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Science Fiction/Fantasy

10 Must-Read New Sci-Fi Books For The Fall

Erika Hardison

Staff Writer

Erika Hardison is a writer, social media junkie, podcaster, publisher and aspiring novelist from Chicago currently residing in New Jersey. When she's not bridging the gap between Black feminism and superheroes on, she's spending sleepless nights as a new mom with her talkative toddler playing and giggling under the covers.

PiqueBeyond and Hunting by Stars by Cherie Dimaline

A heart-stopping story of hope from the bestselling author of The Marrow Thieves

Years ago, plagues and natural disasters killed millions and left survivors unable to dream, except for the Indigenous people of North America. Now, residential schools are set up—or re-opened—to harvest their dreams. Seventeen-year-old French is traveling with a group of other dreamers, trying to build and thrive as a community. But when French awakes alone in a pitch-black room, he knows exactly where he is—and what it will take to escape. Meanwhile, his found family searches for him, dodging new dangers. When their paths finally collide, French must decide how far he’ll go—and who he’s willing to betray—in order to survive.

Who doesn’t anticipate new sci-fi books as the season changes? First, let me just say for the record that fall is my favorite season. It’s not too hot, it’s not too cold and there’s nothing better than drinking a hot chai or pumpkin spiced latte as you dive into a new sci-fi read.

During the fall, I usually rotate my bookshelf so I can refocus my reads, and if it isn’t obvious, sci-fi and fantasy titles are my top priorities. This year, I wanted to do something different and explore sci-fi books that color outside the lines. I am finding that genre-bending sci-fi books make my heart flutter immensely. Whether it’s sci-fi mixed with mystery, thriller, or romance, I’m embracing them all with love and excitement.

There are lots of books coming out this fall, but I wanted to highlight some of my favorite titles that I had to push to the front of my never-ending TBR pile. Recently, I’ve been into space adventures, witches, monsters, and historical timepieces. Maybe because it’s also the creepy season, but I hardly pass up a sci-fi book that doesn’t have an interesting twist to it. So here, I’ve rounded up ten must-read sci-fi books you have to check out this fall.

The Keeper of Night cover dark fantasy books

The Keeper Of Night By Kylie Lee Baker

Ren is a half Reaper and half Japanese Shinigami who collects souls. But she’s only doing what she has to do because she knows she is the most despised Reaper and they make it their duty to make sure she doesn’t forget it. Once her Shinigami powers get out of control, she is forced to leave London and flees from Europe to Japan. It is there she feels welcomed and starts a new path to serve the Goddess of Death. This Japanese folklore story is powerful and a bit scary with its rich historical details but the main character is relatable as she navigates being mixed raced.

The perishing adult fiction book cover

The Perishing By Natasha Deon

Set to debut in November, The Perishing is a beautiful and poetic journey of an immortal soul that lives many identities throughout time. Sometimes they are men, sometimes they are women, but no matter what, they make it their mission to embrace the human language. Bouncing between the Great Depression and the far future, Louise, better known as Lou, recounts their experiences being a Black child with no memory of their life, real name, or family. Poetic, vivid and beautifully detailed, this is a sci-fi that defies the rules of sci-fi and could easily be a classic.

Flowers for the Sea

Flowers For The Sea By Zin E. Rocklyn

In this short novella, you will be immersed in a journey of a pregnant woman named Iraxi who is on an ark for almost 2000 days. But that’s not all. There are monsters who circle the ark and Iraxi is the only person who can carry a birth full-term. On top of that, Iraxi suspects that her baby might not be human. It reads as an allegory for motherhood but with eerie elements to it.

Payback's a Witch Book Cover

Payback’s A Witch By Lana Harper

Who doesn’t love a good revenge story with witches? Emmy is a witch living in Chicago because she wants to live a regular life. Besides, she’s not even a powerful witch, so she sees no real reason to live in her hometown. However, her parents convince her to come back home to participate in traditional witchery. Emmy is not ready to face Gareth, the one who broke her heart. When she finally gets the guts to go back she meets another witch who is mysterious, dark and sensual who also had her heart broken by Gareth. The unlikely duo decides to team up for revenge, but Emmy finds herself falling for her. It’s a queer, witchy romcom that’s perfect for the cooler nights.

No Gods, No Monsters by Cadwell Turnbull cover

No Gods, No Monsters By Cadwell Turnbull

Laina’s brother is killed by police, but the recording shows something more alarming: monsters. Her brother was a werewolf and she is stunned. Now monsters are everywhere, including dragons and they refuse to be silenced. It’s clear that the monsters serve as an allegory for human conditioning, and Turnbull creates an engaging world where people and allies try their hardest to find solutions to achieve equality for all.

Far From The Light Of Heaven

Far From The Light Of Heaven by Tade Thompson

If you are a fan of The Expanse, you will need to add this book to your TBR right away. Michelle is on a ship after her decade-long slumber finds that there are some colonists missing. Michelle is essentially the one in charge and she depends on the AI because it is never wrong, but eventually she determines that it is not a lot of help, either. The space adventure weaves into some mystery elements that keep your attention throughout the story. A locked-room space mystery sci-fi is the perfect way to get your fall reading in order.

We light Up the sky Lilliam Rivera

We Light Up The Sky By Lilliam Rivera

Slightly daunting, this YA sci-fi tale centers on three Latin teens in high school. Of course, nothing brings people together like aliens, and that’s exactly what happens. The aliens are set on destroying the planet and paired with a deadly pandemic, racism, and queer acceptance, the teens do everything to save themselves and others. Fans of the cult classic Attack The Block will enjoy this alien dystopian read.

The Grimrose Girls Cover

The Grimrose Girls By Laura Pohl

This fairytale retelling is about a group of friends who are mourning the unexpected death of their friend. at Grimrose Académie, they are the talk of the school and not always in a good way. The friends decided to try to solve the murder themselves by retracing their friend’s footsteps and suddenly they find themselves under a curse that puts them in a repeated cycle. It’s also safe to mention that these girls have swords, too!

Reclaimed By Madeline Roux

This sci-fi thriller takes claustrophobia to new heights. Senna is having a difficult time determining what is real and what is fake. While she’s currently trying to escape her past and is willing to undergo experimental treatments, she starts to feel like she’s slowly losing herself and her memories. In an effort to reclaim her real identity she gathers others in the compound with her to revolt.

Light From Uncommon Stars

Light From Uncommon Stars By Ryka Aoki

With a combination of sci-fi, fantasy, food, and music, Aoki delivers a lovable trans protagonist named Katrina Nguyen who is still new to her transition. Katrina meets a cursed music teacher who wants more from her than she is willing to admit. There’s also Lan Tran who owns an alien donut shop. All three women are walking different paths to get what they want while enjoying the small things in life that make them happy.

If you are looking for more sci-fi and fantasy reads, check out this post about interesting, funky sci-fi and fantasy book covers.