Unbound Worlds on the Best Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books of February 2018

Unbound Worlds on the Best Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books of February 2018

Moonshine Jasmine Gower-small Outer Earth Rod Boffard-small Starfire Memory's Blade-small

I used to take pride in keeping tabs on the releases from all the major publishers. Nowadays I’m happy if I can putter over to the bookstore once a month. What brought on this tide of sloth? The fact that so many others do it vastly better than I do.

Take Matt Staggs at Unbound Worlds for example. His recent article on the Best Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books of February 2018 includes no less than 33 titles, from Myke Cole, R.A. Salvatore, Laura Bickle, Jon Sprunk, W. Michael Gear, Jo Walton, Kelly Barnhill, William C. Dietz, John Kessel, Karin Tidbeck, Gini Koch, and many others. That’s more than a book a day! If you need more guidance than that in a short month like February, God help you.

Here’s a few of the highlights from Matt’s list, starting with the debut novel from Jasmine Gower, set in an alternative Chicago during Prohibition where magic, not alcohol, is the banned substance.

Moonshine by Jasmine Gower (Angry Robot, 320 pages, $9.99/$6.99 digital, February 6, 2018)

In the flourishing metropolis of Soot City (a fantastical version of 1920s Chicago), progressive ideals reign and the old ways of magic and liquid mana are forbidden. Daisy Dell is a Modern Girl – stylish, educated and independent – keen to establish herself in the city but reluctant to give up the taboo magic inherited from her grandmother. Her new job takes her to unexpected places, and she gets more attention than she had hoped for. When bounty hunters start combing the city for magicians, Daisy must decide whether to stay with her new employer – even if it means revealing the grim source of her dazzling powers.

Read more details at the Barnes & Noble Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog, and read the complete first chapter here.

Next up is a huge omnibus volume (1,024 pages!) containing a complete trilogy (Tracer, Zero-G, Impact) from Rob Boffard, author of the upcoming SF novel Adrift (Orbit, June).

Outer Earth by Rob Boffard (Orbit, 1024 pages, $17.99/$11.99 digital, February 6, 2018)

Outer Earth is a huge space station orbiting the ruins of our planet. Dirty, overcrowded and inescapable, it’s humanity’s last refuge . . . and possibly its final resting place. For there are dark forces at work on the station: forces that seek to unleash chaos. If they succeed, there will be nowhere left to run.

Spencer Ellsworth’s Starfire space opera trilogy from Tor.com is a gritty, adult science-fiction adventure, which opened with A Red Peace (Aug 22, 2017) and Shadow Sun Seven (Nov 28, 2017). It concludes this month with Starfire: Memory’s Blade.

Starfire: Memory’s Blade by Spencer Ellsworth (Tor.com, 304 pages, $16.99/$4.99 digital, February 27, 2018)

At the heart of the Dark Zone, a duel for the universe rages. In an ancient Jorian temple, Jaqi faces John Starfire, the new ruler of the Empire. He has set all the worlds aflame in his quest to destroy humankind. Jaqi has sworn to stop him. Problem is, Jaqi isn’t much of a fighter. Meanwhile, the sun-eating cosmic spiders, the Shir, have moved out of the Dark Zone and are consuming the galaxy. Araskar knows that he must hold them back, but to do that, he has to give himself over to the Resistance, under the command of John Starfire’s wife. And she wants him dead more than she wants the stars to live. If Jaqi and Araskar can fight their way out, they can use a secret at the heart of the Dark Zone to free the galaxy, and end John Starfire’s new tyranny. They lose, and every star in the sky will go dark.

Read the complete article at Unbound Worlds.

Matt Staggs’ previous articles include:

Unbound Worlds on a Century of Sword and Planet
Unbound Worlds on the Best Sci-fi and Fantasy Books of December 2017
Unbound Worlds on 7 Great Occult Detectives

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