On a pink and purple background, an illustration of a woman in black with large black wings looks over her shoulder.

Steelstriker by Marie Lu
Image: Roaring Brook Press

This month we’ve got stories galore to keep you entertained as the seasons change. Read on for kingdoms in rebellion, magical murder mysteries, space shenanigans, parallel dimensions, vampires, a new Dune novel, haunted houses (and forests and lakes), short-story collections, and so much more.


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Image: Thomas & Mercer

Constance by Matthew FitzSimmons

In a world where human cloning exists, albeit only for the wealthy, a young woman who’s gifted her own clone experiences an anomaly during a routine consciousness upload…and then wakes up as her clone after her original self is murdered. Can she figure out who’s responsible before she’s murdered again? (September 1)

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Image: Mariner Books

The Nature of Middle-earth by J.R.R. Tolkien and Carl F. Hostetter

This new collection edited by Tolkien expert Carl F. Hostetter compiles Tolkien’s final writings on Middle-earth and the vast world and culture he created there, published here for the first time. (September 2)

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Image: Erewhon

The All-Consuming World by Cassandra Khaw

A career criminal who’s died multiple times, only to be brought back in cyborg bodies, sets out with her crew on one last mission, a daring rescue—but finds the AI that runs the galaxy is determined to stand in their way. Read an excerpt here. (September 7)

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Image: Gallery / Saga Press

Among Thieves by M.J. Kuhn

A sharp-tongued outlaw assembles a not-entirely-trustworthy crew of misfits for the ultimate heist: taking down the sovereign ruler who knows her deadly secret and is hellbent on destroying her. (September 7)

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Image: Titan Books

The Art of Space Travel and Other Stories by Nina Allan

This new collection of “weird and wonderful stories” comes from the Hugo-nominated author of The Rift. (September 7)

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Image: Night Shade

The Best Science Fiction of the Year, Volume Six edited by Neil Clarke

The publisher and editor-in-chief of Clarkesworld gathers standout sci-fi stories from 2020 for this diverse collection. Contributors include io9 co-founder Annalee Newitz as well as N.K. Jemisin, Cixin Liu, Ann Leckie, and more. (September 7)

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Image: Margaret K. McElderry Books

The Bones of Ruin by Sarah Raughley

A tightrope performer in Victorian London hides her immortality—until she learns the end of the world is near and agrees to enter a “Tournament of Freaks” on behalf of a mysterious man who claims to be able to explain why she is the way she is. (September 7)

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Image: Razorbill

Dark and Shallow Lies by Ginny Myers Sain

In this supernatural thriller, a 17-year-old goes missing in a small Louisiana town known as “the Psychic Capital of the World”—but for some reason, nobody’s come forward with any clues. The girl’s best friend turns detective and discovers dangerous secrets in her midst. (September 7)

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Image: Poisoned Pen Press

The Haunting of Leigh Harker by Darcy Coates

When a woman’s quiet suburban home is suddenly invaded by an evil spirit, she must unravel its secrets or she’ll never be able to escape. (September 7)

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Image: Running Press Adult

How to Survive a Human Attack: A Guide for Werewolves, Mummies, Cyborgs, Ghosts, Nuclear Mutants, and Other Movie Monsters by K.E. Flann

This book reaches out to supernatural creatures who are finding it difficult to avoid pesky humans, with chapter titles like “Self-Training 101 for Werewolves” and “First-Time Haunter’s Guide for Ghosts, Spirits, Poltergeists, Specters, and Wraiths.” (September 7)

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Image: Baen

Jekyll & Hyde Inc. by Simon R. Green

When a London cop stumbles upon the city’s monster-filled crime underworld, he teams up with the one crew working against all the vampires, mummies, and other beasties: the Hyde of Jekyll & Hyde Inc. (September 7)

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Image: Blackstone Publishing

No Gods, No Monsters by Cadwell Turnbull

After losing her brother to what appears to be police violence, a woman realizes that not only are monsters real, they’re suddenly, deliberately making their presence felt in the world for mysterious reasons. Read an excerpt here. (September 7)

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Image: Jimmy Patterson

Tides of Mutiny by Rebecca Rofe

Female sailors are put to death in her world, but a 16-year-old girl determined to become a captain disguises herself as a cabin boy to get closer to her dream. Before long, her father’s pirate past comes to light and she’s forced to align herself with a prince to continue her journey…if she can keep her true identity a secret. (September 7)

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Image: Harper Voyager

The Actual Star by Monica Byrne

This tale spans 2,000 years and six continents, following three stories that explore the origins of humanity, its present, and its future: teenage twins in a Maya civilization kingdom; an American woman traveling in Belize; and people fighting for control of a new religious movement on an Earth decimated by climate change. (September 14)

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Image: Currency

AI 2041: Ten Visions for Our Future by Kai-Fu Lee and Chen Qiufan

Over the course of 10 short stories, a novelist and the former president of Google China team up to imagine different global scenarios for the year 2041, all tied into how AI will shape and change our lives. A few examples: “in Tokyo, a music fan is swept up in an immersive form of celebrity worship based on virtual reality and mixed reality,” and “in Munich, a rogue scientist draws on quantum computing, computer vision and other AI technologies in a revenge plot that imperils the world.” (September 14)

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Image: Gallery Books

Black Nerd Problems: Essays by William Evans and Omar Holmon

The popular website’s founders share pop culture essays on “everything from Mario Kart and The Wire to issues of representation and police brutality across media.” (September 14)

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Image: Quirk Books

Dare to Know by James Kennedy

Billed as “Dark Matter meets Annihilation,” this tale follows a salesperson who works for a company capable of calculating the exact moment a person will die. But when he breaks the rules to learn his own death day, it tells him he’s already dead—sending him on a wild, surreal journey. (September 14)

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Image: Bloomsbury YA

Defy the Night by Brigid Kemmerer

A new fantasy series begins in this tale of an apothecary apprentice who’s working to cure a devastating plague the land’s rulers have chosen to ignore. Before long she starts to wonder if getting rid of the rulers themselves might be the only lasting cure. (September 14)

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Image: St. Martin’s Press

Empire of the Vampire by Jay Kristoff

This dark fantasy follows a decades-long war between humans and vampires. When the story begins, the vampires have the upper hand, to the point that the sun no longer rises—and the only remaining member of a holy brotherhood that once battled vampires must decide his future path. (September 14)

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Image: Titan Books

From the Neck Up and Other Stories by Aliya Whiteley

Sixteen stories from the author of The Beauty that examine “the strangeness of everyday life through beguiling gardens, rebellious bodies and journeys across familiar worlds.” (September 14)

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Image: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

The Hollow Heart by Marie Rutkoski

The Forgotten Gods duology concludes with this tale that sees Nirrim taking the throne and proving to be an unexpectedly vengeful ruler—while back in her home country, Sid steps up to her own royal duty while wondering how she can save her best friend. (September 14)

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Image: Del Rey

Oaths of Legacy by Emily Skrutskie

In this sequel to Bonds of Brass, a prince destined to rule a galactic empire returns home after fleeing an assassination attempt, determined to stomp out a growing rebellion. Things get even more complicated when he’s taken hostage and, in order to save his life, the man he loves reveals himself to also be a royal heir—but to the rival kingdom that’s behind the rebellion. (September 14)

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Image: Angry Robot

The Offset by Calder Szewczak

The Devastating Set-Up of the Month Award goes to this exceptionally dystopian story: “It is your 18th birthday and one of your parents must die. You are the one who decides. Who do you pick?” (September 14)

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Image: Tor Nightfire

Slewfoot: A Tale of Bewitchery by Brom

This dark fantasy set in a Puritan village in 1666 Connecticut follows the dangerous alliance that forms between an ancient forest spirit known as Slewfoot, and a widowed outcast with nobody else to turn to. (September 14)

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Image: Blackstone Publishing

Souls of Fire and Steel by Jill Criswell

The Frozen Sun Saga continues as the powerful Lira of Stone and the warrior Reyker Lagorsson fight against each other and the demigod who has control over both of them. (September 14)

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Image: Amulet Books

Stalking Shadows by Cyla Panin

In 18th-century France, a teenage girl sells bottles of perfume that help her sister, who transforms into a deadly beast, select her victims. But when the beast-girl starts losing control and killing children, they’ll have to risk everything to try and find a cure. (September 14)

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Image: DAW

When Sorrows Come by Seanan McGuire

October “Toby” Daye returns for the 15th novel in this urban fantasy series. This time around, Toby’s long-delayed wedding to Tybalt, San Francisco’s King of Cats, seems like it’s finally going to happen—if she can manage to keep the chaos around her at bay. (September 14)

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Image: DAW

Winterlight by Kristen Britain

The Green Rider series continues as knight and magic wielder Karigan fights to protect the realm while also confronting the darkness lingering in her past. (September 14)

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Image: Orbit

The Wisdom of Crowds by Joe Abercrombie

The Age of Madness fantasy series concludes as a revolution rages. Citizen Brock tries to be a hero, Citizeness Savine fights for redemption, and a bloody quest for vengeance threatens everyone’s survival. (September 14)

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Image: Orbit

The Body Scout by Lincoln Michel

Set in a near-future New York, in a world devastated by climate change and pandemics, a baseball scout is pulled into the high-tech body-modification underground when his brother is murdered. (September 21)

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Image: Tor Books

Dune: The Lady of Caladan by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson

The latest entry in the epic Dune series focuses on Lady Jessica as she’s torn between her family and her loyalty to the Bene Gesserit. (September 21)

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Image: Tachyon Publications

The Escapement by Lavie Tidhar

A lone gunman seeking to rescue his young son must travel into a parallel world that’s a dangerous and surreal blend of his son’s favorite things and some very dark forces. (September 21)

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Image: Del Rey

The Free Bastards by Jonathan French

The blood-soaked Lot Lands fantasy trilogy ends with this entry, which sees man-orc Oats facing yet another seemingly impossible battle—and a crisis of faith that makes him realize maybe war isn’t the way forward after all. (September 21)

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Image: Gallery / Saga Press

Gutter Mage by J.S. Kelley

Fantasy meets noir in this tale of a king who turns to the powerful Gutter Mage to help rescue his kidnapped son. But as she begins to investigate the case, she uncovers a conspiracy tied to her own past that could spell disaster for everyone. (September 21)

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Image: Penguin Teen

Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao

Pacific Rim meets The Handmaid’s Tale” in this sci-fi fantasy inspired by Chinese history about a teenaged girl who signs up as a transforming robot pilot to battle mecha aliens—while also plotting revenge against the male pilot who caused her sister’s death, and with an eye toward bringing down the entire patriarchal system. Read an excerpt here. (September 21)

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Image: Viking Books for Young Readers

The Other Merlin by Robyn Schneider

The Arthurian legend goes teen rom-com in this YA take on the classic story. Merlin’s twin sister disguises herself as her brother so that she can practice magic, a forbidden activity for women, while inconveniently falling for the prince while she’s at it. (September 21)

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Image: Apex Book Company

Plague Birds by Jason Sanford

A girl becomes the very thing that killed her mother—a terrifying “plague bird,” a much-feared blend of human and killer AI symbiote—in order to save her father and her village. By doing so, she realizes a terrible truth about the future of the world. (September 21)

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A Song of Flight by Juliet Marillier

A young woman who is both warrior and bard sets out to investigate the kidnapping of a prince and ends up joining forces with her brother—a fellow bard who’s run afoul of the sinister gang that might be behind the crime. (September 21)

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Image: Delacorte Press

Spells Like Teen Spirit by Kate M. Williams

The Babysitter’s Coven series winds down with this entry, as “Sitter” Esme works on enhancing her supernatural, demon-slaying powers while trying to unravel the curse that’s lingering over her mother. Also, there’s a new band in town whose magical members are definitely up to no good. (September 21)

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Image: Titan Books

Stolen Earth by J.T. Nicholas

Humans have fled Earth after the one-two punch of war and environmental collapse, and instead, live miserably on overcrowded colonies and space stations. Earth, meanwhile, is heavily guarded so that nobody can return—until a ragtag crew decides to undertake a risky mission to recover valuable artifacts from their former home planet, which has some big surprises waiting for them. (September 21)

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Image: Tor Books

Under the Whispering Door by T.J. Klune

After he dies, a man becomes determined to make the most of his week at Charon’s Crossing—the tea house perched between worlds—before he heads to the afterlife. (September 21)

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Image: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

Beasts of Prey by Ayana Gray

A new fantasy series begins as a pair of teens—one of whom has the forbidden gift of magic, the other fated to become a warrior—must reluctantly team up to fight the monster that’s menacing their city. (September 28)

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Chasing Ghosts: A Tour of Our Fascination with Spirits and the Supernatural by Marc Hartzman

This illustrated “spirited tour through the supernatural history of America” explores haunted houses, pop culture, and American history itself. (September 28)

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Image: Scribner

Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr

The Pulitzer Prize winner’s latest follows three stories of children coming of age with the help of one special book: an orphan in ancient Constantinople; a group of Idaho kids; and a lonely space traveler. (September 28)

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Image: Quill Tree Books

Dark Rise by C.S. Pacat

In 19th century London, a 16-year-old boy taps into his magic powers after learning his destiny is to join the fight against the dreaded Dark King. (September 28)

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Image: Angry Robot

The Godless by James A. Moore

The Seven Forges series continues in post-war Fellein, where peace means chaos as a murderer prowls, a necromancer terrorizes, and a bloodthirsty new army rises. (September 28)

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Image: Berkley

Horseman: A Tale of Sleepy Hollow by Christina Henry

In this story inspired by The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, a teenage boy who’s grown up hearing the legend of the Headless Horseman discovers the headless body of a child in the woods outside Sleepy Hollow. Is the Horseman real… or is something much worse afoot? (September 28)

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Image: Tor Books

Invisible Sun by Charles Stross

The Empire Games trilogy concludes with this techno-thriller that finds humanity on the brink of extinction across multiple timelines—with all hope of survival resting on “disgraced worldwalker Rita and her intertemporal extraordinaire agent of a mother.” (September 28)

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Image: Henry Holt and Co.

Lakesedge by Lyndall Clipstone

In this gothic fantasy, a woman finds unexpected romance when she travels to a haunted mansion at the edge of a cursed lake—and must defeat a monstrous god to right a wrong in her past and secure her future. (September 28)

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Image: Del Rey

The Last Graduate by Naomi Novik

The Scholomance trilogy continues as our teenaged heroine nears graduation from her magic school—but can she keep from being devoured alive without having to embrace her dark destiny? (September 28)

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Image: Tor Nightfire

The Last House on Needless Street by Catriona Ward

This horror novel introduces a most unusual family of three—a teen girl who’s not allowed to go outside for…reasons, a man with memory problems, and a cat who reads the Bible—to the reader and to the neighbor who just so happens to move in next door. (September 28)

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Image: Solaris

The Liar of Red Valley by Walter Goodwater

A young woman who’s been designated as her town’s “Liar,” the keeper of its secrets, would prefer to use her position to dig up the truth, not to gain power. But it’s going to be tough, especially when her curiosity attracts the interest of both the local sheriff and the king. (September 28)

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Image: Tor Books

Light From Uncommon Stars by Ryka Aoki

“Shizuka Satomi made a deal with the devil: to escape damnation, she must entice seven other violin prodigies to trade their souls for success,” this tale begins. The first six, no problem. The seventh makes things complicated—as does her chance meeting with a dreamy retired starship captain. (September 28)

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Image: St. Martin’s Griffin

The Orphan Witch by Paige Crutcher

A woman who’s spent her life as a loner would love to change that about herself—but the strange effect she has on the world around her prevents her from forming attachments. When at last she finds the first place she really, truly belongs, she must deal with a raging family feud and a curse before she feels at home. (September 28)

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Image: Redhook

The Seven Visitations of Sydney Burgess by Andy Marino

After she’s knocked unconscious by an intruder, a woman awakens to learn the man was found murdered—and she’s the prime suspect. To figure out what’s going on, she must dig into her unpleasant past and face some long-hidden, very dark memories. (September 28)

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Image: Tor Teen

Some Faraway Place by Lauren Shippen

The Bright Sessions series continues as Rose discovers that she does have magic abilities like everyone else in her family of “Atypicals”—she’s a late bloomer, but she can travel into dreams. As she soon finds, her new powers don’t come without consequence. (September 28)

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Image: Roaring Brook Press

Steelstriker by Marie Lu

The sequel to Skyhunter finds Talin forced to abandon her life as a Striker and join up with the enemy Federation to become a tool in their war as a Skyhunter. But she hasn’t turned her back on her country, and together with Red, she might still discover some hope for the future. (September 28)

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Image: Tordotcom

Summer Sons by Lee Mandelo

After a grad student dies from what appears to be suicide, his best friend sets out to uncover the truth, a process that shakes loose some long-held personal secrets, some very disturbing family history, and at least one unpleasant ghost. (September 28)

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Image: Margaret K. McElderry Books

Vespertine by Margaret Rogerson

The hungry spirits of the dead are invading—and it’s up to a young nun-in-training and the sinister revenant she accidentally awakens to form an unsteady alliance and fight off the threat. Read an excerpt here. (September 28)

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Image: Titan Books

When Things Get Dark: Stories Inspired by Shirley Jackson edited by Ellen Datlow

This horror anthology of new and exclusive short stories pays tribute to the groundbreaking author of The Haunting of Hill House, with contributions from Joyce Carol Oates, Josh Malerman, Paul Tremblay, Richard Kadrey, and others. (September 28)

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Image: Quirk Books

William Shakespeare’s Avengers: The Complete Works by Ian Doescher

Ever wondered what the four Avengers films might have been like if they’d been written by Shakespeare? Wonder no longer in this humorous take, which presents the following: Assemble, Ye Avengers; Lo, The Age of Ultron; Infinity War’s Tale; and, of course, The Endgame’s Afoot. (September 28)

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Image: Gallery / Saga Press

The Year’s Best Science Fiction: Volume 2 edited by Jonathan Strahan

A collection of standout short sci-fi stories written in 2020 by both emerging and established authors, including io9 co-founder Charlie Jane Anders as well as Ken Liu, Tochi Onyebuchi, Sarah Gailey, and more. (September 28)

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Image: Subterranean

City of Songs by Anthony Ryan

A dethroned king travels to a fabled city, hoping to find a mythical sword. But before he can track it down, he’ll need to solve a magical murder mystery first. (September 30)


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