in the galaxy. Gini Koch serves up another alien romp in Aliens Like Us, which sees Katherine "Kitty" Katt answering a call from help from an alternate universe. The Fated Sky by Mary Robinette Kowal continues the alternate history of Lady Astronaut Elma York—this time in 1961, when mankind is looking to use its well-established moon base as a launch point for colonizing Mars. Connie Willis offers proof of her excellent social satire skills in Terra Incognita, a collection of three short novels.

On the fantasy side of the aisle, Tim Powers weaves a modern-day ghost story around the supernatural goings-on on the freeways of Los Angeles in Alternate Routes. And Robert Jackson Bennett launches a new fantasy series with Foundryside, in which a thief and a cop team up to thwart the shady dealings of the ruling merchant houses in a city that runs on industrialized magic.

Short fiction lovers will surely find lots to adore in the pages of The Year's Best Science Fiction & Fantasy: 2018 Edition edited by Rich Horton.

 

SEPTEMBER

 

From the view at the beginning of 2018, September is already shaping up to be a fine month of reading. Firstly, Library of America is honoring Madeleine L'Engle with a new box set called Madeleine L'Engle: The Kairos Novels: The Wrinkle in Time and Polly O'Keefe Quartets, a collection of 8 related novels that begins with A Wrinkle in Time. There's also, Night and Silence by Seanan McGuire, the twelfth book in the October Daye urban fantasy series, in which October "Toby" Daye's estranged human daughter is abducted and Toby must find her.

Master of space opera Peter F. Hamilton launches a new standalone trilogy with Salvation, in which the advent of Jump Gate technology in 2204 ushers in an era of human interstellar travel. Pierce Brown's Red Rising series continues with Dark Age, the sequel to Iron Gold, which examines whether the new boss is the same as the old boss. The Cold War being fought by superhumans in the alternate history of Michael J. Martinez's MJ-12 series reaches a boiling point in Endgame, the series conclusion. Speaking of superhumans, Vengeful is the second book in V. E. Schwab's exciting superhero series Villains, and it continues the super-powered struggle between archenemies Victor and Eli. Finally, how do you follow up the gonzo science fiction of giant robots in United States of Japan? If you're author Peter Tierya, you write Mecha Samurai Empire, in which a young man strives to become a mecha pilot in an alternate United States resulting from Germany and Japan winning WWII.

Two anthologies will happily fill up your shorter reading session this month: The Year's Best Dark Fantasy & Horror: 2018 Edition edited by Paula Guran and Echoes edited by Ellen Datlow. Either will satisfy, but do yourself a favor and add both to your reading pile.

 

OCTOBER - DECEMBER

 

The pickings are pretty slim near the end of the year. Schedules are highly tentative this far out, but here's what we know is planned...

October's releases include Blood Communion: A Tale of Prince Lestat, a brand new entry in Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles saga. Here, Prince Lestat tells the story about how he became prince of the vampire world. Then there's The Widening Gyre by John Scalzi (sequel to The Collapsing Empire), which sees humanity trying to stem the disappearance of the Flow, the dimensional conduit that makes travel between the stars possible. Readers will have lots of new stories and voices to discover in The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2018 edited by John Joseph Adams and N.K. Jemisin. October's short fiction also includes Tomorrow Factory, a collection of fiction by Rich Larson, and Myke Cole's The Queen of Crows, the sequel to his epic fantasy story The Armored Saint, where magic is outlawed.

November's picks include Creatures of Want and Ruin by Molly Tanzer, which shows readers an Amityville horror of a different kind. It's 1929 and a woman in the Long Island town of Amityville discovers that the people at her church possess supernatural powers and don't take kindly to immigrants. Then there's (CON)science by PJ Manney, the third book in her thrilling, though-provoking series Phoenix Horizon in which nanotechnology ushers in a new stage of human evolution. Short fiction readers can get their fix with the anthologies Lost Souls Short Storiesand Robots & Artificial Intelligence Short Stories, both part of the essential Gothic Fantasy series edited by Laura Bulbeck.

Patiently waiting for readers in December is Agency by William Gibson, in which a gifted "app-whisperer" finds herself in contact with a unique and surprisingly combat-savvy AI. (If I had a nickel, amiright?)

So…lots to read next year. Update those reading lists and get started!

John DeNardo is the founding editor of  SF Signal, a Hugo Award-winning science fiction and fantasy blog featuring news, reviews and interviews. You can follow him on Twitter as @sfsignal.