The end of the year is upon us, and so are best-of book lists! You’ll find my best-of list for SYFY WIRE and Fangrrls right here in a couple of weeks, but I wanted to make sure I didn’t forget December releases. After all, these often get overlooked in the rush to publish year-end lists. There are some fun books releasing this December — two new Star Wars books (but not a movie novelization — for whatever reason, the book version of The Last Jedi isn’t coming out until March), the next book in The Expanse series, and more. You’ll have some awesome binge-worthy reading for the holidays if you pick up the books on this list.
Canto Bight - Saladin Ahmed, Rae Carson, Mira Grant, and John Jackson Miller (December 5)
Another month, another Star Wars book, but this one is special for many reasons. First, it’s got four awesome authors tied to it. Second, it comes out the same month that The Last Jedi does! Canto Bight is a city that we haven’t encountered yet but are soon to see in the movie. The book contains four short stories that take place over the course of one night in the casino city. Look, it’s Star Wars. I mean, I’d read it with zero descriptions, but I’m pretty hyped for anything that ties into the new movie.
The Forever Ship - Francesca Haig (December 5)
The final book in Francesca Haig’s The Fire Sermon trilogy releases this month, and it’s a doozy. In this world, set in a distant dystopian future, all people are born as twins. One twin is an Omega, with a mutation, and these people are oppressed by the Alphas, who are “perfect.” There’s just one catch: When one twin dies, so does the other. It’s a brutal world, and I can’t wait to dive into it and see how this story turns out.
Persepolis Rising - James S.A. Corey (December 5)
If you were to ask me what the best SFF series currently being written was, Corey’s The Expanse series would be pretty high on that list. It’s incredible just how good it is, and how Corey (the writing team of Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck) keeps things fresh and new with every installment. If you haven’t read the series, you can start with Leviathan Wakes. The incredible TV show The Expanse, which wrapped its second season earlier this year, is based on this series of books.
The Girl in the Tower - Katherine Arden (December 5)
Katherine Arden’s debut novel The Bear and the Nightingale was a big success, and now she’s back with the follow-up (and second in the trilogy), The Girl in the Tower. The first book centers on Vasilisa, who lives on the edge of the Russian wilderness, where winter takes up most of the year. To keep themselves entertained, she and her siblings listened to their nurse’s fairy tales. But it turns out there might be more truth to these fantastical stories than they realized, and Vasya in particular may have more power than she knows.
God’s Last Breath - Sam Sykes (December 5)
If you don’t follow Sam Sykes on Twitter, you’re missing out. If you do, and you appreciate his sense of humor on the social network, then I hope you’ve picked up his books. God’s Last Breath is the final novel in his Bring Down Heaven trilogy, which takes place in a fantasy city called Cier’Djaal. The first book, The City Stained Red, is told from the point of view of seven different people and has the feel of an adventure novel. If you haven’t read Sykes before, this would make a wonderful holiday binge read!
The Art of The Last Jedi - Phil Szostak (December 15)
If you are a Star Wars fan, especially when it comes to the visuals, but you haven’t treated yourself to these art books, then get thee to a bookstore immediately! I absolutely adored these books for The Force Awakens and Rogue One. They go into character design, set design, costumes, and more, and they provide incredible insight into the development of characters and story. Just remember that there will be spoilers, so make sure you’ve actually seen The Last Jedi before you pick this up!
S: Es - Koji Suzuki (December 19)
You may not be familiar with Koji Suzuki’s name, but you probably know his work. He’s the author of Ring, which is the novel that the famed horror movie is based on. It was actually the first in a trilogy, and now Suzuki is revisiting the world that made him a world-famous name. It’s about a young man named Matsuo who hopes to be a filmmaker. One day, his boss asks him to take a look at a live-streamed suicide video, and … well, you can probably imagine the chaos that ensues.
The More Known World - Tiffany Tsao (December 19)
This novel is the second in a series. (Sorry! It appears that the bulk of interesting genre books releasing this month are, in fact, parts of series. At least it’s the December installment, which means you can spend time binge-reading over the holidays?) The first book in the Oddfits series centers on Murgatroyd Floyd, an 18-year-old living in Singapore. He thinks he doesn’t fit in because he’s blond-haired and blue-eyed, but it goes deeper than that: He can access an invisible land called The More Known World, and there are people who want to use him (and even threaten his life) for his abilities.