17 major sci-fi and fantasy books arriving in fall 2021

COVID hasn’t gone away, and it often feels like we’re stuck not only inside, but in the wrong timeline. With fall approaching, there’s a whole bunch of new books coming to stores, and it’s a good time to escape into the pages of a new world and a new adventure.

The next couple of months bring both to shelves: there’s the opportunity to jump into some familiar — but maybe not so familiar — worlds with some new Alien and Star Wars books, the rise and fall of empires with some new fantasy adventures, and some tales about the coming futures that might be in front of us before we know it.

Here are 16 new science-fiction and fantasy novels coming out this fall to add to your to-read list.

In 1987, Alien franchise producer Walter Hill approached cyberpunk legend William Gibson to write up the screenplay for a third installment of the Alien franchise. Gibson did, but Hill and his team ultimately went in another direction, allowing the “Gibson version” to be one of those scripts that float around the internet for fans to discover. The last couple of years has seen renewed interest in Gibson’s take: Dark Horse Comics adapted the script as a graphic novel, and Audible made an audio adaptation. Now, it’s also a novel, written by another cyberpunk author, Pat Cadigan.

The novel picks up the story of Ripley, Newt, Bishop, and Hicks as the Sulaco ends up at a space station called Anchorpoint in a region of space controlled by the Union of Progressive Peoples. As is to be expected, there’s a xenomorph onboard, and chaos ensues when it inevitably gets out.

Artificial intelligence is becoming more of a thing in everyday life, from the systems that power the internet around us, to how decisions about what we see or experience online. To probe the evolution, Kai-Fu Lee and Chen Qiufan team up for an intriguing collection of short stories that seek to anticipate some of the problems.

In the near future, bio-pharmaceutical companies control the US, which produce advanced body parts for anyone who can afford their high cost. The Body Scout follows a man named Kobo Zunz, a scout for one of these companies who looks for the latest genetic enhancement to recruit onto its baseball team, the Monsanto Mets.

His brother is a player on the team, and when he drops dead, Kobo is pulled into a conspiracy that involves everyone from the heads of the industry to back-alley dealers, all while he’s racing to keep his own body up and running and out of the hands of the loan sharks to whom he owes money.

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