Looking for something to read? Here’s our guide to the best and biggest science fiction and fantasy books of the month — plus a little bit more!
W. L. Goodwater
When Soviet magicians conjured an arcane wall to blockade occupied Berlin, the world was outraged but let it stand for the sake of peace. Now, after ten years of fighting with spies instead of spells, the CIA has discovered the unthinkable…
While refugees and soldiers mass along the border, operatives from East and West converge on the most dangerous city in the world to either stop the crisis, or take advantage of it.
Karen, a young magician with the American Office of Magical Research and Deployment, is sent to investigate the breach in the Wall and determine if it can be fixed. Instead, she discovers that the truth is elusive in this divided city–and that even magic itself has its own agenda. (11/6)
This is an original Doctor Who adventure reimagined in the style of Roger Hargreaves. In a special, larger trim size, and with foil on the cover, this is the most deluxe Doctor Who storybook to date. Written and illustrated by Adam Hargreaves, Dr. Thirteenth combines the iconic storytelling of Doctor Who with the whimsical humor and design made famous by his father, Roger Hargreaves. (11/6)
H. G. Wells
The Invisible Man (1897) blends comedy and tragedy in its story of a scientist who discovers a way to make himself invisible. His inability to reverse the process leads to a radical disconnection from society—and eventually from his own sanity. Arriving in a town where no one knows him, disguised in bandages and dark glasses, the invisible man is driven to violent and criminal extremes before his secret is revealed. This prescient parable of the dark side of scientific progress demonstrates H. G. Wells’s signature gift for dramatizing humanity’s grandest possibilities and darkest fears. (11/6)
Julie C. Dao
Princess Jade has grown up in exile, hidden away in a monastery while her stepmother, the ruthless Xifeng, rules as Empress of Feng Lu. But the empire is in distress and its people are sinking into poverty and despair. Even though Jade doesn’t want the crown, she knows she is the only one who can dethrone the Empress and set the world right. Ready to reclaim her place as rightful heir, Jade embarks on a quest to raise the Dragon Lords and defeat Xifeng and the Serpent God once and for all. But will the same darkness that took Xifeng take Jade, too? Or will she find the strength within to save herself, her friends, and her empire? (11/6)
Spensa’s world has been under attack for decades. Now pilots are the heroes of what’s left of the human race, and becoming one has always been Spensa’s dream. Since she was a little girl, she has imagined soaring skyward and proving her bravery. But her fate is intertwined with her father’s–a pilot himself who was killed years ago when he abruptly deserted his team, leaving Spensa’s chances of attending flight school at slim to none.
No one will let Spensa forget what her father did, yet fate works in mysterious ways. Flight school might be a long shot, but she is determined to fly. And an accidental discovery in a long-forgotten cavern might just provide her with a way to claim the stars. (11/6)
H. G. Wells
The seminal masterpiece of alien invasion, The War of the Worlds (1898) conjures a terrifying, tentacled race of Martians who devastate the Earth and feed on their human victims while their voracious vegetation, the red weed, spreads over the ruined planet. After the novel’s hero finds himself trapped in what is left of London, despairing at the destruction of human civilization, he discovers that life on Earth is more resilient than he had imagined. Adapted by Orson Welles for his notorious 1938 radio drama and subsequently by many filmmakers, H. G. Wells’s timeless story shows no sign of losing its grip on readers’ imaginations. (11/6)
Matthew J. Gilbert; illustrated by Random House
Does life sometimes seem strange and little upside down? If so, this hardcover collection of wisdom and warnings from Netflix’s original series Stranger Things can help guide you through school, friendships, and your town’s darkest secrets. Featuring full-color images from the series and quotes from Dustin, Steve, Eleven, and the others, it is sure to thrill fans of all ages. (11/13)
The Faceless Man, wanted for multiple counts of murder, fraud, and crimes against humanity, has been unmasked and is on the run. Peter Grant, Detective Constable and apprentice wizard, now plays a key role in an unprecedented joint operation to bring him to justice.
But even as the unwieldy might of the Metropolitan Police bears down on its foe, Peter uncovers clues that the Faceless Man, far from being finished, is executing the final stages of a long term plan. A plan that has its roots in London’s two thousand bloody years of history, and could literally bring the city to its knees.
To save his beloved city Peter’s going to need help from his former best friend and colleague–Lesley May–who brutally betrayed him and everything he thought she believed in. And, far worse, he might even have to come to terms with the malevolent supernatural killer and agent of chaos known as Mr Punch… (11/13)
“Orla! Hurry, girl! You must come with me!”
Orla Paorach’s life was overturned for the first time when her mother Voada was beaten senseless, and Orla was taken by Bakir, a minor Mundoan army officer, as his second wife. Now her world is shattered a second time: Bakir has died in battle, and so has her mother, now known as the Mad Draoi of the Cateni.
Orla flees northward to Onglse, the island home of the draoi that is the center of the Cateni rebellion against the Mundoa. She becomes quickly embroiled in battle as well as deceptions from both sides of the conflict, as everyone expects that she’s come to take up her mother’s mantle. Those who knew her mother offer their help, but can she trust any of them? Can she avoid becoming the Mad Draoi herself, lost in the magic her mother once tried to wield? (11/13)
S. M. Stirling
Two generations after the Change, Crown Princess Órlaith struggles to preserve the hard-won peace her father brought to Montival–the former western United States. But the Change opened many doors, and through them powers strong and strange and terrible walk once more among humankind.
With her fire-forged friend and ally, Japanese Empress Reiko, Órlaith must take up her sword to stop the spread of the mad malignancy behind the Yellow Raja, who has imprisoned her brother Prince John. And from the emerging superpower of Mongolia, the Sky-Blue Wolves of the High Steppe ride once more beneath the banner of Genghis Khan–the thunder of their hooves resounding across a world in turmoil. (11/13)
Sefia is determined to keep Archer out of the Guard’s clutches and their plans for war between the Five Kingdoms. The Book, the ancient, infinite codex of the past, present and future, tells of a prophecy that will plunge Kelanna in that bloody war, but it requires a boy–Archer–and Sefia will stop at nothing to ensure his safety. The Guard has already stolen her mother, her father, and her Aunt Nin. Sefia would sooner die than let them take anymore from her–especially the boy she loves.
But escaping the Guard and the Book’s prophecy is no easy task. After all, what is written always comes to pass. As Sefia and Archer watch Kelanna start to crumble to the Guard’s will, they will have to choose between their love and joining a war that just might tear them apart. (11/13)
Lady Helen has retreated to a country estate outside Bath to prepare for her wedding to the Duke of Selburn, yet she knows she has unfinished business to complete. She and the dangerously charismatic Lord Carlston have learned they are a dyad, bonded in blood, and only they are strong enough to defeat the Grand Deceiver, who threatens to throw mankind into chaos. But the heinous death-soaked Ligatus Helen has absorbed is tearing a rift in her mind. Its power, if unleashed, will annihilate both Helen and Carlston unless they can find a way to harness its ghastly force and defeat their enemy. (11/20)
300 Years Before A Game of Thrones (A Targaryen History)
George R. R. Martin
Centuries before the events of A Game of Thrones, House Targaryen—the only family of dragonlords to survive the Doom of Valyria—took up residence on Dragonstone. Fire & Blood begins their tale with the legendary Aegon the Conqueror, creator of the Iron Throne, and goes on to recount the generations of Targaryens who fought to hold that iconic seat, all the way up to the civil war that nearly tore their dynasty apart.
What really happened during the Dance of the Dragons? Why was it so deadly to visit Valyria after the Doom? What were Maegor the Cruel’s worst crimes? What was it like in Westeros when dragons ruled the skies? These are but a few of the questions answered in this essential chronicle, as related by a learned maester of the Citadel and featuring more than eighty all-new black-and-white illustrations by artist Doug Wheatley. Readers have glimpsed small parts of this narrative in such volumes as The World of Ice & Fire, but now, for the first time, the full tapestry of Targaryen history is revealed.
With all the scope and grandeur of Gibbon’s The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Fire & Blood is the the first volume of the definitive two-part history of the Targaryens, giving readers a whole new appreciation for the dynamic, often bloody, and always fascinating history of Westeros. (11/20)
Charlie Brooker and Annabel Jones with Jason Arnopp
What becomes of humanity when it’s fed into the jaws of a hungry new digital machine? Discover the world of Black Mirror in this immersive, illustrated, oral history.
This first official book logs the entire Black Mirror journey, from its origins in creator Charlie Brooker’s mind to its current status as one of the biggest cult TV shows to emerge from the UK. Alongside a collection of astonishing behind-the-scenes imagery and ephemera, Brooker and producer Annabel Jones will detail the creative genesis, inspiration, and thought process behind each film for the first time, while key actors, directors and other creative talents relive their own involvement. (11/20)
W. Michael Gear
New York Times bestselling author W. Michael Gear returns us to the world he laid out with such sure purpose in Outpost. The struggle for survival sharpens as resources dwindle, technology fails, and the grim reality of life on Donovan unfolds.
Supervisor Kalico Aguila has bet everything on a fragile settlement far south of Port Authority. There, she has carved a farm and mine out of wilderness. But Donovan is closing in. When conditions couldn’t get worse, a murderous peril descends out of Donovan’s sky–one that will leave Kalico bleeding and shattered.
Talina Perez gambles her life and reputation in a bid to atone for ruthlessly murdering a woman’s husband years ago. Ironically, saving Dya Simonov may save them all.
Lieutenant Deb Spiro is losing it, and by killing a little girl’s pet alien, she may have precipitated disaster for all. In the end, the only hope will lie with a “lost” colony, and the alien-infested reflexes possessed by Security Officer Talina Perez. (11/27)
The Heralds of Valdemar are the kingdom’s ancient order of protectors. They are drawn from all across the land, from all walks of life, and at all ages–and all are Gifted with abilities beyond those of normal men and women. They are Mindspeakers, FarSeers, Empaths, ForeSeers, Firestarters, FarSpeakers, and more. These inborn talents–combined with training as emissaries, spies, judges, diplomats, scouts, counselors, warriors, and more–make them indispensable to their monarch and realm. Sought and Chosen by mysterious horse-like Companions, they are bonded for life to these telepathic, enigmatic creatures. The Heralds of Valdemar and their Companions ride circuit throughout the kingdom, protecting the peace and, when necessary, defending their land and monarch.
Now, twenty-three authors ride with Mercedes Lackey to her magical land of Valdemar, adding their own unique voices to the Heralds, Bards, Healers, and other heroes of this beloved fantasy realm. (11/27)
When Irene returns to London after a relatively straightforward book theft in Germany, Bradamant informs her that there is a top secret dragon-Fae peace conference in progress that the Library is mediating, and that the second-in-command dragon has been stabbed to death. Tasked with solving the case, Vale and Irene immediately go to 1890s Paris to start their investigation.
Once they arrive, they find evidence suggesting that the murder victim might have uncovered proof of treachery by one or more Librarians. But to ensure the peace of the conference, some Librarians are being held as hostages in the dragon and Fae courts. To save the captives, including her parents, Irene must get to the bottom of this murder–but was it a dragon, a Fae, or even a Librarian who committed the crime? (11/27)
What do you do with a feral wolf shapechanger who won’t face up to his responsibilities? How do you contain magical creatures accidentally loosed into Britain’s countryside? How do you convince a crew of barely-reformed pirates to go straight when there’s smuggling to be done? How do you find a lost notebook full of deadly spells while keeping out of the clutches of its former owner? How do you mediate between a mad king and the seven lords of the Fae?
Ross and Corwen, she a witch and he a shapechanger, have several problems to solve but they all add up to the same thing. How do you make Britain safe for magic users?
It’s 1802. A tenuous peace with France is making everyone jumpy. The Fae, and therefore Ross and Corwen at their behest, have unfinished business with Mad King George, who may not be as mad as everyone thinks–or if he is, he’s mad in a magical way. The Fae have left mankind alone up to now because they don’t care to get involved with mortals, but don’t be fooled into thinking they’re harmless. (11/27)