The dog days of summer are now (mostly) over and soon a fresh wave recognizable only as “autumn” will hit the air. While you may not be taking as many vacations as you do in the summer in the coming months, you may still be able to find extra reading time on your commutes, lunch breaks, and weekends.
There’s no shortage of new releases to get excited about (check out our highly anticipated second half of 2019 reads to see even more), but below are some books coming out in the coming months that might pique your interest. All of these books have recently landed on my desk, and I think many Ars readers will enjoy space operas filled with family dramas, quirky AI one-liners, and intricate details about the biology of platypus and other strange creatures as much as I do. † Enjoy reading!
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Consider the platypus: evolution through biology’s most baffling beasts by Maggie Ryan Sandford
Science enthusiasts and animal lovers will be drawn to Think of the platypus, writer and researcher Maggie Ryan Sandford’s debut with , for its detailed and often hilarious exploration of animal evolution. Darwin’s theory of evolution shaped the views of everyone who came after him, and it may explain why some creatures have become so curious.
The book does this by “profiling” more than 50 animals, and Sandford describes the main idiosyncrasies and anomalies of each that likely resulted from evolutionary adaptation. If you’re intrigued by DNA-altering octopuses, radiation-resistant tardigrades, and venomous platypuses, then you must Consider the platypus (While we love eBooks, we recommend purchasing a physical copy of this book so you can experience Rodica Prato’s charming artwork and Sandford’s clever annotations in all their glory.)
Consider the platypus [Available now]
January’s Ten Thousand Doors by Alix E. Harrow
Readers who love books about books will be happy with January’s Ten Thousand Doors† A young girl named January Scaller stumbles upon a door in the mansion she calls home in the early 1900s. Her guardian, the wealthy William Locke, refuses to believe her story and instead punishes her. So January moves on with her life and almost forgets the door she found as a child.
But then she discovers a book that seems to hold secrets about other worlds, many of which lie behind doors similar to the ones she encountered years earlier. What follows is a gripping story of a girl who finds herself as she experiences worlds she never knew existed with friends she never knew she had, including a friendly dog hired by her mysterious father to protect her. Fans of Seanan McGuire’s Every heart a doorway novella series will find another favorite in January’s Ten Thousand Doorsand anyone reading for pure escapism will discover the many worlds of this novel to get lost in refreshingly.
January’s Ten Thousand Doors [Available September 10]
Ghoster by Jason Arnopp
Kate Collins thought life with her boyfriend Scott was going to the next level as she prepared to move in with him – but upon arrival at his apartment in Brighton, she finds Scott and all but one of his worldly possessions are gone. Only his cell phone is left. Like so many young adults living in our constantly connected world, Kate searches Scott’s phone and social media accounts for answers.
That’s when things really start to fall apart.
In an often funny and always unnerving horror story, Ghoster explores how scary technology and social media can be, especially when our backs are against a wall. Not only does Kate start receiving strange text messages that she can’t explain, she’s pretty sure Scott’s apartment – her future home – is haunted. Still, she refuses to leave until she finds out what happened to him, but forces beyond her control cause her to regret her decision. Like Arnopp’s previous novel, The Last Days of Jack Sparks† Ghoster relies heavily on modern technology and many of its references will wave at the younger crowd. Nevertheless, it is worth checking out if you like horror stories with a strong technological element.
Ghoster [Available October 22]
fortune by Kristyn Merbeth
The first book in Kristyn Merbeth’s space opera trilogy, fortune takes readers into the life of Scorpia Kaiser, the pilot of the fortune spacecraft and the family error. Her brother, Corvus, has always been the favorite, that is, until he left their family to go and fight in an unnecessary war. Since then, Scorpia has inherited the Fortuna – it’s her family’s smuggling ship, her safe space and, sadly, the home she shares with the rest of her family, including her hard-to-please mother.
Scorpia’s life becomes infinitely more complicated when Corvus returns from the war. That throws a big nut in Scorpia’s plans to take over the family business, and Corvus does not go down without a fight. However, when the true nature of their mother’s most recent business partnership is revealed, the siblings are forced to work together to prevent potentially thousands of human deaths. fortune has all the adventure, action, and intrigue you’d expect from a space opera, along with an extra dose of familial complexity.
fortune [Available November 5]
You Look Like One Thing And I Love You: How Artificial Intelligence Works And Why It Makes The World A Stranger Place by Janelle Shane
We hear it all the time in tech, and ordinary people hear it too: “AI is everywhere.” While that’s true, there are plenty of misconceptions about what AI is and how it really works. Engineer, research scientist and creator of the fascinating blog AI Weirdness, Janelle Shane dispels some myths about AI and tries to make it easier for laymen to understand You look like a thing and I love you (If that sounds like the uncanny perfection of an AI-generated one-liner to you, you’re right.)
What better way to explain AI than with examples of what it can and cannot do? Shane is an expert at this, filling the book with hilarious AI experiments and a ton of complementary, charming cartoons. Her writing style is also so approachable that anyone, not just the tech-savvy or the tech-savvy, can understand the often abstract concepts she details. It can be daunting to think of what society often labels the impending AI takeover, but it’s not so succinct — and Shane’s book explains why that is by showing readers what AI usually does well and what it does. incredibly wrong.
You look like a thing and I love you [Available November 5]