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New sci-fi novels by Ted Chiang, Ian McEwan and more

The world may seem like too much right now, so escape to another one. This May, get swept away farther than your MetroCard can take you with these fictional worlds and alternative realities created in new sci-fi page-turners that may have you missing your subway stop.

'Exhalation' by Ted Chiang

‘Exhalation’ By Ted Chiang This brand new collection
Photo Credit: Knopf

This brand new collection by the author who wrote the short story that inspired the movie “Arrival” takes readers from the Middle East to completely alternate universes, with narratives and characters that reflect the people we interact with and the world we live in today.

'Westside' by W. M. Akers

"Westside" by W. M. Akers creates an altnerative
Photo Credit: Harper Voyager

Welcome to Manhattan in the 1920s. Only, not? In this alternative history, a wall separates Manhattan’s east and west side, the east side averse to modern technology but also struggling to survive in this supernatural version of a familiar landscape. Mysterious deaths in her native west side put heroine Gilda Carr, a detective, in the position to save the city.

'Parable of the Sower' by Octavia E. Butler

‘Parable of the Sower’ By Octavia E. Butler

This reissue of the 1993 original takes readers to the early 2020s, or, erm, soon. Climate change and economic issues have led to social chaos and imminent danger. In a gated community in California, 15-year-old Lauren Olamina wants to help save humankind, but is her intuition and leadership enough to survive this post-apocalyptic America?

'Here and Now and Then' by Mike Chen

‘Here and Now and Then’ By Mike Chen
Photo Credit: Mira

Kin Stewart is far away from home. Because home is in 2142, and he’s stuck in the 1990s after his mission as a secret agent goes awry. He starts a new life in San Francisco, unaware of his alternative reality, but when a rescue team shows up from the future (or, his current, kind of), Kin is split between two identities, realities and families.

'Machines Like Me' by Ian McEwan

‘Machines Like Me’ By Ian McEwan Robots and
Photo Credit: Nan A. Talese

Robots and artificial intelligence may be on everyone’s mind in 2019, but in the 1980s this was, for some, no less the case. At least, so it is in an alternative 1980s London, where Charlie and Miranda find themselves in a love triangle with one of the world’s first synthetic humans, Adam, designed to be the perfect person. Only Adam is very much not a person.

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