Make Some Room: October

Header (text): MAKE SOME ROOM (there's always room for one more)

I have a modest list of eagerly-awaited releases for October, but don’t worry the much-threatened book shortage hasn’t hit yet! There are plenty of titles heading our way that may delight you. If there’s always room for one more, these are the ones I’m considering…

October is that rarest of months: one where I have made a Herculean effort and largely resisted requesting any ARCs (largely).

The exception is the new translation of acclaimed Korean author Un Su Kim’s oddball SF novel The Cabinet, out from Angry Robot on October 12th, which I’m reading at the moment. The eponymous filing cabinet lives in an unusual research institute and holds the cases of people who have spontaneously transformed in unexpected and often inconvenient ways. The result is an unexpectedly touching collection of anecdotes and interview fragments that explores our capacity to adapt, narrated by an entirely unqualified salaryman who can’t quite figure out how he got this job anyway.

If you’re looking for a Spooktastic Read, Cassandra Khaw has a new novella out on October 19th from Tor Nightfire. The cover alone may give you nightmares, and Nothing But Blackened Teeth promises a twisted tale of a house haunted by a hungry ghost bride eager for company, and a group of thrill-seeking old friends who bring their own jagged secrets into her domain. I am absolutely not brave enough for this (THAT COVER AAAARGH), but damn I’m tempted to give myself nightmares anyway.

I’m on much safer ground with The Quicksilver Court by Melissa Caruso, out from Orbit on October 12th (ebook) / 14th (paperback). The sequel to The Obsidian Tower sees Ryx and the magical taskforce of the Rookery determined to contain the demons spilling out of Ryx’s homeland; expect treachery, small kindnesses, political shenanigans and (if Ashe gets her way) perhaps the occasional stabbing in what will surely be an entertaining escalation of this bingeworthy series.

Tade Thompson moves from unsettling speculative fiction to unsettling space opera on October 26th (ebook) / 28th (paperback) with the release of Far From The Light Of Heaven (Orbit). When a colony ship with 1000 sleeping souls aboard arrives at its destination, not everyone wakes up, and its skeleton crew face tough decisions that will have ramifications for all of humanity’s settlements across the stars. The perfect SciFiMonth read? Could be…

I’ve been avoiding dystopias for the most part, but throw in a mysterious book that attracts the attention of our protagonists and the repressive government and you have my attention (although it was that gorgeously spare cover design that first caught my eye). Look to the Sun by Emmie Mears is out from BHC Press on October 28th.

Iron Widow is part Chinese history – inspired by the story of Wu Zetian, China’s only female emperor – and two parts SF action drama featuring giant mechs battling aliens and a vengeful young woman determined to stop girls dying in their service. Xiran Jay Zhao’s YA debut is out from Rock the Boat on October 7th.

Over in YA fantasy, we’ve got a fairytale inspired heist novel of identity theft and wicked girls in Margaret Owen’s Little Thieves. The adopted goddaughter of Death and Fortune conceives a daring scheme to con the nobility out of enough wealth to buy her way free of her terrifying godparents. Of course, trying to outwit the gods is never that simple. Out from Hodder Stoughton on October 19th.

JS Emery is here with fantasy’s first hydropunk adventure and I am here for an adventure that melds magic with civil engineering (bridges are magic, fight me). Throw in a tale of a respected family fallen on hard times, a sister who must rescue her brother, antiquities enthusiasts, a whist club and a lovesick mouse and A Clockwork River sounds like a riot of imagination. Out from Ad Astra (Head of Zeus) on October 14th.

Last but not least, watch out for beautiful new editions of recent and long-established classics from authors including Naomi Novik, Ursula Le Guin and Vonda McIntyre; and for the paperback releases of several of our Subjective Chaos Kind of Award finalists: The Once and Future Witches by Alix E Harrow on October 7th, The Midnight Bargain by CL Polk on October 12th and RF Kuang’s The Burning God on October 28th.

What books coming out next month are you excited for?

All release dates and publishers are for the UK unless otherwise mentioned.