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8 of the Best New and Upcoming 2021 SFF Books By Black Authors

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Alex Acks

Contributing Editor

Alex Acks is a writer, geologist, and sharp-dressed sir. They've written for Six to Start and been published in Strange Horizons, Lightspeed, Shimmer, Daily Science Fiction, and more. Alex lives in Denver with their two furry little bastards, where they twirl their mustache, watch movies, and bike. Twitter: @katsudonburi Website:

This list of new and upcoming SFF books by Black authors was originally published in our science fiction and fantasy newsletter, Swords & Spaceships. Sign up for it here to get science fiction and fantasy news, reviews, deals, and more!

As we head out of Black History Month 2021, let’s check out some awesome-looking SFF books by Black authors. Preorders are love!

Home Is Not a Country by Safia Elhillo

Nima, the daughter of an immigrant, feels both too much like an outsider and not enough in her home in the suburbs. As she grapples with social upheaval, she meets the phantom of another life, that of Yasmeen, the name her parents almost gave her — but Yasmeen is far more real than she seems. This is also a novel in verse, and it looks gorgeous.

the unbroken cl clark cover

The Unbroken by C.L. Clark (March 23)

Touraine is a soldier who was conscripted as a child. She’s now been sent back to her homeland with her company to stop a rebellion, and there she meets Luca, who just needs a turncoat to get her uncle off her throne.

Witches Steeped in Gold by Ciannon Smart (April 20)

Two witches — one imprisoned since birth, the other the daughter of the queen — make an alliance to take down a common enemy, ensuring revenge for one and survival for the other. But the chase is long and the violence intoxicating, and each will go to extreme lengths to get what she wants.

Son of the Storm by Suyi Davies Okungbowa (May 11)

Danso is a disillusioned scholar in the city of Bassa who wants only to escape his social and political obligations as one of the elite. He gets his wish when a skin-changing warrior named Lilong shows up wounded in his barn, claiming she’s from lands that everyone knows don’t exist and quickly dragging him into a world of magic and conspiracy.

Sorrowland by Rivers Solomon

Sorrowland by Rivers Solomon (May 4)

A pregnant woman escapes from a religious compound to give birth to her twins in the woods. But cults don’t let go easily, and she’s forced to fight against that community and the outside world to defend her family — a battle that begins an uncanny metamorphosis of her body that can only be understood by facing the past.

A Master of Djinn cover

A Master of Djinn by P. Djèlí Clark (May 11)

Fatma is the youngest woman working for the Ministry of Alchemy, Enchantments, and Supernatural Entities in 1912 Cairo, and she’s already prevented the destruction of the universe once. Now she’s called on to investigate a mysterious murder, one committed by someone who claims to be the famous al-Jahiz, who pierced the veil between magical and mundane realms 40 years ago, now returned to judge the world for its societal sins.

The Taking of Jake Livingston by Ryan Douglass

The Taking of Jake Livingston by Ryan Douglass (July 13)

Jake Livingston has two major problems as a 16-year-old: he’s a medium who sees ghosts everywhere, and he’s surrounded by racist teachers at the private school in which he’s one of the few Black students. But when a new Black student named Allister arrives, at least he might have a shot at romance. Too bad the ghosts are getting more insistent, and one of them, the spirit of a school shooter, has his own plans for Jake.

The Sisters of Reckoning by Charlotte Nicole Davis (August 10)

Now that the Good Luck Girls are free, most have crossed the border to pursue new lives, while Aster tries to help more girls escape. But when she finds out about a new welcome house opening, she decides that helping individuals isn’t enough. She hatches an ambitious and dangerous plan to free all dustbloods, and calls upon her friends to make it a reality.