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Thursday, December 7, 2023

9 of the Best New Science Fiction and Fantasy Books to Read in March 2023

There are so many wonderful new science fiction and fantasy books to read in March 2023. The science fiction and fantasy novels and novellas have not come to play this month.

They say March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb. The month is in-between the roar of winter and the bleat of spring. I cannot help but place these new releases in the same category. This exciting mix of new science fiction and fantasy novels will help you finish off the worst of the winter.

First and foremost: excellent cover designs all around. The colors, fonts, and overall designs are chef’s kiss, no-notes level brilliant. Let me tell you, I greatly appreciate the latest developments in cover design. I love the string of bright colors and richly painted images. You really cannot ask for more.

Also, this batch of science fiction and fantasy books has excellent plots. We have more than one kingdom that needs saving. There is a community in desperate need of water. Our heroes are running into and away from danger depending on the circumstances. Then there’s a planet with a mystery and some sapphic investigators who are taking on the case. Plus, who doesn’t love a good paranormal, cryptid, monster, fairy, and/or god-filled romance?

That is to say, we all have a lot of new science fiction and fantasy books to read in March. My list is just one place to start.

1. Backpacking Through Bedlam by Seanan Mcguire

March 7, 2023

The 12th installment in the Incryptid series is not for the faint of heart or for readers unfamiliar with the Price family of American cryptozoologists. As a dimension-hopping wife, Alice Price-Healy has not had a lot of time to think about what she wanted from the future once she found her husband, Thomas. Of course, no one believed she would find him after 50 years, but she did. Now Alice, Thomas, and his adoptive daughter Sally are going home. But things at home are more complicated than she could’ve imagined, and she will have to save her family if she wants to finally live a mostly regular life.

2. Conquer the Kingdom by Jennifer Estep Book Cover

March 7, 2023

Princess Gemma Ripley faces the hardest fight of her life in the third and final novel in the Gargoyle Queen trilogy. She might be the best spy, mind magier, and gargoyle rider in her kingdom, but surviving the gladiatorial tournament will take everything she has. Plus, she is more vulnerable than ever with her new relationship with Prince Leonidas Morricone. Even though time and time again, he’s proven he will support her above all else, Leo will always be a prince from a rival country. But if she doesn’t want her kingdom to fall, she will have to face internal and external threats to its stability and come out on top.

3. The Foxglove King by Hannah Whitten

March 7, 2023

When an illicit magic runner is caught by the kingdom’s warrior monks, she is given the choice to help the King discover why villages are dying or face her execution — and she chooses to live. Up to now, Lore has known enough about death magic to keep herself hidden, fed, and secure from the cult that threatened her life a decade ago, but her knowledge might not be a match for the danger she will encounter to meet the King’s demands. Fans of For the Wolf will be excited for the release of the first book in The Nightshade Kingdom series, which promises epic love, deadly magic, and even deadlier stakes.

4. The Mimicking of Known Successes by Malka Older

March 7, 2023

If you want a new sapphic sci-fi romance novella set in space, boy do I have the perfect book for you. Mossa investigates a man who goes missing on Jupiter, only to discover she needs the help of a scholar of earth’s old ecosystems — and that scholar happens to be her ex-girlfriend, Pleiti. If she wants to find out what really happened, Mossa will have to work with Pleiti in a strictly professional capacity. In the heat of their investigation, they discover secrets that could change the fate of the Earth and everyone who calls it home. Now, it is up to them to fix it, at all costs.

5. The Faithless by C.L. Clark

March 7, 2023

The second novel in the Magic of the Lost trilogy asks what happens after a rebellion succeeds. Luca knows she is the rightful Balladairan queen, so when her uncle demands she undergoes a “Trial of Competence,” she says yes. Touraine is coming to terms with the reality that while she successfully managed Qazal’s rebellion, she is not well equipped to manage the new government. As a former soldier and princess, now hopeful ruler and queen, Touraine and Luca must continue to work together if they want to successfully finish what they started by reclaiming the throne and toppling the remains of the empire they shattered.

6. Bitter Medicine by Mia Tsai

March 14, 2023

This urban fantasy debut inspired by the Chinese fantasy genre xianxia follows a descendant of the Chinese god of medicine, Elle, who falls in love with Luc, her half-elven client. Elle was supposed to be a doctor, but to hide from her deadly younger brother, she is working as a magical calligrapher at a fairy temp agency. When Elle saves the agency’s top security agent, she finds herself involved with his assignment tracking down her younger brother and trying not to fall helplessly in love in the process. When I tell you I saw this cover and audibly squealed loud enough to bother people on the Metro I am in no way exaggerating. You just gotta get it.

7. The Lies of the Ajungo by Moses Ose Utomi

March 21, 2023

Tutu is facing the same thing everyone does when they turn 13 in the City of Lies; his tongue will be cut out so the Ajungo Empire will continue to provide them water. But his dehydrated mother will not survive without water until his birthday, so he risks his life retrieving water from the desert. Moses Ose Utomi’s debut high fantasy novella asks us to reconsider what we are willing to face to save the ones we love.

8. Flux by Jinwoo Chong

March 21, 2023

Who doesn’t want a queer sci-fi time-travel detective novel? Bo, Brandon, and Blue are faced with what it means to change time. Bo is an 8-year-old boy dealing with the death of his mother. Brandon is a 28-year-old office worker navigating a new position at an office he can’t quite remember working in. Blue is a 48-year-old participant in a difficult exposé on the bioelectric tech startup that almost killed him. Their lives are inextricably linked in this speculative novel that considers the role Asian identity plays in a version of American society that has discovered time travel.

9. Lokis Ring by Stina Leicht

March 28, 2023

When a captain receives a distress call from her AI, Ri, she convinces her crew to make a dangerous intergalactic trek to a deadly solar system to save her. Gita Chithra values Ri’s life and so she is willing to dodge a mysterious contagion and disturbing encounters as she attempts her rescue, but then they get stuck too. Now they have to rely on the help of an old friend to free themselves and Ri or risk death. Set in the same universe as Persephone Station, Leicht offers an adventure where an older queer crew will risk it all to save the ones they

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