July Books

Compiled by Shannon Purdy Jones

It comes out of nowhere. You’re shuffling through the workday. Doing the dishes. In general, life is going well. But still there’s that tug. It pulls at the back corners of your mind — the urge to be somewhere else, someone else. That primal need for escape.

So we’re bringing you the summer’s best sci-fi releases to escape into. Some stand alone while others are continuations of series you’ll wish you’d started yesterday. All are guaranteed to transport you worlds away. 

A Prayer for the Crown-Shy by Becky Chambers

From one of the foremost practitioners of hopeful sci-fi comes a story of kindness and love, the second volume of the USA Today–bestselling Monk and Robot series.

After touring the rural areas of Panga, Sibling Dex and robot Mosscap turn their attention to the villages and cities of the little moon they call home.

They hope to find the answers they seek, while making new friends, learning new concepts and experiencing the entropic nature of the universe. But in a world where people have what they want, does having more even matter?

The Moonday Letters by Emmi Itäranta

A lyrical mystery wrapped in a love story that bends space, time, myth and science, it’s perfect for fans of Octavia Butler and Emily St. John Mandel.

Sol has disappeared. Their Earth-born wife, Lumi, sets out to find them. Told through letters and extracts, her search leads to underground environmental groups and a web of mystery. Lumi’s journey also takes her into Sol’s hidden past and long-forgotten secrets of her own. In the end, The Moonday Letters is a love story between two individuals from very different worlds.

Flying the COOP by Lucinda Roy

Lucinda Roy continues The Dreambird Chronicles, her explosive first foray into speculative fiction, with this sequel to The Freedom Race.

In the Disunited states, no person of color — especially not a girl whose body reimagines flight — is safe. A quest for Freedom has brought former Muleseed Jellybean “Ji-ji” Silapu to D.C., where, long ago, the most famous Dreamer of all time marched for the same cause.

Tiro and Afarra battle formidable ghosts of their own as the former U.S. capital controls the fate of all dreamers. The journeys the three friends take toward liberation will challenge the nature of reality itself.

Upgrade by Blake Crouch

An ordinary man undergoes a startling transformation in the mind-blowing new thriller from The New York Times–bestselling author of Dark Matter.

Logan Ramsay can feel his brain . . . changing. His body, too. He’s becoming something other than himself. His DNA has been rewritten with a genetic-engineering breakthrough — one that could change the very definitions of humanity. And the battle to control this unfathomable power has already begun.

Fevered Star by Rebecca Roanhorse

Return to The Meridian with New York Times–bestselling author Rebecca Roanhorse’s sequel to Black Sun — finalist for the Hugo, Nebula, Lambda and Locus awards.

The great city of Tova is shattered. The sun is held within the smothering grip of the Crow God’s eclipse, but a comet that marks the death of a ruler and heralds the rise of a new order is imminent.

Sea captain Xiala, swept up in currents of change, finds an unexpected ally in the former Priest of Knives. For Tova Clan Matriarchs, tense alliances form as far-flung enemies gather and the war in the heavens reflects upon the Earth. OH

Shannon Purdy Jones is co-owner of Scuppernong Books.

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