Next year, 2016, promises to bring a whole new slew of Sci-Fi books into stores and, hopefully, your laps. The Sci-Fi genre has changed in recent decades, bleeding into Fantasy or vice versa and offering up whole new realms of possibility. Most of the books below include cross-genre elements, but don’t let that discourage you, oh die-hard Sci-Fi fan. There are enough cool gadgets and parallel universes to go around.
All the Birds in the Sky, Charlie Jane Anders
January 26, 2016
Main characters Patricia and Laurence live in San Francisco, on an Earth that holds both magic and technology. Laurence is an engineering genius who’s working with a group that aims to avert the planet’s catastrophic breakdown through technological intervention by changing the global climate. Patricia is a graduate of Eltisley Maze, the hidden academy for the world’s magically gifted. She works with a small band of other magicians toward the same goal–to repair the Earth before it can breakdown. Little do they realize that something bigger than either of them, something begun years ago in their youth, is determined to bring them together–to either save the world, or plunge it into a new dark ages. via Goodreads
A pre-apocalyptic novel that blurs the lines between genres and questions the ramifications of climate change in our own world.
Sleeping Giants, Sylvain Neuvel
April 26, 2016
“17 years ago: A girl in South Dakota falls through the earth, then wakes up dozens of feet below ground on the palm of what seems to be a giant metal hand. Today: She is a top-level physicist leading a team of people to understand exactly what that hand is, where it came from, and what it portends for humanity. A swift and spellbinding tale told almost exclusively through transcriptions of interviews conducted by a mysterious and unnamed character, this is a unique debut that describes a hunt for truth, power, and giant body parts.” via Goodreads
Written as a series of interviews, like World War Z, Sleeping Giants has shivers running down my spine. I can’t wait to get my hands on it!
The Medusa Chronicles, Alastair Reynolds & Stephen Baxter
May 19, 2016
“Following an accident that almost cost him his life, Howard Falcon was not so much saved as he was converted, through the use of prosthetics, into something faster, stronger and smarter …but also slightly less human and more machine than he was. And with this change came an opportunity – that of piloting a mission into Jupiter’s atmosphere, and ultimately of making first contact with the life forms he discovers there.” via Goodreads
A classic Sci-Fi novel with the usual tropes: humanity versus artificial intelligences and machines, and alien encounters. How far will technology go?
Babylon’s Ashes, (Expanse # 6) James S.A. Corey
June 16, 2016
“The sixth installment in Corey’s Expanse series, Babylon’s Ashes continues to follow main character, James Holden, and his crew on interplanetary adventures. Full of political suspense and sabotage, battles between the Free Navy, a group of Belters in black-market military ships, and Rocinante’s remnant spaceships, and desperate attempts to save the world.” via Goodreads
Underground Airlines, Ben H. Winters
July 5, 2016
“An ‘epic contemporary detective story,’ according to the publisher, Mullholland Books. Set in alternate world in which the Civil War never happened and slavery still exists in the American South. Underground Airlines follows an undercover agent trying to capture an escaped slave.”
Oh so relevant to our current news-narrative and controversies today, and intriguing just from its title. Looks like the Underground Railroad has gone airborne.” via Goodreads
And for anyone who loves a good YA read, check out the up-and-coming time-traveling Sci-Fi/Fantasy books for 2016!
Passenger, Alexandra Bracken
January 5, 2016
“In one devastating night, violin prodigy Etta Spencer loses everything she knows and loves. Thrust into an unfamiliar world by a stranger with a dangerous agenda, Etta is certain of only one thing: she has traveled not just miles but years from home. And she’s inherited a legacy she knows nothing about from a family whose existence she’s never heard of. Until now.” via Goodreads
The Girl from Everywhere, Heidi Heilig
February 16, 2016
“From modern-day New York City to nineteenth-century Hawaii to places of myth and legend, sixteen-year-old Nix has sailed across the globe and through centuries aboard her time-traveling father’s ship. But when he gambles with her very existence, it all may be about to end.” via Goodreads
Into the Dim, Janet B. Taylor
March 1, 2016
“When fragile, sixteen-year-old Hope Walton loses her mom to an earthquake overseas, her secluded world crumbles. Agreeing to spend the summer in Scotland, Hope discovers that her mother was more than a brilliant academic, but also a member of a secret society of time travelers. Trapped in the twelfth century in the age of Eleanor of Aquitaine, Hope has seventy-two hours to rescue her mother and get back to their own time. Along the way, her path collides with that of a mysterious boy who could be vital to her mission . . . or the key to Hope’s undoing.” via Goodreads
The Square Root of Summer, Harriet Reuter Hapgood
May 3, 2016
“17-year-old physics prodigy Gottie Oppenheimer navigates a summer of grief and rips in the space-time continuum, all while trying to reconcile heartbreak.” via Goodreads
If this list has you excited to read something right now, take a look at these titles already released in 2015 to hold you over!
Star Wars: Heir to the Jedi, Kevin Hearne
“Luke Skywalker’s game-changing destruction of the Death Star has made him not only a hero of the Rebel Alliance but a valuable asset in the ongoing battle against the Empire. Though he’s a long way from mastering the power of the Force, there’s no denying his phenomenal skills as a pilot—and in the eyes of Rebel leaders Princess Leia Organa and Admiral Ackbar, there’s no one better qualified to carry out a daring rescue mission crucial to the Alliance cause.” via Goodreads
The Mechanical (The Alchemy Wars #1), Ian Tregillis
“Jax is a clakker: a mechanical man, powered by alchemy. Armies of his kind have conquered the world–and mad the Brasswork Throne the sole superpower. Jax is a faithful servant, the ultimate fighting machine endowed with great strength and boundless stamina, beholden to the wishes of his human masters. He is a slave. He will break free.” via Goodreads
The Vagrant, Peter Newman
“The Vagrant is his name. He has no other. Friendless and alone he walks across a desolate, war-torn landscape, carrying nothing but a kit-bag, a legendary sword and a baby. His purpose is to reach the Shining City, last bastion of the human race, and deliver the sword, the only weapon that may make a difference in the ongoing war. But the Shining City is far away and the world is a very dangerous place.” via Goodreads
Nemesis Games, (Expanse #5) James S.A. Corey
“A thousand worlds have opened, and the greatest land rush in human history has begun. As wave after wave of colonists leave, the power structures of the old solar system begin to buckle. A new human order is struggling to be born in blood and fire, James Holden and the crew of the Rocinante must struggle to survive and get back to the only home they have left.
Armada, Ernest Cline
Zack Lightman spends his free-time playing a Sci-Fi video game battling invading alien forces before they can invade Earth, which turns out to have been training him and his fellow gamers for the battle of their lives. At last given the chance to play the hero, Zack heads into space to stop the invasion and save the world. via Goodreads