March's sci-fi and fantasy book releases are out of this world

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Dec 17, 2018, 6:00 PM EST (Updated)

It's hard to believe it's already March, but when it comes to publishing, that means something great: big new book releases! Publishing runs by season, like so many other industries, and March is always a huge month for books. It's always fun to comb through new releases to take a look at trends and see what to expect for the rest of the year.

The good news is that there are quite a few fantastic books written by women releasing this month. So many, in fact, that I had trouble narrowing down which books to include on this list. To me, that bodes well for sci-fi and fantasy for the rest of 2018. 

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the force awakens jason fry

Star Wars: The Last Jedi - Jason Fry (March 6)

Finally, it’s here. It’s not clear why there was over two month delay between the movie and the novelization of the somewhat controversial Star Wars movie that released in 2017. What we do know, though, is that this book will be stuffed full of new information and deleted scenes — including a funeral for Han Solo. It’s always good to take what’s in the books with a grain of salt — for example, the Rey/Poe meeting scene we saw in the movie was actually in the novelization of The Force Awakens. But it certainly will be interesting — and surely will provoke a lot of discussion — regardless.

if tomorrow comes nancy kress

If Tomorrow Comes - Nancy Kress (March 6)

Nancy Kress’s excellent trilogy asks a simple question: What would happen if aliens visited Earth, and then left? And what if they left a deadly disease in their wake? It’s such a fascinating look at the different ways society would cope — and would fall apart — through the eyes of a geneticist who worked closely with the aliens while they were on Earth. The first book in the series, Tomorrow’s Kin, was one of my favorites of 2017. I have high hopes for its sequel as well.

daughters of the storm kim wilkins

Daughters of the Storm - Kim Wilkins (March 6)

This novel immediately piqued my interest when I learned it was about five sisters who are trying to save their kingdom from their stepbrother. The king, their father, is in a coma, and the sisters must journey across their kingdom to find a cure to save him. While forces from without conspire against the sisters, they will find their bonds with one another tested as questions are answered and mysteries are revealed. 

the hunger alma katsu

The Hunger - Alma Katsu (March 6)

The story of the Donner Party is well-known: pioneers who set out across the U.S. for California in 1846 in a wagon train. They were beset with misfortune and bad luck, and ended up stranded in the Sierra Nevada Mountains during the winter. The survivors who eventually reached California had been forced to eat their dead compatriots to survive. Now, author Alma Katsu takes this grisly tragedy and adds a supernatural twist in her latest novel.

final six alexandra monir

The Final Six - Alexandra Monir (March 6)

In the near future, six teenagers will be sent to Europa, one of Jupiter’s moons. Twenty-four finalists have been chosen, and they must compete against one another to determine who will have the honor of going. The competition is fierce, and the competitors are ruthless. I’m always interested in near-sci fi books, so I’m definitely intrigued with what Monir presents in this novel.

torn rowenna miller

Torn - Rowenna Miller (March 20)

The first in a series, Torn features a dressmaker who has managed to break her family out of the cycle of poverty, thanks to her skill in making beautiful clothing with enchantments woven into them. When Sophie’s design catch the eye of the royal family, she knows that it’s dangerous. After all, her brother is involved with the anti-monarchist movement, and it’s best to stay beneath the radar. This novel has been compared to Queen of the Tearling (which had its problems, but I enjoyed regardless), so I’m really looking forward to picking this up.

astonishing color of after emily pan

The Astonishing Color of After - Emily X. R. Pan (March 20)

This gorgeous debut novel feature Leigh Chen Sanders, who must grapple with the monumental shift in her world when her mother commits suicide. The strange thing is, Leigh is convinced her mother is still with her — she just turned into a bird. The Astonishing Color of After’s magical realism is employed to great effect, and the exploration of cultural heritage (as well as the depiction of mental health in Asian American communities) is important and necessary.

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