A hearty hello to all our fellow readers! 2017 continues its steady march straight to hell, so we’d like to provide some literary escapes from all the chaos. Last time we recommended several upcoming diverse fantasy novels for your reading pleasure, so this time we’ll bring you the best diverse science fiction that the year still has to offer. Admittedly, the pickings are a little slim this fall, and the theme of the season seems to be terrifying dystopias. Perhaps it’s coincidental timing, or maybe a reflection of our current cultural psyche. But take heart. We explore the very darkest possibilities for our futures to remind us that hope still exists in the present. So, here’s hoping that these science fiction tales inspire you to keep the faith into 2018.
G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
September 12th, 2017
I almost want to make some joke about “third time’s the charm,” but for a prolific writer like Marie Lu everything she does is an instant success. After taking the YA community by storm with the Legend and The Young Elites series, Lu has now introduced readers to the world of Warcross. In this techno thriller, the titular virtual reality game attracts players from across the globe with dreams of fame, fortune, and competition. Unfortunately, for teen bounty hunter Emika Chen, she finds herself caught up in the game’s seedy underbelly after accidentally going viral during the Warcross Championships.
September 15th, 2017
With a tagline of “Pacific Rim meets Korean action drama,” there’s no way I would have let Axie Oh’s recent debut slip through my fingers. Fleeing from a rough childhood and a negligent father, Lee Jaewon is out to prove himself as a dedicated soldier of Neo Seoul. But love complicates his loyalty when he joins Neo Seoul’s giant mecha weapons program and partners with a supersoldier named Tera, who the government has experimented on for years in an attempt to prevent resistance against its oppressive regime.
October 3rd, 2017
From its captivating cover to its heartbreaking plot, it’s clear that An Unkindness of Ghosts will be a gorgeous debut from Rivers Solomon. Trapped in the slums of a wandering space vessel is our protagonist, Aster, a dark-skinned young woman forced to work as a sharecropper her entire life. Her family has suffered under the weight of the ship’s brutal leadership for generations, while in search of a mythical Promised Land that will supposedly shelter the last of humanity. But a long-awaited civil war is brewing, and Aster must retrace her family’s intergalactic journey to discover the key to her freedom. This book is highly anticipated in my reading circles, so stay tuned for a full WWAC review soon.
Future Home of the Living God
October 3rd, 2017
Falling birth rates and a humanity near extinction are what people usually imagine in more realistic dystopias. For seasoned author Louise Erdrich, this existential terror can reach newer and even more terrifying heights. Future Home of the Living God confronts a future of reversed evolution, where for some strange reason women are giving birth to increasingly primitive species of humans. With looming threats of mass societal panic and government sanctioned persecution, Cedar Hawk Songmaker tries to traverse this new hostile landscape to reunite with her birth mother and protect her unborn child.
Her Body and Other Parties
Carmen Maria Machado
October 3rd, 2017
Anthologies are hard sells in the publishing world, especially by relatively unknown authors. It is thus a testament to Carmen Maria Machado that her debut novel, Her Body and Other Parties, is being praised as nothing short of a genre-bending masterpiece about the fantastic, comedic, and horrific realities of womanhood. Stories in this collection include a tale of sexual discovery at the end of the world, one sales clerk’s shocking discovery about what really is hidden in the store’s prom dresses and a paranormal reinterpretation of Law & Order.
Not Your Villain
October 5th, 2017
Have we as a society collectively decided whether superheroes fall under science fiction or fantasy? It feels a little bit like I’m cheating with this novel, but I really can’t feel guilty about recommending C.B Lee here. This standalone addition to Lee’s Sidekick Squad series follows the adventures of notorious superpowered villain Bells Broussard. His life of crime takes a turn for the interesting when he stumbles upon a conspiracy that threatens the lives of every superpowered individual in the city. Coupled with a retired superhero hellbent on revenge and a militarized robotic army on his tail, Bells finds himself kicking ass and taking names like only a true hero can.
Into the Black
by Ava Jae
Sky Pony Press
November 7th, 2017
I’m unfamiliar with Ava Jae’s previous novel Beyond the Read, but there is certainly enough time to catch up on that story before its sequel, Into the Black, hits bookstores. Reception so far on this extraterrestrial epic have been extremely positive thanks to its interesting plot. Half-human, half-alien Eros has only just inherited the throne of Safara in the aftermath of technological collapse and social insurrection, but his problems are far from over. He’s kidnapped by a rebel group of humans who want to see the alien monarchy destroyed , leaving in his wake a power vacuum of dangerous replacements. Safara’s only chance of survival now rests in Eros’s ex-royal ally Kora, who embarks on a journey into the planet’s in-hospital natural environments to try and find him.