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Recently, we’ve rounded up all the fantasy and sci-fi shows you should watch in 2022 into one massive guide. We now turn to the written material to tell you about all the science fiction and fantasy books that we are passionate about and that are coming out this year.
2021 has seen the launch of many great sci-fi and fantasy books, and in 2022 we will have even more. We’ve rounded up 40 titles we think genre readers should know about, because you can never have too many books on your pile to read. (Let’s be real here, do any of us have just one pile of TBR?)
From eerie alien universes to epic fantasy worlds, there’s something coming out this year for most fans of those genres. 2022 will see new releases from big names like Brandon Sanderson, Stephen King, Rebecca Roanhorse, Ken Liu and John Scalzi, as well as debuts and sequels from many upcoming authors. It’s going to be a good year in the batteries.
There are a few great books that have already come out in January 2022, and we wouldn’t want to deprive you of them. So before we dive into the actual list, we thought we’d give you a quick rundown of the big 2022 releases that are already available at a bookstore or online retailer near you:
Daughter of the Moon Goddess by Sue Lynn Tan — (Released January 11)
Inspired by the legend of the Chinese moon goddess Chang’e, Sue Lynn Tan’s debut novel was one of the most anticipated books of early 2022. It tells the story of Xiangyin, the daughter of the goddess of the moon who, after her magic is discovered by the mighty Celestial Emperor, is forced to leave her lunar home and embark on an epic quest in order to save her mother.
Daughter of the Moon Goddess has mystical beasts, mythical journeys, romance, and all the other staples of a good epic fantasy. It’s the first of an anticipated duology and has received rave reviews.
Engines of Empire by RS Ford — (Released January 18)
Engines of Empire is an epic fantasy story with industrial undertones. It follows the Hawkspur family, who run a guild tasked with running the empire’s technology. As the question of succession looms, the family matriarch sends each of her three children to different parts of the Torwyn Nation. There is Conall, the eldest son who is sent to serve in the army on a distant frontier; Tyreta, a witch who discovers the disturbing cost of the industrial machine that powers her homeland; and the youngest child Fulren, who finds himself framed for a crime that will shock Torwyn.
Disparate plot threads weave and tug against each other in this epic fantasy that marks the beginning of a new series of RS Fords.
Akata Woman by Nnedi Okorafor — (Released January 18)
The third volume by award-winning author Nnedi Okorafor Nsibidi scriptures hit this month too. Akata Woman continues the story of Sunny Nwazue, a young girl with albinism who discovers she has latent magical powers. These books combine Okorafor’s ever-excellent style of African futurism with a powerful coming-of-age story, and the third book continues that tradition. Throughout the first two episodes of the series, Sunny had to “navigate the balance between almost everything in her life – America and Nigeria, the ‘normal’ world and the one steeped in juju, human and spiritual, good girl and mighty Leopard Person.” But now she faces her most dangerous quest yet, forced to travel to an “otherworldly realm” in search of a mystical object.
Defeating the Prize Guardians will take more from Sunny than she has to give, and triumph will mean she will be changed forever.
Light years from home by Mike Chen — (Released January 25)
Light years from home by Mike Chen is both a family story and an alien abduction tale. There’s a rift in the Shao family that dates back to a family camping trip gone wrong. Here is an excerpt from the back copy of the book:
Evie Shao and her sister, Kass, are not on good terms. Fifteen years ago, on a family camping trip, their father and brother disappeared. Their father returned a few days later, dehydrated and confused, and convinced he had been abducted by aliens. Their brother, Jakob, is still missing. Women experienced it very differently. Kass, suspecting her dropout twin simply ran away, became the rock of the family. Evie swapped academics to pursue alien conspiracy theories, still searching for Jakob.
As you might guess, Jakob eventually returns… but he brings with him unexpected and incredible news of an intergalactic war. As the FBI and alien forces close in on them, the Shao siblings must band together to unravel the mystery behind his disappearance…and make peace with their family. Light years from home promises Chen’s signature blend of heart and imagination. And since it’s a standalone site, you don’t have to read a long series to check it out.
Goliath by Tochi Onyebuchi — (Released January 25)
Goliath marks the adult novel debut of author Tochi Onyebuchi. Onyebuchi’s work, as its new World Fantasy Award winner Riot baby, includes plenty of social commentary and imaginative visions of the near future. From the sounds of it, Goliath will hit a lot of these same buttons while turning everything up a notch:
In the 2050s, the Earth began to empty. Those who have the means and the privileges have left the big cities of the United States for the more comfortable confines of the space colonies. Those who remain are salvaging what they can from the collapsing infrastructure. As they survive, their neighborhoods are cannibalized. Brick by brick, their homes are sent to the colonies, what was once a home is now a quaint reminder for the settlers of the world they destroyed.
A primitive biblical epic thrown into the future, Goliath weaves disparate tales together – a space dweller looking to New Haven, Connecticut as a chance to reconnect with his spiraling lover; a group of workers attempting to renew the promises of Earth’s crumbling cities; a journalist trying to capture the violence of the streets; a marshal trying to solve a kidnapping – in a rich and urgent mosaic of race, class, gentrification and who is allowed to be the hero of any story.
Now that we’ve covered the books already released in 2022, let’s jump into February, and those to come…