Don't Be Afraid of All the New Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Horror Books Coming in October

In the Black by Patrick S. Tomlinson
In the Black by Patrick S. Tomlinson
Image: Tor Books

There is one book on this list involving a giant, hungry, ancient spider, so you actually might want to be afraid of that one. But in a good way! It’s Halloween season, and though this list isn’t only scary stories, it offers plenty in the way of fantastical escapes both perilous and wondrous, sometimes at the same time.

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Image: Tachyon Publications
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The Midnight Circus by Jane Yolen

The author’s latest entry in her World Fantasy Award-winning series collects 16 stories and poems that visit Central Park, the Red Sea, the South Pole, and other places, finding inspiration in folklore and fairy tales. (October 1)

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Image: Harper Voyager

The Bladebone by Ausma Zehanat Khan

The Khorasan Archive series concludes with this fourth entry, which finds warriors Arian, Sinnia, and the Council of Hira desperate to find the magic weapon that can take down the sinister One-Eyed Preacher once and for all. (October 6)

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Image: Tin House Books

Bright and Dangerous Objects by Anneliese Mackintosh

When a woman makes the shortlist for the first mission to colonize Mars, she’s faced with the possibility of actually achieving her dream—at the cost of leaving everything and everyone she’s ever known behind. (October 6)

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The Devil and the Dark Water by Stuart Turton

In 1634, an infamous detective and his bodyguard face a mystery at sea when something that appears to be a demon begins haunting their ship and picking off the passengers. (October 6)

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Elsewhere by Dean Koontz

When a man and his 11-year-old daughter discover a way to travel between parallel dimensions, they hope to track down the girl’s long-missing mother—until they’re targeted by a mysterious figure who wants their power for his own evil purposes. (October 6)

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Image: Gallery / Saga Press

The Hollow Places by T. Kingfisher

After getting divorced and moving back home, a young woman finds a peculiar hole in the wall of her uncle’s house. Soon, she realizes it’s a portal to other realities filled with strange creatures that feast on fear. (October 6)

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Image: Wednesday Books

Hush by Dylan Farrow

The activist’s first YA fantasy novel follows a teenaged girl who must face her fears—and embrace the powers she’s kept hidden—when she realizes the group that uses magic to keep her community “safe” may not be so trustworthy after all. (October 6)

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Image: Tor Books

The Invisible Life of Addie Larue by V.E. Schwab

In 1714, a woman makes a deal to become immortal. Thus begins a life that’s equal parts adventurous and lonely—until 300 years later, when she meets a man who somehow knows who she is. (October 6)

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Image: Gallery / Saga Press

Machine by Elizabeth Bear

A doctor who treats patients in deep space discovers a dangerous, far-reaching mystery when her latest search and rescue operation goes haywire. (October 6) Update: The publication date for Machine has been moved to October 20.

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Magic Lessons by Alice Hoffman

This prequel to the author’s Practical Magic explores the story of Maria Owens, the witchy ancestor who casts a love curse over her family for generations. (October 6)

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The Ministry for the Future by Kim Stanley Robinson

The Hugo, Nebula, and Locus Award-winning author returns with a new sci-fi novel examining how climate change will affect the not-too-distant future.(October 6)

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Image: Titan Books

Night Train by David Quantick

In this sci-fi horror tale, a woman awakens aboard a moving train with no memory of how she got there or any understanding of why the mysterious locomotive is full of strange creatures, including tons of dead people. (October 6)

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Image: Greenwillow Books

Return of the Thief by Megan Whalen Turner

The epic Queen’s Thief series of standalone novels conclude with more adventures featuring Eugenides the thief, who enjoys his newfound power while facing a future filled with uncertainty. (October 6)

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Image: William Morrow

A Wild Winter Swan by Gregory Maguire

The author of Wicked returns with another fresh take on a classic tale, reshaping Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Wild Swans” into a story about a lonely teen who meets a one-winged swan in 1960s New York City. (October 6)

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Image: Tor Books

Attack Surface by Cory Doctorow

Set in the same world as the author’s novels Little Brother and Homeland, this standalone tale follows a global cybersecurity expert who is dismayed to realize the hacks she’s devised for spying on terrorists are starting to echo back on her own life. (October 13)

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Image: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Beyond the Ruby Veil by Mara Fitzgerald

After a rebellious young woman refuses to be sacrificed—and ends up destroying the creature that makes all the water for her city in the process—she must figure out the source of its magical power if she wants to save her people. (October 13)

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Image: Gallery / Saga Press

Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse

The author’s Between Earth and Sky trilogy begins as the winter solstice coincides with a solar eclipse—an omen that puts a holy city on edge as a ship carrying two mysterious, magical passengers arrives on its shores. (October 13)

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Image: Tor Books

Dune: The Duke of Caladan by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson

This first book in a new trilogy traces the unexplored backstory of Leto Atreides, Duke of Caladan, and father of the Muad’Dib. (October 13)

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The Emperor’s Wolves by Michelle Sagara

The Wolves of Elantra series begins as a new recruit joins the emperor’s crew of assassins and is soon drawn into a dangerous, secretive investigation as part of his first assignment. (October 13)

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A Golden Fury by Samantha Cohoe

After an alchemist goes mad while creating the Philosopher’s Stone, her daughter is targeted by everyone who’s obsessed with getting their hands on the mystical substance. (October 13)

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How to Break an Evil Curse by Laura Morrison

Cursed by a wizard to die if she ever encounters sunlight, a princess spends her days locked away and her nights exploring the city. When she discovers that the wizard’s also planning to take over her father’s throne, she begins to realize that letting the people rule might be the best solution. (October 13)

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Image: Tor Books

In the Black by Patrick S. Tomlinson

Described as “Hunt for Red October in space,” this military sci-fi novel follows a mission to find out why deep-space spy satellites are going offline; when the answer is, inevitably, “aliens,” the captain and her crew find themselves trying to keep the peace amid an intergalactic cold war. (October 13)

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Image: Blackstone Publishing

The Key to Fear by Kristin Cast

After a viral outbreak, a corporation steps in to enforce laws that ostensibly keep people safe. But what dark secrets are hiding behind all those rules—and what will happen to the devoted nurse who’s forced to break them? (October 13)

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Image: Erewhon Books

The Midnight Bargain by C. L. Polk

The latest from the World Fantasy Award-winning author is set in a world where women give up their magic powers when they get married—not an ideal situation for a talented young sorceress who’s expected to land a rich husband to save her family from financial ruin. (October 13)

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My Favorites by Ben Bova

The six-time Hugo winner presents 14 of his favorite short sci-fi and speculative fiction stories, each complete with a new introduction. (October 13)

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The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow

The Hugo winner’s new novel is about a trio of sisters in the late 1800s who lend their witchy powers to the suffragist movement. (October 13)

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Ring Shout by P. Djèlí Clark

The acclaimed author’s new novella, set in 1915, pits a group of resistance fighters against a supernaturally enhanced Ku Klux Klan. (October 13)

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The Sensation by Amanda Bridgeman

In futuristic San Francisco, a series of murders and missing-persons cases are linked to black market neural implants. A detective must go deep undercover in a secretive world to find out who’s behind these crimes. (October 13)

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The Tindalos Asset by Caitlín R. Kiernan

The latest Tinfoil Dossier novel brings back the mysterious government agent known only as the Signalman. This time, he’s seeking a traumatized woman he hopes can help stop the brewing apocalypse. (October 13)

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Video Palace: In Search of the Eyeless Man by Dr. Maynard Wills, Phd edited by Mike Monello and Nick Braccia

This collection of short stories from horror and suspense authors is a companion piece to Shudder’s urban legend-inspired Video Palace podcast. (October 13)

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White Trash Warlock by David R. Slayton

A man who’s always viewed his inherited magic powers as a burden realizes he may be the only one who can save his family when they’re targeted by an evil spirit. (October 13)

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Zoey Punches the Future in the Dick by David Wong

Title of the month goes to this latest novel from the author of John Dies at the End, about a young woman who inherits a criminal empire and gains tons of new enemies as a result. That situation would be stressful enough without also being accused of murder by a reanimated corpse. (October 13)

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Serpentine by Philip Pullman

Set between the events of His Dark Materials and the Book of Dust trilogies, this new story follows Lyra and Pantalaimon on a journey to visit the Consul of Witches. (October 15)

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Kitty’s Mix-Tape by Carrie Vaughn

Werewolf DJ Kitty Norville returns, along with her similarly supernatural friends and loved ones, for this short story collection. It comes complete with a selection of story notes and soundtrack songs selected for each entry. (October 16)

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Among the Beasts & Briars by Ashley Poston

A peaceful kingdom prospers only because of a long-ago truce made with the creatures who lurk in the woods just beyond its borders. When that truce is broken, it’s up to one magical woman to brave the forest and save her home. (October 20)

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Don’t Move by James S. Murray and Darren Wearmouth

A grieving woman sets out on a deep-woods camping trip to soothe her soul—only to encounter a giant, prehistoric spider who would like nothing more than to gobble her up. AAAHH! (October 20)

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The Mirror Man by Jane Gilmartin

A man regrets his decision to join an illegal cloning experiment when he realizes that his double (and the company that controls the faux-him) mean to harm his family. (October 20)

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The Neil Gaiman Reader: Selected Fiction by Neil Gaiman

The influential author let his fans choose what to include in this career-spanning fiction assortment, which includes novel excerpts as well as short stories. (October 20)

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Phoenix Extravagant by Yoon Ha Lee

When a painter is recruited to create magical sigils for the Ministry of Armor, they get a first-hand look at the atrocities committed by their government—and decide to take action. Said action involves a dragon automaton, which is cool as hell. (October 20)

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Plain Bad Heroines by Emily Danforth

In 1902, at a boarding school for girls, a series of strange deaths spark rumors of a curse. One hundred years later, a best-selling horror novel brings the school’s legend into the popular imagination—but when Hollywood arrives at the long-shuttered grounds to film an adaptation, the spirits of the past begin to reawaken. (October 20)

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Ruby by Nina Allan

Different points of view and perspectives collide and converge to piece together the fantastical life story of a horror film actress (who may or may not actually be a real person) named Ruby Castle. (October 20)

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Shadows of the Short Days by Alexander Dan Vilhjálmsson

A fantasy version of Reykjavik is the setting for this tale of an uprising fueled by a dissident artist and a sorcerer who’s been banned from studying magic. (October 20)

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This Is How We Fly by Anna Meriano

In her last summer at home before heading off to college, a young woman joins a competitive Quidditch team in this YA tale inspired by both Cinderella and (obviously) Harry Potter. (October 20)

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The Tinderbox: Soldier of Indira by Lou Diamond Phillips

The actor turns sci-fi author with this space opera inspired by the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale. (October 20)

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To Hold Up the Sky by Cixin Liu

This short-story sci-fi collection from the author of The Three-Body Problem contains tales written between 1999 and 2017 that are being published here in English for the first time. (October 20)

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The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror: Volume One by Paula Guran

Theodora Goss, Ken Liu, Carmen Maria Machado, and 23 other authors contribute to this collection of recent dark fiction. (October 20)

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Dead Lies Dreaming: A Laundry Files Novel by Charles Stross

The multiple Hugo winner’s new Laundry Files novel follows government contractor Wendy Deere as she chases down a cyberpunk criminal and tangles with a billionaire who’s dying to get his hands on the Necronomicon. (October 27)

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The Eyes of the Queen by Oliver Clements

The Agents of the Crown series begins as we meet the O.G. MI6 agent, John Dee, the scholar-soldier-alchemist who’s tasked with protecting Queen Elizabeth I and England from its enemies. (October 27)

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God Storm by Coco Ma

With the evil queen defeated, her daughter takes the throne—but the young woman’s reign is hardly peaceful, as a new threat rises from the powerful God of Shadow and his magical kingdom. (October 27)

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The Last Druid by Terry Brooks

The Shannara saga comes to a close—over 40 years since the first book in the series—with this final adventure in the Four Lands. (October 27)

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London Centric: Tales of Future London edited by Ian Whates

As the title suggests, London is the connecting theme in this collection of forward-looking sci-fi tales from Neal Asher, Dave Hutchinson, M.R. Carey, Aliya Whiteley, Fiona Moore, and others. (October 27)

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Northern Wrath by Thilde Kold Holdt

Dying old gods and the people who worship them clash with the rise of Christianity in this fantasy epic inspired by Norse mythology. (October 27)

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People of the City by Marshall Ryan Maresca

The Maradaine Elite trilogy concludes with this final tale of political intrigue in a magical but highly corrupt city, where a pair of warriors and some unlikely allies join together to figure out why so many children are being kidnapped. (October 27)

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The Tower of Fools by Andrzej Sapkowski

The author of the Witcher books begins a new series, the Hussite Trilogy, with this historical fantasy following a magician whose hasty escape from his home turns into an epic quest. (October 27)

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Warriors of Wing and Flame by Sara B. Larson

The sequel to Sisters of Shadow and Light finds Zuhra and Inara reuniting with their father thanks to a doorway between the human world and a previously hidden magical realm. But the happy family reunion goes sideways when an evil sorcerer crashes into their lives. (October 27)

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Dying With Her Cheer Pants On: Stories of the Fighting Pumpkins by Seanan McGuire

The Fighting Pumpkins aren’t your ordinary cheerleading squad; for starters, their captain is a half-vampire, and the other members all have special powers too. Good thing they’re available not just for the big game, but also for saving the world when necessary. (October 31)

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A Stitch in Time by Kelley Armstrong

When a young widow inherits her great-aunt’s haunted mansion, she reconnects with the ghost she befriended there as a child. It doesn’t take long before she realizes he’s hiding some secrets, including the fact that he’s not the only ghost lurking around the place. (October 31)

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DISCUSSION

This first book in a new trilogy traces the unexplored backstory of Leto Atreides, Duke of Caladan”

Wasn’t that the exact subject of the very first trilogy they wrote with House Atreides/Harkonnen/Corrino ?
I’m confused... (Although I’ve given up after the complete mess they made “concluding” the main cycle with random ideas they introduced in their other works in the universe but had very little to do with the original setting...)