Summer Reading from Sci-Fi & Fantasy Authors

Posted by Hayley on May 20, 2019
Where do you go for fantastical, must-read book recommendations? This summer we're turning to the experts of illusion, intrigue, and imagination—beloved authors of science fiction and fantasy!

We asked each writer: Which three books would you recommend to your readers this summer?

Browse their picks below and add what catches your eye to your Want to Read shelf.



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While her early books featured dragons fighting in the British Navy, Novik has since become the queen of retellings. She put her own spin on Beauty and the Beast in Uprooted, and then last year she reimagined Rumpelstiltskin in Spinning Silver.

Here are her summer reading picks:


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The world is not as it seems—in a Blake Crouch novel, at least. The bestselling novelist is famous for his mind-bending tales, including the adapted-for-television Wayward Pines series. His next novel, Recursion, is out June 11.

Here are his summer reading picks:


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After charming readers for more than a decade, bestselling writer Schwab won her first Goodreads Choice Award last year for Vengeful. It's the second book in her Villains series, a dark saga about would-be superheroes and supervillains.

Here are her summer reading picks:


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Kuang's debut novel, The Poppy War, is an epic military fantasy steeped in Chinese mythology and history. The series continues with The Dragon Republic, out August 6, as shaman Rin defies a god and an empress.

Here are her summer reading picks:


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Since winning the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Debut Author in 2014, Brown has created a grand space opera, his Red Rising Saga, about the price of power. The next installment in the series, Dark Age, hits bookshelves July 30.

Here are his summer reading picks:


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She's tackled zombies, faeries, and wayward children recently returned from the rabbit hole. The prolific author's latest fantasy novel, Middlegame, is now available. Read our interview with McGuire here.

Here are her summer reading picks:


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Often categorized as historical fantasy, Kay's books are full of familiar cities, political turmoil, and cultural change. His new book, A Brightness Long Ago, is no different, sweeping readers to a world that evokes early Renaissance Italy.

Here are his summer reading picks:


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Rosewater, the sci-fi thriller from psychiatrist-turned-author Thompson, is about a small town in Nigeria built around the edges of an alien biodome. The Rosewater Redemption, the conclusion to the trilogy, hits bookshelves October 22.

Here are his summer reading picks:


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From the neon-lit streets of a virtual world to an alchemist's lair in 17th-century London, a Stephenson novel can take you anywhere. His next book, the cyberpunk thriller Fall, or Dodge in Hell, hits bookshelves June 4.

Here are his summer reading picks:


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Sykes loves an outcast. The author of Tome of the Undergates, a fantasy full of mismatched adventurers, introduces another misfit hero—Sal the Cacophony, part-time mage, full-time vagrant—in his new book, Seven Blades in Black.

Here are his summer reading picks:


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This is a place of myths and legends, gods and outlaws. It's not our world, of course—it's Elan, the fantasy setting of Sullivan's popular books. Age of Legend, the next book in The Legends of the First Empire series, hits bookshelves on July 9.

Here are his summer reading picks:


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Henry doesn't want to ruin your childhood. She just adds horror elements to your favorite stories, from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland to Peter Pan. Her new novel, The Girl in Red, puts an apocalyptic twist on "Little Red Riding Hood."

Here are her summer reading picks:


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Space doesn't always have to be scary and full of black hole monsters—it can be fun, too! Chambers' The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet, the first in her Wayfarers series, is a rollicking sci-fi tale featuring a crew of lovable weirdos.

Here are her summer reading picks:


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Which recommendations caught your eye? Let's talk books in the comments!

Check out the complete guide to Summer Reading, including:
Summer Reading from Romance Authors
Summer Reading from Mystery & Thriller Authors
Summer Reading from YA Authors

Comments Showing 1-36 of 36 (36 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Andrew (new)

Andrew Sharp Thanks for putting this list together! Neal Stephenson is my favorite author and I love when he puts out these little recommendations - they allow me to appreciate both his work and other people's even more. In one article a while back he recommended Brazilian Adventure and the prose in that book just rocked my world, and I probably never would've come across it had he not recommended it. Would love to know the reasons behind these recommendations or what the authors liked about the books!


message 2: by Alondra (new)

Alondra Miller Ugh, I am so sick of this!! My TBR is already exploding....

*cries while adding more books*


message 3: by Alex (new)

Alex Davidson A S H L E Y ⚡️ wrote: "
Going to branch out of my genre and try Dark Matter
"


i loved dark matter definitely read wayward pines as well


message 4: by Navid (last edited May 23, 2019 09:11AM) (new)

Navid Thanks for these "Summer Reading" series. I enjoyed them so far!
Many great books in this one, but I liked The Owl Service more than the others...


message 5: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer A S H L E Y ⚡️ wrote: "
Going to branch out of my genre and try Dark Matter
"

Oooh! Hope you love it! One of my favorites from last year.


message 6: by MJ (new)

MJ (The Book Recluse) A S H L E Y ⚡️ wrote: "
Going to branch out of my genre and try Dark Matter
"


Dark Matter was amazing. Honestly, I have loved all of his books I have tried so far.


message 7: by Sesshomaru47 (new)

Sesshomaru47 It's not summer....


message 8: by Michael (new)

Michael Davison Sesshomaru47 wrote: "It's not summer...."

Wow great addition to the conversation!


message 9: by Emma (new)

Emma And the Want to Read list keeps growing... excited to give some of these recommendations a go. I'm currently reading and enjoying Circe.


message 10: by Mark (new)

Mark Hanson A S H L E Y ⚡️ wrote: "
Going to branch out of my genre and try Dark Matter
"


You won't be sorry (If you like a good nail biting-page turner with unexpected ending)! One of my all time favorites!


message 11: by Meagen (new)

Meagen Emma wrote: "And the Want to Read list keeps growing... excited to give some of these recommendations a go. I'm currently reading and enjoying Circe."

I loved Circe I hope you enjoy it as much I did!!


message 12: by Pinkbaebypink (new)

Pinkbaebypink i really like fantasy so thank you for the recommendations. Im only reading ebooks cause my local bookstores su- anyways, i cant get any physical copies :( i wish my country provided more bookstores


message 13: by Kelsey (new)

Kelsey Borgal I decided to go out of my genre comfort after I finished watching the Game of Thrones series on HBO and decided to read the books and ive been reading romance novels for the past four years.A Game of Thrones


message 14: by Kelsey (new)

Kelsey Borgal A S H L E Y ⚡️ wrote: "
Going to branch out of my genre and try Dark Matter
"


I decided to go out of my genre comfort after I finished watching the Game of Thrones series on HBO and decided to read the books and ive been reading romance novels for the past four years. Im on page 328 of 848 I believe and I tell you if I wasn't a mother and have a baby to take care of I wouldn't be able to put the book down. A Game of Thrones


message 15: by Holly (new)

Holly Kelsey wrote: "I decided to go out of my genre comfort after I finished watching the Game of Thrones series on HBO and decided to read the books and ive been reading romance novels for the past four years.[book:A..."

Enjoy! The Song of Ice & Fire series is compelling stuff. I quit watching the show in Season 5; but I just finished a buddy read of the entire series. I read the books years ago, so it was fun to read through a second time; I picked up on a lot of foreshadowing and clues that I missed the first time around.


message 16: by Teresa Inskip (new)

Teresa Inskip Andrew wrote: "Thanks for putting this list together! Neal Stephenson is my favorite author and I love when he puts out these little recommendations - they allow me to appreciate both his work and other people's ..."

Can't say that Stephenson is my favorite authors but he is by far one of the most entertaining ones and I am constantly on the lookout for his next publishing date :)


message 17: by Teresa Inskip (new)

Teresa Inskip MJ wrote: "A S H L E Y ⚡️ wrote: "
Going to branch out of my genre and try Dark Matter
"

Dark Matter was amazing. Honestly, I have loved all of his books I have tried so far."


Totally agree, great book.


message 18: by Mishwishy (new)

Mishwishy This is amazing. Thanks for the list !


message 19: by Whispring (new)

Whispring Alondra wrote: "Ugh, I am so sick of this!! My TBR is already exploding....

*cries while adding more books*"


I feel ya on this lol


message 20: by Victoria (new)

Victoria Interesting list, some things I'd heard of but didn't bother to look up.


message 21: by Lateef (new)

Lateef Good recommendations.


message 22: by Bayden (new)

Bayden Hammond Dark Matter by Blake Crouch was the most fun I’ve had with a novel in a long time. Terrific stuff!


message 23: by Nick (new)

Nick Lanzetta I asked Blake Crouch on him Reddit AMA yesterday and he is currently reading Fall by Neal Stephenson and Cari Mora by Thomas Harris! It's awesome to see what authors are reading


message 24: by Emily (new)

Emily McDonald If you like Pines and Dark Matter, Recursion will blow you away


message 25: by Mike (new)

Mike Thanks for putting this post together. I love seeing what some of my favorite authors are reading and recommending. I can clearly see Mount TBR growing another peak already!!


message 26: by Kim (new)

Kim It is cool to see so many authors recommending Ursula K. Le Guin's books! I am new to the sci fi genre and the author of the book I am currently reading, First of Their Kind, has mentioned her as an inspiration to his writing as well!

Definitely someone to check out I guess haha


message 27: by Steven (new)

Steven R Emily wrote: "If you like Pines and Dark Matter, Recursion will blow you away"

I agree Recursion is an excellent and thrilling read.


message 28: by F.J. (last edited Jul 02, 2019 07:47AM) (new)

F.J. Commelin Thanks for the list. I love Ursula LeGuin and don't know this one yet


message 29: by Banshee (new)

Banshee Everything that Seanan McGuire recommends goes automatically to my to-read shelf. Thanks for the list!


message 30: by Istaara (new)

Istaara Pinkbaebypink wrote: "i really like fantasy so thank you for the recommendations. Im only reading ebooks cause my local bookstores su- anyways, i cant get any physical copies :( i wish my country provided more bookstores"

SAAME! ITS TRAGIC.


message 31: by Matt (new)

Matt Harper I think of myself as pretty picky when it comes to what I read, and I still ended up adding several titles to my list. Great!


message 32: by Shannon (new)

Shannon Amazing recommendations! I added so many to my “to read” pile that I’ve never heard of before. Excited to get started!


message 33: by Eric (new)

Eric McDowell Has anyone here read The Overstory by Richard Powers? I'm thinking of making it my next choice.


message 34: by Erin (new)

Erin Llanes Andrew wrote: "Thanks for putting this list together! Neal Stephenson is my favorite author and I love when he puts out these little recommendations - they allow me to appreciate both his work and other people's ..."

And now I just added it to my list! Thanks! Stories set in & about the Amazon are a personal favorite.


message 35: by Pat (new)

Pat Bryan Despite Circe being one of my all time favourite books..in 70 years of reading..anthologies still the way to go for me.Just ordered New Voices in SciFi,Mythic Dreams and Exhalations.Would really like an Ultimate list of sci-fi/dark fantasy anthologies


message 36: by H.C. (new)

H.C. Harrington The Poppy War was the most disappointing book I read recently. The story starts out interesting and then stalls out enough to want to put it down. She lifts things directly from Chinese history for her "fantasy world" even the EXACT names of characters. Generals in her story have the same name as the most famous Chinese generals in history, etc. It's like naming your western fantasy heros "King Arthur" and the wizard "Merlin". It only works because the English reading crowd is unfamiliar with Asia history.


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