Adult Science Fiction

Category: Science Fiction

Published by Hodder & Stoughton (out now)

Read our interview with James Bradley

Ghost Species by James Bradley

An exquisitely beautiful and deeply affecting exploration of connection and loss in an age of planetary trauma.

When scientist Kate Larkin joins a secretive project to re-engineer the climate by resurrecting extinct species, she becomes enmeshed in another, even more clandestine program to recreate our long-lost relatives, the Neanderthals. But when the first of the children, a girl called Eve, is born, Kate finds herself torn between her duties as a scientist and her urge to protect their time-lost creation.

Set against the backdrop of hastening climate catastrophe, Ghost Species is an exquisitely beautiful and deeply affecting exploration of connection and loss in an age of planetary trauma. For as Eve grows to adulthood she and Kate must face the question of who and what she is. Is she natural or artificial? Human or non-human? And perhaps most importantly, as civilisation unravels around them, is Eve the ghost species, or are we?

Thrillingly original, Ghost Species is embedded with a deep love and understanding of the natural world.

Category: Science Fiction, Space exploration

Published by Gollancz (out now)

Read our interview with S J Morden

Gallowglass by S. J. Morden

The year is 2069, and the earth is in flux. Whole nations are being wiped off the map by climate change. Desperate for new resources, the space race has exploded back into life.

Corporations seek ever greater profits off-world. They offer immense rewards to anyone who can claim space’s resources in their name. The bounty on a single asteroid rivals the GDP of entire countries, so every trick, legal or not, is used to win.

Jack, the scion of a shipping magnate, is desperate to escape earth and joins a team chasing down an asteroid. But the ship he’s on is full of desperate people – each one needing the riches claiming the asteroid will bring them, and they’re willing to do anything if it means getting there first.

Because in Space, there are no prizes for coming second. It’s all or nothing: riches beyond measure, or dying alone in the dark.

Category: Space, Feminism

Published by Headline (out now)

Goldilocks by Laura Lam

The Earth is in environmental collapse. The future of humanity hangs in the balance. But a team of women are preparing to save it. Even if they’ll need to steal a spaceship to do it.

Despite increasing restrictions on the freedoms of women on Earth, Valerie Black is spearheading the first all-female mission to a planet in the Goldilocks Zone, where conditions are just right for human habitation.

The team is humanity’s last hope for survival, and Valerie has gathered the best women for the mission: an ace pilot who is one of the only astronauts ever to have gone to Mars; a brilliant engineer tasked with keeping the ship fully operational; and an experienced doctor to keep the crew alive. And then there’s Naomi Lovelace, Valerie’s surrogate daughter and the ship’s botanist, who has been waiting her whole life for an opportunity to step out of Valerie’s shadow and make a difference.

The problem is that they’re not the authorized crew, even if Valerie was the one to fully plan the voyage. When their mission is stolen from them, they steal the ship bound for the new planet.

But when things start going wrong on board, Naomi begins to suspect that someone is concealing a terrible secret — and realizes time for life on Earth may be running out faster than they feared . . .

Category: Quiet Horror, Jewish, Trans, LGBTQ+, Climate Fiction

Published by Stelliform Press (out now)

Read an essay by Sim

Depart, Depart! by Sim Kern

When an unprecedented hurricane devastates the city of Houston, Noah Mishner finds shelter in the Dallas Mavericks’ basketball arena. Though he finds community among other queer refugees, Noah fears his trans and Jewish identities put him at risk with certain capital-T Texans. His fears take form when he starts seeing visions of his great-grandfather Abe, who fled Nazi Germany as a boy. As the climate crisis intensifies and conditions in the shelter deteriorate, Abe’s ghost grows more powerful. Ultimately, Noah must decide whether he can trust his ancestor ⁠- and whether he’s willing to sacrifice his identity and community in order to survive.

Depart, Depart! grapples with intersections of social justice and climate change, asking readers to consider how they’ll react when the world changes in an instant. Who will we turn to? What will we take with us, and what will we have to leave behind? In our rapidly changing world, these are questions we grapple with. Focusing on finding and supporting community after disaster, Depart, Depart! is a story for these uncertain times. 

Category: Near future, Science fiction, Thriller

Published by Paper Road Press (out now)

You can find a downloadable worksheet/discussion guide for The Stone Weta here.

The Stone Wētā by Octavia Cade

“We talk about the tyranny of distance a lot in this country. That distance will not save us.”

With governments denying climate science, scientists from affected countries and organizations are forced to traffic data to ensure the preservation of research that could in turn preserve the world. From Antarctica, to the Chihuahuan Desert, to the International Space Station, a fragile network forms. A web of knowledge. Secret. But not secret enough.

When the cold war of data preservation turns bloody – and then explosive – an underground network of scientists, all working in isolation, must decide how much they are willing to risk for the truth. For themselves, their colleagues, and their future.

Murder on Antarctic ice. A university lecturer’s car, found abandoned on a desert road. And the first crewed mission to colonize Mars, isolated and vulnerable in the depths of space.

How far would you go to save the world?

Category: solarpunk, queer, science fiction

Published by Queen of Swords Press (out now)

Foxhunt by Rem Wigmore

In a lush future, plants have stripped most of the poison from the air and bounty hunters keep resource hoarders in check. Orfeus only wants to be a travelling singer, famed and adored. She has her share of secrets, but she’s no energy criminal, so why does a bounty hunter want her dead? Not just any bounty hunter but the Wolf, most fearsome of all the Order of the Vengeful Wild. Orfeus will call in every favor she has to find out, seeking answers while clinging to her pride and fending off the hunters of the Wild. But she isn’t the only one at risk: every misstep endangers the enemies she turns into allies, and the allies she brings into danger. There are worse monsters than the Wolf hiding in this new green world.

Category: Near future, Science fiction, Thriller, Dystopia

Published by Book Guild Publishing (out now)

Skyseed by Bill McGuire

Hacking the planet might be the last thing we ever do. Sometimes, when you’re in a hole, it’s best to stop digging. This applies as much to messing with the climate as anything else, except even more so. Jane Haliwell put her head in her hands. To tell the truth, she was still in shock. All the samples she had taken from inside and around the lab contained the enigmatic spheres in huge numbers. She had only had a brief time to think about the implications, but she was pretty sure already what was going on. For the first time in the history of the world, it was literally raining carbon. Long before it stopped, the guilty would pay, but so would the innocent……

Category: Near future, Science fiction, Artificial intelligence

Published by Odyssey Books (out now)

Read an interview with Michael

Court of the Grandchildren by Michael Muntisov and Greg Finlayson

Lily Miyashiro lives much as any twenty-nine-year-old in 2050’s America. Her job is busy, resettling climate refugees from the coastal cities. Then she gets a call. She has family she never knew about. And they want something from her she doesn’t want to give. Lily is one of the young; reliant on artificial intelligence and facing an uncertain future. David Moreland was a bigwig during the world’s golden era. He is old and almost forgotten…until he is drawn into the realm of the Climate Court. Now a whole generation seeks to condemn him. When Lily meets David, she is forced to confront events from her past that she would prefer to forget. Feeling trapped, she hires a young lawyer. Is it to defend David, or to deny the past? This 2050’s world seems comfortably like the present. But as hints of sinister differences begin to emerge, the stakes are raised beyond David’s fate.

Category: Survival, science fiction

Published by Thistledown Press (out now)

Fragment by Craig Russell

When avalanching glaciers thrust a massive Antarctic ice sheet into the open ocean, the captain of an atomic submarine must risk his vessel to rescue the survivors of a smashed polar research station; in Washington the President’s top advisor scrambles to spin the disaster to suit his master’s political aims; and meanwhile two intrepid newsmen sail south into the storm-lashed Drake Passage to discover the truth.

Onboard the submarine, as the colossal ice sheet begins its drift toward South America and the world begins to take notice, scientists uncover a secret that will threaten the future of America’s military power and change the fate of humanity.

And beneath the human chaos one brave Blue Whale fights for the survival of his species.

Category: Weird Fiction, Science Fiction, Near Future Fiction

Published by Titan Books (out now)

The Swimmers by Marian Womack

A claustrophobic, literary dystopia set in the hot, luscious landscape of Andalusia from the author of The Golden Key.

After the ravages of global warming, this is place of deep jungles, strange animals, and new taxonomies. Social inequality has ravaged society, now divided into surface dwellers and people who live in the Upper Settlement, a ring perched at the edge of the planet’s atmosphere. Within the surface dwellers, further divisions occur: the techies are old families, connected to the engineer tradition, builders of the Barrier, a huge wall that keeps the plastic-polluted Ocean away. They possess a much higher status than the beanies, their servants.

The novel opens after the Delivery Act has decreed all surface humans are ‘equal’. Narrated by Pearl, a young techie with a thread of shuvani blood, she navigates the complex social hierarchies and monstrous, ever-changing landscape. But a radical attack close to home forces her to question what she knew about herself and the world around her.

Categories: speculative, Sci-fi, apocalyptic, disaster, adventure, thriller

Published by Grand Central Publishing (out now)

The Effort by Claire Holroyde

When dark comet UD3 was spotted near Jupiter’s orbit, its existence was largely ignored. But to individuals who knew better — scientists like Benjamin Schwartz, manager of NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies — the threat this eight-kilometer comet posed to the survival of the human race was unthinkable. The 150-million-year reign of the dinosaurs ended when an asteroid impact generated more than a billiontimes the energy of an atomic bomb.

What would happen to Earth’s seven billion inhabitants if a similar event were allowed to occur?

Ben and his indomitable girlfriend Amy Kowalski fly to South America to assemble an international counteraction team, whose notable recruits include Love Mwangi, a UN interpreter and nomad scholar, and Zhen Liu, an extraordinary engineer from China’s national space agency. At the same time, on board a polar icebreaker life continues under the looming shadow of comet UD3. Jack Campbell, a photographer for National Geographic, works to capture the beauty of the Arctic before it is gone forever. Gustavo Wayãpi, a Nobel Laureate poet from Brazil, struggles to accept the recent murder of his beloved twin brother. And Maya Gutiérrez, an impassioned marine biologist is — quite unexpectedly — falling in love for the first time.

Together, these men and women must fight to survive in an unknown future with no rules and nothing to be taken for granted. They have two choices: neutralize the greatest threat the world has ever seen (preferably before mass hysteria hits or world leaders declare World War III) or come to terms with the annihilation of humanity itself.

Their mission is codenamed The Effort.

Category: Short stories, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror

Published by Parsec Ink (out now)

Triangulation: Extinction edited by Isaac E. Payne and Diane Turnshek

Can we bring a species back from extinction? Why are dragons not with us today? Would you condemn a whole species to die so you could live?

Explore these tales of species extinction.

Hold fast against the winds of death with the caretakers of the future. Decipher warnings from the past, the future, and worlds between worlds. Be more dangerous than the big game hunters. Doggedly track down the last specimen across three continents. Recognize messages aliens have left for us so we don’t continue on the destructive path we’re on. Are our successors already waiting in the wings?

Category: Speculative fiction, Science Fiction

Published by Owl House Books (out now)

Blue Mar by Francesca G. Varela

In the not-so-distant future, two sisters must navigate a world that is unraveling due to climate change. Wildfires blot out the sky, coastlines are being washed away by rising seas, and the Great Pacific Garbage Patch has been geo-engineered into an actual island called Blue Mar. When Laurel and Paloma visit their Great-Aunt in El Salvador, they find that things are far worse than in the U.S., so bad that many people are moving to Blue Mar to start a new life. As they search for their identity and their place in the world, Laurel and Paloma must decide whether to go to Blue Mar themselves, or whether to stay, reconnect with their culture, and fight to save the land of their ancestors.

Categories: Science fiction, queer romance

Published by Stelliform Press (Aug 2021)

After the Dragons by Cynthia Zhang

Dragons were fire and terror to the Western world, but in the East they brought life-giving rain…

Now, no longer hailed as gods and struggling in the overheated pollution of Beijing, only the Eastern dragons survive. As drought plagues the aquatic creatures, a mysterious disease—shaolong, or “burnt lung”—afflicts the city’s human inhabitants.

Jaded college student Xiang Kaifei scours Beijing streets for abandoned dragons, distracting himself from his diagnosis. Elijah Ahmed, a biracial American medical researcher, is drawn to Beijing by the memory of his grandmother and her death by shaolong. Interest in Beijing’s dragons leads Kai and Eli into an unlikely partnership. With the resources of Kai’s dragon rescue and Eli’s immunology research, can the pair find a cure for shaolong and safety for the dragons? Eli and Kai must confront old ghosts and hard truths if there is any hope for themselves or the dragons they love.

Category: LGBT, pirates, Science Fiction

Published by Bywater Books (out now)

Compass Rose by Anna Burke

Rose was born facing due north, with an inherent perception of cardinal points flowing through her veins. Her uncanny sense of direction earns her a coveted place among the Archipelago Fleet elite, but it also attracts the attention of Admiral Comita, who sends her on a secret mission deep into pirate territory. Accompanied by a ragtag crew of mercenaries and under the command of Miranda, a captain as bloodthirsty as she is alluring, Rose discovers the hard way that even the best sense of direction won’t be enough to keep her alive if she can’t learn to navigate something far more dangerous than the turbulent seas. Aboard the mercenary ship, Man o’ War, Rose learns quickly that trusting the wrong person can get you killed—and Miranda’s crew have no intention of making things easy for her—especially the Captain’s trusted first mate, Orca, who is as stubborn as she is brutal.

Category: Science Fiction, Adventure, Dystopia

Published by Unsung Stories (out now)

Always North by Vicki Jarrett

We all have to work to live, even if it is an illegal survey for oil in the rapidly melting arctic. Software engineer Isobel needs to eat like everyone, and that’s how she fell into the job that leads her to the most northerly place on our planet.

As part of a weathered crew of sailors, scientists and corporate officers she sails into the ice where their advanced software Proteus will map everything there is to know. A great icebreaker leads their way into the brutal environment, and the days grow longer, time ever more detached, as they pass through the endless white expanse of the ice.

But they are not alone. They have attracted the attention of seals, gulls and a hungry, dedicated polar bear. The journey to plunder one of the few remaining resources the planet has to offer must endure the ravages of the ice, the bear and time itself.

This is what we find when we travel – Always North – a profound meditation on our consumption of the world, and the perception of time.

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