October may be primarily known as spooky season. But to me, it’s also “curl up in a cozy spot and stay indoors with the thickest book you can find” season. As it gets colder outside, I feel like the weather gives me a chance to take things slow and really enjoy the books I read.
The new sci-fi and fantasy reads out this month align with these plans because so many wonderful reads are being released. From the first week of October to the last, you can find plenty of book releases to celebrate and check out at your local library or bookstore.
What’s in store for October in the sci-fi/fantasy genres? In middle grade, you’ll find action-packed stories about young alchemists, superheroes and supervillains, and sentient robots facing seemingly insurmountable odds. YA releases include reflective near-future reads, beautifully written Jewish historical fantasy, and a heart-pounding sci-fi about an alien hunter. And finally in adult fiction, you’ll find queer fairy tale retellings, whodunnits set on a sentient space station, and dark academia.
Read on to discover 10 of the best science fiction and fantasy books out this month! Each section is organized by age group to help you better find the books that you’re looking for.
Middle Grade Science Fiction and Fantasy
Shad Hadid and the Alchemists of Alexandria by George Jreije (October 4)
Twelve-year-old Shad Hadid loves to bake, and his favorite place to spend time is the Lebanese bakery near his home. But when he is attacked by a malevolent force at the bakery that he barely escapes, Shad discovers that his late Baba was an alchemist and that he inherited that same gift.
Soon after, Shad is invited to attend the Alexandria Academy — a magical school where equal amounts of wonder and danger await him.
Leon the Extraordinary: A Graphic Novel (Leon #1) by Jamar Nicholas (October 4)
Although Leon lives in a world where superpowers are the norm, he was not born with one. But even if he doesn’t have magical abilities, Leon is a sharp and talented kid.
When a sinister app turns his classmates into mindless zombies, Leon is the only one who can save his school from a supervillain.
A Rover’s Story by Jasmine Warga (October 4)
Although Resilience is a Mars rover built to explore, he cannot help but feel that he is more than his programming. Because even if the NASA engineers who created him did not intend to give him emotions, Res does feel.
Mars, Res discovers, is so much more than the scientists on Earth prepared him for. It’s beautiful but also dangerous, and it pushes Res to his limits as he fights to fulfill his mission.
The Shadows of Rookhaven by Pádraig Kenny
In the sequel to The Monsters of Rookhaven, half-human, half-monster Mirabelle prepares along with the rest of Rookhaven Village for the Great Configeration — a once-in-a-century event that brings together both humans and monsters. But when a boy named Billy steals something from Mirabelle, the consequences could destroy not only her family but the entire world.
YA Science Fiction and Fantasy
The First to Die at the End by Adam Silvera (October 4)
This prequel to They Both Die at the End takes place on the day of the first Death-Cast, a futuristic program that alerts people on the day they will die. When Orion Pagan and Valentino Prince meet in Times Square, they both wonder if fate brought them together. When one receives a Death-Cast alert and the other does not, they promise to spend the day together — no matter what happens.
When the Angels Left the Old Country by Sacha Lamb (October 18)
Uriel the angel and Little Ash the demon have been study partners for two hundred years in a small shtetl. But when they discover that a girl who once lived in their shtetl has gone missing in America, the two immediately leave in search of her while meeting others in need of their help along the way.
The Sevenfold Hunters by Rose Egal (October 25)
Abyan is an alien hunter attending the prestegious Carlisle Academy with a mission: to protect humanity from vampire-like aliens called The Nosaru. But when a member of her squad is murdered and replaced with a new recruit named Artemis, Abyan unravels life-changing secrets that Carlisle Academy fought hard to hide.
Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy
The Story of the Hundred Promises by Neil Cochrane (October 4)
This queer fantasy novel inspired by Beauty and the Beast follows Darragh Thorn, a sailor who returns to his estranged family after his sister reveals that his father is dying. To save his father’s life, Darragh leaves in search of a mysterious and rarely-seen enchanter whose magic changed his life ten years ago.
Station Eternity (Midsolar Murders #1) by Mur Lafferty
Like a Golden Age detective, Mallory Viridian always seems to find herself nearby when a murder occurs. But Mallory doesn’t live in a cozy mystery series and in the real world, one coincidence too many starts to seem suspicious.
To escape whatever strange force seems to get people killed whenever she’s nearby, Mallory escapes onto a sentient space station where she is the only person around. But when others are allowed to board the station against her will and people start dying again, Mallory must use her knack for solving murders to clear her name and to stop yet another killing spree.
The Atlas Paradox (Atlas Six #2) by Olivie Blake (October 25)
The sequel to The Atlas Six follows the five magicians left at the end of the first novel as they continue to complete their initiation the secretive Alexandrian Society at the end of the first book in the trilogy. In between investigating the Society and the truth behind what they claim to do and continuing their magical research, the five search for their missing friend.
To keep tabs on new releases and recommended reads in speculative fiction, check out Book Riot’s biweekly SFF Yeah podcast