Cedar is four months pregnant when orders go out asking all pregnant women to turn themselves in amid reports that evolution is running in reverse.
George Washington Black, known as “Wash,” is born enslaved on a Barbados sugar plantation where cruelty is the norm. When his master’s brother, Titch, arrives and chooses Wash to serve him, Wash is initially terrified; but the eccentric brother turns out to be a naturalist and abolitionist who takes Wash under his wing.
A masterful, modern take on Beowulf.
This is an epic of (literally) Greek proportions, as it concerns a group of gods and their godling children as they love and fight among themselves and their human creations.
So Lucky begins with Mara Tagarelli, the successful leader of an AIDS foundation, saying farewell to her wife, who is leaving for another woman.
Someone is cutting scenes from a creepy homemade movie into the rentals from the Video Hut.
The third and final book in Jemisin’s Broken Earth trilogy focuses on Essun’s daughter—who has inherited her mother’s extraordinary abilities but with little of the training.
The second book in Jemisin’s Broken Earth series continues the story of Essun, now trying to survive and find her daughter during what may be the last season of the world.
Space opera meets body horror in a universe without men.
There are only bits and pieces of magic in this book—a talking fish, a witch who carries a cat’s bone—but somehow the entire book is magical.
This collection of short stories, many written very early in Octavia Butler’s career, explore a number of themes that recur throughout her novels: societal disintegration, human/alien couplings, and the ways humans may need to evolve in order to survive as a species.
This book has more twists and turns than an actual labyrinth, and short of a few more reads and some dedicated notetaking, I doubt I could speak clearly to what exactly happens between its covers.
Much of Butler’s fiction looks to the future. But Kindred is marked by a fascinating look back.
In this Victorian novel, Cora Seagrave’s abusive husband has died, leaving her and her son the best possible gifts: freedom and wealth.
This sequal to Parable of the Sower follows Lauren Olamina and her Earthseed community as it grows—and then is viciously assaulted.
Lauren Olamina lives in a walled neighborhood in Southern California; it’s dangerous to venture beyond the walls, where there’s little work, less food, and no law.
Turner’s The Sea and Summer takes place in far future Australia, where the greenhouse effect has led to eternal summers and encroaching sea level.
The most talked-about feature of Whitehead’s novel of the underground railroad is the railroad itself: reimagined as an actual railroad, with tunnels and tracks and steam engines and crazed conductors, it makes for stunning, cinematic imagery.
It’s a refrain of late to say that this—Margaret Atwood’s most famous book, now thirty-one years old—is suddenly relevant again.
The first book of “The Broken Earth” trilogy, The Fifth Season tells of a world routinely undone by huge, world ending earthquakes.