Books to look out for in 2019

No matter what else happens, 2019 sounds like it's going to be a good year for books. While we haven't heard whether George RR Martin or Patrick Rothfuss will actually release their eagerly, long awaited novels, there are plenty of other books to get our teeth into. Some from established legends of the genre such as Alastair Reynolds, Tim Powers, Gregory Benford, Tad Williams, Guy Gavriel Kay, Pat Cadigan, Margaret Atwood (with her long awaited sequel to a Handmaids Tale) Ian McDonald and even Michael Swanwick with a stand-alone new novel set in his Iron Dragon world. Stephen Donaldson will complete his latest trilogy with The War Within.

Then there are the more recent authors who have made a name for themselves, such as Adrian Tchaikovsky, Josiah Bancroft, Ann Leckie (who is turning her talents to the fantasy genre), N.K Jemisin and Peter Higgins. The list below is by no means exhaustive and some the dates will be subject to change, especially the further into the future those dates are.



January 2019 science fiction books

The Fall of Io by Wesley Chu (Penguin Random House)

Sequel to the popular and acclaimed novel "The Rise of Io", dealing with Aliens in peoples heads and a plot for Earth's destruction.

The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden (Penguin Random House)

The Winter of the Witch is the conclusion to the bestselling Winternight Trilogy following on from the adventures in The Bear and the Nightingale and The Girl in the Tower.

Shadow Captain by Alastair Reynolds (Gollancz)

Sequel to the quite brilliant space opera Revenger, SFBook has already been lucky enough to review Shadow Captain, and it's even better than the first book was.

The Hod King by Josiah Bancroft (Orbit)

The third book is the Books of Babel series, following on from Senlin Ascends and Arm of the Sphinx. Thomas Senlin and his crew have been separated following the orders of the mysterious Sphinx. Meanwhile, the enslaved hods climb the Black Trail and whisper secrets in the dark. As Senlin and his crew are dragged ever further into the Tower's conspiracies, everything falls to one question: who is the Hod King?

Rewrite: Loops in the Timescape by Gregory Benford (Saga Press)

Timescape was published in 1980 and won the Nebula, the British Science Fiction Award and the John W. Campbell. It was hailed by critics and readers alike. 39 years later, Benford has written a "thematic sequel" with Rewrite: Loops in the Timescape which finds a history professor travelling back to 1968, the year he was sixteen.  He finds a slew of mentors with the same ability, including Robert Heinlein, Albert Einstein, and Philip K. Dick. Subverting history, he becomes a successful Hollywood screenwriter until some fellow time-travellers try and stop him.

The Wall by John Lanchester (Faber & Faber)

Kavanagh begins his life patrolling the Wall. If he's lucky, if nothing goes wrong, he only has two years of this, 729 more nights. The best thing that can happen is that he survives and gets off the Wall and never has to spend another day of his life anywhere near it. He longs for this to be over; longs to be somewhere else.

He will soon find out what Defenders do and who the Others are. Along with the rest of his squad, he will endure cold and fear day after day, night after night. But somewhere, in the dark cave of his mind, he thinks: wouldn't it be interesting if something did happen, if they came, if you had to fight for your life?

Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee (Rick Riordan Presents)

Dragon Pearl is a Young Adult Space Opera which follows thirteen year old Min, who comes from a long line of "fox spirits". Her elder brother Jun is in the Space Forces and Min dreams of the day she can join him. But then news comes that Jun has abandoned his post in search of the Dragon Pearl, a mystical object rumoured to have tremendous power. Min knows Jun would never leave his job and decides to run away to clear his name. A promising novel with underpinnings of Korean mythology.

The Kingdom of Copper by S.A. Chakraborty (Harper Voyager)

Sequel to The City of Brass and second in The Daevabad Trilogy, Nahri’s life changed forever when she accidentally summoned Dara, a formidable, mysterious djinn, during one of her schemes. Thrust into the dazzling royal court of Daevabad, she needed all of her grifter instincts to survive. Now, as Nahri embraces her heritage and her power, she must forge a new path.

The Last by Hanna Jameson  (Penguin Random House)

Jon Keller was on a trip to Switzerland when the world ended. A bomb dropping on Washington was the start. Even so far away from the chaos and twenty miles from the nearest city, evil still lurks. There are twenty people in the remote hotel and not knowing what else to do they wait, they survive. Then one day, the body of a girl is found. It's clear she has been murdered. Which means that someone in the hotel is a killer. 

Dragon Heart by Peter Higgins (Orion)

Peter Higgins writes mind-blowing speculative fiction, his Wolfhound Century series is just spectacular. Dragon Heart is a post-apocalyptic fantasy following a family as they struggle across a dying land in the hope they can survive long enough to find safety.



February 2019 science fiction books

Gaunt's Ghosts: The Anarch by Dan Abnett (Black Library)

The 15th book in Dan Abnett's spectacular and much loved Gaunt Ghost series. The Men of Tanith find themselves in the thick of battle on the forge world of Urdesh, fighting against the chaos commander known as "the Anarch", and his elite warriors - the barbaric Sons of Sek. More is at stake than just Urdesh, victory here will determine the outcome of the entire Sabbat Worlds Crusade.

The Spirit of Science Fiction by Roberto Bolaño (Pan Macmillan)

Roberto Bolaño was an award-winning and much loved Chilean author who the New York Times described as "the most significant Latin American literary voice of his generation". Translated for the first time into English, The Spirit of Science Fiction is a precursor to the authors seminal work The Savage Detectives. It's also a perfect introduction to the authors works.

Stranger Things: Suspicious Minds by Gwenda Bond (Penguin Random House)

If you've not seen Stranger Things on Netflix, you are missing out on one of the best TV series of recent times - especially if you liked the 80's. The third series is due this year and Stranger Things: Suspicious Minds is the first official novel, set over a decade before the events of the series.

Broken Stars: Contemporary Chinese Science Fiction in Translation edited by Ken Liu (Tor)

This is the second collection of Chinese short science fiction stories translated by the award winning author Ken Liu, following on from Invisible Planets.  Together with the first collection, Ken Liu has collected the most comprehensive body of Chinese science fiction literature available in the English language. Broken Stars includes stories from familiar, award winning names such as Liu Cixin and Hao Jingfang along with newer voices.

Our Child of the Stars by Stephen Cox (Quercus)

Our Child of the Stars is the story of a lost child, the family who try and protect him, and the secret that refuses to stay hidden. A remarkable story of warmth, tenacity and generosity of spirit, set against the backdrop of a fast-changing, terrifying decade.

Corax Lord of Shadows by Guy Haley (Black Library)

The tenth novel in the Primarchs series (set before the Horus Heresy), this book details the Primarch of the Raven Guard. 

During the Great Crusade, it falls to the primarch Corax of the Raven Guard to humble the immense void-cities of the Carinae. Determined to bring these worlds into compliance, he unleashes the might of his Legion and a massive war host of the Imperial Army. But the lords of Carinae are well defended and without remorse.

At the height of the conflict, at the void-city of Zenith, a dread bio-weapon from an ancient time is unleashed. At once, the Imperial force is brought to its knees, as allies are turned against each other and the Raven Guard left to face almost insurmountable odds. As the campaign teeters on the brink of failure, Corax’s desire for vengeance is severely tested against the need for a swift and certain resolution to the war.

Stormsong by C. L. Polk (

Stormsong is the followup to Witchmark, which according to NPR, Publishers Weekly, BuzzFeed, the Chicago Review, BookPage, and the B&N Sci-Fi and Fantasy Blog was "one of the best books of 2018".  Magical cabals, otherworldly avengers, and impossible love affairs conspire to create a book that refuses to be put down.

The City in the Middle of the Night by Charlie Jane Anders (Tor)

Following up from their success with All the Birds in the Sky, Charlie Jane Anders has written a new novel set in "a hauntingly strange future". January is a dying planet--divided between a permanently frozen darkness on one side, and blazing endless sunshine on the other. Humanity clings to life, spread across two archaic cities built in the sliver of habitable dusk. But life inside the cities is just as dangerous as the uninhabitable wastelands outside. Sophie, a student and reluctant revolutionary, is supposed to be dead, after being exiled into the night. Saved only by forming an unusual bond with the enigmatic beasts who roam the ice, Sophie vows to stay hidden from the world, hoping she can heal. But fate has other plans--and Sophie's ensuing odyssey and the ragtag family she finds will change the entire world.

All Roads End Here by David Moody (St. Martin's Press)

The sequel to One of us will be dead by morning, a new series that runs parallel with Moody's acclaimed Hater trilogy. It’s taken Matthew Dunne almost three months to get home. Never more than a few meters from the Haters at any time, every single step has been fraught with danger. But he’s made it. In his absence, his home city has become a sprawling, walled-off refugee camp. But the camp–and the entire world beyond its borders–is balanced on a knife-edge. During his time in the wilderness, Matt developed a skill which is in high demand: the ability to anticipate and predict Hater behaviour. It’s these skills that will thrust him into a web of subterfuge and danger. As the pressure mounts inside the camp, he finds himself under scrutiny from all sides.

The Test by Sylvain Neuvel

The Test explores a near future post Brexit Dystopian Britain. Idir is sitting the British Citizenship Test, a series of twenty-five questions which will determine his fate and that of his family. When the test takes an unexpected and tragic turn, Idir is handed the power of life and death. How do you value a life when all you have is multiple choice?

Alita: Battle Angel by Pat Cadigan (Titan Books)

Alita: Battle Angel is the official novelization of the film, based on Yukito Kishiro's acclaimed Manga comic series. Set in the twenty-sixth century, the story follows the life of a female cyborg who is rescued from the scrap heap by a kind scientist. I can't think of a better author to bring the wonderful world of Akita to life than the award winning Pat Cadigan - this book (and the film) promise to be something special.

The Haunting of Tram Car 015 by P. Djèlí Clark (

This novella sized book returns to the world the author first created with the historical murder mystery fantasy A Dead Djinn in Cairo. Set in Cairo 1912 Agent Hamed Nasr and his new partner Agent Onsi Youssef find much more than they bargained for when they investigate what should be a simple haunting of a tram car.

The Afterward by E.K. Johnston (Penguin Random House)

A "romantic" high fantasy story which promises to be both epic in scale but with a personal story. 

No Way by Simon Morden (Gollancz)

Last year Simon Morden wrote One Way, a gritty journey to the Red Planet in an effort to begin colonisation. Instead of sending expensive robots though they sent hardened criminals to get the buildings ready for the real Astronauts. As you might imagine things didn't go quite to plan. No Way is the eagerly awaited follow-up. From the eight convicts that were sent, only one survived - now he must find a way back home.

The Raven Tower by Ann Leckie (Orbit)

Ann Leckie lit up the science fiction world in 2013 with her debut novel Ancillary Justice, winning pretty much every major genre award the Hugo, the Nebula, the Arthur C Clarke, the BSFA and the Locus. Both follow-ups won the Locus Award. This time Leckie is turning her considerable talents to the fantasy genre with The Raven Tower - set in a world where God's meddle in the fate of people and people play with the fate of gods. This promises to be something quite special.

More Walls Broken by Tim Powers (Subterranean Press)

More Walls Broken mixes the unlikely blend of fantasy with quantum physics as three professors attempt to raise the ghost of their colleague Professor Vitrielli using a device he invented. While only novella-length, this book promises to pack a real punch.

Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James (Penguin Random House)

This is the follow-up novel to the Man-booker prize winning author of A Brief History of Seven Killings. Black Leopard, Red Wolf is being called "an African Game of Thrones" and Neil Gaiman has already read it, saying it's "A fantasy world as well-realized as anything Tolkien made." The first in a planned trilogy, the book mixes myth, fantasy, and history together to explore what happens when a mercenary is hired to find a missing child. Possibly one of the most eagerly awaited novels of the month, if not the year.

The Ingenious by Darius Hinks (Angry Robot)

Darius Hinks is a seasoned Black Library author, his first novel Warrior Priest winning the coveted David Gemmell Morningstar award. Since then he's written some outstanding Warhammer Fantasy and 40k stories. The Ingenious is an Angry Robot offering and the book has been described as "The squalid, bloody tale of desperate political exiles seeking a way home from the impossible city that imprisons them."

Fleet of Knives by Gareth L Powell (Titan Books)

The sequel to the critically acclaimed novel Embers of War, Fleet of Knives follows the former warship Trouble Dog and her crew of misfits who are called upon by the House of Reclamation to investigate a distress call from the human starship the Lucy's Ghost. Her crew abandon their crippled ship and seek refuge abroad an abandoned, slower-than-light generation ship launched ten thousand years before by an alien race. However, the enormous ship contains deadly secrets of its own.



March 2019 science fiction books

A Soldier and a Liar by Caitlin Lochner (Swoon Reads)

This is the debut novel of Caitlin Lochner, telling the story of four supernaturally gifted teenagers who must learn to work together for peace in a world on the brink of war.

Star Wars: Queen’s Shadow by E.K. Johnston (Disney Lucasfilm Press)

The next canon novel in the Star Wars universe, from the author of the best-selling Star Wars novel Ashoka. When Padmé Naberrie, "Queen Amidala" of Naboo, steps down from her position, she is asked by the newly-elected queen to become Naboo's representative in the Galactic Senate. Padmé is unsure about taking on the new role, but cannot turn down the request to serve her people. Together with her most loyal handmaidens, Padmé must figure out how to navigate the treacherous waters of politics and forge a new identity beyond the queen's shadow.

Famous Men Who Never Lived by K. Chess (Tin House Books)

Hel, along with her partner Vikram are a completely new form of refugee, one from an alternate timeline where nuclear war devastated America. She finds the New York she lives in to be disturbingly similar and different at the same time. Refusing to reclaim her former career or create a new life, she Instead obsessively rereads Vikram’s copy of The Pyronauts―a science fiction masterwork in her world that now only exists as a single flimsy paperback. Hel becomes determined to create a museum dedicated to preserving the remaining artifacts and memories of her vanished culture, but refugees are unwelcome by many and her efforts are largely met with indifference and hostility.

Infinite Detail by Tim Maughan (Macmillian)

The world of Infinite Detail is a small step shy of our own: utterly dependent on technology, constantly brokering autonomy and privacy for comfort and convenience. With Infinite Detail, Tim Maughan makes the hitherto-unimaginable come true: the End of the Internet, the End of the World as We Know It.

The Best of R.A. Lafferty by R.A Lafferty (Gollancz)

R.A. Lafferty was an award-winning American science fiction author known for his etymological wit and his original use of language, metaphor, and narrative structure. Acclaimed by many as one of the most original voices in modern literature, this book collects 22 of his unique tales - including the Hugo award-winning Eurema's Dam and the award-nominated Continued on the Next Rock, Sky and In Our Block. Each story features introductions from authors who considered Lafferty as a major influence and force in the field, including Robert Silverberg and Neil Gaiman. The Best of R.A. Lafferty promises to be an important work in the science fiction genre.

Gingerbread by Helen Oyeyemi (Picador)

Helen Oyeyemi is an award-winning author, Gingerbread is her sixth novel and is influenced by the special place that gingerbread seems to hold within children's literature. Essentially a tale of a daughter discovering her heritage with her mother, it's already gathered some promising praise from readers and critics.

Do You Dream of Terra-Two? by Temi Oh (Simon & Schuster)

The Debut of Temi Oh, Do you dream of Terra-Two tells the tale of ten astronauts setting off from a dying earth with the hope of finding a nearby solar system with a habitable planet. It will take them twenty-three years to get there. Twenty-three years spent in close quarters. Twenty-three years with no one to rely on but each other. Twenty-three years with no rescue possible, should something go wrong. And something always goes wrong.

Ancestral Night by Elizabeth Bear (Gollancz)

Ancestral Night is the latest novel from the award winning author Elizabeth Bear. A routine salvage mission uncovers evidence of a terrible crime and relics of a powerful ancient technology, just as Haimey and her small crew run afoul of pirates at the outer limits of the Milky Way and find themselves both on the run, and in possession of ancient, universe-changing technology. When the authorities prove corrupt, it becomes clear that Haimey is the only one who can protect her galaxy-spanning civilisation from its potential power - and from the revolutionaries who want to use it to seed terror and war. But doing so will take her from the event horizon of the super-massive black hole at the galaxy's core to the infinite, empty spaces at its edge. Along the way, she'll have to uncover the secrets of ancient intelligences lost to time as well as her own lost secrets, which she will wish had remained hidden from her forever . . .

The Bird King by G. Willow Wilson (Grove Press)

It turns out that despite claims to the contrary, everyone expected the Spanish Inquisition because they were required to provide written and verbal communication to the accused. I mention this as The Bird King is set at the height of the Spanish Inquisition - during the reign of the last sultan in the Iberian peninsula. It tells the story of Fatima, a concubine in the royal court of Granada. The authors first novel, Alif the Unseen was the NPR and Washington Post Best Book of the Year so there are big hopes for this book.

The Perfect Assassin by K.A. Doore (Tor)

Another debut novel, this time it's a high fantasy story about a novice assassin who is hunting an assassin killing their own. The first in a planned series, it's already received some promising praise.

Return of the Thief by Megan Whalen Turner (Greenwillow Books)

Return of the Thief is the twenty-years-in-the-making conclusion to the much loved New York Times best-selling young adult novel The Thief. Featuring one of the most charismatic and incorrigible characters of fiction, Eugenides the thief, it promises to be a novel rich with political machinations, divine intervention, dangerous journeys, battles lost and won, power, passion, and deception.

The Light Brigade by Kameron Hurley (Saga Press)

A new novel from the award-winning author Kameron Hurley which tells the tale of a future war on Mars. Soldiers are sent to the front lines by breaking them down into beams of light. Those that return are known as The Light Brigade, and they come back different. Dietz, a fresh recruit in the infantry, begins to experience combat drops that don't sync up with the platoon's. And Dietz's bad drops tell a story of the war that's not at all what the corporate brass want the soldiers to think is going on.

Radicalized by Cory Doctorow (Head of Zeus)

Like most of Cory Doctorow's stories, Radicalized takes a technology being used now and predicts where it might go in the near future. This time the technology is Digital Rights Management and it's the corporations themselves that provide welfare, but only on the condition you used their rights-managed devices. Toasters that won't toast third-party bread, Dishwashers that won't wash third-party dishes. Society is more divided than ever, with lifts that have one door for the poor and one for the rich. 

Permafrost by Alastair Reynolds (

A novella-length story about time-travel and climate change by one of the masters of science fiction. 2080: at a remote site on the edge of the Arctic Circle, a group of scientists, engineers and physicians gather to gamble humanity's future on one last-ditch experiment. Their goal: to make a tiny alteration to the past, averting a global catastrophe while at the same time leaving recorded history intact. To make the experiment work, they just need one last recruit: an ageing schoolteacher whose late mother was the foremost expert on the mathematics of paradox. 2028: a young woman goes into surgery for routine brain surgery. In the days following her operation, she begins to hear another voice in her head... an unwanted presence which seems to have a will, and a purpose, all of its own - one that will disrupt her life entirely. The only choice left to her is a simple one. Does she resist ... or become a collaborator?

The Magnificent Nine (Firefly) by James Lovegrove and Joss Whedon (Titan Books)

This is the second official Firefly novel, set sometime before the end of the much-missed and vastly under-rated TV series. With Joss Whedon a consulting editor, The Magnificent Nine is a highly promising book for any fans of the series.

Luna: Moon Rising by Ian McDonald (Tor)

The final novel in Ian McDonald's Luna series - a fast-paced, intricately plotted space opera pitched as Game of Thrones meets The Expanse. A hundred years in the future, a war wages between the Five Dragons--five families that control the Moon's leading industrial companies. Each clan does everything in their power to claw their way to the top of the food chain--marriages of convenience, corporate espionage, kidnapping, and mass assassinations. Through ingenious political manipulation and sheer force of will, Lucas Cortas rises from the ashes of corporate defeat and seizes control of the Moon. The only person who can stop him is a brilliant lunar lawyer, his sister, Ariel.

From Divergent Suns by Sam Peters (Gollancz)

Another finally of a rewarding science fiction series, this time it's the followup to From Darkest Skies and From Distant Stars - a series that blends space opera with a crime novel, set on a distant world. There is a missing nuclear warhead, a doomsday cult and an Interstellar conspiracy. The first two books were excellent and this is one book I'm really looking forward to.

Tiamat's Wrath by James S.A. Corey (Orbit)

Tiamat's Wrath is the eighth book in the Expanse, a space opera that is now an established Netflix series. It's a deep, involving and vast story that presents a future that feels real enough you could reach out and touch it. Eight books in and it doesn't seem like the authors are going to run out of ideas for some time yet.

Titanshade by Dan Stout (Daw Books)

Another debut novel from Dan Stout who introduces to the gritty town of Titanshade, where danger lurks around every corner. A promising noir fantasy thriller.

The Women’s War by Jenna Glass (Del Ray)

The Women’s War is a feminist fantasy epic, set in a world where women have access to a spell that gives them the ability to control their own fertility. This is set against a backdrop where a nobleman’s first duty is to produce a male heir and women are treated like possessions and bargaining chips.

Lanny by Max Porter (Graywolf)

Max Porter hit the literary scene in 2015 with Grief is the Thing with Feathers, which won him the Sunday Times/ Peter, Fraser + Dunlop Young Writer of the Year, the International Dylan Thomas Prize, the Europese Literatuurprijs and the BAMB Readers’ Award. Grief is the Thing with Feathers has since been sold in twenty seven territories around the world. Lanny, his second novel is about a village near London, a village with a long, mysterious past and a confounding present. 


April 2019 science fiction books

Motherland by Lauren Beukes (Mulholland Books)

Lauren Beukes hit the ground running a few years ago with Moxyland but it was the 2014 hit Shining Girls - a story about a time-travelling serial-killer - that really put her name on the map. Motherland promises to be just as explosive. In an alternative America, a virulant virus has decimated the male population. Some years after this world-changing event society has been re-modelled with new laws and new customs. One of the worst offences that can be committed is hiding a healthy man, eclipsed only by the killing of one. Cole is a mum on the run, guilty of both crimes and trying to find a safe place for her adolescent son Miles.

The Passengers by John Marrs (Del Rey)

John Marrs has written some popular books in the last few years, from The Good Samaritan to When You Disappeared and recently The One which is soon to be a Netflix series. The Passengers is a near future thriller about self driving cars, specifically someone hacking eight of them to kill their passengers.

The Luminous Dead by Caitlin Starling (Harper Voyager)

Another debut novel, this one is being likened to Andy Weirs The Martian and Jeff Vandermeers Annihilation. Gyre Price lied to get a job on an expedition to another planet. She thought it would be a simple case of mapping mineral deposits with the greatest threat the possibility of a cave-in. She was wrong.

The Crying Machine by Greg Chivers (Harper Voyager)

The world has changed, but Jerusalem endures. Overlooked by new superpowers, the Holy City of the future is a haven of spies and smugglers, exiles and extremists. A refugee with strange technological abilities searches for a place to disappear. An ambitious young criminal plots the heist that could make or destroy him. A corrupt minister harnesses the power of the past in a ruthless play for complete control. And the wheels of another plan as old and intricate as the city itself begin to turn.

Cage of Souls by Adrian Tchaikovsky (Head of Zeus)

The Sun is bloated, diseased, dying perhaps. Beneath its baneful light, Shadrapur, last of all cities, harbours fewer than 100,000 human souls. Built on the ruins of countless civilisations, surviving on the debris of its long-dead progenitors, Shadrapur is a museum, a midden, an asylum, a prison on a world that is ever more alien to humanity.

Bearing witness to the desperate struggle for existence between life old and new, is Stefan Advani, rebel, outlaw, prisoner, survivor. This is his testament, an account of the journey that took him into the blazing desolation of the western deserts; that transported him east down the river and imprisoned him in verdant hell of the jungle's darkest heart; that led him deep into the labyrinths and caverns of the underworld. He will treat with monsters, madman, mutants. The question is, which one of them will inherit this Earth?

A Memory called Empire by Arkady Martine (Tor)

Arkady Martine is an author who not only writes speculative fiction, but is also a historian of the Byzantine Empire. A Memory called Empire is her debut novel - a  diplomatic space opera that strands its protagonist amid imperial politics and murder.

Knight by Timothy Zahn (Tor)

Best known for writing Star Wars novels, Timothy Zahn does also occasionally find time to write his own series and Knight is the second in Sibyl’s War. The protagonist and her partner were abducted by moth-like aliens and taken to an odd spaceship called Fyrantha. She becomes a "Sibyl" - a human who can communicate with the aliens and their strange ship.

Perihelion Summer by Greg Egan (

Perihelion Summer is a novella length story by the award-winning author Greg Egan. The story revolves around a wondering black hole (Taraxippus) a tenth the size of the Sun entering our solar system. As you can imagine, such a powerful gravity-well is bound to change our little planet and people trying to adapt to this suddenly different environment is at the heart of the story. Incredibly, the same day I write this news of the existence of a wondering black hole is released. You can't get more topical than that!

A Time of Blood by John Gwynne (Orbit)

A Time of Blood is the second volume in the authors epic fantasy trilogy Of Blood and Bone. Drem and his friends are still reeling from the horrors they witnessed while Riv struggles to understand her half-breed heritage. In the mean-time dark forces are gathering a mighty army to overcome the rule of man.

Storm of Locusts by Rebecca Roanhorse (Saga Press)

Another sequel, this time it's the follow-up to Rebecca Roanhorse's post-climate-change-apocalypse native American urban fantasy Trail of Lightning. It's a series that see's the gods and monsters of old walk the changed landscape and follows Maggie Hoskie - a "Dinétah" monster hunter, a supernaturally gifted killer.

A Boy and his Dog at the End of the World by C. A. Fletcher (Orbit)

My name's Griz. I've never been to school, I've never had friends, in my whole life I've not met enough people to play a game of football. My parents told me how crowded the world used to be, before all the people went away, but we were never lonely on our remote island. We had each other, and our dogs. Then the thief came.

He told stories of the deserted towns and cities beyond our horizons. I liked him - until I woke to find he had stolen my dog. So I chased him out into the ruins of the world. I just want to get my dog back, but I found more than I ever imagined was possible. More about how the world ended. More about what my family's real story is. More about what really matters

The Waste Tide by Chen Quifan (Translated  by Ken Liu)

The debut novel of Chen Quifan (with translation by Ken Lui), The Waste Tide takes place on the fiction island of "Silicon Isle", off the coast of China. Silicon Isle is the global capital for electronic waste recycling, where thousands of people toil day and night, hoping that one day they too will get to enjoy the wealth they've created for their employers, the three scrap families who have ruled the isle for generations.

The War Within by Stephen Donaldson (Berkley)

Stephen Donaldson has been writing high fantasy since the 70's and the The War Within is the second novel in his new series The Great God's War, following on from The Seventh Decimate.

Finder by Suzanne Palmer (DAW)

Suzanne Palmer won last years Hugo award for "best novellete" for her story The secret life of Bots. Hot on this success, Finder is the first in a planned trilogy and tells the story of interstellar repo man Fergus Ferguson who's latest job is to find and steal the spaceship Venetia’s Sword from ex-nobleman  Arum Gilger. Sounds simple, but as you can imagine, things quickly turn pear-shaped.

Inspection by Josh Malerman (Del Rey)

You might not know the name Josh Malerman but you've probably heard of his debut novel - Bird Box, since it became a netflix hit film. Inspection is another thriller, this time about an exclusive school that's hidden in the middle of a forest far away from the rest of the world. J is one of only twenty-six students, all of whom think of the school’s enigmatic founder as their father.

Upon a Burning Throne by Ashok K. Banker (John Joseph Adams)

Ashok Banker has been something of a pioneer in his home country of India. His crime novels have been billed as "India's first crime novels in English". It's his Ramayana Series - a re-telling of Indian mythological epics set in a series of eight novels, that has really helped him make a name for himself. The Burning Throne is the start of a ground-breaking new fantasy series which has been inspired by the ancient Indian classic The Mahabharata.


May 2019 science fiction books

Exhalation: Stories by Ted Chiang (Knopf)

This is the much-anticipated second collected short stories by the ward winning author Ted Chiang. In this fantastical and elegant collection, the author wrestles with the oldest questions on earth--What is the nature of the universe? What does it mean to be human?--and ones that no one else has even imagined. And, each in its own way, the stories prove that complex and thoughtful science fiction can rise to new heights of beauty, meaning, and compassion.

One Word Kill by Mark Lawrence (47North)

Mark Lawrence is an award-winning author who has written some seriously impressive fantasy stories. One Word Kill is a departure from his usual high fantasy.  Set in the 1980's, it follows sixteen year boy genius Nick who has just found out he's dying, and that's not even the strangest of things to have happened to him this week.

Empire of Grass by Tad Williams (Hodder & Stoughton)

The Memory, Sorrow and Thorn are one of the most under-appreciated series of fantasy novels. It should be an essential part in anyone's fantasy collection. The Last King of Osten Ard is a new series set in the same world and Empire of Grass is the second book in this new series as Simon and Miriamele, royal husband and wife, face danger from every side.

Octavia Gone by Jack McDevitt (Saga Press)

A novel in the authors long-running Alex Benedict series, Octavia Gone see's Gabe re-united with Alex and Chase after being lost in space for eleven years. When a seemingly alien artifact goes missing from Gabe’s old collection, it grants the group a chance to dive into solving the mystery of its origins as a team, once again.

Middlegame by Seanan McGuire (

Meet Roger. Skilled with words, languages come easily to him. He instinctively understands how the world works through the power of story. Meet Dodger, his twin. Numbers are her world, her obsession, her everything. All she understands, she does so through the power of math. Roger and Dodger aren’t exactly human, though they don’t realise it. They aren’t exactly gods, either. Not entirely. Not yet. Meet Reed, skilled in the alchemical arts like his progenitor before him. Reed created Dodger and her brother. He’s not their father. Not quite. But he has a plan: to raise the twins to the highest power, to ascend with them and claim their authority as his own. Godhood is attainable. Pray it isn’t attained.

Children of Ruin by Adrian Tchaikovsky (Macmillan)

The second of Tchaikovsky's novels this year, Children of Ruin is the follow-up to the Arthur C Clarke award-winning novel Children of Time. Thousands of years ago, Earth’s terraforming program took to the stars. On the world they called Nod, scientists discovered alien life – but it was their mission to overwrite it with the memory of Earth. Then humanity’s great empire fell, and the program’s decisions were lost to time. Aeons later, humanity and its new spider allies detected fragmentary radio signals between the stars. They dispatched an exploration vessel, hoping to find cousins from old Earth. But those ancient terraformers woke something on Nod better left undisturbed. And it’s been waiting for them.

Last Tango in Cyberspace by Steven Kotler (St. Martins Press)

Hard to say when the human species fractured exactly. Harder to say when this new talent arrived. But Lion Zorn is the first of his kind—an empathy tracker, an emotional soothsayer, with a felt sense for the future of the we. In simpler terms, he can spot cultural shifts and trends before they happen. It’s a useful skill for a certain kind of company. Arctic Pharmaceuticals is that kind of company. But when a routine em-tracking job leads to the discovery of a gruesome murder, Lion finds himself neck-deep in a world of eco-assassins, soul hackers and consciousness terrorists. But what the man really needs is a nap.

The Obsoletes by Simeon Mills (Skybound Books)

The Obsoletes is a thought-provoking coming-of-age novel about two human-like teen robots navigating high school, basketball, and potentially life-threatening consequences if their true origins are discovered by the inhabitants of their intolerant 1980s Michigan hometown.

Walking to Aldebaran by Adrian Tchaikovsky (Solaris)

The third book this year by the Arthur C Clarke award-winning author Adrian Tchaikovsky.Walking to Aldebaran is a chilling story of a lost astronaut on an alien artefact, struggling to find his way home even as the world around him transforms his body and mind.

A brightness long ago by Guy Gavriel Kay (Hodder & Stoughton)

A Brightness Long Ago offers both compelling drama and deeply moving reflections on the nature of memory, the choices we make in life, and the role played by the turning of Fortune's wheel.


June 2019 science fiction books

Darkness on the Edge of Town by Adam Christopher (Del Rey)

Adam Christopher has writting some outstanding novels, not least the noir-science fiction series Ray Electromatic Mysteries, following a robot detective in an alternative 20th century. Darkness on the Edge of Town is his latest book but little has been made public about it so far.

Limited Wish by Mark Lawrence (47 North)

Just one month after publishing One Word Kill - the first in the Impossible Times series, Mark Lawrence will be back with the follow-up. Limited Wish continues the Ready Player One meets Stranger Things story set in the 1980's.

Fall, or Dodge in Hell by Neal Stephenson (The Borough Press)

Neal Stephenson is one of the big names in speculative fiction. A multi-award winning author, his books are relevant and often explore the big ideas of the time. Fall, or Dodge in Hell is set in the near future and takes place in parallel worlds, examining the creation of a digital afterlife where people continue to exist after death as digital souls.

Empress of Forever by Max Gladstone (Tor)

Vivian Liao is a successful innovator and entrepreneur. On the eve of her greatest achievement, she tries to outrun people who are trying to steal her success. In the chilly darkness of a Boston server farm, Vivain sets her ultimate plan into motion. A terrifying instant later, she is catapulted through space and time to a far future where she confronts a destiny stranger and more deadly than she could ever imagine.

The Lesson by Cadwell Turnbull (Blackstone Publishing)

Another debut novel, The Lesson is set after Earth has been contacted and occupied by an Alien race known as the Ynaa. Some of these Aliens had been hidden amongst mankind for centuries. Peace with the Ynaa is a fragile one, any acts of agression against them being met with disproportional wrath. When a Ynaa kills a young man and his grieving brother responds by assassinating one of the aliens, a terrible cycle of violent retribution begins.

The Iron Dragon’s Mother by Michael Swanwick (Tor)

Michael Swanwick has been writing award-winning fiction for over thirty years and The Iron Dragon's Mother see's a return to the much loved post-industrial faerie world of The Iron Dragon's Daughter.

The Dragon Republic by R.F. Kuang (Harper Voyager)

Last year RF Kuang surprised many readers with his debut novel The Poppy War - combining a 20th-century China with a gripping world of gods and monsters. The Dragon Republic is the followup to that book.

My Enemy’s Enemy by Robert Buettner (Baen)

In 1939, during the second World War a secret weapon of supernatural power is made, along with a special aircraft to deliver it. The weapon never gets deployed. Forward to 2021 and aircraft historian Cass Gooding and aging Colorado cowboy Frank Luck uncover the forgotten weapon, a weapon that could bring about World War three if it falls into the wrong hands.

Unraveling by Karen Lord (DAW)

Dr. Miranda Ecouvo, forensic therapist of the City, just helped put a serial killer behind bars. But she soon discovers that her investigation into seven unusual murders is not yet complete. A near-death experience throws her out of time and into a realm of labyrinths and spirits. There, she encounters brothers Chance and the Trickster, who have an otherworldly interest in the seemingly mundane crimes from her files.

The Hanging Artist by Jon Steinhagen (Abaddon)

Surrealist modern fantasy in which Franz Kafka, miraculously saved from the tuberculosis that killed him, investigates the supernatural with the aid of a giant cockroach. What if Franz Kafka did not succumb to tuberculosis at the age of 40? What if he awoke the day after his supposed death to find himself attended by the giant insect he once imagined in his own story The Metamorphosis? Hey it seems just as likely as Trump becoming President of the US, worryingly.

Space Marine Conquests: Apocalypse by Josh Reynolds (Black Library)

The fifth novel in the Space Marine Conquests series. A number of Space Marine Chapters have been sent to the planet Almace to defend it against the evil, traitors The Word Bearers. But unbeknownst to the forces of the Imperium, conquest is not the enemy’s sole aim…


July 2019 science fiction books

Wanderers by Chuck Wendig (Del Rey)

One of the books I'm most looking forward to this year. For those who haven't read or heard of Chuck Wendig, he's written some amazing books - including a official Star Wars trilogy. Wanderers deals with an increasingly popular subject - the apocalypse. This version of humanities doom is brought about by a viral pandemic which cause it's sufferers to go into a sort of sleep-walking malaise. Harlen Coben has already read it and calls it “a suspenseful, twisty, satisfying, surprising, thought-provoking epic.”

Dark Age by Pierce Brown (Hodder & Stoughton)

Dark Age is the fifth book in the authors Red Rising series which has been described as a blending of The Hunger GamesBlade Runner and Dune. For a decade Darrow led a revolution against the corrupt colour-coded Society. Now, outlawed by the very Republic he founded, he wages a rogue war on Mercury in the hope that he can still salvage the dream of Eo. But as he leaves death and destruction in his wake, is he still the hero who broke the chains? Or will another legend rise to take his place?

The Redemption of Time by Baoshu (Translated by Ken Liu) (Head of Zeus)

The Redemption of Time is a paraquel to the incredible novel The Three-Body Problem. It originally started life as fan-fiction when the author (a huge fan of the series) published it online. It has since become so popular that it has now become an official novel.

This is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone (Saga Press)

Two time-traveling agents from warring futures, working their way through the past, begin to exchange letters--and fall in love in this thrilling and romantic book from award-winning authors Amal-El Mohtar and Max Gladstone.

Earth by Ben Bova (Tor)

Ben Bova is a legend in the science fiction genre. He's a six-time winner of the Hugo award and is the author of more than 120 works of fiction. The fact that he's still writing science fiction at 86 years old is only outmatched by the quality of his work. Earth is the latest in his series that began with Death Wave and has continued with Apes and Angels and Survival. Humanity has spread out and colonised the other planets in the solar system, helped by aliens called the Predecessors.  The technology of the Predecessors has made Earth a paradise, at least on the surface. But a policy of exiling discontented young people to the outer planets and asteroid mines has led to a deep divide between the new worlds and the homeworld, and those tensions are about to explode into open war.

The Last Astronaut by David Wellington (Orbit)

This book is being likened to The Martian, Arrival and Interstellar and follows a similar story to the first contact film Arrival. Sally Jansen was NASA's leading astronaut, until a mission to Mars ended in disaster. Haunted by her failure, Jansen now lives in semi-retirement, convinced her days in space are over. She's wrong. A huge alien object has entered the solar system and is now poised above the Earth. It has made no attempt at communication. With no other living astronauts to turn to, NASA wants Jansen to lead an expedition to the object. For all the dangers of the mission, it's the one shot at redemption she always hoped for.

Thrawn: Treason by Timothy Zahn (Century)

This is the second book by Timothy Zahn and continues the new Thrawn series. The original Thrawn trilogy was written by Zahn back in the early 90's. Set five years after Return of the Jedi, the series is widely regarded as beginning the revitalisation of the Star Wars franchise. Zahn recently re-introduced the character with two new, official, canonical novels Thrawn and Thrawn: Alliances. This is the third book in that new series.

Salvation Day by Kali Wallace (Berkley)

They thought the ship would be their salvation. Zahra knew every detail of the plan. House of Wisdom, a massive exploration vessel, had been abandoned by the government of Earth a decade earlier, when a deadly virus broke out and killed everyone on board in a matter of hours. But now it could belong to her people if they were bold enough to take it. All they needed to do was kidnap Jaswinder Bhattacharya—the sole survivor of the tragedy, and the last person whose genetic signature would allow entry to the spaceship. But what Zahra and her crew could not know was what waited for them on the ship—a terrifying secret buried by the government. A threat to all of humanity that lay sleeping alongside the orbiting dead. And then they woke it up.

The Heart of the Circle by Keren Landsman (Angry Robot)

Throughout human history there have always been sorcerers, once idolised and now exploited for their powers. In Israel, the Sons of Simeon, a group of religious extremists, persecute sorcerers while the government turns a blind eye. After a march for equal rights ends in brutal murder, empath, moodifier and reluctant waiter Reed becomes the next target. While his sorcerous and normie friends seek out his future killers, Reed complicates everything by falling hopelessly in love. As the battle for survival grows ever more personal, can Reed protect himself and his friends as the Sons of Simeon close in around them?

Tyger Burning by T.C. McCarthy (Baen)

Humanity had just begun its first tentative steps towards conquering the Solar System when the aliens came and took it all away. Then they disappeared, leaving only wreckage in their wake. They have given us 100 years to get ready for the next phase of their invasion. They expect us to fight fair. But if one man can learn to control his combat implants, humanity might just have a hope for a free future...


August 2019 science fiction books

Robot Army by Simon Curtis (Simon Pulse)

Robot Army is the sequel to Boy Robot as Isaak continues to fight against the secret government organization formed to eradicate Robots like him .

The Cruel Stars by John Birmingham (Del Rey)

The galaxy was once terrorized by the Sturm, a group of “species purists” intent on destroying any human with genetic or cybernetic enhancements. Fashioning themselves as the one true “Human Republic,” the Sturm cut a bloody swath across the stars, killing billions before finally being defeated and driven into the far reaches of Dark Space. Centuries of peace bred complacency. Everyone believed the Sturm had died out in the Dark. They were wrong.

Hierophant by Robert Jackson Bennett (Jo Fletcher Books)

The upstart firm Foundryside is struggling to make it. Orso Igancio and his star employee, former thief Sancia Grado, are accomplishing brilliant things with scriving, the magical art of encoding sentience into everyday objects, but it's not enough. The massive merchant houses of Tevanne won't tolerate competition, and they're willing to do anything to crush Foundryside.

The Buried Dagger by James Swallow (Black Library)

The Buried Dagger is the fifty-fourth book in the Horus Heresy series. For long years, the Horus Heresy has ground on. Now, the Death Guard have been sent to begin the final battle. But Mortarion and his sons must face their gravest challenge first – for Nurgle has claimed them as his own, and he will not be denied…

Cry Pilot by Joel Dane (Ace)

A devastated Earth. Rogue bio-weapons. And a recruit with secrets. In this explosive new military science fiction novel, a tight-knit infantry squad is thrown into battle against a mysterious enemy that appears without warning and strikes without mercy.

Honourbound by Rachel Harrison (Black Library)

Uncompromising and fierce, Commissar Severina Raine has always served the Imperium with the utmost distinction but only by embracing her duty and staying true to her belief in the Imperium and the commissar’s creed can she hope to survive this crucible, but even then will that be enough?


Agency by William Gibson (Viking)

William Gibson is one name who needs no introduction. His work has been hugely influential within the genre and society itself. Just before the Millenium The Guardian called him "probably the most important novelist of the past two decades."  Agency imagines what might have happened if Trump had lost the election. Depsite such a positive possibility, set in the future, it is actually a Dystopian novel. 

The City we Became by N.K Jemisin (Orbit)

N.K Jemisin has won the Hugo award for the last three years. This book is going to be closely watched. Five New Yorkers must come together in order to defend their city from an ancient evil.Every city has a soul. Some are as ancient as myths, and others are as new and destructive as children. New York City? She's got five. But every city also has a dark side. A roiling, ancient evil stirs beneath the earth, threatening to destroy the city and her five newborn avatars unless they can come together and stop it once and for all.

The Testaments by Margaret Atwood (Chatto & Windus)

The long awaited sequel to the seminal novel The Handmaids Tale, set 15 years after Offred stepped into the unknown, with the explosive testaments of three female narrators from Gilead.

Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir (

Tamsyn Muir's Gideon the Ninth unveils a solar system of swordplay, cut-throat politics, and lesbian necromancers. Her characters leap off the page, as skillfully animated as necromantic skeletons. The result is a heart-pounding epic science fantasy.

World Engines by Stephen Baxter (Gollancz)

Stephen Baxter is a multi-award winning veteran of science fiction. World Engines is set some time in the future when the Kernel, a strange object on a five-hundred-year-orbit, is detected coming from high above the plane of the solar system. Forward in time to the year 2570 and the world is a vastly different place. A billion people live with nature without harming it. The forests, ice caps and ozone layers are all recovered. Then the Kernel returns, attached to a wormhole while explorers can use to travel back in time across five billion years.

The Future of Another Timeline by Annalee Newitz (Orbit)

Time travel has existed for as long as humanity itself. Jumping into the past is simple, and scientists say that altering the timeline is almost impossible. But Eliza believes in historical change. That's why she's gone back to 1893, hoping to undo a horrible injustice whose effects are still being felt in her own time. On her way, she makes a secret stop in 1992. She's desperate to find Beth, a punk rocker whose ordinary life is about to become a cross-temporal tangle of toxic friendship and murder.

September 2019 science fiction books


Curious Toys by Elizabeth Hand (Mulholland Books)

The year is 1915 and Pin, the fifteen year-old daughter of an amusement park fortune teller, disguises herself as a boy to run with the teenage boys who thrive in the dregs of Chicago's street scene. Unbeknownst to the well-heeled city-dwellers and visitors who come to enjoy its attractions, Riverview Park is also host to a brutal serial killer, a perfumed pedophile who uses the secrecy of a dark amusement park ride to conduct his crimes. When Pin sees a man enter the Hell Gate ride with a young girl, and leave without her, she knows that something deadly is afoot. The crime will lead her to the iconic outsider artist Henry Darger, a brilliant but seemingly mad man obsessed with his illustrated novel about a group of young girls who triumph over adult oppressors. Together, the two navigate the seedy underbelly of a changing city to uncover a murderer few even know to look for.

The Rosewater Redemption by Tade Thompson (Orbit)

The finale in the Rosewater trilogy. Life in the newly independent city state of Rosewater isn't everything its citizens were expecting. Mayor Jacques finds that debts incurred during the insurrection are coming back to haunt him. Nigeria isn't willing to let Rosewater go without a fight. And among the city's alien inhabitants, a group has emerged who murder humans to provide bodies for their takeover. Operating across spacetime, the xenosphere, and international borders, it is up to a small group of hackers and criminals to prevent the extra-terrestrial advance. The fugitive known as Bicycle Girl, Kaaro and his old handler Femi, may be humanity's last line of defence.

Things We Say in the Dark by Kirsty Logan (Penguin Random House)

Things We Say in the Dark is a collection of dark feminist horror stories, set to be published on Halloween.

Cerberus Unleashed: Blood & Fire by James Barclay (Gollancz)

This series has a simple premise of nomadic fantasy nations warring over diminishing resources; it has a strong twist with a main character who uncovers a series of game-changing government lies; it combines politics, war and romance into a gripping story.

This is also a bold proposal: our hero may have uncovered the truth, but that doesn't mean he can prove it. If he wants to save his team he may have to abandon them. If he wants to win the girl he'll have to persuade her not to turn her back on him. If he wants to prove the lies, he may have to risk a descent into madness. And all against a backdrop of a vicious daily war for survival.

The Lonely Guide to Rough Planets by (Former Ambassador) Floyd by Nate Crowley (Harper Voyager)

The Lonely Guide to Rough Planets is your ultimate guide to all the must-see locations in the worlds of Science Fiction and Fantasy. Join Floyd as he shows you the all the ideal places to sleep, eat, drink, shop and visit along the way.

Salvaged by Madeleine Roux (Harper Collins)

A new science fiction novel from the author of YA Asylum series.

The Library of the Unwritten by A.J. Hackwith (Penguin Random House)

The first in a planned series, it's not just Souls that go to Hell. The Library of the Unwritten is a place in the Underwolrd where all the unfinished books reside. The Librarians role in this Library is to deal with the restless characters that emerge from these stories.


The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern (Harvill Secker)

The magical new novel from the bestselling author of The Night Circus. 

Zachary Ezra Rawlins is a graduate student in Vermont when he discovers a strange book hidden in the library stacks. As he turns the pages, entranced by tales of lovelorn prisoners, key collectors, and nameless acolytes, he reads something strange: a story from his own childhood. Bewildered by this inexplicable book and desperate to make sense of how his own life came to be recorded, Zachary uncovers a series of clues – a bee, a key and a sword – that lead him to a masquerade party in New York, to a secret club, and through a doorway to a subterranean library, hidden far below the surface of the earth. 

Invisible Sun by Charles Stross (Tor)

The alternate timelines of Charles Stross' Empire Games trilogy have never been so entangled than in Invisible Sun--the techno-thriller follow up to Dark State--as stakes escalate in a conflict that could spell extermination for humanity across all known timelines.

A inter-timline coup d'état gone awry. A renegade British monarch on the run through the streets of Berlin. And robotic alien invaders from a distant timeline flood through a wormhole, wreaking havoc in the USA. Can disgraced worldwalker Rita and her intertemporal extraordaire agent of a mother neutralize the livewire contention between their respective timelines before it's too late?

Starsight by Brandon Sanderson (Gollancz)

Second in the Skyward series, following on from the events of the popular YA novel which see's the protagonists planet under constant threat of attack by the ruthless alien race The Krell as they attempt to destroy mankind.

Reborn by Sarah Lotz (Michael Joseph)

Reborn is a popular comic book series by the talented team of Mark Millar and Greg Capullo. In the world of Reborn, people who die don't go to heaven or hell, they go somewhere else. A place where you have to fight to survive and people from your past (good or bad) are waiting for you. Sarah Lotz is writing a novel based on these comics.