Adult SFF is a label often conveniently associated with only works by white cishet authors but that’s a clear disservice to not only those from marginalised communities who have contributed to diversify the tag, but also to those upcoming books that might otherwise be quickly labelled as young adult for one single reason: they’re written by BIPOC authors, especially if written by BIPOC womxn. This not only hurts readers who might be seeking to diversify their shelves but also the authors whose works are being mislabelled just because they’re authors of colour and somehow, only YA can bring in diverse stories. Anyway, here are twelve new and upcoming adult SFF books of 2022 by authors of colour!
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The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake
In a secret society of magical academicians—who are caretakers of lost knowledge from the greatest civilizations of antiquity—the world’s six most uniquely talented magicians are selected for initiation. They must spend one year together to qualify for initiation; they will be judged on their contributions to arcane areas of knowledge. One will be eliminated. If they can prove themselves to be the best, they will survive. Most of them.
The Final Strife by Saara El-Arifi
Sylah’s dream of sparking a revolution was lost the day she watched her family murdered before her eyes. Anoor’s mother—the most powerful ruler in the Empire—sees her as a disappointment. Hassa knows dangerous secrets as she moves through the world unseen by upper classes. In this African and Arabian-inspired fantasy, three women band together against a cruel Empire that divides people by blood.
The Blood Trials by N.E. Davenport
Ikenna must keep a secret: the blood gift coursing through her. With her grandfather assassinated, she is bent on revenge and discovering the truth. So she pledges herself to the Praetorian Trials—a brutal initiation that only a few survive—where she is subjected to both racism and misogyny. In this fast-paced action-packed blend of sci-fi and fantasy, a young Black woman must survive deadly trials to become an elite warrior.
The Cartographers by Peng Shepherd
Nell’s greatest passion is cartography and her father is a legend in the field. But she hasn’t met or spoken to him ever since he cruelly fired her after an argument. Now when he is found dead in his office—with the same worthless map hidden in his desk that had been the reason for their argument—Nell can’t resist investigating. In this imaginative thriller, she embarks on a dangerous journey to reveal dark family secrets.
The City of Dusk by Tara Sim
Four realms converge on the city of dusk. For each realm there is a god, and for each god there is an heir. But the gods have withdrawn their favour from the city and without it, all realms are dying. Now the four heirs—Risha, a necromancer; Angelica, an elementalist; Taesia, a shadow-wielding rogue; Nik, a soldier—must form a tenuous alliance to keep their world of bone and shadow magic from descending into a war.
The Sleepless by Victor Manibo
A mysterious pandemic causes a quarter of the world’s population to permanently lose the ability to sleep. This creates a new class of people, most of whom optimise their extra hours to earn more money. Jamie is one of them. When his boss’ death brings him to the police’s attention as he was the last person who saw Simon alive—and when Jamie doesn’t remember that night—he is forced to confront past traumas and consequences.
Daughter of the Moon Goddess by Sue Lynn Tan
Xingyin has grown up on the moon, unaware she is being hidden from the feared Celestial Emperor who exiled her mother. When her magic flares and her existence is discovered, she is forced to flee her home alone. She makes her way to the kingdom and disguises her identity to learn alongside the emperor’s son. To save her mother, Xingyin must strike a dangerous bargain in this YA fantasy inspired by Chinese mythology.
The Daughter of Doctor Moreau by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Carlota is the only daughter of a genius, or a madman. Montgomery is an outcast who assists Dr. Moreau with his scientific experiments. The hybrids—a motley group of part human, part animal monstrosities—are fruits of the Doctor’s labour, destined to obey. Arrives Eduardo, the charming and careless son of Doctor’s patron, who will unwittingly begin a dangerous chain reaction in this static city of 19th century Mexico.
The Book Eaters by Sunyi Dean
On the Yorkshire Moors lives a secret line of people for whom books are food, and who retain all of a book’s content after eating it. Devon is part of an old and reclusive clan of book eaters. She—like other book eater women—was raised on a carefully curated diet of fairytales and cautionary stories. But there aren’t any happy endings when Devon learns her son is born with a rare kind of hunger: not for books, but for human minds.
The City Inside by Samit Basu
Joey is a reality controller in near future Delhi. Rudra is a recluse, estranged from his wealthy and powerful family. As the two become enmeshed in multiple conspiracies, their lives start to spin out of control. When a bigger picture begins to unfold around them, they must each decide how to do the right thing in a shadowy world where the status quo is an accomplishment—in a world where the end times are coming.
The First Binding by R.R. Virdi
This is the story of how Ari let loose the first evil. A storyteller and a singer on the run hopes to find obscurity in a tavern bar. But the sins of their past aren’t forgotten, and neither are their powerful enemies. Their old lives are catching up swiftly and it could cost them the entire world. No one can escape their pasts and all stories must have an ending. All legends are borne of truths—and just as many lies.
Siren Queen by Nghi Vo
Luli is beautiful, talented, and desperate to be a star. She knows how dangerous the movie business is and how limited the roles are for a Chinese American girl but in Luli’s world, the worst monsters in Hollywood are not the ones on screen. The studios run on a system of bargains made in blood and ancient magic, and Luli is willing to do whatever it takes—even if that means becoming the monster herself to achieve stardom.
which of these are definitely going on your tbr? 💛