Have you ever wondered why so many highly anticipated books come out every fall? It turns out that readers buy the most books between Labor Day and Christmas – and sci-fi and fantasy are no exception. This fall is packed with new releases from NK Jemisin, Stephen King, SA Chakraborty, Brandon Sanderson, Neon Yang, Alan Moore, CL Polk, Mary Robinette Kowal, and even… JRR Tolkien? (Sort of, yes.)
Here are our 17 most anticipated sci-fi and fantasy books between September 1 and December 31, 2022.
Stephen King’s Fairy Tale (September 6)
At some point early in the pandemic, Stephen King reportedly wondered, “What could you write that would make you happy? The resulting novel Fairy tale, is about a high school athlete named Charlie Reade. When Charlie begins doing odd jobs for a reclusive old man, he discovers a portal to another world – “a vast desert city” and a “sprawling palace with glass towers so tall their tips pierced the clouds”.
Nona the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir (September 13)
Everyone’s favorite space necromancers return in the third installment of the Muir’s Locked Tomb series. On the heels of Gideon the ninth and Harrow the ninth, the interplanetary saga of the Nine Houses revolves around a woman named Nona, who recently awoke in a new body with no memory of her life before. She was originally going to be a character in the final book of a planned trilogy, Alecton the ninthbut after Carl Engle-Laird (Muir’s editor at Tordotcom), Nona “couldn’t be contained and demanded her own volume,” which will make Alecton the ninth the fourth and (so far) final book in the fall of 2023.
Ling Ma’s Bliss Montage (September 13)
The author of one of the best novels of the 2010s — Breakup (no, not the show) – returns with a brilliant collection of short stories that straddles many different genres, including sci-fi, fantasy, and horror, while remaining grounded in everyday realism. For an overview, see “Peking duckin The New Yorker orWorking hoursin The Atlantic.
Lark Ascending by Silas House (September 27)
House’s dystopian seventh novel is a clever reversal of Irish migration to America during the Potato Famine of the 1840s. In the near future, as the United States succumbs to wildfires, a family of American refugees fled across the Atlantic to Ireland, “the last country not yet overrun by extremists”. Of course, things are never as they seem when the protagonists seek refuge in an apocalypse.
The famous magician by César Aira (September 27)
Aira’s short books are the literary equivalent of a Périgord black truffle – rich little treats worth savoring and contemplating. This 48-page short story tells the story of an aging writer from Buenos Aires who comes across a magician in a book market. The magician, Ovando, presents the writer with a “devil’s bargain”: omnipotent power in exchange for never reading or writing again.
The Genesis of Neon Yang’s Misery (September 27)
After earning Nebula and Hugo award nominations for their Tensorate series novel, The black tides of the sky, Yang is back with his first full novel. The genesis of misery reimagines Joan of Arc as a space fantasy warrior named Misery Nomaki, who hears the voice of an angel in her head. It is also the first book in a new series called Nullvoid Chronicles.
The Mountain in the Sea by Ray Nayler (October 4)
Have you been waiting all your life for a novel about humans discovering a civilization of octopuses? The wait is over! In Nayler’s debut, a marine biologist travels to a remote Vietnamese archipelago to study a new species of (deadly) cephalopod with uncommon intelligence. But in true Michael Crichton fashion, a tech company has already bought up the islands and evacuated the inhabitants – and it has its own octopus program.
Illuminations by Alan Moore (October 11)
This is the first-ever collection of short stories by Alan Moore, best known for writing comics like Watchmen, V for Vendetta, From Hell, and Batman: The Killing Joke. Over 40 years in the making, some of these stories have never been published before, and they’re bouncing between genres with joy. There are ghosts, wizards, creatures, the four horsemen of the apocalypse, and a long short story, “What We May Know About Thunderman,” which fictionalizes the comics story.
The Spare Man by Mary Robinette Kowal (October 11)
Tor bills this as “The thin man in the space.” The reserve man is a mystery set on a luxurious interplanetary cruise ship from the author of calculating stars, which won the Hugo and Nebula awards for best novel in 2019. When her spouse is arrested for murder during their honeymoon, heiress-inventor Tesla Crane decides to investigate the crime herself.
The Silver River by SA Chakraborty (October 11)
Chakraborty’s Daevabad Trilogy — The City of Brass, The Kingdom of Copper, and The Golden Empire – is among the most famous fantasy series of the century to date. This storybook is set in the same universe and introduces new characters, old characters, and never-before-seen material that expands the scope of the world.
Olivie Blake’s Atlas Paradox (October 25)
Blake’s self-published series starter, Atlas Six, absolutely exploded on TikTok last year like few books have done before or since. After becoming a viral sensation, Tor picked it up (and the rest of the planned trilogy). In December 2021, Amazon announced an upcoming TV adaptation of the series, and now the second novel will be released on October 15. He will continue to follow the six magicians who have joined the Alexandrian Society, a secret organization dedicated to protecting the lost knowledge passed down. ancient civilizations.
The World We Create by NK Jemisin (November 1)
Who can forget the 2020s The city we’ve become Jemisin’s groundbreaking novel about five people who become living avatars of New York neighborhoods? This sequel will complete the big city duology, as the New York avatars team up with other cities around the world to defeat the “enemy” and her puppet: a mayoral candidate determined to make New York whiter and richer.
Even though I knew CL Polk’s ending (November 8)
Polk, who won a World Fantasy Award for his first novel witch mark in 2019, reinvents mid-century Chicago as a breeding ground for “god monsters” and serial killers, like the White City Vampire. Even though I knew the end is also a dark romance between a magical detective and the woman he loves, as well as a supernatural murder mystery.
Brandon Sanderson’s The Lost Metal (November 15)
Sanderson Mistborn’s original trilogy is widely regarded as one of the best fantasy series ever written. The lost metal is the fourth and final book in the sequel tetralogy Wax and Wayne, set 300 years after the events of the trilogy. Confused again? Welcome to Cosmere.
Africa Risen edited by Sheree Renée Thomas, Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki and Zelda Knight (November 15)
This anthology presents 32 science fiction and fantasy stories by African writers living on the continent and in the diaspora, including Tananarive Due, Tobias S. Buckell, Ytasha L. Womack, Sandra Jackson-Opoku and Wole Talabi. Expect lots of cyborgs, spirits, robots, jinns and a rain goddess.
Rebecca Roanhorse’s Angels Tread (November 15)
March of the Angels has a truly unique combination of setting and premise: In 1883, a mining town in the mountains of Colorado experiences a gold rush when a new element called Divinity is discovered underground. But it’s not our Colorado – it’s the home of the descendants of demons and angels, many years after an ancient war.
The Fall of Númenor by JRR Tolkien (November 15)
Prime Video fans power rings will devour this new collection of writings on the Second Age of Middle-earth (the period covered by the new TV series), including Tolkien’s “Atlantis” mythos set in the island kingdom of Númenor, the rise of Sauron and the forging of the Rings of Power.