This month's roundup of new speculative fiction releases includes parallel dimensions, Norse gods, a flooded Earth, disappearing towns, and the end of the world.
Eternity’s Wheel by Neil Gaiman, Michael Reaves, Mallory Reaves
WHAT IT'S ABOUT: Young Joey Harker teams up with other versions of himself from parallel worlds to confront HEX and Binary, the forces of magic that seek to destroy the multiverse of worlds, and stop FrostNight—the event that will end it all.
WHY YOU MIGHT LIKE IT: Eternity’s Wheel is a fast-moving and satisfying conclusion to the series.
I Am Princess X by Cherie Priest
WHAT IT'S ABOUT: A young girl deciphers clues in a web comic that can only be coming from her best friend, who supposedly died in a car accident years before.
WHY YOU MIGHT LIKE IT: This is a great book to hand to a younger reader, or a young person who you want to become a reader.
Mother of Eden by Chris Beckett
WHAT IT'S ABOUT: Generations after humans landed on an alien world, two kingdoms have emerged. Young Starlight Brooking travels to one of them, where she falls in love with the heir to the throne, and becomes a stand-in for the world's founder.
WHY YOU MIGHT LIKE IT: Beckett's alien world is inventive and is used as a springboard for interesting ideas.
Seveneves by Neal Stephenson
WHAT IT'S ABOUT: As the end of world nears, humanity looks toward outer space for survival. Five thousand years later, with mankind organized into seven distinct races, humanity embarks on another journey to the alien world known as Earth.
WHY YOU MIGHT LIKE IT: The scope of Seveneves is audacious and Stephenson is a visionary author who makes readers think.
The Book of Phoenix by Nnedi Okorafor
WHAT IT'S ABOUT: A genetically engineered "accelerated woman"—just 2 years old but possessing the body and mind of an adult, as well as extraordinary abilities—comes to learn that her idyllic life belies the true nature of her situation.
WHY YOU MIGHT LIKE IT: This is a prequel to the author's World Fantasy Award–winning novel, Who Fears Death, and is another enticing story of magical futurism.
The Gospel of Loki by Joanne M. Harris
WHAT IT'S ABOUT: The rise and fall of the Norse gods, from the point of view of Loki, the ultimate Trickster. Follow Loki as he is recruited from the underworld of Chaos, undertakes tasks at the behest of Odin, and betrays the Gods themselves.
WHY YOU MIGHT LIKE IT: The author of Chocolat offers an adult fantasy that's both accessible and fun.
The Gracekeepers by Kirsty Logan
WHAT IT'S ABOUT: Set in a world mostly covered by water, humanity is divided between those who live out in the water ("damplings") and those who live on what little land remains ("landlockers"). A woman named North, a dampling who performs in a floating circus, and Callanish, a landlocker charged with administering waterside burials, have their lives forever changed by a mighty storm.
WHY YOU MIGHT LIKE IT: This lyrically written story, inspired in part by Scottish myths and fairy tales, is a modernized story set in a world that can never be the same.
The New World by Chris Adrian and Eli Horowitz
WHAT IT'S ABOUT: A couple—Jane (a pediatric surgeon) and Jim (a chaplain)—are celebrating their eighth wedding anniversary when Jim suddenly collapses and dies. Jane soon makes the horrific discovery that her husband's head has been removed from his body and cryogenically frozen by a shadowy organization known as Polaris. Revived in the future, Jim learns that the cost of survival is erasing all memories of his former life, including Jane.
WHY YOU MIGHT LIKE IT: The dual narrative will keep readers itching to see what happens next.
The Scarlet Gospels by Clive Barker
WHAT IT'S ABOUT: Supernatural detective Harry D'Amour squares off against his formidable and evil rival, Pinhead, the priest of hell.
WHY YOU MIGHT LIKE IT: Fans of horror master Clive Barker will love the return of
Harry D'Amour and Pinhead.
The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi
WHAT IT'S ABOUT: In a water-scarce American Southwest, water is power. Angel Velasquez—a so-called "water-knife" who acts as detective, assassin, and spy for the Southern Nevada Water Authority—finds himself involved in a case of corruption, betrayal and death.
WHY YOU MIGHT LIKE IT: Bacigalupi's fiction is thought-provoking and socially relevant.
Trial of Intentions by Peter Orullian
WHAT IT'S ABOUT: The magical Veil that protects the world from a rogue god and the monsters he created, weakens. The races of mankind must come together to fight the threat.
WHY YOU MIGHT LIKE IT: The spectacular worldbuilding, which is a hallmark of epic fantasy.
Uprooted by Naomi Novik
WHAT IT'S ABOUT: A small village, surrounded by the woods where evil lives, is protected by a wizard known as the Dragon who periodically demands as payment a young woman to serve him for 10 years. The next choosing is fast approaching and Agnieszka fears that the Dragon will pick her best friend. But Agnieszka is worrying about the wrong person.
WHY YOU MIGHT LIKE IT: This novel, rooted in folk stories and legends, is the first of a series by an accomplished author who never fails to entertain her readers.
Where by Kit Reed
WHAT IT'S ABOUT: While a couple (David and Merrill) try to revive their stale relationship in a small coastal town, a smooth-talking real estate developer named Steele makes a romantic advance on Merrill and convinces David to meet him for an oddly scheduled appointment outside of town. When Steele is a no-show, David discovers that everyone in the town has disappeared, including Merrill.
WHY YOU MIGHT LIKE IT: Reed's story is the definition of spooky.
But wait! There's more! A few short fiction anthologies and collections will help you fill in those smaller bits of time in which you can get more reading done:
o The End Has Come edited by John Joseph Adams & Hugh Howey
o Gifts of Darkover edited by Deborah J. Ross
o The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year: Volume Nine edited by Jonathan Strahan
o Hannu Rajaniemi: Collected Fiction by Hannu Rajaniemi