2021 is still on its treacherous uphill climb toward who knows what, so here is some fantastic fiction to see you through the shortest month of the year.

On Fragile Waves, by E. Lily Yu (Erewhon)

If I haven’t already convinced you that On Fragile Waves is one of the most amazing books of the year, I don’t know what else I can do. I devoured this book back in November, and I knew it would stay with me for a long time. It is about the horrors of immigration, the lengths that people will go to protect their children, all interlaced with a beautiful magical realism element. It’s poetic, it’s profound, it’s perfect. I wept at the end. Please grab a copy.

The Memory Theater, by Karin Tidbeck (Pantheon Books)

I haven’t read this one, and I’ve tried to stay away from the plot synopsis as much as possible. I’m recommending this book purely because I adored Tidbeck’s short story collection, Jagannath. She write stories just the way I like them: deeply, deeply weird. To be honest, I didn’t particularly enjoy her previous novel, Amatka, but I have really high hopes for this one. If you’re a fan of uncanny fiction, I have a feeling you’ll dig Tidbeck.

The Best of Elizabeth Hand (Subterranean Press)

Speaking of uncanny fiction, Elizabeth Hand has been doing it for decades. And the quality of her work really shines in this gorgeous collection, edited by Bill Sheehan. I’ve been recommending her collection, Errantry, for ages, and two of the best stories from that collection pop up in here, along with choice cuts from her prolific writing career. It will be available as an ebook, but Subterranean Press have put together a beautiful limited edition hardcover, Hand signed (get it?!).

Good Neighbors, by Sarah Langan (Atria Books)

Something a little more mainstream. This is domestic horror at its best. Don’t let the shiny cars and perfect teeth fool you; the residents of Maple Street hide some very dark secrets. Neighbors become enemies, accusations fly, and a literal sinkhole opens up. Good Neighbors is a deeply engrossing page-turner.

The Upstairs House, by Julia Fine (Harper)

Another one I haven’t had the pleasure of reading yet, but look at this blurb:

“…A postpartum woman’s psychological unraveling becomes intertwined with the ghostly appearance of children’s book writer Margaret Wise Brown.”

Count me in, please!

Never Have I Ever, by Isabel Yap (Small Beer Press)

The hugely anticipated collection from Filipina author Isabel Yap is finally here. Billed as “Spells and stories, urban legends and immigrant tales“, this is one to get excited about. If you would like a taste of her style, check out her work for Uncanny Magazine and Tor.com

I appreciate there are probably so many awesome books this month. What did I miss? Are you as excited as I am about these new releases?

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