Feature Image Credit: @brisbookish
If you’re a science fiction and fantasy reader like myself, living vicariously through protagonists and characters who warp their way through time and space makes the day a bit brighter. You’ve probably found yourself on one too many nights gleefully curled up into a new fantasy complete with aliens, magic, time machines and the likes. If that’s you—or if you’re looking to explore the genre of sci-fi and fantasy a bit more—2022 has ensured your reading list stays out of this world.
Here are the most anticipated new sci-fi and fantasy novels releasing next year.
How High We Go in the Dark by Sequoia Nagamatsu (January 18, 2022)
Another pandemic is unleashed in the world. Yet this time it’s the year 2030, and an Arctic plague released by melting ice is set to re-shape the world once more. In the aftermath, while heartbreak, fear and destruction flood the world, stories are told of characters loosely connected, whether it’s seeking a cure, falling in love, and embarking on a cosmic quest to locate a new home planet. This is a world of science fiction with slices of real life.
Dead Silence by S.A. Barnes (January 25, 2022)
Finders can’t always be keepers. And, in this novel set on a ghost ship with a soon-to-be unemployed crew, what they find they definitely will not want to keep. About to be replaced by a machine, Claire Kovalik and her crew are on one last mission near the edge of the solar system. When a distress call comes in, Claire jumps to the rescue, knowing anything is better than returning to be let go. Only the ship that signals is the luxurious Aurora . . . which disappeared more than 20 years ago during a tour of space. Her initial excitement of finding an ancient wealthy ship fades quickly as blood, ghosts, carnage and madness creep around every corner. Claire might want to investigate the mystery of the lost ship but, she has to survive the horror first—or her crew could be next.
Light Years from Home by Mike Chen (January 25, 2022)
When aliens possibly abduct a father and son, twins Evie Shao and Kass are forever changed. The incident occurred on a camping trip when the girls were younger, leaving their father to return with the story of aliens, their brother Jakob vanished, and the sisters to never speak to each other again. That is until the girls become adults, and Evie discovers a life of alien conspiracies and UFO networks that bring their brother back. With Jakob back speaking in a strange manner and of an impending alien war, the family will need to find a way to save their brother and their relationship before it’s too late.
Goliath by Tochi Onyebuchi (January 25, 2022)
Ever imagine what the world would look like empty? Well, in the year 2050, healthy places are limited. The Earth’s environment, poisoned from mankind’s negligence, has left the planet in danger. The rich have long left Earth and fled to off-world homes. One diverse community in New Haven, Connecticut, is among the few that remain on the planet. The people of the town attempt to survive off of the scraps and parts they find from the depleting surroundings. But through it all, they learn to appreciate, experience, and make history in a ruined world.
The Circus Infinite by Khan Wong (March 8, 2022)
Jes, an empath, has gravity powers many scientists want to covet. Now a mixed-species fugitive, he runs away to a pleasure moon where everyone blends in. Landing a circus job at a hotel to stay off the radar, Jes keeps a low profile, even showing kindness amongst the crazy scientific activities around him. The local corrupt crime boss who owns the hotel has spotted Jes and forces him to comply with whatever crimes he’s told to do, or the consequences could be grave. But when the crime boss takes it a step too far, Jes and his newfound family, stand up to stop him and save Jes from being another experiment in the process.
Wild and Wicked Things by Francesca May (March 29, 2022)
Annie Mason has no interest in magic, real or fake. Not after it destroyed her previous life. Her new temporary town on Crow Island, on the other hand, has magic all around, hidden from those who prohibit its use after World War I. Annie’s attempts to leave as soon as possible fail when she encounters her neighbor, Emmeline Delacroix, a beautiful mysterious witch using magic. Intrigued by Emma, Annie soon gets pulled into the world of murder, witchcraft, and a love that even she didn’t expect.
The Blood Trials by N.E. Davenport (April 5, 2022)
For Ikenna Amari, a young Black woman, life is filled with action, peril, betrayal, war and blood — most importantly blood. The first drop spilled is from her grandfather’s death. But it won’t certainly be the last if Ikenna has a say. Living on a racist and misogynistic planet, Iludu, she knows that someone close had to order his death, and only someone as skilled as the Praetorian Guard would complete the kill. Ikenna, also secretly trained in combat, learns to harness the blood magic she inherited from her war-hero grandfather, Verne Amari. With her skills and heart set on revenge, Ikenna seeks answers and vengeance in the Praetorian trials because someone will pay for Verne Amari’s death no matter the cost.
Spear by Nicola Griffith (April 19, 2022)
In Spear, the legend of King Arthur gets told from a queer perspective. A young unnamed girl grows up hidden in a cave with her mother. When the girl finally has a name, Peretur, she’s older and yearns for more. So, she leaves her mother for court, where she disguises herself as a man. Along the way, hidden under poor armor and a half spear, the girl, filled with unknown magic, discovers her strength and falls in love. Peretur continues until she also encounters knights, fights off warriors, and ends her journey in an unusual Arthurian kind of way.
Fevered Star by Rebecca Roanhorse (April 19, 2022)
As the second installment of the Between Earth and Sky series picks up, familiar characters return with new troubles, where enemies and friends grow hard to decipher. Inside an indigenous society, the great city Tova shattered. Now the people are scattered across the Meridian, a magicless land that suppressed the worship of any gods. Xiala, a sea captain, finds kinship in a priest of knives, Serapio, Naranpa, and Okoa do their best to stay alive as gender politics intertwine them and their society is at the brink of war.
The Discord of Gods by Jenn Lyon (April 26, 2022)
When some stars fade, others explode until it destroys everything. For Kihrin, the sun eater, that means playing the weak role and creating as little suspicion as possible. As two other threatening beings, Relos Var’ and the demon Xaltorath go head-to-head to take over a universe, they fail to notice Kihrin. But their ignorance could serve Kihrin’s purpose of keeping his loved ones alive as he determines how to control the corrupted magic inside of him that started this mess. Part star, part dragon, and something more, Kirin’s life and his time will soon come to an explosive end.