10 Science-Fantasy Books for You Funky Space Sorcerers

10 Science-Fantasy Books for You Funky Space Sorcerers

I didn't get it out of my system the first time, so let's go into some trippy, exciting, space-fantasy sci-fi books.

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Science-Fantasy isn’t a new genre, per se, but it is one that is starting to get some clearer definitions within publishing, making it a buzzy place to read. Combining tropes and conventions of both science-fiction and fantasy, magic and time-space travel often go hand in hand. There are often unexplainable forces are at work alongside high tech machines and gadgets. Jumping off from the Spelljammer media list (which included a couple great science-fantasy books), I’ve conspired to get even more science-fantasy books on io9! Check out some of my favorites.

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This Is How You Lose the Time War

This Is How You Lose the Time War

I love This is How You Lose the Time War—it’s genuinely one of my favorite books. Two rival time agents leave messages for each other across worlds and universes, attempting to win the never ending Time War... and avoid falling in love. The twist at the end is so tone-perfect that it’ll make you want to read it again immediately.

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How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse

How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse

Taking fairy tale retellings and mashing them into a planet-jumping adventure/romance, How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse is a subtly magical space romp.

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Winter’s Orbit

Winter’s Orbit

Definitely light on the actual science, Winter’s Orbit is much more of a romance than anything else, but it’s also a fun space opera full of court intrigue and politics. If you enjoyed Leia’s standalone Star Wars novel Bloodline, Winter’s Orbit is for you. Read an essay from the author on io9 here.

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Iron Widow

Iron Widow

An absolute genre wreck of a novel, Iron Widow combines Confucian-based wuxia fantasy tropes and mashes them into giant evolving battle machines as the main characters fight aliens in this alternate-history retelling of Chinese historical figures. Read an excerpt on io9 here.

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The Unspoken Name

The Unspoken Name

The cover of The Unspoken Name
Image: TOR Books

I’ve screamed about The Unspoken Name before, and I’ll do it again, but this debut epic fantasy novel has it all. It’s definitely more fantasy than science fiction, but with jump gates, flying ships, and ancient stasis technology, it definitely belongs here.

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The All-Consuming World

The All-Consuming World

Clones, a sentient universe, and the magic of memory all come to play in The All-Consuming World. With fervor and flair, this book navigates trauma and technology without missing a beat. Read an excerpt on io9 here.

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Saga

Saga

If you haven’t heard of Saga at this point, I’m just thrilled I get to introduce you to this incredible science-fantasy epic comic run that took the nerd world by storm nearly 10 years ago. It’s just been picked up again after a few years on hiatus, and I cannot recommend this emotional and fantastic tale of a family who are fighting the whole universe to stay together.

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Dreadnought

Dreadnought

The cover to Dreadnought by Cherie Priest
Image: TOR Books

I can’t mention science fantasy without at least one steampunk novel, and while Dreadnought is technically the sequel to Boneshaker, it stands entirely on its own, and was my first introduction to the Clockwork Century books. With an incredible heroine in Mercy and enough world-building to make you really believe in the proposed alt-history, I cannot recommend this book highly enough.

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A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe

A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe

The cover of A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe
Image: Hachette

With a stunning magic system that spans an entire universe, making up the very code of existence, A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe is one of those books that starts out fast (literally, during an intergalactic space-race) and never stops.

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Phoenix Extravagant 

Phoenix Extravagant 

Image for article titled 10 Science-Fantasy Books for You Funky Space Sorcerers
Image: Saga Press

Following up the science-heavy science-fantasy Ninefox Gambit (which launched a rather wonderful series), Yoon Ha Lee dove into fantasy-heavy science-fantasy with Pheonix Extravagant, which takes place in an alt-fantasy Korea amid invasions and occupations and explores how different cultural magic systems interact with technology in a beautiful and totally original way. Also there’s a mecha-dragon. So if that doesn’t convince you, I don’t know what will.


Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel and Star Wars releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about House of the Dragon and Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.

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