Whether you’d like to start a new series or finish one up this month, science fiction has got you covered. Pick up Tade Thompson’s Rosewater if you want just the start of a story; if you need the whole thing, all at once, you can now read all three of Malka Older’s Centenal Cycle books, closing the trilogy out with State Tectonics! Or maybe you’d like something in the middle? September’s got you covered there, too—and it’s got movie novelizations, classic reissues, exciting anthologies, the whole shebang. Ready to blast off?
Keep track of all the new releases here. Note: All title summaries are taken and/or summarized from copy provided by the publisher.
Terra Nullius—Claire Coleman (September 4, Small Beer Press)
The Natives of the Colony are restless. The Settlers are eager to bring peace to their new home, and they have a plan for how to achieve it. They will tear Native families apart and provide re-education to those who do not understand why they should submit to their betters. Peace and prosperity are worth any price, but who will pay it? This rich land, Australia, will provide for all if only the Natives can learn their place. Jacky has escaped the Home where the Settlers sent him, but where will he go? The Head of the Department for the Protection of Natives, known to Settlers and Natives alike as the Devil, is chasing Jacky. And when the Devil catches him, Sister Bagra, who knows her duty to the ungodly, will be waiting for Jacky back at Home. Do you recognize this story? Look again. This is not Australia as we know it. This is not the Australia of our history books. This Terra Nullius is something new, but all too familiar.
Halo: Silent Storm: A Master Chief Story—Troy Denning (September 4, Gallery)
2526. It has been almost a year since humanity engaged in its destructive first contact with a theocratic military alliance of alien races known as the Covenant. Now the hostilities have led to open war, and the United Nations Space Command understands virtually nothing about its new enemy. There are only two certainties—the Covenant is determined to eradicate humanity, and they have the superior technology to do just that. The UNSC’s only hope lies with the Spartans: enhanced super-soldiers trained from childhood via a clandestine black-ops project to be living weapons. Their designated commander, Petty Officer John-117, has been assigned to lead the Spartans on a desperate counterattack designed to rock the Covenant back on its heels, and to buy humanity the time it needs to gather intelligence and prepare its defenses. But not everyone wants the Spartans to succeed. A coalition of human rebel leaders believes an alliance with the Covenant to be its best hope of finally winning independence from the Unified Earth Government. To further their plans, the insurrectionists have dispatched a sleeper agent to sabotage the UNSC counterattack—and ensure that John-117 and the Spartans never return from battle….
Tales of the Astonishing Black Spark—Charlie J. Eskew (September 4, Lanternfish Press)
Trapped in a dead-end job in his Ohio hometown, watching the girl of his dreams move on to a glamorous new life in a big city—Donald McDougal’s aimlessness has held him back for a long time. When a lightning strike grants him superhuman powers, he jumps at his chance to finally be somebody. But the new abilities and the pursuit of superheroic fame come with a price tag, and it may not be one he can afford. This wry debut is at once a fanboy’s homage to the history of superhero storytelling in America and a keen-eyed satire of those same stories, raising questions about race and privilege that are becoming impossible to ignore.
The Spaceship Next Door—Gene Doucette (September 4, John Joseph Adams Books)
Three years ago, a spaceship landed in an open field in the quiet mill town of Sorrow Falls, Massachusetts. It never opened its doors, and for all that time, the townspeople have wondered why the ship landed there, and what—or who—could be inside. Then one day a government operative—posing as a journalist—arrives in town, asking questions. He discovers sixteen-year-old Annie Collins, one of the ship’s closest neighbors and a local fixture known throughout the town, who has some of the answers. As a matter of fact, Annie Collins might be the most important person on the planet. She just doesn’t know it.
Hidden Sun—Jaine Fenn (September 4, Angry Robot)
Rhia Harlyn is a noble in Shen, one of the dozens of shadowlands which separate the bright, alien skyland. She has a missing brother, an unwanted marriage proposal and an interest in science considered unbecoming in her gender. Her brother’s disappearance coincided with a violent unsolved murder, and Rhia impulsively joins the search party headed into the skyland – a place whose dangers and wonders have long fascinated her. The dangerous journey brings her into conflict with a young rebel stuck between the worlds of shadow and light, and a charismatic cult leader who believes he can defeat death itself.
Daughters of Forgotten Light—Sean Grigsby (September 4, Angry Robot)
Deep space penal colony Oubliette, population: scum. Lena “Horror” Horowitz leads the Daughters of Forgotten Light, one of three vicious gangs fighting for survival on Oubliette. Their fragile truce is shaken when a new shipment arrives from Earth carrying a fresh batch of prisoners and supplies to squabble over. But the delivery includes two new surprises: a drone, and a baby. Earth Senator Linda Dolfuse wants evidence of the bloodthirsty gangs to justify the government finally eradicating the wasters dumped on Oubliette. There’s only one problem: the baby in the drone’s video may be hers.
Alien Covenent: David’s Drawings—Dane Hallett & Matt Hatton (September 4, Titan Books)
Before Alien Covenant, David was stranded alone on the Engineers’ planet and—left to his own dark devices—he began to push the boundaries of creation. This in-universe sketchbook contains over two hundred illustrations from the set and will take you inside the mind of David. It features the complete arc of his journey from the studies of flora and fauna, to his more sinister experiments on creatures, and the disturbing demise of Dr. Elizabeth Shaw.
Salvation (Salvation Sequence #1)—Peter F. Hamilton (September 4, Del Rey)
In the year 2204, humanity is expanding into the wider galaxy in leaps and bounds. Cutting-edge technology of linked jump gates has rendered most forms of transportation—including starships—virtually obsolete. Every place on Earth, every distant planet humankind has settled, is now merely a step away from any other. All seems wonderful—until a crashed alien spaceship of unknown origin is found on a newly located world eighty-nine light-years from Earth, carrying a cargo as strange as it is horrifying. To assess the potential of the threat, a high-powered team is dispatched to investigate. But one of them may not be all they seem.
The 48—Donna Hosie (September 4, Holiday House)
Young adult. Twins Charlie and Alex Taylor are the newest time travelers recruited to the Forty-Eight, a clandestine military group in charge of manipulating history. The brothers arrive in 1536 feeling confident, but the Tudor court is not all banquets and merriment: it is a deep well of treachery, torture, lust, intrigue, and suspicion. The boys’ mission to prevent Henry VIII from marrying Jane Seymour is further complicated when Alice, a fellow trainee, appears under mysterious and brutal circumstances–and when whispers of an uprising within the Forty-Eight reach their ears. Told in alternating perspectives, The 48 captures the sights, smells, sounds, and hazards of an unhinged Henry VIII’s court from the viewpoint of one person who lived that history–and two teens who have been sent to turn it upside down.
MJ-12: Endgame (Majestic-12 #3)—Michael J. Martinez (September 4, Night Shade Books)
Josef Stalin is dead. In the aftermath, the Soviet Union is thrown into crisis, giving former secret police chief Laverentiy Beria exactly the opening he needs. Beria’s plan is to secretly place his country’s Variants—ordinary people mysteriously embued with strange, superhuman powers—into the very highest levels of leadership, where he can use them to stage a government coup and seize control of the USSR. America’s response comes from its intelligence communities, including the American Variants recruited for the top-secret MAJESTIC-12 program, who are suddenly thrown into their most dangerous and important assignment yet. From the halls of the Kremlin to the battlefields of Korea, superpowered covert agents face off to determine the future of the planet—a future their very existence may ultimately threaten.
Ignite the Stars—Maura Milan (September 4, Albert Whitman & Company)
Young adult. Everyone in the universe knows his name. Everyone in the universe fears him. But no one realizes that notorious outlaw Ia Cōcha is a 17-year-old girl. A criminal mastermind and unrivaled pilot, Ia has spent her life terrorizing the Olympus Commonwealth, the imperialist nation that destroyed her home. When the Commonwealth captures her and her true identity is exposed, they see Ia’s age and talent as an opportunity: by forcing her to serve them, they will prove that no one is beyond their control. Soon, Ia is trapped at the Commonwealth’s military academy, desperately plotting her escape. But new acquaintances cause Ia to question her own alliances. Can she find a way to escape the Commonwealth’s clutches before these bonds deepen?
The Dreaming Stars (Axiom #2)—Tim Pratt (September 4, Angry Robot)
Ancient aliens, the Axiom, will kill us all – when they wake up. In deep space, a swarm of nanoparticles threatens the colonies, transforming everything it meets into computronium—including the colonists. The crew of the White Raven investigate, and discover an Axiom facility filled with aliens hibernating while their minds roam a vast virtual reality. Sebastien wakes up, claiming his altered brain architecture can help the crew deactivate the swarm—from inside the Axiom simulation. To protect humanity, Callie must trust him, but if Sebastien still plans to dominate the universe using Axiom tech, they could be in a whole lot of trouble…
Mother of Invention—Rivqa Rafael & Tansy Rayner Roberts, editors (September 1, Twelfth Planet)
A speculative fiction anthology of diverse, challenging stories about gender and artificial intelligence. From Pygmalion and Galatea to Frankenstein, Ex Machina and Person of Interest, the fictional landscape so often frames cisgender men as the creators of artificial life, leading to the same kinds of stories being told over and over. We want to bring some genuine revolution to the way that artificial intelligence stories are told, and how they intersect with gender identity, parenthood, sexuality, war, and the future of our species. How can we interrogate the gendered assumptions around the making of robots compared with the making of babies? Can computers learn to speak in a code beyond the (gender) binary? If necessity is the mother of invention, what exciting AI might come to exist in the hands of a more diverse range of innovators?
Live Long And…: What I Learned Along the Way—William Shatner with David Fisher (September 4, Thomas Dunne books)
“I have always felt,” William Shatner says early in his newest memoir, that “like the great comedian George Burns, who lived to 100, I couldn’t die as long as I was booked.” And Shatner is always booked. Still, a brief health scare in 2016 forced him to take stock. After mulling over the lessons he’s learned, the places he’s been, and all the miracles and strange occurrences he’s witnessed over the course of an enduring career in Hollywood and on the stage, he arrived at one simple rule for living a long and good life: don’t die. With a combination of pithy humor and thoughtful vulnerability, Shatner lays out his journey from childhood to peak stardom and all the bumps in the road. (Sometimes the literal road, as in the case of his 2,400-mile motorcycle trip across the country with a bike that didn’t function.)
The Reincarnated Giant: An Anthology of Twenty-First-Century Chinese Science Fiction—Mingwei Song & Theodore Huters, editors (September 4, Columbia University Press)
A new wave of Chinese science fiction is here. This golden age has not only resurrected the genre but also subverted its own conventions. Going beyond political utopianism and technological optimism, contemporary Chinese writers conjure glittering visions and subversive experiments—ranging from space opera to cyberpunk, utopianism to the posthuman, and parodies of China’s rise to deconstructions of the myth of national development. This anthology showcases the best of contemporary science fiction from Taiwan, Hong Kong, and the People’s Republic of China. In fifteen short stories and novel excerpts, The Reincarnated Giant opens a doorway into imaginary realms alongside our own world and the history of the future.
Her Majesty’s American—Steve White (September 4, Baen Books)
In an alternate future where the British empire never crumbled, the space ships of Her Majesty’s Navy work to keep the spaceways safe. Commander Robert Rogers of the Royal Space Navy is a defense intelligence officer known for his unconventional ways. Rogers is American born-and-raised, a loyal citizen of the Viceroyalty of North America. He’s a descendant of the founder of the highly effective, pro-British Rogers’ Rangers during the Colonial unpleasantries of 1776, and he’s inherited his ancestor’s intelligence and drive in spades. But there are those among the stars who are not so happy being subjects of the British Empire. In the Tau Ceti system, a cauldron of trouble brews as a terrorist faction of the rebellious Sons of Arnold attacks the empire from within, and warships of the theocratic Caliphate enters the system, prepared to do their worse to destroy the hated empire head on. Yet standing against the coming anarchy and tyranny is one intrepid spy prepared to risk all for queen and empire:
The Accidental War—Walter Jon Williams (September 4, Harper Voyager)
It’s been seven years since the end of the Naxid War. Sidelined for their unorthodox tactics by a rigid, tradition-bound military establishment, Captain Gareth Martinez and Captain the Lady Sula are stewing in exile, frustrated and impatient to exercise the effective and lethal skills they were born to use in fighting the enemy. Yet after the ramshackle empire left by the Shaa conquerors is shaken by a series of hammer blows that threaten the foundations of the commonwealth, the result is a war that no one planned, no one expected, and no one knows how to end. Now, Martinez, Sula, and their confederate Nikki Severin must escape the clutches of their enemies, rally the disorganized elements of the fleet, and somehow restore the fragile peace—or face annihilation at the hands of a vastly superior force.
The Eye of the Heron—Ursula K. Le Guin (September 11, Tor Books)
Reissue. In Victoria on a former prison colony, two exiled groups—the farmers of Shantih and the City dwellers—live in apparent harmony. All is not as it seems, however. While the peace-loving farmers labor endlessly to provide food for the City, the City Bosses rule the Shantih with an iron fist. When a group of farmers decide to form a new settlement further away, the Bosses retaliate by threatening to crush the “rebellion.” Luz understands what it means to have no choices. Her father is a Boss and he has ruled over her life with the same iron fist. Luz wonders what it might be like to make her own choices. To be free to choose her own destiny.
State Tectonics (Centenal Cycle #3)—Malka Older (September 11, Tor.com Publishing)
The future of democracy must evolve or die. The last time Information held an election, a global network outage, two counts of sabotage by major world governments, and a devastating earthquake almost shook micro-democracy apart. Five years later, it’s time to vote again, and the system that has ensured global peace for 25 years is more vulnerable than ever. Unknown enemies are attacking Information’s network infrastructure. Spies, former superpowers, and revolutionaries sharpen their knives in the shadows. And Information’s best agents question whether the data monopoly they’ve served all their lives is worth saving, or whether it’s time to burn the world down and start anew.
Deep Blue (Second Species #2)—Jane O’Reilly (September 11, Piatkus)
Jinnifer Blue opens her eyes to find herself in a nightmare. Her plan to expose the horrific truth behind the government’s secret Second Species programme has failed, and now she’s being turned into a weapon by her worst enemy … her mother. At the other end of the galaxy Caspian Dax, ferocious space pirate and Jinn’s sometime lover, is facing an even more terrifying fate. He’s being forced to fight in the arena on Sittan, a pitiless, ruthless alien landscape where blood is the only prize that matters. They will use him, destroy him, change him. Jinn has only one chance—to go to Sittan and find Dax before his mind is completely destroyed. She must rely on her friends and one old enemy, leave her beloved ship the Mutant behind, and travel to a hostile planet. But hardest of all, she must keep faith that when she finds Dax, there will be something left of the man she knew. One thing’s for sure: the fight has only just begun.
The Predator: The Official Movie Novelization—Christopher Golden (September 18, Titan Books)
For centuries Earth has been visited by warlike creatures that stalk mankind’s finest warriors. Their goals unknown, these deadly hunters kill their prey and depart as invisibly as they arrived, leaving no trace other than a trail of bodies. When a young boy accidentally triggers the universe’s most lethal Hunters’ return to earth, only a ragtag crew of ex-soldiers and a disgruntled science teacher can prevent the end of the human race.
Afterimage—Naomi Hughes (September 18, Page Street Publishing)
Young adult. A horrific explosion levels part of the city and Camryn Kingfisher is the sole survivor. Amidst controversy, conspiracy theories, and threats from government officials, Camryn longs for the truth. But the only person who she can turn to is a transparent boy in a lab coat named Quint. Unsure whether he’s a hallucination or a ghost, Camryn has no choice but to trust him as they become embroiled in a plot that is bigger than either of them realize. In a race where the fabric of time and space is at stake, they must figure out who caused the explosion before the culprit comes back to finish Camryn—and her city—off for good.
Wildcard (Warcross #2)—Marie Lu (September 18, Razorbill)
Young adult. Emika Chen barely made it out of the Warcross Championships alive. Now that she knows the truth behind Hideo’s new NeuroLink algorithm, she can no longer trust the one person she’s always looked up to, who she once thought was on her side. Determined to put a stop to Hideo’s grim plans, Emika and the Phoenix Riders band together, only to find a new threat lurking on the neon-lit streets of Tokyo. Someone’s put a bounty on Emika’s head, and her sole chance for survival lies with Zero and the Blackcoats, his ruthless crew. But Emika soon learns that Zero isn’t all that he seems–and his protection comes at a price. Caught in a web of betrayal, with the future of free will at risk, just how far will Emika go to take down the man she loves?
Battlestar Suburbia—Chris McCrudden (September 20, Farrago Books)
When Darren’s charge-cart gets knocked off the Earth-to-Mars highway and lost in space forever, he thinks his day can’t get any worse. When Kelly sees Darren accidentally short-circuit a talking lamppost, and its camera captures her face as it expires, she thinks her day can’t get any worse. When Pamasonic Teffal, a sentient breadmaker, is sent on a top-secret mission into the depths of the internet and betrayed by her boss, a power-crazed smartphone, she knows this is only the beginning of a day that isn’t going to get any better. Join Darren, Kelly and Pam in an anarchic comic adventure that takes them from the shining skyscrapers of Singulopolis to the sewers of the Dolestar Discovery, and find out what happens when a person puts down their mop and bucket and says No.
Rosewater (Wormwood Trilogy #1)—Tade Thompson (September 18, Orbit)
Rosewater is a town on the edge. A community formed around the edges of a mysterious alien biodome, its residents comprise the hopeful, the hungry and the helpless – people eager for a glimpse inside the dome or a taste of its rumored healing powers. Kaaro is a government agent with a criminal past. He has seen inside the biodome, and doesn’t care to again — but when something begins killing off others like himself, Kaaro must defy his masters to search for an answer, facing his dark history and coming to a realization about a horrifying future.
Mecha Samurai Empire (United States of Japan #2)—Peter Tieryas (September 18, Ace)
Makoto Fujimoto grew up in California, but with a difference—his California is part of the United States of Japan. After Germany and Japan won WWII, the United States fell under their control. Growing up in this world, Mac plays portical games, haphazardly studies for the Imperial Exam, and dreams of becoming a mecha pilot. Only problem: Mac’s grades are terrible. His only hope is to pass the military exam and get into the prestigious mecha pilot training program at Berkeley Military Academy. When his friend Hideki’s plan to game the test goes horribly wrong, Mac washes out of the military exam too. Perhaps he can achieve his dream by becoming a civilian pilot. But with tensions rising between the United States of Japan and Nazi Germany and rumors of collaborators and traitors abounding, Mac will have to stay alive long enough first…
Your Servants and Your People (The Walkin’ #2)—David Towsey (September 18, Quercus)
No one knows who will return as one of the Walkin’. But everyone agrees it’s a curse … and there are those who will not suffer the wicked to live. Seven years after Thomas returned as a Walkin’, the McDermott family are looking for a new life and Thomas has set his heart on starting a farmstead near the remote outpost of Fort Wilson. But the teachings of J.S. Barkley are not so easily forsaken—there are those who would see the sinners dead, and they are slowly closing in.
The Tomb—S. A. Bodeen (September 25, Feiwel & Friends)
Young adult. Nothing is as it seems. These are the first words Kiva’s best friend Seth says, after three years of silence. Kiva thought she was growing up in ancient Alexandria. That’s what she and all her classmates had been led to believe by their parents. It turns out she was living in virtual reality, in a sleep chamber in deep space, and three years ago, Seth woke up. Now it’s her turn to join him. Together, Kiva and Seth must take an escape shuttle to search for the engine part their home ship needs to keep running. But it’s been a long time since the Krakatoa has communicated with any of the other three ships harboring human civilization. Kiva and Seth are not sure what they’ll find if and when they finally make contact.
Rabbit & Robot—Andrew Smith (September 25, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)
Young adult. Cager has been transported to the Tennessee, a giant lunar-cruise ship orbiting the moon that his dad owns, by Billy and Rowan to help him shake his Woz addiction. Meanwhile, Earth, in the midst of thirty simultaneous wars, burns to ash beneath them. And as the robots on board become increasingly insane and cannibalistic, and the Earth becomes a toxic wasteland, the boys have to wonder if they’ll be stranded alone in space forever.
The Electric State—Simon Stalenhag (September 25, Atria)
In late 1997, a runaway teenager and her small yellow toy robot travel west through a strange American landscape where the ruins of gigantic battle drones litter the countryside, along with the discarded trash of a high-tech consumerist society addicted to a virtual-reality system. As they approach the edge of the continent, the world outside the car window seems to unravel at an ever faster pace, as if somewhere beyond the horizon, the hollow core of civilization has finally caved in.
Venom: Lethal Protector—James R. Tuck (September 25, Titan Books)
Eddie Brock, also known as Venom, reaches a truce with his arch-foe Spider-Man and relocates from New York to San Francisco. There he defends a group of the homeless living in a cavern beneath the city. When Eddie is attacked by the police, then battles mercenaries who are assaulting the homeless, Spider-Man is furious at what appears to be Eddie’s return to villainous activities. He decides to go after Venom and bring him in. Once in San Francisco, however, the web-spinner discovers that Eddie is really trying to help the people there. Together they uncover an organization hidden beneath the Mojave Desert seeking to separate Brock from the alien symbiote that gives him his powers. Their goal: to use it to create more vicious versions of Venom.