The fundamental problem with doing a feature on the new books released each month is that I come up with a handful… this month it’s 7… and there is no way that I can possibly read all of them. There are some really interesting books releasing this month. Have a look.
The Erstwhile by Brian Catling
This one is totally intriguing to me because Catling mixes figures from the Bible, mythology, folklore and history. Oh, and there’s a family of robots too. I love a good mashup. The Erstwhile is Catling’s sequel to The Voorh, which released in 2015, and got 3.5 stars from readers.
Magic For Nothing by Seanan McGuire
McGuire is a busy author, having multiple series ongoing. Magic for Nothing is book 6 in her InCryptid series, which tells the story of a family of Cryptozoologists that works to keep humankind safe from the magical creatures that live around us, and that we have no idea are there. Described as a witty urban fantasy, this one sounds like great fun, particularly if you loved Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers
This book is a follow-up to Chambers’ The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet . It’s been out since October in the UK, but is now releasing in the states, and it’s gotten great reviews thus far (4.5 stars) The unique feature of this second book is that it follows a different character than the first book, on a different arc. Both are part of Chambers’ Wayfarer Series.
New York 2140 by Kim Stanley Robinson
Another totally intriguing story for me. As a believer in climate change, I find myself thinking from time to time about what happens to those places most affected by rising sea level. Do they just become abandoned, or do they adapt? Robinson, a New York Times Bestselling author, envisions a New York where the streets become canals and each skyscraper becomes its own island, and one particular building is filled with a cast of unique characters and a big ole mystery. Robinson is also the author of the Mars Trilogy. You know how I love Mars.
Phantom Pains by Mishell Baker
In addition to Mars stuff, I have really found a love for well told, modern magic stories. I credit Charlie Jane Anders for her All The Birds in the Sky, The Magicians on SyFy, and Dr. Strange for me newfound interest in magic fiction. Baker tells a story of modern magic in her second book of the Arcadia Project Series, the lead character, who left the project after Borderline, gets pulled back in and must solve a magic murder in order to exonerate her former boss. The story takes place in present day LA.
Phantom Pains looks like Grumpy’s Best Bet for March, but the list is so good, I may order more than one this month. Don’t tell Mrs. Pete.
Relics by Tim Lebbon
Listed as a Horror or Dark Fantasy book, Relics is about a criminology student from London who finds out that there is a secret black market for magical stuff. That can’t be good, right? As expected, both the objects for sale and the buyers of them are pretty badass dangerous. Tim Lebbon is another best selling author and has written books for popular franchises like Star Wars and Alien vs. Predator. I’m not really a fan of horror, but the idea of a magic black market is pretty darn cool.
The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi
This month my choices all involve things that are of great interest to me, and occupy my thoughts. The Collapsing Empire is no exception. One of the things I believe is that faster than light travel is not possible because, you know, physics. Scalzi addresses it with “The Flow”, a river like, wormhole like phenomenon that takes travels from one planet to worlds far away, and a new human empire is formed. The trouble is that “The Flow” often changes course, sometimes leaving whole planets disconnected from the empire. The Collapsing Empire tells the story of three characters trying to figure it all out, as the dissected empire crumbles. John Scalzi has been called “the most entertaining, accessible writer working in SF today” by Joe Hill author of The Fireman.
Another month of great reading possibilities. This has quickly become one of my favorite regular pieces that I write because it fills up my Amazon cart. Sadly, my posts are limited, so if you want more, here’s a complete list of new releases of Sci-fi and fantasy on Amazon.
What do you think? Read any great new sci-fi or fantasy books? Tell me about them in the comments below. I am always looking for recommendations.
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Pete Herr is the author of “10 Things We Should Teach You In High School and Usually Don’t”. He is the oldest geek in the Geekiverse by a factor of two. Follow Pete Herr on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram . If you don’t he gets Grumpy. You don’t want to see him Grumpy.