Whether you enjoy spending the summer by the water or hiding from the sun in your air-conditioned home, you’ll still want a good book to read to keep you company. Luckily enough we’ve got plenty of books to keep you entertained from solstice to equinox.
So grab your beach bag and get ready to fill up on some new SFF reads!
The Iron Dragon’s Mother by Michael Swanwick
Caitlin of House Sans Merci is the young half-human pilot of a sentient mechanical dragon. Returning from her first soul-stealing raid, she discovers an unwanted hitchhiker.
When Caitlin is framed for the murder of her brother, to save herself she must disappear into Industrialized Faerie, looking for the one person who can clear her.
Unfortunately, the stakes are higher than she knows. Her deeds will change her world forever.
Dragonslayer by Duncan M. Hamilton
Once a member of the King’s personal guard, Guillot dal Villevauvais spends most days drinking and mourning his wife and child. He’s astonished—and wary—when the Prince Bishop orders him to find and destroy a dragon. He and the Prince Bishop have never exactly been friends and Gill left the capital in disgrace five years ago. So why him? And, more importantly, how is there a dragon to fight when the beasts were hunted to extinction centuries ago by the ancient Chevaliers of the Silver Circle?
On the way to the capitol city, Gill rescues Solène, a young barmaid, who is about to be burned as a witch. He believes her innocent…but she soon proves that she has plenty of raw, untrained power, a problem in this land, where magic is forbidden. Yet the Prince Bishop believes magic will be the key to both destroying the dragon and replacing the young, untried King he pretends to serve with a more pliable figurehead.
Between Gill’s rusty swordsmanship and Solene’s unstable magic, what could go wrong?
The Heart of Hell by Wayne Barlowe
Sargatanas has Ascended and the doomed, anguished souls have found themselves emancipated. Hell has changed…hasn’t it? The demons, wardens of the souls, are free of their inmates…
And the damned, liberated from their terrible torments, twisted and bent but thankful that they are no longer forced to be in proximity to their fearsome jailors, rejoice. But something is stirring under the surface of Hell’s ceaseless carnage…
Null Set by S. L. Huang
Math-genius mercenary Cas Russell has decided to Fight Crime(tm). After all, with her extraordinary mathematical ability, she can neuter bombs or out-shoot an army. And the recent outbreak of violence in the world’s cities is Cas’s fault—she’s the one who crushed the organization of telepaths keeping the world’s worst offenders under control.
But Cas’s own power also has a history, one she can’t remember—or control. One that’s creeping into her mind and fracturing her sanity…just when she’s gotten herself on the hit list of every crime lord on the West Coast. And her best, only, sociopathic friend. Cas won’t be able to save the world. She might not even be able to save herself.
The Toll by Cherie Priest
Take a road trip into a Southern gothic horror novel.
Titus and Melanie Bell are on their honeymoon and have reservations in the Okefenokee Swamp cabins for a canoeing trip. But shortly before they reach their destination, the road narrows into a rickety bridge with old stone pilings, with room for only one car.
Much later, Titus wakes up lying in the middle of the road, no bridge in sight. Melanie is missing. When he calls the police, they tell him there is no such bridge on Route 177 . . .
Earth by Ben Bova
A wave of lethal gamma radiation is expanding from the core of the Milky Way galaxy at the speed of light, killing everything in its path. The countdown to when the death wave will reach Earth and the rest of the solar system is at two thousand years.
Humans were helped by the Predecessors, who provided shielding generators that can protect the solar system. In return, the Predecessors asked humankind’s help to save other intelligent species that are in danger of being annihilated.
But what of Earth? With the Death Wave no longer a threat to humanity, humans have spread out and colonized all the worlds of the solar system. The technology of the Predecessors has made Earth a paradise, at least on the surface. But a policy of exiling discontented young people to the outer planets and asteroid mines has led to a deep divide between the new worlds and the homeworld, and those tensions are about to explode into open war.
The Redemption of Time by Baoshu
In the midst of an interstellar war, Yun Tianming found himself on the front lines. Riddled with cancer, he chose to end his life, only to find himself flash frozen and launched into space where the Trisolaran First Fleet awaited. Captured and tortured beyond endurance for decades, Yun eventually succumbed to helping the aliens subjugate humanity in order to save Earth from complete destruction.
Granted a healthy clone body by the Trisolarans, Yun has spent his very long life in exile as a traitor to the human race. Nearing the end of his existence at last, he suddenly receives another reprieve—and another regeneration. A consciousness calling itself The Spirit has recruited him to wage battle against an entity that threatens the existence of the entire universe. But Yun refuses to be a pawn again and makes his own plans to save humanity’s future…
Medusa in the Graveyard by Emily Devenport
Oichi Angelis, former Worm, along with her fellow insurgents on the generation starship Olympia, head deeper into the Charon System for the planet called Graveyard.
Ancient, sentient, alien starships wait for them—three colossi so powerful they remain aware even in self-imposed sleep. The race that made the Three are dead, but Oichi’s people were engineered with this ancient DNA.
A delegation from Olympia must journey to the heart of Graveyard and be judged by the Three. Before they’re done, they will discover that weapons are the least of what the ships have to offer.
Death Goddess Dance by Levi Black
In Red Right Hand, Charlie Tristan Moore became the unwilling acolyte of The Man In Black, a treacherous elder god also known as Nyarlathotep, the Crawling Chaos.
In Black Goat Blues, Charlie fought her way past bloodthirsty gods and demons to rescue her lover’s stolen soul, only to put all of Creation at risk.
Now she must stop the Man In Black from achieving his ultimate goal: freeing his dread father, Azathoth, from endless confinement to feast upon humanity for all eternity. But before she can confront her inhuman mentor for the final time, Charlie must make her way to the heart of a hellish, otherworldly prison—and call upon the darkest powers at her command.
Iron Gods by Andrew Bannister
In the depths of space, a beacon has awakened. And an ancient technology has begun to stir. As its memory returns, with it comes a terrifying knowledge—a grave warning about the future of the Spin that has been concealed for ten thousand years.
Ten thousand years after the events of Creation Machine, the Spin is in decline and the beleaguered slave economy of the Inside is surrounded by rebel civilizations. A group of escapees from the vast forced-labor unit known as the Hive have stolen the last of the Inside’s ancient warships and woken it from an enforced trance that had lasted for millennia. And someone has destroyed a planet that didn’t exist, and halfway across the Spin, something has gone wrong with the sky.
Blood of an Exile by Brian Naslund
Bershad was supposed to die…
When he was caught trying to assassinate a fellow noble, Flawless Bershad was given a death sentence. Fight monsters so that he would die serving the kingdom. But Bershad can’t die.
He’s never lost a fight, the most successful dragon slayer in history but marked as a doomed man, Bershad stands apart from the world. But that is about to change.
The man who sentenced Bershad to his fate has just given him an out. Kill a king and walk free forever. But Bershad could care less about the fates of kings and kingdoms, until, that is, he discovers he is the only person able to save an innocent child and, possibly, the life of every creature in Terra.
Kingmaker by Margaret Weis & Robert Krammes
In this exciting adventure, Kate and Sophia and their dragon Dalgren form a desperate plan to free Phillip from prison. Thomas is crowned king and discovers a plot by King Ullr to invade Freya. And Henry is forced to flee to the Aligoes where he makes a discovery that could change the fortunes of his beleaguered nation.
Knaves Over Queens by George R. R. Martin
Developed by aliens and field-tested on Earth, the virus known as Xenovirus Takis-A was released in New York in 1946, changing the course of human history forever. Most of those infected die — and a tiny percentage become deformed beings known as jokers. A lucky few survivors become aces: superhumans gifted with amazing powers. Now the virus has reached Britain.
There, Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill, gifted with extraordinary longevity, together with the Enigma ace Alan Turing, set up a special organization named the Order of the Silver Helix. They will need all of the wild cards they can find if they are to deal with the terrifying mutations spawned by the virus.
The Mage-Fire War by L. E. Modesitt Jr.
Once again, prejudices against the use of chaos magic force Beltur and his companions to flee their refuge in Axalt. The rulers of nearby Montgren have offered them sanctuary and the opportunity to become the Councilors of the run-down and disintegrating town of Haven.
Montegren lacks any mages—white or black—making this seem like the perfect opportunity to start again.
However, Beltur and the others must reinstitute law and order, rebuild parts of the town, deal with brigands—and thwart an invading army.
The Nightjar by Deborah Hewitt
Alice Wyndham has been plagued by visions of birds her whole life…until the mysterious Crowley reveals that Alice is an ‘aviarist’: capable of seeing nightjars, magical birds that guard human souls. When her best friend is hit by a car, only Alice can find and save her nightjar.
With Crowley’s help, Alice travels to the Rookery, a hidden, magical alternate London to hone her newfound talents. But a faction intent on annihilating magic users will stop at nothing to destroy the new aviarist. And is Crowley really working with her, or against her? Alice must risk everything to save her best friend—and uncover the strange truth about herself.
At Death’s Door by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Welcome to the latest Deadmen’s Quest…
Valynda Moore was born cursed. So when she dies as the result of a spell gone wrong and is trapped in the body of a voodoo doll, she expects nothing else from her messed up life. Until Thorn, leader of the Hellchasers, offers her a chance at redemption and a new life.
But nothing has ever gone her way, for the Malachai, the very beast she and her crew of Deadmen have sworn to keep locked away, has risen. And this time he’s taken prisoners. Valynda must keep her wits about her or be denied her salvation and forced to watch as the entire world falls into the hands of absolute evil.
It’s a demon-eat-demon world where the stakes have never been higher and either redemption or the ultimate betrayal waits for her at Death’s Door.
Chronin Volume 2: The Sword in Your Hand by Alison Wilgus
Japan’s history will never be the same. The timeline has veered off course with the abrupt deaths of prominent players in the nation’s past, influencers who were supposed to start the Meiji Restoration. Now Mirai Yoshida, former Japanese-American undergrad turned samurai on the lam, may never find her way back to where she belongs.
Unless a high-stakes plan is enacted. With help from her newfound friends, Mirai must instigate a peasant uprising to correct the course of history. But in order to succeed, she faces a dangerous and powerful fellow time traveler, an enemy who accidentally glimpsed his country’s destiny and didn’t like what he saw.
Chronin, Volume 2: The Sword in Your Hand concludes the adrenaline-fueled adventure that asks: when time is of the essence, is it more important to save yourself or the future?
Gamechanger by L. X. Beckett
Rubi Whiting is a member of the Bounceback Generation. The first to be raised free of the troubles of the late twenty first century. Now she works as a public defender to help troubled individuals with anti-social behavior. That’s how she met Luciano Pox.
Luce is a firebrand and has made a name for himself as a naysayer. But there’s more to him than being a lightning rod for controversy. Rubi has to find out why the governments of the world want to bring Luce into custody, and why Luce is hell bent on stopping the recovery of the planet.