New & Notable Books, March 2022

Kathryn Barker, Waking Romeo (Flatiron 1/22) This post-apocalyptic YA novel, first published last year in Australia, combines elements of Romeo & Juliet, Wuthering Heights, and time travel to create a clever and romantic whole.



Jessamine Chan, The School for Good Mothers (Simon & Schuster 1/22) This debut SF novel concerns a mother sent to a draconian govern­ment reform program after “neglecting” her child in a moment of poor judgment on a bad day – a dark, satirical story about the pressures and impossible expectations of upper-middle-class parenting.



Christopher Golden, Road of Bones (St. Mar­tin’s 1/22) Golden’s latest is a horror thriller about a film crew in Siberia documenting a road where thousands of prisoners were buried, only to encounter supernatural dangers. It’s “a story of people being relentlessly pursued by super­natural monsters, but it’s also about humanity, friendship, helping others, and even trying to help the dead, and that’s what truly makes this a memorable novel and a standout in Golden’s already impressive oeuvre.” [Ian Mond]



Mira Grant, Square³ (Subterranean 12/21) Grant (a pseudonym Seanan McGuire uses for darker work) offers up a novella that combines classic SF tropes with elements of cosmic horror in a tale of sisters stranded in different dimensions by a rift in reality, who manage to reconnect, but not without monstrous and military complications.



Caitlín R. Kiernan, Vile Affections (Subterra­nean 11/21) Kiernan is one of our finest authors of weird short fiction, and has the awards to prove it. This collects 22 stories from the last five years, with commentary on each by the author, who describes the contents as dealing “with matters of the heart, and pretty much always in ways that some folks will find to deviate from the true north of respectable humanity.”



Scotto Moore, Battle of the Linguist Mages (Tordotcom 1/22) This debut novel is gonzo sci­ence fantasy about Isobel, a skilled VR gamer who learns to use “power morphemes” that can alter reality in the non-virtual world, making her a target for assorted dangerous forces.



Tochi Onyebuchi, Goliath (Tordotcom 1/22) Onyebuchi made a splash with World Fantasy Award winning novella (and Hugo and Nebula Award finalist) Riot Baby last year, and this novel is making waves, too, with a retelling of the Biblical story set in the 2050s, when the privileged live off-planet to avoid the ravages of climate change and plague, leaving everyone else to struggle in the wreckage.



Benjamin Percy, The Unfamiliar Garden (Mariner 1/22) Percy continues to combine horror, mystery, and science fiction elements in this second volume of the Comet Cycle, set in a world devastated by meteor strikes. Now there’s a sentient fungus loose, and the military wants to use it for mind-control. Meanwhile, a couple investigates the disappearance of their missing daughter.



Charles Stross, Quantum of Nightmares (Tordotcom 1/22) This is the second volume in the New Management series, spun off from the beloved Laundry series, now set in a transformed world of superheroes and eldritch horror heads of state. Stross continues to delight with his trade­mark mix of Lovecraftian horror, bureaucratic satire, and espionage thriller.



Ibi Zoboi, Star Child: A Biographical Con­stellation of Octavia Estelle Butler (Dutton 1/22) The iconic SF author, who died tragically at age 58 in 2006, is the subject of a moving middle-grade biography told in poetry and prose, focused on Butler’s early life, and illustrated with photos and cover art. It’s a loving tribute that will serve to introduce young readers to this incomparable figure.


From the March 2022 issue of Locus.

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