Detail from the cover of The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2018, edited by N.K. Jemisin and John Joseph Adams
Image: Mariner Books

These are some times we’re living in. While it’s important to keep aware and informed when it comes to current events, sometimes a literary escape can be excellent therapy. Enter our massive list of October sci-fi and fantasy releases—which include some seasonally-appropriate horror titles, too.

Detail from the cover of Dry by Neal Shusterman and Jerrod Shusterman.
Image: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

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The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2018 edited by N.K. Jemisin and John Joseph Adams

A collection of outstanding science fiction and fantasy works published in 2017, chosen from magazines, journals, and websites. History-making multiple Hugo winner N.K. Jemisin serves as this year’s guest editor. (Oct. 2)

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Blood Communion: A Tale of Prince Lestat by Anne Rice

In this latest installment of the Vampire Chronicles, Prince Lestat regales his fellow vampires with the tale of his rise to power and the formation of the Blood Communion. Read an excerpt and check out some of the book’s unique illustrations here. (Oct. 2)

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Dracul by Dacre Stoker and J.D. Barker

Bram Stoker’s great-grandnephew co-authors this Dracula prequel that’s inspired by the legendary author’s own creative notes about the origins of his most famous character. (Oct. 2)

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Dragon’s Code: Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern by Gigi McCaffrey

Dragonriders of Pern series creator Anne McCaffrey—the first woman to ever win Nebula award, as well as the first woman to win a Hugo for fiction—passed away in 2011, but the otherworldly realm she created lives on in this new tale written by her daughter, Gigi, to mark the series’ 50th anniversary. (Oct. 2)

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Dry by Neal Shusterman and Jarrod Shusterman

When California’s long-standing drought suddenly becomes an “actually, there’s no water left at all” situation, a teenage girl left alone with her brother must figure out a way to survive what’s rapidly becoming a parched, desperate battle zone. (Oct. 2)

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An Easy Death by Charlaine Harris

The author whose work inspired True Blood and Midnight, Texas returns with this series of Western-tinged magical thrillers. The first book introduces us to a new character, gunslinger Lizbeth Rose. (Oct. 2)

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Exit Strategy by Martha Wells

Hot off her recent Best Novella Hugo win for All Systems Red, the author returns with a mission-ending adventure for the antisocial AI that calls itself Murderbot. Read an excerpt here. (Oct. 2)

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Kill the Queen by Jennifer Estep

A new epic fantasy series begins as a young noblewoman with some well-concealed magical powers barely escapes the massacre of her family, then goes into hiding and becomes a gladiator while she plots her revenge (see: the book’s title). (Oct. 2)

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A Map of Days by Ransom Riggs

The best-selling Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children series returns, this time with a new story arc that takes place in America—specifically, Florida—where the weirdly wonderful characters do their best to blend in until a new mystery shakes up their world. (Oct. 2)

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Priest of Bones by Peter McLean

In this grimdark fantasy tale, a great war has just ended—but trouble is still brewing for an army priest who returns home to a city that’s teeming with corruption and chaos. (Oct. 2)

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Search Image by Julie E. Czerneda

A shapeshifting alien named Esen and her human friend Paul must band together to track down his missing family—as well as prevent an extinction-level event that might wipe out Esen’s kind for good. (Oct. 2)

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Street Freaks by Terry Brooks

The author of the Shannara fantasy series ventures in a different direction for this sci-fi thriller, about a kid who’s forced to go on the run in futuristic, robot-filled Los Angeles. Read the exciting first chapter right here. (Oct. 2)

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True Indie: Life and Death in Filmmaking by Don Coscarelli

The filmmaker behind genre favorites like Phantasm, Beastmaster, Bubba Ho-Tep, and John Dies at the End penned this memoir, a look back at his colorful career that’s aimed at both fans and aspiring indie filmmakers alike. Read an interview with Don Coscarelli about True Indie here. (Oct. 2)

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The Tiger Flu by Larissa Lai

In this cyberpunk thriller, a community of exiled women rise up against the men who’ve banished them—while also fighting to save their loved ones from the mysterious flu epidemic that’s slowing taking over the world. (Oct. 2)

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Detail from the cover of Bright Ruin by Vic James.
Image: Del Rey

Beyond the Sixth Extinction: A Post-Apocalyptic Pop-Up by Shawn Sheehy, illustrated by Jordi Solano

Not your typical pop-up book, this intricately detailed hardcover imagines the fantastical creatures that will thrive as part of planet Earth’s drastically altered and evolved ecosystem in the year 4847. (Oct. 9)

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Bright Ruin by Vic James

The dystopian trilogy that also includes Gilded Cage and Tarnished City brings its saga of a Britain controlled by magical rulers to a close with one final, massive rebellion of common folk against their tyrannical masters. (Oct. 9)

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Mycroft and Sherlock by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Anna Waterhouse

The basketball great turned author and actor (he’ll be on the next season of iZombie, in fact!) returns with another book about the Holmes brothers. This new adventure, set in 1872, sets the intrepid duo on an intriguing mystery involving London’s opium trade. Keep an eye on io9 for an excerpt coming later this week! (Oct. 9)

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Power Failure by Ben Bova

The author’s latest near-future political thriller starring Dr. Jake Ross sees the Washington, DC science advisor taking a huge gamble on a new form of power involving solar satellite transmissions. (Oct. 9)

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The Rift Coda by Amy S. Foster

The Rift Uprising trilogy concludes as genetically-advanced supersoldier Ryn, tasked with protecting Earth from rival versions spread across multiverses, rises up to expose a conspiracy that’s tainted everything she once believed in. (Oct. 9)

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Strange Ink by Gary Kemble

In this horror novel, a journalist wakes up hungover after a night of terrible nightmares sporting a tattoo he doesn’t remember getting. That’s not so strange in and of itself, but when the same thing starts happening over and over again, he realizes some very sinister forces are sending him a disturbing message. (Oct. 9)

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The World of Lore: Dreadful Places by Aaron Mahnke

Fans of the Lore podcast (now an Amazon Prime show, too) won’t want to miss this latest volume in the creator’s series, a collection of illustrated versions of both rare and well-known stories about “lurid landmarks and doomed destinations.” (Oct. 9)

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Detail from the cover of The Black Khan: Book Two of the Khorasan Archives by Ausma Zehanat Khan
Image: Harper Voyager

The Bartered Brides by Mercedes Lackey

The 13th entry in the author’s Elemental Masters series—imagining a magical version of Victorian England, and reimagining the cases of Sherlock Holmes—finds John and Mary Watson mourning the loss of Sherlock while keeping an eye out for Moriarty’s allies, and taking on a new puzzle involving a rash of murdered brides. (Oct. 16)

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The Black Khan: Book Two of the Khorasan Archives by Ausma Zehanat Khan

The author’s follow-up to The Bloodprint picks up with the magically powerful, all-female resistance group Companions of Hira as they continue their fight against the Talisman, the oppressive ruling patriarchy. (Oct. 16)

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The Book of Magic: A Collection of Stories edited by Gardner Dozois

Seventeen fantasy writers contribute to this celebration of witches, wizards, and sorcerers—with 16 new entries from Garth Nix, Elizabeth Bear, Scott Lynch, and others, plus George R.R. Martin’s previously-published novelette “A Night at the Tarn House.” (Oct. 16)

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The Consuming Fire by John Scalzi

The acclaimed author’s follow-up to his recent Hugo finalist The Collapsing Empire returns to the interstellar empire known as the Interdependency and finds it in a time of great turmoil. The travel system that links the star systems has started to vanish—causing a humanitarian crisis as well as a struggle for power among the galaxy’s leaders. (Oct. 16)

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I Am Behind You by John Ajvide Lindqvist

The latest from the author of Let the Right One In follows four families on a camping trip who awake one morning to find the world completely, eerily transformed. (Oct. 16)

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In the House in the Dark of the Woods by Laird Hunt

A proper Puritan woman in witchcraft-obsessed colonial New England gets lost in the woods as she running from an evil she’s sure is out there...until she starts to understand exactly what kind of eerie forces she’s dealing with. (Oct. 16)

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Melmoth by Sarah Perry

The author’s follow-up to The Essex Serpent explores the strange tale of an English translator working in Prague who discovers evidence that dark fairy-tale figure “Melmoth the Witness” might actually be more real than legend. (Oct. 16)

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Resistant by Rachael Sparks

After a drug-resistant bacteria kills millions, one woman whose blood may hold a lifesaving cure must go on the run to hide from the unsavory parties who’d rather exploit her for profit rather than hasten humankind’s salvation. (Oct. 16)

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Detail from the cover of Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles: An Alphabettery by Becket
Image: Anchor

Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles: An Alphabettery by Becket

A longtime Anne Rice scholar (the author herself penned the introduction; there are also illustrations by Mark Edward Geyer) catalogs all of the interwoven character histories, family genealogies, storylines, vampire lore, and other details of the 15-volume Vampire Chronicles series. (Oct. 23)

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A Cathedral of Myth and Bone: Stories by Kat Howard

Two new stories highlight this collection of dark fantasy tales from the author of Roses and Rot. (Oct. 23)

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The Dream Gatherer by Kristen Britain

The author marks the 20th anniversary of her debut novel, The Green Rider, with a new novella and two short stories set in that book’s magical universe. (Oct. 23)

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The Haunting of Drearcliff Grange School by Kim Newman

In this horror novel from the author of Anno Dracula, a girl with superpowers heads to London for an academic competition—where the talented and usually-unflappable student and sleuth must confront a terrifying spirit known as “the Broken Doll.” (Oct. 23)

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Little by Edward Carey

Inspired by the sensational and macabre story of Madame Tussaud, the woman who founded London’s world-famous wax museum, this novel traces her rise from Paris orphan to celebrity artist who barely survived the French Revolution. (Oct. 23)

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Red Moon by Kim Stanley Robinson

Best-known for his Mars trilogy, Robinson’s new novel is set 30 years in the future and imagines that the colony that’s been established on the moon is a hotbed of peril, power struggles, and crime—including murder. (Oct. 23)

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Roar of Sky by Beth Cato

The Blood of Earth fantasy trilogy ends as geomancer Ingrid gathers her strength for one last magical battle against the sinister woman who has become obsessed with taking over the world and ripping it apart. (Oct. 23)

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Thin Air by Richard K. Morgan

The author of cyberpunk classic Altered Carbon (the basis for the Netflix show) sets his latest sci-fi noir novel on Mars, a planet that’s become overrun with crime and corruption. Professional killer Hakan Veil is more than ready to retire home to Earth—but he’ll need to puzzle his way out of an extremely dangerous mystery first. (Oct. 23)

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Strange Frequencies: The Extraordinary Story of the Technological Quest for the Supernatural by Peter Bebergal

This non-fiction book looks at how artists, scientists, inventors, and creatively curious types have, over the decades, attempted to communicate with the dead using various forms of technology: spirit photography, radio waves, voice recordings, and more. (Oct. 23)

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Detail from the cover of The Books of Earthsea: The Complete Illustrated Edition by Ursula K. Le Guin with illustrations by Charles Vess
Image: Saga Press

Deep Silence by Jonathan Maberry

Department of Military Science taskforce leader Joe Ledger returns for a 12th thriller, this time facing down terrorists who have the ability to cause earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, as well as a widespread madness that makes people commit violence against themselves and others. (Oct. 30)

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Elevation by Stephen King

King returns to Castle Rock, Maine—the setting for several of his best-known works, as well as the recent Hulu series—to tell the story of a man with an eerie, mysterious illness who ends up helping the town overcome its ugliest, longest-held prejudices. (Oct. 30)

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The Books of Earthsea: The Complete Illustrated Edition by Ursula K. Le Guin, illustrated by Charles Vess

Celebrate the 50th anniversary of A Wizard of Earthsea with this stunning omnibus that collects the entire Earthsea saga; it includes over 50 illustrations (hand-selected by Le Guin) that help bring the late author’s beloved works to life even more. (Oct. 30)

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The Brilliant Death by Amy Rose Capetta

A young noblewoman with secret and very specific powers—she can turn her foes into mirrors and music boxes—must travel using a disguise that completely transforms her into a boy in order to confront her country’s evil ruler. (Oct. 30)

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Finding Baba Yaga: A Short Novel in Verse by Jane Yolen

This novel written in verse follows the story of a young woman who becomes empowered to change her life after she meets a fairy tale witch. (Oct. 30)

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The Labyrinth Index by Charles Stross

A new story arc begins in the Hugo-winning Laundry Files series, centering on a woman who heads up Britain’s Committee on Sanguinary Affairs. There, she works under a jerky Prime Minister, who also happens to be a Lovecraftian elder god, and teams up with American agents to weed out the vampires who’ve infiltrated Washington. (Oct. 30)

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