The Best Science Fiction & Fantasy Books of 2021 (Anticipated)

2021 science fiction sci-fi and fantasy books novels sff anticipated new releases

There are a ton of great science fiction and fantasy books in store for 2021. Of these upcoming new releases, the one I’m the most curious about is probably Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir (of The Martian fame), but there’s also a lot of other fantastic titles planned as well. And hey, who knows, maybe George R.R. Martin will finally release The Winds of Winter? I’m including it on this list, but I do realize of course there’s a good chance it won’t get released.

Anyway, in case it wasn’t clear, this is a list of The Best (Anticipated) Science Fiction and Fantasy Books for 2021, divided up into Adult/General and YA titles. If you have any suggestions of titles to add, feel free to drop a comment below!

For more books coming soon, see the list of Upcoming New Release Books.

This post is sponsored by LMBPN but all opinions are entirely my own.

Also, please check out the sponsor of this post. LMBPN publishing is offering free downloads of their highly-rated sci-fi novel Obsidian Detective (Book #1 from the Opus X series) by Michael Anderle.

Obsidian Detective is about two rebels from different planets whose worlds collide. One, young and idealistic, comes from the elite and peaceful earth civilization. The other, a cynic and a survivor, comes from the fringes of society, where military might reigns.

Together, they’ll work to uncover the secrets behind a plan to set off the first intergalactic war between humans and an alien race on small moon in a far off system. It’s a cover-up that has left a trail of bodies in its wake.

For a tale of science fiction, mystery, aliens, AI, intergalactic corruption, download Obsidian Detective (Book #1) for free below.

General Science Fiction

Project Hail Mary
Andy Weir

What It's About: Ryland Grace is the sole survivor on a desperate, last-chance mission—and if he fails, humanity and the earth itself will perish.

Except that right now, he doesn’t know that. He can’t even remember his own name, let alone the nature of his assignment or how to complete it.

All he knows is that he’s been asleep for a very, very long time...

Publication Date: May 4, 2021
sci fi science fiction audiobook

A Desolation Called Peace (Teixcalaan #2)
Arkady Martine

What It's About: An alien armada lurks on the edges of Teixcalaanli space. No one can communicate with it, no one can destroy it, and Fleet Captain Nine Hibiscus is running out of options.

In a desperate attempt at diplomacy with the mysterious invaders, the fleet captain has sent for a diplomatic envoy. Now Mahit Dzmare and Three Seagrass—still reeling from the recent upheaval in the Empire—face the impossible task of trying to communicate with a hostile entity...

Publication Date: March 2, 2021
science fiction sci fi scifi

The Echo Wife
Sarah Gailey

What It's About: I’m embarrassed, still, by how long it took me to notice. Everything was right there in the open, right there in front of me, but it still took me so long to see the person I had married.

It took me so long to hate him.

Martine is a genetically cloned replica made from Evelyn Caldwell’s award-winning research...

Publication Date: February 16, 2021
sci fi science fiction thriller

Remote Control
Nnedi Okorafor

What It's About: The new book by Nebula and Hugo Award-winner, Nnedi Okorafor.

"She’s the adopted daughter of the Angel of Death. Beware of her. Mind her. Death guards her like one of its own."

The day Fatima forgot her name, Death paid a visit. From hereon in she would be known as Sankofa­­--a name that meant nothing to anyone but her, the only tie to her family and her past...

Publication Date: January 19, 2021
science fiction fantasy novella

Alecto the Ninth (The Locked Tomb #3)
Tamsyn Muir

What It's About: Part Three of The Ninth House trilogy—Gideon the Ninth, Harrow the Ninth, and Alecto the Ninth—is an epic science fantasy that blends necromantic theory and thrilling swordplay with a wicked, sacrilegious sense of humor; a modern mix of Dune, Riddick, and Gormenghast.

Publication Date: Not Available

The Lost Metal (Mistborn #7)
Brandon Sanderson

What It's About: Return to #1 New York Times bestseller Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn world of Scadrial as its second era, which began with The Alloy of Law, comes to its earth-shattering conclusion in The Lost Metal.

For years, frontier lawman turned big-city senator Waxillium Ladrian has hunted the shadowy organization the Set—with his late uncle and his sister among their leaders—since they started kidnapping people with the power of Allomancy in their bloodlines...

Publication Date: November 15, 2022
cosmere brandon sanderson audiobook

Untitled (Alex Stern #2)

What It's About:

Publication Date: Not Available

She Who Became the Sun
Shelley Parker-Chan

What It's About: In a famine-stricken village on a dusty yellow plain, two children are given two fates. A boy, greatness. A girl, nothingness…

In 1345, China lies under harsh Mongol rule. For the starving peasants of the Central Plains, greatness is something found only in stories. When the Zhu family’s eighth-born son, Zhu Chongba, is given a fate of greatness, everyone is mystified as to how it will come to pass...

Publication Date: July 20, 2021
fantasy historical fiction physical tbr

Empire of the Vampire (Empire of the Vampire, #1)
Jay Kristoff

What It's About: From holy cup comes holy light;
The faithful hands sets world aright.
And in the Seven Martyrs’ sight,
Mere man shall end this endless night.

It has been twenty-seven long years since the last sunrise. For nearly three decades, vampires have waged war against humanity; building their eternal empire even as they tear down our own...

Publication Date: September 7, 2021
fantasy physical tbr vampires

The Galaxy, and the Ground Within (Wayfarers #4)
Becky Chambers

What It's About: With no water, no air, and no native life, the planet Gora is unremarkable. The only thing it has going for it is a chance proximity to more popular worlds, making it a decent stopover for ships traveling between the wormholes that keep the Galactic Commons connected. If deep space is a highway, Gora is just your average truck stop...

Publication Date: February 19, 2021
sci fi science fiction scifi

The Iron Season (The Golem and the Jinni, #2)
Helene Wecker

What It's About: In this enthralling historical epic, set in New York City and the Middle East in the years leading to World War I-- the long-awaited follow-up to the acclaimed New York Times bestseller The Golem and the Jinni--Helene Wecker revisits her beloved characters Chava and Ahmad as they confront unexpected new challenges in a rapidly changing human world...

Publication Date: June 8, 2021
fantasy historical fiction series

The Winds of Winter
George R.R. Martin

What It's About: The Winds of Winter is the forthcoming sixth novel in the epic fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin.

The previous installment, A Dance with Dragons, covered less story than Martin intended, omitting at least one planned large battle sequence and leaving several character threads ending in cliffhangers...

Publication Date: Not Available
game of thrones series a song of ice and fire

The Thorn of Emberlain (Gentleman Bastard #4)
Scott Lynch

What It's About: Locke Lamora, thief, con-man, pirate, political deceiver is back, and now he must become a soldier.

A new chapter for Locke and Jean and finally the war that has been brewing in the Kingdom of the Marrows flares up and threatens to capture all in its flames.

And all the while Locke must try to deal with the disturbing rumours about his past revealed in The Republic of Thieves...

Publication Date: Not Available
unreleased not yet released series

The End of Men
Christina Sweeney-Baird

What It's About: Set in a world where a virus stalks our male population, The End of Men is an electrifying and unforgettable debut from a remarkable new talent that asks: what would our world truly look like without men?

Only men carry the virus. Only women can save us all.

The year is 2025, and a mysterious virus has broken out in Scotland--a lethal illness that seems to affect only men...

Publication Date: April 27, 2021
sci fi science fiction dystopian

Young Adult Science Fiction

Across the Green Grass Fields (Wayward Children #6)
Seanan McGuire

What It's About: A young girl discovers a portal to a land filled with centaurs and unicorns in Seanan McGuire's Across the Green Grass Fields, a standalone tale in the Hugo and Nebula Award-wining Wayward Children series.

“Welcome to the Hooflands. We’re happy to have you, even if you being here means something’s coming...

Publication Date: January 12, 2021
young adult audiobook novella

A Court of Silver Flames (A Court of Thorns and Roses #4)
Sarah J. Maas

What It's About: Nesta Archeron has always been prickly-proud, swift to anger, and slow to forgive. And ever since being forced into the Cauldron and becoming High Fae against her will, she's struggled to find a place for herself within the strange, deadly world she inhabits. Worse, she can't seem to move past the horrors of the war with Hybern and all she lost in it...

Publication Date: February 16, 2021
fantasy romance physical tbr

Chain of Iron (The Last Hours #2)
Cassandra Clare

What It's About: Cordelia Carstairs seems to have everything she ever wanted. She’s engaged to marry James Herondale, the boy she has loved since childhood. She has a new life in London with her best friend, Lucie Herondale, and James’s charming companions, the Merry Thieves. She is about to be reunited with her beloved father...

Publication Date: March 2, 2021
fantasy young adult physical tbr

The Ones We're Meant to Find
Joan He

What It's About: Cee has been trapped on an abandoned island for three years without any recollection of how she arrived, or memories from her life prior. All she knows is that somewhere out there, beyond the horizon, she has a sister named Kay, and it’s up to Cee to cross the ocean and find her.

In a world apart, 16-year-old STEM prodigy Kasey Mizuhara lives in an eco-city built for people who protected the planet―and now need protecting from it...

Publication Date: May 4, 2021
young adult science fiction 2021 releases

Alexandra Bracken

What It's About: From the #1 New York Times best-selling author of The Darkest Minds comes a sweepingly ambitious, high-octane tale of power, destiny, love and redemption.

Every seven years, the Agon begins. As punishment for a past rebellion, nine Greek gods are forced to walk the earth as mortals, hunted by the descendants of ancient bloodlines, all eager to kill a god and seize their divine power and immortality...

Publication Date: January 5, 2021
fantasy physical tbr mythology

Rule of Wolves (King of Scars Duology #2)
Leigh Bardugo

What It's About: The wolves are circling. And Ravka's time is running out.

The Demon King. As Fjerda's massive army prepares to invade, Nikolai Lantsov will summon every bit of his ingenuity and charm—and even the monster within—to win this fight. But a dark threat looms that cannot be defeated by a young king's gift for the impossible...

Publication Date: March 30, 2021
physical tbr young adult books i own

The Mask Falling (The Bone Season #4)
Samantha Shannon

What It's About: I'm sure many of you are wondering what's going on with the Bone Season series while I'm busy with a separate project. Don't worry – I'm working on it! My hope was that Priory would be out this year, but as usual, I underestimated how long everything takes in adult publishing. Priory is scheduled for early 2019, so I suspect, since Bloomsbury has never published me twice in the same year, that TBS4 will be out in early 2020...

Publication Date: January 26, 2021
fantasy physical tbr books i own

Witches Steeped in Gold (Witches Steeped in Gold #1)
Ciannon Smart

What It's About: Divided by their order. United by their vengeance.

Iraya has spent her life in a cell, but every day brings her closer to freedom - and vengeance.

Jazmyne is the Queen’s daughter, but unlike her sister before her, she has no intention of dying to strengthen her mother’s power...

Publication Date: April 20, 2021
physical tbr 2021 releases dnf

We Free the Stars (Sands of Arawiya #2)
Hafsah Faizal

What It's About: The battle on Sharr is over. The dark forest has fallen. Altair may be captive, but Zafira, Nasir, and Kifah are bound for Sultan’s Keep, determined to finish the plan he set in motion: restoring the hearts of the Sisters of Old to the minarets of each caliphate, and finally returning magic to all of Arawiya...

Publication Date: January 19, 2021
fantasy physical tbr tbr

Tales from the Hinterland (The Hazel Wood #2.5)
Melissa Albert

What It's About: A gorgeously illustrated collection of twelve fairy tales by the author of The Hazel Wood and The Night Country!

Journey into the Hinterland, a brutal and beautiful world where a young woman spends a night with Death, brides are wed to a mysterious house in the trees, and an enchantress is killed twice―and still lives...

Publication Date: January 12, 2021
young adult short stories books i own

The Gilded Ones (Deathless #1)
Namina Forna

What It's About: Sixteen-year-old Deka lives in fear and anticipation of the blood ceremony that will determine whether she will become a member of her village. Already different from everyone else because of her unnatural intuition, Deka prays for red blood so she can finally feel like she belongs.

But on the day of the ceremony, her blood runs gold, the color of impurity--and Deka knows she will face a consequence worse than death...

Publication Date: February 9, 2021
fantasy young adult physical tbr

Among Thieves
M.J. Kuhn

What It's About:

Publication Date: Not Available

Witchshadow (The Witchlands #4)
Susan Dennard

What It's About: Susan Dennard's New York Times bestselling, young adult epic fantasy Witchlands series continues with Witchshadow, the story of the Threadwitch Iseult.

War has come to the Witchlands . . . and nothing will be the same again.

Iseult has found her heartsister Safi at last, but their reunion is brief...

Publication Date: June 22, 2021
young adult 2021 releases physical tbr

Blessed Monsters (Something Dark and Holy #3)
Emily A. Duncan

What It's About: The startling conclusion to the instant New York Times bestselling Something Dark and Holy trilogy

The girl, the monster, the prince, the queen.

They broke the world.

And some things can never be undone.

In Emily A. Duncan’s Blessed Monsters, they must unite once more to fight the dark chaos they've unleashed—but is it already too late?

Publication Date: April 6, 2021
young adult books i own physical tbr

2021 science fiction sci-fi and fantasy books novels sff anticipated new releases

2021 science fiction sci-fi and fantasy books novels sff anticipated new releases

2021 science fiction sci-fi and fantasy books novels sff anticipated new releases

Share this post


Bookshelf -- A literary set collection game