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The Cabin at the End of the World

Paul Tremblay (Morrow)

Readers spending the summer in isolated cabins should turn all the lights on before opening this taut horror-thriller. A couple vacationing with their daughter is shaken when four strangers arrive and say that one member of the family must kill another in order to prevent global disaster. News reports of portentous world catastrophes back up the strangers’ claims. This unsettling novel invites readers to ask themselves whether they would do the unthinkable to prevent the unbelievable.

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The Freeze-Frame Revolution

Peter Watts (Tachyon)

Charged with building interstellar wormhole gates for 66 million years, the human crew of the construction ship Eriophora has lots of time to ponder issues of purpose. After the ship is damaged and crew members go missing, a loyal worker and the ship’s AI work together and at cross-purposes to figure out what’s going on. Watts combines mystery, futuristic technology, and philosophical questions to keep readers enthralled.

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Kill the Farm Boy: The Tales of Pell

Kevin Hearne and Delilah S. Dawson (Del Rey)

In this pun-laden quest, Hearne and Dawson skewer the traditional tropes of epic fantasy sagas. The titular farm boy dies on page 31 before his hero’s journey can ever truly begin. Now it’s up to a ragtag band of unlikely heroes to save the kingdom from magical misdeeds. Merriment abounds in this whimsical story that pokes sly fun at the genre’s clichés.

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Spinning Silver

Naomi Novik (Del Rey)

This gorgeous, complex, and magical novel, grounded in Germanic, Slavic, and Jewish folklore but with a cohesive, creative story of its own, rises well above a mere modern reimagining of classic tales. A Jewish moneylender’s daughter attracts the attention of a gold-loving fae king, and soon secondary characters become narrators, creating new pathways through which to explore this vibrant world. Readers will fall headlong into this deeply immersive fantasy story.

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The Warrior Within

Angus McIntyre (Tor.com)

This strong novella intricately captures a slice of life on a dusty backwater planet ruled by augmented-human priests whose mobile temples are moved by enormous wheeled machines. When off-world mercenaries arrive, planning to kill a local woman, a mechanic whose head is inhabited by additional implanted personalities must contend with momentous changes and unexpected realizations. This is a perfect story for those looking to be fully transported to a strange world.

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