As we do every year, we’re looking ahead to the next 12 months new science fiction and fantasy books—with the help of the editors and publishers responsible for bringing them to our shelves each and every week. Here are 105 (or maybe more, depending on how you count…) new books they can’t wait for you to read—which doesn’t mean they don’t have more surprises in store for you later in the year. Will 2019 be a good year for SFF readers? Consider the evidence.
[Editor’s note: Submissions were provided by the publishers as indicated; comments are attributed where applicable.]
Anne Sowards, executive editor, Penguin Random House/Ace/Berkley
If you want to torture an editor, ask them to choose their favorite book. Trying to select which of my titles to highlight for this piece was so painful that I had to narrow it down by focusing primarily on new authors. But there are so many fabulous titles you won’t want to miss, like the latest in Patricia Briggs’s Mercy Thompson series, Storm Cursed; the newest stand-alone in Anne Bishop’s world of the Others, Wild Country; the spectacular continuation of Stephen R. Donaldson’s epic fantasy trilogy, The War Within; Jack Campbell’s thrilling conclusion to the Genesis Fleet series, Triumphant; the next in Rachel Caine’s Great Library series, Sword and Pen; a new swoon-worthy romantic fantasy from Grace Draven, Dragon Unleashed; and the start of Juliet Marillier’s series about warrior bards, The Harp of Kings.
The Beast’s Heart, by Leife Shallcross (Ace, February)
I’ve loved fairy tales since I was a child, and one of my favorites was Beauty and the Beast. Leife Shallcross’s retelling hews closer to the original than the Disney version, and having the Beast tell his own story adds a unique perspective and breathes new life into the tale. Set in a magical seventeenth-century France, this is utterly gorgeous and lush, a story I just wanted to sink into. It’s a perfect curl-up-by-the-fire kind of read, whether or not you have a fireplace.
Gates of Stone, by Angus Macallan (Ace, February)
This is a marvelous epic fantasy in which most of the action takes place in a magical version of 18th century Indonesia, which is awesome in and of itself. But what really made me fall in love with this book are the characters. Like Katerina, who can’t inherit the Ice Bear throne just because she’s a woman. Her emperor father arranges a nice marriage for her and ships her out of the country. Well, she is having none of it. She murders her husband on their wedding night and embarks on a plan to amass power, gather an army, and take over the empire for herself. And it just gets better from there. Love them or hate them, the characters are fascinating and real, and I couldn’t stop reading.
Magic Triumphs, by Ilona Andrews (Ace, May)
OK, I know this is the paperback and the hardcover is available now, if you don’t want to wait. But I had to tell you about it because there are readers who haven’t tried this series yet, and it is that good. Kate Daniels is a down-on-her-luck mercenary who makings a living cleaning up paranormal problems. She lives in an apocalyptic version of our world, where the apocalypse is the return of magic. Over the course of the series Kate has gone from a loner to someone who’s made friends, and found love. But now her family and her city is in danger, and in this book their future will be decided, one way or the other. With tense action scenes, deeply emotional drama, and laugh-out-loud moments, this is a series you won’t want to miss.
Cry Pilot, by Joel Dane (Ace, August)
I am a big military science fiction fan, and one of my favorite parts of the genre is the close-knit bonds and camaraderie that develop among the soldiers serving together. Well, Cry Pilot has this in spades.
This story of an infantry squad being trained to go up against a rogue bio-weapon that’s defeated every force that’s faced it is compulsively readable, and kept me turning the pages. (It doesn’t hurt that I love training sequences.) Cry Pilot has appealing characters, thrilling action, wry one-liners, and a lot of heart—it really has it all, and I’m so excited for readers to try this.
Salvaged, by Madeleine Roux (Ace, October)
I don’t know about you, but the idea of being taken over, of losing control, is something that absolutely terrifies me. And in Salvaged, that’s exactly what Rosalyn Webb contends with, when she learns an alien parasite has infected the crew of a ship, intent on assimilating them and spreading to the rest of humanity. This is made even more horrifying for Rosalyn because she has experienced her choices being taken away from her before, when she survived an assault. It’s what drove her to leave everything behind and take a dead-end job in space in the first place. It is cinematic and fast-paced, while the parallels the author makes between Rosalyn’s experience and the crew’s attempts to fight off the alien invasion into their minds are powerful and chilling and real. I simply had to keep reading to find out what happened—and I kept thinking about the story long after I finished.
Rebecca Brewer, editor, Penguin Random House/Ace/Berkley
2019 is chock full of amazing books for me. I’ve got a beautiful new historical fantasy novel by Guy Gavriel Kay with A Brightness Long Ago, the thoroughly charming Regency fantasy The True Queen from Zen Cho, Christina Henry’s The Girl in Red, which is a brilliant post-apocalyptic retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, and another brilliant, insightful and dark science fiction novel from Emma Newman with Atlas Alone. Of course, we’re right on track with new books by S.M. Stirling, Peter McLean, W.L. Goodwater, and Genevieve Cogman as well. These are just a few that might not be on your radar yet!
The Affair of the Mysterious Letter, by Alexis Hall (Ace, June)
The Affair of the Mysterious Letter is a ridiculously charming and witty weird fantasy homage to Sherlock Holmes…if Sherlock was a bisexual sorceress and Watson was a trans man raised in a puritan society recently returned from the war, who, of course, have work together to solve a mystery concerning who is blackmailing an ex girlfriend. The dialogue is wonderfully funny and whip smart. I had to stop multiple times while I edited this book to read amazing lines to my poor coworkers. It’s the perfect combination of great characters, wonderful voices, a great setting, and great action (which involves sky pirates, mad gods, and, yes, shark punching).
A Song for a New Day, by Sarah Pinsker (Berkley, September)
A Song for a New Day is a beautifully written, speculative fiction novel that does for music what Station Eleven did for Shakespeare. High praise? Definitely, but it’s well deserved.
In this dystopian novel, people are no longer allowed to congregate in groups and as a result, everyone lives very isolated lives. This means that concerts are illegal, and we follow Luce, a musician who won’t take no for an answer and instead performs in illegal concerts, and Rosemary who never knew that world. It will be a surprise to nobody who has read Sarah Pinsker’s short fiction that this is a beautiful and touching novel about people, their sense of community, and the art the unites us. Of course it also has some nice science fictional aspects like virtual reality headsets, and the giant corporation who does most of the online business in America (and delivers things by drones)…sound familiar?
The Passengers, by John Marrs (Berkley, September)
I’m one of those people who is naturally suspicious of new technology in my home. Having something that listens in all the time but can turn on the lights? No thank you! And this book is perfect validation for my fear of new technology. The Passengers is a brilliant, mile-a-minute high concept thriller that will ensure you never want to get into a self driving car. It takes place in the UK in just a few years time. Self-driving cars are the norm and then one day, eight cars lock their doors, change their routes and a voice on the radio tells the passenger that in two and a half hours they’ll be dead. I haven’t ever read a book that feels more like a “Black Mirror” episode, but with a little bit of Agatha Christie thrown in and with tons of action. You won’t be able to put this one down until you reach the end.
The Library of the Unwritten, by A.J. Hackwith (Ace, October)
Every book nerd has imagined what it would be like if their favorite character came to life. Frankly, this book is as close as you’re going to get! In The Library of the Unwritten, a character leaps out of an unfinished book to get his writer to finish the story. In this series, every story that isn’t finished resides in the Library of the Unwritten in Hell so when a character escapes, it’s a big problem. Our characters also travel to awesome other worlds like a Mesopotamian afterlife, and Valhalla, where they battle with words, but the words turn into physical objects that can actually hurt people. This being a fantasy novel, of course the stakes are very high as heaven and hell fight over a book: the Devil’s Bible. The battle will put earth and humanity in the middle. And to top it off, there is a brilliant cast of characters who are so charming and funny that you can’t help fall in love with them, whether it’s the tough librarian, her assistant (and former Muse), a naïve demon, or an escaped hero with magnificent cheekbones.
Novice Dragoneer, by E.E. Knight (Ace, November)
When I started reading Novice Dragoneer, even though it was my first time reading it, the book felt like one of my old favorites. It was charming, fun, and very comforting like only a classic can be. I knew that I had to work on this book. Novice Dragoneer is about a young girl with a stutter who runs away to the Serpentine academy, to learn how to become a dragon rider, even though her lowly station in life puts her at a disadvantage to all of the wealthy people around her. She make friends and enemies (both humans and dragons) and find her own unique way in the world. Who can say no to that?!
Jessica Wade, Senior Editor, Ace Berkley
I’m incredibly excited about the books I have coming out in 2019. But I’ll restrain myself and fill you in on debuts and first in series.
Salvation Day, by Kali Wallace (Berkley, July)
This is Kali Wallace’s first novel for adults, and this SF thriller with horror elements is so fast-paced, the whole thing takes place in less than 24 hours. It follows a young woman named Zahra, who is in the sway of a charismatic cult leader. He’s convinced his flock that they can make a new life, away from earth, on the sprawling research ship House of Wisdom, now abandoned because of a viral outbreak ten years ago that killed almost everyone on board. But Zahra and her people believe it’s safe now, and all they need to do is to kidnap the sole survivor of the original outbreak and use his genetic signature to get on board. But as soon as they do, everything starts to go wrong. Their escape route is closed off, and they begin discovering the bodies on board. They quickly realize the government lied to them about what happened on the ship…and that whatever killed all those people is still waiting. Then it wakes up. This thriller never loses steam. It’s terrifying, claustrophobic, and moving—and the characters really grapple with morality in a fascinating way. Everyone in house is comparing this book to Alien, and I think that’s spot on.
Unnatural Magic, by C.M. Waggoner (Ace, October)
This ridiculously charming debut fantasy is about a young woman with an incredible natural talent for sorcery, a troll trying to prove herself without her clan, and a human deserter. This story has it all—a delightful, unique magical system that sees sorcerers use mathematical equations to produce magical results, a sinister, arcane mystery, and a deeply affecting romantic relationship. It’s just a delight from start to finish. Even though this is a historical fantasy—with a sort of late Regency feeling—it has really timely issues—a woman who has to fight to be recognized in a man’s world, and a troll society with fascinating, interchangeable gender roles. I think readers of V.E. Schwab, Naomi Novik, and Genevieve Cogman will be entranced.
The Wolf’s Call, by Anthony Ryan (Ace, July)
Anthony Ryan took the fantasy world by storm with the publication of his first trilogy, beginning with Blood Song. The Wolf’s Call, coming in July, kicks off the Raven’s Blade duology—beginning a new story arc in Vaelin al Sorna’s life. Vaelin is now a living legend who has put down his sword and seeks a more peaceful life. But when he learns that Sherin, the woman he lost long ago, has fallen into the grasp of a warlord on the rise, he has to face danger again. Anthony writes incredibly compelling, fast-paced epic fantasy—and it’s an incredible pleasure to be back in Vaelin’s world. As I edited I found myself writing down all Vaelin’s quotable lines—he’s a character for the ages. I know fans, old and new, will be very completely sucked in by this epic, gritty quest.
The Ingenious, by Darius Hinks (February)
Darius Hinks won the Gemmell Award for his Warhammer tie-in novel Warrior Priest back in 2010, but The Ingenious, due out in February, is his first novel under his own IP. It’s an intense and brilliant grimdark novel, which follows strong willed, gang leader Isten and her crew as they fight to escape a city set adrift in time and space, ruined by gangland warfare and addiction. The alchemical city of Athanor, which was originally inspired by the skeleton of a leaf, is a strange and beautiful thing, and the descriptions of it will leave you breathless with wonder.
The Heart of the Circle, by Keren Landsman (July)
Keren Landsman’s The Heart of The Circle has already been released to critical acclaim in Keren’s home country of Israel, where it was published in Hebrew. We wanted to bring this wonderful urban fantasy to English readers, as we delighted in its strong characters, who are fighting for justice in an alternate Israel where magic is banned and magicians are outcast. Equal rights and a compelling love story make this a thoroughly engaging read for all.
Shadowblade, by Anna Kashina (May)
Prism Award-winning author Anna Kashina is back with a sweeping new fantasy romance that has everything you could possibly want: a bad-ass and headstrong heroine, political intrigue, a meet-cute involving swords and a sarcastic and sassy love interest who’d quite like to just fight bandits, rather than deal with court politics. It’s a great return from Anna, which will draw you in and keep you spellbound from beginning to end.
The Resurrectionist of Caligo, by Wendy Trimboli and Alicia Zaloga (August)
Debut authors Wendy Trimboli and Alicia Zaloga absolutely slayed us with their beautifully constructed Victorian-tinged fantasy noir. Think murder, mystery and magic with two very different protagonists, tied together by their pasts. Roger Weathersby is a resurrectionist and man of science, scraping a living by selling bodies, who believes magic a myth. Sibylla is a princess with magic in her veins, trying to navigate her family politics and avoid marrying her cousin. But there’s a murderer on the loose in Caligo, and the two of them are forced to work together to solve the case. With lots of twists, turns and some excellent characters, this is one of my favorite reads of the year, and I can’t wait for others to get their hands on it.
Sixteenth Watch. by Myke Cole (October)
Much beloved author Myke Cole turns his hand to yet another subgenre in 2019. This time it’s space-opera-with-coastguards Sixteenth Watch, where a boots-on-the-ground coast guard member struggles to find her place in the world at the end of her career and is suddenly catapulted into man’s next frontier, the moon, where she finds herself the only person who can stop the outbreak of war. This is a fast paced and engaging story, and a must for all military space opera fans.
Today I Am Carey, by Martin L. Shoemaker (March)
In this first debut novel by a lauded short-story author, a caretaking robot at first created to help Alzheimer’s sufferers develops conscious awareness as it serves a family over three generations. Carey loves. Carey struggles. Carey seeks to understand life’s challenges. Carey must learn to be . . . Carey. A beautiful reflection on a day-after-tomorrow theme.
My Enemy’s Enemy, by Robert Buettner (June)
A veteran science fiction author in his time-travel techno-thriller debut. Nazi mastermind Heinrich Himmler conscripts a brilliant physicist to devise a weapon of almost incomprehensible power. In the present, an elite terrorist seeks to punish the Great Satan America with fire and death—and he may have discovered the long-lost Nazi weapon. But a Smithsonian historian and an aging Colorado cowboy are determined to stop him by unearthing the secret history of the Nazi atomic bomb!
Tyger Burning, by T.C. McCarthy (July)
Humanity conquered the Solar System, then aliens came and took it all away. They disappeared, leaving only wreckage, but have let it be known that they’ll be back for more. Now if one Burmese veteran can learn to control his combat implants and develop a few new tricks the aliens have never seen, humanity might have hope for a free future.
Marque of Caine, by Charles E. Gannon (July)
From three-time Nebula nominee Charles E. Gannon. Caine Riordan has been summoned to visit the ancient and enigmatic Dornaani. New clues push Caine’s quest beyond the edge of known space where he learns that the Dornaani collapse is not only being engineered, but that it is the prelude to a plan to clear a path for a foe bent on destroying Earth. A brilliant tour of alien cultures.
Stellaris: People of the Stars, edited by Les Johnson and Robert E. Hampson (September)
The next phase of humanity moving out beyond the confines of Earth is on display in these sparkling and exciting stories of what humans will become when they make the leap from Homo sapiens to Homo stellaris. Edited by a brilliant experimental neurobiologist and a working space scientist, and featuring the top minds of science fiction! Contributors: Kevin J. Anderson, Jim Beall, Kacey Ezell and Philip Wohlrab, Sarah Hoyt, Dan Hoyt, Les Johnson, William Ledbetter, Mike Massa, Todd McCaffrey, Robert E. Hampson, Nikhil Rao, M.D., Sir Martin Rees, Brent Roeder, Mark Shelhamer, and Cathe Smith.
Alliance Rising, by C.J. Cherryh and Jane S. Fancher (January)
SFWA Grandmaster C.J. Cherryh and co-author Jane S. Fancher return to the beloved Alliance-Union universe, the setting of the 1982 Hugo-winning novel Downbelow Station and countless fantastic other works, including the Faded Sun trilogy and the Merchanter novels. This new installment in the ongoing sci-fi saga delves into the mystery of an unidentified faster-than-light ship and the impact of its arrival on the inhabitants of Alpha Station. Cherryh and Fancher’s skill for creating unique, compelling characters and a gripping narrative shines through in this gem of a novel that is sure to thrill both long-time fans of the Alliance-Union universe and new readers. —Betsy Wollheim, Editor
Titanshade, by Dan Stout (March)
This noir fantasy thriller from debut author Stout introduces the city of Titanshade, a gritty oil boomtown where danger lurks around every corner. I was immediately captured by the immersive worldbuilding; Titanshade’s retro vibe draws heavily on 70s pop culture, with alien cops listening to disco on their 8-tracks while wizards use spellcraft to contact dead victims. Add in a buddy cop story featuring a grizzled human and his unusual partner, and you’ve got a perfect recipe for your next urban fantasy obsession. —Sheila Gilbert, Editor
Finder, by Suzanne Palmer (April)
Fresh off her 2018 Hugo win for the novelette “The Secret Life of Bots”, Suzanne Palmer will debut her first novel in April 2019. Finder is the smart, witty, and fast-paced tale of Fergus Ferguson, interstellar repo-man, told in sharp prose that will have you laughing out loud. Fergus is a delightful reluctant hero—a bit of a con man and a thief, whose newfound allies sigh with exasperation as they agree to his latest implausible plan. You won’t want to miss this introduction to Fergus Ferguson and the multiple award-winning talent of Suzanne Palmer. —Katie Hoffman, Editor
Lies of Descent, by Troy Carrol Bucher (August)
Troy Bucher has been in the military for nearly thirty years, traveling all across the globe to work with a variety of individuals. His journeys infuse Lies of Descent with a deep understanding of cultural interactions, as he details the epic conflict between two warring nations, a war begun by the gods themselves. This debut begins an epic trilogy of fallen gods, betrayal, and magic, where two young people must learn to navigate their differences to confront the greater threat that looms over them both. —Sheila Gilbert
Unraveling, by Karen Lord (June)
The newest novel from phenomenal, award-winning Caribbean author Karen Lord, Unraveling is equal parts murder mystery, interdimensional fantasy, and metaphysical discussion, wrapped up in gorgeous prose. Forensic psychiatrist Miranda investigates seven unusual murders by walking through mazes of memory, with the help of otherworldly beings Chance and Trickster. The serial killer case keeps the tight plot moving quickly against a backdrop of grand-scale magic and questions of choice versus fate, justice, and responsibility. —Katie Hoffman
Del Rey Books
Wanderers, by Chuck Wendig (July)
Chuck Wendig has created the book of 2019—and not only because this book is getting the kind of early buzz that hints that it will be shaping the conversation all year. It’s the book of our moment. Set in an eerily familiar contemporary America, it begins with a mysterious sleepwalking epidemic: One day, about a thousand Americans wake up and begin walking together across the country, towards some unknown destination. It’s all at once a post-apocalyptic epic, an unputdownable thriller, and an intimate family drama, but it also examines the state of American life and politics with empathy and humanity. I’ve always loved Chuck’s work, but with Wanderers, this master craftsman has created his masterpiece. –Editorial Director Tricia Narwani
The Women’s War, by Jenna Glass (March)
One of the books that excited me most this spring is The Women’s War by Jenna Glass, as it delights me to see the #MeToo movement played out so wonderfully and upliftingly on the epic fantasy stage. For in a world that values women only for their potential to breed the next generation of male magic users, women are about to take back their own in a major way as a subversive spell generations in the making gives them not only control of their own fertility, but also the ability to wield their own unique magic. And woe betide any who try to stop them from standing up and claiming their equality. And did I also mention that one of the heroines is a middle-aged mother of teenagers? Early response to the book has been terrific, and I cannot wait for more readers to experience it. Wake up, world, and hear us roar! –Executive Editor Anne Groell
The Nobody People, by Bob Proehl (September)
Although rare, every once in a while you read a book and know right away that it’s going to change your life. When Bob’s powerful and timely novel landed on my desk, it was that kind of revelation. The first handful of pages alone captivated me immediately with its assured voice and compelling characters, and the book’s hold over my attention stayed strong until well after the final page. Set in a contemporary and chillingly realistic America, The Nobody People follows a diverse group of people trying to protect themselves and their loved ones against a fearful and dangerous society when they reveal that they have extraordinary, world-altering abilities. With its boundless heart and grit in the face of adversity, The Nobody People is the book we all need right now. –Editor Sarah Peed
Inspection, by Josh Malerman (April)
Josh Malerman has begun 2019 by setting it on fire—with Bird Box, the Netflix adaptation of his first novel, becoming a world-devouring pop culture sensation. The world is beginning to wake up to this ingenious mastermind of high-concept horror… and yet nothing can prepare you for the experience of Inspection. Set in a secluded school for geniuses—that the students can never leave—it is a blackhearted fairy tale, a twisted thriller, and a mystery box of horrors and delights that only the mind of Josh Malerman could have conceived. The twists left me breathless, the imagery won’t leave my mind, and the characters have seared themselves in my heart. –Tricia Narwani
Gods of Jade and Shadow, by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (August)
Fairy tale retellings are everywhere, but there aren’t enough of them that draw on non-Western sources. Silvia is changing that with Gods of Jade and Shadow, which begins, like so many fairy tales, with a Cinderella-esque servant girl and a melancholy prince… but the setting is 1920s Mexico, and Silvia’s sources are Mayan and Mexican folklore. It’s got Jazz-Age fast cars and glamorous gowns, darkly elegant Mexican gothic aesthetics, a journey to the Mayan underworld, and above all, a smart, self-possessed heroine who discovers her real power—which isn’t magic, but becoming the powerful, independent woman she was meant to be. –Tricia Narwani
Westside, by W.M. Akers (May)
I loved The Alienist, and felt like what was missing was subtle magic. Debut author W.M. Akers has delivered that: a brilliant new detective who only wants to work on “tiny mysteries,” but of course gets caught up in something much greater. I think people are going to really connect with Gilda Carr—a smart, capable, no-nonsense young woman.
Luminous Dead, by Caitlin Starling (April)
This is probably the most cinematic book I’ve worked on in a while. Caitlin Starling paints such vivid picture of what it would be like to be alone, in the dark, miles below the surface, with the only interactions being between her and the voice of her handler—and the ghosts that seem to fill the caves. For a debut, it’s such an accomplished piece of fiction that is science fiction, horror, and very human.
Becoming Superman, by J. Michael Stracynski (July)
J. Michael Stracynski is one of the most accomplished storytellers of the last 35 years, an award-winning writer for television, movies, and comic books. But the creator of Babylon 5 and Sense8 has also lived an incredible story, centered around a con-man father and the secrets no one would discuss. It was exciting to have this be the first memoir on the Voyager list, because he’s a beloved part of the science fiction community, but also has a story that is going to resonate to any artist that has overcome adversity.
The Dragon Republic, by R.F. Kuang (August)
I don’t think B&N readers need much introduction to R.F. Kuang’s series: The Poppy War was one of the great debuts of 2018. But she hasn’t rested on her laurels—and Rin, her main character, isn’t done fighting. For such a young writer, there is so much talent, and it’s all brought to the fore through her inspired reinterpretation of 20th Century Chinese history in this violent, magical world.
Chilling Effect, by Valerie Valdes (September)
Valerie Valdes is taking aim at lovers of space adventure with the crew of La Sirena Negra, and I absolutely got sucked into the action (and humor) that makes this one of the most fun debuts we have in 2019. Did I mention there are space cats? – all comments from Executive Editor David Pomerico
John Joseph Adams Books
Break the Bodies, Haunt the Bones, by Micah Dean Hicks (February)
Swine Hill is full of the dead. Their ghosts are thickest near the abandoned downtown, where so many of the town’s hopes had died generation by generation. They linger in the places that mattered to them, and people avoid those streets, lock those doors, avoid going into those rooms…The ghosts can hurt you. Worse, they can change you.
The Chaos Function, by Jack Skillingstead (March)
A war reporter is drawn into a mysterious world of shifting timelines, machines that control probability, apocalypses both nuclear and biological, and a secret society that has the power to shape history—and save the world.
Upon a Burning Throne, by Ashok K. Banker (April)
In a world where demigods and demons walk among mortals, the Emperor of the vast Burnt Empire has died, leaving a turbulent realm without a sovereign. Two young princes, Adri and Shvate, are in line to rule, but birthright does not guarantee inheritance: For any successor must first pass The Test of Fire.
Gather the Fortunes, by Bryan Camp (May)
In a mythical and magical New Orleans, an inexperienced psychopomp searches the world of the living, the Underworld, and the Worlds to Come for a missing soul whose absence threatens the delicate balance between life and death. (Set in the same world as The City of Lost Fortunes.)
Reentry, by Peter Cawdron (June)
Astronaut Liz Anderson returns to Earth, but not to a hero’s welcome. America is in turmoil. The A.I. war is over, but the insurgency has just begun. Liz finds herself caught in the middle of a battle she never chose. Life on Mars may have been deadly, but at least up there she knew who the enemy was. The A.I. behind the war, reaches out to her, but can she trust a digital demon? (Sequel to Retrograde.) –all comments courtesy of Editor John Joseph Adams
We’re looking forward to so much in 2019. We’ll be launching some incredible new writers, and we’ll also be publishing new books by some of the most beloved voices in science fiction and fantasy—including these, introduced here by our editors. Happy reading!
The Raven Tower, by Ann Leckie (February)
Why am I excited for The Raven Tower? Because Ann Leckie wrote it. Is that too simple? Well then, I’ll say that in her usual, brilliant way, Ann has created a novel that feels utterly original yet completely timeless. This is a tale of revenge and intrigue that spans ages, an epic of wars between gods, wars between men, and the intricate ways the two intertwine—but it’s so tightly told and beautifully honed that you feel as if it’s an intimate, personal story. And when you finish the last page, I am certain you won’t be able to stop thinking about it. – Editor Priyanka Krishnan
Tiamat’s Wrath, by James S.A. Corey (March)
The universe of The Expanse keeps getting larger, and each new installment ramps up the tension and leaves readers on the edge of their seat. Tiamat’s Wrath is no exception. Fans of the series are absolutely going to love the latest entry. If you haven’t read The Expanse yet, or you’ve only seen the hit TV show, then you have a few short months to catch up, starting with Leviathan Wakes. And it is definitely worth catching up on. I can guarantee you’ve never read a space opera like this. – Editor Bradley Englert
The Burning White, by Brent Weeks (August)
Since the beginning, Brent Weeks has been upending expectations and delighting his readers with twists and turns—heroes have become villains and villains have become allies. He’s back with more awesomeness in the final book of his incredible Lightbringer Series. Kip, Gavin, Teia and the whole gang are facing their greatest challenges yet, and we are finally getting the answer to the question that’s been on every fan’s mind since the series started with The Black Prism: Who is the Lightbringer? And, not to give any spoilers, but the answer is going to surprise everyone. >:) – Senior Editor Brit Hvide
A Little Hatred, by Joe Abercrombie (September)
A new novel from Joe Abercrombie is always cause for celebration. Abercrombie revolutionized the fantasy genre with his debut, The Blade Itself. His upcoming epic fantasy, A Little Hatred, is going to exceed his own high standard. It’s sure to please fans of his previous books, and if you’ve never read a fantasy novel from Abercrombie before, there’s no better time to jump in than now. With whip-smart characters, action-packed battles, political backstabbing, and extraordinary worldbuilding, A Little Hatred is sure to be one of the biggest fantasy novels of the year. Abercrombie writes like no one else can, and you’re not going to want to miss it. – Editor Bradley Englert
The City We Became, by N.K. Jemisin (September)
N. K. Jemisin is one of speculative fiction’s brightest stars: she made history by becoming the first person to win three consecutive Hugo Awards for Best Novel, and people like Neil Gaiman and Margaret Atwood are fans. Now she’s poised to blow minds again with her next novel. The City We Became is her first novel to take place in our world and the modern day. Set in New York City, this stunning book is an exploration of power, class, race, myths and gods, and what makes a city truly a city. This book is something special, and I am SO excited for everyone else to get to read it. You’re in for a treat! – Senior Editor Brit Hvide
David Mogo, Godhunter, by Suyi Davies Okungbowa (July)
Smart, high-action urban fantasy set in Okungbowa’s native Lagos. David Mogo grumps and stamps his way reluctantly through a cinematic mission to defend his home city from the depredations of malicious gods, while trying to protect those he loves and restore a world broken by disaster. Think Constantine meets Black Panther and you’re somewhere near it.
Tangle’s Game, by Stewart Hotston (May)
A slick, smart espionage thriller, and a terrifying vision of a (very, very) near future ruled by social media credit scores and brutally pragmatic algorithms. Caught up in a vast conspiracy to destabilise society, Amanda has to outwit corporations, governments and the manipulations of a dead ex-lover to survive. There’s an AI-powered fridge in there, too.
Scarlet Traces, edited by Ian Edginton (Fall)
Five years after the events of H. G. Wells’ War of the Worlds, the British Empire has unlocked much of the Martians’ technology and is using it to further oppress her subjects around the globe. Based on the world of his own hit graphic novels, editor Ian Edginton brings together Stephen Baxter, Emma Beeby, James Lovegrove, Leah Moore and much more great talent in a beautiful dystopian steampunk anthology.
Liquid Crystal Nightingale, by Eeleen Lee (2019)
Stylish SF thriller about a poor miner’s kid on an asteroid colony who gets framed for the murder of an industrial heir shortly before what turns out to be an alien invasion. Think James Patterson by way of Iain M. Banks in a tense, claustrophobic story of intrigue and treachery on the edge of survival.
The Hanging Artist, by Jon Steinhagen (June)
If I said “Franz Kafka, supernatural investigator,” would you really need to know anything else? Franz wakes up the morning after he was supposed to die of consumption and is recruited by shadowy other beings to investigate weird deaths: his first case, a stage performer who apparently hangs himself and survives in his show every night, and a string of unrelated suicides across the city…
String City, by Graham Edwards (March)
It’s theoretical physics and also urban fantasy, because obviously those go together. As a “stringwalker,” our detective hero is able to walk between worlds, a talent he uses to investigate an explosion at a casino owned by the Titans (of Greek myth), becoming ensnared by an interdimensional spider god and played by a trickster-being called—do you know what? I’m going to stop trying to explain it. It’s weird as hell and it’s incredible.
The Outcast Hours, edited by Mahvesh Murad and Jared Shurin (February)
At first thought, “Night” seems almost too broad a concept for an anthology, but Mahvesh and Jared lean into it, with an incredibly eclectic collection of stories in all genres and all settings, by authors from around the world. With a rich, diverse assortment of new and established (and award-winning) writers stitched together with microfiction by China Miéville, it’s one you must read this year.
New Suns: Original Speculative Fiction by People of Color, edited by Nisi Shawl (March)
Giving a voice to marginalised writers has been one of the biggest conversations of the last few years in science-fiction and fantasy. Nisi Shawl, author of the critically-acclaimed Everfair and co-author of the award-winning Writing the Other, has put together a wonderful, life-affirming anthology of stories by up-and-coming authors of color. Find out who everyone will be talking about in the next few years.
The Return of the Incredible Exploding Man, by Dave Hutchinson (Fall)
The brilliant, subversive author of the hugely critically acclaimed Fractured Europe books revisits his short story “The Incredible Exploding Man” in this smart technothriller. Journalist Alex Dolen, writing about the ground-breaking work at the billion-dollar Sioux Crossing Supercollider, is caught in a horrific accident that utterly transforms him and challenges the very foundations of what we know about the universe.
Steel Frame, by Andrew Skinner (August)
Rook’s a jockey, trained to pilot the seven-storey-high robotic shells that fight for dominance of the furthest reaches of space. When a botched suicide attempt lands her in military prison, she finds herself back in the saddle in an old, battered shell, its AI system as broken and traumatised as she is. Steel Frame is both a redemptive healing tale and a deafening military romp; the most thoughtful story of giant robots beating the snot out of each other you’ll ever read.
2019 marks a significant moment here within the corridors of Saga Press as it marks the fifth year we have been publishing books! What better way to say thanks than to kick it off with a New Year’s Day release of nearly-lost-classic from deep within Simon & Schuster’s archives, one of the last books the great editor Jean Karl worked upon, Molly Gloss’s Outside the Gates (January). And just as every new beginning is some other beginning’s end, so we also celebrate the ending of a few of Saga’s beloved series. Kay Kenyon’s Nazi-fighting Kim Tavistock faces her biggest challenge yet, in Nest of the Monarch (April). Chuck Wendig’s Miriam Black has her sixth and final adventure, in Vultures (January) And Theodora Goss’s Athena Club comes together for one more epic quest to save one of their own—and stop a plot for world domination, in The Sinister Mystery of the Mesmerizing Girl (October). –Executive Editor Joe Monti and Senior Editor Navah Wolfe
Ancestral Night, by Elizabeth Bear (March)
We couldn’t be more thrilled to be bringing Hugo award-winning writer Elizabeth Bear to Saga’s list with her return to science fiction. Ancestral Night is the kind of wild, big-ideas space opera that made me fall in love with the genre, and proves once again why Bear is a powerhouse of the genre. I fell head over heels in love with Bear’s protagonist Haimey (not to mention her sentient spaceship Singer—and her space cats!) Publishers Weekly has already given it a starred review, and said “Anyone who enjoys space opera, exploration of characters, and political speculation will love with outstanding novel…Amid a space opera resurgence, Bear’s novel sets the bar high.”
The Deep, by Rivers Solomon, with Daveed Diggs, William Hutson and Jonathan Snipes (June)
Inspired by Clipping’s Hugo-nominated song, and written by Campbell Award-finalist Rivers Solomon, The Deep follows a member of a society of water-breathing descendants of pregnant African slave women tossed overboard, who have built a society underwater—and will need to reclaim memories of their past in order to shape their future. This is powerful, gorgeous, heartbreaking science fiction that brings together art by two incredible talents—and Clipping will be producing new music inspired by the book (like a game of Artist Telephone!) to be released around the book’s publication!
This Is How You Lose the Time War, by Max Gladstone and Amal El-Mothar (July)
Have you ever wondered what a book co-written by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone would be like? Answer: AMAZING. This Is How You Lose the Time War (July 16) follows Red and Blue, time-traveling agents from warring futures, working their way through the past to ensure that their future will succeed. And then, Red and Blue begin to exchange letters. What starts as a battlefield taunt will grow into friendship—and more. Something that could change the past, the present and the future. But there’s still a war going on, and someone has to win. That’s how war works, right? Hugo award-winning author Martha Wells called it “rich and strange, a romantic tour through all of time and the multiverse—you shouldn’t miss a moment.” And Madeline Miller said “This book has it all: treachery and love, lyricism and gritty action, existential crisis and space-opera scope, not to mention time traveling superagents…a fireworks display from two very talented storytellers.”
Wounds: Six Stories from the Border of Hell, by Nathan Ballingrud (April)
Horror is back! Not that it ever went away, but the success of films like Get Out and The Quiet Place, and shows like The Haunting of Hill House and Stranger Things all seemed to blow-up just as the theatrical release of It blew the doors off what expectations for horror could be. So we’re excited to have a few exemplary books coming in 2019, beginning with Nathan Ballingrud’s Wounds (April 9th, 2019). This is Ballingrud’s second collection of novellas and stories, which will contain both a new novella, and “The Visible Filth”, the novella that is the basis for the film adaptation Wounds. The film will release in theaters on April 12th, 2019 starring Dakota Johnson, Armie Hammer, and Zazie Beetz, directed by Babak Anvari.
The Twisted Ones, by T. Kingfisher (September)
We have one other major horror title as well: T. Kingfisher’s The Twisted Ones (September 3.) T. Kingfisher (the Hugo and Nebula-award winning writer also known as Ursula Vernon) is another major voice we’re thrilled to be bringing to Saga’s list. Pitched as The Blair Witch Project meets The Andy Griffith Show, this book kept me up late at night, reading with my heart in my throat, half-believing that every little noise I heard was an eldritch terror coming to get me. In The Twisted Ones, a young woman undertakes to clear out her dead grandmother’s hoarder house, deep in backwoods North Carolina, and discovers an ancient terrifying family secret about a strange colony of beings in the woods. Alone in the woods with her dog, she’ll have to confront a series of impossible horrors—because sometimes the things that go bump in the night are real, and they’re coming for you.
The Light Brigade, by Kameron Hurley (March)
Kameron Hurley’s new novel The Light Brigade (March 19) has already taken critics by storm with three starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Booklist, and Kirkus Reviews, who compared it to Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five, and went on to call it “[A] brutal futuristic exploration into the meaninglessness of war and the legacies of corporate greed.” It’s science fiction in the vein of Joe Haldeman’s The Forever War, or as I like to think of it, Terminator meets Looper. Set in a not too distant future when six major corporations have control of a debilitated earth, a war with colonized Mars is conducted by sending soldiers like Dietz across to Mars by transforming them into light, then back to themselves, but sometimes they come back, wrong. When Dietz starts experiencing the war out of time, clarity begins to form about the scale of this war and Dietz begins to unpuzzle what’s truly happening. It’s brilliant, and James S. A. Corey agrees saying “This is the real thing.”
Storm of Locusts, by Rebecca Roanhorse (April)
Rounding 2019 highlights is the return of Rebecca Roanhorse to The Sixth World with Storm of Locusts (April 23), the sequel to one of the most lauded debut novels of 2018. Picking up just a few weeks after the end Trail of Lightning, Maggie looks into the rise of cult and its charismatic leader, Gideon, known as The White Locust. When the Goodacre twins show up at Maggie’s door with the news that Kai and their younger brother Caleb have fallen in with the cult, they head out beyond the Walls of Dinétah and straight into the horrors of the Big Water outside. Roanhorse exploded onto the field in 2018 garnering the Nebula, Hugo and John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, so it’s great to have something new from her, right away!
The Very Best of Caitlín R. Kiernan, by Caitlin R. Kiernan (February)
Kiernan is one of the preeminent horror writers of her generation. Her work has mainly been collected in limited editions, and this definitive collection is available at long-last in an affordable paperback edition. Kiernan’s gorgeously-written, powerful stories, like those of Clive Barker and Carmen Maria Machado, defy social conventions of morality, gender, and sexuality. Kiernan always takes readers straight to the heart of disquieting emotional truths.
The Unicorn Anthology, edited by Peter S. Beagle and Jacob Weisman (April)
The Unicorn Anthology is edited by the 2018 World Fantasy Award-winning team of unicorn expert Peter S. Beagle and publisher/editor Jacob Weisman. This surprisingly wide-ranging book has been tagged as “Unicorns: Not Just For Virgins Anymore.” The Unicorn Anthology is a very unexpected and ultimately delightful volume, featuring top-notch stories by some of the most acclaimed writers in fantasy, including Garth Nix, Carrie Vaughn, Karen Joy Fowler, Patricia A. McKillip, and of course, Peter S. Beagle, with a tale that is decisively not from The Last Unicorn.
The Tsar’s Last Dragons, by Jane Yolen and Adam Stemple (June)
During the Russian Revolution, the Cossacks were like the Tsar’s human attack-dogs. But in the deft hands of experienced writing team Jane Yolen and Adam Stemple, the Tsar’s dragons harrow the people—especially targeting the Russian Jews and Bolsheviks. In a revisionist secanrio, there is plot to redistribute the power of dragons, and the Russian Revolution hinges on machinations both in the sky and on the ground. The Tsar’s Last Dragons is a vivid reinvention of the fates of Nicholas II, the royal court, Rasputin, and Mother Russia herself.
The Violent Century, by Lavie Tidhar (July)
Israel-British author Lavie Tidhar’s career has rapidly risen in the U.S. after the publication of Central Station and Unholy Land, both selected for multiple Best of the Year lists, including Barnes & Nobles’. This year, we’re reissuing Tidhar’s tour de force novel The Violent Century, a complex, Tidharian (as his reviewers call his work) novel features quantum-powered spies that fight the wars of the past. This is a book that uses superheroes to deftly explore the power of loyalty and love in times of political and moral struggle.
Meet Me in the Future: Stories, by Kameron Hurley (Summer)
Fan favorite Kameron Hurley (God’s War, The Geek Feminist Revolution)’s stories are intensely personal, and frequently explore—as Hurley writes—the body itself in all of its gory mushiness. Hurley is unafraid of the blood and viscera of life and death, or of strong women, men, and those who choose to be either. Her stories are also surprisingly optimistic, and always clear-eyed about both the pitfalls and the promise of technological shifts, the alien and unknown, and the essence of humanity itself.
The Ruin of Kings, by Jenn Lyons (February)
A sprawling epic fantasy that will remind readers of Patrick Rothfuss in its pacing and narrative structure, and of George R. R. Martin in its scope and all-encompassing bloody-mindedness. There’s everything here for your epic fantasy reader—a missing prince or two, lost siblings, prophecies, gods, and the end of the world. Once you start reading, you’ll be ruined for getting anything else done until you finish the book.–Devi Pillai, VP, Publisher
A Memory Called Empire, by Arkady Martine (March)
This is a debut space opera that is layered, nuanced, and startlingly imaginative, with the deep politics and cultural awareness of Iain M. Banks, the political intrigue and linguistic gamesmanship of Ann Leckie, and the brisk pacing and action of James S. A. Corey—and yet it still possesses a voice uniquely its own. It’s a brilliant action-adventure-with-brains from an author with tremendous promise. –Devi Pillai
Fate of the Fallen, by Kel Kade (November)
Imagine The Lord of the Rings, but Frodo gets assassinated by agents of Sauron within the first 100 pages and Sam has to finish the quest alone. That is Fate of the Fallen, and I can’t wait to share it with the world. This new fantasy from the author of the King’s Dark Tidings series is filled to bursting with fantastic pacing, great characters, and non-stop action. Kel Kade has created given us an awesome new take on the time old tradition The Chosen One and I am chomping at the bit to share their story with fantasy readers everywhere. –Christopher Morgan, Editor
The Future of Another Timeline, by Annalee Newitz (September)
The Future of Another Timeline is a new novel from Annalee Newitz, author of Autonomous and founding editor of io9. In it, time travel is easy, but changing history is nearly impossible. It’s not as simple as going back and stopping an influential figure, for example—you have to change the environment that allowed that person to come to power in the first place. The book is told from two points-of-view—Eliza, a time-traveling geologist from 2022, and Beth, a punk rock teenager in 1992. Their stories take us to many times, including the ancient Nabatean Empire, the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, and a dark far future. It’s a gripping adventure with a message of hope mixed in—that collective active can change the timeline, and that we all have the power to bring about a different, better version of the future. –Lindsey Hall, Senior Editor
Supernova Era, by Cixin Liu, translated by Joel Martensen (October)
Supernova Era, a new novel from Cixin Liu, reads like Lord of the Flies but on a massive science fiction scale, and is equal parts poignant, gripping, and wildly imaginative. The story opens in Beijing, in a schoolyard, with a class of children looking up at the night sky as a supernova event unfolds. From there, we soon learn that because of this cosmic event, everyone over the age of 13 is going to die within a year. Whether you’re already a fan of The Three-Body Problem or this is your first time reading Cixin Liu, I hope you’ll be as moved and swept away by the stellar beauty and adventure of Supernova Era as I was. –Lindsey Hall
The City in the Middle of the Night, by Charlie Jane Anders (February)
On the heels of her bestselling debut fantasy novel All the Birds in the Sky, Charlie Jane Anders (co-founder of i09) returns to the speculative space with this brilliant far-future novel of resistance and evolution. Sophie, a young student and reluctant revolutionary, is exiled into the night on a tidally-locked planet where humanity clings to life between frozen darkness and endless blazing light. She survives by forming a bond with her enigmatic rescuers, but her return to life is more fraught than she could have expected. It’s a beautiful, gripping story about people finding each other—and themselves—while the world might be crumbling around them. Charlie Jane Anders has a one-of-a-kind imagination—and you don’t just have to trust an admittedly biased editor; people like Andrew Sean Greer, Daveed Diggs, and Audrey Niffenegger, among others, have enthused about The City in the Middle of the Night, too. This sophomore novel is a phenomenon in the making, setting an already acclaimed author on her way to Le Guin-level stardom. –Miriam Weinberg, Senior Editor
Magic for Liars, by Sarah Gailey (June)
I can’t wait for everyone to read this twisting complex novel of sisterhood, mystery, and magic—two parts Tana French, one part Brakebills, a dash of Veronica Mars-style modern California noir, then serve over ice. Two sisters, one with magic, and one without—after years of estrangement—meet again over the gruesome murder of a faculty member of Osthorne Academy for Mages. But nearly everyone that you will encounter is hiding something—and if you can’t even trust yourself, how will you know when someone else is telling a deadly lie? Sarah Gailey is well on their way to becoming your new favorite writer, already having garnered interest with their award-winning non-fiction essays and brilliant short fiction, now set to break out with this debut novel. –Miriam Weinberg
Gideon the Ninth, by Tamsyn Muir (September)
Lesbian necromancers in space! What more do you people want from me? With a pitch-dark aesthetic, a grandiose scale, and a garbage-fire sense of humor, Gideon the Ninth is everything I could have wished from Tamsyn Muir. You’ll fall in love with Gideon, our grubby, irreverent, lonely protagonist on the very first page, and follow her on a journey to the depths of necromantic depravity. I’ve rarely had as much fun with a book as I’ve had editing Gideon the Ninth, and I know you’ll have just as much fun reading it. Come, join me, as we all become goths together. —Carl Engle-Laird
Miranda in Milan, by Katharine Duckett (March)
As the son of a Shakespearean, a former super-high-school-level Gonzalo, and a maven of wistful queer narratives, I could never have resisted Miranda in Milan. Katharine Duckett’s first book answers Shakespeare’s Tempest, countering its patronizing disregard for Miranda with the heroic narrative she always deserved. It also has everything to offer those less interested in Shakespeare, with ghostly mysteries, masked balls, and bad wizard parenting of the first order. Plus, Miranda gets to kiss a girl. If that doesn’t excite you, you need to find someone else to recommend books to you. —Carl Engle-Laird
Middlegame, by Seanan McGuire (May)
I am so excited to see this book out in the wild! It has everything you’d normally expect from a Seanan McGuire book — great characters, brilliant writing, compelling storyline — and it’s dark. It’s so dark I half-jokingly suggested we ask Mira Grant to blurb it, but that idea was shot down pretty quickly! The central idea — that a secret shadowy organization is attempting to breed god-like beings in order to take control of the world — sounds like it’s come straight from a classic B-movie, but under Seanan’s expert hand it’s elevated to so much more! Every time Seanan sends me a new book it’s my new favorite Seanan book. I think Middlegame might be yours, too. —Lee Harris
The Gurkha and the Lord of Tuesday, by Saad Z. Hossain (August)
Unlimited sex, booze, and world-altering power! You’d think life would be great, but when the great djinn Melek Ahmar wakes after an uninterrupted nap of a few thousand years he finds things are far more difficult than he’d expected. I first read Saad Z. Hossain’s work a year or two ago and fell in love with it immediately. It was smart, well-written, and totally engaging. Djinn City is wonderful, so I asked him if he’d write something for me and Tor.com Publishing. I couldn’t have imagined anything quite as great as what he sent me. A not-too-far future story of a climate-changed world set in a city where everyone seems to get exactly what they deserve, but told as a rollicking buddy adventure with an increasingly worried djinn and a flint-eyed and possibly crazy Gurkha? I was floored by it and I think you will be too. It’s funny, engaging, and filled with action and adventure. Above all though, it’s a team up for the ages. I can’t wait for you to meet Melek Ahmar and Bhan Gurung in The Gurkha and the Lord of Tuesday. I think you’re going fall in love with it just the way I did, and I hope we’re going to be following their adventures for years to come! —Jonathan Strahan
The Border Keeper, by Kerstin Hall (July)
In Kerstin Hall’s luminous, eerie debut, a man with a mysterious past seeks a favor from a goddess who is not what she seems and finds himself in the demon realms of Mkalis. This fantasy novella, inspired by the landscapes of South Africa and Namibia, effortlessly inhabits a mythology all its own. It’s always a special pleasure to find an author so fully-formed in the slush, and Kerstin has a particular gift for unfamiliar, startling images and details that immediately feel like they’ve always been part of our own folklore. The Border Keeper has complicated histories, warring gods, and radiant prose. I think readers will look up from the last page and feel like they’ve woken up in an entirely new world. —Ruoxi Chen
Skyhorse (Night Shade Books/Talos Press)
The Heirs of Babylon, by Glen Cook (January)
Glen Cook has for decades been heralded as an essential influence on gritty contemporary fantasy. His Black Company and Dread Empire series, which began in the late ’70s and ’80s and are still continuing to this day, are celebrated and loved by readers for bringing epic fantasy down to earth, teeming with realistic and believable characters who didn’t fit in neat classifications of good or evil. The Heirs of Babylon is Glen’s recently-unearthed debut, originally published in 1972 and never before reissued until now. A grim post-apocalyptic tale set 200 years after nuclear war has devastated the global population, Heirs takes place on a decrepit warship en route to a mysterious and ominous “Final Meeting.” With its mix of naval warfare, Orwellian politics, and hardened war-weary sentiments, The Heirs of Babylon is unmistakable Cook and we’re thrilled to make another of his older books available to a wider audience again.
Million Mile Road Trip, by Rudy Rucker (May)
2019 might just be the year of Rudy Rucker. A true science fiction hall of famer, Rucker came up in the ’80s with contemporaries like William Gibson, John Shirley, and Bruce Sterling, and was a pivotal member of the early cyberpunk scene. Rucker distinguishes himself with a funny, quirky approach to hard sci-fi ideas. His books are goofy, intelligent, and overflowing with creativity, often in the same time, and a blast to read. This coming year, we’re reissuing nine of Rudy’s best previously published books, and releasing his first new novel since 2013, Million Mile Road Trip! All ten books will be out in 2019, starting in January with Turing & Burroughs, a wild alternative history starring the famous Alan Turing, William S. Burroughs, and giant slugs, and Mathematicians in Love, where two grad students must balance their cutting edge math explorations into alternate realities with a fight over the same love interest. Million Mile Road Trip is a real “trip” from start to finish, a story that could have only been written (and thought up) by Rudy, starring three California teens who embark on the titular journey through Mappyworld, a parallel universe with strange physics at play. Their goal? To stop carnivorous flying saucers from invading Earth. Their vehicle? A beat-up purple 80s station wagon called the Purple Whale!
The Eagle Has Landed: 50 Years of Lunar Science Fiction, edited by Neil Clarke (July)
Neil Clarke is the award-winning editor and publisher of Clarkesworld magazine, which routinely publishes some of the best original short science fiction stories every year. He’s also one of our favorite anthologies, and his selections routinely illustrate the diversity and creativity of today’s short science fiction landscape. We actually have two anthologies from Neil in 2019: The fourth volume in his annual The Best Science Fiction of the Year series will be published in hardcover as well as paperback for the first time. And we have a new themed reprint anthology Neil has just finished up, just in time for the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landings. There hasn’t been an anthology focused solely on lunar science fiction in a long time, and Neil has selected a fascinating collection of stories from authors like Kim Stanley Robinson, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Nancy Kress, and Michael Swanwick.
Mythic Journeys: Myths and Legends Retold, edited by Paula Guran (June)
Think of Mythic Journeys as the sister anthology to Beyond the Woods, which we published in 2016. But where Beyond the Woods collected retold fairy tales, Mythic Journeys goes in a different direction, focusing on contemporary takes on well-known myths and legends. With stories from Neil Gaiman, Charles de Lint, Ann Leckie, Catherynne M. Valente, Emma and Peter Straub, and many more, this collection, which covers inspired takes on well-known Greek and Norse stories as well as lesser-known Africa, Chinese, and Native American folklore, is a really interesting way to take a second look at stories we think we already know.
The Best Horror of the Year Volume 11, edited by Ellen Datlow (June)
Ellen Datlow is an editor and anthologist who needs no introduction. When it comes to short horror fiction, she is unrivaled over the past 35 years, and as one of the current editors of Tor.com, she continues to keep her pulse on the vibrant genre of horror and dark fantasy. 2018 was an important milestone for us, as Night Shade published the 10th volume in her annual Best Horror of the Year series over the summer, then celebrated a decade of great horror with the single volume The Best of the Best Horror of the Year, in which Datlow selected the cream of the crop from the previous ten volumes. So, with 2019 being what we hope is the start of another 10 years of Best Horror, we thought it would be a good opportunity to give our series design a fresh makeover. With stunning original artwork from Audrey Benjaminsen, we’re excited to see the selections for this year’s volume (which Ellen will be making and announcing very soon!).
The Girl with No Face, by M.H. Boroson (October)
It’s been a few years since the first book in this historical urban fantasy series set in San Francisco’s Chinatown circa 1900, The Girl with Ghost Eyes, was published, and now that I’ve gotten my hands on the manuscript, I can officially confirm that it is every bit worth the wait. Everything that made book one such a pleasure to read—the bizarre supernatural creatures, the awesome kung-fu moves, the exacting attention to cultural and historical detail, the wisecracking talking eyeball sidekick—has returned, better than ever. Li-lin, a young daoshi widow who can see the spirit world, is an protagonist impossible not to root for, and having a bit of space between books only made me realize what a joy it is to be in her world again. The Daoshi Chronicles is one of the most unique and memorable series I’ve come across in recent memory, and we’re thrilled it’s coming back. –via editors Cory Allyn and Oren Eades
The Near Witch, V.E. Schwab (March)
V.E. Schwab’s debut carries all the magic of a classic fairytale and marries this with underlying themes of identity and gender that speak volumes in today’s world. Schwab’s first novel didn’t achieve the resounding success of her later publications the first time round and unfortunately slipped out of print, and with such a pertinent title it’s thrilling to be part of its re-release, and I’m very much looking forward to seeing the book published in the way it deserves, in a shiny new hardback edition with all the bells and whistles! It’s perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo, Sarah J. Maas, and Holly Black, and with an intricately sketched setting, beguiling characters, and expertly crafted atmosphere, it’s a book that will captivate both current Schwab fans and brand new readers alike. –Cat Camacho, editor
All My Colors, by David Quantick (April)
Being a fan of David Quantick’s work for television, I was very excited to read this novel, and it doesn’t disappoint. All My Colors is the darkly funny story of Todd Milstead, a deluded and arrogant wannabe-writer in late seventies America. Unfortunately, Todd can’t write to save his life. But he does remember a novel no one else seems to have heard of, a novel titled All My Colors. He decides to “write” this book that nobody but him can remember. After all, if nobody’s heard of it, how can he get into trouble? Quantick’s novel really grabbed with it’s effective prose, and expert marriage of supernatural horror and black comedy. –Gary Budden, editor
Snakeskins, by Tim Major (May)
Snakeskins is set in an alternate United Kingdom, where a meteor-strike in the nineteenth century changed the course of history irrevocably and created a long-lived group of humans known as Charmers. Every seven years, the Charmer produces a short-lived clone known as a ‘Snakeskin’… Tim Major’s novel mixes the tone of classic John Wyndham novels with an SF thriller examining the repercussions of rejuvenation and cloning on identity and society. Tim Major has the ability to explore weighty themes with a light touch, grounding his big ideas in plausible and relatable realities. –Gary Budden
Green Valley, by Louis Greenberg (June)
As soon as I started reading Green Valley I knew it would be unforgettable. It has echoes of Black Mirror, True Detective, and even an edge of Harry Harrison’s Make Room, Make Room, but with a unique, wistful tone that’s all its own. At the heart of the novel is a family mystery: When the bodies of unidentified children, bristling with tech implants, start turning up in the city of Stanton, Lucie Sterling, a police analyst, is convinced her niece, Kira – daughter of a long-dead sister – is in danger. Kira lives inside a walled-off enclave called Green Valley – the only place left in the world where digital technology isn’t banned, and where the boundaries between the real and the virtual are unclear. People on both sides don’t trust what lies on the other side of the wall, and it’s down to Lucie to venture into the unknown, to uncover what’s really going on in Green Valley – and to find her niece. Louis Greenberg skilfully blurs the techno-dystopian visions of Black Mirror with a heavy dose of the uncanny, and the resulting novel is unsettling, moving and frightening in equal measure. Louis writes with Sarah Lotz under the name S.L. Grey, and is a prizewinning novelist in his native South Africa. We’re really looking forward to introducing Green Valley, his solo debut, to the world. –Sam Matthews, editor
The Record Keeper, by Agnes Gomillion (June)
Modeled on the nineteenth-century ‘slave narrative’ genre, The Record Keeper is a punchy read unafraid to tackle the big issues of race-relations. It grabbed me immediately when I first read it. After the Third World War, the world is in ruins, and the final armies have come to a reluctant truce. The narrator, Arika Cobane, is a member of the Kongo, whose backbreaking labor provides food for humanity. She is destined to become a member of the Kongo elite, but everything changes when a new student spews dangerous words of treason. This is a book that suggests mental chains may be the most powerful means of control. –Gary Budden
The Black Library
Honourbound, by Rachel Harrison (August)
Debut author Rachel Harrison has written a rip-roaring war story of heart-wrenching action and full bloodied purpose in Honourbound. The novel is possessed of a bombast and immediacy that will delight and enthrall fans of the genre with pulse-pounding battle sequences, full of verve and visual spectacle. The Bale Stars are under threat from an insidious and pervasive enemy called the ‘Sighted’ and only the courageous soldiers of the Astra Militarum stand in the path of their onslaught. Expect a visceral, phlegmatic tale told in the very finest traditions of gritty, dystopian military sf. Harrison has a flare for terse, fast-paced action and her highly visual style is immediately engaging, but as hugely satisfying as the desperate battles are in Honourbound, it’s in the quiet moments where the novel really excels. With the 11th Antari Rifles and the relationships between the men and women of this beleaguered regiment, Harrison weaves a deftly written melodrama, full of emotional weight and with characters you can instantly identify with and care about. In the novel’s main character, Severina Raine, we are treated to a complex individual, laden with the baggage of expectation, duty and familial shame. And it’s Raine’s eyes through which we experience most of the story, though not exclusively. Clever use of multiple narrators and juxtaposition serve the frenetic energy of the novel perfectly, which builds to a dramatic reveal and an incredibly satisfying conclusion. – Nick Kyme, managing editor
Space Marine Conquests: Apocalypse, by Josh Reynolds (June)
Josh Reynolds masters the nuances of political and religious tension in the 41st Millennium in this intelligently plotted, action-packed battle drama of epic proportions. Primarily a novel about the forces of the Imperium triumphing over its twisted traitors, Josh scrutinises every aspect of the conflict between the Space Marines—brutally efficient warrior-heroes of mankind—and their former brothers, now vile servants of the dark gods whose only pleasure is to wreak malice and destruction. Though expertly versed in the art of war, this is no straightforward mission for the Space Marines of the Imperial Fists, Raven Guard and White Scars. While each Chapter boasts an impeccable and time-honoured military science, their strategies deviate from one another, and it is the task of Heyd Calder, Primaris Lieutenant of the Imperial Fists, to utilize the skill and might of all three Chapters to protect the cardinal world of Almace from its corrupted invaders. This is a fraught and powerful narrative, full of fiery action and smartly choreographed battle scenes, but at its core is a mystery which subtly alters characters’ typical conducts in an already complex situation, sharpening the tension to a knife’s edge and providing additional depth. Josh’s shrewd dissection of motivations, from the noblest to the most damnable, and his profoundly meaningful themes are magnified in his analysis of the Imperium’s labyrinthine politics, and ultimately, the characters’ desperate quest to discover truth and significance in this chaotic dystopia. With vibrant characterization and a fast-paced, scintillating plot, there’s something here for everyone. – Hannah Hughes, senior commissioning editor
What SFF book are you most looking forward to reading in 2019?