This article was originally published in the Den of Geek magazine SDCC special edition. Click here to view the full issue.
Is there anything better than lying out in the sun and reading a good science fiction or fantasy book? It can be hard to keep up with all of the genre novels hitting the shelves, what with summer blockbusters at the theaters to worry about, but if you’re looking for an opportunity to slow down and spend a few days immersed in a new, fantastical world, we suggest one of these recent or upcoming titles.
Raven Stratagem (The Machineries of Empire #2) by Yoon Ha Lee
OUT NOW – Solaris Books
Get ready for the follow-up to the Hugo-nominated novel Ninefox Gambit. The sequel revisits Captain Kel Cheris and undead traitor general, Shuos Jedao, as they continue their fight against the heretics of the hexarchate. The worldbuilding in this military science fiction series is not for the faint of heart.
The story takes place in a future society that has its basis in social mathematics. But if you lean into this kind of ambitious setting, you will be rewarded with a compelling story that questions the true cost of war and grounds its hard sci-fi elements in the fascinating relationship between Cheris and Jedao.
The Refrigerator Monologues by Catherynne M. Valente
OUT NOW – Saga Press
The term “fridged” refers to the common trope in which female characters are “killed, raped, brainwashed, driven mad, disabled, or have their powers taken so that a male superhero’s storyline will progress.” You can probably think of a dozen or so examples off the top of your head (If you need a hint, Catherynne M. Valente was originally inspired to write this book after watching The Amazing Spider-Man 2).
In a collection of six linked stories, this collection gives those same female superheroes and female partners of superheroes a voice. If you’ve ever been angry after watching a female character treated badly in a comic book narrative, The Refrigerator Monologues is for you.
Heroine Worship (Heroine Complex #2) by Sarah Kuhn
OUT NOW – DAW
As the sequel to the quirky, compelling, and culturally-aware Heroine Complex, Sarah Kuhn’s Heroine Worship continues the story of Asian-American superheroines Evie Tanaka and Aveda Jupiter as they protect San Francisco from demonic threats.
This second installment in the trilogy pivots the point-of-view from Evie to Aveda as the recovering diva struggles to figure out who she is now that her best friend is also a kickass superhero.
Battlefront II: Inferno Squad by Christie Golden
July 25 – Del Rey
A tie-in to Star Wars Battlefront II, Inferno Squad fills in some of the gaps between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back. The novel follows the eponymous Inferno Squad, a group tasked with hunting down members of Saw Gerrera’s Partisans and avenging the destruction of the Death Star.
If you’re counting down the days until The Last Jedi, this Star Wars novel might be a good way to pass the time.
The Stone Sky (Broken Earth #3) by N.K. Jemisin
August 15 – Orbit
As the final book in the Hugo Award-winning Broken Earth series, The Stone Sky continues the tale of a civilization struggling for survival in the face of apocalypse.
The series is set on a planet with a single supercontinent called Stillness where, every few centuries, its inhabitants must face a period of catastrophic climate change known as the “Fifth Season.” The Stone Sky picks up after The Obelisk Gate, diving back into the uncertain lives of Essun and Nassun. This is subversive, thought-provoking science fiction at its best.
Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo
August 29 – Random House
Can’t get enough Wonder Woman? Check out this young adult tie-in novel to the film, which tells the story of Diana before she became the superhero we know and love. Warbringer checks in with Diana when she is still just a teen girl trying to prove herself to her Amazon sisters.
When she saves a mortal named Alia Keralis, Diana not only breaks Amazonian law but unwittingly puts herself in the middle of a war. You see, Alia is a Warbringer and a direct descendant of Helen of Troy. She’s also someone fated to bring about bloodshed and misery. Yikes.
Dragon Teeth by Michael Crichton — HarperCollins OUT NOW
Down Among the Sticks and Bones (Wayward Children #2) by Seanan McGuire — Tor.com OUT NOW
Indigo: A Novel by Charlaine Harris, Christopher Golden, Kelley Armstrong, Jonathan Maberry, Kat Richardson, Seanan McGuire, Tim Lebbon, Cherie Priest, James Moore, and Mark Morris — St. Martin’s Press OUT NOW
Valerian: The Complete Collection Vol. 1 by Pierre Christin and Jean-Claude Mézières — Cinebook OUT NOW
Leia: Princess of Alderaan by Claudia Gray — Disney-LucasFilm Press OUT SEPT. 1st
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