MOST ANTICIPATED SFF BOOKS 2023
Welcome to our annual Most Anticipated post! That’s right, if our 2022 Awards didn’t destroy your TBR, this list will be sure to finish it…
(Note: The list was curated by our contributors, and is ordered by expected publication date. All blurbs and publication information have been gathered from Goodreads, Amazon, and publishers’ websites. Titles are links to Goodreads, or Fantastic Fiction when Goodreads unavailable –
adding not-yet released books to your “want to read” list massively helps authors, especially debuts, so please go make someone’s new year extra happy!)
THE WRITTEN WORLD AND THE UNWRITTEN WORLD
A collection of essays offering an extraordinary global view of Calvino’s approach to writing, reading, and interpreting literature
Reading, writing, translating; the avant-garde and tradition; the fate of the novel: these are just some of the themes of The Written World and the Unwritten World. A collection of essays, forewords, articles, interviews, notes, and other occasional pieces, this work displays Calvino’s remarkable intelligence and razor-sharp wit as he explores the meaning of literature in a rapidly changing world. Drawn from Mondo scritto e mondo non scritto (2002), Sulla fiaba (1988), and uncollected essays, this volume of previously untranslated work—now rendered in English by Ann Goldstein—is a major statement in literary criticism.
Expected release: 5th January (Penguin Modern Classics)
THE DAUGHTERS OF IZDIHAR
From debut author Hadeer Elsbai comes the first book in an incredibly powerful new duology, set wholly in a new world, but inspired by modern Egyptian history, about two young women–Nehal, a spoiled aristocrat used to getting what she wants and Giorgina, a poor bookshop worker used to having nothing–who find they have far more in common, particularly in their struggle for the rights of women and their ability to fight for it with forbidden elemental magic
As a waterweaver, Nehal can move and shape any water to her will, but she’s limited by her lack of formal education. She desires nothing more than to attend the newly opened Weaving Academy, take complete control of her powers, and pursue a glorious future on the battlefield with the first all-female military regiment. But her family cannot afford to let her go–crushed under her father’s gambling debt, Nehal is forcibly married into a wealthy merchant family. Her new spouse, Nico, is indifferent and distant and in love with another woman, a bookseller named Giorgina.
Giorgina has her own secret, however: she is an earthweaver with dangerously uncontrollable powers. She has no money and no prospects. Her only solace comes from her activities with the Daughters of Izdihar, a radical women’s rights group at the forefront of a movement with a simple goal: to attain recognition for women to have a say in their own lives. They live very different lives and come from very different means, yet Nehal and Giorgina have more in common than they think. The cause–and Nico–brings them into each other’s orbit, drawn in by the group’s enigmatic leader, Malak Mamdouh, and the urge to do what is right.
But their problems may seem small in the broader context of their world, as tensions are rising with a neighboring nation that desires an end to weaving and weavers. As Nehal and Giorgina fight for their rights, the threat of war looms in the background, and the two women find themselves struggling to earn–and keep–a lasting freedom.
Expected release: 10th January (HarperVoyager US) 12th January (Orbit UK)
Adrienne Maree Brown
The search for hope and community in death and desolation.
The pandemic of Syndrome H-8 continues to ravage the city of Detroit and everyone in Dune’s life. In Maroons, she must learn what community and connection mean in the lonely wake of a fatal virus. Emerging from grief to follow the subtle path of small pleasures through an abandoned urban landscape, she begins finding other unlikely survivors with little in common but the will to live. This second installment of the Grievers trilogy is a tale of survival, of moving beyond seemingly insurmountable devastation toward, if not hope itself, then the road to hope.
Expected release: 17th January (AK Press)
A VENOM DARK AND SWEET
Judy I. Lin
A great evil has come to the kingdom of Dàxi. The Banished Prince has returned to seize power, his rise to the dragon throne aided by the mass poisonings that have kept the people bound in fear and distrust.
Ning, a young but powerful shénnóng-shi—a wielder of magic using the ancient and delicate art of tea-making—has escorted Princess Zhen into exile. Joining them is the princess’ loyal bodyguard, Ruyi, and Ning’s newly healed sister, Shu. Together the four young women travel throughout the kingdom in search of allies to help oust the invaders and take back Zhen’s rightful throne.
But the golden serpent still haunts Ning’s nightmares with visions of war and bloodshed. An evil far more ancient than the petty conflicts of men has awoken, and all the magic in the land may not be enough to stop it from consuming the world…
Expected release: 17th January (Titan)
ALL THE BLOOD WE SHARE
Discover the darkly addictive new historical crime based on a twisted true story, from the author of Triflers Need Not Apply
Blood is thicker than water . . . and murder is best kept in the family
At first the townspeople of Cherryvale welcome the arrival of medium Kate Bender and her family.
Kate’s messages from the Beyond give their dreams hope, and her mother’s potions cure their ills – for a price.
No one knows about their other business, the shortcut they offer to a better life. And why shouldn’t Kate’s family prosper? They’re careful. It’s only from those who are marked, those who travel alone and can easily disappear, that the Benders demand their pound of flesh.
But even a gifted seer like Kate can make a misstep.
Now as the secrets festering beneath the soil of the family orchard threaten to bring them all to ruin, the Benders must sharpen their craft – or vanish themselves . . .
Expected release: 19th January (Penguin Books)
EMILY WILDE’S ENCYCLOPAEDIA OF FAERIES
A curmudgeonly professor journeys to a small town in the far north to study faerie folklore and discovers dark fae magic, friendship, and love in the start of a heartwarming and enchanting new fantasy series.
Cambridge professor Emily Wilde is good at many things: She is the foremost expert on the study of faeries. She is a genius scholar and a meticulous researcher who is writing the world’s first encyclopaedia of faerie lore. But Emily Wilde is not good at people. She could never make small talk at a party–or even get invited to one. And she prefers the company of her books, her dog, Shadow, and the Fair Folk to other people.
So when she arrives in the hardscrabble village of Hrafnsvik, Emily has no intention of befriending the gruff townsfolk. Nor does she care to spend time with another new arrival: her dashing and insufferably handsome academic rival Wendell Bambleby, who manages to charm the townsfolk, get in the middle of Emily’s research, and utterly confound and frustrate her.
But as Emily gets closer and closer to uncovering the secrets of the Hidden Ones–the most elusive of all faeries–lurking in the shadowy forest outside the town, she also finds herself on the trail of another mystery: Who is Wendell Bambleby, and what does he really want? To find the answer, she’ll have to unlock the greatest mystery of all–her own heart.
Expected release: 19th January (Orbit)
Kissen kills gods for a living, and she enjoys it. That is until she finds a god she cannot kill: Skediceth, god of white lies, who is connected to a little noble girl on the run.
Elogast fought in the god war, and helped purge the city of a thousand shrines before laying down his sword. A mysterious request from the King sends him racing back to the city he destroyed.
On the way he meets a godkiller, a little girl and a littler god, who cannot find out about his quest.
Expected release: 19th January (HarperVoyager)
The first book in an epic fantasy series for fans of Sabaa Tahir, Hafsah Faizal and Elizabeth Lim, set in an Arabian-inspired land. Raised to protect her nation from the monsters lurking in the sands, seventeen-year-old Imani must fight to find her brother whose betrayal is now their greatest threat.
In the hidden desert city of Qalia, secret spice magic awakens affinities in those who drink the misra tea. With an affinity for iron, seventeen-year-old Imani wields a dagger like no other warrior, garnering her the reputation as the next greatest Shield for battling the dangerous djinn, ghouls, and other monsters that lurk in the sands beyond city limits.
Her reputation has been overshadowed, however, by her brother who tarnished the family name after he was discovered stealing their nation’s coveted spice – a tell-tale sign of magical obsession. He disappeared soon after, believed to have died beyond the Forbidden Wastes, and leaving Imani reeling with both betrayal and grief.
But when Imani uncovers evidence her brother may be alive and spreading their nation’s magic beyond the desert, she strikes a deal with the Council to find him and bring him back to Qalia before he can reveal the city’s location. Accompanied by Qayn, a roguish but handsome djinni, and Taha, a powerful beastseer whose magical talents are matched only by his arrogance, they set out on their mission.
Imani will soon discover there are many secrets that lie beyond the Forbidden Wastes – and in her own heart – but will she find her brother before his betrayals endanger the fate of all of Qalia?
In this epic and action-packed fantasy, one young heroine navigates the treacherous road between protecting the ones you love and staying loyal to the place you call home.
Expected release: 24th January (Hodderscape)
THE WHISPERING MUSE
Be careful what you wish for… it may just come true.
At The Mercury Theatre in London’s West End, rumours are circulating of a curse.
It is said that the lead actress Lilith has made a pact with Melpomene, the tragic muse of Greek mythology, to become the greatest actress to ever grace the stage. Suspicious of Lilith, the jealous wife of the theatre owner sends dresser Jenny to spy on her, and desperate for the money to help her family, Jenny agrees.
What Jenny finds is a woman as astonishing in her performance as she is provocative in nature. On stage, it’s as though Lilith is possessed by the characters she plays, yet off stage she is as tragic as the Muse who inspires her, and Jenny, sorry for her, befriends the troubled actress. But when strange events begin to take place around the theatre, Jenny wonders if the rumours are true, and fears that when the Muse comes calling for payment, the cost will be too high.
Expected release: 2nd February (Bloomsbury)
SONG OF SILVER, FLAME LIKE NIGHT
Amelie Wen Zhao
In a fallen kingdom, one girl carries the key to discovering the secrets of her nation’s past – and unleashing the demons that sleep at its heart. An epic new fantasy duology inspired by Chinese mythology.
Once, Lan had a different name. Now, she goes by the one the Elantian colonizers gave her when they invaded her kingdom, killed her mother, and outlawed her people’s magic. She spends her nights as a songgirl in Haak’gong, a city transformed by the conquerors, and spends her days scavenging for remnants of the past. For anything that might help her understand the strange mark burned into her arm by her mother, in her last act before she died.
No one can see the mysterious mark, an untranslatable Hin character, except Lan. Until the night a boy appears at the teahouse and saves her life.
Zen is a practitioner – one of the fabled magicians of the Last Kingdom, whose abilities were rumoured to be drawn from the demons they communed with. Magic believed to be long lost. Magic to be hidden from the Elantians at all costs.
Both Lan and Zen have secrets buried deep within. Fate has connected them, but their destiny remains unwritten. Both hold the power to liberate their land. And both hold the power to destroy the world.
A ferocious tale of romance and fate, Song of Silver, Flame Like Night is a gift to those seeking adventure with a mythological twist.
Perfect for fans of Daughter of the Moon Goddess by Sue Lynn Tan, The Final Strife by Saara El-Arifi and Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao.
Expected release: 2nd February (HarperVoyager)
THE TYRANNY OF FAITH
From a major new debut author in epic fantasy comes the second book in a trilogy where action, intrigue, and magic collide. Sir Konrad Vonvalt is an Emperor’s Justice: a detective, judge, and executioner all in one. But these are dangerous times to be a Justice….
A Justice’s work is never done.
The Battle of Galen’s Vale is over, but the war for the Empire’s future has just begun. Concerned by rumors that the Magistratum’s authority is waning, Sir Konrad Vonvalt returns to Sova to find the capital city gripped by intrigue and whispers of rebellion. In the Senate, patricians speak openly against the Emperor, while fanatics preach holy vengeance on the streets.
Yet facing down these threats to the throne will have to wait, for the Emperor’s grandson has been kidnapped – and Vonvalt is charged with rescuing the missing prince. His quest will lead him – and his allies Helena, Bressinger and Sir Radomir – to the southern frontier, where they will once again face the puritanical fury of Bartholomew Claver and his templar knights – and a dark power far more terrifying than they could have imagined.
Expected release: 14th February (Orbit)
THE JAGUAR PATH
The Empire of Songs reigns supreme. Across all the lands of Ixachipan, its hypnotic, magical music sounds. Those who battled against the Empire have been enslaved and dispersed, taken far from their friends and their homes.
In the Singing City, Xessa must fight for the entertainment of her captors. Lilla and thousands of warriors are trained to serve as weapons for their enemies. And Tayan is trapped at the heart of the Empire’s power and magic, where the ruthless Enet’s ambition is ever growing.
Each of them harbours a secret hope, waiting for a chance to strike at the Empire from within.
But first they must overcome their own desires. Power can seduce as well as crush. And, in exchange for their loyalty, the Empire promises much.
Expected release: 16th February (HarperVoyager)
THE LAST TALE OF THE FLOWER BRIDE
A sumptuous, gothic-infused story about a marriage that is unraveled by dark secrets, a friendship cursed to end in tragedy, and the danger of believing in fairy tales—the breathtaking adult debut from New York Times bestselling author Roshani Chokshi.
Once upon a time, a man who believed in fairy tales married a beautiful, mysterious woman named Indigo Maxwell-Casteñada. He was a scholar of myths. She was heiress to a fortune. They exchanged gifts and stories and believed they would live happily ever after—and in exchange for her love, Indigo extracted a promise: that her bridegroom would never pry into her past.
But when Indigo learns that her estranged aunt is dying and the couple is forced to return to her childhood home, the House of Dreams, the bridegroom will soon find himself unable to resist. For within the crumbling manor’s extravagant rooms and musty halls, there lurks the shadow of another girl: Azure, Indigo’s dearest childhood friend who suddenly disappeared. As the house slowly reveals his wife’s secrets, the bridegroom will be forced to choose between reality and fantasy, even if doing so threatens to destroy their marriage . . . or their lives.
Combining the lush, haunting atmosphere of Mexican Gothic with the dreamy enchantment of The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, The Last Tale of the Flower Bride is a spellbinding and darkly romantic page-turner about love and lies, secrets and betrayal, and the stories we tell ourselves to survive.
Expected release: 16th February (Hodderscape)
THE WITCH IN THE WELL
Over a hundred years ago, the citizens of F- did something rather bad. And local school teacher Catherine Evans has made writing the definitive account of what happened when Ilsbeth Clark drowned in the well her life’s work.
The town’s people may not want their past raked up, but Catherine is determined to shine a light upon that shameful event. For Ilsbeth was an innocent, after all. She was shunned and ostracised by rumour-mongers and ill-wishers and someone has to speak up for her. And who better than Catherine, who has herself felt the sting and hurt of such whisperings?
But then a childhood friend returns to F -. Elena is a successful author whose book, The Whispers Inside: A Reawakening of the Soul, has earned her a certain celebrity. In search of a new subject, she takes an interest in the story of Ilsbeth Clark and announces her intention to write a book about the long-dead woman, focusing on the natural magic she believes she possessed.
And Elena has everything Catherine has not, like a platform and connections and no one seems to care that Elena’s book will be pure speculation, tainting Ilsbeth’s memory rather than preserving it. Catherine is determined that something must be done and plots to blunt her rival’s pen. However she had not allowed for the fact that the past might not be so dead after all – that something is reaching out from the well, disturbing her reality.
Before summer’s over, one woman will be dead, the other accused of murder . . . but is she really guilty, or are there other forces at work? And who was Ilsbeth Clark, really? An innocent? A witch? Or something else entirely?
Expected UK release: 23rd February (Transworld)
THE GOLD LEAF EXECUTIONS
There was a way of killing people you told me about. You found it in a book, an old one: gilded edges and a cracked spine, boards that had warped like the hull of a ship.
A young boy takes up the Egyptian art of embalming to win the girl of his dreams. Four devils play knucklebones, as they search for a way out of Hell.
In these stories the dead turn up in unexpected places: buried in the walls of newbuilds, washed up on deserted riverbanks, housed in the carcass of a giant sea creature, flung from bridges only to return to their homes, asking for cream and sugar with their coffee. All the while, the living search for ways to hold onto their happiness, knowing how thin the boundary is between their place and the next.
By turns poignant, surprising and darkly funny, World Fantasy Award-winner Helen Marshall crosses the territory of ancient stories, fairy tales and urban legends in search of new myths for the troubled times we live in.
Expected release: February (Unsung Stories)
A twisted, wildly imaginative tale of one man’s mysterious illness and his journey through a dystopian hospital system.
When Yang Wei travels to C City for work, he expects nothing more than a standard business trip. A break from his day-to-day routine, a good paycheck, a nice hotel—nothing too extravagant, of course. No fuss, but all the amenities.
But this is where his problems begin. A complimentary bottle of mineral water from the hotel minibar results in sudden and debilitating stomach pain, followed by unconsciousness. When he wakes three days later, things don’t improve; they get worse. With no explanation, the hotel forcibly sends him to a hospital for examination. There, he receives no diagnosis, no discharge date…just a diligent guide to the labyrinthine medical system he’s now circulating through.
Armed with nothing but his own confusion, Yang Wei travels deeper into the inner workings of the hospital and the secrets it’s hiding from the patients. As he seeks escape and answers, one man’s illness takes him on a quest through a corrupt system and his own troubled mind.
Expected release: 1st March (Amazon Crossing)
WHITE CAT, BLACK DOG
Seven ingeniously reinvented fairy tales that play out with astonishing consequences in the modern world, from one of today’s finest short story writers – MacArthur ‘Genius Grant’ Fellow Kelly Link, bestselling author of the Pulitzer Prize finalist Get in Trouble.
Finding seeds of inspiration in the Brothers Grimm, seventeenth-century French lore, and Scottish ballads, Kelly Link spins classic fairy tales into utterly original stories of seekers – characters on the hunt for love, connection, revenge, or their own sense of purpose.
In ‘The White Cat’s Divorce’, an aging billionaire sends his three sons on a series of absurd goose chases to decide which will become his heir. In ‘The Girl Who Did Not Know Fear’, a professor with a delicate health condition becomes stranded for days in an airport hotel after a conference, desperate to get home to her wife and young daughter, and in acute danger of being late for an appointment that cannot be missed. In ‘Skinder’s Veil’, a young man agrees to take over a remote house-sitting gig for a friend. But what should be a chance to focus on his long-avoided dissertation instead becomes a wildly unexpected journey, as the house seems to be a portal for otherworldly travelers – or perhaps a door into his own mysterious psyche.
Twisting and winding in astonishing ways, expertly blending realism and the speculative, witty, empathetic, and never predictable – these stories remind us once again of why Kelly Link is incomparable in the art of short fiction.
Expected release: 2nd March (Head of Zeus)
THE SHADOW GALAXY
J. Dianne Dotson
A mesmerizing first collection from the cross-genre author, science writer, and artist J. Dianne Dotson, THE SHADOW GALAXY features short stories and poetry spanning magical realism, science fiction, fantasy, horror, and Appalachian tales. With stories and poetry spanning three decades of work, the author taps into journeys both fantastical and deeply personal. Categories include Shadow Shores: Tales from the Sea; Other Futures: Tales of the Galaxy and a Place Called Earth; Into the Darkest Hollow: Tales of Horror; Love and Other Moments: Traces of the Heart; Far Appalachia: Tales from the Ancient Mountains; and Resonant Thoughts: Some Poetry.
Among these pages, Dotson captures the longing, regrets, and dreams of those living by the sea, such as in “One Evening in Fogvale.” In “RODER,” a young woman risks her life to help find a robot who captured her heart. “Topaz Sundered” explores an exoplanet mining expedition gone horribly wrong. In “The Queen and the Mountain Laurel,” a young Appalachian girl teaches her father an important lesson with the help of mountain spirits. The poem “Obsidian” eviscerates with raw pain from betrayal. Dotson weaves these and many other tales and poems of mysticism, exploration, horror, pain, nostalgia, and wonder, for no shadow can exist without light.
Expected release: 3rd March (Trepidatio Press)
THE ADVENTURES OF AMINA AL-SIRAFI
S. A. Chakraborty
Shannon Chakraborty, the bestselling author of The City of Brass, spins a new trilogy of magic and mayhem on the high seas in this tale of pirates and sorcerers, forbidden artifacts and ancient mysteries, in one woman’s determined quest to seize a final chance at glory—and write her own legend.
Amina al-Sirafi should be content. After a storied and scandalous career as one of the Indian Ocean’s most notorious pirates, she’s survived backstabbing rogues, vengeful merchant princes, several husbands, and one actual demon to retire peacefully with her family to a life of piety, motherhood, and absolutely nothing that hints of the supernatural.
But when she’s tracked down by the obscenely wealthy mother of a former crewman, she’s offered a job no bandit could refuse: retrieve her comrade’s kidnapped daughter for a kingly sum. The chance to have one last adventure with her crew, do right by an old friend, and win a fortune that will secure her family’s future forever? It seems like such an obvious choice that it must be God’s will.
Yet the deeper Amina dives, the more it becomes alarmingly clear there’s more to this job, and the girl’s disappearance, than she was led to believe. For there’s always risk in wanting to become a legend, to seize one last chance at glory, to savor just a bit more power…and the price might be your very soul.
Expected release: 7th March (HarperVoyager)
C. L. Clark
In the second installment of C.L. Clark’s Magic of the Lost trilogy, soldier Touraine and princess Luca must return to Balladaire to reclaim Luca’s throne and to face the consequences of dismantling an empire.
The rebels have won, and the empire is withdrawing from Qazal. But undoing the tangled web that binds the two nations will not be easy, and Touraine and Luca will face their greatest challenge yet.
Luca needs to oust her uncle from the Balladairan throne once and for all and take her rightful place as Queen. But he won’t let go of power so easily. When he calls for a “Trial of Competence” and Luca’s allies start disappearing from her side, she will need to find a way to prove her might. And she knows someone who can help…
Touraine has found a home in the newly free country of Qazal. But she soon realizes that leading a country and leading a revolution are two very different tasks. And, even more importantly, if Luca’s uncle doesn’t ratify the treaty, the Qazali could end up right back where they started.
Together, the two women will have to come overcome their enemies, their history, and their heartbreak in order to find a way to secure Luca’s power and Touraine’s freedom.
Expected release: 7th March (Orbit)
A WITCH’S GUIDE TO FAKE DATING A DEMON
Mariel Spark knows not to trust a demon, especially one that wants her soul, but what’s a witch to do when he won’t leave her side—and she kind of doesn’t want him to?
Mariel Spark is prophesied to be the most powerful witch seen in centuries of the famed Spark family, but to the displeasure of her mother, she prefers baking to brewing potions and gardening to casting hexes. When a spell to summon flour goes very wrong, Mariel finds herself staring down a demon—one she inadvertently summoned for a soul bargain.
Ozroth the Ruthless is a legend among demons. Powerful and merciless, he drives hard bargains to collect mortal souls. But his reputation has suffered ever since a bargain went awry—if he can strike a bargain with Mariel, he will earn back his deadly reputation. Ozroth can’t leave Mariel’s side until they complete a bargain, which she refuses to do (turns out some humans are attached to their souls).
But the witch is funny. And curvy. And disgustingly yet endearingly cheerful. Becoming awkward roommates quickly escalates when Mariel, terrified to confess the inadvertent summoning to her mother, blurts out that she’s dating Ozroth. As Ozroth and Mariel struggle with their opposing goals and maintaining a fake relationship, real attraction blooms between them. But Ozroth has a limited amount of time to strike the deal, and if Mariel gives up her soul, she’ll lose all her emotions—including love—which will only spell disaster for them both.
Expected release: 9th March (Gollancz)
Moths: A chilling dystopian thriller and a must-read debut for 2021
A divergent future with a thought-provoking feminist slant, perfect for those who loved The Power, The Handmaid’s Tale and Vox.
Mary considers tying her teenage son to the radiator.
Olivia flees the bloody scalpel of a surgeon, as he hunts her through the corridors of A&E.
All around the world men are turning into crazed killers or dying in their sleep, as toxic threads find passage on every breath of wind.
Humankind will survive. But only just.
‘Out they came, away from natural predators, nesting in damp corners and in the tops of trees, crossbreeding with common cousins and laying thousands upon thousands of eggs. Then… the eggs hatched and an army of hungry caterpillars spread their tiny toxic threads on every breath of wind.’
The threads spell doom for humanity – half of it, at least. All around the world, men are dying in their sleep or turning into rage-fuelled killers. The world, as we know it, ends. However, humanity adapts and society moves on.
Many years later, very few even remember what life was like before the change. Mary does, though, and when an opportunity presents itself, she is faced with soul-searching decisions to make. Will she cling to the only strand of the past she has left or will she risk it all in the name of equality?
Expected release: 14th March (Angry Robot)
Aeris Warren-Finch is NASA’s Acting Director of the New Earth Object Lab, overseeing the transit of a large unidentified object past Earth’s orbit. She’s trained and worked all her life for this. She couldn’t be more ready.
But the object changes trajectory. What was one object becomes three, seven, nineteen. Nineteen different modules land across the planet.
When the nearest module creates a dome and leaves Aeris stranded within its confines, she’s left to wander in search of safety. But things are stranger than she could have guessed, and she soon discovers she’s not the only one wandering the alien landscapes under the domes.
Alongside her 106-year-old grandmother, a displaced imam, the President of the United States and her bodyguard, Aeris must find a way home before they run out of water, food and ideas.
The question is: when every direction reveals new and strange geographies, which way is the right way to go?
Expected release: 16th March (Gollancz)
ON THE NATURE OF MAGIC
A Gothic supernatural mystery for fans for The Quickening and The Shape of Darkness, featuring real-life events and people, such as George Méliès and the Moberly-Jourdain incident, where two English women claim to have seen the ghost of Marie Antoinette in the gardens of Versailles.
Helena Walton-Cisneros, known for finding answers to the impossible, has started her own detective agency. She takes on two new uncanny cases, both located in Paris – which itself is too much of a coincidence to ignore. In the first case, two English women claim to have seen the ghost of Marie Antoinette in the gardens of Versailles. The second case is the murder of a young woman working at the mysterious Méliès Star Films studio outside Paris.
As Helena and her colleague Eliza investigate, they hear whispers of vanishings at Méliès Star Films, strange lights, spies, actors flying without ropes and connections to the occult.
What is George Méliès practising at his secretive film studio? And is it connected to the haunting in Versailles? Helena and Eliza will only find the answers if they accept the natural world is darker, stranger than they could ever have imagined…
Expected release: 21st March (Titan)
Who controls the future, controls it all…
Ten “Doc” Low is a medic with a dark past, riding the wastes of the desert moon Factus, dispensing medicine to the needy and death to those who cross the laws of the mysterious Seekers. Cursed by otherworldly forces, she stays alone to keep herself safe, and to keep others safe from her… But when she experiences a terrifying vision of conflict, and foresees the deaths of those she once called friends, she must drag herself back to the land of living to stop a war before it begins.
With a rebellion brewing, the Accord’s grip on the Outer Moons weakening and a sinister tycoon buying up all the land in sight, Ten must find allies where she can and face the past, in order to save the future. Even if the cost might be greater than she could ever have imagined…
A wild, adrenaline-packed, whip-smart crash of storytelling and shoot-outs, ideal for fans of Gideon the Ninth, Becky Chambers’ Wayfarers and Alex White’s Salvagers.
Expected release: 21st March (Titan)
THE SINISTER BOOKSELLERS OF BATH
There is often trouble of a mythical sort in Bath. The booksellers who police the Old World keep a careful watch there, particularly on the entity who inhabits the ancient hot spring. Yet this time it is not from Sulis Minerva that trouble starts. It comes from the discovery of a sorcerous map, leading left-handed bookseller Merlin into great danger. A desperate rescue is attempted by his sister the right-handed bookseller Vivien and their friend, art student Susan Arkshaw, who is still struggling to deal with her own recently discovered magical heritage.
The map takes the trio to a place separated from this world, maintained by deadly sorcery performed by an ancient sovereign and guarded by monstrous living statues of Portland Stone. But this is only the beginning, as the booksellers investigate centuries of disappearances and deaths and try to unravel the secrets of the murderous Lady of Stone, a serial killer of awesome powers.
If they do not stop her, she will soon kill again. And this time, her target is not an ordinary mortal.
Expected release: 23rd March (Gollancz)
AND PUT AWAY CHILDISH THINGS
Harry Bodie’s been called into the delightful fantasy world of his grandmother’s beloved children’s books. It’s not delightful here at all.
All roads lead to Underhill, where it’s always winter, and never nice.
Harry Bodie has a famous grandmother, who wrote beloved children’s books set in the delightful world of Underhill. Harry himself is a failing kids’ TV presenter whose every attempt to advance his career ends in self-sabotage. His family history seems to be nothing but an impediment.
An impediment… or worse. What if Underhill is real? What if it has been waiting decades for a promised child to visit? What if it isn’t delightful at all? And what if its denizens have run out of patience and are taking matters into their own hands?
Expected release: 28th March (Solaris)
THE TEN PERCENT THIEF
A bold, bitingly satirical near-future mosaic novel about a city run along ‘meritocratic’ lines, the injustice it creates, and the revolution that will destroy it.
We are the future of the human race.
Welcome to Apex City, formerly Bangalore. Here, technology is the key to survival, productivity is power, and even the self must be engineered, for the only noble goal in life: success.
Everything is decided by the mathematically perfect Bell Curve. With the right image, values and opinions, you can ascend to the glittering heights of the Ten Percent – the Virtual elite – and have the world at your feet. The less-fortunate struggle among the workaday Seventy Percent, or fall to the precarious Twenty Percent; and below that lies deportation to the ranks of the Analogs, with no access to electricity, running water or even humanity.
The system has no flaws, and cannot be questioned. Until a single daring theft sets events in motion that will change the city forever…
Previously published in South Asia only as Analog/Virtual, The Ten-Percent Thief is a striking debut by a ferocious new talent.
Expected release: 28th March (Solaris)
THE INFINITY GATE
M. R. Carey
From the author of the bestselling The Girl With All the Gifts comes a brilliant new genre-defying story of humanity’s expansion across millions of dimensions, and the AI technology that might see it all come to an end. Perfect for readers of The Space Between Worlds and Adrian Tchaikovsky.
The Pandominion is a political and trading alliance consisting of roughly a million worlds.
But they’re really all the same world – Earth – in many different dimensions. And when an AI threat arises that could destroy everything the Pandominion has built, they’ll eradicate it by whatever means necessary—no matter the cost to human life.
Expected release: 28th March (Orbit)
TRESS OF THE EMERALD SEA
#1 New York Times Bestselling author Brandon Sanderson brings us deeper into the Cosmere universe with a rollicking, riveting tale that will appeal to fans of The Princess Bride.
The only life Tress has known on her island home in an emerald-green ocean has been a simple one, with the simple pleasures of collecting cups brought by sailors from faraway lands and listening to stories told by her friend Charlie. But when his father takes him on a voyage to find a bride and disaster strikes, Tress must stow away on a ship and seek the Sorceress of the deadly Midnight Sea. Amid the spore oceans where pirates abound, can Tress leave her simple life behind and make her own place sailing a sea where a single drop of water can mean instant death?
Expected release: 4th April (Gollancz)
Gareth L. Powell
From the award-winning author comes a gripping, fast-paced and fascinating science fiction adventure. Vividly imagined and sharply written, fans of Ann Leckie and Becky Chambers will be engrossed.
The Grand Mechanism is a machine the size of Saturn’s rings that has lain dormant for all recorded history, watched over by the alien Jzat. Now, rogue elements in Jzat and human society conspire to activate it, hoping it will bring them power and opportunity. But the only person who knows the Mechanism’s secrets is the Rav’nah Abelisk, a Jzat holy man on sabbatical aboard a vast alien megaship. Believing the Mechanism’s activation will bring galactic devastation, Nic Mafalda has to seek out the Abelisk before his sacred knowledge falls into the wrong hands―but only if she can first escape the lethally radioactive remains of her wrecked scout ship.
Expected release: 11th April (Titan)
WOMB CITY imagines a dark and deadly future Botswana, rich with culture and true folklore, which begs the question: how far must one go to destroy the structures of inequality upon which a society was founded? How far must a mother go to save the life of her child? Nelah seems to have it all: wealth, fame, a husband, and a child on the way. But in a body her husband controls via microchip and the tailspin of a loveless marriage, her hopes and dreams come to a devastating halt. A drug-fueled night of celebration ends in a hit-and-run. To dodge a sentencing in a society that favors men, Nelah and her side-piece, Janith Koshal, finish the victim off and bury the body.
But the secret claws its way into Nelah’s life from the grave. As her victim’s vengeful ghost begins exacting a bloody revenge on everyone Nelah holds dear, she?ll have to unravel her society’s terrible secrets to stop those in power, and become a monster unlike any other to quench the ghost’s violent thirst.
Expected release: 11th April (Erewhon Books)
THE THICK AND THE LEAN
In Lambda Award finalist Chana Porter’s highly anticipated new novel, an aspiring chef, a cyberthief, and a kitchen maid each break free of a society that wants to constrain them.
In the quaint religious town of Seagate, abstaining from food brings one closer to God.
But Beatrice Bolano is hungry. She craves the forbidden: butter, flambé, marzipan. As Seagate takes increasingly extreme measures to regulate every calorie its citizens consume, Beatrice must make a choice: give up her secret passion for cooking or leave the only community she has known.
Elsewhere, Reiko Rimando has left her modest roots for a college tech scholarship in the big city. A flawless student, she is set up for success…until her school pulls her funding, leaving her to face either a mountain of debt or a humiliating return home. But Reiko is done being at the mercy of the system. She forges a third path—outside of the law.
With the guidance of a mysterious cookbook written by a kitchen maid centuries ago, Beatrice and Reiko each grasp for a life of freedom—something more easily imagined than achieved in a world dominated by catastrophic corporate greed.
A startling fable of the entwined perils of capitalism, body politics, and the stigmas women face for appetites of every kind, Chana Porter’s profound new novel explores the reclamation of pleasure as a revolutionary act.
Expected release: 18th April (Saga Press)
THE BONE SHARD WAR
The Bone Shard Daughter was hailed as “one of the best debut fantasy novels of the year” (BuzzFeed News). Now, Andrea Stewart brings us the final book in this unmissable, action-packed, magic-laced epic fantasy trilogy, The Bone Shard War.
Lin Sukai has won her first victory as Emperor, but the future of the Phoenix Empire hangs in the balance – and Lin is dangerously short of allies.
As her own governors plot treason, the Shardless Few renew hostilities. Worse still, Lin discovers her old nemesis Nisong has joined forces with the rogue Alanga, Ragan. Both seek her death.
Yet hopes lies in history. Legend tells of seven mythic swords, forged in centuries past. If Lin can find them before her enemies, she may yet be able to turn the tide.
If she fails, the Sukai dynasty – and the entire empire – will fall.
Expected release: 20th April (Orbit)
SPEC FIC FOR NEWBIES
Tiffani Angus and Val Nolan
Spec-Fic for Newbies (working title!) originates from a love of writing, reading, and teaching Fantasy, Science Fiction, and Horror. Tiffani Angus (Ph.D.) and Val Nolan (Ph.D.) met at the 2009 Clarion Writers’ Workshop in California and since then have collaborated many times as fans and scholars on panels for SFF conventions and writing retreats, while also sharing lesson plans, ideas, and teaching activities from their days jobs in Anglia Ruskin University and Aberystwyth University.
Tiffani mainly writes Fantasy (such as her novel Threading the Labyrinth), and Val mainly writes Science Fiction (with stories in Interzone, Year’s Best Science Fiction, and Best of British Science Fiction), so working together on this book and combining their experience as SFF writers and as university lecturers in Creative Writing and Literature made perfect sense!
Every year they see new students who want to write SFF/Horror but have never tried the genres, have tried but found themselves floundering, or, worse, have been discouraged by those who tell them Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror are somehow not “real” literature (spoiler alert: they’re the most real literature of all!).
This book is for all those future Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror writers!
Tiffani and Val are approaching these three exciting fields by breaking them down into bite-sized subgenres with a fun, open, and contemporary approach. Each chapter will contain 8-10 subgenres, with a quick and nerdy history of each derived from classroom teaching practices, along with a list of potential pitfalls, a description of why it’s fun to write in these subgenres, as well as activities for new writers to try out and to get them started!
Expected release: April (Luna Press Publishing)
LORDS OF UNCREATION
The Arthur C. Clarke award-winning author of Children of Time brings us the third and final novel in an extraordinary space opera trilogy about humanity on the brink of extinction, and how one man’s discovery will save or destroy us all.
Lords of Uncreation is the final high-octane installment in Adrian Tchaikovsky’s Final Architecture space opera trilogy.
The Final Architecture
Shards of Earth
Eyes of the Void
Lords of Uncreation
Expected release: 2nd May (Orbit)
THE SALT GROWS HEAVY
From USA Today bestselling author Cassandra Khaw comes The Salt Grows Heavy, a dark and deliciously twisted mermaid tale.
After murdering her husband and burning his kingdom to cinders, a mermaid joins a strange doctor on a journey through the eerie taiga. Deep in the woods, the pair stumble upon a village, full of seemingly ageless children and the three surgeons who oversee them—called only “the saints.”
After discovering the villagers’ taste for a sinister blood sport, the mermaid and her companion must embrace the darkest parts of their true nature, if they hope to survive.
Expected release: 2nd May (Tor Nightfire)
BANG BANG BODHISATTVA
An edgy, queer cyberpunk detective mystery by an exciting new trans voice from New Zealand.
Someone wants trans girl hacker-for-hire Kiera Umehara in prison or dead—but for what? Failing to fix their smart toilet?
It’s 2032 and we live in the worst cyberpunk future. Kiera is gigging her ass off to keep the lights on, but her polycule’s social score is so dismal they’re about to lose their crib. That’s why she’s out here chasing cheaters with Angel Herrera, a luddite P.I. who thinks this is The Big Sleep. Then the latest job cuts too deep—hired to locate Herrera’s ex-best friend (who’s also Kiera’s pro bono attorney), they find him murdered instead. Their only lead: a stick of Nag Champa incense dropped at the scene.
Next thing Kiera knows, her new crush turns up missing—sans a hand (the real one, not the cybernetic), and there’s the familiar stink of sandalwood across the apartment. Two crimes, two sticks of incense, Kiera framed for both. She told Herrera to lose her number, but now the old man might be her only way out of this bullshit…
A fast-talker with a heart of gold, Bang Bang Bodhisattva is both an odd-couple buddy comedy that never knows when to shut up and an exploration of finding yourself and your people in an ever-mutable world.
Expected release: 9th May (Solaris)
Rachel’s boyfriend Frank is different from other people. His strangeness is part of what she loves about him: his innocence, his intelligence, his passionate immersion in the music of JS Bach. As a coder, Frank sees patterns in everything, but as his theories slide further towards the irrational, Rachel becomes increasingly concerned for his wellbeing. There are people Frank knows online, people who share his view of the world and who insist he has a unique role to play. In spite of Rachel’s fears for his safety, Frank is determined to meet them face to face.
When Frank disappears, Rachel is forced to seek help in the form of Robin, a private detective who left the police force for reasons she will not reveal. Like Frank, Robin is obsessed with the music of Bach. Like Frank, she has unexplained connections with the criminal underworld of southeast London.
An obscure science fiction story from the 1950s appears to offer clues to Frank’s secret agenda, but not to where he is. As Robin and Rachel draw closer in their search for the truth, they are forced to ask themselves if Frank’s obsession with an alien war, against all logic, might have a basis in fact.
Nina Allan’s new novel is a work of the greatest imaginative power, an investigation of the human need to make connections, to find causes and effects, however fantastic. Conquest is the story of a disappearance, and of the mystery that follows.
Expected release: 11th May (Riverrun)
NO ONE WILL COME BACK FOR US
Here there be gods and monsters – forged from flesh and stone and vengeance – emerging from the icy abyss of deep space, ascending from dark oceans, and prowling strange cities to enter worlds of chaos and wonder, where scientific rigor and human endeavour is tested to the limits. These are cosmic realms and watery domains where old offerings no longer appease the ancient Gods or the new and hungry idols. Deities and beasts. Life and death. Love and hate. Science and magic. And smiling monsters in human skin.
Premee Mohamed’s debut collection of contemporary cosmic horror and dark fantasy heralds the arrival of a new and vibrant voice on the cutting edge of modern speculative fiction.
Expected release: 16th May (Undertow Publications)
THE LOST WAR
Justin Lee Anderson
Justin Lee Anderson’s sensational epic fantasy debut follows an emissary for the king as he gathers a group of strangers and embarks on a dangerous quest across a war-torn land.
The war is over, but the beginnings of peace are delicate.
Demons continue to burn farmlands, violent mercenaries roam the wilds, and a plague is spreading . The country of Eidyn is on its knees.
In a society that fears and shuns him, Aranok is the first mage to be named King’s Envoy. And his latest task is to restore an exiled foreign queen to her throne.
The band of allies he assembles each have their own unique skills. But they are strangers to each other, and at every step across the ravaged land, a new threat emerges, lies are revealed, and distrust threatens to destroy everything they are working for. Somehow, Aranok must bring his companions together and uncover the conspiracy that threatens the kingdom—before war returns to the realms again.
Expected release: 16th May (Orbit)
ORPHIA AND EURYDICIUS
A stunning, enthralling story about unconventional love, the power of creativity and the courage of women who struggle to make their voices heard – for fans of Jennifer Saint, Madeline Miller and Pat Barker.
Their love transcends every boundary. Can it cheat death?
Orphia dreams of something more than the warrior crafts she’s been forced to learn. Hidden away on a far-flung island, her blood sings with poetry and her words can move flowers to bloom and forests to grow … but her father, the sun god Apollo, has forbidden her this art.
A chance meeting with a young shield-maker, Eurydicius, gives her the courage to use her voice. After wielding all her gifts to defeat one final champion, Orphia draws the scrutiny of the gods. Performing her poetry, she wins the protection of the goddesses of the arts: the powerful Muses, who welcome her to their sanctuary on Mount Parnassus. Orphia learns to hone her talents, crafting words of magic infused with history, love and tragedy.
When Eurydicius joins her, Orphia struggles with her desire for fame and her budding love. As her bond with the gentle shield-maker grows, she joins the Argonauts on their quest for the Golden Fleece. Facing dragons, sirens and ruthless warriors on the voyage, Orphia earns unparalleled fame, but she longs to return to Eurydicius.
Yet she has a darker journey to make – one which will see her fight for her love with all the power of her poetry.
Expected release: 23rd May (Harper Collins)
Hollywood actress Jeanette Marchand was beautiful, talented, beloved by audiences.
During a time of personal crisis, she declares she is going to take a vacation in England, to explore the possibilities of working in London, before returning to the USA.
She never returned to the USA. She never even left the airport. At least – no-one saw her leave.
Years later, a young film student finds himself digging deeper into her disappearance. Where did she go? Was she really dead? Who was the mysterious man who sat beside her on the flight across from New York?
This is a gripping speculative historical novel, grounded in the golden age of film. Perfect for fans of true crime, conspiracy theories, and SF that is chillingly close to reality.
Expected release: 25th May (Gollancz)
WISH I WAS HERE
M. John Harrison
‘Late style is when the people who have all your life jumped in front of you waving their arms – No! Careful! – jump out one more time to encourage you to run them down, and this time you do.’
M. John Harrison has produced one of the greatest bodies of fiction of any living British author, encompassing space opera, speculative fiction, fantasy, magical and literary realism. Every book is subversive of genre and united by restless intelligence, experimentation and rebelliousness of spirit.
This is his first memoir, an ‘anti-memoir’, written in his mid-seventies with aphoristic daring and trademark originality and style, fresh after winning the Goldsmiths Prize in 2020. Many of our most prominent younger writers now recognise him as the most significant British writer of his generation. He is ‘brilliantly unsettling’ (Olivia Laing), ‘magnificent’ (Neil Gaiman), ‘one of the best writers of fiction currently at work in English’ (Robert Macfarlane).
Expected release: 25th May (Serpent’s Tail)
THE WOODS OF ARCADY
A wild desert crossing, a secret island paradise, a hidden underground civilization, plus London and Paris. The multiverse expands as pulp adventure mixes with unreal memoir in the second volume in The Sanctuary of the White Friars series.
In the 1970s, Michael Moorcock, a writer of genre fiction, attempts to save his failing marriage by taking his wife and daughters to Paris. One night in a bar he is amazed to find himself drinking with heroes of story and history. The next day he awakens aboard a sailing ship, kidnapped into another reality by a French highwayman and the four Musketeers, who know Moorcock well from adventures in London’s Alsacia…but that was another Moorcock, from another world.
Soon after they reach Africa, the company are rescued from ambush by Antara, a poet-adventurer who offers to lead them across the desert and through several realities to the estate of Lord and Lady Blackstone. The trip is full of wonders Moorcock has read, dreamed, or written: an underground civilization of nonhuman creatures; a magical oasis where the lion lies down with the lamb; a lush garden inhabited by miniature dinosaurs.
They are pursued by the notorious Jacob Nixer, who also remembers the Alsacia and is determined to destroy Moorcock and his companions.
The main narrative of The Woods of Arcady is punctuated by episodes from the story of the Blackstones and by spirited, freewheeling appearances by Captain Buggerly Otherly and his companions from the Second Ether. As readers move deeper into Moorcock’s multiverse, it rises up on all sides, ready to astound.
Expected release: 6th June (Tor)
SUB ORBITAL 7
A routine rescue mission leaves a team of US soldiers, rescued hostages and a prisoner trapped above Earth in a suborbital craft, in this cinematic action-packed near-future thriller, perfect for fans of Tom Clancy and Jack Carr.
Lieutenant Art Burkett is called up to take part in a rescue mission. Three scientists have been kidnapped by the terrorist group Thieves in Law.
The rescue is swift. Art and his team return to military craft SubOrbital 7, intending to return to safety with hostages rescued and prisoners in tow. But Thieves in Law are not the only people looking for them. Art and his team must fight an ever-growing threat before time runs out for them, and possibly for the rest of the world.
Expected release: 6th June (Titan)
THE SHADOW CABINET
In the second installment of Juno Dawson’s “irresistable” fantasy trilogy (Lana Harper), a group of childhood friends and witches must choose between what is right and what is easy if they have any hope of keeping their coven–and their world–from tearing apart forever.
Niamh Kelly is dead. Her troubled twin, Ciara, now masquerades as the benevolent witch as Her Majesty’s Royal Coven prepares to crown her High Preistess.
Suffering from amnesia, Ciara can’t remember what she’s done–but if she wants to survive, she must fool Niamh’s adopted family and friends; the coven; and the murky Shadow Cabinet–a secret group of mundane civil servants who are already suspicious of witches. While she tries to rebuild her past, she realizes none of her past has forgotten her, including her former lover, renegade warlock Dabney Hale.
On the other end of the continent, Leonie Jackman is in search of Hale, rumored to be seeking a dark object of ultimate power somehow connected to the upper echelons of the British government. If the witches can’t figure out Hale’s machinations, and fast, all of witchkind will be in grave danger–along with the fate of all (wo)mankind.
Sharp, funny, provocative, and joyous, Juno Dawson’s sequel reimagines everything you think you knew about her coven and her witches in a story that spans continents and dives deep into the roots of England and its witchcraft. Ciara, Leonie, Elle, and Theo are fierce, angry, sexy, warm–and absolutely unapologetic as they fight for what they believe in, all in the name of sisterhood.
Expected release: 8th June (HarperVoyager)
THE SURVIVING SKY
Kritika H. Rao
This Hindu philosophy-inspired debut science fantasy follows a husband and wife racing to save their living city—and their troubled marriage—high above a jungle world besieged by cataclysmic storms.
High above a jungle-planet float the last refuges of humanity—plant-made civilizations held together by tradition, technology, and arcane science. In these living cities, architects are revered above anyone else. If not for their ability to psychically manipulate the architecture, the cities would plunge into the devastating earthrage storms below.
Charismatic, powerful, mystical, Iravan is one such architect. In his city, his word is nearly law. His abilities are his identity, but to Ahilya, his wife, they are a way for survival to be reliant on the privileged few. Like most others, she cannot manipulate the plants. And she desperately seeks change.
Their marriage is already thorny—then Iravan is accused of pushing his abilities to forbidden limits. He needs Ahilya to help clear his name; she needs him to tip the balance of rule in their society. As their paths become increasingly intertwined, deadly truths emerge, challenging everything each of them believes. And as the earthrages become longer, and their floating city begins to plummet, Iravan and Ahilya’s discoveries might destroy their marriage, their culture, and their entire civilization.
Expected release: 13th June (Titan)
THE DISINFORMATION WAR
S. J. Groenewegan
Expected release: 13th June (Gold SF)
M. J. Maloney
Expected release: 27th June (Gold SF)
THE OTHERS OF EDENWELL
Verity M. Holloway
Eustace Moncrieff is a troublemaker, desperate to go to war and leave behind his wealthy family. Shipped to Edenwell by his mother to keep him safe from the horrors of the trenches, he strikes up a friendship with Freddie at the behest of Doctor Chalice, the American owner of the Hydropathic.
As the two friends grow closer and grapple with their demons, they discover a body, and something terrifying stalking the woods. The dark halls of the spa are breached, haunted by the woodland beast, and the boys soon realise that they may be the only things standing between this monster and the whole of Edenwell.
Expected release: 4th July (Titan)
THE PRINCIPLE OF MOMENTS
everything in the name of family.Obi Amadi is a time-traveller, sick with a legendary disease. Armed only with his prosthetic arm, his ever-constant melancholy, and the humour he uses to mask it, he has spent years travelling through time and space in search of a cure for the sickness currently unmaking him limb by limb. His mandate: Find the cure, go home. And maybe figure out along the way if the prince he thinks sometimes he might love could be that home.When Obi saves Asha’s life, they make a pact: both will do all they can to get the other to the Emperor’s stronghold unscathed. With the reluctant aid of Xavior, a mouthy deckhand with a mysterious past, Asha and Obi attempt to navigate a galaxy that hates them to find the things they both believe will make them whole.But a prophecy has started that has other plans, and not only is Asha forced to make a terrible choice, she must soon reckon with the legacy of an ancient religion and its heroes, who may be awakening, reincarnated in ways beyond her comprehension.
Expected release: 6th July (Gollancz)
RED SIDE STORY
Imagine a world where your position in society depended on what bit of the colour spectrum you could see. This is the world inhabited by Eddie Russett (red, middle-level) and Jane Grey (monochromatic, lowest in society). Eddie and Jane must negotiate the delicate Chromatic politics of society to find out what the ‘Something that Happened’ actually was, how society got to be this way, and crucially, is there Somewhere Else beyond their borders – and if there is, could there be Someone Else, too, someone whose unseen hand has been guiding the fortunes and misfortunes of the nation for the past 500 years?
It’s a tale of a young couple’s thirst for justice and answers in an implacably rigid society, where the prisoners are also the guards, and cages of convention bind the citizens to only one way of thinking – or suffer the consequences. . ..
Expected release: 6th July (Hodderscape)
Sarah Rose Etter
From an award-winning writer whose work Roxane Gay calls “utterly unique and remarkable” comes a surreal novel about a woman in Silicon Valley who must decide how much she’s willing to give up for success—perfect for fans of My Year of Rest and Relaxation and The Need.
A year into her dream job at a cutthroat Silicon Valley startup, Cassie finds herself trapped in a corporate nightmare. Between the long hours, toxic bosses, and unethical projects, she also struggles to reconcile the glittering promise of a city where obscene wealth lives alongside abject poverty. Ivy League grads complain about the snack selection from a conference room with a view of houseless people bathing in the bay. Startup burnouts leap into the paths of commuter trains and men literally set themselves on fire in the streets.
Though isolated, Cassie is never alone. From her earliest memory, a miniature black hole has been her constant companion. It feeds on her depression and anxiety, its size changing in relation to her distress. The black hole watches, but it also waits. Its relentless pull draws Cassie ever-closer as the world around her unravels.
When her CEO’s demands cross an illegal threshold and she ends up unexpectedly pregnant, Cassie must decide whether the tempting fruits of Silicon Valley are really worth it. Sharp but vulnerable, funny yet unsettling, Ripe portrays one millennial woman’s journey through our late-capitalist hellscape and offers a brilliantly incisive look at the absurdities of modern life.
Expected release: 11th July (Scribner)
DARK WATER DAUGHTER
H. M. Long
A stormsinger and pirate hunter join forces against a deathless pirate lord in this swashbuckling Jacobean adventure on the high-seas.
Launching the Winter Sea series, full of magic, betrayal, redemption and fearsome women, for readers of Adrienne Young, R. J. Barker and Naomi Novik.
Mary Firth is a Stormsinger: a woman whose voice can still hurricanes and shatter armadas. Faced with servitude to pirate lord Silvanus Lirr, Mary offers her skills to his arch-rival in exchange for protection – and, more importantly, his help sending Lirr to a watery grave. But her new ally has a vendetta of his own, and Mary’s dreams are dark and full of ghistings, spectral creatures who inhabit the ancient forests of her homeland and the figureheads of ships.
Samuel Rosser is a disgraced naval officer serving aboard The Hart, an infamous privateer commissioned to bring Lirr to justice. He will stop at nothing to capture Lirr, restore his good name and reclaim the only thing that stands between himself and madness: a talisman stolen by Mary.
Finally, driven into the eternal ice at the limits of their world, Mary and Samuel must choose their loyalties and battle forces older and more powerful than the pirates who would make them slaves.
Come sail the Winter Sea, for action-packed, high-stakes adventures, rich characterisation and epic plots full of intrigue and betrayal.
Expected release: 11th July (Titan)
THE JASAD HEIR
At ten-years-old, the Heir of Jasad flees a massacre that takes her entire family.
At fifteen, she buries her first body.
At twenty, the clock is ticking on Sylvia’s third attempt at a home. Nizahl’s armies have laid waste to Jasad and banned magic across the four remaining kingdoms. Fortunately, Sylvia’s magic is as good at playing dead as she is.
When the Nizahl Heir tracks a group of Jasadis to Sylvia’s village, the quiet life she’s crafted unravels. Calculating and cold, Arin’s tactical brilliance is surpassed only by his hatred for magic. After a mistake exposes Sylvia’s magic to Arin, he offers her an escape: compete as Nizahl’s Champion in the Alcalah tournament and win immunity from persecution. In exchange, Arin will use her as bait to draw out the Jasadis he’s hunting.
To win the deadly Alcalah, Sylvia must work with Arin to free her trapped magic, all while staying a step ahead of his efforts to uncover her identity. As the two grow closer, Sylvia is thrust into the world of cunning royals and double-dealing politics. The Jasadi groups escalate the fight to make Sylvia the face of their movement, and Sylvia realizes winning her freedom as Nizahl’s Champion means destroying any chance of reuniting Jasad under her banner.
The scorched kingdom is rising again, and Sylvia will have to choose between the life she’s earned, and the one she left behind.
Expected release: 18th July (Orbit)
It’s 13 years since the events of The Righteous, and the world is changed…
Ree is a woman with a past and a 12-year-old niece, Javani, living at the very fringe of the known world. When two sets of killers arrive in their remote mining town, intent on hunting the girl in her care, Ree must confront both new threats and old lies if she hopes to get them both out alive.
Expected release: 20th July (HarperVoyager)
#1 New York Times bestselling YA author Chloe Gong’s adult epic fantasy debut, inspired by Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra, is a fiery collision of power plays, spilled blood, and romance amidst a set of deadly games.
The only way to win, is to survive.
Every year, thousands flock to San-Er, the dangerously dense capital twin cities of the kingdom of Talin, where the palace hosts a set of deadly games. Those confident in their ability to jump between bodies can enter a fight to the death – for the chance to win unimaginable riches.
Princess Calla Tuoleimi has been in hiding for five years, ever since she murdered her parents to free the people of Talin from her tyrannical family. Only one person stands in her way of finishing the job: her reclusive uncle King Kasa. However, she knows he always greets the victor of the games. If she wins, she will finally get the chance to kill him.
Enter Anton Makusa, whose childhood love has lain in a coma since they were both ousted from the palace. He’s deep in debt trying to keep her alive. Which means his last chance at saving her is entering the games and winning.
When Anton proposes an unexpected alliance with Calla, they quickly find their partnership spiraling into something all-consuming. But before the games close, Calla must decide what she’s playing for – her lover or her kingdom. For no matter what, only one of them can walk out alive . . .
Expected release: 25th July (Hodderscape)
JACKAL, JACKAL: TALES OF THE DARK AND FANTASTIC
From the Shirley Jackson award nominated author comes a highly anticipated debut collection of stories full of magic and wonder and breathtaking imagination!
Expected release: July (Undertow Publications)
The debut fantasy novel from an award-winning Nigerian author presents a mythic tale of disgruntled gods, revenge, and a heist across two worlds
Shigidi is a disgruntled and demotivated nightmare god in the Orisha spirit company, reluctantly answering prayers of his few remaining believers to maintain his existence long enough to find his next drink. When he meets Nneoma, a sort-of succubus with a long and secretive past, everything changes for him.
Together, they attempt to break free of his obligations and the restrictions that have bound him to his godhood and navigate the parameters of their new relationship in the shadow of her past. But the elder gods that run the Orisha spirit company have other plans for Shigidi, and they are not all aligned–or good.
From the boisterous streets of Lagos to the swanky rooftop bars of Singapore and the secret spaces of London, Shigidi and Nneoma will encounter old acquaintances, rival gods, strange creatures, and manipulative magicians as they are drawn into a web of revenge, spirit business, and a spectacular heist across two worlds that will change Shigidi’s understanding of himself forever and determine the fate of the Orisha spirit company.
Expected release: 15th August (DAW Books)
HOUSE OF ODYSSEUS
House of Odysseus is the follow up to award-winning author Claire North’s Ithaca “a powerful, fresh, and unflinching” reimagining (Jennifer Saint) that breathes life into ancient myth and gives voice to the women who stand defiant in a world ruled by ruthless men.
In the palace of Odysseus, a queen lies dreaming . . .
On the isle of Ithaca, queen Penelope maintains a delicate balance of power. Many years ago, her husband Odysseus sailed to war with Troy and never came home. In his absence, Penelope uses all her cunning to keep the peace—a peace that is shattered by the return of Orestes, King of Mycenae, and his sister Elektra.
Orestes’ hands are stained with his mother’s blood. Not so long ago, the son of Agamemnon took Queen Clytemnestra’s life on Ithaca’s sands. Now, wracked with guilt, he grows ever more unhinged. But a king cannot be seen to be weak, and Elektra has brought him to Ithaca to keep him safe from the ambitious men of Mycenae.
Penelope knows destruction will follow in his wake as surely as the furies circle him. His uncle Menelaus, the blood-soaked king of Sparta, hungers for Orestes’ throne—and if he can seize it, no one will be safe from his violent whims.
Trapped between two mad kings, Penelope must find a way to keep her home from being crushed by the machinations of a battle that stretches from Mycenae and Sparta to the summit of Mount Olympus itself. Her only allies are Elektra, desperate to protect her brother, and Helen of Troy, Menelaus’ wife. And watching over them all is the goddess Aphrodite, who has plans of her own.
Each woman has a secret, and their secrets will shape the world
Expected release: 24th August (Orbit)
THE PHOENIX KING
In a kingdom where flames hold magic and the desert hides secrets, an ancient prophecy comes for an assassin, a princess, and a king. But none are ready to face destiny—and the choices they make could burn the world.
“If we carry the burdens of our fathers, we’ll never know what it means to be free.”
For Elena Aadya Ravence, fire is yearning. She longs to feel worthy of her Phoenix god, of her ancestors who transformed the barren dunes of Sayon into a thriving kingdom. But though she knows the ways and wiles of the desert better than she knows her own skin, the secrets of the Eternal Flame elude her. And without them, she’ll never be accepted as queen.
For Leo Malhari Ravence, fire is control. He is not ready to give up his crown—there’s still too much work to be done to ensure his legacy remains untarnished, his family protected. But power comes with a price, and he’ll wage war with the heavens themselves to keep from paying it.
For Yassen Knight, fire is redemption. He dreams of shedding his past as one of Sayon’s most deadly assassins, of laying to rest the ghosts of those he has lost. If joining the court of flame and serving the royal Ravence family—the very people he once swore to eliminate—will earn him that, he’ll do it no matter what they ask of him.
But the Phoenix watches over all and the fire has a will of its own. It will come for all three, will come for Sayon itself….and they must either find a way to withstand the blaze or burn to ash.
Expected release: 29th August (Orbit)
A MARKET OF DREAMS AND DESTINY
Enter the bazaar of the bizarre where fate and fortunes are for sale in this high-stakes magical adventure across a London not quite like our own, perfect for fans of Neverwhere and The Night Circus.
Below Covent Garden lies the Under Market, where anything and everything has a price: a lover’s first blush, a month of honesty, five minutes of strength, a wisp of luck and fortune. As a child, Deri was sold to one of the most powerful merchants of the Under Market as a human apprentice. Now, after seventeen years of servitude and stealing his master’s secrets, Deri spots a chance to buy not only his freedom but his place amongst the Under Market’s elite.
A runaway princess escapes to the market, looking to sell her destiny. Deri knows an opportunity when he sees it and makes the bargain of the century. If Deri can sell it on, he’ll be made for life, but if he’s caught with the goods, it will cost him his freedom forever. Now that Deri has met a charming and distractingly handsome young man, and persuaded him that three dates are a suitable price for his advice and guidance, Deri realises he has more to lose than ever.
News of the princess spreads quickly and with the royal enforcers closing in, Deri finds himself the centre of his master’s unwanted attention. He’ll have to pull out all the stops to outmanoeuvre the Master Merchant, save the man he loves, make a name for himself, and possibly change the destiny of London forever.
Expected release: 12th September (Titan)
THE OTHER SHORE
When the dead begin speaking to sixteen-year-old Kim Nguyen, her peaceful childhood is over. Suddenly everyone wants to exploit her new talent – her family, the Vietnamese government and even the spirits themselves. THE OTHER SHORE is a delicate meditation on the nature of ghosts, belief and how the future is shaped by the past.
Expected release: 12th September (Gold SF)
Chasm is the second book in the bestselling Glacian Trilogy by Stacey McEwan
Dawsyn’s fight to save the people of the Ledge is far from over…
Dawsyn’s miraculous escape from the Ledge was just the beginning. In the queens’ dungeon, Dawsyn awaits her execution while reliving the death of her lover, Ryon. There is no hope for mercy.
Instead, she is rescued by the village friends who then help Dawsyn discover how to tame her unstable powers. Her journey continues as she ascends the mountain once again to the Glacian kingdom in a desperate attempt to save those remaining on the Ledge.
Dawsyn discovers that the answer can be found at the end of a dangerous journey through the chasm below. With a contingent of hundreds, she must lead the way through the depths of the chasm to whatever awaits beyond. She has no way of knowing what will lie ahead, or what might follow behind…
Fighting with her axe and newfound power is far easier than battling the feelings of betrayal and hope that rise up when those she thought lost forever, may not be gone after all.
Expected release: 12th September (Angry Robot)
In the much anticipated sequel to Hild, Nicola Griffith’s Menewood transports readers back to seventh-century Britain, a land of rival kings and religions poised for epochal change.
Hild is no longer the bright child who made a place in Edwin Overking’s court with her seemingly supernatural insight. She is eighteen, honed and tested, the formidable Lady of Elmet, now building her personal stronghold in the valley of Menewood.
But Edwin needs his most trusted advisor. Old alliances are fraying. Younger rivals are snapping at his heels. War is brewing–bitter war, winter war. Not knowing who to trust he becomes volatile and unpredictable. Hild begins to understand the true extent of the chaos ahead, and now she must navigate the turbulence and fight to protect both the kingdom and her own people.
Hild will face the losses and devastation of total war, and then she must find a new strength, the implacable determination to forge a radically different path for herself and her people. In the valley, her last redoubt, her community slowly takes root. She trains herself and her unexpected allies in new ways of thinking as she prepares for one last wager: risking all on a single throw for a better future…
In the last decade, Hild has become a beloved classic of epic storytelling. Menewood picks up where that journey left off, and exceeds it in every way.
Expected release: 3rd October (MCD)
From Alison Rumfitt, the author of Tell Me I’m Worthless comes Brainwyrms, a searing body horror novel of obsession, violence, and pleasure.
When a transphobic woman bombs Frankie’s workplace, she blows up Frankie’s life with it. As the media descends like vultures, Frankie tries to cope with the carnage: binge-drinking, fucking strangers, pushing away her friends. Then, she meets Vanya. Mysterious, beautiful, terrifying Vanya.
The two hit it off immediately, but as their relationship intensifies, so too does Frankie’s feeling that Vanya is hiding something from her. When Vanya’s secrets threaten to tear them apart, Frankie starts digging, and unearths a sinister, depraved conspiracy, the roots of which go deeper than she ever imagined.
Shocking, grotesque, and downright filthy, Brainwyrms confronts the creeping reality of political terrorism while exploring the depths of love, pain, and identity.
Expected release: 10th October (Tor Nightfire)
THE INN AT THE AMETHYST LANTERN
J. Dianne Dotson
THE INN AT THE AMETHYST LANTERN is a young adult, Lunarpunk science fiction and fantasy adventure by J. Dianne Dotson.
Long after a climate catastrophe, when a utopian future faces an unearthed evil from our present, Gentian “Gen” Lightfoot and her friends in the night-living town of Glimmerbight must stop the past from repeating itself by using all their wits and talents…and perhaps a bit of magic.
Expected release: 24th October (Android Press)
Alix E. Harrow
A contemporary gothic fairy tale about a small town haunted by the history it can’t quite seem to bury and the canny, clever young woman who finds herself drawn to the house that sits at the crossroads of it all.
Starling House is odd and ugly and fully of secrets, just like its heir. Opal knows better than to mess with haunted houses or brooding men, but it might be a chance to get her brother out of Eden, and it feels dangerously like something she’s never had: a home.
But she isn’t the only one interested in the house, or the horrors and wonders that lie beneath it. If Opal wants a home, she’ll have to fight for it. She’ll have to dig up her family’s dark past and let herself dream of a brighter future. She’ll have to go down, down into Underland, and claw her way back to the light.
Starling House is the sweeping, romantic new novel from New York Times bestseller and Hugo Award-winner Alix E. Harrow.
Expected release: 31st October (Tor)
THE ASHFIRE KING
The magical sequel to The Stardust Thief, Chelsea Abdullah’s unmissable debut that weaves a tale of myth and magic in a world steeped in Middle Eastern folklore, perfect for fans of The City of Brass and The Bone Shard Daughter
Expected release: 14th November (Orbit)
David is growing up in a world where something is very badly wrong but everyone is protecting David from knowing what it is. People are going missing, bodies are showing up with wings, or bones in nests if you believe the rumours from the kids at school. David doesn’t really know because his parents turn off the news whenever he might get a handle on what is happening around him and his older sister just doesn’t seem interested in sharing. Most importantly for David the centre of his world – his grandfather – is gone. His parents say he is dead but why is his grandfather’s backpack and jumper missing from the house? Alongside this we have a man abandoned in a hostile landscape and trying to out run nature itself to get back home with some information. Mothtown is weird, horrifying and latches hold of you, sometimes it grows from within you.
Expected release: 14th November (Angry Robot)
“Women, of course, can not be sons of God,”
In the village of Nazareth, virgin Maryam and the wife of Yosef barLevi gives birth to a miracle: a little girl. She is named Avigayil, after her grandmother.
But as Avigayil grows, it’s clear she believes that she is destined to be someone greater than just the daughter of Maryam. From leading a gang of village boys to challenging the priests in the temple, Avigayil is determined to find her way as Yeshu, a man.
Yeshu can work miracles. He can see futures. He can speak for God.
A gripping, thoughtful sci-fi novel, tackling family, the multiverse and the survival of love through immense change and crisis.
Expected release: 5th December (Angry Robot)
We hope we’ve managed to thoroughly whet your appetite for SFF fiction in the year ahead!
What are you most looking forward to? Is there anything we missed? Let us know in the comments!