Gunpowder Moon cover art detail. Image: Harper Voyager

February may be the shortest month, but it’s still stuffed with awesome new scifi and fantasy book releases—filled with murders on the moon, haunted historic sites, young but alarmingly powerful magicians, time travel, bloodthirsty mermaids, immortals, and so much more. Read on!

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Child of a Mad God: A Tale of the Coven by R.A. Salvatore

A new fantasy epic begins in this tale of an orphan whose magical talents may be her only ticket to a better life—if she can escape the barbaric warlord who leads her tribe, and then avoid the demon who’s been hunting down every powerful witch it can find. (February 6)

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The Gone World by Tom Sweterlitsch

Billed as “Inception meets True Detective,” this scifi thriller follows a secret agent within the NCIS as she investigates a strange murder and a related missing-person case that involves a spaceship lost in the waves of time travel... and could possibly bring about the end of life as we know it. (February 6)

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How to Stop Time by Matt Haig

A man who’s lived for centuries longs for a normal, ordinary life—so he moves home to London and puts his unique wealth of knowledge to good use as a high-school history teacher. All seems to be going well until he falls in love, breaking the one rule of the top-secret society that protects the immortals among us. (February 6)

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Into the Fire by Elizabeth Moon

The heroine of Moon’s Cold Welcome returns for another military scifi thriller. This time, Admiral Kylara “Ky” Vatta uncovers a sinister government conspiracy that jeopardizes the lives of everyone she loves—as well as the lives of everyone she helped rescue after a devastating crash in the Arctic. (February 6)

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Jagannath by Karen Tidbeck

The debut short story collection featuring weird and wonderful speculative fiction from the Swedish author of Amatka. The collection was originally published by small press Cheeky Frawg (run by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer), but is now being released by Vintage so more people can check it out. (February 6)

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The Queen’s Rising by Rebecca Ross

Inspired by renaissance-era France with a fantasy twist, this debut is about a woman whose passionate pursuit of knowledge gets sidelined when she becomes drawn into a plot to overthrow the king—with the ultimate goal of installing a magical queen in his place. (February 6)

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Tempests and Slaughter by Tamora Pierce

The best-selling fantasy author returns with a new saga set in her realm of Tortall. It follows Arram Draper, an exceptionally talented young mage who may still be in school at the Imperial University of Carthak, but whose gifts are already shaping the world around him, for better and worse. (February 6)

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The Ghost Notebooks by Ben Dolnick

A young couple moves from New York City to a tiny town, where they become the live-in caretakers of a 19th-century home that’s also a historical museum. Oh, and also... it’s haunted. Things get even eerier when the woman goes missing and the man becomes consumed by the house’s troubled history. (February 13)

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Gunpowder Moon by David Pedreira

Life on the Moon, circa 2072, is already complicated even before the first lunar murder is committed. The chief of the local US mining operation, a war veteran from his military days on Earth, is tasked with finding the culprit—and exposes a vast and dangerous conspiracy in the process. (February 13)

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Pride and Prometheus by John Kessel

Jane Austen’s brainy Mary Bennet (from Pride and Prejudice) meets Victor Frankenstein and his monstrous creation in this literary mash-up. (February 13)

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The Armored Saint by Myke Cole

In a world that lives in abject fear of magic, a young girl dares to stand up to the religious order whose members act as brutal enforcers against anyone who whispers about wizards or devils. Read an excerpt here. (February 20)

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Battle Hymn by William C. Dietz

An post-apocalyptic alternate-history novel—the third in Dietz’s America Rising series—that imagines America deep in the throes of a devastating second Civil War. (February 20)

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The Clarity by Keith Thomas

An unlikely pair—a psychologist and her patient, a strange child who can remember past lives—go on the run from an assassin who’s desperate to uncover a secret the gifted girl is keeping in her memories. (February 20)

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Embers of War by Gareth L. Powell

This first book in a new scifi epic is set on and around a sentient warship that tries to atone for participating in a genocide by becoming a rescue vessel. But when an apparently run-of-the-mill mission turns dangerous, the ship and its ragtag crew unwillingly find themselves at the center of a conflict that threatens the whole galaxy. (February 20)

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Outpost by W. Michael Gear

Various characters’ fates intertwine on a planet that was once a paradise but has spiraled into lawlessness: A government interloper who sees a chance to seize power; a colonial leader desperately trying to keep order; a psychopath with nothing left to lose; and a brutal enforcer. And, a creepy ghost ship has just drifted into orbit—a bad omen that makes things even worse down on the surface. (February 20)

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Starfire: Memory’s Blade by Spencer Ellsworth

Ellsworth concludes his space-opera trilogy as heroes Jaqi and Araskar fight the galaxy’s brutal new leader, as well as the leader’s plotting wife, and a gaggle of sun-eating cosmic spiders. With odds like those, how can the universe survive? (February 27)

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The Tangled Lands by Paolo Bacigalupi and Tobias S. Buckell

This four-part fantasy novel is set in the last city that remains in a world wrecked by the overuse of magic, now a toxic resource causing environmental and social collapse. Can the people rebuild before it’s too late, or will the tyrannical leader, known as the Jolly Mayor, stomp out any would-be heroes? (February 27)

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Witch Creek by Laura Bickle

The author follows up Nine of Stars with another supernatural Western following alchemist’s daughter Petra Dee. This time, she’s battling cancer and searching for her missing husband just outside of Yellowstone—and at least one of those challenges will involve a visit to the underworld to prevent a flesh-eating mermaid from surfacing. (February 27)

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