The Descent of Monsters by JY Yang
Image: Tor.com

It’s the height of summer, so whether that means lazy vacation days or a desperate need to stay indoors bathed in icy air conditioning, you’re going to need some reading material. Fear not, scifi and fantasy fans—we’ve got you covered with 29 new releases to choose from.

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Age of War by Michael J. Sullivan

The third book in Sullivan’s Legends of the First Empire series sees humankind finally rise up against the godlike beings who’ve ruled since the beginning of time. But defeating them will be a nearly-impossible feat—with complications like magic and shifting loyalties getting in the way of victory. (July 3)

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Black Chamber by S.M. Stirling

A new alternate history series begins as President Teddy Roosevelt turns to America’s secret spy network, the Black Chamber, as the country faces World War I. Black Chamber agent Luz O’Malley Aróstegui must cozy up to a German agent to uncover the secret weapons program the enemy is working on. (July 3)

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The Book of Hidden Things by Francesco Dimitri

The fantasy author’s debut novel in English tells the tale of old friends who arrive in southern Italy for their long-standing annual meeting, only to find one among them has gone missing. Does a strange document they find hidden in his house hold the key to his mysterious disappearance? (July 3)

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The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal

In 1952, a meteorite decimates the East Coast and rapidly accelerates climate change. Colonizing space is the only hope for the human race, but the International Aerospace Coalition is reluctant to grant astronaut status to any of the qualified women in its employ—until one determined pilot/mathematician sets her sights on becoming the first “Lady Astronaut.” (July 3)

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City of Lies by Sam Hawke

This epic fantasy debut follows a man who’s secretly tasked with looking out for the young heir of his country’s Chancellor—and must utilize his extensive knowledge of poisons and chemicals when an army invades and magical threats begin to make themselves known. (July 3)

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Empire of Silence by Christopher Ruocchio

Ruocchio’s new series follows a man who’s forced to become a gladiator after he’s abandoned on a strange planet—and is led into a life where he’s alternately praised as a hero and accused of being a monstrous mass murderer. (July 3)

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Marked by Benedict Jacka

A reluctant new addition to the Light Council, Mage Alex Versus is tasked with brokering peace between the other Council members and the Dark Mages who’ve been spreading dangerous magic throughout the world—all while protecting his friends from harm. (July 3)

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The Year’s Best Science Fiction edited by Gardner Dozois

Acclaimed editor and author Gardner Dozois passed away in May, but his impact on the science fiction genre lives on in his many works—including this 35th annual anthology. This year’s edition features contributions from some of the genre’s most acclaimed writers, including James S.A. Corey (The Expanse). (July 3)

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Bright We Burn by Kiersten White

The epic, Ottoman Empire-set And I Darken saga concludes as a new sultan comes to power. But before he can be a true leader, he must fight one last war, against a fierce princess he once loved, and who happens to be the sister of his closest lieutenant. (July 10)

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Deep Roots by Ruthanna Emrys

The third installment in the author’s Lovecraft-inspired Innsmouth Legacy picks up in 1940s America, where a survivor of internment camps meant to contain the Deep Ones encounters a troubling mystery as she struggles to rebuild her life and reunite her family. (July 10)

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European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman by Theodora Goss

Mary Jekyll and her crew of mad-scientist daughters in the Athena Club return in this sequel to The Strange Case of the Alchemists’s Daughter. This time, they set out across the Austro-Hungarian Empire to rescue a kidnapped Lucinda Van Helsing and face down the Alchemical Society once and for all. (July 10)

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Game of the Gods by Jay Schiffman

A powerful judge and skilled military commander is given the ability to glimpse the future—and it’s bad. Like, apocalypse bad. Soon, he’s in a race against time to rescue his kidnapped family and lead a team of highly unconventional warriors in a fight to save the planet. (July 10)

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I Only Killed Him Once by Adam Christopher

Hollywood’s own robot detective-turned-robot hitman Ray Electromatic returns for another noir-ish adventure, chasing a target who won’t stay dead—a conundrum complicated by the fact that his memory loop is erased every 24 hours. (July 10)

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River of Bones by Taylor Anderson

This series is about a World War II destroyer that’s transported to another planet, where the commander and his crew are soon drawn into an alien conflict just as heated as the one they left behind. In this installment, their ship is being repaired, so they shift to another vessel as the battle rages on. (July 10)

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Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

The author follows her Nebula-winning Uprooted with another dark fairy tale; this time, a young woman revitalizes her father’s failing moneylending business, but her success soon attracts dangerous attention from two royal houses—one human, and one magical. (July 10)

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Suicide Club: A Novel About Living by Rachel Heng

In the future, humans have figured out how to live for 300 years and potentially forever. The extremely regimented lifestyle of one NYC woman means she’s got a very good chance of achieving immortality—until her estranged father draws her into a mysterious, illegal community of people who live freely and plot their deaths as acts of rebellion. (July 10)

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The Expert System’s Brother by Adrian Tchaikovsky

The Arthur C. Clarke Award winner (for Children of Time) presents his latest, about a man who suffers an accident that sends him meandering aimlessly through the world until he finds help in a most unexpected place. (July 17)

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The Hidden World by Melinda Snodgrass

A military officer who was made the fall guy for an imperial crime has cobbled together a new, under-the-radar life for himself—which he’s soon pulled away from when the royal who betrayed him 14 years ago tracks him down, desperate for his help to save her throne. (July 17)

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Kill the Farm Boy by Delilah S. Dawson and Kevin Hearne

This irreverent fairy-tale parody aims to upend every genre trope as it follows a farm boy who’s on a quest to rescue an imprisoned princess. The book’s description also promises “sinister umlauts,” a “trash-talking goat” and a Necromancer named Steve. (July 17)

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Maze Master by Kathleen O’Neal Gear

In this apocalyptic thriller, a dangerous new virus is poised to kill millions if a cure isn’t quickly discovered—but the only scientist capable of such a feat lost his mind and disappeared, leaving behind a maze of clues for the former student who’s tasked with tracking him down. (July 17)

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One of Us by Craig DeLouie

Four-word plot description: “Teenage mutants in 1984.” Want more? A reviewer dubbed it “The Girl With All the Gifts meets To Kill a Mockingbird.” (July 17)

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The War in the Dark by Nick Setchfield

This alternate history tale, set in Europe at the height of the Cold War, sees a British agent and his mysterious companion racing to uncover a magical, occult-powered secret before the Russians get to it first. (July 17)

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The Wild Dead by Carrie Vaughn

The sequel to the Philip K. Dick award-winning, feminist dystopian novel Bannerless picks up with the Coast Road people, who’ve rebuilt a semblance of civilization 100 years after total economic and environmental devastation. Investigator Enid of Haven thinks she’s being tasked with mediating a property dispute—until it becomes clear that a murder mystery has entered the picture, too. (July 17)

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Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers

The third book in the Wayfarers series catches up with the Exodus Fleet, the colony ship that carried the last humans away from Earth. But that was hundreds of years ago, and most of their descendants have since made lives on new planets—leaving the few who’ve remained aboard torn between preserving the past and moving on forever. (July 24)

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Thrawn: Alliances (Star Wars) by Timothy Zahn

The fan-favorite character (a key villain on Star Wars Rebels) returns in a new adventure that sees him teaming up with the Empire’s other most powerful agent, Darth Vader, to investigate a Force-rattling threat on the remote planet Batuu. (July 24)

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Arabella, the Traitor of Mars by David Levine

The third Arabella Ashby adventure finds the heroine facing her greatest challenge yet when Great Britain decides it’s time for Mars to join its Empire. Does she stick with her husband, a captain in the Mars Trading Company who’s been tasked with leading the effort, or does she join the Martian resistance? (July 31)

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The Descent of Monsters by JY Yang

Yang’s “silkpunk” Tensorate novellas continue with this third volume. Something full of rage and danger has escaped from the Rewar Tent Institute of Experimental Methods, leaving gruesome carnage in its wake. The lead investigator on the case has very few clues—but she does sense there’s a cover-up afoot, and begins to realize may have something to do with the very strange dreams she’s been having. (July 31)

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Planetside by Micheal Mammay

A semi-retired war hero takes on a mission at the behest of an old friend, searching for an important officer’s MIA son. But what seems like a simple search-and-rescue gig soon gets a lot more complicated when he arrives on the far side of the galaxy and discovers a strange, ravaged planet teeming with secrets. (July 31)

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A Study in Honor by Claire O’Dell

As you might’ve guessed by the title, this tale is inspired by classic Sherlock Holmes stories, but with a scifi twist and queer women of color as its protagonists. Wounded on a battlefield during the New Civil War, Dr. Janet Watson returns to DC with a mechanical arm and bleak prospects for the future—until she meets quirky secret agent Sara Holmes. They team up to solve a murder mystery that may reveal corruption at the highest levels of goverment. (July 31)

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