10 Best New Sci-Fi & Fantasy Books to Read: August 2015

new sci-fi books to read

*Update 9/3*: Here is September’s list of upcoming Sci-fi & Fantasy books to read.

If you’re looking for some new books to read this summer, look no further. While August is not a huge month for sci-fi and fantasy book releases, we have managed to provide you with a handful that are worth a read — including a few highly-anticipated sequels.

So, we introduce to you the upcoming book releases for the month of August. Here are the 10 best new sci-fi and fantasy books to read:


August 2015 Release Calendar (Games, Movies, DVDs)

1. Secondhand Souls: A Novel by Christopher Moore

new books to read august 2015

Release Date: August 25th, 2015

“Something really strange is happening in the City by the Bay. People are dying, but their souls are not being collected. Someone—or something—is stealing them and no one knows where they are going, or why…Death Merchant Charlie Asher is just as flummoxed as everyone else. He’s trapped in the body of a fourteen-inch-tall “meat puppet” waiting for his Buddhist nun girlfriend, Audrey, to find him a suitable new body to play host. To get to the bottom of this abomination, a motley crew of heroes will band together…Now if only they can get little Sophie to stop babbling about the coming battle for the very soul of humankind.”

Think death is no laughing matter? Think again. Fans of New York Times bestselling absurdist fiction/comic fantasy author Christopher Moore will enjoy this second installment in his Grim Reaper series (the follow-up to A Dirty Job). If you haven’t, we recommend you read the first book before you pick up this one; you won’t be disappointed. Both are delightfully sarcastic, hilariously irreverent, and just plain laugh-out-loud funny (as we’ve come to expect from Christopher Moore) – a perfect summer read.

Buy Secondhand Souls: A Novel here.

2. Magic Shifts (Kate Daniels Book 8) by Ilona Andrews

new books to read august 2015

Release Date: August 4th, 2015

“After breaking from life with the Pack, mercenary Kate Daniels and her mate—former Beast Lord Curran Lennart—are adjusting to a very different pace. While they’re thrilled to escape all the infighting, Kate and Curran know that separating from the Pack completely is a process that will take time. But when they learn that their friend Eduardo has gone missing, Kate and Curran shift their focus to investigate his disappearance….As Kate and Curran dig further into the merc’s business, they discover that the Guild has gone to hell and that Eduardo’s assignments are connected in the most sinister way…An ancient enemy has arisen, and Kate and Curran are the only ones who can stop it—before it takes their city apart piece by piece.”

The eighth installment of the urban fantasy series Kate Daniels by Ilona Andrews (pseudonym for the #1 New York Times bestselling husband-and-wife writing duo) is already getting rave reviews. If you haven’t yet read this series, you’ve got some catching up to do. The novels are set in a post-apocalyptic world where humans have pushed the limits of technology too far and now long-dormant magic is pushing back. It comes in waves, feeding off technology, and creating paranormal problems that are dealt with by mercenary Kate Daniels. A magic apocalypse, a badass sword-wielding heroine, and a dash of romance…do yourself a favor and pick up the first book, Magic Bites, if you haven’t already.

Buy Magic Shifts here.

3. Fool’s Quest: Book II of The Fitz and the Fool Trilogy by Robin Hobb

new sci-fi books

Release Date: August 11th, 2015

“Long ago, Fitz and the Fool changed the world, bringing back the magic of dragons and securing both the Farseer succession and the stability of the kingdom….But now the Fool is near death, maimed by mysterious pale-skinned figures whose plans for world domination hinge upon the powers the Fool may share with Fitz’s own daughter….and in a horrible instant, his world is undone and his beloved daughter stolen away by those who would use her as they had once sought to use the Fool—as a weapon.But FitzChivalry Farseer is not without weapons of his own. An ancient magic still lives in his veins. And though he may have let his skills as royal assassin diminish over the years, such things, once learned, are not so easily forgotten….”

Robin Hobb first introduced her beloved character Fitzchivalry Farseer over a decade ago in her highly acclaimed Farseer trilogy. Now she returns to him in the Fitz and the Fool trilogy, the second installment of which is due out this month (and which begins with Fool’s Assassin). It is refreshing to see such a well-known and widely-celebrated female author on the fantasy scene, and her work certainly merits the notoriety; she has even been compared to the likes of George R.R. Martin. If you’re unfamiliar with Fitz, we suggest reading the Farseer and Tawny Man trilogies prior to this one, as both are centered on him and take place prior to this series.

Buy Fool’s Quest here.

4. Dragonbane (Dark-Hunter Novels Book 19) by Sherrilyn Kenyon

new books 2015

Release Date: August 4th, 2015

“Out of all the mysterious boarders who call Sanctuary home, no one is more antisocial or withdrawn than Maxis Drago. But then, it’s hard to blend in with the modern world when you have a fifty foot wingspan. Centuries ago, he was cursed by an enemy who swore to see him fall. An enemy who took everything from him and left him forever secluded. But Fate is a bitch, with a wicked sense of humor. And when she throws old enemies together and threatens the wife he thought had died centuries ago, he comes back with a vengeance. Modern day New Orleans has become a battleground for the oldest of evils. And two dragons will hold the line, or go down in flames…”

This prolific #1 New York Times bestselling author, Sherrilyn Kenyon, has garnered quite a devoted following over the years, with more than 30 million copies of her books in print in over 100 countries – and with at least 65 of her novels having been featured on the New York Times lists. This latest Dark-Hunter novel focuses on antisocial Were-Hunter Maxis Drago, whose tendency towards secrecy leaves his past open for speculation – until now. Fans of Sherrilyn Kenyon hardly need encouragement to pick up this book, but for anyone else with a lot of time on their hands it might be worthwhile to start with book one of the series (Night Pleasures) and work your way up..

Buy Dragonbane here.

5. The End of All Things (Old Man’s War Book 6) by John Scalzi

new books august 2015

Release Date: August 11th, 2015

“Humans expanded into space…only to find a universe populated with multiple alien species bent on their destruction. Thus was the Colonial Union formed, to help protect us from a hostile universe. The Colonial Union used the Earth and its excess population for colonists and soldiers….Then the Earth said: no more. Now the Colonial Union is living on borrowed time…before the ranks of the Colonial Defense Forces are depleted and the struggling human colonies are vulnerable to the alien species… And there’s another problem: A group…playing human and alien against each other-and against their own kind…In this collapsing universe, CDF Lieutenant Harry Wilson and the Colonial Union diplomats he works with race against the clock to discover who is behind attacks…and keep humanity’s union intact…”

Strictly speaking, this is not a new release. This book is made up of four novellas, which have all been published individually but are now being released as one novel – the sixth in his Old Man’s War world. It is a sequel to The Human Division, which was similarly published in an episodic fashion consisting of 13 parts. The first book in the series (and Scalzi’s debut novel), simply entitled Old Man’s War, was nominated for a Hugo Award and introduces some interesting theoretical technology; for example, taking the mind of 75-year-old main character John Perry and transplanting it into a younger version of his body. If military science fiction and interplanetary warfare appeal to you, you should definitely look into this series.

Buy The End of All Things here.

6. Edge of Darkness by Christine Feehan, Maggie Shayne, and Lori Herter

upcoming books

Release Date: August 4th, 2015

Dark Crime by Christine Feehan

Blaze knows who killed her father and she has merciless plans for payback. Until a phone call from a seductive stranger pleads with her to wait. Retribution is in his blood, too. Now, he and Blaze will be united in the blood of the guilty. Tonight, vengeance is theirs.

Dead by Twilight by Maggie Shayne

Bloodsuckers may be an accepted minority but one of them is getting away with murder. Until a female vamp teams with a mortal detective to end the killing spree. Now the night belongs to them—and so does every pleasure and danger lurking in the shadows.

Cimarron Spirit by Lori Herter

While excavating an Anasazi ruin, archeologist Annie Carmichael uncovers the resting place of a centuries-old vampire who finds in Annie the liberating mate he has longed for. But how much is Annie expected—or willing—to surrender for the man she now desires?”

Fans of vampire romance will enjoy this three-novella anthology from #1 New York Times bestselling author Christine Feehan, along with well-known paranormal romance writers Maggie Shayne and Lori Herter. If you’re looking for a quick summer read for the pool or the beach, definitely consider picking up this collection when it’s released. Dark Crime is a continuation of Feehan’s Dark series; it can be read as a standalone story, although you may be lacking some background information. If you want to catch up, you have 20-some odd books to read, beginning with Dark Prince. If you’re feeling ambitious, go for it.

Buy Edge of Darkness here.

7. The Dark Forest by Cixin Liu and Joel Martinsen

upcoming book releases

Release Date: August 11th, 2015

“In Dark Forest, Earth is reeling from the revelation of a coming alien invasion-in just four centuries’ time. The aliens’ human collaborators may have been defeated, but the presence of the sophons, the subatomic particles that allow Trisolaris instant access to all human information, means that Earth’s defense plans are totally exposed to the enemy. Only the human mind remains a secret. This is the motivation for the Wallfacer Project, a daring plan that grants four men enormous resources to design secret strategies…Three of the Wallfacers are influential statesmen and scientists, but the fourth is a total unknown….All he knows is that he’s the one Wallfacer that Trisolaris wants dead.”

Again – this is not technically a new release, but it is  the first time the English-speaking world will get to experience this second installment of Cixin Liu’s Three-Body trilogy, which was published in China in 2008. This multiple-award-winning science fiction author has been beloved by China for years, and now we have the opportunity to enjoy his work  (and I highly recommend you seize it). If you haven’t yet read the first installment, The Three-Body Problem, it was translated and published in English in November of last year.

Buy The Dark Forest here.

8. The Lightning Stones: A Novel by Jack Du Brul

upcoming book releases

Release Date: August 11th, 2015

“Sinking thousands of feet below the surface of the earth in the Leister Deep copper mine in Minnesota, Philip Mercer rides a series of heavy-duty elevators to visit his old friend and mentor, Abraham Jacobs. Jacobs has led a research team to the deepest section of the mine for a groundbreaking study into climate change and cosmic rays. But as Mercer approaches the bottom, he is stunned to hear the unmistakable report of automatic gunfire in the massive underground chambers. He can’t stop the inevitable: by the time Mercer finds his way to them, his dear friend, and the entire research team, have been efficiently executed. Mercer is left seeking answers . . . and revenge.”

Jack Du Brul became a #1 New York Times bestselling author when he co-wrote The Oregon Files with Clive Cussler. Now, after a nine-year hiatus, he returns to his character of geologist Philip Mercer with his 8th novel in the series (which he began 17 years ago with Vulcan’s Forge). This fast-paced thriller takes the story of Amelia Earhart and adds a delightful sci-fi twist. Definitely intriguing and worth a read, even if you haven’t yet read the other seven (although after this I’m sure you’ll want to).

Buy The Lightning Stones: A Novel here.

9. The Einstein Prophecy by Robert Masello

new sci-fi books

Release Date: August 1st, 2015

“As war rages in 1944, young army lieutenant Lucas Athan recovers a sarcophagus excavated from an Egyptian tomb. Shipped to Princeton University for study, the box contains mysteries that only Lucas, aided by brilliant archaeologist Simone Rashid, can unlock.These mysteries may, in fact, defy—or fulfill—the dire prophecies of Albert Einstein himself. Struggling to decipher the sarcophagus’s strange contents, Lucas and Simone unwittingly release forces for both good and unmitigated evil. The fate of the world hangs not only on Professor Einstein’s secret research but also on Lucas’s ability to defeat an unholy adversary more powerful than anything he ever imagined.”

We love the concept of a supernatural battle of good vs. evil superimposed onto the real-life struggle of the Allied forces against Nazi Germany in this WWII thriller. This award-winning journalist, TV writer, and bestselling author has been published in as many as 15 languages and his latest standalone work of historical-meets-science fiction is reminiscent of Indiana Jones and the works of Dan Brown. Although the novel has received some mixed reviews, if you’re a fan of either of these, we’re sure you’re going to love it.

Buy The Einstein Prophecy here.

10. Three Moments of an Explosion: Stories by China Miéville

summer books

Release Date: August 4th, 2015

“London awakes one morning to find itself besieged by a sky full of floating icebergs. Destroyed oil rigs, mysteriously reborn, clamber from the sea and onto the land, driven by an obscure but violent purpose. An anatomy student cuts open a cadaver to discover impossibly intricate designs carved into a corpse’s bones—designs clearly present from birth, bearing mute testimony to . . . what?”

This is a collection of 28 short stories by self-proclaimed “weird fiction” writer China Miéville, some of which have been published previously but eighteen of which appear here for the first time. The Independent describes the compilation as “a gathering of dark nuggets of genius.” Fantastical, strange, and occasionally horrific, this book is definitely worthwhile for those in search of a more unique read. The enigmatic New York Times bestselling author definitely does not disappoint in this respect, and that’s why Three Moments of an Explosion is one our list of the best new sci-fi & fantasy books in August 2015.

Buy Three Moments of an Explosion here.

See Also:

July’s Best New Sci-Fi & Fantasy Books

Top 50 Best Sci-Fi Books to Read

Elizabeth Bernstein
Liz is a co-owner of Nerd Much. She is a feminist, nurse, freelance writer, blogger, foodie, bookworm, gamer chick, craft beer snob, coffee addict, chocoholic, Hufflepuff, sci-fi/fantasy junkie, and mom.

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