As has become our tradition, we’re looking ahead to the next year of 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 95 new books they can’t wait for you to read (and that’s just the tip of the iceberg).It’s going to be a good year to be an SFF reader. Again.
We have so many terrific books coming in 2018 that we’re excited to share with you. —Anne Sowards and Rebecca Brewer, editors
Brief Cases, by Jim Butcher (June 5)
Jim Butcher is back and better than ever with Brief Cases, a new collection of Dresden Files stories. It collects all the reader favorites that Jim Butcher has written since the release of Side Jobs, and also includes the brand-new, original novella “Zoo Day”. All of the stories are terrific and give you different glimpses and perspectives on the world and characters of the Dresden Files, but “Zoo Day” really tugged at my heart. It’s tense and emotional and wonderful and I can’t wait for you to read it. —Anne Sowards
Next up, we have two new emotionally resonant fantasy novels from talented authors.
Lake Silence, by Anne Bishop (March 6)
Anne Bishop’s Lake Silence is set in the world of her New York Times bestselling Others series, which established a unique setting with a fresh take on urban fantasy—an alternate version of our world, where humans are not the dominant predator and must live alongside vampires, werewolves, and other beings more deadly. It is a standalone story that can be read independently, so if you haven’t tried Anne’s previous books, this is a great place to start. Anne Bishop has a genius for making really dark characters, who have been known to do very dark things, utterly lovable. And I just can’t get enough of them! —Anne Sowards
Phoenix Unbound, by Grace Draven (September 25)
Grace Draven is already a USA Today bestselling author for her independently published novels, and her first book for Ace is the glorious Phoenix Unbound. Grace’s books balance the intricate worldbuilding of the best fantasy with the intense and deeply-felt emotion of the most powerful romance. It is a hard combination to pull off, and she does it beautifully. This one kicks off a new series, and in the first book, a witch with power over fire and illusion and the enslaved son of a chieftain come together to fight a corrupt and dying empire. It is absolutely compulsive, can’t-put-it-down reading. —Anne Sowards
Stars Uncharted, by S.K.Dunstall (August 14)
Stars Uncharted by S. K. Dunstall is something new and exciting—a thrilling science fiction adventure about a band of explorers looking to make the biggest score in the galaxy and stay one step ahead of the Companies, the conglomerates who hold most of the power in this universe. This book features strong female characters, explorers looking for a lost planet, and a rich universe that will appeal to fans of the TV show Firefly (like me). I loved the camaraderie between the different crew members and the inventive science fiction ideas (such as the modders, who can redesign people’s bodies, from simply changing hair and eye color to modifications even more extreme). —Anne Sowards
For the alternate history fan, we have three brilliant new “what if” novels coming.
Mecha Samurai Empire, by Peter Tieryas (September 18)
The Man in the High Castle meets Pacific Rim in Peter Tieryas’s Mecha Samurai Empire, about a young man who has grown up in an alternate California where the Axis won WWII, and who dreams of becoming a mecha pilot. (Yes, this is a book about giant battle robots fighting Nazis. And it’s an absolute blast.) Peter made a splash with his previous book, United States of Japan, which was published by a small press and won Japan’s top science fiction award earlier this year. Mecha Samurai Empire is Peter’s first novel for Ace. It’s set in that same alternate world ofUnited States of Japan,, fifty years after the Axis powers won World War II and took over the United States, but is written as a stand-alone with different characters and can be read independently. When I read this I was completely won over by the main character, Mac, who is such an appealing underdog—he has this dream of becoming a mecha pilot, but spends all his time playing video games and has terrible grades. It was totally giving me flashbacks to Wade from Ready Player One. —Anne Sowards
Black Chamber, by S.M. Stirling (July 3)
We’re so excited that S.M. Stirling, well known for his long-running Change series, is starting a brand new alternate history series with Black Chamber. This is a World War One spy thriller starring a female spy from the Black Chamber, a proto-CIA organization created by returning president Teddy Roosevelt. Going undercover she has to find out what the Germans have planned to keep America out of the war, and stop it if she wants to save lives. The book includes everything that you love about James Bond movies: stunning exotic locales, death-defying feats and battles, dangerous-yet-sexy secret agents, and of course the fate of the world is on the line. You can feel how much fun he had writing it, and I had a blast reading it. —Rebecca Brewer
Breach, by W.L. Goodwater (November)
Breach is a Cold War fantasy novel, and it’s the debut novel from the talented W.L. Goodwater. I hadn’t seen a Cold War fantasy novel before, so I loved seeing something a little different. The concept is spectacular: the Berlin Wall is made of magic and when a hole unexpectedly appears, spies from multiple countries swarm to the city as World War III threatens to spark. As the lone magician sent from the US to investigate, it’s up to Karen to prevent war from breaking out, either with or without help from her disdainful male colleagues. The antagonists range from the Russians, to Nazis, to misogyny, which seems to be more and more timely! If you liked Agent Carter and The Man from U.N.C.L.E. but wanted more magic, you have to try this. —Rebecca Brewer
Priest of Bones, by Peter McLean (October)
Priest of Bones by Peter McLean is the first book in a new grimdark series, which I think of as “The Godfather with swords, mixed with Peaky Blinders.” The book stars a mob boss who comes home from the war (where he has been made a priest) and finds that his businesses have been taken from him. His past as a spy for the crown has come back to haunt him, and will make his campaign to get everything back even harder. The book has gritty realism, secret plots, divided loyalties, and an amazing voice. And a little bit of violence too, of course. I fell in love with this amazing cast of characters, whether it is gangster with a heart of gold, the damaged brother, the lesbian right hand man named Bloody Anne, or the 12-year-old with mysterious and terrifying powers. I didn’t know that I wanted a book that combined Mark Lawrence, Scott Lynch, and gangster stories, but it only took me a few pages to realize it was something I had to have. —Rebecca Brewer
The Sisters Mederos, by Patrice Sarath (April 3)
It’s a hard thing to pull off, combining a low-key Dickensian charm with grand balls and revenge fantasies and gambling and cross-dressing. But this is an utterly charming novel, playful and suspenseful all the way through. The resourceful and adorable sister-protagonists will win everyone over. —Phil Jourdan, consultant editor
QUIETUS, by Tristan Palmgren (March 6)
The best SF debut the Robots have read all year. In a medieval Italian port, panic is taking hold, because plague is rumoured to be imminent. One person knows for certain what its effect will be – because Habidah has been on Earth for many years, studying the disease which has many parallels with one that is set to destroy her own species. She’s supposed to be a neutral observer, but how can one stand by and watch a world die? An extraordinary work from a thoughtful, passionate new writer. —Marc Gascoigne, publisher and managing director
Free Chocolate, by Amber Royer (June 5)
Every now and then, a book comes along that is so wacky, so heartfelt, so delightful, that by the time you finish reading, your cheeks hurt from smiling. Free Chocolate is one of those books. Bodacious Bo Benitez is a second-generation culinary celebrity, but when she agrees to help her alien boyfriend break Earth’s monopoly on chocolate to avert interplanetary war, she gets caught up in a series of increasingly zany situations, from space bounty hunters and love triangles to cannibal aliens and more. Combining the action and inventiveness of space opera with the plot-twisty fun of telenovelas, who wouldn’t want some Free Chocolate? —Michael Underwood, U.S. sales & marketing manager
The Traitor God, by Cameron Johnston (June 5)
Debut author Cameron Johnston smashes into grimdark fantasy with an incredible new world of magic and monsters. Meet Magus Edrin Walker, despised and exiled by his fellow magicians since he killed one of their gods. When his best friend is flayed alive, Edrin feels every slice. He returns home, seeking blood and vengeance, and discovers a monstrous secret which threatens the whole city. But no one quite trusts him, since he can take control of their minds… If he can’t make the mageocracy listen, he’ll have to take on the Arcanum, daemons, blood-sorcerors, and the gods on his own. —Nick Tyler, editorial assistant
Space Unicorn Blues, by TJ Berry (July 3)
Any novel named Space Unicorn Blues is bound to grab my attention and the title wasn’t the only thing brilliant about this book. Featuring an incredibly diverse cast – including Gary the asexual half-unicorn, Jenny, a differently-abled Maori woman and an angry space cowboy named Jim – snappy pacing and brilliant dialogue you definitely won’t be able to put this one down. However don’t be fooled by the initial joy of finding your new favourite space buds, the narrative arc taken by Space Unicorn Blues is actually pretty dark, though very ably handled by TJ. —Penny Reeve, publicity manager
Witchy Winter, by D.J. Butler (April 2)
From the power-channeling mounds of Cahokia to the backwoods Tennessee stronghold of Appalachee magic, witchy-eyed Sarah Calhoun travels through a transformed North America of muskets and magic. She is driven to challenge the Emperor of the New World for the Serpent Throne of Cahokia even as masters her own people’s inscrutable folkways. Butler has created a unique myth and a totally winning character in young Sarah.
Uncompromising Honor, by David Weber (October 2)
This is it, the climax of the internationally best-selling Honor Harrington series—and Honor is in top form. The times has come: the Manticoran Star Kingdom and its allies go to war against the massive and corrupt Solarian Empire. After a tragic loss, Honor Harrington enters the fray once again. She’s filled with steely resolve, possessed of cold competence, and motivated by a fiery determination to the take the fight to the enemy and end its menace forever.
Uncharted, by Kevin J. Anderson and Sarah A. Hoyt (May 1)
An amazing adventure fantasy idea: Lewis and Clark must deal with an American West transformed by magic! After Halley’s Comet was destroyed in a magical battle, America has become a very different place, where magic works and history has been changed forever. In 1803, Lewis and Clark set forth on their epic journey through the Arcane Territories, which hold unparalleled dangers for the expedition, both natural and magical.
Black Tide Rising: The Valley of Shadows, by John Ringo and Mike Massa (Fall)
Two authors come together to create unique action-driven science fiction with a realistic edge. Set in the world of John Ringo’s Black Tide Rising series, and coauthored by retired Navy SEAL, Mike Massa. Zombies are real, and we made them. Now a former SEAL is charged with protecting a passel of privileged CEOs who’ve been living sequestered lives in New York City as the group travels south toward Tennessee and a chance for survival in a zombie-filled land. The question is, can he keep them from killing each other even before the zombies have at them?
Alternate Routes, by Tim Powers (August 7)
A great new novel from a legend of the fantasy and science fiction genre: two-time World Fantasy Award and Philip K. Dick Award winner Tim Powers. The Los Angeles freeways are filled with ghosts, if you know where and how to look. There are phantom cars, lanes from and to nowhere, and sometimes unmarked off-ramps that lead to purgatory or beyond. Now ex-Secret Service agent and driver Sebastian Vickery for a covert supernatural-evasion car service must discover what nefarious entity is causing freeway anomalies before it kills him—and destroys the city he calls home.
Outpost, by W. Michael Gear (February 20)
This new series launch from bestselling author W. Michael Gear introduces the planet Donovan, a promised paradise hiding deadly secrets. As conflicts rise between Donovan’s surviving colonists and newly arrived corporate supervisors, matters only grow worse. A ghost ship has appeared in orbit; though it has only been missing for two years, its crew appears dead of old age and the ship itself reeks of a bizarre death-cult ritual. Meanwhile, a killer stalks the inhabitants of the planet, colonists and supervisors alike—for Donovan plays its own complex and deadly game. This book has already won praise from SFWA Grandmaster C. J. Cherryh, who calls it “an intriguing and inventive new work.”
From Unseen Fire, by Cass Morris (April 17)
Cass Morris debuts with an historical fantasy inspired by the Roman Empire. The dictatorship ruling the city of Aven has collapsed, replaced by a republic in which elemental mages vie with senators and generals for power. One mage, Latona of the Vitelliae, must rediscover her incredible powers of Fire and Spirit—which she suppressed for years at the Dictator’s court—to protect her family and the city she loves. Her path intersects with Sempronius Tarren, a rising politician who dreams of a vast and harmonious empire, but whose visions may be hampered by his long-kept secret: he is a Shadow mage.
Empire of Silence, by Christopher Ruocchio (July 3)
Touted as The Name of the Wind meets space opera, Christopher Ruocchio’s debut science fiction novel tells the story of Hadrian Marlowe, a man lauded as a hero and reviled as a monster across the galaxy. Fleeing his father and a future as a torturer, Hadrian finds himself stranded on a strange, backwater world. Forced to fight as a gladiator and into the intrigues of a foreign planetary court, he will find himself fight a war he did not start, for an Empire he does not love, against an enemy he will never understand.
The Girl in the Green Silk Gown, by Seanan McGuire (July 17)
“They have names for her all over the country: the Girl in the Diner. The Phantom Prom Date. The Girl in the Green Silk Gown.” Following the re-release of Seanan McGuire’s Sparrow Hill Road in June with a stunning new cover by Amber Whitney, we’re excited to continue the story of hitchhiking ghost Rose Marshall in The Girl in the Green Silk Gown! Rose must once again outwit her immortal killer when he plays his ultimate ace in the hole, resulting in her untimely, unwanted resurrection. Suddenly breathing and worse, suddenly mortal, Rose must find a way to solve the riddle she never wanted to contend with: how does a living dead girl make it back to the ghostroads without actually dying?
The Dream Gatherer, by Kristen Britain (November)
From New York Times-bestselling author Kristen Britain comes a volume containing two new short stories and a novella set in the world of her beloved Green Rider books. In celebration of the twentieth anniversary of the series, this book includes illustrations and backstory on the creation of Green Rider by the author, and a special introduction by award-winning science fiction and fantasy author, Julie E. Czerneda. We’re thrilled to celebrate this anniversary and gain new perspectives on the realm of Sacoridia.
Del Rey Books
Kill the Farm Boy, by Delilah S. Dawson and Kevin Hearne (July 24)
When I read Kill the Farm Boy, I couldn’t stop smiling, and it’s only partly because this Terry Pratchett-meets-The Princess Bride fractured fairy tale is totally hilarious, wildly silly, and absolutely pun-derful. It’s also because I fell so madly in love with the characters—a merry questing party that includes a trash-talking goat, a more-crepuscular-than-Dark-Lord, a bumbling assassin, and a bunny bard—that by the end I felt like I was on an adventure with beloved new friends. It’s one of those books that feels like it’s been sitting on a cherished place in your bookshelf, and holding a cherished place in your heart, your whole life. And it’s only the first story Kevin and Delilah are telling about the magical world of Pell. I can’t wait for more. —Tricia Narwani, editorial director
Unbury Carol, by Josh Malerman (April 10)
Unbury Carol is more than mythic: it takes stories of the Old West and the Sleeping Beauty myth and transforms them into something dark, eerie, and haunting. Set in a magical version of the Old West, this book feels like Cormac McCarthy rewriting a fairy tale, but with some beautifully strange twists and turns that could only have come from the brilliant imagination of Josh Malerman. Towering over the book is its unforgettable heroine, Carol, a woman who falls into death-like comas, and, when her husband tries to bury her alive, must fight her way back to life–she’s a Sleeping Beauty who has to save herself. A beautiful American Gothic masterpiece. —Tricia Narwani, editorial director
Thrawn: Alliances, by Timothy Zahn (June 26)
Darth Vader and Thrawn are two of the most iconic villains in all of Star Wars. So when the Emperor decides to send both of them on a mission, something epic is definitely down. I’m so excited for readers to see these two Imperial powerhouses team up—all penned by Star Wars legend Timothy Zahn! —Elizabeth Schaefer, senior editor
Star Wars: The Last Jedi, by Jason Fry (March 6)
The Last Jedi might just be my favorite Star Wars movie, and this novelization is stuffed with character moments and narrative insights that make the film even better. Jason Fry is a master of Star Wars lore and Rian Johnson’s beautiful, heartbreaking story is in excellent hands. —Elizabeth Schaefer, senior editor
Only Human, by Sylvain Neuvel (May 1)
The Themis Files has always been an engrossing series—so much so that I’ve felt like a part of the crew, working alongside Rose and Vincent and Kara, since the first book. We discovered a giant metal hand in Sleeping Giants and fought off an alien invasion in Waking Gods. When Only Human landed on my desk, I felt a spike of adrenaline, because I knew I was about to go on an adventure. And man, did this book deliver! Sylvain effortlessly transported me into epic battle scenes and tense intergalactic standoffs, but what really struck me about Only Human was how flawlessly he handled the down-to-earth relationships. He explores what it means to be a father, a foe, a friend—what it means to be human, really—so well that I momentarily forgot that these were fictional characters and not real people. Only Human pulled me in with its genuine heart and put me right back onboard Themis, alongside my team. I hope you’ll join us. —Sarah Peed, editor
Daughters of the Storm, by Kim Wilkins (March 6)
Do you ever find yourself reading an epic fantasy and wondering: Okay, but where are the women? Well, fear not, because Kim Wilkins is here with her riveting Daughters of the Storm—which proves that women can helm and carry an epic fantasy novel every bit as effectively as men! Though, in truth, I like to call this an intimate epic, because though it is filled with world-altering events, it is also a poignant examination of the relationship between five very different sisters—each of whom harbors secrets she does not want the others to know while at the same time being very much a family. Bluebell, the heir to the throne, is a warrior, hard as iron yet almost brittle with honor, who prefers that the men she commands call her “my lord” and yet still fears leading a kingdom. Rose, the beauty, is unhappily married to the king of a neighboring country and willing to sacrifice everything for a forbidden love. Ash, the quiet one, is struggling to master a growing magic that comes with dire premonitions of doom for all she holds dear. And then there are the twins: flighty Ivy, who will sell her soul for admiration, and zealous Willow, who is convinced that the voices inside her head belong to angels. And together, they must help heal an ailing father and king, and prevent their ambitious step-brother from seizing the throne. This is chick fantasy with a vengeance, and I defy you not to fall in love with it as hard as we all did. —Anne Groell, executive editor
The Memory of Fire, by Callie Bates (June 5)
I continue to adore the versatility of Callie Bates. Her debut novel, The Waking Land, was one of my favorite books of the previous year, so I was desperately looking forward to the second installment. But instead of merely meeting my expectations, she instead smashed straight through whatever mental benchmarks I had set and completely exceeded them. If possible, I love The Memory of Fire even more than The Waking Land. For while Callie is telling one united story over multiple volumes, she does so by letting a completely new character take over the narrative for each successive volume as, one by one, they come into their power and sense of self. The Memory of Fire is Jahan’s story—a closeted sorcerer who must return to an empire where magic is outlawed to save the woman he loves. As I may have mentioned before, I am a huge sucker for damaged characters, and Jahan is the ultimate damaged hero—a young man whose very acquisition of magic left him with gaping holes in his memory and a badly fractured ego. Watching him come into his own is a genuine pleasure, and one I cannot wait to share with you! — Anne Groell, executive editor
The Kingdom of Copper, by S.A. Chakraborty (November 6)
The sequel to The City of Brass, Chakraborty’s dazzling 2017 debut, takes everything I loved about that book and deepens it to a gripping degree. As Nahri and Ali continue down their separate paths, their journeys are lusher and more magical, but darker and more devastating. The result is an adventure of a read, rich in Middle Eastern and North African history and folklore, that’s not to be missed. —Priyanka Krishnan
Awakened, by James S. Murray, with Darren Wearmouth (June 26)
Monsters on the subway—simple premise, with some surprising twists. James Murray may be a talented comedian, but in Awakened, he shows his horror chops are equally up to the task.—David Pomerico
Vita Nostra, by Marina and Sergey Dyachenko, translated by Julia Meitov Hersey (November)
A truly special novel, translated from Russian, about a young woman, a strange university, and the magic of time and identity. This is one people are going to be talking about for a long time. —David Pomerico
Blood of the Four, by Christopher Golden and Tim Lebbon (March 6)
Two masters of fantasy collaborate for this stand-alone fantasy that mixes a modern sensibility (in other words, much darker, more complicated characters), with a classic style that should appeal to all readers in the genre. —David Pomerico
The Poppy War, by R.F. Kuang (May 1)
I’m biased, of course, but I don’t think it’s crazy to call this the epic fantasy debut of 2018. Beyond the story—which is a riveting blend of magic and Chinese history, centered on a poor young woman who fights her way through an indifferent world—the writing is truly spectacular. Readers are going to be clamoring for the next one. —David Pomerico
John Joseph Adams Books
The City of Lost Fortunes, by Bryan Camp (April 17)
In post-Katrina New Orleans, a wayward grifter with a talent for finding lost things is thrust into a world of magic, monsters, and miracles…and is forced into playing a high stakes game with the gods for the heart and soul of the city.
The Robots of Gotham, by Todd McAulty (June 19)
In 2083, the world is on the brink of total subjugation by machines. In Chicago, now governed by brutal machine masters, Canadian businessman Barry Simcoe stumbles on a sinister conspiracy to exterminate humanity—and a group of human and machine misfits who might just be able to prevent it.
The Wild Dead, by Carrie Vaughn (July 17)
A century after environmental and economic collapse, the people of the Coast Road have rebuilt their own sort of civilization, striving not to make the mistakes their ancestors did. Enid of Haven is an investigator, called on to mediate a dispute between households over an old building in a far-flung settlement at the edge of Coast Road territory. Her decision seems straightforward—but then the body of a young woman turns up in the nearby marshland. Almost more shocking than that: she’s not from the Coast Road, she’s from the wild… and Enid must find out who killed her. (Sequel to Bannerless.)
In the Night Wood, by Dale Bailey (October 16)
Charles Hayden came to England to forget the past, hoping to put his life back together with a biography of Christopher Hollow, the long-dead author of a legendary Victorian children’s book, In the Night Wood. But soon after settling into Hollow’s remote Yorkshire home, Charles learns that the past isn’t dead. And in the primeval forest surrounding Hollow’s ancestral home, an ancient power is stirring. The horned figure of a long-forgotten king haunts Charles’s dreams. And every morning the fringe of darkling trees presses closer. Soon enough he’ll learn that the darkness under the trees is but a shadow of the darkness that waits inside us all.
Creatures of Want and Ruin, by Molly Tanzer (November 13)
Amityville baywoman Ellie West fishes by day and bootlegs moonshine by night. After Ellie’s father joins a church whose parishioners possess supernatural powers and a violent hatred for immigrants, Ellie finds she doesn’t know her beloved island, or her father, as well as she thought. But Ellie loves Long Island, and she loves her family, and she’ll do whatever it takes to ensure neither is torn apart. (Sequel to Creatures of Will and Temper.)
Orbit is adding some incredibly talented new authors to our list in 2018. Below, our editors tell you why they’re excited about some of the debuts (and Orbit debuts) we’re publishing next year.
Senlin Ascends, by Josiah Bancroft (January 16)
This gets said a lot, but Senlin Ascends is a fantasy adventure unlike any you’ve ever read. I was swept away by his wildly original story, unique world, and wonderfully endearing characters. Thomas Senlin is a man who discovers he is woefully unprepared for the adventure and threats that are thrust upon him as he enters the fantastical Tower of Babel. —Bradley Englert
Torn, by Rowenna Miller (March 20)
An upstart orphan immigrant who makes a living sewing spells into fashionable gowns has to choose between her revolutionary brother and her aristocratic lover, amidst a proletariat uprising. If you came out of the Hamilton cast album hoping for more time with the Schuyler sisters or that “tailor spying on the British government” Hercules Mulligan, Rowenna Miller’s debut novel, Torn, is your next must-read! —Sarah Guan
The Wolf, by Leo Carew (April 3)
The Wolf is the kind of epic fantasy that I adore: big, bold, bloody, and filled to bursting with battles and political intrigue. When the king of an icy northern kingdom dies in battle, his son, Roper, is thrust into a position of leadership far too soon. He must either rise to the occasion, or let the kingdom his father built crumble to pieces. —Bradley Englert
The Thousand Deaths of Ardor Benn, by Tyler Whitesides (May 15)
Everyone loves a good rogue. And Ardor Benn is the best rogue in the game . . . excuse me, Ardor Benn is the best Ruse Artist Extraordinaire in the game. What begins as a rollicking heist adventure quickly evolves into an epic fantasy spectacle on a grand scale. What can I say? Ard is nothing if not a showman. —Bradley Englert
A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe, by Alex White (June 26)
With the world as dark as it seems, sometimes I need a little shot of joy to make me feel better, and A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe definitely provides. A story of intergalactic treasure hunting, legendary battle ships, robot sidekicks, and lesbian romance, Alex White’s Orbit debut is a balm for all that ails you. —Brit Hvide
Annex, by Rich Larson (July 24)
Annex is a story about found family and the lengths you’ll go to protect them. Rich is an acclaimed and prolific short story writer, and his young characters—Nigerian immigrant Bo and transgender Violet—have heart to spare as they join forces and fight to take back their city from invaders. —Brit Hvide
One of Us, by Craig DiLouie (July 17)
If you’ve ever felt like an outcast, then I’ve got the book for you. Craig DiLouie’s harrowing and poignant speculative novel is about a group of southern teenagers who just want to fit in, though the people in the nearby town whisper that they’re monsters. One of Us will drag you in from page one. —Bradley Englert
The Sisters of the Winter Wood, by Rena Rossner (Fall)
I knew I was going to love The Sisters of the Winter Wood the moment I read about the enchanted woods. Inspired by Jewish folktales and Christina Rossetti’s Goblin Market, debut author Rena Rossner has crafted a captivating story of two sisters, Laya and Liba, who must accept their magical heritage to save their people—and themselves. —Nivia Evans
Rosewater, by Tade Thompson (Fall)
Science fictional futures are all-too-commonly set in the West, so I was immediately taken with the near-future Nigeria of Tade Thompson’s award-winning Rosewater, out now in ebook and available in print in the fall. The protagonist is a valuable government asset—until he discovers his employers are hiding dangerous secrets about his unusual abilities. I completely fell for this brilliant, raw, and twisty SF novel in the vein of Neuromancer and N. K. Jemisin’s Broken Earth trilogy. —Sarah Guan
Paris Adrift, by E.J. Swift (Solaris, February 6)
Paris is by far one of my favourite cities, and E.J. Swift does it a great service in this extraordinary time-slip novel. Hallie’s journey between the past, present, and future of the City of Lights reveals a city steeped in political upheaval and inspired by art. A deeply human story with an extraordinary narrative.
Revenant Gun, by Yoon Ha Lee (Solaris, June 12)
That Yoon’s Machineries of Empire comes together in such a brilliant way in the final volume shows just what a talented writer he is. The deeply complex, yet richly rewarding and immersive nature of Yoon’s space-opera really has set it out as one of the game-changers of the SF field.
Redemption’s Blade, by Adrian Tchaikovsky (Solaris, July 26)
Adrian Tchaikovsky is a writer at the top of his game, so to welcome him to Solairs for the start of a new series has been very exciting indeed. Adrian has laid the foundation for what promises to be an intriguing and vast fantasy world. There’s plenty here that challenges tropes of the genre, but, perhaps more importantly, Redemption’s Blade is a hell of a lot of fun to read.
No So Stories, edited by David Thomas Moore (Abaddon, April 10)
Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories – a fantastical and rich collection of children’s stories – was one of the first true children’s books in the English language, and is a timeless classic that continues to delight readers to this day. It is also deeply rooted in British colonialism. Not So Stories brings together new and established writers of colour from around the world to redress the balance. To imbue these classic stories with a refreshing new perspective as they interrogate, challenge and celebrate their legacy.
Dracula: Rise of the Beast, edited by David Thomas Moore (Abaddon, March 13)
Five incredible fantasy authors come together to reveal a side to literature’s greatest monster you’ve never seen before… Vlad III Dracula. A war leader in a warlike time. But what drove him to become a creature of darkness – Bram Stoker’s cruel, ambitious ‘Un-dead’ – and what use did he make of this power, through the centuries? More than a hundred years after the monsters death, the descendants of the survivors piece together the story, trying to understand. Because the nightmare is far from over…
It’s always hard to just pick a handful of our titles for the whole coming year! We both have trilogy-ending installments from acclaimed writers Mishell Baker (Imposter Syndrome, March 13) and Laura Anne Gilman (Red Waters Rising, June 26), not to mention new installments from Chuck Wendig (The Raptor and the Wren, January 23), Theodora Goss (European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman, July 10), R.E. Stearns (Mutiny at Vesta, October), Joanne M. Harris (The Testament of Loki, May 22), and the great Jack McDevitt’s revamp of his great space opera series following Pricilla “Hutch” Hutchins (The Long Sunset, April 17), plus more! So instead, we’re putting the spotlight on these seven titles that break away from the ordinary.
Robots vs. Fairies, edited by Dominik Parisien & Navah Wolfe (January 9)
Breaks the mold: Get ready for the ultimate death match between the mechanical and the magical!
Travel to distant stars, step sideways into worlds under the hill, journey across ruined landscapes at the end of the world, solve riddles in the Old West, and follow that strange music to the dive bar down the road. The robots and fairies are waiting for you there, they are waiting for you everywhere. And now the time has come to choose a side. Old stories will be upgraded, worlds will collide, science will give way to magic and magic will become science. Join eighteen best-selling, award-winning and up and coming authors as they pick a side and take a stand to answer the question on everyone’s mind: when the lasers cease firing and the fairy dust settles, who will triumph in the epic battle between the artificial and the (super)natural?
This anthology is unquestionably near and dear to my heart—it’s my second collaboration with my editorial partner Dominik Parisien, following The Starlit Wood and we had a lot of fun putting it together. And we couldn’t be prouder of the amazing writers and their stories that make up this book. With stories from Catherynne M. Valente, John Scalzi, Alyssa Wong, Seanan McGuire, Delilah S. Dawson, Max Gladstone and more, there’s no way it could be anything but epic. So the only remaining question is: are you on Team Robot, or Team Fairy? —Navah Wolfe
Pride and Prometheus, by John Kessel (February 13)
Breaks the mold: It reads like the gothic romance Jane Austen and Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley would have written together on a writer’s retreat in Geneva!
Here’s the premise: about five years after the events in Pride and Prejudice, Mary Bennet, the unfortunate spinster who was just scientifically inclined to marry as her parents wish, meets a promising young doctor from the neighboring county, Victor Frankenstein, at a ball. (‘natch.) They hit it off when they start geeking out on natural sciences, and after a meet cute of a dance, Victor goes Cinderella on Mary, never returning with their drinks because he catches a glimpse of the Creature who’s stalking him because Victor promised him a wife.
But Mary can’t get Victor out of her mind and finds an unlikely friend in the Creature, who shares her desire to kvetch about Victor’s charms and frustrating ways as they share a coach en route to his laboratory with the answer to hopefully both of their problems in the boot.
Janeite’s: Rejoice! Kessel has written the continuing story of Pride and Prejudice you didn’t realize you needed. Even Karen Joy Fowler (The Jane Austen Book Club) agrees as she calls it: “Beautiful.”
And it comes out just in time to celebrate the 200th Anniversary of the publication of Frankenstein! —Joe Monti
The Tangled Lands. by Paolo Bacigalupi and Tobias S. Buckell (February 27)
Breaks the mold: Climate Fiction by the way of Sword and Sorcery!
Bacigalupi and Buckell, two New York Times bestselling and award-winning authors have created The Chronicles of Khaim, a world centered on the last great city of an empire which is being consumed by a poisonous bramble. Told in four parts, this book slips you into the conflict of a dying empire from the ground up. There’s one city left, Greater Khaim, which is ruled by two hollow men: The Mayor (or The Jolly Mayor behind his back) and his right hand, Magister Scacz; the last great mage in the empire, because he killed everyone else. This use of any magic makes this toxic bramble grow at an astonishing rate, and there’s been no discovered way to stop it except to burn it back and collect the seeds it drops without getting pricked by it.
What Bacigalupi and Buckell have done, through four interconnecting parts, is tell the beginning of an uprising through the eyes of the marginalized people of Khaim: A scientist, a middle-aged woman, a child, and a blacksmith’s daughter, and how they perform heroic feats, big and small, because they’ve been brought to the edge of disaster by the very people who intend to push them over that edge. This may be the way the world ends, but in this book you’ll discover the story of another beginning’s end. —Joe Monti
Space Opera, by Catherynne M. Valente (April 3)
Breaks the mold: Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy meets Eurovision in a science fiction spectacle where the stakes are as high as the fate of humanity!
Every once in a while, you get to edit a book that was literally made for you, the kind of book that you’re still pinching yourself to be sure it’s really happening. Space Opera is that book for me. One of my favorite things in the world is Eurovision. If you’re not familiar with it, a quick primer: it’s American Idol on an international scale, an annual song competition that most of the rest of the world participates in. Created in an effort to bring Europe together in the aftermath of WWII, it’s an over-the-top extravaganza spectacle with some of the most delightful, ridiculous and glittery performances you’ve ever seen—all with not-so-secret political undertones. It is the most wonderful thing in the world.
This is real. This is not science fiction.
In Space Opera Catherynne M. Valente has taken everything that makes Eurovision so great, and written it into a science fiction version, a tribute to outer space, close encounters of the third kind, and rock and roll. If you love Eurovision, you’ll love this book. If you’ve never heard of Eurovision before today, you’ll still love this book—and then immediately want to watch some Eurovision! —Navah Wolfe
Mage Against the Machine, by Shaun Barger (June 26)
Breaks the mold: Harry Potter meets Terminator!
The year is 2120. The mages have retreated from the world after a madman blew up civilization with weaponized magical technology. Sealed behind magical domes, the mages believe humanity died and advanced technology is outlawed in their utopian bubbles.
Nikolai is obsessed with artifacts from 20th century human life: mage-crafted replica Chuck Taylors on his feet, Schwarzenegger posters on his walls, Beatlemania still alive and well in his head.
But he’s also tasked with a higher calling– to maintain the veils that protect mage-kind from the hazards of the wastes beyond. As a young cadet, Nik has finally found what he always wanted– a purpose. But when confronted by one of his former instructors gone rogue, Nik tumbles into a dark secret. The humans weren’t nuked into oblivion– they’re still alive. Not only that,outside the domes a war rages between the last enclaves of free humans against vast machine intelligences.
Now, Nik faces an impossible decision: Side with the mages and let humanity die out? Or take a stand?
This book is so much pure fun—it’s a high octane action-packed thrill ride that will keep you turning the pages until the end. And how can you resist a book with that amazing title? —Navah Wolfe
Trail of Lightning, by Rebecca Roanhorse (June 26)
Breaks the mold: An Indigenous Mad Max: Fury Road set on the Navajo reservation!
About twenty years in the future, climate change hits a tipping point and what’s known as The Big Flood occurs as everything under 3,500 of elevation is drowned under rising waters and the world is on the edge of an apocalypse. But here’s the thing, on the Navajo reservation, the lack of oil, gas, and electricity, and all the modern comforts of our twenty-first century first-world living isn’t all that noticeably different from the way things were before. Except for one major factor: When The Big Flood occurred, we slipped into the sixth world, and magic and the gods of the Navajo have returned.
This book is so deep in my manuscript wish list, that I could hardly imagine it being written, so I knew I had to publish it as soon as I got the manuscript while stuck in the Austin, TX airport after missing my delayed flight. I’ve been to the rez twice: Once in college, in the southern Utah section, for three weeks, and again in a drive-by with my wife when were driving through New Mexico while travelling on Route 66. So I have an affection for the Navajo, and for post-apocalyptic science-fantasy from N.K. Jemisin and Jack Vance to Thundarr the Barbarian, Gamma World and Shadowrun. Debut novelist Rebecca Roanhorse’s Trail of Lightning is working on so many levels for me: It’s fierce, feminist, and moves fast! I can’t wait for it to get out in the world. —Joe Monti
A Conspiracy of Truths, by Alexandra Rowland (October 23)
Breaks the mold: A fantasy of fake news!
In a bleak, far-northern land, a wandering storyteller is arrested on charges of witchcraft. Though Chant protests his innocence, he is condemned not only as a witch, but a spy. His only chance to save himself rests with the skills he has honed for decades – tell a good story, catch and hold their attention, or die.
But the attention he catches is that of the five elected rulers of the country, and Chant finds himself caught in a tangled, corrupt political game which began long before he ever arrived here. As he’s snatched from one Queen’s grasp to another’s, he realizes that he could either be a pawn for one of them… or a player in his own right. After all, he knows better than anyone how powerful the right story can be: Powerful enough to save a life, certainly. Perhaps even powerful enough to bring a nation to its knees.
This is a book about the power of words, and the power of stories, to bring down corrupt regimes. This is truly the fantasy novel we need for the times we’re in—and it will resonate with you long after you turn the last page. —Navah Wolfe
Starlings, by Jo Walton (January 30)
An intimate first flight of short fiction from award-winning novelist Jo Walton (Among Others, The King’s Peace, Necessity).
An ancient coin cyber-spies on lovers and thieves. The magic mirror sees all but can do nothing. A cloned savior solves a fanatically-inspired murder. Three Irish siblings thieve treasures with bad poetry and the aid of the Queen of Cats.
With these captivating initial glimpses into her storytelling psyche, Jo Walton shines through subtle myths and reinvented realities. Through eclectic stories, subtle vignettes, inspired poetry, and more, Walton soars with humans, machines, and magic—rising from the everyday into the universe itself.
The Oddling Prince, by Nancy Springer (May 15)
In the ancient moors of Scotland, the king of Calidon lies on his deathbed, cursed by a ring that cannot be removed from his finger. When a mysterious fey stranger appears to save the king, he also carries a secret that could tear the royal family apart.
The kingdom’s only hope will lie with two young men raised worlds apart. Aric is the beloved heir to the throne of Calidon; Albaric is clearly of noble origin yet strangely out of place.
The Oddling Prince is a tale of brothers whose love and loyalty to each other is such that it defies impending warfare, sundering seas, fated hatred, and the very course of time itself. In her long-awaited new fantasy novel, Nancy Springer (the Books of Isle series) explores the darkness of the human heart as well as its unceasing capacity for love.
Apocalypse Nyx, by Kameron Hurley (June 19)
Ex-government assassin turned bounty-hunter Nyx is good at solving other people’s problems. Her favorite problem-solving solution is punching people in the face. Then maybe chopping off some heads. Hey—it’s a living.
Her disreputable reputation has been well earned. To Nyx’s mind, it’s also justified. After all, she’s trying to navigate an apocalyptic world full of giant bugs, contaminated deserts, scheming magicians, and a centuries-long war that’s consuming her future. Managing her ragtag squad of misfits has required a lot of morally-gray choices.
Every new job is another day alive. Every new mission is another step toward changing a hellish future—but only if she can survive.
The Freeze-Frame Revolution, by Peter Watts (July 17)
She believed in the mission with all her heart. But that was sixty million years ago.
How do you stage a mutiny when you’re only awake one day in a million? How do you conspire when your tiny handful of potential allies changes with each shift? How do you engage an artificially-intelligent enemy that never sleeps, that sees through your eyes and hears through your ears and relentlessly, honestly, only wants what best for you?
Sunday Ahzmundin is about to find out.
Also this fall, Tachyon will have short fiction collections from Caitlín R. Kiernan and Nick Mamatas, and a new original novel from Lavie Tidhar.
City of Lies, by Sam Hawke (July 3)
City of Lies is my first buy at Tor, and I fell in love from the very first sentence. Admittedly, it’s a doozy—”I was seven years old the first time my uncle poisoned me”—but the story as a whole is just the kind of epic fantasy I adore. Smart, witty, gritty, and an intriguing new take on a favorite genre… plus poison, politics, spirits, sieges, characters with anxiety and other issues, and much, much more. I hope you love it as much as I (and Robin Hobb, Terry Brooks, Kate Elliott and other authors) do! —Diana Gill, executive editor
Stygian, by Sherrilyn Kenyon (September 4)
I am super excited to be publishing Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Stygian. Why? Because I’m a huge fan of Kenyon’s Dark Hunter universe and we get a POV from a beloved character that fans have been dying to know more about. But the coolest thing is that it is a perfect entry point for new fans—Kenyon has created an origin story that will give new readers entry into her fabulous world. And once hooked, they will have a whole new universe to explore…and I envy the heck out of them. —Claire Eddy, senior editor
The Queens of Innis Lear, by Tessa Gratton (March 27)
I’ve been a longtime historical drama fan–and my earliest heroines were Eleanor of Aquitaine and Lady Macbeth–so this books feels as if it was destined to be on my list. Inspired by the story of King Lear’s furious daughters, and borne of a brilliant YA author who grew up reading tomes of epic fantasy, The Queens of Innis Lear is a shoe-in for people who love the tension of power struggles among dynastic rulers (a la a certain HBO show and bestselling series). But even more than that—it’s a story of family, and sisterhood, and choice, and betrayal, and whether or not we truly can control fate—so, the high stakes consequences that make life so terrifying. Plus, creepy blood magic and gorgeous world building from a critically acclaimed YA author. This book is a burning new star in the crowded firmament of the epic fantasy market. —Miriam Weinberg, senior editor
Starless, by Jacqueline Carey (June 12)
I had the supreme pleasure of launching Jacqueline Carey’s career with Kushiel’s Dart. Starless is, in my opinion, on a par with that ground breaking novel. By turns lyrical and moving, cathartic and thought-provoking, Starless is all that. And more. If you’ve never read anything by Jacqueline Carey, be prepared to be blown away. The most wonderful thing is that if you are a fan of her work, the same thing will happen to you. —Claire Eddy, senior editor
The Only Harmless Great Thing, by Brooke Bolander (January 23)
Some stories grab the reader by the throat from the first line and don’t let go until the last. Brooke Bolander’s first book, The Only Harmless Great Thing, grabs you by the heart and pulls it through the thorns of two historical tragedies, entwined in a way to remind us not only that humanity’s capacity for cruelty often walks hand-in-hand with our thirst for justice, but that there are consequences for failing to remember that simple truth. Visceral and passionate, Bolander’s voice is like no other out there, and her extraordinary prose will haunt you like few in recent memory. —Marco Palmieri
Time Was, by Ian McDonald (April 24)
Love, loss, and quantum physics! What’s not to love? Ian McDonald is one of the finest science fiction writers alive, but Time Was is a story unlike anything else he’s written. It all starts with a book sale on a cold winter’s day in London when a used book dealer stumbles across a letter found in the back of a book. There’s a mystery, there’s time travel, there’s a Fens lioness, and there are two men, Tom and Ben, who are lost in time and lost in love. Time Was is one the best things I’ve read in a long, long time and I can’t wait for it finally to be out in the world where you can read it too! —Jonathan Strahan
The Armored Saint, by Myke Cole (February 20)
This is a fabulous tale of bravery versus doubt, of magic versus religion and of humanity versus its demons (both real and metaphorical). A truly action-packed fantasy, with a heroine you can’t help but adore, and Myke Cole’s long-overdue foray into hardcover fiction. Book one in a series of three, and one not to be missed! —Lee Harris
Beneath the Sugar Sky, by Seanan McGuire (January 9)
I’ve loved this series since I read Every Heart a Doorway a little under three years ago, and each subsequent book is better than the last! One of the best things about Beneath the Sugar Sky for me, is that we get to revisit some favourite characters from the first book – ones we thought may have been lost to us, forever. But for those reading this without having read the first book—why, they’ll get along just fine, too. This is a glorious mix of quest and portal fantasies, and I can’t wait for everyone to read it. —Lee Harris
Witchmark, by C. L. Polk (June 19)
With romantic suspense, political intrigue, a magical medical mystery, and family drama, C. L. Polk’s debut novel Witchmark kept me guessing until the very end. I read it compulsively, thrusting work responsibilities aside to find out what happened, and closed the book deeply satisfied. Polk spins a familiar but magical world, reminiscent of England at the turn of the 20th century, but with deft twists she maneuvers readers through lead to a transcendent experience. —Carl Engle-Laird
The Darkest Star, by Jennifer L. Armentrout (October)
I have read all of Jennifer’s books and to now be able to say that we are publishing her is a dream come true. The original Lux series remains at the top of my all-time favorites list and now, this #1 New York Times and USA Today bestselling author returns to the outrageously popular Lux universe in this brand new series, featuring both beloved and new characters. Jennifer comes with a built-in fan base that will devour a new book in this world, while also being a completely new story with new characters, I am confident The Darkest Star will easily bring in a whole lot of new fans. —Kathleen Doherty, publisher
Sightwitch, by Susan Dennard (February 13)
We are incredibly excited about Sightwitch. I adore the epic feel and innovative magic in this great fantasy series, and Sightwitch itself is an un-put-down-able adventure, romance, and action-packed prequel all rolled into one. I’ve always loved novels with interstitial material/that break the fourth wall a bit, and seeing that in a prequel Witchlands adventure? Cannot. Wait. And that’s before the gorgeous illustrations. —Diana Gill, executive editor
The Echo Room, by Parker Peevyhouse (September)
The Echo Room is a smart, claustrophobic, time-loop thriller following two teens with corrupted memories as they attempt to escape a strange prison again and again only to discover they weren’t locked in, but locking someone—or something—out. This is a mind-bending story that makes you feel like you’re trying to puzzle your way out of an escape room. If you fail, you die. If you succeed, you still might die. And if you don’t learn to trust the stranger trapped in with you, you’re definitely dead. Tense and twisty with a side of kissing for the adrenaline. —Ali Fisher, editor
Skyhorse (Night Shade Books/Talos Press)
Master Assassins, by Robert Redick (March 27)
A thrilling adventure tale, expertly written and full of compellingly-drawn characters, Master Assassins is the first book from Robert V. S. Redick since concluding his critically-acclaimed debut series, the Chathrand Voyage Quartet (The Red Wolf Conspiracy).
Two soldiers—half-brothers raised in a rural community on an arid continent—find themselves in a serious mess after a run of increasingly bad luck culminates in bloodshed. With no choice but to flee for their lives, and with the entire army they’d deserted hot on their heels, the two brothers head towards a vast desert known as the Land that Eats Men—a sprawling and dangerous place that might also be their sole chance of escape.
Redick’s considerable strengths as a writer shine throughout Master Assassins. On one hand, the book’s concretely “human” characters struggle to reconcile to make sense of the past at the same time that the world is expanding before their eyes. On the other, there are blinding sandstorms, death squads of bloodthirsty killers trained from birth, and vultures the size of houses that can rip men to tiny shreds. It’s one of the very best books we’ve had the pleasure of reading at Skyhorse, and we can’t wait to publish it.
Bash Bash Revolution, by Douglas Lain (March 27)
What kinds of political and philosophical ideology should a parent pass on to his child? What about a programmer, to his top secret, government-funded, rapidly-evolving AI? Bash Bash Revolution tackles both of these questions, as Matthew Munson must prevent his dad’s AI from destroying the world—or, you know, radically remaking it in the image of a turn-of-the-century video game console fighting game.
Doug Lain (author of the Philip K. Dick Award-nominated After the Saucers Landed) has written a near-future thriller that is also a smart, pop-culture-infused exploration of human and technological evolution. This is what intelligent, funny, and relevant 21st-century cyberpunk looks like. If William Gibson wrote an episode of Portlandia, it might read something like this.
The Soldier, by Neal Asher (May 15)
Over nearly twenty years, British author Neal Asher has carved out an undeniably unique brand for himself in the space opera genre, one that delivers intelligent, science-based post-scarcity SF ideas at the same time that it’s beating you over the head with pedal-to-the-metal action, explosive technology, and unbelievably nasty aliens.
Asher’s Polity universe—which has so-far spanned three completed series, a handful of standalones, and numerous short stories; The Soldier begins a new trilogy set there—is an intoxicating mix of AIs, far-future technology, bizarre extraterrestrial biology, and hardboiled tales showcasing an expansive far-future universe where science has all but made the impossible possible, and yet humanity still finds all kinds of ways to get itself into a whole lot of trouble.
Reign of the Departed, by Greg Keyes (June 5)
Greg Keyes (The Briar King, Newton’s Cannon) has delivered a portal fantasy that swirls around the genre’s boundaries, mixing myth and legend and magic into fantastic gumbo. Aster and her father have been exiled to the mortal realm for years. But now she must gather some very specific companions to her side in order to save his life: Veronica, the spirit of an Actually Dead Girl, and Errol, Mostly Dead (in a coma but with his consciousness trapped in a wooden golem), who are coerced into joining her quest to save her father. But every step forward drags a host of dangerous forces closer to them. Every step forward brings them closer to the very thing Aster and her father ran from so many years before. This darkly poetic exploration of desperation, exploration, and exploitation pulls no punches.
The Silver Scar, by Betsy Dornbusch (July 3)
The post-apocalyptic landscape of The Silver Scar plays host to a uniquely-stylized exploration of extremism and religious fundamentalism, and the kinds of interfaith cooperation it takes to defeat both. Don’t let the heavy themes fool you, though. This is a page-turning genre thriller, set in a snowy, post-apocalyptic Colorado where Wiccan and Christian sects vie for power. Trinidad’s parents were extremist Wiccan terrorists whose violent acts cause Trinidad to leave their faith. He eventually joined a militaristic Christian Order and rose through its ranks, but years later he uncovers a dangerous, violent rot at the heart of his Order that he recognizes all too well. The smart juxtapositions of themes, combined with a deftly-rendered cast of characters, make this one impossible to forget.
Embers of War, by Gareth L. Powell (February 20)
The character I really fell for when I first read Embers of War was the sentient warship, Trouble Dog. Complex and intriguing, she is struggling to find her place in the fragile peace after a terrible war. Trouble Dog seeks to atone for her possible war crimes by joining the House of Reclamation and rescuing ships in distress, alongside her crew of misfits and loners, each of whom has a story to tell. When a ship goes missing in a disputed system, Trouble Dog and her crew are assigned to seek it out, little knowing that this seemingly simple rescue mission will draw them into a conflict which could engulf not just mankind but the entire galaxy. Author of the irreverent Ack-Ack Macaque series, Embers of War sees the hugely talented Gareth L. Powell taking his writing in an exciting new direction. I can’t wait to see where he takes Trouble Dog and her crew next, and I hope you love them all as much as I do. —Cath Trechman, editor at large
The Hollow Tree, by James Brogden (March 6)
James Brogden’s new novel is a fascinating exploration of what happens after death and the nature of identity, explored through a good old-fashioned supernatural dark fantasy, and inspired by a real unsolved murder case from the 1940s. When Rachel Cooper loses her hand in a boating accident, she experiences vivid nightmares of a woman trapped in the trunk of a hollow tree, begging her for help. She also begins to feel sensations with her lost hand, which grow so strong that she realizes she is able to reach into a shadow world beyond reality, and even pull objects through, although there are always consequences. This becomes all too clear when she finds the hollow tree of her nightmares in the ‘other place’ and a hand grabs hers, pulling the trapped woman into our world. She has no idea who she is, but Rachel can’t help but think of the local legend of Oak Mary, the corpse of a woman found hidden in a hollow tree, and who was never identified. Three urban legends have grown up around the case; was she a Nazi spy, a prostitute or a gypsy witch? Rachel is desperate to learn the truth, but darker forces are at work. For a rule has been broken, and Mary is in a world where she doesn’t belong… —Miranda Jewess, acquisitions and managing editor
The Rig, by Roger Levy (May 8)
The Rig is one of those books you read and then spend weeks telling all your friends about, trying to explain how special it is but never quite feeling like you’re doing it justice. It’s both an epic story and also a very personal one, following several characters in a future where religion has been replaced by a lottery in which a chosen few are put into suspended animation at the moment of death. Once a cure is found, the rest of the galaxy can vote on who gets to be reanimated, based on how they lived their life. The friendship between two young boys – the hyper-intelligent but socially challenged Alef, and Pellon Hoq, the son of a crime boss – forms the core of the novel. Over the course of two decades they shape the world around them as they run a criminal empire that spans the solar system, one driven mad by the inevitability of his own death, and the other trying to prevent a terrible tragedy. It’s the first novel from Roger Levy in a decade, and is worth the wait. —Miranda Jewess, acquisitions and managing editor
The War of the Archons: A Demon in Silver, by Richard S. Ford (June 12)
I love gritty, witty epic fantasy with strong characters, and A Demon in Silver is all that and more. Magic has long vanished from the world when Livia, a young farm worker, discovers she has magical talent and quickly finds that there are those that will kill to obtain that power. The reader is propelled into a world of warring gods, warrior cults, ruthless mercenaries, strange magic, and a desperate search for answers. The first in a trilogy, Richard’s compelling writing promises us an exhilarating journey. —Cath Trechman, editor at large
The Book of Hidden Things, by Francesco Dimitri (June 19)
I only had to read the first few paragraphs of The Book of Hidden Things to understand that it was going to be something special. What begins as a page-turning mystery set in Puglia about a missing man and his friends’ efforts to find him, quietly swells into a chronicle of secret desires, a study of the intricacies of friendship, and the revelations of a man on the edge of society, all drenched in a heady tincture of magic. What makes this literary fantasy so irresistible is the seductive and unforgiving landscape; each observation is sharpened by the bright light of the Italian sun, and under every severe shadow wonders lie. This is Francesco Dimitri’s first novel written in English, following his career as one of the most significant fantasy writers in Italy. I’m so delighted that English readers will now get to explore his imaginative world. Ella Chappell, editor
The Black Library
Jaghatai Khan: Warhawk of Chogoris, by Chris Wraight (July 24)
Chris Wraight’s deft characterization and consummate world building make Jaghatai Khan: Warhawk of Chogoris an instantly compelling and thought provoking book. In one sense, it’s an origin story, one about the titular hero Jaghatai Khan who is one of the god-like primarchs of the Imperium; in another, it is the tale of a reclusive figure, desperate to retain his freedom in a galaxy seeking to shackle him to a duty he doesn’t truly want. Told over a period of several years, we are introduced to ‘the Khan’ through interactions with his warriors, his adopted Legion, his immortal father the Emperor, and his primarch brothers. He is a troubled, profound character, expertly nuanced through Chris Wraight’s exceptional writing. The culture of Chogoris, the Khan’s adopted homeworld is one of the plains, the wild steppe, the endless sky. The subtle descriptions of the land and its peoples evoke a sense of longing and a desire to roam unchecked, unfettered by society or expectation. It is the perfect metaphor for Jaghatai Khan’s character, a soul at peace only when it is free. Alas, as the Khan becomes embroiled in the concerns of a larger galaxy, his world begins to shrink and the desires of his spirit must be sacrificed for the much more tangible duty before him. As he struggles to find his place, to understand a war in which he wants no part, he gradually comes to assume his new purpose and discovers that perhaps he can still reconcile a wandering spirit with a cast-iron purpose. —Nick Kyme, managing editor
The Tainted Heart, by CL Werner (August)
Clint Werner’s, The Tainted Heart, is an impressively affecting story about indomitable love in the wake of adversity. It begins with a malign plague, and a pair of expert witch hunters intent on destroying it. Talorcan and Esselt are emboldened by faith and a most formidable romance, setting them apart from all other duos in the Black Library range. However, the evil they face, ancient and sentient, is not easily subdued, and when circumstances reach the unthinkable, there is nothing the witch hunters will not do to protect one another. In this unusual, thrilling blend of heroic fantasy and tragedy, the Age of Sigmar setting is made rich with a profound exploration of honour, courage, and fallibility. This is a refreshing and poignant re-examination of the archetypal hero, and Clint’s lyrical style and mastery of theme are deeply compelling – an unquestionable treat from one of our most gifted authors. —Hannah Hughes, commissioning editor
Space Marine Conquests: War of Secrets, by Phil Kelly (June 26)
Phil Kelly’s sharp wit, extensive knowledge of (and passion for) the Warhammer 40,000 universe marks him as an author to watch. In War of Secrets, we delve beneath the epic battles of a galaxy in flames to explore the deeper cost of war – to both the fearsome Dark Angels, genetically engineered warriors defending mankind, and the human civilisations forgotten in their wake. Phil expertly blends the distinction between hero and villain, until all your preconceptions of who to root for are turned on their head. War of Secrets is tale of bravery, of secrecy and betrayal. At its heart, it explores the notion of desperate people doing desperate things, then being forced to face the consequences. It’s a book that makes you feel loss keenly, and will stay with me for a long time after I finish editing the final page. —Kate Hamer, commissioning editor
The Magos, by Dan Abnett (March 6)
I remember being blown away by Xenos, Dan’s first inquisitor novel, which was published by the Black Library back in 2001. Here was a story that combined two of my favourite genres – SF and mystery – with Games Workshop’s Warhammer 40,000 setting, dark and dangerous to the nth degree. Dan took these seemingly disparate elements and produced something unique and exciting. And he is a consummate storyteller, his stories entertain and delight; they brim with imagination, incredible plots, and wonderful, unforgettable characters. Xenos became the first of three novels about its lead character, Inquisitor Eisenhorn, and spawned a new trilogy based around his aide, Ravenor. Fifteen years have passed since Eisenhorn first made his appearance, and we were overjoyed when Dan presented us with The Magos. Overjoyed and a bit surprised, as we had been expecting something shorter, but the story behind that story can be found in the author’s introduction to this edition, which contains not just the new novel but all the associated short stories too. —Lindsey D le Doux Priestley, commissioning editor
What book are you itching to read in 2018?