We’re hungry for the rest of the story, and 2019 is set to deliver. Whether from well-established authors or relative newcomers, the sequels are coming—some of them long-awaited, some of them dreaded (because we don’t want the stories to end), and at least one that was wildly unexpected. Here are 35 science fiction and fantasy sequels we can’t wait to devour in 2019.
(Note: This list is not all-inclusive—we’ve undoubtedly missed some; others are coming but not yet available for preorder. And of course, there’s always a chance that, say, a Scott Lynch, or a Patrick Rothfuss, or even a George R.R. Martin will finish one of those eagerly anticipated, long-delayed blockbusters-in-waiting. Here’s hoping.)
Shadow Captain, by Alastair Reynolds (January 15)
Pirates, steampunk space vessels, family drama, and ancient technology combine with Reynolds’ penchant for hard sci-fi in this series about a couple of sisters who defeat the most notorious pirate sailing the spaceways, only to find themselves drawn into a similar life—and being hunted by their former foe’s old rivals.
The Hod King, by Josiah Bancroft (January 22)
A revolution is brewing within the famed Tower of Babel in the third volume of Josiah Bancroft’s strikingly inventive, quasi-steampunk fantasy quadrilogy. Teacher-cum-airship pirate Thomas Senlin and his band of unlikely comrades are enlisted by the Sphinx, the Tower’s enigmatic engineer, to spy on the citizens of the Ringdom of Pelphia and determine if a rebellion is brewing among the enslaved servants known as hods. If you aren’t reading this series, you’re missing out on some of the most original fantasy of the decade.
The Kingdom of Copper: A Novel, by S. A Chakraborty (January 22)
S.A. Charkraborty’s The City of Brass was one of our favorite debuts of 2016, and not only for its depiction of a lush fantasy world inspired by 18th century Egypt. The fierce and resourceful young protagonist, Nahri, instantly pulled us into the narrative, which saw her accidentally summon a djinn who whisked her away to the royal court of the supernatural city of Daevabad, where much adventure ensued. The sequel opens in the wake of a devastating battle, as Nahri finds the majestic djinn city has become her own gilded cage.
Wild Country, by Anne Bishop (March 5)
Humans killed the shape-shifting Others, and the Others retaliated, annihilating entire towns. But some are trying for peace. One such place is the town of Bennett, a desolated outpost where Others and humans are living side-by-side, if tentatively. In Bishop’s latest in a series of standalone spinoffs of her bestselling urban fantasy series, a young police officer joins the town’s force and immediately finds herself in danger thanks to the arrival of a group of greedy humans and the outlaw Blackstone clan.
Pure Chocolate, by Amber Royer (March 5)
Amber Royer’s debut novel was a delicious space opera confection: a fast-paced sci-fi adventure outside, a silky smooth telenovela-style romance on the inside, with a premise that’s still 100 percent pure genius: what if the only thing Earth had to offer the wider galactic community was chocolate? We can’t wait to see what outlandish events befall celebrity chef turned intergalactic mover-and-shaker Bo Bonitez next.
The Rosewater Insurrection, by Tade Thompson (March 12)
Thompson’s Rosewater utterly defied genre conventions, incorporating strong hints of noir and cyberpunk into a story set in a human community that exists at the borders of a strange alien biodome that has appeared in Nigeria. The story of the quiet invasion by the creature called Wormwood continues in the sequel, and we’re excited to see what answers it provides—and what new mysteries it sets up for the concluding volume.
The True Queen, by Zen Cho (March 12)
In this Regency-fantasy follow-up to the delightful Sorcerer to the Crown—an immensely relatable mix of fae magic, alternate history worldbuilding, class commentary, and sweet romance—sisters Muna and Sakti are separated by a curse, forcing Muna to travel to Britain and navigate the magical high society as she learns the secrets that can reunite them. Zen Cho is always a joy to read, and we’ve been waiting for this one for years.
Luna: Moon Rising, by Ian McDonald (March 19)
It’s Game of Thrones on the moon: McDonald’s story of the Five Dragons who control lunar interests in the not-too-far future has been juicy, bloody, and full of political skullduggery. Five prominent lunar families slug it out for humanity’s future and their own power.
The Deepest Blue: Tales of Renthia, by Sarah Beth Durst (March 19)
Both a sequel and a standalone, Sarah Beth Durst’s latest returns to the world of Renthia, but with a fresh start that makes it a great spot for new readers to dive in—get it? Because it leaves behind the lush forest kingdoms of the trilogy to explore life in an island community. On the day of her wedding, oyster-hunter Mayara battles back a spirit storm with powers that she’d previously kept secret—powers that mark her as either a hero or a witch to be destroyed.
Tiamat’s Wrath, by James S. A. Corey (March 26)
Following a significant time jump and the establishment of a whole new status quo in the previous book, The Expanse series is hurtling toward its endgame with an authoritarian regime in control of the gates and the Rocinante crew scattered. There’s no way we’re not going to devour the penultimate book in the most epic sci-fi series running.
The War Within, by Stephen R. Donaldson (April 2)
With last year’s Seventh Decimate, Stephen R. Donaldson launched his first new fantasy saga since completing the decades-in-the-making Thomas Covenant series. The sequel is a far beefier affair, and it promises to undo the fragile peace that was established in the first book after a noble prince discovered an ancient repository of magical knowledge and used the information within to quell a brewing conflict. The series is called the Great God’s War, after all.
Five Unicorn Flush, by T.J. Berry (April 2)
Space Unicorn Blues was a science fantasy that somehow lived up to that impossibly kistchy-cool title—telling a surprisingly subtle and moving story of depression and self-acceptance even amid a story peppered with wild ideas, from interspace travel fueled by ground unicorn horns to a spaceship carved from stone and crewed by a group of grumpy dwarves. Obviously we’re reading book two.
We Are Mayhem: A Black Star Renegades Novel, by Michael Moreci (April 9)
Moreci’s debut proudly wore its Star Wars influences on its sleeve, and the results were pure fun—and left us wanting more from its story of rag-tag rebels fighting to bring down the oppressive Praxis empire. In the second volume, Cade Sura has control of the galaxy’s most powerful weapon, the Rokura, but has no idea how to use it. He sets out on a quest into uncharted space, seeking the instruction manual.
Holy Sister, by Mark Lawrence (April 9)
We’ve ranked the first two volumes of Lawrence’s series—about a young novice in a sisterhood of assassin nuns—with the best fantasy novels of their respective years, so there’s little mystery as to why we can’t wait to see how the whole thing wraps up. Here, Nona Grey faces the final tasks that stand in the way of her becoming a full sister in the order.
No Country for Old Gnomes: The Tales of Pell, by Kevin Hearne and Delilah S. Dawson (April 16)
The world of Pell, the result of a team-up from favorites Kevin Hearne and Delilah S. Dawson, is the OTT setting for just the type of irreverent, trope-skewering fantasy we’re always game for. It’s goofy in all the best ways. The latest sees war on the way, as the fight-loving halflings (astride their war alpacas) make for the lands of the cheerful, cardigan-obsessed gnomes.
Atlas Alone, by Emma Newman (April 2)
We’ve been haunted by the three previous standalone-but-shared-world novels in Emma Newman’s Planetfall series—deeply moving, character-focused novels that explore the emotional fallout from the science-fictional events they are built around: colonization of an alien world, being left behind on Earth by those you love, losing yourself in your work and your art… on Mars. In the fourth volume, ex-Earther Dee struggles with past trauma even as she seeks vengeance against those who destroyed her home planet in nuclear fire through the unusual means of a scarily immersive video game.
Nest of the Monarch, by Kay Kenyon (April 16)
Kenyon’s alt-history fantasy Dark Talents series concludes here, and we’re excited to see how it all ends. There’s an Agent Carter vibe to the story of Kim Tavistock, a British spy with a talent for making people tell her the truth who is reluctantly (at first) recruited to the effort of bringing down the Nazis and ending WWII.
Storm of Locusts, by Rebecca Roanhorse (April 23)
Roanhorse’s fiery debut introduced us to brusque Dinté demon hunter Maggie and bubbly Kai, and their monster-stabbing adventures made an outsize impact on the urban fantasy genre. Largely set on Navajo land in the Southwest, the series offers a fun new spin on familiar fantasy ideas, with Indigenous characters whose abilities are inspired by Native American legends and history.
The Unbound Empire, by Melissa Caruso (April 30)
Caruso’s addictive, politically intricate, and intrigue-packed fantasy trilogy comes to a close. Lady Amalia Cornaro and fire warlock Zaira battle to save their Empire from threats both within and without, as the mages of Raverran struggle to keep control of their power while the armies of the Witch Lord Ruven stand ready to strike.
Lady Hotspur, by Tessa Gratton (April 30)
In this standalone followup to the Shakespeare-inspired The Queens of Innis Lear, Gratton moves the story forward by centuries, shifting her inspiration from King Lear to Henry IV. Knight Hal rules as queen in the wake of a successful rebellion lead by her mother. The royal she was sworn to protect plots revenge, while Hal’s lover Lady Hotspur stands betrayed. Gratton’s feminist take on the Bard offers a unique fantasy vision.
Storm Cursed, by Patricia Briggs (May 7)
Mercy Thompson took 2018 off while Patricia Briggs released the next installment of the spinoff Alpha and Omega series, which means by the time Storm Cursed lands, it will have been more than two years since her last adventure. With a deadly threat moving into menace the residents of the supposedly neutral territory she has sworn to protect, it looks like Mercy will need to capitalize on every bit of extra energy she was able to store up during her downtime.
Empire of Grass, by Tad Williams (May 7)
Williams is one of modern fantasy’s most admired voices, and Osten Ard one of its most beloved settings. We were thrilled to finally return there with last year’s The Witchwood Crown, which began a new trilogy set a generation after the close of the Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn saga. Empire of Grass is poised to deepen mysteries established in its predecessor, even as war looms for the kingdom and its rulers, King Simon and Queen Miriamele.
Time’s Demon, by D.B. Jackson (May 7)
We loved the mix of epic fantasy, magic, and twisty time travel antics in D.B. Jackson’s Time’s Children, in which “Walkers” can travel back in time to right wrongs at the cost of years off their own lives, but it left off on a hell of a cliffhanger. In the second book, 15-year-old Walker Tobias Doljan, now trapped in an adult body, must do all he can to undo the mistakes that lead to disaster and the death of his king.
The Warship: Rise of the Jain, Book Two, by Neal Asher (May 7)
Warship picks up in the wake of predecessor The Soldier with a lethal black hole eating its way through an accretion disc swirling with valuable tech. When it comes to military science fiction, it doesn’t get much bigger, bolder, or better than Neal Asher.
Children of Ruin, by Adrian Tchaikovsky (May 14)
In the 2015 British Science Fiction Award-winning Children of Time (finally officially released in the U.S. late last year), Adrian Tchaikovsky did the impossible: he made us root for his super-intelligent uplifted spider protagonists—a new species birthed by a misspent human-engineered retrovirus—more than for the crew of Earth-fleeing colonists invading their world. Needless to say, we can’t wait to see how he tops it in this sequel, in which a ship
manned crewed by both humans and spiders sets off to explore another distant planet touched by the gene-altering virus.
The Stiehl Assassin, by Terry Brooks (May 28)
After four decades exploring the history and lore of Shannara, Terry Brooks is moving toward its ending, and this year delivers the penultimate book in the truly epic series (more than 30 novels have been published to date). The land is under attack on two fronts: the relentless Skaar invasion that threatens everything, and the Druid Tavo, who is out for revenge and in possession of an unimaginably powerful weapon.
Fall: or, Dodge in Hell, by Neal Stephenson (June 4)
Though the publisher isn’t marketing it as an outright sequel, the title tells fans of Stephenson’s gaming-centric crime thriller Reamde everything they need to know: this is another hefty adventure (800 pages!) featuring Richard “Dodge” Forthrast, founder of the mega-successful gaming company behind T’rain, the immersive MMPORPG that drove the first book’s plot. In this one, Dodge’s brain is uploaded into a computer after he goes comatose during a medical procedure, and cyberpunk antics undoubtedly ensue.
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Children of Virtue and Vengeance, by Tomi Adeyemi (June 4)
Though this one is technically YA, its also basically the biggest thing in fantasy this side of Westeros, so it deserves a mention here: Adeyemi’s West African-inspired fantasy debut—about the survivors of a magical purge who band together to restore what was lost—made a huge impact on genre readers young and old in 2018. We’re dying to know what’s next for Zélie and Amari.
Ash Kickers, by Sean Grigsby (June 4)
The sequel to Smoke Eaters, which we called “a blockbuster action movie in book form,” Ash Kickers returns to an alternate modern world menaced by supernatural creatures and protected by a team of uniquely gifted firefighters. With the dragon menace under control for the time being, the team sets its hoses on another immanent conflagration when a Phoenix shows up in the sky. Presumably, they can’t just kill the beast, because, you know… Phoenix.
Hexarchate Stories, by Yoon Ha Lee (June 25)
Revisiting the world of the Machineries of Empire trilogy (Ninefox Gambit, Raven Stratagem, Revenant Gun), Lee is set to reveal the history of the Hexarchate through a series of short stories going back to its very origins. With the trilogy proper concluded, this sounds like a great way to dip back into Lee’s mathematical, mind-bogglingly complex universe.
The Iron Dragon’s Mother, by Michael Swanwick (June 25)
Swanwick’s world is a faerie realm, but a sharp-tongued and witty post-industrial one. Here, Caitlin of House Sans Merci, half-human mechanical dragon rider, is framed for murder and forced to flee to Industrialized Faerie. Should be fun, and more—The Iron Dragon’s Daughter is one of the weirdest, most thoughtfully genre-twisting books ever to earn so many prominent award nominations—and loose follow-up The Dragons of Babel followed suit.
Howling Dark, by Christopher Ruocchio (July 2)
Ruocchio’s 2018 debut Empire of Silence was big in all sorts of ways: an epic space opera that turned old-school SF and fantasy tropes on their heads. The series is all about the rise and fall (and rise, and fall, and…) of Hadrian Marlowe, also known as the galaxy-killing Sun Eater, as told in his own words. This middle-trilogy volume sees him set out beyond the empire in order to find the aliens who can bring peace to his system.
Dark Age, by Pierce Brown (July 9)
Darrow, the hero of the original Red Rising trilogy, is now an outlaw on the run, waging a rogue war to salvage his dream of a just universe. The more destruction he creates, though, the further he strays from his own heroic goals. After a release date changes, we’re triply eager to see the story continue.
Age of Legend, by Michael J. Sullivan (July 9)
Continuing his Legends of the First Empire series, which delves into the distant past of the world of the Riyria Revelations, the Fhrey, once worshipped as gods, have proven to be mortal and vulnerable, and the humans are eager to defeat their former masters. Yet on the cusp of victory, betrayal threatens to destroy everything they’ve fought for. This action-filled adventure fantasy series is moving toward a no-doubt thrilling conclusion.
The Redemption of Time: A Three-Body Problem Novel, by Baoshu and Ken Liu (July 16)
Here’s an interesting case: a take on Liu Cixin’s Three-Body Problem trilogy from an fan writer that’s apparently so good, the author himself approved its publication as an official extension of the series. It dives deeper into the story of Yun Tianming, who receives a new life and another chance, if only he betrays humanity for a second time.
Jade War, by Fonda Lee (July 23)
Jade City won both our hearts and a World Fantasy Award, so we’ve got high hopes for the second book in the trilogy set in an Asia-inspired fantasy city in which powerful families fight for control of the magical jade that fuels the supernatural abilities of the Green Bone warriors. We’re all in on this decidedly non-Western take on The Godfather.
The Hound of Justice: A Novel, by Claire O’Dell (July 30)
Genre readers are no strangers to new takes on Holmes and Watson, but we’d never before experienced one quite like O’Dell’s smart, sharp A Study in Honor, which introduced Dr. Janet Watson and covert agent Sara Holmes, two women of color in a near-future Washington, D.C. still reeling from a New Civil War. Here, the surgeon and the covert agent reunite to hunt down an extremist organization planning an assassination.
The Ascent to Godhood, by JY Yang (July 30)
Where steampunk is inspired by Victorian-era industrial tech, silkpunk fantasy similarly takes its inspiration from East Asian antiquity. Yang is one of the authors who popularized that particular sub-genre with the Tensorate series, and we’re more than ready for a fourth dip back into their lush, monster-and-magic-filled world. This one tells the story of the fall of the Protector at the hands of her greatest love, Lady Han.
The Dragon Republic, by R. F. Kuang (August 6)
Kuang’s debut intertwined a coming-of-age fantasy and the tumultuous history of 20th century China to build a unique secondary world inspired by the horrors of our own. Rin’s devastating (in all senses of the word) victory at the conclusion of The Poppy War was far from triumphant, and as the sequel opens, she’s saddled with guilt, an opium addiction, and obligations to the dark god who granted her power. We’re ready to be hurt again.
Agency, by William Gibson (September 3)
Any new book from cyberpunk legend Gibson is an event, but even more so this sequel to 2014’s The Peripheral, a time-shifting, universe-jumping story that’s being developed as a TV series. This one hops between alternate timelines, including one in which the 2016 U.S. presidential election had a very different outcome.
Darkdawn, by Jay Kristoff (September 3)
Jay Kristoff delayed publication of the third book in the Nevernight Chronicles to ensure he sticks the landing as he concludes the story of a ruthless young assassin in the Blades of Our Lady of Blessed Murder and her single-minded quest for revenge. (Yes, Virginia, there are two supremely satisfying fantasy series following a holy church of trained killers.) Needless to say, we’ve been waiting ever so patiently to finally see how it ends.
The Testaments, by Margaret Atwood (September 10)
Atwood’s sequel to 1985’s The Handmaid’s Tale is coming just in time, and everyone’s going to be reading it, if only to find out what really happened to Offred in the wake of that 1985 landmark’s devastatingly ambiguous conclusion. Need we say more?
The Warrior Moon, by K Arsenault Rivera (September 24)
We’ve been spoiled for new voices in fantasy over the last few years, and Rivera’s East Asian-inspired world has been a favorite. Adventurer Barsalayaa Shefali and the Empress O-Shizuka were exiled following their wedding, but the warrior women are reunited in this concluding volume to face their final test and, perhaps, fulfill a prophecy that has guided generations.
The True Bastards, by Jonathan French (October 8)
Jonathan French knocked us for a loop with The Grey Bastards, a self-published dark fantasy novel that became a mainstream publishing sensation. That book followed the titular bastards, a rough-and-ready unit of half-orc warriors, capable fighters who ride wild boars into combat and are hated by both humans and orcs. The followup shifts the focus to Fetching, the only female “hoof leader” in the blasted Lot Lands, who faces both the challenges of being in charge and the secrets of her past.
What sequel are you hungry for in 2019?