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The Book of Dragons

Edited by Jonathan Strahan (Harper Voyager)

Strahan brings together some of the biggest names in sci-fi and fantasy for a blockbuster anthology of original tales of dragons, which range from high-flying adventure stories to quieter domestic fables and draw from many different cultural understandings of dragon mythology. The impressive variety of style and tone—combined with the authors’ infectious enthusiasm for their subject—means there’s something for everyone in this magical, escapist treat.

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The Mother Code

Carole Stivers (Berkley)

Stivers debuts with a sweeping, prescient, and ultimately hopeful tale of a world devastated by a biological weapon. Humanity’s only hope lies in a generation of genetically modified infants, who must be raised by robots programmed to feel empathy. Probing the nature of human connection and what makes a family, Stivers renders her postapocalyptic vision with a scientist’s precision.

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Network Effect

Martha Wells (Tor.com)

Wells’s first full-length Murderbot Diaries novel is a rollicking standalone space opera with humor and insight to spare. SecUnit, a lethal but lovable artificial intelligence, has become rather partial to its fragile human companions and will do what it takes to protect them when they (inevitably) fall into intergalactic danger. Mayhem and surprisingly touching observations on human nature from a robotic point of view both ensue.

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The Only Good Indians

Stephen Graham Jones (Saga)

By turns terrifying and darkly comic, Jones’s masterful horror novel follows a group of friends from the Blackfeet nation as a mistake they made on a hunt years before comes back to haunt them. In a distinct, propulsive voice, Jones renders both supernatural and psychological horror with powerful cultural specificity. This is a must-read for horror fans.

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Or What You Will

Jo Walton (Tor)

Walton wows with this gorgeous tale of a fantasy writer returning to the world of her most popular series for what may be the final time. The author is dying, but her oft-recurring character turned imaginary friend has a plan to save them both. Weaving together somber realism, fanciful metafiction, and Shakespearean fantasy, this moving love letter to storytelling is complex, smart, and satisfying.

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