You know that saying about buses coming in threes? They’re not trying hard enough. Beware July 22nd, when SFF releases are due in such numbers you may find yourself overwhelmed should you stray into a bookshop unprepared… Time to take a look at what new releases I’ll be considering making some room for next month.
We Have Always Been Here – Lena Nguyen
When a planetary survey mission is trapped on a prospective colony world, they are infected by paranoia and madness. A misanthropic psychologist – more comfortable with the ship’s androids than its crew – must unpick what’s going on before she succumbs herself. I have a weakness for SFnal psychological thrillers, so this tense debut is catnip to me. Out from Daw Books on July 6th.
A Psalm for the Wild-Built – Becky Chambers
The queen of cosy space opera is back with a new series. A self-aware robot and a tea monk try to find out what people need in a novella that will surely provide enough positive vibes to float us all right through the summer. Out from Tor.com on July 13th.
Strange Beasts of China – Yan Ge
This book snared me with that haunting cover art, and it sounds as dreamy as it looks. Part bestiary, part investigative novel, it follows an amateur cryptozoologist seeking to document the stories of a city’s legendary, almost-human beasts. Out from Melville House Publishing on July 13th.
The Splinter King – Mike Brooks
The sequel to The Black Coast hits our shores on July 13th (ebook; 15th for physical) as Brooks continues his unconventional epic of dragon knights, god-kings, demon-lords and knife-princesses. I am vibrating with excitement for this one. Published by Orbit.
The Necessity of Stars – E Catherine Tobler
Tobler has summoned me with a space diplomat continuing to negotiate on a climate-ravaged world even as her memory decays. I adore diplomat protagonists and dementia narratives destroy me, so obviously I can’t wait to get my hands on the (joint) first in this year’s line up of novellas from Neon Hemlock. Out on July 20th.
And What Can We Offer You Tonight – Premee Mohamed
After the devastating brilliance of These Lifeless Things, I’ll be cheerleading for Premee Mohamed’s novellas all year. A courtesan finds the limits of justice when her friend somehow survives being murdered in this dystopian tale of loyalty and revenge. Also out from Neon Hemlock on July 20th.
She Who Became The Sun – Shelley Parker-Chan
I have been looking forward to Shelley Parker-Chan’s debut all year, a reimagining of the rise of the Ming dynasty by way of Mulan. A peasant girl steals her dead brother’s identity – but can she realise the epic destiny foretold for him? I am primed for treachery, tragedy and much wild yelling at the page. Out from Mantle Books (Pan Macmillan) on July 22nd.
Assassin’s Orbit – John Appel
A team of older women must investigate the murder of a government minister on a space station to stop an interplanetary war. This space opera debut promises explosive politics, but it’s the ‘older protagonists’ that have me properly excited. Out from Rebellion on July 20th.
A Strange And Brilliant Light – Eli Lee
If the core of Eli Lee’s debut sounds awfully familiar – yes, I finally watched Humans recently – I’ve always got time for narratives exploring the social implications of the mass introduction of AI. Employment, purpose, hope and friendship are all in the firing line as three friends try to do more than just survive the start of a new era. Out from Jo Fletcher Books on July 22nd.
Hold Fast Through The Fire – KB Wagers
A Pale Light In The Black was a stand-out read for me this month, so I’m all grabby hands for the sequel (even if they’ve changed the cover art style completely, ARGH). It’s all change aboard Zuma’s Ghost with new crew and a new mission – both of which are set to put the team in more danger than even they may be able to handle… Out from HarperVoyager on July 27th.
This is the tip of the iceberg, of course (I’ve not even covered half of what’s coming our way on July 22nd). A tip of the hat to Sarah Gailey’s clone thriller The Echo Wife, which gets a paperback release on the 8th; and to Seven Devils by Elizabeth May and Laura Lam, following suit on the 27th. OOn the 22nd, cannibal space nun debut Star Eater by Kerstin Hall comes out in hardback following last month’s ebook release, and The Witness for the Dead by Katherine Addison has its UK release from Rebellion.
Also coming up are sequels in well-regarded series, putting me to shame for not having read the first installments yet: Ada Hoffman’s The Fallen continues her saga of AI gods and autistic genius started in The Outside on July 13th. On July 22nd (when else, honestly?), Helene Wecker revisits the world of The Golem and the Djinni with The Hidden Palace, and HG Parry declares A Radical Act of Free Magic (sequel to alt historical epic A Declaration of the Rights of Magicians).
There’s going to be a lot of good reading this summer!
What books coming out this month are you excited for?
All release dates and publishers are for the UK unless otherwise mentioned.