I’m a fantasy nut. I’ve been eagerly awaiting all these new and upcoming SFF books by Indigenous authors. So here are some upcoming as well as newly released fantasy books for you to scoop up. HA PUNNY.
Embarassing myself 24/7.
Release Date: August 25th from Levine Querido
Imagine an America very similar to our own. It’s got homework, best friends, and pistachio ice cream.
There are some differences. This America been shaped dramatically by the magic, monsters, knowledge, and legends of its peoples, those Indigenous and those not. Some of these forces are charmingly everyday, like the ability to make an orb of light appear or travel across the world through rings of fungi. But other forces are less charming and should never see the light of day.
Elatsoe lives in this slightly stranger America. She can raise the ghosts of dead animals, a skill passed down through generations of her Lipan Apache family. Her beloved cousin has just been murdered, in a town that wants no prying eyes. But she is going to do more than pry. The picture-perfect facade of Willowbee masks gruesome secrets, and she will rely on her wits, skills, and friends to tear off the mask and protect her family.
Elatsoe is very possibly my #1 most anticipated release of the year. It’s got pistachio ice cream, art, and apparently goths and vamps.Darcie Little Badger is a Lipan Apache author and I am obsessed with her nerdy fashion.
Release Date: October 13th from Saga Press
From the New York Times bestselling author of Star Wars: Resistance Reborn comes the first book in the Between Earth and Sky trilogy, inspired by the civilizations of the Pre-Columbian Americas and woven into a tale of celestial prophecies, political intrigue, and forbidden magic.
A god will return
When the earth and sky converge
Under the black sun
In the holy city of Tova, the winter solstice is usually a time for celebration and renewal, but this year it coincides with a solar eclipse, a rare celestial event proscribed by the Sun Priest as an unbalancing of the world.
Meanwhile, a ship launches from a distant city bound for Tova and set to arrive on the solstice. The captain of the ship, Xiala, is a disgraced Teek whose song can calm the waters around her as easily as it can warp a man’s mind. Her ship carries one passenger. Described as harmless, the passenger, Serapio, is a young man, blind, scarred, and cloaked in destiny. As Xiala well knows, when a man is described as harmless, he usually ends up being a villain.
Crafted with unforgettable characters, Rebecca Roanhorse has created an epic adventure exploring the decadence of power amidst the weight of history and the struggle of individuals swimming against the confines of society and their broken pasts in the most original series debut of the decade.
I have a few very top favorite authors in this world. One of these authors is Rebecca Roanhorse. She’s is utterly brilliant. I read Trail of Lightning last October and I could not shut up about it for 5 months. She looks beyond what you would expect of a fantastical and magical world. Every time I read one of her books I sit there amazed at what the fuck just happened. She kills me every time and I’m here to enjoy the burn. This is her first epic fantasy. It is inspired by the pre-colonized Americas. I hear there’s a very sweet slow burn and that is all that I ask. Roanhorse knows her romance. Rebecca Roanhorse is a Black, Diné-in-law, Ohkay Owingeh author.
Release Date: September 8th from Puffin
Narnia meets traditional Indigenous stories of the sky and constellations in an epic middle grade fantasy series from award-winning author David Robertson.
Morgan and Eli, two Indigenous children forced away from their families and communities, are brought together in a foster home in Winnipeg, Manitoba. They each feel disconnected, from their culture and each other, and struggle to fit in at school and at their new home — until they find a secret place, walled off in an unfinished attic bedroom. A portal opens to another reality, Askí, bringing them onto frozen, barren grounds, where they meet Ochek (Fisher). The only hunter supporting his starving community, Misewa, Ochek welcomes the human children, teaching them traditional ways to survive. But as the need for food becomes desperate, they embark on a dangerous mission. Accompanied by Arik, a sassy Squirrel they catch stealing from the trapline, they try to save Misewa before the icy grip of winter freezes everything — including them.
Middle Grade fantasy is a really good palate cleanser for me. I love the Percy Jackson books. Earlier this year Riordan Presents put out Race to the Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse and I loved it. I was sweet, political, and complex. A lot of people have the perception that Middle Grade is lacking in complexity but I actually find that Middle Grade Fantasy books are doing so much more interesting character building and world building than Young Adult fantasy. I’m really eager to find out what Robertson brings to the table. David A. Robertson is a Cree author.
Seamlessly blending classic horror and a dramatic narrative with sharp social commentary, The Only Good Indians follows four American Indian men after a disturbing event from their youth puts them in a desperate struggle for their lives. Tracked by an entity bent on revenge, these childhood friends are helpless as the culture and traditions they left behind catch up to them in a violent, vengeful way.
The creeping horror of Paul Tremblay meets Tommy Orange’s There There in a dark novel of revenge, cultural identity, and the cost of breaking from tradition in this latest novel from the Jordan Peele of horror literature, Stephen Graham Jones.
I read Stephen Graham Jones’ Mapping the Interior for Indiathon last year and it was so good. He’s the best horror author out there. He’s always thinking about life as horror. He speaks to the experiences of Native readers and Blackfeet identity. I love that there’s a horror writer out there that doesn’t pander to readers. He works with the established tropes and thinks outside of the bounds of horror. Honestly, publishing would be missing without his storytelling. Native Lady Book Warrior had a really excellent review if you’d like to check that out.
Release Date: September 1st from Tor.com
Award-winning author Stephen Graham Jones returns with Night of the Mannequins, a contemporary horror story where a teen prank goes very wrong and all hell breaks loose: is there a supernatural cause, a psychopath on the loose, or both?
This is an upcoming release from Stephen Graham Jones coming in September. I have heard no one. Absolutely no one talk about this. It sounds like some fucked up circus horror. Don’t lie. The clowns. The mannequins. They’re all creepy.
A bold and brilliant new indigenous voice in contemporary literature makes her American debut with this kinetic, imaginative, and sensuous fable inspired by the traditional Canadian Métis legend of the Rogarou—a werewolf-like creature that haunts the roads and woods of native people’s communities.
Joan has been searching for her missing husband, Victor, for nearly a year—ever since that terrible night they’d had their first serious argument hours before he mysteriously vanished. Her Métis family has lived in their tightly knit rural community for generations, but no one keeps the old ways . . . until they have to. That moment has arrived for Joan.
One morning, grieving and severely hungover, Joan hears a shocking sound coming from inside a revival tent in a gritty Walmart parking lot. It is the unmistakable voice of Victor. Drawn inside, she sees him. He has the same face, the same eyes, the same hands, though his hair is much shorter and he’s wearing a suit. But he doesn’t seem to recognize Joan at all. He insists his name is Eugene Wolff, and that he is a reverend whose mission is to spread the word of Jesus and grow His flock. Yet Joan suspects there is something dark and terrifying within this charismatic preacher who professes to be a man of God . . . something old and very dangerous.
Joan turns to Ajean, an elderly foul-mouthed card shark who is one of the few among her community steeped in the traditions of her people and knowledgeable about their ancient enemies. With the help of the old Métis and her peculiar Johnny-Cash-loving, twelve-year-old nephew Zeus, Joan must find a way to uncover the truth and remind Reverend Wolff who he really is . . . if he really is. Her life, and those of everyone she loves, depends upon it.
I first read Cherie Dimaline, as well as David A. Robertson, in an anthology called Love Beyond Body, Space, and Time. This anthology is a great collection of indigenous science fiction and urban fantasy centering LGBT and two-spirit characters. Dimaline is most well known for her first Young Adult novel The Marrow Thieves, about a world ravaged by global warming where the only people able to dream are North America’s Indigenous peoples. In this horror novel, she takes on the Canadian Métis myth of the Rougarou. This myth warns against the dangers to women and girls in Indigenous communities. It sounds so creepy.
Which of these books do you want to read? Have you read any of these authors?
While you read some books how about you donate to some causes!
- Donate to the Quileute Tribe Our mission is to secure the future of the Quileute tribe by moving the at-risk community to the safe zone where their culture and heritage can continue to thrive for generations to come.
- Donate to NDN Collective NDN Collective is an Indigenous-led organization dedicated to building Indigenous power. Through organizing, activism, philanthropy, grantmaking, capacity-building and narrative change, we are creating sustainable solutions on Indigenous terms.