October Sci-Fi and Fantasy Releases

Another month that’s going to contribute to my review backlog. With new releases from faves like Brandon Sanderson and some of my most anticipated books of the year, this month is going to be packed.

I don’t expect to keep up.

But I’m going to try, and hope for a slower November and December to get caught up on my reading for the year.

Here are some of the upcoming titles hitting stores this month:

Oct. 6

shadows of selfShadows of Self
— Brandon Sanderson (Tor)

Sanderson surprised fans earlier this year when he announced his return to the world of Mistborn and his allomantic western heroes Wax and Wayne in this, the start of a new trilogy. And you won’t have to wait too long because he didn’t just deliver the first novel, but its follow up as well. Bands of Mourning, hits shelves in January.

ancillary mercyAncillary Mercy — Ann Leckie (Orbit)
One of the best series of recent years wraps up as Breq faces her nemesis, the divided, insane ruler of the Raadchi, Anaander Mianaai. At the same time the mysterious Presger Empire is threatening the Athoek Station. Seriously one of my most anticipated books of the year, and with Ancillary Justice and Ancillary Sword raking in awards the past two years, it shouldn’t disappoint.

FluxThe Flux — Ferrett Steinmetz (Angry Robot)
Paul Tsabo, the bureacromancer from Flex, is back in this sequel. Working to control his daughters burgeoning pyromancy powers and avoid capture by the government forces who seek to control the ‘mancers, Tsabo also faces the threat from the mysterious mob boss, The King of New York. Stop back Sunday for an interview with Steinmetz.

knight of seven kingdomsA Knight of Seven Kingdoms — George R.R. Martin (Bantam)
Nope, it’s not book six. But this should keep the Westeros fans happy, collecting three hard-to-find novellas, The Hedge Knight, The Sworn Sword and The Mystery Knight. Set a century before the events of “A Song of Ice and Fire”, they feature the adventures of Dunk (Ser Duncan the Tall) and his squire Egg (the future king Aegon Targaryen).

EmpireAscendant-144dpiEmpire Ascendant — Kameron Hurley (Angry Robot)
Sentient plants, parallel universes and reversed gender roles. Kameron Hurley attracted a lot of attention with The Mirror Empire last year, the first in her “Worldbreaker Saga.” She’s upped the stakes (which were pretty high to begin with) in this grimdark, feminist sequel where evil doppelgangers from the mirror universe are replacing those once trusted. Come back on Oct. 21 when Hurley stops by to talk about the impact of cover art.

last witnessThe Last Witness — K.J. Parker (Tor.com)
The mysterious K.J. Parker, the dark alter-ego of humorous fantasist Tom Holt, delivers the latest in Tor.com’s original novella series. It follows a man who is able to remove and store the memories that others want to forget. A great opportunity for the less scrupulous to hide their past, but someone inevitably comes looking for those hidden memories…

Oct. 13

apprenticeAn Apprentice to Elves — Elizabeth Bear and Sarah Monette (Tor)
Monette and Bear have both had good years already, with Bear delivering the thrilling weird west steampunk Karen Memory, and Monette garnering a shedload of awards and nominations for the pseudonymous Goblin Emperor. Now the pair return to their Viking-themed Iskryne trilogy with this story of Alfgyfa, a gifted girl sent to live amongst the neighboring elves as apprentice and ambassador.

RuinRuin — John Gwynne (Orbit)
This popular British fantasy, which hit shelves in July across the pond, is finally getting a US release. Book three in his “Faithful and the Fallen” series, which kicked off with Malice in 2012, is a sprawling epic with warring kingdoms, magical artifacts and otherworldly evil.

Oct. 20

borrowed manA Borrowed Man — Gene Wolfe (Tor)
In the future, society has dwindled, but memories and personalities can be stored in libraries, to be checked out and installed in clones. E.A. Smithe is such a “borrowed man”, the personality of a mystery author, whose book may hold the key to the murder of the father of the woman who checked him out. Sounds twisty and unreliable, in typical Wolfe fashion.

radianceRadiance — Catherynne Valente (Tor)
Valente turns her elegant prose towards Hollywood in this alternate history space opera. The novel follows Severin Unck, the daughter of a Hollywood director who rebels against her father by making documentaries about the spacefaring denizens of the galaxy, with the focus on her final work, a tragic documentary about a colony of settlers on Venus.

time-of-the-dragonsTime of the Dragons — James A. Owen (Saga Press)
The “Chronicle of the Imaginarium Geographica” has been winning YA readers for a decade, with their vibrant tales of the adventures of a trio of Oxford professors, whom you might recognize from elsewhere, through time and fantasy. The series is currently being repackaged from adult audiences in omnibus editions, this volume contains The Indigo King and The Shadow Dragons, albeit without Owen’s lavish illustrations.

mockingbird-9781481448673_hrMockingbird — Chuck Wendig (Saga Press)
As if there hasn’t been enough from Chuck these past three months. The second in the “Miriam Black” series, about a young drifter who is able to know how someone will die by their touch, is re-released in anticipation of an upcoming TV series on Starz. If you like horror, or just like Wendig’s kinetic prose, it’s a great time to discover this series.

Oct. 27

Devious Dr. JeckyllThe Devious Dr. Jekyll — Viola Carr (Harper Voyager)
The Diabolical Miss Hyde was an unexpected joy of a discovery earlier this year, a genderswapped, steampunk retelling of the classic tale filled with numerous homages to penny dreadfuls and classic horror. Now Carr returns with the other side of the split personality, the prim Dr. Jekyll, who is struggling to solve a serial killing case while reconciling her alter-ego’s attraction to the mysterious Remy.

black swordSon of the Black Sword — Larry Correia (Baen)
The former head of the Sad Puppies leaves Monster Hunter Nation for this journey into grimdark fantasy. The story follows Ashok Vadal, a member of the elite soldiers known as the Protectors who brutally enforce the rule of law. But  Vadal soon finds that his life is built on lies and he soon finds himself on the run from his former comrades.

wake of vulturesWake of Vultures — Lila Bowen (Orbit)
Shh, don’t tell anyone, but Bowen is actually Delilah S. Dawson. She’s heading out into the weird west with this pen name, telling the tale of Nettie Lonesome, a biracial gal who discovers she has the power to see the monstrous evil lurking on the lone prairie, and the ability to kill it.

—Michael Senft

About Michael Senft

I am a freelance writer and critic from Phoenix Arizona. I spent 10 years covering music, the arts and pop culture for the “Arizona Republic” before life circumstances took me away from newspaper. But I never lost my joy at writing. Or reading.
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1 Response to October Sci-Fi and Fantasy Releases

  1. Empire Ascendant was fantastic – a worthy follow up to The Mirror Empire.


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