Here's a whole pile of sci-fi and fantasy books for the rest of February

19 new titles for your TBR

Here's a whole pile of sci-fi and fantasy books for the rest of February
Image: Andrew Liptak

I hope that you've had a good week: here's the second book list for the month of February! It turned out to be something of a packed month, with a lot of variety and some interesting-looking books hitting shelves before the month turns over into March.

In case you missed it, here's the first book list of the month:

11 new sci-fi and fantasy novels to read this February
A new pile for your TBR

You can also check out past lists by hitting the Book List tag. As always, links to are affiliates, and any purchases you make might result in a small commission to Transfer Orbit, which helps offset the hosting and distribution costs of this newsletter. I'd also invite you to sign up as a supporting member, which gets you some additional posts in your inbox as well as access to the vibrant TO Slack channel. Your support helps keep this newsletter running!

Here are 19 new SF/F books hitting stores over the rest of February for you to check out:

The Frame-Up by Gwenda Bond (February 13th)

A former thief named Dani Poissant was once at the top of the art theft world: she and her mother were renowned for pulling off impossible jobs, with the help of a bit of magic, something that the magical world has kept secret from the rest of us. But a decade ago, Dani had a falling out with her crew, and turned in her mother.

Years later, she's approached for a new job that only she and her former colleagues can undertake, and it's got a big enough payoff that it's worth reconciling with her mother and friends. The only problem? They have a week to do it, and there's more to the job than meets the eye.

Dune: Exposures by Josh Brolin, photographs by Greig Fraser (February 13th)

Dune: Part 2 debuts in theaters on March 1st, and in advance of that, one of the film's stars, Josh Brolin (who plays Gurney Halleck) explores the production of the film and its predecessor through the photographs of set photographer Greig Fraser.

Fathomfolk by Eliza Chang (February 27th)

The half-submerged city of Tiankawi has been an oasis of calm in a chaotic world, but trouble is brewing within its limits. The humans who live in the city have an uneasy relationship with the fathomfolk – the sirens, seawitches, kelpies and kappas – who live in the waters below, who are tired of the pollution that's making their home unlivable.

Mira is a half-siren border guard who's recently been promoted, and is hoping that she'll be able to help her people in her new position. But she has trouble gaining the trust of her human counterparts, and when Nami, a fathomfolk princess is exiled to the city, that makes her job all the more harder. Tensions escalate after an attack during a city festival, prompting both Mira and Nami to question whether the system is worth upholding.

Kindling by Traci Chee (February 27th)

The world experienced a devastating war, one in which both sides fought using kindlings: magical warriors who could wield devastating power against their opponents – at great cost to their own lives. Now that the war is over, the kindlings who have survived are trying to figure out what to do with their lives: their magical powers are banned and they're haunted by the ordeal they went through.

While the war has ended, the countryside is still chaotic, and seven kindlings step up to help save a village that's come under siege. They'll have to work together and to work through their past trauma in order to save those around them, and the people under their care.

Faith of Dawn by Kristin Dearborn (February 15th)

Kristin's a good friend of mine, and I'm eager to check out her latest book: Faith of Dawn. A PI named Amanda Lane is working to rebuild her life after losing her leg during a tour of duty in Afghanistan and coping with the trauma she endured. Returning to the small town where she grew up in Florida was supposed, she decides to pick up a cold case involving the disappearance of a pair of college students. She hopes that if she can find them, she'll be able to reconnect with her estranged husband.

The case takes her into the heart of the Ocala National Forest, where a horrifying secret involving her childhood rears its ugly head, and she'll have to confront some horrors (human and nonhuman) in order to survive.

Vangie's Ghosts by Paul Di Filippo (February 20th)

Unbeknownst to her foster parents, three-year-old Vangie has a special power: she can see alternate versions of herself from infinite parallel universes. When she's injured after a tornado destroys her home, Vangie finds herself in another reality where she survived, but her foster parents didn't.

This sets her on a path of jumping between realities and timelines to try and find a better life – and to escape from those who'd attempt to exploit her powers. When the "Council" of Vangies appears and warns her about a new threat to the multiverse: a mysterious man known as Massive.

Publishers Weekly says "Di Filippo gleefully pursues the imaginative range of his tale’s premise, recasting his key characters with new personas and aptitudes as Vangie puts them through shifting realities."

The Bezzle by Cory Doctorow (February 20th)

Cory Doctorow follows up last year's Red Team Blues with a new adventure following Martin Hench, a freelance forensic accountant who's spent his entire career uncovering money from the folks who try to keep it hidden. When he accidentally upends a scheme while on vacation at Catalina Island, he hasn't realized that he's kicked a hornet's nest.

This particular scheme involves a privatized prison system that the ultra-wealthy has been using to extract as much money as they can from the government and the prisoners they have in custody. With a friend behind bars, it's up to Hench to try and uncover the scheme and bring it crashing down.

Island Witch by Amanda Jayatissa (February 20th)

Amara Akki's father, the village Capuwa or demon priest, was once respected by their neighbors, only to fall on hard times after British colonial rule. While they've fallen out of favor, the village still called on them for help.

But when a series of men have gone missing in the jungles in a string of mysterious attacks, their neighbors have accused her father of carrying out the attacks. To try and clear his name, Amara has been trying to figure out who's behind the attacks, and is plagued by foreboding dreams that spell darker times ahead and which might help her locate the culprit.

Star Trek: Firewall by David Mack (February 27th)

Paramount Plus's Star Trek: Picard series might have come to an end, but the story is still playing out in novel form. David Mack's latest is Firewall: a prequel to the series, which follows Seven of Nine after the USS Voyager returned from the Delta Quadrant.

She's been rejected for a position in Starfleet, and has instead found a place with the Fenris Rangers, an interstellar rogue law enforcement outfit. While it seems like a good fit, she has to leave everything she's ever known behind, including her friendship with Admiral Kathryn Janeway.

The Forgotten Beasts of Eld: 50th Anniversary Special Edition by Patricia A. McKillip (February 29th)

In 1974, Patricia A. McKillip published The Forgotten Beasts of Eld, which went on to earn the World Fantasy Award for Best Novel. Tachyon Publications is releasing a hardcover 50th anniversary edition that features new illustrations from Stephanie Law and an introduction by Gail Carriger.

The novel follows Sybel, an heiress who lives along on a mountain, attended to only by a plethora of magical beasts. When a mysterious soldier named Coren arrives with an infant named Tamlorn, she's tasked with raising and loving him. When he returns more than a decade later to collect the child, she finds her world upended.

The Butcher of the Forest by Premee Mohamed (February 27th)

In this new fantasy novella from Premee Mohamed, we're introduced to a magical, forested land on the border of the kingdom of a malevolent Emperor. Only one person has ever survived the forest, Veris Thorn, who had entered once before. When the Emperor's children, Eleonor and Aram, go missing in the forest, the ruler gives Veris a day to find them, or he'll kill her family.

Redsight by Meredith Mooring (February 27th)

A priestess named Korinna is trying to stay under the radar. She's the weakest member of her order – whose members can manipulate space time – and she's resolved to stay aboard the Navitas and out of trouble.

But when she's named the navigator onboard an Imperium ship, she discovers that everything she knows about herself is a lie: she's brimming with power and is intended to be used as a pawn and weapon. When her ship is attacked by a pirate with a vendetta against the Imperium, she finds that she has a choice in her destiny and with her former masters close behind her, she has to figure out which side she'll pick.

Gennarose Nethercott (a fellow Vermonter!) has a new collection of 14 dark fairy tales that get to the heart of darkness that lurks within us. These stories range from teenagers finding a weird roadside attraction to a zombie rooster to a woman who discovers that her body is changing according to her boyfriend's whims.

Kirkus Reviews gave the book a starred review, saying "Teenage (and adult) heartbreak, class anxiety, societal cruelty against those who are different, and the everyday losses of women trying desperately to conform to patriarchal standards are all explored here with great sensitivity and almost always a surprising twist."

Exit Black by Joe Pitkin (February 20th)

In this space thriller, Joe Pitkin takes us up to the Imperium, a former research laboratory in orbit that's since been converted into a space hotel for Earth's wealthiest. The first batch of tourists have just arrived, and along with them are members of a terror group known as the Reckoners. They're intent on upending the economic status quo, and the ultra-wealthy tourists are ripe targets. One of the station's researchers, Dr. Chloe Bonilla, is both frustrated by the new arrivals and their only hope for survival.

Publishers Weekly says "through rotating perspectives Pitkin punctuates the action with intriguing commentary on death, animal instincts, and the wealth gap...Fans of suspenseful hard science fiction will revel in every detail.

Tomorrow's Children by Daniel Polansky (February 27th)

Daniel Polansky is one of those authors that I've been meaning to read for years: I have his book Low Town on my longer to-read list. This new story from him is set in Manhattan, which has been cut off from the mainland for generations by a mysterious, toxic cloud. The remaining mutated inhabitants have held on to their lives in the rubble, with a delicate power balance keeping everyone in check. But when the first tourist in centuries arrives, their presence threatens to upend the entire system.

Grimdark Magazine says "Full of Polansky’s trademark snark and character bitterness and snappy dialogue, with excellent twists and turns and imagination in spades, Tomorrow’s Children is well worth the read."

River Mumma by Zalika Reid-Benta (February 20th)

A former student named Alicia has been trying to figure out what to do with her life after grad school when she's confronted by River Mumma, the Jamaican water deity, who presents her with a task: she has a day to search her home city of Toronto to locate a comb that has gone missing, with devastating consequences if it isn't found.

Alicia is at a loss for why she's been chosen, but along with her coworkers Heaven and Mars have, she begins to search the city. Along the way, they're chased by malevolent spirits and others, realizing along the way that their connections to one another might be their only hope for saving the city.

Publishers Weekly gave the book a starred review, saying "Into this simple plot are mixed elements from every stratum of a young adult’s life, including heritage, family, neighborhood, work, school, pop culture, and more. It’s a rich and sometimes even dizzying brew that marks the emergence of a powerful new voice."

Moon of the Turning Leaves by Waubgeshig Rice (February 27th)

A couple of years ago, I picked up Waubgeshig Rice's Moon of the Crusted Snow, an intriguing post-apocalyptic novel set in an Anishinaabe community in Canada that has to deal with the aftermath of a massive power outage that cuts them off from the rest of civilization.

This new book is set in the same world, but stands on its own. 12 years after the lights went out and society collapsed, the Anishinaabe community has figured out how to survive, but with their food sources drying up, they need to find a new place to live. Evan Whitesky leads an expedition south to try and bring his people back to their original homeland near the Great Lakes, and as they venture into the wilderness, they'll face new dangers: other survivors.

Rice earned a starred review from Publishers Weekly, which says "Rice puts a refreshing, Indigenous perspective on postapocalyptic tropes, folding in both nostalgia for a world fading away and hope for a different future from a people who have survived similar harsh conditions in the past."

The History of Middle-earth Box Set #1 by Christopher Tolkien and J.R.R. Tolkien (February 6th)

Harper Collins and the Tolkien Estate have been re-releasing some of Tolkien's classic works in recent years, and the latest endeavor is a series of new boxed sets called The History of Middle-earth. The first box came out earlier this month, and includes four handsome hardcovers of The Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales, The Book of Lost Tales Part 1, and The Book of Lost Tales Part 2.

The publisher is releasing three additional boxed sets over the course of the year: #2 comes out in May and includes The Lays of Beleriand, The Shaping of Middle-earth, and The Lost Road, #3 will hit stores in July with The Return of the Shadow, The Treason of Isengard, The War of the Ring, and Sauron Defeated, and the final one will be out in September and will include Morgoth's Ring, The War of the Jewels, The Peoples of Middle-earth, and The History of Middle-earth Index

The Book of Ile-Rien by Martha Wells (February 27th)

Martha Wells repackages two of her books from the 1990s, Element of Fire and Death of the Necromancer, into a new and updated volume: The Book of Ile-Rien. In the first story, the kingdom of Ile-Rien has come under siege from magical threats, and Kade, an illegitimate sister to King Roland, has reappeared, bringing trouble and mystery around her intentions, and it's up to the Captain of the Queen's Guard, Thomas Boniface, to protect the kingdom.

In the second, Nicholas Valiarde is a renowned thief in the kingdom of Ile-Rien, using his ill-gotten gains to fuel a campaign of vengeance, and ends up embroiled in a plot involving dark magic and an ancient evil.

That's it for now: thanks as always for reading! Let me know what catches your eye, and what you're reading right now.

Stay tuned in the next week or so: I've got a couple of posts brewing for your inbox.