Provenance, by Ann Leckie
Ann Leckie’s Imperial Radch trilogy, which started with Ancillary Justice, was a breath of fresh air in sci-fi, and earned her Hugo, Nebula, Locus, and Arthur C. Clarke awards. This novel, set in the same universe as the Radch trilogy, follows Ingray – a power-driven woman seeking to gain status by regaining artifacts priceless to her people, but who soon finds herself and her world embroiled in an interstellar conflict which threatens her plans and her future.
Demi-Gods, by Eliza Robertson
This is a debut novel from a Canadian writer, complete with a British Columbia setting. It’s a coming of age novel which begins in 1950 and follows the then-9-year-old Willa through adolescence to adulthood. In 1950 she is introduced to her new step-brothers for the first time, and her relationship with the younger of the two – Patrick – becomes increasingly damaging, despite how seemingly drawn to him she is. The blurb on the cover – “A little bit dark. A little bit weird” – sums it up well, as Robertson creates a wonderfully pervasive sense of menace and dread whenever Patrick appears.
This Side of Sad, by Karen Smythe
Karen Smythe has previously written on elegies and mourning in both non-fiction and short-story format. In this first novel she begins with the death of a man, although whether his death was suicide or an accident is a mystery. After his death, his widow begins a period of self-inquiry, questioning both her identify and her own capacity for love. Also a large part of me wanting to read that is that I’m just intrigued by that cover…
The Core, by Peter V. Brett
This is the title I’m most excited about for the Fall, as it finally wraps up one of my favourite current fantasy series, which started back in 2008 with The Warded Man. The series’ main draws for me are the superb world building, the unique system of magic, and the excellent ensemble cast of characters, each of whom the story follows from childhood to adulthood, while realistically developing their skills and powers, as well as their motivations. If you need something to tide you over in between Game of Thrones seasons and books then pick this one up – it now also has the benefit of now being complete in 5 books.
A Plague of Giants, by Kevin Hearne
The first few books of Kevin Hearne’s previous series, The Iron Druid Chronicles, are among my favourite funny sci-fi/fantasy books, but after 8 books I have to confess some fatigue with it so I’m excited that he has a new series coming out. Here Hearne has switched from urban to high fantasy, and rather than drawing from world mythologies he has done his own world-building here, complete with a really interesting system of magic and an excellent cast of characters.
Generations, by Flavia Bondi
This graphic novel follows a young man, Matteo, as returns home from three years in Milan after falling out with his father over his relationship with a man. To avoid his father, Matteo stays with his grandmother, who already lives with his three aunts and cousin, while he decides what to do with his life. This is a moving, realistic story exploring acceptance, generation gaps, and coming-of-age, ultimately demonstrating that the events that pull a family together can be stronger than the issues that pull them apart.
Andy Weir’s debut novel, The Martian, was an excellent piece of straightforward, realistic yet highly approachable science-fiction. Artemis is much in the same vein, although this time his setting is an established colony on the moon. The protagonist here, Jazz Bashara, is a smuggler with ambitions mostly gaining wealth so she can afford more comfortable digs, but when she takes on a job with payday too good to refuse she finds herself embroiled in a struggle for control of Artemis itself. This is a compulsively readable story with a very well-developed world, and Jazz herself makes for a thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining narrator. If you’re a fan of classic sci-fi and/or caper stories, check this one out.