Riot Headline 10 Exciting Books to Read this Summer

How June Is Now? 10 New SFF Books Out June 2024

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Liberty Hardy

Senior Contributing Editor

Liberty Hardy is an unrepentant velocireader, writer, bitey mad lady, and tattoo canvas. Turn-ons include books, books and books. Her favorite exclamation is “Holy cats!” Liberty reads more than should be legal, sleeps very little, frequently writes on her belly with Sharpie markers, and when she dies, she’s leaving her body to library science. Until then, she lives with her three cats, Millay, Farrokh, and Zevon, in Maine. She is also right behind you. Just kidding! She’s too busy reading. Twitter: @MissLiberty

Happy start to the summer, all you sci-fi and fantasy fans! It’s the perfect time to hit the beach and read about monsters and fairies and aliens, or stare up into the warm night sky, waiting for the mother ship to come back for you. (No? Just me?) Like the months before it, June is filled to the brim with amazing SFF book releases guaranteed to delight your brainworms. In fact, there are so many, it might be hard to know where to start. That’s why we have this list of ten new SFF books out in June 2024!

We’ve included something here for everyone! There’s a romantasy about a retired soul devourer who now works as a barista; a house robot on the run after killing its owner so it can get out and see the world; a galaxy heist involving alien artifacts and the survival of another planet; a ghost trying to get back in touch with her old life; a steampunk story of tense train travel on the wastelands; two friends tricked (by a fox, natch) into walking through a door into a fantasy world, where they become trapped; and more!

So strap into your captain’s chair and set your phasers on ‘fun’ because June reading is going to be a blast!

The Best New Science Fiction and Fantasy Books Out June 2024

cover of The God and the Gumiho by Sophie Kim; colorful illustration of two young people surrounded by dragons and flowers

The God and the Gumiho by Sophie Kim (Del Rey, June 4)

Kim Hani used to devour souls as the Scarlet Fox; now she has a soul-sucking job working behind the counter in a coffee house. And one of her customers is the former trickster god, Seokga, now fated to live among the mortals. But when a demon threatens the human realm, Seokga is offered a deal: find and kill the demon and the elusive Scarlet Fox, and he can be a god again. But Hani knows how to trick the trickster—by hiding in plain sight. Offering to help Seokga with his mission, she thinks she’ll be able to control his progress from the inside. Who will come out on top in this fantasy tail, er, tale? (P.S. Fantasy foxes are in this year! See also: The Fox Wife by Yangsze Choo, Ninetails: Nine Tales by Sally Wen Mao, and, down below, Blackberry Fox by Kathrin Tordasi.)

cover of Service Model by Adrian Tchaikovsky; illustration of a robot sitting in front of a green moon

Service Model by Adrian Tchaikovsky (Tordotcom, June 4)

Calling all you misbehaving robot fans! This is a humorous sci-fi about robots and the end of humanity. (It’s supposed to be funny, really.) After an idea is somehow downloaded into its programming, a domestic service model murders its owner and takes off on its own adventure. But even without murdering robots, humanity is on the brink of collapse, leaving the robot population that has long served humans to fend for itself. When you have “outlived” your purpose, is it as easy as reprogramming yourself for a new one?

cover of The Stardust Grail by Yume Kitasei; image of the Milky Way with a tentacle sticking out

The Stardust Grail by Yume Kitasei (Flatiron Books, June 11)

From the author of the amazing debut The Deep Sky comes this exciting space heist novel! Maya Hoshimoto was once an outlaw of the galaxy, stealing back alien artifacts and returning them to their civilizations. Until things went wrong, and she retired and became a student of anthropology. But now an old friend has contacted her with a job that pays so well that she can’t refuse it. She must locate an object that will save a whole race of aliens from extinction. Maya gets a crew together and sets off on one last job, but it will be marked by danger and double-crossing. And oh yeah, the possibility that if she completes her job, it may bring about the end of humanity on Earth. No pressure, though.

cover of The Afterlife of Mal Caldera by Nadi Reed Perez; illustration of skeletons in the windows of a house

The Afterlife of Mal Caldera by Nadi Reed Perez (Titan Books, June 11)

Wild rockstar Mal Caldera is dead. And regrets, she has a few. Mostly that her younger sister Cris was left to deal with the fallout after Mal died. Everyone else in the afterlife seems to be, ah, living it up. But Mal doesn’t want to join the dead man’s party. She wants to reach out to Cris, and she thinks her best hope of getting her a message is the Oda Mae Brown way. So she contacts Ren, a medium, who agrees to help. But the more Mal interferes with the human realm, the more she risks her spirit. And her growing connection with Ren is making it harder and harder to return to the ghost life. What’s a ghoul to do?

cover of Moonbound by Robin Sloan; illustration of a black rip in a red sky over a green land

Moonbound by Robin Sloan (MCD, June 11)

This amazing novel from the author of Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore will twist your brain into the best knots and you will thank it. Sloan has crafted a brilliant, fun tale of courage and adventure! It’s like Mary Stewart writing after ten cans of Red Bull, like The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles for grownups. It’s probably best to go in not learning very much about it, so just know that it’s about a young boy, a kingdom, sentient artificial intelligence, and an epic journey to save the world. And, bee tee dubs, it’s set eleven thousand years in the future. (I read this in one sitting and then immediately read it again. It might be my favorite book of the year.)

cover of The Cautious Traveller's Guide to the Wastelands by Sarah Brooks; green with a gold ribbon in the middle with the title on it

The Cautious Traveller’s Guide to the Wastelands by Sarah Brooks (Flatiron Books, June 18)

This debut historical fantasy takes place aboard the Trans-Siberian Express. But this version of the famous train rides through the Wastelands, as its the only way to pass through the world of monsters outside. But then something terrible happens on a journey. Buuuuuut no one remembers what it was, just that…something happened. Now the train is ready for a new journey, with a new group of passengers, each with their own special reasons for needing to travel through the Wastelands. Even if it’s on a train that had a terrible incident on its last journey…But as the train makes its way down the tracks, it’s starting to look like that incident wasn’t an anomaly. And they may have to depend on each other, strangers, if they want to make it to their destination.

cover of Rakesfall by Vajra Chandrasekera; bright pink with illustration of a horse skull surrounded by yellow flowers and green leaves

Rakesfall by Vajra Chandrasekera (Tordotcom, June 18)

From the author of The Saint of Bright Doors comes a sci-fi epic about friendship and fate. Annelid and Leveret have been friends since the Sri Lankan civil war, seemingly fated to find one another amidst the violence. When an incident later in the demon-plagued forest links them forever, it sends them on a journey that spans lifetimes. And on each journey, Annelid and Leveret are always together, soul-bound for all of eternity. Rakesfall is a dark, fantastical story of friendship, reincarnation, and love. And, wow, that cover!

cover of Foul Days (The Witch's Compendium of Monsters) by Genoveva Dimova; illustration of outline of women surrounded by black animal ghosts

Foul Days (The Witch’s Compendium of Monsters) by Genoveva Dimova (Tor Books, June 25)

Kosara is a witch in the walled city of Chernograd, where she knows how to handle the city’s supernatural monsters. But now Kosara is being hunted by the Tsar of Monsters, who also happens to be her ex. In order to escape his clutches, she sells her shadow for a quick exit out of the city. Unfortunately, there’s an illness affecting shadowless witches and Kosara comes down with the sickness (ooh-wah-ah-ah-ah). She only has twelve days to get her magic back and defeat the Tsar of Monsters. How can a magic-less witch win this battle?

SFF New Releases for Kids and Teens

cover of Blackberry Fox by Kathrin Tordasi; illustration of close up of a fox face surrounded by flowers

Blackberry Fox by Kathrin Tordasi, Cathrin Wirtz (translator) (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, June 4)

Robin Goodfellow, the man with the fox shadow, has been waiting a long time for someone to open the door to the Otherworld so he can return home. Portia and Ben are friends on summer vacation in Wales who happen upon the door and are tricked into opening it by a charming fox, a.k.a. Robin Goodfellow. Now trapped in an unfamiliar realm, they must figure out how to stop the danger the door has unleashed on both worlds.

cover of Release the Wolves by Stefan Bachmann; illustration of two young people, one in a witch's hat, fighting many different black ghost monsters

Release the Wolves by Stefan Bachmann (Greenwillow Books, June 25)

In the country of Varen, terrible monsters of the Elduari are released on the land every few generations to spread terror and kill humans. It has been this way since the Elduari conquered the kingdom hundreds of years ago. When blacksmith Argo’s friend is murdered by a monster while on patrol, Argo thinks the Elduari are planning to release their monsters much sooner than expected this time. With the help of the princess, who just so happens to be a secret monster hunter, Argo must figure out a way to elude the Elduari spies, get word to the rebels, and stop the monsters before more people die.

Bonus Mentions

Because I can’t just stop at ten books, in June, be sure to watch for the sequels Mirrored Heavens by Rebecca Roanhorse, Apostles of Mercy by Lindsay Ellis, We Speak Through the Mountain by Premee Mohamed, The Daughters’ War by Christopher Buehlman, The Last Song of Penelope by Claire North, and Tidal Creatures by Seanan McGuire. And Redemption in Indigo by Karen Lord is being reissued.

And there are a TON of amazing SFF titles out in paperback, including The Weaver and the Witch Queen by Genevieve Gornichec, Even Though I Knew the End by C. L. Polk, The First Bright Thing by J.R. Dawson, The Archive Undying by Emma Mieko Candon, Ebony Gate: The Phoenix Hoard by Julia Vee, Ken Bebelle (translator), Eventide, Water City by Chris McKinney, and Theo Tan and the Iron Fan by Jesse Q. Sutanto.

If you want to learn about more sci-fi and fantasy books, check out the 10 Best New Fantasy Books by Asians and Pacific Islanders and The Best Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Horror of the Summer, According to Goodreads. And be sure to sign up for our SFF newsletter, Swords and Spaceships, and listen to our SFF podcast, SFF Yeah!

Finally, you can also find a full list of new releases in the magical New Release Index, carefully curated by your favorite Book Riot editors, organized by genre and release date.