December is just about over and we’re in the final week of the year, and for many, that means curling up inside under the covers with as many books as you can get your hands on. And if you really want to escape the snow and cold weather, transporting yourself to whole new worlds can be the best way to do that. Science fiction and fantasy books are great picks for traveling through time, space, galaxies, and kingdoms, and there are several new releases this month that will help you do just that!
From science fiction set on other planets to high fantasy about clashing kingdoms, there’s something for everyone in this month’s roundup of new releases. There’s even a strange and unusual short story collection that has a little bit of everything if you’re undecided. No matter what books you choose to sink your teeth into, you’re guaranteed to have an adventure that takes you far, far away from the cold confines of the winter season.
Did we mean to publish this list earlier in the month? Yes. Are we just as jazzed about these SFF releases now as we were then? Also yes. Here are eight science fiction and fantasy new releases I am particularly excited to check out, and I think you should be too!
Cursed Bunny by Bora Chung, Translated by Anton Hur
This collection of genre-blending short stories contains everything a reader could want, from horror to fabulism to science fiction and more. It was an International Booker Prize shortlist nominee, and features terrifying and strange stories that mimic worlds that could be our own. The title story, “Cursed Bunny,” tells the tale of a cursed lamp in the shape of a rabbit that has a sinister background hidden underneath its cuddly exterior.
A Fire Endless by Rebecca Ross
This sequel to A River Enchanted picks up where the first book left off: Turbulence on the Isle of Cadence is at an all-time high thanks to Bane’s determination to rule everyone and everything, and Adaira is struggling in the West to find her place and help the resistance. Jack is stuck in the East, setting out on a dangerous mission, and Torin and Sidra are battling a mystery sickness spreading through crops and people. Everyone is fighting to survive, and they need to join together to face Bane, standing up for the island once and for all.
Queen of Myth and Monsters by Scarlett St. Clair
This is the second book in the Adrian x Isolde series from bestselling author Scarlett St. Clair, picking up where King of Battle and Blood left off. Isolde has been newly crowned and coronated queen and knows her one true love and king is her companion vampire Adrian. But now Isolde is faced with playing politics and settling feuds between two kingdoms while news from Adrian’s past that could change everything boils to the surface.
The Light Pirate by Lily Brooks-Dalton
In this futuristic dystopian novel, climate change is not just worrisome, but devastating. Rising sea levels mean coastal lands are no more, hurricanes are stronger than ever, and humans are powerless to stop it. Kirby and Frida and their two sons are trying to prepare for the storm, but when the boys go missing just before the hurricane hits, Kirby has to set out to look for them. Frida, left alone, begins to go into premature labor. The book tells the story of this family in the aftermath of the hurricane and how they move on, and as the children grow up and the family changes, the landscape, too, changes around them.
The Tatami Galaxy by Tomihiko Morimi, Translated by Emily Balistrieri
The unnamed protagonist in this story, on the verge of dropping out of college and struggling with his personal relationships, is presented with a strange dilemma. After a chance encounter with his crush and not being able to talk to her yet again, he’s presented with an alternate reality: a world in which he does talk to her, a world in which he is succeeding at school. The publisher pitches this book as Groundhog Day meets The Midnight Library, as the character is given four parallel universes in which his decisions take him on different paths.
A Fractured Infinity by Nathan Tavares
Hayes is a filmmaker trying to complete his documentary when, out of nowhere, a physicist named Yusuf tracks him down and tells him he’s the key to understanding a mysterious device called the Envisioner. Supposedly, the Envisioner can predict the future. Hayes is suddenly plummeted into a new world as he’s taken to a top-secret facility and shown his alternate self in another universe, one in which he is married to Yusuf. The further he is able to see into the future, the more Hayes realizes they are headed for destruction — both for the world and for Yusuf, who he’s growing closer to by the day — and it’s up to him to save everyone.
Where It Rains in Color by Denise Crittendon
Lileala is excited for her new life of fame and stardom to start — she has just been named the Rare Indigo of the planet Swazembi, which means beauty among beauties. But her idyllic future is cut short when she develops a skin infection that causes scabs and scars instead of the glistening glow of the Rare Indigo. She has to go looking for a cure on her own, but what she finds may be bigger than anything she had ever expected.
The Lost Witch by Paige Crutcher
In 1922, Brigid is one of the most powerful witches and healers in her town of Evermore. When she is seduced by the head of a Knightly coven and becomes pregnant, she vows to protect her child at all costs. When the child is born and falls ill, Brigid will stop at nothing to save her, even if that means risking her own life. In 2022, Evermore is not the place it once was. There is wild magic everywhere, and the villagers are nothing more than prey to be hunted. When Brigid wakes up in this new Evermore, she has no idea how she was transported to this new place, but she knows it’s up to her to save it.