January’s New Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books Will Help You Start 2021 on the Right Page

January’s New Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books Will Help You Start 2021 on the Right Page
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Happy New Year! Time to add some new books to your 2021 reading list, and we’ve got you covered with space adventures (including a little something from the world of Star Wars), fantasy battles, ghosts, unicorns, dragons, magical con artists, narcoleptic detectives, and so much more.

Deuces Down: A Wild Cards Novel edited by George R.R. Martin

This revised Wild Cards anthology digs into the “Deuces,” people whose superpowers are “minor” but still have an impact in the world of the Wild Cards. Co-edited by Melinda M. Snodgrass, it features new illustrations and new stories by Carrie Vaughn, Mary Anne Mohanraj, and Caroline Spector. (January 5)

The Ever After: The Omte Origins by Amanda Hocking

The author’s final novel in the Omte Origins arc returns to the world of her Trylle Trilogy, following Ulla Tulin as she embarks on a dangerous quest to unravel her family history.

Hard Time by Jodi Taylor

In this comedic spin-off of the author’s Chronicles of St. Mary’s, the Time Police are forced to task an inexperienced trio of undercover agents — nicknamed “Team Weird” — to battle the increasing problem of time-travel tourists altering history.

Image: Gallery / Saga Press
Image: Gallery / Saga Press

Persephone Station by Stina Leicht

On an out-of-the-way planet known for harbouring elite criminals and secretive corporations, an ex-marine agrees to do a job for a local bar owner — only to uncover a secret that’ll put her and her team in the fight of their lives. (January 5)

Reconstruction: Stories by Alaya Dawn Johnson

This short-story collection blends genres, settings, and time periods to explore diverse characters; it includes “A Guide to the Fruits of Hawai’i,” a Nebula-winning novelette about tropical vampires and their human prey. (January 1)

Root Magic by Eden Royce

The South Carolina author explores her own Gullah Geechee heritage with this 1963-set tale of a young Black girl who faces racism in the real world while using her gifts to battle sinister magic in the supernatural realm. (January 5)

Image: Tor Teen
Image: Tor Teen

A Siege of Rage and Ruin by Django Wexler

The Wells of Sorcery Trilogy concludes as ghost-ship captain Isoka heads to free her sister, Tori — only to find Tori heading up a rebellion against the empire in their home city. Will their magical family reunion turn the tide in the fight? (January 5)

Star Trek Picard: The Dark Veil by James Swallow

Inspired by the Picard TV series, this adventure finds Captain William Riker, his family, and his crew on the USS Titan caught up in a chaotic crisis at the Romulan-Federation border. (January 5)

Star Wars: Light of the Jedi by Charles Soule

Lucasfilm’s new transmedia venture Star Wars: The High Republic kicks off with the release of this first novel digging into the long history of the Jedi. Today’s other High Republic release, Justina Ireland’s A Test of Courage, is a novel aimed at younger readers. (January 5)

[referenced id=”1658261″ url=”https://gizmodo.com.au/2020/12/star-wars-the-high-republic-is-as-refreshing-as-it-is-familiar/” thumb=”https://gizmodo.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/15/h9nimhvhtfhbi1hrltg5-300×169.png” title=”Star Wars: The High Republic Is as Refreshing as It Is Familiar” excerpt=”Adding something truly new to the canon of Star Wars media has to strike a delicate, daunting balance. Anything so vastly removed from what we know about the franchise — particularly the Skywalker saga — has to balance feeling worthy of being called new, while paradoxically still delivering that vague,…”]

Across the Green Grass Fields by Seanan McGuire

The latest Wayward Children novel is a standalone tale about a girl who discovers a portal to the “Hooflands,” a world populated by centaurs, unicorns, kelpies, and other magical horse creatures. (January 12)

The Effort by Clair Holryode

When a comet threatens to end all life on Earth, a team of scientist, scholars, and artists gather in South America. Can they a) figure out a way to prevent the collision (while also keeping global mass hysteria at bay), or should they b) accept that the end is inevitable? (January 12)

The Frozen Crown by Greta Kelly

In this debut fantasy novel, an inexperienced ruler intent on keeping her magic powers a secret turns to a neighbouring kingdom for help in defeating the invaders who threaten her land. (January 12)

God of Night by Tom Lloyd

With war on the horizon and magical enemies gathering power, the Riven Kingdom must call upon its mightiest heroes — who unfortunately are a bunch of misfits, drunks, and ne’er-do-wells — for protection. (January 12)

Image: Tor Books
Image: Tor Books

Into the Light by David Webber and Chris Kennedy

This sequel to Out of the Dark finds the war between humans and aliens still ongoing — but Earth’s population of vampires has suddenly stepped up to help fight for their planet. Read an excerpt below. (January 12)

[referenced id=”1529948″ url=”https://gizmodo.com.au/2020/11/humankind-makes-a-supernatural-alliance-to-survive-an-alien-war-in-this-excerpt-from-into-the-light/” thumb=”https://gizmodo.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/17/calif0nrlhl4t1wavofu-300×136.jpg” title=”Humankind Makes a Supernatural Alliance to Survive an Alien War in This Excerpt From Into the Light” excerpt=”Ten years after the release of alien-invasion thriller Out of the Dark, authors David Weber and Chris Kennedy are back to continue the story with Into the Light. Humankind is still battling aliens, but there’s suddenly a new power player: Earth’s long-hidden population of vampires. Turns out they’re also quite…”]

Spin by Patricia Cornwell

In her latest adventure, NASA scientist and Space Force pilot Captain Calli Chase reunites with her long-lost twin sister and learns a shocking secret about their past — and it’s tied to an even bigger secret that could impact the future of all life on Earth. (January 12)

The Unravelling by Benjamin Rosenbaum

Set in “a far-future society where biotechnology has revolutionised gender,” a young person named Fift must decide whether to stay within their strict social boundaries or be the spear point in the rebellion against it. (January 12)

Waiting for the Night Song by Julie Carrick Dalton

In this debut novel, a woman and her estranged childhood best friend reunite to face the consequences of a shared magical secret that looms in their past. (January 12)

Image: Balzer + Bray
Image: Balzer + Bray

Amari and the Night Brothers by B.B. Alston

This middle grade fantasy debut is described as “Artemis Fowl meets Men in Black [in] the first in a trilogy filled with #blackgirlmagic.” (January 19)

The Forever Sea by Joshua Phillip Johnson

In a world where magical ships sail seas of grass, a sailor is devastated to learn of her grandmother’s presumed death — and is then pulled into the mystery surrounding not just her beloved relative’s disappearance, but the truth about what’s really beneath the grassy waves. (January 19)

Hall of Smoke by H. M. Long

In this epic fantasy, a warrior priestess (with the ability to “turn an enemy’s bones to dust with a scream,” which is cool as hell) is banished for refusing to follow a murderous command from her goddess — only to see her village destroyed in her absence. As she struggles with her faith, she soon finds herself caught in a war between old and new gods. (January 19)

Image: This Is Horror
Image: This Is Horror

A House at the Bottom of a Lake by Josh Malerman

This standalone horror novella from the author of Bird Box follows a teenage couple on their first date — a day of canoeing that leads them to discover something very strange lurking just below the surface. (January 19)

Kindred, Fledgling, Collected Stories by Octavia E. Butler

In this first volume in a definitive Library of America series celebrating the late sci-fi legend, you’ll find two novels (including her acclaimed masterpiece, Kindred), eight short stories, and five essays, plus a new introduction and additional biographical and explanatory notes. (January 19)

The Mask of Mirrors by M.A. Carrick

The Rook & Rose fantasy trilogy — written by author duo Marie Brennan (A Natural History of Dragons) and Alyc Helms — begins as a con artist arrives in a new city aiming to fake her way into wealth, but instead finds her fate is tied into some very dangerous magic. (January 27)

Remote Control by Nnedi Okorafor

The latest from the Nebula and Hugo-winning author follows a young girl whose powers rise after she’s adopted by the Angel of Death. Read an excerpt here. (January 19)

Image: Erewhon
Image: Erewhon

Rise of the Red Hand by Olivia Chadha

In climate change-ravaged South Asia, a hacker and a revolutionary with wildly different backgrounds team up to challenge a system that keeps the wealthy safe in a luxurious biodome, but condemns the poor to the wasteland that’s consumed the rest of the planet. (January 19)

Vengewar by Kevin J. Anderson

The sequel to Spine of the Dragon finds two nations that have been at war for centuries still reluctant to address the growing threat in their midst: an ancient power that’s awakened and primed for world domination. (January 19)

Winterkeep by Kristin Cashore

The Graceling Realm series continues as Bitterblue, the new Queen of Monsea, sets out to build an alliance with nearby Winterkeep — but the journey turns tragic, leaving both nations to face an uncertain future. (January 27)

The Expert System’s Champion by Adrian Tchaikovsky

An outcast who travels the world fighting monsters faces a new danger that even the Ancients who raised him cannot explain.

The Mask Falling by Samantha Shannon

The author returns to the world of Scion to follow Paige Mahoney, a dreamwalker caught between political factions who’s determined to use her position as a way to advance her own dreams of rebellion. (January 27)

Unchosen by Katharyn Blair

A young woman who watched as her first love fell for her older sister — and then saw her younger sister anointed the “Chosen One” who can save humanity from a monstrous curse — must step out of the shadows when her help is suddenly needed. (January 26)

A Vow So Bold and Deadly by Brigid Kemmerer

The Cursebreaker fantasy series concludes as Rhen and Grey fight for control of Emberfall, and Lia Mara struggles with her own leadership role in Syhl Shallow. But both kingdoms will have to look past themselves and each other when an old enemy threatens them both. (January 26)

Image: MIRA
Image: MIRA

We Could Be Heroes by Mike Chen

When two people suffering from memory loss meet in a support group, they realise the things they can’t remember about themselves are what link them together — as does the fact that they both happen to have superpowers. (January 26)

Editor’s Note: Release dates within this article are based in the U.S., but will be updated with local Australian dates as soon as we know more.