17 new science fiction and fantasy books to read in fall 2022

Ever wondered why so many highly anticipated books come out each fall? It turns out that between Labor Day and Christmas, readers buy the most books – 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? (So ​​to speak yes.)

Here are our 17 most anticipated sci-fi and fantasy books hitting shelves between September 1st and December 31st, 2022.

Fairy Tales by Stephen King (Sep 6)

Cover image for Stephen King's fairy tale, featuring two characters standing on cobblestones.

Image: Simon and Schuster

Sometime in the early days of 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. As Charlie begins doing odd jobs for a reclusive old man, he discovers a portal to another world – “a vast deserted city” and a “sprawling palace with glass towers so tall their tops pierce the clouds.”

Nona the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir (September 13)

Cover art for Tamsyn Muir's Nona the Ninth featuring a person with long hair in front of a dog and some skeletons.

Image: Tor Publishing

Everyone’s favorite space necromancers are back in the third installment in the Muir’s Locked Tomb series. On the heels of Gideon the Ninth and harrow the ninth, The Nine Houses interplanetary saga revolves around a woman named Nona who recently woke up in a new body with no memory of her previous life. She was originally intended to be a character in the final book of a planned trilogy, Alecto the ninthbut according to Carl Engle-Laird (Muir’s editor at Tordotcom), Nona “couldn’t be restrained and demanded her own tape,” which will do Alecto the ninth the fourth and (for the time being) last book in autumn 2023.

Bliss Montage of Ling Ma (September 13)

Cover photo for Bliss Montage by Ling Ma, featuring oranges wrapped in plastic wrap

Image: Macmillan

The author of one of the best novels of the 2010s — severance pay (no, not the show) – returns with a brilliant short story collection that spans many different genres including sci-fi, fantasy and horror, while remaining anchored in everyday realism. Take a look at “Peking Duck” in The New Yorker or “Office Hours” in The Atlantic.

Lark Ascending by Silas House (September 27)

Cover photo of Lark Ascending by Silas House with a rainbow colored waterfall

Image: Workman Publishing

House’s dystopian seventh novel is a clever reversal of Irish migration to America during the potato famines of the 1840s. In the near future, as the United States falls victim to wildfires, a family of American refugees flee across the Atlantic to Ireland, “the last country not yet overrun by extremists”. Of course, things are never what they seem when protagonists seek safe haven in an apocalypse.

The Famous Magician by César Aira (27 Sept)

Cover art for The Famous Magician by Cesar Aira with an arm and a hat in a painted image.

Image: New Directions

Aira’s short books are the literary equivalent of a Périgord black truffle – small, rich delights worth savoring and contemplating. This 48-page novella is about an aging writer in Buenos Aires who meets a magician at a book fair. The sorcerer Ovando offers the author a “devil’s deal”: omnipotent power in exchange for never reading or writing again.

The Genesis of Neon Yang’s Misery (September 27)

Cover art of Neon Yang's The Gensis of Misery, featuring a humanoid figure posing in front of an alien figure in space

Image: Macmillan

After receiving Nebula and Hugo award nominations for her novelization of the Tensorate series, the black tides of heaven, Yang is back with her first full-length novel. The Origin of Misery reimagines Joan of Arc as a space fantasy warrior named Misery Nomaki who hears an angel’s voice in her head. It is also the first book in a new series called the Nullvoid Chronicles.

The Mountain in the Sea by Ray Nayler (Oct. 4)

Cover art for Ray Nayler's The Mountain in the Sea, featuring an illustrated octopus-like figure with symbols at the end of each

Image: Macmillan

Have you been waiting your whole life for a novel about humans discovering an octopus civilization? The wait is over! In Nayler’s debut, a marine biologist travels to a remote Vietnamese archipelago to study a new (deadly) species of cephalopod with extraordinary intelligence. But in true Michael Crichton fashion, a tech company has already bought the islands and evacuated the locals — and it has its own agenda for the squid.

Illuminations by Alan Moore (Oct. 11)

Cover photo for Alan Moore's Illuminations, with an image of what appear to be fine mountain peaks blue laterally

Image: Bloomsbury

This is the first-ever collection of short stories by Alan Moore, best known for writing comics Guardian, V for Vendetta, from Hell, and Batman: The Deadly Joke. More than 40 years in the making, some of these stories have never been published before, and they happily hop between genres. There are ghosts, wizards, creatures, the four horsemen of the apocalypse, and a lengthy novella, What We Can Know About Thunderman, which fictionalizes the comics’ story.

The Spare Man by Mary Robinette Kowal (10/11)

Cover image for Mary Robinette Kowal's The Spare Man, featuring two characters standing in front of a bar with a dog sitting next to them

Image: Tor Publishing

Tor bills this as “The thin man in space.” The Substitute is a mystery set on the author’s luxurious interplanetary cruise ship the calculating stars, which won both the Hugo and Nebula awards for best novel in 2019. When her spouse is arrested for murder on their honeymoon, heiress and inventor Tesla Crane decides to investigate the crime herself.

The River of Silver by SA Chakraborty (Oct 11)

Cover art for SA Chakraborty's River of Silver, showing a waterfall against a space-like backdrop

Image: HarperCollins

Chakraborty’s Daevabad Trilogy — The city of brass, the kingdom of copper, and The realm of gold – is one of the most critically acclaimed fantasy series of the century to date. Set in the same universe, this book of stories features new characters, old characters, and never-before-seen material that expands the world’s horizons.

The Atlas Paradox by Olivie Blake (Oct. 25)

Cover art for Olivie Blake's The Atlas Paradox, with geometric shapes on it

Image: Tor Publishing

Blake’s self-published series starter, the Atlas Six, absolutely blew up on TikTok last year like few books have done before or since. After becoming a viral sensation, Tor picked him 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 hits shelves on October 15. He will continue to follow the six magicians who have joined the Alexandrian Society, a secret organization dedicated to preserving knowledge lost from ancient civilizations.

The World We Make by NK Jemisin (Nov. 1)

Cover photo for NK Jemisin's The World We Make, featuring a black and white apartment building with colorful squid-like graffiti on it

Image: orbit

Who can forget the 2020s The city we’ve become Jemisin’s groundbreaking novel about five people who become living avatars of the boroughs of New York? This sequel will complete the Great Cities duology as the New York City avatars join forces with other cities around the world to defeat “the Enemy” and her puppet: a mayoral candidate bent on making New York whiter and wealthier make.

Although I knew the ending by CL Polk (Nov. 8)

Cover photo for Even Through I Knew the End by CL Polk, featuring a couple kissing with birds obscuring their faces.

Image: gate

Polk, who won a World Fantasy Award for their debut novel witch sign in 2019, reimagines mid-century Chicago as a breeding ground for “divine monsters” and serial killers like the vampire of the White City. Even though I knew the ending is also a romance noir between a magical detective and the woman who loves her, as well as a supernatural crime thriller.

The Lost Metal by Brandon Sanderson (Nov 15)

The cover for Brandon Sanderson's The Lost Metal featuring two characters - one with two guns, the other with a hat and walking stick.

Image: gate

Sanderson’s original Mistborn trilogy is widely regarded as one of the best fantasy series ever written. The Lost Metal is the fourth and final book in Wax and Wayne’s subsequent tetralogy, set 300 years after the events of the trilogy. Still confused? Welcome to the Cosmere.

Africa Risen edited by Sheree Renée Thomas, Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki and Zelda Knight (15 Nov)

The cover for Africa Risen, featuring a black person whose hair blends with the green growth behind, wearing a brightly painted outfit that looks like a space suit

Image: gate

This anthology contains 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 plenty of cyborgs, ghosts, robots, jinn, and a rain goddess.

Tread of Angels by Rebecca Roanhorse (Nov. 15)

Cover art for Rebecca Roanhorse's Tread of Angels with a golden feather

Image: Saga Press

step of the angels has a truly unique setting and premise combination: In 1883, a mining town in the mountains of Colorado is experiencing a gold rush when a new element called divinity is discovered underground. But this isn’t our Colorado – it’s home to the descendants of demons and angels, many years after an ancient war.

The Fall of Númenor by JRR Tolkien (15 Nov)

Cover image of The Fall of Numenor showing a city on the brink of being wiped out by a tidal wave

Image: HarperCollins

Prime Video fans The Rings of Power will devour this newly expanded collection of writings about 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 power rings.

https://www.polygon.com/23320220/best-2022-fall-books-science-fiction-fantasy-preview 17 new science fiction and fantasy books to read in fall 2022

Charles Jones

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