10 New Sci-Fi And Fantasy Books To Explore This Summer

Vacation season, ahoy! If you’re stuck at home this summer, you can always set off to faraway fictional lands with a new science-fiction or fantasy novel. Luckily, there are plenty to choose from. Below, I picked the best of ‘em.

The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro

The breath of an aging dragon casts a spell on a row of Arthurian villages, and their residents can’t seem to recall the details of their own history. In an attempt to relearn their past and find their missing son, an old couple sets off on a journey where they run into valiant knights, mad dogs and a mysterious boatman who carries the sick and dying to a peaceful, nearby island. Less science-fiction oriented than Ishiguro’s past books, the novel nevertheless wields fantastical elements on a quest to understand the function of collective, societal memories.

Read our interview with Kazuo Ishiguro here.

Voices in the Night by Steven Millhauser

Like Ishiguro’s novel, Millhauser’s short stories aren’t squarely science fiction, but they are peopled with phantoms, mermaids and other mythical creatures. Also like Ishiguro, Millhauser is attempting to characterize hard-to-define social phenomena by personifying town gossip and rituals. A man buys a strange surface cleaner from a door-to-door salesman and soon becomes transfixed with his reflection when viewed through newly polished mirrors. A mermaid washes ashore in a small town, sparking a new fashion trend among citizens. Millhauser’s wry humor adds a layer of cheeky self-awareness to the “X-Files”-like events he relates.

Read our review of Voices in the Night here.

Speak by Louisa Hall

Of Alan Turing’s myriad contributions to computer science, his test for differentiating between human speakers and computers programmed to speak like humans is probably discussed the most. It’s a fun philosophical question: what about our use of language makes us human? And, if a computer —> Read More