Found families are made of people who aren’t biologically related, but who protect and trust each other. In science fiction and fantasy, these are often spaceship crews, bands of mercenaries, or other groups who come together for a task and find themselves growing closer and closer.
SCIENCE FICTION AOKI
Light from Uncommon Stars / Ryka Aoki – Shizuka Satomi made a deal with the devil: to escape damnation, she must entice seven other violin prodigies to trade their souls for success. She has already delivered six. When Katrina Nguyen, a young transgender runaway, catches Shizuka’s ear with her wild talent, Shizuka can almost feel the curse lifting. But in a donut shop off a bustling highway in the San Gabriel Valley, Shizuka meets Lan Tran, retired starship captain, interstellar refugee, and mother of four. As the lives of these three women become entangled by chance and fate, a story of magic, identity, curses, and hope begins, and a family worth crossing the universe for is found. Also available as an audiobook on hoopla.
SCIENCE FICTION BALDREE
Legends and Lattes: A Novel of High Fantasy and Low Stakes / Travis Baldree – After a lifetime of bloodshed, Viv is hanging up her sword for the last time. The battle-weary orc aims to start fresh, opening the first ever coffee shop in the city of Thune. But old and new rivals stand in the way of success, not to mention the fact that no one has the faintest idea what coffee actually is. If Viv wants to put the blade behind her and make her plans a reality, she won’t be able to go it alone. Whether drawn together by ancient magic, flaky pastry, or a freshly brewed cup, she may find partners, family, and something deeper than she ever could have dreamed. Soon to be followed by Bookshops & Bonedust. Also available as an audiobook on Libby/OverDrive.
SCIENCE FICTION CHAMBERS
The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet / Becky Chambers – Joining the crew of the aging Wayfarer, a patched-up ship that has seen better days, loner Rosemary Harper must unexpectedly risk her life when they are offered the job of a lifetime, which teaches her valuable lessons about love and trust, and that having a family isn’t the worst thing in the universe. Followed by loosely related sequels A Closed and Common Orbit, Record of a Spaceborn Few, and The Galaxy, and the Ground Within. Also available as an ebook and audiobook on hoopla.
SCIENCE FICTION CHAMBERS
A Psalm for the Wild-Built / Becky Chambers – It’s been centuries since the robots of Panga gained self-awareness and laid down their tools; centuries since they wandered into the wilderness, never to be seen again; centuries since they faded into myth and urban legend. One day, the life of a tea monk is upended by the arrival of a robot, there to honor the old promise of checking in. The robot cannot go back until the question of “what do people need?” is answered. But the answer to that question depends on who you ask, and how. Followed by A Prayer for the Crown-Shy. Also available as an audiobook on hoopla.
SCIENCE FICTION EAMES
Kings of the Wyld / Nicholas Eames – Clay Cooper and his band were once the best of the best – the meanest, dirtiest, most feared crew of mercenaries. Their glory days long past, the mercs have grown apart when an ex-bandmate turns up at Clay’s door with a plea for help. His daughter Rose is trapped in a city besieged by an enemy one hundred thousand strong and hungry for blood. Rescuing Rose is the kind of mission that only the very brave or the very stupid would sign up for. It’s time to get the band back together. Followed by Bloody Rose.
TEEN FICTION FORNA
The Gilded Ones / Namina Forna – Inspired by the culture of West Africa, a feminist fantasy debut traces the experiences of an intuitive girl who is invited to leave her discriminatory village to join the emperor’s army of near-immortal women warriors. Followed by The Merciless Ones and (in 2024) The Eternal Ones.
SCIENCE FICTION JIMENEZ
The Vanished Birds / Simon Jimenez – A lone space traveler who has outlived everyone she has ever known takes in a mysterious, traumatized boy who falls from the sky and communicates through the haunting music he plays on an old wooden flute.
SCIENCE FICTION KINGFISHER
Paladin’s Grace / T. Kingfisher – After Stephen’s god died on the longest day of the year, he is a broken paladin, living only for the chance to be useful before he dies. All that changes when he encounters a fugitive named Grace in an alley and witnesses an assassination attempt gone wrong. Now the pair must navigate a web of treachery. Followed by Paladin’s Strength and Paladin’s Hope. Available as an audiobook on hoopla.
SCIENCE FICTION MANDANNA
The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches / Sangu Mandanna – Breaking all the rules, Mika Moon travels to the mysterious Nowhere House to teach three young witches how to control their magic and, as she gets close to the House’s residents, must decide whether to risk everything to protect a found family she didn’t know she was looking for. Also available as an ebook and audiobook on Libby/OverDrive.
SCIENCE FICTION MCGUIRE
Every Heart a Doorway / Seanan McGuire – Sent away to a home for children who have tumbled into fantastical other worlds and are looking for ways to return, Nancy triggers dark changes among her fellow schoolmates and resolves to expose the truth when a child dies under suspicious magical circumstances. First in the Wayward Children series, followed by Down Among the Sticks and Bones and seven more titles. Also available as an audiobook on hoopla.
TEEN FICTION STIEFVATER
The Raven Boys / Maggie Stiefvater – Though she is from a family of clairvoyants, Blue Sargent’s only gift seems to be that she makes other people’s talents stronger, and when she meets Gansey, one of the Raven Boys from the expensive Aglionby Academy, she discovers that he has talents of his own–and that together their talents are a dangerous mix. Followed by The Dream Thieves, Blue Lily, Lily Blue, and The Raven King. Also available as an audiobook on Libby/OverDrive and hoopla.
GRAPHIC NOVEL WALDEN
On a Sunbeam / Tillie Walden – A ragtag crew travels to the deepest reaches of space, rebuilding beautiful, broken structures to piece the past together. Two girls meet in boarding school and fall deeply in love—only to learn the pain of loss. This graphic novel features interwoven timelines, an inventive world, breathtaking romance, and an epic quest for love.
SCIENCE FICTION WELLS
Network Effect / Martha Wells – It calls itself Murderbot, but only when no one can hear. It worries about the fragile human crew who’ve grown to trust it, but only where no one can see. It tells itself that they’re only a professional obligation, but when they’ve captured and an old friend from the past requires urgent assistance, Murderbot must choose between inertia and drastic action. Drastic action it is, then. Part of the Murderbot Diaries series. Also available as an ebook on Libby/OverDrive and as an audiobook on hoopla.