Best new science fiction and fantasy books in August
- •Marina J. Lostetter’s "Noumenon" (Harper Voyager).Astrophysicist Reggie Straifer has discovered a strange star that holds the promise of alien life. He works tirelessly to prepare a mission that will take eons to travel to the star, knowing he’ll never get to see the fruits of his labor.
- •"The Stone Sky" (Orbit) is the finale of N.K. Jemisin’s much lauded Broken Earth trilogy.Our reluctant heroine, Essun, is still on the search for her missing daughter in the Stillness but feels responsible for the community that she saved — yet partially destroyed — with her orogeny, the ability to harness the energy of the Earth. Meanwhile, we finally get to know our narrator, the mysterious Stone Eater Hoa and how he came to be. Essun, Hoa and Essun’s daughter, Nassun, have each been shaped in different ways by the racist caste system that rules their world.
- •Curtis Craddock’s debut, "An Alchemy of Masques and Mirrors" (Tor).A classic fantasy that leans heavily on the action and political intrigue. It follows two points of view — that of a swashbuckling musketeer past his prime and a princess of ill repute. Jean-Claude saves the princess — who is born with only one finger on one of her hands and without the powers of her birthright — from death, and as punishment is assigned to be her guard until she comes of age.