Dystopias, alternate histories, and epic fantasies turn the spotlight on politics, gender, race, and revolution.
The City We Became
N.K. Jemisin. Orbit, Mar. 24 ($28, ISBN 978-0-316-50984-8)
Hugo and Nebula Award winner Jemisin launches a new series about the personified boroughs of New York fighting to protect their city from an ancient evil.
Nicole Glover. Mariner/Adams, July 7 ($15.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-0-358-19705-8)
Glover’s debut presents an alternate history of post–Civil War America. Hetty Rhodes, a magic user and former conductor on the Underground Railroad, uses her powers to solve murders that the white authorities won’t touch.
Tim Lebbon. Titan, Apr. 7 ($14.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-78909-293-6)
In a near-future devastated by climate change, the Virgin Zones, 13 areas of land off-limits to humanity, were established to be the lungs of the world, but reckless adventurers lead clandestine missions into their wilds.
The Fires of Vengeance
Evan Winter. Orbit, July 14 ($28, ISBN 978-0-316-48980-5)
Winter follows his knockout epic fantasy debut with this sequel about an ousted queen who joins forces with a young warrior in order to reclaim her throne and save her people. 75,000-copy announced first printing.
The House in the Cerulean Sea
TJ Klune. Tor, Mar. 17 ($26.99, ISBN 978-1-250-21728-8)
In this quirky, queer fantasy, starred by PW, a case worker from the Department in Charge of Magical Youth is tasked with determining whether six orphans are likely to cause the apocalypse.
The Lost Future of Pepperharrow
Natasha Pulley. Bloomsbury, Feb. 18 ($27, ISBN 978-1-63557-330-5)
Starred by PW, the sequel to Pulley’s gaslamp fantasy The Watchmaker of Filigree Street transports queer couple Thaniel and Mori to a haunted, steampunk-infused Japan where Mori’s powers to predict and manipulate the future are jeopardized.
The Mother Code
Carole Stivers. Berkley, May 5 ($26, ISBN 978-1-984806-92-5)
Stivers’s near-future debut introduces an Earth devastated by biological warfare in which genetically engineered babies are raised by robot mothers to ensure the future of the human race.
A Pale Light in the Black
K.B. Wagers. Harper Voyager, Mar. 3 ($25.99, ISBN 978-0-06-288778-8)
This first entry in a military science fiction series introduces the Near-Earth Orbital Guard, a military force patrolling space inspired by the real-life missions of the U.S. Coast Guard.
Upright Women Wanted
Sarah Gailey. Tor.com, Feb. 4 ($20.99, ISBN 978-1-250-21358-7)
Queer librarian spies weather the oppressive government of a future Southwestern America in this dystopian adventure, starred by PW.
Hao Jingfang, trans. by Ken Liu. Saga, Apr. 14 ($27.99, ISBN 978-1-5344-2208-7)
A group of human kids are sent to Earth as delegates from the Martian colonies in an attempt to ease rising tensions between the planets, leading to culture shock and fractured allegiances, in the first novel by Hugo Award–winner Jingfang, translated by Liu, another Hugo winner.
SF, Fantasy & Horror Listings
Now, Then, and Everywhen by Rysa Walker (Apr. 7, $14.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-61218-919-2). When Madi and Tyson, two time-traveling historians, cross paths during trips back to one of the most tumultuous decades of the 20th century, history goes helter-skelter. Now it’s up to them to prevent the past from being erased forever.
American Demon by Kim Harrison (June 16, $28, ISBN 978-0-593-10141-4). Harrison revisits the Hollows urban fantasy series with this look at what happens after the world has been saved. Witch-born demon Rachel Mariana Morgan and her friends may have stopped the apocalypse, but they accidentally released a whole new set of evils into the world.
Simantov by Asaf Ashery (Apr. 14, $12.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-0-85766-838-7). When women start disappearing from streets, clubs, and rooftops, the mystical Soothsayer Task Force is called in to use its supernatural skills to make sense of the strange forensic evidence, which may portend a looming apocalypse.
Forced Perspectives by Tim Powers (Mar. 3, $25, ISBN 978-1-982124-40-3). Fugitives discover the supernatural secret history of Los Angeles—from Satanic indie movies of the 1960s, to the unquiet La Brea Tar Pits at midnight—while being pursued by a Silicon Valley guru determined to incorporate their souls into the creation of a new World God.
Starborn & Godsons by Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle, and Steven Barnes (Apr. 7, $25, ISBN 978-1-982124-48-9). Niven, Pournelle, and Barnes conclude their Heorot series with this story of first contact. The thriving first generation of Starborn human colonists on the planet Avalon is thrown into chaos when a strange object originating from Earth’s solar system hurtles through the stars toward them.
The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson (July 21, $26, ISBN 978-0-593-09960-5). A young woman living in a world ruled by a rigid, repressive church discovers dark powers within herself in this feminist fantasy debut.
The Andromeda’s Ghost by Becca Fox (July 16, $26.95, ISBN 978-1-64397-082-0). Humanity finds a new home on Jurthaan IV by signing a peace treaty with a neighboring planet and arranging for the marriage of Princess Kylee Wen Dao. After Kylee’s bodyguard and lover, Taren Platinum, crashes the wedding to steal the princess away, the pair must fight their way through the galaxy to survive.
Master of Sorrows by Justin T. Call (Feb. 25, $29.99, ISBN 978-1-982591-78-6). In Call’s series launch, a magical orphan boy, destined to become the new dark lord, is caught between the antimagic ideology of the Academy that raised him and the burden of his forbidden powers.
Rules for Being Dead by Kim Powers (May 12, $17.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-949467-35-2). When the mother of queer, movie-obsessed 10-year-old Clarke dies in late 1960s Texas, no one will tell him how or why. No one will tell her, either: her spirit’s trapped between life and death, hovering above the town, searching for answers about her final moments on earth.
The OK End of Funny Town by Mark Polanzak (May 5, $17 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-950774-05-0). The stories in Polanzak’s debut collection stitch fantastic situations and characters into the drab fabric of everyday life.
Roarings from Further Out: Four Weird Novellas by Algernon Blackwood, edited by Xavier Aldana Reyes (July 1, $15.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-0-7123-5305-2). These collected novellas from weird fiction author Blackwood feature nightmarish monsters, jealous spirits, and occult detectives.
Beneath the World, a Sea by Chris Beckett (Apr. 1, $15.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-78649-157-2). In 1990, Ben Ronson, a British police officer, arrives in a South American forest to investigate a spate of killings of Duendes: silent, vaguely humanoid creatures with the psychic ability to expose humans’ innermost thoughts and fears.
Arcamira by Hannah M. Sandoval (Mar. 1, $24.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-78904-262-7). When Atalanta, an elf princess, is snatched from her palace, all of Arcamira is on high alert. Four young royals uphold their alliance with the elves and satisfy their desire for adventure by setting out with a search party to find Atalanta and face down a monster unlike anything they’ve ever seen.
Devolution: A Firsthand Account of the Rainier Sasquatch Massacre by Max Brooks (May 12, $28, ISBN 978-1-984826-78-7). Brooks (World War Z) takes on the legend of Bigfoot, constructing a horror novel out of diary entries from a witness to a sasquatch massacre and Brooks’s own scientific research.
The Last Human by Zack Jordan (Mar. 24, $27, ISBN 978-0-451-49981-3). The lone existing member of the human species, otherwise destroyed a millennium ago, runs for her life through a strange, crowded galaxy pursued by a godlike intelligence in this debut space opera.
Fiction Collective Two
The Book of Kane and Margaret: A Novel by Kiik Araki-Kawaguchi (Mar. 10, $18.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-57366-184-3). Teenage lovers Kane Araki and Margaret Mori disrupt a WWII internment camp in Arizona in this dreamlike, fantastical alternate history.
The Wise Friend by Ramsey Campbell (Apr. 23, $24.95, ISBN 978-1-78758-404-4). In this horror novel from the prolific Campbell, three generations of the Torrington family are drawn to dangerous occult forces.
Our Child of the Stars by Stephen Cox (Mar. 3, $26.99, ISBN 978-1-78648-995-1). It’s 1969, and Molly and Gene Myers’s marriage is on the brink of collapse. Then a meteor crashes into Amber Grove, devastating the small New England town—and changing Molly and Gene’s lives when they rescue a strange child from the wreckage.
Cry of Metal & Bone by L Penelope (May 19, $18.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-250-14811-7). The third epic fantasy in the Earthsinger Chronicles sees centuries-old enemy nations struggling to unite in a world of deadly magic and political intrigue. When anti-unification groups attack, an unlikely team assembles to investigate.
The Faceless Old Woman Who Secretly Lives in Your Home: A Welcome to Night Vale Novel by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor (Mar. 24, $21.99, ISBN 978-0-06-288900-3). This standalone novel set in the world of Night Vale explores the origins of the Faceless Old Woman who secretly lives in everyone’s homes in a series of flashbacks to her century-spanning, swashbuckling quest for revenge on the people who betrayed her. 150,000-copy announced first printing.
Race the Sands by Sarah Beth Durst (Apr. 21, $16.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-0-06-288861-7). In this standalone epic fantasy, a pair of determined women risk their lives battling injustice, corruption, and deadly enemies in their quests to become monster racing champions.
The Sisters Grimm by Menna Van Praag (Mar. 31, $26.99, ISBN 978-0-06-293246-4). As children, demonic half-sisters Goldie, Liyana, Scarlet, and Bea, born to help their father corrupt humanity, find each other in the preternatural otherworld they visit in their dreams. When the grown sisters are separated, they search for one another, discovering their powers along the way.
Skin by Liam Brown (Apr. 1, $11.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-78955-040-5). When a strange virus sweeps the globe, humans become allergic to one another. Angela and her family attempt to survive by confining themselves to separate rooms and communicating via phone and computer, until the day a stranger who seems to be immune to the disease comes to town.
Chosen Ones by Veronica Roth (Apr. 6, $26.99, ISBN 978-0-358-16408-1). In the first adult novel from bestselling YA author Roth (the Divergent series) five ordinary teenagers are chosen to take down the Dark One, a powerful entity wreaking havoc across North America. Ten years after their victory, one of the Chosen Ones dies, and the PTSD-racked remaining four are thrown back into a dangerous fight. 150,000-copy announced first printing.
The Boatman’s Daughter by Andy Davidson (Feb. 11, $16 trade paper, ISBN 978-0-374-53855-2). Smuggler Miranda Crabtree faces down dark forces, both human and supernatural, stirring in her bayou home in this Southern gothic fantasy thriller.
The Unwilling by Kelly Braffet (Feb. 11, $27.99, ISBN 978-0-7783-0940-6). Judah, a foundling born with a special gift, is raised inside Highfall castle alongside Gavin, the heir to Lord Elban’s vast empire. As Gavin is groomed for his future role, Judah comes to realize that she has no real position within the kingdom, and Elban uses them both as pawns in his own political games.
The Last Smile in Sunder City by Luke Arnold (Feb. 25, $15.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-0-316-45582-4). In Black Sails actor Arnold’s debut, a former soldier turned PI tries to help the fantasy creatures leading desperate lives in a world that’s lost its magic.
The Obsidian Tower by Melissa Caruso (June 2, $16.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-0-316-42509-4). As the granddaughter of a Witch Lord, Ryx is destined for power and prestige. But a childhood illness leaves her with broken magic that drains the life from anything she touches. After Ryx unwittingly unleashes a threat that could destroy everything she loves, she must fight to save her world.
The Deep by Alma Katsu (Mar. 10, $27, ISBN 978-0-525-53790-8). Katsu (The Hunger) rewrites the sinking of the Titanic as a ghost story. Someone, or something, is haunting the ship, leading to mysterious disappearances and sudden deaths. After the sinking, two survivors are reunited during WWI, reawakening dark secrets as they both discover that the terror isn’t over. 50,000-copy announced first printing.
Providence by Max Barry (Mar. 31, $27, ISBN 978-0-593-08517-2). Four astronauts captaining a supposedly indestructible ship in humanity’s conflict with an alien race face a surprising threat, forcing them to confront the true nature of the war they’re fighting. 75,000-copy announced first printing.
The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix (Apr. 7, $21.99, ISBN 978-1-68369-143-3). A women’s book club must protect its suburban community from a mysterious stranger who turns out to be a monster in this Southern-flavored supernatural thriller set in the 1990s.
The Age of Witches by Louisa Morgan (Apr. 7, $28, ISBN 978-0-316-41951-2). In Gilded Age New York and London, Harriet Bishop, descended from a long line of witches, uses magic to help women in need. Harriet’s cousin, Frances Allington, plans to use her magic to make an aristocratic match for her reluctant stepdaughter, Annis. Together, Harriet and Annis must find a way to resist Frances’s dark agenda.
A Declaration of the Rights of Magicians by H.G. Parry (June 23, $28, ISBN 978-0-316-45908-2). Magical rebellions sweep through the early modern world, from the necromancer Robespierre calling for French revolution to the mage Toussaint L’Ouverture leading the slave uprising in Haiti. Amid the upheaval, an unknown force incites violent discord. It will require the efforts of revolutionaries, magicians, and abolitionists to unmask the enemy. 75,000-copy announced first printing.
The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones (Apr. 7, $26.99, ISBN 978-1-982136-45-1). Four childhood friends from the Blackfeet Nation fight for their lives against an entity that wants revenge for what they did during an elk hunt 10 years earlier.
The Companions by Katie M. Flynn (Mar. 3, $27, ISBN 978-1-982122-15-7). In the near future world of this debut, the dead can be uploaded to machines and kept in service by the living. In the wake of a viral outbreak, California is under quarantine, leading the living to rely on the dead for companionship. But what happens when the dead rebel?
Axiom’s End by Lindsay Ellis (July 21, $27.99, ISBN 978-1-250-25673-7). Youtuber Ellis’s debut is an alternate history of first contact. In the fall of 2007, a leak reveals that the U.S. government has known about extraterrestrials in their midst for decades. Cora Sabino, the whistleblower’s daughter, seeks to understand the aliens by offering to serve as their interpreter.
The Gobblin Society by James P. Blaylock, illus. by Jon Foster (Mar. 31, $40, ISBN 978-1-59606-948-0). The latest installment in the adventures of eccentric Victorian gentleman Langdon St. Ives is a madcap gaslamp fantasy featuring smuggling, mesmerism, kidnapping, cannibalism, and murder.
Knife Children by Lois McMaster Bujold (Feb. 29, $25, ISBN 978-1-59606-954-1). Lakewalker Barr Foxbrush returns from patrolling the bitter wilds of Luthlia to find that the secret daughter he’d left behind has disappeared from her home. The search for her will call on more of Barr’s mind and heart than just his mage powers as he finally faces up to past mistakes.
The Golden Key by Marian Womack (Feb. 18, $14.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-78909-325-4). In this occult Victorian-era mystery, one of London’s most reputed mediums investigates the disappearances of three girls in the strange land of the Norfolk Fens.
Or What You Will by Jo Walton (July 7, $26.99, ISBN 978-1-250-30899-3). The Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy Award winner delivers a tale of a 73-year-old fantasy novelist and the character plotting to free himself from inside her head.
The Unspoken Name by A.K. Larkwood (Feb. 11, $25.99, ISBN 978-1-250-23890-0). An orc princess slated to be sacrificed to the gods turns assassin and travels through parallel worlds rather than allow herself to die in Larkwood’s debut fantasy, starred by PW.
Docile by K.M. Szpara (Mar. 3, $27.99, ISBN 978-1-250-21615-1). Szpara’s debut is a glimpse into a near-future dystopia where desperate debtors sell themselves as sex slaves to the ultra-rich.
Harrow the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir (June 2, $26.99, ISBN 978-1-250-31322-5). Mystery, murder, and mayhem pervade the sequel to Gideon the Ninth as one necromancer struggles to survive the wreckage of the Emperor’s haunted space station.
Stormsong by C.L. Polk (Feb. 11, $17.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-0-7653-9899-4). Polk follows her debut, Witchmark, with this gaslamp fantasy about mage Dame Grace Hensley’s struggles to protect her country from disaster as revolution brews.
The Cuckoo Girls by Patricia Lillie (Apr. 24, $15.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-950305-24-7). The 16 weird fiction and horror stories in Lillie’s debut collection feature female protagonists of various ages, dealing with the expectations of their twisted worlds.
The Best of Both Worlds by S.P. Miskowski (May 1, $13.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-950305-26-1). This companion novella to Miskowski’s The Worst Is Yet to Come follows Roland and his sister Pigeon. They’re the kind of people most visitors to the small town of Skillute never notice: ordinary, hardworking folk who keep to themselves, obey the speed limit, and perform strange rituals under cover of night.
The Nightmare Feast by Andrew Klavan (Mar. 3, $29.99, ISBN 978-1-68442-267-8). A screenwriter turns out to be the chosen one and is caught between Los Angeles and the magical medieval world of Galiana, tasked with taking a talisman across the Eleven Lands to restore the rightful queen to her throne.
The Vessels by Anna M. Elias (Mar. 17, $18.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-944109-08-0). Four strangers volunteer to become the first humans in North America to join a program that will see their bodies host Spirits, who will then have seven days to right past wrongs.
The Humans in the Walls by Eric James Stone (Apr. 29, $15.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-68057-060-1). The 27 speculative tales in this collection from Nebula-winner Stone range from hard science fiction to fairy tale, humor to horror.
This article has been updated with new bibliographic information for some titles.