The best sci-fi and fantasy books new for fall 2021

It’s been a tough summer. COVID hasn’t gone away, and it often feels like we’re stuck not only inside, but in the wrong timeline. With fall approaching, there’s a whole bunch of new books coming to stores, and it’s a good time to escape into the pages of a new world and a new adventure.

The next couple of months bring both to shelves: there’s the opportunity to jump into some familiar — but maybe not so familiar — worlds with some new Alien and Star Wars books, the rise and fall of empires with some new fantasy adventures, and some tales about the coming futures that might be in front of us before we know it.

Here are 16 new science-fiction and fantasy novels coming out this fall to add to your to-read list.


The Nature of Middle-earth by J.R.R. Tolkien  book cover

Image: Mariner Books

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

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Sci-Fi and Fantasy Book Releases: September 2021

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.


Image for article titled September Is Here, and So Are 63 New Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books

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)

Image for article titled September Is Here, and So Are 63 New Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books

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

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The Best Sci-Fi Shows to Watch Right Now on Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, Amazon, and More

Eliza Taylor, Lola Flanery, and Marie Avgeropoulos, The 100

Eliza Taylor, Lola Flanery, and Marie Avgeropoulos, The 100

The CW

Who needs reality? If you’re looking for something a little more out there than your typical cop/doctor/lawyer show, you should consider exploring the sci-fi genre. The shows on this list take place in otherworldly universes, play around with concepts like time travel and mysterious clones, and will probably get you thinking a lot about whether aliens are actually real. This world is so overrated, it’s time to try another.

From the all-time classics to the new releases ready to take their place, we’ve spent years of our lives watching everything in the sci-fi genre and have collected some favorites that are ready to stream. Below you’ll find plenty of shows across various streaming platforms that are about future societies, clones, robots with feelings, galaxies far, far away, and even immortality. Also, check out our list of all the best

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Blending Fantasy and Sci-Fi in Gene Wolfe’s The Shadow of the Torturer

I first encountered Gene Wolfe’s work when I was a sophomore in high school, when I accidentally stumbled onto the paperback of The Shadow of the Torturer at my public library. I picked it up not knowing anything about it, intrigued as much as anything by the fact that even though it was called science fiction it had a cover that looked like a fantasy novel: a masked and caped figure holding a massive sword. But it also had a blurb from Ursula K. Le Guin, whose Earthsea books I had loved, describing it as “the best science fiction I’ve read in years.” So, was this science fiction or fantasy?

This wasn’t clarified for me by the other words on the cover, where the book was described as a “world where science and magic are one” and, by Thomas M. Disch (a writer I wouldn’t read until years later) as

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