Fantasy and Science Fiction
Goldilocks by Laura LamWelcome to: Cavendish, a habitable exoplanet ten light-years from Earth, where a crew of women astronauts known as the Atalanta 5 go after stealing a spaceship from NASA.
Why you might like it: This character-driven hard SF novel by the author of False Hearts delves into both the technical challenges and ethical dilemmas of space colonization.
For fans of: Emma Newman's Planetfall novels; Mary Robinette Kowal's Lady Astronaut series; Becky Chambers' To Be Taught, If Fortunate.
Network Effect by Martha WellsStarring: Murderbot, the sardonic, antisocial SecUnit that just wants to be left alone to binge-watch shows while doing a bare minimum of work.
What happens: Once again, Murderbot's human associates need saving, which means doing a thing. As opposed to NOT doing a thing (Murderbot's preference).
Series alert: Although this 5th installment of the Murderbot Diaries can be enjoyed on its own, starting at the beginning (with All Systems Red) provides important context.
Exhalation: Stories by Ted ChiangWhat it is: the long-awaited 2nd short story collection by the author of Stories of Your Life and Others.
Don't miss: "The Life Cycle of Software Objects," in which humans and machines form parent-child bonds; "The Merchant and the Alchemist's Gate," a time travel tale in the style of One Thousand and One Nights.
Reviewers say: "likely to linger in the memory the way riddles may linger -- teasing, tormenting, illuminating, thrilling" (The New Yorker).
How Long 'til Black Future Month? by N.K. JemisinWhat it is: a collection of new and previously published short stories by award-winning science fiction and fantasy writer N.K. Jemisin.
Contains: 22 tales, including "proof of concept" pieces that evolved into the author's Broken Earth trilogy ("Stone Hunger"), Dreamblood duology ("The Narcomancer"), and The City We Became ("The City Born Great").
Why you might like it: Diverse in style and subject matter, the stories display Jemisin's lyrical prose and talent for world-building.
Invisible Planets: Contemporary Chinese Science Fiction in Translation by Ken Liu (editor)What it is: a collection of award-winning short stories by Chinese speculative fiction writers, most translated into English for the first time.
What sets it apart: In addition to brief author profiles accompanying each of the 13 stories, Invisible Planets includes three essays on various aspects of Chinese science fiction.
Read this next: editor and translator Ken Liu's follow-up anthology Broken Stars.
New Suns: Original Speculative Fiction by People of Color by Nisi Shawl (editor)Includes: well-known SF authors such as Tobias S. Buckell and Steven Barnes, as well as rising stars including Rebecca Roanhorse, Jaymee Goh, and Silvia Moreno-Garcia.
About the editor: Nisi Shawl is the co-author of Writing the Other as well as the alternate history novel Everfair.
You might also like: A People's Future of the United States, edited by Victor LaValle and John Joseph Adams; Octavia's Brood, edited by adrienne maree brown and Walidah Imarisha.
Ambiguity Machines: And Other Stories by Vandana SinghWhat it is: the North American debut of science fiction writer and physicist Vandana Singh, known for her lyrical prose and moving, thought-provoking short fiction.
Reviewers say: Publishers Weekly, in a starred review, praises the "delicate touch and passionately humanist sensibilities" of these wide-ranging speculative tales.
Don't miss: "With Fate Conspire," a story about a refugee whose unique ability to peer through time allows her to influence history.
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