96 Books Sci-Fi & Fantasy Editors Can’t Wait for You to Read in 2017
We don’t know about you, but there are still dozens of 2016 books on our teetering mountain of books we really, really want to read, provided we manage to live long enough. Which is why we approach the massive post below with equal parts excitement and trepidation. We asked sci-fi and fantasy editors from all the major publishing houses to share with us the books they are most excited to release into the wild in 2017. Let us just say, these editors are very excited—so excited, the list quickly ballooned to nearly 100 books. That’s 100 books that we’re really excited about too, even if the knowledge that we can’t possibly hope to read every one of them makes us lament, again, our pesky mortality.
Grab a fresh cup of coffee or your beverage of choice, and settle in. This is a big one. Going alphabetically, we begin with…
Angry Robot Publisher Marc Gascoigne runs down the books that will fuel the robot uprising in 2017…
A Man of Shadows, by Jeff Noon (August 1)
A stunning return to active duty for Jeff Noon, whose very British acid house-inspired take on cyberpunk, Vurt, won the Arthur C Clarke twenty years ago this year. Set in a place permanently fixed half in daylight, half in perpetual night, this is a properly noir take on the idea of a fractured city last explored in China Mieville’s comparable The City & the City. Just sensational.
An Oath of Dogs, by Wendy Wagner (July 4)
Twin Peaks in Space! It was supposed to be just another job, but when Kate Standish arrives on Huginn, she quickly comes to suspect that her new company just killed her boss. To survive, she’ll have to sort through ecological disasters, buried history, and more. And then there are the planet’s eerily smart wolves…
Sungrazer, by Jay Posey (July 4)
The stakes are raised operations on Mars are about to get a lot more complicated in the sequel to Jay Posey’s hugely popular Outriders. This is military science fiction at its very best, for fans of John Scalzi and Richard Morgan.
Hunger Makes the Wolf, by Alex Wells (March 7)
Dune meets Sons of Anarchy on a company planet ruled with an iron fist. Hob Ravani is a member of the Ghost Wolves, a group of mercenaries led by her father, operating on the fringe. When Hob’s uncle’s shows up dead in the dunes, and her best friend is kidnapped by the shady beings known as the Weathermen, Hob will risk everything to look after her own. Perfect for fans of Mad Max: Fury Road.
A Perfect Machine, by Brett Savory (February 7)
Brett Savory of ChiZine publications puts his author hat on and spins the term deus ex machina on its head with his answer to the question ‘what would happen if JG Ballard wrote Rollerball?’ Dark, savage and wonderful.
Witchy Eye, by D.J. Butler (March 7)
A stunning debut fantasy from D.J. Butler which presents an alternate history for North America, where Appalachian folk magic has shaped the landscape and society. Appalachee fifteen-year-old Sarah Calhoun finds she has a natural talent for hexing and one bad eye. All she wants is to be left alone—especially by outsiders. But Sarah’s fate calls, and a quest for her destiny leads her across an American landscape strangely transformed, with a trip to the Renaissance-style Nashville Tobacco Fair, an encounter with not-quite-human Firstborn Moundbuilders, and desperate fights with shapeshifting Mockers and undead Lazars. All of this leads to a final confrontation with the Emperor of the New World and Sarah’s hidden destiny.
Blood Enemies, by Susan R. Matthews (April 4)
Baen brings back a critically acclaimed science fiction series with a new entry. Susan R. Matthews award-winning science fiction Under Jurisdiction series has been reborn, with the first six novels reissued in omnibuses Fleet Inquisitor and Fleet Renegade. Matthews delivers an all-new novel in the series with Blood Enemies. Andrej Koscuisko was once Fleet Medical Officer for the enormous totalitarian star empire, the Jurisdiction—which meant he acted as an official torturer of prisoners, whether they had information to give or not. Andrej rebelled against the Jurisdiction and his own nature, fleeing to Gonebeyond space, the outskirts of galactic civilization. But now The Angel of Death, a savage terrorist organization, means to make Gonebeyond its own. Andrej must return to his old Inquisitor role long enough to bring down the Angel of Death once and for all. Matthews forges an exquisite and baroque amalgam of character-driven space opera taking place in a dark and beautifully realized setting.
The Gathering Edge, by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller (May 2)
A milestone with the twentieth entry in Sharon Lee and Steve Miller’s nationally best-selling Liaden Universe series. Not only are people trying to kill Theo Waitley and capture the self-aware intelligent ship Bechimo to whom Theo is bonded, they’re also trying to arrest her crew members, and throw the dignity of an important passenger, the duly-constituted norbear ambassador Hevelin, into question. Now Theo and her crew flee to what the outskirts of settled space. Unfortunately, it seems that here things are leaking through from another universe, and another time. In fact, whole spaceships are coming through. When one of those ships turns out to be a blasted battleship fleeing a long-lost war, Theo discovers what may be her own hidden and ancient ancestral line. Now they are in dire need of help with big trouble ion their heels, and Theo finds herself fighting alongside relatives she never knew she had.
Monster Hunter Siege, by Larry Correia (August 1)
Sixth entry in Larry Correia’s New York Times best-selling, astoundingly popular Monster Hunter contemporary fantasy adventure series. When Monster Hunter International’s top hunter, Owen Zastava Pitt, was given a tip about some hunters who had gone missing in action, he didn’t realize their rescue mission would snowball into the single biggest operation in MHI’s history. It seems MHI operators are being held prisoner in a horrifying nightmare dimension, and the only way to reach them is through the radioactive ruins of a monster-infested war zone. Although the ancient gods of chaos really hate trespassers and are very good at destroying them. But one old god in particular has picked a fight with the wrong crew. MHI wants payback. Calling on their allies, a massive expedition is formed, and with the odds stacked against them, a legion of hunters goes to war. It’s D-Day in the City of Monsters. Jim Butcher has said of Correia’s work: “It’s got everything I like in fantasy: intense action scenes, evil in horrifying array, good struggling against the darkness, and people—gorgeously flawed human beings—faced with horrific moral choices that force them to question and change and grow.”
The Amber Arrow, by Tony Daniel (September 5)
“Clean-teen” young adult novel for fourteen and up, book two in Wulf’s Saga, and sequel to The Dragon Hammer. The Amber Arrow is a medieval-style fantasy set in a magic-laced world where the Vikings settled North America, and the Roman Empire never fell, but has been subverted by a vampiric priestly cult based on mental domination. Wulf von Dunstig, the newly-minted Duke of Shenandoah, is in deep trouble. He is surrounded by invading enemies and kingdoms fallen into chaos. Along with dealing with the problems of a realm he never expected to rule, Wulf is in love with an elf, Saeunn Amberstone. Saeunn once saved his land. Now she is dying. Wulf faces the ultimate test. He must keep Saeunn alive—and he must fight back against an enemy seeking to make sure the fledgling land-dragon of Shenandoah dies stillborn. For if this comes to pass, the freedom of the Mark of Shenandoah—with its humans and animal people, the Tier, living in peaceful coexistence—will be wiped away forever.
Vanguard, by Jack Campbell (Ace, May 16)
This is the first in a new series set in Jack Campbell’s Lost Fleet universe. With gripping combat and terrific underdog characters written by a retired Naval officer who knows his stuff, it’s a great military science fiction novel—and a perfect place to get into Jack Campbell’s action-packed storytelling. Vanguard tells of a time shortly after the invention of faster-than-light travel, when humanity is just beginning to establish new colonies. But the vast distances of space also mean that the old order of protection and interstellar law offered by Earth has ceased to exist. When a nearby world attacks, the new colony of Glenlyon turns to Robert Geary, a young former junior fleet officer, and Mele Darcy, a one-time enlisted Marine. With nothing but improvised weapons and a few volunteers, Geary and Darcy must face down warships and armored soldiers. – Anne Sowards
Seventh Decimate, by Stephen R. Donaldson (Berkley, November)
Seventh Decimate is the first book in a new fantasy trilogy from Stephen R. Donaldson, author of the landmark Chronicles of Thomas Covenant.Seventh Decimate is the most powerful kind of fantasy—a masterful work that explores philosophical questions and archetypes through the lens of fiction. It’s profound and heartbreaking and will keep readers thinking long after the book is finished. And it all begins with a war. Two kingdoms, engaged in a brutal, unrelenting conflict. Magisters on both sides wield their powerful decimates—of fire, of wind, of drought, of lightning, of earthquake, or pestilence—until both kingdoms are reeling. But now, something has changed. There is a seventh decimate, one that blocks all lesser sorceries. And Prince Bifalt believes his enemy has used it against them. Unless the prince can gain this power for his kingdom, they will be helpless against the enemy’s next onslaught. Legends speak of the Last Repository, a mysterious library that holds all the sorcerous knowledge of the magisters. And it is the prince’s only hope. – Anne Sowards
Red Sister, by Mark Lawrence (Ace, April 4)
Red Sister is the first novel in a thrilling new series from international bestselling author Mark Lawrence. It’s gritty, it’s epic, it’s incredibly engaging…and it all starts at a hangman’s noose. Nona Grey is saved from the gallows by the abbess of a convent that trains young women in the spiritual and martial arts. She begins to learn the ways of the blade and fist, training to become a Red Sister, but finds herself drawn into the tangled politics of a crumbling empire. This novel introduces an unforgettable protagonist, and the action, excitement, and shocking twists are relentless. – Jessica Wade
Blackwing, by Ed McDonald (Ace, October)
Blackwing is a debut novel we’re incredibly excited about. It’s set at the edge of the Misery, a vast, haunted wasteland that was created when a powerful weapon ended an arcane war. Bounty hunter Ryhalt Galharrow leads a band of mercenaries into the heart of the Misery, on the trail of two of the enemies’ spies…and stumbles onto a web of conspiracy that threatens to unmake everything he knows and end the fragile peace of the last century. This novel has an incredibly fast, almost thriller-like past, a first person protagonist with a totally unique voice, and fascinating mash-up of worldbuilding—it’s really like nothing you’ve ever read before. – Jessica Wade
Lost Boy, by Christina Henry (Berkley, July 4)
Lost Boy is a wonderfully dark and gritty retelling of Peter Pan and his lost boys which I think of as “Peter Pan meets Lord of the Flies.” Jamie was the first (and favorite) lost boy that Peter Pan brought to the island, and served as his right hand man. Jamie would take care of the other lost boys on their adventures, and reign back Peter’s crueler tendencies. But, when Jamie starts to look after a boy too young to be brought to the island, Peter isn’t happy, and he has no idea how his actions will affect this best friend. You will never look at Peter Pan the same way again when you finally see him through Jamie’s eyes. Lost Boy beautifully combines a story that we all know with a compelling coming-of-age story filled with tons of great action, and is told in a stunning voice that you won’t be able to forget. – Rebecca Brewer
Firebrand, by Kristen Britain (March 7)
Zachary Davriel Hillander, High King of Sacoridia, rues how much he has had to give up to lead his realm, including the freedom to live and love as he chooses. When an embassy from Eletia arrives to propose a joint venture between their realms to seek out an old ally in the north, he is dismayed to learn that the one Sacoridian they have in mind to accompany their guide is the woman he truly loves but cannot have: Green Rider Karigan G’ladheon.
Karigan has only just returned from a dark future where Sacoridia has been conquered and is ruled by a despotic emperor, and she has not recovered in heart or mind. As if that is not enough, the castle ghosts won’t leave her alone. Though Zachary is loath to part from her so soon after her return, he knows she is the best choice to undertake the mission to the north.
Each step on their journey places Karigan and her companions closer to enemy territory and danger, for northward lie the forces of Second Empire, Sacoridia’s longtime foe, and Grandmother, the necromantic leader of Second Empire, has not been idle. She uses her magic to summon a wild elemental spirit to wreak havoc upon Zachary and his wife, Queen Estora. At first the Sacoridians succeed in fending off the creature, but it so covets Estora that it can’t stay away. It abducts Zachary, assuming his form and his place at Estora’s side—but when it is finally ousted, Zachary is still missing. Estora, alone and heavy with twins, must prepare her realm for the coming conflict from the confines of her bedchamber.
Meanwhile, the danger only deepens for Karigan and her companions as they journey north. When she finds herself caught in the midst of a clash between forces, Karigan must rescue and protect her king before she falls into a trap set by Grandmother—a trap that could give Second Empire the power to control the dead and all the demons of the hells. – Betsy Wollheim, publisher
The Witchwood Crown, by Tad Williams (June 27)
The Dragonbone Chair, the first volume of Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, was published in hardcover in October, 1988, launching the series that was to become one of the seminal works of modern epic fantasy. Many of today’s top-selling fantasy authors, from Patrick Rothfuss to George R. R. Martin to Christopher Paolini credit Tad with being the inspiration for their own series.
Now, twenty-four years after the conclusion of Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, Tad returns to his beloved universe and characters with The Witchwood Crown, the first novel in the long-awaited sequel trilogy, The Last King of Osten Ard. Thirty years have passed since the events of the earlier novels, and the world has reached a critical turning point once again. The realm is threatened by divisive forces, even as old allies are lost, and others are lured down darker paths. Perhaps most terrifying of all, the Norns—the long-vanquished elvish foe—are stirring once again, preparing to reclaim the mortal-ruled lands that once were theirs….
We couldn’t be more thrilled to be publishing The Witchwood Crown after our decades’ long wait for Tad to return to this universe that was the inspiration for so many of today’s top epic fantasy authors. We know all of Tad’s devoted fans will be as delighted to immerse themselves in this amazing first novel of The Last King of Osten Ard trilogy as we are to be publishing it. Betsy Wollheim and Sheila Gilbert, publishers
Terminal Alliance, by Jim C. Hines (August 1)
The Krakau came to Earth to invite humanity into a growing alliance of sentient species. However, they happened to arrive after a mutated plague wiped out half the planet, turned the rest into shambling, near-unstoppable animals, and basically destroyed human civilization. You know—your standard apocalypse. The Krakau’s first impulse was to turn around and go home. (After all, it’s hard to have diplomatic relations with mindless savages who eat your diplomats.) Their second impulse was to try to fix us. Now, a century later, human beings might not be what they once were, but at least they’re no longer trying to eat everyone. Mostly. Marion “Mops” Adamopoulos is surprisingly bright (for a human). As a Lieutenant on the Earth Mercenary Corps Ship Pufferfish, she’s in charge of the Shipboard Hygiene and Sanitation team. When a bioweapon attack wipes out the Krakau command crew and reverts the rest of the humans to their feral state, only Mops and her team are left with their minds intact.
Escaping the attacking aliens—not to mention her shambling crewmates—is only the beginning. Sure, Mops and her team of space janitors and plumbers can clean the ship as well as anyone, but flying the damn thing is another matter. As they struggle to keep the Pufferfish functioning and find a cure for their crew, they stumble onto a conspiracy that could threaten the entire alliance… a conspiracy born from the truth of what happened on Earth all those years ago. Jim C. Hines has proven himself a master of humorous fantasy with his Jig the Goblin novels, and has turned the usual fantasy tropes sideways and upside down with his Princess and his Magic Ex Libris series. With Terminal Alliance, the debut novel in his humorous military science fiction series, Jim takes us into a brand-new universe of entertainment certain to appeal to fans of both Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett. – Sheila Gilbert, publisher
From Unseen Fire, by Cass Morris (September 5)
From Unseen Fire is the first novel in the Aven Cycle, a historical fantasy set in an alternate Rome, by debut author Cass Morris. The Dictator is dead; long live the Republic. But whose Republic will it be? Senators, generals, and elemental mages vie for the power to shape the future of the city of Aven. One such mage, Latona of the Vitelliae, must rediscover her incredible powers of Fire and Spirit—which she suppressed for years at the Dictator’s court—in order to protect her family and the city she loves. Her siblings—a widow who conceals a canny political mind in the guise of a frivolous socialite, a young prophetess torn from the sanctuary of her temple, and a military tribune leading a dangerous expedition in the province of Iberia—will be her allies as she builds a place for herself in this new world, against the objections of their father, her husband, and the strictures of Aventan society.
Their paths intersect with that of Sempronius Tarren, a rising politician who dreams of a vast and harmonious empire growing from the nexus of their beloved city. He believes the gods have thrown down a personal challenge, and equipped him with the skills to steer Aven towards this glorious future—but in order to realize his goals, he will have to break the Republic’s most sacred law. Although centuries-old custom dictates that no mage may hold the highest political offices, Sempronius, a Shadow mage who has kept his abilities a life-long secret, intends to do just that. As rebellion brews in Iberia, Sempronius must outwit the ruthless leader of the opposing Senate faction to claim the political and military power he needs to achieve his—and Aven’s—destiny. As Latona unleashes her magical potential, she discovers that Sempronius’s extraordinary vision for their nation aligns with her desires to protect its people—but their burgeoning relationship may jeopardize the very future they seek to build in Aven. – Betsy Wollheim
The Brightest Fell, by Seanan McGuire (September 5)
For once, everything in October “Toby” Daye’s life seems to be going right. There have been no murders or declarations of war for her to deal with, and apart from the looming specter of her Fetch planning her bachelorette party, she’s had no real problems for days. Maybe things are getting better. Maybe not. Because suddenly Toby’s mother, Amandine the Liar, appears on her doorstep and demands that Toby find her missing sister, August. But August has been missing for over a hundred years and there are no leads to follow. And Toby really doesn’t owe her mother any favors. Then Amandine starts taking hostages, and refusal ceases to be an option. Included in this volume, is a brand-new bonus novella, “Of Things Unknown.” October is called back to ALH Computing to solve a puzzle that’s been pending for years: if fae flesh doesn’t rot, does that mean the company’s woundless dead are merely sleeping? And can they actually be awakened again?
When I read the manuscript for Rosemary and Rue, Seanan McGuire’s very first Toby Daye novel, I knew that this was a series I had to publish. Nine novels later, I still can’t wait to start reading each manuscript as it turns up on my computer. Each succeeding volume expands the depth and breadth of Toby’s universe in ways which can’t but help draw readers in. There are carefully placed hints in every novel that pave the way for the unexpected twists and turns Toby’s adventures will suddenly take. And half the joy of the series is that you can always go back to find those earlier hints each time everything you thought you knew is suddenly overturned. – Sheila Gilbert
Random House (Del Rey/Ballantine Bantam Dell)
Iron Gold, by Pierce Brown (August 22)
I’m really excited about the new adventures Pierce is creating in Iron Gold. With the new p.o.v. characters and broader scope of this story, Pierce has a chance to spread his wings and show just how much he has grown as a writer over the last few years. Readers are going to be thrilled to find returning characters, but I think the new ones are going to quickly become fan favorites as well. – Mike Braff, editor, Del Rey Books
Gilded Cage, by Vic James (February 14)
Gilded Cage has twin souls: On the one hand, I love Gilded Cage because it’s a decadent treat—rich red velvet drama frosted with icy glamor and sinister beauty. It’s set at Britain’s grandest country estate, where a brother and sister have just begun working as servants for a powerful aristocratic family. On the other, I also love how dark and smart and dystopic: It’s also set in a modern-day England where aristocrats have magic and commoners are doomed to serve them.Gilded Cage is upstairs-downstairs romance and political rebellion, bingeworthy drama and world-breaking revolution. Utterly irresistible. – Tricia Narwani, editorial director, Del Rey Books
The Bear and the Nightingale, by Katherine Arden (January 10)
From the moment I read the first page of The Bear and the Nightingale, I was hopelessly lost in Katherine Arden’s vivid storytelling. The story, set in Russia long ago, begins with an old woman telling some children gathered around a fire a fairy tale about Frost, the Winter King, as the wind howls outside their small house at the edge of a vast forest. One of those children, Vasilisa, is our unforgettable heroine, a girl determined to defy the expectations for a female in her time and place in history. This character, and this story, drew me in so quickly and completely, that I’m not sure that I looked up again until I turned the last page. I felt the deep and satisfying thrill of discovering a hugely talented new voice in this young debut author, and I’m so excited, as a lover of both literary and fantasy fiction, to share this very special book with the world. – Jennifer Hershey, editor in chief, Ballantine Bantam Dell
Forever On, by Rob Reid (May 2)
Some books are so smart they make you feel absolutely brilliant when you’ve finished them—and that’s Forever On. It’s an epic about life in Silicon Valley…and how it’s shaped our tech-saturated, hyper-connected culture. But it’s also about artificial intelligence, mass surveillance, terrorism, social media harassment, global pandemics, robotics…pretty much every cultural issue that obsesses us right now. Reading it made me feel like I understand the world we live in now so much more deeply—and like I have the power to see where we’ll be tomorrow. — Tricia Narwani
Reincarnation Blues, by Michael Poore (September 12)
I wish I could hand Reincarnation Blues to you right now personally and I say READ THIS NOW. It will break your heart. And inspire you to change your life. (And also it has space cats). It’s about a man who is reincarnated 10,000 times, all so he can achieve immortality and be with his one true love—who is also the incarnation of Death. But it’s also about everything that makes life beautiful and absurd, sorrowful and awe-inspiring, silly and heart-shattering. And above all, it’s a love story about how we sometimes have to wait a while to find just the right person. I can’t wait to share this story with the world! – Tricia Narwani
The Waking Land, by Callie Bates (June 27)
As a reader, I have always been a huge sucker for tales of misfits finding their place: for people who never feel like they belong not only discovering who they are and what they believe in, but also coming into their (hopefully considerable) power. And Callie Bates’ debut novel, The Waking Land, hits every one of those buttons brilliantly! From the moment our heroine was ripped from her home at the age of five, I was with her. And even more so when, as a young woman, she realizes that everything she had been taught in the intervening years was a lie. This is a powerful, gorgeously-written coming-of-age fantasy—and one I am so excited to share with the rest of the world! I only hope that you love it as much as I do. — Anne Groell, executive editor, Del Rey Books
Star Wars: Grand Admiral Thrawn, by Timothy Zahn (April 11)
If you were a Star Wars fan in the 90s, that name sent a shiver down your spine. InHeir to the Empire, Timothy Zahn created the most iconic villain ever to grace aStar Wars novel. As a kid, I read that book along with the thousands of others who made it aNew York Times bestseller. Now, I can barely believe that it’s my job to work on Thrawn’s triumphant return to a canon novel–written once again by the legendary Tim Zahn. The only downside to this project is waiting until next April to share this book with my fellow readers! — Elizabeth Schaefer, senior editor, Del Rey Books
Minecraft: The Island, by Max Brooks (July 18)
From Max Brooks, the bestselling author of World War Z, comes the first official Minecraft novel, Minecraft: The Island. The story opens on our mysterious hero, stranded in an unfamiliar Minecraft world, struggling to figure out this new environment while also fighting off terrifying creatures—including zombies! Along the way, the protagonist learns more about their forgotten past, while simultaneously unearthing the secrets of the puzzling island. A parable that is equal parts Robinson Crusoe and Rules for a Knight, this novel is a guide on facing the unknown and conquering your fears, perfect for young readers and their parents. — Sarah Peed, editor, Del Rey
Vaults of Terra: The Carrion Throne, by Chris Wraight (May 23)
Chris has a genuine gift for creating immersive and imaginative stories set within the grim darkness of the Warhammer 40,000 universe, and populates them with believable and relatable characters. In The Carrion Throne, his canvas has never been broader nor richer, for it is set on the immense and gothic world of Terra, the very heart and Throne of the human Imperium. But rather than a tale of outright war, of battles of an impossible scale, here Chris crafts a deeper and altogether darker story, one that takes Terra and makes the monolithic environs of this place a character in its own right. At its heart, The Carrion Throne is a mystery, a rare detective story explored through the auspice of the clandestine holy Inquisition and one that reveals at its denouement a hideous and incomprehensible truth, the very thing that could end worlds… – Nick Kyme, managing editor
Perturabo: The Hammer of Olympia, by Guy Haley (July 25)
Endearingly dour Yorkshireman Guy Haley is becoming an extremely prolific SF/F author, with dozens of novels published by several of the genre’s biggest names. His next release for Black Library is Perturabo: The Hammer of Olympia—an almost mythical science-fantasy tale set in the darkest of futures. Perturabo himself is a legendary character, one of the post-human primarchs created to lead mankind to the stars. However, set adrift as an infant and lost to the cosmos, he is rediscovered on a backwater feudal world and taken in by the family of the ruling Tyrant. This prodigious child was clearly meant for greater things than courtly politics, but no one – not even young ‘Bo – can conceive of what they might be. As he grows in strength and prowess, he turns his skills to the art of war, and sets out to conquer Olympia in the name of his adoptive father, unaware that his true destiny in the wider galaxy will soon catch up with him. Effortlessly moving from brutal, steampunky action to well-reasoned philosophical and theological debate, this novel is a tour de force from an author sure to become a household name. – Laurie Goulding, commissioning editor
Plague Garden, by Josh Reynolds (Fall)
Josh is an author of great verve and imaginative flair, able to move between the science fiction, horror and fantasy genres with ease and aplomb. Plague Garden is fast-moving adventure story set in Games Workshop’s gothic Age of Sigmar setting. It is fantasy writ large – with a huge cast of heroes, villains and monsters, all fighting to survive in a dangerous, unpredictable landscape, the eponymous plague garden itself. For this is a realm within a realm, a universe of pure magic, where the normal rules of reality do not apply, and the power of a man’s soul can be stronger than the steel of his sword. – Lindsey D le Doux Priestley, senior editor
Executive Editor David Pomerico introduces a few of the books that are busting to get out of the Harper Voyager offices and into your hands this year.
Talon of God, by Wesley Snipes and Ray Norman (July 25)
It’s one thing to hear that Wesley Snipes (yes, that Wesley Snipes!) has written a novel. It’s another thing to find out that it’s one of the best new urban fantasies you’ve read in a long time. Beyond its star appeal and great angels versus demons mythos, the thing that Wesley and Ray Norman do that really drew me in was give us some powerful black heroes at a time when the call for diversity has never been higher—or more necessary.
City of Brass, by S.A. Chakraborty (Fall)
The fact that S.A. Chakraborty’s debut novel was subject to two fierce bidding wars (first for an agent, and then for a publisher) should come as no surprise: her powerful storytelling and brilliant characters fill a world already bursting with the myth and magic of the Middle East. Not to put too fine a point on it, but this might be the debut fantasy of 2017.
The Reluctant Queen, by Sarah Beth Durst (July 4)
Sarah Beth Durst charmed us with The Queen of Blood in 2016. Now she’s ready to take the story of Renthia to new heights with The Reluctant Queen. The ease with which she tells her stories belies the intricate plots that will carry readers through this sequel. Besides being the next step from the border of YA to adult fantasy that began with Queen of Blood, it also continues the theme that heroes aren’t always the “chosen one.” In this case, I couldn’t help but love that the hero is a woman with two children who has to find the strength to protect both her family and the queendom.
Tropic of Kansas, by Christopher Brown (July 11)
As I’m sure there’s going to be a number of stories that seem tied so intimately with current political events, I think Christopher Brown’s vision of a future-that-could-be will feel both prescient and present. With a stark yet lyrical style, this tale carries the transgressive tradition of Huck Finn to a much, much darker place, as a young woman follows the trail of her radical step-brother, only to find herself caught up in a revolution she was once on the other side of.
Heartstone, by Elle Katharine White (January 17)
There’s going to be a need for some lightness and charm in 2017 (I just have a feeling about that), and Elle Katharine White’s Hearstone brings readers exactly that. While it might be easy to simply call this “Pride and Prejudice and Dragons”—and really, would that be a bad thing?—that would take away from the inventive world and story Elle has produced here. So while she definitely emulates Austen in terms of style, her wholly original tale brings a new sense of romance and wonder with a fantastical twist that does what great fiction is supposed to do: transport you away!
Orbit is excited to be publishing some outstanding debuts in 2017. Editors Lindsey Hall and Brit Hvide will introduce you to some of them.
The Ship, by Antonia Honeywell (April 25)
Antonia Honeywell likes to joke that her debut novel The Ship was “once a dystopian fantasy, now a searing documentary,” and, like all good jokes, it holds a kernel of truth. While the events of the novel may never take place, her book still explores a very real question: How much would you give up to feel safe? Her book tells the story of a young woman whose only chance of survival in a dystopian future is a ship that can carry five hundred people. But of course, the utopian ship, plentiful with food and medicine, holds a sinister secret. Gorgeously written, with a voice as enveloping as The Age of Miracles and a plot as visionary as Station Eleven, The Ship is truly unforgettable. – Brit Hvide
Kings of the Wyld, by Nicholas Eames (February 21)
Kings of the Wyld is the first book that has ever made me both laugh out loud and cry within the first three chapters. Reading about Clay Cooper and his gang felt like meeting up with a group of best friends I hadn’t seen in a while. The story centers on a group of retired mercenaries who used to be the best of the best, but who’ve long gone off to do their own thing – like get married, or fat, or thrown in jail – but who now have to get the band back together for one final mission and go on a reunion tour of sorts. This twist on the classic fantasy trope of a young hero going on a journey to discover his or herself was so much fun to read, because this group of older characters know themselves, and each other, possibly too well. This gives them a hilarious and relatable perspective on life and on the fantasy adventure before them. Nicholas Eames’s original voice really brings together the banter, the history between the characters, and the non-stop fantasy action in this truly awesome read. The boys are back in town, and you won’t want to miss them. – Lindsey Hall
The Soul of the World, by David Mealing (June 27)
Much like in Texas, everything is bigger in fantasy. And my favorite fantasies are HUGE—massive worlds, epic stakes, bloody battles, intricate magic systems, and a cast of characters that will make me fall in love. Soul of the World has all of that plus monsters, murderers, and an invisible dragon who sits on one character’s shoulder… which is pretty much all I needed to know in order to pick up and then become obsessed with this book. With his debut, David Mealing has crafted an inventive and propulsive fantasy that reminds me of writers like Brandon Sanderson and Brian McClellan. In Soul of the World, the wild lands of the new world are filled with mythic beasts and every inch of territory is being fought over in a vicious campaign between the colonists of the north and the mysterious golden-eyed soldiers of the south. Meanwhile unrest and revolution threatens the very monarchy that made the colonies possible. And that’s just the beginning. We follow a military general, a street artist, and a tribal warrior as they uncover secret magics and discover a plot that could threaten the entire world. Now that’s big. – Brit Hvide
Strange Practice, by Vivian Shaw (July 25)
I was hooked on Strange Practice before I’d even read a word of the manuscript. The idea behind this new series is absolutely brilliant: Dr. Greta Helsing (yes, she’s a relation) is a doctor to the undead, keeping the supernatural community not-alive and well in modern-day London. This book has everything I love about recent fantasy novels like V. E. Schwab’s A Darker Shade of Magic, plus all of the elements that had me watching House week after week for 8 seasons. I’m a sucker (no pun intended) for this type of story, where we get to explore the medical challenges of treating patients who, for all intents and purposes, aren’t even alive to begin with, e.g. vampires, banshees, mummies, and so many other beloved classic creatures. Strange Practice is just the first episode in a scintillating new series featuring the adventures of Dr. Greta Helsing, and you will be hooked from page one. – Lindsey Hall
The Tethered Mage, by Melissa Caruso (Fall 2017)
The very first chapter of The Tethered Mage sets the stakes high (the entire city is almost destroyed by page four!) and had me completely immersed in the world. I was also delighted to find that there are not one but two awesome heroines to root for. In this world, mages are mortally bound to non-magical partners who control when and where the mages’ abilities can be used. Amalia, an heir to great political power, and Zaira, a thief with the most rare and dangerous type of magic, get bound together in this way – for better or worse. This novel hits so many of my favorite fantasy checkpoints – politics, magic, intrigue, action – but Amalia and Zaira are the heroines I have been longing for to make them all seem exciting and fresh again. I can’t wait for you to meet them. – Lindsey Hall
First Watch, by Dale Lucas (July 11)
At times, when I’m reading fantasy, I find myself wondering: what goes on in this realm when a hero isn’t on a journey to save the entire world? And in First Watch, I found out the answer is quite a lot. First Watch introduces Rem, a human trying to escape his past, and Torval, a dwarf with a maul who hits first and asks questions later. The two are partners on the Wardwatch, the organization responsible for stopping crime and dealing with the usual suspects — drug dealing orcs, mind-controlling elves, uncooperative mages, and humans being typical humans – in the teeming city where humans, mages, orcs, elves, and dwarfs all jostle for success and survival together. It’s every buddy cop movie you have ever loved mixed with your favorite fantasy setting. I promise, you are not too old for this sh*t. – Lindsey Hall
Age of Assassins, by R.J. Barker
When I picked up Age of Assassins, I quickly learned that the old saying “it takes one to know one” also applies to assassins. In this book, Girton Club-foot has been hired not to take a life, as per usual, but instead to save one. As a fan of all things assassin, I was absolutely entranced by this action-packed story of assassin versus assassin in a race to save the heir to the throne. Even more though than the incredibly exciting plot, I was completely swept away by the voice of Girton, a young lad of only fifteen with a crippled leg, who is learning the art of death as an assassin’s apprentice. This book has action, heart, and a new, epic take on beloved assassin themes that had me hooked from the first page. – Lindsey Hall
Rebellion Publishing (Abaddon/Solaris)
Ubo, by Steve Rasnic Tem (Solaris, February 14)
Steve Rasnic Tem never fails to amaze me with the breadth and depth of his writing. Each of his novels is a beautifully crafted work and his approach to horror and science-fiction, no matter how dark it gets, is always rooted in what it is to be human. Ubo is hugely pertinent to our times, focussing as it does on the strange history of human violence; a meditation on the worst of us, but also a novel about the possibilities the best of humanity can bring about. – John Oliver
The Djinn Falls in Love and Other Stories, edited by Jared Shurin and Mahvesh Murad (Solaris, March 14)
Mahvesh and Jared have delivered an anthology unlike any other I have read. Here we have a collection of stories that showcase voices we don’t often get to see in genre, telling stories that are rooted in ancient traditions, but are always forward looking, innovative and fresh. The talent on display here shows a wealth of diversity, as well as being a fascinating study of legend and myth. – John Oliver
Generation Decks: An Unofficial History of Gaming Phenomenon Magic: The Gathering, by Titus Chalk (Solaris, April 11)
Titus has not only given us a history of one of the biggest games on the market, but he has also written a fascinating ‘geek history’, a story of a movement that happened alongside the internet boom and the expansion of gaming as a hobby. Regardless of whether you are a Magic player or not, this is a fascinating story as well as an insightful memoir. – John Oliver
Raven Stratagem, by Yoon Ha Lee (Solaris, June 13)
With Ninefox Gambit, Yoon delivered a novel that shows the possibilities of the new generation of space opera – a diverse wave of science fiction integrating mind-bending space battles with brilliant characterisation and complex, yet brilliantly expressed, ideas. Raven Stratagem is just as good, a great follow-up in what has already been established as one of the hottest new series in SF, from one of its most talented new writers. – John Oliver
The El Sombra Trilogy, by Al Ewing (Abaddon, January 10)
Al Ewing is a mad genius, a lyrical prophet teetering at the edge of the rational. The El Sombra trilogy is daring, original and clever, in profound and often outrageous ways; a paean to the pulp form in its many incarnations that rejoices in, then questions, and finally tests the medium to destruction. By turns utterly absurd and absolutely true (and usually both), it embraces heroism and fascism, reality and perception and Man and God, and finds them all, ultimately, unfit for purpose. Not a word of a lie: some of the very best books I have ever worked on. – David Moore
2017 will mark our third year of publication at Saga Press, and we have some outstanding voices coming back—from the much-requested return of Chuck Wendig’s Miriam Black in Thunderbird (March) and Raptor and Wren (November), to Phantom Pains, Mishell Baker’s sequel to her acclaimed debut Borderline (March). Then the Texans roll in. Cassandra Rose Clarke is dominating 2017 with a riveting space opera in Star’s End (March) and the completion of a previously unfinished fantasy quartet, split into two omnibus sets: The Magic of Blood and Sea (February) and The Magic of Wind and Mist (November). Stina Leicht returns with Blackthorne (August), the next in her lauded Malorum Gates epic fantasy; and a whip-smart adventure returns in A. Lee Martinez’s Constance Verity Saves the World (October). The sequels keep coming as the crew of the Keiko return in two criminally fun SF tales from Mike Brooks, Dark Sky (July) and Dark Deeds (October). Then, the third in the Icarus Corps military SF trilogy, Jupiter Rising (July), will release as both an individual ebook and in a beautifully repacked omnibus of the trilogy. Lastly, the sequel to Mechanical Failure, a book that has been compared to both Catch-22 and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and yeah, Spaceballs, is imminent: Communication Failure is out in September.
But that’s just our returning onslaught. We also have Cassandra Clare’s first Magnus Bane novel, The Lost Book of the White, written with Wes Chu (November); Gregory Benford’s remarkable and suspenseful The Berlin Project (May), a reimagining of the Manhattan Project and WWII; Terry Pratchett’s Discworld Coloring Book (March; art by Paul Kidby!); and the launch of Walter Jon Williams fantasy series Quillifer! (October), which owes as much to Sharpe, Aubrey, and Maturin, as it does to Corwin of Amber. Kat Howard has a magical revenge thriller in An Unkindness of Magicians (September), we continue our Serial Box ™ partnership with Lindsay Smith & co. as they debut a cold war novel of supernatural intrigue in The Witch Who Came in from the Cold, and Ellen Kushner & co. return with Tremontaine, a prequel to Swordspoint. John Kessel tells of a matriarchal lunar colony in The Moon and the Other, and yes, there are others we haven’t even announced…yet. We (editors Joe Monti and Navah Wolfe) wanted to highlight a few unique titles below, beginning in publication order with….
The Stars Are Legion, by Kamerlon Hurley (February 7)
This novel is something Kameron Hurley worked really hard on: It was a triathlon or an Iron Woman Marathon if marathons include caffeine, booze and secluded log cabins – And why shouldn’t they! Kameron’s imaginative voice sings in this novel, not just loudly, but subtly, viciously. Honestly, when I asked to see the rumored partial of her raw space opera, and we talked about a loose concept of how the plot and scope would play out once she had time to devote to writing it, I thought I was going to get an epic science fiction novel. Instead I received something else, something astonishing…And I say this with all of my fanboy love and professional credibility on the line: As I was reading the third draft I realized that what Kameron was creating here is heavily influenced by Roger Zelazny’s first Amber novel, The Nine Princes of Amber while simultaneously evoking Ian M. Banks Consider Phlebas, and making it distinctly her own, you know, like populating a whole legion of planets with only women, as you do.
BONUS: If this sounds good, B&N is exclusively selling a limited number of signed first editions in return for your preorder love. – Joe Monti
The Refrigerator Monologues, by Catherynne M. Valente (June 6)
Friends, I tell you try, I cried when I finished the final draft of this powerful novella. It was one of those days in the office when we were on the cusp of a holiday weekend, with a few co-workers around and even worse, it was 4:55 in the afternoon and I DESPERATELY NEEDED TO SPEAK TO NAVAH BUT SHE WASN’T AT HER DESK! When Cat and I spoke of doing another novella together (after I reissued Six-Gun Snow White) she had this idea of telling the stories of women who were “refrigerated” – Which is comic book writer Gail Simone’s terms for women who are raped, beaten, mutilated, killed, or all of the above, and even once stuffed into a refrigerator, in order to motivate the male superhero. – in a Vagina Monologues style of overlapping individual stories. If you ever raged at the deaths of Gwen Stacy or the crippling of Barbara Gordon then this is the book for you. If you think Kelly Sue DeConnick, Marjorie Liu, and G. Willow Wilson are amongst the best comic book writers today, then you have found another book to love. And if that wasn’t enough the writing is Catherynne M. Valente at her best and that’s saying a lot.
BONUS: I hired on the most awesome Annie Wu of Hawkeye and Black Canary fame to illustrate the book and the cover. – Joe Monti
The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter, by Theodora Goss (June 20)
Imagine getting the daughters of literature’s favorite mad scientists in a room together. What kinds of conversations would they have? What kinds of adventures would they get into together? Thanks to the brilliant Theodora Goss, you no longer have to wonder! Mary Jekyll, alone and penniless following her parents’ death, quickly finds herself drawn into the secrets of her father’s mysterious past. A clue leads her to believe that Edward Hyde, her father’s former friend and a murderer, may be nearby, and there still is a reward for information leading to his capture…a reward which would solve all of her immediate financial woes. But her hunt leads her not to Edward Hyde but to Diana, his daughter, a near feral child left to be raised by nuns. With the assistance of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, Mary continues her search for the elusive Hyde, and soon gathers around her more women, all of whom have been created through terrifying experimentation: Beatrice Rappaccini, Catherine Moreau, and Justine Frankenstein. When their investigations lead them to the discovery of a secret society of immoral and power crazed scientists, the horrors of their past soon arrive on their doorstep as well, and now it is up to the five of them to stop the malicious machinations of the Société des Alchimistes. Quite simply, it is time for the monsters to triumph over the monstrous.
The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter is basically The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen with awesome ladies, full of adventure, interjections, and decidedly unladylike behavior. It’s the literary ladybro mashup of my dreams, and you’re going to love it. – Navah Wolfe
At the Table of Wolves, by Kay Kenyon (July 11)
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy meets X-Men in a classic British espionage adventure—with a heaping spoonful of superpowers. It’s 1936. In the wake of the enormous psychic trauma of the Great War, paranormal abilities have begun to appear in ordinary people. Kim Tavistock, a mild-mannered civilian reporter, happens to have one such power: the spill, which means people involuntarily spill secrets to her, and don’t even realize they’re doing it. While being tested at Monkton Hall, an ultra-secret training site for people with powers, Kim’s caseworker recruits her for a dangerous mission: go undercover to try to expose the head of Monkton Hall as a German spy. Armed with a cover story, the spill, and a fierce determination, Kim infiltrates the upper-crust circles of some of Britain’s high end fascist sympathizers, and finds herself going head to head with a charismatic Nazi secret service agent with a dangerous secret: he also has the spill. Now, Kim is locked in a deadly battle of wills and powers as she begins to uncover a terrifying German plot to invade Britain, and has to race against the clock to stop it—before it’s too late.
Now, more than ever, we need books about standing up to evil, about fighting darkness with all your strength and power, even if you feel unqualified. This is a great read in the best of times, but it feels all the more timely and relevant today. If you need literary heroines fighting fascism (I know that I do!), At the Table of Wolves is here for you. – Navah Wolfe
Above the Timberline, written and illustrated by Greg Manchess (October)
There’s a term in video game design that’s called The Wall of Crazy: It’s like a manuscript wish list, populated with ideas, usually story ideas that would be great to incorporate if time and budget allows. Sometimes as an editor you need go to the wall of crazy, fortunately I stepped out on this ledge with the acclaimed artist Gregory Manchess and this madness is now possibly one of the coolest book experiences you will ever have. In the future, after a polar shift, what looks like the world we know is in a perpetual ice age and the age of polar exploration is at its height until famed explored Galen Singleton is lost in the icy waste. Or so it seems until six months later as his son, Wes, receives an encrypted note and sets off to rescue his father in a thrilling adventure filled with airship battles, lost cities, and intelligent polar bears.
Manchess tells this story across 120 paintings, which will be a dazzling cinematic experience between the 11×9 covers. Gregory just finished the last painting – Or is there still one more to go as I write this? Ha! – and I can’t wait to begin to show you what he’s accomplished. Bonus: Here’s a sneak peek at of the cover art in progress, just for you! – Joe Monti
Barbary Station, by R. E. Stearns (December )
Lesbian women of color space pirates versus a murderous AI! Seriously, what more could you possibly want from your space opera? How about an action-packed, nail-biting, edge-of-your-seat adventure?
Adda and Iridian are newly-minted engineers, but in a solar system wracked by economic collapse after an interplanetary war, an engineering degree isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on. Desperate for gainful employment, they hijack a colony ship, planning to join a pirate crew at Barbary Station, an abandoned shipbreaking station in deep space.
But when they arrive at Barbary Station, nothing is as they expected. The pirates aren’t living in luxury—they’re hiding in a makeshift base welded onto the station’s exterior hull. The artificial intelligence controlling the station’s security system has gone mad, trying to kill all station residents. And it shoots down any ship that tries to leave, so there’s no way out.
Adda and Iridian have one chance to earn a place on the pirate crew: destroy the artificial intelligence. The last engineer who went up against the security system suffered explosive decapitation, and the pirates are taking bets on how the newcomers will die. But Adda and Iridian plan to beat the odds.
There’s a glorious future in piracy…if they can survive long enough.
If you love Star Wars, but always wished it had more queer women of color, Barbary Station is here for you! This book comes out right before Star Wars Episode VIII to whet your space opera appetite. – Navah Wolfe
Skyhorse Publishing (Night Shade/Talos)
Night Shade/Talos Senior Editor Cory Allyn shares five titles he’s jazzed about this year.
Lotus Blue, by Cat Sparks (March 7)
One of more unique genre mash-ups I’ve read in some time. Is it a Middle Eastern-flavored desert fantasy adventure? Is it a post-apocalyptic SF thriller where high-tech sentient war machines wander a barren post-apocalyptic wasteland looking for trouble? Could it be both at once? At its core, Lotus Blue is the story of Star, a teenage girl who begins the book living a harsh, nomadic life in a caravan of traders. Where she arrives by its conclusion is somewhere else entirely, entangled in an increasingly intricate web spun by powerful and ancient supersoldiers, remnants of a bygone high-tech landscape long buried in the desert sands. Australian author Cat Sparks has packed what feels like an entire series worth of worldbuilding into this tightly-paced story. This is one of those debuts that doesn’t feel like a first book.
Infinity Engine, by Neal Asher (March 21)
British SF writer Neal Asher is one of those writers where I finish every one of his chapters with a big s**t-eating grin on my face. Does anyone even come close to his brand of complex, far-future hardcore action SF space opera? There are the vicious but utterly fascinating alien races, the pedal-to-the-metal approach to pacing, and the cornucopia of action scenes on almost unimaginable scales, but really, every new Asher book leaves me feeling like I’ve just finished a guilty-pleasure popcorn thriller that was simultaneously one of the most intelligently-thought out books in recent memory.
Borrowed Souls, by Chelsea Mueller (May 2)
What if, whenever you wanted to do something you knew you weren’t supposed to, you went to the store and rented someone else’s soul for the weekend? That way, you could sin to your heart’s content, knowing it wouldn’t be going on your own so-called permanent record. That’s a heck of a pitch for a romantic urban fantasy series. Main character Callie Delgado is sassy and stubborn in all the right ways, and I’m sure readers won’t mind if debut author Chelsea Mueller, who founded the Vampire Book Club blog and also writes for Heroes & Heartbreakers, spends just a little extra time describing Derek, the ruggedly-handsome partner Callie’s assigned when she stumbles into the seedy underworld of soul renting. Not that those two might end up catching feelings for each other or anything…
Uncle Brucker the Rat Killer, by Leslie Peter Wulff (March 7)
Does the phrase “inter-dimensional human vs. rat war” push any buttons for you? What if that concept was framed around a teenager who runs away from home to live with his semi-rural, semi-antisocial eccentric pest-exterminating uncle? To be completely honest, I’d read a whole book that was just Walt and Uncle Brucker driving around in a car talking, shootin’ the breeze. Les Wulff’s characters leap off the page at you in the most memorable of ways. But when a novel is this completely and charmingly original, with the breezy air of a classic Sunday comic strip, it is easy (just like in a Sunday strip) to miss the biting social satire at its core. Plus there’s the whole rat war thing. It might be a devil trying to pin down exactly what kind of book Uncle Brucker the Rat Killer is, but it’s a square peg we couldn’t be happier and more enthusiastic to jam into the round hole of genre publishing. A book you won’t forget.
Dichronauts, by Greg Egan (July 4)
Greg Egan has a tendency of making other so-called “hard SF” look like kindergarten-level arithmetic. For more than thirty years he has been pushing the boundaries of innovative “what if” SF that blends theoretical physics and mathematics with elaborate, intricately-conceived worldbuilding. Dichronauts is Egan’s first new standalone novel in seven years, and it’s a real doozy. Welcome to the strangest world in science fiction, where space acts like time, north and south stretch on forever, pirouettes are physically impossible, and the only thing keeping you from being half-blind is a leech the size of your forearm in intimate contact with your brain. And that’s just touching the surface. Think of Dichronauts as Flatland for the twenty-first century. We can’t wait to make readers’ heads spin.
Hex-Rated, by Jason S. Ridler (August 1)
Hex-Rated, a salacious pulp throwback set in 1970s L.A., kicks off a new urban fantasy series, the Brimstone Files, starring the newly-licensed private investigator James Brimstone. Brimstone’s first client is a beautiful actress with an unbelievable tale of sex, demons, and violence on the set of a pornographic film in the San Fernando Valley, and only he can get to the bottom of it. I’m always a bit wary when a book seems targeted directly at my guilty pleasures, and Hex-Rated fits that description to a T. But It’s not just fans of Quentin Tarantino movies or Richard Kadrey’s Sandman Slim series who are going to love this. The attention to historical detail, as well as an emphasis on usually ignored aspects of the racial and social unrest in 1970s southern California, are really what make this series debut stand out. There’s an almost Tim Powers-esque sense of Secret History lurking between the piles of pulpy sex and violence. I love Hex-Rated because it dares to be more than just an urban fantasy novel in ’70s drag.
In Calabria, by Peter S. Beagle (February 14)
What better way to begin the year with the wonderful Peter S. Beagle—and unicorns! Beagle’s legacy as one of our most beloved storytellers continues with in modern-day Southern Italy, where farmer and poet Claudio Bianchi is both set in his ways and suspicious of outsiders. One chilly morning, an impossible visitor appears in his vineyard. When Claudio comes to her aid, an act of kindness throws his world into chaos. Lyrical, gripping, and wise, In Calabria is a powerful new fable for a complicated time. Beagle’s writing is, as always, beautiful, possessing quietly bittersweet intensity and loveliness.
The New Fantasy, edited by Peter S. Beagle and Jacob Weisman (August)
This vibrant anthology presents cutting-edge new fantasy to adventurous readers ready for the next big thing. The up-and-coming authors in The New Fantasy have been primarily published in the last five years— many of them have or are about to put out collections and novels for the first time. Their new take on fantasy combines their personal, societal, and diverse views of the world—or worlds, as the case may be. Contributors include Alyssa Wong, Sofia Samatar,Brooke Bolander, Sarah Pinsker, Max Gladstone, Ursula Vernon, E. Lily Yu, Hannu Rajaniemi, and more.
Wicked Wonders, by Ellen Klages (May 16)
The Scott O’Dell award-winning author of The Green Glass Sea returns with a new decade of lyrical stories with vintage flair. Ellen Klages’s new collection takes us on a journey through the world of girls, women, time and place. From a habitat on Mars to a boardinghouse in London, Ellen Klages’s wicked, wondrous tales are full of brazenness, wit, empathy, and courage.
Relics, by Tim Lebbon (March 21)
Having worked with Tim Lebbon on the Alien novels, and most recently the huge “Rage War” crossover between Alien and Predator, I knew Tim was a brilliant writer, and was eager to see what he would do with a series that would be wholly his own. He proposed a story about an underground black-market in arcane things, akin to the international trade in elephant ivory and rhinoceros horns. But in this case, it would be the desiccated skull of an immature cyclops, or the skeleton of a faerie. Things turn nasty when we discover that victims don’t necessarily need to be dead to be harvested. And they don’t necessarily like being victims. Angela, an American criminology student living in London, is thrust into this world without warning. She becomes involved with a particular vicious crime boss named Frederick Meloy, and things spiral downward from there. Tim writes brilliant characters, making me eager to see what happens next for each and every one of them–it’s a real page-turner. He knows how to raise the stakes at every turn, and he’s amazingly adept at making us afraid. Working with such a skilled writer is a joy, and I’m grateful just to be associated with such a darkly thrilling concept as Relics. – Steve Saffel
Clade, by James Bradley (September 5)
Ecological SF is becoming more prominent and urgent as we hurtle ever faster into a chaotic future, and, for me, Clade by James Bradley is as good as it gets. Formed of a series of perfectly crafted vignettes, the story follows different generations of the same family as they experience the increasingly cataclysmic and haunting consequences of climate collapse. In a short space of time and words, the scope of this tale is both compellingly epic – spanning biblical storms and disease – and poetically intimate, cataloguing humanity’s small acts of courage in the face of disaster. Having already been shortlisted for the Dublin Literary Award, the ALS Gold Medal for Australian Literature, the Aurealis and many other prestigious award, this book excites me because it is the work of a talented writer at the pinnacle of his craft. And it has a beautiful, much-needed hope at its heart. – Ella Chappel
The Rift, by Nina Allan (July 11)
When editing The Rift I found myself so absorbed in the story that I lost chunks of time, even though it wasn’t the first time I had read the book. It’s a deeply involving tale of a sister’s return after disappearing twenty years before, claiming she has been on an alien planet. I love the way Nina has structured the book, moving easily from past to present and from Earth to an alien world, she peppers the narrative with diary extracts, newspaper reports, extracts from textbooks and fiction within the fiction so the story has a very authentic complexity – allowing you to understand her world on a much deeper level. I love this book and know I will come back to it again and again. – Cath Trechman
Off Rock, by Kieran Shea (April 18)
Kieran Shea’s narrative voice is totally irresistible – he just cracks me up. There is wit woven into every sentence of Off Rock, and it’s a sarcastic, irreverent joy to read. In the year 2778, Jimmy Vik is feeling dissatisfied with his job in interstellar mining. So when he stumbles upon a significant gold pocket during a routine procedure on Kardashev 7-A, he believes his luck may have changed – larcenously so. But smuggling the gold “off rock” won’t be easy. A heist adventure in space, Off Rock is a little bit violent, very funny and, weirdly enough, a love story. For his next book Kieran is going back to Koko (of Koko Takes a Holiday and Koko The Mighty), but I’d quite like to know what Jimmy does next too… – Cath Trechman
The Beauty, by Aliya Whitely (November 7)
The Beauty is that special kind of book. It’s the one you want all your friends to read – right now – but when they ask what it’s about, you’re lost for words. To describe The Beauty as a post-apocalyptic tale of an all-male society being infiltrated by a petrifying, yet disquietingly seductive species of mushroom doesn’t cover how intelligent, tender, horrifying and game-changing a book it really is. Aliya Whiteley is one of those writers with the rare talent of being able to draw you effortlessly into a world, before pulling the ground out from beneath you. Described by Adam Nevill as “a story of cosmic fecundity and fungal weirdness that I couldn’t put down,” it is already getting people in horror and science fiction circles excited, and for good reason. The Beauty discusses, in a wholly original way, the nature of human society and gender, and I can guarantee that you will have never read anything like it before. – Ella Chappel
A Conjuring of Light, by V.E. Schwab (February 21)
Fresh from the dazzling A Darker Shade of Magic and the tense A Gathering of Shadows, A Conjuring of Light is the last book in Schwab’s bestselling Shades of Magic trilogy. It’s a phenomenal ride—Schwab triumphantly delivers the perfect ending, without ever forgetting to subvert and upend expectations. A Conjuring of Light eclipsed all my hopes and needs–even for a Schwab novel, this is sheer awe. – Miriam Weinberg
The Tiger’s Daughter, by K. Arsenault Rivera (October 3)
Think about the feeling you get when the opening of an anticipated movie finally beings–the hush spreading over a crowded theater, the eagerness buzzing in the air–that is exactly how I feel whenever I get to talk about The Tiger’s Daughter. It’s the first in a trilogy, a debut epic fantasy about a warrior heir and an imperial princess on a legendary quest to save their land. Action-packed, thoughtful, and arresting—this glimpse into K Arsenault Rivera’s imagination is bound to leave readers craving the next installment. – Miriam Weinberg
Autonomous, by Annalee Newitz (September 19)
We’re so excited to be bringing Annalee Newitz’s debut novel to the world in the Fall 2017 hardcover Autonomous. A lot of science fiction readers probably know Annalee from her role as founder and long-time editor of the SF&F site io9, or her more recent work as a short and long form journalist and Ars Technica Tech Culture Editor, but this is her first foray into fiction aside from a few short stories, and we’re pretty sure she’s going to take the world by storm. Autonomous takes an action-packed chase narrative and adds Annalee’s well-honed insight into issues of AI autonomy, pharmaceutical piracy, and maker culture to make a book that’s accessible, entertaining, and ridiculously smart.
The Collapsing Empire, by John Scalzi (March 21)
One of the several things I love about John Scalzi is that whether his books are set 50,000 years in the future or next week, people are people and they talk to one another like people, complete with snark, exasperation, fits of comic incredulity, and all the other things that go into actual human conversation. This new novel opens up a universe that’s closer to 50,000 years in the future than it is to next week, but it’s as believable as the view out my window. – Patrick Nielsen Hayden
Walkaway, by Cory Doctorow (April 25)
I think history shows thay if we actually ever do get to real abundance, the kind where nobody actually needs to punch the clock on a nine-to-five job, the people who own the world aren’t going to take it lying down. Cory Doctorow gives us a scary and convincing picture of the lengths they’ll be willing to go to in order to stay in charge. He also gives us reason to hope. His novel is neither a utopia nor a dystopia; it’s a way forward. – Patrick Nielsen Hayden
Winter Tide, by Ruthanna Emrys (April 4)
Ruthanna Emrys is the first author I edited. When I bought her novelette “The Litany of Earth” in 2013, it rehabilitated the Lovecraft mythos for me, showing me how the genre could remain relevant in a more inclusive world. The protagonist of Winter Tide, Emrys’ debut novel, is Aphra Marsh, a woman with Innsmouth blood who survived the internment camps her people were sent to after the events of “The Shadow over Innsmouth”, and emerged on the other side of World War II into a world that doesn’t recognize the genocide of her secret people. Aphra’s struggle to live a complete life after such a cataclysm inspired me in 2013, and is even more relevant in 2017. Winter Tide provides me with both hope and grim determination to survive and prosper in the face of hatred. – Carl Engle-Laird
Down Among the Sticks and Bones, by Seanan McGuire (June 13)
This second book in the Wayward Children series has me just as excited as Every Heart a Doorway did in 2016. It follows two of my favorite characters from the first book and thrusts them into a nightmare land before they find their way to Eleanor West’s home. We also meet them growing up, and find out that they didn’t end up somewhat peculiar because of their fantasy adventures—their parents got to them, first! – Lee Harris
Binti: Home, by Nnedi Okorafor (January 31)
A stunning follow-up to 2016’s Nebula and Hugo-winning Binti. This time around we find out, not only how Binti has fared at University, but also how her family reacts to her having left them. Nnedi’s writing is always beautiful, and I’ve learned to love finding one of her manuscripts in my inbox. I can’t wait for you all to read this! – Lee Harris
Chalk, by Paul Cornell (March 21)
You think you know Paul Cornell? Think again. This is his most personal, his most horrific, his most visceral book, ever. It’s the story of high school bullying in the 1980s. It feels real and it hurts and it’s an astonishing piece of work and I’m getting goosebumps just remembering it while I write this paragraph. Just read it. Seriously. – Lee Harris
The Delirium Brief, by Charles Stross (July 11)
Charles Stross’s “Laundry” novels are a blend of Lovecraftian horror, espionage thriller, and bureaucratic comedy. It turns out that constantly saving the world from horrors from beyond time entails a great deal of politics and paperwork. We’re delighted that this series has come over to us. – Patrick Nielsen Hayden
What books on this list are you itching to read like RIGHT NOW?