Network Effect by Martha WellsStarring: Murderbot, the sardonic, antisocial SecUnit that just wants to be left alone to binge-watch shows while doing a bare minimum of work.
What happens: Once again, Murderbot's human associates need saving, which means doing a thing. As opposed to NOT doing a thing (Murderbot's preference).
Series alert: Although this 5th installment of the Murderbot Diaries can be enjoyed on its own, starting at the beginning (with All Systems Red) provides important context.
Exhalation: Stories by Ted ChiangWhat it is: the long-awaited 2nd short story collection by the author of Stories of Your Life and Others.
Don't miss: "The Life Cycle of Software Objects," in which humans and machines form parent-child bonds; "The Merchant and the Alchemist's Gate," a time travel tale in the style of One Thousand and One Nights.
Reviewers say: "likely to linger in the memory the way riddles may linger -- teasing, tormenting, illuminating, thrilling" (The New Yorker).
How Long 'til Black Future Month? by N.K. JemisinWhat it is: a collection of new and previously published short stories by award-winning science fiction and fantasy writer N.K. Jemisin.
Contains: 22 tales, including "proof of concept" pieces that evolved into the author's Broken Earth trilogy ("Stone Hunger"), Dreamblood duology ("The Narcomancer"), and The City We Became ("The City Born Great").
Why you might like it: Diverse in style and subject matter, the stories display Jemisin's lyrical prose and talent for world-building.
Ambiguity Machines: And Other Stories by Vandana SinghWhat it is: the North American debut of science fiction writer and physicist Vandana Singh, known for her lyrical prose and moving, thought-provoking short fiction.
Reviewers say: Publishers Weekly, in a starred review, praises the "delicate touch and passionately humanist sensibilities" of these wide-ranging speculative tales.
Don't miss: "With Fate Conspire," a story about a refugee whose unique ability to peer through time allows her to influence history.
Contact your librarian for more great books!