Wordplay TBR Pile: Fiction Part I: Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Page-Grippers

Hello all current and soon-to-be bibliophiles! I hope you’re all doing well and being social-distancing heroes. I love you for that. With Virtual Wordplay 2020 quickly approaching, I bet you’re itching to get a closer look into all the amazing authors and their works coming to your screens in a matter of weeks! Therefore, I have brought to you a breakdown of all the beautiful and intriguing fiction works coming to Wordplay 2020! 

Works of fiction often reflect parts of ourselves and show the emotions that we thought no one else felt or even knew about. It offers us the opportunity to escape into daring adventures, to gain perspective and grow, to feel giddy when the lovers finally meet, or, simply, to laugh and cry. But, overall, we enjoy fiction because it allows us to feel connected to a story beyond ourselves that’s also somewhat a part of us. From romantic fiction, literary dramas, family and historical dramas, gripping page turners, and every blend between and beyond, there is sure to be a work for everyone coming to virtual Wordplay this spring. 

So, without further ado, dear humans, take a gander at the list below for all your fiction needs!


Sci-Fi and Fantasy

Have you ever wondered what life would be like if we lived in a galactic super-universe? Or perhaps in a world merged with creatures and biotechnology? If so, we certainly have the books for you. Sci-fi and fantasy offer an escape into worlds of adventure and curiosity, allowing us to look at the possibilities/nightmares of the future or the galaxies far, far away. For your SFF needs, these STAR-tling books and their (inter)stellar authors are coming to Wordplay 2020!


The Last Emperox by John Scalzi 

Venture through the cosmos in the third book of Scalzi’s The Interdependency series, The Last Emperox. With her empire collapsing and millions of galaxies at risk of poverty, Emperox Grayland II must face off with greedy, evil forces that willfully deny impending doom, using every asset and ally to save her empire—and humanity itself. 



Dead Astronauts by Jeff VanderMeer

Set in the psychedelic world of his Borne series, Vandermeer weaves together another complex web of the surreal. Humans, creatures, and multiple Earths collide in terrifying ways that force us to confront our place in the world and the roles that go into creating dystopia. 




Who doesn’t love a good adrenaline rush, right? If you’re looking for a page to grip, something to shake up these days of isolation, or maybe you’re just fond of a wonderfully written intrigue, the authors below have got just the work for you. These works range from sheer horror, unraveling conspiracies, murder mysteries, psychological labyrinths, nail-biting heists, and short story collections that have it all. They aren’t mere jumpscares; these authors bring their literary prowess to deliver stories with a marvelous blend of  complexity, suspense, and drama. Now, enough of me talking, let's get to the books!


The Illness Lesson - Clare Beams

The Illness Lesson by Clare Beams

Caroline Hood and her father, Samuel, open a school for young women in 19th-century New England. But when the students begin to exhibit bizarre and unexplainable ailments, Caroline must protect her students from a sinister physician with vile methods to “cure” them. Beams’s novel is a daring commentary that  examines the historical gaslighting of women and the patriarchal systems that work to confine them. 


I Hold a Wolf by the Ears: Stories by Laura van den Berg

Laura van den Berg brings eleven compelling and unnerving stories of women on the brink. A labyrinth of the human psyche, each work is an urgent yet timeless story that confronts issues of misogyny, violence, and patriarchy.  



Four by Four by Sara Mesa

Isolated from the chaos of the outside world, everything seems well at Wybrany College. But lurking underneath the shiny surface lies abhorrent motives. When one of the “special” scholarship students goes missing, a network of intrigue, lies, secrets, and insinuation begins to unravel. 


The Herd - Andrea Bartz

The Herd by Andrea Bartz

The Herd is a glamorous, elite-women-only coworking space. When its beloved founder, Eleanor, goes missing and foul play seems to be the cause, her friends must solve a thrilling mystery and uncover the truth while trying to cover up secrets of their own. Bartz delivers a chilling enigma that delves into the complexities of modern workers and female spaces/relationships. 


Dead West by Matt Goldman

Dead West follows Minneapolis detective Nils Shapiro in another jaw-clenching thriller. After Nils in sent after Ebben Mayer, a man whose wife has tragically died, Nils quickly suspects a plot for murder. To stop a killer before it’s too late, Nils must move deeper into Ebben’s inner circle, where false smiles hide nefarious intentions.


Suicide Woods: Stories by Benjamin Percy

Ingenious suspense author Benjamin Percy conjures up a stunning collection of gripping stories ranging from horror, crime, and the bizarre happenings that lurk deep within the woods. Written with infinite detail, these terrifying worlds and stories come bounding off the page. 



The Last Passenger by Charles Finch

In the final installment in the prequel trilogy of his beloved Charles Lennox series, Finch delivers yet another cunning plot of murder and mystery. In London 1855, we follow a young Charles Lennox, who must solve a baffling murder without a single clue. Bold and page-turning, witness as Lennox makes the switch into the illustrious detective he is destined to become.