New in Sci-Fi Trilogies
The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal (Lady Astronaut #1)
On a cold spring night in 1952, a huge meteorite fell to earth and obliterated much of the east coast of the United States, causing a climate cataclysm that will soon render the earth inhospitable for humanity. Elma York’s experience as a WASP pilot and mathematician earns her a place in the International Aerospace Coalition’s attempts to put man on the moon, as a calculator, in order to accelerate Earth’s effort to colonize space. Elma’s drive to become the first Lady Astronaut is so strong that even the most dearly held conventions of society may not stand a chance against her.
Elysium Fire by Alastair Reynolds (Prefect Dreyfus Emergency #2)
Ten thousand city-state habitats orbit the planet Yellowstone, forming a near-perfect democratic human paradise. But even utopia needs a police force. For the citizens of the Glitter Band that organization is Panoply, and the prefects are its operatives. Prefect Tom Dreyfus has a new emergency on his hands. Across the habitats and their hundred million citizens, people are dying suddenly and randomly, victims of a bizarre and unprecedented malfunction of their neural implants. And these “melters” leave no clues behind as to the cause of their deaths… As panic rises in the populace, a charismatic figure is sowing insurrection, convincing a small but growing number of habitats to break away from the Glitter Band and form their own independent colonies.
Iron Gold by Pierce Brown (Red Rising Saga #4)
A decade ago, Darrow was the hero of the revolution he believed would break the chains of the Society, and abolish the color-coded caste system. But the Rising has shattered everything, and brought endless war. A young Red girl flees tragedy in her refugee camp, and achieves for herself a new life she could never have imagined. An ex-soldier broken by grief is forced to steal the most valuable thing in the galaxy — or pay with his life. And Lysander au Lune, the heir in exile to the Sovereign, wanders the stars with his mentor, Cassius, haunted by the loss of the world that Darrow transformed, and dreaming of what will rise from its ashes.
The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang (The Poppy War #1)
This debut novel, the first in a planned trilogy, spans several years in the life of Rin, a dark-skinned orphan who thinks getting into the most elite military academy in the empire will solve her problems. It turns out her troubles are just beginning in this story inspired by East Asian history, including the brutality of the Second Sino-Japanese War.
Rosewater by Tade Thompson (The Wormwood Trilogy #1)
The first book in a trilogy set in Nigeria, where a human city has been constructed at the edge of a mysterious alien biome. A futuristic thriller, Rosewater tells the story of a Kaaro, once a thief who now works for the ultra-secret Section 45 as a telepathic interrogator and investigator, who goes up against aliens, criminals and bizarre phenomena while coping with an increasingly weird world. As Kaaro’s past, including his previous experiences with the biodome, unspools in this nonlinear adventure, he learns the disturbing secret of the aliens who have settled on Earth.
Witchmark by C.L. Polk (The Kingston Cycle #1)
In an original world reminiscent of Edwardian England in the shadow of a World War, cabals of noble families use their unique magical gifts to control the fates of nations, while one young man seeks only to live a life of his own. Magic marked Miles Singer for suffering the day he was born, doomed either to be enslaved to his family’s interest or to be committed to a witches’ asylum. When a fatally poisoned patient exposes Miles’ healing gift and his witchmark, he must put his anonymity and freedom at risk to investigate his patient’s murder. To find the truth he’ll need to rely on the family he despises, and on the kindness of the most gorgeous man he’s ever seen.
Notable 2018 Science Fiction
Blackfish City by Sam J. Miller
Set in an island city in the Arctic that was built after society collapsed because of environmental disasters and war, the novel follows a battle to take over humanity’s last refuge. Miller’s urgent tale about the ties between technology, race, gender and class privilege is also surprisingly heartwarming. Ultimately, this is a book about power structures and the way that privilege is built on the backs of the disenfranchised — wrapped in an action-packed science-fiction thriller.
The Book of M by Peng Shepherd
One afternoon at an outdoor market in India, a man’s shadow disappears-an occurrence science cannot explain. He is only the first. The phenomenon spreads like a plague, and while those afflicted gain a strange new power, it comes at a horrible price: the loss of all their memories. Set in a dangerous near future world, The Book of M tells the captivating story of a group of ordinary people caught in an extraordinary catastrophe who risk everything to save the ones they love. It is a sweeping debut that illuminates the power that memories have not only on the heart, but on the world itself.
The Gone World by Tom Sweterlitsch
Imagine a future world where an arm of the military has a covert space and time-traveling program. Time-travel secret agent Shannon Moss visits future time periods for clues about a Navy SEAL astronaut’s murdered family and the disappearance of his teenage daughter, a case that is complicated by the SEAL’s and Shannon’s own impact on the timeline. Her startling discoveries will make it impossible for you to put this one down!
Mem by Bethany C. Morrow
Set in a glittering art-deco alternate 1920s where the wealthy elite are able to remove their memories to exist as zombie-like clones, a debut novel traces the experiences of a first clone capable of creating her own memories whose ability to live an independent life is heartbreakingly shattered when she is summoned back to the cavernous lab where she was created. “A clever work of speculative fiction that reads like a Black Mirror episode set in the Jazz Age.” – Adam Morgan in Electric Literature
Senlin Ascends by Josiah Bancroft
This debut, originally self-published in 2013, follows a square schoolmaster who loses his wife on their honeymoon trip to the Tower of Babel, leading him on a dangerous journey to find her. This is a classic hero’s quest, elevated by creative world building and memorable characters — including courageous farmers turned actors, pirates, steampunk armored assassins and painters.
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