40 fantasy and science fiction books you should read in 2022

Discover Orbit's "Memory's Legion" by James S.A. Corey on Amazon.
Discover Orbit's "Memory's Legion" by James S.A. Corey on Amazon. /
1 of 29

This post contains affiliate links, where we may receive a percentage of any sale made from the links on this page. Prices and availability accurate as of the time of publication.

Recently, we rounded up every fantasy and science fiction show you should watch in 2022 into one massive guide. Now we’re crossing over to the written medium to tell you about all the science fiction and fantasy books we’re excited for that are coming out this year.

2021 saw a lot of awesome sci-fi and fantasy books debut, and in 2022 we’ll get even more. We’ve rounded up 40 titles that we think genre readers should be aware of, because one can never have too many books on their to-be-read pile. (Let’s be real here, do any of us have just one TBR pile?)

From strange alien universes to epic fantasy worlds, there is something coming out this year for most every fan of these genres. 2022 will see new releases from big names like Brandon Sanderson, Stephen King, Rebecca Roanhorse, Ken Liu, and John Scalzi, as well as debuts and sequels from plenty of upcoming authors. It’s going to be a good year in the stacks.

There are a few great books that already hit the shelves in January of 2022, and we wouldn’t want to deprive you of them. So before we dive into the list proper, we thought we’d give you a quick rundown of the big 2022 releases that are already available at a bookstore or online retailer near you:

Discover Harper Voyager's 'Daughter of the Moon Goddess' by Sue Lynn Tan on Amazon.
Discover Harper Voyager’s “Daughter of the Moon Goddess” by Sue Lynn Tan on Amazon. /

Daughter of the Moon Goddess by Sue Lynn Tan — (Released on January 11)

Inspired the legend of the Chinese moon goddess Chang’e, Sue Lynn Tan’s debut novel was one of the most anticipated books of early 2022. It tells the story of Xiangyin, the daughter of the moon goddess who, after her magic is discovered by the powerful Celestial Emperor, is forced to leave her lunar home and go on an epic quest in order to save her mother.

Daughter of the Moon Goddess has mystical beasts, mythic journeys, romance, and all the other staples of a good epic fantasy. It’s the first in an expected duology and has been getting rave reviews.

Buy Daughter of the Moon Goddess: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Books-A-Million

Discover Orbit's "Engines of Empire" by R.S. Ford on Amazon.
Discover Orbit’s “Engines of Empire” by R.S. Ford on Amazon. /

Engines of Empire by R.S. Ford — (Released on January 18)

Engines of Empire is an epic fantasy story with industrial undertones. It follows the Hawkspur family, who run a guild responsible for keeping the empire’s technology running. As the question of succession looms, the family matriarch sends each of her three children out to different parts of the nation of Torwyn. There’s Conall, the eldest son who is sent to serve in the military on a distant frontier; Tyreta, a sorceress who discovers the disturbing cost of the industrial machine that runs her homeland; and youngest child Fulren, who finds himself framed for a crime that stands to send Torwyn into upheaval.

Disparate plot threads weave and pull against one another in this epic fantasy that marks the beginning of a new series from R.S. Ford.

Buy Engines of Empire: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Books-A-Million

Discover Viking Books' "Akata Woman" by Nnedi Okorafor on Amazon.
Discover Viking Books’ “Akata Woman” by Nnedi Okorafor on Amazon. /

Akata Woman by Nnedi Okorafor — (Released on January 18)

The third volume of award-winning author Nnedi Okorafor’s The Nsibidi Scripts hit this month as well. Akata Woman continues the tale of Sunny Nwazue, a young girl suffering from albinism who discovers that she has latent magical powers. These books combine Okorafor’s always excellent African Futurism style with a powerful coming-of-age story, and the third book continues that tradition. Throughout the first two installments of the series, Sunny had to “navigate the balance between nearly everything in her life—America and Nigeria, the “normal” world and the one infused with juju, human and spirit, good daughter and powerful Leopard Person.” But now she’s up against her most dangerous quest yet, forced to journey into an “otherworldly realm” in search of a mystical object.

Defeating the guardians of the prize will take more from Sunny than she has to give, and triumph will mean she will be forever changed.

Buy Akata Woman: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Books-A-Million

Discover MIRA's "Light Years From Home" by Mike Chen on Amazon.
Discover MIRA’s “Light Years From Home” by Mike Chen on Amazon. /

Light Years From Home by Mike Chen — (Released on January 25)

Light Years From Home by Mike Chen is both a family story and an alien abduction tale. There’s a rift in the Shao family that stems back to a family camping trip that went awry. Here’s a snippet from the back-of-book copy:

Evie Shao and her sister, Kass, aren’t on speaking terms. Fifteen years ago on a family camping trip, their father and brother vanished. Their dad turned up days later, dehydrated and confused—and convinced he’d been abducted by aliens. Their brother, Jakob, remained missing. The women dealt with it very differently. Kass, suspecting her college-dropout twin simply ran off, became the rock of the family. Evie traded academics to pursue alien conspiracy theories, always looking for Jakob.

As you might guess, Jakob eventually returns…but he brings unexpected and unbelievable news of an intergalactic war with him. As the FBI and alien forces close in around them, the Shao siblings must come together to unravel the mystery behind his disappearance…and make peace with their family. Light Years From Home promises Chen’s signature blend of heart and imagination. And considering this is a standalone, you need not read through a lengthy series in order to check it out.

Buy Light Years From Home: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Books-A-Million

Discover Tordotcom's "Goliath" by Tochi Onyebuchi on Amazon.
Discover Tordotcom’s “Goliath” by Tochi Onyebuchi on Amazon. /

Goliath by Tochi Onyebuchi — (Released on January 25)

Goliath marks the adult novel debut from author Tochi Onyebuchi. Onyebuchi’s work, such as his World Fantasy Award-winning novella Riot Baby, includes a lot of social commentary and imaginative visions of the near future. From the sounds of it, Goliath will hit a lot of those same buttons while cranking everything up a notch:

In the 2050s, Earth has begun to empty. Those with the means and the privilege have departed the great cities of the United States for the more comfortable confines of space colonies. Those left behind salvage what they can from the collapsing infrastructure. As they eke out an existence, their neighborhoods are being cannibalized. Brick by brick, their houses are sent to the colonies, what was once a home now a quaint reminder for the colonists of the world that they wrecked.

A primal biblical epic flung into the future, Goliath weaves together disparate narratives—a space-dweller looking at New Haven, Connecticut as a chance to reconnect with his spiraling lover; a group of laborers attempting to renew the promises of Earth’s crumbling cities; a journalist attempting to capture the violence of the streets; a marshal trying to solve a kidnapping—into a richly urgent mosaic about race, class, gentrification, and who is allowed to be the hero of any history.

Buy GoliathAmazon, Barnes & Noble, and Books-A-Million

Now that we’ve covered the books already released in 2022, let us break into February, and those yet to come…